Hits & Takes
John Lothian & JLN Staff
If you have not watched Options Discovery with Alex Teng of JLN, you are missing something. This young man, a finance major in his senior year at the University of Illinois at Chicago, is really coming into his own with the interviews he is doing for The Spread video series. Options Discovery is the program Alex created for The Spread, and in it he looks at the options markets from the eyes of someone who does not know anything about them. He explores an options topic in each episode, and also interviews an options industry veteran.
Besides the Options Discovery segment, we are also publishing the entire full length interviews that Alex is conducting with his guests. The latest guest was Allard Jakobs, the founder and CEO of All Options in Amsterdam. Jakobs told me in a call that this was the first interview he has done. Proprietary trading firms are normally very private and Jakobs was no exception. But when we asked him to be a guest of Alex’s, he accepted.
Jakobs gave a great interview, sharing his story, the story of All Options and how it operates and what he looks for in employees. Interestingly, All Options went from being all Dutch, white and male in the 1990s to being very international and diverse today. Jakobs has a good story to tell and he leveraged the opportunity to work with Alex well.
Alex has a great opportunity to learn about the markets, our industry and its players through his work with Options Discovery. He is using this opportunity well, learning a lot and sharing that with us. He is just an intern, but he is doing great work and the Jakobs interview is the latest example.
Yesterday The New York Times Dealbook’s Andrew Ross Sorkin interviewed Sam Bankman-Fried live. You can watch the video or read the transcript HERE. Bankman-Fried, I believe, will live to regret doing this interview. He did so against the advice of his attorney. Anytime you are involved in a conflict like this, the rule of holes applies, as I have mentioned before. When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging. Sam is digging away.
Jonathan Grodnick of Chicago Trading Company, who has most recently served as chief investment officer, will take over as CEO on January 1, 2023. Grodnick previously opened and led CTC’s London Office before returning to Chicago to lead CTC’s flagship index options trading business. He later served as global co-head of trading. He is a member of CTC’s board of directors.
Congratulations to Alex Lamb, who has started a new position as head of the Americas at Scila Inc. Alex was featured in a two-part video for our “The Path to Electronic Trading” video series. Here is Part 1 and here is Part 2.
Have a great day and stay safe and treat people the same way you want to be treated: with respect, equality and justice.~JJL
Abaxx’s Joe Raia Talks FCM Model Benefits, FTX and the Need for Physically Delivered Contracts
Before the FTX implosion, FTX had created quite a regulatory stir in the futures industry with a proposal before the CFTC for a clearing model that eliminated the need for FCMs. Abaxx Exchange Chief Commercial Officer Joe Raia has been outspoken in his support for FCMs. John Lothian News caught up with Raia at the recent FIA EXPO 2022 in Chicago to discuss his views.
The Nickel Market Almost Broke; Also FTX accounting and perks, hung debt and enterprise blockchain.
Matt Levine – Bloomberg
A fact about financial markets that occasionally produces strange results is that the total market value of a thing is, conventionally, (1) the amount of that thing that exists times (2) the price of the last trade. So Bloomberg tells me that there are about 304.5 million shares of GameStop Corp. stock outstanding, and they closed at $25.60 yesterday, so GameStop’s market capitalization – the total value of its stock – is 304.5 million times $25.60, or about $8 billion.
***** Good analysis of the LME nickel situation by Matt Levine.~JJL
Sam Bankman-Fried said he doesn’t think he’s criminally liable for FTX’s implosion, but that his lawyers don’t want him speaking publicly
Samantha Delouya – Business Insider
Sam Bankman-Fried said he doesn’t think he’s legally accountable for the collapse of his FTX crypto empire that caused billions of dollars in losses. Still, he said he had defied his lawyers’ wishes not to speak publicly. Speaking to journalist Andrew Ross Sorkin at the New York Times Dealbook conference on Wednesday, Bankman-Fried said, “I don’t personally think that,” when asked whether he was concerned he would be held criminally liable for FTX’s implosion.
***** Here is an arrogant former billionaire who continues to think the rules don’t apply to him and that he is smarter than everyone else. Instead, you have someone who is too stupid to take advice that is good common sense. He is not going to be able to afford those lawyers giving him that good advice if he keeps this up. Sam needs to shut up.~JJL
Futures Look Bright as Stuart Team Places Sixth in Worldwide Trading Competition
Scott Lewis – Illinois Tech
Best Hawk, a team of students from Stuart School of Business at Illinois Institute of Technology, showed its acumen in futures trading by placing in the top 1.2 percent of teams globally that participated in the 2022 CME Group University Trading Challenge. Team members Hui Bao, Jay Kim, Fenglin Wang, and Hanqing Xue are all students in Stuart’s Master of Science in Finance program. Best Hawk placed sixth in the field of 498 teams from 23 countries, third out of the 320 teams from the United States, and first among teams from Illinois.
****** That is something to include on your resume.~JJL
Bitcoin ‘rarely’ used for legal transactions, on ‘road to irrelevance’, say European Central Bank officials
Manish Singh – TechCrunch
European Central Bank officials alleged on Wednesday that bitcoin is “rarely used for legal transactions,” is fueled by speculation and the recent erosion in its value indicates that it is on the “road to irrelevance,” in a series of stringent criticism (bereft of strong data points) of the cryptocurrency industry as they urged regulators to not lend legitimacy to digital tokens in the name of innovation.
****** I think I said this first part many years ago. What have you bought lately, legally, with bitcoin?~JJL
French Baguette Is a Symbol of Cultural Heritage, UN Body Says; The French staple joins UNESCO’s ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage’ list
Helen Chandler-Wilde – Bloomberg
Baguettes have risen to a whole new level. The French staple has been deemed eligible to join UNESCO’s “Intangible Cultural Heritage” list, an award given to practices or traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation. It includes rituals, performing arts, traditional crafts, and specific food dishes.
****** I could live on French baguettes.~JJL
LaSalle Street tower owner hit with massive foreclosure lawsuit
Danny Ecker – Crain’s Chicago Business
The owner of a LaSalle Street office tower that lost its biggest tenant early in the COVID-19 pandemic is facing one of the largest foreclosure lawsuits involving a downtown office building since the public health crisis began. A venture of New York-based AmTrust Realty defaulted on its loan tied to the 983,000-square-foot office building at 30 N. LaSalle St. by failing to make its August payment on its $165 million mortgage, according to a foreclosure complaint filed earlier this month in Cook County Circuit Court.
****** Is there any good news for LaSalle Street real estate?~JJL
Wednesday’s Top Three
Our top item on Wednesday was Virtu Financial’s complaint in VIRTU FINANCIAL, INC., Plaintiff, vs. UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION. Second was the online version (on our website) of Tuesday’s John Lothian Newsletter. Third was Virtu Sues SEC to Get More Details on Market-Structure Overhaul, from Bloomberg via Yahoo! Finance.
27,090 pages; 241,885 edits
FTX Collapse Draws Senate Hearing Scrutiny as Crypto Oversight in Focus; CFTC chairman is due to testify before committee on bill that would give agency more supervision of market
Dave Michaels – The Wall Street Journal
Senators with a plan to regulate cryptocurrencies are due to question the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s chairman about the failure of the digital-asset exchange FTX and on legislation that would give that agency more power over the volatile market. CFTC Chairman Rostin Behnam is scheduled to testify at Thursday’s hearing of the Senate Agriculture Committee. The panel’s chairwoman, Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D., Mich.), and its ranking member, Sen. John Boozman (R., Ark.), introduced a bill that would regulate trading in bitcoin, ether and some other cryptocurrencies through the commission. Giving the CFTC, a relatively small agency, authority to police trading in the most valuable crypto assets would mark a substantial expansion of its authority.
Big traders flock to US equity options with fleeting lifespans; Concerns grow over market swings as ‘zero-day’ S&P 500 contract volumes surge
Eric Platt and Nicholas Megaw – Financial Times
Professional traders are plunging into options bets on daily moves in US equities, activity that some experts believe has contributed to recent wild swings in stock markets. Record numbers of so-called zero-day options that track the S&P 500 stock index are changing hands – with volumes of about 1.5mn a day in November – more than double the levels in January and almost four times those at the start of 2020, according to OptionMetrics.
Surge in nickel prices threatened to blow $2.6bn hole in key LME entity; Fullest accounting to date of incident in March shows clearing house was under severe strain
Harry Dempsey and Philip Stafford – Financial Times
A surge in nickel prices in March threatened to topple a London Metal Exchange entity designed to keep troubles in a single market from infecting the financial system, according to the fullest accounting to date of a crisis that has shaken confidence the 145-year-old venue. LME’s clearing house faced a $2.6bn loss in early March when the price of nickel jumped more than 200 per cent in a single day, while a stability fund that provides a further layer of protection would have been nearly wiped out, legal filings published this week show. The disclosures shine light on why senior executives made the highly irregular decision to halt trading and cancel billions of dollars of deals in a fraught period on March 8.
The Sam Bankman-Fried roadshow rolls on: 10 crazy things the FTX founder has just said
Lukas I. Alpert – MarketWatch
Sam Bankman-Fried sure isn’t going quietly into the night. With his crypto empire in ruins, numerous federal probes and years of litigation hanging over his head, the FTX founder has counter-intuitively chosen to meet his critics head on and engage in a full-on media blitz. Just this week, he has given an interview to Axios, had lengthy, beachside phone chats with crypto video blogger Tiffany Fong, posted online and appeared on Wednesday by videolink at the New York Times DealBook Summit.
Sam Bankman-Fried Blames ‘Huge Management Failures’ for FTX Collapse; Mr. Bankman-Fried spoke at The New York Times’s DealBook conference, in his first public appearance since his crypto exchange imploded.
David Yaffe-Bellany – The New York Times
Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of the FTX cryptocurrency exchange, made his first public appearance on Wednesday since his business empire imploded this month, insisting that he “did not ever try to commit fraud” and repeatedly saying he didn’t know the extent of what was going on within his crypto businesses.
U.S. CFTC chair to be questioned over FTX collapse by lawmakers
Hannah Lang – Reuters
A leading U.S. financial regulator is set to be grilled by lawmakers on Thursday about the spectacular collapse of cryptocurrency exchange FTX and whether authorities could have done more to prevent it. In the first of several congressional hearings to examine FTX’s failure, members of the Senate Agriculture Committee are likely to press Rostin Behnam, chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, over whether the turmoil could have been avoided with better oversight.
Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried: ‘I Didn’t Knowingly Commingle Funds’
Tracy Wang – CoinDesk
The collapse of Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX empire left customers with missing funds and unresolved questions. But Bankman-Fried’s highly-anticipated Wednesday interview with The New York Times’ Andrew Ross Sorkin didn’t answer many of those questions, nor did it deliver the mea culpa many have hoped to hear from the 30-year-old former crypto billionaire. Bankman-Fried clung to the narrative that FTX’s collapse resulted from an untimely market crash and maintained that he had not knowingly committed any crimes. He joined the conversation virtually from his residence in the Bahamas, against the advice of his lawyers.
Sam Bankman-Fried says he ‘never tried to commit fraud’ at FTX; Crypto platform’s founder admits to ‘mistakes’ during turbulent month when his company collapsed
Tabby Kinder and James Fontanella-Khan and Antoine Gara – Financial Times
Sam Bankman-Fried said he “never tried to commit fraud” but admitted he made “a lot of mistakes” ahead of the collapse of his $32bn cryptocurrency empire, which threatens to inflict significant financial losses on users of his popular FTX trading platform.
Posting through it, crypto-Lehman edition; “I didn’t ever try to commit fraud on anyone”
Alexandra Scaggs – Financial Times
Sam Bankman-Fried keeps talking with journalists about his adventures in non-ring-fenced assets. At least this time it was on purpose. We’re not sure this was any more successful at clearing things up though. SBF said he “didn’t ever try to commit fraud on anyone” in a live-broadcast discussion with NYT’s Andrew Ross Sorkin. But he claimed he was only tracking Alameda’s share of trading volumes on the platform, not the actual size of its positions or their risk, which seems like a pretty key detail.
Could traditional platforms win from the crypto winter? New research has found that the market turmoil caused by the recent crypto chaos is pushing institutional investors towards traditional regulated exchanges as their route into the digital assets arena.
Laurie McAughtry – The Trade
Up until now the crypto space has been dominated first by retail investors, and at a provider level by crypto-native firms – but as institutional interest in the industry grows, both of those things are starting to change. With the collapse of FTX signalling the latest correction in the market, a new report by Acuiti and Eurex has found that although the recent chaos may have had negative financial and reputational consequences for investors, traditional channels could actually benefit from the situation as institutional investors still keen on digital asset exposure seek safety and security.
FTX Missing Billions Remain Mystery After Bankman-Fried Grilling; Bankman-Fried spoke at New York Times event about FTX collapse; He admitted to gross errors while pushing back on fraud claims
Olga Kharif and Hannah Miller – Bloomberg
Mystery continues to shroud the missing billions at bankrupt crypto exchange FTX after its disgraced founder Sam Bankman-Fried denied trying to perpetrate a fraud while admitting to grievous managerial errors. In his first major public appearance following the Nov. 11 implosion of FTX and sister trading house Alameda Research, Bankman-Fried said he “screwed up” at the helm of the exchange and should have focused more on risk management, customer protection and links between FTX and Alameda.
Sam Bankman-Fried Denies Knowing Scale of Bad Alameda Bets; FTX’s co-founder says he made mistakes during his tenure at the helm of the cryptocurrency exchange but didn’t ever try to commit fraud
Alexander Saeedy – The Wall Street Journal
Sam Bankman-Fried said that he didn’t intend to commit any fraud or use customer funds to back leveraged bets that went wrong at Alameda Research, a cryptocurrency hedge fund attached to FTX that pushed the exchange to bankruptcy. Mr. Bankman-Fried, speaking at the New York Times DealBook Summit in New York, denied knowingly commingling customer funds to back his crypto trading operation and tried to deflect some of the blame for FTX’s collapse away from himself, saying he was surprised at the size of Alameda’s bets that went wrong.
FTX’s Collapse Was a Crime, Not an Accident
David Z. Morris – CoinDesk
In the weeks since Sam Bankman-Fried’s cryptocurrency empire was revealed to be a house of lies, mainstream news organizations and commentators have often failed to give their readers a straightforward assessment of exactly what happened. August institutions including the New York Times and Wall Street Journal have uncovered many key facts about the scandal, but they have also repeatedly seemed to downplay the facts in ways that soft-pedaled Bankman-Fried’s intent and culpability.
BlackRock’s Fink Says Most Crypto Firms Will Fold Following FTX’s Implosion; BlackRock CEO says his firm had invested $24 million in FTX; Fink still sees potential in the technology underlying crypto
Annie Massa and Gregory Korte – Bloomberg
BlackRock Inc. Chief Executive Larry Fink said most crypto companies will probably fold in the wake of FTX’s collapse. “I actually believe most of the companies are not going to be around,” Fink said Wednesday during a wide-ranging interview at the New York Times DealBook Summit. BlackRock, the world’s biggest asset manager, is among financial firms stung by the bankruptcy of the Bahamas-based crypto exchange founded by Sam Bankman-Fried, who’s scheduled to speak at the same event later in the day.
FTX’s Collapse Will Hamper Mainstream Crypto Acceptance, NYSE’s Martin Says
Katherine Doherty – Bloomberg
The collapse of Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX exchange added a new “layer of complexity” to crypto markets that already faced an uphill fight gaining acceptance from institutional investors, said New York Stock Exchange President Lynn Martin. The swift fallout “wasn’t a surprise” because of the lack of regulation, Martin said Wednesday at a Reuters conference in New York. “There is no regulatory clarity, no transparency,” and there aren’t central counterparties similar to those found in traditional finance, she said.
Crypto Feels the Wrath of FTX’s Demise Through Bankruptcies (Podcast); Updates on the FTX bankruptcy case, its creditors and potential fallout to other firms.
Janet Babin – Bloomberg
A look into the disorganized bankruptcy filing of FTX’s crypto empire with Bloomberg reporter Jeremy Hill. We review why we don’t know the identity of FTX’s top 50 creditors and whether we’re likely to find out. The discussion also considers what other companies could suffer by their association with former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried and his now bankrupt companies.
Kraken, the 3rd-largest digital assets exchange, is laying off 30% of its staff as crypto winter deepens
Morgan Chittum – Business Insider
Kraken, the third-largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume, said in a blog post on Wednesday that it would slash 30% of its work force. The firm, which rivals giants like Coinbase and Binance, cited “macro economic and geopolitical factors” that led to the cuts. “This resulted in significantly lower trading volumes and fewer client sign-ups. We responded by slowing hiring efforts and avoiding large marketing commitments,” Jesse Powell, the co-founder of Kraken, said in a statement. “Unfortunately, negative influences on the financial markets have continued and we have exhausted preferable options for bringing costs in line with demand.”
Crypto Hedge Funds Burned by FTX Seek Wall Street-Style Middlemen; Battered trading firms have lost confidence in exchanges; Investors look to third-party custodians and prime brokers
Justina Lee and Muyao Shen – Bloomberg
Before it collapsed, FTX was a favorite in the world of professional crypto traders, with frenzied volumes, derivatives on steroids and a simpatico founder who got his start at storied Wall Street trading house Jane Street. Now with millions lost on the bankrupt platform, its former fans are fighting for survival, writing off sizable chunks of their portfolios and facing an existential dilemma: Should they trust any crypto exchange at all?
Seven EU Countries Make Fresh Push for Dynamic Gas Price Cap; Italy, Greece among countries calling for changes to EU plan; Countries are aiming to sign off on gas price cap on Dec. 13
John Ainger – Bloomberg
A group of seven European Union member states is pushing for a more dynamic gas price cap, arguing that the one put forward by the bloc’s executive branch is designed so that it won’t get triggered and therefore wouldn’t help consumers pay their bills. Countries including Italy, Belgium and Greece are submitting an amendment that would set a cap based largely on a fixed level — using as an example â‚¬160 ($167) per megawatt-hour — but also with a floating element based off prices at key international hubs, according a document seen by Bloomberg.
Sam Bankman-Fried’s Red Flags Were Seen in All Corners of His Empire; Some $90 million promised to nonprofits to be left unpaid; Millions more at risk of being clawed back in FTX’s bankruptcy
Laura Davison and Sophie Alexander – Bloomberg
On paper, the nonprofit Our World in Data is neatly aligned with Sam Bankman-Fried’s worldview. It focuses on “terrifying problems,” including poverty, climate change and pandemics — the very issue SBF called his next big risk in July. So it’s little surprise that in that same month, the FTX Future Fund offered the group a $7.5 million grant to track changes in living standards, the global impact of Covid-19 and other “trends that are relevant to humanity’s long-term prospects.” The nonprofit turned the money down.
World-Topping $100 Billion in Remittances Head to India in 2022; Funds from world’s largest diaspora a key source of cash; Migrants living in wealthy nations boost inflows to the nation
Ruchi Bhatia – Bloomberg
Migrant workers from India are on track to send home a record amount of money this year, boosting the finances of Asia’s third-largest economy, which is poised to retain its spot as the world’s top recipient of remittances. Remittance flows to India will rise 12% to reach $100 billion this year, according to a World Bank report published Wednesday. That puts its inflows far ahead of countries including Mexico, China and the Philippines.
The Moral Vanity of Sam Bankman-Fried; The FTX founder has given effective altruism a bad name. That doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea.
Daniel Henninger – The Wall Street Journal
The Covid-19 pandemic may have ended in the U.S., but there is no vaccine yet for this country’s pandemic of moral vanity. Its latest victim is FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried. As his cryptocurrency company’s value soared into vaporous billions, Mr. Bankman-Fried said he wasn’t in it for the money. He described himself as a proponent of “effective altruism,” or high-return charity, an idea he learned while at MIT from a philosophy graduate student. Mr. Bankman-Fried, 30, said he might keep 1% for himself and give the rest away through his FTX Foundation.
Britain Opened the Door to Online Gambling. Now It’s Living With the Consequences
Gavin Finch, Harry Wilson and Ann Choi – Bloomberg
On an August morning in 2016, Stewart Kenny, the co-founder of Paddy Power, was struggling to keep his emotions in check as he took his seat around the firm’s board table at its Dublin headquarters. The company he helped set up 28 years earlier had recently finalized a Â£7 billion ($8.4 billion) merger, making it one of the world’s biggest gambling companies.
TradFi Giant TP ICAP Gains UK Crypto License
Jack Schickler – CoinDesk
TP ICAP, the world’s largest interdealer-broker, has registered as a digital asset provider with the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority as it attempts to break into the crypto world via its Fusion Digital Assets marketplace. The company, a giant in infrastructure for wholesale markets for traditional finance (TradFi), is working with custodian Fidelity Digital Assets to offer a platform to match orders and execute spot crypto trades.
Bernstein: Crypto User Activity Is Moving On-Chain Following FTX’s Collapse
Will Canny – CoinDesk
Crypto user activity is moving on-chain following the collapse of FTX and sister company Alameda Research last month as self-custody comes back into vogue, Bernstein said in a research report Wednesday. More investors are storing crypto in their own wallets instead of with centralized exchanges, and this is reflected in higher trading volumes and user growth for decentralized finance (DeFi) spot and derivative trading platforms, the report said. DeFi is an umbrella term for a variety of financial applications carried out on blockchains.
Rising Tether Loans Add Risk to Stablecoin, Crypto World; Tether reports hadn’t disclosed that loans it issues are denominated and payable in the token
Jonathan Weil – The Wall Street Journal
The company behind the tether stablecoin has increasingly been lending its own coins to customers rather than selling them for hard currency upfront. The shift adds to risks that the company may not have enough liquid assets to pay redemptions in a crisis.
Listed Derivatives: Modernising Post-trade Processing for Equity Options
Nick Solinger – Derivasource
Surging volumes, cost pressures and legacy infrastructure are driving automation in the equity options post-trade space. In a DerivSource commentary, Nick Solinger, CEO at FIA-Tech, explores these market drivers and describes how FIA-Tech’s Atlantis platform can help firms reduce headcount needed for reconciliations and increase accuracy and timeliness in brokerage payments.
The Eurex-LCH Basis: a tale of known knowns and known unknowns
Matthias Graulich – via LinkedIn
Since the ECB gave the first signals of a monetary policy tightening regime in the first half of 2022, there have been persistent pricing anomalies in some of the most liquid areas of the rates markets, including Euro interest rate swaps (IRS). A pricing anomaly very close to home is the Eurex-LCH basis (a CCP basis).
US Says It Fears Russia May Use Biological Weapons in Ukraine; US arms official pushes back against Russian disinformation; Biological Weapons Convention work stymied by fraught debate
Riley Griffin – Bloomberg
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has elevated US concerns that Vladimir Putin’s government could use biological weapons, according to a top US State Department official who’s in Geneva for a review of the global treaty addressing such threats. “We’ve always been concerned about their own biological program,” Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security Bonnie Jenkins said, speaking from the US Mission in Geneva. But those concerns have increased as Russia has continued to make unsupported allegations about US development of biological weapons in Ukraine. Such disinformation could mask Russia’s own weaponization of infectious diseases, she said.
Russia should use advanced weapons in Ukraine, Shoigu says
Russia’s defence minister said on Wednesday that the armed forces should use new advanced weapons systems in the conflict in Ukraine. “It is necessary to continue the modernisation and creation of promising systems with their subsequent use during the special military operation,” Sergei Shoigu said at a defence ministry meeting of senior generals. Shoigu, one of President Vladimir Putin’s closest allies, did not specify which advanced weapons should be used, though he said he wanted to discuss with the generals new ways of improving artillery and missile attacks.
Gazprom’s Exports in Tailspin as Flows to Europe Still Curtailed; Daily gas supplies to key markets fell 3.9% in November; Gazprom’s exports to Europe are at a fifth of prewar levels
Gazprom PJSC’s daily natural-gas flows to key markets fell in November for the third month in a row as Moscow continued to limit deliveries to Europe. Pipeline gas flows from Russia to Europe have been shrinking for months as the Kremlin hits back at sanctions following its invasion of Ukraine. Supply concern intensified last week when a payment spat between Gazprom and Moldova threatened to reduce flows via Ukraine — the last remaining route still bringing Russian fuel to western Europe — though the dispute was resolved.
Swiss Say Its $8 Billion of Frozen Russian Assets Is ‘Only a Fraction’ of Total; Sanctioned amount is only a fraction of all Russian assets; Swiss authorities have frozen $8 billion in sanctions effort
Hugo Miller and Bastian Benrath – Bloomberg
A group of about 100 Russians and businesses reported nearly $50 billion in Swiss deposits, the government said in its most detailed disclosure yet of Russian wealth stashed in the country’s banks. Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Switzerland banned banks from taking more than 100,000 Swiss francs ($106,000) from Russians and said all existing deposits must be reported to the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs by the start of June. A total of 123 Russian citizens or entities reported 7,548 “business relationships” to the body, accounting for 46.1 billion francs in assets, SECO said Thursday.
EU Asks Members to Set Russia Oil-Price Cap at $60; Cap is an attempt to squeeze the Kremlin’s oil revenues while keeping global supplies steady
Laurence Norman – The Wall Street Journal
The European Commission, the European Union’s executive body, has asked the bloc’s 27 member states to approve a price cap on Russian oil of $60 a barrel, according to people familiar with the matter. The cap would set Russian crude prices significantly below the international benchmark, called Brent, which traded at about $88 a barrel Thursday.
Ships Linked to Russia’s Biggest Grain Exporter Moved Stolen Ukrainian Cargo; Vessels involved in the smuggling were owned or managed by companies controlled by Peter Khodykin, who also owns RIF Trading. RIF says it isn’t involved in grain theft.
Jared Malsin, Anna Hirtenstein and Alistair MacDonald – The Wall Street Journal
Vessels linked to Russia’s largest grain trader shipped thousands of tons of stolen Ukrainian grain to global buyers, using a sophisticated system of feeder vessels and floating cranes, according to an investigation by The Wall Street Journal. The ships are linked either through their management or ownership to companies controlled by Russian businessman Peter Khodykin, who in turn owns RIF Trading House LLC, the country’s largest grain exporter and a big player in global grain markets, according to corporate and legal documents reviewed by the Journal.
Exchanges, OTC and Clearing
Cboe Global Markets Finalizes Investor Partners for Cboe Digital Business
Cboe Global Markets, Inc. (Cboe: CBOE), a leading provider of global market infrastructure and tradable products, announced it has completed the syndication of minority equity interests with a group of thirteen firms becoming investor partners in the Cboe Digital business. The investors represent a broad and diverse range of market participants, including leading retail and institutional intermediaries, liquidity providers and brokers, including B2C2, DRW, Galaxy Digital, GSR, Hidden Road, IMC, Interactive Brokers, Jane Street, Jump Crypto, Robinhood, Susquehanna International Group, tastyworks and Virtu Financial. Through their equity ownership, each firm will directly benefit from the growth of Cboe Digital and close strategic and commercial alignment. The group of investor partners join a roster of commercial partner firms supporting the Cboe Digital business.
OCC’s Vishal Thakkar Named Chief Risk Officer
OCC, the world’s largest equity derivatives clearing organization, today announced that Vishal Thakkar, currently Acting Chief Risk Officer, has been officially appointed the Chief Risk Officer (CRO), effective immediately. Thakkar is responsible for implementing OCC’s risk management framework and serves on the Management Committee.
SET Partners With ESG Experts To Embrace Sustainability For Business And Education At SET ESG Professionals Forum
The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) has joined forces with sustainability-related professional network members under SET ESG Experts Pool initiative to host the first ever “SET ESG Professionals Forum”, aiming to raise the bar on quality of the capital market personnel and young generations by equipping them with better understanding of sustainability career. SET executives and experts in the area of sustainability joined the forum to shed light on the changes, organizational restructure and personnel knowledge and expertise to cater to ESG trends, and exchange views and working experience in making the transition to a sustainable business.
The Spanish stock market trades 28 billion euros in November
Monthly Trading Statements For BME’s Markets; The volume traded in Equities in November is up 17.3% on the previous month; The outstanding balance on the Fixed Income markets increased 4.5% so far this year; Trading in Futures contracts on the IBEX 35Â® index increased by 4.9% in the first eleven months of the year. The Spanish stock market traded 28 billion euros in Equities in November, up 17.3% from the preceding month. The number of trades in October was 2.8 million, up 4.4% from October.
Trading Charity at the Frankfurt Stock Exchange: “Act and Help”; Proceeds from December 6th will be donated to charities
Deutsche Boerse and the securities trading banks (specialists) active on the Frankfurt stock exchange floor will donate the transaction and trading fees that are generated via the Frankfurt Stock Exchange trading venue next Tuesday, December 6th, to non-profit organizations. With the “Trading Charity – act and help” campaign, the stock exchange operator and the nine trading houses support a total of four charitable organizations: Tafel Hessen eV, the German Hospice Association, the Children’s Aid Foundation and the German Children’s Palliative Foundation. Investors who trade shares, funds, ETFs, ETCs or ETNs during the trading hours from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. (bonds: 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.) on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange on this day will help all institutions equally .
DTCC Shares Findings From Its Pilot With The Digital Dollar Project, Identifying Requirements For Supporting A U.S. Cbdc In Securities Settlement
The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC), the premier post-trade market infrastructure for the global financial services industry, today published its latest whitepaper, “Exploring Post-Trade Security Settlement with a U.S. Central Bank Digital Currency,” in collaboration with The Digital Dollar Project (DDP) and support from Accenture. The paper outlines key findings from the pilot (formerly known as Project Lithium), the first private sector initiative to explore how tokenized securities and a wholesale Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) could operate within the U.S. settlement infrastructure leveraging distributed ledger technology (DLT). The pilot included participation from leading market participant firms including Bank of America, Citi, Nomura, Northern Trust, State Street, Virtu Financial and Wells Fargo.
Global Derivatives Awards 2022 | European Derivatives Exchange of the Year: Eurex
First published on GlobalCapital.com on 30 November 2022. Wave after wave of volatility has battered markets over the last year. Soaring inflation, a shifting rate environment and the return of conflict in Europe. But throughout huge price swings, the Eurex platforms proved a pillar of stability for financial markets. Excelling in terms of scale, integrity and innovation – the firm was a deserved winner of European Derivatives Exchange of the Year.
The Eurex-LCH CCP basis – when opportunity knocks, it’s time to open the door
The European Commission has set itself the objective to build a strong and attractive central clearing capacity in the EU. Eurex Clearing aims to be the Global Home of the Euro Yield Curve and is committed to promoting market-driven solutions to the European Commission’s objective.
Euronext completes acquisition of Nexi’s technology businesses; The acquisition will help strengthen MTS and Euronext Securities Milan’s core operations and enable further development and product innovation.
Wesley Bray – The Trade
Euronext has completed the acquisition of Nexi’s technology businesses which currently power Euronext’s fixed-income trading platform MTS and Euronext Securities Milan. Originally announced in June, the exchange said the transaction is a new step in its strategy to leverage its integrated value chain as it further enhances its technology competencies and capabilities in trading and post-trade.
Trading Overview in November 2022
Japan Exchange Group released Trading Overview in November 2022.
All LME Clear Members
Subject: SPAN Margin Parameters. LME Clear Members are advised that new SPAN1 margin parameters have been set, as marked in the SPAN Margin Parameter spreadsheet located here.
The Bank of Russia, with the support of the Moscow Exchange, is holding the All-Russian online test on financial literacy
From December 1 to December 15, 2022, the Bank of Russia, together with the Agency for Strategic Initiatives and supported by the Moscow Exchange, is holding the fifth annual All-Russian online financial literacy test . Anyone can take part and check how well he is oriented in financial matters. For the first time this year, you can not only take part in the individual competition and answer questions on your own, but also get together with the whole family and try your hand at the family competition.
Nasdaq CEO hopeful IPOs will pick up in 2023, calls for more crypto regulation
Adena Friedman, chief executive officer of Nasdaq Inc (NDAQ.O), said on Wednesday she expects a quiet first half of 2023 for initial public offerings as investors remain cautious, but is hopeful activity will pick up in the second half of the year. There are currently about 200 companies in the pipeline for initial public offerings on the Nasdaq, which is below the range of the last few years of 250 to 300, Friedman said during an interview at the Reuters NEXT conference.
NSE and Government of Odisha sign MoU to facilitate fund raising for SMEs in the State
India’s leading stock exchange, National Stock Exchange (NSE) and the Government of Odisha have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to spread awareness amongst MSMEs of the state regarding fund raising by IPO mechanism using NSE SME Platform – Emerge. The MoU was exchanged between Government of Odisha and National Stock Exchange, Mumbai, today at Bhubaneshwar.
NYSE – Fee Changes Effective December 1, 2022
On December 1, 2022, pending effectiveness of a regulatory filing, the NYSE will make revisions to its Equities Price List for shares with a price of $1.00 or above.
NSE, SGX aim to start joint derivatives project by second quarter
The Singapore Exchange and the National Stock Exchange of India said on Wednesday the full-scale operation of their international financial centre, NSE IFSC-SGX Connect, is targeted to be ready by the end of the second quarter of 2023. The transition of trading of SGX Nifty to NSE IFSC through the Connect was expected to take place shortly after the operations begin, with dollar-denominated Nifty contracts to be exclusively traded on the NSE IFSC, the exchange operators said.
How the Collapse of Sam Bankman-Fried’s Crypto Empire Has Disrupted A.I.; Mr. Bankman-Fried and his colleagues spent more than $530 million to battle what they saw as the dangers of artificial intelligence. Now those efforts are reeling.
Cade Metz – The New York Times
In April, a San Francisco artificial intelligence lab called Anthropic raised $580 million for research involving “A.I. safety.” Few in Silicon Valley had heard of the one-year-old lab, which is building A.I. systems that generate language. But the amount of money promised to the tiny company dwarfed what venture capitalists were investing in other A.I. start-ups, including those stocked with some of the most experienced researchers in the field.
A Self-Regulatory Organization Is the Best Way to Advance Crypto While Protecting the Public
Todd White and Ralph Benko – CoinDesk
Our colleagues Adelle Nazarian, CEO of the American Blockchain PAC, and Alex Allaire, CEO of the American Blockchain Initiative, recently proposed chartering a self-regulatory organization (SRO) for the decentralized finance (DeFi) sector. Doing so would advance U.S. President Joe Biden’s executive order calling for the responsible development of digital assets, arguably the most consequential presidential technology initiative since John F. Kennedy’s speech at Rice University launched America’s magnificent moonshot.
Crypto Trader Auros Global Misses Payment on DeFi Loan as FTX Contagion Spreads
Krisztian Sandor – CoinDesk
Auros Global, a crypto trading firm, is the latest to face liquidity problems following the FTX collapse as it missed payment Wednesday on a decentralized-finance (DeFi) loan. The firm borrowed 2,400 wrapped ether (wETH) worth about $3 million from a credit pool on Maple Finance, a DeFi lending platform. “Auros is experiencing a short-term liquidity issue as a result of the FTX insolvency,” pseudonymous credit pool manager M11 Credit tweeted.
A Cloud Startup Wants to Be a Crystal Ball for Farmers Everywhere; India’s Cropin aims to boost agricultural efficiency by helping growers know what to plant and when to sow, water and fertilize.
Saritha Rai – Bloomberg
Gangavalli Naga Suresh and his ancestors have grown crops including corn, oil palm and rice in eastern India’s Vijayawada region for generations, gazing at the sky to predict weather, sifting soil through their fingers to gauge moisture and jotting down yields and prices as well as dates for sowing, watering and harvesting. Four years ago, Suresh turned to technology to help him plan his 40-acre family-owned farm. A service now gives him tailored advice for critical decisions, such as how much seed to sow and when to do it, informed by meter readings of soil temperature and moisture content, satellite imagery of local weather patterns and artificial intelligence tools. “Technology helps me use materials and labor more precisely,” says Suresh, standing in a field covered in wispy corn shoots. “My income has risen nearly 30%.”
BlackRock CEO Says ‘Next Generation for Markets’ Is Tokenization
Will McCurdy – Decrypt
BlackRock CEO Larry Fink said that “the next generation for markets, the next generation for securities, will be tokenization of securities.” In the world of blockchain, tokenization refers to a process where a digital representation of an asset is created on a blockchain, authenticating its transaction and ownership history.
Blockchain Protocol Komodo Offering Three-In-One Wallet, Cross-Chain Bridge and DEX
Margaux Nijkerk – CoinDesk
Blockchain protocol Komodo has launched AtomicDEX Web – a wallet, cross-chain bridge and decentralized exchange (DEX). Unlike centralized exchanges (CEXs), a DEX relies on smart contracts and liquidity pools to allow its users to trade cryptocurrencies in a permissionless manner.
IBM, Maersk to Wind Down Shipping Blockchain TradeLens by Early 2023
Maersk and IBM will wind down their shipping blockchain TradeLens by early 2023, ending the pair’s five-year project to improve global trade by connecting supply chains on a permissioned blockchain. “The Hash” panel discusses the significance and the future of enterprise blockchain.
Kenya Fintech Cellulant Starts Expansion to South Africa; Company plans expansion to UAE and UK in next two years; Fundraising into African startups to match 2021’s record
Samuel Gebre – Bloomberg
Cellulant Ltd., a Kenyan payment-services provider, is starting a South African business after months of testing the market and is looking to wrap up fundraising for further expansion to the Middle East and UK. The two-decade old company is looking to tap South Africa’s mature retail ecosystem, Chief Business Officer Sike Bamisebi said in an interview, with the United Arab Emirates and UK set to follow in the next two years.
tastytrade Inc. Affiliate Introduces New tastycrypto Brand and Unveils Self-Custody Digital Wallet; tastycrypto will give users control over their digital assets and access to opportunities across decentralized finance.
Tastytrade via Business Wire
IG Group North America today introduces newly formed tasty Software Solutions, LLC, a technology company dedicated to building software that provides users access to opportunities across digital assets, web3, and decentralized finance. Continuing to drive blockchain innovation, tasty Software Solutions has launched the tastytcrypto brand which unveils the first of many offerings – a self-custody blockchain wallet on the Bitcoin and Ethereum networks. The launch of tastycrypto reinforces IG Group North America’s commitment to strategically invest and innovate in the digital asset and DeFi space.
Wall Street Spends $1.8 Billion to Spy on Traders and Bankers After Record Fines
Jennifer Surane – Bloomberg
Wall Street is spending more than ever on technology designed to keep an eye on traders after regulators extracted record fines from many of the world’s biggest banks for lapses in monitoring communications. The industry will spend about $1.8 billion on surveillance technology this year, up 20% from 2021, according to Coalition Greenwich, an analytics firm tracking the financial-services industry. Two-thirds of that spending comes from banks and broker-dealers alone, the London-based consultancy said.
US Prosecutors Charge 21 Alleged ‘Money Mules’ With Using Crypto to Launder Proceeds of Cybercrimes
Cheyenne Ligon – CoinDesk
Federal prosecutors in Texas have slapped 21 U.S. citizens with an assortment of criminal charges for allegedly helping various transnational criminal rings launder their ill-gotten gains using cryptocurrency. Dubbed Operation Crypto Runner, the multi-year investigation was conducted by the East Texas branches of the Department of Justice (DOJ), the U.S. Secret Service (USSS), and the Postal Inspection Service (PIS) – the law enforcement arm of the U.S. Postal Service.
Password app LastPass hit by cybersecurity breach but says data remains safe
Josh Taylor – The Guardian
Password manager LastPass has told customers that some of their information has been accessed in a cybersecurity breach, but says passwords remain safe. LastPass is one of several password managers in the market that aims to reduce the reuse of passwords online, by storing them in a single app. It also makes it easier for users to generate strong passwords as required.
Cybersecurity researchers take down DDoS botnet by accident
Sergiu Gatlan – BleepingComputer
While analyzing its capabilities, Akamai researchers have accidentally taken down a cryptomining botnet that was also used for distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.
As revealed in a report published earlier this month, the KmsdBot malware behind this botnet was discovered by members of the Akamai Security Intelligence Response Team (SIRT) after it infected one of their honeypots.
Why ‘fire drills’ are key for cybersecurity
Spencer Feingold and Abhinav Chugh – World Economic Forum
Industry experts are urging organizations across sectors to prepare for cyber attacks. The call to action comes as the prevalence of cyber attacks continues to rise, with cybercriminals and state actors becoming more deft at targeting sensitive consumer data and supply chain vulnerabilities.
8 things to consider amid cybersecurity vendor layoffs
Michael Hill – CSO Online
2022 has been a heavy year for layoffs in the technology sector. Whether due to budget restraints, mergers and acquisitions, streamlining, or economic reasons, TrueUp’s tech layoff tracker has recorded over 1000 rounds of layoffs at tech companies globally so far, affecting more than 182,000 people. Some of the biggest tech companies in the world have announced significant staff cuts, including Amazon, Twitter, Meta, and Salesforce. Although perhaps less severely affected, cybersecurity vendors haven’t been immune. Popular security firms including Snyk, Malwarebytes, Tripwire, Cybereason, and Lacework have made notable workforce cuts this year, albeit for varying reasons from shifting business strategies to increasing cash runway.
FTX, Alameda Owe BlockFi More Than $1 Billion: Court Hearing
Stacy Elliott – Decrypt
During the first day hearing for BlockFi’s bankruptcy proceedings, the company revealed that FTX and Alameda Research owe it more than $1 billion-$671 million on a now-defaulted loan to Alameda and $355 million in funds frozen on the company’s crypto exchange. BlockFi, a New Jersey-based crypto lender, filed its petition for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Monday after weeks of speculation that it would no longer be able to operate in the wake of FTX filing for bankruptcy on November 11.
FTX Has Spurred a ‘Mass Exodus’ in Crypto. Some May Be Ditching Bitcoin Forever.
Jack Denton – Barron’s
The crisis at now-bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX and an ensuing meltdown in digital asset prices have spurred a “mass exodus” as nervous customers withdraw crypto from exchanges. Some investors may be leaving the space altogether. FTX, once the second-largest crypto exchange, went bankrupt on Nov. 11. Its collapse, which took place just over a week after concerns over its financial health began, left stranded what is likely billions of dollars in customer funds. More than a million creditors are on the hook.
Coinbase wallet ends support for ETC, BCH, XRP, XLM
Lachlan Keller – Forkast
The largest U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase Global Inc. announced that its wallet will no longer be supporting Ethereum Classic (ETC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), XRP and Stellar (XLM) as of January 2023, according to a recent company blog post.
Kraken Lays Off 30% of Staff as Bitcoin Bear Market Persists
Kate Irwin – Decrypt
Mass layoffs continue to plague the crypto industry. San Francisco-based crypto exchange Kraken today announced that it is cutting roughly 1,100 employees, reducing its headcount by 30%. In a blog post, Kraken founder and outgoing CEO Jesse Powell shared his reasoning behind the most recent wave of layoffs, citing broader economic concerns and a crypto bear market that’s yet to see relief.
Telegram Announces Plans to Build Decentralized Crypto Exchange Following FTX Failure
Andrew Throuvalas – Decrypt
As the collapse of the crypto exchange FTX shakes faith in the industry’s centralized players, Telegram is stepping in to build trustless and decentralized alternatives. In his Telegram channel on Wednesday, Pavel Durov-the messaging platform’s founder and CEO-announced that the company would begin building “non-custodial wallets” and “decentralized exchanges” that would let millions of users safely trade their crypto. “This way we can fix the wrongs caused by the excessive centralization, which let down hundreds of thousands of cryptocurrency users,” said Durov.
BlockFi Most Likely to Pay SEC First, Crypto Lawyer Says
Fran Velasquez – CoinDesk
The Securities and Exchange Commission will most likely to be the first to get paid in the lineup of creditors crypto exchange BlockFi owes money to, Sasha Hodder, founder of Hodder Law, a firm that specializes in crypto law, said Tuesday. Hodder told CoinDesk TV’s “First Mover” the regulator is “in line, in front of retail creditors.” “The customers are really at the bottom of the list here,” Hodder said, saying it is far-fetched that they will get their money back.
Hong Kong Crypto Exchange AAX Unlikely to Reopen, Former Communications Chief Says
Jack Schickler – CoinDesk
Troubled Hong Kong crypto exchange AAX is now more likely to be unwound than to resume normal operations, its former head of communications, Ben Caselin, told CoinDesk TV on Wednesday in his first interview since he resigned earlier this week. AAX shuttered its services on Nov. 13 following what it said was a malicious attack in which it was left unable to verify customer balances and allow people to withdraw their holdings, and Caselin seems unconvinced that it will ever fully reopen.
Asian Crypto Regulations Diverge as Singapore, Hong Kong Change Course (Podcast); Asian countries differ in their approaches of attempting to manage and prevent crypto crises.
Janet Babin – Bloomberg
Ask any regulator and they’ll tell you the same thing: they have a tough job. As soon as they seem to have a grasp on whatever the last crisis was, some new thing comes along and blows up in the patch they were responsible for. But that doesn’t mean they all take the same approach to managing and preventing crises. Consider crypto: so many different vintages of debacle, so many different countries involved.
FTX Is Latest Reason Why the C-Suite Needs a Chief Critical Officer; Crypto exchange’s collapse 21 years after Enron shows that corporate governance needs to go up a gear.
Julia Hobsbawm – Bloomberg
After Enron filed for bankruptcy twenty-one years ago this week, history is repeating itself. The irony can’t be lost on anyone that John J. Ray III, the man hired to oversee Enron’s liquidation is doing the same again in 2022 for FTX, the failed cryptocurrency exchange. My working assumption is that it’s time to focus less on the charisma of entrepreneurs and corporate leaders and show more healthy cynicism and criticism if such scandals as Enron, FTX and Theranos Inc. are to be avoided in the future.
A Central Bank for Crypto?
“If there was a central bank for crypto, which seems to be what Binance is trying to create … we wouldn’t see the scope of problems that we’re seeing today,” says Howard Fischer, Moses Singer LLP partner and former SEC senior trial counsel. He points out the irony of crypto’s call for regulation amid ongoing contagion and bankruptcy hearings.
The Case For Crypto Literacy as BlockFi Follows FTX Into Bankruptcy
A new crypto literacy quiz reveals there is still a significant crypto knowledge gap in the U.S., with 91% of respondents still needing to receive a passing score. Coinme CEO & Co-founder Neil Bergquist discusses the key takeaways and the need for crypto literacy education amid lingering contagion concerns.
Tezos Co-Founder Kathleen Breitman on FTX Fallout: ‘A Lot of Goodwill Is Gone Now’
Stacy Elliott – Decrypt
It’s always been a point of pride for Tezos co-founder Kathleen Breitman that the network doesn’t have a public face or figurehead. Sure, she does plenty of interviews-including one with Decrypt for the latest episode of the gm podcast-but she’s always been steadfast in saying that neither she, Arther Breitman, her husband and co-founder, nor the Tezos Foundation itself have privileged positions in the governance process that’s guided the network’s development.
Crypto Exchanges Nexo and Gemini Expand to Italy, Register With Regulator
Sandali Handagama – CoinDesk
Crypto service providers Nexo and Gemini have been approved for registration with an Italian regulator, allowing the platforms to serve customers in the country. It is mandatory for crypto firms to be approved for registration via a local legal entity with the Organismo Agenti e Mediatori (OAM), which maintains lists of financial agents operating in the country. Registration with OAM means the two platforms will be subject to the country’s anti-money laundering requirements.
Amid FTX fallout, public pension fund defends its big bet on crypto-related holdings
Eleanor Laise – MarketWatch
As investors scramble to assess the fallout from the bankruptcy of cryptocurrency exchange FTX and the general price collapse of bitcoin and other digital currencies, a public pension fund is standing by its hefty commitment to crypto-related holdings. The Fairfax County Police Officers Retirement System, a defined-benefit pension plan covering law-enforcement officers in the sprawling northern Virginia county, has over 7% of assets invested in crypto-related holdings, according to a person familiar with the fund, spread across venture capital and hedge fund holdings as well as “yield farming” through funds that provide short-term loans to crypto-related firms.
Broke and down to one credit card: Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried claims he committed no fraud
Rohan Goswami and MacKenzie Sigalos – CNBC
Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, in possibly the understatement of 2022, said Wednesday, “I’ve had a bad month.” The former billionaire added that he “didn’t do a good job” at upholding his responsibilities to regulators, customers, and investors in a hotly anticipated conversation with CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin at the Dealbook Summit. Bankman-Fried’s FTX imploded in mid-November after Coindesk reported irregularities in the company’s balance sheets. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Delaware on Nov. 11.
Ethereum Founder Vitalik Buterin Calls Governance Token Speculation ‘Pathological’
Kate Irwin – Decrypt
Vitalik Buterin has taken a controversial stance on governance tokens, arguing that governance is not a good reason for such tokens to be treated as “valuable.” “The notion of ‘governance rights’ as a narrative for why a token should be valuable is pathological,” Buterin wrote on Twitter Tuesday. “You’re literally saying, ‘I’m buying $X because later on someone might buy it from me and a bunch of other people to twist the protocol toward their special interests.'”
FTX’s celebrity endorsements were a big red flag, says the family that put all its money into bitcoin
Zahra Tayeb – Business Insider
A Dutch family that poured all their money into bitcoin said FTX’s celebrity endorsements were a big red flag about the now bankrupt crypto exchange. In an interview with CNBC, the father of the family Didi Taihuttu said something was “really off” about FTX, despite it being one of the largest centralized exchanges before blowing up in November, after suffering a severe liquidity crunch.
Bankman-Fried’s Latest Crypto Advice Rings Hollow After FTX Failures; Look for proof of reserves, metrics not reported at his FTX; Failed crypto exchange has locked customers out of funds
Hannah Miller – Bloomberg
After his bankrupt crypto exchange locked up the funds of what is likely millions of customers, Sam Bankman-Fried had some fresh advice for investors that they probably wish they heard earlier: Put your money on an exchange that doesn’t do business like FTX. While speaking at the New York Times DealBook Summit on Wednesday, Bankman-Fried said crypto investors should look for “all the things I wish FTX had been able to supply.” He said proof of reserves and regulatory reporting that includes metrics like customer assets and liabilities are all things investors should look for when picking an exchange.
FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried Still Hasn’t Answered These Questions Ahead of DealBook Summit Interview; Former CEO plans to speak at DealBook Summit on Wednesday; Still many unknowns surrounding FTX’s spectacular downfall
Hannah Miller – Bloomberg
The collapse of FTX was one of the crypto industry’s biggest and most stunning failures. It transformed Sam Bankman-Fried from a billionaire savant and industry savior to a corporate villain virtually overnight, even though major questions remain about what exactly happened. Some may be answered if the former chief executive officer goes through with a planned speaking engagement at the New York Times DealBook Summit at 4:55 pm on Wednesday. Here are key issues that have yet to be sufficiently explained:
Here Are the Key Takeaways From Bankman-Fried’s DealBook Summit
Hannah Miller – Bloomberg
Here are the biggest key takeaways from Sam Bankman-Fried’s appearance at the New York Times DealBook Summit Wednesday. Click here for our TOPLive blog.
Singapore Says FTX Blow to Temasek Limited Despite Stain
Selina Xu – Bloomberg
The collapse of crypto exchange FTX hurts the reputation of Singapore state-owned investor Temasek Holdings Pte. but it has “very limited” impact on the broader financial system, Deputy Prime Minster Lawrence Wong said. “The FTX loss is disappointing and is being taken seriously,” Wong said in parliament Wednesday in response to a flurry of questions from lawmakers. Temasek wrote down its entire $275 million investment in FTX after Sam Bankman-Fried’s crypto empire imploded Nov. 11.
Bitcoin’s ‘artificially induced last gasp before the road to irrelevance’; The ECB takes no prisoners
Robin Wigglesworth – Financial Times
It’s no surprise that central banks are generally not favourably disposed towards crypto. It’s no secret that the European Central Bank is more hostile than most to crypto. But even for the ECB, the blog it just published is the equivalent of a two footed, studs first, Sunday league tackle. (HT Katie Martin)
The entire crypto ecosystem is a ponzi
By Frances Coppola – Coppolacomment.com
The crypto ecosystem has grown massively in the last three years. Many of those participating in it have made life-changing amounts of money – on paper, or perhaps more accurately on computer. But the problem with paper gains is that they tend to evaporate like the morning mist when the market turns. The crypto market turned towards the end of 2021 and is now firmly in bear territory. Bitcoin has fallen from above $60,000 in November 2021 to barely $16,000 now. For anyone who bought Bitcoin near the top, that is a mammoth real loss. And even though it is not a real loss for people who bought Bitcoin in the bear market of 2018 and have HODLed for years, it is still a mammoth paper loss. No-one likes to see an unrealised financial gain wiped out by the markets before they can claim it.
‘Too Much Speculation’ Is Hurting Crypto, BitGo’s Belshe Says; Price disparity between Bitcoin and derivative raised concern; There’s been too much speculation on some unworthy projects
Vildana Hajric and Muyao Shen – Bloomberg
There’s a lot going on in crypto following the collapse of the FTX exchange. But traders’ focus has in recent days turned to the price disparity between Bitcoin and a derivative of the largest cryptocurrency. Wrapped Bitcoin, or wBTC, is backed 1-to-1 by the token, which is held in custody by the digital-trust firm BitGo. The offshoot normally trades on par with the original token but had over the past few days traded at a discount to Bitcoin.
Crypto Coin Cracks After Luring Indians With 3,100% Returns; A crypto party in India is showing signs of trouble amid a wider market meltdown. Lax regulations heighten the risks, experts say.
Suvashree Ghosh and Sidhartha Shukla – Bloomberg
Sanjay Kamble hit the jackpot when an obscure token he’d invested in surged about 3,100% in eight months. He ditched his dead-end marketing business this year and became a full-time crypto evangelist. These days, the 51-year-old drives around in his new Toyota sedan – one he couldn’t afford a year ago – on the dusty streets of his home town in rural India, showing off his success from investing in BlockAura tokens. He exhorts farmers, teachers, housewives, friends, relatives and neighbors to join him, promising that their investment would grow threefold in 300 days.
Senate Weighs Expansion of Money-Laundering Rules
Chris Cumming – The Wall Street Journal
Congress is considering a vast expansion of anti-money-laundering rules to private-equity firms and other businesses in an effort to stamp out dirty money in the financial system, people who work with lawmakers said. A bipartisan group of senators is weighing whether to include in the annual defense appropriations bill the so-called Enablers Act, which would extend to private equity many of the restrictions on handling illicit funds that banks have to follow.
An Arizona County’s Refusal to Certify Election Results Could Cost GOP a House Seat; Cochise County Republicans made claims about voting machines; Refusal to certify could narrow Republicans slim majority
Ryan Teague Beckwith and Sarah Holder – Bloomberg
A rural Arizona county’s refusal to certify the results of the November election could cost Republicans a seat in the US House of Representatives, where they hold a narrow seven-seat majority. Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, also the governor-elect, has gone to state court to force Cochise County to certify the election after its Republican-led Board of Supervisors failed to meet a Nov. 28 deadline while making debunked claims about the state’s voting machines.
Macron says US climate law risks ‘fragmenting the west’; French president’s harsh words come as he begins state visit to Washington where he will meet Joe Biden
Leila Abboud – Financial Times
Emmanuel Macron warned that the US risked “fragmenting the west” with a flagship climate law that the French president said would distort competition by massively subsidising American companies to the detriment of European industries. The harsh words, which came on the first day of his state visit to Washington hosted by president Joe Biden, could weigh on the discussions between the leaders on Thursday.
The green tech tussle where America has cash and Europe has rules; EU governments see US clean energy subsidies as a threat, not an opportunity
Alan Beattie – Financial Times
There’s nothing to liven things up like a good old transatlantic trade war, or at least some warlike words about trade. Throw in a global energy shock and a geopolitical clash of superpowers, and local requirements for tax credits for electric vehicles have never been such a crucible of conflict.
Rishi Sunak Is Full of the Wrong Kind of Wind; His stance on wind turbines is making his predecessors look prime ministerial. European policy isn’t much better.
avier Blas – Bloomberg
The setting couldn’t be better. In the face of an energy attack from Russia, Europe is trying to move as fast as possible into renewable energy. Climate change is a top policy priority, further boosting the case for green electricity. Wind turbine manufacturers should be enjoying a boom. But they aren’t. At all.
Brexiteers, No One Wants Your Bonfire of Regulations; Across finance and business, leaders and lobby groups are fearful of a rush to rewrite European laws.
Paul J. Davies – Bloomberg
The political pressure on British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to get on with a promised bonfire of European laws never seems to cease. The pledge is a sacred totem to the influential right-wing of the ruling Conservative Party. But it’s far from what the mainstream in finance and business wants. Executives, lobby groups and trades unions are all fearful of the costs and chaos that could result if the government tears up thousands of bits of European Union legislation without taking the time to consider the rules that should replace them.
Kremlin says EU plans for war crimes tribunal are illegitimate
The Kremlin on Thursday condemned the European Union’s calls to hold a war crimes tribunal over Russia’s actions in Ukraine, saying any body would be illegitimate and unacceptable to Moscow. European Commision President Ursula von der Leyen said on Wednesday the EU would try to set up a specialised court, backed by the United Nations, to investigate and prosecute possible war crimes committed by Russian forces in Ukraine.
JPMorgan’s Dimon Gets French Legion d’Honneur After Paris Growth; President Macron presented award to Dimon on Tuesday; JPMorgan has boosted operations in Paris in recent years
Alexandre Rajbhandari – Bloomberg
JPMorgan Chase & Co Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon was awarded France’s Legion d’Honneur after the US bank’s decision to boost its French operations helped Paris expand its role as a European financial hub after Brexit. French President Emmanuel Macron presented Dimon with the award on Tuesday in Paris, the lender said in a statement Wednesday.
Key EU Nations Weigh Lowering Russia Oil Price Cap Level to $60; EU needs to find its common position before G7 can move ahead; Plan aims to keep Russian oil flowing, but capping revenues
Alberto Nardelli and Ewa Krukowska – Bloomberg
European Union states are discussing capping the price of Russian crude oil at $60 a barrel to help secure an agreement among the bloc’s wider membership and the broader Group of Seven, according to people familiar with the matter. EU talks on the level at which to cap Russian oil have been stuck since last week. Poland and the Baltic nations have demanded a price that puts more pressure on Moscow’s revenues, arguing that current proposals — which have gone as low as $62 — are too generous. Greece and other shipping countries have angled for a higher price.
CFTC Commissioner Wants Two-Tier Crypto Rules for Retail Investors and Millionaires
Alys Key – Decrypt
The CFTC chief has proposed that the average crypto investor should get different protection from professional and high-net-worth individuals. In remarks prepared for a conference in Singapore, Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) commissioner Christy Goldsmith Romero said the current regime’s definition of a “retail investor” is too broad, covering everything from average households to millionaires and hedge funds. She proposed that the CFTC should have two categories of retail customers so that additional protections can be targeted to each group.
U.S. Treasury’s Yellen says cryptocurrencies need regulation
David Lawder – Reuters
U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Wednesday said recent turmoil in the cryptocurrency market has not spilled over to the banking sector, but she remained skeptical about the industry and believed it needed adequate regulation. Yellen told an event hosted by the New York Times DealBook that it was important to ensure that crypto assets had adequate customer protections. “I have been skeptical, and I remain quite skeptical,” she said.
Hedge-Fund Trader Shah Can be Tried in Germany Over Tax Scandal; Hamburg court allows money-laundering charges to proceed; Shah is in custody in Dubai and is also sought by Denmark
Karin Matussek – Bloomberg
Sanjay Shah, the hedge-fund founder wanted by Denmark for allegedly masterminding a $2 billion Cum-Ex tax-fraud scheme, can also be tried in Germany, a local court ruled. A case against Shah, who is currently locked up in a Dubai jail, and six others can go to trial, a spokesman for the Hamburg Regional Court said Thursday, without giving further details. Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported the ruling earlier.
Barclays Fined Â£8.4 Million for Breaking Interchange Fee Rule
Aisha S Gani – Bloomberg
Barclays Plc was fined Â£8.4 million ($10.2 million) for failing to provide retailers with adequate transaction information, leaving retailers unable to easily understand the fees associated with certain types of card payments. The UK’s Payment Systems Regulator said the lender failed to comply with rules for more than three years between December 2015 and December 2018, according to a statement Thursday. Barclays processed a third of all card payment transactions in the UK during this time.
EU crypto framework under scrutiny by policymakers after FTX collapse; MEPs cast doubt on robustness of bloc’s incoming regulations as ECB officials criticise bitcoin’s legitimacy
Scott Chipolina and Akila Quinio – Financial Times
EU policymakers have cast doubt on whether the bloc’s incoming cryptocurrency regulations are robust enough to prevent a repeat of the collapse of FTX, whose bankruptcy has sent shockwaves through the digital assets industry. During a hearing held by the European parliament’s economic and monetary affairs committee on Wednesday, MEPs questioned if the EU’s landmark crypto framework Markets in Crypto-Assets (Mica), which comes into force in 2024, could stop an FTX-equivalent collapse.
The Agricultural Advisory Committee Announces Agenda for December 7 Meeting
The Agricultural Advisory Committee (AAC) today released the agenda for its public meeting that will be held on December 7 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. (EST) at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Washington, D.C. headquarters. Chairman Rostin Behnam is the sponsor of the AAC.
Keynote Remarks of Commissioner Christy Goldsmith Romero at the Futures Industry Association, Asia Derivatives Conference, Singapore; Protecting Against Emerging Global Fintech Threats in Cyberspace and Cryptocurrencies
It is a pleasure to be in Singapore today, a Fintech hub. I’m particularly excited to be here given that I sponsor the CFTC’s Technology Advisory Committee (TAC). Our world was already moving towards a more technology-driven way of life pre-pandemic. The pandemic accelerated our collective use of technology, at the same time, all around the world
Commissioner Pham to Speak on a Panel at the Bloomberg Global Regulatory Forum
Commissioner Caroline D. Pham will speak on a panel at the Bloomberg Global Regulatory Forum titled “Optimising Capital Markets to Support Infrastructure and Growth Enhancing Investments.”
Remarks at the ICI Global Asset Management Asia Forum
Commissioner Mark T. Uyeda – SEC
Good afternoon. It is a pleasure to join you in Singapore. The capital markets between the United States and Asia share significant interlinks. Today, I will present some perspectives on matters affecting the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, reflecting my individual views as a Commissioner at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. I also will provide an overview of certain regulatory developments in the United States.
SEC Obtains Final Judgments Against Index Manager and Friend for Insider Trading
On November 9 and 28, 2022, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York entered final judgments against Yinghang “James” Yang, a former senior index manager at a globally recognized index provider, and Yuanbiao Chen, a sushi restaurant owner, in the Commission’s insider trading case against them. The final judgments enjoin Yang and Chen from violating the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws and order Chen to pay a $246,000 civil monetary penalty.
Good afternoon. It is a pleasure to join you in Singapore. The capital markets between the United States and Asia share significant interlinks. Today, I will present some perspectives on matters affecting the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, reflecting my individual views as a Commissioner at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. I also will provide an overview of certain regulatory developments in the United States.
SEC Could Use BlockFi as Object Lesson for Clear Crypto Regulation, Says Ex-SEC Official
Fran Velasquez – CoinDesk
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) may use the failure of lender BlockFi as an object lesson for why there should be clear oversight of the crypto sector. And, by the way, BlockFi still owes $30 million of a $50 million fine. According to Howard Fischer, a former SEC senior trial attorney who is now a partner at New York-based law firm Moses Singer LLP, the SEC won’t be as aggressive about getting that money back as it would from others. He told CoinDesk TV’s “First Mover” on Wednesday the agency is more concerned with setting clear regulatory standards for the crypto sector.
Scam alert: Scammers fraudulently stating ASIC will guarantee their bonds
Scammers are using ASIC’s name and logo to issue fake bond documents to investors, holding out that ASIC will ‘guarantee’ their bonds. The scammers are targeting overseas residents and are pretending to be Australian financial services (AFS) licensees. ASIC will never provide a guarantee for bonds or other financial products.
TP ICAP gets FCA approval for Fusion crypto asset exchange; The platform had received backing from several market makers including Virtu Financial, Flow Traders, Jane Street, Hudson River Trading and Susquehanna in preparation for its approval.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
TP ICAP has successfully registered its Fusion platform as a wholesale crypto asset exchange with the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority. The platform is an institutional trading venue only and is made up of three units, its OTC electronic platform Fusion, its custodian Fidelity Digital Assets and its diversified liquidity streaming service Diversified Liquidity. The platform is committed to a multi-custody model and TP ICAP confirmed other firms would be onboarded in this capacity in the coming years in line with client demand.
Investing and Trading
Investors Want More of India, Says Goldman Sachs’ Sengupta; FDI could increase as firms look to diversify away from China; Government incentives are a big draw for foreign capital
Anup Roy – Bloomberg
Foreign investors are showing increased interest in India, as Asia’s third-largest economy ramps up its manufacturing capacity and improves infrastructure, said Santanu Sengupta, Chief India Economist at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. As investors chase markets with digital new economy assets, India has consistently attracted annual foreign direct investments of $50 billion to $55 billion, even in the pandemic, Sengupta said in an interview with Bloomberg Television’s Haslinda Amin and Rishaad Salamat.
Here’s Who Got Into the UK’s Top Stock Index in the Latest Reshuffle; Abrdn, Beazley, Weir to be added to blue-chip gauge next month; Harbour Energy, Intermediate Capital and Dechra relegated
Joe Easton – Bloomberg
Asset manager Abrdn Plc is making a comeback to the UK’s blue-chip stock index, while insurer Beazley Plc will make its FTSE 100 debut in the benchmark’s latest quarterly reshuffle. Edinburgh-based fund manager Abrdn will re-enter the FTSE 100 next month after being demoted in August, alongside Lloyd’s of London insurer Beazley and mining machinery firm The Weir Group Plc.
Anti-Ark ETF’s Creator Is Losing Fund in Break From New Firm; Tuttle is no longer SARK’s manager, which launched last year; Issuer AXS bought Tuttle’s ETF lineup just seven months ago
Katherine Greifeld – Bloomberg
The man behind the infamous ETF shorting Cathie Wood’s flagship strategy is no longer in control of the fund after splitting from the firm he joined just seven months ago. Matthew Tuttle’s exchange-traded fund lineup, which includes the $344 million AXS Short Innovation Daily ETF (ticker SARK), was acquired by AXS Investments LLC earlier this year as part of the firm’s aggressive expansion bid. As part of the tie-up, Tuttle, chief executive of Tuttle Capital Management, was brought on as managing director. Effective Wednesday, he will no longer serve as portfolio manager of SARK and more than two dozen other funds, filings show.
A Trader Made a $36 Million Options Bet on a Year-End Stock Rally
Lu Wang – Bloomberg
One trader spent about $36 million on a bullish options wager tied to the S&P 500’s level over the next month, a trade that got a major boost when stocks surged Wednesday. The trade saw someone purchase roughly 20,000 calls that are linked to the S&P 500 and expire on Dec. 30 with a strike price at 4,175. As the benchmark index jumped 3.1% to close at 4,080, the contract that cost $20 apiece ended up at $50.45, for a potential gain of 152%.
Financial advice: Is it worth paying for? Tell us how your experience of using an adviser worked out
Moira O’Neill – Financial Times
The UK financial regulator wants to make financial advice more accessible. The Financial Conduct Authority is consulting on proposals to create a separate, simplified financial advice regime, making it cheaper and easier for firms to advise consumers about certain mainstream investments within stocks and shares ISAs.
Tech start-ups shun Singapore and Hong Kong for US Spacs; Blank-cheque companies in Asian financial hubs show little results
Dylan Loh – Financial Times
Singapore and Hong Kong start-ups are sidestepping their home stock exchanges to merge with special purpose acquisition companies (Spacs) in the US, as fundraising vehicles in the Asian financial hubs have yielded little on their exit plans.
Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance
Nature positive and 30×30 – just soundbites or the foundations of a Cop15 deal? As participants arrive in Montreal to negotiate this decade’s targets for protecting biodiversity, two themes are getting the lion’s share of attention.
The COP15 Secret Negotiator – The Guardian
After more than two years of delays, Cop15, the once-in-decade global biodiversity summit, is about to begin. More than 10,000 participants from across the planet will start arriving in Montreal at the weekend to negotiate crucial goals for protecting biodiversity. There has been a coordinated push behind some targets, namely from a group of countries that want to protect 30% of land and sea for nature (30×30) by the end of the decade. The idea of “nature positive” is another theme being promoted in the pre-Cop15 rhetoric from NGOs and governments.
Turkish Companies Go Solar at Record Pace to Cut Energy Costs; Electricity bills have soared in Turkey as the lira has collapsed, spurring a rush for renewables.
Burhan Yuksekkas – Bloomberg
A record number of Turkish companies are installing solar systems to avoid soaring electricity costs caused by a collapse in the currency and a spike in global energy prices. More than 300 companies applied in the past two weeks alone for approval to install solar panels, Mustafa Yilmaz, head of Turkey’s energy market regulator, told the state-run Anadolu Agency.
Dutch Startup Begins Production of World’s First Solar Car
Cagan Koc – Bloomberg
Dutch mobility startup Lightyear started making the world’s first series-production electric vehicle that generates power directly from sunlight. Its first model, the Lightyear 0, comes with a price tag of â‚¬250,000 ($259,000) and has already collected around 150 pre-orders. Lightyear plans to make about a thousand of the model at a Valmet Automotive Oyj facility in Finland, starting at a rate of one car a week. By the second half of next year, production should increase to five weekly, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder Lex Hoefsloot told Bloomberg in an interview.
How trade can help end plastic pollution
Soumyajit Kar – World Economic Forum
Plastic pollution is transboundary due to global patterns of consumption and production. Trade can form part of the solution to plastic pollution via trading agreements that support responsible plastic flows and circularity. A summit in Uruguay will discuss establishing an internationally binding treaty on plastic pollution for the first time for delivery by 2024. Government representatives are currently meeting in Uruguay to kickstart the first Intergovernmental Negotiation Committee (INC) on reaching an internationally binding treaty to end plastic pollution that the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) promised to deliver by 2024, otherwise known as the UNEA 5.2 resolution.
IFRS Taxonomy formula linkbase 2022 now available
The IFRS Taxonomy formula linkbase 2022 is now available to download. It can be used with software tools that support the XBRL formula specification 1.0. The IFRS Taxonomy formula linkbase can help with validating, and thereby improving, the reliability of values reported using the IFRS Accounting Taxonomy and the XBRL technical format. For example, the linkbase can be used to help preparers avoid reporting negative values for IFRS Accounting Taxonomy elements where positive values are expected.
Doubling finance flows into nature-based solutions by 2025 to deal with global crises – UN report
Climate, biodiversity, and land degradation goals will be out of reach unless investments into nature-based solutions quickly ramp up to USD 384 billion/year by 2025, more than double of the current USD 154 billion/year. Nature-negative flows from public sources, which are 3 to 7 times larger than investments into nature-based solutions, need to be phased out, repurposed or reformed. Private capital only represents 17% of total investments into nature-based solutions. This will have to rise by several orders of magnitude in the coming years to finally start harnessing the power of nature to reduce and remove emissions, restore degraded land and seascapes and turn the tide on biodiversity loss. Private sector actors will have to combine ‘net zero’ with ‘nature positive’.As the world heads towards negotiations on the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, nature is still under-financed, the second edition of the State of Finance for Nature reveals.
Biden Set to Raise Refiners’ Biofuels Quotas in Green Push; EPA seeks to boost quotas for corn- and soy-based biofuels; Modest increase planned for biodiesel, despite new production Jennifer A Dlouhy and Kim Chipman – Bloomberg
The Biden administration is seeking to boost the amount of renewable fuels that oil refiners and importers must blend into their products over the next three years, according to people familiar with the matter. The Environmental Protection Agency will ask companies to blend 20.82 billion gallons of renewable fuel into their diesel and gasoline next year — with as many as 15 billion gallons potentially coming from conventional, corn-based ethanol — said the people, who asked not to be identified because the proposal isn’t public.
UN recommendations seek to tackle greenwashing and push net zero governance forward
London School of Economics
The UN recently published a report on the net zero commitments of ‘non-state actors’, including businesses and cities. Ian Higham examines the key ways the report’s recommendations advance the net zero accountability agenda and discusses potential pitfalls and possible next steps in global governance of net zero.
UBS not seeking to benefit from crisis at Credit Suisse- chair
UBS is not actively benefiting from the crisis at rival Credit Suisse, UBS Chairman Colm Kelleher told a Financial Times banking conference on Wednesday. Credit Suisse has reported sharp outflows as wealthy clients turn their back on the embattled Swiss bank. “We are not actively benefiting at their expense. We view them as a worthy competitor going through a crisis which I believe they will manage,” Kelleher said.
Tidjane Thiam has ‘no schadenfreude’ about Credit Suisse; Plus, Andrea Agnelli’s departure from Juventus and where is Jack Ma?
Credit Suisse’s bold gamble to reverse years of scandals and falling share prices, Deutsche Bank’s turnround efforts, JPMorgan Chase’s turf wars for wealthy clients and Goldman Sachs’ struggle to reinvent itself have all captured DD’s interest. Not to mention HSBC – which just agreed to sell its Canadian business to Royal Bank of Canada for $10bn (pending regulatory approval) – as it resists shareholder calls to split its western and Asian operations.
Default Swaps on Credit Suisse Climb to New Highs
Margot Patrick – The Wall Street Journal
Credit Suisse was supposed to draw a line under its problems with a restructuring and a $4 billion-plus capital increase, but investors remain jittery, with the cost of insuring the bank’s debt against default scaling new peaks. Five-year credit default swaps in euros on Credit Suisse were quoted at 409 basis points, or 4.09 percentage point, early Wednesday, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence data. That means it costs 409 euros a year to insure â‚¬10,000 of debt issued by the bank against default. That is about four times the level quoted for an index of senior European bank debt, the S&P figures show.
European Central Bank says bitcoin is on the ‘road to irrelevance’
Ryan Browne – CNBC
The European Central Bank gave a strong critique of bitcoin on Wednesday, saying the cryptocurrency is on a “road to irrelevance.” In a blogpost titled “Bitcoin’s last stand,” ECB Director General Ulrich Bindseil and analyst JÃ¼rgen Schaff said that, for bitcoin’s proponents, the apparent stabilization in its price this week “signals a breather on the way to new heights.” “More likely, however, it is an artificially induced last gasp before the road to irrelevance – and this was already foreseeable before FTX went bust and sent the bitcoin price to well below USD16,000,” they wrote.
Straits Times Index (STI) quarterly review
FTSE Russell announces that there will be no changes to the constituents of the Straits Times Index (STI), following the December 2022 quarterly review.
The STI reserve list will comprise (in order of market capitalisation) Olam Group, Sembcorp Marine, Suntec REIT, Golden Agri-Resources and Frasers Centrepoint Trust. Stocks on the reserve list will replace any constituents that become ineligible as a result of corporate actions before the next review. A full list of STI constituents can be found on the website.
FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI December 2022 semi-annual review
FTSE Russell announces that there will be two changes to the constituents of the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI, following the semi-annual review of the FTSE Bursa Malaysia Index Series today. AMMB Holdings and QL Resources have been added to the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI. As a result, Hartalega Holdings Bhd and Top Glove Corp will be removed from the index. The index series is reviewed semi-annually in accordance with the index ground rules.
SDI AOP launches forward-looking dataset that assesses which companies are actively developing solutions needed to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Press Releases – Qontigo
The Sustainable Development Investments Asset Owner Platform (SDI AOP) and Qontigo, its exclusive distribution partner, have announced the launch of the SDI Innovation Outlook. The new dataset provides forward looking information, by analyzing the alignment of companies’ patent portfolios with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Credit Suisse shares get closer to offer price in $2.4 billion cash call
Credit Suisse shares fell to a fresh record low on Thursday approaching the offer price of the 2.24 billion Swiss francs ($2.37 billion) rights issue the loss-making bank needs to help stabilise its finances. By 1019 GMT, Credit Suisse shares fell to as low as 2.667 francs, which is around 5% above the 2.52 francs offer price in the rights issue.
Deutsche Bank CEO Tells ECB It Doesn’t Need Warnings on Risk; Deutsche Bank cut back risk without ECB warning, Sewing says; He is among top bankers pushing back against some regulations
Nicholas Comfort – Bloomberg
Deutsche Bank AG doesn’t need warnings from its regulator to dial back the risk it faces in leveraged loans, its top executive said, adding to a chorus of bankers pushing back against what they see as excessive interference. Germany’s largest lender has taken steps over the past 12 months to adjust the business to an increasingly challenging environment, Chief Executive Officer Christian Sewing said at a conference Wednesday. Bloomberg reported last week that Deutsche Bank is among a handful of institutions facing tougher capital demands for such loans.
TD Tops Estimates With Rising Rates Lifting Income From Lending
Kevin Orland – Bloomberg
Toronto-Dominion Bank is making the most of rising interest rates, with widening lending margins lifting results. Net interest margin — the difference between what the bank earns on loans and what it pays for deposits — expanded to 1.81% in the fiscal fourth quarter, up 7 basis points from the previous three months, the Toronto-based company said Thursday. Overall profit topped analysts’ estimates for the three months through October.
CIBC Misses Estimates as Profit Margin From Lending Contracts
Kevin Orland – Bloomberg
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce posted earnings that missed analysts’ estimates as the lender failed to benefit from rising interest rates. Net interest margin — the difference between what the bank earns on loans and what it pays for deposits — contracted 10 basis points to 1.33% in the fiscal fourth quarter, the Toronto-based company said Thursday. Overall profit trailed analysts’ estimates for the three months through October.
HSBC chief denies Beijing is behind Ping An push to split bank; Noel Quinn tells FT’s Global Banking Summit that Chinese insurer’s demands not backed by other shareholders
Stephen Morris and Owen Walker – Financial Times
HSBC chief executive Noel Quinn has denied that Ping An’s campaign to break up the bank is directed from Beijing and said the Chinese insurer’s demands are not backed by other large shareholders or its customers. Ping An, the lender’s largest investor with almost a tenth of the stock, has called for HSBC to spin off its Asian business, citing years of poor performance, persistently high costs and a falling share price. It has also argued the bank can no longer effectively operate straddling east and west in an era of tense US-China geopolitics.
Credit Suisse Struggles to Win Back Investors; Bank’s stock and bond prices are declining, and investors are betting on further falls
Margot Patrick – The Wall Street Journal
Credit Suisse CS -0.30%decrease; red down pointing triangle Group AG’s $4.2 billion share sale and sweeping restructuring were supposed to regain the market’s confidence. Instead, more investors are betting against the bank. Around $1 billion, or 8%, of Credit Suisse stock and depositary receipts have been shorted, or borrowed and sold with the aim of buying them back for less later, according to data provider S3 Partners. That is up from less than 3% in early October, before Credit Suisse said it would sell new shares.
China Loosens Grip on Covid Exactly Three Years After First Ever Case; Official says Covid fight in new phase, concessions emerge; First documented Covid patient showed symptoms on Dec. 1
Rachel Chang – Bloomberg
Exactly three years since the first documented coronavirus patient developed symptoms in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, the country that fought the pathogen first and most fiercely is finally pivoting away from efforts to quash the pandemic. The Dec. 1 anniversary of the first Covid infection to be recorded in scientific literature comes as China, under pressure from surging cases and public anger at its punishing regime, is starting to chart a path towards rejoining the rest of the world in living with the virus.
The Great Wall (Of Indifference); Is China actually, truly, really uninvestable?
Julian Rimmer – Financial Times
Anti-government protests in China have spread like…a highly infectious disease of the upper respiratory tract. This should ring the bell on the recent rip in Chinese equities. Lockdown. Crackdown. Go down. While the politics and unrest hog the headlines short-term, the dilemma for emerging market funds is a big one. Are the factors undermining Chinese shares transitory and pose merely tactical challenges, or are they more structural and beg the question of portfolio managers: is China uninvestable?
Saudi Arabia Weighs World Cup 2030 Bid With Egypt, Greece
Matthew Martin and Yousef Gamal El-Din – Bloomberg
Saudi Arabia is considering making a joint bid to host the 2030 FIFA World Cup along with Egypt and Greece, according to Tourism Minister Ahmed Al Khateeb. “We are considering a bid with Greece and Egypt and we wish that it will be a winning bid,” Al Khateeb said in an interview in Riyadh. “Definitely the three countries would invest heavily in infrastructure and would definitely be ready. And I know by then Saudi Arabia would have state of the art stadiums and fanzones built.”
Sam Bankman-Fried said he thought the wild DM exchange between him and a reporter was a conversation with a ‘longtime friend’ who he ‘stupidly forgot’ was a journalist
Kelsey Vlamis – Business Insider
Sam Bankman-Fried said he didn’t realize the infamous direct message exchange he had with a Vox reporter would be public, claiming he thought the journalist was a “longtime friend.” The Twitter direct messages were published by Vox on November 16, days after his cryptocurrency exchange, FTX, collapsed. Among the eye-popping messages, the founder and former CEO said regulators “make everything worse” and that he regretted FTX filing for bankruptcy.
Sam Bankman-Fried says a $16 million Bahamian house in his parents’ name was actually meant to be for FTX staff
Grace Dean – Business Insider
Sam Bankman-Fried says a multi-million-dollar house reportedly bought in his parents’ name in the Bahamas was actually meant to be company property. “I don’t know the details of the house for my parents,” Bankman-Fried told The New York Times’ Andrew Ross Sorkin at the publication’s DealBook summit on Wednesday. “I know it was not intended to be their long-term property. It was intended to be the company’s property. I don’t know how that was papered in.”
‘I’ve Had a Bad Month’: Sam Bankman-Fried Ignores Lawyers to Make Awkward Public Appearance
Miles Klee – Rolling Stone
Even as critics fumed that he wasn’t already in jail, and rumors swirled that he would cancel the risky public appearance, Sam Bankman-Fried, co-founder of the failed cryptocurrency exchange FTX, gave a live video interview to cap off the New York Times’ DealBook Summit conference on Wednesday. Speaking from the Bahamas, where FTX is headquartered, Bankman-Fried told Times financial columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin, “I did not ever try to commit fraud on anyone.”
Sam Bankman-Fried says he doesn’t know who took $515 million from FTX’s accounts after its bankruptcy filing
Pete Syme – Business Insider
Sam Bankman-Fried said he doesn’t know who transferred $515 million out of FTX’s crypto wallets, during an interview at the New York Times DealBook Summit on Wednesday evening. The FTX founder was questioned about a Times report from November 12 – the day after the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy – where researchers found suspicious transfers they suggested were hacked or stolen.