Goldman Sachs Unveils $10 Billion Push to Invest in Black Women

Mar 11, 2021

First Read

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BitVol, A “VIX-Like” Volatility Index for Bitcoin, Makes Its First Trade
Matt Raebel – John Lothian News

The first-ever over-the-counter (OTC) trade of BitVol, the options-fuelled volatility index for bitcoin developed by T3 Index, the creators of the SPIKES index, was executed Wednesday by LedgerPrime, a quantitative digital asset investment firm owned by Ledger Holdings (the parent company of LedgerX). The counterparty for the trade was a cryptocurrency asset manager that was not named.

Simon Ho, CEO of T3 Index, said in a press release that the trade consisted of a March expiry 1X2 BitVol call spread, in which the counterparty client bought the spread at even premiums (or “zero cost”).

“This is a milestone for crypto investors, who will now be able to trade Bitcoin volatility as a distinct asset class,” Ho said.

To read the rest of this story, go here.


Hits & Takes
John Lothian & JLN Staff

JLN Editor in Chief Sarah Rudolph will be out of the office for several weeks following surgery on Friday. During that time Suzanne Cosgrove will be acting managing editor for John Lothian News. Please send any important news, press releases, and requests to her for the rest of March. You can reach her at

All of us at JLN wish Sarah a successful surgery and speedy recovery.

Next week during FIA Boca-V, our new intern, Owen Rehling, will be shadowing some of our staff and the panels and keynote addresses. Owen is working for us about 10 hours a week while continuing to job search, but we are also looking for ways to engage him more.

I have a favor to ask our journalist friends out there and our PR pros; if you have some wise words for Owen to help him start his career, or cover Boca-V, or both, he can be reached at I am sure he would welcome an opportunity to absorb any wisdom or insights offered. Try to keep the snark to a minimum.

Our friends at Steptoe have an upcoming webinar about how to write an effective comment letter for proposed legislation. With a new administration, this is probably a good skill to have, brush up, or improve. The webinar is on Thursday, March 25 from 1 to 2 PM ET. The speakers will be Matt Kulkin, co-chair of Steptoe’s Financial Services Group and former division director, Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC); Cynthia Taub, partner in Steptoe’s Chemical and Life Sciences Group; Monique Watson, partner in Steptoe’s Energy Group and former deputy director, Office of Energy Market Regulation, Division of Pipeline Regulation, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The moderator is Josh Oppenheimer, associate in Steptoe’s Government Affairs and Public Policy Group. You can register HERE.

The latest NFA Board Update from their February 2021 meeting is out. View it HERE.

Here is the press release from Goldman Sachs announcing their “One Million Black Women” initiative.

State Street Global Advisors has a commentary titled “Fearless Girl’s Shattered Ceilings: Why Diversity in Leadership Matters.

SGX has a new video series called “Front Seats: Conversations in Global Finance.” They say “It is a new international forum by Singapore Exchange (SGX) for the exchange of ideas among thought leaders across the world’s financial marketplaces.” In the first episode, SGX’s CEO [[Loh Boon Chye chats with CME Group’s Chairman Emeritus Leo Melamed]] on a wide-ranging of topics, including the diversity of Asia’s economies, global marketplaces of the future and digitalisation in financial markets.

Jump Capital has a podcast now. The first one is titled appropriately, “Welcome to the Jump Off Point” and the series is called “The Jump Off Point.”

Katten attorneys Henry Bregstein, Gary DeWaal, Chris DiAngelo, Kevin Foley, Anna-Liza Harris and Howard Schickler have been named to the 2021 edition of Chambers Global. The Chambers Global Guide ranks the top lawyers and law firms in over 200 jurisdictions across the world. Congratulations to my friends at Katten.

There have been no new donations to the JLN MarketsWiki Education GoFundme campaign. Support our efforts to preserve industry history and join 136 others and give to our GoFundMe campaign.

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


Mexico’s Chamber of Deputies late Wednesday passed a bill to legalize recreational marijuana by a 315 to 129 vote. According to the New York Times, the bill still must be OK’d by Mexico’s Senate and President Andrés Manuel López Obrado, but approval is expected. With recreational cannabis legal both to the north (Canada) and south of the U.S. border, analysts say the pressure to make it federally legal here will intensify.~SC



Hedge Funds Are Training 16-Year-Old Interns in Singapore; As billionaires flock to the tiny city-state, a shortage of qualified professionals is starting to bite.
David Ramli – Bloomberg
In the dog-eat-dog world of hedge funds, giving an internship to a 16-year-old is almost unheard of. But when local talent is hard to find, teaching a minor how to generate alpha can be a worthwhile investment. And so last summer, high schooler Yi Ke Cao spent two weeks at Modular Asset Management, a near $1 billion Singaporean hedge fund spun out of Millennium Management LLC. She crunched data in spreadsheets, chatted with veterans and watched nerve-wracking meetings where money managers defended their investment ideas from peers.

*****Just like baseball, you have to sign them young and develop the talent.~JJL


Nasdaq Foundation Grant Program to Engage More Communities in Markets and Entrepreneurship
Pledges Initial Financial Support to Herndon Directors Institute and Operation HOPE; Launches Research Collaboration with Aspen Institute and Commonwealth
The Nasdaq Foundation, the philanthropic foundation of Nasdaq, today announced a new quarterly program for grant-giving across the U.S., and new research collaborations with the Aspen Institute’s Financial Security Program and Commonwealth, a U.S. non-profit focused on financial security. Both initiatives will contribute to the Nasdaq Foundation’s reimagined mission to equip under-represented communities with the financial knowledge and solutions to share in the wealth that capital markets create.

*****A noble effort by Nasdaq.~JJL


New Research: Repeated Exposure to Fraud Awareness Education Reduces Susceptibility to Investment Scams
While the economic fallout caused by COVID-19 has led to a significant rise in tips, complaints and referrals involving investment scams, new research from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation (FINRA Foundation) and the Center for Economic and Social Research (CESR) provides evidence that repeated exposure to concise, online educational interventions can reduce susceptibility to investment fraud among U.S. adults.

*****How many times do I have to say this?~JJL


The Jump Off Point
Jump Capital
Imagine if you had unfettered access to the people, data patterns, and signals that drive venture investment decisions – as they’re happening. Powered by Jump Capital, The Jump Off Point takes a deep-dive into the trends shaping technology and venture capital investing with thoughtful and candid conversations from industry pioneers themselves. Take the leap, and learn from the people that helped chart the course that today’s most innovative companies are building on. Jump Capital is a thesis-led investment firm focused on a variety of verticals including IT & Data Infrastructure, B2B SaaS, Media, FinTech & Crypto.


*****Jump jumps out behind the cloak of invisibility to become a thought leader.~[[JJL]]


Richard Driehaus has died; The investment manager, philanthropist and preservationist was also known for throwing himself extravagant parties. He was 78.
Steven R. Strahler – Crain’s Chicago Business
Richard Driehaus, an investment manager, philanthropist and preservationist who was also known for throwing himself extravagant parties, has died. He was 78.

*****Jeff Carter said this about Mr. Driehaus, “He was a great man. Philanthropist. Put his money where his passion was and he was great to his employees.”


*****The only time I met him was at an award function in Chicago where my mother-in-law, Betty Howard Bergstrom, and Driehaus were given awards.~[[JJL]]


Wednesday’s Top Three
Our top story Wednesday was a repeat from yesterday’s top three, Business Insider’s A billionaire has been trying to sell his Versailles-inspired mansion for nearly 8 years — and it’s finally set to sell at a 47% discount. Look inside the Manhattan townhouse. Second was John Lothian’s piece in JLN, Harry Potter – Sending My Oldest Son And His Friends To Hogwarts. Third was Trader Buys $36 Million of Copper and Gets Painted Rocks Instead.


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Lead Stories

Goldman Sachs Unveils $10 Billion Push to Invest in Black Women; Major financial firms are reckoning with their own historical role in withholding loans from people of color
Ben Eisen – WSJ
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. GS 3.46% said Wednesday it would invest $10 billion over the next decade in businesses and organizations that benefit Black women. The commitment is meant to channel capital and resources toward a group that has historically faced challenges accessing them. Goldman Sachs GS 3.46% plans to invest in housing, healthcare and other programs with the ultimate goal of narrowing the wealth gap between Black women and others. The bank also will commit $100 million to philanthropy.

How hedge funds are fuelling the Spac boom; Wall Street’s hottest investment has emerged as ‘gold mine’ for sector, but detractors warn it is not free money ?
Ortenca Aliaj and Miles Kruppa – FT
In June last year, hedge fund manager Falcon Edge Capital told clients about an exciting new investment opportunity that had “virtually zero-risk”. The New York-based firm was referring to special purpose acquisition companies, which have taken Wall Street by storm and become a favourite investment among hedge fund managers.

Amsterdam: Europe’s surprise early winner as Brexit shakes up the City; The Dutch city has taken some business from London, but Frankfurt and Paris are better placed to take long-term advantage
Philip Stafford, Mehreen Khan and David Keohane – FT
Authorities in the Netherlands were anxious ahead of Brexit. Unlike counterparts in other European capitals who saw opportunity in Britain’s withdrawal from the EU — the chance to pick up more business and financial services jobs — the Dutch government worried about a blow to its economy as a major trading partner left the bloc.

U.K. Plans Sweeping Markets Review to Give London a Brexit Edge
Alex Morales and Silla Brush – Bloomberg
Treasury to consult on changes in the summer, John Glen says; Review aims to be ‘as broad and inclusive as possible’
The U.K. is preparing a wide-ranging review of financial markets to defend the City of London’s global pre-eminence after Brexit. In an interview with Bloomberg, Economic Secretary to the Treasury John Glen said the government isn’t going to stop after overhauling rules covering initial public offerings and fintech firms. It is also preparing to consult businesses on “detailed proposals for wider reform to the capital markets” in the summer, he said on Wednesday.

The Tactics People Are Using to Get Their Money Out of China; Finding ways around the rules is something of a national pastime.
Bloomberg News
There’s barely a global asset that isn’t influenced by Chinese money, from the latest hot Hong Kong public offering to luxury apartments in Vancouver. Technically though, most of these purchases are the result of loopholes exploited by Chinese citizens — or in some cases outright law-breaking. China’s capital control rules explicitly forbid citizens from using any of their $50,000 annual foreign exchange quota to directly purchase offshore property or securities, although indirect investment via some channels is permitted. There’s an official program for trading Hong Kong stocks, for instance, which crucially doesn’t include IPOs.

Billionaire and Celebrity Endorsements Lure Retail Investors to the SPAC Craze; Once the domain of investment bankers, blank-check firms have become something even people who aren’t avid stock traders are talking about.
Charlie Wells – Bloomberg
These days it seems everyone and their mother is investing in SPACs. For Joe Kunkle, that’s literally the case. Kunkle, of Philadelphia, runs a website for options traders. He’s used to spending his days talking about trades with people who see themselves as being on the vanguard of investing trends. So he was struck last month when he got a text about a special-purpose acquisition company — or SPAC — from his mother, who isn’t an avid trader.

SEC Warns Investors About Buying SPACs Endorsed by Celebrities
Matt Robinson – Bloomberg
Never wise to invest based solely on stars’ pitches, SEC says; Warning is similar to one made in 2017 about red-hot ICOs
Beware of celebrities hyping SPACs. That’s the message from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which warned investors Wednesday about buying shares of special purpose acquisition companies based on endorsements from Hollywood actors, professional athletes and famous musicians. The SEC highlighted that the red-hot listings, which have captured the attention of Wall Street and retail investors, can pose substantially more risks than typical initial public offerings.

What’s an NFT? It’s What Makes GIFs Worth Big Bucks
Brandon Kochkodin – Bloomberg
In February, a 10-second video clip known as “Crossroads” by the digital artist Beeple sold at auction for $6.6 million. An animated image of a flying cat leaving a rainbow trail went for almost $600,000 that same month. A video of a LeBron James dunk sold for a mere $200,000. What do all these have in common? Each is an example of a non-fungible token, and the boom in digital art they have set off.

GE’s Credit-Market Giant Caps Decade-Long Descent Into Obscurity
David Caleb Mutua – Bloomberg
nce-AAA conglomerate previously among the top U.S. issuers; Finance unit being folded into broader corporate balance sheet
Before the global financial crisis, General Electric Co. and its finance unit were AAA rated darlings of corporate bond investors, who gobbled up tens of billions of dollars in debt offerings each year. That allowed the conglomerate to access cheap capital and build a financing behemoth that rivaled some of Wall Street’s largest banks.

Greensill painted a rosy picture as it sought $1bn before collapse; Citi, Credit Suisse and Allen & Overy advised firm as it chased private equity cash
Kaye Wiggins and Robert Smith – FT
Greensill Capital was a ticking time bomb. It had lost the insurance that was crucial to its business model. It was struggling to find an auditor. And German regulators were probing its relationship with metals tycoon Sanjeev Gupta.

Vaccine recipients wait to learn if they can still pass on Covid; Researchers think vaccines reduce transmission but are still trying to understand by how much
Hannah Kuchler and Anna Gross – FT
With Covid-19 vaccination campaigns advancing around the world, public health officials are still trying to answer the question on the lips of the newly vaccinated: could I still be a danger to people around me?

WHO Team Expert Expects Covid-19’s Origins Will Be Found ‘Within A Few Years’; The WHO-led effort to trace the origins of the pandemic is zeroing in on animals present in the Wuhan market where the first cases began
Betsy McKay – WSJ
Scientists will likely discover the origin of the Covid-19 pandemic within the next few years, after they pursue and zero in on an animal source for the new coronavirus, a member of an international team of investigators led by the World Health Organization said Wednesday.

Credit Suisse Sidelines Employees Who Oversaw Greensill Funds; Swiss bank’s European head of asset management and two fund managers are no longer performing their roles, according to an internal memo
Margot Patrick – WSJ
Credit Suisse Group AG CS -0.21% removed its European head of asset management and two fund managers who worked on its troubled Greensill Capital supply-chain finance funds from their positions, the latest fallout from the collapse of the financial startup.

FINRA Adopts Rules to Address Brokers With a Significant History of Misconduct
Effective Dates: Amendments to the FINRA Rule 9200 Series, FINRA Rule 9300 Series, and FINRA Rule 9556: April 15, 2021; Amendments to FINRA Rule 8312: May 1, 2021; Amendments to the FINRA Rule 9520 Series and Funding Portal Rule 900: June 1, 2021; Amendments to the FINRA Rule 1000 Series and the Capital Acquisition Broker Rule 100 Series: September 1, 2021

Crude-Oil Price Overhaul Hits Delay Amid Shipping-Cost Uproar; Platts defers plan to include West Texas oil prices in its basket of international crudes following pushback from industry
Joe Wallace – WSJ
Plans for the biggest overhaul in decades of how international oil prices are measured are being put on hold following objections over how to treat shipping costs.

Roblox Tops $45 Billion on First Day of Trading as Gaming Booms; The gaming site, valued at $4 billion a year ago, has benefited from the way children are passing their time in the pandemic.
Kellen Browning – NY Times
When the pandemic forced people indoors a year ago, many passed the time by playing games on their iPhones, building gaming computers and exploring the latest blockbuster titles on their Xbox and PlayStation consoles.

Labor Department Holds Off Enforcement of ESG Rule for 401(k)s; Wall Street has lobbied against the Trump-era measure involving environmental, social and governance-focused funds
Dieter Holger and Dawn Lim – WSJ
The U.S. Department of Labor said Wednesday it won’t be enforcing a Trump-era rule that makes it tougher for 401(k) plans to invest in socially minded funds. The agency is reviewing a rule finalized in the fall that prevented corporate 401(k) plans from using funds with nonfinancial goals as default investments for employees. This rule also put the onus on 401(k) overseers to show that environmental, social and governance-focused funds would have just as strong returns as competing funds.

Scaramucci to bring SALT hedge fund conference to NYC to give city a ‘boost’
Julia La Roche – Yahoo Finance
Hedge fund impresario Anthony Scaramucci, the managing partner of $9.2 billion fund-of-funds SkyBridge Capital, is bringing his famed SALT Conference to New York City in September. “I thought it was important to bring the conference back at a time where New York could use the boost. We did something very similar in Las Vegas after the global financial crisis,” Scaramucci told Yahoo Finance Live exclusively.

Bilateral matching models: FX vs US wholesale equities
XTX Markets
Important and little understood feature of US wholesale market is lack of competition on a per order basis. Typical workflow in FX world would be: a retail broker subscribes to real-time quote streams from typically 5-10 market makers, creates an aggregate book (often with zero or negative spread) and then chooses the best available price whenever it has an incoming client order. Provider of the best price would check it for staleness (as soon as it can if it respects the spirit of the FX Code of Conduct and tens of milliseconds later if not) and will accept the order.

Robinhood Brings Tobin Tax Back?
Neil Crammond – via Linkedin
James Tobin in the early seventies tried in vain to introduce this idea and most governments since have attempted to implement it as seeing the £££££$$$$ falling into their laps , luckily politicians are not businessmen/women .


Denmark Suspends AstraZeneca Vaccine on Blood Clot Concerns
Morten Buttler – Bloomberg
Health minister says move to pause shots is precautionary; EMA sees no indication of vaccine link to Austria clot cases
Denmark joined other European countries in suspending use of a batch of AstraZeneca Plc’s Covid vaccine due to safety concerns, in a further setback for the shot just as immunizations were ramping up.

Denmark suspends use of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine; Three Norwegian cities and Iceland also halt use after one person in Denmark died following jab
Donato Paolo Mancini and Richard Milne – FT
Denmark has suspended use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine in a “precautionary” move after one person died in the country with blood clots following inoculation.

New Biotechnology Covid Treatment Reduces Risk of Death
Suzi Ring – Bloomberg
Study shows significant reduction of hospitalization and death; Glaxo and Vir halted another less promising study last week
GlaxoSmithKline Plc and Vir Biotechnology Inc. said their Covid-19 antibody therapy showed a significant reduction of hospitalization and death for at-risk patients in an advanced-stage trial that progressed faster than expected.

EU Governments Are Bracing for More Covid Vaccine Delays
Alberto Nardelli, Suzi Ring, and Chiara Albanese – Bloomberg
AstraZeneca remains a problem, according to a diplomatic note; Johnson & Johnson has yet to provide a delivery schedule
European Union governments are bracing for further possible delays in the distribution of AstraZeneca Plc’s Covid vaccine after a warning from the European Commission that the manufacturer remains a problem, according to a diplomatic note seen by Bloomberg.

Pfizer-BioNTech Covid Vaccine Blocks Most Spread in Israel Study
Naomi Kresge – Bloomberg
Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE’s coronavirus vaccine blocked 94% of asymptomatic infections in an Israeli study that further builds the case for the shot’s overwhelming effectiveness against the virus a year after the pandemic began.

Pandemic Isn’t Half Over for S. Africa Insurer Seeing More Waves
Roxanne Henderson – Bloomberg
Sanlam ‘very realistic’ on nation’s vaccine rollout this year; Excess claims in 2021 could grow two to three times, CEO says
South Africa may still be short of the halfway mark of the pandemic even after two distinct waves of the coronavirus swept through the country over the past year “We are basically planning for two-and-a-half more waves,” Sanlam Ltd. Chief Executive Officer Paul Hanratty said by phone. The insurer is also “very realistic” that South Africa’s vaccine program “is not going to impact the current year very significantly,” he said.

UAE Completes Trial for Russian Coronavirus Vaccine
Abbas Al Lawati – Bloomberg
Trials of Russia’s adenovirus-based vaccine in the United Arab Emirates have completed the inoculation phase, the Abu Dhabi government said. Testing will move into the scientific data collection phase after 1,000 volunteers in the UAE received a second dose and the next step involves monitoring volunteers’ immune response over 180 days. UAE results will be combined with existing findings elsewhere. Interim results will be released in April.

GSK Covid treatment shows ‘profound efficacy’ in initial trial; Data from 583 patients shows 85% reduction in hospitalisation or death
Donato Paolo Mancini – FT
GlaxoSmithKline plans to apply for emergency use authorisation for an experimental Covid-19 treatment after initial clinical trial results showed an 85 per cent reduction in hospitalisation or death.

Vaccine rollouts will determine property recovery, says Savills; Real estate group’s 2020 revenues and profits fall as investment in commercial markets slumps
George Hammond – FT
The speed of Covid-19 vaccine rollouts will determine how property markets recover after the pandemic, which has held companies back from taking on new offices and stemmed sales of shopping centres and hotels, according to international real estate company Savills.

Women Report Worse Side Effects After a Covid Vaccine; Men and women tend to respond differently to many kinds of vaccines. That’s probably because of a mix of factors, including hormones, genes and the dosing of the shots.
Melinda Wenner Moyer – NY Times
On the morning that Shelly Kendeffy received her second dose of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine, she felt fine. By afternoon, she noticed a sore arm and body aches, and by evening, it felt like the flu.

EU Drug Regulator Recommends J&J Vaccine for Bloc
Suzi Ring and Nikos Chrysoloras – Bloomberg
EMA backs single-dose vaccine for adults 18 and over; J&J shot seen as easier to distribute, administer than rivals
Johnson & Johnson’s coronavirus vaccine won clearance from the European Union’s drugs regulator, paving the way for the first single-injection shot to help bolster the region’s sluggish vaccination campaign.

Former Presidents Carter, Clinton, Bush and Obama urge Americans to get vaccinated
Dan Merica, CNN
Former Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama and their respective former first ladies are part of a newly released ad campaign urging Americans to get the coronavirus vaccine when it is their turn, a push that is aimed squarely at combating vaccine skepticism.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

NYSE Says It’s Ready to Move If States Impose Transaction Taxes
Bloomberg Tax
The New York Stock Exchange would consider moving if U.S. states such as New Jersey or New York impose financial-transaction taxes.

Ruling on Nasdaq Diversity Plan for Boards Is Delayed by SEC; A final decision on whether to approve or reject the proposal will likely come out this summer
Alexander Osipovich – WSJ
The Securities and Exchange Commission postponed a decision on Nasdaq Inc.’s NDAQ -1.44% plan to press for greater diversity on corporate boards. In a notice posted on its website Wednesday, the SEC said it would take additional time to rule on the Nasdaq proposal, while also seeking further public comment. The decision means that a final decision on whether to approve or reject the proposal will likely come out this summer. Nasdaq’s plan needs SEC approval to take effect.

Euronext announces annual review results of the PSI 20
Euronext today announced the results of the annual review of the PSI 20®. The changes due to the review will be effective from Monday 22 March 2021.

Aker Clean Hydrogen lists on Euronext Growth Oslo
Aker Clean Hydrogen has today been admitted to trading on Euronext Growth (ticker code: ACH). Aker Clean Hydrogen is a pure play industrial clean hydrogen operator aiming to accelerate global decarbonisation and the use of clean hydrogen by industry end-users.

Quantum computing opens up new perspectives
Deutsche Börse Group
When it comes to future-oriented innovations in the financial sector, quantum computing is on the rise from the theoretical concept to the next breakthrough technology. At this point in time it is already clear that there is enormous potential for solving previously unsolvable problems. In the race for “quantum supremacy” more and more scientists are trying to open up economic applications that simply cannot be achieved with conventional IT.

HKEX Appoints Group General Counsel
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) is pleased to announce the appointment of Paul Chow as its Group General Counsel, effective 19 April 2021. Mr Chow will provide strategic legal counsel to the HKEX Board and senior management team, and head HKEX’s Legal and Secretarial Services Department. He will oversee the Group’s legal function, including the teams at the London Metal Exchange (LME) and LME Clear. He will report to HKEX Interim Chief Executive Calvin Tai and will become a member of the Group’s Management Committee.

Notification of dividend / distribution

EBS Market Integration Notice: New and Updated Content
To EBS Customers
EBS Market Integration onto CME Globex
In Q4 2021, subject to applicable regulatory approvals, EBS Market’s Central Limit Order Book and eFix Matching Service will launch on CME Globex. You will receive subsequent notices with additional details and actions required to support the EBS Market integration onto CME Globex.

Holiday Processing LargeTrader 2021 – Revised
CME Group
This revised Market Surveillance Notice is being issued to clarify the Good Friday Holiday on trade date April 2, 2021.

US And UK Daylight Savings Time And Contract Hours Change
Nadex would like to remind its customers that the US will “spring ahead” to Daylight Savings Time (DST) starting at 2am ET on Sunday, March 14, 2021. During US daylight savings time, all Japan 225 and China 50 contracts will open and close one hour later than their regular defined times. The modified hours are as follows:

Nasdaq Stockholm Welcomes CoinShares International Limited To The Nasdaq First North Growth Market
Nasdaq (Nasdaq: NDAQ) announces that trading in CoinShares International Limited AB’s shares (short name CS) commences today on Nasdaq First North Growth Market. The company belongs to the Financial Services sector. CoinShares International Limited is the 16th company to be admitted to trading on Nasdaq’s Nordic markets* in 2021.

Transfer Of UBS MTF Operation To UBS MTF Limited (Formerly UBS O’Connor Limited)
Subject to regulatory approval, UBS plans to transfer the operation of UBS MTF from its current operator, UBS AG, London Branch (UBS AGLB) to a separate company within UBS Group, UBS MTF Limited. UBS MTF Limited will be a wholly owned subsidiary of UBS AG. This entity is an FCA- regulated UK incorporated company registered in England and Wales with Company Number 02140296 and LEI 54930036444TZ5UWTY74.

The Economics of Copper Demand, Supply and Options
Erik Norland – CME Group
In the 10-½ months since hitting their lows, copper prices have risen by over 70% to their highest levels since January 2013 (Figure 1). The strength in copper may come as a surprise given the pandemic’s dislocation of the world economy. Outside of China, economic output is smaller today in almost every major economy than it was at the end of 2019. Despite its rapid recovery, China’s economy grew by less than 3% in 2020, its slowest since the 1980s.


There have never been more $100M+ fintech rounds than right now
Alex Wilhelm – TechCrunch
We’re putting aside the IPO news cycle this morning to check in on the venture capital world and the fintech market in particular.
As we all know, fintech is booming: Between Robinhood and Public and M1 Finance raising competing rounds, payment-tech startup Finix moving to diversify its cap table, and ideas that work in one market finding purchase and capital in others, it’s a damn good time to build financial technology.
But perhaps even with all that recent knowledge, we’re still missing the point.

How Fintech Will Be Evolving In 2021
Dmitry Dolgorukov – Finextra
On the one hand, the Covid-19 pandemic has paralyzed much of our day-to-day lives, with billions experiencing its health effects directly or indirectly. Businesses have suffered, with one estimate this past fall showing that up to 60% of temporary closures could be permanent.
On the other hand, things are looking up. The predicted recession is turning out not to be as bad as previously estimated, and last year’s innovations are coming to fruition. This year is paving the way to a brighter future, and fintech is at the forefront. Here are some of the key areas in which fintech is evolving right now.

Fintech Backers Tout Expanded Access to Financial Services, but Underserved Groups Aren’t as Interested
Claire Williams – Morning Consult
Millennials, urbanites and higher-income Americans were among the groups most likely to say the pandemic has made them more willing than not to use fintech services. About 3 in 10 U.S. adults say financial technology companies aren’t regulated enough. The general public is 6 points more likely to say the COVID-19 pandemic has made them more willing to use fintech than not.

Trade Group Forms To Promote FinTech Development, Regs
A new trade group formed by FinTech leaders called the Financial Technology Association (FTA) launched Wednesday (March 10), according to a press release. Afterpay is a founding member alongside Betterment, Brex, Carta, Figure, Marqeta, Quadpay, Plaid, Ribbit Capital, Wise and Zest AI, the release noted. The release stated the group will “educate stakeholders and support the modernization of financial regulation to drive greater financial inclusion, equity and opportunity.” The group stated in the release that it believes in the successful integration of FinTech in America, which starts with the adoption of national policies recognizing the importance of responsible innovation.

BSO partners with APEX expanding its reach into Asia
BSO, a global pioneering infrastructure and connectivity provider, has expanded its reach into Asia through a partnership with the Asia Pacific Exchange (APEX), an Approved Exchange in Singapore which lists derivative contracts. The partnership will provide APEX customers with added infrastructure solutions helping futures traders gain faster, more secure access to international markets via BSO’s global network.

Shaping the Future of Finance
Financial Technology Association
Introducing the Future of Finance.
Technology-driven innovation is transforming the way we offer, access, and benefit from financial services and markets in the United States. By using internet and mobile platforms, machine learning, automation, and other modern technologies to deliver financial products and services, financial technology (“fintech”) companies are improving efficiency and transparency, broadening equity, access and inclusion, reducing costs, and increasing choice and opportunities for consumers and businesses.


A VIX-Like Gauge for Bitcoin Sees Its First-Ever Options Trade
Joanna Ossinger – Bloomberg
A Bitcoin “fear gauge” has seen its first trade. The transaction off the T3i BitVol Index, which measures the 30-day implied volatility of Bitcoin, consisted of a March expiry 1-by-2 call spread that was bought for zero cost, according to a statement from T3. Quantitative crypto asset management firm LedgerPrime was the market-maker, according to the statement, which added that the counterparty is a leading global macro crypto asset manager.

‘Slam Dunk’ Bitcoin Arbitrage Fizzles for Biggest Crypto Fund
Katherine Greifeld and Vildana Hajric – Bloomberg
Bitcoin gains 25% over past month, while GBTC advances 14%; Arbitrage trade has been exploited so much: ProChain’s Tawil
One of the most popular arbitrage trades in cryptocurrencies is unraveling as the biggest Bitcoin fund’s once-hefty premium collapses. The trade relies on the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (ticker GBTC) trading at a premium to the value of the Bitcoin it holds — a phenomenon caused in large part by investors paying up for access to the coin without having to buy it directly. When that happens, hedge funds swoop in to take advantage. They borrow Bitcoin, deposit the coins with GBTC in exchange for shares that are more valuable than the coins they bought, and they pocket that profit by selling the marked-up shares after a six-month lockup period expires. Thanks in part to the trade’s popularity, GBTC’s assets have swelled to over $35 billion from about $1.5 billion a year ago.

Rep. Warren Davidson reintroduces the Token Taxonomy Act
Aislinn Keely – The Block
Rep. Warren Davidson (R-OH) reintroduced the Token Taxonomy Act (TTA) on Wednesday. The legislation aims to amend the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 to distinguish digital tokens from other types of assets. Davidson first introduced the bill in 2018, but it never saw a vote during that session of Congress. He reintroduced the TTA in 2019, and has now done so again for this session of Congress. The contents of the bill have not changed since its reintroduction in 2019.

(Video) NFTs Are Fueling a Boom in Digital Art. Here’s How They Work; These Cryptocurrencies Make Owning Memes Possible
Non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, have exploded onto the digital art scene this past year. Proponents say they are a way to make digital assets scarce, and therefore more valuable. WSJ explains how they work, and why skeptics question whether they’re built to last. Photo

Bank of Russia Eyes Digital Ruble Prototype in Late 2021: Report
Anna Baydakova – Coindesk
Russia’s central bank is planning to showcase a prototype for its ruble-backed digital currency later this year, according to its deputy chairman, Alexey Zabotkin. Speaking at an online event hosted by the Russian Economic School, a Moscow-based private college, Zabotkin explained the prototype would be available for people to “kick its tires,” but won’t support any real money transactions. “Next year, based on that prototype and any additional developments needed, we will start testing it,” Zabotkin said as reported by news agency Prime on Wednesday.

Former Mt Gox CEO Claims Rehabilitation Plan Better for Creditors Than Class Lawsuit
Jamie Crawley – Coindesk
The CEO of Mt. Gox has opposed a motion for class certification in a lawsuit brought by one of the collapsed exchange’s former users on the basis that the draft rehabilitation plan more beneficial to them. A supplement filed by Mark Karpeles’ attorneys on Tuesday states that under the draft rehabilitation plan, Mt. Gox creditors will be paid in a combination of bitcoin, bitcoin cash and yen according to their present value.

Ethereum was home to nearly 70 percent of all stablecoins as of January
Michael McSweeney – The Block
2020 was a breakout year for the stablecoin ecosystem. As illustrated in The Block Research’s new stablecoin report — “Stablecoins: Bridging the Network Gap Between Traditional Money and Digital Value” — the total supply of stablecoins grew nearly ten-fold between January 2020 and January 2021.

Goldman Sachs Says Client Demand for Bitcoin is ‘Rising’
Sebastian Sinclair – Coindesk
Goldman Sachs has been seeing more demand for bitcoin among its clients, according to its president and chief operating officer. In a report by Reuters on Wednesday, John Waldron said that, while Goldman was “regulated” on what it could do, the bank continues to “evaluate” bitcoin and “engage” with clients. “Demand is rising,” said Waldron, who is also Goldman’s bank president.

Crypto Facilities names new CEO as founder Timo Schlaefer steps down
Ryan Weeks – The Block
Crypto Facilities, the crypto derivatives platform acquired by crypto exchange Kraken, has promoted Gary Worrall to the rank of CEO following the departure of founder and former boss Timo Schlaefer, The Block has learned. Worrall joined the startup in 2018 as head of operations after spending close to five years at Smarkets, the sports betting exchange. He was cleared by the Financial Conduct Authority to take over as Crypto Facilities’ chief executive in early February.

Chinese social media Weibo suspends Huobi, OKEx and Binance accounts
Wolfie Zhao – The Block
Chinese Twitter-alike social media Weibo has suspended the official accounts of Huobi, OKEx, Binance and MXC in what appears to be an effort targeted on crypto exchanges. Around 7:15 UTC on Thursday, Chinese crypto Weibo users started to notice that the accounts of Huobi, OKEx, Binance and MXC had become inaccessible. It is not immediately clear what led to the seemingly targeted effort since Weibo can censor profiles and online content based on its own standard as well as under the direction of the Chinese government.

Grayscale Halts New Investments in GBTC After Trading at 15% Below Bitcoin
Nathan DiCamillo – Coindesk
Digital assets management firm Grayscale has halted inflows to the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) after the fund traded at a 15% discount to the price of the bitcoin the trust holds. Rocked by the number of alternative bitcoin trusts and Canadian bitcoin exchange-traded funds, Grayscale Bitcoin Trust has been trading below the price of bitcoin for several weeks. Its sibling, Grayscale Ethereum Trust, has also flipped into negative territory. Grayscale is owned by Digital Currency Group, the parent company of CoinDesk.

Establishing Cryptoasset Custody in the United States, European Union, and United Kingdom
Jones Day
This White Paper analyzes the main legal and regulatory aspects of a cryptoasset custody business from a U.S., EU, and UK perspective. A particular focus lies on the services and safeguards that a custodian or depositary can or must provide to an investment fund under the applicable laws, such as safe custody, ownership verification, and collateral management.


Odey Tells Court Sex Assault Allegations Are a ‘Horrible Slur’
Jonathan Browning – Bloomberg
Odey charged with count of indecent assault at London trial; Odey denies groping woman at his home two decades ago
Crispin Odey told a London court that allegations he assaulted a young banker more than 20 years ago at his home were a “horrible slur.” The 62-year-old hedge fund chief was testifying Thursday at a trial where he’s charged with one count of indecent assault. He said he invited the woman, who was in her 20s at the time, to his home because he thought it would be an “entertaining and interesting” evening.

Time for the UK to back entrepreneurs with listing reforms; UK institutional shareholder resistance to proposed changes is myopic
Brent Hoberman – FT
For entrepreneurs, it is not hard to see why a proposed shake-up of UK rules for listed companies is long overdue. A review, carried out by former EU financial services commissioner Lord Jonathan Hill, has recommended reforms so that London can better compete against rivals in New York and Europe. The changes are much needed.

March 2021 Board Update
FINRA’s Board of Governors met on March 3 and 4, when it approved proposed amendments to FINRA’s Borrowing From or Lending to Customers Rule, approved the allocation of 2020 fine monies to various capital initiatives in accordance with FINRA’s Financial Guiding Principles, and moved forward with an advanced analytics strategic initiative.

NFA Board Update—February 2021 Meeting

Update on IRHP final report
John Swift QC, the Independent Reviewer appointed in respect of the review of the supervisory intervention on Interest Rate Hedging Products, has now completed his discovery exercise and recently provided the FCA with his draft report. There will now be the usual fact-checking and representations process with the report expected to be finalised and published in summer 2021.

Canadian Securities Regulators Publish Sixth Review Regarding Women On Boards And In Executive Officer Positions
Securities regulatory authorities in Alberta, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Québec and Saskatchewan (the participating jurisdictions) today published results from the sixth year review of women on boards and in executive officer positions.

Ontario Securities Commission Requests Applications For Continuous Disclosure Advisory Committee
The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) is seeking members for its Continuous Disclosure Advisory Committee (CDAC). The CDAC advises OSC staff on a range of projects, including the planning, implementation and communication of its continuous disclosure review program, as well as related policy initiatives. The CDAC also serves as a forum to advise OSC staff on emerging issues, and to assess procedures.

Alberta Securities Commission Releases 2020 Update Of Women On Boards Data
The Alberta Securities Commission (ASC) today participated in the publication of CSA Multilateral Staff Notice 58-312 Report on Sixth Staff Review of Disclosure Regarding Women on Boards and in Executive Officer Positions.

Investing and Trading

Glencore Chairman to Step Down at Latest by Next Year’s AGM
Thomas Biesheuvel – Bloomberg
Glencore Plc, the world’s biggest commodities trader, said Tony Hayward will step down as chairman at the latest by next year’s annual general meeting.

Bullion is proving to be a less effective hedge against moves in other assets, such as stocks, as well as inflation, according to Russ Koesterich, portfolioBlackRock Says Gold ‘Failing’ as Equity Hedge, Faces Risks
Ranjeetha Pakiam – Bloomberg
Bullion’s ability to guard against inflation is ‘exaggerated’; Traditional haven has retreated in 2021 after rally last year
Global money manager BlackRock Inc. just delivered a double-barreled warning on the merits of holding traditional haven gold right now. Bullion is proving to be a less effective hedge against moves in other assets, such as stocks, as well as inflation, according to Russ Koesterich, portfolio

ECB to Speed Up Bond Purchases; Central bank’s decision marks a divergence from the Federal Reserve
Tom Fairless – WSJ
The European Central Bank said it would ramp up the pace of its purchases of eurozone debt after a recent rise in bond yields, diverging from the Federal Reserve as it seeks to support the region’s flagging economic recovery.

As Oil Prices Rise, Executives Aim to Keep Them High; An industry known for boom-bust cycles is resisting the temptation to pump more oil — for now.
Clifford Krauss – NY Times
Even as oil and gasoline prices rise, industry executives are resisting their usual impulse to pump more oil out of the ground, which could keep energy prices moving up as the economy recovers.

Why GE Is Doing a Reverse Stock Split and What It Means for You; Companies can increase perceived value by reducing shares outstanding, raising share price
Theo Francis – WSJ
General Electric Co. GE -5.36% ‘s plan to pursue a reverse stock split would make it one of the few blue-chip companies in recent years to use a strategy that has been more common among firms struggling to stay listed on stock exchanges.

Stock Pickers Trailed Market Again in Roller Coaster 2020; Some 60% of U.S. large-cap stock-picking funds lagged behind S&P 500 in 2020, marking 11th straight year of underperformance
Karen Langley – WSJ
In a year prime for stock picking, stock pickers came up short—again. In 2020, 60% of U.S. large-cap stock-picking funds lagged behind the benchmark S&P 500, according to new data from S&P Dow Jones Indices.

Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance

The Transition to Renewable Energy Will Fuel New Disputes in the Energy Industry
Vinson & Elkins
Interest in renewable energy has risen sharply in recent years. More than ever, companies are investing in technology and businesses for solar, wind, hydrogen/carbon capture, and renewable fuels/biomass. Private equity companies, through special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs), have also fueled more investment in renewable energy projects and electric vehicle companies. Moreover, public companies that are in the renewables business or tangentially related, i.e., Tesla, NextEra, Enel, and Iberdrola, have seen tremendous growth in recent years. This interest in renewables and related businesses has accelerated with the election of President Joe Biden, who many believe will use policies to promote the country’s transition to renewable energy. With all this interest in renewable energy, corollary disputes will involve many new actors in disputes that are long familiar to those in the energy industry. This article explores some potential areas of disputes that companies in renewables space may face.

U.K. Banks Lost About 10,000 Women Last Year in Diversity Blow
Stefania Spezzati and Harry Wilson – Bloomberg
Jobs held by women bore brunt of widespread reductions in 2020; Banking veteran Gadhia says trend ‘inevitable’ in short term
More women than men have left British banks during the pandemic, undermining the sector’s pledges to become more diverse. The number of women at the U.K.’s five biggest lenders shrank by 3% during 2020, according to data compiled by Bloomberg News, while men saw a decline of about 2.1% as the banks pushed ahead with long-planned cost cuts and adapted to Covid-19.

The World Isn’t Building Back Better After the Pandemic; With only 2.5% of government spending going to green activities, we’re squandering a chance to create jobs and cut emissions
Akshat Rathi – Bloomberg
The exuberance of vaccine rollouts in rich countries is masking an ugly reality. Greenhouse gas emissions are already creeping higher than before the pandemic as economies come back to life. That shouldn’t be a total surprise. Even as governments around the world have spent trillions of dollars to aid their nation’s recoveries, only a tiny fraction has gone toward initiatives that would also cut pollution.

Green Metals Hunt Draws World’s Biggest Miner to Frozen Tundra
James Thornhill – Bloomberg
BHP shifts exploration HQ to Toronto from Chile’s Santiago; Co. has partnership deal to hunt for nickel in northern Canada
BHP Group is moving its exploration headquarters to Toronto in the latest move by the world’s top miner to focus its growth pipeline on future-facing minerals such as copper and nickel.

Oil Giant Shell Appoints New Chairman to Navigate Energy Transition; Former BHP CEO Andrew Mackenzie to help guide company’s plans to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and expand in low-carbon energy
Sarah McFarlane – WSJ
Royal Dutch Shell RDS.A 2.73% PLC has appointed Andrew Mackenzie as its new chairman, tapping a mining veteran to oversee the oil and gas giant as it navigates the transition to low-carbon energy.


Jens Weidmann Re-Elected As Chair Of The BIS Board Of Directors
The Board of Directors of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) has re-elected Jens Weidmann, President of the Deutsche Bundesbank, as Chair of the BIS Board for a third three-year term.

Covid-19 bank dividend payout restrictions: effects and trade-offs
In the context of the Covid crisis, authorities adopted dividend payout restrictions to enhance bank resilience and support stronger growth in bank lending. Restrictions may reduce short-term equity returns for bank shareholders, especially in the case of banks with a low price-to-book ratio.

Is Northern Trust’s top brass sharing rank and file’s pain? CEO Michael O’Grady and his top lieutenants saw their pay decrease modestly in 2020 while many employees have had their salaries frozen and bonuses reduced “meaningfully.”
Steve Daniels – Crain’s Chicago Business
Northern Trust senior executives saw their compensation drop modestly last year even as rank and file at Chicago’s largest locally headquartered bank suffered layoffs, salary freezes and substantial declines in bonuses.

Credit Suisse Makes Another Expensive Blunder; The Greensill episode is the latest mishap at the Swiss banking giant’s asset management unit. Maybe it should be shrunk or sold.
Elisa Martinuzzi – Bloomberg
In sharing his vision for the type of bank he intends to run, Credit Suisse Group AG’s Thomas Gottstein has been blunt. The giant Swiss lender mustn’t lose sight of its discipline over taking risks, and while mistakes will always happen, “we have no tolerance for unprofessional behavior,” the chief executive officer said recently. His promises are already being tested to the extreme.

Credit Suisse Freezes $1 Billion of Funds as Scandal Widens
Patrick Winters – Bloomberg
Bank gates four funds invested in supply chain finance funds; Credit Suisse considers options after suspending funds March 1
Credit Suisse Group AG froze four more funds that invested in the bank’s $10 billion supply chain finance strategy, adding to the widening scandal surrounding the bank’s exposure to Lex Greensill’s failed empire.

Lex Greensill’s Dreams of a $7 Billion Empire Unraveled in Days; The supply-chain financier with a fleet of planes has seen his business collapse into insolvency.
Lucca De Paoli – Bloomberg
It took Lex Greensill two decades to ascend from the red dirt of his family’s sugar cane and melon farm in Australia to heading his own finance firm and traveling the world on a fleet of private jets. His fall back to Earth took just a week.

Africa’s Biggest Bank Sees Lengthy Slog to Recover From Pandemic
Roxanne Henderson – Bloomberg
Standard Bank declares dividend as regulatory guidance relaxed; Lender plans to continue spending to help boost Africa growth
Standard Bank Group Ltd. said any economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic in Africa would likely take until late this year or even 2022, warning of the long wait ahead for lenders struck by a slump in borrowing and spending. The continent’s largest bank reported a 51% decline in profit after taxes and other adjustments for the year through December, according to a statement on Thursday.

HSBC Dodges Public Climate Spat With Own Shareholder Resolution
Alastair Marsh – Bloomberg
Investor groups have pressured the bank to reduce coal funding; Shareholders will vote on plans at annual meeting on May 28
HSBC Holdings Plc set out fresh commitments to align its lending with the goals of the Paris agreement and wind down its support for coal, following pressure from a group of investors.

Deutsche Bank’s Schuetz Exits After Wirecard Trades Scrutiny
Eyk Henning, Vanessa Dezem, and Steven Arons – Bloomberg
Schuetz had come under fire for mails to Wirecard’s former CEO; Exit of former HNA representative removes headache for bank
Deutsche Bank AG supervisory board member Gerd Alexander Schuetz is stepping down after regulators began scrutinizing his trading in Wirecard AG and he told the failed payments company’s former chief executive officer to go after the Financial Times newspaper over its critical coverage of the company.

State Street Steps Up Buying of Top-Rated CLO Debt in Europe
Sarah Husband – Bloomberg
Firm has bought CLO paper in loan format in several vehicles; Bank of America already buying loan triple-As in U.S. market
State Street Corporation has stepped into the European CLO market recently bolstering demand for triple-A rated paper. The firm, which buys the top-rated tranches in loan format, has already invested in a number of transactions in Europe as part of plans to increase its investment activity in the CLO space.

Hedge fund managers Talpins and Rokos stung by February market tumult; Star traders were among hedge fund managers caught out by market rotation
Laurence Fletcher – FT
Chris Rokos and Jeffrey Talpins are among high-profile hedge fund managers who were wrongfooted when rising inflation expectations jolted equity and bond markets last month.

HSBC avoids revolt by investors pressing for cut in fossil fuel loans; Asset managers back down as bank offers own proposals on tackling climate change
Attracta Mooney and Stephen Morris – FT
HSBC has fended off a shareholder revolt ahead of its annual meeting after a $2.4tn coalition of investors agreed to back the bank’s climate change plans.

ETF inflows surge past record as investors bet on global recovery; Industry makes fastest ever start to a year after attracting $139.5bn in February
Chris Flood – FT
The exchange traded fund industry has made its fastest ever start to a year with a new record of $139.5bn in monthly inflows in February as investors, betting on a strong economic rebound in 2021, used ETFs to pour cash into equities.

Pierre Andurand’s hedge fund rides commodity rally for early 2021 gain; French oil specialist gained on last year’s fall in crude and has now bet on rebound
David Sheppard – FT
Hedge fund manager Pierre Andurand has emerged as one of the early winners from the big commodity market rebound, drumming up returns of almost 15 per cent since the start of the year thanks to bets on rising oil and European carbon prices.

BNP Paribas to fully acquire Exane as it looks to take spot in European equities; Move to acquire the remaining 50% stake in Exane follows BNP Paribas’ major deal with Deutsche Bank to take on its electronic equities and prime brokerage clients.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
BNP Paribas has confirmed plans to fully acquire its long-standing partner and equity brokerage Exane in a bid to position itself as the leading provider in European equities.

Deutsche Bank automates emerging markets treasury workflow with new tool; The component-based solution from Deutsche Bank aims to address challenges across workflow for payments, funding and FX in Asia Pacific markets with capital restrictions.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
Deutsche Bank has launched a solution designed to simplify workflows for treasurers across collections, payments, funding, and foreign exchange in Asia Pacific emerging markets.

State Street opens ETF trading platform to asset managers and broker-dealers; Firms that are not custody clients of State Street will now be able to access the Fund Connect ETF platform for trading.
Joe Parsons – The Trade
State Street has opened its exchange traded fund (ETF) trading platform to all asset managers and broker-dealers, even those that are not a custody client of the organisation.


Just How Big and Important Is Sanjeev Gupta’s Metals Empire?
Eddie Spence, Thomas Biesheuvel, and Jack Farchy – Bloomberg
GFG assets in France and Australia have strategic importance; Other operations owned by Gupta may struggle to attract buyers
Sanjeev Gupta is fighting to save his sprawling empire after Greensill Capital, its biggest lender, collapsed into administration. While the markets for GFG Alliance’s steel mills and aluminum smelters are buoyant, a court filing revealed on Monday that Gupta’s group had told Greensill in February that it would be insolvent without its funding.

Sanjeev Gupta and Greensill Became Their Own Worst Enemies; GFG Alliance’s excessive reliance on invoice-based lending is now being exposed.
Chris Bryant – Bloomberg
Greensill Capital filed for insolvency this week and its biggest client, steel magnate Sanjeev Gupta’s GFG Alliance, is scrambling to avoid a similar fate. A relationship that benefited both firms has been torn asunder. Greensill has stopped funding GFG, and the metals conglomerate has in turn defaulted on monies owed to the London-based finance firm.

China’s $4,230 Electric Cars Tap Huge Market Tesla Can’t Reach; No-frills models bring green transportation to the masses.
River Davis – Bloomberg
Chinese factory worker Weng Changqing knew he wanted an electric car before he even had his driver’s license. Living in a small town in eastern China and looking to start a family, he figured the savings on gas and maintenance would allow him to afford to buy his first ride.

BTIG drives APAC expansion with new office in Tokyo; Shingo Yatsui will run the new entity in Tokyo at BTIG, focusing on building a local team and strengthening the investment banking business.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
Agency broker BTIG has opened a new office in Tokyo to support its expansion into the Asia Pacific region. Named BTIG Japan KK, the development marks BTIG’s first location in Japan and fourth location in Asia Pacific as it continues to expand into the region, which has been ongoing for over 10 years.

For U.S. Farmers, China Is Back and Bigger Than Ever; Record exports follow a painful trade war, but concerns remain: ‘We can’t just be reliant on one partner’
Jesse Newman – WSJ
China is once again the U.S.’s chief customer for agricultural goods, three years after the start of a bruising trade war that prompted American farmers to try to wean themselves off their biggest market.


U.K. Plans Sweeping Markets Review to Give London a Brexit Edge
Alex Morales and Silla Brush – Bloomberg
The U.K. is preparing a wide-ranging review of financial markets to defend the City of London’s global pre-eminence after Brexit.
In an interview with Bloomberg, Economic Secretary to the Treasury John Glen said the government isn’t going to stop after overhauling rules covering initial public offerings and fintech firms. It is also preparing to consult businesses on “detailed proposals for wider reform to the capital markets” in the summer, he said on Wednesday.

Here’s How EU Could Take Brexit Legal Action Against the U.K.
Ian Wishart – Bloomberg
The European Commission is preparing to take legal action against the British government in coming days over its failure to keep promises it made in the Brexit deal to keep the island of Ireland free of border checkpoints.
Here’s what what the EU is planning to do:

Let’s reset ties, EU urges Britain over post-Brexit relations
Britain and the European Union should stop trying to score points in their post-Brexit relationship, the bloc’s ambassador to London said on Thursday, appealing for a more constructive approach to their increasingly thorny ties.
After completing its journey out of the EU at the end of last year, Britain’s relations with the bloc have soured over COVID vaccines and accusations from both sides that the other is acting in bad faith towards their Brexit and trade agreements.

Amsterdam: Europe’s surprise early winner as Brexit shakes up the City
Philip Stafford, Mehreen Khan and David Keohane – Financial Times
Authorities in the Netherlands were anxious ahead of Brexit. Unlike counterparts in other European capitals who saw opportunity in Britain’s withdrawal from the EU — the chance to pick up more business and financial services jobs — the Dutch government worried about a blow to its economy as a major trading partner left the bloc.

Global CEOs Are More Optimistic About U.K. Growth After Brexit
Neil Callanan – Bloomberg
The U.K. is more attractive for investment than it was before Brexit, a survey of more than 5,000 global chief executive officers found.
The country is now ranked fourth as a growth target for the CEOs, having overtaken India. CEOs from China, India, Canada and New Zealand in particular are increasingly interested in investing in the U.K., according to PricewaterhouseCoopers, which carried out the survey in January.

UK manufacturers lose revenue and business since leaving EU
Daniel Thomas – Financial Times
More than a third of British manufacturers have lost revenue since the UK left the EU trading bloc in January, as businesses struggle with border delays and increased costs from regulatory red tape.
Manufacturers are still struggling to cope with crippling delays moving goods in and out of the EU, according to Make UK, which represents British industry.

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