FIA Expo: Tarbert Misses Opportunities in Keynote Address
Thom Thompson – John Lothian News
In what is likely to be his last FIA Expo address as chairman of the CFTC, Dr. Heath Tarbert spoke for about half an hour on Tuesday morning at this year’s conference which, of course, is being Zoomed around the world. Tarbert, never straying far from his own role at the commission, presented a thirty-minute campaign speech.
To read the rest of this commentary, go HERE.
FIA Expo – CME Group’s Duffy is sailing smoothly in uncharted waters
Sarah Rudolph – John Lothian News
In “the most uncertain times in the world,” CME Group CEO Terry Duffy does not appear to be fazed by the potential threat of a short selling ban or a financial transaction tax, nor by the volume drop in the CME’s interest rate complex this year. In an interview with Walt Lukken at FIA Expo-V, he also seemed unsurprised by the results of the presidential election.
To read the rest of this story, go HERE.
FIA Expo – Managing the Risk of Climate Change: The Role of Markets
Jeff Bergstrom – John Lothian News
Climate change and its attendant issues are often characterized by contentious debate.
That was not the case at the FIA Expo-V seminar, Managing the Risk of Climate Change: The Role of Markets, moderated by Athena Eastwood (Partner, Willkie, Farr & Gallagher).
Read the rest HERE.
FIA Expo – Resilience, Complacence, Reticence: Clearing During Volatility
Thom Thompson – John Lothian News
A Tuesday morning panel called “Clearing During Volatility” gathered Sarah Shore (Goldman Sachs), Lee Betsill (CME), Dale Michaels (OCC), Gert Ellerkmann (ABN AMRO Clearing Bank), and Jackie Mesa (FIA). The session focused on the February – March 2020 kind of volatility.
To read the rest of this story, go HERE.
FIA Expo – SEC’s Peirce Upbeat on Future of Bitcoin ETFs, Urges Crypto Safe Harbor
Suzanne Cosgrove – John Lothian News
SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce reiterated her often-expressed free market stance toward the cryptocurrency markets Tuesday, saying the industry has been developing at a dramatic pace and the regulatory pace has not kept up.
To read the rest of this report, go HERE.
FIA Expo – Nasdaq’s Friedman Sees Industry Resilience Through 2020’s Challenges
Suzanne Cosgrove – John Lothian News
Nasdaq CEO Adena Friedman said Tuesday that while the story of 2020 has been one of uncertainty, beginning in March with the pandemic and continuing with the U.S. presidential elections, she was proud of the way the exchange industry has risen to the challenge.
To read the rest, go HERE.
Hits & Takes
John Lothian & JLN Staff
Today is Veterans Day in the U.S. and there are similarly themed remembrance days around the world. Veterans Day honors all those who have ”served the country in war or peace — dead or alive — although it’s largely intended to thank living veterans for their sacrifices.” It is important to remember these sacrifices for us as the election we just had would not have been possible without the sacrifices of veterans.
One way the U.S. honors veterans is with the Veterans History Project signed into law by President Bill Clinton. This video project captures the stories of veterans’ wartime experiences before they perish this life. Our Open Outcry Traders History Project and The Path to Electronic Trading series were inspired by the Veterans History Project.
Take a moment today at 11 AM and 11 minutes and 11 seconds to remember the U.S. veterans for whom we are greatly in debt too.
FIA EXPO-V is off to a good start. Heath Tarbert made everyone hungry with his descriptions of regulatory steak and brisket. CME Group Executive Chairman and CEO Terry Duffy gave a shout out to Nasdaq’s CEO Adena Friedman and a boost to their collaborative water futures product and gave an explanation of why a transaction tax could move CME and other exchanges to Dallas, TX. He also offered his support for the need for diversity in organizations like the CME Group and why it is the right thing to do.
In a story about how Sen. Kelly Loeffler bought a jet to take advantage of a Trump tax loophole to write off the cost of the airplane, there is a tidbit that she and her husband, ICE Chairman and CEO Jeff Sprecher, appear to have put their Atlanta home on the market this past July with a $19 million asking price.
Let me state unequivocally that lying is wrong. Also, supporting a lie is wrong, even if you think it furthers your political career. Lying should not be normalized by mass support for a lie. Do the right thing. Don’t lie or support lies.
The U.S. reported more than 1 million new cases of coronavirus over the last 10 days. The U.S. reported more than 136,000 new coronavirus cases, a new single-day record. My local hospital, Elmhurst Memorial Hospital, where I have had several surgeries, has the highest number of COVID-19 cases ever right now.
There were no new donations to the JLN MarketsWiki Education GoFundMe campaign yesterday. That is the first time we have had two days in a row during the week without a donation. We are just short of $15K for the campaign to raise $300K. Help support our efforts to preserve industry history with a donation to the GoFundMe campaign.
There was a massive thunderstorm across the middle part of the U.S. yesterday, including Chicago, right about 5 PM last night. It would have made for a very wet FIA EXPO cocktail party experience had we held an in-person event this year.
The oak tree in my front yard dropped 99% of its leaves, or they were ripped off by the almost tornado-like winds we had yesterday. Normally this tree drops its leaves in December. I think the six weeks of dry weather we had in the late summer has influenced this.
Have a great day and stay safe and treat people the same way you want to be treated: with respect, equality and justice.~JJL
Marex Spectron To Acquire Chicago-Based XFA Execution Broker; Continues expansion of North American franchise
Marex Spectron, the global commodities specialist, today announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire X-Change Financial Access (XFA), a fast-growing exchange-traded derivatives (ETD) execution broker. The transaction, expected to close on 13 November, broadens the Marex Spectron product range, further strengthens its North American presence and builds on its global clearing infrastructure, while providing XFA clients with ready access to complementary products and services.
*****Marex continues to make its move.~JJL
Donald Trump’s dangerous election reversal game; There is no evidence to overturn Joe Biden’s presidential victory
The editorial board – FT
The longer Donald Trump refuses to concede the US presidential election, the more he damages American democracy. The fact that Mr Trump lost last week’s vote is not in serious dispute. His opponent Joe Biden looks to have won 306 electoral college votes — 36 more than needed to take the White House. Yet Mr Trump is insisting on branding this as a “stolen election”. Many senior Republicans, including Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, are rashly indulging the US president’s bruised ego.
*****Lies, damn lies and made up statistics.~JJL
Covid Superspreader Risk Is Linked to Restaurants, Gyms, Hotels
Kristen V Brown – Bloomberg
Mobile phone data used to model how mobility impacts infection; Movements of 98 million people mapped along with case growth
The reopening of restaurants, gyms and hotels carries the highest danger of spreading Covid-19, according to a study that used mobile phone data from 98 million people to model the risks of infection at different locations. Researchers at Stanford University and Northwestern University used data collected between March and May in cities across the U.S. to map the movement of people. They looked at where they went, how long they stayed, how many others were there and what neighborhoods they were visiting from. They then combined that information with data on the number of cases and how the virus spreads to create infection models.
******Superspreader events will dominate the next couple of months. Thanksgiving in the U.S. is one, holiday parties in December is another, with Christmas and Hanukkah next. New Year’s is another and so by inauguration day in the U.S. you could have 300,000 new cases a day potentially if no mitigation steps are successful. That is my guess, only. This is my worst case scenario. Or maybe my worst case scenario I am willing to share publicly. ~JJL
Covid-19 Surge Strains Hospitals Once Again; Hospitals could face greater challenges than earlier this year, as coronavirus surges widely and hits rural regions where resources are scarce
Melanie Evans – WSJ
Hospitals across the nation face an even bigger capacity problem from the resurgent spread of Covid-19 than they did during the virus’s earlier surges this year, pandemic preparedness experts said, as the number of U.S. hospitalizations reached a new high.
*****Wear your masks. Regularly use hand sanitizer. Stay away from superspreader venues and events.~JJL
Finalists of the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize 2021 announced;The four finalists of the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize 2021 are Poulomi Basu, Alejandro Cartagena, Cao Fei and Zineb Sedira
For the renowned annual award, which will celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2021, artists and projects are nominated who have made an important contribution to photography in Europe in the previous twelve months. This year’s shortlist features four unique artists whose bold and far-reaching projects cover geographic areas from Algeria to China and address issues of both local and global importance.
*****One of my goals is to win this contest. Or to almost win it. Or, to get honorable mention. Something.~JJL
Tuesday’s Top Three
Our top story Tuesday was Bloomberg’s The Man Who Could Explain the $2 Billion Wirecard Mystery Is Missing. I look forward to this episode on “Unsolved Mysteries.” Second was the Los Angeles Times story, 23,000 households reported income over $10 million last year. The IRS audited seven. Why does it seem the IRS calls me if I am off by $5? Third was The Wall Street Journal’s Popular Trading Platforms Sideline Users With Technical Difficulties as Stocks Surge. This must be a corollary to Murphy’s Law. Not only do things go wrong that can go wrong but they do so at the worst possible moment.
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Hong Kong pro-democracy lawmakers to resign as Beijing moves to quash opposition
Jessie Pang, Sharon Tam – Reuters
Hong Kong’s pro-democracy opposition lawmakers said on Wednesday they would resign in protest against the dismissal of four of their colleagues from the city assembly after Beijing gave local authorities new powers to further curb dissent.
China’s ‘recolonisation’ of Hong Kong could soon be complete; For Beijing it makes sense to crush the things that former colonists think made the city successful
Jamil Anderlini – FT
As Prince Charles sailed out of Hong Kong’s harbour in the early hours of July 1 1997, he lamented the symbolic end of British empire after 156 years of colonial rule in the city. “Whatever may be thought about colonisation nowadays, Hong Kong was a pretty remarkable example of how to do it well,” he wrote in his journal aboard the soon-to-be-decommissioned royal yacht Britannia.
Active managers struggle to prove their worth in a turbulent year; Consolidation and increased outflows are predicted as traditional money managers fail to lift performance during the pandemic
Robin Wigglesworth – FT
The history of financial markets has more wild plot twists, temper tantrums and triumphant comebacks than a daytime soap opera — or a US presidential election for that matter. Even by Wall Street’s standards, 2020 has been exceptional, yet for some active asset managers it offered the promise of salvation of sorts.
LSE’s Offer Fails to Fix Refinitiv Deal, Rivals Set to Warn EU
Viren Vaghela and Aoife White – Bloomberg
Concessions don’t solve EU concerns, competitors will complain; Rivals will urge European Commission to seek tougher remedies
London Stock Exchange Group Plc’s rivals are set to warn European Union regulators that the company’s promises to offer them access to data fails to resolve antitrust concerns over LSE’s $27 billion takeover of Refinitiv. At least two competitors will tell the EU that LSE’s current concessions won’t curb its increased power over interest rate derivatives and information services, according to people familiar with the matter who asked not to be named because the so-called market test of the LSE offer is private.
Swiss Re CEO Sees Global Risks Increasing: Future of Finance
Marion Halftermeyer and Keith Campbell – Bloomberg
The coronavirus crisis, Brexit, climate change and the end of the Donald Trump-era will disrupt markets and challenge investors and policy makers heading into 2021.
Louis Dreyfus sells stake to Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund; Sale of 45% holding opens agricultural trader to non-family shareholder for first time
Neil Hume and Emiko Terazono – FT
Louis Dreyfus Company has agreed to sell a 45 per cent stake to Abu Dhabi state-owned holding company ADQ, opening the agricultural trader to a non-family shareholder for the first time in its 169-year history.
Dark Web Has Become a Marketplace for ‘Vaccines’ and Other Pandemic Scams; An estimated $100 million worth of Covid-related goods and services offered for sale
Kartikay Mehrotra – Bloomberg
Following Donald Trump’s quick recovery from Covid-19 last month, advertisements appeared on the dark web — the seamy underbelly of the internet — selling what they claimed was Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s drug that the president touted as a ‘miracle’ cure – even though it hadn’t yet been approved for public sale.
Credit Suisse CEO Gottstein Sees ‘Tense’ 2021 After Second Wave
Patrick Winters – Bloomberg
Credit Suisse Group AG Chief Executive Officer Thomas Gottstein said the bank expects further difficulties next year due to fallout from the Covid pandemic. Even after the Swiss bank and rivals dealt well with working from home, the industry should brace for a “tense” 2021 because of the ongoing impact of the pandemic, Gottstein said at Bloomberg’s Future of Finance virtual event on Wednesday.
Russia says its Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine is 92% effective
Polina Ivanova – Reuters
Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine is 92% effective at protecting people from COVID-19 according to interim trial results, the country’s sovereign wealth fund said on Wednesday, as Moscow rushes to keep pace with Western drugmakers in the race for a shot.
Mapping the Futility of China’s Financial Decoupling From the U.S.
Chang Shu – Bloomberg
Confrontations in trade, technology and geopolitics are threatening to spill over into the financial system, with the U.S. pondering sanctions against Chinese banks and China weighing the possibility of selling down its U.S. Treasury holdings. Tensions might be high, but Bloomberg Economics’ mapping of China’s financial links with the rest of the world suggests the chances of decoupling are low. With the exception of foreign-currency reserves, China’s role in global financial flows is limited: International linkages of China’s private sector — including direct and portfolio investment and bank flows — accounted for just 2%-3% of the global total in 2018, far less than the U.S.
Turkey Eases Currency Trading Limits Again, Boosting Lira
Asli Kandemir, Cagan Koc, and Ugur Yilmaz – Bloomberg
Banking regulator allows foreign lenders to buy more liras; Turkey on course to undo last two years’ restrictive policies
Turkey made it easier for foreign investors to access lira funding, a move that’s aimed at undoing some of the restrictions imposed over the last two years. The lira rallied.
Richest New Yorkers Will Devastate City If They Leave With $133 Billion
Alexandre Tanzi and Ben Steverman – Bloomberg
Before Covid-19 hit, New York City was home to many of the richest people in the world, an elite group of 30,000 families earning at least $1 million a year. Gotham’s future will be decided by how many of these super-wealthy people remain after the pandemic is over.
The Big-Tech-Monopoly Crackdown Hits China; Recent events indicate Beijing will take on the overreaching power of its technology giants
Jacky Wong – WSJ
Governments around the world are grappling with the overreaching power of Big Tech. Recent events indicate Beijing will take on its technology giants as well. China’s antitrust watchdogs on Tuesday announced draft rules targeting monopolistic practices on the country’s digital platforms. There have long been talks about how to apply the country’s antimonopoly laws to the tech sector, but this latest move comes at an interesting time that should worry Chinese internet giants.
Special Report: Phantom oil buyers in Russia, advice from Iran help Venezuela skirt sanctions
Marianna Parraga, Rinat Sagdiev, Parisa Hafezi – Reuters
On Aug. 21, a tanker called the Otoman docked at the Jose oil terminal on Venezuela’s coast in the Caribbean to load 1.82 million barrels of heavy crude, according to the state oil company’s internal documents.
Exclusive: Amazon accuses Future of insider trading as it seeks to block Reliance deal
Aditya Kalra – Reuters
Amazon.com Inc has asked India’s market regulator to investigate Future Retail Ltd for insider trading, a letter seen by Reuters showed, as it seeks to prevent its business partner from becoming part of rival Reliance’s empire.
The Surging Coronavirus Finds a Federal Leadership Vacuum; The winter wave has been anticipated for months. Now that it’s here, health officials worry once again about strategy and supplies.
Sheryl Gay Stolberg, Noah Weiland, Sharon LaFraniere and Andrew Jacobs – NY Times
When senior Food and Drug Administration officials held their morning call on Tuesday, they received a sobering warning from the agency’s chief, Dr. Stephen M. Hahn, who had just gotten off the phone with the White House: Block out “all the craziness” afoot and stay focused on fighting the pandemic, he said.
Russia Says Its Coronavirus Vaccine Sputnik V Shows Over 90% Efficacy; The shot was approved for use by Russia in August but trials are continuing
Georgi Kantchev – WSJ
Russia said its fast-tracked coronavirus vaccine, Sputnik V, has produced promising preliminary results, showing 92% efficacy against Covid-19, a potential milestone for a shot the Kremlin is banking on to protect its own hard-hit population and to dispel Western skepticism over its ability to make a vaccine at speed.
Fear is a more potent weapon than we know in the fight against Covid; The worst phase of the pandemic may well be upon us, but if people are vigilant the damage can be limited
Megan Greene – FT
In his 1933 inaugural address, US President Franklin D Roosevelt tried to reassure a country in the depths of the Depression that “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself”. Roosevelt argued fear would paralyse efforts to revive the US economy.
Mass Covid testing of students in England and Wales to be carried out; Government programmes to allow university students to travel home for festive season
Bethan Staton – FT
University students in England and Wales will travel home for Christmas in a week-long “travel window” aided by a new programme of mass testing, as part of a national effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus during the festive break.
Mask Orders in Eastern Europe; Russia Vaccine Data: Virus Update
A resurgence of cases and deaths continued in Europe, with Germany reporting its highest daily fatalities since mid-April. A state premier warned that German Christmas markets and religious services may be in jeopardy with the current rate of infection.
Over 10 Million Danish Mink Are Slaughtered as Farms Shut Down
Morten Buttler – Bloomberg
At least 10 million Danish mink have already been slaughtered, after farmers acted on a government order that has since been retracted because it broke the law. The fate of the animals, some of which were killed in such haste that there were eye-witness reports of thousands of mink carcasses strewn across a public motorway, provides a graphic reminder of the real-world consequences of a string of political missteps in Denmark that could have global consequences.
The CDC chief lost his way during COVID-19. Now his agency is in the balance.
Brett Murphy and Letitia Stein – USA TODAY
Dr. Robert Redfield, eyes closed and searching for words, explained to Congress why the health agency he leads had softened coronavirus protections for slaughterhouse workers. The White House, meatpacking industry and other federal agencies were not involved, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention insisted during the September hearing.
Vaccines Are China’s Golden Opportunity to Regain Global Trust on Health Exports; Hundreds of millions of people are likely to be inoculated by a Covid-19 vaccine produced in China
Mike Bird – WSJ
One of China’s main candidates for a Covid-19 vaccine has been stalled in Brazil. This needn’t be a sign that development will be halted—it may even bolster international confidence in China’s medical-export industry over the longer term.
Exchanges, OTC and Clearing
CME Group Launches First FX Listed and Spot Price Comparison Tool, FX Market Profile
CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, today announced it launched the industry’s first tool to compare FX listed futures and spot liquidity on one screen – FX Market Profile. The new tool, powered by Quant Analytics, a comprehensive FX analytics platform owned by CME Group, allows market participants to analyze trade flows and calculate execution efficiencies by benchmarking their performance against CME’s listed FX futures and EBS’s spot trading markets.
Cboe-Powered Index Innovation for the Modern Investor
Bruce Traan, Head of Cboe Global Indices via MarketsMedia
Cboe Global Markets and the VIX Index are a well-known pairing, but the global market operator also runs a robust index services business as part of its Information Solutions arm. The Cboe Volatility Index®, or VIX Index®, became a household name during the 2008 financial crisis, as it gauged the market’s expectation of future volatility during one of the most volatile periods in recent history. This of course preceded the volatility seen within the marketplace in both 2018 and 2020. But it all started as a revolutionary concept 27 years earlier when Cboe dreamed up a calculation designed to produce a measure of constant, 30-day expected volatility of the U.S. stock market derived from real-time prices of S&P 500® Index options.
Presentation by HKEX Chief Executive Charles Li and Group Chief Financial Officer Vanessa Lau on 2020 Third Quarter Results Announcement; 2020 Q3 Results Media Presentation
ICR and Nasdaq Host Third Annual Advancing Women Leaders Event;Speakers & Panelists to Share Insights on Fostering Diversity and Inclusion
ICR and Nasdaq today will host Advancing Women Leaders: Driving Diversity in the Boardroom, a virtual event presenting best practices and techniques for nurturing systemic diversity throughout an organization. The event will begin at 11:30 a.m. ET/ 8:30 a.m. PT and those interested can register here.
REMINDER: Amendments to the Termination of Trading and the Exercise and Assignment Rules of the Monthly and Weekly Options on the Mexican Peso/U.S. Dollar (MXN/USD) Futures Contract and Currency Fixing Time of the Related Futures Contract
Effective Sunday, November 15, 2020 for trade date Monday, November 16, 2020, Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. (“CME” or “Exchange”) will amend the termination of trading time of the Monthly and Weekly Options on Mexican Peso/U.S. Dollar (MXN/USD) Futures contract (the “Contracts”) from 9:00 a.m. Central Time (CT) to 11:30 a.m. CT as in the table below as well as amend the CME Currency Fixing Price time for MXN/USD Futures from 9:00 a.m. CT to 11:30 a.m. CT and commencing with the December 2020 contract month and the December Week 2 contracts and beyond. This amendment aligns the termination of the Contracts’ termination of trading time to the over-the-counter (OTC) MXN/USD option time which is 11:30 a.m. CT.
Amendments to CME Rule 588.H. (“Globex Non-Reviewable Trading Ranges”) Table for the E-mini S&P 500 ESG Index Futures Contract
Effective Sunday, December 6, 2020, for trade date Monday, December 7, 2020, and pending all relevant CFTC regulatory review periods, Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. (“CME” or “Exchange”) will amend CME Rule 588.H. (“Non-Reviewable Trading Ranges”) table (the “Table”) for the E-mini S&P 500 ESG Index Futures contract (the “Contract”) as noted the table below.
SGX named Asia’s Best FX Exchange for third year running
Voting-based award identifies SGX as most successful in offering clients efficiencies beyond OTC market places.
Singapore Exchange (SGX) has been named “Best FX Exchange in Asia” for the third year running at the FX Markets Asia Awards 2020, based on votes by foreign exchange (FX) and money market professionals.
QuantHouse implements global 100Gigabit upgrade in anticipation of further market volatility
QuantHouse, the global provider of end-to-end systematic trading solutions including innovative market data services, algo trading platform and infrastructure products and part of Iress (IRE.ASX), today announced a global upgrade of all data centre backbones to 100G including the deployment of the low latency Arista Networks platform as part of their ongoing rollout of customer-focused enhancements.
China’s banking regulator signals tougher fintech antitrust laws; Stocks of Alibaba and other online groups tumble on concern over crackdown
Sun Yu – FT
A senior official at China’s banking regulator has warned that technological advances in the financial industry risked creating monopolies, a day after Beijing unveiled new antitrust rules for the nation’s largest internet groups.
This is how fintechs are transforming personal finance;Are you still saving under the mattress? Learn about the types of financial technologies that can help you.
Sebastian Medrano – Entrepreneur
In Mexico “the lack of financial culture has made many Mexicans choose to continue saving ‘under the mattress’ and that their finances are not good, since the lack of basic financial knowledge inhibits the ability to apply them, which leads to people use informal savings and credit methods and, even, schemes that may represent a risk to their assets “, warns the Consultative, Scientific and Technological Forum (FCCyT), in a study on Financial Education in Mexico.
Fintech firms must behave like banks, China regulator says as it ring-fences runaway industry to rein in potential risks
Georgina Lee – South China Morning Post
China’s financial regulators have articulated their vision of how internet-driven technology should intersect and interact with banking and finance, a week after mothballing the world’s largest initial public offering and setting off a stock market rout in Hong Kong that wiped out US$260 billion in value.
FTSE Russell introduces FTSE DAR Reference Price for Digital Asset Market
New market data product establishes a robust hourly reference price for digital asset market performance Association with Digital Asset Research (DAR) brings greater transparency, consistency and governance to this emerging asset class Hourly Reference Price files combine DAR’s rigorous digital asset exchange and issuer vetting process with the robust index methodology and governance framework of FTSE Russell
Symposium: Blockchain does not require a “big bang” investment
Drew Nicol – Securities Finance Times
Despite common misconceptions, the adoption of distributed ledger technology (DLT) does not require “a big bang moment” and can be adopted in a piecemeal and flexible fashion, according to Securities Finance Technology Symposium panellists. The panellists, who all represented firms providing blockchain solutions, such as Blockchain Technology Partners, or that were in the midst of adopting or working with blockchain, including Trading Apps, Options Clearing Corporation and Broadridge, agreed that the perception that blockchain must be taken on wholesale or not at all was false.
DeFi Mania Cools With Bitcoin Back in the Crypto Spotlight
Olga Kharif – Bloomberg
The biggest casualty of the current Bitcoin renaissance? Cryptocurrencies linked to decentralized finance applications, the favorite darling of the digital-money crowd this summer. While Bitcoin has climbed about 50% since early September, DeFi coins — used largely for speculation within apps that let investors lend to, trade with and borrow from one another — have tumbled after posting triple-digit returns just months earlier.
Lebanon Central Bank Plans to Introduce Digital Currency in 2021
Dana Khraiche – Bloomberg
Lebanon plans to introduce a digital currency next year to restore confidence in the banking sector and transition into a cashless system, GovernorRiad Salameh said. He also urged banks to begin restructuring, including recapitalization by 20%.
KuCoin has recovered 84% of affected funds in $280M hack, co-founder says
Wolfie Zhao – The Block
KuCoin, the crypto exchange that suffered from a $280 million hack in September, has recovered a majority of the affected assets, according to its co-founder. Johnny Lyu, KuCoin’s co-founder and CEO, said in a Tweet on Wednesday that 84% of the affected assets have been recovered via “approaches like on-chain tracking, contract upgrade and judicial recovery.”
Crypto exchange FTX lists futures on tokenized stocks, with up to 100x leverage
Yogita Khatri – The Block
Crypto exchange FTX has listed quarterly futures on tokenized stocks, offering up to 100x leverage. The new offering comes less than two weeks after FTX ventured into the arena of tokenized stocks trading. FTX said the tokenized stock futures would track FTX spot markets as their index, and they will work the same as futures on other FTX products.
Nearly $360M in Bitcoin Moved to Ethereum in October Despite DeFi Cool Off
Zack Voell – Coindesk
Ethereum is still the most popular off-chain destination for bitcoins (BTC) as the total supply of tokenized BTC reached 150,000 BTC ($2.05 billion) at the end of October, up 21% since September. Growth has slowed significantly, however, since the decentralized finance (DeFi) craze that peaked near the end of Q3. Roughly $360 million worth of bitcoins was tokenized in October, significantly less than the $737 million tokenized in September, according to data from Dune Analytics analyzed by CoinDesk.
Former Microsoft employee sentenced in what IRS calls ‘first Bitcoin case’ involving false tax return
Michael McSweeney – The Block
A former product tester for Microsoft has been sentenced to more than nine years in prison after being convicted of defrauding the tech giant and using bitcoin as a means to hide the funds he obtained. Volodymyr Kvashuk’s actions were first laid out in a July 2019 criminal complaint that was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington at Seattle. As outlined in the court documents, Kvashuk was first an outside tester before being brought in on a full-time basis. He was involved in testing a system through which users could buy things with digital gift cards and other sources.
OKEx bitcoin mining pool has lost almost all the hash rate after withdrawal suspension
Wolfie Zhao – The Block
OKEx has lost almost all the hash rate that was connected to its crypto mining pools following the exchange’s suspension of withdrawals. Data from BTC.com shows that the computing power from miners that connected to OKEx’s bitcoin mining pool produced about 5% of the total blocks mined on the bitcoin network over the past three months. On average, they were mining about 10 blocks per day.
Multisignature Wallets Can Keep Your Coins Safer (If You Use Them Right)
Colin Harper – Coindesk
In traditional business, “key person risk” refers to when a company relies too much on one individual to succeed. Cryptocurrency businesses are prone to a very literal version of this risk when handling funds. The most infamous example may be QuadrigaCX, whose customers have been waiting nearly 3 years to recoup $115 million worth of deposits since the death of founder Gerald Cotten, the sole possessor of the cryptographic keys to the exchange’s wallet.
Cyberattackers Demand $11M in Bitcoin From Japanese Gaming Giant Capcom
Sandali Handagama – Coindesk
Japanese Gaming Giant Capcom, creator of popular games like Resident Evil and Street Fighter, fell victim to a ransomware in early November, with attackers allegedly demanding $11 million in bitcoin in exchange for not leaking illegally obtained confidential information to the public, CoinDesk Japan reported Tuesday.
86 % Of Bitcoin Addresses Breaking Even, Confidence In Cryptocurrencies Remains At Historic Low
86% of Bitcoin addresses in profit zone;16% of Germans have faith in Cryptocurrencies’ price stability, compared to 33% in 2017;4% of German citizens making transactions in cryptocurrencies (2017: 11%)
Precious metal gold is the most trusted;Bitcoin price rose 48.5% in 365-day review, a gain significantly stronger than that of gold, silver and the DAX
Around 86% of Bitcoin addresses have made a profit. Regardless of this performance, a mere 16% of Germans have confidence in the price stability of digital currencies – in 2017, this figure was more than twice as high, according to a new infographic from Kryptoszene.de.
Only Truth Can Save Our Democracy; The Trump presidency has dangerously normalized lying.
Thomas L. Friedman – NY Times
On Saturday morning I was sitting in the kitchen with my wife, Ann, who was stirring her Cream of Wheat, when out of nowhere she surprised me with a question: “Is not lying one of the Ten Commandments?” I had to stop and think for a second myself, before answering: “Yes, thou shalt not bear false witness.”
The Times Called Officials in Every State: No Evidence of Voter Fraud; The president and his allies have baselessly claimed that rampant voter fraud stole victory from him. Officials contacted by The Times said that there were no irregularities that affected the outcome.
Nick Corasaniti, Reid J. Epstein and Jim Rutenberg – WSJ
Election officials in dozens of states representing both political parties said that there was no evidence that fraud or other irregularities played a role in the outcome of the presidential race, amounting to a forceful rebuke of President Trump’s portrait of a fraudulent election.
Biden Transition Chief Proposed Limiting Size of Biggest U.S. Banks; Ted Kaufman, former chief of staff to the president-elect, will have a voice in choosing financial regulators
Andrew Ackerman and Paul Kiernan – WSJ
A decade ago, Ted Kaufman sought to rein in big banks. Now he will have a significant role in picking the people who supervise them. In 2010, during a brief stint in the Senate, Mr. Kaufman led a push to limit the size of U.S. lenders—a move that would have led to the breakup of the biggest banks had it been successful.
Biden Presidency Imperils Key Oil Pipelines; Keystone XL, Dakota Access are at risk of cancellation or shutdown under a Biden administration
Rebecca Elliott and Vipal Monga – WSJ
President-elect Joe Biden’s campaign promise to phase out oil probably signals the end of the long-delayed Keystone XL oil pipeline and threatens the future of Dakota Access, another major crude conduit. Obstructing pipeline projects is one way Mr. Biden could accelerate America’s shift toward renewable energy, by making oil more difficult and expensive to move around. Other policies that require legislative signoff would be more challenging to implement unless Democrats won control of the Senate.
Can Trump really stage a coup? Experts weigh in on whether it’s possible
Nicole Karlis – Salon
For the first time in history, an incumbent president is refusing to concede after clearly and indisputably losing a presidential election. That’s making observers, citizens, and experts nervous that Trump may be preparing to stage a coup of some sort, or perhaps call again on his supporters to commit violence to sustain his rule.
Why Trump Fears Leaving the White House; Losing the presidency leaves him vulnerable to financial and legal danger.
Timothy L. O’Brien – Bloomberg
Donald Trump is the luckiest man alive. Unlike almost, well, everyone, he’s been protected from the consequences of his own mistakes his entire life. Born into a wealthy family, he was insulated from lukewarm academic prospects and serial business crack-ups by his father’s money. (“I often say that I’m a member of the lucky sperm club,” is how he put it in one of his books.) Emerging as a reality-TV star in the early 2000s, Trump discovered that fame allowed him to be as predatory as he pleased without repercussions. (“When you’re a star, they let you do it.”) And his 2016 ascent to the White House opened his eyes to the presidency’s legal armor — which he interpreted broadly and often inaccurately. (“I have an Article II, where I have the right to do whatever I want as president.”)
Harvard Law Professor Nails The Hypocrisy Of Mitch McConnell’s Defense Of Donald Trump; “They can’t have it both ways,” Laurence Tribe said.
Lee Moran – Huff Post
Harvard constitutional law professor Laurence Tribe on Tuesday pointed out the stunning hypocrisy for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to defend President Donald Trump, who has raised baseless allegations of mass voter fraud while simultaneously celebrating the election victories of Senate Republicans.
Biden’s Big Climate Opportunity; The next president can do a lot to fight global warming, even without Congress’s help.
Michael R. Bloomberg – Bloomberg
During the presidential campaign, much of the debate around climate change centered on what Congress should do. That’s an important question, but if history is any guide, it will take time for Congress to settle on a bill — and there is no guarantee of success, even if Democrats beat the odds and end up gaining control of the Senate. In 2008, Democrats won both houses of Congress and spent nearly two years developing and debating a cap-and-trade bill that ultimately failed — leaving it to cities, states and businesses to act largely on their own.
oneZero Extends Data Source Access to Post-Trade Regulatory Vendors – Clients May Select Services From Multiple Vendors Including EMIREP, Point Nine And SteelEye
oneZero, a global leader in multi-asset financial technology solutions, today announced that clients may select from a growing list of post-trade regulatory vendors that may access their Data Source data to help them navigate the ever-changing regulatory requirements.
ESMA publishes translations for Guidelines on securitisation repository data completeness and consistency thresholds
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has issued today the official translations of its guidelines on securitisation repository data completeness and consistency thresholds.
Overlapping Risks, Part 2: Anti-Money Laundering and Elder Exploitation
A broker-deal firm’s anti-money laundering efforts may overlap with any number of other regulatory concerns. On the last episode, we looked at the intersection of a firm’s AML and cybersecurity risks. On this episode, the second in a two-part series, we’re looking at how AML may overlap with a firm’s efforts to protect senior investors from exploitation and fraud.
NFA Announces Nominations Made by the 2020 Nominating Committee
In accordance with NFA Bylaw 406, the Office of the Secretary has received from the 2020 Nominating Committee a list of its nominees for positions on NFA’s Board of Directors and 2021 Nominating Committee. The list of nominees included with this Notice shall serve as notification to NFA Members of the candidates proposed by the 2020 Nominating Committee.
FCA commences High Court proceedings over unauthorised collective investment schemes
The FCA has commenced High Court proceedings against Mr Robin Forster, Fortem Global Limited and Mr Richard Tasker, over alleged links to investments in care homes in which investors appear to have lost at least £30 million.
Investing and Trading
Goldman Sachs’s Big Bond Call Is Just Bluster. Again; The bank is probably right that the yield curve will steepen in 2021, but the move will look paltry in a historical context and won’t do much harm to total returns.
Brian Chappatta – Bloomberg
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is at it again in the world’s biggest bond market. That was my immediate thought when I saw the Bloomberg News headline, “Goldman Goes All-In for Steeper U.S. Yield Curves as 2021 Theme.” The firm’s year-ahead investment outlook recommends that traders position for longer-term Treasury yields to rise on expectations for real growth and inflation, while the Federal Reserve pins down front-end rates near-zero. That’s sensible — and borderline consensus at this point — but just how far do the strategists expect this trade to go?
As Oil Passes $45, It’s 2021 That’s Really Got Traders Excited
Alex Longley and Tiago Ramos Alfaro – Bloomberg
Timespreads along the oil futures curve firm on vaccine hopes; Analysts more bullish about consumption in second half of 2021
The prospect of a coronavirus vaccine has transformed how oil traders are evaluating the market’s prospects for the second half of 2021. Headline Brent oil futures surged above $45 a barrel on Wednesday, a 15% increase from where they ended last week. But that’s a price for supplies in January, when the direct impact on oil demand from any vaccine is likely to be limited because of the time it would take for an immunization program to be rolled out.
Market Volatility Returns to Pot Industry
Divya Balji – Bloomberg
The wild ride investors had once grown accustomed to in the pot sector is now back. After a rally on Friday and early this week, cannabis stocks have see-sawed as mixed earnings results from some of the sector’s biggest companies offset optimism that a Joe Biden presidency will be favorable to the industry.
San Fran Bridge Tolls and Berlin Traffic Show Oil Demand Flat-Lining
Javier Blas and Alex Longley – Bloomberg
Demand just about holding up as market awaits vaccine; European consumption is falling, offset by recovery in Asia
From the number of cars crossing San Francisco’s Bay Bridge to the traffic jams in Berlin and air pollution on the streets of Beijing, everything suggests that a recovery in global fuel demand is wobbling.
Louis Dreyfus to Sell 45% Stake to Abu Dhabi, Opening Commodity Giant for First Time
Andy Hoffman and Javier Blas – Bloomberg
ADQ agrees to buy 45% stake in agricultural trader LDC; Margarita Louis-Dreyfus has been seeking cash to repay debts
Billionaire Margarita Louis-Dreyfus agreed to sell a 45% stake in the eponymous agricultural trader to an Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund, opening the storied family business to outside ownership for the first time to secure desperately needed cash for its owner.
Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance
Oxford university partners with BlackRock on sustainable tracker fund; Endorsement marks a first for a prestigious UK university endowment
Chris Flood – FT
The University of Oxford has partnered with BlackRock in the development of a sustainable investment tracker fund, marking the first time a prestigious UK university endowment has endorsed such a product that is also available to retail investors.
Biden faces surge in US coal use and carbon emissions in first year; Dirtiest fossil fuel set for sharp, if fleeting, rebound as price becomes more competitive
Gregory Meyer – FT
The first year of a Joe Biden administration is likely to be marked by a rebound in the burning of coal and a record increase in carbon dioxide emissions in the US, providing a sharp — if fleeting — contrast to the president-elect’s agenda for cleaning up the power sector.
Lagarde’s ECB Won’t Let Investors Delay Addressing Climate Risk
Jana Randow – Bloomberg
President says climate risks must be properly priced; Principle of market neutrality under review and could change
The European Central Bank has a warning for investors: deal with the financial risks from climate change soon or we’ll do it for you. Under President Christine Lagarde, who started the job a year ago pledging to give the institution a bigger role in fighting global warming, the ECB is reevaluating how dispassionate it should be in the marketplace.
Big Oil Has a Long Way to Go on Setting Emissions Targets; Very few of global warming’s biggest perpetrators are making progress, or even trying.
Tim Quinson – Bloomberg
Just five of the 39 largest oil and gas companies have announced carbon-reduction targets that match levels needed to avoid a 2-degree Celsius temperature increase. And only 20 have taken initial steps to disclose how they plan to lower emissions produced by both their operations and electricity use, known respectively as Scope 1 and Scope 2.
Killing Coal Requires Gas Transition in Europe’s Dirtiest Corner
Aaron Eglitis and Misha Savic – Bloomberg
Natural gas will serve as a bridge for the western Balkans, where nations seeking to join the European Union need to move away from coal to renewable sources, a top official at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development said.
Hedge Funds Face Mounting Pressure With Diversity Questionnaire
Katherine Burton and Hema Parmar – Bloomberg
Kresge, MacArthur foundations join big pension funds in push; ‘It’s important to lean on them’ for change, Kresge CIO says
Two institutional investors with more than $10 billion of assets are joining a growing movement to compel hedge funds and other asset-management firms to be less White and less male.
With Ant IPO in Limbo, Funds Let Investors Cash Out; Small investors had poured about $9 billion into funds that planned to invest in Ant’s IPO
Xie Yu – WSJ
Funds that touted access to Ant Group Co.’s blockbuster share sale will let investors cash out early, following a social-media outcry after the financial-technology giant’s listing was abruptly halted by Chinese regulators.
Banks in Europe Face Potential $1.7 Trillion Covid-19 Cliff; A wave of bad loans that could overwhelm lenders when government rescue packages end
Patricia Kowsmann and Margot Patrick – WSJ
European banks say they are doing just fine during the coronavirus pandemic. But regulators and bank executives are concerned about the elephant in the room: a wave of bad loans that could overwhelm lenders when government rescue packages end.
Barclays under fire over fossil fuel financing; Climate activists say bank’s statements on climate change at odds with lending and underwriting activities
Owen Walker and Attracta Mooney – FT
Barclays is facing the ire of climate campaigners after increasing its support for fossil fuel companies this year, despite announcing in March it would target net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Soros’s Money Managers in U.K. Poised for $38 Million Windfall
Benjamin Stupples and Simon Hunt – Bloomberg
London-based firm more than doubled profits last year; Soros Fund Management has about $25 billion in assets
The investment unit for George Soros’s family office in the U.K. expects to pay 28.8 million pounds ($38.2 million) to its partners and staff within the next three years as part of long-term compensation plans.
Sweden opens door to resumption of bank dividends; Reasonable for profitable banks to pay out, says financial regulator
Richard Milne – FT
Sweden became the first European country to open up the possibility of banks resuming dividend payments next year in a sign that regulators think the financial stress from Covid-19 is easing.
JPMorgan’s Paris bankers to make sacrifices for London arrivals
Sarah Butcher – efinancialcareers.com
It might not happen. – Right now, Paris is in a lockdown with most French bankers working from home and locals saying things like, “it feels like a sleepy August day,” but if the lockdown has been lifted when Brexit refugee bankers arrive in the French capital, life could become rather awkward in Paris offices.
Turkey eases restrictions on foreign investors trading the lira; Analysts say decision made as part of an economic policy shake-up is a ‘market-friendly’ move
Adam Samson – FT
Turkey has eased curbs on foreign investors’ ability to trade the lira as part of a major shake-up of the country’s economic policy team. The banking regulator said on Wednesday it would reduce restrictions on derivatives transactions between local banks and foreign investors, in which the lira is traded for foreign currencies such as the dollar, euro and yen.
The Global Rich Are Rushing to Buy U.K. Country Estates; After a decade-long slump, Covid-19 has jumpstarted the market.
James Tarmy – Bloomberg
Last month, Savills listed the Bowden Park estate for £35 million ($46.4 million). The property includes a 15,900-square-foot, 18th century mansion set amid 22 acres of manicured gardens and 1,400 acres of farmland in Wiltshire, which is about a two-hour drive from central London.
U.K. Announces Law to Protect Key Assets From Foreign Buyers
Alex Morales – Bloomberg
Deals in 17 sectors will be subject to mandatory notification; Law would allow retroactive intervention in specific cases
The U.K. plans sweeping powers to intervene in foreign takeovers of British assets deemed a threat to national security. A draft law to be published Wednesday would expand the range of transactions open to government intervention, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said. There will be scope for fines and retroactive interventions in deals that complete after the bill’s publication — a potentially controversial provision that critics warn could deter investors.
Brussels holds out on post-Brexit financial services access for UK; EU still unsure what rights to grant City of London despite Sunak step
Jim Brunsden and Philip Stafford – FT
Brussels has warned that it will only grant the City of London market-access rights that are “in the EU’s interests” even after Britain adopted regulatory decisions designed to smooth future ties. Britain’s chancellor Rishi Sunak on Monday announced the government was taking regulatory decisions intended to ensure that EU-based exchanges, clearing houses and financial benchmarks could continue to be used by UK customers.
Brexit Talks Set to Miss Deadline and Continue Next Week
Ian Wishart and Alberto Nardelli – Bloomberg
Negotiators expected to resume in Brussels after London round; Call of EU leaders on Nov. 19 now seen as a potential goal
Trade talks between the U.K. and European Union are set to be extended beyond this weekend’s informal deadline and continue in Brussels next week, according to two people familiar with the matter.
John Major: Brexit set to be ‘more brutal than anyone expected’
Brexit may be “even more brutal than expected” due to the UK’s negotiating “failures”, Sir John Major has said. In a speech in London, the ex-prime minister said the UK’s “inflexibility” and “threats” towards the EU would make future trade “less profitable”. And he warned of the “corrosive” impact to the UK’s reputation of a proposed law giving ministers the power to over-ride aspects of the Brexit agreement. It came as the House of Lords rejected parts of the Internal Market Bill.
EU summit on 19 November seen as deadline for draft Brexit deal
Daniel Boffey – The Guardian
A summit of EU leaders on 19 November is now viewed by Brussels as the final deadline for a draft Brexit deal, with negotiations on Britain’s future trade and security relationship with the bloc set to go to the wire. The teams of negotiators working in London had hoped to be able to pass on a deal to MEPs for scrutiny by 18 November to allow time for parliamentary ratification but the talks remain difficult, according to sources on both sides. Next Thursday’s video conference summit of the 27 heads of state and government, arranged to discuss the latest developments in the coronavirus pandemic, is now being seen as a key moment in the Brexit saga.
Investors Shun U.K. Stocks as Brexit Deadline Approaches
Jem Bartholomew – WSJ
Investors have lost their appetite for U.K. stocks amid deadlocked Brexit talks, rising coronavirus infections and a sharp economic downturn. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 index, the benchmark for the largest British companies, has plunged 18% this year in dollar terms and the FTSE 250 has dropped 13%. In contrast, the pan-continental Stoxx Europe 600 has slid 3% in dollar terms, the French CAC 40 has fallen 5% and the German DAX has gained 5%. In the U.S., the S&P 500 has advanced 10%. “Sentiment has really soured toward the U.K.,” said Patrick Spencer, managing director at U.S. investment firm Baird. “It’s basically universally hated and under-owned.”
Leonardo DiCaprio’s watch in The Wolf Of Wall Street is no $40,000 timepiece
Alfred Tong – GQ
“I have been a rich man and I have been a poor man and I choose rich every f***ing time,” declares Jordan Belfort when addressing his “Strattonite” stock market scamsters in The Wolf Of Wall Street. “Because at least as a rich man, when I have to face my problems, I turn up in the back of limo wearing a $2,000 suit and a $40,000 gold f***ing watch.” He then proceeds to hurl the watch into the braying, jeering, coked-up mob.