Generative A.I.’s Biggest Impact Will Be in Banking and Tech, Report Says

Feb 1, 2024

First Read

Hits & Takes
John Lothian & JLN Staff

Today is the 20th anniversary of the founding of Crystal Clear Communications, Ellen Resnick‘s public relations firm providing communications counsel to, and partnering with, leading financial exchanges, clearing, brokerage and trading firms, and fintech and regtech companies across multiple continents. It is hard to believe it has been 20 years since Ellen launched Crystal Clear.

I first met Ellen when I called her to talk my way into the press conference to announce OneChicago, when the John Lothian Newsletter did not have a name and it was a viral marketing offshoot of my brokerage operations as head of the Electronic Trading Division of The Price Futures Group. Ellen and I had a rocky start, complicated by my bifurcated role as a broker and blogger. I could get into CME meetings wearing my broker hat that journalists could not, giving me an information advantage. Ellen needed to manage this with other journalists who covered the CME, which I understood. But it was also an advantage for the CME, where she was head of corporate communications, for me to create buzz for the exchange.

After she founded Crystal Clear, we found ourselves on the same side often, as she had clients who were John Lothian News or MarketsWiki sponsors. Needless to say, our relationship improved. I have always had the greatest respect for Ellen and her work, as she is a brilliant communicator, strategist and writer. She is also one of the most ethical people I know, which is not a common trait in all public relations people.

Ellen has thanked the many people who helped her during her first 20 years of running Crystal Clear in a LinkedIn post you can read HERE.

The AFM conference in Bangkok has started and AFM Chairman Pat Kenny is on the stage.

JLN has published three video shorts on LinkedIn from our two-part series with Birmingham-Southern College President Daniel Coleman. The videos include one with Coleman talking about missing talking to people in the markets. The second video is Coleman talking about raising money for Birmingham-Southern and how investors could turn around the college. The third video is Coleman on what college should be like and what classes that should be core today.

FIA published its FIA update with January 2024 Highlights on LinkedIn.

The MFA Network Miami 2024 is going on right now and is the largest on record with over 900 attendees, the MFA shared on LinkedIn.

I am starting to work on setting up video interviews for FIA’s Boca Raton, FL International Futures Conference. If you or your firm are interested in participating in a video interview with John Lothian News, please contact me at

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


The UN Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative (SSE) launched a toolkit for exchanges to help guide markets on the new IFRS Sustainability Disclosure Standards. The toolkit helps exchanges and market participants with model guidance that has been reviewed by the IFRS International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB). Details on the toolkit, which is free to download, can be found HERE. ~SAED

Our most read stories from our previous edition of JLN Options were:
If Trump Wins, the Market Could Skyrocket. Be Ready for Anything from Barron’s.
Fast exact joint S&P 500/VIX smile calibration in discrete and continuous time from
China Stocks Sink to Five-Year Low as Traders Unwind Rescue Bets from Bloomberg. ~JB

Subscribe to the JLN Options Newsletter HERE (it’s free).


The Journey of Daniel Coleman: From English Literature to Financial Markets, Part One

Daniel Coleman’s path to success in the financial markets is a tale of a chance encounter that led him to a career he never anticipated. Born in Alabama, Coleman embarked on a journey that took him from the Ivy League halls of academia to the high-stakes world of trading in Philadelphia, Chicago and New York and back home in academia’s highest level.

Watch the video »


Reviving Birmingham-Southern: Dan Coleman’s Journey to Save a Struggling College

Dan Coleman left KCG after it was acquired by Virtu Financial and moved back to Birmingham, Alabama to contemplate his future. He reached out to a local college, Birmingham-Southern, whose board he once served on. Little did he know he would soon end up as its president.

Watch the video »


FIA Tech launches global Client Operations team for Trade Data Network Clients; Joint offering with eClerx to simplify client onboarding and resolve trade breaks
FIA Tech
FIA Tech, a leading futures industry technology provider, and eClerx, a market leader in business process management, today announced they have launched an integrated global client operations team to monitor trades and allocations being processed on FIA Tech’s Trade Data Network (TDN). The jointly staffed team is designed to support and augment clients’ own operations teams to identify trade breaks and other risk events as they occur, instead of on T+1, as is commonplace across the industry today. This service, a combination of automated exception management and 24 x 5 global operations support, will be available for all TDN brokers and clients at no additional cost.

***** I will be talking to FIA Tech soon and sharing more details with you.~JJL


The Intelligence Paradox: AI May Make Markets Less Rational; Even the smartest algorithm has to operate within its limitations on risk and capital.
Alena Brynjolfsson and Erik Brynjolfsson – The Wall Street Journal (opinion)
The evolution of artificial intelligence raises profound questions for financial markets. Will human portfolio managers become obsolete as AI algorithms become smarter? Will markets become perfectly efficient and reflect the ultimate equilibrium, in which prices mirror economic reality without human distortion? Economists’ longstanding debate about market efficiency sheds light on these questions. In the 1970s, Eugene Fama argued in his efficient-market hypothesis that asset prices reflect all available information, and it is therefore impossible for an investor to outperform the markets consistently. This thesis shaped modern finance, only to be countered a decade later by Robert Shiller, who argued that stock prices are far more volatile than would be expected if investors were making decisions based on strictly rational thinking. He proposed instead that human irrationality drives market bubbles, crashes and overall inefficiency. Despite their opposing views, Messrs. Fama and Shiller were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in 2013.

****** Who said the markets are rational?~JJL


Joe Biden appoints John Podesta as US’s top climate diplomat; Veteran of Clinton, Obama and Biden administrations replaces John Kerry
Aime Williams – Financial Times
Joe Biden has appointed his clean energy adviser John Podesta as the US’s top climate diplomat, moving swiftly to fill the vacancy despite a looming presidential election. The appointment comes at a critical time for US climate and international energy policy, with allies concerned about the country’s commitment to global climate goals if Donald Trump wins the 2024 presidential election.

****** The thing I like about presidential administrations is they are like old tires: lots of retreads.~JJL


A third world war would transform global finance beyond recognition
Jeremy Warner – The Telegraph (Opinion)
Given the risks, you might expect the ever-more apocalyptic warnings of World War Three, now almost daily trotted out by the politicians and the military, to be more obviously reflected in the behaviour of financial markets. Even comparatively localised wars tend to be deeply damaging to the economies involved, though there are exceptions which I’ll come to. But world wars are on another scale entirely – hugely destructive events which take decades to recover from. If fought in the modern age, with its lethal nuclear arsenals, it might even prove existential.

***** I have a great idea. Let’s not do this.~JJL


Wednesday’s Top Three
Our top story Wednesday was the Financial Times’ German derivatives exchange Eurex appoints ABN Amro’s Booij as chief. (Robbert Booij was also our MarketsWiki Page of the Day Wednesday.) Second was Bloomberg’s Millennium to Back Goldman Sachs Veteran’s Asia Hedge Fund. Third was the Financial Times’ Should savers worry about compensation after HSBC fine?



Lead Stories

Generative A.I.’s Biggest Impact Will Be in Banking and Tech, Report Says; For some companies, the new technology is an opportunity to enhance productivity and profit. Will their workers benefit as well?
Steve Lohr – The New York Times
A new generation of artificial intelligence is poised to turn old assumptions about technology on their head. For years, people working in warehouses or fast food restaurants worried that automation could eliminate their jobs. But new research suggests that generative A.I. – the kind used in chatbots like OpenAI’s ChatGPT – will have its biggest impact on white-collar workers with high-paying jobs in industries like banking and tech. A report published Thursday by the Burning Glass Institute, a nonprofit research center, and SHRM, formerly the Society for Human Resource Management, stops short of saying the technology will do away with large numbers of jobs. But it makes clear that workers need to better prepare for a future in which A.I. could play a significant role in many workplaces that until now have been largely untouched by technological disruption.

Commemorating the 20th Anniversary of Crystal Clear Communications
Ellen Resnick – President at Crystal Clear Communications
Today marks 20 years since I founded Crystal Clear Communications. It’s been quite a journey! I’ve been privileged to provide communications counsel to, and partner with, leading financial exchanges, clearing, brokerage and trading firms, and fintech and regtech companies across multiple continents. Little did I know when I left what we now call CME Group that I would remain closely associated with the futures industry and financial markets for two more decades and counting.

Julius Baer CEO Exits Over $700 Million Signa Loss
Margot Patrick – The Wall Street Journal
Julius Baer put the spotlight back on risks at Switzerland’s banks with the departure of its chief executive and a big write-down of loans extended to property magnate René Benko. The private bank took a full loss allowance on the roughly $700 million it lent to Benko, the Austrian developer whose empire extended to a stake in the Chrysler Building, and his Signa group. That halved its full-year profit to 454 million Swiss francs, or about $527 million.

On the High Seas, a Pillar of Global Trade Is Under Attack; Security crises from Red Sea to Black Sea pose a troubling question: How much has freedom of navigation been an anomaly?
Drew Hinshaw and Daniel Michaels – The Wall Street Journal
The modern economy rests on a rule so old that hardly anybody alive can remember a time before it: Ships of any nation may sail the high seas. Suddenly, that pillar of the international order shows signs of buckling. In the Red Sea, Houthi rebels have stormed onto cargo ships, causing freight rates to quadruple and setting a precedent that American vessels aren’t welcome across one of the world’s most vital transport lanes. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has turned the Black Sea into a gauntlet of warships and mines, navigated by grain-laden bulk carriers sailing under the fragile consent of two warring states.

One of America’s Hottest Commodities Is Probably in Your Trash; Demand for old corrugated boxes is rising thanks to new cardboard mills fed with recycled fiber
Ryan Dezember – The Wall Street Journal
Paper mills at home and abroad are gobbling up America’s recycled cardboard, driving up prices for old pizza boxes and other corrugated containers that they pulp and make into new packaging. The price of old corrugated containers, or OCC, surged during the pandemic e-commerce boom and then came crashing down in 2022 when rising interest rates prompted businesses to slow ordering and reduce inventories. Over the past year, though, OCC prices have rebounded, more than tripling in some parts of the country.

Regulatory nod for US spot bitcoin ETF options may take months- sources
Suzanne McGee and Hannah Lang – Reuters
Options on new U.S. spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) could take months to gain regulatory approval, potentially dampening the appeal of the underlying products, multiple industry sources said. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) last month approved spot bitcoin ETFs, in a watershed for the crypto industry. Ten products have been trading since Jan. 11.

Bitcoin Futures Demand Cools as Spot ETF Era Concludes Key Arb Trade; CME Bitcoin futures open interest fell after spot ETFs started; Grayscale fund conversion led investors to exit discount play
Sidhartha Shukla – Bloomberg
Demand for Bitcoin futures has eased following the US debut of exchange-traded funds that directly hold the largest digital asset, an initial indication of how the products can impact crypto trading trends. Outstanding contracts – or open interest – for CME Group Bitcoin futures dropped some 24% to 20,679 by Jan. 30 after the 10 spot ETFs began trading three weeks ago, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Open interest had been at a record in the wake of Bitcoin’s 157% surge last year in anticipation of the ETFs.

Elon Musk Is Overpaid; Or so says a Delaware judge.
Matt Levine – Bloomberg
I do see Elon Musk’s point. He runs, what, six companies? SpaceX, Neuralink, Twitter/X, the tunnel one, xAI, probably some I’m forgetting. And Tesla Inc., the only one of them that is public, though for a while he also had SolarCity Corp. before (controversially) merging it into Tesla. Each of these companies does something different- rocket science, brain surgery, posting on the internet, tunnels, artificial intelligence, cars – but there is overlap. They seem to share employees and a certain ambitious science fiction ethos, and you could imagine futuristic projects that could be done at any of them.

What the $56bn Tesla pay deal setback means for Elon Musk and his empire; Carmaker’s board under pressure after Delaware judge rules billionaire CEO has to forfeit largest ever incentive package
Peter Campbell and Tim Bradshaw and Sujeet Indap – Financial Times
A Delaware judge has ruled Elon Musk has to forfeit $56bn of Tesla share awards from a long-term pay package, causing a storm at the electric-car maker and threatening to distract its boss from troubles at the company and across his business ventures. “Never incorporate your company in the state of Delaware,” Musk commented on X, the social media platform he owns.

Voiding Elon Musk’s $56 billion Tesla pay plan is a ‘wake-up call’ for directors at all companies
Alexis Keenan and Hamza Shaban – Yahoo Finance
A decision by a Delaware judge to throw out Elon Musk’s $56 billion Tesla (TSLA) pay package is a threat to the wealth of the world’s richest man. It also could alter the way CEO compensation is decided at companies across America. “It’s a big deal,” said Cornell University visiting lecturer Brian Dunn, who noted this was the first case ever to overturn a board’s decision on compensation. The decision from Delaware Chancellor Kathaleen McCormick is “a wake-up call for all directors on the importance of arm’s-length negotiations on CEO pay.”

State Street completes acquisition of CF Global; Deal will bump State Street into the ranks of outsourced trading giants such as Northern Trust and UBS, extending its remit in outsourced trading to the UK and Europe.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
State Street has completed its acquisition of outsourced trading firm CF Global one year after the deal was revealed by The TRADE in February 2023. Financial terms of the completed deal were not disclosed. The acquisition will give State Street access to CF Global’s extensive relationships in the space as a segregated outsourced trading entity. Prior to the acquisition of CF Global, State Street had existing outsourced trading offerings in the Americas, APAC and Middle East. CF Global will extend this remit to the UK and Europe.

FTX Plans to Repay Customers in Full, Drop Exchange Relaunch; FTX updates bankruptcy judge on crypto firm’s payout plan; Advisers abandon bid to revive now-shuttered exchange
Steven Church and Jonathan Randles – Bloomberg
Customers and creditors of bankrupt crypto exchange FTX who can prove their losses will likely get back all of their money, the company told the judge overseeing the insolvency case. Restructuring advisers will need to examine the millions of claims that have been filed against FTX to weed out those that are not legitimate, lawyer Andrew Dietderich said during a Wednesday court hearing in Wilmington, Delaware.

Larry David addresses controversial FTX 2022 Super Bowl commercial: “Like an idiot, I did it”
S. Dev – CBS News
Larry David expressed some contrition over taking part in a high-profile 2022 Super Bowl commercial for the cryptocurrency exchange FTX, the founder of which was last year found guilty of fraud, conspiracy and money laundering. “You know, I asked people, friends of mine who were well-versed in this stuff, ‘Should I do this ad? Is there anything wrong with this, me doing this? Is this okay?'” David told The Associated Press on Tuesday at the Los Angeles premiere of the final season of “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” which David created and stars in.

Larry David Reveals He Lost ‘a Lot of Money’ on Controversial 2022 Crypto Super Bowl Ad
Declan Gallagher – Men’s Journal
Larry David revealed that he lost money on his infamous FTX cryptocurrency ad which aired during the 2022 Super Bowl. He spoke with The Associated Press on the red carpet at Tuesday night’s premiere for the 12th and final season of his HBO series Curb Your Enthusiasm. The meteoric rise and equally swift fall of FTX is well-documented, with its founder Sam Bankman-Fried recently found guilty of fraud and money laundering. He is facing more than 100 years in prison.

ION Pushes Back Against Italy’s Requirements on Prelios Takeover
Daniele Lepido, Chiara Albanese and Sonia Sirletti – Bloomberg
ION Group, the financial services firm run by Andrea Pignataro, is pushing back against scrutiny by Italy’s government of its planned EUR1.35 billion ($1.46 billion) takeover of asset manager Prelios SpA, saying the review puts the deal at risk, according to people familiar with the matter. The government is seeking reassurance about what Prelios’s debt levels would be after the acquisition, and wants ION to submit a new request for approval once it has completed financing, Bloomberg reported Jan. 16. But banks that signed up to provide funding can only proceed once authorities clear the transaction, the people said, asking not be identified discussing an ongoing process. That’s effectively holding up the deal until the impasse is resolved.

New York Community Bancorp Stock Plunges 38%, Reigniting Fears for Regional Banks; NYCB built up capital after acquiring most of the failed Signature Bank in last year’s crisis
Gina Heeb and Will Feuer – The Wall Street Journal
Shares of New York Community Bancorp plummeted 38% Wednesday after the company swung to a fourth-quarter loss and slashed its dividend to shore up capital following its purchase of the assets of the collapsed Signature Bank. The company swung to a loss of $252 million, or 36 cents a share, at the end of December. That was compared with a profit of $172 million, or 30 cents a share, in the same period a year earlier. Analysts expected earnings of 27 cents a share for the fourth quarter.

Wind Farms Are Overstating Their Output – And Consumers Are Paying For It
Gavin Finch, Todd Gillespie, Eric Fan, Jason Grotto and Sam Dodge – Bloomberg
Dozens of British wind farms run by some of Europe’s largest energy companies have routinely overestimated how much power they’ll produce, adding millions of pounds a year to consumers’ electricity bills, according to market records and interviews with power traders. These extra costs are linked to a growing problem with Britain’s outdated electricity network: On blustery days, too much wind power risks overloading the system, and the grid operator must respond by paying some firms not to generate. This “curtailment” costs consumers hundreds of millions of pounds each year.

Ukraine Invasion

World Court dismisses much of Ukraine’s case against Russia
Reuters via CNN
Judges at the top UN court on Wednesday found that Russia violated elements of a UN anti-terrorism treaty, but declined to rule on allegations brought by Kyiv that Moscow was responsible for the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine in 2014. In the same ruling, judges at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) found that Russia had breached an anti-discrimination treaty by failing to support Ukrainian language education in Crimea after its 2014 annexation of the peninsula.

E.U. Reaches Deal on Fund for Ukraine; The Hungarian leader, Viktor Orban, had been the sole holdout to the 50-billion-euro plan aimed at keeping Ukraine’s economy afloat during the war with Russia.
Matina Stevis-Gridneff and Monika Pronczuk – The New York Times
After weeks of standoff, European Union leaders brought Prime Minister Viktor Orban of Hungary on board and agreed on Thursday to create a 50-billion-euro fund for Ukraine, providing a critical lifeline to a country at risk of financial meltdown in the midst of war with Russia. The breakthrough was an especially significant one for both Ukraine and the European Union. For Ukraine, it offered stability and assurance as American aid is held up in Congress.

A Cynical Deal in Congress May Yet Save Ukraine; A new plan in Congress would sacrifice America’s southern border to please (yes, please) Trump and still assure that Ukraine survives.
Andreas Kluth – Bloomberg
The Prussian statesman Otto von Bismarck memorably compared laws to sausages: it’s better not to see them being made. That definitely applies to some particularly ugly meat-grinding now happening inside the US Capitol. But if the sausage in question comes out in one piece, it may just save Ukraine. So I’ll close my eyes and eat it. The geopolitical background is this: Ukraine has so far withstood the unprovoked aggression of Russian President Vladimir Putin largely thanks to help from the US and its Western allies – in the form of intelligence, money and of course weapons. That support remains vital as the struggle becomes a war of attrition. Putin has turned Russia into a war economy churning out ammo, whereas Ukraine is starting to run low, especially in air defenses.

Israel/Palestine Conflict

Hamas unlikely to reject ceasefire but will demand Israeli withdrawal – source
Nidal Al-Mughrabi – Reuters
Hamas is unlikely to reject a Gaza ceasefire proposal it received from mediators this week, but will not sign it without assurances that Israel has committed to ending the war, a Palestinian official close to the talks said on Thursday. Qatari and Egyptian mediators presented Hamas this week with the first concrete proposal for an extended halt to fighting in Gaza, agreed with Israel and the United States at talks in Paris last week. Hamas has said it is studying the text and preparing a response.

U.N. Officials Warn of Catastrophe If Agency That Aids Palestinians Collapses
Anushka Patil – The New York Times
Here’s what we know: The U.N. humanitarian chief urged donor nations to resume financing UNRWA, saying that it remained essential to the survival of millions of civilians in Gaza. U.N. officials say defunding UNRWA would worsen the crisis for civilians in Gaza. Top United Nations officials are urging the world’s wealthy nations to resume funding for the U.N.’s Palestinian aid agency, saying that it remains essential to the survival of millions of civilians in Gaza who were not receiving enough humanitarian aid even before the funding suspensions. The U.N. officials, along with representatives of aid agencies, said on Wednesday that the collapse of the U.N. Relief and Works Agency, known as UNRWA, would be catastrophic, with no other organization in a position to replace it. Even before the war between Israel and Hamas began nearly four months ago, the agency played a critical role in providing food, water, health care, education, shelter and sanitation services for Palestinians in Gaza, and it has become even more vital amid the deepening humanitarian crisis, the officials said.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

SIX launches crypto reference rates and real-time indices for institutional investors; New indices will also serve as benchmarks for digital asset trading venue, AsiaNext, which was founded by SIX and SBI Digital Asset Holdings.
Wesley Bray – The Trade
SIX has today launched new crypto reference rates and real-time crypto indices for financial institutions. Major crypto assets, Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH), are covered by the indices which SIX claims will give a comprehensive snapshot of the market and its performance. These new indices will also function as benchmarks for AsiaNext’s crypto derivatives trading platform and institutional investors worldwide.

CME Group to Launch E-mini S&P 500 Equal Weight Futures on February 26
CME Group
CME Group, the world’s leading derivatives marketplace, today announced it will launch E-mini S&P 500 Equal Weight futures on February 26, pending regulatory review. While the S&P 500 Index weights companies based on market capitalization, the S&P 500 Equal Weight Index applies equal weight to all constituents in the index. The addition of these new E-mini contracts will give market participants another tool to deploy hedging and investment strategies across a broad range of potential market scenarios.

Initial Listing of the E-mini S&P 500 Equal Weight Index Futures Contract
CME Group
Effective Sunday, February 25, 2024 for trade date of Monday, February 26, 2024, and pending all relevant. CFTC regulatory review periods, Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. (“CME” or “Exchange”) will list the Emini S&P 500 Equal Weight Index Futures contract as noted below (the “Contract”) for trading on the CME Globex electronic trading platform (“CME Globex”) and for submission for clearing via CME ClearPort.

Eurex names ex-ABN AMRO Clearing Bank chief exec as new CEO; Michael Peters is set to retire in September following three decades in the business.
Claudia Preece – The Trade
Robbert Booij is set to take over as chief executive of Eurex Frankfurt AG, effective from 1 July 2024, succeeding Michael Peters in the role. Michael Peters, chief executive of Eurex Frankfurt AG since July 2020 and member of the Eurex executive board since 2006, has decided to step down at the end of June and to retire in 2024 later this year.

Eurex Appoints New CEO Robbert Booij In Anticipation Of Michael Peters’ Retirement
Liquidity Finder
Michael Peters will conclude his nearly three-decade service with Eurex, retiring as CEO in September 2024. Stepping into the role of CEO at Eurex Frankfurt AG will be Robbert Booij, transitioning from ABN AMRO Clearing. Booij is slated to join the Executive Board of Eurex Frankfurt AG on May 1, 2024, and will assume the CEO position from Michael Peters on July 1, 2024. Booij brings with him a wealth of experience from ABN AMRO Clearing Bank N.V., where he has served as CEO Europe since March 2018. Peters, who has been pivotal in his role as CEO of Eurex Frankfurt AG since July 2020, and a member of the Eurex Executive Board since 2006, will depart his CEO role at the end of June.

SGX Group reports 1H FY2024 net profit of S$251 million
SGX Group
Singapore Exchange (SGX Group) today reported 1H FY2024 adjusted net profit of S$251.4 million (S$236.8 million). Adjusted EBITDA rose to S$344.6 million (S$334.1 million), while adjusted earnings per share increased to 23.5 cents (22.2 cents). Revenue increased 3.6% to S$592.2 million (S$571.4 million), mainly driven by higher revenues from Currencies and Commodities[2] and Platform and Others, partially offset by lower Equities – Cash2 and Equities – Derivatives2 revenue. The Board of Directors has declared an interim quarterly dividend of 8.5 cents (8.0 cents) per share, payable on 20 February 2024. This brings total dividends in 1H FY2024 to 17.0 cents (16.0 cents) per share.

Keynote Address by Prof Tan Cheng Han, Chairman, SGX RegCo at the Chartered Secretaries Institute of Singapore’s Listed Companies Forum 2024
SGX Group
Mr Raymond Lam, Chairman, CSIS, Friends and Colleagues, Good morning, 1. Thank you for inviting me here today. I am honoured to have the opportunity to share my views on the role of company secretaries in Singapore, and how it is evolving. Traditional Roles of the Company Secretary – “What People Think You Do” 2 .The company secretary is a key officer of any company, who (often together with General Counsel) is responsible for ensuring that the company complies with relevant laws and regulations. The company secretary also acts as a bridge between the board of directors, the management, and the shareholders, facilitating effective communication and collaboration among them.

Abaxx Provides Q1 Corporate Update
Abaxx Technologies Inc. (NEO:ABXX)(OTCQX:ABXXF) (“Abaxx” or the “Company”), a financial software and market infrastructure company, majority shareholder of Abaxx Singapore Pte Ltd. (“Abaxx Singapore”), the owner of Abaxx Commodity Exchange and Clearinghouse (individually, “Abaxx Exchange” and “Abaxx Clearing”), and producer of the SmarterMarkets Podcast, summarizes development activities over the past quarter and the general progress of the Company’s business plans.

SIX Exchanges Figures: January 2024
SIX publishes the monthly key figures for SIX Swiss Exchange and BME Exchange about the trading and listing activity in Switzerland and Spain

Product Delisting Summary: Permanent Delisting of CAD Canadian Dollar Offered Rate (CAD-CDOR) – Effective January 31, 2024
CME Group
Permanent Delisting of CAD Canadian Dollar Offered Rate (CAD-CDOR).

Exercise & Assignment (E/A) Processing and Deadline Changes for CME/CBT – Effective March 18, 2024
CME Group
Please be advised that CME Clearing has planned changes to the Exercise & Assignment (E/A) Processing Times and Deadlines for CME/CBT Options. Option Assignment Processing for CME and CBT early Option Exercises will be moved to align with the times for Expiring Options. This change is scheduled for Trade Date Monday, March 18, 2024.

Venue Change for Incoming Cross-Exchange (MOS) Allocations from SGX – Effective February 26, 2024
CME Group
CME Clearing is planning to update the “Venue” (in FECPlus UI) and “Input Source” (on FIXML messages) for incoming Cross-Exchange (MOS) Allocations; submitted from SGX Firms to CME Firms. The Production date for this change is for Trade Date Monday, February 26, 2024. The goal of this change is to correct an old/hard-coded value for Venue and Input Source on inbound Cross-Exchange Allocations. Currently, the value for both is set to PSGX, indicating Pit, which is incorrect. Going forward, the value will be set to ESGX, which indicates Electronic. Any Firm that claims incoming Cross-Exchange Allocations may be impacted by this change.

ECC transitions to portfolio-based initial margin model to better reflect risk and further improve transparency
European Commodity Clearing
European Commodity Clearing (ECC) has initiated the transition to a portfolio-based Value-at-Risk (VaR) initial margin model for commodity derivatives. Completion of the process is anticipated for 2026, subject to regulatory approvals and member readiness.

Euro Fixed Income Futures: Definition of reporting and position limits for March 2024
Eurex Circular 015/24 Euro Fixed Income Futures: Definition of reporting and position limits for March 2024 1. Introduction. Position limits apply only to long positions in the front month contracts of the products concerned. Reporting limits will be valid from 29 February 2024 after close of trading until 4 March 2024 after close of trading.

JSE to launch an unclaimed dividends initiative to address SA’s R4.5bn unclaimed assets
Johannesburg Stock Exchange
Following the issuance of the Financial Sector Conduct Authority’s (FSCA) discussion paper in 2022, which highlighted the pressing issue of unclaimed financial assets in South Africa, including unclaimed dividends among South African investors, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) is seeking to launch a nationwide initiative to match claimants with their unclaimed dividends. According to FSCA’s discussion paper, there is an estimated R88.56 billion worth of unclaimed assets across the financial sector, with over R4.5 billion worth of unclaimed benefits in the form of unclaimed dividends.

Tokyo Stock Exchange, Inc. (TSE) Has Published Key Points and Examples Considering The Investor’s Point of View in Regard to Management Conscious of Cost of Capital and Stock Price
Tokyo Stock Exchange
In March 2023, Tokyo Stock Exchange, Inc. (TSE) requested that all listed companies on the Prime and Standard Markets take “Action to Implement Management that is Conscious of Cost of Capital and Stock Price.” While many listed companies are taking steps to respond to the request, with 49% of Prime Market listed companies and 19% of Standard Market listed companies disclosing information as of the end of 2023, many shareholders and investors in Japan and overseas have expressed their expectations for further progress in companies’ initiatives, and many listed companies have requested that TSE publish key points and case studies.

Trading Overview in January 2024
Japan Exchange Group
Japan Exchange Group released Trading Overview in January 2024. Cash Equity Market- In January 2024, the daily average trading value for the Prime Market (domestic common stocks) was JPY 4.8154 trillion. – The daily average trading value for the ETF market was JPY 338.5 billion.


Exchange Data International Data Now Available with Broadridge’s Asset Servicing Solution to Inform Decision Making and Improve Customer Choice
Exchange Data International
Exchange Data International (EDI) and global Fintech leader Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc. (NYSE:BR) announce an alliance to offer Broadridge’s Global Asset Servicing Solution clients EDI’s corporate actions, securities reference and pricing data to help inform decision making and improve client choice.

Funding Dries Up for Insurance-Focused Fintech Startups
Jean Eaglesham – The Wall Street Journal
Startups using technology to shake up the stodgy insurance industry have generally failed to deliver for investors buying publicly traded shares. Now, private investors appear to be cooling on so-called insurtech, which forms part of the broader fintech, or financial technology, sector. A new report by reinsurance broker Gallagher Re found:

FalconX integrates with TP ICAP’s Fusion Digital Assets; Integration will provide FalconX access to competitive pricing and liquidity from TP ICAP’s wholesale clients, alongside helping to bridge together the native crypto asset ecosystem and traditional financial markets.
Wesley Bray – The Trade
FalconX has integrated with Fusion Digital Assets, TP ICAP’s FCA registered wholesale spot crypto asset exchange, as part of a strategic partnership. The integration will provide FalconX access to competitive pricing and liquidity from TP ICAP’s wholesale clients. FalconX’s institutional crypto native franchise and institutional-grade custodial capabilities provided by Fidelity Digital AssetsSM will also combine with TP ICAP through the integration.

Can This A.I.-Powered Search Engine Replace Google? It Has for Me; A start-up called Perplexity shows what’s possible for a search engine built from scratch with artificial intelligence.
Kevin Roose – The New York Times
For my entire adult life, whenever I’ve had a question about the world or needed to track down something online, I’ve gone to Google for answers. But recently, I’ve been stepping out on Google with a new, A.I.-powered search engine. (No, not Bing, which is dead to me after it tried to break up my marriage last year.)

Paytm Sinks 20% After India Orders Halt to Much of Its Business
Anup Roy and Sankalp Phartiyal – Bloomberg

India Froze Paytm Bank After Years of Warnings About Data Flows
Anto Antony – Bloomberg


When cybercrime leaves the web: FBI warns that scammers could come right to your door
Betty Lin-Fisher – USA TODAY
International scammers are becoming more brazen by sending in-person couriers – also known as mules – to people’s homes in an attempt to trick victims out of their money. In an alert this week, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center reported an uptick from May to December of 2023 in a scam, which instructs victims to liquidate their assets. Unsuspecting people are usually instructed to convert their assets to cash, or gold, silver and other precious metals, as a supposed safe way to protect their funds. The scam, often targeting senior citizens, has led to losses of over $55 million, the agency said.

US disrupts Chinese hacking campaign targeting critical infrastructure, officials say
Zeba Siddiqui – Reuters
U.S. officials said on Wednesday they disrupted a sweeping Chinese cyber-spying operation that targeted critical American infrastructure entities and could be used against the United States in a future geopolitical crisis. The operation, conducted jointly by the U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI, weeded out malicious Chinese software from a network or “botnet” of hundreds of compromised U.S. routers, both agencies said in a statement.

US Disrupted Chinese Hacking Operation That Targeted Routers; Spies hijacked technology used in critical infrastructure; Officials obtained court approval to take down the network
Jamie Tarabay – Bloomberg
A US operation disrupted a Chinese state-sponsored hacking effort in which spies hijacked a large network of devices to target water facilities and the power grid, among other targets, officials from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Justice said on Wednesday The hacking group, known as Volt Typhoon, embedded malware within privately-owned, small office and home office routers as part of a campaign to target critical infrastructure in the US and elsewhere, officials said. The attackers focused their efforts on water treatment plants, oil and natural gas pipelines, transportation systems and energy systems, according to FBI Director Christopher Wray.


El Salvador will stay committed to bitcoin after election -vice president
Nelson Renteria – Reuters
Bitcoin will remain legal tender in El Salvador during the second term of President Nayib Bukele, his vice president said on Wednesday. Days before an election Bukele is expected to handily win thanks to a draconian gang crackdown, Felix Ulloa – temporarily on leave to run for re-election with Bukele – doubled down on the Central American nation’s adoption of the cryptocurrency as legal tender. The declaration comes after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) asked El Salvador to “reconsider” the measure during negotiations for a billion-dollar loan, Ulloa said.

UK Police Uncovered $1.7 Billion Bitcoin Linked to China Fraud; Prosecution kicks off a London trial against Jian Wen; Jian Wen tried buying expensive London properties but failed
Upmanyu Trivedi – Bloomberg
British police uncovered $1.7 billion worth of Bitcoin linked to a woman accused of laundering the proceeds of a $6 billion investment fraud in China, prosecutors said at her London trial. Jian Wen, 42, a UK citizen, denies allegations she helped launder vast sums amassed by Zhimin Qian, wanted in China for running a fraud scheme that robbed around 130,000 investors. The whereabouts of Zhimin, also known as Yadi Zhang, are unknown.

Best cryptocurrency exchanges and trading apps in February 2024
James Royal, Ph.D. – Bankrate
While cryptocurrency has surged in popularity in recent years, only a minority of Americans have actually traded it. Among the most popular cryptos are Bitcoin, Ethereum and Cardano, each of which has seen a lot of action as prices rise and fall. The appeal for traders? The potential to make significant money on the volatility of these highly speculative assets.

Crypto Market Maker GSR Appoints Former JPMorgan Executive as Head of Trading
Krisztian Sandor – CoinDesk
Crypto trading firm GSR, one of the oldest digital asset market makers, appointed former JPMorgan executive Andreas Koukorinis as its new head of trading, the company said Wednesday in a press release. The hiring is part of GSR’s push to cater to more conservative-minded clients interested in trading the largest cryptocurrencies, bitcoin {{BTC}} and ether {{ETH}}, Rich Rosenblum, co-founder and president of GSR, said in an email interview with CoinDesk.

Celsius Emerges From Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, Launches Bitcoin Mining Firm
Hope C – CoinMarketCap
Celsius has emerged from Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in the United States and is poised to distribute $3 billion worth of crypto and cash to creditors. According to an announcement on January 31, Celsius’ bankruptcy exit involves the creation of Ionic Digital, a Bitcoin mining company managed by crypto mining firm Hut 8. The new company will be headed by Hut 8 Chief Commercial Officer Matt Prusak.

A Financial Adviser’s Take on Bitcoin ETFs; There are a growing number of questions around what’s fast becoming an ultra-competitive category.
Eric Balchunas and Joel Weber – Bloomberg


Republican says US House to vote on reversing Biden’s LNG exports pause-Bloomberg
The U.S. House of Representatives will vote next month on a measure to overturn the Biden administration’s moratorium on approvals of new liquefied natural gas exports, Bloomberg reported, citing a Republican lawmaker. The measure will be voted on the week after next, the report said, citing Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

China Is Targeting U.S. Infrastructure and Could ‘Wreak Chaos,’ F.B.I. Says; In testimony before Congress, Christopher A. Wray, the agency’s director, said Beijing was preparing to sow chaos if disputes with the United States flared into conflict.
Glenn Thrush and Adam Goldman – The New York Times
Christopher A. Wray, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, warned on Wednesday that China was ramping up an extensive hacking operation geared at taking down the United States’ power grid, oil pipelines and water systems in the event of a conflict over Taiwan. Mr. Wray, appearing before a House subcommittee on China, offered an alarming assessment of the Chinese Communist Party’s efforts. Its intent is to sow confusion, sap the United States’ will to fight and hamper the American military from deploying resources if the dispute over Taiwan, a major flashpoint between the two superpowers, escalates into a war, he added.

US Accuses Chinese Memory Chipmaker, AI Firms of Aiding PLA
The Pentagon added China’s leading memory chipmaker and prominent players in AI, energy and automobiles to a list of companies it accuses of aiding the Asian nation’s military, expanding a roster intended to warn allies against potential national security threats.

Biden brushes off Wall Street rally as Trump seeks credit
Alex Gangitano – The Hill
Former President Trump is seeking credit for a stock market boom under President Biden as his rival largely brushes aside a strong run for Wall Street. Trump, who tied himself to the stock market as president, is attempting to claim responsibility for a spate of new stock records under Biden. But while Biden is ramping up his economic sales pitch, he’s avoided boasting about the stock market – and the political risks that come with it.

Farmers Bring Protests to Brussels as EU Leaders Meet Nearby; The workers are protesting unfair competition, subsidy cuts; Farmers are also protesting in France, Germany and Poland
Lyubov Pronina and John Ainger – Bloomberg
At least 1,300 tractors clogged streets in Brussels near European Union institutions Thursday morning as farmers staged a protest aimed at the bloc’s leaders meeting nearby for a summit. The demonstration is part of a broader wave of protests by farmers in France and across Europe over what they describe as unfair competition from abroad, plans to cut subsidies and planned EU regulations.


Commissioner Pham to Speak at the George Washington University Law School
Commissioner Caroline D. Pham will be the keynote speaker and participate on the Financial and Regulatory Law Panel at the George Washington University Law School.

SEC Obtains Final Judgment Against Municipal Advisor Charged with Breaching Fiduciary Duty
On January 30, 2024, the Securities and Exchange Commission obtained a final judgment against defendants Comer Capital Group, LLC and Brandon L. Comer, whom the SEC previously charged with breaching their fiduciary duty in connection with a $6 million municipal bond offering by the Harvey Public Library District in Harvey, Illinois.

ASIC’s 2024 enforcement priorities in the superannuation sector
Keynote address by ASIC Deputy Chair Sarah Court at the Connexus Super Chair Forum, 1 February 2024

ASIC’s guidance for market intermediaries on pre-hedging
Pre-hedging is a practice that occurs in financial markets and can help the effective functioning of markets by facilitating trades that could otherwise significantly impact market pricing. ASIC acknowledges that pre-hedging has a role in markets, including in the management of market intermediaries’ risk associated with anticipated client orders and may assist in liquidity provision and execution for clients. However, it can also create significant conflicts of interest between a client and the market intermediary which actively trades in possession of confidential information about the client’s anticipated order or trade.

Investing and Trading

Bain Capital Plans to Invest $7 Billion in India, Boost Hiring
Preeti Singh and Baiju Kalesh – Bloomberg
Bain Capital has earmarked $7 billion to invest in India over the next three to five years as the country’s relatively steady politics and economic growth lift its attractiveness for overseas money managers. The Boston-based firm also plans to increase its team of 25 private equity and special situations investment professionals by 15% to 20% over the next two or three years, according to Pavninder Singh, partner and a member of the Asian Pacific private equity team. Singh said that amount of capital would mark a substantial boost to the prior seven or eight years it took to deploy his firm’s first $7 billion in the country.

Glencore to Cut Cobalt Output With Market Struggling
Mark Burton – Bloomberg
Glencore Plc is cutting its production target for cobalt this year in response to weak market conditions, which prompted the miner to stockpile metal that’s proving tough to sell. The company will produce between 35,000 to 40,000 tons of the battery metal this year, down as much as 42% from a production target set in December 2022, it said on Thursday. It also expects to incur higher production costs at its copper mines, due partly to its stockpiling of unsold cobalt.

It will take years for the oil and gas market to recover from the ‘mother of all shocks,’ Harvard economist says
Jennifer Sor – Business Insider
The Harvard professor and former International Monetary Fund chief economist pointed to the wild ride that oil and gas prices have taken over the past few years, with energy prices plunging in the wake of the pandemic and skyrocketing when Russia began its full-scale invasion of Ukraine Brent crude plunged as low as $14 a barrel in 2020 before soaring to a peak of $133 a barrel in June 2022. Similar swings were seen in US gas prices, which plunged to a low of $1.77 a gallon in 2020 before peaking around $5 a gallon in 2022, according to the Energy Information Administration.

Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance

‘Literally off the charts’: global coral reef heat stress monitor forced to add new alerts as temperatures rise; Three new levels added by US Coral Reef Watch after ‘extreme’ unprecedented heat, with highest alert warning of ‘near complete mortality’
Graham Readfearn – The Guardian
The world’s main system for warning about heat stress on the planet’s coral reefs has been forced to add three new alert categories to represent ever-increasing temperature extremes. The changes introduced by the US government’s Coral Reef Watch program come after reefs across the Americas were hit by unprecedented levels of heat stress last year that bleached and killed corals en masse.

ESG: A lawyer’s dream (or nightmare)
Jordan Wolman – Politico
Top Of The Heap – If you’re a regular reader of the Long Game, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to learn that corporate lawyers now see environmental, social and governance disputes as their companies’ biggest litigation risk in 2024. ESG’s rise to the top spot in the annual year ahead report from global law firm Baker McKenzie reflects the topsy-turvy world corporations are facing, where what’s banned in one jurisdiction is encouraged in another and where what one side says goes too far is countered by the other side saying it doesn’t go far enough.

The War on ‘Woke Capital’ Is Backfiring; Republicans want to outlaw state investment in funds they see as tainted by progressive ideology. They’ll probably just get lower returns.
James Surowiecki – The Atlantic
One of the stranger political crusades of the past few years has been the Republican war on so-called woke capital, which has led GOP politicians across the country to adopt a kind of anti-corporate, pro-regulatory rhetoric that one normally associates with the left wing of the Democratic Party. And among the GOP’s favorite targets in this war has been ESG investing-investment funds that take “environmental, social, and governance” considerations into account. For Republicans, ESG funds are a Trojan horse, designed to smuggle progressive attitudes toward climate change, and diversity and inclusion, into executive suites and corporate boardrooms, all under the guise of supposedly improving investment returns.

Beware the private capital climate-fund gold rush; It’s not easy being green
Nate Berner and Paul Augustine – Financial Times (opinion)
One of the most eye-catching outcomes of last month’s COP 28 was the UAE’s announcement of Alterra, a $30bn commitment to fund various climate-related investments. Alterra launches at what may prove to be an inflection point for private climate funds: investible dry powder is at or near all-time highs, with Sightline Climate estimating in September that $33bn was ready to deploy. The pace of successful and prospective fundraising for incremental private climate funds is surpassing previous torrid periods by a wide margin.

Sustainable Jet Fuel Supply Crunch Endangers Airlines’ Climate Targets; A lack of supply and high costs are making it challenging for airlines to source and use lower-carbon fuels, Cathay Pacific’s head of procurement said.
Ben Elgin – Bloomberg

Ireland Introduces national Deposit Return Scheme
Sidhi Mittal – edie

European farmers step up protests against costs, green rules
Gus Trompiz and Christian Levaux – Bloomberg


Ex-Citi Bankers Target Family Offices Across Americas From Miami
Daniel Cancel – Bloomberg
A pair of former Citigroup Inc. executives have founded a new Miami-based firm to help single-family offices invest in real estate deals on both sides of the US-Mexico border. White Bridge Capital, led by Tommy Campbell and Regina Garcia Handal, is a private investment and advisory firm that’s tapping into the years of experience the two have working with wealthy families from their time in private banking and commercial real estate.

A $560 Billion Property Warning Hits Banks From NY to Tokyo
Patrick Clark, Natalie Wong and Diana Li – Bloomberg
The US commercial real estate market has been in turmoil since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. But New York Community Bancorp and Japan’s Aozora Bank Ltd. delivered a reminder that some lenders are only just beginning to see the pain. New York Community Bancorp’s decisions to slash its dividend and stockpile reserves sent its stock down a record 38% and dragged the KBW Regional Banking Index to its worst day since the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank last March. Tokyo-based Aozora Bank plunged more than 20% after warning of a loss tied to investments in US commercial property. In Europe, Deutsche Bank AG more than quadrupled its US real estate loss provisions to EUR123 million ($133 million) in the fourth quarter from a year earlier.

Deutsche Bank to cut 3,500 jobs and reward shareholders
Tom Sims and Frank Siebelt – Reuters
Deutsche Bank said on Thursday it would cut 3,500 jobs, buy back shares and pay dividends, in its latest pitch to investors that its turnaround remains on track. The news came as Germany’s biggest bank, seeking to put years of turmoil behind it and focus on steadier retail banking, reported a 30% drop in fourth-quarter profit that still beat analyst expectations.

BNP Paribas delays profit target in shock to investors
Mathieu Rosemain – Reuters
BNP Paribas reported a surprise drop in fourth-quarter income and pushed back a key profitability target on Thursday, triggering a more than 8% fall in the French bank’s shares. Revenue at its investment bank, which CEO Jean-Laurent Bonnafe has been expanding, fell from a year earlier as did sales at its consumer and commercial real estate businesses.

Wall Street explores novel ways to repackage bank loan risk
Shankar Ramakrishnan and Sinead Cruise – Reuters
A financial product that enables banks to shed risk from loan portfolios is gaining more popularity among lenders in the United States, with investors and lawyers devising new structures to broaden its appeal. In deals known as credit risk transfers, banks effectively buy insurance from hedge funds and other investors against the risk of losses from loans. The deals can free up precious capital for lenders, while producing juicy returns for investors and handsome fees for the arrangers.

Franklin CEO says ETFs will probably cannibalise some mutual funds; Firm insists its mutual funds can make up for redemptions through its growing retirement business
Beagan Wilcox Volz – Financial Times
Franklin Templeton’s exchange traded funds attracted about $1bn in net inflows in the three months to December 31, lifting total ETF assets to $20bn, 40 per cent higher than a year earlier. “ETFs are incredibly important to us,” Franklin chief executive officer Jenny Johnson said during a call with analysts to discuss the firm’s earnings.

Julius Baer CEO resigns as Swiss bank announces plans to quit private debt business
Jamey Keaten – Associated Press

Eisler Is Latest Hedge Fund Expanding to Dubai’s Trading Hub
Nishant Kumar – Bloomberg

Hong Kong billionaire Richard Li seeks to sell asset manager PineBridge -sources
Selena Li and Kane Wu – Reuters

Work & Management

The Price Women Pay for Networking With High-Status People; New research suggests that the tactic works well for men. But for women, stereotypes get in the way.
Siyu Yu and Catherine She – The Wall Street Journal
To get ahead in the workplace, you need to network with high-status people. That’s the conventional wisdom, and research shows it is good advice. There is just one risk: The strategy is effective for men-but less so for women, and it can even harm their status at the office. In a recent study, we discovered that when women form instrumental networks with higher-status colleagues, other co-workers react negatively-but not so to men-because of stereotypes and biases about how women should behave. This backlash causes the women to lose status in the eyes of others.

Wellness Exchange

Here’s Why Infants Are Strangely Resistant to COVID; Very young children’s developing immune systems respond to the COVID-causing virus SARS-CoV-2 very differently than do those of adults
Simon Makin – Scientific American
Many infectious diseases are deadly for both the very old and the very young. But thankfully, the COVID-causing SARS-CoV-2 virus rarely triggers serious illness in infants. Scientists have several theories as to why. For example, some evidence suggests babies’ immature immune systems-which lack the more targeted (or “adaptive”) responses that develop with age-mount a stronger first-line (or “innate”) response against the virus.

U.S. Makes Initial Offers in Medicare Drug Price Negotiations
Noah Weiland – The New York Times
The Biden administration announced on Thursday that it was sending initial offers to the makers of the first 10 prescription drugs that have been selected for price negotiations with Medicare under a landmark federal program intended to reduce drug spending. Why It Matters: The price offers kick off negotiations. The medicines selected for negotiations are taken by millions of Americans to treat conditions like diabetes, cancer and heart disease. The administration identified them in August, beginning a lengthy process intended to result in an agreed-upon price that would take effect in 2026, assuming the negotiation program survives legal challenges.


Farmers’ anger spreads in Europe, governments promise help
Erol Dodrudogan and Yves Herman – Reuters
Farmers threw eggs and stones at the European Parliament in Brussels on Thursday, started fires near the building and set off fireworks as they demanded EU leaders do more to help them with taxes and rising costs. With anger against green regulations and cheap imports shared among farmers across Europe, protesters from Italy, Spain and other European countries took part in the Brussels demonstration, which coincided with an EU summit nearby, as well as holding protests at home.

Eurozone inflation slows to 2.8% in January
Martin Arnold – Financial Times
Eurozone inflation slowed to 2.8 per cent in January, but the decline in underlying price measures was less than economists expected after stripping out more volatile energy and food costs. The renewed decline in the headline rate of eurozone inflation, after it briefly ticked up to 2.9 per cent in December, will support investors’ expectations that the European Central Bank could cut interest rates as early as this spring.

Frozen Russian assets yielded EUR4.4bn in 2023, says Euroclear
Laura Dubois – Financial Times
Euroclear earned EUR4.4bn last year from Russian assets immobilised at the central securities depository by EU sanctions, as the bloc gears up to seize the extraordinary profits to support Ukraine in its war against Russia. The Brussels-based group disclosed on Thursday that earnings related to interests from Russian assets more than quadrupled from EUR821mn in 2022 due to rising interest rates.


The Messenger Is Closing Less Than a Year After Its Launch; News startup launched in May 2023 with $50 million in funding and 175 reporters
Alexandra Bruell and Talal Ansari – The Wall Street Journal
Digital-news startup the Messenger is shutting down less than a year after it launched. Founder and Chief Executive Jimmy Finkelstein delivered the message Wednesday to the company in an internal memo. “I am personally devastated to share that we have made the painfully hard decision to shut down The Messenger, effective immediately,” Finkelstein said in the memo to staffers, which was viewed by The Wall Street Journal. The venture launched in May 2023 with $50 million in funding and 175 reporters. A representative for the publisher at the time said its ambition was to have 500 journalists by the end of 2024.

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The Spread

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