From Dutch Tulips to Internet Stocks, Bubbles Often Burst

May 7, 2021

First Read

$40,951/$300,000 (13.7%)
Brian Duff


JLN Editor-in-Chief Sarah Rudolph to Return to Full-Time Duties Monday; Suzanne Cosgrove Named JLN Deputy Managing Editor

JLN Editor-in-Chief Sarah Rudolph has been working part time for the past few weeks and will return to her full-time duties on May 10 following her recent surgery. Additionally, JLN is promoting Suzanne Cosgrove to the role of deputy managing editor.

Cosgrove stepped in as acting managing editor in Rudolph’s absence and will continue to help support the editorial operations of John Lothian News.

Rudolph took a medical leave following her March 12 surgery.

“We are grateful to have Sarah back at work following her successful surgery,” said John Lothian, publisher of John Lothian News. “She is an essential part of the success of JLN and has been since she joined us in 2007.”

“Congratulations to Suzanne on her promotion,” said Sarah Rudolph. “I have enjoyed working with her and welcome her to her new role. She is an excellent editor, journalist and co-worker.”

“Suzanne’s work during Sarah’s absence showed the heavy workload Sarah was handling. This promotion for Suzanne recognizes her contributions to the JLN operations and balances the work of editing JLN content.” Lothian said. “We are lucky to have two such talented editors leading JLN editorial operations.”


Hits & Takes
John Lothian & JLN Staff

We have three commentaries below, one each from FIA’s Walt Lukken, IEX’s Ronan Ryan and Nasdaq’s Phil Mackintosh. Lukken looks at China with a “Viewpoint – Proposed futures law is a historic milestone for China’s futures markets; Recently unveiled proposal paves the way for deeper institutional participation.” FIA Ryan expounds on the retail appeal of IEX with “An Evolved Retail Solution for an Evolved Retail Landscape.” IEX Mackintosh writes about the SEC trying to fix odd lots within NMS, with “NMS II Doesn’t Fix the Odd Lot Problem; The SEC proposed changing round lot sizes. Today we take a look at just how odd the SEC’s solution looks.” — Nasdaq

Additionally, we have a commentary from Michael Bloomberg about a breakthrough in physics and the need for more funding to explore it in “Why Congress Should Care About the Laws of Physics; Recent research seems to challenge the fundamentals of the field. The U.S. should support the quest for answers.” — Bloomberg

Here is the testimony of SEC Chairman Gary Gensler before the House Committee on Financial Services from yesterday. — SEC

Here is the U.S. Federal Reserve Board’s May 2021 Financial Stability Report — US Federal Reserve

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, May 9, 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. We apologize for any inconvenience.

I am not pointing fingers at anyone in particular, but I wish entities would not make “dick” jokes when talking about the size of futures contracts. Size is important to make contracts or equity prices in a range for a greater number of people to trade, but the euphemisms about size mattering unfortunately remind me and other people of male member measurements and their value and are sexist.

Brian Duff, managing member at Kitty Hawk Resources, LLC and a longtime banking executive leading prime services operations, is the latest to give to the JLN MarketsWiki Education GoFundMe campaign. Brian also worked for Cargill Investor Services for 20 years, finishing as head of foreign exchange. Thank you to Brian and all who have given and all who have yet to give. Support our efforts to preserve industry history by supporting 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



Viewpoint – Proposed futures law is a historic milestone for China’s futures markets; Recently unveiled proposal paves the way for deeper institutional participation
Walt Lukken, President and CEO
For many years FIA has advocated for the passing of a futures law in China as a vital step in the development and growth of China’s markets. These markets already rank among the largest in the world in terms of trading volume, but they lack certain legal provisions that are critical for deeper institutional participation. We also have consistently advocated for the enforceability of close-out netting as a key building block for the development of a liquid market for interest rate swaps and other OTC derivatives, which in turn is crucial for the development of a liquid futures market.

*****Without milestones, it is easy to get lost and not know how far you have gone.~JJL


An Evolved Retail Solution for an Evolved Retail Landscape
Ronan Ryan, President and Co-Founder of IEX Exchange
Since the beginning, IEX Exchange has worked with our broker partners to help them achieve high-quality executions for their institutional investor customers. We do that through our infrastructure — the Speed Bump and Signal — as well as the tools we offer in the form of our order types. As a result, we’ve built an ecosystem known for rich midpoint liquidity and a high standard of trading performance for investors.

*****I am not sure I like the wording “rich midpoint liquidity.” Yes, the big firms on the other side of our trades are rich and getting richer. Deep is a better word.~JJL


NMS II Doesn’t Fix the Odd Lot Problem; The SEC proposed changing round lot sizes. Today we take a look at just how odd the SEC’s solution looks.
Phil Mackintosh – Nasdaq
Back before the pandemic, lots of traders were looking at the increase in stock prices and their wider spreads and noticed it was causing odd lots to increase. The SIP committee even proposed adding an odd BBO to their feed, although most of the criticisms were around whether the odd BBO would actually matter, given it wasn’t protected or required to be shown to investors.

*****Odd lots have exploded and need to be more transparent. Even I have traded odd lots this year. OK, I have only traded odd lots this year.~JJL


Millennial philanthropy may forever change finance; Attitudes among younger people represent ‘an entirely new’ investor mindset
Gillian Tett – FT
What is up with those weird millennials? That is a sentiment many middle-aged people like me might have muttered in the workplace when confronted with the fact that some of those born between 1981 and 1996 have different attitudes towards careers and hierarchies.

*****Every generation is a little different, influenced by different events. But this generation could really change things greatly.~JJL


Our Pathetic Herd Immunity Failure
David Brooks – NY Times
Could today’s version of America have been able to win World War II? It hardly seems possible. That victory required national cohesion, voluntary sacrifice for the common good and trust in institutions and each other. America’s response to Covid-19 suggests that we no longer have sufficient quantities of any of those things.

*****What herd? All I see are tribes.~JJL


Thursday’s Top Three
The most-read story on Thursday was an essay by Kevin Darby published by Cornell University, Time is Money: The Equilibrium Trading Horizon and Optimal Arrival Price. The second was from the Chicago Sun-Times, Most Chicago trading pits closed for good, CME Group says. And No. 3 was from the Wall Street Journal, Dogecoin’s 12,000% Rally Spurs Hunt for Next Crypto Winner.


CryptoMarketsWiki Coin of the Week: Ethereum Classic (ETC)
Ethereum Classic (ETC) hit a record high of $108.32 Wednesday, representing a nearly 130 percent spike, the biggest in its history. ETC, which began as a fork of Ethereum, has developed bullish sentiment among retail traders in recent weeks. While it is not known exactly what caused this, data from Google Trends indicates that internet search interest in the altcoin has grown significantly in the first week of May.


MarketsWiki Stats
204,354,963 pages viewed; 25,759 pages; 232,205 edits
MarketsWiki Statistics


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

Recently updated pages include
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Bytecoin (BCN)

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Lead Stories

From Dutch Tulips to Internet Stocks, Bubbles Often Burst; Long before SPACs and NFTs, investors clamored for everything from exotic bulbs to What history shows is that an inventive corner of the financial world can turn into a mania that attracts swindlers and wipes out investors.
Jon Hilsenrath – WSJ
About 300 years ago, financiers in Europe found themselves agog about the financial prospects of novel trading companies granted special rights in international commerce by the governments of France and England. The shares of these trading vehicles—England’s South Sea Company and France’s Mississippi Company—soared and then collapsed in 1720, wiping out hordes of angry investors. Episodes like that have some economic historians wrinkling their brows about what is happening in financial markets today, with Wall Street once again in the embrace of perplexing crazes for new investment vehicles.

Fed Warns of Peril for Asset Prices as Investors Gorge on Risk
Craig Torres and Rich Miller – Bloomberg
Brainard: Archegos event shows more hedge-fund disclosure need; Fed releases its semi-annual financial stability report
Discover what’s driving the global economy and what it means for policy makers, businesses, investors and you with The New Economy Daily. A rising appetite for risk across a variety of asset markets is stretching valuations and creating vulnerabilities in the U.S. financial system, the Federal Reserve said in its semi-annual financial stability report.

Covid-19 Retreats in the West, but the Pandemic Fight Is Far From Over; With parts of Asia and Latin America under siege, global deaths in 2021 on track to exceed the 2020 toll
Jason Douglas, Saeed Shah and Ryan Dube – WSJ
The center of the global Covid-19 pandemic has shifted decisively to low- and middle- income countries, fueling sickness and death on a scale that trends suggest could quickly exceed the world-wide toll in 2020. Already this year, more than 1.4 million Covid-19 deaths have been reported globally as the virus has torn through Latin America and swaths of Asia, according to official tallies compiled at the University of Oxford.

Key Brexit Clash Would Cost Euro Swap Traders $2.4 Million a Day
Silla Brush – Bloomberg
Dutch professor estimates cost of fragmentation of clearing; Permission for cross-border clearing expires in June next year
One of the biggest Brexit battlegrounds between the European Union and the U.K. now has a price tag: at least $2.4 million a day. That’s how much any move by the European Union to cut off access to London’s dominant clearinghouses for derivatives could cost traders in euro interest rate swaps, net of buying, according to an estimate from Albert Menkveld, professor of finance at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, who has sat on advisory panels to European regulatory authorities.

From Archegos to Crypto, SEC Chief Signals Cop Is Back on Beat
Robert Schmidt and Benjamin Bain – Bloomberg
Gensler pledges close look at numerous market issues; House testimony pleases Democrats who want tougher rules
Wall Street’s new overseer confirmed he won’t back down from tough battles with the financial industry as he laid out an agenda for increased regulation in numerous contentious areas. Gary Gensler, making his first appearance before Congress after being sworn in as Securities and Exchange Commission chairman, pledged Thursday to confront long-simmering issues in the stock market that led to this year’s wild price swings in shares of GameStop Corp. and fueled concerns that retail investors are getting short shrift from popular trading apps.

Fed warns of hidden leverage lurking in financial system; Central bank says Archegos collapse shows it lacks tools to see full extent of risk-taking
Gary Silverman and James Politi – FT
The US Federal Reserve has warned that existing measures of hedge fund leverage “may not be capturing important risks”, pointing to the collapse of Archegos Capital as an example of hidden vulnerabilities in the global financial system.

Meme Stocks and Archegos: Fed Calls Out Financial Weak Spots; The Federal Reserve painted a picture of a generally stable financial system, but one bubbling with risk-taking that merits attention.
Jeanna Smialek – NY Times
The Federal Reserve warned about financial stability risks emanating from frothy stocks and debt-laden hedge fund bets in its twice-annual report on potential vulnerabilities in the system, pointing to the rise of so-called meme stocks as one sign that risk-taking could be getting out of hand.

The US is inching towards an official term replacement for Libor; Here’s why that matters.
Claire Jones – FT
As we wrote back in September, one of the thorniest issues in the rose bush that is Libor transition is whether you can find a proper replacement rate that, in market parlance, is “forward looking”.

S.E.C. Chair Gensler Emphasizes Transparency in Markets; In a hearing focused on the frenzied trading of GameStop stock, the new S.E.C. chairman suggests more disclosure is needed.
Matthew Goldstein – NY Times
Gary Gensler is putting transparency in the markets and the need to understand the impact of new technology at the top of his priority list as the new chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. “I think transparency is at the heart of efficient markets,” Mr. Gensler said during his first testimony on Capitol Hill as the nation’s top securities cop.

GameStop Frenzy, Archegos Meltdown May Prompt New SEC Rules, Chairman Says; Gary Gensler is set to testify Thursday before House Financial Services Committee
Dave Michaels and Alexander Osipovich – WSJ
Wall Street’s top regulator will study potential new rules related to two recent episodes of stock-market turbulence—the GameStop Corp. frenzy among small investors and the implosion of Archegos Capital Management.

Bitcoin Traders in U.S. Lack Investor Protections, Gensler Says
Benjamin Bain and Robert Schmidt – Bloomberg
U.S. investors lack protections when they trade Bitcoin on cryptocurrency exchanges, Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler told lawmakers. While his agency currently has authority to regulate digital coins that are considered securities, trading in the world’s biggest cryptocurrency represents an oversight gap, Gensler said Thursday during a hearing of House Financial Services Committee. The SEC has signaled that Bitcoin is a commodity under U.S. law and therefore not subject to the agency’s toughest rules.

Fed Comes as Close as It Can to Saying ‘Bubble’; The central bank’s financial stability report used the phrase “meme stocks” and highlighted voracious risk appetite in IPOs and SPACs.
Brian Chappatta – Bloomberg
The Federal Reserve can’t say “bubble.” But if it could, it quite possibly would have done so in its semiannual financial stability report released Thursday afternoon, which, in what I can only assume is a first, used the phrase “meme stocks” not once, not twice but three times. The central bank said that it views valuations for some assets as “elevated relative to historical norms even when using measures that account for Treasury yields. In this setting, asset prices may be vulnerable to significant declines should risk appetite fall.”

Goldman, Pimco Detect Irrational Inflation Mania in Bond Market
Vivien Lou Chen and Ye Xie – Bloomberg
View is that expectations are lower than market measures show; Analyses have implications for bets on timing of Fed liftoff
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and bond titan Pacific Investment Management Co. have a simple message for Treasuries traders fretting over inflation: Relax. The firms estimate that bond traders who are pricing in annual inflation approaching 3% over the next handful of years are overstating the pressures bubbling up as the U.S. economy rebounds from the pandemic.

Robinhood is a ‘misunderstood platform’: Kevin O’Leary
Alexis Christoforous – Yahoo Finance
Shark Tank investor Kevin O’Leary may agree with billionaire investor Warren Buffett, and his right-hand man, Charlie Munger, on a number of things. The trading app Robinhood, isn’t one of them.

Cryptocurrency Exchanges Need Direct Regulation, SEC Chair Says
Avi Salzman – Barron’s
The chair of the Securities and Exchange Commissions says Congress needs to create a regulatory framework to oversee cryptocurrency exchanges in the U.S., because current laws don’t really put any regulator directly in charge of them.

Japan faces longer state of emergency, casting doubt on Olympics; Summer Olympics less than three months away; State of Emergency has not lowered coronavirus infections; Restrictions on business activity in doubt (Recasts and updates throughout with more detail)
Stanley White – Reuters
The Japanese government is considering extending a coronavirus spurred state of emergency in Tokyo and other major urban areas, a move that could cast doubt on the planned Summer Olympics. Officials were leaning toward an extension of the measures in Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo prefectures beyond May 11 as the country battles a surge in COVID-19 cases, the Yomiuri Newspaper said on Wednesday.

The Case for Stability in Euro Clearing
Over the past year, the coronavirus pandemic and Brexit have presented derivatives markets with their greatest test since the financial crisis. While the market has proved its resilience, the prospect of a forced relocation of derivatives clearing from the UK to the EU poses a further threat of disruption and fragmentation…

Clearing post-Brexit: What happens now? Following the UK’s official exit from the EU single market, regulators on both sides of the Channel appear to be splitting on post-trade regulations. What are the potential consequences of this on the post-trade industry, asks Joe Parsons.
Joe Parsons – The Trade
When the UK and EU announced their last-minute post-Brexit agreement and there was little to no mention of financial services, the eventual divergence on trading regulation was inevitable.

Norway Wealth Fund Rethinks Hiring Plans Amid ‘Huge’ Cyber Risk
Lars Erik Taraldsen – Bloomberg
Norway’s sovereign wealth fund is widening its recruitment net to include people without college degrees as it searches for the brightest minds to protect its $1.3 trillion portfolio from growing armies of hackers. Nicolai Tangen, the Oslo-based fund’s chief executive, says he occasionally picks up the phone himself to “encourage good candidates to apply,” as part of the recruitment process. That’s as the kinds of attacks the fund encounters get “more and more sophisticated. The powers we’re up against are huge,” he said. “There’s a lot of money in this fund, so it’s a precious target.”

Google joins forces with Stop Scams UK to fight financial fraud
To help stop financial frauds and scams in the U.K., Google is working closely with the Financial Conduct Authority, a financial regulatory body in the United Kingdom. Last year, Google collaborated with FCA to receive notifications when additions are made to the FCA warning list which contains names of the firms that are operating without permission or running scams.

Google Working Closely With U.K. FCA to Stop Financial Scammers
Google said it’s rolling out new measures that, working closely with the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority, “build on significant work we have done to date to help stop financial scammers in the U.K.,” according to a blog post by Ronan Harris, VP and MD, Google U.K. and Ireland.

New York Tax Officials Crack Down on Remote Workers; At issue are refund claims from nonresidents who were commuting before the pandemic; the ‘convenience rule’ comes into play
Jimmy Vielkind – WSJ
New York state tax officials are scrutinizing refund claims filed by nonresident tax filers who normally commute to jobs in New York but have been working remotely during the Covid-19 pandemic. Tax lawyers said the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance has begun auditing 2020 returns for people whose work habits shifted when their offices closed. The department gave auditors refresher training about out-of-state filers within the last several months, a person familiar with the matter said.


Ghana Gets Second Batch of AstraZeneca Vaccines From Covax
Yinka Ibukun – Bloomberg
Ghana has become the first country to get a second delivery of vaccines from the World Health Organization-backed Covax facility after India, who manufactures the shots, halted exports to face its own health crisis.

EU Set to Sign Off New Pfizer Vaccine Contract as Soon as Friday
Alberto Nardelli and Nikos Chrysoloras – Bloomberg
Deal secures 1.8 billion additional doses in 2022-2023; Contract foresees monthly deliveries and sanctions for delays
The European Commission is expected to sign off on a new Covid vaccine contract with Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE as soon as Friday, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Europe Starts to Feel the Vaccine Effect at Last; The challenge is ensuring improved pandemic performance doesn’t go to waste.
Lionel Laurent – Bloomberg
The European Union’s Covid-19 vaccination rollout had looked like a cross between a bad joke and a bad dream. Almost everything that could go wrong did: Logistical failures, supply delays, the odd diplomatic incident and an ugly bust-up with AstraZeneca Plc. The euro-area economy, battered by successive virus waves, fell into a double-dip recession earlier this year.

The World Turns to China for Vaccines After India, U.S. Stumble
Iain Marlow, Sudhi Ranjan Sen, and James Paton – Bloomberg
U.S. looks to waive patents on shots but has donated few; Covid-ravaged India delays supplies, leaving China at the fore
The world is fast becoming ever more reliant on China for vaccines, with India’s raging virus outbreak stifling its ability to deliver on supply deals, even as the U.S. tries to position itself as a champion of wider access.

EU Splits on Vaccine-Patent Waivers to Cast Doubt on U.S. Plan
Nikos Chrysoloras and Rodrigo Orihuela – Bloomberg
Spain says IP rights can’t be obstacle to ending Covid-19; EU leaders will discuss intellectual property waivers Friday
Spain backed a U.S. proposal to waive intellectual property rights for coronavirus vaccines, breaking ranks with Germany and complicating efforts by the European Union to form a common stance.

Can Incentives Sway the Vaccine-Hesitant? With the pace of vaccinations slowing in the U.S., some states and cities are turning to perks — from free beer to cash — to reach those reluctant to get their shot.
Sarah Holder – Bloomberg
Though West Virginia got a fast start on its vaccination rollout and expanded Covid-19 vaccine eligibility to residents as young as 16 on March 22, the pace of vaccinations has slowed in recent weeks, especially among young adults. With less than half of its eligible population one dose in, this cohort represents a major threat to tamping down disease — and a barrier to reaching Governor Jim Justice’s goal of inoculating more than 70% of the state.

Vaccine-Finder Apps Everywhere in India With Few Shots in Sight
Saritha Rai – Bloomberg
Type Namaste, the Indian greeting, and a WhatsApp chatbot asks the user’s zip code and instantly throws up a list of vaccination centers nearby. A search on Google Maps shows the route to the nearest clinic with vaccine availability.

What It Would Mean for Big Pharma if Vaccine IP Rights Are Waived
Susan Decker – Bloomberg
A proposal at the World Trade Organization to lift intellectual property protections for makers of Covid-19 vaccines got an unexpected boost when the U.S. announced May 5 that it supported the idea. It was a dramatic change of long-standing policy by the U.S., home to some of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies. Supporters of the waiver say it will speed production of vaccines and help poor nations left behind in the global vaccination effort catch up. Vaccine makers and other critics of the waiver say it undermines the incentives that led to the rapid development of the vaccines and won’t have any practical effect.

UK to offer under-40s alternative to AstraZeneca vaccine; Declining infection rates mean potential risks from jab may outweigh dangers of disease
Anna Gross and Sarah Neville – FT
People in their 30s will be offered an alternative to the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, UK government officials confirmed on Friday, as declining Covid-19 infection rates mean potential risks from the jab may outweigh the dangers of the disease.

Covid-19 Vaccines Are Wasted as Special Syringes Run Short; States and vaccinators say they have too few ‘low-dead-space’ syringes to extract all Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech doses from vials
Austen Hufford and Jared S. Hopkins – WSJ
Vaccine administrators say they aren’t receiving enough special syringes needed to extract every last dose of Covid-19 shots from vials, a problem at risk of worsening because manufacturers project that domestic production won’t improve until the second half of this year.

India’s Modeling Has Covid Outbreak Peaking in Coming Days
Bhuma Shrivastava and Jeanette Rodrigues – Bloomberg
Mathematical model had wrongly suggested April peak earlier; Modi has so far resisted introducing a national lockdown
A mathematical model prepared by advisers to Prime Minister Narendra Modi suggests India’s coronavirus outbreak could peak in the coming days, but the group’s projections have been changing and were wrong last month. The team’s most recent forecast puts them more in line with at least some other scientists, who have suggested a mid-May peak for India. Medical experts and the political opposition have said a national lockdown is the immediately effective way to slow the spread, a move Modi has resisted.

New analysis finds global Covid death toll is double official estimates
Helen Branswell –
A new analysis of the toll of the Covid-19 pandemic suggests 6.9 million people worldwide have died from the disease, more than twice as many people as has been officially reported.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

IEX Targets Retail Trading
IEX Exchange is changing its retail price improvement programme to enhance performance for retail investors, whose increased participation has led to larger equity volumes being traded off-exchange and whose treatment has come under scrutiny by lawmakers.

Euronext successfully launches a EUR1.8 billion bond issue, listed on Euronext Dublin
Euronext, the leading pan-European market infrastructure, has successfully priced a three-tranche senior bond offering representing a total amount of EUR1.8bn.

Euronext announces volumes for April 2021
Euronext, the leading pan-European market infrastructure, today announced trading volumes for April 20211.

April 2021 monthly figures at Eurex
Another strong month for Eurex’s OTC Clearing business; Mixed picture across other business areas
Building on an already very strong start to the year in clearing, average daily cleared volumes (ADV) at Eurex grew 78 percent, from 94 billion in April 2020 to 167 billion EUR in April 2021. Looking just at Interest Rate Swaps, ADV grew from 16 billion EUR last year to 25 billion this April, a gain of 54 percent. Overall notional outstanding volumes at Eurex rose year-on-year by nearly a third in April – up from 17,943 billion to 23,034 billion EUR.

ICE Benchmark Administration Consults on Potential Cessation of ICE Swap Rate® based on GBP LIBOR®
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc.
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE:ICE), a leading global provider of data, technology, and market infrastructure, today announced that ICE Benchmark Administration Limited (“IBA”) has published a consultation on its intention to cease the publication of ICE Swap Rate® settings based on GBP LIBOR®.

Performance Bond Requirements: Agriculture, Energy, Equity & Metal Margins – Effective May 07, 2021
CME Group
As per the normal review of market volatility to ensure adequate collateral coverage, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc., Clearing House Risk Management staff approved the performance bond requirements for the following products listed in the advisory at the link below. Please email any questions to

Performance Bond Requirements: Agriculture – Effective May 7, 2021
CME Group
As per the normal review of market volatility to ensure adequate collateral coverage, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc., Clearing House Risk Management staff approved the performance bond requirements for the following products listed in the advisory at the link below.

SGX Regulatory Symposium 2021 – “Market Needs in a Changing Landscape” – Closing Speech
Tan Boon Gin, CEO, SGX RegCo
Closing Speech by Tan Boon Gin, CEO, SGX RegCo
1. Thank you everyone for tuning in to our symposium and a special thank you to our panelists and to Stef and Herry for moderating our two panels on SPACs and sustainability. What a great job! Thank you.
2. They were both fascinating discussions, so let me try and respond to some of the things that were raised. Starting with SPACs, I believe I can hear at least three messages.

SGX Regulatory Symposium 2021 – “Market Needs in a Changing Landscape” – Update on Regulatory Developments by Chew Chin Yee, MD, SGX RegCo
1. Thank you for joining us today.
Recap of major global developments since 2019
2. Much has happened since this forum was last convened in 2019. I will just touch on three global developments that have significantly influenced our work in the past 18 to 24 months.
3. The pandemic is of course top of mind. For more than a year now, we have had to change how we work and interact. Global supply chains were fractured. All forms of travel ground to a halt – both domestically and internationally. Business activity, especially in aviation, tourism and hospitality, suffered tremendously.

Trading Overview in April 2021; Japan Exchange Group released Trading Overview in April 2021
Cash Equity Market; In April 2021, the daily average trading value for the TSE 1st Section (domestic common stocks) was JPY 2.7028 trillion; The daily average trading value for the ETF market was JPY 217.7 billion.
Derivatives Market: In April 2021, total derivatives trading volume was 22,858,603 contracts; In April 2021, total derivatives trading value was JPY 182 trillion; Trading volume for the night session was 7,409,775 contracts. The ratio of the night session was 33.0%.


How fintech will eat into banks’ business
The Economist
“THE DISTINCTIVE function of the banker ‘begins as soon as he uses the money of others’; as long as he uses his own money he is only a capitalist,” wrote Walter Bagehot in 1873, quoting Ricardo. This distinction may seem outdated. Institutional investors (hedge funds, mutual funds, pension funds, private equity) all use other people’s money. Yet Ricardo’s point matters.

Ex-LSE Chief Xavier Rolet Plans Fintech SPAC: Sources
Jan-Henrik Foerster and Dinesh Nair – Bloomberg
Xavier Rolet, the former head of London Stock Exchange Group Plc, is planning to launch a blank-check company targeting financial technology investments, people familiar with the matter said.
He plans to seek about $300 million by listing a special purpose acquisition company in the U.S., according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. Rolet could reveal plans for the listing as soon as the next few days, the people said.

Lime, a Division of Score Priority Corp., Furthers Algo Partnership With BestEx Research; Lime customers will benefit from customized equity execution algo products
Score Priority Corp.
Score Priority Corp. (“Score Priority”), a financial services organization for the retail and institutional trading community, today announced the furthering of its existing partnership with BestEx Research, a provider of execution algorithms. Lime’s customers — including systematic traders, proprietary trading groups, asset managers, and other financial institutions — will have access to BestEx Research’s growing suite of equity execution algos, customized to fit their unique needs.

Square Revenue More Than Triples, Driven by Bitcoin Sales
Kurt Wagner – Bloomberg
Square Inc.’s quarterly sales more than tripled, surpassing analysts’ estimates, driven by skyrocketing Bitcoin purchases through the company’s Cash App. First-quarter sales were $5.06 billion, beating the $3.37 billion average projection from analysts, according to data gathered by Bloomberg. Revenue from Bitcoin sales — which includes the total value of Bitcoin purchases on its Cash App — climbed more than elevenfold to $3.51 billion, up from $306 million a year earlier, the company said Thursday in a shareholder letter. Still, gross profit from those Bitcoin transactions was just $75 million, reflecting the fees that Square collects.

How much product room will fintech giants leave for startups?
Alex Wilhelm – TechCrunch
I was going to wait until after Square reported its Q1 results today to dig into the world of fintech earnings and what they might mean for startups, but something got stuck in my craw that matters more than what Jack’s team may have up its sleeve: How much space is being left in fintech when the major players are growing rapidly in categories where startups are doing their best to make a dent?

Baton Systems Integrates With LCH To Deliver End-To-End Automation Of The Collateral Workflow
Baton Systems (“Baton”), a provider of post-trade solutions for financial markets, has integrated with LCH, a leading global clearing house, to automate the end-to-end collateral workflow for derivatives participants. J.P. Morgan will be the first of Baton’s clients to manage their collateral at LCH using the Baton platform. The partnership expands Baton’s network of central counterparties (CCPs) that now includes several of the world’s largest exchange operators.


Goldman Sachs offers bitcoin derivatives to investors – Bloomberg News
Goldman Sachs Group Inc is allowing Wall Street investors to trade with a derivative tied to bitcoin prices, Bloomberg News reported on Thursday.

Goldman Sachs backs institutional crypto data firm in $15 million fundraising; Series B funding round led by Goldman Sachs raised $15 million for institutional crypto financial intelligence firm Coin Metrics.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
US investment bank Goldman Sachs has participated in a $15 million funding round for a crypto market data and blockchain technology provider as it looks to offer clients more insights and tools for digital assets.

Citi weighs launching crypto services after surge in client interest; Exclusive: Wall Street bank says trading, financing and custody all under consideration
Eva Szalay – FT
Citigroup, one of the world’s largest currency trading banks, is considering taking its first steps into cryptocurrency markets after a surge in interest from clients.

Coinbase Plunges to All-Time Low With IPO ETF in Freefall
Claire Ballentine and Vildana Hajric – Bloomberg
Coinbase Global Inc. sank to a record low as investors fled high-flying market newcomers. The operator of the largest U.S. cryptocurrency exchange tumbled as much as 7% to $254.02 on Thursday, slumping for a fourth straight day. That left the shares in danger of breaching the $250 reference price for its April direct listing. An exchange-traded fund that tracks shares of companies that recently went public plunged for an eighth day, the longest slide since 2015. Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc. and Opendoor Technologies Inc., companies that came to market through blank-check offerings, sank more than 5%.

Dogecoin Demand Crashes India’s Largest Crypto Exchange
Nicholas Pongratz – BeINCrypto
India’s largest crypto exchange by trading volume, WazirX, has been struggling to meet the skyrocketing demand for Dogecoin. Global DOGE trading volumes tripled between May 3 and 5 to over $42 billion. According to WazirX Founder and CEO Nischal Shetty, this caused the exchange’s systems to crash because the surging volumes were wrongly perceived as a cyberattack;

Dogecoin Is Up Because It’s Funny; Also integer formatting, Theranos, prime brokerage and sneakers.
Matt Levine – Bloomberg Opinion
Much efficient very market
Look I enjoyed GameStop as much as anyone. It was dumb fun, it seemed to say something weird and alarming but not too serious about financial capitalism, nobody got too badly hurt, it had some good characters, it kept us entertained for a while. Non-fungible tokens are exasperating, but in an interesting way. I thought the deli was pretty good. Financial news in 2021 is incredibly stupid, sure, but I can take pleasure in it.

Coinbase Plans to Close Its San Francisco Headquarters in 2022
Olga Kharif – Bloomberg
The company has previously said it has ‘remote first’ attitude; The crypto exchange will have a network of smaller offices
Coinbase Global Inc., the biggest U.S. cryptocurrency exchange, plans to close its San Francisco headquarters next year and let employees continue to work remotely. This announcement on Twitter Wednesday wasn’t a complete surprise. A year ago, Chief Executive Officer Brian Armstrong announced the exchange would be “remote first” and not have a specific headquarters.

Crypto Pros Are Getting Tired of the $79 Billion Dogecoin Joke
Justina Lee – Bloomberg
Price has surged roughly 200,000% in a meme trading boom; Purists view token as a distraction from decentralized goals
Nic Carter’s first foray into digital currencies was mining Dogecoin in his university dorm room back in 2013. Created as a joke with the Shiba Inu dog breed as its logo, the meme-inspired token seemed more fun than Bitcoin and its community of diehards.

Oh no, now Deloitte with the crypto nonsense; “Customers and service providers alike are beginning to see more fully the potential benefits of crypto.”
Jemima Kelly – FT
You might remember that back in March, we brought you a round-up of the most incisive insights from the latest piece of “research” on bitcoin by Citigroup. The report included the claim that bitcoin could become “the currency of choice for international trade”, and that more illicit transactions took place using credit cards than using bitcoin (it turned out the banks’ top analysts had mistaken basis points for percentage points).

Bitcoin services firm NYDIG hires CFO of Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund
Yogita Khatri – The Block
Bitcoin trading and custody services provider NYDIG has hired John Dalby, CFO of Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund, as its CFO. Dalby has joined NYDIG as the firm is experiencing rapid growth. NYDIG recently raised more than $300 million from a group of strategic partners, including Morgan Stanley, New York Life, and MassMutual. The firm also recently launched a global Insurance Solutions practice to create bitcoin-powered products and services for the global insurance industry.


Tories Ride Brexit Wave to ‘Historic’ Win: U.K. Elections Update
Joe Mayes and Alastair Reed – Bloomberg
Hartlepool votes for first Conservative MP in seat’s history; Johnson’s party lifted by vaccine rollout, delivering Brexit
Boris Johnson’s ruling Conservatives recorded an “historic” election victory in Hartlepool, the first major result from Britain’s “Super Thursday” votes and one that will pile intense pressure on Keir Starmer’s leadership of the opposition Labour Party. U.K.’s Johnson Wins Historic By-Election on Brexit, Vaccine Bump

Why Congress Should Care About the Laws of Physics; Recent research seems to challenge the fundamentals of the field. The U.S. should support the quest for answers.
Michael R. Bloomberg – Bloomberg
The most extraordinary event of the year — and perhaps the 21st century — made few national headlines. But it may just alter the future of the human race, and it should lead both parties in Congress to support a major investment increase in the nation’s research and development infrastructure. The event happened in Batavia, Illinois, about 35 miles west of Chicago, at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. Rarely does a single experiment threaten to upend the known laws of the universe. But so it was on April 7, when a group of more than 200 physicists published a paper with a deceptively modest title: “Measurement of the Positive Muon Anomalous Magnetic Moment to 0.46 ppm.”

Calls to Cancel Tokyo Olympics Grow Louder as Emergency Extended
Isabel Reynolds – Bloomberg
Athletes will be offered vaccines but Japan public has to wait; Polls show most voters want games postponed or canceled
A petition calling to cancel the Tokyo Olympics gathered support in Japan on Friday, as the government prepared to extend the state of emergency in the city and beyond to control the spread of the virus. A petition titled “Cancel the Tokyo Olympics to protect our lives” had gained more than 200,000 supporters by late afternoon.

Republicans Can’t Legislate Because They Stopped Trying; McConnell’s “100% focus” on opposing Biden leaves no space to prepare for the hard work of governing.
Jonathan Bernstein – Bloomberg
Health-care policy reporter Jonathan Cohn has a Thursday Huffpost column about the chances of Congress passing legislation this year to control prescription drug prices. He concludes that it’s possible, but difficult. What’s really interesting is his analysis of one of the big reasons it might happen: Because the House of Representatives passed a prescription drug bill in 2019, and Democrats will have learned from that process. Here’s Cohn:

Biden Tax Plan Takes Aim at Trump-Era Investment Incentive; Administration aims to repeal a tax break tied to foreign sales by U.S. companies
Richard Rubin – WSJ
The Biden administration says it’s trying to spur investment in America—while proposing to remove a four-year-old tax break that was intended to do exactly that. The break—a deduction for foreign-derived intangible income—has an odd name, but it works in some ways like an export subsidy for companies.

Biden Aides Quietly Say His Tax Increases Would Help Charities; The administration has been making the case to allies that to avoid paying the additional taxes the president has proposed, wealthy Americans would give more to nonprofits.
Jim Tankersley – NY Times
President Biden’s plan to raise taxes on high earners and the wealthy is likely to entice more rich Americans to give property or other assets to charity before they die in order to avoid large tax bills, a top administration official told nonprofit leaders last week in a private conference call.

Dimon on Raising Taxes: ‘Just Throwing Money, It Doesn’t Work’
David Scheer – Bloomberg
JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon urged lawmakers to spell out — very specifically — targets for building roads, funding college degrees and creating jobs if they embark on a massive spending spree to bolster the economy. “Just throwing money, it doesn’t work,” Dimon said in an interview posted Thursday for the Investment Company Institute’s general membership meeting. “We already waste tremendous sums of money.”


Wall Street’s top regulator says a report on meme stock mania is coming this summer
Courtenay Brown – Axios
Wall Street’s top regulator says a report examining meme stock mania will be coming “sometime this summer.” The big picture: It will “detail the range of activities” that came out of the January events,” SEC chair Gary Gensler said Thursday at a third congressional hearing held to dissect the GameStop trading phenomenon.

New York City Man Charged with Nearly $4 Million COVID-19 Relief Fraud Scheme and Money Laundering
U.S. Department of Justice
A criminal complaint was filed in the District of New Jersey today charging a dual-resident of New York and Florida with fraudulently obtaining and laundering nearly $4 million in funds from the COVID-19 relief Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). According to court documents, Gregory J. Blotnick, 34, of New York City and West Palm Beach, used a variety of false representations to fraudulently obtain more than $3.8 million in federal COVID-19 PPP funds. To obtain the loan money, Blotnick submitted eight falsified loan applications to numerous lenders on behalf of five of Blotnick’s businesses, including his New York City-based hedge fund management firm, Brattle Street Capital LLC and related entities.

Former Corporate Executive Pleads Guilty to $30 Million Embezzlement Scheme
U.S. Department of Justice
The former Chief Financial Officer of Alden Shoe Co. pleaded guilty today to embezzling approximately $30 million from the company as part of a long-running scheme. Richard Hajjar, 64, of Duxbury, pleaded guilty to one count each of wire fraud, unlawful monetary transactions and filing a false tax return. U.S. District Court Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton scheduled sentencing for Sept. 15, 2021 at 3 p.m.T

Acra Europe’s Cra Registration Withdrawn
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the EU’s securities markets regulator, has today withdrawn the credit rating agency (CRA) registration of ACRA Europe, a.s. (ACRAE).

FINRA OTCE and OTC Transparency Data Websites Availability
FINRA will be performing scheduled maintenance to the and websites on Saturday, May 8, 2021 from 10 a.m. through 2 p.m. ET During this time, these websites will be unavailable to users.

Statement Before the Financial Services Committee U.S. House of Representatives
Chairwoman Waters, Ranking Member McHenry and Members of the Committee:
On behalf of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, or FINRA, I want to thank you for the opportunity to appear today to discuss the important role that our organization plays in the regulation of broker-dealers and to share our response to the January market events related to trading in GameStop and certain other stocks. We commend the Committee’s review of those events, as they have raised important – and in some cases, novel – investor protection concerns that warrant thorough investigation and careful study.

FCA statement on its work on liquidity mismatch in authorised open-ended property funds
In August 2020 the FCA consulted on proposals to reduce the potential for harm to investors from the liquidity mismatch in open-ended property funds.

FCA launches consultation on a new type of fund to support investment in long-term assets
The FCA has launched a consultation on proposals for a new category of fund designed to invest efficiently in long-term, illiquid assets.

Financial regulators publish third edition of plan for upcoming work
The Financial Services Regulatory Initiatives Forum has today issued the third edition of the Regulatory Initiatives Grid.

Ontario Securities Commission’s Investor Advisory Panel Releases 2020 Annual Report
The Investor Advisory Panel (the IAP) today released its 2020 Annual Report summarizing its activities, submissions, consultations, and meetings during the calendar year.

Investing and Trading

Millennials Say Lab Diamonds Shine Just Like the Real Thing; Pandora is trying to democratize diamonds. Luxury jewelers from Tiffany to Cartier should pay attention.
Andrea Felsted – Bloomberg
Diamonds are (still) forever. Pandora AS, which makes more pieces of jewelry than any other company in the world, said this week that it would no longer use mined diamonds and instead turn to lab-grown stones. Known for affordable charms beloved by young shoppers from China to the U.S., Pandora is the ideal candidate to spearhead this type of sparkler.

Trading-Card Mania Inspires New Reality-TV Show From Maker of ‘Pawn Stars’; The series would profile Ken Goldin and his sports-memorabilia auction house, which has seen demand explode during the pandemic
Lucas Shaw – Bloomberg
The market for trading cards and other sports memorabilia, which boomed during the pandemic, is now getting the reality-TV treatment. Brent Montgomery, the producer behind “Pawn Stars,” and Connor Schell, formerly of ESPN, are teaming up to make a show about trading-card impresario Ken Goldin and his company, Goldin Auctions. They’ve met with several streaming services and TV networks about the project, according to people familiar with the situation.

Hedge Funds Make Biggest Short Bet on Junk Bonds Since 2008
Laura Benitez and Tasos Vossos – Bloomberg
Volumes of corporate bonds out on loan jump this year; Short selling to increase as worry spreads: Henderson
Fears of rising interest rates and warnings over bond valuations have made junk- and investment-grade rated bonds a popular short bet among hedge funds. Speculators are predicting fresh pain for the bond market, especially for longer-dated bonds with sovereign yields being tipped to rise due to an increase in inflation forecasts. This comes amid warnings from market experts regarding the “over-extended” valuations of CCC-rated bonds, the riskiest class of debt.

Guns no roses for stock investors; Sector’s companies are reverting to type: low-tech metal benders with subnormal valuations
John Dizard – FT
The US firearms industry’s economic significance is overestimated by both sides of the gun controls debate. Laws and regulations will be determined by the sentiments of the American political tribes, not gunmakers’ financial power.

Collecting rare stamps is an investment in oddity; The British Guiana One-Cent Magenta shows the financial allure of imperfect rarities
John Gapper – FT
When stamp collecting became a common hobby in the 19th century, one philatelist called it “catching the fever”. The fever will rise next month in New York when Sotheby’s auctions the British Guiana One-Cent Magenta, the world’s most valuable stamp, for an estimated value of up to $15m.

The ‘crowding out’ risk to the economy; Even with low rates, central bank intervention may have unintended consequences
Michala Marcussen – group chief economist at Société Générale via the FT
There are solid arguments favouring fiscal policy expansion as economies emerge from the damage inflicted by the Covid-19 pandemic. There is a clear interest in protecting businesses and households from the bankruptcies and job losses that would otherwise result from lockdowns. Fiscal expansion can also support the green and digital transitions of economies.

The Global House Price Boom Could Haunt the Recovery From Covid-19; House prices around the world have rallied through the economic turmoil. Growing leverage and decreasing affordability raise both financial and political risks.
Mike Bird – WSJ
The year of the pandemic saw the largest increase in global house prices since the U.S. housing boom of the mid-2000s. And there is no sign the rally is coming to an end. That provides immediate economic support for the global recovery from Covid-19. But a prolonged house price upswing would mean big new problems for both financial stability. And it could result in economic strife if middle-class citizens accustomed to a one-way housing bet suddenly find the rug pulled out from beneath them down the line.

Help Wanted: Someone With Money and Connections; SPACs have taken off during the pandemic, and they’re looking for directors who can help find a company to merge with.
Paul Sullivan – NY Times
So you’ve been asked to become a director of a special purpose acquisition company, more commonly known as a SPAC. The job has something in common with being a director of a company. But there’s one big difference: Instead of overseeing a company that is building, selling or creating something, you’re in charge of a big pot of money.

One Grain Is Keeping World’s Food Crisis From Getting Worse
Randy Thanthong-Knight and Pratik Parija – Bloomberg
Rice posts modest gains compared with corn, soy and wheat; Stable rice prices may limit more widespread food inflation
As skyrocketing crop prices fuel fears about soaring food costs and hunger around the globe, one of the world’s most consumed staples is bucking the trend and warding off a broader food crisis at least for now.

The Lithium Gold Rush: Inside the Race to Power Electric Vehicles; A race is on to produce lithium in the United States, but competing projects are taking very different approaches to extracting the vital raw material. Some might not be very green.
Ivan Penn and Eric Lipton – NY Times
Atop a long-dormant volcano in northern Nevada, workers are preparing to start blasting and digging out a giant pit that will serve as the first new large-scale lithium mine in the United States in more than a decade — a new domestic supply of an essential ingredient in electric car batteries and renewable energy.

Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance

Climate Adaptation Should Be a Public Good, Not an Asset Class; The poorest developing countries either have limited access to capital markets, or pay a hefty premium to do so.
Kate Mackenzie – Bloomberg
In the run up to the 2020 U.S. election, a meme started making the rounds on Twitter. “Transport is climate policy,” someone would tweet above an article about subway improvement. “Childcare is climate policy,” they’d say about a paid maternity leave proposal. The quip applied to almost everything—even voting by mail.

EU Says Carbon Price Has to Be ‘Much Higher’ to Hit Climate Goal
Ewa Krukowska – Bloomberg
Climate chief Timmermans warns against market intervention; Timmermans says carbon gains linked to stricter climate rules
The European Union’s climate chief said the record prices in the world’s biggest carbon market must go even higher to meet the bloc’s stricter pollution goals. “It is a market mechanism, but if we want to achieve our goals, I think the price should be much higher than it is at even 50 euros,” Frans Timmermans told the European University Institute’s State of the Union annual conference. “But that’s up to the market.”

Australia’s Macquarie announces plan to exit coal by 2024; Move coincides with heated political debate over banks’ withdrawal from polluting sector
Jamie Smyth – FT
Macquarie has signalled that it will stop financing coal projects by 2024 in a symbolic move that coincided with a bitter political debate in Australia over banks’ withdrawal from the sector.

Even non-ESG funds now have a greenish tinge; Investors have fewer choices than the full-on ESG marketing suggests
Merryn Somerset Webb – FT
Last year was the year ESG investing (finding homes for your money while looking out for environmental, social and governance concerns) really took off.

Liontrust to launch ESG Investment Trust
Institutional Trust Manager
The portfolio of ESGT will be managed by Peter Michaelis, Simon Clements and Chris Foster, who are part of the 13-strong Liontrust Sustainable Investment team with a 20-year track record of managing sustainable funds. Peter and Simon have managed sustainable global growth strategies since 2001 and 2010 respectively with Chris becoming a co-manager in 2020 (having joined the team in 2015).


Greensill’s U.K. Creditors Set to Lose 80% After Firm’s Collapse
Lucca De Paoli and Steven Arons – Bloomberg
More than 200 creditors face unpaid claims of $1.2 billion; Audit firm Grant Thornton details extent of claims in document
Creditors of Greensill Capital’s U.K. unit stand to lose about 80% of their claims tied to the supply-chain finance firm that imploded earlier this year, leaving more than 200 backers with a deficit of about $1.2 billion. Grant Thornton, which in March was appointed as administrator of Greensill’s operations after the company filed for insolvency, expects to pay out $275 million of about $1.46 billion in claims to unsecured lenders known as non-preferential creditors, according to a report from the audit firm published on Friday.

Credit Suisse Names New Europe Equities Head in Archegos Shakeup
Cathy Chan and Bei Hu – Bloomberg
Neil Hosie will add to his role as head of Asia equities; Credit Suisse is rebuilding after top executives stepped down
Credit Suisse Group AG named Neil Hosie head of equities for Europe, Middle East and Africa, replacing Ryan Nelson who stepped down after the bank lost $5.5 billion in the collapse of Archegos Capital Management.

DWS Said in Talks to Sell Stake in Fund Platform to BlackFin
Jan-Henrik Foerster and Lucca De Paoli – Bloomberg
French buyout firm in advanced talks to acquire control of IKS; Suitor could pay in the region of 300 million euros for stake
Deutsche Bank AG’s asset management arm DWS Group is in exclusive talks to sell control of its IKS fund platform to French private equity firm BlackFin Capital Partners, people familiar with the matter said. BlackFin is holding final negotiations on terms of a potential deal for the IKS business, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. The buyout firm is discussing a deal to pay in the region of 300 million euros ($362 million) for a majority stake in IKS, though terms of a transaction haven’t been finalized, one of the people said.

The $12,000-a-day house in Provence that toxic assets built; Side hustle of banker tarnished by Greensill and Archegos renews focus on Credit Suisse pay
Tom Braithwaite – FT
It has been a stressful period at Credit Suisse. Last year Tidjane Thiam was ousted as chief executive after the bank hired private detectives to spy on his colleague and next-door neighbour Iqbal Khan.

Activist Edward Bramson admits defeat in Barclays campaign; Sherborne Investors sells out after failing to oust chief executive and shrink the investment bank
Stephen Morris – FT
Activist investor Edward Bramson has admitted defeat in his three-year campaign to unseat Barclays’ chief executive Jes Staley and force the lender to shrink its investment bank.

Barclays Activist Investor Edward Bramson Sells Entire Stake; Bramson unsuccessfully pushed Chief Executive Jes Staley to scale back Barclays’s investment banking operations
Simon Clark – WSJ
Edward Bramson’s Sherborne Investors said it sold its entire stake in Barclays BCS 1.32% PLC, giving up on a yearslong activist campaign to restructure the bank the British bank with a major Wall Street presence.

Deputy chief at BNP Paribas Asset Management appointed CEO; Sandro Pierri becomes chief executive officer of BNP Asset Management after previously serving as deputy chief executive and global head of client group for the firm.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
BNP Paribas Asset Management has appointed its deputy chief executive and global head of client group, Sandro Pierri, to take the reigns as its next chief executive officer on 1 July.


Junk-Bond Sales Soar 122% in Nordics as Europe Bids Pile In
Charles Daly and Leo Laikola – Bloomberg
Never before have junk-bond issuers in the Nordic region enjoyed such intense demand, with sales drawing in new buyers from the rest of Europe, including those who usually only touch investment-grade debt.

Foreign Stock Craze Prompts Nigeria to Tighten Leash on Brokers
Emele Onu – Bloomberg
Regulator creates ‘digital sub-broker’ license for firms; Local investors in Nigeria look abroad to protect savings
Nigeria is taking another stab at trying to cool off demand for foreign stocks with tighter regulatory oversight of local brokers. The Abuja-based Securities and Exchange Commission now plans to register brokers selling stocks of foreign companies as more Nigerians pile into the assets to hedge against inflation and currency weakness. An earlier effort last month met local resistance, backfiring after warnings alerting people to risks and threats to sanction local traders.

Investors line up bets against German bonds on pandemic recovery; Shorting Bunds has proven costly in the past, but some now see trouble ahead for Europe’s ultimate safe asset
Tommy Stubbington – FT
Investors are turning against German government bonds, sparking predictions that decades of stunning gains for Europe’s ultimate safe asset is at an end. Bunds — as Germany’s sovereign bonds are known — are the foundation of European markets and a benchmark for the determining of prices on the continent’s assets.

In the Brexit battle of fish and finance, everybody lost; As gunboats gather off Jersey, the supposedly crucial status of trawlers during negotiations has not done them much good
Helen Thomas – FT
Now remind me: which was it that we prioritised in the Brexit negotiations? Fish or finance? It is hard to tell at this point. On the one hand, there is the financial services sector that accounts for nearly 3.5 per cent of gross domestic product and 2.3m jobs. It is largely shut out of its most important market, its preferred relationship with Europe never having got as far as the negotiating table.

China edges closer to wealth link with Hong Kong; Scheme could results in tens of billions of dollars flowing between markets
Thomas Hale and Tabby Kinder – FT
China has moved a step closer towards a scheme that could result in tens of billions of dollars in household savings flowing into Hong Kong, marking the latest effort to integrate the country’s financial system into global markets.

Grab’s Huge SPAC Merger Heralds Asia’s Next Tech Boom; The Southeast Asian ride-hailing and delivery app is going public in the U.S. at a $40 billion valuation and others look likely to follow suit
Jing Yang – WSJ
For Southeast Asia’s technology industry, Grab Holdings Inc.’s record-breaking deal to go public via a SPAC is a watershed moment. Bankers and investors have long talked up Southeast Asia’s potential, and venture-capital funds have poured billions of dollars into the region. But so far, few of those investments have translated into big paydays from large listings or takeovers. And stock-market investors have had few ways to get in on the action, apart from the gaming and e-commerce group Sea Ltd.


From Singapore to Rio, Green Buildings Keep Tropical Tenants Cool
Andrew Janes and Shawna Kwan – Bloomberg
On a typically hot and humid afternoon in Singapore, a fresh breeze blows beneath the canopy of the South Beach development, keeping temperatures several degrees cooler than on the surrounding streets. The rippling 280-meter (919 feet) wave of steel-and-aluminum runs the length of the Norman Foster-designed complex, funneling prevailing winds over outdoor patrons of restaurants and bars and saving on air conditioning for the mixed-use complex. The canopy is covered with solar panels and catches rainwater to irrigate the gardens.

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First Read $51,906/$300,000 (17.3%) ++++ Hits & Takes John Lothian & JLN Staff The STA is holding the 88th Annual Market Structure Conference in person on October 6-8 at the JW Marriott in Washington, DC with the title "The Great Return." That is a very good...

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