How a Chicago Suburb Became a Center of ETFs; Piper Jaffray Nearing Deal to Buy Sandler O’Neill

Jul 9, 2019

First Read

Hits & Takes
JLN Staff

Robert Jeffrey Lothian is an Eagle Scout. He passed his Eagle Board of Review last night to complete his journey from a Tiger Cub Scout all the way to Eagle.~JJL

He joins his brother Tim as the only other Eagle Scout in the Lothian family. Robby’s Eagle project was inspired by his older brother. He built raised gardens in the backyard of Christ United Methodist Church, the chartering organization for his Boy Scout Troop.~JJL

Greg Gley was Robby’s Scoutmaster at the time of his Eagle. I was the Scoutmaster until a couple of years ago. Robby is Greg’s first Eagle Scout. Pictured above are the members of Robby’s Eagle Board of Review.~JJL

There have been a lot of stories on Deutsche Bank in the past couple of days, but this Bloomberg opinion piece stands out as the cheekiest headline: Deutsche Bank Begins Exciting New Lopping-Off-Parts Phase.~SR

What’s the total amount of negative yielding government debt? More than $13 trillion. (And half of all European government debt is in the negative.)~SD

The FIA’s FCM tracker is updated with May data. Customer funds held for futures trading remains flat YoY at $194.47 billion.~SD


The Chicago Quantum Exchange Partners with Leading Companies to Advance Research and Education
The Chicago Quantum Exchange, a growing intellectual hub for the research and development of quantum technology, has expanded its community to include new industry partners working at the forefront of quantum technology and research. These corporate partners are Boeing, Applied Materials, Inc., ColdQuanta, Inc., HRL Laboratories LLC and Quantum Opus LLC.

*****Beyond my paygrade.~JJL


DV Trading Contracts with Trading Technologies to Leverage TT Score Machine Learning for Trade Surveillance
Trading Technologies
Trading Technologies International, Inc. (TT), a global provider of high-performance professional trading software, infrastructure and data solutions, today announced that DV Trading, a leading proprietary trading organization, has contracted to utilize TT Score, TT’s cutting-edge trade surveillance software for advanced detection of manipulative trading activity.

*****Score another win for TT.~JJL


Joint Statement on Broker-Dealer Custody of Digital Asset Securities
Market participants have raised questions concerning the application of the federal securities laws and the rules of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) to the potential intermediationóincluding custodyóof digital asset securities and transactions. In this statement, the staffs of the Division of Trading and Markets (the “Division”) and FINRA (collectively, the “Staffs”)ódrawing upon key principles from their historic approach to broker-dealer regulation and investor protectionóhave articulated various considerations relevant to many of these questions, particularly under the SEC’s Customer Protection Rule applicable to SEC-registered broker-dealers.

***** This is not cannabis news.~JJL


FIA Announces Partnership with Tribeca Early Stage Partners to Promote Innovators Pavilion
Today FIA announced that Tribeca Early Stage Partners will be a 2019 FIA Innovators Pavilion community partner, helping FIA connect with the fintech community in New York and encourage startups to participate in the Pavilion.

*****FIA is gearing up for EXPO.~JJL


Chicago Scouts Earn Trade Merit Badges
Lisa Fielding – WBBM Radio
Chicago-area Boy and Girl Scouts spent the day at the Plumber’s Union Local 130 earning career merit badges.

*****Trading Tech begot Building Tech, and the Plumber’s Union loves the program. Nice work by Myriam Hererra to make all this happen.~JJL


Monday’s Top Three
Our most-read story on Monday was, unsurprisingly, Reuters’ Deutsche Bank to cut 18,000 jobs in 7.4 billion euro overhaul. Next up was the disappointing headline That Giant Asteroid of Gold Won’t Make Us Richer. Turns out we won’t all be billionaires after all. In third was more about Deutsche Bank in The Trade’s Deutsche Bank to transition prime brokerage and electronic equities franchise to BNP Paribas


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Lead Stories

How a Chicago Suburb Became a Center of ETFs; Welcome to Wheaton, Ill., a town with a surprising connection to many of the most-important figures in the world of exchange-traded funds
Asjylyn Loder – WSJ
There is a gutted brick bank about an hour’s drive west of downtown Chicago that bears testament to an unusual feature of the suburb of Wheaton, Ill.: It has played an outsize role in the $6 trillion exchange-traded-fund industry.

Piper Jaffray Nearing Deal to Buy Sandler O’Neill for $485 Million; Advising banks is a niche Piper Jaffray has wanted to break into for some time
Rachel Louise Ensign – WSJ
Two investment banks known for brokering small deals are combining in a deal of their own. Piper Jaffray Co s. is nearing a deal to buy Sandler O’Neill + Partners LP for $485 million in cash and stock, according to people familiar with the matter. The deal, which could be announced as early as Tuesday, would add Sandler O’Neill’s business of advising community banks on mergers, equity offerings and debt issuance to Piper Jaffray’s broader client base.

Corvil to be acquired by capital markets technology provider Pico; Dublin-based Corvil is set to be acquired by Goldman Sachs-backed technology services provider Pico.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Global capital markets technology services provider Pico has signed an agreement to acquire Dublin-based analytics firm Corvil.

How Deutsche Bank could turn into another Lehman Brothers
John Crudele – NY Post
Stock enthusiasts would be wise to keep a close watch on what is happening at Deutsche Bank, which shook up its business and said it planned to lay off thousands of traders and other workers.

Nasdaq and LBMA Expand Access to Precious Metals Data; Daily data empowers market participants to gauge the precious metals market
Nasdaq (Nasdaq:NDAQ) and LBMA today announced an expansion of data available to the precious metals market, providing greater transparency to this important industry. The LBMA-i Service has been expanded to include daily market information on platinum and palladium, joining existing daily data sets for gold and silver. All market participants now have access to data that provide comprehensive views of the precious metals market on a daily basis.

Doc-lite: the new menace in $1.2tn leveraged loan market; Private equity owners are withholding vital information from loan investors
Joe Rennison – FT
Corel Corporation had a tough time borrowing almost $500m from investors last month, with underwriters offering the loan at a discount to stir up demand.

Wall Street Fights Stock Machines With Trend-Chasing on Steroids
Justina Lee and Yakob Peterseil – Bloomberg
Wall Street is fighting the robot revolution by chasing the billions of dollars of stocks bought and sold on autopilot in the dying minutes of every trading day. UBS Group AG and Societe Generale SA are among institutional managers exploiting wild markets near the closing bell as programmatic players ó quants, ETFs and index trackers ó execute orders en masse. They’re offering newfangled trend-following strategies to big-money investors that work over the course of hours and minutes, rather than the traditional timeframe of months and weeks.

New York’s Top Financial Regulator Wants to Protect Consumers; Linda Lacewell said she would step up to police everything from financial marketing to online lending
Jimmy Vielkind – WSJ
New York’s new financial services regulator said her focus will be on ensuring data privacy and consumer protection as she takes the reins of an eight-year-old agency.

Deutsche Bank Investor Doubts Increase at Scale of Sewing Revamp
Nicholas Comfort and Katie Linsell – Bloomberg
Shares fall as much as 6.5% on Tuesday, adding to Monday drop; Sewing asking for investor patience with dividend suspension
Investors are becoming increasingly skeptical that Christian Sewing can pull off the biggest overhaul in Deutsche Bank AG’s recent history.

Lagarde Set for October Confirmation as Next ECB President
Paul Gordon and Jeannette Neumann – Bloomberg
EU finance ministers signed off on leaders’ deal in Brussels; Attention has turned to who should replace Lagarde at IMF
Christine Lagarde is set to be confirmed in October as the next president of the European Central Bank, after the region’s finance ministers formally signed off on the agreement reached by governments last week.

Mystery Around Jeffrey Epstein’s Fortune and How He Made It
Tom Metcalf, Caleb Melby, and Sophie Alexander – Bloomberg
He managed money for Victoria’s Secret billionaire Les Wexner; Prosecutors say Manhattan mansion worth more than $77 million
In a neighborhood of millionaires and billionaires, close to New York’s famous Museum Mile, two initials discreetly adorn the entrance of one of the city’s most opulent mansions: J.E.

Chinese Wealth Manager Claims $490 Million Fraud Behind Missed Repayments
Bloomberg News
Borrower’s stock and bank accounts frozen by court: Noah; Camsing shares tumbled as chairman taken into police custody
Noah Holdings Ltd., one of China’s largest wealth managers, levied accusations of fraud against Camsing International Holding Ltd., the Hong Kong-listed company that said last week its chairman had been detained by police.

Deutsche Bank Cuts Leave Thousands Chasing Limited Openings
Sonali Basak – Bloomberg
Wall Street automation, reduced risk-taking have cut positions; ‘Some of these bankers will have to reinvent themselves’
Deutsche Bank AG’s massive reorganization will put thousands of finance employees out of work. And with firms throughout the industry running lean, they won’t all find jobs easily.

Deutsche Bank struggles to silence doubters with rescue plan; Observers praise brutal honesty of restructuring, but investors worry about execution risks
Stephen Morris and Olaf Storbeck – FT
For Deutsche Bank veterans, last weekend was the moment Germans took back control of their nation’s largest lender.

Deutsche Bank’s retreat was late but necessary; Germany’s biggest bank will have to deliver on radical change
The editorial board – FT
Deutsche Bank’s announcement that it will close its equities division, cut EUR6bn of costs and axe 18,000 jobs sounds extreme. But for Germany’s biggest bank, which has muddled through the decade since the financial crisis with only incremental reforms and no credible vision for the future, the plan represents the kind of radical action that is needed.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

NYSE Extends Winning Streak as the Home to Technology Innovators; The Exchange raised 75 percent of U.S. tech IPO proceeds during the first half of 2019, helping the world’s most dynamic companies access billions of dollars in capital
The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE: ICE), showed again why it is the exchange group of choice for the world’s most innovative technology companies, adding $110 billion in technology market capitalization and raising 75 percent of technology IPO proceeds in the U.S. during the first half of 2019. Overall, the NYSE extended its leadership as the world’s premier listings venue, raising a total of $20.9 billion in proceeds.

SGX reports market statistics for June 2019
Active asset allocation across emerging Asia leads to record open interest of 1 million contracts in SGX MSCI Net Total Return index futures; Asian equity markets see gains in June after global sell-off in May, with MSCI Singapore Index as top performing index; Fundraising activity is up year-on-year with two new equity listings and 53 bond listings, including four sustainability bonds
Singapore Exchange (SGX) today released its market statistics for June 2019. Significant political events have shaped sentiment across emerging Asian markets in recent months, supporting demand for Asian risk management and trading solutions as investors continually readjust their portfolios.

SGX invests in fintech Smartkarma, advances investment research
Singapore Exchange (SGX) today announced a strategic investment in Smartkarma, a Singapore-based fintech that is building a global presence with its pioneering investment research platform.

NCDEX gets Sebi’s approval to launch ‘whole moong’ futures on July 8; Moong is one of the highest consuming and trading varieties in the Indian pulses basket
Dilip Kumar Jha – Business Standard
India’s largest agri centric commodity futures trading platform, the National Commodity & Derivatives Exchange (NCDEX) is planning to launch futures trading in ‘whole raw moong’ (not for direct consumption) on July 8.

Slow start to derivatives trading at NSE
The Star
Nairobi Stock Exchange oversaw the sale of two contracts on commencement of derivates market on July 4 worth Sh48,000, the securities exchange has said.

Nine companies set prices for listings on China’s Nasdaq-style tech board
Nine Chinese companies, among the first to float on China’s red-hot Nasdaq-style tech board, announced prices of their new share offers on Tuesday, taking advantage of investor fervor to market themselves at valuations some view as lofty.

NYSE Gets New Cannabis ETF With Unique Characteristics
Javier Hasse – Forbes
The New York Stock Exchange is getting a new cannabis-focused ETF: The Cannabis ETF (NYSE:THCX).
With a name as great as its ticker, The Cannabis ETF will focus on companies in the legal marijuana, CBD, and hemp industries. This passively managed pure-play ETF was launched by Innovation Shares, a sponsor of unique thematic exchange traded funds, and will trade on the NYSE Arca, formerly known as ArcaEx.


How much is your data worth?
Hanna Kozlowska – Quartz
Today’s wealth lies in data. It’s how relatively young companies like Facebook or Google have grown to be among the biggest and most profitable in the world. It’s the fuel that drives business in countless industries that allows them to make informed business decisions. And as lawmakers turn their attention to how people’s data is managed, a central question arises: how much is consumer data worth, and should the companies benefitting from that information share the immense wealth our data has afforded them?

Electronic traders strategy for investing in fintech
Business Insider
They made a name for themselves early on for their ability to move in and out of positions in fractions of a second. However, Wall Street’s most sophisticated traders have taken a much longer view on some of their investments in recent years.


Safety Without Silos: Why Businesses Will Learn to Love Public Ethereum
John Wolpert – Coindesk
In 2015, the Ethereum public mainnet launched, followed by a raft of private blockchain offerings targeting the enterprise. This opened the floodgates on companies prioritizing collaboration, funding long-overdue digitization efforts, and extending business processes across corporate borders.

Polish Crypto Exchange Bitmarket Suddenly Shuts Down
Daniel Palmer – Coindesk
Polish cryptocurrency exchange Bitmarket has just shut down without warning. According to a brief message posted late on July 8 on its website, Bitmarket – said to have been Poland’s second-largest crypto exchange – stated:

Binance Cuts Time Needed for BTC, ETH Deposits and Withdrawals
Daniel Palmer – Coindesk
Binance has just cut the time needed to make withdrawals and deposits in two top cryptocurrencies.

Investor Fortress Will Buy Mt Gox Creditor Claims for $900 Per Bitcoin
Nikhilesh De – Coindesk
Creditors of Mt Gox waiting to get their bitcoin back from the long-defunct exchange can now get pennies on the dollar by selling their claims to Fortress Investment Group.

NYU professor: Regulators must keep Facebook’s Libra from becoming a default currency
Clare Duffy, CNN Business
“Mild horror” is an appropriate reaction to Facebook’s cryptocurrency plans, says Scott Galloway, a marketing professor at NYU’s Stern School of Business.


Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s Approach to Interest-Rate Policy Wins Bipartisan Backing; Lawmakers defend Fed chief against attacks from Trump; Sen. Toomey says removing Powell ‘would be a very bad idea’
Nick Timiraos – WSJ
President Trump’s relentless public criticism of the man he picked to run the Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell, isn’t broadly shared by lawmakers who confirmed the central bank leader to his post last year.

How Hitler’s Rise to Power Explains Why Republicans Accept Donald Trump
Jonathan Chait – NY Magazine
To watch Donald Trump rant and rave uncontrollably on the stump and on Twitter ó praising Saddam Hussein for his disregard for civil liberties, insisting the anti-Semitic propaganda he inadvertently borrowed from neo-Nazis is as innocent as a Disney poster ó is to ponder the psychology of a party that would entrust supreme executive authority to a racist, nationalistic, power-worshiping demagogue.

“Who Knew Trump Would Offer a Truce With Xi?”: The Mystery of the Wall Street Trump Trades; Traders are talking about big options bets in advance of the president and others making news. Could they be related? “Maybe someone got luckyóor listened in to those private meetings.”
William D. Cohan – Vanity Fair
Is Donald Trump’s erratic behavior fueling a business model? Some Wall Street options traders are beginning to suspect so. They’ve taken note, with increasing alarm, of people making strange bets tied to Trump’s actions and then cashing in bigly when the odd bets pay off. “If you had the ability to make hundreds of millions of dollars, or billions, and you knew how to hide it and it was impossible to find, wouldn’t you do it?” a longtime Wall Street options trader asks me sarcastically.

Maxine Waters threatens Facebook’s cryptocurrency plans
Zachary Warmbrodt – Politico
Facebook’s audacious vision for creating its own global currency is at risk of being shredded on Capitol Hill, where the social media giant’s attempt to educate skeptical policymakers is doing anything but calming nerves.

With Powell, Trump Should First Check Medieval History; Henry II had to contend with the might of the Church. The equivalent power now rests with the bond markets. Also, Greece and Deutsche Bank.
John Authers – Bloomberg
Medieval British history and the Fed.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell will be testifying to Congress on Wednesday and Thursday in what will effectively be his last chance to disabuse the markets of the notion that he will be cutting the target for the federal funds rate at the end of this month. At present, a 25-basis-point reduction is being priced as a virtual certainty, and so any signal that the rate may stay unchanged would create a huge surprise.


Statement of Commissioner Brian Quintenz Regarding DSIO Staff Report on the Swap Dealer De Minimis Exception
In connection with the Commission’s adoption of a permanent $8 billion gross notional de minimis threshold in November 2018, the Chairman directed staff within the Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight (DSIO) to continue their analysis of possible alternatives for the de minimis exception, including the impact of removing cleared swaps. The staff report issued today elucidates two fundamental facts about the de minimis exception. First, the report shows that the removal of exchange-traded[1] and cleared swaps from the de minimis calculation would result in no reduction of regulatory coverage. Second, the report highlights once again the glaring deficiencies of using notional value as the registration threshold triggering swap dealer registration.

CFTC Staff Issues Report Regarding the Swap Dealer De Minimis Exception and On-Venue and Cleared Swaps
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight (DSIO) today issued a report that presents data and analysis regarding the swap dealer de minimis exception, with a specific focus regarding on-venue and cleared swaps.

UK urged to investigate bank forgery allegations; Treasury committee chair Nicky Morgan calls for probes into claims over court documents
Caroline Binham – FT
A criminal and regulatory investigation into alleged “industrial-scale” forgeries on court documents by banks has been called for by the chair of the Treasury select committee.

When the SEC investigated Volkswagen
Kadhim Shubber
It’s not often that the public gets a look at the guts of a federal securities investigation. But on Monday, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) set out, in almost painful detail, exactly how it goes about investigating companies ó specifically, in this case, Volkswagen.

TRACE MBS Dissemination Issue
For July 8, 2019, transactions disseminated for the below listed 57 Freddie Mac-issued mortgage-backed securities traded in specified pool transactions (MBS transactions) do not reflect the most recent reference data element updates provided by Freddie Mac on Saturday, July 6 2019. Consequently, the dissemination ID (RDID) used for MBS transactions in the below listed securities reflect reference data information as of July 5, 2019, as currently in the TRACE Issue Master. The updated reference data for these CUSIPs will be processed at the end of the day July 8, 2019, and be reflected by opening tomorrow, July 9, 2019.

FCA publishes Annual Report and Accounts 2018/19
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has today published its Annual Report and Accounts, which looks back on the key pieces of work undertaken by the organisation throughout 2018/19.

Investing and Trading

Investors Shouldn’t Get Used to Good News Hurting Stocks; The true danger for shareholders isn’t that good news pushes up rates, but that bad news reawakens the recession fears
James Mackintosh – WSJ
The easy narrative after Friday’s blowout jobs report was that good news on the economy is bad news for stocks, as bond yields jumped and the S&P 500 tumbled. As soon as bond yields stopped going up, stocks began to recover. There’s an important lesson in that action

Markets Are Calm, Then Suddenly Go Crazy. Some Investors Think They Know Why; Investors have noticed a force some call a ‘gamma trap,’ and use tools to estimate its size and direction in order to predict market moves
Paul J. Davies – Coindesk
There’s a powerful force at work in markets that helps explain why stocks seem to do nothing for long periods and then suddenly lurch into activity.

A Stock Option Trade That Works Whether Stocks Rally or Plunge
Steven M. Sears – Barron’s
On Friday, a day after trading had taken a hiatus for the July 4 holiday, the White House Twitter account focused on one of the great barometers of American prosperity: the stock market.

Hedge funds fret about rising markets across Europe; Central bank support lifts stocks, but also exposes fears of misallocation of capital
Laurence Fletcher – FT
Minutes due for release this week from the latest meetings of the Federal Reserve and European Central Bank will provide investors with insights into how far this power couple of central banking have come in their monetary policy pivot.


Deutsche Bank’s Best Shot May Not Be Enough; The German lender is right to focus on serving corporate clients, but its new restructuring plan leaves little room for error
Stephen Wilmot – WSJ
In theory, Deutsche Bank’s strategic reset is as sensible as it is overdue. In practice, it will require flawless execution and may not go far enough.

Deutsche Bank shares slide again on skepticism about turnaround
Deutsche Bank shares extended losses on Tuesday on investor doubts that the new chief executive can revive the lender by shrinking the investment bank and returning to its roots as banker to corporate Germany.

Deutsche Bank ‘buried their head in the sand’: Analyst
Alexis Christoforous – Yahoo Finance
As Deutsche Bank cuts 18,000 jobs in a major restructuring effort, Kevin Doran, managing director and CIO at AJ Bell, says the bank has “very much buried their head in the sand for easily a decade now” and “it’s only since 2014, 2015 that they’ve taken any action whatsoever.”

Carnage At Deutsche Bank
Frances Coppola – Forbes
Deutsche Bank didn’t waste any time getting to work with the hatchet. On Sunday, July 7, it announced 18,000 job losses worldwide, the complete closure of its equities trading division and significant cuts to fixed income and rates businesses. On Monday, July 8, the cuts began. As London and New York slept, blissfully unaware of what was to come, the bank was already sacking entire teams in Sydney and Hong Kong.

Sombre scenes as Deutsche Bank axes equities staff; In the first round of dismissals, hundreds of staff were told they were losing their jobs
Anna Gross and SalomÈ Pkhaladze and Sami Vukelj and Laura Noonan – FT
Large white envelopes, tearful eyes, downcast faces and a clutch of bags and boxes; these were the tell-tale signs of which workers were leaving Deutsche Bank’s offices in London, New York and Tokyo for the last time, as Germany’s biggest lender kicked off its mammoth 18,000 dismissals on Monday.


France, Germany to Lobby for Financial Transaction Tax
Bloomberg Tax
France and Germany will seek to persuade EU member states to back the bloc’s proposed financial transaction tax at the July 9 Council of Economic and Financial Affairs meeting.

Danske Bank cuts outlook on weak trading, higher costs
Danske Bank (DANSKE.CO) on Monday cut its 2019 earnings forecast for the second time as a tough trading environment and higher costs to combat money laundering weighed on the troubled bank.


Rivals to Lead U.K. Embrace Abrupt Brexit, as Split Advances; Conservative leadership candidates Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt are each touting their willingness to leave the EU without a deal
Stephen Fidler and Max Colchester – WSJ
The two candidates to be Britain’s next prime minister are vying with each other to flaunt their willingness to leave the European Union without a deal aimed at smoothing the disruption of dismantling 45 years of economic integration.

Anti-Brexit Tory Tries to Stop Next PM Suspending Parliament
Kitty Donaldson and Robert Hutton – Bloomberg
Veteran MP Grieve proposes amendment to prevent a no-deal exit; Speaker to decide whether to select amendment for vote Tuesday
U.K. Conservatives working to prevent a chaotic Brexit have proposed legislation to stop the next prime minister suspending Parliament to force a no-deal break from the European Union.

FX markets shrug off tough talk on Brexit from Boris Johnson; Options markets are not pricing in great turbulence in run-up to October deadline
Eva Szalay – FT
Boris Johnson’s “do or die” Brexit moment may be fast approaching, but investors in currency markets seem reluctant to take the Conservative politician at his word that the UK will leave the EU in October ó with or without a deal.


Feds demand financier in underage-sex scandal hand over Manhattan mansion
Aaron Elstein – Crain’s New York
The palatial townhouse at 9 E. 71st St. is one of Manhattan’s largest private residences and worth an estimated $77 million. It soon could be on the market but comes with some serious baggage: It’s the place where hedge-fund magnate Jeffrey Epstein allegedly exploited dozens of girls as young as 14, officials say.

BofA, Google, and the Mets Are Using Software to Take Out the Trash; Recycle Track Systems can help route waste away from landfills and alert companies when trucks are nearing a pickup point.
Larissa Ziberoff – Bloomberg
On the field, the Mets are trash, struggling to clamber out of fourth place in their division for the third straight year. Off the field, the New York baseball team is making a serious effort to clean up its act, albeit more literally than fans might hope. Citi Field is gradually replacing its food and beverage packaging with compost-friendly versions, putting a wider range of sorted waste bins in the park, and promising to ship close to zero refuse to landfills by 2020.

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