Hits & Takes
John Lothian & JLN Staff
John Lothian News has sweatshirts that say, “The World Needs Journalists,” and Russian Nobel prize winning journalist Dmitry Muratov proved that statement yesterday when the auction of the Nobel medal for which he was a co-winner fetched a record “$103.5 million to aid children displaced by the war in Ukraine,” Bloomberg reported. Not only did he do exceptional journalism work to win the Nobel Peace Prize, but he raised money to help children harmed by this war his own country is waging against Ukraine. The world needs more Dmitry Muratovs.
Trading Technologies has joined the FIA Tech Databank Network. Databank Network is FIA Tech’s initiative to bring together independent software vendors (ISVs), exchanges, clearing houses and other data providers into an interoperable global network simplifying the use of reference data, analytics and software solutions from participating firms.
I have some good news and some bad news. First the good news. The most interesting man in the world is a grandfather. Finn Patrick Frazier was born on June 20th, 6:46pm, weighing 6lbs, 10oz. He is the son of Pat Kenny’s daughter Maddie. Pat has a new best buddy.
Jim Falvey, besides working in the derivatives, fintech and crypto spaces, does some criminal defense work. Here is a story about a client who is the subject of a rights abuse case in prison. Jim Falvey is a good man.
Have a great day and stay safe and treat people the same way you want to be treated: with respect, equality and justice.~JJL
The FIA’s webinar “China’s FDL – Overview and Insights” takes place tomorrow, Wednesday June 22, from 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. SGT/HKT and covers China’s Futures and Derivatives Law (FDL), “a historic development, being the first law in China regulating futures and derivatives trading at a national legislative level. It establishes a legal framework for the development of the futures and derivative markets and introduces a unified set of rules that are expected to pave the way for significant changes in the market.” The webinar will be moderated by Tze Min Yeo, head of Legal and Policy, Asia-Pacific, FIA, and the speakers will be: Chin-Chong Liew, Partner, Linklaters; Ying Zhou, Counsel, Zhao Sheng Law Firm; and Simon Zhang, Counsel, Linklaters. You can go here to register and for more information. ~SR
ICE Launches Suite of Corporate Bond Climate Indices; Designed to Meet requirements for Paris-Aligned and Climate Transition benchmarks
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc.
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE: ICE), a leading global provider of data, technology and market infrastructure, today announced the launch of a suite of corporate bond climate indices designed to capture the goal of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050. The new indices are part of the ICE ESG Bond Index Family, which supports the growing demand for responsible and sustainable investing.
***** I am still trying to get my head around net-zero bonds. OK, I know that is not what they are, but….~JJL
Illinois governor’s race shapes up to be a battle of the billionaires; Citadel’s Ken Griffin faces off against a Republican megadonor and an heir to the Hyatt hotel fortune
Courtney Weaver, Steff Chávez and Madison Darbyshire – FT
When hedge fund billionaire Ken Griffin decided to throw $50mn of his own money behind a candidate to unseat a fellow billionaire from the Illinois governor’s mansion, the vast size of his spending should have made it a foolproof plan. The only problem: a rival Republican billionaire had the same idea. Now, the race pits three of the richest men in US politics against one another and has come to symbolise the newest trend in state-level political races — candidates financed by just one wealthy, highly-motivated donor.
****** This would be so much more interesting if Ken Griffin were willing to get into the arena himself, but that is never going to happen.~JJL
Can Crypto Trading Prove Addictive? Rehab facilities are increasingly treating patients with crypto addiction and expanding services to meet a rising demand
Victoria Vergolina – Bloomberg
On this episode of Bloomberg Crypto, reporters Claire Ballentine and Charlie Wells join stacy-marie to talk about crypto addiction. There are rehab centers for people seeking treatment for addictions to drugs and alcohol, to gambling, and more recently, to online experiences like gaming. Now, these centers are seeing an uptake in people looking for help controlling their crypto trading.
***** The whole concept of HODLers to me is a step towards addiction.~JJL
Monday’s Top Three
Our top story on Monday was Bloomberg’s As the Crypto Winter Hits Its Peers, Chicago Trading Firm Jump Is Ready for More Bets. Second was The Wall Street Journal’s The Crypto Party Is Over, subtitled “The cryptocurrency industry was built on swagger, enthusiasm and optimism. All three are in short supply these days, as losses and layoffs mount.” Third was The Crypto Crash: all Ponzi schemes topple eventually, an opinion piece from Robert Reich in The Guardian.
26,861 pages; 238,964 edits
FTX and other crypto firms ditch sports deals as market collapses
Theo Wayt and Josh Kosman – NY Post
Cryptocurrency companies poured billions of dollars into sports sponsorships in 2021 — but this year’s downturn has made the flood of cash dry up, The Post has learned. As a so-called “crypto winter” takes hold and companies look to trim costs, firms that splurged heavily on sports deals last year are now looking to cut costs. Crypto exchange FTX — which shelled out $135 million to rename the home of the Miami Heat in March 2021 — pulled out of talks to provide a jersey patch to the MLB’s Los Angeles Angels in recent weeks as the crypto market tanked, sources with direct knowledge told The Post.
Russia’s Blockade of Ukraine Is ‘War Crime,’ Top E.U. Official Says’; The remarks by the official, Josep Borrell Fontelles, were among the strongest language from a Western leader in describing the Kremlin’s tactics to subjugate Ukraine.
Matthew Mpoke Bigg, Andrew Higgins, Thomas Gibbons-Neff and Rick Gladstone – NY Times
The Russian blockade that has stopped Ukraine from exporting its vast storehouses of grain and other goods, threatening starvation in distant corners of the globe, is a “war crime,” the European Union’s top foreign policy official declared Monday.
Proposed SEC changes could harm retail investors, says industry expert; Doug Cifu, chief executive of market maker Virtu Financial, challenges SEC chair Gary Gensler’s recent speech proposing changes to address deficiencies in the US trading system.
Wesley Bray – The Trade
In a recent speech, Gary Gensler, chair of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), addressed a number of deficiencies that have been identified in the US trading system – providing suggestions on how these issues could be resolved. In particular, Gensler provided recommendations to update key aspects of national market system rules including improving minimum tick sizes, National Best Bid and Offer, disclosure of order execution quality, best execution and order-by-order competition.
Deutsche Börse integrates Kaiko data to expand institutional crypto capabilities; Kaiko will provide the German bourse with tick-level trade data from all centralised (CeFi) and decentralised (DeFi) cryptocurrency exchanges.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
Deutsche Börse has partnered with institutional crypto market data provider Kaiko to expand its “market reach” in digital assets. The pair will originally offer the exchange’s clients access to real time crypto price feeds and historical tick by tick data via its market data + services’ distribution network in the fourth quarter of this year with plans to roll out historical order book data for selected digital asset exchanges on a D+1 basis later in a second phase.
ETF That Bets Against Bitcoin to Launch; First exchange-traded fund to short the world’s biggest digital currency to debut amid crypto’s huge price slide
Vicky Ge Huang – WSJ
Financial firm ProShares is ready to roll out the first U.S.-listed short bitcoin futures exchange-traded fund this week, allowing investors to effectively bet against the largest cryptocurrency after its price tumbled below $20,000 over the weekend. The Bethesda, Md., firm’s fund, the Short Bitcoin Strategy ETF, will trade on the New York Stock Exchange and go by the ticker BITI. The fund launch comes as a brutal selloff in cryptocurrencies has shown no signs of abating. Bitcoin has plunged 56% this year, while ethereum has plummeted 69%, according to CoinDesk data. The total market capitalization of all digital currencies stood at $857 billion on Sunday, well below its peak of nearly $3 trillion last November. As the Federal Reserve has been unwinding its easy-money policies to fight inflation, investors have been dumping more speculative assets.
Crypto fears now materialising, central bank body BIS says
Marc Jones – Reuters
Recent implosions in the cryptocurrency markets indicate that long-warned-about dangers of decentralised digital money are now materialising, the Bank for International Settlements has said. The BIS, the global umbrella body for central banks, sounded the warning in an upcoming annual report, in which it also urged more effort in developing appealing central bank digital currencies.
US banks’ ability to ride out downturn in spotlight as recession fears grow; Federal Reserve will publish results of annual stress tests on 34 financial institutions this week
Joshua Franklin – FT
The ability of the largest US banks to withstand a severe economic downturn will be in focus this week as the Federal Reserve publishes the results of the industry’s annual stress tests, amid growing fears of a recession.
Staff at crypto operator Terraform Labs hit with flight ban; South Korean prosecutors take action as they investigate company behind $40bn luna wipeout
Song Jung-a and Scott Chipolina – FT
South Korean prosecutors have banned Terraform Labs employees from leaving the country as an investigation into the company and its co-founders deepens after the $40bn implosion of its cryptocurrency. The move follows the sudden collapse of terraUSD, a stablecoin, and its accompanying token luna in May and comes as financial watchdogs around the world seek to tighten regulation of the crypto market.
Crypto fallout continues as major Hong Kong exchange Hoo.com works to reopen some token withdrawals and Finblox scrambles for more liquidity
Michael Bellusci – Coindesk
The CEO of Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange Hoo.com tweeted early Monday that his company will open withdrawals for some tokens today after announcing on Sunday in a blog post it would be delaying withdrawals for 24 to 72 hours. In its Sunday post, Hoo.com cited market volatility and liquidations by large institutions in the crypto industry as creating panic among users and leading to a large number of withdrawal requests
Russian Nobel-Prize Editor Auctions Medal to Aid Ukrainians; Muratov suspended paper’s publication over official pressure; Auction attracted top bid of $550,000 before New York sale
Rosalind Mathieson – Bloomberg
The Russian editor awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for championing freedom of speech is auctioning his medal to raise funds for Ukrainians who’ve been made into refugees by President Vladimir Putin’s war. Dmitry Muratov, editor-in-chief of Novaya Gazeta, was awarded the Nobel together with the journalist Maria Ressa of the Philippines last year for their “courageous fight for freedom of expression.” He donated his approximately $500,000 prize money to charity, and suspended publication of the newspaper in March after Russia passed legislation restricting reporting on the war, or what the Kremlin calls its “special military operation.”
Why grain can’t get out of Ukraine; About 20 million tons sit in storage, as this season’s harvest begins.
Jen Kirby – Vox
Approximately 20 million tons of grain sit in storage in Ukraine, with few ways out of the country. It is a slow-moving crisis that is choking Ukraine off from the global economy, and cutting the rest of the world off from Ukraine’s critical supply of grains. Ukraine provides about 10 percent of the global share of wheat exports, and almost half of the world’s sunflower oil. Alongside Russia, Ukraine makes this region one of the world’s “breadbaskets.” But Moscow’s war in Ukraine and Western sanctions against Russia have squeezed agricultural exports from the entire Black Sea region. These products can be replaced on the global market, but at a cost. Food is harder to afford for poor countries, and for poor people in rich countries. It could deepen a worldwide hunger crisis. United Nations food agencies warn that a record 49 million people, in 46 countries, are at risk of falling into famine conditions this year.
Putin Is Winning the Currency War. The Ruble’s Bull Market Has Just Begun.
Andrew Addison – Barron’s
While the outcome of the fight for Ukraine is still in doubt, one thing is certain: Russian President Vladimir Putin is winning the currency war. For the past 29 years, the Russian ruble had been sinking in a dizzying spiral. From parity versus the U.S. dollar in 1993, it had become practically worthless, trading at 1 1/4 cents when Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24.
Companies Find Leaving Russia Difficult, Though Many Are Trying; Philip Morris, for one, has spent months trying to leave behind a business with 3,200 employees
Jennifer Maloney, Thomas Gryta – WSJ
Philip Morris International Inc. is embroiled in the most complicated transaction in the company’s history, but the headache isn’t the recent $16 billion deal to buy rival Swedish Match. It is trying to get out of Russia. The process, begun in March shortly after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, includes navigating Moscow’s shifting regulations, avoiding missteps that could prompt the government to seize the business and trying to protect employees from becoming targets for arrest.
Russian journalist’s Nobel Peace Prize fetches record $103.5 million at auction to aid Ukraine children
Lidia Kelly – Bloomberg
Dmitry Muratov, the co-winner of the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize and the editor of one of Russia’s last major independent newspapers, auctioned off his Nobel medal for a record $103.5 million to aid children displaced by the war in Ukraine. All proceeds from the auction, which coincided with the World Refugee Day on Monday, will benefit UNICEF’s humanitarian response for Ukraine’s displaced children, Heritage Auctions, which conducted the sale in New York, said in a statement.
Ukraine Reconstruction May Cost $1.1 Trillion, EIB Head Says
Steven Arons – Bloomberg
Ukraine may need as much as 1 trillion euros ($1.1 trillion) in outside assistance to repair the damages inflicted by Russia’s invasion, according to European Investment Bank chief Werner Hoyer. “I’ve put the trillion out there because I saw figures in the public space that I consider completely unrealistic when I look at the level of destruction” in Ukraine, said Hoyer, who runs the European Union’s lending arm. Europe “will have to play the biggest role” in this effort, he told a press briefing in Frankfurt.
Exchanges, OTC and Clearing
PanXchange and NIHC Announce Partnership for Climate-Smart Agriculture
National Industrial Hemp Council – PRNewswire
PanXchange, the industry market structure solution and benchmark price provider for US hemp, and the Washington DC-based National Industrial Hemp Council of America announced that they have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that will support the growth of financial incentives for carbon sequestration for the US industrial hemp market. “NIHC is a leading and unifying voice for the industry, particularly in regulatory issues for industrial hemp,” said Julie Lerner, founder, and CEO of PanXchange. “Partnering with a strong hemp membership and advocacy organization like NIHC will help grow industrial hemp markets and related climate-smart agricultural practices across the supply chain,” she added.
Deutsche Börse expands market data offering in the crypto sector through cooperation with Kaiko
Deutsche Börse’s new data offering includes real-time and historical tick-level data for all crypto exchanges and all digital assets covered by crypto market data provider Kaiko, including data quality check by Deutsche Börse; With this offering, Deutsche Börse expands Market Data + Services expands its product offering and contributes to increased transparency across the digital asset industry
Deutsche Börse enters into a collaboration agreement with Kaiko, a leading provider of crypto market data, to make their consolidated crypto data feed directly available to their customers. In the fourth quarter, historical L2 order book data on a tick level basis as well as live trade data will be made available via the Deutsche Börse Market Data + Services distribution network. This will be followed by the introduction of historical order book data from select exchanges for digital assets on a T+1 basis.
Eurex Exchange Readiness Newsflash | Transaction Size Limits (TSL) – Switch over of TSL in T7 Production
Dear Eurex Participant,
We would like to draw your attention to the upcoming Transaction Size Limits (TSL) switch over in Eurex Production that will come into effect on 25 July 2022.
HKEX celebrates 22nd anniversary
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) was today (Tuesday) delighted to host a celebration ceremony marking the 22nd anniversary of its listing in Hong Kong and the re-opening of HKEX Connect Hall following an extensive refurbishment programme.
Please be advised that pursuant to Exchange Rule 617(d) and HKCC Rule 402, the Exchange
and the Clearing House have determined that with effect from the commencement of trading
on Thursday, 23 June 2022 (including the mandatory intra-day variation adjustment and
margin call, if applicable), the margin offset of the following pair(s) will be suspended and the
delta/spread ratio and spread credit rate can be found here.
Moscow Exchange launches trading in Uzbek sum, Armenian dram and South African rand
On June 27, 2022, trading in the Uzbek sum, Armenian dram and South African rand will begin on the Moscow Exchange currency market.
ACRA and SGX RegCo set up a Sustainability Reporting Advisory Committee to advance sustainability reporting for Singapore
The Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) and Singapore Exchange Regulation (SGX RegCo) have set up a Sustainability Reporting Advisory Committee (SRAC) to advise on a sustainability reporting roadmap for Singapore-incorporated companies. As part of its work, the Committee will provide inputs on the suitability of international sustainability reporting standards for implementation in Singapore.
Trading Technologies joins Databank Network
FIA Tech, the leading technology provider to the exchange-traded derivative industry, announced today that Trading Technologies International, Inc. (TT), a global provider of high-performance professional trading software, infrastructure and data solutions, has joined the FIA Tech Databank Network. Databank Network is FIA Tech’s initiative to bring together independent software vendors (ISVs), exchanges, clearing houses and other data providers into an interoperable global network simplifying the use of reference data, analytics and software solutions from participating firms. It unifies reference data from over 80 exchanges and central counterparties (CCPs), leading index providers including FTSE, MSCI, S&P, STOXX, independent software vendors and data vendors EDI and Factset. TT is the second ISV to join the network.
Tech’s $1 Billion Unicorns Eclipsed by Centaurs; Dreams of instant fortunes are giving way to the slog of actually operating profitably.
Lionel Laurent – Bloomberg
When Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz’s startup LoudCloud clinched a fundraising round at an $820 million valuation even as the dotcom boom unraveled in 2000, management expected cheers from staff. Instead, the first question was: “Why didn’t we get a $1 billion valuation?”
Trade settlement fail penalties are high following CSDR rollout, so should the buy-side be receiving more credits? Banks are being hit with up to EUR5 million in CSDR penalties per month as settlement rates deteriorate, says expert, who points out that credits should be trickling down to the buy-side.
Jonathan Watkins – The Trade
Penalties for the sell-side are racking up across Europe as settlement fail rates continue to rise, and one expert on the matter believes that as a result, the buy-side should be receiving more credits from these counterparties.
Microsoft’s New Cybersecurity Tool Arrives on All Platforms – Review Geek
Andrew Heinzman – ReviewGeek
Microsoft Defender, a years-old cybersecurity tool for businesses, is now available to the general public. It offers advanced phishing and malware protection on Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS devices. And more importantly, it lets an adult view their family members’ security status through a simple dashboard.
Gartner Unveils the Top Eight Cybersecurity Predictions for 2022-23
Executive performance evaluations will be increasingly linked to ability to manage cyber risk; almost one-third of nations will regulate ransomware response within the next three years; and security platform consolidation will help organizations thrive in hostile environments, according to the top cybersecurity predictions revealed by Gartner, Inc. today.
Cybersecurity researchers face real-life threats
Andrada Fiscutean – CSO Online
Cybersecurity researchers work hard to keep the digital world safe, but every once in a while their own physical security is at risk. Anyone who has been in this field long enough has stumbled upon stories of infosec professionals receiving threats or has experienced incidents themselves.
A security expert who wanted to remain anonymous to protect his family says that “several people focusing on cybercrime have received death threats” in the past few years, and some of them even decided to fly under the radar or move to do other things. They don’t want to put their loved ones at risk “because dad is a security researcher and attracts bad guys,” he says.
Cybersecurity And Data Privacy: 7 Challenges For CFOs To Address
Jim DeLoach – Forbes
Along with their peers in the C-suite, CFOs have treated cybersecurity and data privacy as top strategic priorities for several years. Increasingly, regulators are embracing a similar approach and CFOs need to take note and be ready.
The Cybersecurity Diversity Gap: Advice for Organizations Looking to Thrive
Rita Gurevich – DarkReading
In the past year, we’ve had to grapple with the impact of a quickly growing threat landscape. Debilitating cyberattacks against our critical infrastructure, threats against our already weak supply chains, and the continued ripple effect of the Log4j incident have fueled the need for more intentional investment in security tools and services.
Terraform: crypto collapses lessen pressure on banks and regulators; For traditional finance, the sector’s woes could not have come in a handier form
Anti-authoritarian crypto fans are finding out where power really lies. South Korea has banned some employees of Terraform Labs from leaving the country. This unusually strict measure suggests prosecutors are escalating a probe into the spectacular collapse of the TerraUSD stablecoin.
Vitalik Buterin critiques stock-to-flow model as giving ‘false sense of certainty’
Adam Morgan McCarthy – The Block
Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin came out against overly simplified financial models for crypto markets on Tuesday, citing the stock-to-flow model as a “harmful” example. Buterin tweeted that the stock-to-flow model was not looking good and he couldn’t help but criticize simplistic financial models.
The global crash has come as a double whammy for India’s crypto industry
Mimansa Verma – Quartz India
The global cryptocurrency crash has come at a time when India’s crypto industry is already bogged down by other factors. On June 18, Bitcoin’s price dropped to $18,000 while Ethereum dropped below $1,000. Even globally, the market cap of crypto markets shrunk to about $950 billion now, from $2.97 trillion, seen in November 2021. Global exchanges Coinbase has laid off 18% of its workforce, including those in India. This disastrous streak in the crypto market has been guided by soaring inflation, along with increasing interest rates by global central banks, according to Rajagopalan Menon, vice-president of India’s major cryptocurrency trading platform WazirX.
KuCoin Becomes the First Crypto Exchange to Support BRL Transfers via PIX after New Central Bank Policy
The global cryptocurrency exchange KuCoin today announced that it has become the first major exchange to support Brazilian Real (BRL) deposits and withdrawals following a recent policy change made by the Central Bank of Brazil. KuCoin Becomes the First Crypto Exchange to Support BRL Transfers via PIX after New Central Bank Policy. To ensure fiat to crypto transactions are secure and comply with regulations, the Central Bank of Brazil has imposed a deadline to update users’ identity verification process to use BRL payment services. Exchanges that failed to meet the new KYC (Know Your Customer) requirement will have to terminate BRL transaction services for Brazilian users.
Bitcoin whale Michael Saylor urges governments to step in and regulate crypto’s ‘parade of horribles’
Christiaan Hetzner – Fortune
The world’s largest public holder of Bitcoin called on regulators to finally tackle a laundry list of risky, immature crypto industry practices, or “parade of horribles”, that are unfairly weighing on the price of its asset. Microstrategy CEO Michael Saylor argues the over 19,000 cryptocurrencies and digital tokens in circulation must be viewed as “unregistered securities” that cannot be likened to a hard commodity like Bitcoin—which has no issuer, no management, no employees, no product cycle and only a finite supply.
European Crypto Unicorn Bitpanda Is Now Regulated in Spain
Sandali Handagama – Coindesk
Austrian cryptocurrency exchange Bitpanda is expanding to Spain, after registering as a virtual currency exchange and digital asset custody service provider in the country. The company was officially entered into the Bank of Spain’s registry for crypto firms on June 16, according to the bank’s official website, and Bitpanda announced the news on Tuesday.
Middle East-focused crypto firm BitOasis cuts jobs amid sector turmoil
BitOasis, a Middle East-focused cryptocurrency exchange based in the United Arab Emirates, said on Sunday it laid off nine of its staff, the latest company in the sector to cut jobs in the face of a downturn and market turmoil.
Musk Says He Supports Dogecoin as People Encouraged Him To
Joanna Ossinger – Bloomberg
It’s official, yet again: Elon Musk supports Dogecoin. Musk, the chief executive officer of Tesla Inc. and SpaceX, reiterated his support of Dogecoin, a cryptocurrency created as a joke in 2013, on Tuesday. He noted that Tesla accepts Dogecoin as payment for merchandise and reiterated that SpaceX will do the same soon.
Cryptoverse: Crypto lenders face a DeFi drubbing
Lisa Pauline Mattackal and Medha Singh – Reuters
Crypto lending may not be down and out, but it’s certainly on the ropes. Crypto lenders have boomed over the past two years, attracting tens of billions of dollars in bitcoin, ether and other coins which they in turn lent out or invested, often in decentralized finance (DeFi) projects with sky-high returns. But as crypto markets tumble, DeFi activity is being hit particularly hard, robbing lenders of their most lucrative returns and threatening to squeeze the whole sector – reaching far beyond Celsius Network, which grabbed the headlines last week when it froze withdrawals and transfers.
Crypto’s latest meltdown leaves punters bruised and bewildered
Tom Wilson, Elizabeth Howcroft, Nupur Anand and Ece Toksabay – Bloomberg
For Jeremy Fong, U.S. crypto lender Celsius was an ideal place to stash his digital currency holdings – and earn some spending money from its double-digit interest rates along the way. “I was probably earning $100 a week,” at sites like Celsius, said Fong, a 29-year civil aerospace worker who lives in the central English city of Derby. “That covered my groceries.”
The founder of the Coachella of NFTs breaks down why he launched the world’s largest NFT event — and why he isn’t sweating the digital asset downturn
Phil Rosen – Markets Insider
The world’s largest NFT event, NFT.NYC, kicks off for the fourth straight year on Tuesday, and founder Jodee Rich remains upbeat even as the digital asset market has tumbled recently. NFTs had a breakthrough year in 2021, but weekly sales have declined by more than 80% from a January peak of nearly $1 billion, according to data from NonFungible.com. Still, NFT.NYC has tripled in size over the last year, Rich said.
Will NFT, metaverse developments in Hong Kong help deliver the city’s next ‘Octopus moment’ in a post-pandemic world? Launched in September 1997, the Octopus card quickly became a symbol of Hong Kong’s ability to foster innovative technology; Nearly 25 years later, digital-first enterprises focused on NFT and metaverse projects may be in a position to deliver the city’s next ‘Octopus moment’
Bien Perez – South China Morning Post
When the Octopus card was launched in September 1997, this home-grown electronic payment system arguably became the most notable hi-tech application to come out of Hong Kong. It became a symbol of what could be accomplished in a city with world-class infrastructure, the rule of law, business-friendly policies and an expanding pool of skilled talent.
Bitcoin’s crash is good for the climate
Tim McDonnell – Quartz
As the price of bitcoin craters, the global computer network that supports it is guzzling less energy for the first time in years. As a general rule, the price of bitcoin and the energy consumed by the computers that mine it move in tandem: The higher the price, the more miners work to mine bitcoin. The correlation is imperfect, however, because of discrepancies in the energy efficiency of mining computers in different parts of the world, and because of local discrepancies in the price of energy (i.e., the price at which bitcoin becomes profitable relative to energy costs).
NFT Startup Magic Eden Valuation Surges Tenfold to $1.6 Billion; Funding round comes during downturn that’s hit crypto startups
Lizette Chapman – Bloomberg
Magic Eden, a marketplace for nonfungible tokens on the Solana blockchain, saw its valuation surge in a fresh funding round despite a slowdown in private investing and a cratering cryptocurrency market.
Crypto ‘Smart Contracts’ May Need Oversight, Bank of Israel Says
Daniel Avis – Bloomberg
The so-called smart contracts that underpin automatically executed crypto transactions could be an area for central banks to supervise, researchers at the Bank of Israel suggested. Researchers taking part in the central bank’s first technological experiment on digital currencies said smart contracts can be written in “malicious” ways that lead to losses for cryptocurrency users, according to a report published by the institution on Monday.
The promising future of NFTs remains in a state of flux; Non-fungible tokens may be disrupting art and gaming but a real revolution requires proper legal and regulatory debate
Marina Niforos – FT
When it comes to NFTs, the art and digital gaming worlds have been on a roller-coaster of late. The dominance of non-fungible tokens in these markets has also drawn most of the attention. Many believe that the next big breakthrough will be to designate ownership for virtual goods in the metaverse. But what if NFTs could also provide solutions in cumbersome, archaic systems for securing property rights, thus unlocking value from tangible assets?
The Metaverse Lures Brands Like Nike and Gap With New Ways to Market and Make Money; Much of the activity is focused on generating sales in the real world
Sarah E. Needleman and Meghan Bobrowsky – WSJ
Some of the world’s biggest companies are starting to set up shop in the so-called metaverse, sketching out an early blueprint for how people might eventually make real money in the much-hyped digital realm. For fashion brands, toy makers and others, this online world where users interact in their digital guise of avatars, not unlike in the movie “Ready Player One” or the online game “Second Life,” is emerging as a new frontier for commerce.
Crypto mogul drops $500K into last-minute ads for Jonathan Jackson; Big PAC expenditures may upend the race to succeed U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush.
Greg Hinz – Crain’s Chicago Business
What the Washington media has dubbed “a secret PAC backed by a crypto billionaire” has suddenly swooped into Illinois, dropping half a million dollars into what has been a wild and unpredictable race to succeed the retiring Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Chicago, in Congress. Spending the money on TV ads promoting candidate Jonathan Jackson is the Protect Our Future Political Action Fund, a little-known Arizona-based group that also has heavily spent in other Democratic races around the country. Jackson is one of 16 Democrats now running and, despite being the son of civil rights leader Rev. Jesse Jackson, had been lagging in the money race. Until now.
Yellen Urges Less Dependence on Other Nations for Key Supplies; Treasury chief says she isn’t advocating protectionism; US ‘enormously dependent’ on China for rare earths, she says
Christopher Condon and Danielle Bochove – Bloomberg
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the US should work on shifting its dependence away from some rival nations for supplies of critical inputs as global supply-chain logjams have hurt the domestic economy. “We saw during the pandemic that our supply chains were very brittle and really lacking in resilience,” she said Monday.
Musk ‘Undecided’ on Whether He Will Back Trump in 2024 Election
Flavia Krause-Jackson – Bloomberg
Tesla Inc. Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk said he’s undecided about who he’d support in the 2024 presidential election when asked specifically if he’d back former president Donald Trump.
EU Balks at US Push to Use Insurance to Cap Russian Oil Prices; Plan would require the EU to rework its latest sanctions; German official warns that process may be too complicated
Alberto Nardelli and Michael Nienaber – Bloomberg
European officials are skeptical of a US push to set a price cap on Russian oil by potentially easing an EU ban on insurance for the transportation of crude and petroleum products from Russia, according to people familiar with matter.
Turkish Defense Industry Grows Cautious Over Selling Weapons to Ukraine; Caution over weapons sales illustrates how Turkey has catered to both sides in the Russia-Ukraine war
Jared Malsin – WSJ
The head of Turkey’s weapons-production agency said the country must be cautious about delivering more arms to Ukraine, months after Turkish-made drones played a critical role in the defense against Russia’s invasion. “We are much more careful,” said Ismail Demir, the president of Turkey’s Defense Industry Agency and a top official in President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government.
Putin fears “spark of democracy”, Germany’s Scholz says
Russian President Vladimir Putin fears the “spark of democracy” spreading to his country, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said, adding that he was trying to divide Europe and return to a world dominated by spheres of influence.
FMA publishes Auditor Regulation and Oversight Plan 2022-2025
The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) – Te Mana Tatai Hokohoko has published its Auditor Regulation and Oversight Plan 2022-2025.
The plan sets out how the FMA aims to improve the audit quality of Financial Markets Conduct reporting entities…
Assistant Commissioner of International Affairs Office Elected New Co-Chair of the FATF Policy Development Group
Financial Services Agency (Japan)
At the FATF (Financial Action Task Force) Plenary from 14th to 17th June 2022, the FATF appointed HABUCHI Takahide, Assistant Commissioner of International Affairs Office of Japan FSA, as new Co-Chair of the FATF PDG (Policy Development Group), one of the five standing committees at the FATF. PDG conducts policy developments, including revision of the FATF Standards. His term is the two years from June 2022 to June 2024. This is the first time that Japan FSA serves as Co-Chair of a FATF standing committee.
AI Utility NovA! to Unlock Opportunities for Green Financing and Combat Greenwashing
Monetary Authority of Singapore
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced today the first use case of NovA! to help financial institutions (FIs) assess the sustainability performance of Singapore’s real estate sector.  NovA!, part of the National Artificial Intelligence (AI) Programme in Finance, is aimed at helping FIs harness AI to generate insights on financial risk. In the initial phase, the programme will focus on enhancing FIs’ ability to assess companies’ environmental impact and identify emerging environmental risks.
Cross-Agency Steering Group announces launch of information and data repositories and other progress in advancing Hong Kong’s green and sustainable finance development
Securities & Futures Commission of Hong Kong
The Green and Sustainable Finance Cross-Agency Steering Group (Steering Group) announced today the progress made and the way forward to advance Hong Kong’s leading position in green and sustainable finance (GSF) and help the financial ecosystem’s transition towards carbon neutrality.
Investing and Trading
UK Bonds Headed for Worst Month Since 1995 May Face More Losses; Two-year yields have surged about 70 basis points this month; Traders are pricing in a steeper policy trajectory for the BOE
Ven Ram – Bloomberg
Front-end UK bonds haven’t had it this brutal in ages. In fact, they haven’t had this bad a month since 1995, a period when the economy was still grappling with Britain’s exit from the European Exchange-Rate Mechanism. Two-year yields shot up more than 70 basis points in June through Monday, raising temperatures on fixed-income trading desks to match the weather outside in the UK. Lest it should be mistaken, the writing has been on the wall for gilts for a long time now.
Global Food Inflation Gets Reprieve as Wheat and Oilseeds Tumble
Sybilla Gross and Megan Durisin – Bloomberg
Agricultural commodities fell, offering some reprieve to rampant food inflation, as traders weigh incoming data on harvests and looming recessions in some major economies. Wheat harvests are kicking off across the Northern Hemisphere, with analysts continuing to increase production estimates for some key growers like Russia after favorable weather. The US will give an update on its winter-wheat harvest progress later on Tuesday.
Exxon CEO Warns Oil Markets May Be ‘Tight’ for Up to Five Years
Francine Lacqua, Paul Wallace, and Nayla Razzouk – Bloomberg
Exxon Mobil Corp. said global oil markets may remain tight for another three to five years largely because of a lack of investment since the pandemic began. It’ll take time for oil firms to “catch up” on the investments needed to ensure there’s enough supply, Chief Executive Officer Darren Woods said at the Qatar Economic Forum on Tuesday.
ECB’s Kazimir Says Negative Rates Must Be ‘History’ by September
Daniel Hornak – Bloomberg
The European Central Bank should exit sub-zero interest rates in September, Governing Council Member Peter Kazimir said. “Negative rates must be history by September,” the Slovak official told reporters in Bratislava on Tuesday, adding that there’s a consensus that a half-point hike that month is “highly probable.”
Losing money is par for the course with experienced investors; The very richest usually cope with substantial losses, but it can be a different story for those who made their millions quickly
Rhymer Rigby – FT
A few weeks ago, my crypto friend (everyone has one) told me that he was “about £70,000 down”. He is what passes for middle class in London, and can presumably afford to lose £70,000, as he made it all from crypto over the past few years. Having unburdened himself of his losses, he started talking about buying the dip, which suggests he hasn’t totally lost the faith.
Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance
Big Oil Bets That Green Hydrogen Is the Future of Energy; The fuel is well suited to the majors’ strengths in project management and their deep pockets.
Will Mathis, Laura Hurst and Francois De Beaupuy – Bloomberg
After years of dabbling, major oil companies are finally planning the kind of large-scale investments that would make green hydrogen a serious business. They’re chasing a very particular vision of a low-carbon future — multibillion dollar developments that generate vast concentrations of renewable electricity and convert it into chemicals or clean fuels that can be shipped around the world to power trucks, ships or even airplanes. “The oil majors have been building multibillion-dollar projects since forever,” said Julien Rolland, head of power and renewables at commodities trader Trafigura Group Pte Ltd. “This green hydrogen, green ammonia stuff will be the new energy industry.”
Black Equity on Wall Street Two Years After George Floyd; Banks and corporate America made a lot of promises in the wake of his murder by Minneapolis police. What have they actually done?
Sonali Basak – Bloomberg
Progress over the years toward equity for Black Americans has been shaky—at best. In the wake of George Floyd’s murder by Minneapolis police in May 2020, and the police violence against Americans of color that his killing punctuated, calls for racial justice and equality have grown only louder. Big banks and corporations promised to do their part, pledging to hire more Black employees, pay equitable wages and expand opportunities. Now, two years after Floyd became the latest symbol of America’s deep-seated inequality, has there been any tangible impact? Bloomberg explores the issue in this special podcast from Bloomberg Radio.
Solar-Power Developers Pledge to Buy U.S. Panels—If Someone Makes Them; Renewable-energy group offers to buy billions of dollars of U.S.-made solar panels over four years, but government support might be needed to get domestic manufacturing off the ground
Phred Dvorak – WSJ
A group of U.S. renewable-energy developers is making a $6 billion offer to solar manufacturers: Build panels in the U.S. and we will buy them. The group—AES Corp., AES 1.64%? Clearway Energy Group, Cypress Creek Renewables and D.E. Shaw Renewable Investments—is offering to buy as much as 7 gigawatts worth of U.S.-made solar panels a year. That is equivalent to more than a quarter of what the U.S. installed last year.
Sunny Spain’s green energy plan leaves needy feeling cold
Corina Pons – Reuters
Standing by his swimming pool at his home in an affluent Madrid suburb, retired engineer Juan Manuel Cosmes Cuesta enthuses over the 30% state subsidy he will get for installing solar panels that have already more than halved his monthly power bills.
Young people go to European court to stop treaty that aids fossil fuel investors; Five claimants aged 17-31 want their governments to exit the energy charter treaty, which compensates oil and gas firms
Jennifer Rankin and Arthur Neslen- The Guardian
Young victims of the climate crisis will on Tuesday launch legal action at Europe’s top human rights court against an energy treaty that protects fossil fuel investors.
An $8 Billion ESG Market Pits EU Lawmakers Against Audit Firms
Lawmakers are worried about conflicts in sustainability audits; Failure to reach a compromise may hurt asset managers
Frances Schwartzkopff – Bloomberg
There’s a standoff brewing between European lawmakers and the Big Four accounting firms as they try to lay claim to an ESG market that may generate fees of as much as $8 billion a year.
Japan on Alert for Greenwashing as It Lends $40 Billion for ESG
DBJ plans 5.5 trillion yen in ESG lending and investment; Lender sees risk that some loan plans will have ‘sketchy’ aims
Ayai Tomisawa and Takashi Umekawa – Bloomberg
A Japanese government-backed bank is set to spend about $40 billion for sustainable purposes, and it will scrutinize the use of funds to ensure companies aren’t greenwashing.
Proposed ESG Disclosure Requirements for Investment Advisers and Investment Companies
Laura Ferrell, Sarah Fortt, and Betty Huber, Latham & Watkins LLP – Harvard Law School on Corporate Governance
Key Points: The proposal on ESG disclosures for investment advisers and registered investment companies would introduce requirements for advisers and registered funds that consider ESG factors in their investment processes to disclose more about those factors’ role in investment decisions. The Names Rule proposal would extend the 80% investment policy requirement to registered funds with names that suggest the fund focuses on investments/issuers with particular ESG characteristics. Together, the proposals make the United States just the latest in a series of jurisdictions to establish sustainability disclosure regimes for investment products, increasing global compliance challenges.
SECP unveils ESG Regulatory Roadmap for sustainable capital markets
In order to encourage environmental, social, and governance (ESG) practices and introduce a framework to facilitate sustainable investment, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has published a position paper on ESG Regulatory Roadmap.
Asset owners’ investment lens changes
As ESG has become a bigger priority, investors are ramping up expectations for private market money managers
Hazel Bradford and Arleen Jacobius – P&I
Many asset owners in private markets say they are looking at investments through an ESG lens, not simply as an afterthought. A biannual private equity investor survey of limited partners released June 8 by Coller Capital Ltd., an alternative investment secondary markets manager based in London, found that 65% of survey respondents see ESG as adding value, both through proactive change to portfolio companies and exclusion of high-risk investments and business practices.
Two Sigma Ramps Up China Hedge Fund Push After 22% Return
Two Sigma Investments is stepping up its bid to tap the wealth of Chinese investors by asking them for a fresh round of cash for its outperforming fund and expanding local headcount. The US quant giant’s China private fund business — the local equivalent of a hedge fund — is seeking to raise about 1.2 billion yuan ($180 million) for its managed futures product, adding to about 3.8 billion yuan in assets the firm has amassed since early 2020, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The Shanghai-based unit also plans to double its local staff to more than 20 people this year, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing private information.
HSBC Loses Two Senior Investment Bankers Amid Talent War; Southeast Asia head of FIG Tan to join UOB digital bank unit; HSBC senior fintech banker Wong to join Morgan Stanley
Manuel Baigorri and Joyce Koh – Bloomberg
HSBC Holdings Plc has lost two senior investment bankers in Asia, according to people familiar with the matter, as global banks compete for financial technology talent and dealmaking slows down.
Big Banks Led by JPMorgan Set to Return $80 Billion to Investors; Fed’s stress tests will determine size of buybacks, dividends; Covid halted buybacks in 2020, inflating last year’s capital
Hannah Levitt and Jennifer Surane – Bloomberg
US banking giants are poised to return $80 billion to shareholders after this year’s Federal Reserve stress tests, less than last year’s elevated level that followed a pandemic-driven buyback pause. JPMorgan Chase & Co. is set to lead the group with $18.9 billion in combined dividends and share buybacks, even as the biggest US lender spends more this year to build out offerings and fend off competition. Bank of America Corp. and Wells Fargo & Co. are expected to return $15.5 billion and $15.3 billion, respectively, according to data compiled by Bloomberg based on estimates provided by analysts at Barclays Plc.
South African Health Minister Backs Dropping Remaining Covid Curbs
S’thembile Cele and Janice Kew – Bloomberg
South Africa’s Health Minister Joe Phaahla has recommended dropping the country’s remaining coronavirus-related restrictions. These include the wearing of masks and curbs on gathering sizes. Phaahla made those proposals following the decline in hospitalizations and reported cases, according to a statement dated June 20.
Biotech Companies Team Up to Develop African Covid Vaccine; Afrigen and Belgium’s Univercells sign mRNA agreement; Partners aim to develop first African-owned Covid shot
James Paton – Bloomberg
South African biotech company Afrigen Biologics will work with a Belgian partner to develop the first African-owned Covid-19 shot as part of a broader effort to reduce the continent’s reliance on other regions for vaccines. Afrigen and the Univercells Group aim to build on expertise developed through the World Health Organization’s messenger RNA vaccine hub, the companies said in a statement Tuesday. Afrigen, based in Cape Town, said it’s working to facilitate the production of mRNA vaccines at more than 15 manufacturing sites in low- and middle-income nations across the world.
US Sanctions Help China Supercharge Its Chipmaking Industry
China’s chip industry is growing faster than anywhere else in the world, after US sanctions on local champions from Huawei Technologies Co. to Hikvision spurred appetite for home-grown components.
Chinese Developer Accepts Wheat, Garlic as Payment to Woo Buyers
As China’s property slump persists, one developer is trying to entice farmers to buy homes by accepting their crops as payment. Central China Real Estate Ltd. is offering to pay farmers as much as 160,000 yuan ($24,000) for their wheat to offset down payments for homes in its River Mansion residential project in Shangqiu, a city in Henan province, according to a Monday marketing post. Weeks ago, it offered to accept garlic from growers looking to buy homes in another project in Kaifeng city.
Column: Australia’s power crisis will lead to more solar and regulation
Clyde Russell – Reuters
It defies logic that one of the world’s biggest exporters of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and coal is struggling to ensure enough domestic supplies to keep the lights on, but that is Australia’s current reality.
Five ace fund managers join hands to launch new age financial services
Saikat Das – ET
Two former executives from Goldman Sachs and Macquarie have joined hands with an ace fund manager and two others to float a company that would deal in a combination of new age advisory, home loans and fund management businesses.
Switzerland Imports Russian Gold for First Time Since War
Eddie Spence – Bloomberg
Switzerland imported gold from Russia for the first time since the invasion of Ukraine, showing the industry’s stance toward the nation’s precious metals may be softening.
Russia Debates Ruble Fix Without Dismantling Inflation Targeting
Russian officials are considering ways to keep the ruble on a tight leash without abandoning inflation targeting as they hunt for tools to tame the currency’s surge after sanctions ended the central bank’s ability to intervene directly. Rather than removing a commitment to target price growth, officials would need a new mechanism as long as sanctions on the central bank are in place, according to people familiar with the matter. Among other options being considered is a further loosening of rules on currency operations for companies active abroad and more access to foreign exchange for households and businesses at home, they said.
Austria Returns to Coal Era in Hedge Against Russian Power Play
Jonathan Tirone – Bloomberg
Austria is returning to the coal age, reviving use of the dirtiest fossil fuel to generate power as Russia curbs flows of natural gas to Europe. State-controlled Verbund AG, Austria’s biggest utility and most valuable company, was ordered late Sunday to prepare its mothballed Mellach coal-fired station for operation. The plant, 200 kilometers (124 miles) south of Vienna, was shut two years ago as Austria became only the second European country to eliminate coal entirely from its electricity grid.
‘Jackpot’ Oil Discoveries May Help Namibia Double GDP by 2040; Total, Shell have opened oil fields off Namibia’s coast; Namibia sees ‘massive’ opportunity in green hydrogen: Comalie
Paul Burkhardt and Manus Cranny – Bloomberg
Namibia expects its biggest oil discoveries since independence to help double its economy by 2040, Jennifer Comalie, chairperson of National Petroleum Corp. of Namibia, said in a Bloomberg TV interview.
Petrobras Head Resigns as Bolsonaro Rages About Fuel Prices
Peter Millard, Vinícius Andrade and Martha Beck – Bloomberg
Petrobras’s chief executive officer Jose Mauro Coelho resigned following a fuel price increase that has angered President Jair Bolsonaro and prompted calls for a congressional inquiry into the state-owned oil producer.