Update: SAFE Banking Act of 2019 Moves Forward With Heroes Act
By Suzanne Cosgrove – John Lothian News
The Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act, legislation introduced by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and passed by the House late Friday, seeks to deliver an additional $3 trillion in aid to a wide range of individuals, businesses and municipalities hit by economic fallout from the coronavirus. The legislation is now under consideration by the Senate.
What is not widely known is that the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act of 2019, designed to give legitimate cannabis-related businesses access to financial services, is attached to the HEROES Act. The bill also would prevent federal banking regulators from terminating the deposit insurance of institutions who provide banking and financial services to legitimate cannabis-related businesses.
To read the rest of this story, go here.
Hits & Takes
By John Lothian & JLN Staff
There is a new deputy director of the Division of Enforcement for the CFTC for the Chicago Office. Robert Howell is now in that role and is the face for the division in Chicago, having replaced the holder of the position since 2002, Rosemary Hollinger
Howell has served as a chief trial attorney in the Chicago CFTC office since 2014 and was a senior trial attorney here from 2011 to 2014. He has also been an associate at the law firms of Mayer Brown and WilmerHale, and an investment banking analyst for Robertson Stephens.
He even spent some time as a runner on the trading floor for Goldenberg Hehmeyer. JLN welcomes Mr. Howell to this new important role and wishes him success in helping keep our markets fair and our laws enforced.
Crain’s Lynne Marek has a scoop on the launch of The Small Exchange on June 1. She also reports investments in the new exchange making big news today from Interactive Brokers. The Small Exchange had received previous investments of $5 million each from Jump Capital and Citadel Securities.
Today we will publish the second Obermeier interview for the Open Outcry Traders History Project video series and the long overdue first video featuring a woman trader. Maureen Obermeier, wife of Chess, had a similar story to his and left college at 19 after a summer at the CBOE. She knew she was in the right place at the right time and became a member of the exchange at age 21, the same as Chess. The two met on the trading floor and launched a union of both their marriage and careers as floor brokers. Maureen wanted to follow a colleague to the CBOT in 1984 to trade ag options. However, Chess instead took that opportunity to move to the CBOT, given his agricultural experience growing up in Nebraska. She stayed at the CBOE and enjoyed every day of it, knowing it could end at any time.
One of the things that struck me about both interviews was how they both knew the trading floors could go away at any time and were prepared for it, financially, emotionally and together. Look for Maureen’s video later today on JohnLothianNews.com
We did not publish our video course yesterday as planned. Here is hoping for today.
According to Larry Cermak from The Block, the cryptocurrency trading platform BitMEX has suffered a severe outage. The company’s website, as well as its trading API, are both out of commission. BitMEX, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency derivatives trading platforms, has suffered major outages twice in the past month – the last outage was on April 17 of this year.~MR
Chess Obermeier – MarketsWiki Education Open Outcry Traders History Project
Chess Obermeier started working for his cousin, Charles Obermeier, at the Cboe, and was able to purchase his first membership by his 21st birthday. He eventually made his way to the CBOT in 1984, where he traded grain up until 2016. During his time on the floor, Chess met his future wife Maureen, who was also working on the floor at the time. The rest is history. Check out part 2 with Maureen Obermeier tomorrow.
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Virus Forces Conference Planners to Go Back to Go; “No one really had this in their playbook,” one planner said. At the moment, there are more questions than answers on what business meetings will look like.
Martha C. White – NY Times
The coronavirus pandemic has upended operations and activities across nearly all industries, but meeting and conference planners face a particularly daunting challenge.
*****If you start to think about the conference business, it is hard to see it returning to previous levels anytime soon. This is not because different states or countries may or may not be open, but rather how safe people feel being around a large group. Until a vaccine is in place and available, the trend will be towards virtual conferences and exhibits.~JJL
SEC Will Watch Wall Street From Home at Least Through Mid-July
Benjamin Bain – Bloomberg
Chairman extends telework for employees amid virus concerns; Remote meetings being used for regulation, enforcement matters
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission employees will have to stay away from the agency’s offices for at least two more months as Wall Street’s main regulator continues conducting much of its work remotely during the coronavirus pandemic.
*****Better safe than sorry.~JJL
We Can Prevent a Great Depression. It’ll Take $10 Trillion; Don’t think of that number as “big” or “bold.” Just think of it as the appropriate dosage for a once-in-a-century economic affliction.
Derek Thompson – The Atlantic
Last week, House Democrats unveiled their latest pandemic-relief package. The bill combines aid for families, a bailout for struggling cities and states, and additional funds for testing, tracing, and hospitals. The price tag is about $3 trillion—and it comes just weeks after the president signed an economic-relief package worth about $2 trillion.
*****Interesting ideas on how to prevent an economic collapse.~JJL
The World Has Too Much Wheat
Megan Durisin and Anatoly Medetsky – Bloomberg
Ample global supply has reduced fears of wheat shortages; Bigger production will increase global stockpiles to a record
Despite scenes of panic buying at grocery stores and worries about key suppliers’ restrictions on wheat exports in recent months, the world is swimming in grain. Although major shippers from Russia to Romania moved to limit exports to protect domestic supplies amid the health crisis — with some measures still in place — there hasn’t been a major impact on trade and supplies should keep rising. With large harvests looming in many nations, global wheat stockpiles are expected to hit a record this year and climb even higher in 2021.
****Wheat stores just fine for a rainy or scorched day, or years or more.~JJL
Foreign STEM Graduates Are Being Shut Out of the U.S. Job Market; The added uncertainty of the pandemic may change the calculations even for employers with jobs to fill.
Shelly Banjo, Olivia Carville – Bloomberg
It was shaping up to be a big spring for Rugved Kore. He was finishing up a master’s degree in engineering that had brought him from the suburbs of Mumbai to Pennsylvania, and two companies had just offered him postgraduation positions that would make him eligible for a visa program for graduates of U.S. universities in technical fields. “It was almost too good to be true,” Kore says. “Getting the job offers felt like a dream because we just don’t have these opportunities in India.”
*****This is just stupid and tragic.~JJL
Monday’s Top Three
Our top story Monday was Why doesn’t CME offer a cannabis futures contract?, from Crain’s Chicago Business. Second was Black light experiment shows how quickly a virus like Covid-19 can spread at a restaurant, from CNN.
Third was Ellen Sandor’s virtual art exhibit.
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Futures exchange wins new partner for June 1 launch; The Small Exchange, which is targeting retail traders, has landed Interactive Brokers as a partner.
Lynne Marek – Crain’s Chicago Business
Chicago futures exchange startup Small Exchange, which aims to lure retail traders, has landed support from a big partner, Interactive Brokers Group, which will smooth the way for drawing customers to a June 1 launch. Small Exchange CEO Donnie Roberts said the new exchange recently got the green light from clearing house Options Clearing Corp. and successfully completed testing to open the new exchange for trading on three inaugural contracts next month.
The father of the fear gauge feels reassured by the VIX; Robert Whaley, who built Cboe’s popular volatility index almost 30 years ago, says he still watches it daily.
Robert Whaley spent the last four months of 1992 in a small town near Dijon, France, with a set of large hard drives containing what was then the entire series of index option prices from the Chicago Board Options Exchange. On sabbatical from Duke University, he’d been commissioned by the exchange to create a volatility index. With two powerful PCs, he worked out the formula for the Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index. The VIX was unveiled in Chicago on Jan. 19, 1993.
Martin Jetter elected new Chairman of the Supervisory Board
Deutsche Börse AG
The Supervisory Board of Deutsche Börse AG elected Martin Jetter (61) as the new Chairman of the Supervisory Board during today’s meeting following the company’s Annual General Meeting. Jetter succeeds Dr. Joachim Faber (70), who had resigned his mandate with effect from today’s ordinary general meeting.
Xavier R. Rolet KBE appointed Chairman of Shore Capital Markets
Shore Capital is delighted to announce that Xavier Rolet has joined the Group as Non-Executive Chairman of its Capital Markets business. During his decade as CEO of the London Stock Exchange, Mr Rolet transformed the LSE into one of the world’s largest exchanges by market capitalisation, increasing its valuation from £800m to more than £14bn.
Annual General Meeting elects Michael Martin Rüdiger to the Supervisory Board
Deutsche Börse AG
At today’s Annual General Meeting, Deutsche Börse AG shareholders elected Michael Martin Rüdiger to the Supervisory Board. Dr. Joachim Faber resigned from his position as shareholder representative with effect from the end of today’s Annual General Meeting and has therefore left the Supervisory Board.
LCH clears first SORA swaps
LCH is the first clearing house to offer clearing of Singapore Dollar swaps benchmarked to SORA; Launched in collaboration with the market and in response to customer demand; Demonstrates LCH’s continued support for global rates reform
LCH, a leading global clearing house, today announced that it has cleared the first Singapore Dollar interest rate swaps referencing the Singapore Overnight Rate Average (SORA). LCH has implemented clearing of SORA swaps as the industry continues to adopt alternative interest rate benchmarks. LCH also offers clearing in EURSTR swaps, SOFR swaps, SONIA Futures and SARON swaps.
These Investors Are Helping Drive Market’s Surprise Rally; Rebound has been powered by shares in some of the biggest companies, by investors targeting a few sectors
Dawn Lim and Juliet Chung – WSJ
When the stock market plunged in March, John Rogers Jr. sensed a discount of a lifetime. Mr. Rogers’s Chicago investment firm moved quickly, increasing holdings in the media sector. Ariel Investments added to its holdings of ViacomCBS Inc., VIAC 10.12% television-station operator Tegna Inc., People magazine publisher Meredith Corp. and cable network MSG Networks Inc. MSGN 5.42%
Fear of Risk Could Diminish the Economic Rescue by the Treasury and Fed; The Treasury does not want to lose taxpayer money on central bank emergency lending. That could leave riskier companies out in the cold.
Jeanna Smialek and Alan Rappeport – NY Time
As the United States plunges into the worst economic downturn in decades, there is growing concern that the Federal Reserve and the Treasury are being too timid and halting in their approach as they scramble to rescue the economy.
Global Downturn Risks Becoming Prolonged Recession, WEF Says
Jill Ward – Bloomberg
Inequality, unemployment, climate setbacks are related risks; Rebuilding should focus on inclusivity, sustainability
Leaders need to do more to secure a quick and sustainable recovery for the global economy, according to the World Economic Forum. In a survey of almost 350 risk professionals, the Geneva-based group said that two-thirds identified a drawn-out downturn as the greatest risk now facing the world over the coming year and a half. The pandemic has already thrown the economy into its deepest recession since the Great Depression and provoked a massive monetary and fiscal response.
There’s Always Money in the Banana Stand; A former Wall Street trader finds a backward way for restaurants to profit in food delivery by ordering their own pizzas
Laura Forman – WSJ
It turns out restaurants can make money on food-delivery platforms. They may just have to order their own food to do it. A weekend post in popular technology blog “Margins” highlighted just how messy the food-delivery kitchen has become. Restaurants feel like they must pay for multiple online-delivery platforms to stay afloat, but then face costs from all the fees. Meanwhile, the delivery platforms themselves are losing money, even as their services boom.
Sanitizing Newbie? Take a Lesson From a Hog Farmer; Showers, disinfectant and clean side-dirty side rules: Agriculture’s biosecurity protocols double as anti-coronavirus practices
Jacob Bunge – WSJ
A few weeks ago, after Brad Greenway picked up some water-line fittings from a supplier, he followed his usual practice to avoid bringing germs into his workplace: he showered, put on a fresh set of clothes and wiped the parts down with disinfectant.
$500 billion Treasury fund meant for coronavirus relief has lent barely any money so far, oversight commission finds
Erica Werner – The Washington Post
A $500 billion Treasury Department fund created by the Cares Act in March to help stabilize the economy has lent barely any money, according to an initial report issued by a new Congressional Oversight Commission.
The money was supposed to be used to help prop up large segments of the U.S. economy at a time when millions of Americans had lost their jobs or were ordered to work remotely. The Treasury Department has speedily implemented other parts of the Cares Act, but its work on the $500 billion fund has so far led to little action at a time when a growing number of firms are seeking bankruptcy protection and continuing to lay off employees.
America Is Becoming Japan, Not in a Good Way; The country could be on the brink of its own deflationary era.
Mark Gongloff – Bloomberg
In 1992, Michael Crichton followed one of his best novels, “Jurassic Park,” with one of his worst, “Rising Sun,” a Japanophobic cautionary tale about America being swallowed by Japan’s booming economy. He should have stuck to sci-fi: Japan had already entered a lost economic decade by the time of publication, becoming a cautionary tale itself. But now America risks being Japanified in a different way, thanks to the coronavirus.
High-Yield Fund With Roots in the 1920s Is Now Winding Down
Miles Weiss – Bloomberg
Nicholas High Income shuttering as firm refocuses on stocks; Family-run asset manager helped turn Milwaukee into a fund hub
One of the longest-running U.S. mutual funds is shutting down after almost a century of operations. The family-run Nicholas Co. is closing the Nicholas High Income Fund, its only fixed-income fund, on or around July 24, according to a regulatory filing. The firm plans to liquidate the assets and distribute the cash to shareholders.
How Short Sellers Become Targets During Market Routs
Lisa Pham – Bloomberg
When stock prices plummet in a market rout, short sellers often become a target. Regulators can attempt to curtail the plunge by restricting equity short selling, or betting with borrowed shares. Shorts, as these bettors are known, say their trading helps keep markets functioning smoothly. Critics say their actions can blur into market manipulation. During periods of acute market distress, such as early in the coronavirus pandemic, some of the hardest-hit countries again imposed temporary bans — although to what effect is unclear.
Wealthy Donors Press Congress to Require Higher Giving in Crisis
Laura Davison – Bloomberg
Change would raise $200 billion by doubling distribution rule; Change would be ‘free’ economic stimulus, advocates say
A group of philanthropists is asking Congress to require foundations and other charitable groups formed by affluent donors to give more to charitable causes to combat the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Walt Disney Co. heiress Abigail Disney, Susan and Regan Pritzker of the billionaire Pritzker family, and early Google software developer Ning Mosberger-Tang are among more than 260 philanthropists asking Congress to increase the minimum amounts that private foundations and donor-advised funds donate to charities each year.
CLOs Are Inflicting Serious Pain to Risk Takers; The structures are starting to crumble at lower ratings, and the Fed is unlikely to come to the rescue.
Brian Chappatta – Bloomberg
About two years ago, I wrote my first column on collateralized loan obligations. It followed a Barron’s article pointing individual investors to funds that buy the riskiest equity and junior debt of CLOs and offer double-digit yields. I posited that the peak must be close, based mostly on a hunch that markets only get truly frothy when mom and pop show up.
Brazil Passes U.K. With Third-Most Coronavirus Cases Globally
Jessica Brice – Bloomberg
Brazil reports 254,220 cases; virus has killed almost 17,000; Bolsonaro is without a health minister after Teich quit
Brazil is now the world’s fastest-growing coronavirus hotspot, accounting for 13% of all new cases globally in the past week. Just days after it overtook Italy and Spain in total number of cases, the Latin American nation claimed
the No. 3 spot from the U.K., reporting 254,220 confirmed cases as of Monday. The country is quickly catching up to Russia, which trails only the U.S., according to data compiled by Bloomberg
In Reopened States, Numbers Are Everywhere. Clarity Is Absent
Kurt Wagner and Margaret Newkirk – Bloomberg
Muddled procedures and embarrassing errors skew Covid-19 count; ‘Deaths take three or four weeks to show up,’ expert says
It’s been at least two weeks since many states started lifting stay-at-home orders. Movie theaters in Texas, gyms in Tennessee and restaurants in South Carolina all have been open for business.
Mumbai Prepares For Virus Peak With Beds in Parks to Planetarium
Dhwani Pandya – Bloomberg
City is preparing 100,000 beds to treat, isolate virus cases; Proposal to reserve 50% beds in private hospitals for patients
Mumbai, India’s financial hub and the epicenter of the nation’s coronavirus outbreak, is converting several of its iconic structures into quarantine facilities as it races to prepare for a predicted peaking of infections this month.
Blankfein Says U.S. Will Have to Suffer Through Spike in Viruses
David Westin and Sridhar Natarajan – Bloomberg
Lloyd Blankfein said the U.S. will have to stomach a spike in virus cases as the economy reopens because stimulus efforts can’t go on indefinitely. The former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. chief executive officer said the Federal Reserve has done a good job responding to the coronavirus crisis, but fiscal stimulus may reach a point where it triggers higher U.S. borrowing rates. Policy makers can’t afford to wait for a vaccine to reopen the economy, he said.
Coronavirus Debt Isn’t as Scary as Government Bungling; Borrowing to battle the pandemic is manageable as long as the U.S. is well-run. There’s no guarantee it will be.
Noah Smith – Bloomberg
The coronavirus pandemic and the resulting economic depression are going to require huge amounts of government spending. Government is devoting resources to halting the outbreak. It’s sustaining businesses during shutdowns so that they don’t have to be rebuilt from scratch. It’s paying the bills for workers who’ve lost their jobs. It’s bailing out state and local governments whose tax revenues are disappearing and can’t finance budget deficits. And it’s taking on much of the debt from the financial system to ensure that a banking crisis doesn’t follow the pandemic.
Germany Reports Steep Drop in New Virus Cases
Andrew Blackman – Bloomberg
Germany recorded a steep decline in the number of new coronavirus cases and the infection rate dropped further below the key threshold of 1.0.
German Investor Confidence Jumps on Hopes Worst of Pandemic Over
Piotr Skolimowski – Bloomberg
Expectations rose to 51.0 in May, exceeding all estimates; Recovery hopes marred by worries over lasting pandemic damage
Investors are growing more confident that the German economy will recover from its worst postwar slump in the second half of the year, with businesses resuming activity after the government lifted restrictions to contain the pandemic.
How China’s Pledge to Give Its Virus Vaccine Could Go
Chinese President Xi Jinping has pledged to make any effective vaccine against the coronavirus that is developed by China accessible and affordable globally as a “public good.” His vow came after some drug makers suggested that countries providing funding for their work will get first dibs, spurring a debate over “vaccine nationalism.” If successfully executed, China’s move could help defuse criticism of its early response to a disease, now called Covid-19, that first emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan and has since killed more than 315,000 people around the world. It also could boost China’s global standing, especially among poorer countries, as U.S. President Donald Trump’s threatens to cut off American funding for the World Health Organization.
Russian Prime Minister Returns to Office After Recovering From Coronavirus
Jake Rudnitsky – Bloomberg
Mishustin had been temporarily replaced during treatment; Three other Russian ministers were diagnosed with the virus
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree restoring Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin to his position after he recovered from a coronavirus diagnosis.
Sovereign wealth funds fly to relative safety of U.S. assets amid pandemic
Tom Arnold – Reuters
Sovereign wealth funds flocked to U.S. equities and bonds in the first quarter at the expense of riskier investments such as those in emerging markets as the coronavirus spread around the world, data shows.
Covid Patients Testing Positive After Recovery Aren’t Infectious, Study Shows
Heesu Lee and Jason Gale – Bloomberg
Result is a positive sign for regions reopening economies; Findings may also aid in the debate over antibody testing
Researchers are finding evidence that patients who test positive for the coronavirus after recovering aren’t capable of transmitting the infection, and could have the antibodies that prevent them from falling sick again.
Exchanges, OTC and Clearing
DTCC Unveils Proposals to Explore Further Digitalization in the Public & Private Markets
DTCC to collaborate with the industry to evaluate whether digitalization delivers benefits for lifecycle management in the private markets and the settlement of securities in the public markets
New York/London/Hong Kong/Singapore/Sydney, May 18, 2020 ? The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC), the premier market infrastructure for the global financial services industry, today unveiled plans to explore the benefits of digitalization in the public and private markets and whether new technologies can strengthen post-trade processes and reduce risks and costs.
Eurex STS secures German banking licence for Buy-in Agent service
Launching in early 2021, the Buy-in Agent service will offer an automated and standardized solution to meet the CSDR’s settlement discipline regime; BaFin has granted Eurex STS, a subsidiary of Eurex Frankfurt AG, a banking licence
Eurex Securities Transactions Services GmbH (Eurex STS) has obtained a banking licence from the German Federal Financial Supervision Authority (BaFin), a key milestone required to offer Buy-in Agent services once the settlement discipline aspect of the CSDR regulation comes into effect.
Why Intercontinental Exchange’s Stock Isn’t Going Anywhere Anytime Soon
Trefis Team, Great Speculations – Forbes
Intercontinental Exchange’s stock (NYSE: ICE) has gained more than 40% since hitting a low of $67 on March 23, and we believe that the stock has will largely move sideways over the coming months. Our belief stems from the fact that the company’s stock is almost at the level it was on February 19 (which was the pre-coronavirus crisis market peak) and also at the beginning of the year. Our dashboard, ‘What Factors Drove 72% Change In Intercontinental Exchange Stock Between 2016 And Now?’, provides the key numbers behind our thinking, and we explain more below.
The WFE Welcomes Decision to End Short Selling Bans Across Europe
The World Federation of Exchanges (“WFE”), the global industry group for exchanges and CCPs, welcomes the decision to end the short selling bans across Europe and commends authorities’ efforts to return to normal operations of fair and orderly markets in the region.
Has The NYSE Floor Closure Affected Its Market Share?
“The global pandemic COVID-19 has caused extreme shocks to our economy and financial markets. A symbol of these unprecedented times, on March 23, the New York Stock Exchange closed its physical floor and moved to fully electronic trading.
Nasdaq Set to Tighten Listing Rules, Impacting Chinese IPOs
Crystal Tse and Julia Fioretti – Bloomberg
Exchange plans to set a fundraising minimum of $25 million; New rules target firms from countries with restrictive markets
Nasdaq Inc. is planning new rules that would make initial public offerings more difficult for some Chinese companies, thrusting the U.S. exchange into the middle of an increasingly contentious debate over financial linkages between the world’s largest economies.
Deutsche Boerse chief says plans to fulfil his term as CEO
Deutsche Boerse (DB1Gn.DE) Chief Executive Theodor Weimer said on Tuesday that he planned to complete his term through the end of 2024 at the helm of the stock exchange operator.
Re-appointment of Chairman Approved
Reference is made to the announcement of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (“HKEX”)
dated 7 May 2020 in relation to the re-appointment of Mrs Laura May-Lung Cha (“Mrs Cha”) as
the Chairman of the Board of Directors of HKEX (“Chairman”). HKEX is pleased to announce that the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region has, pursuant to Section 69 of the Securities and Futures Ordinance, today given her written approval of the re-appointment of Mrs Cha as the Chairman with immediate effect until the conclusion of HKEX’s annual general meeting to be held in 2022.
NSD Receives The Status Of Bank Of Russia’s SPFS Service Bureau
National Settlement Depository (NSD) has received the status of a Service Bureau of the Financial Messaging System of the Bank of Russia (SPFS).
Nasdaq Increases Market Shares Within Norwegian Derivatives
Nasdaq market leaders within single stock options, growing position within index futures; New product initiatives will support further growth
Nasdaq (Nasdaq: NDAQ) today announced new statistics for trading in Norwegian Equity Derivatives, showing a 53 percent market share for single stock options. To further strengthen the client value for equity derivative trading, Nasdaq plans to additional product initiatives in the near future.
SIX Launches b.Link – The Central Platform For The Standardized Sharing Of Data Between Financial Institutions And Third-Party Providers
With the b.Link platform, SIX is creating the basis for innovative partnerships between financial institutions and third-party providers. In a first step, providers of accounting solutions in Switzerland can connect to financial institutions under controlled conditions via the standardized b.Link interfaces. Corporate customers can thereby process account information and payment orders directly in their accounting software. SIX operates b.Link as an open platform and will continuously increase the number of participating financial institutions, third-party providers and applications.
The 19th Annual General Shareholders Meeting; Notice of the 19th Annual General Shareholders Meeting
Matters Disclosed on the Internet Concerning Notice of the 19th Annual General Shareholders Meeting
Joining Hands To Action With Investors In Mind – Shenzhen Stock Exchange Organizes A Series Of “May 15 National Investor Protection Publicity Day” Activities
On May 15, the CSRC held the activity themed “May 15 National Investor Protection Publicity Day” of 2020. Under the unified arrangement of the CSRC, SZSE recently organized a series of activities to “join hands to action with investors in mind”, focusing on the study and implementation of the new Securities Law, and the in-depth interpretation of the reform of the ChiNext Board and the pilot project of the registration-based IPO system. We also carried out publicity activities on the theme of honest operation of listed companies, in a bid to further promote the rational investment, forge consensus among all market players, and create a favorable atmosphere for the reform and development of the capital market.
BOX Exchange: Facilitation Auto-Match Functionality
Effective June 8, 2020, BOX Exchange LLC (“BOX”) will introduce an automatic matching feature to the Facilitation Auction Mechanism. Upon entry of a paired order into the Facilitation Auction Mechanism, the Facilitating Participant can elect to automatically match the price and size of orders, quotes and responses received during the exposure period up to a specified limit price or without a specified limit price (“auto- match”).
Intercontinental Exchange Prices $2,500,000,000 in Senior Notes and Issues Notice of Redemption of 2.75% Senior Notes due 2020
Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE: ICE), a leading operator of global exchanges and clearing houses and provider of data and listings services, announced today that it priced an underwritten public offering of $2.5 billion in new senior notes.
EU’s Breton tells Facebook’s Zuckerberg the fake news buck stops with him
Foo Yun Chee – Reuters
EU industry chief Thierry Breton on Monday warned Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg that his social media firm and other tech giants may be subjected to tough rules if they do not step up efforts to take down disinformation.
Zoom suspends new free user registrations in China
Video conferencing provider Zoom Video Communications Inc said on Tuesday it was limiting new user registrations in mainland China to enterprise customers only.
Redland Insight Becomes Pentana Compliance ???????
Leading international provider of governance, risk and compliance software, Ideagen Plc, has announced that Redland Insight will be rebranded and known as Pentana Compliance from today. The move follows the purchase of Redland by Ideagen last year and completes the full integration of the business and its industry leading products.
DriveWealth Forges Agreement with Access Softek to Bring U.S. Stock Investing to Credit Union Members, Community Bank Customers; Digital Banking Innovator Leverages DriveWealth Technology, Execution, Clearing, Settlement and Custody Services
DriveWealth, LLC, a U.S. based leader in global digital trading technology, today announced it has forged an agreement with online and mobile banking software provider Access Softek, Inc. Through the partnership, DriveWealth will integrate with Access Softek’s new investing app, EasyVest, which will be distributed via banks and credit unions, and DriveWealth will provide trade execution, clearing, settlement and custody services for the transactions.
Predata Signals Now Available to SGX’s Titan OTC Customers; Predata is providing one of its AI-generated signal suites to complement Singapore Exchange’s international iron ore derivatives products
Predata, the predictive analytics company for anticipating geopolitical risk, announced today that it has partnered with Singapore Exchange (“SGX”) to provide a select set of Predata signals on iron ore to Singapore Exchange’s Titan OTC Platform. These signals are now available on the platform.
Bitcoin Is “Right Where Oil Was In 1890”
Frank Holmes – Forbes
Last week I was honored to participate in the first virtual Consensus cryptocurrency conference, hosted by CoinDesk. In years past, the annual gathering—attended by the world’s biggest crypto and blockchain companies, experts, entrepreneurs and investors—has been held in New York, but in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus, everything was moved online.
Ex-CFTC Chair Chris Giancarlo Joins Swiss Effort to Fund COVID Relief Projects
Nathan DiCamillo – Coindesk
The Swiss crypto exchange leading a $200,000 effort to support tech-driven solutions to the coronavirus-led economic crisis has snagged a high-profile advisor: former U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo.
Square joins Twitter in letting employees work from home permanently
Jack Dorsey-led Square Inc said on Monday that most of its employees can continue to work from home permanently even after offices reopen, following a similar announcement from Twitter Inc, which is also headed by the billionaire.
BitMEX accused of money laundering, market manipulation in new lawsuit
Yogita Khatri – The Block
A new lawsuit has been filed against the parent of crypto derivatives exchange BitMEX, HDR Global Trading Limited, as well as ABS Global Trading and its co-founders Arthur Hayes, Ben Delo and Samuel Reed, accusing them of illegal activities such as money laundering.
Hedge Fund That Timed Big Short, Crypto Rally Eyes Venezuela
Ben Bartenstein and Nishant Kumar – Bloomberg
Venezuela’s bond market has been rocked over the past few years by defaults, sanctions and a collapse in crude oil prices. Yet the disastrous cocktail is attracting hedge funds including London’s Altana Wealth Ltd. that say the situation can’t get any worse. Altana is pitching the South American nation’s government notes, which can be bought at pennies on the dollar, as the “trade of the new decade,” according to two letters to investors seen by Bloomberg.
EU Supercomputers Hijacked From COVID-19 Research to Mine Cryptocurrency
Sebastian Sinclair – Coindesk
European supercomputers programmed to search for a vaccine for the deadly coronavirus (COVID-19) were remotely hijacked last week for the purpose of mining cryptocurrency. According to a report by ZDNet, multiple supercomputers across the EU were compromised by a string of malware attacks that required a shut down after it was discovered they were being used for crypto mining – also known as cryptojacking.
Cryptocurrency Hardware Wallets Can Get Hacked Too
WHETHER YOU THINK cryptocurrency is a scam or a salvation, those digital coins can store real-world value. The safest place to keep them is in what’s known as a “hardware wallet,” a device like a USB drive that stores your currency and private keys locally, without connecting to the internet. But “safest” doesn’t mean “perfect,” which new research into two popular hardware wallets reinforces all too well. Researchers from Ledger—a firm that makes hardware wallets itself—have demonstrated attacks against products from manufacturers Coinkite and Shapeshift that could have allowed an attacker to figure out the PIN that protects those wallets.
Square’s Cash App now allows automatic bitcoin purchases
Yogita Khatri – The Block
Square’s Cash App now allows users to schedule automatic bitcoin purchases at set time intervals – daily, weekly, or bi-weekly. The new feature, dubbed “Auto Invest,” follows the system of dollar-cost averaging, i.e., buying an asset in small amounts regularly, regardless of its price. “You don’t need perfect timing if you’re thinking long-term…By spreading purchases out, you can minimize the impact of market swings,” said Cash App.
J.K. Rowling was drinking old-fashioneds and asked Twitter to explain Bitcoin. Here’s what happened next
Jeff John Roberts – Fortune
The cryptocurrency world received a jolt on Friday when one of the world’s most famous women expressed interest in Bitcoin. J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series, responded to a reporter’s tweet and asked for an explanation of the famous digital currency.
DTCC Considers DLT Use in Securities Trading With 2 New Studies
Danny Nelson – Coindesk
Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC), a giant of financial markets infrastructure, is studying whether distributed ledger technology (DLT) could accelerate its processing of securities. DTCC revealed two projects Monday aimed at integrating DLT with capital markets: Ion, a proof-of-concept alternative settlement service and Whitney, a security token method of private securities issuance and exchange.
Bakkt Secures Its Bitcoin Custody with a $500M Insurance Policy
Arnab Shome – Finance Magnates
Bakkt, a cryptocurrency platform owned by Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), has secured its custody business with an additional $500 million insurance policy as its institutional client list is growing. In an official post published on Monday, the crypto company has revealed that Bakkt Warehouse, its Bitcoin custody platform, is now serving more than 70 institutional clients.
BlockFi says it suffered a data breach, but no customer funds were lost
Frank Chaparro – The Block
Cryptocurrency lender BlockFi alerted clients Tuesday morning of a data breach, according to a memo shared with The Block. The breach occurred on May 14, impacting less than half of the firm’s retail clientele and none of the firm’s institutional clients, CEO Zac Prince confirmed to The Block. The breach, which lasted for “about an hour,” did not impact customer funds, said the firm.
Trump says should be possible to allow PPP borrowers more time to use loans
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday extending the amount of time borrowers in the Paycheck Protection Program have to spend their funds to 24 weeks from the current eight weeks “should be easy.”
Trump Tried to Kill Trade. Covid-19 Just Might Succeed; Trade was in trouble even before the coronavirus hit — but that might be nothing compared to what’s coming.
Clive Crook – Bloomberg
Today, no government sees defending liberal trade as its first order of business. More urgent matters demand attention. But trade is no sideshow. If governments fail to shape a stronger trade system, and defend it to their voters, a reversal of globalization is possible. That could end up causing more long-term economic damage than any other consequence of the coronavirus calamity.
Powell, Mnuchin Set to Face Lawmakers Over Crisis Lending Programs; Congress approved $500 billion to backstop Fed lending programs and Treasury aid to distressed industries
Nick Timiraos and Kate Davidson – WSJ
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will appear by videoconference before the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday to testify on how they are handling $500 billion in emergency lending programs.
Next Wave of Coronavirus Stimulus Payments Hinges on Debate Over Reopening Economy; Democrats voted for another round of $1,200 payments; Republicans prefer linking aid to employment
Richard Rubin – WSJ
Americans have gotten $239 billion—and counting—from the IRS to help them ride out the coronavirus pandemic. Whether households get another round of $1,200 stimulus payments is tied to the increasingly partisan debate over how quickly the economy should reopen.
White House panel: Build new tech infrastructure for future jobs
David Shepardson, Alexandra Alper – Reuters
A White House advisory panel on Tuesday will call for the government and private industry to work together to build new technological infrastructure to support future jobs and provide the underpinnings critical to a solid economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, an official briefed on the plans said.
Financial gain trumps espionage as top motivator in cyber attacks: report
Arriana McLymore – Reuters
Money trumped spying as the top motivator for data breaches last year, according to Verizon’s annual report on cyber crimes published on Tuesday. About nine out of 10 breaches were financially motivated, based on an examination of more than 32,000 incidents and nearly 4,000 confirmed break-ins in 81 countries, the report said.
Trump ‘Will Lie,’ People Will Die: Republican Lincoln Project Releases Ominous New Video; Latest ad launched as U.S. surpasses 90,000 deaths from COVID-19.
Mary Papenfuss – Huffington Post
An ominous new ad released Monday by a conservative Republican group features Donald Trump as a kind of White House Grim Reaper who relentlessly lies while people die of COVID-19.
CFTC Charges Danish Man in $1.5 Million Forex Fraud Scheme
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission today announced the filing of an enforcement action in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, charging defendant Casper Mikkelsen, a/k/a “Carsten Nielsen,” a/k/a “Brian Thomson,” a/k/a “Thomas Jensen,” a/k/a Casper Muller,” a resident of Denmark, with engaging in a $1.5 million foreign currency (forex) fraud scheme and registration violations.
SEC Charges Three Former KPMG Audit Partners for Exam Sharing Misconduct
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced settled charges against three former KPMG LLP audit partners for improperly sharing answers to internal training exams and for subsequent wrongdoing during an investigation of exam sharing misconduct at the firm. The SEC previously charged KPMG with violations concerning the exam sharing misconduct, as well as for altering past audit work after receiving stolen information about inspections that would be conducted by the PCAOB.
EU Tech Chief Threatens Facebook’s CEO With Regulation
Natalia Drozdiak – Bloomberg
The two men discussed internet rules in live-streamed debate; Talk comes as Brussels prepares more tech platform rules
The European Union’s tech chief Thierry Breton said Facebook Inc. will face more regulation if Mark Zuckerberg fails to assuage concerns about business practices, including around market power, as the two men went toe-to-toe in a live-streamed debate.
The AMF suspends the ban on the creation or increase of net short positions
In consideration of the progressive normalisation of the French market’s risk indicators, the Autorité des Marchés Financiers has decided to suspend the exceptional measure imposing a ban on the creation of net short positions and on the increase of existing net short positions. The AMF will closely monitor the overall situation in financial markets.
DOJ and CFTC use tough tactics to pursue spoofers
Renato Mariotti Holly Campbell – Thompson Coburn
This article originally appeared in an April 1 John Lothian News special report on spoofing.=
Despite recent setbacks, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) continue to ramp up their spoofing enforcement campaign, utilizing aggressive practices that can be difficult to anticipate. Market participants should exercise caution to ensure that they stay off the government’s radar, given how aggressive the government agencies have been in using their power in spoofing investigations.
Fed’s Bostic: Fed Disinclined to Penalize Banks for Emergency Lending Choices; The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President said he doesn’t plan to heavily second guess decisions banks have taken during the coronavirus crisis
Michael S. Derby – WSJ
Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Raphael Bostic said Monday he doesn’t plan to heavily second guess decisions banks have taken during the coronavirus crisis.
Expiration of short selling bans by Austrian FMA, Belgium FSMA, French AMF, Greek HCMC and Spanish CNMV and termination of short selling ban by Italian CONSOB
The FCA would like to draw the industry’s attention to the announcements made on 18 May 2020, by the following national competent authorities of the expiration of the restrictions on short selling and similar transactions:
We believe this firm has been providing financial services or products in the UK without our authorisation. Find out why to be especially wary of dealing with this unauthorised firm and how to protect yourself from scammers.
Global Pro Trader
We believe this firm has been providing financial services or products in the UK without our authorisation. Find out why to be especially wary of dealing with this unauthorised firm and how to protect yourself from scammers.
Regulator asks for Credit Suisse directors’ mobile data in spy inquiry: sources
John O’Donnell, Oliver Hirt, Koh Gui Qing – Reuters
Swiss regulators have requested electronic messaging data from the mobile phones of several Credit Suisse managers and supervisory board directors as part of a probe into spying at the bank, three people familiar with the matter said.
New Zealand Financial Markets Authority: ‘No Action’ Relief As A Result Of COVID-19
COVID-19 is having a significant impact on many market participants. We recognise that this may lead to practical difficulties which affect their ability to meet their regulatory obligations. Where a market participant breaches, or expects to breach, a regulatory obligation as a result of the COVID-19 circumstances and seeks relief from the FMA, the primary approach we intend to take is ‘no-action’
Finding and consolidating ‘lost’ superannuation; While there are important benefits, ASIC flags some of the risks.
Consolidation is often beneficial for consumers, but there are risks that trustees must be careful about when they encourage people to consolidate their super. Jane Eccleston, ASIC’s Superannuation Senior Executive Leader, discusses some of the issues ASIC has identified to help trustees best guide their fund members.
SEC Staff to Host July 9 Roundtable on Emerging Markets
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced July 9 as the date for its staff roundtable to hear the views of investors, other market participants, regulators, and industry experts on the risks of investing in emerging markets, including China.
Investing and Trading
NextDecade delays Texas LNG export project investment decision to 2021
U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) developer NextDecade Corp said on Monday it will not decide whether to build the proposed Rio Grande LNG export plant in Texas until 2021 as demand destruction from the coronavirus affects the global LNG market.
Overstock Fights Wall Street Over Dividend Amid 400% Rally
Robert Schmidt and Benjamin Bain – Bloomberg Company wants to control where digital security will be traded; Brokers and exchanges argue that plan sets bad precedent
Overstock.com Inc.’s stock price has been on a tear during the coronavirus crisis, but behind the scenes the online retailer is locked into a pitched battle with Wall Street over its controversial plans to issue a first-of-its-kind digital dividend.
U.S. Equity Markets Stubbornly Ignore the Doom Everywhere; Traders are trying to figure out how the economy will be reshaped by Covid-19.
Michael P. Regan – Bloomberg
The bearish case for the U.S. stock market is so obvious, it can be hard to believe that there’s any argument—let alone that bulls have often been winning it in the past few weeks. The U.S. economy is in the throes of such a deep economic downturn, with 36 million unemployment claims filed in the past eight weeks, that the word “depression” is being thrown around increasingly casually. A period of deflation is upon us, with the core measure of consumer prices declining in April by the most on record in a sign of the stresses many companies are facing in a locked-down world.
The Unicorns Fell Into a Ditch; Also pizza arbitrage, ABS ratings and TV ads.
Matt Levine – Bloomberg
I never listen to SoftBank Group Corp.’s earnings calls, but I do tend to skim the earnings presentations for the pictures. Usually the pictures managed to capture something essential about the zeitgeist, even if you don’t listen to the call; they have a purity as icons, as archetypes, even stripped from the context of SoftBank’s quarterly financials. For instance I think we can all project our hopes and fears for the current economic moment onto this series of slides from today’s earnings presentation:
MIT Professor’s Moderna Stake on Brink of Topping $1 Billion
Devon Pendleton and Tom Maloney – Bloomberg
Shares climb to record on promising results from phase 1 trial; CEO Bancel, other Moderna executives have been selling shares
Another early investor of Moderna Inc. is on the cusp of owning a stake worth at least $1 billion after the biotech firm reported encouraging early trial results for an experimental Covid-19 vaccine.
Unemployment Likely to Remain High Through 2021, Fed Study Says
Catarina Saraiva – Bloomberg
Quick return to low levels would require historic hiring pace; San Francisco Fed economists outline three scenarios
While uncertainty abounds in economic forecasting, U.S. unemployment will likely stay “severely” elevated well into next year, according to a report by two economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
Climate Change May Double the Risk of Breadbasket Failures
Agnieszka de Sousa – Bloomberg
Key growing regions face crop failures from extreme weather; McKinsey Global Institute publishes crop report Monday
Climate change will double the risk of simultaneous crop failures across the world’s top-producing regions, risking a surge in food prices.
Battle Over World’s Biggest Wind Turbine Is Heating Up
Will Mathis – Bloomberg
Siemens Gamesa launches 14-megawatt machine for offshore wind; New model will beat General Electric’s version by two meters
Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy SA, the Spanish wind turbine manufacturer, is to build what will be the world’s biggest windmill, by the thinnest of margins.
BlackRock Joins Allianz, Invesco Saying ESG Outperformed
Alastair Marsh – Bloomberg
BlackRock Inc. added its contribution to a growing body of research showing that ESG portfolios — those that consider environmental, social and governance issues alongside regular financial considerations — outperformed traditional market benchmarks in the recent market downturn.
Eleven Hedge Fund Traders Scored Big During Worst of the Crisis; Almost all investors were hit hard by the pandemic-driven market collapse. Here are some striking exceptions.
A small group of hedge funds managed to overcome the fast and furious market rout in March as the coronavirus pandemic sent countries around the world into a lockdown. For them, the sell-off brought riches that some haven’t seen since … well, since the last financial crisis. Notably, these profits were derived from a wide variety of investment approaches, from macro and credit to long/short equity and oil. The crisis beaters were the exceptions.
Hedge funds: No market for small firms; Fallout from coronavirus pandemic is favouring some of the industry’s largest names
Laurence Fletcher, Robin Wigglesworth and Ortenca Aliaj – FT
Big US hedge fund platforms such as Izzy Englander’s Millennium Management, Ken Griffin’s Citadel and Steve Cohen’s Point72 Asset Management look set to emerge from the coronavirus crisis as some of the industry’s biggest winners.
Franklin India May Take Over Five Years to Return Some Funds
Bijou George and Rahul Satija – Bloomberg
That time period is possible for four of six funds: documents; Investments in other two may be returned within five years
Investors in some of the credit funds run by Franklin Templeton’s India unit may have to wait over five years to fully recoup their money, the asset manager said in an email to investors.
JPMorgan hands out $30 billion in loans to small businesses: memo
JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) has given out more than $30 billion in loans to over 250,000 businesses as part of the United States’ coronavirus aid program for small businesses, Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon said in a memo on Tuesday.
Chinese Oil Demand Is Almost Back to Pre-Virus Crisis Levels
Oil traders and executives peg consumption at 13 million b/d; Jet-fuel is the only oil refined product holding back demand
Chinese oil demand is all but back to levels last seen before Beijing imposed a national lockdown to fight the coronavirus outbreak, according to people with inside knowledge of the country’s energy industry.
Secret Behind an Indian Quant Fund Outperforming Peers in 2020
Ronojoy Mazumdar – Bloomberg
Nippon quant fund dropped 15% this year while Sensex fell 27%; Emphasis on growth and quality while picking stocks helps fund
India’s oldest equity quant fund that offered lackluster returns for years outperformed most of its peers in 2020 amid the decade’s worst market rout. The secret lies in its investment model.
For Louisiana, pandemic a ‘2-black-swan event’ battering economy
David Montgomery and Richard A. Webster – Washington Post
The air smelled tangy and sweet as Tommy Cvitanovich oversaw employees grilling his famous delicacy — charbroiled oysters on the half-shell — to serve customers in their cars in a church parking lot. The pop-up eatery generated some rare profits for Cvitanovich on a recent Thursday evening, nearly two months after social distancing rules closed his Drago’s Seafood restaurants for full-service dining.
ECB’s Lagarde Says QE to Continue Despite German Court Ruling
Paul Gordon – Bloomberg
European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde said she’ll continue with the institution’s bond-buying programs despite Germany’s top court questioning the legality of one of them.
Cocoa Deforestation Fight Needs to Be Intensified to Meet Goals
Isis Almeida – Bloomberg
Targets for tree distribution still far from being achieved; More needs to be done to implement protection programs
Three years after Prince Charles gathered together the world’s top chocolate makers and cocoa producers in a campaign to end deforestation, a new report shows progress has to accelerate if targets are to be achieved.
Australia Looks to Big Oil in Latest Plan to Curb Emissions
James Thornhill – Bloomberg
Government plans to revamp the A$2 billion climate fund; Critics say proposals don’t go far enough to lower emissions
Australia is seeking to cut emissions in one of the world’s biggest per-capita polluters by encouraging oil firms including Chevron Corp. and Woodside Petroleum Ltd. to invest in carbon-reduction projects.
A Return to Normal in China Means Air Pollution is Back in Force
The welcome return of China’s economy is bringing with it some unwelcome company, as air pollution levels have returned to pre-lockdown levels across the country.
Fidelity International applies to set up China mutual fund unit
Fidelity International, the U.S. asset management giant, said on Tuesday it has applied to set up a wholly owned mutual fund unit in China, taking a major step toward tapping the country’s retail fund market.
The ‘lockdown sceptics’ want a culture war, with experts as the enemy
Peter Geoghegan and Mary Fitzgerald – The Guardian
The dismissal of coronavirus expertise, the pitting of ‘elites’ against ‘the people’ – it’s Brexit all over again for the high-profile contrarians
Within days of Boris Johnson announcing lockdown restrictions in late March, Toby Young – self-appointed general secretary of the Free Speech Union – had his own take on the government’s tripartite slogan. “Stay sceptical. End the lockdown. Save lives.”
UK announces new post-Brexit global tariff regime
Kylie MacLellan, Elizabeth Piper – Reuters
The United Kingdom announced a new post-Brexit tariff regime on Tuesday to replace the European Union’s external tariff, maintaining a 10% tariff on cars but cutting levies on tens of billions of dollars of supply chain imports. After decades outsourcing its trade policy to the EU, Britain is seeking free trade agreements with countries around the world and aims to have deals in place covering 80% of British trade by 2022.
U.K. Post-Brexit Trade Plan Cuts Tariffs But Highlights EU Risks
Joe Mayes – Bloomberg
The U.K. announced its post-Brexit tariffs regime, cutting import duties on many products while protecting industries such as automotive and agriculture, as the country turns its focus toward global trade beyond Europe. Items like dishwashers, freezers and Christmas trees will be able to enter the U.K. tariff-free as of Jan. 1 2021, the Department for International Trade said in a statement Tuesday. Under the plan, 30 billion pounds worth ($36.6 billion) of tariffs will also be removed on supply chain imports, including copper alloy tubes, and screws and bolts, the department said.
Pound sinks to bottom of G10 league table as Brexit fears return
Eva Szalay – FT
The pound is the worst-performing major currency this month, as renewed concerns about a no-deal Brexit combine with talk of negative interest rates to push the currency to its weakest since March’s dramatic sell-off. Sterling has lost nearly 4 per cent of its value against the dollar in May — putting it at the bottom of the G10 performance table — and has slipped nearly 3 per cent against the euro. The pound hit an overnight low at $1.2073 before regaining some ground to trade at $1.2139 by Monday lunchtime in London. It is the third-weakest major currency this year, with only the New Zealand dollar and Norwegian krone faring worse.
Coronavirus Reveals Risks to U.K. Supply Chains Before Brexit
Lucy Meakin – Bloomberg
Coronavirus-fractured supply chains are providing a wake-up call to British business and leaders with just seven months to go before Brexit triggers the biggest shakeup of trading relationships in a generation. Eighty-two percent of small- and medium-sized manufacturers say the pandemic has affected their supply chains. That’s according to a survey of more than 600 English firms by the South West Manufacturing Advisory Service.
Minecraft play spikes, tops 126M builders a month amid COVID-19; Microsoft’s open-ended video game was already one of the best-selling games ever. It’s still among the most played too.
Ian Sherr – CNET.com
Minecraft has already become an international phenomenon, but it keeps getting bigger. Microsoft said its 11-year-old world-building game crossed 200 million copies sold, with more than 126 million people playing each month.
The New Airline Travel: Fewer Flights, More Layovers, Rules for Bathrooms; As coronavirus lockdowns lift, carriers and airports desperate for passengers are rolling out safety protocols
Alison Sider, Benjamin Katz and Mike Cherney – Bloomberg
A new age of air travel is taking shape. Airports and airlines are rolling out temperature checks for crew and, increasingly, passengers, as well as thermal scans to spot people with elevated body temperatures. Face masks are now de rigueur for travelers across the U.S. Passengers on Europe’s biggest budget carrier must raise their hands to use the toilet.