Hits & Takes
John Lothian & JLN Staff
The SEC has surpassed $1 billion in awards for its whistleblower program with the latest awards totalling $114 million, including an award of $110 million to a single whistleblower. The $1 billion total includes over $500 million during 2021 alone. The $110 award just announced is the second highest ever given; only a $114 million award in October of 2020 was higher. — SEC
Don’t forget to register for FIA’s International Derivatives Expo on September 27 and 28 in London. This is an in-person event at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge, but there may be some streaming content. You can register HERE.
JLN is setting up some interviews from IDX. If you are on a panel and want to chat about the discussion or have an announcement you want to share more about, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up an interview. If you bring a selfie-stick, we can even do it as a video interview.
The night-time temperatures in Chicago are starting to drop, which means that fall is in the air. It is less than a week away. One thing that means is that Rocktoberfest is upon us.
A Leg To Stand On, which supports kids in developing countries with free prosthetic care and procedures, is hosting its annual Rocktoberfest live stream event on October 21 at 7 p.m. ET. The event features people you know (and some you will get to meet) in bands from the financial services sector – banks, exchanges, hedge funds and brokers in New York, Chicago and London. This event is a key fundraiser for the charity and your support is enthusiastically welcomed. Since it started in 2003, ALTSO has helped more than 20,000 kids in 10 countries and also developed its own universal modular prosthetic lower limb system. If you would like to donate to Rocktoberfest and honor one of the bands playing, you can do so HERE.
The latest “Team of the Week” for Wall Street Rides Far is Team Rosenblatt, Riding in Service to Others. WSRF said about Team Rosenblatt: “While fiercely driven to be the best in the industry in all that it does, when it comes to causes that matter and doing what’s right, the team at Rosenblatt Securities—a boutique tech research and investment bank and agency-only institutional broker—never hesitates to go the extra mile.” — WSRF
My procedure on my back to implant an electric stimulator device did not happen yesterday. It is to be rescheduled.
There were no new donations to the JLN MarketsWiki Education GoFundMe campaign yesterday. We are in a dry spell. But our work continues nonetheless and we have lots of new videos coming out soon. Stay tuned.
Have a great day and stay safe and treat people the same way you want to be treated: with respect, equality and justice.~JJL
Cboe Europe Derivatives’s first-week volume tally (as of September 13) was 64 contracts, a Cboe spokesman confirmed. The most-traded futures contract during that period was 22 contracts on the Cboe NL25 Index (Cboe’s Netherlands index) with a September 17, 2021 expiry. The Amsterdam-based marketplace (CEDX) opened September 6 and offers futures and options based on Cboe Europe single-country and pan-European indices.~SC
US coronavirus: 1 in every 500 US residents have died of Covid-19
Madeline Holcombe – CNN
The United States has reached another grim milestone in its fight against the devastating Covid-19 pandemic: 1 in 500 Americans have died from coronavirus since the nation’s first reported infection.
As of Tuesday night, 663,913 people in the US have died of Covid-19, according to Johns Hopkins University data. According to the US Census Bureau, the US population as of April 2020 was 331.4 million.
*****This is not a lottery for which you want to be chosen.~JJL
Vinson & Elkins Report Identifies Key Emerging Trends Spurring Energy Transition IPOs and SPAC Combinations
Vinson & Elkins
The creation of a myriad of new public companies, through traditional IPOs and DeSPAC business combination transactions, focused on the energy evolution and clean energy is expected to dramatically increase, according to a new analysis from Vinson & Elkins. The report, entitled What’s Driving Transition Energy IPOs and SPAC Combinations?, examines the key factors that are fueling capital expenditures in the energy transition.
Even the Rich Think It Will Take a ‘Miracle’ to Retire; A survey of investors with portfolios worth a median $450,000 shows that many people are worried.
In order to retire and enjoy decades of financial security, two in five American investors figure that it will take:
c) $1.7 million
d) a miracle
The answer, according to the 2021 Natixis Global Retirement Index released Tuesday, is choice d — a miracle. That’s what 46% of Millennials, 45% of Gen X and 30% of Baby Boomers said in the annual survey.
*****There should be an adjective before miracle in choice d. ~JJL
Over 100 Economists Urge U.S. Congress to Invest in Child Care; Billions in economic growth is at stake, economists and public policy scholars say in an open letter.
Mary Biekert – Bloomberg
More than 125 economists and public policy scholars signed a letter calling on the U.S. Congress to support investments in affordable child care for American families.
*****This would help get the economy going and be investing in the ultimate futures contracts.~JJL
Computers Will Conquer Your Face
Farhad Manjoo – NY Times
It is difficult to avoid sounding vulgar, somehow, when discussing the future of facial computing. There is something inescapably crude, isn’t there, about the prospect of everyone walking around with computers on our faces? And yet I suspect the world may adopt face computers anyway, and not long from now, perhaps even within the coming decade. People in tech have long been wondering what might succeed smartphones as the next dominant computing platform. For a long time I’ve thought that nothing would — that phones would remain our primary computers for the foreseeable future. In the past few months, though, I’ve begun to face the fact that our faces are … in trouble. The face computer is coming — brace yourself for an onslaught of “smart” glasses, virtual-reality headsets and other devices that connect your eyes to the digital world.
*****Prediction: In the year 2027, you will attend a virtual conference that is a virtual reality or augmented reality conference.~JJL
Wednesday’s Top Three
Our top story Wednesday was Peter Thiel Gamed Silicon Valley, Donald Trump, and Democracy to Make Billions, Tax-Free, from Bloomberg Businessweek. Second was A 25-year old former intern will run a billion-dollar crypto unit at Jump Trading Group, from Markets Insider. Third was The Financial Times’ Cryptocurrency: rise of decentralised finance sparks ‘dirty money’ fears.
26,620 pages; 235,853 edits
Here’s why your food prices keep going up; Expect to see higher prices in the last quarter of this year in a number of grocery categories. After that, some relief is likely, experts say.
Laura Reiley and Alyssa Fowers – Washington Post
Before the pandemic, most people may not have thought much about where their food came from, how far it traveled or how it was produced. Certain industry phrases have underscored rising grocery bills over the past 18 months. “Turbulence and volatility.” “Unprecedented times.” But one of the biggies is “supply chain disruption.”
British Among Hardest Hit as Living Costs Rise During Pandemic
Marion Dakers – Bloomberg
Almost half of U.K. consumers seeing higher prices: YouGov; Signs of persistent inflation concerning some policy makers
Central bankers worldwide are weighing the probability of higher inflation. Consumers around the world say they are already feeling the pinch. About 40% of respondents said their living costs have increased since the onset of the pandemic, according to a YouGov survey of 18,983 people conducted in 17 countries. That proportion was closer to half in the U.K. and U.S., compared to just a fifth of Danes and Swedes.
High gas prices force closure of two UK fertiliser plants; New York-listed CF Industries suspends production indefinitely at factories in north of England
Nathalie Thomas and David Sheppard – FT
Soaring gas prices have forced the closure of two fertiliser plants in the north of England in one of the first signs that a global supply crunch could force many energy-intensive industries to scale back activity this winter.
Financial blogger crackdown leaves China investors scrabbling for data; Websites and social media accounts are scrubbed making it harder to assess state of economy
FT reporters – FT
China has launched a crackdown on financial blogs and social media, a move that risks exacerbating the difficulty of obtaining reliable data about the world’s second-biggest economy. The restrictions were implemented as fissures widened in the top echelons of Wall Street over whether investing in China was a smart bet.
‘Post-Covid’ remains a mirage for many developing economies, warns UN; Advanced nations have not woken up to size or persistence of pandemic shock in poorer countries, report suggests
Jonathan Wheatley – FT
Developing economies risk being left behind as fast growth in developed countries and talk there of a “post-Covid” world distracts policymakers from the need for continued support to poorer nations, many of which still lack vaccines, the UN has warned.
Rising Shipping Costs Are Companies’ Latest Inflation Riddle; From Michelin tires to Pampers diapers, transportation expenses are working their way through global supply chains
Thomas Gryta – WSJ
Transportation costs—typically a fraction of a finished product’s price—are emerging as another supply-chain hurdle, overwhelming some companies already paying more for raw materials and labor. The fabric and crafts retailer Jo-Ann Stores LLC said it has spent 10 times more than its historical cost in some cases to move products from one point to another.
Coinbase Applies to Trade Crypto Futures In Derivatives Push
Olga Kharif – Bloomberg
Coinbase Global Inc. is planning to jump into cryptocurrency derivatives. The biggest U.S. cryptocurrency exchange filed an application with the National Futures Association on Wednesday to register as a futures commission merchant. The company is registering as Coinbase Financial Markets Inc., the filing showed.
Global financial industry urges EU to extend euro swaps clearing in London
Global financial, investment fund and derivatives industry bodies have called on the European Union to extend permission for clearing houses in Britain to serve customers in the bloc to avoid a significant risk of market disruption.
Explainer-How China Evergrande’s debt troubles pose a systemic risk
Clare Jim – Reuters
China Evergrande Group has raised fresh warnings of default risks, as it scrambles to raise funds to pay lenders and suppliers with regulators and financial markets worried that any crisis could ripple through China’s banking system and trigger social unrest.
A Big Bond Market Headache, Courtesy of the SEC; Chair Gary Gensler wants to bring greater efficiency and transparency to debt trading, but an updated rule could do just the opposite.
Brian Chappatta – Bloomberg
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler made waves in the fixed-income market earlier this week, signaling that he wants to find ways to “bring greater efficiency and transparency” to trading debt. Yet beneath the surface, the regulator is just days away from potentially causing serious disruptions in those same bond markets.
The Coinbase Spat With the SEC Ups the Ante in Washington’s Crypto Fight; Digital upstarts and securities regulators are playing a cat-and-mouse game.
Vildana Hajric, Benjamin Bain – Bloomberg
By now, people are used to unusual goings-on in cryptocurrency markets. But little could have prepared Wall Street for the spectacle of Sept. 8, when it awoke to find the head of a $50 billion digital-assets exchange bashing a powerful regulator in a 21-tweet tirade. There was Brian Armstrong, chief executive officer of Coinbase Global Inc., accusing the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission of “sketchy behavior” and “intimidation tactics” after it effectively blocked his company from rolling out a product that would let users earn 4% by lending their tokens. Finance Twitter spectators were agog—surely the leader of a public company knew better than to infuriate an agency with the ability to make or break his industry?
Crypto CEOs should cooperate with regulators to unlock future growth – SALT panel
Anushka Trivedi – Reuters
Cryptocurrency executives should work with regulators instead of being their adversary for the sector to grow to its potential, members of a digital currency panel at Wall Street’s SALT conference said on Monday.
Billionaire hedge fund managers Cohen, Dalio tout cryptocurrencies
Svea Herbst-Bayliss – Reuters
Billionaire investors Steven Cohen and Ray Dalio have joined the cryptocurrency craze by putting cash to work and saying at a conference this week that bitcoin and other digital currencies are an interesting way to diversify their holdings.
Ray Dalio Says ‘Cash Is Trash’ and Makes the Case for Crypto
Donald Moore and Katherine Burton – Bloomberg
Ray Dalio warned that investors shouldn’t become too reliant on cash and that while he owns some Bitcoin there’s a danger that governments could destroy the crypto market. “First, know cash is trash, so don’t keep it in cash,” Dalio, the founder of $150 billion Bridgewater Associates, told CNBC Wednesday.
Dalio warns regulators will ‘kill’ bitcoin if it becomes too successful; Founder of Bridgewater also dismisses Cathie Wood’s prediction that cryptocurrency will hit $500,000
Ortenca Aliaj – FT
Ray Dalio said regulators will shut down bitcoin if the cryptocurrency becomes too successful and dismissed predictions by Ark Invest’s Cathie Wood that its price would increase tenfold within five years.
How the U.S. Nailed the Economic Response to Covid-19; America’s fiscal policy succeeded in pushing poverty in the opposite direction that usually occurs in recessions
Greg Ip – WSJ
Countless things have gone wrong since Covid-19 arrived on American shores, yet this week we got proof of something that really went right: the economic policy response. The pandemic-induced shutdown was initially the worst hit to the U.S. economy since the Great Depression. Employment and output both fell more last year than in 2008 during the financial crisis.
Ex-Cryptocurrency Fund Manager Sentenced to 7½ Years in Prison; Stefan Qin had pleaded guilty to one count of securities fraud after prosecutors said he ran his $90 million Virgil Sigma Fund like a Ponzi scheme
James Fanelli – WSJ
A cryptocurrency hedge-fund manager who lied about returns on his $90 million fund and siphoned money from its accounts to cover a lavish lifestyle was sentenced to 7½ years in prison Wednesday. Stefan Qin, 24 years old, pleaded guilty in February to one count of securities fraud after prosecutors said he ran the fund, Virgil Sigma Fund LP, like a Ponzi scheme for three years until its implosion in late 2020. The U.S. attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York said many of the more than 100 investors in the fund were scammed.
Mental Health Could Be the Next Casualty of Global Warming; Cyclones, wildfires, floods and the knowledge they’ll get worse are fueling a rising tide of anxiety. Therapists are trying to cope.
Daniela Sirtori-Cortina – Bloomberg
One evening in July, Stephanie Felts was lying in bed trying to process simultaneous climate disasters all over the world. From a crushing Canadian heatwave to U.S. wildfires and China floods, the drumbeat triggered memories of a close call her family had with a raging inferno when they lived in Salt Lake City a few years ago.
Creativity may be key to healthy aging. Here are ways to stay inspired.
Matt Fuchs – Washington Post
If you’re interested in staying healthy as you age — and living longer — you might want to add a different set of muscles to your workout routine: your creative ones. Ongoing research suggests that creativity may be key to healthy aging. Studies show that participating in activities such as singing, theater performance and visual artistry could support the well-being of older adults, and that creativity, which is related to the personality trait of openness, can lead to greater longevity.
The pandemic marks another grim milestone: 1 in 500 Americans have died of covid-19
Dan Keating, Akilah Johnson and Monica Ulmanu – Washington Post
At a certain point, it was no longer a matter of if the United States would reach the gruesome milestone of 1 in 500 people dying of covid-19, but a matter of when. A year? Maybe 15 months? The answer: 19 months.
Third Wave of Virus Infections Continues to Rage in Africa
William Clowes – Bloomberg
Africa remains in the throes of a third wave of coronavirus infections, despite a recent decline in new cases, according to the Africa Centres for Disease Control & Prevention. New infections and deaths fell 14% in the four weeks through Sept. 12, John Nkengasong, the center’s director said in an online briefing on Thursday. He estimates that 70% of the population may need to be inoculated to curb the spread of the disease.
Pfizer and Moderna say Covid vaccine protection wanes over time; Data come as US regulator weighs approval for booster shot to bolster immunity
Jamie Smyth and Nikou Asgari and Kiran Stacey – FT
Pfizer and Moderna said protection from their Covid-19 vaccines can wane over time, as the US drug regulator prepares to consider whether to approve a booster programme.
Pre-departure Covid tests to be scrapped for travellers into England with jabs; Current ‘traffic light’ system of restrictions to be simplified to aid tourist industry
Alice Hancock, Jim Pickard and Philip Georgiadis – FT
Vaccinated travellers entering England will be subjected to lighter testing requirements as the UK government seeks to boost the struggling travel industry ahead of state support ending this month.
Parents Seek Out Covid-19 Vaccine Trials for Their Children Ahead of Official Authorization; The parents didn’t want to wait for testing to finish, regulators to sign off on the vaccines
Jared S. Hopkins – WSJ
Rachael DiFransico’s 14-month-old daughter Sybil chewed on a plastic toy at a doctor’s office in the Cleveland suburbs while waiting one recent day to enroll in a study testing whether a Covid-19 vaccine works safely in children.
Idaho hospital forced to turn away hundreds of transfer patients amid Covid surge
Phil McCausland – NBC News
Idaho hospitals are so overwhelmed with the surge in coronavirus cases that doctors and nurses have to contact dozens of regional hospitals across the West in hopes of finding places to transfer individual critical patients.
Exchanges, OTC and Clearing
MIAX to Launch Suite of BRIXX Commercial Real Estate Futures on MGEX
MIAX, creator and operator of high-performance securities exchanges, products and services, will launch cash-settled futures contracts on BRIXX™ Commercial Real Estate (CRE) Indexes developed by Advanced Fundamentals. The first contract to be listed will be the BRIXX Retail Index futures contract which is expected to begin trading on October 4, 2021. Three additional BRIXX CRE Index futures are expected to be listed in the fourth quarter of 2021. Cash-settled options on the BRIXX CRE Indexes will launch on MIAX, also targeted for the fourth quarter of 2021. The launch of the futures and options contracts remain subject to regulatory approval.
Uncleared Margin Rules and equity derivatives – time to adjust strategies
Phases 5 and 6 of the Unclear Margin Rules (UMR) – to be implemented in September 2021 and September 2022, respectively – will be bring into scope many asset managers who, thus far, have not been subject to initial margin (IM) rules. What makes 2021 a big year is the scale of the impact – according to the ISDA roughly 1,000 Asset Managers will be in scope over the next 2 years! We spoke to Rachna Mathur, Head of Equity & Index Sales, Americas at Eurex about the inevitable impact that this will have on equity index derivatives.
EURO STOXX 50® Index Total Return Futures (TESX): Transition of the reference Funding Rate from EURSTR plus 0.085 percent to EURSTR (flat)
On 5 July 2021, Eurex Exchange and Eurex Clearing AG initiated a consultation for the EURO STOXX 50® Index Total Return Futures (TESX) transitioning the reference Funding Rate euro short-term rate (EURSTR) plus the ECB provided EONIA transition spread (0.085 percent or 8.5 basis points) to EURSTR flat (see Eurex Circular 066/21 and Eurex Clearing Circular 060/21).
Vitesco Technologies Group Aktiengesellschaft is now in the Prime Standard of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange
Deutsche Börse Group
The Vitesco Technologies Group Aktiengesellschaft (ISIN: DE000VTSC017 ) has been listed in the Prime Standard of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange since today . The first price of the share was EUR 59.80.
— EBS Market Integration Notice 16 Sep 2021 — CME
— CME STP Notices: September 16, 2021 — CME
— CME Globex Notices: September 13, 2021 — CME
— Notice Of Disciplinary Action; NON-MEMBER: Singapore Commodities Group Pte. Ltd. — CME
— Notice Of Disciplinary Action; NON-MEMBER: Tao Sun — CME
DaSTOR LLC Acquires King of Prussia Data Center from Databridge Sites; Databridge Sites’ King of Prussia facility to be rebranded as DaSTOR
DaSTOR LLC, an emerging data center, disaster recovery and cloud infrastructure company announces its acquisition of Databridge Sites’ King of Prussia, Pennsylvania data center. The location is a Tier 3 facility with an N+1 power distribution system designed to support colocation, cloud and hybrid colocation solutions.
DaSTOR LLC Launches with Four Data Centers in the Mid-Atlantic Region; Kevin Mulqueen, Industry Veteran to Offer Upscale Enterprise-Class Colocation, Disaster Recovery and Hybrid Cloud Connectivity Solutions
Through the acquisition of four data centers, DaSTOR LLC makes its debut, providing colocation, disaster recovery and hybrid cloud connectivity solutions that deliver ‘scalable data environments’ for Enterprise, Life Sciences, Manufacturing, and Government sectors. Founded through a series of strategic acquisitions of existing data center facilities in King of Prussia and Reading, Pennsylvania and Wilmington, Delaware, the owner-operated company was formed by Kevin Mulqueen.
ASC X9 Publishes U.S. Standard for the Financial Instrument Global Identifier [Link]; The expansion of FIGI to the United States advances global market efficiency, accuracy and interconnectivity
Today, Bloomberg and Accredited Standards Committee X9 Inc. (X9) announced the publication of an American National Standard titled ASC X9.145-2021, “Financial Instrument Global Identifier (FIGI),” enabling transparency and consistency throughout the trade lifecycle and across institutions, including market participants, third-party data providers, exchanges and regulators. The standard is now available for download.
BondWave Responds to Client Needs with New Platform Enhancements
BondWave, an affiliate of First Trust Portfolios L.P. and a leading financial technology firm focused on fixed income solutions, announced today that it has enhanced its portfolio and transaction analytics suite of tools with the release of Effi® 3.19. As a result of close collaboration with clients to learn more about their evolving needs, Effi now includes additional features within both portfolio and transaction analytics that further automate workflows while increasing efficiency and productivity for all types of users.
Tradeweb expands Bond Connect trading link with CFETS to offer Southbound access; Expanded Bond Connect link with CFETS will allow mainland China institutional investors to invest in Hong Kong’s fixed income markets from 24 September.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
Fixed income trading platform provider Tradeweb has expanded its trading link with the China Foreign Exchange Trade System (CFETS) to further connect Mainland China and Hong Kong.
Metaverse raises ‘scary’ question on surveillance of users: Kai-Fu Lee
Sinovation Ventures CEO Kai-Fu Lee joins ‘Influencers with Andy Serwer’ to discuss how artificial intelligence will raise new concerns over data privacy. Video Transcript
ANDY SERWER: When you talk about crossing domains, it sounds to me a little bit like the metaverse, and I’m wondering how AI and the metaverse are connected, or if they are at all, in fact.
Fidelity Ramps Up Cybersecurity Tools for Advisors
Kenneth Corbin – Barron’s
Fidelity is aiming to strengthen the cyberdefenses it offers financial advisors with a new third-party tool that promises to shore up security around email, a favorite entry point for hackers looking to infiltrate an advisor’s systems and access sensitive information.
The Battle for Digital Privacy Is Reshaping the Internet; As Apple and Google enact privacy changes, businesses are grappling with the fallout, Madison Avenue is fighting back and Facebook has cried foul.
Brian X. Chen – NY Times
Apple introduced a pop-up window for iPhones in April that asks people for their permission to be tracked by different apps. Google recently outlined plans to disable a tracking technology in its Chrome web browser. And Facebook said last month that hundreds of its engineers were working on a new method of showing ads without relying on people’s personal data.
What the Privacy Battle Upending the Internet Means for You; Get ready for more random ads online, higher prices and subscriptions galore. But your privacy concerns may still not fade.
Brian X. Chen and Kate Conger – NY Times
The internet is changing, including how much we pay for content and the ads and brands we see. That’s because Apple and Google, two hugely influential tech companies, are rolling out privacy protections that hinder marketers from gaining access to our data when they show us ads. The changes have major repercussions for online advertising, which are a business foundation for the free apps and websites that many of us use, like Facebook, TikTok and the Weather Channel. Those sites and apps now have to come up with new ways to show ads or make money.
In addition to bitcoin, AMC will soon accept other cryptocurrencies for purchases
Mike Murphy – Marketwatch
AMC on Wednesday expanded the range of cryptocurrencies it soon plans to accept for movie-ticket and concession purchases. In its second-quarter earnings report in August, AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. AMC, -0.97%, the nation’s largest movie-theater chain, announced it would accept bitcoin BTCUSD, +0.11% for online ticket and concession purchases before the end of this year. In a tweet Wednesday, AMC Chief Executive Adam Aron said Ethereum ETHUSD, +1.66%, Litecoin LTCUSD, +3.85% and Bitcoin Cash BCHUSD, -1.44% will also be accepted.
Brian Armstrong slams fiat-backed stablecoins
Teuta Franjkovic – Coin Rivet
Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong has slammed fiat-backed stablecoins such as Tether, Celsius, or Gemini. The value of stablecoins is fixed to one or more commodities and redeemable for such (more or less) on demand. The amount of commodity used to back the stablecoin has to reflect the circulating supply.
Problems continue to plague El Savador’s bitcoin rollout
Marcos Aleman – AP
One week after El Salvador became the first country to make bitcoin legal tender, problems continued to plague the system Tuesday.
China Intensifies Hunt for Cryptocurrency Miners in Hiding
Governments are checking for illegal mining in labs, colleges; Power-shortage concerns among reasons behind inspections
China’s campaign against the cryptocurrency industry is now targeting miners who tried to disguise themselves as data researchers and storage facilities to stay in business, according to people with knowledge of the situation.
Laos pushes into crypto as it authorises mining and trading; Policy shift comes just a month after central bank issued warning against cryptocurrencies
John Reed – FT
Laos has authorised the mining and trading of cryptocurrencies, in a policy shift by the debt-laden south-east Asian nation that positions it to profit from the crackdown on digital currency mining in China.
Buy-side industry veteran Cohen backs new crypto quant trading firm; The new firm, Radkl, will initially focus on quant trading across digital assets with plans to extend into decentralised finance (DeFi) later down the line.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
Industry veteran Steven Cohen has agreed in principle to provide financial backing for a new digital asset investment and proprietary trading firm, Radkl.
Interactive Brokers partners with Paxos to introduce crypto trading; Paxos’ blockchain infrastructure will allow investors to trade cryptocurrencies alongside other asset classes through one unified platform.
Wesley Bray – The Trade
Interactive Brokers has become the latest firm to launch cryptocurrency trading through a partnership with blockchain infrastructure platform Paxos as institutional demand for the asset class increases.
Former ICE Clear Europe chief joins Coinbase as strategic advisor; New strategic advisor previously served at Goldman Sachs, NYSE Euronext, the ICE Benchmark Administration and ICE Clear Europe.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
The former chief executive officer at ICE Clear Europe has joined digital asset exchange Coinbase as a strategic advisor. Finbarr Hutcheson has taken on the part-time as role at Coinbase, according to his LinkedIn profile, after most recently serving as ICE Clear Europe’s chief for just over three years. He departed in December last year.
Bittrex Global’s CEO says the exchange company is exploring safe havens in light of regulatory tightening
Frank Chaparro – The Block Crypto
Episode 56 of Season 3 of The Scoop was recorded remotely with The Block’s Frank Chaparro and Stephen Stonberg, CEO at Bittrex Global.
Senate bill could spell end to ETF tax advantage; The proposed change to legislation would help fund Joe Biden’s $3.5tn budget package
Joe Morris – FT
A proposal has been drafted to change the law eliminating exchange traded funds’ chief tax advantage in the US by levying taxes on in-kind redemptions. The bill, floated last week in the Senate by finance committee chair Ron Wyden, if passed, would no longer allow ETFs and other regulated investment companies to be exempt from recognising gains when distributing property in kind to a redeeming shareholder — something ETFs do routinely when managing their securities baskets.
Elizabeth Warren Calls On Fed Banks to Bar Leaders From Stock Trading; The senator sent letters to the 12 regional Fed presidents asking them to ban ownership of individual stocks among top officials at their banks
Michael S. Derby – WSJ
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) is calling on regional Federal Reserve Banks to set rules that would prevent their leaders from trading individual stocks, following recent disclosures that the chiefs of the Boston and Dallas banks actively traded stocks and other investments last year. “The controversy over asset trading by high-level Fed personnel highlights why it is necessary to ban ownership and trading of individual stocks by senior officials who are supposed to serve the public interest,” Ms. Warren wrote in letters addressed to the leaders of the 12 regional Fed banks.
The SEC May Be Coming For Stablecoins, While Congress Aims to Treat Cryptos More Like Stocks
Daren Fonda – Barron’s
The country’s top securities cop is talking tougher on cryptos, especially stablecoins, “staking,” and lending services. Democrats, meanwhile, appear keen on taxing cryptos more like stocks—subjecting them to “wash sale” rules, according to a blueprint of the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill in the House.
White House chief of staff tells Wall Street titans $3.5 trillion spending plan will ‘cost zero’
Lydia Moynihan – NY Post
White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain on Wednesday claimed in front of an audience of Wall Street titans that the Democrats’ $3.5 trillion spending bonanza would “cost zero.” He said that’s because the proposal already has a plan to fund its wish list, which includes a huge increase in social spending and so-called green spending.
The Democratic party’s double standards on wealth inequality; Now is the time to redress inequality — but watered-down proposals will benefit the rich, not ‘middle-class’ voters
Edward Luce – FT
It is better, they say, to have half a loaf than none at all. That is the case for this week’s tax proposals from congressional Democrats, which have watered down Joe Biden’s campaign plan. But the metaphor underplays the good fortune of America’s billionaires, who, at worst, would have to yield a few crumbs. For a moment it looked like the Democratic party would confront US inequality head-on. It has already passed. Barring a dramatic shift in partisan arithmetic, the super-rich seem to have bought themselves several more years’ reprieve.
SEC Surpasses $1 Billion in Awards to Whistleblowers with Two Awards Totaling $114 Million
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced awards of approximately $110 million and $4 million to two whistleblowers whose information and assistance led to successful SEC and related actions. With these awards, the SEC’s whistleblower program has now paid more than $1 billion in awards to 207 whistleblowers, including over $500 million in fiscal year 2021 alone. The $110 million award stands as the second-highest award in the program’s history, following the over $114 million whistleblower award the SEC issued in October 2020.
SEC Gives Whistle-Blower $110 Million in Second-Biggest Payout
Matt Robinson – Bloomberg
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission awarded $110 million to a tipster whose information resulted in enforcement actions, bringing total payments under the agency’s whistle-blower program to more than $1 billion.
Opening Statement of Commissioner Dan M. Berkovitz before the Energy and Environmental Markets Advisory Committee
Good morning, and welcome to the Energy and Environmental Markets Advisory Committee (EEMAC) meeting. I am very pleased to see all of you by video today. Last month, a panel of scientists convened by the United Nations issued a landmark report warning of the dire effects of climate change. The report “unequivocally” linked the earth’s warming to human activities and called for urgent action to significantly reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.
Federal Court Orders Florida Man to Pay $2.5 Million for Role in Fraudulent Binary Options Scheme
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission today announced that Judge Gregory A. Presnell of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida issued an order granting a permanent injunction against Ronald Montano, a resident of St. Cloud, Florida, and Montano Enterprises LLC (MEL), and requiring them to pay a combined $2.5 million in restitution and civil monetary penalty for solicitation fraud in connection with binary options trading…
UK watchdog launches campaign to discourage hoarding cash; FCA’s investment push aims to reduce risk of consumers’ savings being eroded
Joshua Oliver – FT
The Financial Conduct Authority has launched a push to encourage 1.7m people in the UK to invest their money by 2025 after the regulator said too many savers were missing out on wealth creation by holding excessive cash.
Crypto Kid Fraudster Gets 7 1/2-Years for Ponzi Scheme
Chris Dolmetsch – Bloomberg
Stefan Qin’s investors thought they’d found a sure thing — a hedge fund that was generating 500% returns by exploiting the price gaps between cryptocurrencies on 40 exchanges throughout the world.
SEC to begin delisting noncompliant Chinese stocks in 2024; PCAOB will finalize new foreign-company rules by end of year
Chris Matthews – MarketWatch
Chinese companies that do not comply with laws requiring inspection of their auditing process by U.S. regulators will be forced off American stock exchanges starting in 2024, Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed late Monday.
What the financial advice industry needs to know about the design and distribution obligations
ASIC has released additional information for advice licensees and financial advisers who are authorised representatives to help them prepare for the commencement of the design and distribution obligations (DDOs) on 5 October 2021.
Barrow & District Credit Union enters administration
Barrow & District Credit Union Limited was placed into administration on 16 September 2021 and has now stopped trading. James Sleight and Peter Hart of PKF GM have been appointed as administrators.
FCA and TPR outline a framework for value for money in defined contribution pension schemes
The FCA and The Pensions Regulator (TPR) have published a joint discussion paper on developing a common framework for measuring value for money (VFM) in defined contribution (DC) pension schemes. The aim of the two regulators is to drive a long-term focus on VFM across the pensions sector
FCA diversity targets ‘meaningless’ without proper data capture, law firm warns
Simoney Kyriakou – FT Adviser
The Financial Conduct Authority’s diversity and inclusion listing rules are a step in the right direction, but unless companies implement proper measures for data capture, targets could become ‘meaningless’, a City law firm has warned.
Investing and Trading
Oops, I Accidentally Created A Mini SPAC Meme Stock; Bizarrely, retail investors are piling into cash-starved former SPACS. Executives must be delighted but it won’t end well for those holding the bag.
Chris Bryant – Bloomberg
Earlier this week I wrote about a seafloor mining company, TMC The Metals Company Inc., that was denied almost $500 million in promised funding when investors chose not to back its merger with a special purpose acquisition company. The cash struggles signaled that the still revenue-less firm hasn’t convinced investors its more than $2 billion valuation is justified, I explained. Yet within hours, its stock soared 63%, making me look rather foolish.
Why we get inflation wrong; And the ESG gravy train
Robert Armstrong – FT
Good morning. For some reason writing about inflation makes me feel slightly guilty, as if I am forcing my readers to eat spinach, or conjugate irregular verbs. But it is worth remembering why the topic is so important. In the transitory-vs-sticky debate, the market has put all its chips on transitory. This is most visible in bond yields, but it is wired into equity valuations too. The chances of multiple years of inflation much over (say) 3 per cent seem slim to me, but if that’s how the dice come up, we’re going to have some wild times. So bear with me, and read on. Email me: email@example.com
How to invest more money — and pay less tax; For those who can afford it, salary sacrifice schemes could lessen the sting of next year’s national insurance increases
Claer Barrett – FT
Would you like to invest a bit more of your money and pay less tax into the bargain? I’m assuming your answer is “yes”. Tax rises next April as a result of the new health and social care levy are set to take an unwelcome bite out of pay packets. The chart below shows how much this could cost you — but it could also crimp your next pay rise.
Surging Energy Prices Close U.K. Factories, Another Bottleneck in a World Full of Them; U.S. fertilizer company halts production at two British plants, citing high natural-gas costs
Alistair MacDonald – WSJ
Soaring natural-gas prices in Britain have prompted U.S. fertilizer maker CF Industries Holdings Inc. to close two U.K. plants, in a sign that Europe’s energy crunch is affecting industry as the economy struggles with several other disruptions amid the recovery from the pandemic.
Warding Off Winter Cold in U.S. Will Be Pricey as Propane Soars
Mike Jeffers – Bloomberg
Americans who rely on propane for heating are facing the most expensive winter in years as prices for the fuel jump to the highest since 2014. Propane prices have risen almost 60% so far this year in Mont Belvieu, Texas, the main U.S. trading hub, amid strong overseas demand and tighter production. A rally in natural gas is adding momentum, since about 80% of America’s propane is a byproduct of gas processing.
Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance
Cow pee is an environmental problem. But now scientists say calves can be potty-trained.
Jennifer Hassan and Rachel Pannett – Washington Post
A herd of “clever cattle” in Germany have successfully been potty-trained and can now relieve themselves in a designated area nicknamed the “MooLoo,” scientists say — a move that they hope will help lower greenhouse gas emissions amid the global warming crisis.
Could behavioural nudges help us tackle the climate crisis? New research suggests three tools can change habits for the better
Gillian Tett – FT
Four decades ago, social scientists conducted an experiment with the elevators in a Canadian university. They added a 16-second delay before the doors closed to see if more people would use the stairs. They did. No surprise there. But what was particularly interesting was that when the elevators returned to normal many people continued to use the stairs, cutting energy costs and raising students’ fitness levels.
As revenues slow, European banks face hard choices says BCG
Sarah Butcher – eFinancial Careers
Is it all over? Not exactly, but it’s not nearly as good as it was before. This, broadly, seems to be the message at this week’s Barclays 19th annual global financial services conference. Among the predominantly U.S. banks that have presented so far, the message seems to be similar: 2021 is slowly going off the boil – in fixed income sales and trading, at least.
Deutsche Bank scraps research note accusing BaFin of serial failings; Lender criticised watchdog for missing misconduct by its own bankers and other financial scandals
Olaf Storbeck – FT
Deutsche Bank has pulled a research report accusing German financial regulators and the country’s outgoing conservative-led government of serious failures less than two weeks ahead of the hotly contested federal election.
Former Top Morgan Stanley FX Trader Leaves After Lengthy Probe
Donal Griffin and Felipe Marques – Bloomberg
A former senior Morgan Stanley trader, whose unit was embroiled in an internal probe into suspected mismarking and tens of millions of dollars of losses in 2019, has left after the investment bank disclosed allegations about his conduct.
Goldman follows Cathie Wood’s Ark with new tech-focused active ETF; Bank’s asset management division to target smaller innovative companies, with nearly half outside the USMackenzie – FT
Wall Street bank Goldman Sachs has launched an actively managed equity fund that will bet on emerging technology companies, following a trail blazed by the blockbuster success of Cathie Wood’s Ark Invest.
Defaulter Zimbabwe Courts Investors With $200 Million Bond Sale
Ray Ndlovu – Bloomberg
Government targeting yield of 6%-9% with debut dollar bond; Cryptocurrency may be listed on Victoria Falls-based exchange
Zimbabwe will seek to raise $200 million in a debut domestic U.S. dollar bond sale on its stock exchange in Victoria Falls that trades exclusively in foreign currency, according to Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube.
Dutch Bros Soars in Trading as Dairy Farmer Becomes Billionaire
Tom Maloney – Bloomberg
When third-generation dairy farmers Dane and Travis Boersma were looking for something to do outside the family business, they decided to try coffee. Not only could they make a little money, they’d be able to hang out with friends and listen to music.
Boy Scouts reach agreement with Mormon Church, insurers in sex abuse case
Nicole Asbury – Washington Post
The Boy Scouts of America’s latest effort to reach an agreement with tens of thousands of alleged victims of sexual abuse is facing opposition from a court-appointed group representing victims in the Scouts’ bankruptcy proceedings as well as other victims’ attorneys.