How ‘Animal Crossing’ Is Preparing Players to Trade Stocks; CFTC Posts Record-Breaking Enforcement Year

Oct 7, 2020

First Read

Hits & Takes
JLN Staff

The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum has a video project called “artifacts.” One episode of its series features the crayon box of one Leo Melamed. This short video tells the story of Leo’s life, but also about this artifact of his childhood, given to him when he was a refugee in Japan. It is a moving story, no matter how many times and different ways I see it told.

In the video there is a slide where Leo calls his father the “smartest man I ever met, because he knew we had to run.” The museum is currently closed because of the pandemic, but their “work to teach the lessons of the Holocaust doesn’t stop.” Donations for the museum are welcome.

Barron’s has a story that Trading Technologies is for sale and the process is pretty far along. I don’t buy the reasoning from the headline that this is related to any trading glitches. The story does say there are four sources that confirmed it and they named the advisor (Broadhaven), which is pretty convincing it is for real. I know one person in particular whom this deal will make happy (Hi Alex!). It is more likely that the impetus of any deal is that the majority owner of TT, Harris Brumfield, believes the time is right to get the right kind of strategic deal done to help further the growth of the company. Harris has a shrewd mind for the big picture and the micro picture as well. More will come on this story. Stay tuned.

FIA has a commentary by Walt Lukken titled “Viewpoint: Markets are key to solving climate problem.”

In more bad news for people who like to eat out in Chicago, Crain’s Chicago Business is reporting that Ruth’s Chris steak house is to permanently close its Chicago location. That only leaves 247 other steak joints in Chicago to eat at, or thereabouts.

Eurex has verbally agreed to sponsor our Daily Update podcast and the weekly recap too as part of their sponsorship deal with us. It is not an exclusive deal, so if others are interested the door is still open.

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


The CFTC said Tuesday the agency’s Division of Enforcement filed 113 enforcement actions in fiscal year 2020 (which ended September 30), more than in any year in the CFTC’s history. As JLN reported last month, the agency scored another record in 2020 when JPMorgan Chase and Co. agreed to pay the U.S. government $920 million in fines and disgorgement to settle spoofing charges. The year’s enforcement actions were done under the watch of Director of Enforcement James McDonald, who is leaving the CFTC on Thursday. He will be replaced by Vincent McGonagle, principal deputy director of the division, who will serve as acting director, the CFTC said. More details on fiscal year 2020 enforcement actions are expected to be included in the division’s annual enforcement report issued later this year.~SC



Trading Technologies Seeks a Buyer
Luisa Beltran – Barron’s
Trading Technologies International, a provider of cloud-based trading software, is up for sale, according to four banking and private-equity executives familiar with the matter. Broadhaven Capital Partners is advising on the auction, the people said. Trading Technologies is expected to sell for roughly $500 million, one of the people said. The process is believed to be in the late stages, with a deal near.

***** I would say they seek a buyer to help them grow and take the next step. Who is that?~JJL


Enforcement Director James McDonald to Depart CFTC
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission today announced that Division of Enforcement Director James McDonald will depart the agency on October 8, 2020. Mr. McDonald has served as Director of Enforcement since April of 2017.

*****Jamie McDonald did a lot of good work as enforcement director. He will also be linked forever with a certain case I shall try to forget.~JJL


Coronavirus Update—Expiration of Temporary Relief from Fingerprinting Requirements
In April 2020, the CFTC’s Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight (DSIO) issued a no-action letter granting temporary relief to registrants and applicants for registration listing a principal, and for applicants for associate person (AP) registration, from the fingerprinting requirements in CFTC Regulations 3.10(a)(2) (for natural person principals) and 3.12(c)(3) (for APs). NFA issued similar relief from the fingerprinting requirements in NFA Registration Rules 204(a)(2)(A) and 206(a)(1)(A). In July 2020, DSIO and NFA extended this relief until September 30, 2020.

***** Time for some new means of identification. How about a DNA swab and Covid-19 test all in one?~JJL


Is Nasdaq moving some of its operations to DFW? Governor says talks held for state
Brian Womack – Dallas Business Journal
Nasdaq is in discussions with Gov. Greg Abbott about potentially relocating the exchange’s electronic trading systems from New Jersey to Dallas-Fort Worth, the Dallas Morning News reported.

*****Nasdaq can go where the Dallas Cowboys football team plays. If they keep playing the way they are, they will be ridden out of the state.~JJL


Tuesday’s Top Three
Our top story Tuesday was the Financial Times’s Investors find new hedges against a US election sell-off. Second was the FIA’s page about FIA Execution Source Code, aka “Tag 1031,” an FIA-led industry initiative in conjunction with FIA Tech. Third was New York Magazine’s GOP Elites Thought They Could Buy Their Way Out of a Pandemic, which contains a picture of a White House gathering including what looks very much like Senator Kelly Loeffler


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Lead Stories

How ‘Animal Crossing’ Is Preparing Players to Trade Stocks; People who love trading turnips on the Nintendo game’s “stalk” market are also trying their hand investing in real shares.
Berber Jin – Bloomberg
“Animal Crossing: New Horizons” became a hit game during the pandemic by providing an enjoyable escape: a virtual paradise where home-bound players across the globe could begin life anew, building up idyllic islands alongside fellow villagers, who appear in the form of birds, dogs, or even ostriches. For Angie Fung, 24, Nintendo’s hottest game of the season led to something unexpected: It turned her into a stock investor.

CFTC Posts Record-Breaking Enforcement Year
Filed More Enforcement Actions Than Any Other Year In Agency’s 45-Year History
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission today announced a record-breaking year in the agency’s Division of Enforcement. In particular, during Fiscal Year 2020, which closed on September 30, 2020, the Commission:

Covid Has Wiped Out the Economic Dreams of a Generation in Asia
Enda Curran – Bloomberg
Those 15 to 24 getting left behind at start of their careers; Women and poorest are hard hit by jobs crisis amid pandemic
Asia’s fast-growing economies for decades have offered millions of young people the chance to do better than their parents, a path to upward mobility now at risk as youth unemployment soars in a region home to a majority of the world’s 15- to 24-year-olds.

Finance Sharpens Its Attack Against New Jersey’s Tax on Trading
Elaine Chen – Bloomberg
Proposal would hurt individual investors, trade groups say; Governor’s measure could drive firms out of state, they warn
The financial-services industry stepped up its battle against a proposed tax on high-speed trading in New Jersey, calling the idea bad for individual investors. The tax would hurt pension funds and people who invest in financial markets for savings, according to letters from more than two dozen industry trade groups including the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association and the Financial Services Institute. The plan “would effectively represent a sales tax on investors,” the groups said in the letters to lawmakers.

Corporate America Condemns Trump Move to Halt Stimulus Talks
Jonathan Roeder, Jordyn Holman, and Mary Schlangenstein – Bloomberg
Retailers, airlines see end of discussions imperiling jobs; ‘Businesses are still really struggling,’ Levi CEO says
Business leaders across America expressed dismay after President Donald Trump announced that his team will halt stimulus talks until after next month’s election, with executives from the retail and air-travel industries saying more jobs will be lost if the economy doesn’t get immediate aid.

QAnon High Priest Was Just Trolling Away as a Citigroup Tech Executive; Jason Gelinas lived a normal suburban life with a plum Wall Street gig. He also ran the conspiracy theory’s biggest news hub.
William Turton, Joshua Brustein – Bloomberg
Like many future Donald Trump voters, Jason Gelinas felt something shift inside him during the presidency of Barack Obama. Things were going OK for him generally. He had a degree from Fordham University and had held a series of jobs at big financial-services firms, eventually becoming a senior vice president at Citigroup in the company’s technology department, where he led an AI project and oversaw a team of software developers. He was married with kids and had a comfortable house in a New Jersey suburb. According to those who know him, Gelinas was a pleasant guy who was into normal stuff: Game of Thrones, recreational soccer, and so on. Things did get weird, though, when politics came up.

CME Group Announces Launch of New TreasuryWatch Tool for Comprehensive Analysis of U.S. Treasury Markets
CME Group
CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, today announced the launch of its new CME TreasuryWatch Tool. With U.S. debt at the highest level since World War II, and expected to exceed the size of the U.S. economy in 2021, this new tool will provide market participants with a comprehensive look at the data shaping cash and futures markets for U.S. Treasuries today.

CFTC Unanimously Approves a Final Rule Amending Form CPO-PQR
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission at its open meeting today unanimously approved a final rule adopting amendments to Form CPO-PQR for commodity pool operators (CPOs).

Hedge Funds Fall Flat When It Comes to Diversifying Their Ranks
Hema Parmar and Annie Massa – Bloomberg
The $3.2 trillion industry has few female or minority leaders; Firms don’t seem to be working on alternative approaches
The place might sound like a Wall Street throwback: Men do the trading. Women do the marketing. Not a single investment employee is Black. But here’s something even more remarkable: none of this is so remarkable at all. This, after all, is the hedge fund industry, one of the most White-male-dominated businesses in the mostly White-male world of American finance.

Nasdaq’s CEO says bringing more people into capital markets is the way to create ‘inclusive capitalism’; Adena Friedman, CEO of the online stock exchange, argues that creating value for all stakeholders will ultimately create more value for investors.
Talib Visram – Fast Company
Nasdaq is committed to achieving “inclusive capitalism,” said CEO Adena Friedman at the Fast Company Innovation Festival. What does that mean for the stock exchange? Bringing more first-time investors into the fold, creating an ecosystem to allow more companies to go public, and changing existing structures so that all stakeholders in a business share a company’s wealth.

PPP Money Abounded—but Some Got It Faster Than Others; Small businesses in underserved communities struggled to navigate the lending process early in the coronavirus pandemic, a WSJ analysis of D.C. loans suggests
Yuka Hayashi, Anthony DeBarros and Amara Omeokwe – WSJ
WASHINGTON—Six months after launching the biggest small business aid initiative in history, Congress is working to extend the Paycheck Protection Program—but with new measures to ensure the most vulnerable of businesses have a better shot at funding.

JPMorgan Pledges to Push Clients to Align With Paris Climate Agreement; The bank, long under pressure from climate activists, says lowering emissions can help a company attract capital and stay relevant
David Benoit – WSJ
The U.S. is pulling out of the Paris climate accord, but the biggest U.S. bank is committing to it. JPMorgan Chase JPM -1.03% & Co. is pledging to use its financing weight to push clients to align with the Paris agreement and work toward global net zero-emissions by 2050. The bank said it would invest in technologies that help reduce carbon emissions and will work with clients to cut their own carbon footprints.

Fujitsu chief apologizes for Tokyo Stock Exchange glitch, vows probe
The Japan Times
Fujitsu Ltd. President Takahito Tokita apologized Monday for the system glitch last week that caused an all-day trading suspension on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, with the developer vowing to fully investigate the cause of the malfunction.

Brussels resists plan to safeguard post-Brexit share trading; European Commission says there is no need to amend EU markets rules to solve problem for dual-listed shares
Jim Brunsden and Philip Stafford – FT
Brussels has pushed back against a move by EU governments to legislate against future friction over access to City of London share trading, saying the plan would cut across Brexit talks.

IEX Makes Expansion Bid as New Limit Order is Approved; The Investors Exchange is now looking to propose a second new order type for NBBO non-mid liquidity.
Mariella Reason – Waters Technology
After thus far competing for mid-point trading, which makes up about 14% of total US equities market volume, the Investors Exchange (IEX) is now making a bid for a larger slice of the market—the displayed trading segment—with the approval of its “discretionary limit” order type. “There seems to be demand for new tools in areas that IEX hasn’t supported historically, and we think we can meet this demand,” says Ronan Ryan, president and co-founder of IEX. Moving into displayed trading, and later

NatWest in new Libor transition push as COVID-19 slows customer switch over
Sinead Cruise – Reuters
Britain’s NatWest Group NWG.L has kicked off a campaign encouraging customers to dump the discredited Libor lending rate, as the coronavirus pandemic slows the pace at which borrowers are shifting to alternatives.

Storm-weary offshore energy firms prep for massive hurricane
Reuters Staff
Oil and gas workers withdrew en masse from offshore production facilities as Hurricane Delta grew into a powerful storm over the Caribbean on its way to the Gulf of Mexico.

Europe’s Banks Get Serious About Work From Home After Covid
Steven Arons and Ruben Munsterman – Bloomberg
Dutch take lead with close to half seen at home after crisis; ABN Amro predicts work from office for 2 or 3 days a week
So how much will you really be able to work from home after the pandemic? A lot more than you might think, if you work for a European bank. As some Wall Street executives warn of the perils of working from home for too long, Europe’s biggest lenders are getting serious about using lessons learned in the pandemic to lower costs and afford employees a better work-life balance. They’re changing a culture that has seen few disruptions of this magnitude since modern office buildings were created.

Venezuela, Once an Oil Giant, Reaches the End of an Era
Venezuela’s oil reserves, the world’s largest, transformed the country and the global energy market. Now its oil sector is grinding to a halt — perhaps never to recover.
Sheyla Urdaneta, Anatoly Kurmanaev and Isayen Herrera – NY Times
For the first time in a century, there are no rigs searching for oil in Venezuela. Wells that once tapped the world’s largest crude reserves are abandoned or left to flare toxic gases that cast an orange glow over depressed oil towns.

Market Structure Partners: Study On The Creation Of An EU Consolidated Tape
Market Structure Partners, “MSP”, today announces the publication of its study, undertaken on behalf of the European Commission, on the creation of an EU consolidated tape for equity and debt markets.

GE Is Still Haunted by a ‘$15 Billion Problem’; An SEC notice of possible penalties over the company’s handling of an insurance business is a reminder of the many troublesome legacy issues that remain.
Brooke Sutherland – Bloomberg
Try as it might, General Electric Co. can’t escape its past. The latest reminder came on Tuesday when the embattled industrial giant said it had received a “Wells notice” from staff at the Securities and Exchange Commission — a warning that the regulator may pursue civil action over the potential violation of securities laws.

Credit Suisse Apologizes for Black Janitor Act at Chairman Party
Patrick Winters – Bloomberg
Black performer dressed as janitor at chairman event last year; Former CEO Tidjane Thiam left the room, according to NYT
Credit Suisse Group AG apologized for “any offense” caused by a performer who dressed as a janitor at a party for the bank’s chairman last year, causing former Chief Executive Officer Tidjane Thiam to leave the room.


Rich world could be close to normal by late 2021 if vaccine works, Bill Gates says
Guy Faulconbridge, Kate Holton – Reuters
Rich countries could be back to close to normal by late 2021 if a COVID-19 vaccine works, is ready soon and distributed properly at scale, Microsoft founder Bill Gates said on Tuesday.

‘Work from work:’ How a U.S. energy firm’s office return left some employees bruised
Liz Hampton, Erwin Seba – Reuters
euAs the world experimented with working from home, U.S. energy firm Phillips 66 Co PSX.N went the other way: it imposed a “work-from-work” policy for staff at its Houston headquarters in May even as the city became a hot spot for the pandemic.

Are Hospitals Ready For Covid’s Second Wave? Europe is locking down swathes of the economy to slow the coronavirus, but that isn’t the only way to protect health care services in a pandemic.
Lionel Laurent – Bloomberg
The brutal experience of Covid-19’s first wave humbled many rich countries where even generous health care systems were overwhelmed by an unfamiliar virus. Just as past outbreaks taught Asia hard truths about how to deal with pandemics, lessons from this novel coronavirus abound in the West: Italy has ramped up intensive-care capacity, France is paying health workers better and Spain is building a new pandemic hospital.

Even Mild Covid-19 Infections Can Make People Sick for Months
Jason Gale – Bloomberg
66% of mild-to-moderate cases report symptoms after 60 days; Loss of smell and taste among persistent effects, study finds
Covid-19 patients who experience even the mildest illness risk suffering symptoms for months, researchers in France found. Two-thirds of patients who had a mild-to-moderate case of Covid-19 reported symptoms 60 days after falling ill, when more than a third still felt sick or in a worse condition than when their coronavirus infection began. Prolonged symptoms were more likely among patients aged 40 to 60 years and those who required hospitalization, according to staff at Tours University Hospital, who followed 150 non-critical patients from March to June.

‘Great Polarization’ May Be Next for World’s Rich, UBS Says
Richard Macauley and Julia Fanzeres – Bloomberg
Pandemic could be inflection point for old and new industries; Philanthropy is growing along with total billionaire wealth
The huge boost to the fortunes of technology and health-care billionaires during the coronavirus pandemic may be the beginning of a more permanent trend. The Covid-19 shock could act as a catalyst to spur increased opportunities for those who offer digital or other tech solutions, while the wealth of those in older industries may in turn suffer, UBS Group AG and PricewaterhouseCoopers said Wednesday in a report.

New lockdowns ordered in New York neighborhoods with surge of coronavirus cases
V.L. Hendrickson – MarketWatch
Nonessential businesses will be closed, restaurants must go back to takeout-only and religious gatherings will be capped at 10 people in areas with highest infection rates

White House contact tracing questioned as COVID-19 spreads in Washington
Patricia Zengerle, Andrea Shalal, Heather Timmons – Reuters
The White House contact tracing program is too haphazard to pinpoint or halt a COVID-19 outbreak that was rapidly spreading in the U.S. capital city, health experts and city officials said on Tuesday.

Bill Gates Says Antibody Drugs Could Sharply Reduce Covid-19 Death Rate; Effective vaccines could bring life back to normal by end of next year, he says
Betsy McKay – WSJ
Antibody drugs that are in testing and were administered to President Trump could significantly reduce the death rate from Covid-19 once they are approved by regulators and more widely available, billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates said Tuesday.

U.S. Adds Almost 40,000 Coronavirus Cases as Trump Leaves Hospital; The country’s total Covid-19 infections are at nearly 7.5 million
Talal Ansari and Adam Martin – WSJ
The U.S. added almost 40,000 coronavirus cases, bringing its total to nearly 7.5 million, as President Trump returned to the White House after three nights in a hospital with Covid-19 and several top military officials went into quarantine.

White House Agrees to FDA’s Guidelines for Vetting Covid-19 Vaccines; The decision means the FDA has the Trump administration’s support for a rigorous vaccine review that is unlikely to yield an authorization before Election Day
Thomas M. Burton and Rebecca Ballhaus – WSJ
The White House cast aside its objections and endorsed the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s plans for assessing whether a Covid-19 vaccine should be given to the public, making it likely that a shot won’t be cleared until after the election, people familiar with the matter said.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

LSE Upgrades Connectivity Options With TNS Ultra-Low Latency Solution
London Stock Exchange
Transaction Network Services (TNS) has today revealed that it has installed its ultra-low latency TNSXpress Layer 1 solution at the London Stock Exchange (LSE) colocation facility. This development means that LSE traders can now leverage speeds of between 5-85 nanoseconds thanks to the unique single hop architecture that the TNSXpress Layer 1 solution uses. This infrastructure is up to 10 times faster than traditional Layer 3 architectures.

First AMERIBOR-Linked Debt Offering Priced; $375 Million Subordinated Debt Deal By Signature Bank (Nasdaq: SBNY)
In the first use of AMERIBOR® in a debt deal, New York-based Signature Bank (Nasdaq: SBNY) announced the closing of $375 million aggregate principal amount of fixed-to-floating rate subordinated notes due in 2030. The notes will bear interest at 4% per annum, payable semi-annually. For the floating component, interest on the notes will accrue at three-month AMERIBOR plus 389 basis points. The offering was handled by Stifel’s Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, and Piper Sandler.

Eight exchange operators also attacked during New Zealand hack, says cyber intelligence group chairman; Jerry Perullo, chief information security officer for ICE and NYSE, stated that other exchanges had been targeted alongside NZX.
By Kiays Khalil – The Trade
Eight stock exchanges were attacked around the same that the New Zealand Exchange (NZX) was hacked and forced to close its operations for four days, a cyber intelligence expert has said.

Quantitative Brokers rolls out algorithm suite on derivatives market at SGX; Quantitative Brokers will provide its full suite of agency algorithms to SGX clients including the Bolt, Strobe, Closer, Octane, and The Roll strategies.
By Annabel Smith – The Trade
Execution algorithm provider Quantitative Brokers has launched its full suite of execution algorithms on the Singapore Exchange (SGX) derivatives market.

LSE speeds up connectivity for traders with TNS; The TNS partnership and installation of TNSXpress Layer 1 will allow LSE traders to leverage connection speeds of between 5-85 nanoseconds.
By Annabel Smith – The Trade
The London Stock Exchange (LSE) has upgraded its connectivity with the ultra-low latency service from market data and connectivity provider Transaction Network Services (TNS).

Vaccibody admitted to trading
The biotech company Vaccibody has today been admitted to trading on Merkur Market (ticker code: VACC-ME). Vaccibody is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery and development of novel immunotherapies.

Eurex introduces next generation of ESG derivatives
Deutsche Börse Group
New ESG futures and options on the DAX 50 ESG and EURO STOXX 50 ESG index; The next step from the elimination process to the integrated ESG ranking
The international derivatives exchange Eurex supports the global trend towards responsible investing by further expanding its ESG segment. With futures and options on the EURO STOXX 50 ESG Index and the DAX 50 ESG Index, Eurex will add another European ESG benchmark to its offering and establish an ESG offering specifically for the German market. Trading in the two new ESG contracts will start on November 9th.

Money market derivatives: Introduction of new expiration dates for EONIA Futures (FEO1) and EUR Secured Funding Futures (FLIC)
In June 2020, the European Central Bank (ECB) published its indicative calendar for the reserve maintenance periods in 2021 and amended the January 2021 end of maintenance period day from 2 February 2021 to 26 January 2021.

Equity index derivatives: Introduction of futures and options on the EURO STOXX 50 ESG and DAX 50 ESG indexes; Eurex Circular 076/20 Equity index derivatives: Introduction of futures and options on the EURO STOXX 50 ESG and DAX 50 ESG indexes
The Management Board of Eurex Deutschland took the following decisions with effect from
9 November 2020: Introduction of futures and options on the EURO STOXX 50 ESG and the DAX 50 ESG indexes;
Inclusion of the new products in the existing Liquidity Provider schemes (as of 1 December 2020)

ASX Monthly Activity Report – September 2020

TMX Group Consolidated Trading Statistics – September 2020
TMX Group Limited today announced September 2020 trading statistics for its marketplaces – Toronto Stock Exchange, TSX Venture Exchange, TSX Alpha Exchange (Alpha) and Montréal Exchange (MX).

Ag Barometer rises as crop prices rally and USDA announces CFAP 2
CME Group
Farmer sentiment hit a post pandemic high in September, according to the Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer. The index rose to a reading of 156, up 12 points from August and up 60 points from its 2020 low in April. The Current Conditions Index also saw an uptick, jumping 18 points to a reading of 142 in September, and the Future Expectations Index rose 9 points to a reading of 163. The Ag Economy Barometer is based on survey responses from 400 U.S. agricultural producers and was conducted between September 21-25, 2020.

Effective Dates for Spot Month Position Limits in the November 2020 Core Products
CME Group
Spot month limits are effective at the close of trading on the dates listed (in chronological order):

Performance Bond Requirements: Equity Margins – Effective October 07, 2020
CME Group
As per the normal review of market volatility to ensure adequate collateral coverage, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc., Clearing House Risk Management staff approved the performance bond requirements for the following products listed in the advisory at the link below. Please email any questions to

Performance Bond Requirements: Agriculture and Energy Margins – Effective October 07, 2020
CME Group
As per the normal review of market volatility to ensure adequate collateral coverage, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc., Clearing House Risk Management staff approved the performance bond requirements for the following products listed in the advisory at the link below.

Change in Eurodollar and SOFR strike formats tentatively rescheduled to Monday, November 23, 2020
CME Group
At the request of several clearing firms, in order to provide more time for their testing, the listing of options on Eurodollars and 3-month SOFR futures with strike prices at increments of 0.0625 index points, and the concomitant change to strike price formats in the positional-format SPAN and settlement price files, has been postponed.

Trading Overview in September 2020 & First Half of FY2020 (April to September)
Japan Exchange Group released Trading Overview in September 2020 & First Half of FY2020 (April to September)
Cash Equity Market – In the first half of FY2020, the daily average trading value for the TSE 1st Section (domestic common stocks) was JPY 2.5993 trillion.
Derivatives Market – In the first half of FY2020, total derivatives trading volume was 205,838,365 contracts, the third-highest trading volume over the same period.


Quantitative Brokers Expands in APAC by Providing Co-located Execution Algorithms for SGX Derivatives Market
Quantitative Brokers
Quantitative Brokers (QB), an independent provider of advanced execution algorithms and data-driven analytics for global futures and options markets, today launched its full suite of award-winning execution algorithms on the Singapore Exchange (SGX) derivatives market.

SpiderRock Advisors to Provide Risk Management and Income-Focused Options Solutions to Custom SMA Clients on the Envestnet Platform
SpiderRock Advisors, LLC (SRA), a $1.5 billion asset management firm focused on providing customized option overlay strategies to advisors and institutions, today announced that it will begin offering their option overlay strategies to clients via the Envestnet platform.

After Wirecard, a pitch for bigger DAX with stricter rules
Reuters Staff
Germany’s blue-chip DAX .GDAXI index should expand to 40 from 30 companies with tougher membership criteria, exchange operator Deutsche Boerse DB1Gn.DE said on Monday while outlining proposed reforms in the wake of the Wirecard WDIG.DE accounting scandal.

Nvidia lays out plan to create new kind of data center chip
Reuters Staff
Nvidia Corp NVDA.O on Monday laid out a multi-year plan to create a new kind of chip for data centers, aimed at siphoning off more functions from its chief rival Intel Corp INTC.O.

Slack says some users facing performance glitches on app
Reuters Staff
Slack Technologies Inc said on Monday some of it users were facing faulty performance on its workplace messaging platform, which is widely used by employees working remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Exclusive: German coalition agrees tighter oversight after Wirecard scandal
Michael Nienaber – Reuters
Germany’s coalition parties have agreed a package of reforms to financial and accounting rules aimed at avoiding another Wirecard scandal, a document seen by Reuters shows.

Instinet hires Tower Research Capital Europe liquidity head Dove for strategy role; Simon Dove will become head of liquidity strategy for EMEA at Instinet after four years with Tower Research Capital Europe.
By Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Head of liquidity and managing director at proprietary trading firm Tower Research Capital Europe will leave after four years for a new role at agency broker Instinet, The TRADE understands.

TORA expands OEMS to support fixed income trading; TORA’s OEMS incorporates a range of tools to help traders access bond liquidity and to execute and manage bond orders across a range of sectors.
By Annabel Smith – The Trade
Trading systems provider TORA has expanded its execution management system (OEMS) platform to support fixed income trading activities.


U.K. Watchdog Bans Sale of Cryptocurrency Derivatives to Individual Investors
Caitlin Ostroff – WSJ
The U.K.’s financial watchdog said it will ban the sale of derivatives linked to cryptocurrencies to retail consumers. The ban aims to protect small-time investors from large price swings in assets whose value is linked to cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, ether or ripple. Under the rules, firms acting in the U.K. will be unable to sell, market or distribute derivatives, including options and futures contracts, to retail customers. Stocks of spread-betting firms that allow retail traders to bet on cryptocurrency derivatives fell on the news.

*****See also: “U.K. FCA Bans Sale of Crypto-Derivatives to Retail Investors” by Bloomberg, “Crypto derivatives for retail investors banned by UK regulator” by the Financial Times, and “Ripple Chairman Says Firm Could Leave US if Regulatory Environment Doesn’t Change” by Coindesk.~MR

Ripple threatens to leave U.S. over crypto regulation
Jeff John Roberts – Fortune
A senior executive from Ripple, one of the country’s most prominent cryptocurrency firms, warned on Tuesday the company is close to moving its headquarters overseas in response to excessive regulation.
Executive chairman Chris Larsen said San Fransisco-based Ripple has grown increasingly frustrated over what it perceives as a hostile attitude to the cryptocurrency industry by the federal government, and in particular the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Ripple has been locked in a long-running battle with the SEC and investors over whether the digital currency XRP is a security.

SEC Commissioner Peirce Chats About DeFi, Tokens and Her Unikrn Dissent at LA Blockchain Summit
Jaspreet Kalra – Coindesk
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commissioner Hester Peirce discussed some major trends in the digital asset world during a chat with journalist Laura Shin, at the LA Blockchain Summit on Tuesday.

Inside the Marshall Islands’ New Cryptocurrency: The SOV
Robert Stevens – Decrypt
The SOV is the Marshall Islands’ new crypto. It’s a fully-fledged, state-backed cryptocurrency set to launch within the next few months. Its meant to help the island nation end its reliance on the US dollar. Its creators, SFB Technologies, are set to get 7.5% of the monetary supply.

‘High Risk’ Warning: A Major Bitcoin Exchange Is In Even Worse Trouble Than Thought
Billy Bambrough – Forbes
The bitcoin and cryptocurrency world was rocked last week by news U.S. authorities had levied charges against major bitcoin and crypto exchange BitMEX and its leadership team. BitMEX executives Arthur Hayes, Benjamin Delo and Samuel Reed were indicted by the U.S. government on October 1, accused of flouting U.S. banking laws while serving American customers.

Goldman Sach’s former top technologist is joining’s advisory board as chairman
Frank Chaparro – The Block
Marty Chavez, one of Wall Street’s most well-known technologists, has fallen deeper into the crypto rabbit hole.
The former chief financial officer and chief technology officer of banking behemoth Goldman Sachs is joining as chair of its advisory board, according to an announcement Tuesday. is the firm behind public blockchain and its digital currency EOS.

Chainalysis hits BitMEX with ‘high risk’ warning
Ryan Weeks – The Block
Chainalysis, the influential cryptocurrency investigations firm, has slapped futures exchange BitMEX with a “high risk” label. On October 5, Chainalysis contacted its clients — which include government agencies, banks and exchanges — to advise them that it will consider BitMEX a “high risk exchange” from October 13 onward. Those using the company’s transaction monitoring tool, which is called KYT, will now see both future and historical transfers from BitMEX trigger alerts in the system.

Ethereum hashrate hit a new all-time high amid DeFi growth
Yogita Khatri – The Block
Ethereum’s hashrate, or the network’s processing power, hit a new all-time high yesterday amid continuous growth in the decentralized finance (DeFi) space. The hashrate increased to more than 254,000 GH/s (Giga hash per second) on October 6 as compared to the previous all-time high of 248,000 GH/s in August 2018, according to The Block Research. Meanwhile, the price of ether (ETH) hovers around $350 for about the last month.

South Korea’s Central Bank to Test Digital Currency With Banks in 2021
Daniel Palmer – Coindesk
The Bank of Korea (BoK) is to run trials of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) through next year, the institution announced Wednesday. As reported by The Korea Herald, the move follows the progress of research to the technical phase in the summer and will see testing of distribution and circulation of the digital coin. With China fast moving toward the launch of its CDBC and having already held tests across the nation assisted by banks and firms, South Korea moved to accelerate its work on a CBDC in April.

KuCoin Restarts Deposits, Withdrawals for Bitcoin, Ether Following $281M Hack
Daniel Palmer – Coindesk
Cryptocurrency exchange KuCoin is bringing more services back online after suffering a major hack late last month. In a service update early on Wednesday, the South Korean platform said it is once more allowing deposits and withdrawals for bitcoin (BTC), ether (ETH) and the tether (USDT) stablecoin after upgrading wallet security for those cryptocurrencies. KuCoin noted that wallet addresses for these coins had been refreshed and, while the older addresses would still work, it recommended users update. The USDT versions for Tron, EOS, Omni and the Ethereum blockchain are all now open for deposits and withdrawals.


Russia trying to stoke societal tensions and white supremacy is the most lethal threat to the United States, new DHS report says
Ellen Nakashima and Shane Harris – Washington Post
Russia is the country most aggressively trying to inflame social and racial tensions in the United States, and white supremacists pose “the most persistent and lethal threat” to the country, the Department of Homeland Security said in a new report Tuesday.

Factbox: What a Joe Biden win could mean for financial policy
Pete Schroeder – Reuters
While Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is unlikely to prioritize a financial industry crackdown if he wins on Nov. 3, he is expected to take a much tougher line than Trump and his former boss President Barack Obama.

Wall Street’s regulatory gains set to stand even under Biden
Pete Schroeder, Michelle Price – Reuters
A victory for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Nov. 3 would spell the end of the party for the banking industry which has enjoyed more than $40 billion in regulatory cuts under U.S. President Donald Trump’s business-friendly administration.

China says U.S. TikTok, WeChat bans break WTO rules
Reuters Staff
China said at a World Trade Organization meeting that restrictions by the United States on Chinese mobile applications TikTok and WeChat are in violation of the body’s rules, a trade official said.

Putin Praises Trump Ties and Says Biden May Not Be Bad Too
Ilya Arkhipov and Stepan Kravchenko – Bloomberg
Kremlin leader says he appreciates Trump effort to boost ties; Putin sees common ground with Biden on missile treaty, values
Vladimir Putin praised Donald Trump for improving U.S.-Russia ties and said he also saw grounds for cooperation with a Joe Biden administration, while mocking claims he’s meddling in the presidential election.

Trump Holds America Hostage With Stalled Covid Relief; Electoral and economic common sense is being trampled by nonsense.
By Timothy L. O’Brien and Nir Kaissar – Bloomberg
This is what the collapse of a federal effort to aid workers, states, cities and businesses battered by the Covid-19 pandemic sounds like, via a series of presidential tweets: “Nancy Pelosi is asking for $2.4 Trillion Dollars to bailout poorly run, high crime, Democrat States, money that is in no way related to COVID-19. We made a very generous offer of $1.6 Trillion Dollars and, as usual, she is not negotiating in good faith. I am rejecting their request, and looking to the future of our Country. I have instructed my representatives to stop negotiating until after the election when, immediately after I win, we will pass a major Stimulus Bill that focuses on hardworking Americans and Small Business,” President Donald Trump allowed on Tuesday afternoon. “I have asked @senatemajldr Mitch McConnell not to delay, but to instead focus full time on approving my outstanding nominee to the United States Supreme Court, Amy Coney Barrett.”

Why We’re Not Voting by Phone Yet
Mobile voting would make the process faster, easier and more accessible for most people and several mobile-voting pilot programs have been launched with the expectation that over the coming years, the generations that have grown up using smartphones will demand services for voting as well. But the effort to get people voting on their phones also presents new concerns about privacy and security.

Delayed Homeland Security Report Warns of ‘Lethal’ White Supremacy; An annual assessment that a whistle-blower said was withheld for months did not hold back on the threat from violent extremists and tagged Russia as the primary source of disinformation.
Zolan Kanno-Youngs – NY Times
The Department of Homeland Security warned on Tuesday that violent white supremacy was the “most persistent and lethal threat in the homeland” in an annual assessment that a former intelligence chief had accused the agency of withholding in deference to President Trump.

House Panel Urges Tech Giant Breakup in Plan Republicans Shunned
By Ben Brody and David McLaughlin – Bloomberg
Democratic panel issues proposals after 16-month investigation; House report proposes curbs on acquisitions for tech companies
A House panel proposed far-reaching antitrust reforms to curb the power of U.S. technology giants including Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google, culminating a 16-month investigation with a damning 449-page report that Republicans largely shunned.


Commissioner Stump to Participate in a Fireside Chat at the Security Traders Association 2020 Market Structure Conference

Statement of Chairman Heath P. Tarbert in Support of Revising Form CPO-PQR
When the Commission considered the proposed rule to amend the compliance requirements for commodity pool operators (CPOs) on Form CPO-PQR,[1] I observed that the esteemed 19th century mathematician Charles Babbage had asked “if you put into the machine the wrong figures, will the right answers come out?”[2] Baggage foresaw what would evolve in the 20th century as the “garbage-in, garbage-out” predicament—that is, the concept that flawed, or nonsense, input data produces nonsense output or “garbage.”

Supporting Statement from Commissioner Brian Quintenz on Final Rule to Amend Compliance Requirements for Commodity Pool Operators on Form CPO-PQR
I support today’s final rule that would simplify and streamline the reporting obligations of commodity pool operators (CPOs) on Form CPO-PQR. The Commission first adopted Form CPO-PQR in 2012 and closely modeled the form on Form PF. The Commission adopted the Form of its own volition; unlike Form PF, which is specifically mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act, there is no similar statutory directive requiring the adoption of Form CPO-PQR.[1] In my opinion, since its adoption, the detailed information requested on Form CPO-PQR has not significantly enhanced the Commission’s oversight over CPOs and has never been fully utilized by staff. I have long questioned the Commission’s need to know the litany of data requested on the Form.

Concurring Statement of Commissioner Rostin Behnam Regarding the Amendments to Compliance Requirements for Commodity Pool Operators and Form CPO-PQR
I respectfully concur with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (the Commission or CFTC) issuance of today’s final rule (the Final Rule) amending Regulation 4.27 and Form CPO-PQR. As a whole, the Final Rule provides a thoughtfully balanced and complete evaluation of the issues identified in the notice of proposed rulemaking[1] and the responsive comments. Perhaps, just as importantly, the Final Rule clearly acknowledges that it is the first of several steps in the Commission’s ongoing assessment of Form CPO-PQR not only for its utility as a regulatory tool, but as a yardstick to measure improvements to the Commission’s data integration and analytical capabilities. The Final Rule makes smart, targeted corrections without forgoing the possibility of future adjustments should the Commission later determine that additional data would support evolving regulatory initiatives or Financial Stability Oversight Counsel (FSOC) requirements to fulfill statutorily mandated duties and initiatives aimed at identifying and monitoring risks to financial stability.[2]

Statement of Commissioner Dawn D. Stump Regarding Final Rule: Amendments to Compliance Requirements for Commodity Pool Operators on Form CPO-PQR
Data is essential to our work here at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and as such I am pleased that we are devoting attention to improving and refining the information the agency requires. At our most recent meeting, the Commission finalized significant improvements to our swap data reporting rules. Today we continue to make progress regarding our data collection efforts and are moving in the right direction when it comes to CFTC Form CPO-PQR. I wish to thank the Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight, Office of the Chief Economist, and Office of the General Counsel for their efforts in advancing this final rule before us.

Statement of Commissioner Dan M. Berkovitz Regarding Form CPO-PQR Reporting Requirements for Commodity Pool Operators: Final Rule
I am voting for the final rule to amend Regulation 4.27 and Form CPO-PQR (Final Rule). This Final Rule makes adjustments to the reporting requirements for Commodity Pool Operators (CPOs) and their pools based on lessons learned over several years since the requirements were first adopted.

CFTC and the Office of Financial Research Sign Memorandum of Understanding to Allow Information Sharing
Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Heath P. Tarbert and the Office of Financial Research (OFR) Director Dino Falaschetti today signed a Memorandum of Understanding that establishes a framework for the CFTC to share with OFR information and data reported on Form CPO-PQR, which is filed with the CFTC by CFTC-registered commodity pool operators (CPOs). The MOU also confirms both agencies’ commitment to working together to fulfill their statutory and regulatory mandates.

GE Says It Has Received ‘Wells Notice’ From SEC Relating to Accounting Investigation; SEC staff recommend civil action against the company for allegedly violating securities laws
Theo Francis and Ted Mann – WSJ
Federal securities regulators have warned General Electric Co. of a civil-enforcement action over its accounting for a legacy insurance business, adding a fresh hurdle to efforts to turn around the once-mighty manufacturer.

2020 FINRA Artificial Intelligence (AI) Virtual Conference and FinTech Office Hours
FINRA’s Virtual Artificial Intelligence (AI) Conference and FinTech Office Hours are scheduled to occur on November 9 and November 10, respectively. The Virtual AI Conference is a half day event designed to bring together regulators and industry leaders within the financial industry to discuss the use of AI and related opportunities and challenges.

FINRA Alerts Firms to Phishing Email Requesting Them to Respond to Fraudulent FINRA Survey
FINRA warns member firms of a widespread, ongoing phishing campaign that involves fraudulent emails purporting to be from FINRA asking member firms to complete a survey (see sample below). The email was sent from the domain “” and was preceded by “info” followed by a number, e.g., FINRA recommends that anyone who clicked on any link or image in the email immediately notify the appropriate individuals in their firm of the incident.

The Coronavirus Is Novel, but Crisis-related Scams Are Nothing New
The North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) and FINRA have joined to encourage investors to proceed cautiously with new investment opportunities considering the potential for fraudsters to take advantage of the buzz surrounding companies promoting products and services related to the coronavirus pandemic.

SEC Updates Regulatory Framework for Fund of Funds Arrangements
The Securities and Exchange Commission today voted to adopt a new rule and related amendments designed to put in place a comprehensive regulatory framework for fund of funds arrangements. The rule also reflects the Commission’s decades of experience with fund of funds arrangements and will create a consistent and efficient rules-based regime for the formation and oversight of funds of funds.

Investing and Trading

Barchart Releases October U.S. Production and Yield Forecasts for Corn and Soybeans; cmdty Production Forecast Indexes predict production levels at 15,119M bu for corn and 4,190M bu for soybeans in the U.S.
Barchart, a leading provider of data and technology services to the financial, media, and commodity industries, announces their October cmdty Production Forecasts at 15,119M bu for corn and 4,190M bu for soybeans in the U.S, which incorporates forecasts for end of season yield at 178.2 bu/ac for corn and 50.5 bu/ac for soybeans in the U.S. This represents a decrease in expected yield for corn, relative to the September 2 report, which predicted end of season yield at 178.4 bu/ac. End of season yield for soybeans remains the same at 50.5 bu/ac.

U.S. commercial bankruptcies up 33% year to date
Reuters Staff
U.S. commercial bankruptcy filings are up 33% so far this year with new cases in September surging by 78% from a year earlier as the recession triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic hits small businesses, data released on Monday showed. Filings by individuals, however, are lower so far this year courtesy of government relief efforts.

Airlines warn of more bankruptcies as wage support ends
Reuters Staff
Global airlines warned on Tuesday that the coronavirus-stricken industry was on course to burn through another $77 billion in cash in the second half of 2020, calling on governments to renew expiring wage support programmes.

Tesla in talks with BHP over nickel supply pact – Bloomberg News
Reuters Staff
Tesla Inc TSLA.O is in talks with BHP Group BHP.AX about a nickel supply deal as the electric-car maker targets higher production and seeks to avoid a supply crunch, Bloomberg News reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Global central bankers say fiscal aid crucial in new phase of pandemic battle
Howard Schneider, Balazs Koranyi – Reuters
Top U.S. and European central bankers on Tuesday called for renewed government spending to support families and businesses as the battle against the coronavirus-triggered recession enters a newly critical phase.

Powell: Coronavirus economy still at risk of downward spiral
Reuters Staff
The U.S. economic recovery remains far from complete and could still slip into a downward spiral if the coronavirus is not effectively controlled and growth sustained, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell warned on Tuesday in a call for more help to businesses and households.

Risk haunts Societe Generale’s Oudea in elusive hunt for growth
Maya Nikolaeva – Reuters
Frederic Oudea promised Societe Generale investors “growth with lower risk” after he became chief executive in 2008, the year a rogue trader lost billions in equity derivatives and brought the French bank close to collapse.

Goldman Sachs: A Democratic sweep would mean faster economic recovery
Matt Egan – CNN
President Donald Trump is once again warning voters that Democrats would “shut our economy and jobs down” if they win in November.
Goldman Sachs is telling its clients the exact opposite.
Just hours after Trump’s all-caps Monday morning tweet predicting economic disaster, Goldman economists pointed out that polls “suggest a ‘blue wave’ in which Democrats gain unified control of Washington is becoming more likely” — and they’re not suggesting investors dump stocks.

Billionaire Wealth Hits $10 Trillion For First Time Ever Thanks To Government Stimulus
Ollie Williams – Forbes
Coronavirus has boosted total billionaire wealth to its highest level ever. Since the pandemic begun [sic], the total wealth held by billionaires around the world has grown by a quarter to over $10 trillion.

Billionaires’ wealth rises to $10.2 trillion amid Covid crisis
Rupert Neate – The Guardian
The world’s billionaires “did extremely well” during the coronavirus pandemic, growing their already-huge fortunes to a record high of $10.2tn (£7.8tn).
A report by Swiss bank UBS found that billionaires increased their wealth by more than a quarter (27.5%) at the height of the crisis from April to July, just as millions of people around the world lost their jobs or were struggling to get by on government schemes.

Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance

Scientists Say 2020 May Smash Heat Record; Last month set worldwide temperature record for September, sending Arctic ice deeper in retreat
Todd Gillespie – Bloomberg
Climate scientists warned 2020 could be the world’s hottest year on record, with September temperatures eclipsing previous highs and Arctic ice retreating from the seas it usually covers.

Total Adds New Floating Wind Project to Growing Green Portfolio
Francois De Beaupuy – Bloomberg
Floating turbines allow wind farms to be built in deeper water; European oil companies are preparing for a low-carbon future
Total SE took a stake in a French floating wind farm project, its third investment in the nascent industry this year as the oil and gas giant reshapes itself for a low-carbon future.

Carbon Prices Jump After EU Assembly Backs Tougher Climate Goals
Ewa Krukowska – Bloomberg
EU Parliament seeks a 60% cut in emissions by 2030 from 1990; Changes to Green Deal law require approval by EU governments
The European Parliament endorsed a plan to toughen the bloc’s 2030 emissions-reduction target to 60% from 1990 levels, putting pressure on European Union governments in upcoming talks about the final shape of a landmark climate law.

Failure to Tackle Climate Change Suppresses Rates, ECB Study Says
Carolynn Look and Alastair Marsh – Bloomberg
Slow progress in reducing carbon emissions risks putting pressure on central banks to keep interest rates low, according to a European Central Bank working paper.

Exxon, Oil Rivals Shield Their Carbon Forecasts From Investors; Big Oil provides forward guidance on production and earnings, but not on emissions.
Akshat Rathi and Kevin Crowley – Blomberg
A giant oil company like Exxon Mobil Corp. will publicly disclose forward-looking numbers on production forecasts, earnings potential and capital expenditures. But the biggest fossil-fuel producers don’t provide short-term guidance to investors on the metric that’s become existentially important: carbon-dioxide emissions.


Japan’s Nomura to start new grads in call centre as sales change – sources
Takashi Umekawa – Reuters
The brokerage arm of Japan’s Nomura Holdings Inc will send new-graduate employees to work at its call centre for their first year to expose them to dealing with customers over the phone, two people familiar with the matter said.

JPMorgan names two senior wealth managers for Russia
By Reuters Staff
JPMorgan is looking to bolster its Russian private banking team with two new appointments, the bank said in an internal memo seen by Reuters.

Bank of America wades into digital financial planning space
Imani Moise – Reuters
Bank of America Corp said on Monday it is rolling out a digital financial planning tool, wading into a space that has so far been dominated by fintech companies.

Deutsche Bank CEO does not want to be junior partner in M&A: Bloomberg TV
Reuters Staff
Deutsche Bank’s chief executive Christian Sewing does not want the German lender to play second fiddle in any potential tie-up with other lenders, he said in an interview with Bloomberg TV.

Goldman Sachs to not name more than 60 partners in 2020 – WSJ
Reuters Staff
Goldman Sachs Group Inc will name no more than 60 partners in 2020, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

David Solomon is making it harder to get to the top at Goldman Sachs
Thornton McEnery – NY Post
David Solomon wants to make Goldman Sachs the most exclusive club on Wall Street once again. The CEO, known for side-gigging in the Hamptons as a DJ, is clamping down on who makes it into the $2 trillion megabank’s inner circle by shrinking the number of people it promotes to partner and creating new financial perks for those who make it past the red velvet rope, according to a new report.


Singapore’s Temasek establishes new asset manager overseeing $55 billion
Reuters Staff
Singapore state investor Temasek Holding said on Tuesday that it has established a new asset management group that will have combined assets under management of about S$75 billion ($55.14 billion).

Norway Reveals Record Withdrawals From $1.1 Trillion Fund
Jonas Cho Walsgard and Lars Erik Taraldsen – Bloomberg
Norway’s government is on track to withdraw a record amount from its sovereign wealth fund this year, and to continue pumping historic amounts of stimulus in 2021, to fight the “severe setback” triggered by the Covid crisis.

Motley Fool to Leave Hong Kong, Citing National Security Law
Shirley Zhao – Bloomberg
Publication says new law among number of uncertainties in city; Lead analyst discloses publication’s decision on website
Motley Fool, the investing news site, said it will shut its Hong Kong operations because of the growing uncertainty of doing business in the city. The publication, which expanded into Hong Kong in 2018, made the decision because of the difficulty foreseeing how the company would fare in the city in the coming years in the wake of the turmoil that’s been gripping the financial hub since last year, Hayes Chan, lead analyst at Motley Fool Hong Kong, wrote on the site this week.

My Nintendo Shows Why This Stimulus Won’t Work; Australia should target support at the people who need it — and are more likely to spend it.
David Fickling – Blomberg
How’s this for a first world problem? Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in Australia, my household has been finding it unexpectedly difficult to spend all of our wages. Perhaps it shouldn’t be so surprising. Our two working-age adults are lucky enough to be in full-time jobs and haven’t really suffered any reduction in income due to the virus. On the other side of the ledger, many of our usual expenditures stopped or found themselves sharply reduced when lockdown started.


Brexit Is a Sideshow for Pound Traders. Covid Is the Main Event; Sterling will get a boost from any EU trade deal, but the Treasury and BOE’s battle against the pandemic’s economic devastation is far more important.
By Marcus Ashworth – Bloomberg
The recent strengthening of the pound toward $1.30 reflects rising market expectations of a post-Brexit trade deal between the U.K. and the European Union. Analysts from Citigroup Inc. were brave enough to say the chances are as high as 80%.

Brexit Talks Are Stuck on Fish, a Red Line for France’s Macron
Ian Wishart, Ania Nussbaum, and John Follain – Bloomberg
Emmanuel Macron holds the key to the U.K. getting a trade deal with the European Union. So far he’s keeping it in his pocket. The French president is standing firm on his demand to keep the same access to British waters his country’s fishing industry enjoys today, according to officials familiar with the talks. That’s angering the British and creating tensions even among his allies within the EU. As the Brexit talks enter their final critical few weeks, officials on both sides are voicing doubts over whether they can get a deal over the line. EU negotiators say that while they wait for Prime Minister Boris Johnson to offer concessions on state aid — the other major obstacle to an accord — Paris’s stance on fish is becoming a second major focus of concern.

Exclusive: ‘Big progress’ in Brexit talks leaves EU seeing trade deal closer – sources
Gabriela Baczynska – Reuters
Britain and the EU are closer to agreement on reciprocal social security rights for their citizens after Brexit, two diplomatic sources said, with one describing talks last week on an elusive trade deal as “one of the most positive so far”.

Boris Johnson’s speech shows that even Brexit is beyond his comfort zone
Rafael Behr – The Guardian
The Conservative party is sometimes afraid of losing office, but never doubts its right to be in government. It draws resilience from a presumption that Tory rule is the country’s default setting – the natural state from which other parties are a faddish deviation. Boris Johnson is the incarnation of that belief. He was carried to Downing Street by the conviction that it was his destiny, and by a charismatic way of making that idea contagious. But charisma is a spell not easily recast once broken.


Twitter is testing how its misinformation labels can be more obvious, direct
Elizabeth Culliford – Reuters
Twitter is rethinking how the labels it applies to misinformation look and work, its head of site integrity told Reuters in an interview, as the social media company tries to make these interventions more obvious and cut its reaction times.

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