Global Banks Warn of Market Chaos If Court Abolishes Libor

Jan 13, 2021

First Read

$24,451/$300,000 (8.2%)
Larry Arnowitz and Mark Spanbroek


Hits & Takes
John Lothian & JLN Staff

Vice President Mike Pence rebuffed the U.S. House of Representatives’ call for implementing the 25th amendment of the U.S. Constitution, so the House is poised to impeach President Donald Trump today. More must-watch TV during the Trump Reality Presidency Show. The FBI has opened 160 cases against people involved in attempting to overthrow the government and is considering charging some with sedition. One theory on why authorities have been slow to charge those involved with more serious charges is the fear President Trump will step in and pardon them before he leaves office on January 20.

The CME Group issued a press release yesterday that they “suspend all political contributions through CME Group’s Political Action Committee (PAC) for the foreseeable future.” The move was made “in response to the violent attack at the U.S. Capitol last week.” Thank you to the CME Group for doing the right thing.

I have not heard or seen anything from Intercontinental Exchange Inc. on this issue yet.

President-Elect Joe Biden is expected to appoint Gary Gensler as the chairman of the SEC, Bloomberg reported. Mr. Gensler formerly headed the CFTC during the four years of the Obama administration and was responsible for implementing the mandates of the Dodd-Frank Act. Welcome back, Gary!

The NFA has a notice on their website that says “If you engaged in business with Gregory L. Gramalegui or Emini Trading School between 2010 and 2015, you may be eligible for restitution.” Visit NFA’s restitution page to learn if you qualify.

Barchart has appointed Keith Petersen as their chief strategy officer and Mark Wator to head of financial & media sales. Congratulations to both.

Larry Arnowitz and Mark Spanbroek are the latest to give to the JLN MarketsWiki Education GoFundMe campaign. Larry is a friend and former electronic trading competitor, from when he ran GNI. He is also a former colleague, from when I helped him get hired by The Price Group to run a discount operation that ultimately did not succeed. Larry is currently selling health insurance for HealthMarkets Inc. Mark is the chairman of the FIA European Principal Traders Association. He is also the former chairman of the board of CME Europe. Mark is also formerly of GETCO and spoke at one of our MarketsWiki Education World of Opportunity events in London. Thank you to Larry and all who have given and all who have yet to give. Support our efforts to preserve industry history by donating to our GoFundMe campaign.

Correction. I did my math wrong yesterday in calculating the incentive fee the Fed should have earned on the $88.5 billion they gave back to the U.S. Treasury. I used the balance sheet of $7 trillion rather than the $88.5 billion for this calculation. Thus, they should have earned $17.7 billion if they were a hedge fund getting the standard 2 and 20 management and incentive fees. My apologies for the error.

In food news, the Wall Street Journal reports that “Australia Is Awash in Lobster.” In related news, Bloomberg is reporting that the “EU Food Watchdog Approves Bugs for Human Consumption.” If you wonder what comedian Jim Gaffigan has to say about lobsters and bugs, here is a video where he talks about lobsters being the bugs of the ocean. He says, “A spoonful of butter makes the bug meat go down.”

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


Bakkt Holding is going to market as the result of a merger of ICE’s bitcoin warehouse and a special purpose acquisition company, VPC Impact Acquisition Holdings, which is listed on Nasdaq. The investor presentation filed with the SEC is available here. Slide 22 in the deck describes the “powerful flywheel effect” that characterizes the enterprise’s prospects. You can read about what a flywheel effect is over on management consultant Jim Collins’s website. ~Thom Thompson


House Set for Impeachment Vote as Republicans Break From Trump
Mike Dorning, Erik Wasson, and Billy House – Bloomberg
President’s actions in stoking mob cause rift in his party; Trump would become only U.S. president to be impeached twice
The U.S. House prepared to vote on a history-making second impeachment of Donald Trump as lawmakers seethed over his role inciting last week’s mob attack on the Capitol and the president’s once-firm control over the Republican party began to break down.

*****Must see TV!~JJL


Biden Poised to Pick Wall Street Critic Gary Gensler to Lead SEC
Saleha Mohsin, Jennifer Epstein, Robert Schmidt, and Benjamin Bain – Bloomberg
Ex-CFTC chairman would be securities industry’s top regulator; Gensler often sparred with financial firms while running CFTC
Gary Gensler is President-elect Joe Biden’s likely pick to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to two people familiar with the matter, a move that would put a former regulator who is known for sparring with financial executives atop Wall Street’s main overseer. Gensler, 63, ran the Commodity Futures Trading Commission during the Obama administration, a post where he was the driving force behind the government’s new oversight regime of the massive over-the-counter swaps market. The role put him in frequent combat with banks, which resisted his push to bring transparency and guardrails to a corner of finance that helped ignite the 2008 credit crunch.

*****Chairman Gensler will be the second former CFTC head to later become SEC chairman, if my recollection is right. Mary Shapiro was the other.~JJL


CME Group Statement on the CME Group Political Action Committee
CME Group
CME Group today announced the company will suspend all political contributions through CME Group’s Political Action Committee (PAC) for the foreseeable future. This decision was made in response to the violent attack at the U.S. Capitol last week. In light of this appalling event, the company believes it is critical to reexamine its contribution policies to ensure anyone who receives PAC support shares the values of CME Group.

*****Thank you to the CME Group for doing what I believe is the right thing to do.~JJL


Programmer has two guesses left to access £175m bitcoin wallet
Rupert Neate – The Guardian
Stefan Thomas has just two chances left to get his hands on his $240m (£175m) fortune.
Thomas is a San Francisco-based computer programmer, and a decade ago he was given 7,002 bitcoins as a reward for making a video explaining how the cryptocurrency works.
At the time he was paid, they were worth $2-$6 each. He stashed them away in his “digital wallet” and forgot about them.

***** I’d guess it’s “1 2 3 4 5″…same as his luggage (bonus points for those who get the nearly 35-year-old reference). ~JB


Barchart Appoints Keith Petersen to Chief Strategy Officer and Mark Wator to Head of Financial & Media Sales
Today, Barchart, a leading provider of market data and technology services to the financial, media and commodity industries, announced that Keith Petersen has been named Chief Strategy Officer, and Mark Wator has been named Head of Financial & Media Sales.

*****Congratulations to both on their new positions.~JJL


Tuesday’s Top Three
Our top story Tuesday was Bloomberg’s Wall Street Visionaries Provide Chilling Views on Next Big Risk. Second was CME Group’s CME Group and IHS Markit to Form Leading Post-Trade Services Joint Venture for OTC Markets. Third was a repeat in the top 3, Yahoo News’s Trump reportedly told Kelly Loeffler he’d ‘do a number on her’ if she didn’t back Electoral College challenge.


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Lead Stories

Global Banks Warn of Market Chaos If Court Abolishes Libor
William Shaw and Joel Rosenblatt – Bloomberg
Group of borrowers is seeking an immediate end to benchmark; JPMorgan, Credit Suisse among defendants warning of disruption
Some of the world’s biggest banks are urging a U.S. judge not to immediately terminate Libor after a group of borrowers filed suit claiming the benchmark was the work of a “price-fixing cartel.” Defendants in the case, including JPMorgan Chase & Co., Credit Suisse Group AG and Deutsche Bank AG, said in a November filing that an injunction abruptly ending the London interbank offered rate would wreak havoc on financial markets and undermine years of work reforming the reference rate. The plaintiffs, which include 27 consumer borrowers and credit card users, are also seeking monetary damages.

LSE’s $27bn Refinitiv deal approved by EU regulators; Brussels signs off on tie-up after accepting concessions made by London exchange
Javier Espinoza in Brussels and Philip Stafford – FT
EU regulators have approved London Stock Exchange Group’s $27bn purchase of data and trading group Refinitiv, removing the last major obstacle to a deal that will create a new powerhouse in financial markets. Competition authorities in Brussels on Wednesday formally signed off on the tie-up after accepting concessions made by the LSE, notably the UK group’s decision to sell Borsa Italiana, owner of the Milan stock exchange, and a major trading platform in European sovereign debt, according to people with direct knowledge of the matter.

Trust in governments slides as pandemic drags on; Erosion of early public support around the world threatens vaccine rollouts
Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson – FT
Governments have squandered the surge in public trust they saw early in the Covid-19 pandemic, imperilling their chances of persuading their populations to get vaccinated, according to a 28-country survey showing that scepticism of official guidance is growing around the world.

More Trust in Business Than in Government and Media, Survey Finds; In latest annual trust survey, U.S. respondents back business at a higher percentage than other institutions
Kathryn Dill and Kurt Wilberding – WSJ
People have more faith in their own employer than leaders in government and business, according to a new study released Wednesday. Overall, trust in institutions remains low, but business earned the highest marks, said the annual survey by the public-relations firm Edelman. The poll represented the company’s 21st analysis of public trust in major institutions and surveyed more than 33,000 people in 28 countries over the past several months.

UBS Venue Sees EU Stock Trade in London Cut in Half After Brexit
Viren Vaghela – Bloomberg
Swiss bank hasn’t followed rivals to set up platform inside EU; EU companies can no longer trade European stocks from London
UBS Group AG’s London platform has seen nearly 50% of its European equities business move to rivals in Amsterdam and Paris after Brexit diverted most EU share trading back to the bloc.

Potential Priorities for Wall Street’s Next Top Cop; Gary Gensler is reportedly President-elect Joe Biden’s choice to lead the S.E.C. Here’s what he might focus on.
Andrew Ross Sorkin, Jason Karaian, Michael J. de la Merced, Lauren Hirsch and Ephrat Livni – NY Times
The Biden administration is set to tap Gary Gensler, a former financial regulator and Goldman Sachs banker, as head of the Securities and Exchange Commission, multiple outlets are reporting.

City of London Needs Brexit Limbo to End The U.K. and Europe busted one Brexit deadline after another hatching a trade deal. March’s target for a finance accord can’t be the next to slip.
Marcus Ashworth – Bloomberg
Last month’s Brexit trade deal left a giant loose end — the future of finance, the U.K.’s most valuable export sector. Britain and Europe have given themselves until March to agree on just how closely the U.K’s financial regulations will mirror those of the European Union. Negotiations between the two sides have seen deadline after deadline get busted since the Brexit referendum in 2016. The City of London cannot afford a repeat of that now. It needs clarity fast.

Trader Charged With Ex-Goldman Banker Fights Extradition
Jonathan Browning – Bloomberg
Joseph El Khouri says U.K. FCA dropped insider-trading probe; Lawyer says El Khouri allegations should be tried in U.K.
A securities trader fighting extradition on U.S. insider-trading charges told a London court that British prosecutors dropped their own investigation because there was “insufficient evidence.” Joseph El Khouri, who holds dual Lebanese-British citizenship, was charged by U.S. authorities with making almost $2 million trading on inside information.

A Handful of Penny Stocks Just Made Up a Fifth of U.S. Volume
Elena Popina, Sarah Ponczek, and Nick Baker – Bloomberg
Six companies made up almost one-fifth of trading Monday; Most share volume is off-exchange for the first time ever
For a stark illustration of how dominant individual investors have become in U.S. equities, check out the proportion of volume happening in the tiniest stocks. While it’s not unheard of to see a microcap like pet-medicine maker Zomedica Corp. top the most-active list with a billion shares traded, as it did Monday, it is notable when it and five other companies selling for less than $1 make up almost a fifth of overall volume. That also occurred yesterday, data compiled by Themis Trading LLC’s Joseph Saluzzi show.

Public trust crumbles amid COVID, fake news – survey
Mark John – Reuters
Trust in governments, business chiefs and media is crumbling amid a perceived mis-handling by leaders of the coronavirus pandemic and a widespread feeling among ordinary citizens that they are being misled, a global survey has found.

SIFMA Fixed Income Market Close Recommendations in the U.S., the U.K. and Japan for the U.S. Martin Luther King Day
SIFMA has confirmed its previous recommendation for a full market close on Monday, January 18 for the trading of U.S. dollar-denominated fixed income securities in the U.S., U.K. and Japan in observance of the U.S. Martin Luther King Day Holiday.

U.S. to Require Covid-19 Tests for All International Visitors; Directive expands CDC order requiring proof of negative coronavirus tests for all airline passengers from U.K.
Michelle Hackman and Andrew Restuccia – WSJ
The U.S. government will require all international airline passengers to show proof of a negative Covid-19 test before boarding flights to the country, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday.

Why going global has proved so hard for the big banks; Lenders struggle to reap gains from globalisation in the way that other industries have
Robert Armstrong – FT
Even before coronavirus, globalisation was on the decline. Both international trade in goods and services and capital flows have been falling for a decade. The virus is likely to accelerate this.

MarketAxess Appoints Raj Paranandi as Chief Operating Officer for EMEA & APAC
MarketAxess Holdings Inc
MarketAxess Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: MKTX), the operator of a leading electronic trading platform for fixed-income securities, and the provider of market data and post-trade services for the global fixed-income markets, today announced the appointment of Raj Paranandi as Chief Operating Officer, EMEA & APAC. The appointment is effective March 1st, 2021.

ICE Provides Update on ICE Murban Futures Ahead of Launch of ICE Futures Abu Dhabi on March 29, 2021
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc.
Approval granted from the Bank of England for ICE Clear Europe to clear IFAD markets; IFAD receives regulatory approval from the Monetary Authority of Singapore
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE:ICE), a leading operator of global exchanges and clearing houses and provider of mortgage technology, data and listings services, today provides an update on ICE Futures Abu Dhabi (IFAD).


Pfizer Investigates Post-Vaccine Death for Possible Connection
Riley Griffin – Bloomberg
Florida-based physician dies 16 days after getting first shot; So far, evidence doesn’t suggest causal tie, company says
Pfizer Inc. and federal health officials are investigating the death of a health-care worker 16 days after the person received the first dose of the company’s Covid-19 vaccine.

U.S. Vaccine Shift Stirs Fresh Unease as 128 Million Join Line
Angelica LaVito and John Tozzi – Bloomberg
States fear shortages amid expanded eligibility for shots; Change in strategy means new challenges in managing supplies
The U.S. government wants states to offer vaccines to millions more Americans as Covid-19 infections continue to soar, in a bid to bolster an immunization campaign that’s off to a rocky start. In recommending that states start immunizing all residents 65 and older, along with all those between 16 and 64 with medical conditions that make them more vulnerable to serious disease, U.S. health officials are clearing a path for about 128 million more Americans to be vaccinated.

New Zealand Accepts Vaccines Should Go to Virus Hotspots First
Tracy Withers – Bloomberg
New Zealand wants access to Covid-19 vaccines as soon as possible but accepts that other nations where the death toll is rising have a higher priority, Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson said.

Pharma lobby warns against extending Covid jabs times; US and Europe groups advise adhering to dosing that has been assessed in clinical trials
Donato Paolo Mancini – FT
The pharmaceutical industry has warned against straying from tried-and-tested dosing intervals for Covid-19 vaccines, saying doing so risks public confidence in the shots.

China imposes tough new curbs on 23m people after Covid outbreak; Beijing limits travel and conducts mass testing in harshest measures since start of pandemic
Yuan Yang – FT
China has imposed its most widespread restrictions since the start of the coronavirus pandemic last year, placing travel restrictions on about 23m people and putting some areas into lockdown after a sudden rise in cases.

Covid-19 Rapid-Test Sites Planned for New York Office Buildings; Cuomo says expanded testing would help workers to return safely
Katie Honan and Peter Grant – WSJ
New York is working to open up Covid-19 rapid-testing sites at commercial buildings to help return workers to their offices, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday.

Johnson & Johnson Expects Vaccine Results Soon but Lags in Production; The U.S. needs J.&J.’s one-shot vaccine more than ever. But the company is behind on manufacturing promises made in its Operation Warp Speed contract.
Carl Zimmer, Sharon LaFraniere and Noah Weiland – WSJ
Johnson & Johnson expects to release critical results from its Covid-19 vaccine trial in as little as two weeks — a potential boon in the effort to protect Americans from the coronavirus — but most likely won’t be able to provide as many doses this spring as it promised the federal government because of unanticipated manufacturing delays.

China’s Sinovac defends COVID-19 vaccine after disappointing Brazil data
Reuters Staff
China’s Sinovac Biotech defended the safety and efficacy of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday, after researchers in Brazil released late-stage clinical data showing efficacy that was much lower than initially announced.

United States sets record for most Covid-19 deaths reported in one day
Christina Maxouris, Holly Yan and Amir Vera – CNN
(CNN)The US set a record Tuesday for the most Covid-19 deaths reported in one day since the start of the pandemic, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Vaccination by Age Is the Way to Go; The fight over who gets the shot first is slowing the rollout. Date of birth is the best proxy for level of risk.
Paul E. Peterson – WSJ
The distribution of Covid vaccines is proceeding slowly even as a new, faster-moving viral variant arrives from London. The number of vaccinations administered last month was less than 25% of the original projections, while Covid hospitalizations and deaths reached new highs across the country. Perhaps inoculations will pick up in the coming weeks, but this has been what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls “Phase A,” when the serum is reserved for two highly accessible, readily identifiable groups: health-care workers and nursing-home residents.

Coronavirus Vaccine Doses That Were Held Back Now Being Released; Trump administration shifts strategy in effort to speed up pace of administering shots
Stephanie Armour, Jared S. Hopkins and Peter Loftus – WSJ
The Trump administration is releasing second doses of coronavirus vaccines that were reserved for booster shots and is urging states to give the vaccine to anyone age 65 and older, as well as to people with pre-existing health conditions, a shift in strategy that vastly expands the pool of those eligible for shots while presenting another hurdle for the logistics of administering the vaccine at state and local levels.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

CME Group and IHS Markit launch joint post-trade OTC venture; The new company will combine the two entities’ post-trade services, offering trade processing and risk mitigation operations in the OTC markets.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
US derivatives exchange giant CME Group and data and analytics provider IHS Markit have announced plans to launch a new post-trade joint venture for the over-the-counter (OTC) markets.

Frankfurt certificate exchange: Bitcoin certificate most traded product in 2020; Almost 4 million executed orders from private investors (+ 79%) / trading volume rises by 71 percent to 21.1 billion euros
Deutsche Börse Group
In 2020, a Bitcoin certificate was once again the most popular product on the Frankfurt Certificate Exchange with a turnover of 199 million euros. Overall, the trading volume rose in the past year by 71 percent to 21.1 billion euros.

Webcast details for half-year results and FY21 key dates
ASX is scheduled to announce its financial results for the half-year ended 31 December 2020 on Thursday, 11 February 2021. After the results have been announced, ASX will hold a briefing at: Date and time: 10:30am, Thursday, 11 February 2021, Webcast: Register to view the briefing here.

TMX Group Limited announces release date for Q4 2020 financial results and analyst conference call
TMX Group Limited will announce its financial results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2020 in the evening of Monday, February 8, 2021. An analyst conference call to review the results will be held at 8:00 a.m. EST on Tuesday, February 9, 2021.

Nasdaq Launches New Risk Platform for the Sell-Side and Broker Clearing Industries
Cloud-based risk platform built to support real-time, cross-asset risk management and exchange margin funding calculations; Sucden Financial adopts the Nasdaq Risk Platform to power its new multi-asset risk management system
Today Nasdaq (NDAQ) unveiled the enhanced Nasdaq Risk Platform, a real-time single point of access risk platform for sell-side and clearing broker communities. The cloud-based risk platform provides visibility of initial margin, counterparty risk controls and improved risk-adjusted outcomes across asset classes. The Nasdaq Risk Platform has an open and ?exible risk aggregation framework that allows integration of market data sources and risk models, enabling clients to consolidate multiple asset specific point solutions for risk management into one single multi-asset solution improving capital and liquidity monitoring across firms.

Nasdaq Welcomed 79 Listings to its European Markets in 2020
Increased from 63 European listings in 2019 to 79 listings in 2020; 14 switches from other markets; Welcomed 45 initial public offerings (IPOs), raising a total of EUR 2.9 billion; EUR 12.1 billion raised in the secondary market both on Nasdaq First North and Main Market; Nasdaq has further strengthened its position as a leading market for Small and Mid-cap companies
Nasdaq (Nasdaq: NDAQ) announced today that Nasdaq’s European Markets conducted 79 listings in 2020. The equity markets in Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland and the Baltic countries welcomed a total of 45 initial public offerings (IPOs), as a part of the total 79 listings, raising a total of EUR 3.02 billion. This is an increase from 34 IPOs in 2019. Fourteen companies, comprising a market value of EUR 435.5 million, have transferred to Nasdaq’s European Markets from competing exchanges in the region. A total of 1,071 companies are currently listed at Nasdaq’s European Markets.

Nasdaq Announces End-of-Month Open Short Interest Positions in Nasdaq Stocks as of Settlement Date December 31, 2020
At the end of the settlement date of December 31, 2020, short interest in 2,570 Nasdaq Global MarketSM securities totaled 8,444,669,455 shares compared with 8,245,773,085 shares in 2,569 Global Market issues reported for the prior settlement date of December 15, 2020. The end-of-December short interest represent 2.58 days average daily Nasdaq Global Market share volume for the reporting period, compared with 2.21 days for the prior reporting period.

Nasdaq December 2020 Volumes, 4Q20 Statistics, Issues Update to Expense Guidance
Nasdaq (Nasdaq: NDAQ) today reported monthly volumes for December 2020, as well as quarterly volumes, estimated revenue capture, number of listings and index statistics for the quarter ended December 31, 2020 on its investor relations website.

Performance Bond Requirements: Interest Rate Margins – Effective January 13, 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.

PRODUCTION DATE CHANGE – Adding Average Price Group ID and Group ID to the FIXML Trade Register
CME Group
Please be advised that, as per Clearing House Advisory 20-441, CME Clearing will be adding the tags for Average Price Group ID (@AvgPxGrpID) and Group ID (@GrpID) to the FIXML Trade Register. The Production date for this change has been re-scheduled again for Trade Date Monday, February 08, 2021.

2021 Standard Freight Rate for Carcass-Graded Live Cattle Deliveries
CME Group
Effective Monday, February 8, 2021, Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc., (“CME” or “Exchange”) will amend the standard freight rate used in the Live Cattle Futures contract (Rulebook Chapter: 101; Clearing Code: LC; CME Globex Code: LE; CME ClearPort Code: 48).

Industry Survey Regarding Potential Amendments to Certain Contract Specifications of the Oat Futures Contract
CME Group
The Board of Trade of the City of Chicago, Inc. (“CBOT” or “Exchange”) is soliciting feedback from market participants regarding the Oat Futures contract (the “Contract”) (CME Globex: ZO; CME ClearPort: O; Clearing: O; Rulebook Chapter: CBOT 15) via an industry survey. Market participants interested in providing the Exchange with feedback regarding delivery territory and quality specifications of the Contract may follow the instructions in the link provided below. The deadline for the Exchange to receive such feedback is
Friday, January 22, 2021.

SGX appoints Herry Cho as new Head of Sustainability and Sustainable Finance
Singapore Exchange (SGX) today announced that it has appointed Ms Herry Cho to a newly created position of Managing Director, Head of Sustainability and Sustainable Finance reporting to SGX’s CEO Mr Loh Boon Chye, with effect from 8 February 2021. Ms Cho’s appointment is the latest milestone in SGX’s multi-pronged expansion of its sustainability efforts, which are housed under the recently launched SGX FIRST (Future in Reshaping Sustainability Together) platform.

CONNEQTOR’s go-live date (February 1) has been set
Tokyo Stock Exchange, Inc. has been developing RFQ (Request for Quote) functions and CONNEQTOR with the aim of improving the liquidity of ETFs. We are pleased to announce that development has been successfully completed and CONNEQTOR will go live on February 1, 2021. For details, please refer to the attachment.

Euronext resolves technical glitch in index derivatives trading
Reuters Staff
Stock exchange operator Euronext said on Monday it had resolved a technical issue that affected index derivatives trading.


BondWave Releases New Version of Effi™ with Enhanced Transaction Analytics Suite
BondWave, an affiliate of First Trust Portfolios and a leading financial technology firm focused on fixed income solutions, announced today the release of Effi™ 3.17, the newest version of its intuitive fixed income portfolio and transaction analytics platform.

StockCharts Migrates Market Data to Xignite Prior to Pandemic, Learns Importance of the Cloud
Xignite, Inc.
Xignite, Inc., a provider of market data distribution and management solutions for financial services and technology companies, today revealed the results of its collaboration with StockCharts, a leading technical analysis and financial charting platform for online retail investors. The collaboration involved a move from an on-premise market data provider to Xignite’s cloud-native technology hosted in Amazon Web Services (AWS). Click HERE to download the case study containing the full results.

Visa Abandons Planned Acquisition of Plaid After DOJ Challenge; Justice Department sued in November to challenge the $5.3 billion deal
Brent Kendall, AnnaMaria Andriotis and Peter Rudegeair – WSJ
Visa Inc. V -1.89% abandoned its $5.3 billion planned acquisition of financial-technology firm Plaid Inc. amid a Justice Department antitrust lawsuit that challenged the deal. The department sued to block the deal in November, alleging the acquisition would allow Visa to unlawfully maintain a monopoly in the online debit-card market. Plaid, the government argued, was a nascent but important competitive threat to Visa, and eliminating that threat would lead to higher prices, less innovation and higher entry barriers for online debit services.

FinTech Scotland confirms new chief executive appointment; Announcement comes as the industry body reaches its third anniversary
Industry leadership body FinTech Scotland has confirmed the appointment of Nicola Anderson as its new chief executive. She has been on secondment from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for two years and most recently stepped up to be the interim chief executive when Stephen Ingledew moved into a new position of executive chair in November.


Bitcoin’s wild ride leaves traditional money managers queasy; Turbulence raises fresh questions on whether mainstream investors will hop on board
Eva Szalay – FT
A strong jolt of volatility in cryptocurrencies has dulled hopes that large pension funds and traditional investors will pile into bitcoin anytime soon as a pick-up in institutional interest remains dominated by speculators.

Crypto Company BitGo Hires Coinbase’s Former Compliance Chief; BitGo is seeking approval from New York regulators to act as a cryptocurrency custodian
Dylan Tokar – WSJ
BitGo Inc. has recruited the former chief compliance officer of virtual currency exchange Coinbase Inc. as the digital asset financial services provider seeks a key custodial license from New York state regulators.

Lost Passwords Lock Millionaires Out of Their Bitcoin Fortunes; Bitcoin owners are getting rich because the cryptocurrency has soared. But what happens when you can’t tap that wealth because you forgot the password to your digital wallet?
Nathaniel Popper – The New York Times
Stefan Thomas, a German-born programmer living in San Francisco, has two guesses left to figure out a password that is worth, as of this week, about $220 million.

Bitcoin is ‘highly speculative’ and needs to be regulated, says ECB’s Lagarde
Yogita Khatri – The Block
European Central Bank (ECB) President Christine Lagarde has said that bitcoin is “highly speculative” and needs to be regulated. Speaking at the Reuters Next conference on Wednesday, Lagarde said bitcoin has conducted “some funny business and some interesting and totally reprehensible money laundering activity.” “And there has to be regulations and this has to be applied and agreed upon,” at a global level, said Lagarde. “If there is an escape, that escape will be used,” she said. “So I think […] global cooperation and multilateral action is absolutely needed, whether it is initiated by the G-7, moved into the G-20 and then enlarged […] The FATF [Financial Action Task Force] is clearly an organization that has expanded in that respect.”

Winklevoss’ Gemini Backs New Bitcoin ETF Application in Canada
Tanzeel Akhtar – Coindesk
A prospectus for a new bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) has been filed with the Ontario Securities Commission in Canada. Arxnovum Investments Inc filed documents for the “Arxnovum Bitcoin ETF” on Monday. The ETF is planned to be listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) under the ticker “BIT.U.” The manager behind the ETF application is Shaun Cumby, CEO of Arxnovum Investments. Previously, Cumby held the position of CIO at 3iq Corp – the Canada-based digital asset manager behind the launch of the Bitcoin Fund, called the world’s first regulated bitcoin fund.

Bitcoin Miner Marathon to Raise $250M in Direct Stock Offering
Tanzeel Akhtar – Coindesk
Bitcoin mining company Marathon Patent Group (MARA) shares were down after the Nasdaq-listed firm announced it plans to raise up to $250 million through a direct stock offering. The Las Vegas-based company said Tuesday it has entered into a securities purchase agreement with institutional investors for the registered offering of 12.5 million shares of common stock at $20 per share. Marathon shares dropped to $21.83 on the news, sliding 16.5% in Tuesday’s pre-market session. In the past year, the company’s shares have soared over 2,500%. Gross proceeds for this offering are expected to be $250 million, which Marathon intends to use to fund “ongoing operations and expansion of its business,” per the release. H.C. Wainwright & Co. is acting as the exclusive placement agent for the offering, which closes on Jan. 15.

Monday was a record-breaking day for Coinbase and Binance
MK Manoylov – The Block
Cryptocurrency exchanges Coinbase and Binance broke their all-time highs for volume on Monday, according to data compiled by The Block. Coinbase reached $9.56 billion in daily exchange volume — about a 57.9% increase from its $6.05 billion previous peak in January 7, 2021. On the same day, Binance reached $30.66 billion. That’s roughly 38% greater than the exchange’s last high of $22.1 billion on January 7, 2021.

Largest Dark Web Market Taken Offline as Alleged Operator Arrested in Germany
Sebastian Sinclair – Coindesk
A 34-year-old Australian man accused of running the world’s largest dark web marketplace has been arrested by German authorities close to the Danish border. According to a report from Europol on Wednesday, the DarkMarket site was taken offline on Monday following a probe by German investigators with the assistance of Europol and seven other nations. The illegal site had processed more than 320,000 transactions, had close to 500,000 users and over 2,400 vendors. More than 140 million euros (around US$170 million) in bitcoin and monero had changed hands on the site. Subscribe to Blockchain Bites, our daily update with the lat

Ribbit Capital, Paradigm lead $15 million Series A for Indian crypto exchange CoinSwitch Kuber
Yogita Khatri – The Block
Indian crypto exchange CoinSwitch Kuber has raised $15 million in Series A funding led by Ribbit Capital and Paradigm. Announcing the news on Tuesday, CoinSwitch said this is the first crypto-related investment of Ribbit Capital in India and Paradigm’s first in the country in general. The Series A also saw participation from CoinSwitch’s existing investor Sequoia Capital India and angel investor Kunal Shah, the founder of Indian credit card management startup CRED. CoinSwitch said the funding would go towards expanding its product, security, compliance, and tech capabilities, without disclosing any specific details. CoinSwitch co-founder and CEO Ashish Singhal wasn’t available for comments.

Bitcoin Options Volume on Deribit Already 25% of 2020 Total
Zack Voell – Coindesk
Deribit traders have already recorded 25% of last year’s entire bitcoin options volume. After a record-setting $2 billion traded Monday, total volume for bitcoin options on Deribit in the past two weeks reached $14.5 billion Tuesday morning. In 2020, all bitcoin options trading on Deribit totaled just less than $57 billion. Contributing to its wild growth in the past month, the Panama-based exchange now offers traders sky-high bets of bitcoin reaching $100,000, $200,000 or even $300,000 by December. At the end of December 2020, Deribit investor and Three Arrows Capital CEO Su Zu predicted in 2021, “Options markets volume to become over 50% of all crypto derivatives markets.” Perpetual cryptocurrency futures markets reported over $190 billion in the past 24 hours, according to CoinGecko.

Bitcoin Will Break Wall Street’s Heart; Mainstream institutional investors are coming to the party late, and conservative mandates mean outsize risk relative to potential returns
Mike Bird – WSJ
The gyrating price of bitcoin has made headlines again this year, as has growing interest from institutional investors. But most vanilla financiers have more to lose than win by diving into digital assets.


How China Won Trump’s Trade War and Got Americans to Foot the Bill
Bloomberg News
Chinese trade surplus, exports rose despite Trump’s rhetoric; Biden administration likely to favor technology controls
Supply Lines is a daily newsletter that tracks Covid-19’s impact on trade. Sign up here, and subscribe to our Covid-19 podcast for the latest news and analysis on the pandemic. U.S. President Donald Trump famously tweeted that “trade wars are good, and easy to win” in 2018 as he began to impose tariffs on about $360 billion of imports from China. Turns out he was wrong on both counts.

After Merkel: the battle for the soul of the Christian Democratic Union; Under the chancellor the party turned into a well oiled election-winning machine but lost some of its identity
Guy Chazan in Berlin – FT
It is a Friday evening in Berlin and three middle-aged, dark-suited men are setting out their vision for the future of Germany — the last debate in a withering 10-month campaign for the leadership of the country’s most powerful political party.

Why Trump’s attempt to delist China from US will backfire; Bans on stock purchases harm the interests of American investors
Jesse Fried – FT
The China delistings have begun. This week, the New York Stock Exchange expelled three Chinese telecom companies to implement President Donald Trump’s November order that bars Americans from buying shares in “communist Chinese military companies”.

FBI Has Opened Over 160 Cases Tied to Pro-Trump Capitol Riot; Prosecutors are looking at sedition charges in connection with storming of the Capitol, which top military leaders call an assault on the Constitution
Sadie Gurman, Aruna Viswanatha and Nancy A. Youssef – WSJ
The nation’s military leadership on Tuesday denounced last week’s storming of the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob as a plot to overthrow the government, while federal prosecutors said they were examining more than 160 cases and weighing sedition charges in some of them.

A Bipartisan Case for Impeaching Trump and Barring Him From Office; It’s not a complex case. There’s no real reason for the Senate not to try him immediately.
Steven G. Calabresi and Norman Eisen – NY Times
One of us is a Republican who proudly served in the Reagan administration and voted for Donald Trump in 2016; the other is a Democrat who worked for President Barack Obama and served as a special counsel for the House Judiciary Committee during the first Trump impeachment and trial.

McGuire, Wall Street Favorite, Raises $5 Million and Jolts Mayor’s Race; New York’s business community is coalescing behind Raymond J. McGuire, an ex-Wall Street executive, but the support may turn off some left-leaning voters.
Jeffery C. Mays – WSJ
As thousands of restaurants, Midtown office towers and Broadway theaters lay empty last summer, leaders of New York’s business community decided enough was enough: They wrote a scathing letter expressing no confidence in Mayor Bill de Blasio, and intensified efforts to find someone of their liking to replace him.

YouTube suspends President Trump’s channel for ‘a minimum’ of one week
Elizabeth Elizalde – NY Post
YouTube announced Tuesday it is suspending President Trump’s channel for at least a week. Content from Trump’s channel was removed Tuesday for violating YouTube’s policies and over concerns it would incite violence, the company said in a statement to The Post.

Cause of death revealed for Georgia man charged in Capitol riot
Tamar LapinJ – NY Post
The Georgia man who was found dead after being charged in connection with the US Capitol riot shot himself in the chest, reports said Tuesday. The Fulton County Medical Examiner ruled that Christopher Stanton Georgia, 53, died by suicide, according to local outlet 11Alive News.

NJ Rep. Sherrill says lawmakers held ‘reconnaissance’ tours before Capitol riot
Kenneth Garger – NY Post
A New Jersey congresswoman accused some lawmakers of leading groups around the Capitol for “reconnaissance” a day before the riot carried out by a pro-Trump mob. New Jersey Rep. Mikie Sherrill said in a Tuesday night Facebook live address to her constituents that she witnessed the alleged exploratory tours.

Rep. Liz Cheney, No. 3 House Republican, will vote to impeach Trump
Steven Nelson – NY Post
The third-ranking House Republican, Rep. Liz Cheney, said Tuesday she will vote to impeach President Trump for allegedly inciting rioters to storm the Capitol last week. The Wyoming congresswoman is chair of the House Republican Conference and her support for impeachment is likely to result in more Republicans joining her ahead of an anticipated Wednesday vote.

Deutsche Bank, Signature Bank cut ties with Trump over Capitol riots
Thornton McEnery – NY Post
Donald Trump’s bankers are cutting ties with the president after the insurrection at the Capitol, with one even calling publicly for his resignation. Over the past 24 hours, both Deutsche Bank and Signature Bank have made the decision to end their business relationships with the outgoing president — a potentially massive blow to Trump’s business future as they were among the last banks willing to lend money to Trump and his family for their various businesses.

Even McConnell Is Happy to See Trump Impeached; The president barely seems to notice that the fissures he’s opened are now swallowing him.
Timothy L. O’Brien – Bloomberg
Predictably, Donald Trump says he wasn’t responsible for inciting a deadly insurrection in Washington last week, deems his incendiary language there suitable for the setting, and isn’t worried about being removed from office. No regrets.

Next Senate Banking Chairman Sets Low-Income and Climate Priorities; Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio says his agenda, including an emphasis on global warming and racial justice, will focus on “the dignity of work.”
Emily Flitter – NY Times
Senator Sherrod Brown, the next chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, proposed a sweeping agenda on Tuesday, saying he would seek to improve housing and banking services for low-income Americans, fight global warming and foster racial equality when Democrats control both chambers of Congress and the White House.

Walmart joins companies suspending donations to lawmakers who voted against certifying the election.
Lauren Hirsch – NY Times
Walmart on Tuesday said it would “indefinitely” suspend contributions to members of Congress who voted against certifying the results of the presidential election, as businesses come under pressure to respond after a mob stormed the Capitol last week.

Biden to Appoint Acting Agency Heads Due to Transition Delays; President-elect to put in place career officials in dozens of positions after inauguration
Sabrina Siddiqui and Ken Thomas – WSJ
President-elect Joe Biden intends to appoint acting agency heads across the federal government once he takes office because of delays to his transition and Senate consideration of his nominees, transition officials said Tuesday.


Watch out Wall Street, Gary Gensler tapped to head SEC
Thornton McEnery – NY Post
Gary Gensler appears to have won the race to be the next sheriff of Wall Street after elbowing out a centrist rival. According to multiple insiders, President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team has chosen Gensler — a former Goldman Sachs executive-turned-Obama administration financial regulator — as its nominee to chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

AT decides to suspend Trajan Kukulovski’s liquidator registration
On 7 January 2021, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) decided by consent that Mr Trajan John Kukulovski’s liquidator registration be suspended for a period of three years from 15 January 2020.

ESMA reminds firms of the MiFID II rules on reverse solicitation
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the EU’s securities markets regulator, is issuing a Public Statement to remind firms of the MiFID II requirements on the provision of investments services to retail or professional clients by firms not established or situated in the European Union (EU).

Member Relations & Education: Reimagining the Future of Engagement
If you’ve ever been to a FINRA conference or boot camp, participated in a small firm call or graduated from the Certified Regulatory and Compliance Professional (CRCP) program, you’ve benefited from the hard work of FINRA’s Member Relations and Education team.

2021 FINRA Small Firm Conference
The Small Firm Conference focuses on small firms’ practices and tips for complying with FINRA rules. Throughout the event, attendees have the opportunity to discuss small firm topics with FINRA senior staff.

SEC Charges Real Estate Fund Manager With Misappropriating Over $7 Million From Retail Investors
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged fund manager Eric C. Malley and his company MG Capital Management L.P. with defrauding retail investors in two real estate funds managed by MG Capital.

Acting Enforcement Director Marc P. Berger to Depart the Commission
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Marc P. Berger, Acting Director of the Division of Enforcement, will conclude his tenure at the agency this month. Mr. Berger joined the Commission as Director of the New York Regional Office in December 2017 and was named Deputy Director of the Division of Enforcement in August 2020.

FCA proposes update to guidance on mortgages and consumer credit repossessions
In November 2020, we announced further support for mortgage and consumer credit borrowers experiencing payment difficulties as a result of coronavirus (Covid-19).

FCA to send third financial resilience survey to advisers
Rachel Mortimer – FT Adviser
The Financial Conduct Authority is to send a third mandatory survey to advisers this week probing the industry’s financial resilience in the face of the ongoing coronavirus crisis. Firms are expected to receive the regulator’s data request between January 13 and 19 and will have 15 working days to respond.

Autorité Des Marchés Financiers: Administrative Penalty Imposed On Desjardins Financial Services Firm
On January 11, 2021, the Financial Markets Administrative Tribunal (Tribunal) rendered a decision approving the agreement entered into between the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) and Desjardins Financial Services Firm (DFSF) (the “Agreement”) and gave effect to the proposed order imposing an administrative penalty of $1 million on DFSF.

Investing and Trading

LNG Cargo Prices Rising Faster Than Bitcoin
Anna Shiryaevskaya, Andy Hoffman, Stephen Stapczynski, and Sergio Chapa – Bloomberg
Exxon, Total, Shell are among sellers with cargoes available; Gunvor, Vitol and Trafigura snap up LNG tankers amid shortage
After years building out export capacity and hiring traders, producers of liquefied natural gas and commodity trading houses are seizing on an unprecedented surge in the price of the fuel. The combination of a severe cold snap in Asia, supply outages and maritime congestion has propelled spot prices for LNG to previously unforeseen heights. The North Asian price benchmark has now risen 18-fold in less than nine months, outperforming other commodities — even Bitcoin.

SPAC Mania Gives Early Investors Steady Returns With Little Risk; Hedge funds score gains when blank-check companies rise after announcing deals to take startups public
Amrith Ramkumar – WSJ
Sudden excitement about the flurry of startups going public through so-called blank-check companies is enriching some of the biggest players in finance, particularly hedge funds. The gains come through the unique rights given to early investors in special-purpose acquisition companies, or SPACs, which look to acquire promising startups and take them public. As the vehicles become more popular, the hedge funds that invest in them early on, such as Magnetar Capital, Glazer Capital and Israel Englander’s Millennium Management, can earn lofty returns without much risk.

Trade sentiment and the stock market: new evidence based on big data textual analysis of Chinese media
Marlene Amstad, – BIS
Trade tensions between China and the United States have created volatility in the global stock market in recent years, but their effects are difficult to quantify. News items related to tariffs and other factors, including trade barriers between the two countries, have made the analysis of these effects particularly challenging. For this reason, the literature has thus far mainly analysed case studies that refer to specific episodes with a time horizon of just a few days.

Zoom Aims to Raise $1.5 Billion Through Stock Offering; Offering would be videoconferencing company’s largest since its trading debut in 2019
Dave Sebastian – WSJ
Zoom Video Communications Inc. ZM 5.66% plans to raise $1.5 billion through what would be its largest stock offering since its trading debut in 2019.

Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance

Many U.S. Corporate Boards Don’t Fully Understand the Climate Crisis; Few of their members have the background to truly get what’s at stake, a new study shows.
Tim Quinson – Bloomberg
Many corporate boards in the U.S. are unprepared to tackle the environmental risks posed by the climate crisis, primarily because few of their members have the background to truly understand what’s at stake.

Investment Metrics acquires investment and ESG factor analysis firm Style Analytics
Sophie Baker – Pensions & Investments
Investment Metrics acquired investment factor and ESG exposure analysis firm Style Analytics, expanding its portfolio analytics, reporting and data solutions offering. A spokeswoman said terms of the deal, completed Dec. 30, were not disclosed. Investment Metrics provides analytics, reporting, data and benchmarking services to the institutional market. It acquired London- and Boston-based Style Analytics from private equity firm Horizon Capital.

(Subscription Requires) ESG investments to drive growth for asset managers: IMAS survey
Genevieve Cua – Business Times
ENVIRONMENTAL, social and governance (ESG) investments are expected to drive growth for asset managers over the next three years, an outlook survey by the Investment Management Association of Singapore has found.

Doing good at every level: charities and ESG investing
In the struggle to protect the Earth’s environment we are all responsible for its current plight and ongoing protection. When contemplated as a whole, the enormity of the sea-change necessary on a personal and wider level to avert environmental disaster can be paralysing. However, as with all great human undertakings, change will not come through one giant leap but a series of small steps in a better direction.

Canaccord launches ESG portfolios on Embark
Imogen Tew – FT Advisor
Canaccord Genuity Wealth has launched a trio of environmental, social and governance portfolios, exclusively available on the Embark platform. The firms announced today (January 12) that financial advisers using the Embark site will now have access to the risk-rated range, which focuses on positive impact programmes actively benefitting society and the environment. David Esfandi, chief executive of Canaccord, said: “Our offering on the Embark Platform marks a significant advance on the more traditional ethical investment funds, focusing less on the traditional exclusion of ‘bad practices’ and more on positivity and sustainability.

SEC Could Require Clearer ESG Disclosures under Biden
ETF Trends via Nasdaq
The Securities and Exchange Commission could put into place guidelines on the federal monitoring of environmental, social, and governance issues as a Biden administration places greater focus on the climate change agenda. Under the outgoing Trump administration, SEC Chairman Jay Clayton followed a more “principles-based approach” to climate disclosure, which has drawn criticism for inconsistent disclosure practices due to the voluntary nature of the framework, Benjmin D. Stone writes for Mondaq. Requirements were further eased this past August and October.


Hedge Fund That Hasn’t Lost in a Decade Piles Into Russian Stocks
Selcuk Gokoluk – Bloomberg
Amaryan’s flagship fund advanced 23% in 2020, topping S&P 500; Manager’s top stock picks include Yandex, Rosseti and Tatneft
David Amaryan just pulled off a feat many investors could only dream of: His portfolios have rallied every year over the past decade. The flagship fund at Moscow-based Balchug Capital advanced 23% in 2020, boosting its total return since inception in January 2019 to 91%, according to an investor letter seen by Bloomberg News. That compares with the S&P 500 Index’s 56% gain and MSCI Emerging Markets Index’s 41% return in that span.

Vanguard’s assets hit record $7tn; World’s second largest asset manager gathered net inflows of $186bn during 2020’s volatile market conditions
Chris Flood – FT
Vanguard’s assets under management have surged beyond the $7tn mark for the first time after the investment industry’s fiercest price competitor attracted net cash inflows of $186bn last year.

Former Goldman, Nomura and Citi derivatives head joins PremiaLab as senior advisor; John Macpherson becomes senior advisor at PremiaLab following senior derivatives roles at JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Nomura and Citi.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
Quantitative investment strategy platform, PremiaLab, has appointed former head of listed derivatives at Citi, Nomura, and Goldman Sachs, John Macpherson, to advise on its European expansion.

Fidelity Leads $2 Trillion Investor Group Seeking Seafarer Aid
Alastair Marsh – Bloomberg
Lombard Odier, MFS Investment also are calling for action; Marine workers face ‘overlooked global humanitarian’ crisis
Investors managing more than $2 trillion of assets are calling on world leaders to address the “unfolding humanitarian crisis at sea” where marine workers are stranded due to border closures and restrictions on movement imposed to contain Covid-19.

Brazilian Pulp Producer Rides Growing Wave of Green Investing
Peter Millard and Ezra Fieser – Bloomberg
Klabin SA just scored its cheapest bond sale in the pulp and paper producer’s recent history as environmentally-friendly investments take off in Brazil, a country more famous for burning down the Amazon than sustainable forestry. The 10-year $500 million sustainability-linked bond with a 3.2% coupon was 10 times oversubscribed, according to Marcos Maciel Marques da Costa, head of investor relations at the Sao Paulo-based company.


EU Food Watchdog Approves Bugs for Human Consumption
Agnieszka de Sousa – Bloomberg
EU food safety watchdog rules that people can eat mealworms; Global insect farming expected to grow tenfold by 2025
Insects just moved a step closer to European dinner plates. Dried yellow mealworm, the larval form of the mealworm beetle, is safe for human consumption in both its whole form and as a powder additive, the European Union’s food watchdog said Wednesday.

Fears of Japan blackouts as power prices hit record highs; Cold snap and low LNG supplies leave portions of electricity system with little capacity
Robin Harding and Leo Lewis, David Sheppard – FT
Japanese electricity prices have soared to all-time highs as a cold snap coincides with tight supplies of liquefied natural gas to raise fears of blackouts in parts of the country.

Australia Is Awash in Lobster; Shellfish surplus has people coming up with creative ways to cook what was once a rare treat; ‘I’m getting a bit sick of eating lobster’
Mike Cherney – WSJ
SYDNEY—Over the holidays, Australian chef Sam Young prepared a platter of lobster rolls for his family gathering. The next day, he grilled another lobster to eat with his girlfriend’s hollandaise sauce. “It’s never been a cheaper time to eat lobsters in Australia,” said Mr. Young, 31 years old, who recently worked at an upscale pop-up restaurant that cooked as many as 40 lobsters a day. “I tell every table to order lobsters.”

PC Giant Lenovo Plans China Listing, Sending Stock Soaring; Shares in the world’s largest PC maker hit their highest level since 2015
Joanne Chiu and Yifan Wang – WSJ
Lenovo Group Ltd. LNVGY 10.93% is capitalizing on two booming markets, Chinese stocks and the global PC industry, to list in Shanghai. The company is the world’s largest maker of personal computers and is well-known for acquiring IBM’s ThinkPad unit and the Motorola Mobility smartphone business. The news that Lenovo would join the STAR Market, China’s answer to the Nasdaq, boosted its Hong Kong-traded shares, which on Wednesday hit their highest level since 2015.

Hong Kong’s Tracker Fund manager to resume investments in sanctioned companies in dramatic U-turn
Enoch Yiu – South China Morning Post
Tracker Fund manager will resume investment in sanctioned companies from Thursday; State Street Global Advisors declared on Monday that it would not be able buy any more stakes in the sanctioned firms
The investment manager of Hong Kong’s Tracker Fund made a dramatic U-turn on Wednesday, saying it would resume investing in sanctioned Chinese companies from Thursday, shortly after it said it would not do so as a result of US regulations

China wants to open up its financial markets to foreigners — but it’s a long road ahead
BEIJING — Financial institutions are betting on more business opportunities in China’s finance industry, which Beijing is eager to crack open — even if analysts say major changes are a long way off.


Brexit Deal May Mean Less British Cod for Fish & Chips
Eddie Spence – Bloomberg
Fishing industry says share of cod U.K. can catch may fall; U.K. fleets feel let down, even with more rights in waters
Scottish fisherman Peter Bruce hoped Brexit would allow him to catch more cod, one of Britain’s favorite fish dishes. Instead, he’s worried he’ll end up with less.

Brexit export EU costs a ‘nasty shock’ for small business owners
Kris Holland & Katy Prickett – BBC
About half of the posters Bill Philpot creates and sells from his Suffolk-based studio are sold to customers in Europe.
His very first sale after the new post-Brexit rules came into effect was from a customer in France.

A Ham Sandwich Is Contraband in the Brave New Post-Brexit World
Thomas Erdbrink – The New York Times
A ham sandwich is seized by customs officials from a truck driver entering the Netherlands by ferry from Britain despite the man’s fervent pleas to at least leave him the bread. Other customs officials rummage through bags in a car trunk, debating whether they should seize a tin of possibly contraband sardines. The scenes, broadcast by a current affairs program in the Netherlands, showed the strict enforcement of post-Brexit import rules after Britain completed its separation from the European Union on Dec. 31, and new arrangements for travel, trade, immigration and security cooperation took effect. “Welcome to the Brexit, sir,” one of the customs officers says to the truck driver, laughingly. “Can you take the meat and leave me the bread?” the driver pleads fruitlessly. “I’m sorry,” the officer replies.

The VAT Implications Of Brexit For Services
Robert Marchant – Forbes
Most of the commentary about indirect tax changes arising from the end of the Brexit withdrawal period has been on the movement of goods between the UK and EU and vice versa. While not as high profile or as wide-ranging, there were also changes relevant to organizations providing services.


Daily Telegraph owner David Barclay dies; Along with his twin brother, Sir David built a business empire spanning property, hotels and newspapers
Alex Barker – FT
David Barclay, the British billionaire who built a business empire with his identical twin brother that included ownership of The Daily Telegraph newspaper, has died after a short illness aged 86. Born within minutes of each other to a family of humble means in west London, Sir David and his brother Frederick moved in tandem as businessmen for most of their careers, first in the property and hotel sector before moving into shipping, retail and media.

U.S. Ski Towns Face a Boom or Bust Season; Ski Tourism Faces a Boom or Bust Winter Season
NY Times
It is feast or famine for ski towns this season, with record growth in some businesses and shutdowns in others. To understand the impact of the pandemic, WSJ visited California’s Lake Tahoe region, which has the country’s largest concentration of resorts.

Tiny News Collective aims to launch 500 new local news organizations in three years; At least half of the new newsrooms will be “based in communities that are unserved or underserved, run by founders who have historically been shut out.”
Sarah Scire –
Starting a local news organization from scratch is difficult, confusing, and expensive. Reaching sustainability? Even harder. Enter The Tiny News Collective, a new venture from News Catalyst and LION [Local Independent Online News] Publishers.

We visit more than 100 financial news websites daily (Would YOU do that?)

The Spread

Crypto Options Trading on Solana Has Mostly Fizzled

Observations & Insight Registration is open for FIA Expo taking place this 14-15 November at a new location - the Sheraton Grand Riverwalk Chicago. Experience compelling panels that build your knowledge, product demos that deliver innovative solutions, and...

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