FTX Founder Sam Bankman-Fried Is Said to Face Market Manipulation Inquiry

Dec 8, 2022

First Read

Hits & Takes
John Lothian & JLN Staff

Trabue Bland, SVP, Futures Markets at ICE, has written a paper titled “Why financial participants matter to the commodity markets.” The chapter topics of the paper include “How derivatives work” and “Participation in the derivatives markets.” I like “Exposing speculation myths” and the last one, “Attacks on speculators during the financial crisis.” It looks like a must read.

Don’t forget to nominate someone to the FIA Hall of Fame who has contributed greatly during their career to the listed and cleared derivatives industry. You can make a nomination on the FIA website by clicking on this LINK and following the instructions.

The headline of the day is from Business Insider and it is “SEC chief Gary Gensler says crypto platforms need to ‘come into compliance’ or face the regulator’s wrath.”

CoinDesk’s Nikhilesh De is reporting that the Senate Banking Committee will subpoena FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried if he does not testify voluntarily. Of course, my expectation is that the boy genius would just plead the Fifth, ironically on the advice of counsel.

Bloomberg points out in a story by Rich Miller that “The Federal Reserve Is Deflating Financial Bubbles, Without a Crash.” The story refers to the cryptocurrency market, which was once valued at $3 trillion and now has shrunk by more than two-thirds. It says investor-favored technology stocks have tumbled by more than 50% in value and the red-hot housing prices are falling for the first time in 10 years.

The NFA seems to be trying to start a fight. They created a video titled “We include it all” that is about what is the best pizza. There was one sane person in the video who said Lou Malnati’s was the favorite pizza, which is the best pizza. Oh, because I say it is.

Actually, we had one of these “what is the best pizza?” discussions going at a MarketsWiki Education event we did in New York at Nasdaq several years ago. Nasdaq ordered pizza for lunch and with my son Robby there to extoll the quality of deep dish pizza, and perhaps take a shot or two at what they called pizza in New York, it created a spirited discussion.

Alasdair McBarnet is starting a new position as president at Macquarie Futures USA Inc.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is hiring for a chief risk and strategy officer (attorney) in the Division of Examinations located in Washington, DC, Philadelphia, PA, or New York, NY, and is open to U.S. citizens.

Is Elon Musk the hero of the First Amendment and free speech or is he Big Brother in the making? The latest information source he was interested in buying was Wikipedia, according to a Business Insider story titled “Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales told Elon Musk it is ‘not for sale’ after the Twitter owner accused the encyclopedia of having a left-wing bias.”

I am coming to downtown Chicago today for lunch for the first time since my hip replacement operation. I have been to downtown Chicago for FIA EXPO and for family events, but this is a first otherwise.

I am not surprised by the number one clicked story yesterday about women turning to sex work, but I am disappointed. I was actually disappointed in the Financial Times for writing that story in the first place. I would have liked to have been part of the conversation with the editor and the reporter who made the story The Big Read of the day for the FT.

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

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Catching up with Baton Systems at FIA EXPO 2022; President Jerome Kemp Talks Customer Growth
JohnLothianNews.com

JLN interviewed Jerome Kemp, president of Baton Systems, at FIA EXPO 2022. JLN asked Kemp what Baton has been up to since we interviewed him last March at the FIA Boca conference.

Watch the video »

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Ticketmaster’s botching of Taylor Swift ticket sales ‘converted more Gen Z’ers into antimonopolists overnight than anything I could have done,’ FTC chair says
Sindhu Sundar – Business Insider
The head of the Federal Trade Commission understands Swifties’ antitrust concerns all too well.
Lina Khan, who chairs the agency, said on Tuesday that Ticketmaster’s now infamous presale for Taylor Swift’s highly anticipated Eras Tour “ended up converting more Gen Z’ers into antimonopolists overnight than anything I could have done.”
/jlne.ws/3uv6TOw

****** That was a swift conversion.~JJL

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Exposure to White Supremacist Ideologies in Online Games Surged in 2022; 20% of adults, 15% of teens reported confronting such content; Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto, among games cited for views
Cecilia D’Anastasio – Bloomberg
White-supremacist ideas gained significant exposure through online video games this year, particularly among adults, according to a new report from the Anti-Defamation League. One in five adults reported being confronted with White supremacist ideologies, more than double the rate a year earlier. At the same time, 15% of teen and pre-teen gamers surveyed said they interacted with people who “believe that White people are superior to people of other races and that white people should be in charge,” according to the report.
/jlne.ws/3HlJB5k

***** We need to stop playing games with hate in them.~JJL

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Swiss Christmas Market Offers $262 Hot Dog
Bastian Benrath – Bloomberg
Holiday travelers with a tooth for the expensive might want to go to Lucerne in Switzerland this year — the Christmas market of the lakeside city offers what its maker claims to be the world’s most expensive hot dog. While regular consumers throughout the world see their disposable incomes dwindle with inflation, the Swiss can still enjoy a sausage of Japanese Kobe beef in a saffron-flavored bun, topped with Alba white truffle, foam of French champagne, chocolate crumble and a gold-plated peppercorn. Price tag: 250 Swiss francs ($262).
/jlne.ws/3iNgkGv

****** I think I have figured out the source of our inflation problems.~JJL

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Is there no shame anymore? Sam Bankman-Fried’s mere ’embarrassment’ at the collapse of FTX is a symptom of our inability to find shared moral values
Jemima Kelly – Financial Times
Sam Bankman-Fried has seemed very keen toâEUR‰get one thing across in the media blitz he embarked upon last week. It’s not so much about owning up to having done anything unethical or unlawful (or not “knowingly” anyway); it’s more that he wants us to know he finds himself in a particularly uncomfortable emotional state: embarrassment.
/jlne.ws/3F9Q14R

***** I think it has something to do with the hair style.~JJL

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Wednesday’s Top Three
Our most-read story Wednesday was the Financial Times’ The women turning to sex work to make ends meet. Second was a tie between We Can’t Just Sit Back and Let Crypto Burn, a commentary by former CFTC Chairman Timothy Massad, and Germany Conducts Nationwide Raid to Thwart Right-Wing Extremists Planning Coup, from Bloomberg. Third was the MarketsWiki Education short video, “Julie Armstrong – It’s All About the Reach” from John Lothian News.

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MarketsWiki Stats
27,095 pages; 241,965 edits
MarketsWiki Statistics

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Lead Stories

FTX Founder Sam Bankman-Fried Is Said to Face Market Manipulation Inquiry; Federal prosecutors are investigating whether Sam Bankman-Fried and his hedge fund orchestrated trades in a way that led to the collapse of two cryptocurrencies in May.
Emily Flitter, David Yaffe-Bellany and Matthew Goldstein – The New York Times
Federal prosecutors are investigating whether FTX’s founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, manipulated the market for two cryptocurrencies this past spring, leading to their collapse and creating a domino effect that eventually caused the implosion of his own cryptocurrency exchange last month, according to two people with knowledge of the matter. U.S. prosecutors in Manhattan are examining the possibility that Mr. Bankman-Fried steered the prices of two interlinked currencies, TerraUSD and Luna, to benefit the entities he controlled, including FTX and Alameda Research, a hedge fund he co-founded and owned, the people said.
/jlne.ws/3VXbe8Q

LME Draws Takeover Interest From Rivals After Nickel Crisis; ICE expressed interest in LME earlier this year, was rebuffed; CME is focusing on its business, but may be interested later
Jack Farchy and Isis Almeida – Bloomberg
The London Metal Exchange has attracted takeover interest from rivals as the historic institution wrestles with its future in the wake of March’s nickel crisis. Intercontinental Exchange Inc. made an approach to buy the LME earlier this year from owner Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd., according to people familiar with the matter. While ICE was rebuffed it may try again in the future, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private information. CME Group Inc. doesn’t believe the LME is for sale and is focusing on its own metals business, but it may be interested in bidding for the LME in the future, said people familiar with its thinking.
/jlne.ws/3VywXnP

SEC to Float Proposals to Get Small Investors Better Prices on Stock Trades
Paul Kiernan – The Wall Street Journal
The Securities and Exchange Commission signaled plans to issue four proposals next week that aim to help small investors get better prices on their stock trades. The SEC said Wednesday its five-member commission will consider proposing the rules in an open meeting Dec. 14. If a majority of the panel, which includes Chair Gary Gensler and two other Democrats, support the proposals, they will be opened to public comment before the SEC decides whether to finalize them.
/jlne.ws/3iOgdut

Global regulator calls for ‘urgent action’ on clearing houses and insurers; Financial Stability Board says plans should be drawn up to deal with failures of non-bank financial groups
Laura Noonan, Philip Stafford and Ian Smith – Financial Times
The world’s most powerful group of global financial policymakers has called for “urgent work” to address gaping holes in regimes to deal with failing clearing houses and insurers whose operations stretch across borders. The Financial Stability Board, comprising central bank governors and regulators from 24 major economies, issued their call to action days after the global convening body for central banks warned that risks in shadow banks could force more bailouts and fuel runaway inflation.
/jlne.ws/3Y4bxAH

SEC Faces Calls to Boost Crypto-Exchange Enforcement After FTX Collapse; Agency hasn’t taken action against a major crypto exchange despite scrutiny
Dave Michaels – The Wall Street Journal
Pressure is mounting on the Securities and Exchange Commission to step up enforcement of key hubs of the crypto industry after the collapse of FTX last month. FTX’s bankruptcy put the focus on crypto exchanges, the primary hubs for individual investors that offer such services as digital-coin sales, lending and the safekeeping of assets. Despite investigating parts of the industry for over six years, the SEC has yet to sue a major crypto exchange.
/jlne.ws/3iQZBBW

A Market Hype Cycle Winds Down; It produced some good companies-but also gave us NFTs, FTX and SPACs.
Andy Kessler – The Wall Street Journal
Crypto exchange Coinbase went public in April 2021 and briefly traded at a $100 billion valuation. Its owners soon piled into real estate. Last December, CEO Brian Armstrong bought a $133 million Los Angeles estate, while his venture backers bought up swaths of Malibu. Post-IPO shares are usually locked up for six months, so assuming they all sold Coinbase shares, that was a smart move. Coinbase now is barely worth $10 billion.
/jlne.ws/3h7xiyX

The $42 Billion Question: Why Aren’t Americans Ditching Big Banks? Big banks still pay next to nothing on savings, but their customers aren’t yet moving much money to higher-yielding alternatives
Dion Rabouin – The Wall Street Journal
Americans are missing out on billions of dollars in interest by keeping their savings at the biggest U.S. banks. The Federal Reserve has raised interest rates to their highest level since early 2008, just before a near failure of the financial system plunged the American economy into recession. Yet the biggest commercial banks are still paying peanuts to savers.
/jlne.ws/3PcxY2y

FTX Hires Forensic Team to Probe Money Trail; Bankrupt crypto company’s U.S. managers engage team from AlixPartners led by former chief accountant for SEC’s enforcement division
Alexander Gladstone – The Wall Street Journal
FTX’s new management has hired a team of forensic investigators from advisory firm AlixPartners to help track the billions of dollars that have gone missing from the failed cryptocurrency exchange, people familiar with the matter said.
/jlne.ws/3UFencw

There Is No Free Money in Bitcoin
Telis Demos – The Wall Street Journal
Who wouldn’t want to buy a dollar for 60 cents? The same answer would hold if the currency in question were euros, yen or even bitcoin. But, in the case of one of the largest holders of the cryptocurrency, there is a catch. Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, under the ticker GBTC, is a publicly traded entity with nearly $11 billion in assets under management, all in bitcoin. It is a way for anyone with a brokerage account to get exposure to the cryptocurrency without the complexity of direct ownership. GBTC held about 635,000 bitcoin as of the end of September, according to regulatory filings, or more than 3% of the circulating supply, according to CoinMarketCap figures.
/jlne.ws/3Fjgltw

Trafigura’s shareholders and top traders to split $1.7bn in payouts; Commodities group reaps record net profit on the back of energy crisis despite distancing its business from Russia
David Sheppard and Leslie Hook – Financial Times
Trafigura is handing more than $1.7bn to its top traders and shareholders after its net profit more than doubled from already record levels last year, fuelled by the energy crisis stoked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
/jlne.ws/3FC2bF2

Virtu Had No Losses From FTX Collapse, CEO Says: Goldman Update
Paige Smith, Max Reyes and Layan Odeh – Bloomberg
Virtu Financial Chief Executive Officer Douglas Cifu said the market-making firm saw no losses stemming from the unraveling of Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX crypto exchange. While the crypto meltdown posed some operational challenges, New York-based Virtu saw no change in its retail flows as a result of the FTX contagion, Cifu said Wednesday at the second day of an investor conference hosted by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. He noted that the list of FTX creditors would ultimately emerge.
/jlne.ws/3HkKuer

Sam Bankman-Fried is ‘one of the greatest fraudsters in history.’ Binance CEO Zhao takes aim on Twitter
Anviksha Patel – MarketWatch
Binance Chief Executive Changpeng Zhao has slammed FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried for painting him and other people as “bad guys” in the aftermath of the FTX crypto exchange collapsing last month. In a Twitter thread posted on Tuesday to correct a number of “wrong narratives” he had seen recently, Zhao claimed that Bankman-Fried — also known by his initials SBF – was a “master manipulator when it comes to media and key opinion leaders.”
/jlne.ws/3W1mlO5

Lawyers for FTX customers accuse debtors of failing to file full financial disclosures
Pete Syme – Business Insider
Lawyers for FTX customers have accused the company’s debtors of failing to share financial records in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy case. The law firm Eversheds Sutherland represents the Ad Hoc Committee of Non-US Customers of FTX.com, established to protect users outside the US. That’s 98% of the crypto exchange’s 1.2 million customers, per the New York Times.
/jlne.ws/3BeGF6v

UK OKs First Coal Mine in 30 Years, Weakening Climate Push; Whitehaven project will sell coal to overseas buyers for steel; Government’s advisory climate body condemned the decision
Todd Gillespie – Bloomberg
The UK approved opening its first deep coal mine in more than 30 years, risking backlash from activists portraying the project as a backward step in meeting ambitious climate goals. The Woodhouse Colliery project in Whitehaven, northern England, can go ahead, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities said in a statement on Wednesday. West Cumbria Mining Ltd. plans to sell coal from the mine primarily to overseas buyers for making steel.
/jlne.ws/3UVCR1n

London Is No Longer Europe’s Financial Center Because of Brexit, Euronext Boss Says; Listings outside of London now the ‘new normal’; Boujnahl Comments follow Paris market cap briefly exceeding London’s
Joe Easton and Francine Lacqua – Bloomberg
The boss of Europe’s largest exchange group took a swipe at the UK capital, saying Brexit means it is no longer Europe’s dominant financial center. “London used to be the largest financial center of the European Union, and everybody liked it,” Euronext NV Chief Executive Stephane Boujnah told Bloomberg Television, “Today, London is the largest financial center of the United Kingdom.”
/jlne.ws/3hbCP7p

Germany Just Averted Its Own Jan. 6, and Maybe the Fourth Reich; This week’s police raid proves once again that the loonies and extremists are getting more dangerous everywhere.
Andreas Kluth – Bloomberg
The police raid was apparently the largest in postwar German history. Early on Wednesday morning, some 3,000 officers from various branches of federal and regional law enforcement swept across 11 of Germany’s 16 states as well as locations in Austria and Italy, arresting at least 25 people – including a Russian woman – and questioning many more. Some of the suspects were heavily armed, a few even had training in the German army’s special-operations units. One, an elderly aristocrat known as Heinrich (Henry) XIII, had already been designated as Germany’s next leader.
/jlne.ws/3UHPInF

The Developing World Is Facing a $2.5 Trillion Debt Shock; Strategies are needed to avoid debt crises, report says; Gates Foundation-backed group blames interest-rate spike
Antony Sguazzin – Bloomberg
Developing nations may need to find as much as $2.5 trillion over five years to meet external debt-service costs as interest rates rise and poorer countries struggle to refinance borrowings, a Finance for Development Lab model shows.
/jlne.ws/3uzrGkc

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried is said to face market manipulation inquiry by U.S. prosecutors – NYT
Reuters
U.S. federal prosecutors are investigating whether FTX’s founder Sam Bankman-Fried manipulated the market for two cryptocurrencies this May that led to their collapse and resulted in the implosion of his own cryptocurrency exchange, the New York Times reported on Wednesday.
/jlne.ws/3F9OkUV

The Federal Reserve Is Deflating Financial Bubbles, Without a Crash; Cryptocurrencies, house prices and tech stocks are coming down; Financial strains so far seem contained, observers say
Rich Miller – Bloomberg
The Federal Reserve hasn’t had much success so far in wrestling down sky-high inflation, but its monetary tightening campaign is having a major impact in deflating asset bubbles that swelled during the pandemic. The cryptocurrency market – once valued at $3 trillion – has shrunk by more than two-thirds; Investor-favored technology stocks have tumbled by more than 50%; Red-hot housing prices are falling for the first time in 10 years
/jlne.ws/3VJ7gko

A Handful of Simple Rules Might Have Prevented FTX’s Demise; Existing financial regulations, if followed, would have stopped commingling of FTX and client funds.
Allyson Versprille and Lydia Beyoud – Bloomberg
In retrospect, there were red flags everywhere. Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX crypto empire was a tangled web of offshore companies rife with conflicts. It mixed client money with its own. It had little or no corporate governance. There were few financial disclosures. But there were celebrities-lots of celebrities.
/jlne.ws/3iQUlOI

Coinbase CEO Sees Revenue Falling 50% or More on Crypto Rout; Crypto investor confidence hit by price drops, FTX collapse; Sees rival FTX’s downfall as case of ‘massive fraud’
Yueqi Yang – Bloomberg
Coinbase Global Inc. Chief Executive Officer Brian Armstrong said the cryptocurrency exchange’s revenue is set to be cut by half or more this year as declining prices and the collapse of rival FTX rattle investors’ confidence. The rapid downfall of FTX capped what was already a brutal year for the cryptocurrency industry, with speculators in retreat as prices of some of the most frequently traded tokens tumbled.
/jlne.ws/3FynXcQ

How the Oldest Digital Currency Could Solve the Climate Crisis; The IMF’s Special Drawing Rights should be mustered to fight climate catastrophe as they were against Covid-19.
David Fickling – Bloomberg
The collapse of the crypto market this year looks like unalloyed good news for the global climate. Annual emissions from digital currencies amount to about 140 million metric tons of carbon dioxide – similar to the combined footprint of the 110 million people in the Philippines. A move in September to cut more than 99% of power consumption by Ethereum, one of the most popular cryptocurrencies, certainly helps. Getting rid of the whole casino would be better.
/jlne.ws/3BhZcix

‘Crypto Is Anything But Private.’ An Author Examines Crime on the Blockchain
Andrew R. Chow – Time
Criminals have increasingly turned to cryptocurrencies to hide illicit activities over the last decade, and Wired reporter Andy Greenberg has covered their movements since the beginning. His new book, Tracers in the Dark: The Global Hunt for the Crime Lords of Cryptocurrency, however, is focused on the enemies of crypto scammers and criminals: the federal agents who used the transparent qualities of the blockchain to carefully track down ne’er-do-wells and put them behind bars.
/jlne.ws/3Y9GN12

Credit Suisse Offering Set to Sail Through After Wild Ride; Arranger banks expect take up of more than 90% of stock; Shares had sunk to near rights issue price last week
Swetha Gopinath and Myriam Balezou – Bloomberg
Banks handling Credit Suisse Group AG’s rights offer expect nearly all of those rights to be exercised, spelling success for a capital raise that looked shaky as recently as last week. Banks arranging the deal currently expect investors to take up well above 90% of the stock on offer, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. Any remaining amount is expected to be small enough that it could be mostly absorbed by the sub-underwriters, who are major investors that have agreed to snap up unbought shares, the people said.
/jlne.ws/3hc5nhg

Big Bank Job Cuts May Just Be Getting Started; The ripple could turn into a wave of staff reductions if dealmaking fails to recover.
Paul J. Davies – Bloomberg
Morgan Stanley is the latest to unveil job cuts in banking that have been an inevitability for months, but for now at least the story is about pruning rather than hacking back. Next year, the reductions might accelerate if markets remain febrile, investors cautious and corporate executives wary of investing or doing deals. Fees from fundraisings and takeovers have collapsed by about 50% this year compared with a boom in 2021, leaving investment bankers twiddling their thumbs even as their colleagues on trading desks have been handling huge volumes of business.
/jlne.ws/3YidqKe

Sunak’s Post-Brexit Britain Is Becoming a Worst-Case Scenario; The UK is trapped in a cycle of error, and so far the Conservative Party’s leadership has no answers.
Clive Crook – Bloomberg
Brexit was bound to exact a toll on the UK economy. Costs due to loss of trade and investment were entirely expected – and the figures to date leave no doubt they’re real. Yet how serious these might be in the longer term wasn’t written in stone. Brexit could be handled well or badly. New opportunities could be seized or bungled. Factors beyond the government’s control could work in the UK’s favor or against.
/jlne.ws/3FeasO8

Bank Runs Just Aren’t What They Used to Be; There’s been plenty of financial blowups but not a lot of contagion.
Marc Rubinstein – Bloomberg
Everywhere you look these days, people are talking about bank runs. The collapse of crypto exchange FTX; the flood of assets out of Credit Suisse Group AG; the limits on fund redemptions by Blackstone Real Estate Income Trust (BREIT) – they’ve all been characterized as “bank runs” by various commentators. Google searches for the term “run on the bank” are hitting levels not seen since the global financial crisis in 2008.
/jlne.ws/3VRmNhU

Ukraine Invasion

U.S. blacklists companies for aiding Russian military
David Shepardson – Reuters
The Biden administration on Wednesday added 24 companies and other entities to an export control list for supporting Russia’s military or defense industrial base, Pakistan’s nuclear activities or for supplying an Iranian electronics company. The entities, based in Latvia, Pakistan, Russia, Singapore and Switzerland, were added over U.S. national security and foreign policy concerns, the Commerce Department said.
/jlne.ws/3iMt3Jy

Putin Calls Russian Nukes Deterrent Factor, Says War Risk Rising; Russian president stops short of pledge not to use them first; Moscow will defend itself, allies with all means if necessary
Bloomberg
President Vladimir Putin called Russia’s nuclear arsenal a “deterrent factor” in conflicts, stopping short of pledging not to be the first to use them. Warning that the threat of nuclear war in the world is rising, Putin reiterated that Russia will defend itself and its allies “with all the means we have if necessary.” In televised comments Wednesday to a meeting of a Kremlin human rights council, he blamed the US and its allies for making nuclear threats.
/jlne.ws/3FA5tZv

Putin says Russia may be fighting in Ukraine for a long time
Mark Trevelyan – Reuters
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that his army could be fighting in Ukraine for a long time, but he saw “no sense” in mobilising additional soldiers at this point. “As for the duration of the special military operation, well, of course, this can be a long process,” Putin said, using his preferred term for Russia’s invasion, begun in February. In a televised meeting of his Human Rights Council that was dominated by the war, Putin said Russians would “defend ourselves with all the means at our disposal”, asserting that Russia was seen in the West as “a second-class country that has no right to exist at all”.
/jlne.ws/3uw6H1s

Pope Francis Compares War in Ukraine to the Holocaust; Pontiff intensifies his rhetoric on Russia’s invasion, which he recently likened to the Soviet genocide
Francis X. Rocca – The Wall Street Journal
Pope Francis on Wednesday compared the war in Ukraine to the Nazi genocide of the Jews, in his latest escalation of rhetoric on the war. The comments risked aggravating tensions between the Vatican and Moscow following the pope’s earlier comparison of the war to Soviet-instigated genocide and his characterization of ethnic-minority Russian troops as especially cruel. Greeting Polish pilgrims at his weekly public audience at the Vatican, the pope noted a recent commemoration of Operation Reinhardt, the 1941 German effort to exterminate the Jews of Poland, which killed about two million people.
/jlne.ws/3PbPjIX

Vladimir Putin does ‘not see need for second military draft’ for Ukraine; Russia’s president warns nine-month invasion could become a ‘lengthy process’
Max Seddon in Riga and Polina Ivanova – Financial Times
Russia’s president Vladimir Putin has said he does not see the need for a second wave of the draft to bolster his forces in Ukraine even as he warned that Moscow’s nine-month invasion could become a “lengthy process”. Speaking via video link at an annual meeting with his human rights council on Wednesday, Putin attempted to reassure Russians that the war in Ukraine was going favourably for Moscow despite disastrous setbacks that has sapped public support.
/jlne.ws/3iNaeFT

Nato chief says conditions for peace in Ukraine ‘not there now’; Jens Stoltenberg urges members to keep supplying weapons to Kyiv ahead of expected Russian offensive
Henry Foy – Financial Times
The conditions for a peaceful settlement to the war in Ukraine are “not there now”, Nato chief Jens Stoltenberg has said, as he urged members of the western alliance to continue providing weapons to Kyiv over the winter because, he warned, Russia was preparing a spring offensive. Stoltenberg’s remarks follow weeks of speculation over the potential for diplomatic talks over the more than nine-month-long war, and comments by senior western officials referencing possible negotiations.
/jlne.ws/3HkGoDg

Hungary blocks EUR18bn worth of EU aid for Ukraine; Brussels in turn delays EUR5.8bn of Budapest Covid recovery funds for move seen as ‘low point’ in Orban’s foreign policy
Sam Fleming and Marton Dunai – Financial Times
Hungary has blocked an EUR18bn package of EU financial support for Ukraine, deepening a rift between prime minister Viktor Orban and Brussels and placing more financial pressure on the war-ravaged country. Budapest told a meeting of EU finance ministers on Tuesday that it would not support a European Commission proposal for loans aimed at helping to plug Kyiv’s 2023 budget gap. Brussels in turn put on hold a decision over Budapest’s own access to EUR5.8bn worth of Covid-19 recovery funds. Hungary’s funding has been held up because of concerns over corruption in the country.
/jlne.ws/3FyAqxc

War and adverse weather set to keep food prices high
Emiko Terazono and Valentina Romei – Financial Times
Climate change and the war in Ukraine are set to keep food prices at far higher levels than before the Covid-19 pandemic, despite signs of moderation in global commodity markets, economists and agriculture experts have warned. Wholesale food prices have stabilised over recent months, raising hopes that the surge in the retail cost of staples such as rice, bread and milk seen in the past two years would diminish in 2023.
/jlne.ws/3h43Hq9

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

Deutsche Boerse facilitates first digital issuance of fixed income bond; Transaction on Deutsche Boerse’s D7 digital post-trade, the KfW transaction involves a bond with a volume of 20 million euros.
Chris Lemmon – The Trade
KfW has launched the first digital fixed income bond in the form of a central register security on the German Electronic Securities Act (eWpG). The issue was carried out by Clearstream on Deutsche Boerse’s D7 digital post-trade platform. The transaction involves a bond with a volume of 20 million euros, a term of two years and a coupon of 2.381%. Deutsche Bank acted as lead manager for this transaction, and Hengeler Mueller as legal advisor.
/jlne.ws/3VVL8TE

Aquis enters into agreement with Exegy to access its consolidated feed; Deployment of Exegy’s Axiom consolidated feed will provide market data from European venues for use in Aquis’ internal matching engines on its UK and EU venues.
Wesley Bray – The Trade
Pan-European equities exchange, Aquis Exchange, has entered into a multi-year agreement with Exegy to receive its market data.
/jlne.ws/3uA6XNa

NGX Spurs Market Innovation With Made Of Africa Awards
Rhoda Ogunseye – New Telegraph
Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX or The Exchange) has successfully hosted the 2022 edition of the NGX Made of Africa Awards (NGX MOA Awards) ceremony in a celebration that saw the recognition of innovativeness and compliance with best practices in the Nigerian capital market for the calendar year. The awards ceremony, which took place in Lagos on Tuesday, 6 December 2022, spotlighted excellence, creativity and integrity as NGX sought to amplify the activities of its stakeholders to further reinforce the values that attract investors to the market and grow the African economy.
/jlne.ws/3Y8tGgu

Miami International Holdings Commemorates 10-Year Anniversary of the MIAX Options Exchange Launch
MIAX
Miami International Holdings, Inc. (MIH), owner of Miami International Securities Exchange, LLC (MIAX), MIAX PEARL, LLC (MIAX Pearl), MIAX Emerald, LLC (MIAX Emerald), Minneapolis Grain Exchange, LLC (MGEX), The Bermuda Stock Exchange (BSX), and Dorman Trading LLC announced today the celebration of the 10-year anniversary of the launch of MIAX Options with a ceremonial bell ringing at its Princeton, N.J. headquarters.
/jlne.ws/3FbsnFc

Miami International Holdings Reports November 2022 Trading Results; SPIKES Futures, MIAX Options and MIAX Pearl Equities Set Year-to-Date Volume Records
MIAX
Miami International Holdings, Inc. today reported November 2022 trading results for its U.S. exchange subsidiaries – MIAX®, MIAX Pearl and MIAX Emerald (together, the MIAX Exchange Group), and Minneapolis Grain Exchange (MGEX).
/jlne.ws/3Y58at4

CME Group Declares Annual Variable Dividend
CME Group
CME Group Inc., the world’s leading derivatives marketplace, today declared its annual variable dividend, amounting to $4.50 per share. The dividend is payable January 18, 2023, to shareholders of record on December 28, 2022. The annual variable dividend of $4.50 per share to be paid in January 2023 totals approximately $1.6 billion. Including today’s announced variable dividend and the previously announced fourth-quarter 2022 dividend of $1.00 per share to be paid in December, the total dividend yield for dividends announced during 2022 is 4.1% based on the average closing stock price in 2022 to date. The company will have paid a total of more than $20.5 billion in quarterly and variable dividends since adopting the annual variable dividend structure in the beginning of 2012.
/jlne.ws/3W2lmxi

MGEX Reports Trading Results for November 2022; SPIKES Futures Set Record Year-to-Date Volume Total
MGEXTM
Minneapolis Grain Exchange (MGEXTM), a Designated Contract Market (DCM) and Derivatives Clearing Organization (DCO), today reported November 2022 trading volume of 235,460 contracts, representing a 44.0% year-over-year (YoY) decrease and a 27.4% increase from October 2022. Total year-to-date (YTD) volume reached 3.1 million contracts, a 14.5% decrease from the same period in 2021.
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KfW: First digital issue via Clearstreams D7; Forward-looking step towards the digitization of emissions; Use of new technologies increases efficiency and reduces costs; KfW is examining further steps in the digitization of the emissions process; Clearstream plans to expand the D7 offering in other countries as well
Deutsche Boerse
KfW was the first issuer to issue a digital issue as a fixed-interest central register security based on the Electronic Securities Act (eWpG). Together with Clearstream, Deutsche Boerse Group’s post-trade service provider, it has thus taken a forward-looking step towards digitizing securities issues in the largest capital market segment – that of fixed-interest bonds (fixed income). The issue was executed by Clearstream on Deutsche Boerse’s digital post-trading platform D7. The transaction involves a bond with a volume of EUR 20 million, a term of 2 years and a coupon of 2.381%. The issue of the bond was accompanied by Deutsche Bank and Hengeler Mueller as legal advisor.
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EEX Press Release – EEX Group Monthly Volumes – November 2022
EEX
12/07/2022 EEX Group News, EEX Press Release, Monthly Volume Report. EEX Group reports its November volumes with following key developments.
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Key takeaways from the Digital Assets Trading 2022 whitepaper
Eurex
Our recently published Digital Asset Trading 2022 Whitepaper, produced in partnership with Acuiti, surveyed 191 firms from across the market to learn more about institutional adoption of digital assets, the instruments they trade, and the opportunities and challenges of trading cryptocurrencies. Find out more about the report key takeaways.
/jlne.ws/3uBiDio

GC Pooling stepping up again as central banks pulling out; First published on Finadium December 2022.
Eurex
Eurex Repo’s GC Pooling is regularly delivering double-digit, percentage growth in 2022. Frank Gast, managing director and member of the Management Board of Eurex Repo, and Carsten Hiller, head of Central Europe Funding & Financing, explain the dynamics behind those figures and how GC Pooling is linked to market crises and central bank policies. Almost two decades ago, the Eurex team was seeking a cash-driven solution for trading standardized baskets as a way of managing liquidity. Back then, money market traders would not only face the risk of the issuer but would also need to manually allocate securities for a secured funding transaction. Ultimately, Eurex’s solution led to the launch of the GC Pooling product in 2005.
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JPX Monthly Headlines – November 2022
JPX
JPX group companies undertake various initiatives and disseminate information with the aim of providing the most attractive markets to all users.
Every month, we showcase the highlights of these efforts in short and concise summaries just for you.
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Trading schedule on the Moscow Exchange during the New Year holidays
MOEX
The Moscow Exchange has determined the rules for the operation of markets during the New Year holidays in 2023. From January 3 to January 6, 2023, trading on the exchange markets is carried out taking into account the following features.
/jlne.ws/3FAPhaa

NSE Indices launches Nifty SDL Sep 2026 V1 Index
NSE
NSE’s index services subsidiary, NSE Indices Limited today launched a new target maturity index Nifty SDL Sep 2026 V1 Index. The Nifty SDL Sep 2026 V1 Index follows a target maturity structure with maturity date of September 30, 2026. It includes State Development Loans maturing six month ending September 30, 2026. The Nifty SDL Sep 2026 V1 Index has a base date of December 06, 2022, and a base value of 1000. The index will be reviewed semi-annually.
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Keynote Speech by Loh Boon Chye, CEO, SGX Group, OMFIF Asia Forum 2022
SGX
Introduction. A very good morning to the OMFIF team and everyone here today. It is indeed SGX Group’s pleasure to host the OMFIF Asia Forum in Singapore again and thank you for this opportunity to speak.
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TAIFEX and TIP Support the Launch of the First Index Option Strategy ETN Tracking Taiwan Strategy Indices
TAIFEX
On December 5, 2022, Taiwan Futures Exchange (TAIFEX) and Taiwan Index Plus (TIP) welcomed Yuanta Securities’ issuance of the first covered call ETN tracking one of the indices in the Taiwan Strategy Index series – the TIP TAIFEX TAIEX Covered Call OTM 5% Total Return Index (Covered Call Index). A total of 257,000 shares were traded on the first day of launch, marking it the market’s third most heavily-traded ETN in daily trading volume.
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TMX Group Holiday Operating Schedule
TMX
Toronto Stock Exchange, TSX Venture Exchange, TSX Alpha Exchange and Montréal Exchange will be closed on Monday, December 26, 2022, Tuesday, December 27, 2022, and Monday, January 2, 2023 in lieu of Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, respectively.
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Fintech

Zodia Custody Introduces Service to Protect Against Crypto-Exchange Insolvency
Jamie Crawley – CoinDesk
Cryptocurrency storage provider Zodia Custody has rolled out a new service designed to protect clients’ digital assets in case a crypto exchange becomes insolvent. The custodian, which is backed by Standard Chartered and Northern Trust, will allow clients to keep their assets on its platform, while their holdings are “mirrored” and available on an exchange for trading. Concern over the safety of assets held by customers on centralized crypto exchanges has come to the fore in the past month with the collapse of exchange FTX in November.
/jlne.ws/3uvkSE6

CloudMargin Wins FOW International Award for Collateral Management Solution of the Year
CloudMargin
CloudMargin, creator of the world’s first and only collateral and margin management solution native to the cloud, last night won the FOW International Award for Collateral Management Solution of the Year. Hosted by Global Investor Group in a ceremony held in conjunction with its Trading London event for Europe’s derivatives community, the FOW International Awards recognise “the best and brightest innovations in the derivatives industry.”
/jlne.ws/3uxeHiL

Sterling Trading Tech Sees Record OMS Growth
Sterling Trading Tech
Sterling Trading Tech (STT), a leading provider of order management systems, risk and margin tools and trading platforms to the capital markets worldwide, today announced record growth of its order management system (OMS) offering, doubling its userbase throughout the second half of 2022. The accelerated use of the Sterling OMS is driven by increased demand for sophisticated functionality across the market.
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Pentagon splits $9bn cloud computing contract among tech giants; Google, Oracle, Amazon and Microsoft clinch long-fought deal after previous contract got bogged down in legal challenges
Felicia Schwartz and Patrick McGee – Financial Times
The Pentagon has split a $9bn contract for cloud computing services among Google, Oracle, Amazon and Microsoft, one year after scrapping a previous contract that was marred by accusations of political interference by the administration of former US president Donald Trump and bogged down by legal challenges.
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Private-Equity Firms Push Blockchain-Based Funds Despite Crypto Collapse; KKR, Apollo, Hamilton Lane and Partners Group are among those seeking to raise money through ‘tokenized’ funds
Chris Cumming – The Wall Street Journal
Private-equity firms are making their funds available on the blockchain in an effort to reach rich investors, despite the crypto scandals that have left the technology under a cloud. Asset managers Hamilton Lane Inc., KKR & Co., Apollo Global Management Inc. and Partners Group Holding AG are pushing forward with efforts to market their funds on the blockchain, the technology that functions as a decentralized ledger for financial transactions.
/jlne.ws/3VJdErS

London overtakes New York and San Francisco for fintech funding; The capital has combined its strengths in financial services and tech to become a world powerhouse in fast growing areas such as payment processing and online banking
Simon Hunt – Evening Standard
London has edged ahead of San Francisco and New York to become the world’s biggest centre for fintech investment, a new report reveals today. London has attracted $9.5 billion (£7.8 billion) in fintech venture capital funding since the start of the year, according to data from Dealroom, finishing ahead of New York’s $7.8 billion and San Francisco’s $7.4 billion despite coming third behind both US cities in 2021.
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Blockchain Entrepreneur Arrested in California on Fraud Charges
Nelson Wang – CoinDesk
The Justice Department has accused Rikesh Thapa of defrauding his startup tech firm of more than $1 million in U.S. currency, cryptocurrency and utility tokens, according to a press release on Wednesday. Thapa, 28, was arrested on Wednesday in California and is expected to face a federal judge for the Southern District of California. The Justice Department didn’t name the victim company, but it appears to be New York-based Block Party Tickets, a company that developed a blockchain-based protocol for live event tickets. Thapa’s LinkedIn profile lists himself as a founder and chief technology officer for the tech firm from October 2017 to December 2019. (The indictment lists him as a co-founder.)
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Cybersecurity

Apple to Encrypt Cloud Backups as Part of Security Revamp; Company to add physical login keys as part of changes; Messages app to gain feature to verify legitimacy of contact
Mark Gurman – Bloomberg
Apple Inc. is upgrading security protections on its devices, adding the ability to encrypt iCloud data backups for the first time alongside new safeguards for iMessage and account logins. The most significant new feature, Advanced Data Protection for iCloud, will end-to-end encrypt the storage of iCloud backups – a nearly full copy of the data on a user’s iPhone and iPad – in addition to notes, photos, files, voice memos and messages. Previously, only some features, such as health data, passwords and payment information, were end-to-end encrypted.
/jlne.ws/3Biwdv5

Apple Plans New Encryption System to Ward Off Hackers and Protect iCloud Data; ‘Advanced Data Protection’ will offer end-to-end encryption on iCloud backups, Notes, Photos and other services-a step that may draw ire from law enforcement
Robert McMillan, Joanna Stern and Dustin Volz – The Wall Street Journal
Apple Inc. is planning to significantly expand its data-encryption practices, a step that is likely to create tensions with law enforcement and governments around the world as the company continues to build new privacy protections for millions of iPhone users.
/jlne.ws/3uxHFim

Scammers Are Scamming Other Scammers Out of Millions of Dollars; On cybercrime forums, user complaints about being duped may accidentally expose their real identities.
Matt Burgess – Wired
Nobody is immune to being scammed online-not even the people running the scams. Cybercriminals using hacking forums to buy software exploits and stolen login details keep falling for cons and are getting ripped off thousands of dollars at a time, a new analysis has revealed. And what’s more, when the criminals complain that they are being scammed, they’re also leaving a trail of breadcrumbs of their own personal information that could reveal their real-world identities to police and investigators.
/jlne.ws/3W3Uqx9

Reconciling International Breach Reporting Rules Could Prove Challenging
James Rundle – WSJ
Privacy and security chiefs say different countries must sync up rules around cybersecurity incident reporting, but contrasting views between governments on how to implement rules could complicate those efforts. A rash of cyberattacks against critical infrastructure operators, local governments and companies of all sizes in recent years has prompted lawmakers in the U.S., U.K. and European Union to examine when and how cyberattacks should be reported.
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Cryptocurrencies

ECB Official Says Energy-Intensive Crypto Should Be Banned
Jack Schickler – Reuters
Crypto assets should be banned if they are too energy intensive, European Central Bank board member Fabio Panetta said in a Wednesday speech that added to the ECB’s previous criticism of private digital currencies. Investors have been caught in the “textbook definition of a bubble,” lured by the promise of ever-rising prices, Panetta said in remarks that echo earlier criticism that the unregulated sector is like a “Ponzi scheme” and a “Wild West.”
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‘Why do we allow this stuff?’ Jamie Dimon says investing in crypto tokens is like buying ‘pet rocks’
Chloe Taylor – FORTUNE
Long time cryptocurrency skeptic Jamie Dimon, CEO of banking giant JPMorgan, has doubled down on his dislike of decentralized digital assets and likened crypto to useless “pet rocks.” In an interview with CNBC’s “Squawk Box” show on Tuesday, Dimon referred to crypto as “a complete sideshow” and said the broadcaster spends “too much time [focusing] on it.” “Cryptocurrencies that don’t do anything, I don’t understand why people spend any time [thinking about them],” he said, adding that JPMorgan was “not even sure that [Bitcoin] is a real market.”
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‘Misleading’ to Point the Disasters in Crypto Only to FTX: Molly White
CoinDesk
Molly White, Wikipedia editor and one of CoinDesk’s Most Influential 2022, says the “disasters” in crypto throughout the past year “are quite illustrative of the general crypto industry.” She adds that it’s “misleading” to describe the fall of FTX as an anomaly.
/jlne.ws/3W1KaWc

India cenbank says digital currency transactions to stay largely anonymous
Nupur Anand – Reuters
Transactions via central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) would remain anonymous “to a certain degree”, a top official at the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said on Wednesday, adding that technology and legal provisions can be explored to ensure that anonymity. India started the pilot project for its digital currency, or e-rupee, from Nov 1, when it was opened for initial trial. Then only being used by banks for settlements with each other, the scope of the project was expanded to include consumers and retailers-led transactions from Dec. 1.
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Jamie Dimon slams cryptocurrencies as ‘pet rocks’, says they’re ‘not a real market’
Joseph Adinolfi – MarketWatch
JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon has been skeptical of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies for years now. Back in 2017, he denounced bitcoin as a “fraud” and said he would fire any JPM employees caught dabbling in cryptocurrencies. He’s produced a steady stream of downbeat commentary since then, maintaining his skeptical outlook regardless of bitcoin’s price, and even as JPM explored business opportunities in the crypto space. During the middle of last year’s epic crypto bull run, he slammed bitcoin as “worthless.”
/jlne.ws/3VWdU7j

A16z Elevates Former US CFTC Commissioner Quintenz to Policy Chief
Jesse Hamilton – CoinDesk
Brian Quintenz, a former commissioner with the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission who left the regulatory agency last year, is amplifying his role at crypto venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) from advising to taking over as its head of policy, the company said on Tuesday. Quintenz had been a reliable supporter of the cryptocurrency industry before exiting the CFTC, which may take a leading role in overseeing the U.S. trading of some digital assets. Now he’ll be facing his old agency directly as part of his job seeking to steer crypto policy with U.S. regulators and lawmakers.
/jlne.ws/3iO4NH3

Former CFTC Commissioner Takes Up Head of Policy Role at Andreessen Horowitz
Andrew Asmakov – Decrypt
Crypto venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, also known as a16z, today announced that Brian Quintenz has assumed the full-time role of head of policy. Formerly a commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) under both former Presidents Obama and Trump, Quintenz first joined a16z as a senior advisor in September 2021. During his tenure at the CFTC, Quintenz oversaw the listing of Bitcoin futures contracts in the U.S. market and the creation of tokenized commodities, among other crypto-specific developments.
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Galaxy Digital Gets Celsius Assets at 60% Discount After Crypto Lender’s Bankruptcy
Emily Nicolle – Bloomberg
Galaxy Digital is paying $44.1 million to buy Celsius Network’s GK8 business – more than 60% lower than what the bankrupt crypto lender paid to acquire the self-custody platform just last year. The deal for GK8 was agreed at a purchase price of $44 million in cash plus $100,000 in assumed liabilities, according to a court filing. Celsius had previously acquired GK8 for $115 million in November 2021.
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FTX Discussed $100 Million Liverpool, Manchester United Deals
Gillian Tan, Zeke Faux, and Annie Massa – Bloomberg
Sam Bankman-Fried’s cryptocurrency exchange FTX held talks to sponsor English Premier League teams Manchester United and Liverpool earlier this year, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The discussions underscore the now-bankrupt company’s ambitions to expand its global reach, and its willingness to spend significant sums of money to do so.
/jlne.ws/3BhYRwh

Binance.US Cuts Fees as Crypto Exchanges Battle for Assets After FTX’s Implosion; Firm offers zero-fee Ethereum trading, native-token discount; Binance also offering volume-based markdowns, other discounts
David Pan – Bloomberg
Binance.US, the US partner of the world’s largest digital-asset exchange, is cutting trading fees as it battles for customer cash following the collapse of FTX. The exchange will now offer zero-fee trading on four of the most commonly-traded Ethereum market pairs, following a similar move with Bitcoin in June. It also announced a 25% fee markdown across all trading pairs when platform token Binance Coin is used to pay for the charges, as well as volume-based discounts, according to a statement on the company’s website.
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Anthony Scaramucci Calls Out Chamath Palihapitiya On FTX Warning Signs, ‘We Can Pretend Otherwise, But None Of Us Really Knew’
Chris Katje – Benzinga
While speaking at Benzinga’s Future of Crypto event, investments in and by FTX were discussed as one of the biggest topics impacting the cryptocurrency sector. Kevin O’Leary was an investor in FTX and Anthony Scaramucci’s Skybridge Capital received an investment from FTX. Both shared their takeaways from the event of FTX and what happened with Sam Bankman-Fried.
/jlne.ws/3UEsrmr

An independent study shows Binance has enough reserves to pay out all customers holding bitcoin
Phil Rosen – Business Insider
Binance’s customer bitcoin reserves have more than enough collateral, according to a proof-of-reserves report from accounting firm Mazars. Mazars, which was tapped last week by Binance to conduct the review, listed Binance’s bitcoin collateralization ratio at 101% based on an analysis conducted on November 22 covering the exchange’s assets and liabilities.
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FTX hires forensic team to probe money trail – WSJ
Reuters
FTX’s new management has hired a team of forensic investigators from advisory firm AlixPartners to help track the billions of dollars that have gone missing from the failed cryptocurrency exchange, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter. The AlixPartners team is led by Matt Jacques, a former chief accountant for the Securities and Exchange Commission’s enforcement division, according to the report.
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Winklevoss Crypto Firm’s Employees Saw the Disaster Coming
Noah Kirsch – The Daily Beast
Marketing materials depicted a tantalizing opportunity. Users of Gemini-the cryptocurrency exchange founded by identical twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss-could hand over their digital assets to a product called Earn. The assets would then be loaned out, generating returns as high as 7.4 percent per year. Feeling nervous? Gemini promised investors they could redeem their crypto “at any time…plus the interest you’ve earned!” To some, this gave the impression that their money was safe.
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Crypto dominos: the bursting crypto bubbles and the destiny of digital finance
European Central Bank
Keynote speech by Fabio Panetta, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, at the Insight Summit held at the London Business School.
/jlne.ws/3Bgjr08

Crypto Lender Celsius’ Bankruptcy Judge Orders It to Return $50M of Crypto to Custody Account Holders: Bloomberg
Greg Ahlstrand – CoinDesk
A U.S. bankruptcy judge involved in the Celsius Networks bankruptcy case ordered the crypto lender to return crypto worth $50 million to users of custody accounts, Bloomberg News reported on Thursday.
/jlne.ws/3Hkrmgs

Politics

Ron DeSantis’s war on woke puts BlackRock on the frontline; Florida is the latest Republican state to target ESG investing
Financial Times
Woke Inc is under attack. Battle lines have been drawn in America’s latest culture war, with Ron DeSantis, Florida’s governor, its general. His most recent salvo against what he describes as “woke capitalism” was fired against BlackRock, the world’s biggest money manager. Its provocation was to invest at least some of its $8tn assets under management according to environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles and to tell companies to think about climate risk. This, according to DeSantis and Florida’s chief financial officer, flouts BlackRock’s fiduciary duty to prioritise returns above all else. Yet to try to tell a fund manager which companies it can and cannot invest in is to politicise business decisions in just the way DeSantis purports to be rallying against.
/jlne.ws/3BfiHbq

Texas Joins Other States in Banning TikTok From Government Devices
Shelly Hagan – Bloomberg
The TikTok video platform has been banned on government-issued devices in Texas, adding to a growing list of states that have done the same in the past week amid concern that consumer data collected by the social-media app could be accessed by the Chinese government. Governor Greg Abbott ordered all state agencies to ban its officers and employees from downloading or using TikTok on government-issued devices including cell phones, tablets and desktop computers. The announcement follows similar actions taken by South Carolina, Maryland and South Dakota over the past week.
/jlne.ws/3Y3hmhI

US Sen. Cynthia Lummis: Ether Is Now a Security; My Bill Might Have Stopped FTX
Fran Velasquez – CoinDesk
The U.S. senator behind one of the more important pieces of bipartisan crypto legislation in the works said bitcoin is the only cryptocurrency that can be considered a commodity because ether is now a security thanks to September’s Ethereum Merge. “It’s starting to look more like bitcoin is the only thing that would qualify as a commodity,” said Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), a longtime bitcoin holder and advocate. She told CoinDesk TV’s “All About Bitcoin” program on Tuesday that ether, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, could be deemed a security.
/jlne.ws/3Pi42lB

US Senators Seek SBF’s Testimony at Dec. 14 Hearing on FTX; Senator Brown asks Bankman-Fried to appear on Dec. 14; Rep. Maxine Waters says a subpoena for Dec. 13 “on the table”
Olga Kharif, Joanna Ossinger, and Allyson Versprille – Bloomberg
US Senators Sherrod Brown and Patrick Toomey have asked Sam Bankman-Fried to testify at a hearing about cryptocurrency exchange FTX’s collapse on Dec. 14, according to a letter issued Wednesday. Brown, who is the chair of the Senate Banking Committee, said he and Toomey are prepared to issue a subpoena if the disgraced crypto founder doesn’t choose to appear voluntarily. Brown wrote that Bankman-Fried “must answer” for the failures of FTX Trading Ltd. and of Alameda Research, two of the entities in the sprawling and now-bankrupt FTX universe. “There are still significant unanswered questions about how client funds were misappropriated, how clients were blocked from withdrawing their own money, and how you orchestrated a cover up,” he wrote.
/jlne.ws/3iGxPbr

FTX Founder Sam Bankman-Fried Is Said to Face Market Manipulation Inquiry
Emily Flitter, David Yaffe-Bellany and Matthew Goldstein – The New York Times
Federal prosecutors are investigating whether FTX’s founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, manipulated the market for two cryptocurrencies this past spring, leading to their collapse and creating a domino effect that eventually caused the implosion of his own cryptocurrency exchange last month, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.
/jlne.ws/3VXbe8Q

‘Zero Covid,’ Once Ubiquitous, Vanishes in China’s Messy Pivot; As China casts aside many Covid rules, it is also playing down the threat of the virus. The move could help ease the burden on hospitals but comes with its own risks.
Chang Che, Amy Chang Chien and John Liu – The New York Times
A day after China’s ruling Communist Party announced a broad rollback of the “zero Covid” restrictions that had smothered the economy and transformed life in the country, the propaganda apparatus on Thursday began the daunting task of promoting an audacious revision of history.
/jlne.ws/3HhAAdp

Regulation

UK Regulator Is Firming Up Its Approach to Crypto Oversight
Camomile Shumba – CoinDesk
The U.K.’s Payments Systems Regulator is exploring how it can regulate the crypto sector, starting by looking at distributed ledger technology, said Nick Davey, a payment specialist at the agency. The PSR, a fairly new regulator that became fully operational in 2015, would be authorized to regulate cryptocurrencies that are used for making payments if a proposed crypto-regulation bill called the Financial Services and Markets Bill becomes law. The bill is now being considered by Parliament.
/jlne.ws/3P9IlnE

EACH Welcomes The European Commission Proposals To Make European CCPs More Competitive While Safeguarding Resilience
European Association of CCP Clearing Houses
The European Association of CCP Clearing Houses (EACH) has welcomed the European Commission proposals to make European CCPs more competitive while safeguarding resilience. CCPs are financial market infrastructures that significantly contribute to safer, more efficient and transparent global financial markets. The resilience of European CCPs have been confirmed by live tests such as the extreme event of the COVID-19 market stress and the authorities’ stress tests exercises like the ones run by ESMA, together with the ESRB, and Bank of England.
/jlne.ws/3uuUiLn

Celsius bankruptcy judge orders return of some crypto assets to customers
Dietrich Knauth – Reuters
A U.S. bankruptcy judge on Wednesday ruled that some customers of crypto lender Celsius Network should receive their deposits back, giving relief to a relatively small group of customers whose deposits were never commingled with other Celsius funds. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Martin Glenn is weighing broader questions of who owns crypto assets that were deposited with Celsius.
/jlne.ws/3iH4UUF

Wirecard CEO Gets Day in Court After Two Years Behind Bars; Trial against Markus Braun and two others starts in Munich; Court scheduled 100 days of hearings until the end of 2023
Karin Matussek – Bloomberg
Markus Braun makes his first public appearance in court today, more than two years after his high-flying digital-payment company Wirecard AG collapsed under the weight of fraud allegations, wiping out billions in shareholder value and destroying Germany’s efforts to breed a new technology champion rivaling Silicon Valley.
/jlne.ws/3uCrkJv

London Ex-Bankers Guilty of Libya Fund Fraud; London trial ends with guilty verdicts for two bankers; Men accused of defrauding Libya of hundreds of millions
Katharine Gemmell – Bloomberg
Two former London bankers were convicted of defrauding Libya out of hundreds of millions of dollars by a London jury, bringing an end to a case that has spurred several civil and criminal suits. Frederic Marino and Yoshiki Ohmura, were on trial in London for allegations of conspiring to commit fraud between 2009 and 2014. The jury found both men guilty at Southwark Crown Court on Thursday following an eight-week trial.
/jlne.ws/3FfDHjq

European Commission investigating Deutsche Bank and Rabobank over bonds trading cartel; Watchdog has concerns that between 2005 and 2016 the banks exchanged commercially sensitive information and coordinated their EEA bonds pricing and trading strategies.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
The European Commission is currently investigating whether Deutsche Bank and Rabobank breached EU antitrust rules by colluding to distort competition through a bonds trading cartel. From 2005-2016, Deutsche Bank and Rabobank allegedly shared sensitive information and coordinated pricing and trading strategies via emails and online chatroom communications when trading Euro-denominated Sovereign, SSA, covered and government guaranteed bonds in order to distort competition.
/jlne.ws/3VZzuaj

Opening Statement of Chairman Rostin Behnam before the Agricultural Advisory Committee
CFTC
Good morning and welcome to the first Agricultural Advisory Committee (AAC) meeting of 2022 under my sponsorship. The AAC fortifies the strong connection between the CFTC and its historic responsibilities in ensuring that America’s farmers, ranchers, manufacturers, and other commercial end-users continue to have cost-effective access to CFTC regulated markets to manage risk, and provides an active forum to discuss and address emerging issues and impacts to the agricultural markets in near real-time.
/jlne.ws/3uCynSt

Opening Statement of Commissioner Kristin N. Johnson Before the CFTC Agricultural Advisory Committee
CFTC
Good morning. I am so very pleased to welcome so many joining in the building today and virtually for this Agricultural Advisory Committee (AAC) meeting. I thank Chair Behnam and Brigitte Weyls, Designated Federal Officer for the AAC, for their efforts to organize today’s meeting. I look forward to hearing and learning more today about the topics outlined on the meeting agenda.
/jlne.ws/3HoaNQS

Opening Statement by Commissioner Summer K. Mersinger Before the Agricultural Advisory Committee Meeting
CFTC
Good morning and thank you to Chairman Behnam for organizing this important meeting of the Agricultural Advisory Committee (AAC). With so many significant topics to discuss, I am certain today’s meeting will be extremely interesting and I am looking forward to hearing from those who will present before the advisory committee today.
/jlne.ws/3PdoG6A

Statement of Commissioner Kristin N. Johnson in Support of Proposed Order and Request for Comment on Mexican Capital Comparability Determination
CFTC
I support the Commission’s issuance of the Notice of Proposed Order and Request for Comment (Notice of Proposed Order and Request for Comment) on the Application for the Capital Comparability Determination submitted on behalf of Nonbank Swap Dealers subject to Regulation by the Mexican Comisión Nacional Bancaria y de Valores (Mexican Banking and Securities Commission).
/jlne.ws/3iO7UyJ

SEC Charges Vika Ventures and its CEO in $6 Million Fraudulent Offering
SEC
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged venture capital firm Vika Ventures LLC and its CEO and co-founder, George Iakovou, with fraudulently offering and selling more than $6 million of securities to at least 46 individual investors in multiple states including California, Georgia, and New York. The SEC also announced settled charges against Vika Ventures’ other co-founder, Penelope Zbravos, for her role in the scheme.
/jlne.ws/3uzBs5z

SEC Reopens Comment Period for Proposed Rule on Share Repurchase Disclosure Modernization
SEC
The Securities and Exchange Commission today reopened the comment period on proposed amendments intended to modernize and improve the disclosure required about an issuer’s repurchases of its equity securities, often referred to as buybacks.
/jlne.ws/3UFjn0H

Statement on Reopening of Comment Period for Share Repurchase Disclosure Modernization
Commissioner Mark T. Uyeda – SEC
Today, the Commission reopened the comment period for the proposed rulemaking on Share Repurchase Disclosure Modernization.[1] The comment period was reopened to add a memorandum prepared by the Division of Economic and Risk Analysis (“DERA”) to the public comment file, and to seek public feedback on the memorandum. The memorandum analyzes the impact of section 4501 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (the “Internal Revenue Code”) [2] on the potential economic effects of the proposed rulemaking. Section 4501, which was added to the Internal Revenue Code by the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (the “Inflation Reduction Act”),[3] imposes upon a covered corporation a non-deductible excise tax equal to 1% of the fair market value of any stock repurchased by the corporation, subject to certain exceptions.
/jlne.ws/3uAbu28

SEC chair says crypto intermediaries should comply with law
Kanishka Singh – Reuters
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair Gary Gensler said that companies that help facilitate transactions in the cryptocurrency market should come into compliance with law. “Their business model right now is offering the public… an interest return in crypto… and then possibly trading against their customers,” Gensler told Yahoo Finance in an interview on Tuesday. “The runway is getting shorter” between crypto lenders’ compliance and SEC enforcement, the SEC chair added. The SEC has enough authority but could use more resources, Gensler said in the interview. He labeled the crypto intermediaries as “crypto casinos.”
/jlne.ws/3hgmTRk

‘You need to properly segregate customer funds’: SEC Chair Gensler suggests FTX may have violated securities laws
Jennifer Schonberger – Yahoo!Finance
Securities & Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler suggested Wednesday in an exclusive interview with Yahoo Finance Live failed crypto exchange FTX violated securities laws by using customer assets to trade at its affiliated hedge fund, Alameda Research. “I can’t speak to any one case or any one situation, but our securities laws say that you need to properly segregate customer funds,” Gensler said.
/jlne.ws/3VYezVd

SEC’s Gensler Says Agency Is Fine Going After Crypto With Its Current Authority
CoinDesk
In an interview on Yahoo Finance, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler said that the SEC has the basic disclosure and governance requirements in place to hold digital-assets firms accountable. Fitch Ratings Senior Director Monsur Hussain discusses what this means for the future of crypto regulation.
/jlne.ws/3BGK1jh

SEC Charges Vika Ventures and its CEO in $6 Million Fraudulent Offering
SEC
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged venture capital firm Vika Ventures LLC and its CEO and co-founder, George Iakovou, with fraudulently offering and selling more than $6 million of securities to at least 46 individual investors in multiple states including California, Georgia, and New York. The SEC also announced settled charges against Vika Ventures’ other co-founder, Penelope Zbravos, for her role in the scheme.
/jlne.ws/3uzBs5z

SEC to Float Proposals to Get Small Investors Better Prices on Stock Trades; Agency has set a Dec. 14 meeting to consider advancing four proposals that could reshape how the stock market operates
Paul Kiernan – The Wall Street Journal
The Securities and Exchange Commission signaled plans to issue four proposals next week that aim to help small investors get better prices on their stock trades. The SEC said Wednesday its five-member commission will consider proposing the rules in an open meeting Dec. 14. If a majority of the panel, which includes Chair Gary Gensler and two other Democrats, support the proposals, they will be opened to public comment before the SEC decides whether to finalize them.
/jlne.ws/3P7zRgY

SEC Reopens Comment Period for Proposed Rule on Share Repurchase Disclosure Modernization
SEC
The Securities and Exchange Commission today reopened the comment period on proposed amendments intended to modernize and improve the disclosure required about an issuer’s repurchases of its equity securities, often referred to as buybacks.
/jlne.ws/3UFjn0H

FCA fines three broker firms £4,775,200 for failures relating to the detection of market abuse
FCA
The FCA has fined BGC Brokers LP, GFI Brokers Limited and GFI Securities Limited (together, BGC/GFI) £4,775,200 for failing to ensure they had appropriate systems and controls in place to effectively detect market abuse.
/jlne.ws/3VGDBbP

Fenergo Hires ex-SunTrust (Truist) Compliance Executive to Lead Regional Strategy in the Americas; Tracy Moore to head regional growth efforts and oversee business strategy and execution in new role
Fenergo
Fenergo, a leading compliance solutions provider, today announces the hire of former SunTrust (Truist) compliance executive Tracy Moore as Director of Strategy in the Americas. Moore will oversee the development and execution of business strategy across Fenergo’s operations in North America, including those in the United States and Canada, and Latin American.
/jlne.ws/3iLGutl

Investing and Trading

Bruising Stock Reversal Shows How Fed’s Pivot May Come Too Late; Study shows first rate cut usually heralded stock losses; Investors ‘myopically painfully focused on Fed,’ says Weiss
Lu Wang – Bloomberg
For many investors, December has been a shocker in the stock market. After getting sucked in by a rousing seven-week rally, they’ve now had to watch as the S&P 500 posted the longest stretch of down days to begin a month since 2011. None of it is particularly surprising to Rich Weiss. The 62-year-old chief investment officer for multi-asset strategies at American Century Investment Management says a moment of reckoning has been overdue for bulls, whose obsession with Federal Reserve rate policy may have blinded them to economic realities that are likely to end up squashing any rally in equities.
/jlne.ws/3BiTa0S

‘Value Annihilation’ Haunts Investors in China Property Bonds; China Credit Tracker
Wei Zhou and Ailing Tan – Bloomberg
China’s offshore credit market rebounded this week after a key bond regulator expanded a financing support program. But one of the worst routs ever suffered just last month is making many investors skeptical that the rally will last, after even giants of the property industry previously considered safer were shown to be vulnerable. High-yield dollar bonds lost 12% in October and investment-grade notes shed 3%, both the second-largest declines in respective Bloomberg indexes going back to 2009. A majority of junk-rated developers traded below 10 cents on the dollar, while some high-grade builders like Longfor Group Holdings Ltd. plunged deeper into distress to new lows under 50 cents.
/jlne.ws/3Vft7Qh

Washington Post Considers Selling Tech Business It Built Up on Jeff Bezos’s Watch
Alexandra Bruell – The Wall Street Journal
Top Washington Post executives recently came to owner Jeff Bezos with a proposal. The company had spent the better part of a decade turning an in-house publishing tool into a broader software business, with some success. The Post’s software, known as Arc XP, now services the likes of pro basketball’s Golden State Warriors and energy company BP PLC. But the business, the executives said, had reached a crossroads and the Post needed to explore a spinoff or sale to realize its potential, according to people familiar with the discussions. Mr. Bezos gave his blessing to explore those options, they said.
/jlne.ws/3VWj0At

Robinhood Markets, Inc. Reports November 2022 Operating Data
Robinhood Markets, Inc.
Robinhood Markets, Inc. (“Robinhood”) (NASDAQ: HOOD) today reported selected monthly operating data for November 2022.
/jlne.ws/3h6UflR

Japan’s Life Insurers Are Dumping Foreign Bonds at a Record Pace; Life insurers sold 1.9 trillion yen overseas debt last month; Rising hedging costs have eaten into potential returns
Masaki Kondo and Daisuke Sakai – Bloomberg
Stung by crippling hedging costs and tempted by higher yields at home, Japan’s life insurers are bailing out of foreign bonds at a record pace. The cohort offloaded a net 1.9 trillion yen ($14.1 billion) of overseas debt in November, an all-time high, according to preliminary portfolio flow data from Japan’s Ministry of Finance on Thursday. Separate balance-of-payments data for October showed Japanese investors overall were net sellers of US, French and German debt.
/jlne.ws/3P8FTOc

The ETF Era Is Going to Be Here for a While; Here’s the outlook for exchange-traded funds in 2023.
Eric Balchunas and Joel Weber – Bloomberg
The future is very bright for ETFs, which in 2022 saw record volume and the second most flows and new launches-all astounding numbers considering the stock and bond markets were in the gutter return-wise. So what can we expect next year? What areas should people be watching?
/jlne.ws/3h3RWjz

Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance

Misfits Market Hopes Scaling Up Sales Can Scale Down Food Waste; The online grocer specializing in unwanted organics, unusual meat cuts and overstock Fruity Pebbles has $525 million in VC to expand its offbeat supply chain.
Andrew Zaleski – Businessweek
As pandemic business booms go, Misfits Market has had a particularly steep curve. The Philadelphia-based online grocer, which specializes in bruised, lumpen or otherwise screwball organic produce, was already growing nicely by March 2020. It had steadily climbed from 600 square feet of storage space, consisting of two industrial refrigerators tucked inside a tiny garage in North Philly, all the way to a 140,000-square-foot warehouse in South Jersey. It had 90,000 customers and was shipping boxes of food to people living as far north as Maine, as far south as Florida and as far west as Illinois. And then: the lockdowns. “My first thought was, ‘We’re going to have to shut down the warehouse, and our revenue’s going to go to zero,’âEUR‰” recalls Abhi Ramesh, Misfits’ 30-year-old founder and chief executive officer.
/jlne.ws/3hcOzqn

Bank of America Pushes ESG With Bankers on 3,000-Call-a-Day Pace; Global annual issuance of the debt set for first decline ever; But sales trend ‘points in one direction’; Vice Chair Donofrio
David Caleb Mutua – Bloomberg
Bank of America Corp. is pushing its corporate clients worldwide to cut carbon emissions as a way of gaining an edge over their rivals, a race that will boost the ethical debt market even as it’s poised for its first decline ever. Bankers at the Charlotte, North Carolina-based lender are making as many as 3,000 calls a day to potentially engage companies on risks and opportunities that come with cutting their carbon emissions, according to BofA Vice Chair Paul Donofrio. As big corporations increasingly put pressure on their suppliers to be green, the banker sees suppliers that don’t have a net-zero plan eventually losing business to their competitors.
/jlne.ws/3PcwzJf

New York Times Employees Are Walking Out Over Pay Dispute; Union demands wage increases that keep pace with inflation; Times journalists have been without contract since March 2021
Gerry Smith – Bloomberg
More than 1,000 New York Times Co. employees are preparing to stage a one-day walkout Thursday, escalating a standoff with management over a stalled contract. A representative of the NewsGuild of New York, which represents the employees, said Wednesday that a walkout was “very likely at this point.” In a tweet, the union asked Times readers to not engage with the company’s platforms Thursday “and stand with us on the digital picket line!”
/jlne.ws/3iNhxh1

Vanguard quits climate alliance in blow to net zero project; World’s second-largest asset manager cites investor ‘confusion’ amid increase in criticism from Republicans
Brooke Masters and Patrick Temple-West – Financial Times
Vanguard is pulling out of the main financial alliance on tackling climate change at a time when Republicans in the US have stepped up their attacks on financial institutions that they say are hostile to fossil fuels. With $7.1tn under management and more than 30mn customers as of October 31, Vanguard is the second-largest global money manager after BlackRock. The group said on Wednesday that it was resigning from the Net Zero Asset Managers initiative, whose members have committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
/jlne.ws/3VGOhqO

First UK coal mine in 30 years gets government go-ahead; Green groups and MPs attack decision to proceed on £165mn facility
Jim Pickard, Leslie Hook and Jennifer Williams – Financial Times
The first coal mine in Britain for 30 years has been given the go-ahead by the government, prompting a storm of protest from green groups and MPs across the political spectrum. Michael Gove, the levelling-up secretary, granted approval for the mine in Whitehaven in Cumbria on Wednesday evening in a controversial decision that has been delayed several times. The £165mn mine, which will provide coking coal for use in the steel industry rather than for burning in power stations, is expected to employ 500 people.
/jlne.ws/3PegAub

After U.N. climate deal, ‘loss and damage’ funding two years off
Jake Spring and Valerie Volcovici – Reuters
Countries agreed at last month’s United Nations climate summit to create a fund to help poor countries damaged by climate disasters, but it will likely take two years to work out where the money will come from, a German climate official said on Wednesday. The deal to create a “loss and damage” fund was hailed as a breakthrough for developing country negotiators at the COP27 climate talks in Egypt, overcoming years of resistance from wealthy nations in European Union and United States.
/jlne.ws/3UG8Cv4

The recommendations for a standard on corporate biodiversity measurement and valuation are now published
European Commission
Businesses across the globe are increasingly turning their attention to their impacts and dependencies on biodiversity as a fundamental component of their long-term success. Over the last years, a complex landscape of metrics, tools and frameworks has been developed to measure and value the impacts and dependencies of business on biodiversity and associated ecosystem services. To foster business action on biodiversity, more clarity and consistency on how to assess corporate biodiversity impact and performance ais needed. Today, the Align project is publishing recommendations bringing more clarity on ‘what’ elements of biodiversity to measure and ‘how’ to assess impacts and dependencies on biodiversity in a business context.
/jlne.ws/3F58PSA

Net Zero Will Radically Change How We Use and Generate Electricity; Hydrogen, carbon capture and the boom in wind and solar will transform the power sector if the world follows a net zero pathway.
Nathaniel Bullard – Bloomberg
I have some news that many Bloomberg Green readers will not find surprising: It is exceedingly unlikely that the world will keep global temperatures within 1.5C of pre-industrial levels. But there is still a path to staying under 2C of warming and aligned with the Paris Agreement – a path that requires the global economy to reach net zero emissions by 2050.
/jlne.ws/3FAsfAk

Vanguard quits climate alliance in blow to net zero project; World’s second-largest asset manager cites investor ‘confusion’ amid increase in criticism from Republicans
Brooke Masters and Patrick Temple-West – Financial Times
Vanguard is pulling out of the main financial alliance on tackling climate change at a time when Republicans in the US have stepped up their attacks on financial institutions that they say are hostile to fossil fuels.
/jlne.ws/3Hg3ivn

Institutions

Spain’s Central Bank Opens Call for Proposals for Wholesale CBDC Project
Andres Engler – CoinDesk
The Bank of Spain plans to start a wholesale central bank digital currency (CBDC) project, and on Monday, it asked financial institutions and tech providers to submit proposals for the initiative by Jan. 31. The program seeks to simulate the use of a CBDC in wholesale transactions, the bank said in an official statement. Wholesale transactions are those that involve the transfer of funds between banks and financial institutions.
/jlne.ws/3UFv7QI

Credit Suisse Edges Toward $440 Million Clash With SoftBank; Court says Swiss firm’s supply chain fund has ‘victim’ status; Credit Suisse, SoftBank have been engaged in legal skirmishes
Jonathan Browning – Bloomberg
Credit Suisse Group AG cleared the first hurdle toward kick-starting a long-awaited $440 million lawsuit against SoftBank Group Corp. stemming from the spectacular collapse of finance firm Greensill Capital. A London judge said Wednesday that the Swiss lender’s supply chain fund could be considered a “victim” of a series of contested transactions and bring the claim itself rather than the liquidator of Greensill. The judge said SoftBank could still defend itself before a formal suit can be issued.
/jlne.ws/3HBsVaj

Australia Central Bank Is Keeping Open Mind on Digital Currency
Swati Pandey – Bloomberg
Australia is keeping an open mind on a central bank digital currency, a senior Reserve Bank official said, while adding it remains to be convinced there’s a case for one in a country with easy financial and cash access. RBA Assistant Governor Brad Jones laid out the pros and cons of a CBDC in a speech in Sydney on Thursday, saying a digital currency could enhance the resilience of the money and payment systems, particularly as disruptions from extreme weather events become more common.
/jlne.ws/3W1MzQE

JPMorgan Takes $70 Million Hit on Europe High-Yield Trading Desk; Bets on bonds, credit swaps sour, people familiar say; Losses driven by bets on Casino Guichard-Perrachon, Metalcorp
Laura Benitez, Donal Griffin, and William Shaw – Bloomberg
JPMorgan Chase & Co. suffered a $70 million loss from a few large bets on bonds and credit-default swaps put on by its European high-yield trading desk. The majority of the losses are tied to trades overseen by Gianfranco Canepa, the bank’s former co-head of high-yield trading for EMEA, according to people with knowledge of the trades.
/jlne.ws/3P8JRXc

DWS reveals three-year strategic growth plan to drive global expansion; Incremental investments in growth areas nearing €70 million over the next three years will be self-funded by re-allocation of resources, said DWS.
Wesley Bray – The Trade
Deutsche Bank’s asset management arm DWS Group has revealed its strategy to maintain the firm’s position in Germany, while also addressing upside potential globally. Europe-specific initiatives include additional partnerships, deploying Xtrackers (Passive), its exchange traded funds (ETFs) and exchange traded commodities (ETCs) provider, and leveraging its alternatives capabilities to participate in transformation in the Bloc.
/jlne.ws/3FBxPm3

FTSE Russell and Ping An launch FTSE Ping An China ESG Index Series
FTSE Russell
FTSE Russell, a leading global index, data, and analytics provider, and Ping An, a leading technology-powered retail financial services group, today jointly announce the launch of the FTSE Ping An China ESG Index Series as a part of a new strategic partnership. The Index Series combines the expertise of both organisations, enabling domestic and offshore investors to better integrate sophisticated sustainability considerations into their investment approach in China.
/jlne.ws/3BhShFS

Wellness Exchange

There Are Scary Downsides to Xi Ditching Covid Zero; China isn’t ready for a surge of infections, hospitalizations and deaths in an under-vaccinated population.
Mark Gongloff – Bloomberg
American society and the economy are built on faith in the wisdom of human crowds, at least until the chatbot takes over. But dude: Have you seen crowds? Are you familiar with their work? Among their greatest hits are the Soviet Union, the ape JPG bubble and the time Springfield bought a monorail.
/jlne.ws/3VECppp

Face masks may return amid holiday ‘tripledemic’ of covid, flu and RSV; Health experts say a quality medical mask remains a highly effective line of defense against respiratory viruses
Fenit Nirappil and Tara Parker-Pope – The Washington Post
With three highly contagious respiratory viruses sickening adults and children around the country and holiday gatherings just weeks away, public health officials are beginning to talk about face masks again. While mask mandates are unlikely in most parts of the country, health experts are renewing recommendations to wear a high-quality medical mask on public transportation, in airports and on planes, while shopping and in other crowded public spaces.
/jlne.ws/3P8IAiS

Covid-19 Isn’t a Pandemic of the Unvaccinated Anymore
David Wallace-Wells – The New York Times
Americans received their first Covid-19 vaccine doses in December 2020, which means we are now approaching the beginning of the third year of the pandemic’s vaccine phase. And yet hundreds of Americans are still dying each day. Who are they? The data offers a straightforward answer: older adults.
/jlne.ws/3UF2T8U

Hong Kong Shortens Covid Isolation, Eases Testing for Travelers; Isolation period cut to five days from seven starting Friday; Official warns hospital system is under immense pressure
Shirley Zhao – Bloomberg
Hong Kong shortened the isolation period for people who test positive for Covid and their close contacts, and will require inbound travelers to take two fewer rapid tests, as the city takes another cautious step toward a full reopening.
/jlne.ws/3h7dpYE

Regions

What China’s Covid-19 Reopening Means for Markets; The danger is a repeat of the economic, financial and political swings that created a boom-bust cycle in the rest of the world
James Mackintosh – The Wall Street Journal
Thursday marks two years since the Covid-19 vaccination drive began, yet both the U.S. and the world economy continue to be dominated by issues created by the pandemic. The uncertainty is about to get worse, as China starts the joy, pain and eventual catharsis of reopening. Markets have been betting on the short-term benefits of reopening since rumors of the policy change began. The renminbi has enjoyed its best five-week gain against the dollar since internationalization in 1994 and domestic stocks jumped about 10%.
/jlne.ws/3BiKTtW

Europe Is Paying Dearly to Keep the Lights On; Climbing prices amplify concerns about the loss of industrial competitiveness and the potential for relocations.
Javier Blas – Bloomberg
European electricity prices have surged again to crisis levels as the region faces the first cold spell of the winter. That jump will add to growing concerns about the loss of industrial competitiveness and the potential for companies to relocate. The continent is facing a triple whammy of cold, windless weather; expensive natural gas and coal because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine; and nuclear outages in France and Sweden. As a result, electricity markets are extremely tight, with the possibility of national grids calling on consumers to reduce demand in the next few days, particularly if wind speeds fall.
/jlne.ws/3HjIOSl

Firms Take Desperate Measures to Tackle UK’s Staff Shortage; Workers lured by free accommodation, food and transport; Housing crisis makes it harder to fill roles in London
Helen Chandler-Wilde, Eamon Akil Farhat, and Celia Bergin – Bloomberg
British businesses are taking creative and unusual steps to attract staff, amid a notably tight labor market. One of celebrity chef Raymond Blanc’s restaurants is subsidizing a bus service. Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, which holds two Michelin stars, contributes to the transport link, helping them reach workers who live several miles away in Oxford.
/jlne.ws/3hcF2Qg

Trafigura Says Europe Will Need Huge Gas Volumes Next Year; European gas prices should stay elevated to attract LNG; Margin requirements, Freeport outage affected LNG performance
Anna Shiryaevskaya – Bloomberg
Europe will need to import “huge volumes” of liquefied natural gas next year to make up for severely curtailed Russian flows, according to commodities giant Trafigura Group. To attract LNG away from other regions, gas prices in Europe will need to remain elevated, the trading house said in its annual results. Security of supply will remain an issue beyond next winter.
/jlne.ws/3FCxSyb

Miscellaneous

John Paulson Seeks to Shut Down Wife’s Suit Alleging Hidden Billions; He denies being ‘duplicitous husband’ hiding assets in divorce; Arguments in case are scheduled for Thursday in NY state court
Chris Dolmetsch – Bloomberg
John Paulson is seeking to shut down his wife Jenica’s lawsuit accusing him of shielding billions of dollars in assets from their divorce, claiming she’s the one who’s engaged in a “selfish money grab.”
/jlne.ws/3uCsHI9

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First Read Hits & Takes John Lothian & JLN Staff Yesterday morning I checked the status of my investment accounts after the market opening as I often do and I was like, "WOW!" But then I saw there were problems with some of the opening auctions at the NYSE and...

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