GameStop and Bitcoin Renewed a Push to Digitize the Stock Market

Apr 9, 2021

First Read

$34,126/$300,000 (11.4%)

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Hits & Takes
John Lothian & JLN Staff

There is a new Van Gogh exhibit in New York billed as Van Gogh – The Immersive Experience. The site of this exhibit is the former trading floor of the NYMEX. The NYMEX trading floor is now an event space, just like the 1981 grain floor in the CBOT Building.

ISDA and FIA have a response to the EC’s Consultation on FRANDT Requirements. What the heck are FRANDTs?

The Wall Street Journal has a story titled Bitcoin and Taxes: A Guide to the Tax Rules on Owning Cryptocurrency. I think one reason for the increased popularity of bitcoin is the increased certainly about taxes on it.

Here is the speech by the SEC’s John Coates, Acting Director, Division of Corporation Finance, titled SPACs, IPOs and Liability Risk under the Securities Laws.

News is often defined not as “dog bites man,” but “man bites dog,” so I was a little disappointed in The New York Times headline A Rough Ride for N.Y.C. Cabbies. However, the story is actually about the economic impact of the pandemic on New York cabbies, some of whom have paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for medallions to drive a cab in New York.

Don’t miss the “STA Washington, D.C. Spring Update” on Wednesday, April 21. The STA will host U.S. Congressional members and business leaders for a full-day virtual discussion on legislative, regulatory and competitive forces influencing market structure. Among the topics covered will be: Payment for Order Flow and Best Execution, Private vs. Public Markets, Gamification and Social Media, Treatment of Odd-Lots and the Funding Model Proposal for CAT.

Also, don’t miss the EEX Group Digital Conference – Building Markets Together 2021. The online event is hosted by the European Energy Exchange AG on April 15 from 1:00 p.m. CET – 6:30 p.m. CET. Online.

We had no new donations to our JLN MarketsWiki Education GoFundMe campaign. Your donations are being matched by Trading Technologies for the next $18,500. Support our efforts to preserve industry history by giving to our GoFundMe campaign.

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

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Nasdaq Chief Economist Phil Mackintosh on Thursday published a look at failing trades, or FTD, which take place when one party to a trade doesn’t deliver their shares (or cash) by the settlement date. On an average day in 2020, an estimated 40% of all stock tickers had shares that failed to deliver, he said. That sounds more dire than it is — total shares failed actually make up only a small portion of overall market volume, Mackintosh said. More details on his analysis are here.~SC

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Rise of coronavirus variants will define the next phase of the pandemic in the U.S.
Lenny Bernstein, Ariana Eunjung Cha, Terrence McCoy and Jacqueline Dupree – Washington Post
Variants of the coronavirus are increasingly defining the next phase of the pandemic in the United States, taking hold in ever-greater numbers and eliciting pleas for a change in strategy against the outbreak, according to government officials and experts tracking developments. The highly transmissible B.1.1.7 variant that originated in the United Kingdom now accounts for 27 percent of all cases in this country. It is the most common variant in the United States, Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Wednesday — a development that officials predicted months ago. Two other variants, which took root in South Africa and Brazil and also are more transmissible, are cropping up with increasing frequency in parts of the United States.
/wapo.st/3uwPjaQ

*****Don’t let your guard down. Following the precautions suggested can help stop the variants.~JJL

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Cboe Options Exchange to Extend Global Trading Hours for VIX and SPX Options to Nearly 24 Hours-a-Day
Cboe Global Markets
Expansion of current GTH session planned for fourth quarter 2021, subject to regulatory review; Will provide global investors ability to trade Cboe’s flagship U.S. index options during local trading day and around the clock; Builds on growing customer demand, combined ADV for SPX and VIX options during current GTH session increased 76 percent in 2020 over the prior year
Cboe Global Markets, Inc. (Cboe: CBOE), a market operator and global trading solutions provider, announced plans to extend the global trading hours session (GTH) for its S&P 500 Index options (SPX) and Cboe Volatility Index (VIX) options to nearly 24 hours each business day on Cboe Options Exchange in the fourth quarter of 2021, subject to regulatory review.
/bit.ly/3cZyXBv

*****This will make it easier for Cboe to list cryptos again as they trade 24/7.~JJL

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Prince Philip has died aged 99, Buckingham Palace announces
BBC
In a statement shortly after midday, the palace said: “His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle.”
The duke, who was the longest-serving consort in British history, had returned to Windsor Castle on 16 March after spending a month in hospital.
/bbc.in/2PGPEJv

*****I have a fondness for Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. Edinburgh is in the Lothian Region of Scotland.~JJL

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Thursday’s Top Three
The most-read story on Thursday was a first-person account of workplace disillusionment published by The New York Times, After Working at Google, I’ll Never Let Myself Love a Job Again. The second most read was also from The New York Times, a how-to essay, Investing Made Simple for Beginners and Everyone Else. And third was from Yahoo Finance, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon outlines ‘serious weaknesses’ of virtual work.

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CryptoMarketsWiki Coin of the Week: XRP
XRP, the digital asset created by Ripple, reached its highest point in 3 years this week, trading at $0.75 Monday. XRP spiked after news broke that Ripple acquired a 40 percent stake in Tranglo, one of the largest cross-border payment firms in Asia; one of XRP’s primary functions is to settle cross-border payments. In other news, lawyers representing Chris Larsen, the executive chairman and co-founder of Ripple, filed a motion this week to dismiss a SEC lawsuit against him that alleges that he and his company sold unregistered securities (XRP).
/bit.ly/3kqWldm

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

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Lead Stories

GameStop and Bitcoin Renewed a Push to Digitize the Stock Market; Experiments in blockchain-based exchanges—with nearly instant, ’round-the-clock trading—are gaining steam, but critics warn of volatility and risk
Paul Vigna – WSJ
Imagine a world where you could buy stocks, bonds, derivatives, cryptocurrencies or even pieces of art, all on one exchange, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from anywhere in the world. On this exchange, trades occur directly between two investors instead of through a complex latticework of brokers, clearinghouses and other middlemen and gatekeepers. They settle, or close, almost instantly, instead of taking up to two days. The system is cheaper, more transparent and ostensibly more open. It is also potentially more volatile and risky for investors; profits can turn into losses in the wink of an eye at any time of the day or night.
/on.wsj.com/2OBZCew

Cboe extends options trading to almost 24 hours-a-day; SPX and VIX options on the Cboe Options Exchange will be tradeable for almost an almost 24-hour trading day under the extension.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
Cboe Global Markets has extended the trading session on its options exchange to almost 24 hours a day for certain index options as a means for investors to better cope with market volatility. The exchange will extend its global trading hours for S&P 500 index options (SPX) and Cboe volatility index (VIX) options, in the fourth quarter of this year subject to a regulatory review.
/bit.ly/3dUvq78

CME Seeks to Tap Electric-Car Demand With Lithium Futures; Contracts tied to the battery metal could make pricing more transparent
Joe Wallace – WSJ
Commodities exchange operator CME CME -0.78% Group Inc. plans to launch a futures contract for lithium, seeking to capitalize on growing demand for a metal that helps to power electric vehicles. The contract will be for lithium hydroxide delivered to China, South Korea and Japan, where most batteries globally are produced, CME said Thursday. If the futures contract is approved by regulators, it will begin trading on May 3.
/on.wsj.com/321jevK

US regulator turns spotlight on rosy Spac projections; SEC official says companies going public through blank-cheque mergers should face IPO-like scrutiny
Ortenca Aliaj – FT
The Securities and Exchange Commission has promised closer scrutiny of revenue and profit projections put out by businesses going public via a special purpose acquisition company, in a shot across the bows of Spac advisers and promoters. John Coates, the acting director of corporate finance at the SEC, said on Thursday that the purported advantage of presenting investors with forward-looking statements by going public through a Spac “is overstated at best, and potentially seriously misleading at worst”.
/on.ft.com/3214nBi

ICAP Memos Reveals Inner Workings of Now Notorious Cum-Ex Era
Donal Griffin, Karin Matussek, and Ellen Milligan – Bloomberg
Broker’s alleged role in tax trades outlined in court cases; Traders created low-key, profitable niche at the British firm
ICAP Plc’s rules for running trades that enabled what German lawmakers have called one of the costliest tax dodges in history were clear: don’t ask, don’t tell. “Do not enquire after the tax analysis of the German counterparty,” notes a 2008 memo signed off by a group of top officials at the brokerage. “Do not tell the counterparty to the German stock trade that we have sold short,” runs another directive. The document, part of a Hamburg court case filed in January, highlights the tripwires that brokers on the firm’s structured-products desk had to navigate to enter into the trades. That dexterity helped make the deals a profitable niche for ICAP: the transactions pulled in 28 million pounds ($38 million) of revenue for the broker in 2006, or about 3% of the group total that year, according to another memo.
/bloom.bg/3s5WTrn

Citigroup Fights for Freeze on $500 Million It Sent in Blunder
Chris Dolmetsch, Katherine Doherty, and Jennifer Surane – Bloomberg
Revlon lenders won battle to keep funds, but judge froze them; At Friday hearing they will ask court to release the money
Revlon Inc. lenders that received more than half a billion dollars in accidental payments from Citigroup Inc. are asking a judge to free up the money he’s already ruled is theirs to keep. The bank sued 10 asset managers for the Revlon lenders last summer to force them to return $504 million it had mistakenly wired them, an epic back office blunder that led to a closely watched trial. U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman froze the funds while the dispute played out. Then, in a surprise decision in February, Furman ruled for the money managers, finding they shouldn’t have been expected to know the wire transfers were an error. Citibank appealed his ruling.
/bloom.bg/3s7YDjQ

Hollywood Ponzi Scheme Ripped-Off Actor’s College Buddies
Daniel Avis – Bloomberg
Horowitz duped friends into lending him millions, SEC says; Money was to fund bogus licensing deals with Netflix, HBO
Zachary Horwitz, the former actor allegedly behind a massive Hollywood Ponzi scheme, duped his old college friends and their families out of tens of millions of dollars, according to recently released court documents. Three of Horwitz’s buddies from Indiana University said he tricked them into providing him with hundreds of millions of dollars in loans to fund bogus Latin American licensing deals with Netflix Inc. and HBO.
/bloom.bg/3mEVfvJ

The Next Big Trade, From Yes or No Bets to Security Tokens; Investors may want to take a closer look at these four markets on the cusp of going mainstream
Sebastian Pellejero – WSJ
Artists have long had patrons, but a growing crop of startups is systematizing the process of investing in musicians and athletes via cash advances early in their careers in exchange for a share of future income.
/on.wsj.com/2ODU0Au

Spac boom under threat as deal funding dries up; Hundreds of blank-cheque companies face uncertainty after investors balk at high valuations
Ortenca Aliaj and Aziza Kasumov – FT
A crucial source of funding for blank-cheque company deals is drying up, pointing to a slowdown for one of Wall Street’s hottest products after a record-breaking quarter. Advisers to special purpose acquisition companies, which float on the stock market and then go hunting for a company to buy, say they are struggling to find so-called Pipe financing to complete their planned acquisitions. Pipe is short for private investment in public equity.
/on.ft.com/31Xpjcj

Could Covid help us tackle climate change? ‘We can adapt in extraordinary ways if we must and if we are willing to make big sacrifices for the common good’
Tim Harford – FT
Like the uninspired sermon-writer who finds a way to link everything to Jesus, some commentators find a way to link everything to climate change. In December, an editorial in The Lancet medical journal on Covid-19 and climate change announced that “the causes of both crises share commonalities, and their effects are converging . . . both born of human activity that has led to environmental degradation”.
/on.ft.com/3sa9FFu

London Whale lessons for Credit Suisse and Nomura; After JPMorgan lost $6.2bn on credit derivatives, it recognised the necessity of a thorough public examination
Tom Braithwaite – FT
No large international bank has blown up since the financial crisis. There have now been two episodes, however, of self harm with costs running into the billions of dollars. The latest is Archegos Capital Management, the family office that borrowed heavily to fund disastrous bets using total return swaps. Lenders led by Credit Suisse and Nomura have lost billions after the bets soured last month.
/on.ft.com/31ZlH9V

Young Taiwanese investors drive rapid growth of ETF market; One in four of those in their 20s now hold exchange traded funds
Chermaine Lee – FT
Visit our ETF Hub for investor news and education, market updates and analysis and easy-to-use tools to help you select the right ETFs. Exchange traded funds in Taiwan have seen a dramatic surge in popularity over the past year, with one in four Taiwanese investors in their 20s now holding the investment products, data from the Taiwan Depository and Clearing Corporation show.
/on.ft.com/2OAgFO7

2020-2021 Capital Gains and Dividend Tax Rates; The tax rates on capital gains and dividends depend on how long you hold an investment, your taxable income and filing status.
Laura Saunders and Richard Rubin – WSJ
For investors using taxable accounts—as opposed to tax-sheltered retirement accounts such as IRAs or 401(k)s—the tax law has special rules that offer benefits and pitfalls. Congress hasn’t changed these rules recently.
/on.wsj.com/3d1pRV6

ISDA and FIA Respond to EC’s Consultation on FRANDT Requirements
ISDA
On April 7, 2021, ISDA and FIA submitted a joint response to the European Commission (EC)’s consultation on the draft delegated act and accompanying annex to specify the conditions under which the commercial terms for clearing services for over-the-counter derivatives are considered to be fair, reasonable, non-discriminatory and transparent (FRANDT). In the response, the associations thank the EC for the pragmatic changes and refinements they have made in a number of important areas of FRANDT, which will make the rules more proportionate. A number of critical issues are highlighted that should be considered before the FRANDT rules are finalized. These include questions on territorial scope, application of FRANDT to new/prospective clients only, the implementation period, proposed requirements on the refusal of clearing orders, and suspension, liquidation or close out of client positions and notice periods.
/bit.ly/31YFztA

New York Fed Official: Fed May Expand Access to Reverse Repo Facility
Michael S. Derby – WSJ
The New York Fed is looking at expanding access to a facility used to influence short-term interest rates and implement monetary policy in a way that could bring smaller firms into the marketplace, an official at the bank said. Lorie Logan, who manages the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s $7.7 trillion System Open Market Account holdings of securities and cash, on Thursday said the central bank is exploring doing business with a broader range of firms as it works to pursue the monetary policy goals laid out by Fed officials.
/on.wsj.com/3d1owNS

In 2020, There Was an Epic Collapse of Demand. Now, the Problem Is Supply; Recent setbacks raise doubt about how quickly businesses can respond to customers who seem intent on spending freely.
Neil Irwin – NY Times
Container ships stretch far out into the Pacific, waiting days for their turn to unload goods at California ports. Automakers pause production because they can’t get enough of the computer chips that make a modern car work. Long-dormant restaurants finally see a surge of customer demand, but they can’t find enough cooks.
/nyti.ms/3t5J9OK

Are NFT Purchases Real? The Dollars Are; Dive down a rabbit hole and explore nonfungible tokens, multimillion-dollar digital art and the nature of reality.
John Schwartz – NY Times
When an artist sold something called a nonfungible token for nearly $70 million at auction a few weeks ago, people were astonished — and confused. These tokens, or NFTs, are a complicated way to ensure ownership of something that exists in the digital world. In this case, it certified a yearslong project of daily images by an artist known as Beeple.
/nyti.ms/3s8QEmt

Coronavirus

It Really Is Back to the Office This Time; As the vaccine rollout gathers pace, pay attention to what companies do with their staff — not what they say.
Lionel Laurent – Bloomberg
People lucky enough to have the option are looking forward to working from home more after the pandemic, polls suggest — provided they’re not schooling from home at the same time. And polls also suggest employers are looking forward to offering that flexibility. Momentum is building for a “hybrid” workplace, according to experts, which would most likely allow for two to three days per week at home.
/bloom.bg/3s7WHrA

Biden’s Orphaned AstraZeneca Stockpile Grows to 20 Million Doses
Josh Wingrove – Bloomberg
Some experts say U.S. should donate entire AstraZeneca supply; Company has yet to ask for FDA approval of two-shot vaccine
The U.S. stockpile of the controversial AstraZeneca Plc coronavirus vaccine has grown to more than 20 million doses, according to people familiar with the matter, even as the shot looks increasingly unlikely to factor into President Joe Biden’s domestic vaccination campaign.
/bloom.bg/3d3Ao28

The World’s Wealthiest Countries Are Getting Vaccinated 25 Times Faster; Economies with the highest incomes have 40% of the world’s vaccinations, but just 11% of the global population
Tom Randall – Bloomberg
Enough vaccines have now been administered to fully vaccinate about 5% of the global population — but the distribution has been lopsided. Most vaccines are going to the wealthiest countries. As of Thursday, 40% of the Covid-19 vaccines administered globally have gone to people in 27 wealthy nations that represent 11% of the global population. Countries making up the least-wealthy 11% have gotten just 1.6% of Covid-19 vaccines administered so far, according to an analysis of data collected by the Bloomberg Vaccine Tracker.
/bloom.bg/2QaY2k0

The World Needs the Not-for-Profit AstraZeneca Vaccine, Minus the AstraZeneca Drama; A series of unforced errors by the British pharma company has turned hope into hesitancy.
Stephanie Baker, Suzi Ring – Bloomberg
Mene Pangalos, head of biopharmaceuticals research for AstraZeneca Plc, went to bed on Monday, March 22, feeling good for the first time in a while. After working around the clock through the weekend, he’d just announced better-than-expected interim results from the company’s large U.S. vaccine trial: The shot was safe and 79% effective at preventing cases of symptomatic Covid-19. Positive news, at last, after months of questions about everything including safety and supply shortfalls.
/bloom.bg/3dF7sMU

Tanzania’s U-Turn on Covid-19 Gets WHO and Africa CDC Support
Janice Kew – Bloomberg
Leadership change has brought in new pandemic team and policy; East African nation previously said it wouldn’t buy vaccines
Tanzanian leadership’s about-turn on the coronavirus received support from the World Health Organization and Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, which could help the country obtain vaccines and start to catch-up with other nations on the continent. The east African country’s new president, Samia Suluhu Hassan, announced plans earlier this week to appoint a panel of experts to advise her on how best to curb the spread of the virus.
/bloom.bg/3s3kWXZ

Second Virus Wave Overwhelms India Hospitals as Shots Run Low
Bibhudatta Pradhan, Muneeza Naqvi, and Dhwani Pandya – Bloomberg
India is facing an escalating health crisis, with its second wave of virus infections hitting record highs, overwhelming hospitals around the country as supplies of intensive care beds and vital drugs come under pressure. Across the South Asian nation, from the wealthiest and also the worst-hit state of Maharashtra to its most populous, Uttar Pradesh, reports are emerging of hospital beds running short and immunization centers turning away people as they run out of vaccines. India reported more than 131,000 new infections Friday, and with over 13 million virus cases lags behind only the U.S. and Brazil.
/bloom.bg/323C0Co

Covid-19 Is About to Become Much Less Deadly; Rising case numbers in the U.S. won’t necessarily translate into more fatalities.
Cathy O’Neil – Bloomberg
It can be discouraging to see U.S Covid-19 cases on the rise again, even as the country makes impressive progress in getting people vaccinated. But here’s some more reassuring news: There’s good reason to believe that cases won’t translate into deaths the way they have in the past. No doubt, America’s reopening could be managed much better. It’s still too early, for example, to open up baseball stadiums to full, unmasked crowds, as Texas has done. Too many officials are doing stupid, hazardous things that pretty much guarantee more coronavirus cases, and hence unnecessary deaths.
/bloom.bg/2Qe1ier

Ministers announce Covid testing plan to reopen travel from England; Industry warns the cost of PCR tests could deter holidaymakers
Alice Hancock, Philip Georgiadis and George Parker – FT
Travellers from England could take overseas holidays from May 17 to a small number of countries but will have to pay about £100 on their return for a Covid-19 test. Transport secretary Grant Shapps will on Friday confirm plans in England for a “traffic light system” for foreign travel, but each option will involve PCR tests upon return to try to track new variants of the virus entering the country.
/on.ft.com/3226XqF

Women not at greater risk from blood clots linked to AstraZeneca jab, health bodies say; Incidence rate shows ‘no difference’ between genders, according to UK’s Commission on Human Medicines
Anna Gross – FT
Health authorities across Europe have stressed that the rare blood clots linked to the Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine are as common in men as women, as experts continue to puzzle over the mechanism causing the strange constellation of sometimes fatal symptoms.
/on.ft.com/2OykX8y

Norway’s PM Erna Solberg fined for breaching her own Covid restrictions; Punishment will embarrass centre-right party ahead of re-election fight later this year
Richard Milne – FT
Norway’s prime minister broke her country’s Covid-19 rules by organising a 60th birthday dinner for 13 family members and will be fined, becoming the most high-profile politician worldwide to be sanctioned for breaching their own rules.
/on.ft.com/3t04TeK

UK businesses consulted on prolonged social distancing in offices; Government officials discuss longer-term use of masks and see-through plastic screens
Michael O’Dwyer, Kate Beioley, Daniel Thomas, Jasmine Cameron-Chileshe – FT
UK companies have been sounded out by the government about the possibility of implementing up to six months of social distancing each year and the longer-term use of masks and see-through plastic screens as they plan for a return to the office.
/on.ft.com/31ZlgfN

Maintaining trust in the AstraZeneca vaccine; Actions to minimise risks should not deter use of a beneficial jab
The editorial board – FT
All medicines have risks; consumers trust that the benefits outweigh the hazards. This should be the context for the debate over the potential link between rare blood clots and the Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine. With millions of doses given, the evidence suggests this is a highly effective vaccine, estimated to have saved over 6,000 lives in the UK alone. It would be highly unfortunate if regulatory actions to minimise risks, based on abundant caution, unnecessarily undermined confidence in a vaccine that has already attracted more than its fair share of controversy — especially in poorer countries that may rely on it.
/on.ft.com/3233593

J&J Covid-19 Vaccine Deliveries to Drop Significantly Next Week; It is unclear why states are projected to get 700,000 doses, down from 4.9 million the week before
Peter Loftus – WSJ
Deliveries of Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine doses throughout the U.S. are expected to plunge by more than 80% next week, according to state officials and federal data, as J&J grapples with manufacturing challenges. The federal government has allocated just 700,000 doses of J&J’s vaccine to U.S. states, territories and certain cities and federal agencies next week, compared with 4.9 million doses that were allocated for this week, according to information posted online by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
/on.wsj.com/2OzNKK1

Troubled Covid-19 Vaccine Rollout in Europe Nears Possible Turning Point; Rapidly rising production of vaccines is spurring hope that the EU can catch up with the U.S. and U.K., allowing an economic reopening in the third quarter
Marcus Walker in Rome and Bojan Pancevski – WSJ
The European Union’s economy and vaccination effort have been mired for months while the U.S. and U.K. race ahead toward recovery from the pandemic. But the EU’s fortunes could change by midyear—provided that mishaps stop hampering its vaccine supply. Amid rising social and political pressure, and despite setbacks, including new safety fears over the vaccine made by AstraZeneca PLC, European policy makers and analysts are expressing cautious optimism that the summer could bring a turning point, when vaccine makers say production will accelerate sufficiently to reopen the economy before fall.
/on.wsj.com/3t42uQj

In Mississippi, 73,000 Vaccine Slots and Few Takers; The good news: There are more shots available. The challenge is getting people to take them.
Andrew Jacobs – NY Times
When it comes to getting the coronavirus vaccine, Mississippi residents have an abundance of options. On Thursday, there were more than 73,000 slots to be had on the state’s scheduling website, up from 68,000 on Tuesday.
/nyti.ms/3d3IaZS

Racism Makes Me Question Everything. I Got the Vaccine Anyway; Surviving in an anti-Black society requires some personal negotiations. This was one of them.
Damon Young – NY Times
Last summer, when Covid-19 vaccines were in development, friends on text threads and Zoom calls asked if I’d get one. My response was always the same: Sure, I’ll be right in line — after 100 million of y’all go first. I told them I’d seen too many zombie movies. But my hesitancy was actually grounded in a less cinematic reality.: I just don’t trust America enough.
/nyti.ms/2Qd5ET3

China’s Bid to Ramp Up Vaccinations Hindered by Supply Shortages
Bloomberg News
China aims to vaccinate 40% of its population by end of June; Provinces told to prioritize key cities, delay shots for rest
China’s ambitious effort to vaccinate 560 million people — 40% of its population — by the end of June is running into a supply shortage, forcing health authorities to extend the intervals between two doses, and leaving some people unable to book their second shots. The supply bottleneck comes as China’s vaccination roll out accelerates to nearly 5 million doses a day, the fastest in the world, though the proportion of its vast population covered still lags the U.S., Israel and other leading inoculating nations.
/bloom.bg/3mxIkf2

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

Refinitiv’s trading services hit by 5-hour outage; Extensive glitch affects Eikon terminals and FXall currency platform
Philip Stafford – FT
Refinitiv, the data and trading provider owned by London Stock Exchange Group, suffered a five-hour outage on Thursday that knocked out some of its most widely used services. The group said the problem affected its Eikon terminals, which sit on traders’ desks, its data platform, the FXall currency trading platform and World-Check One, which checks if potential customers could breach rules against money laundering, bribery and corruption.
/on.ft.com/3d33vTb

All About Failing Trades; Failure-to-Deliver (FTD) occurs when one party fails to uphold their end of a trade by not delivering their shares (or cash) by the settlement date, currently two days after the trade (T+2). Just how many trades fail?
Phil Mackintosh – Nasdaq
Failure-to-Deliver (FTD) occurs when one party fails to uphold their end of a trade by not delivering their shares (or cash) by the settlement date, currently two days after the trade (T+2).
/bit.ly/3mzTf7P

Euronext announces volumes for March 2021
Euronext
Euronext, the leading pan-European market infrastructure, today announced trading volumes for March 2021.
/bit.ly/3uzfFck

MiFID II/MiFIR: Requirements regarding flagging of orders according to MiFID II/MiFIR, introduction of report TR166
Eurex
Starting 3 May 2021, Eurex Deutschland will offer to all Participants a new report „TR166 Identifier Mapping Final Error Report”, which shows the final number of non-decrypted short/long code combinations. This report will be provided for the Participants of Eurex Deutschland in addition to the existing short code reports TR160 and TR161. Report TR166 will also be used in future as the basis for sanctions measures.
/bit.ly/3dJUqh8

Change of SZSE-Listed China Connect Securities List
HKEX
With effect from 12 April 2021, SHENZHEN HIFUTURE INFORMATION TECH (SZSE Security code: 002168) listed on Shenzhen Stock Exchange will be removed from the list of Special China Connect Securities and will be added to the list of China Connect Securities which will be eligible for buy and sell in Northbound trading. The total number of China Connect Securities (both buy and sell) will be 886 while total number of Special China Connect Securities (sell only) will be 460. The aforementioned change is available on the “Eligible Stocks” section of the Connect Scheme webpage.
/bit.ly/39WMfgd

United Nations Sanctions (Yemen) Regulation 2019/ United Nations Sanctions (Central African Republic) Regulation 2020/ United Nations Sanctions (ISIL and Al-Qaida) Regulation/ United Nations (Anti-Terrorism Measures) OrdinancePDF
HKEX
/bit.ly/3dSi

Reminder for the Launch Date for the Enhancements of Volatility Control Mechanism (“VCM”) and Pre-Opening Session (“POS”)
HKEX
Reference is made to the circular dated 12 March 2021 (Ref. No.: MO/DT/051/21), the enhanced VCM and POS in the derivatives market will be launched on Monday, 12 April 2021 (“the Launch Date”). Exchange Participants (“EPs”) are reminded that starting from the Launch Date, multiple triggers of VCM will be allowed for each trading session. In addition, a random cutoff mechanism will be introduced to the pre-opening session and the pre-open allocation session of the POS. EPs may refer to the educational materials for VCM and POS on HKEX website for more information.
/bit.ly/3fXUnAT

TMX Group Limited to announce Q1 2021 financial results on Tuesday, May 11, 2021; Analyst conference call and virtual Annual and Special Meeting of Shareholders
to be held Wednesday, May 12, 2021
TMX
MX Group Limited will announce its financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2021 in the evening of Tuesday, May 11, 2021. An analyst conference call to review the results will be held at 8:00 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, May 12, 2021.
/bit.ly/3wCzrpj

Nasdaq March 2021 Volumes and 1Q21 Statistics
Nasdaq
Nasdaq (Nasdaq: NDAQ) today reported monthly volumes for March 2021, as well as quarterly volumes, estimated revenue capture, number of listings and index statistics for the quarter ended March 31, 2021 on its investor relations website. A data sheet showing the monthly volumes and quarterly capture rates can be found at: http://ir.nasdaq.com/financials/volume-statistics.
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PROD DATE CHANGE: Exercise & Assignment and Clearing Transformation Trade Types Project Phase 1
CME Group
Please be advised that the change to start posting Exercise and Assignment results as trades in FECPlus, as per CH Advisory 21-016, will be implemented in Production for Monday, April 26, 2021.
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Performance Bond Requirements: Energy, Agriculture, Metals, Equities, Interest Rates – Effective April 09, 2021
CME Group
As per the normal review of market volatility to ensure adequate collateral coverage, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc., Clearing House Risk Management staff approved the performance bond requirements for the following products listed in the advisory at the link below.
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Performance Bond Requirements: Interest Rate & Metal Margins – Effective April 09, 2021
CME Group
As per the normal review of market volatility to ensure adequate collateral coverage, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc., Clearing House Risk Management staff approved the performance bond requirements for the following products listed in the advisory at the link below. Please email any questions to Clearing.RiskManagement@cmegroup.com.

Product Modification Summary: Amendments to the Termination of Trading Rule and Holiday Schedule for Three (3) Argus Saudi Aramco Liquefied Petroleum Gas Futures Contracts – Effective April 12, 2021
CME Group
Effective Date 12 April 2021Amendments to the Termination of Trading Rule and Holiday Schedule for Three (3) Argus Saudi Aramco Liquefied Petroleum Gas Futures Contracts.
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New Product Summary: Initial Listing of the Lithium Hydroxide CIF CJK (Fastmarkets) Futures Contract
CME Group
Initial Listing of the Lithium Hydroxide CIF CJK (Fastmarkets) Futures Contract.
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Initial Listing of the Lithium Hydroxide CIF CJK (Fastmarkets) Futures Contract
CME Group
Effective Sunday, May 2, 2021, for trade date Monday, May 3, 2021, and pending all relevant CFTC regulatory review periods, Commodity Exchange, Inc. (“COMEX” or “Exchange”) will list the Lithium Hydroxide CIF CJK (Fastmarkets) Futures contract (the “Contract”) for trading on the CME Globex electronic platform (“CME Globex”) and for submission for clearing via CME ClearPort as noted in the table below.
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Approved Application for Spot Call Butter Regularity
CME Group
The Exchange has approved the application of Lineage Logistics located in Burien, WA to be designated as an Approved Warehouse for delivery of Spot Call Butter.
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Approved Application for Spot Call Butter Regularity
CME Group
The Exchange has approved the application of Lineage Logistics located in Algona, WA to be designated as an Approved Warehouse for delivery of Spot Call Butter.
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Notice of Summary Action
CME Group
MEMBER FIRM: Morgan Stanley & Co., LLC
CME RULE VIOLATION: Rule 853.A.6 (“Transfers of Trades”)
All transfers shall be reported to the Clearing House in a form acceptable to the Exchange for the type of transactions involved. The proper indicator must be included in the transfer such that the transactions, including the transaction(s) to reverse an error, clear as transfers. The clearing members involved shall maintain a full and complete record of all transactions together with all pertinent memoranda.
PENALTY: On March 19, 2021 Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC, pursuant to Rule 512 (“Reporting Infractions”), was collectively issued a $1,000 fine by the 512 Committee for its violation of Rule 853.A.6. (includes Cases CME-RQST-20-4839, CME-RQST-21-4849, and CME-RQST-21-4852).
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Notice of Summary Action
CME Group
MEMBER FIRM: Morgan Stanley & Co., LLC
CME RULE VIOLATION: Rule 853.A.6 (“Transfers of Trades”)
All transfers shall be reported to the Clearing House in a form acceptable to the Exchange for the type of transactions involved. The proper indicator must be included in the transfer such that the transactions, including the transaction(s) to reverse an error, clear as transfers. The clearing members involved shall maintain a full and complete record of all transactions together with all pertinent memoranda.
PENALTY: On March 19, 2021 Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC, pursuant to Rule 512 (“Reporting Infractions”), was collectively issued a $1,000 fine by the 512 Committee for its violation of Rule 853.A.6. (includes Cases CME-RQST-20-4839, CME-RQST-21-4849, and CME-RQST-21-4852).
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Notice of Summary Action
CME Group
MEMBER FIRM: Morgan Stanley & Co., LLC
CME RULE VIOLATION: Rule 853.A.6 (“Transfers of Trades”)
All transfers shall be reported to the Clearing House in a form acceptable to the Exchange for the type of transactions involved. The proper indicator must be included in the transfer such that the transactions, including the transaction(s) to reverse an error, clear as transfers. The clearing members involved shall maintain a full and complete record of all transactions together with all pertinent memoranda.
PENALTY: On March 19, 2021 Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC, pursuant to Rule 512 (“Reporting Infractions”), was collectively issued a $1,000 fine by the 512 Committee for its violation of Rule 853.A.6. (includes Cases CME-RQST-20-4839, CME-RQST-21-4849, and CME-RQST-21-4852).
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Opening address by Tan Boon Gin, CEO of SGX RegCo, at the SASB “Future of Sustainability Disclosures: Where SASB May Fit In” webinar
SGX
1. It seems that not a single day goes by without an event or speech on sustainability and ESG. I’ve been keeping count and I can say for certain that for the past one year there has been at least one pronouncement, every month by an international body on raising standards, harmonizing standards, standardizing metrics, forming a standard setting body to harmonize standards and standardize metrics.
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Fill-or-Kill Orders will no longer be supported on the MIAX Options Exchange
MIAX
This Regulatory Circular is to inform MIAX Exchange Members that fill-or-kill (“FOK”) orders will no longer
be available for use on the Exchange.
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Murban crude futures volumes more than double
Wendy Lisney – FOW
Trading in ICE Futures Abu Dhabi’s flagship Murban futures has reached a daily high of 14,419 contracts
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Murban crude futures register record trading volumes; The equivalent of 14.4 million barrels of Murban crude were traded on the Ifad exchange on Wednesday
The National News
Murban crude futures, which began trading on March 29, registered the highest volume of trade on Wednesday, with a record 14,419 contracts exchanged. The contracts are equivalent to 1,000 barrels each, and the volumes traded on Tuesday equate to nearly 14.4 million barrels of Murban crude, according to the Ice Futures Abu Dhabi exchange, on which the contracts trade.
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Fintech

The Chip Industry Has a Problem With Its Giant Carbon Footprint; Each new generation of semiconductors requires more energy, water and greenhouse gases to create.
Alan Crawford, Ian King, and Debby Wu – Bloomberg
Day and night, trucks arrive at the Southern Taiwan Science Park to pour concrete for what will become the world’s most advanced chip factory. It’s a giant undertaking that befits the out-sized ambitions of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., the world’s go-to chipmaker. The TSMC facility’s estimated cost of $20 billion is about three times that of Elon Musk’s Tesla Inc. gigafactory near Berlin. t’ll have a carbon footprint to match.
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Jan Marsalek’s behind-the-scenes role in Wirecard’s most contentious deal; Payment group’s fugitive ex-COO worked to improve the websites of Indian companies later acquired
Olaf Storbeck – FT
It was Wirecard’s biggest deal — and its most controversial. In October 2015, the German technology company agreed to pay up to EUR340m for a collection of small, barely profitable Indian payment groups. Two of the companies, Hermes I Tickets and GI Technology, had been involved in processing payments for just a couple of years. Wirecard chief executive Markus Braun hailed the deal, saying at the time that it would strengthen the company’s position “in one of the world’s most rapidly growing electronic payment markets”.
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Walmart trademark filing offers new details on its fintech startup
Lucas Manfredi – Fox Business
Walmart is teasing new details for its fintech startup announced earlier this year in partnership with investment firm Ribbitt Capital.
According to a March 29 filing with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the new venture now has a potential name: Hazel by Walmart.
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Cryptocurrencies

Bloomberg Foresees Bitcoin Rallying to $400K This Year
Omkar Godbole – Coindesk
How high can bitcoin fly in the ongoing bull run? That’s a question on traders’ minds after the cryptocurrency’s price jumped fivefold since October. According to Bloomberg bitcoin (BTC) analysts, the price could climb as high as $400,000 this year, from about $56,000 now. The uber-bullish prediction is based on bitcoin’s performance during the 2017 and 2013 bull runs.
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Crypto Miner Riot Blockchain to Buy Whinstone for $651 Million
Olivia Raimonde – Bloomberg
Deal will consist of $80m in cash plus a fixed 11.8m shares; Deal expected to close in the second quarter of 2021
Cryptocurrency-mining company Riot Blockchain Inc. said it will buy North America’s largest Bitcoin hosting facility, Whinstone U.S. Inc., for about $651 million in cash and stock. Riot Blockchain will purchase all of Rockdale, Texas-based Whinstone’s assets and operations for $80 million in cash plus a fixed 11.8 million shares of Riot common stock, according to a statement released Thursday. Whinstone will be the “foundation” of the company’s Bitcoin mining operations, Riot Chief Executive Officer Jason Les said in the statement. Riot anticipates the purchase will make it the largest publicly-traded Bitcoin mining and hosting company in North America, measured by total developed capacity.
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Blockchain may change equities trading for good; It allows for faster and safer settlement than the current monopolistic clearing houses
Gillian Tett – FT
Credit Suisse and Nomura have lately grabbed headlines for all the wrong reasons. But amid their multibillion-dollar losses in the Archegos debacle, nestled a snippet of very different news that may hold more profound implications for the future of finance.
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Bitcoin and Taxes: A Guide to the Tax Rules on Owning Cryptocurrency
Laura Saunders and Richard Rubin – WSJ
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are considered investment property like stock shares or real estate. Sales proceeds are typically taxed as long- or short-term capital gains, and losses can be used to offset gains. A change to the 2020 tax Form 1040 moves a key cryptocurrency question to the front page under the taxpayer name and address. Cryptocurrency owners who fail to answer the question or are untruthful risk higher penalties should the IRS audit them, as it will be harder to claim ignorance of the rules.
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Ether’s Record Run Came With Less Support Than Bitcoin’s, Blockchain Analysis Shows; Philip Gradwell of Chainalysis said on CoinDesk TV that “relatively little” ether was bought above $1,850 and even less was bought at $2,000 or above.
Muyao Shen – Coindesk
Compared with bitcoin’s (BTC) rally to a record price above $61,000 in March, ether’s latest bull run to an all-time high over $2,100 was supported by scantier demand from buyers, according to a top blockchain-data analyst. Philip Gradwell, chief economist at Chainalysis, said on CoinDesk TV’s “First Mover” show that “relatively little” ether (ETH) was bought at prices above $1,850 and even less was bought at $2,000 or above. “The reason why this is important is because the price that people are willing to buy and hold at tells us the level of demand that there is at that price level,” Gradwell said. “So not a huge amount of demand at that $2,000 price.”
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Charles Schwab seeks futures/forex compliance director to help shape crypto procedures
Aislinn Keely – The Block
Charles Schwab is seeking a compliance director for its futures and forex team, and the job post for the role offers clues to the financial services firm’s crypto ambitions. The Block reported last month that Charles Schwab is currently exploring the launch of crypto brokerage, with sources saying at the time that the firm is looking into how it can offer crypto trading to customers via partnerships with industry companies. The idea is that such services would be white-labeled from a crypto industry partner as early as the end of 2021.
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Robinhood saw more crypto traders than Coinbase in Q1 2021
Yogita Khatri – The Block
Online brokerage Robinhood saw more crypto traders on its platform than Coinbase in the first quarter of 2021. Coinbase saw a total of 6.1 million active traders on its platform in the quarter. Meanwhile, Robinhood saw 9.5 million customers trade crypto on its app during Q1. That is a whopping nearly 460% increase than its Q4 2020 number of 1.7 million. “A lot of customers using us for crypto,” said Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev in a video released Thursday. “They come to us for basically our competitive pricing and the user experience.” Tenev further said that Robinhood is “by far the easiest place” to buy crypto and it offers “incredibly competitive pricing.” “The goal is to give you the most for your money,” said Tenev.
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Crypto Options ‘Ponzi Scheme’ Operator, Firm Ordered to Pay $32M
Kevin Reynolds – Coindesk
A U.S. district court entered a default judgment against an Australian citizen residing in the U.S. and a Nevada corporation for a cryptocurrency fraud and misappropriation scheme, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission said Thursday. Circle Society and its operator David Gilbert Saffron were charged by the CFTC with fraudulently soliciting and misappropriating investor funds, as well as registration violations. Through his firm, Saffron offered binary options on forex and cryptocurrency pairs and is alleged to have fleeced investors for $11 million in dollars and bitcoin (BTC, +3.25%) since 2017.
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Bitcoin and Taxes: A Guide to the Tax Rules on Owning Cryptocurrency; The IRS says cryptocurrencies are investment property, not currencies. This year’s tax-form change shows the agency is cracking down on crypto investors who are skirting the rules.
Laura Saunders and Richard Rubin – WSJ
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency owners who fail to answer the question or are untruthful risk higher penalties should the IRS audit them, as it will be harder to claim ignorance of the rules.
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Politics

How Biden Can Help Make Global Climate Action More Equitable; There are steps the U.S. can take to support developing countries so they can do more to slow global warming
Kate Mackenzie – Bloomberg
Joe Biden is making a strong push for climate justice at home. It’s less clear how much of that commitment he’ll take to the international stage. The U.S. president has invited 40 world leaders, including China’s Xi Jinping and Russia’s Vladimir Putin, to the White House later this month to discuss how they can work together to slow global warming. Bloomberg reported that the Biden administration may double its Paris Agreement commitment ahead of the meeting.
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Kremlin Warns of Risk of Broader War in Ukraine Conflict
Ilya Arkhipov – Bloomberg
Peskov sees risk of ‘resumption of full-scale military action’; Putin rejected Merkel call to pull back troops, Peskov says
Russia brushed off German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s call to pull back troops massed near the border with Ukraine, warning that growing violence there could set off a broader military conflict. “The escalation of tensions in the southeast of Ukraine justifies the measures Russia is taking,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on a conference call Friday, referring to the military buildup. “The trend in the behavior of the Ukrainian side creates the risk of a resumption of full-scale military action,” he said.
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China’s Arrogance Is Uniting Its Rivals; Authoritarian states have a history of underestimating democracies, becoming more dangerous after realizing their mistake.
Hal Brands – Bloomberg
Over the past century, globally ambitious autocracies have frequently made two fatal mistakes. First, they have underestimated the U.S., a country whose shambolic democracy masks its tremendous resilience and strength. Second, they have failed to see how their own aggressive behavior will, eventually, drive their multiplying enemies together. Judging by recent events, Xi Jinping’s China is making both mistakes at once.
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U.S. Spy Agencies Warn of Threats From Digital Currency to AI
Peter Martin – Bloomberg
Intelligence report warns of leaderless, unstable world; Debt pressures will make it harder to combat climate change
The U.S. intelligence community predicts an increasingly leaderless and unstable world in the coming decades as trends such as artificial intelligence, digital currencies and climate change reshape the global arena, according to the National Intelligence Council. The coming decades will be characterized by a mismatch between global challenges and “the ability of institutions and system to respond,” according to “Global Trends 2040: A More Contested World.” The result will be “greater contestation at every level” — especially between the U.S. and China.
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Republicans’ Fake War Against ‘Woke Capital’; If they really wanted to help the working class, there is plenty they could do.
Jamelle Bouie – NY Times
The Republican Party may not have much of an agenda to sell to the public right now, but it does have an enemy with which to rally its troops: “woke capital,” or those corporations that have adopted progressive rhetoric on social issues and used their platforms to support voting rights or back movements like Black Lives Matter.
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U.K.’s Johnson Leads Tributes to ‘Much-Loved’ Prince Philip
Joe Mayes – Bloomberg
Duke of Edinburgh gave ‘steadfast’ support to Queen: premier; Queen’s husband died ‘peacefully’ at Windsor Castle, aged 99
U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson led tributes to Prince Philip, who died on Friday, saying he had given “steadfast” support to his wife, Queen Elizabeth II, and inspired the lives of young people. “He helped to steer the royal family and the monarchy so that it remains an institution indisputably vital to the balance and happiness of our national life,” Johnson said in a televised address outside his Downing Street office.
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Regulation

U.S. is ‘behind the curve’ on crypto regulations, says SEC Commissioner Peirce
Chris Matthews – MarketWatch
A top financial regulator warned that the U.S. is falling behind other countries in constructing a rational regulatory framework for the blockchain and cryptocurrency industries, and that this failure threatens to deprive the U.S. economy of the benefits of new innovations.
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Chief of SEC Whistleblower Office, Jane Norberg, Leaving Agency This Month; Emily Pasquinelli, the whistleblower office’s deputy chief, will take over from Ms. Norberg as acting chief
Mengqi Sun – WSJ
Our Morning Risk Report features insights and news on governance, risk and compliance. Jane Norberg, chief of the SEC’s whistleblower office who helped lead the unit from its infancy, will leave the agency this month after nine years with the unit, the SEC said Thursday. Emily Pasquinelli, the whistleblower office’s deputy chief, will take over as the unit’s acting chief.
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Jane Norberg, Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower, to Leave Agency
SEC
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Jane Norberg, Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower, is planning to leave the agency this month. Ms. Norberg has been with the Office since near its inception in 2012, serving as its first Deputy Chief and, since 2016, its Chief. During her time as Chief, Ms. Norberg streamlined the awards review and adjudication process, managed an expansion of the Office’s staff, and oversaw a dramatic growth in the number of awards issued to whistleblowers under the program, in part by leveraging the work of staff across the to complement that of the Office’s dedicated staff. Ms. Norberg also played an active role in Division-wide efforts related to diversity and inclusion.
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SPACs, IPOs and Liability Risk under the Securities Laws by John Coates, Acting Director, Division of Corporation Finance
SEC
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FINRA OTCE and OTC Transparency Data Websites Availability
FINRA
FINRA will be performing scheduled maintenance to the OTCE.FINRA.org; and OTCTransparency.FINRA.org websites on Saturday, April 10, 2021, from approximately 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET. During this time, these websites will be unavailable to users.
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CFTC Staff Issues Further Brexit-Related Relief to Provide Market Certainty
CFTC
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Market Participants Division (MPD), Division of Clearing and Risk (DCR), Division of Data (DOD), and Division of Market Oversight (DMO) today announced they are issuing no-action relief, effective immediately, to provide greater certainty to the global marketplace in connection with the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, known as Brexit.
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Federal Court Orders Nevada Company and its Owner to Pay More Than $32 Million for Cryptocurrency Fraud and Misappropriation Scheme
CFTC
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission today announced that following a hearing on the merits, the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada entered a default judgment against defendants David Gilbert Saffron, an Australian citizen residing in Las Vegas, Nevada and/or Los Angeles, California, and Circle Society, Corp., a Nevada corporation, for a cryptocurrency fraud and misappropriation scheme.
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Federal Court Orders New Mexico Man to Pay Over $10.3 Million for Defrauding Commodity Futures Clients in Long-Running Ponzi Scheme
CFTC
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission today announced that the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico entered a consent order for permanent injunction, monetary sanctions, and equitable relief against Douglas Lien of Santa Fe, New Mexico. The court imposed more than $10.3 million in monetary sanctions and relief for defendant’s wrongdoing, including his misappropriation of client money intended for futures trading. According to the order, the defendant admitted to misappropriating the funds and issuing false account statements to conceal his fraud for nearly 20 years.
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Federal Reserve Board issues enforcement actions with former employee of Farmers Bank and the Missouri Bank
Federal Reserve
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Federal Reserve announces final rule making technical, clarifying changes to the Federal Open Market Committee’s rules describing its Freedom of Information Act procedures
Federal Reserve
The Federal Reserve on Thursday announced a final rule that makes technical, clarifying updates to the Federal Open Market Committee’s rules describing its Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) procedures. The final rule is generally similar to the proposal from October 2020, with a few changes in response to public comments.
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Carolyn Wilkins Appointed To The UK Financial Policy Committee
Centralbanking.com
Carolyn Wilkins, former senior deputy governor at the Bank of Canada, has been appointed to the Bank of England’s financial policy committee by the UK’s finance minister. Rishi Sunak announced Wilkins will replace Donald Kohn who has been a member of the FPC since its creation in 2013. Kohn stepped down at the end of March.
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Federal Reserve Board invites public comment on a proposal to automate non-merger-related adjustments to member banks’ subscriptions to Federal Reserve Bank capital stock
Federal Reserve
The Federal Reserve Board on Thursday requested public comment on a proposal to automate non-merger-related adjustments to member banks’ subscriptions to Federal Reserve Bank capital stock. The automated process would eliminate the need for member banks to file applications to adjust their stock subscriptions—except in the context of mergers—and would significantly reduce the annual reporting burden.
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Brevan Howard Ltd/WinnGroups Ltd – Online Trading Platform http://winngc.com: BaFin Prohibits Unauthorised Portfolio Management
Mondovisioine
In a notice dated 15 March 2021, BaFin ordered Brevan Howard Ltd/WinnGroups Ltd to immediately cease unauthorised portfolio management activities.
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Investing and Trading

Bill Gates Is Right About the Crazy Rush for SPACs; Canoo’s inauspicious start on the stock market shows the pitfalls of a company going public too soon.
Chris Bryant – Bloomberg
When’s the right time to join the stock market? These days companies taken public by special purpose acquisition companies are raising billions of dollars based on little more than a few prototypes and a business plan.
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Day Traders Go Big on Blue Chips as Meme Stocks Fad Cools
Cristin Flanagan – Bloomberg
Money is flowing toward stalwarts like GM and Microsoft; Conservative Boomers may be influencing choice of targets
Retail day traders whose frenetic buying sent stocks like GameStop and AMC Entertainment soaring this year are tilting away from tiny memes in favor of mammoth old blue chips like GM and Microsoft. That’s one explanation offered by analysts at JPMorgan and VandaTrack for why small-cap stocks have cooled, with the S&P 600 Smallcap Index falling about 5% from a March 12 record. Meanwhile, S&P’s large-cap benchmark advanced almost 4% over the same period to an intraday record on Thursday, with Microsoft Corp., General Motors Co. and Starbucks Corp. setting new highs this week.
/bloom.bg/3mvw0vV

A Hidden Bond-Market Problem; American savers could once count on bonds to provide meaningful returns with modest risk. Not anymore.
Jack Pitcher and Christopher Cannon – Bloomberg
More than a decade of easy money has kept the U.S. economy afloat in times of crisis and fueled an unprecedented boom in financial markets. But it’s also created a whole new series of risks, especially for savers. Where there was once a vast pool of safe debt in which they could park their cash and count on annual payouts of 5% or more—comfortably above inflation—today there’s little more than a puddle, and a shrinking one at that. In fact, never has the amount of new government and corporate debt paying even modest yields been so minuscule.
/bloom.bg/3mxt2XG

Investors bet clean power shift will fuel higher uranium prices; Expectations for growth in nuclear power lift shares in miners of the radioactive metal
Henry Sanderson – FT
Investors are betting that global support for a transition to cleaner energy will benefit nuclear power and its fuel uranium. A Solactive index tracking shares in uranium miners has rallied 35 per cent in 2021 on a total return basis, reaching its highest level in more than six years.
/on.ft.com/2OzM6YR

New Bonds Fuel Lending to Fast-Growing but Unprofitable Tech Companies; Wall Street is selling new complex securities backed by private loans to loss-making businesses
Matt Wirz – WSJ
No earnings? No problem. Investors are funneling money to unprofitable software companies through a new type of debt deal. Nonbank lenders like Golub Capital, AllianceBernstein Holdings LP and Owl Rock Capital Partners LP have issued asset-backed bonds to help finance about $2 billion of loans to such companies since November, according to data from Kroll Bond Rating Agency Inc. and S&P Global Market Intelligence. Many of the loans are to fast-growing, but still unprofitable, software enterprises.
/on.wsj.com/3s3lsoM

Learning How to Invest From the Pros; A new book argues that you can become better at investing by borrowing ideas from those who do it best.
Paul B. Brown – NY Times
William Green has set himself a daunting task in “Richer, Wiser, Happier” (Scribner, $28.) There is nothing wrong with his premise, which is clearly spelled out in his new book’s subtitle: “How the world’s greatest investors win in markets and life.” The challenge is that Mr. Green, who was an editor at Time magazine, has decided to go boldly where hundreds of writers have gone before.
/nyti.ms/3t6pNsz

Big $40 million options trade bets on near-term stock market tumble
Reuters Staff
A massive trade in the U.S. options market on Thursday appears to be betting that the calm enveloping U.S. stocks in recent weeks will give way to a big rise in volatility over the next three months.
/reut.rs/2QdfnJ3

Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance

BlackRock Scores Record ETF Launch With Carbon Transition Fund
Alastair Marsh and Sam Potter – Bloomberg
An exchange-traded fund investing in U.S. companies that BlackRock Inc. considers most likely to prosper in the transition to a low-carbon world attracted record inflows Thursday in its first day of trading. Investors plowed $1.25 billion into the BlackRock U.S. Carbon Transition Readiness ETF, making it the biggest launch in the ETF industry’s three-decade history, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. First-day flows on this scale are typically powered by large institutional investors lined up by the ETF before launch.
/bloom.bg/3mvtRAn

Carney Aims for Global Banking Climate Pledge at Biden Summit
Jess Shankleman and Alastair Marsh – Bloomberg
Glasgow Finance Alliance for Net Zero may include Citi; Banks to pledge net zero emissions by 2050 at the latest
Dozens of European and U.S. banks are considering throwing their weight behind the White House’s Earth Day summit under plans being drawn up by former Bank of England governor Mark Carney. Carney is expected to unveil the Glasgow Finance Alliance for Net Zero during the climate change summit on April 22 and 23, in his role as adviser to U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The Alliance, which may include Citigroup Inc., Barclays and HSBC Holdings Plc, is expected to host about 30 banks pledging to reach net-zero greenhouse-gas emissions by 2050, according to two people familiar with the matter.
/bloom.bg/3s4XQ32

A Carbon-Sucking Startup Has Been Paralyzed by Its CEO; Global Thermostat is America’s best hope to pull CO2 directly from the air. Insiders say pioneering, brilliant co-founder Graciela Chichilnisky has held it back for years.
Leslie Kaufman, Akshat Rathi – Bloomberg
The prototype of the device meant to stave off climate devastation looks like a shipping container wrapped in vibrant green Venetian blinds. Fans atop this shell are designed to draw air into the device, where a honeycomblike structure full of proprietary chemicals extracts carbon dioxide from the air, removing an ever-so-slight bit of planet-warming gas from the atmosphere.
/bloom.bg/3s4gbxo

Borrowers tap hot ESG demand to sell green bonds at a premium; Some investors worry the ‘greenium’ is a sign of mispriced credit risks
Camilla Hodgson – FT
Governments and companies raising funds through green debt are benefiting from lower borrowing costs, a so-called “greenium”, in the latest sign of investors’ ravenous demand for sustainable assets. The premium in price these deals command highlights the swift growth in the market for debt that is labelled green because it funds spending that is meant to support climate or environmental goals. “Everything with a green label is basically being bought,” said Mitch Reznick, head of sustainable fixed income at Federated Hermes.
/on.ft.com/3d2zHpG

Institutions

Goldman Sachs digital assets markets head joins Talos; Justin Schmidt joins Talos as head of strategy after spending the last three years as head of digital asset markets at US investment bank Goldman Sachs.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
The former head of digital asset markets at US investment bank Goldman Sachs, Justin Schmidt, has joined institutional crypto infrastructure provider Talos as head of strategy. In his new role, Schmidt will be responsible for executing Talos’ strategic initiatives and managing business operations, as well as assisting in the recruitment of talent and driving the company’s growth internationally.
/bit.ly/3g12LQf

Barclays goes live on new XTX Markets US dark pool; The new single dealer platform allows brokers such as Barclays to provide liquidity directly to US institutional clients trading in US equities.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
London-based market maker XTX Markets has launched a dark pool for US equities with Barclays as one of its first confirmed broker partners. The single dealer platform, named XTX Direct, is built on the same technology as other bilateral trading venues and is aimed at providing institutional market participants with access to better liquidity.
/bit.ly/3dJTWYm

Bank of America Plans to Boost Salaries for Its Junior Investment Bankers
Lananh Nguyen – Bloomberg
‘Your efforts and well-being are critical,’ firm tells workers; Several financial companies have promised to lighten the load
Bank of America Corp. will give its junior investment bankers a pay increase next month in the latest move by a Wall Street bank to address pressures created by intense workloads as the pandemic drags on.
/bloom.bg/3mzEIcv

Regions

Norway Wants Its Wealth Fund to Stop Adding Emerging Markets
Lars Erik Taraldsen, Ott Ummelas, and Stephen Treloar – Bloomberg
Saudi stocks among those affected by new recommendation; World’s biggest wealth fund wants to be global ESG leader
Norway’s $1.3 trillion wealth fund may be forced to exclude a number of stocks as the government seeks to adjust the portfolio to impose the same ethical and environmental standards across its investments. The world’s biggest sovereign investment vehicle should follow a revamped set of guidelines that could result in a 25-30% reduction in the number of companies it holds, Finance Minister Jan Tore Sanner said in a speech on Friday. That includes not adding any more emerging markets to the index it tracks.
/bloom.bg/3s5i4ts

Total Is Poised to Make $5 Billion Bet on Uganda Oil Project
Francois De Beaupuy, Fred Ojambo, and Paul Burkhardt – Bloomberg
Plan includes building pipeline, export terminal in Tanzania; Rare frontier oil project comes as most majors cut spending
Total SE is poised to go ahead with a $5.1 billion plan to tap more than a billion barrels of Ugandan crude and ship it across east Africa by pipeline. The project, which could get the green light within days, is a rare example of a frontier oil development at a time when most major companies are cutting spending. It would also cement the French energy giant’s position as the leading player in Africa among major international oil and gas companies, even as the company says it’s making the transition to cleaner energy.
/bloom.bg/2Qa5tbg

India’s Central Bank Says ‘Boo.’ Carry Traders Faint; The currency market saw a bond-buying and money-printing move as detrimental to bets on the rupee. But did the RBI have different intentions?
Andy Mukherjee – Bloomberg
“India joins the money printers.” That’s how an ING Bank research note describes the Reserve Bank of India’s explicit commitment to buy 1 trillion rupees ($14 billion) in government bonds this quarter. Since this new move has been given a fancy name — Government Securities Acquisition Program — it will probably both extend and expand. Large-scale bond-buying and money-printing may result in a glut of rupees, causing them to depreciate against the dollar. Which is why the foreign-exchange market pushed the dollar 1.56% higher against the rupee, one of the largest one-day moves in the past decade.
/bloom.bg/3mxrQna

Brexit

100 Days of Brexit: Was It as Bad as ‘Project Fear’ Warned?
Joe Mayes and Andrew Atkinson – Bloomberg
The first part of a series about how Brexit changed the U.K.; Covid has largely overshadowed the fallout from leaving the EU
The warnings were stark. A vote to leave the European Union, the British government said, would trigger an immediate recession, a painful fall in house prices, and a steep drop in exports. It’s almost 100 days since Britain completed its split from the EU — almost five years after the referendum vote – – and a clearer picture of the consequences of the decision to leave is starting to emerge.
/bloom.bg/3s5fTWO

Facebook and Giphy: CMA staking its place in Big Tech backlash
Jonathan Keane – CNBC
The U.K.’s competition watchdog doesn’t just have GIFs on its mind.
The Competition and Markets Authority’s probe into Facebook’s acquisition of Giphy is the regulator’s latest move as it takes on a more high-profile role in regulating Big Tech.
/cnb.cx/3wELRwF

Analysis: What is Brexit doing to Northern Ireland?
Adam Fleming – BBC
The violence that has erupted this week on the streets of Belfast and other towns and cities in Northern Ireland has many causes.
But anger about post-Brexit trading rules that came into force in February is a factor.
/bbc.in/3fY1Yjc

Brexit Was the Start of Romance
Alix Strauss – NY Times
Melissa Marcus had been on four dating apps for almost two years when she matched on Bumble with Justin Wass in June 2016.
“He was creative and goofy. In one photo he was wearing a tie-dye shirt with cats on it and he wrote a haiku,” said Ms. Marcus, 30, a senior program officer at New Visions for Public Schools, a nonprofit educational program that supports New York City public schools. “He was different from the carbon-copy men I dated in the past.”
/nyti.ms/2POon7Q

Violent Protests Over Brexit Continue In Belfast
Frank Langfitt – NPR (Audio)
Youths from the loyalist community in Northern Ireland continue violent protests against the UK government’s Brexit policy, which they fear will lead to unity with the Irish Republic
/n.pr/3fY2zRY

Digital pound would boost post-Brexit City of London, think-tank says
Huw Jones – Reuters
A digital pound must be at the heart of Britain’s efforts to strengthen the City of London’s global attraction as a financial centre after Brexit, think-tank CityUnited Project said on Friday.
The finance ministry is due to set out proposals for making Britain’s capital market more attractive after Amsterdam toppled London to become Europe’s top share trading centre after the City was cut off from the European Union on Dec. 31.
/reut.rs/2RdLetK

Miscellaneous

Black Says He Paid to Hide Affair, Denies It Led to Apollo Exit
Gillian Tan – Bloomberg
Leon Black, who abruptly stepped down last month as chief executive officer of Apollo Global Management Inc., said he made payments for years to keep a consensual affair secret and that accusations over the episode on social media had nothing to do with his departure.
/bloom.bg/3s3Q3me

Leon Black’s surprise Apollo Global exit came amid sexual harassment allegation
Josh Kosman – NY Post
Leon Black’s surprise exit from the helm of Apollo Global Management last month came just days after several directors on the private-equity giant’s board learned of accusations of sexual harassment against him by a woman he claimed was trying to shake him down over a “consensual affair,” The Post has learned.
/bit.ly/3g3SBya

How to Keep Your Houseplants Alive After Covid; You, along with everyone else, bought plants this year. Now comes the hard part.
James Tarmy – Bloomberg
As lockdowns ease, and people begin to dip their toes back into normal life, the Covid-era houseplant bloom risks wilting into a pile of brown leaves. “One of the reasons people got interested in house plants over Covid is that they were suddenly home all the time, looking for routines and rituals,” says Emily L. Hay Hinsdale, the author of the forthcoming book Never Put a Cactus in the Bathroom (Tiller Press, $18).
/bloom.bg/3d3CjDS

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CME to permanently close most trading pits

CME to permanently close most trading pits

First Read $40,626/$300,000 (13.5%) Anonymous ++++ Hits & Takes John Lothian & JLN Staff Without fanfare or amplification from its executives, the CME Group shut the books on most -- but not all -- of its floor trading history Tuesday afternoon with the...

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