Hedge Fund Billionaire Extracts Billions More to Retire

Feb 20, 2023

First Read

Hits & Takes
John Lothian & JLN Staff

On this Presidents Day holiday, we have the news that former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, 98, has decided to end medical treatments and entered hospice. Carter, who is the longest living president in American history and who many claim is the greatest former president ever, is at peace with the decision. Having just had to go through this decision with my mother, I know how difficult it is for the entire family.

President Joe Biden, aviator sunglasses on his nose, is spending the Presidents Day holiday in Kyiv, meeting with President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, in a surprise trip to Ukraine ahead of the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion, Reuters reported. Here are some pictures of the visit from Bloomberg. During his trip, Biden offered unwavering support for Ukraine, the Financial Times reported.

My friend Jeremy Grant, a journalist who served with the Financial Times in Chicago, London and Asia, has returned home to Scotland in recent years. He recently took a trip to his childhood home in Glasgow and decided to pen a commentary about the state of Scottish business in a story for The Scotsman titled “Scotland’s business scene is changing for the better – Jeremy Grant.”

In other Scottish news, Reuters reports that Scottish finance minister Kate Forbes has decided to run for the country’s leadership to replace Nicola Sturgeon as Scottish National Party (SNP) leader and Scotland’s first minister. Forbes, 32, joined the Scottish parliament in 2016 and became finance secretary in 2020.

Bevon Joseph’s new The Social Capital Guy podcast episode #3 is published, “Talking Social Capital with One of Chicago’s Top Financial Advisors” featuring Andrea Williams of Northwestern Mutual.

Meta has joined Twitter in using the “Heroin Strategy” by introducing a free service, getting people addicted to it, then introducing a fee for services. OK, lots of firms use the same strategy. I have even used it myself with this newsletter. But something as simple as two-step verification will be eliminated for those customers who don’t pay for the new feature, “Meta Verified,” the Financial Times reported. This is a pretty stupid move, putting customers’ accounts at risk.

The Miami Herald has a story about something in California, a crypto scam database offered by the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation. The story is titled “Before investing in crypto, check out California’s new scam tracker.”

The Financial Times has a Special Report: Impact Investing. The stories include:

Religious investors put their faith in impact funds

Pitch perfect: how impact entrepreneurs can wow investors

Place-based investment offers lifeline to left-behind towns

Micro-lending market takes rising interest rates in its stride

Impact funds help fight dementia and antibiotic resistance

Guarantee companies unlock African infrastructure finance

Investors channel funds to safeguard biodiversity

Private equity firms seek piece of the impact investment action

John Grace, the one time chief risk officer for the OCC, is starting a new position as managing director, enterprise & operational risk, capital & liquidity, ALM, business continuity at Treliant.

Claire Kenny has been promoted to senior risk management policy associate at CME Group. Besides this impressive position, she also holds the position of daughter of the Most Interesting Man in the World, Pat Kenny

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


Crypto Is ‘Dangerous,’ Warns Web Inventor Berners-Lee As Bitcoin Bears Gather
Jack Denton – Barron’s
Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web system of online information and an early internet pioneer, is the latest to voice bearish views on BitcoinBTCUSD +1.33% and its peers, calling cryptocurrencies “dangerous” in recent remarks. “It’s only speculative. Obviously, that’s really dangerous,” the computer scientist said of cryptocurrencies in an episode of CNBC’s Beyond The Valley podcast published late last week. He said the strategy was for people who “want to have a kick out of gambling,” added that he didn’t want to spend his time investing in purely speculative bets like Bitcoin.

****** Dangerous? Speculative? Worse, he said it was a waste of time.~JJL


Anti-transgender rules, rhetoric and legislation are a shameful stain on America’s soul; Is another person’s identity threatening to you? Do you have so little respect for your own children that you think the mere mention of gender identity is going to turn them into someone they aren’t?
Rex Huppke – USA TODAY
To the politicians, people and pundits who’ve decided that the best use of their time, platforms and power is to make life more difficult for transgender people, particularly children, I have a question: What the hell is wrong with you? I know leading with that question will put you on the defensive. That’s OK. I want you on the defensive. I want you to search your soul, or whatever inhabits the space where your soul once resided, and defend the decision to aggressively attack an already vulnerable group of people for … for what? For political gain? For clicks? So you don’t have to expend the small amount of intellectual energy it takes to understand an issue that, for whatever reason, makes you uncomfortable?

****** I know firsthand how harmful these rules, rhetoric and legislation can be for transgender people from my trans friends who have shared with me their concerns, their depressions and even paralysis from all the politics. Is it so hard to love one another? The headline writer has it right, it is a stain on America’s soul.~JJL


Twitter Just Weakened Account Security For Almost 368 Million Users
Davey Winder – Forbes
The latest twist in the Twitter tale since Elon Musk bought the company is one of the most worrying to date. In a truly bizarre move, which appears to put penny-pinching before account security, Twitter has announced it will limit the use of SMS-based two-factor authentication (2FA) to Twitter Blue subscribers from March 20.

*****“Stupid is as stupid does.” ~Forrest Gump


Swiss May Face a Future Referendum to Enshrine Status of Cash; Campaigners against digital money claim enough signatures; Swiss hold the largest amount of bills and coins per capita
Bastian Benrath – Bloomberg
Swiss citizens are likely to vote in a future referendum on whether to enshrine the availability of cash in the constitution after an initiative to pre-emptively guard against digital money. The campaigners of the ballot, a group called the Swiss Freedom Movement, this week said they had collected 157,422 signatures in support of such a plebiscite. If officials certify the total did indeed exceed 100,000, the rules of Swiss direct democracy stipulate that a referendum must be held.

****** Bitcoin was started by supposed “libertarians, but when it will be run by Central Banks, that is a completely different privacy profile. Some Swiss want to bake into their constitution and enshrine the status of cash.”~JJL


Friday’s Top Three
Our most clicked item on Friday was the OCC’s page, “OCC Transformation” on The Renaissance Initiative, a multi-year effort to redevelop and modernize OCC’s technology infrastructure. Second was ‘Last true mansion’ on New York City’s iconic Fifth Avenue listed at $80 million: See inside, from USA Today. Third was the OCC Board of Directors at the OCC’s website.


MarketsWiki Stats
27,206 pages; 242,975 edits
MarketsWiki Statistics


Lead Stories

Hedge Fund Billionaire Extracts Billions More to Retire; Bridgewater’s founder, Ray Dalio, retired last year after months of negotiations that guaranteed him a gigantic exit package.
Rob Copeland and Maureen Farrell – The New York Times
When Ray Dalio, the multibillionaire founder of the world’s biggest hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates, announced his retirement in October, both he and the firm he founded more than four decades ago treated the moment as celebratory. Mr. Dalio, 73, told his millions of followers on LinkedIn that he felt “great about the people” to whom he had handed the reins. And one of Bridgewater’s two new chief executives, Nir Bar Dea, sent an enthusiastic note to clients: “The transition from Ray is done!”

Turkey’s State-Backed Markets Have Few Charms for Foreigners; Turkey moves farther outside the investment mainstream; Lira and bond markets are already subject to state control
Srinivasan Sivabalan – Bloomberg
Before last week, the stock market was one of Turkey’s last economic pillars that was largely free from the political whims of the state. That’s not the case any more. Through a series of elaborate rapid-fire changes, the government pushed cash into the stock market and engineered a $20 billion rally in its benchmark BIST 100 Index over three days. On paper, BIST 100 index is still near an all-time high, but in reality, Turkey has moved another step further from the world of normal finance.

Britain’s post-Brexit asset management revamp eyes liquidity, tokenisation
Huw Jones – Reuters
Britain set out plans on Monday for a post-Brexit review of its rules for the 11 trillion pound ($13.2 trillion) asset management sector, with a focus on bolstering liquidity after a near meltdown in funds used by pension schemes last September. Until Britain’s departure from the European Union in 2020, rules for the UK funds sector were written in Brussels. Brexit means UK regulators can write their own regulations, but the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) makes clear in its broad review it will stick to “strong international standards” given Britain’s global role in asset management.

Dubai in Talks to Draw 50 Hedge Funds to Mideast Finance Hub; City is emerging as favored destination for hedge fund traders; Emirate’s financial center posted record revenue in 2022
Nicolas Parasie – Bloomberg
Dubai’s financial center is in talks with more than 50 hedge funds about setting up in the Middle East business hub after attracting industry heavyweights such as Millennium Management and ExodusPoint Capital Management. “One space that has been growing very fast is the hedge fund sector,” Essa Kazim, governor of the Dubai International Financial Centre, said at a briefing on Monday. “The backlog for that industry is big and it’s growing and it’s one of the sources of our growth actually.”

European bourses join forces in bid to operate stocks price feed
Huw Jones – Reuters
Euronext, Deutsche Boerse and 12 other European stock exchange groups on Thursday said they would jointly propose creating a combined feed of their share prices to investors, throwing down the gauntlet to rivals ahead of European Union legislation. EU states and the European Parliament are due in coming months to finalise a draft law that would mandate exchanges to provide prices of stock transactions on their platforms to a low price “consolidated tape” (CT) for investors to spot the best deals.

Hong Kong Plans to Let Retail Sector Trade Larger Crypto Tokens Like Bitcoin; City pushes ahead toward a goal of becoming a crypto hub; Securities regulator issues a consultation paper on the plan
Kiuyan Wong and Zheping Huang – Bloomberg
Hong Kong outlined a plan to let retail investors trade digital tokens like Bitcoin and Ether, taking a major step toward its goal of becoming a crypto hub in a policy shift that contrasts with a crackdown in the US. Individual investors would be allowed to trade larger coins on exchanges licensed by the Securities and Futures Commission, providing safeguards such as knowledge tests, risk profiles and reasonable limits on exposure are put in place, the regulator said in a consultation paper on Monday.

China’s new rules for offshore listings spark concern about lengthy approval process
Scott Murdoch, Samuel Shen and Selena Li – Reuters
New rules laying out how Chinese companies can list outside mainland China will often mean getting a nod from several domestic government agencies, potentially making for a lengthy approval process, investment bankers say. On one hand, the rules provide clarity after a regulatory crackdown by Beijing since mid-2021 that has slowed U.S. listings by Chinese firms to a trickle.

Celsius Failed to Record Some 7,000 Intercompany Transfers Worth Billions Leading Up to Bankruptcy
Sandali Handagama – CoinDesk
Bankrupt crypto lender Celsius Network did not sufficiently record transactions among its affiliate companies, making it near impossible to “fully reconstruct” intercompany claims, court filings from Thursday show. Celsius Network LLC filed Thursday’s statement on the amount and type of any potential claims it held against its affiliates in response to a Feb. 9 court order from a New York bankruptcy court.

Scotland’s business scene is changing for the better
Jeremy Grant – The Scotsman
But then I started to see that some things had changed. The gravel drive was now paved, the window sashes painted a blingy matt black. And a monkey puzzle tree that I remember my parents planting at the foot of the lawn as a sapling in the late 1960s was now of Jurassic Park proportions, towering over the street below. I’ve been having other similar experiences in the year since returning to live in Scotland, after a long career in journalism in London, Asia and the United States. Much is familiar and unchanged (starting with the Tunnock’s teacake, I’m relieved to say). But a lot’s changed, too.

From CEOs to Coders, Employees Experiment With New AI Programs; ChatGPT’s release has sparked a rush of early adopters eager to speed up tasks or avoid being left behind
Karen Hao, Chip Cutter, and Benoit Morenne – The Wall Street Journal
Shortly after the release of OpenAI’s ChatGPT in November, Jeff Maggioncalda, the CEO of online education company Coursera Inc., jumped into the technology to see if it could save him time. He began using the chatbot to draft company letters and notes, and asked his executive assistant to try the same for drafting replies to his inbound emails. She prompts ChatGPT based on how she thinks he would respond, and he edits the answers it generates before sending.

Hedge fund Galois closes after half of assets trapped on crypto exchange FTX
Laurence Fletcher – Financial Times
A hedge fund that was one of the highest-profile victims of the FTX scandal when half its assets were trapped on the collapsed cryptocurrency exchange has decided to close and return its remaining money to investors. Galois Capital, which last year had been managing about $200mn in assets and was one of the biggest crypto-focused quantitative funds, told investors that it had halted all trading and unwound all its positions as it was no longer viable, according to documents seen by the Financial Times. “Given the severity of the FTX situation, we do not think it is tenable to continue operating the fund both financially and culturally,” wrote co-founder Kevin Zhou.

Galois Capital shuts down flagship crypto fund with $100 million stuck on FTX
Anviksha Patel – MarketWatch
Crypto hedge fund Galois Capital will close its flagship $200 million fund with half of its assets still stuck on the fallen crypto exchange FTX. The firm confirmed the shutdown on Twitter on Monday after the Financial Times reported the fund was closing. The fund suffered from the FTX blow-up last November, admitting that it had a significant portion of funds stuck on the crypto exchange after its collapse.

Deutsche Bank’s Regulators Criticize Its Internal Probe; Regulators are said to be unhappy about scope, speed of probe; Project Teal probe lasted two years, led to several departures
Steven Arons – Bloomberg
Deutsche Bank AG’s top supervisors are critical of how the lender handled an internal investigation into mis-selling of derivatives, raising questions about its findings. The European Central Bank and German regulator BaFin have told Germany’s largest bank that the probe, known as Project Teal, took too long, wasn’t broad enough, and was too slow to take remedial action, according to people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified discussing private information. The regulators could impose sanctions such as a fine or take other enforcement actions at some point as a result, one person said.

Deutsche Bank Board Faces Revamp as Employee Reps Retire; Seven out of 10 staff representatives are set to be replaced; Deutsche Bank employees to elect new candidates in April
Steven Arons – Bloomberg
Deutsche Bank AG’s supervisory board is facing its biggest revamp in several years as the majority of labor representatives are set to be replaced. Seven of the ten employee representatives on the lender’s board have decided to leave the governance body, people familiar with the matter said. Only three incumbents – Jan Duscheck, Timo Heider and Manja Eifert – are seeking a renewal of their mandates. That would be the largest number of new appointments since at least 2018 for the board, which currently has 20 members.

Deutsche Bank Criticized by ECB Over Derivatives Probe, FT Says
Iain Rogers – Bloomberg
European banking regulators have told Deutsche Bank AG that they’re “not satisfied” with the German lender’s internal review that found that some employees deliberately circumvented controls to make big profits by mis-selling foreign-exchange derivatives, the Financial Times reported

Hedge fund boss Chris Hohn demands Airbus drop deal with Atos cyber spin-off; TCI says buying minority share in Evidian looks like ‘politically motivated bailout’
Sylvia Pfeifer and Arash Massoudi and James Fontanella-Khan – Financial Times
UK hedge fund manager Chris Hohn has demanded jet manufacturing giant Airbus immediately drop its proposed purchase of a stake in the cyber security arm of French IT company Atos. Hohn – who runs hedge fund TCI, which has assets of $40bn and owns more than 3 per cent of Airbus shares – questioned whether the deal with Atos, one of the world’s largest IT services companies, was politically motivated.

A shift in fund flows from Japan will be felt around the world; If policy of yield control is phased out under incoming BoJ head Kazuo Ueda, a flight from foreign markets may accelerate
Benjamin Shatil – Financial Times
It is little wonder that markets were scouring decade-old comments by Kazuo Ueda, the newly announced Bank of Japan governor. A relatively unknown academic outside of Japan who served on the central bank’s board between 1998 and 2005, Ueda’s nomination has prompted a rush to understand both the person and his profile.

Little-known hedge fund boss joins Steve Cohen, Ken Griffin as top NYC earners
Thomas Barrabi – NY Post
Little-known hedge fund manager Said Haidar reportedly joined heavyweights like Citadel CEO Ken Griffin and Mets owner Steve Cohen on the list of Wall Street’s top earners last year after his firm secured a massive 193% return. The Haidar Capital Management boss earned $859 million through gains on his personal investments and the share of his firm’s performance, Bloomberg reported on Friday. The huge windfall placed him sixth on the outlet’s ranking of the top-earning hedge fund managers of 2022.

Disappearance of dealmaker Bao Fan casts chill across China’s tech sector; Fate of China Renaissance banker seen as test of Beijing’s stance after regulatory crackdown
Thomas Hale, Ryan McMorrow and Kai Waluszewski – Financial Times
In May 2021, a group of Chinese banks agreed to lend $300mn to investment bank China Renaissance with a condition: if Bao Fan, the company’s well-known founder, ceased to be its largest shareholder or was no longer chair of the board they could demand early repayment.

The appeal for executives of having private equity owners; Research on CEO hiring highlights the advantages of running an unlisted firm
Sujeet Indap – Financial Times
Would it be better to be a chief executive who is accountable to Steve Schwarzman instead of Nelson Peltz? Schwarzman is the founder of the private equity juggernaut Blackstone which has made its name taking companies private in leveraged buyouts. Peltz’s Trian Partners, on the other hand, is known for activist campaigns at public companies. Most recently, Peltz pushed for change at Disney where CEO Bob Iger is now slashing 7,000 jobs among $5.5bn in annual cost cuts.

JSE SA Trade Connect 2023 on the growing closing auction: ‘If you give everyone the same weapons in war, not everyone is going to win’; As the closing auction begins to dominate the South African markets much like Europe, institutional investors explore how client behaviour is changing to adapt to this trend.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
The closing auction is accounting for an increasing portion of the daily trading volumes in South Africa, a story Europe is only too aware of, being just a few chapters ahead.

Bond Billions Coming Home to Europe Ease Long-Term Currency Drag; Deutsche Bank says flows ‘dramatically more positive’ for euro; Shrinking gap with US rates lures investors back to Europe
Alice Gledhill – Bloomberg
A seismic shift in capital flows is playing out in Europe’s bond and currency markets as investors adjust to a world without central bank stimulus. Three hundred basis points of interest-rate hikes by the European Central Bank since July have halted the years-long exodus from the region’s fixed-income funds. Net outflows that hit EUR818 billion ($872 billion) in late 2021 – the most in at least two decades – have now been reversed, data compiled by Deutsche Bank AG show.

Fake Jeffrey Epstein Probe Used in Alleged Scam of New York Investment Firms; Florida man is charged with impersonating leaders at firms; US says he got executives to fund bogus Jeffrey Epstein probes
Chris Dolmetsch – Bloomberg
A Florida man was charged with impersonating bigwigs at two New York-based investment companies – including a billionaire founder – and hoodwinking executives there into funding probes he made up of links between the firms and Jeffrey Epstein. The name of the notorious financier, who died in 2019 facing sex trafficking charges, and the impersonation appear to have been enough to send the firms scurrying.

The Inflation Story Has Changed Significantly. Paul Krugman Breaks It Down.
Erza Klein and Paul Krugman – The New York Times
Go back eight months, six months, and the inflation news was really grim. Prices were going up and up and up. The Fed was raising interest rates at a really rapid clip. A lot of economists were warning about the possibility of stagflation, suggesting we need to have a deeply painful recession to get out of this. But in recent months, there’s been a bit of a phase change.

Koch Industries’ Texas two-step bankruptcy move challenged
Jamie Smyth – Financial Times
Lawyers have filed a motion to dismiss the Chapter 11 filing of a unit of Koch Industries in a test case that could help determine the future of controversial bankruptcy schemes deployed by companies to handle personal injury claims. The motion to the bankruptcy court in the Western Division of North Carolina alleges the Chapter 11 filing by Bestwall – a unit of Koch’s building materials subsidiary Georgia Pacific – was made in “bad faith” because the company was not in financial distress.

Bond ETFs suck liquidity out of market in a crisis, academics say; Paper contradicts prevailing view that exchange traded funds help find fixed-income buyers and sellers in times of stress
Steve Johnson – Financial Times
Fixed-income exchange traded funds can suck the liquidity out of corporate bonds during times of market stress, potentially worsening price dislocations during crises, academics have claimed. Bond ETFs are generally perceived as innovations that have enhanced liquidity and aided price discovery during market ruptures, offering a superior option than attempting to trade in the underlying bonds.

Ukraine Invasion

Datawatch: killings of journalists at four-year high as Ukraine war takes toll
Financial Times
At least 67 journalists and media support workers were killed around the world last year, the highest number since 2018 according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. The war in Ukraine was a big factor: 15 journalists were killed in the country, the highest number among the nations tracked by the committee.

Putin Doesn’t Have a Plan to Win; He’s murdering his own troops by the thousands as a signal to Washington.
Holman W. Jenkins, Jr. – The Wall Street Journal
The similarities between Saddam Hussein and Vladimir Putin deserve more notice than they often get, from their exceptionally brutal childhoods, to their knack for dutifully serving and then displacing mentors, to their imperial and historical dreams. Their propensity, or that of anyone in their position really, for miscalculation also always seemed likely to become an important theme sooner or later.

White House: Wagner Group has suffered over 30,000 casualties in Ukraine
The Russian mercenary company Wagner Group has suffered more than 30,000 casualties since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, with about 9,000 of those fighters killed in action, the White House said on Friday. The United States estimates that 90% of Wagner group soldiers killed in Ukraine since December were convicts, White House National Security Council (NSC) spokesman John Kirby told reporters at a regular briefing.

‘Better than nothing’: Outgunned Ukrainian pilots take the fight to Russia in ancient Soviet-era helicopters
Sam Kiley and Olha Konovalova – CNN
The horizon disappears for a moment as the nose of the helicopter rears. There’s a faint thump as rockets trailing brown smoke arc ahead. The aircraft banks as if flicked on its side by an outside force. Diving back towards to the ground it spurts flares from its tail to distract heat-seeking missiles.

Harris Says Russia Committed Crimes Against Humanity in Ukraine; Vice president addresses leaders at Munich Security Conference; US backs international tribunals as war nears one-year mark
Jennifer Jacobs – Bloomberg
Vice President Kamala Harris said the US has concluded that Russia committed “crimes against humanity” in its invasion of Ukraine and vowed that Moscow would be held to account for its actions. “In the case of Russia’s actions in Ukraine, we have examined the evidence, we know the legal standards, and there is no doubt,” Harris said in an address Saturday to the Munich Security Conference. “The United States has formally determined that Russia has committed crimes against humanity. To all of those who are perpetrating these crimes – and to their superiors, who are complicit in these crimes – you will be held to account.”

Trading Books for a Rifle: The Teacher Who Volunteered in Ukraine
Andrew E. Kramer – The New York Times
Just over a year ago, Yulia Bondarenko’s days were full of lesson plans, grading and her students’ seventh-grade hormones. When Russian missiles shattered that routine and Russian troops threatened her home in Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, Ms. Bondarenko, 30, volunteered to fight back, despite her lack of experience, the grave risk to her life and Ukraine’s apparently impossible odds.

Putin Began His Unjust War One Year Ago. Here’s What Ukraine Needs Now.
The New York Times
A year since Vladimir Putin ordered his forces to invade Ukraine, the war is far from over. However bravely Ukrainians fight on, and however muddled the performance of Russia’s military, Ukraine cannot prevail without continued and substantial Western assistance. Since the invasion, that has swelled to over $150 billion in American and European spending, and the weapons supplied to Ukraine now include the latest Western tanks and antiaircraft systems.

Biden Should Give Ukraine What It Needs to Win
Nicholas Kristof – The New York Times
Russian Air Force pilots are scaredy-cats who have been surprisingly absent over Ukraine. Russian ground forces are being mowed down as cannon fodder, and one of the best known examples of Russian military discipline involves an officer using a sledgehammer to execute a fellow Russian. But the Russian war effort does excel in some areas:

‘Not one inch’: unpicking Putin’s deadly obsession with the details of history
Mary Elise Sarotte – Financial Times
As a professor, I teach how and why history matters. Yet, over the course of the past year, even I was unprepared for just how much it mattered. By using a twisted version of history as conceptual undergirding for his invasion of Ukraine, Russia’s president Vladimir Putin is weaponising the past. History, he claims, justifies his years-long attempt at subordinating Ukraine through violence – an effort that intensified exponentially on February 24 2022, when he ordered a 190,000-strong force to attack.

One Year On, Putin Must Wish He’d Read His Herodotus
Andreas Kluth – Bloomberg
A big lesson all of us – but especially people in power – should learn from Vladimir Putin’s attack on Ukraine one year ago has to do with intellectual humility, and the disastrous consequences of its absence. That’s because not only the Russian president but almost everybody has been wrong, wrong, wrong about almost everything.

Ukraine’s Future Is Not in NATO; The country won’t become a party to the treaty, but it can expect a close and continuing partnership with Europe and the US.
Hal Brands – Bloomberg
During World War II, the Allies started planning for the postwar era before victory was anywhere in sight. One year into Ukraine’s struggle against Russia, its time for Kyiv and the West to do likewise. Ukraine certainly hasn’t won the war, and in view of Russia’s unfolding offensive, a settlement may be months or even years away. But whenever peace breaks out, Ukraine will still have to ensure its security against a Russian regime that barely acknowledges its right to exist.

Ukraine war: Russia must be defeated but not crushed, Macron says
Phelan Chatterjee & Matt Murphy – BBC
French President Emmanuel Macron has said he does not want to see Russia crushed by a defeat in Ukraine. Speaking to French media, Mr Macron urged Western nations to increase military support for Kyiv and said he was prepared for a protracted war. “I want Russia to be defeated in Ukraine, and I want Ukraine to be able to defend its position,” he said. But he hit out against those who he said wanted to extend the war to Russia itself in a bid to “crush” the nation.

I helped create a ‘cyber army’ to help Ukraine defeat Russia. We can’t fight with guns, but we can fight with our laptops.
Jyoti Mann – Insider
On February 24 last year I woke up to the sounds of explosions and bombs in Kyiv. I went to the underground car park of my building and put a call out on Facebook asking for volunteers to be a part of a cyber army to help protect our country. Within two hours we had more than 200 applications. People said, “we can’t fight with a gun but we can fight with our laptops.” By the next day we had more than 1,000 applications, mostly from people in the Ukrainian cybersecurity community.

Russian army has lost up to half of key battle tanks, analysts estimate
Dan Sabbagh – The Guardian
Russia’s army is estimated to have lost nearly 40% of its prewar fleet of tanks after nine months of fighting in Ukraine, according to a count by the specialist thinktank the International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS). That rises to as much as 50% for some of the key tanks used in combat, forcing Russia to reach into its still sizeable cold war-era stocks.

Ukraine’s Zelenskiy: Russia hit by “extraordinarily significant” losses in east
Ukraine’s military is inflicting “extraordinarily significant” losses on Russian forces near the town of Vuhledar in the eastern Donbas region, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Sunday. “The situation is very complicated. And we are fighting. We are breaking down the invaders and inflicting extraordinarily significant losses on Russia,” Zelenskiy said in his nightly video address.

F-16s, longer-range missiles could help Ukraine beat Russia, U.S. general privately tells lawmakers
Alexander Ward and Paul McLeary – Politico
The top U.S. general in Europe is quietly telling American lawmakers that giving Ukraine advanced Western equipment – such as F-16 fighter jets, drones, and long-range missiles – could help Kyiv rule the skies and bolster its own offensives against Russia. In a Friday morning closed-door briefing with more than 10 senators and House members, Gen. Christopher Cavoli was asked if F-16 fighter jets would help Ukraine win the war against Russia.

Maersk nears complete Russia exit after selling logistics sites
Shipping and logistics group A.P. Moller-Maersk (MAERSKb.CO) has agreed to sell its two logistics sites in Russia to IG Finance Development Limited, it said on Monday, nearly marking the end of its business activities in the country. The group said the sale of its inland depot facility in Novorossiisk, with a capacity of 1,500 containers (TEU), and a chilled and frozen warehouse in St. Petersburg had obtained regulatory approvals in the European Union and Russia.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

‘We are pleased to support Operation Santa Claus’: Hong Kong stock exchange highlights work with local charities; Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) has spent more than 40,000 hours volunteering across different community projects since 2006
Carrie Lee – South China Morning Post
While enterprises with similar philosophies and complementary strengths often band together to pursue greater business success, some Hong Kong companies are also applying this winning formula to their corporate social responsibility (CSR) work.

Euronext CEO: Strong progress in Borsa Italiana integration
Stephane Boujnah, CEO of Euronext, discusses the company’s earnings and diversification of the business.

HKEX’s growing attractiveness as a listing venue for Southeast Asian companies
Chaitra Anand – Deal Street Asia
To start the year on a high note and showcase the role of Hong Kong in the future of IPOs, DealStreetAsia, in association with HKEX, hosted an exclusive luncheon at the PE-VC Summit in Jakarta, Indonesia in January 2023. Christina Bao, Co-Head of Sales & Marketing at HKEX and Jonathan Hsui, partner in the corporate department of leading international law firm Allen & Overy joined Eudora Wang, Greater China editor at DealStreetAsia for a riveting discussion about the rise of Hong Kong as a viable listing venue for companies in Southeast Asia and beyond.

HKEX To Introduce New Option Classes
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) is pleased to announce today (Monday) the launch of three new stock option classes on Monday, 6 March 2023. HKEX’s derivatives market had a robust 2022, with average daily volume rising 11 per cent to a record 1,302,889 contracts. The momentum has continued into 2023, with average daily volumes in January up 22 per cent from a year earlier.

Linde has moved up in the DAX and STOXX indices
Deutsche Boerse Group
STOXX Ltd., the global index provider of Qontigo, has announced unscheduled changes to DAX and STOXX indices. As announced on January 19, Linde plc will be removed from the DAX and several STOXX indices as of February 27, 2023. Deletion from the DAX is carried out in accordance with Chapter 5.1.2. “Breach of the Basic Criteria” of the Guide to the DAX Equity Indices . Chapter 10 “Limitations” and Chapter 8.6.4 “Delisting” in the STOXX Index Methodology Guide apply to the STOXX indices .

ICE Announces Record Trading and Participation Across North American Environmental Markets With Strong Growth in Renewable Energy Markets
Intercontinental Exchange
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE:ICE), a leading global provider of data, technology, and market infrastructure, today announced record volume and participation in its North American environmental markets, with a record 270 companies trading last year. ICE offers customers the most liquid markets to trade futures and options on California Carbon Allowances, California Carbon credits, RGGI Allowances (RGA), California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) Credits, and Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). Across the portfolio, a record 3.64 million contracts traded last year, a 5% increase over 2021, with average daily volume increasing 5.5% to 14,500 contracts.

ICE is reporting record volumes on environmental futures and options products
Finance Feeds
Intercontinental Exchange has reported record volume of 3.64 million contracts (+5% YoY) traded in its North American environmental markets, with a record 270 companies trading in 2022. ICE’s North American environmental futures and options markets include California Carbon Allowances, California Carbon credits, RGGI Allowances (RGA), California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) Credits, and Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs).

LMEmercury Infrastructure Interface Migration On 25 March 2023
London Metal Exchange
The LMEmercury clearing platform will be undergoing an IT interface migration upgrade on Saturday, 25 March 2023. There are no new functional changes to the LMEmercury application itself over-and-above the current Production releases.
2. This Notice advises members to check, and if need be clear their desktop web browser cache setting prior to attempting to access the LMEmercury user interface.


After AI chatbot goes a bit loopy, Microsoft tightens its leash; No more long exchanges about the Bing AI’s “feelings,” the tech giant says. The chatbot, after five responses, now tells people it would “prefer not to continue this conversation.”
Drew Harwell – The Washington Post
Microsoft started restricting on Friday its high-profile Bing chatbot after the artificial intelligence tool began generating rambling conversations that sounded belligerent or bizarre. The technology giant released the AI system to a limited group of public testers after a flashy unveiling earlier this month, when chief executive Satya Nadella said that it marked a new chapter of human-machine interaction and that the company had “decided to bet on it all.”

BMLL Wins ‘Best Data Provider For Equities’ At The US Fund Intelligence Operations And Services Awards 2023
BMLL – Financial IT
We are delighted to announce that BMLL has won the “Best Data Provider for Equities” at the US “With Intelligence, Fund Intelligence Operations and Services Awards” 2023. The award recognises fund service providers demonstrating exceptional client service, innovative product development, strong and sustainable business growth, those driving up service standards across the sector in the US and stand out from the crowd as the ones the big providers really want to win.

PEAK6 EdTech Announces Judi Hart as Chief Executive Officer
Zogo – PR Newswire
PEAK6 EdTech, a PEAK6 Investments company dedicated to empowering people through real-world, accessible education, today announced the appointment of Judi Hart as its CEO. In this role, Ms. Hart will further PEAK6 EdTech’s mission to make education accessible for all through technology and serve as a collaborative partner to its subsidiary businesses, Zogo, Poker Power, and Fintech In Action.

DeFi and Other Fi
Davis Wright Tremaine LLP
This webinar will explain and explore defi, cefi, tradfi, gamefi, and other fi and their intersections with digital assets. The panelists will discuss where we are and where we may be going from a regulatory, policy, and enforcement perspective.

Meta Launches Subscription Service for Facebook and Instagram; New program, called Meta Verified, costs $11.99 per month; Features include verification badge and increased user reach
Kurt Wagner – Bloomberg
Facebook parent company Meta Platforms Inc. is launching a subscription service called Meta Verified that will include a handful of additional perks and features, including account verification badges for those who pay. The new subscription will cost $11.99 per month – $14.99 if purchased through the iOS app – and is primarily targeted toward content creators.

Meta to launch subscription service for Facebook and Instagram
Tabby Kinder – Financial Times
Meta will launch a paid subscription service that allows Facebook and Instagram users to verify their accounts for up to $14.99 a month, chief executive Mark Zuckerberg announced on Sunday. The new feature, called Meta Verified, lets users “get a blue badge, get extra impersonation protection against accounts claiming to be you, and get direct access to customer support,” according to a Facebook post by Zuckerberg.

Venture Fundraising Hits Nine-Year Low; Slowdown that earlier hit tech startups catches up with investors who fuel venture capital
Berber Jin – The Wall Street Journal
Fundraising by venture-capital firms hit a nine-year low in the fourth quarter, as the macroeconomic pressures that already weighed on technology startups began to affect the investors who underpin the industry. Venture firms raised $20.6 billion in new funds in the fourth quarter. That was a 65% drop from the year-earlier quarter and the lowest fourth-quarter amount since 2013, according to data firm Preqin Ltd., which tracks venture-fund data. The amount was also less than half the level raised in the preceding three months, the first time fundraising volumes decreased from the third to fourth quarter since 2009, the data show.

Princeton Says Crypto Chaos Helps Justify Its Blockchain Center; University launched DeCenter a year ago with alumni support; Leaders say it has a key role to play in wake of FTX collapse
Francesca Maglione – Bloomberg
A little less than a year ago, Princeton University launched a center devoted to blockchain technology, backed by a $20 million donation – and a lot of hype – from former students and crypto advocates like billionaire Mike Novogratz. That was, of course, before FTX imploded and its founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, was charged with fraud. The scandal felled other crypto companies and triggered a plunge in the price of Bitcoin and other digital tokens.


FBI says it has ‘contained’ a cybersecurity incident on its network
Jon Fingas – Engadget
The FBI is dealing with another attack on its digital infrastructure, although the severity isn’t yet clear. The law enforcement agency tells CNN it has “contained” a recent cybersecurity incident on its network. The bureau isn’t commenting on the perpetrator, scope or damage, but says it’s gathering “additional information.”

Inglis Retires as National Cyber Director Ahead of Biden’s Cybersecurity EO
Dark Reading
The first-ever National Cyber Director for the US, Chris Inglis, has stepped down from his post, announcing that he’s leaving the public sector behind after nearly 30 years working at federal agencies.

State Dept gets serious about cybersecurity
Peter Musurlian – Federal News Network
The Office of Personnel Management’s backlog of retirement claims climbed by more than 3,200 in January. OPM received more than 12,000 claims and only processed about 9,000. The inventory of backlogged claims is now at the highest level since October, with almost 25,000 claims. OPM said it typically took 93 days in January to process a claim, up from 85 days the month before.

Darktrace hires EY to review financial processes after short seller report
Ryan Browne – CNBC
Cybersecurity firm Darktrace on Monday said it has appointed auditing firm EY to review its “key financial processes and controls,” in a bid to soothe investor fears after a short seller accused the company of manipulating its accounts.


Bankman-Fried’s Stanford-Connected Backers and the Decline of Tech Prestige
Daniel Kuhn – CoinDesk
In his immediate response to media queries, former dean of Stanford’s law school Larry Kramer gave a very personal explanation for why he’d pledge $500,000 to get Sam Bankman-Fried out on bail. Kramer, along with Stanford computer scientist Andreas Paepcke, were both identified yesterday as bail guarantors after Bankman-Fried’s lawyers missed a window to appeal the decision.

Third high-level FTX executive nears plea deal with US prosecutors
Joe Miller – Financial Times
The former head of engineering at the collapsed cryptocurrency exchange FTX is nearing a plea deal with federal prosecutors, according to people familiar with the matter, potentially bolstering the criminal case against founder Sam Bankman-Fried. Nishad Singh, who worked at FTX’s affiliated trading platform Alameda and then at FTX itself, would be the third high-level employee to co-operate with the government, after former Alameda chief Caroline Ellison and FTX co-founder Gary Wang pleaded guilty to several charges in December.

Crypto Fugitive Do Kwon Tapped Hoard of 10,000 Bitcoin Via Swiss Bank, SEC Says; SEC accused Kwon, firm he co-founded of fraud over TerraUSD; Agency said 10,000 Bitcoin transferred out of Terra ecosystem
Suvashree Ghosh – Bloomberg
Crypto fugitive Do Kwon and the firm he founded transferred over 10,000 Bitcoin out of their doomed project and turned some of the tokens into cash via a Swiss bank, the Securities & Exchange Commission said. The allegations are in an SEC lawsuit accusing Kwon and the company, Terraform Labs Pte, of fraud over the wipeout of digital currencies he created. The SEC said the scheme led to losses of at least $40 billion.

Crypto Hedge Fund Galois Capital Shuts Down After Losing $40M to FTX
Sam Reynolds – CoinDesk
One of the world’s largest crypto-focused quantitative funds, Galois Capital, has called it quits after losing a sizeable portion of its capital in the collapse of FTX, the firm said in a tweet on Monday. “Thank you all for the kind words. Yes, it is true that our flagship fund is shutting down,” Galois Capital tweeted after the Financial Times reported on the fund closing.

Trust in crypto is in shambles. How can we rebuild it?
Travis Nelson – Forkast
The current media climate around blockchain is rife with stories of fraud and misrepresentation. While these stories are not all cryptocurrency-enabled, such as FTX’s misappropriation of customers’ funds, they erode trust in the broader crypto market, specifically with lawmakers and regulators.

Voyager Creditors Subpoena Sam Bankman-Fried, Other Former FTX, Alameda Executives
Sam Reynolds – CoinDesk
Top executives from FTX and Alameda Research have been subpoenaed by Voyager Digital’s unsecured creditors’ committee and are scheduled to appear next week remotely for deposition. Bankman-Fried and other company executives also were subpoenaed last week by bankruptcy administrators for FTX.

Winklevoss twin says US crypto could be left behind by Asia when the next bull run explodes, thanks to the muddled crackdown
George Glover – Business Insider
The US crypto industry will be left behind if the country’s markets regulator doesn’t start laying out clearer rules on dealing with digital assets, according to Cameron Winklevoss. The Gemini cofounder warned Sunday that countries in Asia could surge ahead in the digital asset space if the Securities and Exchange Commission’s ongoing crackdown carries on sowing confusion in crypto markets.

Binance Considers Pulling Back From US Partners as Crypto Crackdown Escalates
Yueqi Yang – Bloomberg
Crypto giant Binance Holdings Ltd. is considering ending relationships with US business partners as regulators turn up the heat. The company, which operates the world’s largest crypto exchange, is weighing the retreat after its relationships with a key banking partner and stablecoin issuer ran into trouble amid intense scrutiny from authorities, according to a person familiar with the issue. Binance has been probed by the Securities and Exchange Commission, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Justice Department and the Internal Revenue Service.

Jump Crypto Is Unnamed Firm That Made $1.28B From Do Kwon’s Doomed Terra Ecosystem: Sources
Tracy Wang and Sam Kessler – CoinDesk
When U.S. regulators sued Do Kwon and Terraform Labs this week for the spectacular implosion of the terraUSD (UST) stablecoin and related LUNA token, a huge question was left unanswered: Who was the trading partner that booked $1.28 billion in profits before Terra’s $40 billion ecosystem crumbled? According to people familiar with the matter, it was Chicago-based Jump Crypto, a company whose parent has deep roots in conventional finance and has become a giant in digital assets.

Binance pulls back on potential U.S. investments -CEO
Jaiveer Shekhawat and Niket Nishant – Reuters
Binance has pulled back on some potential investments in the United States, its CEO Changpeng Zhao said on Friday, following a Bloomberg report that the major crypto exchange was considering ending relationships with U.S. business partners. “We pulled back on some potential investments, or bids on bankrupt companies in the U.S. for now. Seek permission first,” Zhao wrote in a tweet, without elaborating.

Binance’s U.S. partner confirms firm run by CEO Zhao operated on exchange
Tom Wilson and Angus Berwick – Reuters
The U.S. partner of global cryptocurrency exchange Binance has confirmed that a trading firm managed by Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao operated as a market maker on its platform. Reuters reported on Thursday, citing banking records and company messages, that Binance had secret access to a bank account belonging to its purportedly independent U.S. partner and transferred large sums of money from the account to the trading firm, Merit Peak Ltd.

Binance’s U.S. partner confirms firm run by CEO Zhao operated on exchange
Tom Wilson and Angus Berwick – Reuters
The U.S. partner of global cryptocurrency exchange Binance has confirmed that a trading firm managed by Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao operated as a market maker on its platform. Reuters reported on Thursday, citing banking records and company messages, that Binance had secret access to a bank account belonging to its purportedly independent U.S. partner and transferred large sums of money from the account to the trading firm, Merit Peak Ltd.

US Crackdown Seeks to Push Crypto Back to the Fringes of Finance; Major firms now face challenges securing bank relationships; Industry reeling after watchdogs’ public and private actions
Yueqi Yang, Katanga Johnson and Austin Weinstein – Bloomberg
Crypto’s free pass is getting yanked as the most powerful US financial regulators rapidly close key doors to the country’s banking system. The increasingly aggressive posture, which has taken shape through public and private actions in the weeks since the collapse of crypto exchange FTX, could push the industry to the fringes of finance.

Bitcoin Will Be Fine With Monkey JPEGs, Creator of NFT Protocol Says; Casey Rodarmor first began working on the protocol a year ago; Recently introduced Bitcoin NFTs, risks backlash from purists
David Pan – Bloomberg
Some hard-core Bitcoiners are in an uproar over the prospect of ubiquitous internet memes such as pixelated cats and smoking monkeys clogging up the blockchain. Casey Rodarmor, the creator of the recently introduced NFT protocol called Ordinals that is at the center of the angst, says not to worry. He sees inscriptions, or the newfangled nonfungible tokens, giving the oldest blockchain a fresh use case that can boost its utility.


Ardern, Now Sturgeon: The ‘Brutality’ of Politics Hits Women Hardest
Olivia Konotey-Ahulu – Bloomberg
There were just 30 women who were elected heads of state or government as of September last year. Now, after the shock resignations of two world leaders, that number is dwindling further. Nicola Sturgeon announced she was stepping down as Scotland’s first minister after eight years this week, prompting comparisons with former New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern who also cited the chronic pressures of the job. Sturgeon herself said a “brutality” toward those in public office has emerged in recent years.

Taxpayers Lose in GOP’s War on ESG; Texas and Florida lawmakers are targeting banks that support environmental, social and governance practices. The result? A hidden tax on residents.
Brooke Sample – Bloomberg
What happens when Florida and Texas blacklist Wall Street’s largest municipal bond underwriters because of their support for environmental, social and governance practices? The answer is a hidden tax foisted on their residents amounting to hundreds of millions of additional dollars. If socialism means state control of production, distribution and exchange of goods and services, then Florida and Texas fit the description.

The High Price Retirees Pay for Collecting Social Security Too Early
Lisa Ward – The Wall Street Journal
It’s no secret that retirees are often better off waiting to collect Social Security benefits. But exactly how much money are people leaving on the table by taking benefits early? A recent study, funded by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, finds that retirees often give up tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars by taking Social Security benefits too early.

EDF Says Price Tag of UK Nuclear Power Plant Soars on Inflation; Construction of Hinkley Point C plant may cost £32 billion; Plant could also face an additional 15 months of delays
Alex Longley – Bloomberg
Electricite de France SA said the cost of building its flagship Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in the UK is set to spiral further to £32 billion ($38.5 billion). Higher levels of inflation have pushed up the estimated spend on the plant, the French energy giant said in a presentation published alongside its annual results.

Sunak Set for Biggest Political Test Yet With Brexit Deal; Government whips ask Tory MPs for views over shape of a deal; Pro-Brexit Tories, Northern Ireland unionist voice concern
Ellen Milligan and Kitty Donaldson – Bloomberg
Rishi Sunak is gearing up for the toughest political test of his premiership as he prepares to unveil a deal with the European Union that risks a stand-off with Northern Ireland unionists and members of his own party.

It’s Getting Harder to Obtain a ‘Golden Visa’ in Europe; Portugal is joining other countries in scrapping its residency-by-investment program, which has been a draw for wealthy foreigners.
Charlie Wells and Alice Kantor – Bloomberg
Europe’s golden age of golden visas appears to be ending. For wealthy foreign investors, they offered easier travel, better lives and even breezier retirements. But the pathway to the so-called golden visas grew narrower this week as two countries popular with the jet-set crowd scrapped their programs. On Feb. 14, Ireland’s Department of Justice said its program would cease, following a review of its “appropriateness.”

Russia’s Shadow Oil Tanker Fleet Becomes Everyone Else’s Problem; Russia’s amassing of fuel tankers triggered hike in freight; Over $2 billion has been spent on vessels to beat sanctions
Ali Asad Zulfiqar and Alex Longley – Bloomberg
A $2.2 billion fleet of oil tankers has been assembled to keep Russian crude and fuels exports flowing. Now, as some freight rates surge, executives are starting to ponder if they’ll ever return to serving everyone else. The often-older ships, which began to show up when a flurry of vessels began changing hands to undisclosed buyers at exorbitant rates last year, have sliced off a chunk of the conventional fleet.


Hong Kong outlines upcoming crypto licensing regime; Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission calls for public consultation over plans to allow licensed cryptocurrency exchanges to serve retail investors.
Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) calls for public feedback on its newly proposed licensing regime for cryptocurrency exchanges set to take effect from June 2023. A key consideration of the public consultation window is whether to allow licensed exchanges to serve retail investors in the country and what measures should be implemented to provide a range of “robust investor protection measures.”

U.S. charges Connecticut trader with bribery related to Brazil’s Petrobras
Jonathan Stempel and Sabrina Valle – Reuters
U.S. prosecutors on Friday unveiled corruption charges against a Connecticut oil and gas trader and a second man over their alleged roles in a bribery scheme to win business from Brazil’s state-owned oil company Petrobras. The Department of Justice said that between 2010 and 2018, Glenn Oztemel, 64, of Westport, Connecticut, and Eduardo Innecco, 73, a Brazilian-Italian oil and gas broker, paid bribes to help two Connecticut trading companies secure contracts and learn confidential details about Petrobras’ fuel oil business.

Former CFTC Chairman: SEC Was ‘Absolutely Right’ to Sue Terraform Labs, Do Kwon
Fran Velasquez – CoinDesk
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is right to go after stablecoin issuer Terraform Labs and founder Do Kwon, said Timothy Massad, former chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). “They [the SEC] were absolutely right to make these charges,” Massad, now a research fellow at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, said on CoinDesk TV’s “First Mover” on Friday.

CFTC Says There Is No Tug of War Over Regulating Crypto
Caroline Pham, commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, talks about working with other government agencies to regulate the crypto industry. She’s on “Balance of Power.” Follow Bloomberg for business news & analysis, up-to-the-minute market data, features, profiles and more:

NFA orders Sioux Falls, S.D. introducing broker VBI Company to pay a $135,000 fine
NFA has ordered Sioux Falls, S.D. introducing broker Member VBI Company (VBI) to pay a $135,000 fine. Peter Mark Vanden Berge, an associated person and principal of VBI, shares liability with the firm jointly and severally for the fine.

SEC Charges NBA Hall of Famer Paul Pierce for Unlawfully Touting and Making Misleading Statements about Crypto Security
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced charges against former NBA player Paul Pierce for touting EMAX tokens, crypto asset securities offered and sold by EthereumMax, on social media without disclosing the payment he received for the promotion and for making false and misleading promotional statements about the same crypto asset. Pierce agreed to settle the charges and pay $1.409 million in penalties, disgorgement, and interest.

SEC charges NBA legend Paul Pierce for touting EthereumMax cryptocurrency
David Hollerith – Yahoo! Finance
The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged NBA Hall of Famer Paul Pierce with making false misleading promotional statements about the crypto token, EthereumMax. The SEC charges allege Pierce didn’t disclose a payment of more than $244,000 of EMAX. “This case is yet another reminder to celebrities: The law requires you to disclose to the public from whom and how much you are getting paid to promote investment in securities, and you can’t lie to investors when you tout a security,” said SEC Chair Gary Gensler.

Former NBA star Paul Pierce fined $1.4 million for touting EMAX crypto tokens: SEC
Anushree Dave – MarketWatch
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday said it charged former NBA star Paul Pierce with promoting EMAX crypto tokens, sold by EthereumMAX, on social media, without disclosing that he was receiving payment for the promotion and for making possible misleading statements about the asset. The agency said that Pierce, without admitting or denying the SEC’s findings, agreed to pay a $1.115 million penalty and approximately $240,000 in disgorgement and prejudgment interest. Pierce also agreed to not promote any crypto asset securities for three years, the SEC said.

Biden’s SEC is coming for your investment account; New regulations from Biden’s SEC would mess with golden age of retail investing
Rep. Bill Huizenga – FOX News
Against the backdrop of historically high levels of retail investor participation in the stock market, Democratic regulators in Washington are doing what they do best when it comes to the free market and consumer choice – getting in the way. This time, they’re coming for your brokerage account. Late last year, SEC Chair Gary Gensler rolled out a set of far-reaching, experimental reforms that, if finalized by the agency, would fundamentally change the way retail investors’ stock trades are handled.

A Stable Con: Key Takeaways From the SEC’s Lawsuit Against Terra
Stacy Elliott – Decrypt
Terraform Labs CEO Do Kwon’s location is still “unknown,” according to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s lawsuit, which claims he fabricated details to supercharge growth on the Terra ecosystem before its collapse in 2022. Do Kwon co-founded Terraform Labs with Daniel Shin in 2018, a year before they launched the Terra network. The company also created TerraUSD (UST), an algorithmic stablecoin.

Joshua Fuoco convicted of managing a company while disqualified
Mr Joshua David Fuoco has been convicted of one count of managing a corporation whilst disqualified after pleading guilty in the Melbourne Magistrates Court. Mr Fuoco, who pleaded guilty, was convicted and fined the sum of $6,000.

ASIC prosecutes fifteen companies for failing to lodge financial reports
ASIC prosecuted fifteen companies between 1 July 2022 and 31 December 2022 for failing to comply with their obligations to lodge financial reports with ASIC, obtaining over $115,000 in financial penalties.

The FMA opens consultation on draft guidance for the intermediated distribution of financial products
Financial Markets Authority
To prepare for the Conduct of Financial Institutions (CoFI) regime, the Financial Markets Authority – Te Mana Tatai Hokohoko (FMA) – is seeking feedback on proposed guidance that covers arrangements where financial institutions distribute products and services through intermediaries. CoFI will introduce a new conduct regime to ensure financial institutions (banks, insurers and non-bank deposit takers) comply with a fair conduct principle to treat consumers fairly, and to establish, implement and maintain a ‘fair conduct programme’. These programmes must account for intermediated distribution arrangements where an intermediary or agent is involved in the distribution of a financial institution’s products or services, such as insurance or mortgages, or car dealers selling vehicle insurance.

FCA seeks views on updating asset management regulation
The UK is a leading centre for asset management, with over £11 trillion of assets managed by UK firms. The Future Regulatory Framework provides an opportunity for the FCA to look to improve asset management regulation with a more modern and tailored regime, better meeting the needs of UK markets and consumers. The FCA will make sure any changes are consistent with international standards and enable technological development and innovation.

Woodford fund supervisor in advanced talks with UK regulator; FCA says potential agreement aims to ensure investors get money back
Emma Dunkley – Financial Times
The UK financial watchdog said it was in “advanced” talks about a settlement with the supervisor of Neil Woodford’s funds nearly four years after his business collapsed leaving hundreds of thousands of investors with losses. The Financial Conduct Authority said on Monday that the talks with Link Fund Solutions, the UK arm of Australian group Link, could result in an agreement rather than enforcement action and aimed to ensure Woodford’s investors received redress.

SFC consults on proposals to regulate virtual asset trading platforms
Securities & Futures Commission of Hong Kong
The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) today launched a consultation on the proposed requirements for operators of virtual asset trading platforms. Under a new licensing regime to take effect on 1 June 2023 (Note 1), all centralised virtual asset trading platforms carrying on business in Hong Kong or actively marketing to Hong Kong investors will need to be licensed by the SFC.

Former Freepoint Commodities Trader Charged With Bribing Brazilian Officials; Glenn Oztemel sought to win contracts for two former employers from Petrobras, Brazil’s state-owned oil company, according to an unsealed indictment
Dylan Tokar – The Wall Street Journal
A former employee of U.S. oil trader Freepoint Commodities LLC and its Brazilian agent were indicted Friday for their alleged role in a scheme to bribe Brazilian officials to win contracts with the country’s state-owned oil company, Petróleo Brasileiro SA. Glenn Oztemel, 64, of Westport, Conn., and Eduardo Innecco, 73, a dual Brazilian and Italian citizen, were charged with multiple counts of money laundering, bribery and related conspiracy charges in a grand jury indictment unsealed in federal court in Connecticut.

Investing and Trading

The dark side of stock market circuit breakers
Betsy Vereckey – Management
Circuit breakers are usually thought of as a necessary timeout for investors when markets go wild. They were first implemented in U.S. stock markets after the Black Monday stock crash of 1987 as a way to pause trading and restore stability during unprecedented times of volatility. “In the U.S., most people view circuit breakers as a necessary tool, especially when the market is in a state of chaos,” saidHui Chen,a professor of finance at MIT Sloan.

A-Rod’s SPAC Is the Latest to Be Hit by Investor Redemptions
Bailey Lipschultz – Bloomberg
A blank-check company led by former New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez became the latest firm to be rocked by investors opting to swap their stock for cash as the industry fizzles. Slam Corp., the special-purpose acquisition company formed between Rodriguez’s investment firm A-Rod Corp. and hedge fund Antara Capital LP, said roughly 61% of its 57.5 million shares were redeemed when investors approved a deadline extension for the SPAC to hunt for a deal.

Mandatory Swing Pricing Would Harm Millions of American Investors
Investment Company Institute
Investment Company Institute (ICI) President and CEO Eric Pan released the following statement regarding the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) proposal to amend open-end fund liquidity risk management programs and impose mandatory swing pricing for mutual funds: “The SEC’s liquidity, swing pricing, and hard close proposal would seriously harm the more than 100 million Americans who use mutual funds to invest for their financial future.

Wall Street Is Baffled by the Stock Market; Goldman Sachs strategist warns of risks to 60/40 portfolios; And yet investors have been betting on a Goldilocks scenario
Eva Szalay and Vildana Hajric – Bloomberg
The bond market finally got the Federal Reserve’s message on rates, while stock investors continue to ignore it, for the most part. While the mood music soured in the latter half of the week, equities are still largely defying the one thing that has repeatedly proved kryptonite in past rallies: Surging interest rates.

China’s Baowu Seeks Deeper Ties with Rio Tinto on Iron Ore Trade
China Baowu Steel Group Corp., the world’s biggest steelmaker, will seek closer ties with iron ore miner Rio Tinto as China’s demand for the raw material rebounds. Baowu is looking to benefit from efforts to repair trade relations between China and Australia, Chairman Chen Derong said in a Friday meeting with Rio officials, according to a press release. Beijing resumed some shipments from Australia earlier this month, in efforts to end more than two years of diplomatic spats.

Meme-stock 2.0: Wall Street’s retail trading boom is back; Two years on from the frenzy, small investors grab largest-ever share of US market activity
Jennifer Hughes – Financial Times
Retail investors are pouring record amounts into US stocks, potentially giving small traders even greater sway over markets than at the height of the “meme-stock” mania two years ago. Then, an army of bored amateur traders trapped at home during the pandemic drove up the share prices of several small, struggling consumer companies such as video games retailer GameStop, cinema operator AMC Entertainment and home goods chain Bed Bath & Beyond.

Treasury Bills Offer Stock-Like 5% to Take Fed, Debt-Limit Risk; Six-month bill first US obligation to reach level since 2007; Rate of return on bills competes with earnings yield on stocks
Alex Harris and Liz McCormick – Bloomberg
For the first time in nearly two decades, investors can earn more than 5% on some of the safest debt securities in the world. That’s competitive with riskier assets like the S&P 500 Index. There’s just a small catch: US Treasury bills have become less safe, because without an act of Congress, the payment may be delayed.

It’s Hard to Play the Market With Bed Bath & Beyond. These Meme Stock Investors Are Trying.
Caitlin McCabe and Gunjan Banerji – The Wall Street Journal
Hordes of rookie traders kicked off 2023 by piling into Bed Bath & Beyond stock. They are paying the price now. Enthusiastic buyers sent the stock higher in January and early February, with the price at times more than doubling for the year even as the company seemed to careen toward bankruptcy. The gains then rapidly unwound after Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. landed a new financing deal, which should keep the company afloat, at least for now, but will also dilute existing shareholders.

Robinhood Markets, Inc. Reports January 2023 Operating Data
Robinhood Markets, Inc. (“Robinhood”) (NASDAQ: HOOD) today reported selected monthly operating data for January 2023:

Insider traders have cooked up a new way to leverage secrets, investing at least $3 billion. It’s not illegal – but it’s probably not making them much money, either.
George Glover – Markets Insider
US insider traders have come up with a new way to avoid scrutiny from financial watchdogs, researchers said in a recent paper. Investors with inside knowledge of deals poured $2.8 billion into exchange-traded funds that owned shares in their target companies between 2009 and 2021, academics based in Australia and Latvia found in their study.

Investors pour record sums into high-grade corporate bonds
Harriet Clarfelt and George Steer – Financial Times
Investors are piling into high-quality corporate bonds this year at a record rate, reflecting their enthusiasm for an asset class that is typically seen as relatively low risk but now offers the best returns in years. A total of $19bn has poured into funds which buy investment grade corporate debt around the world since the start of 2023, the most ever at this point in the year, according to data from fund flow tracker EPFR.

Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance

Place-based investment offers lifeline to left-behind towns; Partnerships between investors and locals deliver both social and financial returns
Sarah Gordon – Financial Times
Across the UK, more than one in four children live in poverty. In the North of England, according to a report published last month, that rises to one in three. The current cost of living crisis is affecting everyone, but it is having a disproportionately severe impact on families that were already struggling. What is sometimes forgotten is that the consequences of poverty are felt not just in individual households, but in whole neighbourhoods. However, new models of investment can address this challenge. The pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and historic under-investment have all combined to tip entire communities that were ‘just about managing’ into ‘not managing at all’.

Rising seas threaten ‘mass exodus on a biblical scale’, UN chief warns; António Guterres calls for urgent action as climate-driven rise brings ‘torrent of trouble’ to almost a billion people
Damian Carrington – The Guardian
An increase in the pace at which sea levels are rising threatens “a mass exodus of entire populations on a biblical scale”, the UN secretary general has warned. The climate crisis is causing sea levels to rise faster than for 3,000 years, bringing a “torrent of trouble” to almost a billion people, from London to Los Angeles and Bangkok to Buenos Aires, António Guterres said on Tuesday. Some nations could cease to exist, drowned under the waves, he said.

The $100 Billion Offshore Wind Industry Has a Whale Problem
Carly Wanna, Jennifer A Dlouhy and Josh Saul – Bloomberg
The offshore wind industry has a 40-ton problem on its hands. Since early December, close to two dozen large whales have washed up on or near beaches on the US Atlantic coast, and about a third of the so-called strandings have occurred on the shores of New Jersey. It’s unclear what exactly is fueling the deaths, but an unlikely coalition of wind opponents, local environmental groups and conservative talk show hosts have zeroed in on offshore wind as the culprit.

Recent Alps snow cover decline ‘unprecedented’ in past 600 years
Joe Goodman – Carbon Brief
The duration of snow cover in the Alps is now 36 days shorter than the long-term average – an “unprecedented” decline over the past 600 years – according to recent research. The paper, published in Nature Climate Change, uses ring-width records from juniper shrubs to assess snow cover duration in the Alps over the past six centuries. The study is part of the established research field of “proxy” data, which uses indirect records of climate imprinted on different parts of the biosphere to determine how the climate has changed over thousands of years.

The struggle for the soul of the B Corp movement
Anjli Raval – Financial Times
When Nestle subsidiary Nespresso was awarded “B Corp” status in May 2022, the founders of tiny Glen Lyon Coffee Roasters could scarcely believe it. Their initial reaction was “dismay”, the Scottish firm said in a post on its website last summer. It had only just attained the same certification, which demonstrates enhanced commitments to environmental and social goals, and felt there was a big difference between its own achievements in that field and those of the Nestle-owned megabrand.

SBTN Issues Land Science-based Targets Consultation
Jack Grogan-Fenn – ESG Investor
The Science Based Targets Network (SBTN) has launched a public consultation on its draft technical guidance to set the first land science-based targets. These land targets will centre on the protection and restoration of ecosystems and look to “build on and complement” climate science-based targets through “incentivising corporate action”, beyond reducing greenhouse gas emissions, to “address the overall needs of the environment”. The public consultation, which is currently open and will run until 7 March, offers the public an opportunity to offer input into the Network’s multi-stakeholder process. This will help to ensure the finalised guidance for companies is as “robust, clear and practical as possible”, when released as part of science-based targets for nature V1.

ISSB ramps up activities to support global implementation ahead of issuing inaugural standards end Q2 2023
IFRS Foundation
The International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB), at its meeting on 16 February 2023 in Montreal, has taken its final decisions on all the technical content of its initial Standards, informed by feedback it received during extensive consultation last year. With the substance of the Standards now fully agreed, the ISSB unanimously approved entering the thorough drafting and formal ‘balloting’ process of the Standards, ahead of their expected issuance at the end of Q2 2023.

Mother Nature Has the Best Climate-Fixing Technology
Amanda Little – Bloomberg
The quest for climate solutions reached a critical turning point when scientists recently concluded that curbing the crisis will require more than just cutting emissions: We must vacuum out the carbon already pumped into the skies. Without question, global leaders and investors should pursue the goal of decarbonizing the economy to limit the damage as much as possible.

Take Me Out to the Wind Turbines; Boat rides to offshore wind farms offer visitors an “otherworldly” opportunity to get up close.
Olivia Rudgard – Bloomberg
The sheer size and scale of wind turbines, which can stand over 800 feet tall and rotate at up to 200 miles per hour, is often used against them. Speaking in Britain’s House of Commons last year, Neil Parish, then an MP and chair of an influential environmental committee, expressed a typical view: “Why do people come to many of our great constituencies? Because they are beautiful,” he said.

Adani Credit Facilities Expose Collateral Web Full of Red Flags; KLP cites risk of breach of commitments amid hidden exposures; Adani Green stock pledged in credit facility for coal unit
Greg Ritchie – Bloomberg
Financing arrangements across the Adani Group conglomerate have sent a fresh chill through ESG markets as investors wake up to a new risk. Norway’s largest pension fund, KLP, recently dumped its entire holding of shares in Adani Green Energy Ltd., the renewables part of the empire, amid concerns that it might inadvertently have helped finance some of the world’s most polluting activities via the stake.

Australia rattles industry and trading partners with energy interventions
Nic Fildes – Financial Times
Australia’s energy price caps and planned export controls threaten to stifle investment and upset relationships with key trading partners, as one of the world’s biggest gas exporters acts to cushion consumers from rising prices. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s government this month proposed introducing laws giving it the right to limit exports in response to rising concerns about domestic supply.

Green Finance Industry Taskforce (Gfit) Taxonomy Public Consultation
The Association of Banks in Singapore
There is increasing attention from consumers on financial products and services that are labelled as “green”. However, despite this increasing interest in green and sustainable finance, there have been concerns over greenwashing. These concerns may be inhibiting the development of green finance. There has therefore been a move in some markets to create a system of classification or standards that would help financial market participants and their stakeholders communicate through a shared understanding. One such approach is the creation of a taxonomy. Singapore, as a leading financial centre, can play an active role in advancing the green finance agenda and serve green financing needs in the region.

US Firms Seek to Silence Shareholders on Climateblank
ESG Investor
Retail giant Amazon and telecoms behemoth Comcast have submitted ‘no-action’ requests to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), aimed at excluding climate-focused shareholder resolutions from their proxy statements. This move aims to prevent shareholders from assessing the degree to which carbon-intensive investments in the default investment options of the firms’ retirement plans contribute to greater beneficiary risk and reduced plan performance over time. The two resolutions, proposed by the non-profit foundation As You Sow, call for reports from both companies on how they are protecting employees from climate risk stemming from their retirement plan’s default investment options.

Aviva Funds Carbon Removal Scheme
Vibeka Mair – ESG Investor
British multinational insurer Aviva has made a £10 million donation to the Woodland Trust, the UK’s largest woodland conservation charity, as part of a £100 million commitment to remove carbon from the atmosphere using nature-based solutions. The donation will support the Woodland Carbon Scheme and fund projects that are expected to remove approximately 330,000 tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere, over the next 100 years, through woodland creation and peatland restoration. The sites are expected to begin to remove carbon as early as 2026 and will form part of Aviva’s ambition to be Net Zero by 2040.

EC Appoints New PSF Chair and Members
Jack Grogan-Fenn – ESG Investor
The European Commission (EC) has published its list of members for the new mandate of the Platform on Sustainable Finance (PSF), as well as appointing Helena Viñes Fiestas as Chair of the platform. Viñes Fiestas is inter alia Commissioner of the Spanish Financial Markets Authority and a member of the UN High-Level Expert Group on Net Zero Pledges. She said she was “most honoured by the European Commission’s appointment”.

ESG Incentives for AXA IM Execs
ESG Investor
AXA Investment Managers is including ESG targets in the remuneration of senior executives, as part of its commitment to being a net zero business and investor by 2050. To be paid in 2024, compensation for around 400 managers at the Paris-headquartered asset management firm will be partly determined by the firm’s progress against three ESG metrics, depending on the employee’s business area and remit. The three targets are: a 25% reduction in the weighted-average carbon intensity of the corporate portfolio; 50% of the real estate portfolio by AuM to be aligned with CRREM trajectories; and a 26% reduction in AXA IM’s operational CO2 footprint, all by 2025.


Former Barclays boss ‘drank wine in Epstein’s hot tub after paedophile’s arrest’
Simon Foy – The Telegraph
The former boss of Barclays drank white wine in a hot tub on Jeffrey Epstein’s private Caribbean island while the paedophile financier was under house arrest for child sex offences, a lawsuit has alleged. Jes Staley is said to have written to his close friend and banking client while staying on Little St James in November 2009, when Epstein was confined to his home in Palm Beach, Florida.

Dallas Fed, Latin American central banks explore financial stability risks
Matias Ossandon Busch, W. Scott Frame and Carola Muller – Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
The COVID-19 pandemic, recent monetary tightening and a strengthening U.S. dollar have renewed attention to international financial stability risks. These themes were explored during a recent conference organized by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas and the Center for Latin American Monetary Studies (CEMLA) and held at CEMLA’s headquarters in Mexico City.

Seven Tries to Subpoena Wexner Over JPMorgan-Epstein Vexes USVI
Peter Blumberg – Bloomberg
The US Virgin Islands said it’s tried at least seven times at two different locations to serve a subpoena on Leslie Wexner to get information for its lawsuit alleging that JPMorgan Chase & Co. facilitated sex trafficking for Jeffrey Epstein. But uncooperative security guards and other obstacles at the billionaire lingerie titan’s home and his foundation office have repeatedly foiled the efforts of the attorney general for the islands to deliver the essential document, according to a court filing late Friday.

China’s Banks to Overhaul Risk Exposure Rules to Aid Rebound
China plans to adopt more differentiated risk weighting measures to limit banks’ lending to toxic investments that are exposed to higher default threats, including those to problematic house developers. The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission proposed to align its banking prudential regulations to global standards in a draft amendment released on Saturday, and said it would classify all its commercial lenders into three groups to direct loans into the real economy.

US Rebukes Ex-Allianz Fund Manager’s Claim Lawyers Betrayed Him
Peter Blumberg – Bloomberg
US prosecutors fired back at the former Allianz SE hedge fund manager who asked a judge to dismiss fraud charges against him over billions of dollars in investor losses. Gregoire Tournant’s claim that lawyers wrongly betrayed him to protect the company should be rejected because he signed a written waiver when he was represented by three different law firms that allowed his employer to disclose information to prosecutors who ended up charging both him and an Allianz unit, the office of the US Attorney in Manhattan said in a court filing late Friday.

CIBC to Pay $770 Million to Settle Cerberus Lawsuit Over Note
Kevin Orland – Bloomberg
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce agreed to pay Cerberus Capital Management LP $770 million to settle a lawsuit with origins in the 2008 financial crisis. The settlement amount is $85 million less than CIBC had set aside in a pretax provision in its fiscal first quarter to cover damages and prejudgment interest after a court ruled against it in the matter.

Hedge Funds Go Risk-On, Buying Tech Stocks for 12 Straight Days; Short covering turns to long buying in sign of growing faith; ‘They’re now chasing,’ says Craig Callahan of Icon Advisers
Lu Wang and Melissa Karsh – Bloomberg
Professional speculators are turning risk-on by gobbling up technology shares, after largely missing out on the new-year rally in the stock-market’s biggest winners. Hedge funds that make both bullish and bearish equity wagers snapped up computer and software makers for 12 straight sessions through Wednesday, according to data compiled by Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s prime brokerage.

Cash Crisis Hits Nigeria Cocoa Exports in Fresh Blow to World Supply; Exporters are suspending operations due to lack of cash; New York cocoa futures rallied this week to a one-year high
Tolani Awere – Bloomberg
Nigeria’s cocoa exports are coming under threat from a shortfall of cash to pay laborers and transporters, further straining global supply. The country’s central bank in October announced it would redesign 200-, 500- and 1,000-naira notes in a bid to mop up excess cash and rein in inflation. As much as 2.1 trillion naira ($4.6 billion) has been returned to banks, and the policy has led to a severe shortage of bills as people have been unable to get new notes after depositing their old denominations.

Glencore Faces Fresh UK Lawsuit in the Wake of Bribery Scandal; Legal & General asset manager file new London claims; Glencore paid $1.5 billion to settle bribery probes last year
Upmanyu Trivedi – Bloomberg
Legal & General Group Plc have launched a fresh lawsuit against against Glencore Plc, months after the commodities giant pleaded guilty to allegations of market manipulation and bribery. A group of Legal & General funds filed claims against Glencore on Jan. 10 at a London court, adding to the raft of lawsuits brought by investors since the the company paid about $1.5 billion to settle US, UK and Brazilian probes that have hung over the company for years.

Third high-level FTX executive nears plea deal with US prosecutors
Joe Miller – Financial Times
The former head of engineering at the collapsed cryptocurrency exchange FTX is nearing a plea deal with federal prosecutors, according to people familiar with the matter, potentially bolstering the criminal case against founder Sam Bankman-Fried. Nishad Singh, who worked at FTX’s affiliated trading platform Alameda and then at FTX itself, would be the third high-level employee to co-operate with the government, after former Alameda chief Caroline Ellison and FTX co-founder Gary Wang pleaded guilty to several charges in December.

Billionaire George Soros Makes New Powerful Enemies
Luc Olinga – TheStreet
George Soros did not need new enemies as the list of his detractors is already long. The American billionaire of Hungarian origin entered the pantheon of global finance legends in 1992, by pulling off a masterstroke that you don’t learn from any business school in the world. The American billionaire of Hungarian origin entered the pantheon of global finance legends in 1992, by pulling off a masterstroke that you don’t learn from any business school in the world.

British Business Bank Chief Sees UK Firms Avoiding Default ‘Armageddon’; Falling market interest rates and energy prices lift outlook; Bank had previously warned about risk of surge in bankruptcies
Tom Rees – Bloomberg
British businesses have headed off the threat of a defaults “Armageddon” as the possible end of painfully high interest rates and the energy crisis comes into view, according to the head of the government’s development bank. Louis Taylor, chief executive officer of the British Business Bank, said the UK is escaping the significant rise in default rates that many feared after last year’s market chaos caused by former Prime Minister Liz Truss’s budget.

Deutsche Bank criticised by regulators over forex mis-selling probe
Olaf Storbeck – Financial Times
Europe’s top banking regulators have told Deutsche Bank they are “not satisfied” with its probe into the mis-selling of risky foreign exchange derivatives in Spain, people briefed on the matter told the Financial Times. Both the European Central Bank and German watchdog BaFin have expressed frustration with the probe – code-named “Project Teal” – which began in the second half of 2019 and is about to be concluded, people familiar with the matter said.

Replacements for Linde in DAX and STOXX indices announced
Qontigo’s global index provider STOXX Ltd. has announced extraordinary component changes in the DAX and STOXX indices. As made public on 19 January, Linde plc will be deleted from the DAX index and several STOXX indices.

Work & Management

Man beats machine at Go in human victory over AI; Amateur Kellin Pelrine exploited weakness in systems that have otherwise dominated board game’s grandmasters
Richard Waters – Financial Times
A human player has comprehensively defeated a top-ranked AI system at the board game Go, in a surprise reversal of the 2016 computer victory that was seen as a milestone in the rise of artificial intelligence. Kellin Pelrine, an American player who is one level below the top amateur ranking, beat the machine by taking advantage of a previously unknown flaw that had been identified by another computer.

Going Private Again Is All the Rage Among Newly Public Companies
Corrie Driebusch and Laura Cooper – The Wall Street Journal
A growing number of newly public companies are racing back to private ownership after discovering that an IPO isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be. Of the hundreds of companies that went public in the boom years of 2020 and 2021, 10 have already agreed to sell themselves to private-equity firms, according to Dealogic. Of those that went public in 2018 or 2019, only eight have gone private in the ensuing years.

Daily Mirror publisher explores using ChatGPT to help write local news
Arjun Neil Alim – Financial Times
The publisher of the Daily Mirror and Daily Express newspapers is exploring whether artificial intelligence chatbot ChatGPT could help journalists write short news stories, as media organisations look at ways of using AI. Reach chief executive Jim Mullen told the Financial Times the company had set up a working group to examine how the tool might be used to assist human reporters compiling coverage of topics such as local weather and traffic.

Wellness Exchange

Our Food May Be Giving Us Alzheimer’s Disease, New Research Says
Brett Arends, MarketWatch – Barron’s
Our Western diet of sugars, salt, refined carbs, and bad fats has been linked to higher risks of heart disease and diabetes, liver disease, strokes, and multiple types of cancer. It is the lead cause of an obesity epidemic that is killing an estimated 300,000 Americans a year as well as costing the health system $173 billion. Now a team of scientists argue it may be behind the Alzheimer’s disease epidemic as well.

How COVID-19 Changes the Heart-Even After the Virus Is Gone
Alice Park – Time
While COVID-19’s effects on the lungs and respiratory system are well known, there is growing research suggesting that the virus is also affecting the heart, with potentially lasting effects. In a presentation at the annual meeting of the Biophysical Society, an international biophysics scientific group, Dr. Andrew Marks, chair of the department of physiology at Columbia University, and his colleagues reported on changes in the heart tissue of COVID-19 patients who had died from the disease, some of whom also had a history of heart conditions.

Cut Calories and (Maybe) Add Years to Your Life; Researchers get more insight into the science underpinning diet trends like intermittent fasting.
Faye Flam – Bloomberg
Researchers seem to have discovered a fountain of youth, but it’s a tough sell: eating far fewer calories. This is apparently not about losing weight but has more to do with the benefits of not over-fueling your cells. Scientists have found that cutting way back on food can double the lifespans of mice and add years for monkeys.

Six Exercises to Relieve Stiff Hips and Ankles; Keeping your lower-body joints limber can help minimize effects of aging
Jen Murphy – The Wall Street Journal
As we age, we can start to feel like we are made of rust. About 70% of people over age 50 said they experience at least occasional joint pain, according to the 2022 University of Michigan National Poll on Healthy Aging. Decreased range of motion in our joints often causes pain and stiffness, says Bo Hickey, a Huntersville, N.C.-based U.S. Masters swimming coach.

Why the Covid-19 Death Toll in the U.S. Is Still Rising; The pandemic is less risky for most people, but America still sees hundreds of deaths daily
Jon Kamp – The Wall Street Journal
The U.S. has dodged a major wintertime Covid-19 surge as the pandemic continues to recede into the background. But the death toll is still growing. The U.S., which recently topped 1.1 million Covid-19 deaths since the pandemic began, continues to record several hundred more each day, death-certificate data show. The people who are dying remain old, often with underlying health issues such as heart and lung ailments, the data indicate.


HKSAR Government’s Inaugural Tokenised Green Bond Offering
Hong Kong Monetary Authority
The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China (the HKSAR Government) today (16 February) announced the successful offering of HK$800 million of tokenised green bond (the Tokenised Green Bond) under the Government Green Bond Programme (GGBP). This is the first tokenised green bond issued by a government globally.

China’s Debt Noose Could Strangle Pakistan
Mihir Sharma – Bloomberg
Pakistan, a nuclear-armed nation of 240 million people, is racing down a road that leads to the disruption of default or the chaos of austerity – and, for once, it’s not all Pakistan’s fault. In fact, it is almost as if the $380-billion economy’s looming crisis is designed to reveal the ways in which the world’s sovereign debt restructuring mechanism is severely outdated and needs to be fixed – by the G-20, if nobody else steps up.

Princeton Digital to Spend $1 Billion on New Asian Data Centers
Olivia Poh – Bloomberg
Princeton Digital Group will spend $1 billion to build new datacenters to support its operations in Singapore, underscoring long-term demand for the infrastructure that powers Southeast Asia’s fast-growing digital economy. The Singapore-based company said the new campus it will build in Batam – an Indonesian island a few miles off the coast of the city-state – will allow its customers to expand their infrastructure as investment in the region grows. It has secured power for the 96-megawatt facility.

China’s Taking Control of LNG as Global Demand Booms
Stephen Stapczynski – Bloomberg
A rush by China to sign new long-term liquefied natural gas deals promises to give the nation even more control over the global market at a time when competition for cargoes is booming. Chinese companies are sealing the most LNG purchase agreements of any nation and increasingly are becoming the sector’s key import intermediary. The Chinese buyers are reselling many of the cargoes to the highest bidders in Europe and Asia, effectively taking charge over a hefty chunk of supply.

Man United Bidding Heats Up as Ratcliffe, Elliott Enter Fray; Qatari offer could value Manchester United at about $6 billion; Paul Singer’s Elliott to offer financing, not bid for club
Dinesh Nair, David Hellier and Archana Narayanan – Bloomberg
A member of the Qatari royal family and Britain’s richest man submitted offers to acquire Manchester United Plc, while Elliott Investment Management LP is prepared to provide financing, as the bidding process for the English football giant heats up. Billionaire Paul Singer’s Elliott Management offered a proposal to help finance offers for the club, according to a person familiar with the matter. Elliott is not bidding for the club itself, the person said.

Turkey’s Endless Tinkering in Markets Is Driving Investors Away; Turkey moves farther outside the investment mainstream; Lira and bond markets are already subject to state control
Srinivasan Sivabalan – Bloomberg
Before last week, the stock market was one of Turkey’s last economic pillars that was largely free from the political whims of the state. That’s not the case any more. Through a series of elaborate rapid-fire changes, the government pushed cash into the stock market and engineered a $20 billion rally in its benchmark BIST 100 Index over three days. On paper, BIST 100 index is still near an all-time high, but in reality, Turkey has moved another step further from the world of normal finance.

How Climate Change Is Making Tampons (and Lots of Other Stuff) More Expensive
Coral Davenport – The New York Times
When the Agriculture Department finished its calculations last month, the findings were startling: 2022 was a disaster for upland cotton in Texas, the state where the coarse fiber is primarily grown and then sold around the globe in the form of tampons, cloth diapers, gauze pads and other products. In the biggest loss on record, Texas farmers abandoned 74 percent of their planted crops – nearly six million acres – because of heat and parched soil, hallmarks of a megadrought made worse by climate change.

[et_social_follow icon_style="slide" icon_shape="circle" icons_location="top" col_number="4" counts="true" counts_num="0" total="true" outer_color="dark"]

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

The Spread

Past JLN Newsletters

Wildfires rage in Canada’s oil hub

Wildfires rage in Canada’s oil hub

First Read Hits & Takes John Lothian & JLN Staff Trading Technologies (TT) celebrated its 30th anniversary yesterday, marking three decades of pioneering advancements in electronic futures trading. Founded in 1994, TT initially revolutionized the industry with its...