How Citadel harnessed the weather to claim hedge fund crown

Mar 6, 2023

First Read

Hits & Takes
John Lothian & JLN Staff

Dan Keegan, who JLN recently interviewed for the Options Discovery video series, has offered a tribute to the late Mike Newsham on LinkedIn. Dan knew Mike much better than I did, and he knew him from an earlier point in his career and life. Dan knew that Mike had “represented Fenwick at the state Calculus championship.” He knew that Mike went to work for O’Connor & Associated even before he graduated from Northern Illinois University. Dan said “Mike had one of the sharpest mathematical minds around.”

Dan shared the service details in his post. There will be a memorial Mass for Mike at Old St. Pat’s at 700 W. Adams St. It starts at 9:30am on the 8th of March. In lieu of flowers, memorials to Misericordia Home, c/o Billy Canavan, MFA 6182A, 6300 N. Ridge Ave., Chicago, IL 60660. Additionally, Tony Pettipiece is organizing a post Mass gathering at Ceres Cafe.

The court is allowing Sam Bankman-Fried to have a cellphone, one that was popular when he was three-years old: a flip phone. The agreement does allow him a device with internet capabilities, but the websites he is limited to are Netflix, Uber Eats and MLB. No Amazon ordering for SBF, I guess. Bloomberg has the story.

According to a Financial Times report, scientists have launched a new initiative to look for “extraterrestrial life.” So far they have only discovered Dennis Rodman.

Bollywood actor Arshad Warsi has been banned from the Indian stock market and his wife was implicated in the case. He has denied the allegations. The Indian market regulator said Warshi used four YouTube channels to artificially inflate the value of certain shares, BBC reported.

I am on the road to Florida. My wife and I had a late start and only made it to just south of Louisville. We should make good time today and be in Florida by the end of the day.

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


Impact Investing World Forum 2023 is live May 4-5, in London, UK at the Kensington Conference and Event Centre. Keynote and speakers include BlackRock, IFC, Shell, EU, EIB and Big Issue. Learn more and register here.~SAED


NYC Mayor Adams Says Chicago Election Is ‘Warning Sign’ on Crime; Democrat Lightfoot was defeated as mayor amid crime surge; Adams says public-safety fears must be taken into account
Gregory Korte and Victoria Cavaliere – Bloomberg
New York City Mayor Eric Adams said last week’s reelection loss of his Chicago counterpart is a “warning sign for the country” and that fellow Democrats ignore the issue of crime at the party’s peril. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot came in third in a top-two primary election last Tuesday after a campaign that turned largely on the city’s skyrocketing crime rate. Adams told CNN on Sunday that her loss vindicates his tougher-on-crime policies, including a surge of police officers in the subway.

***** Yes, Mayor Adams, you better watch out or you will be next.~JJL


Binance tried to hire Gary Gensler in 2018 for closer ties with U.S. regulators: Report; The Securities and Exchange Commission chairman was approached by Binance in 2018 and 2019 while he was teaching at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Ana Paula Pereira – Cointelegraph
Crypto exchange Binance sought to hire Gary Gensler as an adviser before he became chairman of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, according to a Wall Street Journal report based on messages and documents from 2018 and 2020, as well as interviews with former employees. Gensler, the former chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, was approached by the crypto firm in 2018 and 2019 while he was teaching at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Journal reported.

****** He was one of the premier crypto/regulatory experts at that time. It makes perfect sense.~JJL


How The FTX Collapse Shook The Bahamas; The Bahamas has been trying to make a name for itself in the financial services sector. Now, the FTX bankruptcy is jeopardizing that.
Sharon Beriro and Stacy-Marie Ishmael – Bloomberg
It’s been three months since one of the most influential crypto exchanges collapsed into bankruptcy. FTX’s demise brought with it a wave of financial uncertainty and distress across the crypto industry. But it also had an effect on the small island nation where the crypto exchange had established its headquarters: The Bahamas.

****** There is no coconut left on any tree in the Bahamas, they all shook so much.~JJL


Porn Zoom bomb forces cancellation of Fed’s Waller event
Ann Saphir and Howard Schneider – Reuters
A virtual event with Federal Reserve Governor Christopher Waller was canceled on Thursday after the Zoom video conference was “hijacked” by a participant who displayed pornographic images. “We were a victim of a teleconference or Zoom hijacking and we are trying to understand what we need to do going forward to prevent this from ever happening again. It is an incident we deeply regret,” said Brent Tjarks, executive director of the Mid-Size Bank Coalition of America (MBCA), which hosted the event via a Zoom link. “We have had various programs and this is something that we have never had happen to us.”

****** In an unrelated story, the CEO of Zoom was fired “without cause.” ~JJL


Friday’s Top Three
Our most clicked item Friday was the LinkedIn page for Lamont Black, who introduced John Lothian as “The Great John Lothian” when John spoke at “The Digital Transformation of Finance” program at The John L. Keeley Jr. Center for Financial Services and the Department of Finance at DePaul University. Second was the home page for “The Great British Bake Off.” Third was a three-way tie among the picture of John Lothian napping in a session at the AFM Annual Conference in Budapest in 2012, which was our top item Friday, “Facts and Figures about the Great Lakes” from the U.S. EPA, and the page for the movie “The Great Escape” on IMDB.


MarketsWiki Stats
27,226 pages; 243,264 edits
MarketsWiki Statistics


Lead Stories

How Citadel harnessed the weather to claim hedge fund crown; Bold bet on commodities plays large part in lifting Ken Griffin’s firm to record $16bn profit
Laurence Fletcher – Financial Times
In 2018 Ken Griffin’s Citadel hired a group of scientists and analysts whose weather forecasts were more accurate than those of most meteorological offices. The recruitment of the 20-strong team was unusual for a big hedge fund in a sector largely focused on stocks, bonds and currencies. But it has been a key part of a push by Griffin’s $54bn-in-assets firm to build out a wide-ranging commodities business encompassing both futures and physical trading.

Global commodity trading earnings reach record $115bn; Independent houses benefit most from soaring profits driven by Ukraine war
Leslie Hook – Financial Times
The commodity industry made record gross profits of more than $115bn from trading activities last year, as volatile energy prices resulting from the war in Ukraine drove big swings in the market. The biggest gainers were the independent trading houses – such as Trafigura, Vitol and Glencore – which had the balance sheets to stay in the market, according to a new study from Oliver Wyman. “This year was a bit of a perfect storm across all the commodities, from a trading opportunity perspective,” said Ernst Frankl, partner at the consultancy and one of the authors of the report. “Volatility is the lifeblood of what traders need in order to trade.”

America is toppling the EU from its regulatory throne; Corporate rules are more likely to be handed down by Washington than Brussels these days
Rana Foroohar – Financial Times
America leads on innovation, and Europe on regulation, or so the conventional wisdom goes. But recently, the US seems to have taken the lead in the latter, particularly in politically powerful industries like technology, pharma and finance. Just last week, Eli Lilly, the producer of popular insulin medications Humalog and Humulin, pledged to reduce its insulin list prices by 70 per cent in an effort to make the medicine more affordable. The move was seen as a direct response to Joe Biden’s policy pressure on Big Pharma. In June 2022, the Federal Trade Commission issued a unanimous policy statement criticising pharmaceutical middlemen, known as pharmacy benefit managers, for taking illegal bribes and rebates to keep prices high.

HK Bans Ex-Citi Global Markets Banker From Industry for 10 Years
Lulu Yilun Chen – Bloomberg
Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission has banned a former Citigroup Inc. banker from re-entering the industry for 10 years for regulatory breaches, one of the most high-profile disciplinary actions in recent years. The financial watchdog said that breaches and internal control failures at Citigroup Global Markets Asia Ltd. were attributable to Philip John Shaw’s inability to discharge his duties as a responsible officer and senior manager, according to a statement on Monday.

Billion-Dollar Power Lines Finally Inching Ahead to Help US Grids; Suddenly several big power-line projects in the US are moving ahead, bringing with them a flood of potential wind and solar power.
Brian Eckhouse, Naureen S Malik and Dave Merrill – Bloomberg
The biggest impediment to the US achieving a cleaner power grid isn’t climate deniers or fossil-fuel lobbies; it’s a lack of transmission lines. The country badly needs more conduits to cart wind and solar energy and hydropower to cities.

Analysis: UK watchdog’s nickel probe poses more reputational hazard for LME
Pratima Desai – Reuters
A UK financial regulator’s move to launch an unprecedented probe into potential misconduct over the London Metal Exchange’s nickel trading crisis could last years, regulation experts say, heaping further damage onto the LME’s already bruised reputation. Sliding activity and shrinking liquidity, due to an overall lack of faith in the LME’s offering, has left nickel consumers and producers without a global reference price.

Fear of ratings downgrades puts companies off debt-driven deals; Higher borrowing costs have increased the cost of losing prized investment grade status
Harriet Clarfelt – Financial Times
Companies in the US and Europe that have borrowed on the cheap for years are facing the return of a once-familiar fear: ratings downgrades. Borrowing costs have soared since the Federal Reserve started pushing up benchmark interest rates in an effort to curb inflation. Investors now demand annual interest payments of about 9 per cent a year from US businesses with low scores from rating agencies, up from just below 5 cent in March 2021.

Swiss fund manager GAM rushes to find buyer before results; Investment firm seeks deal after share price collapse and delay to earnings report
Emma Dunkley and Katie Martin – Financial Times
GAM is scrambling to find a buyer ahead of results it has delayed by two months, five years after a scandal over private debt holdings that led to fines, the resignation of the investment firm’s chief executive and a collapse in its share price. The Switzerland-listed fund manager recently postponed the release of its annual results to the end of April, hoping the extra time would allow it to strike a deal, according to several people familiar with the situation. GAM declined to comment.

Hong Kong will bounce back ‘differently’ to regain role as international finance centre, Asian chief of Italian asset manager says
South China Morning Post
Hong Kong’s economy will bounce back like it has from other crises in past decades, but this time it will take longer because time is needed for talent to return after three years of Covid-19 travel restrictions, says the Asian chief of Eurizon Capital, a leading asset management firm in Europe. “If we look at every crisis in the last [few] decades, it’s been the people of Hong Kong who have effectively reinvented themselves in financial services each time,” said Sean Debow, CEO of Eurizon Capital Asia. “It could have been by creating new regulations [or by] adding new investment products and solutions [or] it could have been by hiring new people.”

S.B.F.’s Unsolved Dark-Money Mysteries; A Taldmudic reading of exclusively obtained FTX filings suggests the next steps in this unfolding drama: finding out what Gabe Bankman-Fried knew about Salame’s dark money machine, S.B.F.’s ties to David McCormick, and more.
Theodore Schleifer – Puck News
There used to be a joke I’d hear around Washington, that everyone in town with an ounce of ambition was, in some way or another, on the payroll of Sam Bankman-Fried. And if you hadn’t figured out how to get on the gravy train, well, that was on you. Like all good jokes, there was more than a kernel of truth to all of it: I’ve covered the S.B.F. political machine as closely as anyone over the last few years, and I still encounter new names of lobbyists who were secretly on Sam’s retainer, of data savants who found a way into D.C.’s greatest donor-fueled growth industry, and amazingly, nonprofits that were moving millions of FTX-connected dollars without a scintilla of public knowledge.

Singapore Top Diplomat Says ‘Peace Dividend’ After WWII Is Over; Balakrishnan expects greater defense spending ‘all around’; Southeast Asia grows more vocal over US-China tensions
Philip Heijmans – Bloomberg
Singapore’s Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said growing defense spending, including by China and across Asia, is evidence a peace dividend after World War II that fueled global economic growth is largely over. “The last seven, eight decades of the peace dividend after the Second World War is over, and you’re going to see increased defense expenditure literally all over the world,” he said on Monday in an interview with Bloomberg Television’s Haslinda Amin. “Certainly in the case of Europe, America still spends more than anyone else, several times more than even China.”

Binance execs’ texts, documents show plan to avoid US scrutiny – WSJ
Binance, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, developed a plan to avoid the threat of prosecution by U.S. authorities as it started an American entity in 2019, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.A ny lawsuit from U.S. regulators, who had signaled a coming crackdown on unregulated offshore crypto players, would be like “nuclear fall out” for Binance’s business and its officers, the WSJ said, citing a Binance executive’s warning to colleagues in a 2019 private chat.

Crypto Companies Behind Tether Used Falsified Documents and Shell Companies to Get Bank Accounts; Tether Holdings and related crypto broker obscured identities, documents show
Ben Foldy and Ada Hui – The Wall Street Journal
In late 2018, the companies behind the most widely traded cryptocurrency were struggling to maintain their access to the global banking system. Some of their backers turned to shadowy intermediaries, falsified documents and shell companies to get back in, documents show. One of those intermediaries, a major tether trader in China, was trying to “circumvent the banking system by providing fake sales invoices and contracts for each deposit and withdrawal,” Stephen Moore, one of the owners of Tether Holdings Ltd., said in an email viewed by The Wall Street Journal.

Bollywood actor Arshad Warsi banned from Indian stock market
BBC News
A Bollywood actor and a YouTube influencer are among dozens who have been banned from participating in India’s share market. The market regulator said it made the decision after investigating allegations of price manipulation. It said videos on four YouTube channels were used to artificially inflate values of certain shares. Actor Arshad Warsi, implicated in the case with his wife, denied the allegations.

Binance Investigated For Money Laundering, Criminal Activity By Senators; Bitcoin Retreats
Harrison Miller – Investor’s Business Daily
Bitcoin retreated overnight Thursday as three U.S. senators launched an investigation into Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, for a host of alleged illegal activity. The news came on the heels of major crypto bank Silvergate (SI) delaying its annual results. In a scathing March 1 letter to Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao and its domestic affiliate Binance.US, Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) placed Binance under investigation for potential sanctions evasion, money laundering and unlicensed money transmission.

‘I can’t get my money out’: Billionaire investor Mark Mobius says China is restricting flows of capital out of the country
Carla Mozee – Markets Insider
Mark Mobius, a pioneer in emerging markets investing, said China is restricting investment outflows from the country, a move that would be taking place as the world’s second-largest economy is trying to shake off pressure from COVID-19 lockdowns. “I’m personally affected because I have an account with HSBC in Shanghai. I can’t get my money out. The government is restricting the flow of money out of the country,” Mobius said on Thursday on the Fox Business show “Mornings with Maria”. “So I would be very, very careful investing in China,” the founder of Mobius Capital Partners said.

Why the Jeffrey Epstein scandal continues to haunt JPMorgan and Barclays
Stephen Morris, Joshua Franklin and Joe Miller – Financial Times
For almost a decade, executives at JPMorgan Chase were able to avoid questions about their decision to keep Jeffrey Epstein on as a client while the convicted sex offender allegedly trafficked and abused dozens of teenage girls. Now, more than 20 employees at the US bank, including star managers, are having their communications scrutinised in two lawsuits, and some are set to testify under oath about their alleged involvement.

A 40-year stock trader and mathematician who had a 366% return shares her 4 biggest tips, plus the winning strategy she learned from her worst mistake
Laila Maidan – Insider
Before Sunny Harris became a stock trader, she was a computer programmer with a master’s degree in mathematics. By 1974, she had started a small computer graphic software company with three other partners. By 1980, she had already retired at the age of 30 after selling her company shares. At the time, she didn’t know anything about investing or even economics.

Venture capitalists swap Paris Hilton for Al Gore
Anita Ramaswamy – Reuters
Venture capitalists are trading reality stars for policy wonks. Rising rates and falling valuations have forced startup investors to move beyond cryptocurrencies and latch on to more useful ideas like green energy and healthcare, based on chatter at a recent confab. Tight funding demands sober analysis. Hundreds of top venture capitalists flocked to Los Angeles this week to congregate at a two-day, invite-only soirée for tech’s elite.

Scientists launch new initiative to look for extraterrestrial life
Clive Cookson – Financial Times
Scientists at four of the world’s leading universities have teamed up to investigate the origins of life on Earth – and look for similar biological processes taking place elsewhere in the universe. The universities of Cambridge in the UK, Harvard and Chicago in the US and ETH Zürich in Switzerland announced the formation of what they called the Origins Federation on Saturday at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting in Washington.

Second Ohio Derailment Raises Ire in Congress on Rail Safety; Democratic and Republican lawmakers are calling for action; Norfolk Southern CEO to testify to Senate committee this week
Gregory Korte – Bloomberg
A second freight train derailment in Ohio within a month is giving new impetus for rail safety legislation in Congress, as Democrats and Republicans prepare to grill Norfolk Southern CEO Alan Shaw when he testifies to a Senate committee Thursday. “The big railroads have weakened safety rules or resisted safety rules for years,” Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown said on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday. “But you’d think a disaster that happened in East Palestine would have gotten their attention.”

World’s Riskiest Markets Stumble Into Crisis With Dollars Scarce; Vulnerable economies suffer hard-currency shortages, debt risk; Wall Street opts for a cautious approach in developing assets
Karl Lester M Yap and Scott Squires – Bloomberg
Hospitals delaying surgery in Sri Lanka. International flights suspended in Nigeria. Car factories shuttered in Pakistan. In some of the world’s most vulnerable developing nations, the situations on the ground are dire. Shortages of dollars are crimping access to everything from raw materials to medicine. Meanwhile governments are struggling with their debts as they chase rescue packages from the International Monetary Fund.

Shortage of Metals for EVs Is Rising Up the Agenda in Automakers’ C-Suites; Car producers focus on securing lithium, nickel supply; Executives from Tesla to Ford attended key mining conference
Danny Lee, David Stringer and Jacob Lorinc – Bloomberg
The merry-go-round of private meetings at an annual mining industry conference at Florida’s Hollywood Beach had a cast of new faces this year: auto sector executives increasingly anxious about surging prices and tighter supply of metals used in electric vehicle batteries. Tesla Inc., Ford Motor Co. and Mercedes-Benz Group AG were among automakers which sent senior staff to mingle with about 1,500 delegates at the BMO Global Metals & Mining Conference, an event normally attended mainly by iron ore and aluminum producers.

Commodity Traders Saw $100 Billion Year as Market Boomed, Says Report; Gross margin in 2022 was triple 2018 level, consultancy says; War in Ukraine spurred volatility and commodity shortages
Archie Hunter – Bloomberg
Commodity traders likely saw a record $115.6 billion in gross margin last year on market volatility driven by Russia’s war in Ukraine, according to a new report. If confirmed by trading companies’ annual profit figures – many of which haven’t been released yet – it would be a 61% increase over the previous year, consultants Oliver Wyman said in the study.

Thailand Targets $57 Billion Investment in Green, Tech Sectors
Pathom Sangwongwanich – Bloomberg
Thailand expects foreign and local companies to pump in about 2 trillion baht ($57 billion) into sectors such as electric vehicles, smart electronics and technologies to build a green and sustainable economy by 2030. The fresh investments may generate 625,000 new jobs and add 1.7 trillion baht to the nation’s gross domestic product, the Board of Investment said in a statement on Friday.

US-listed tech companies face cash crunch after burning through billions from IPOs; Only 17 of 91 recently listed groups have reported a profit this year
Nicholas Megaw – Financial Times
Technology groups that have recently listed in the US burnt through more than $12bn of cash in 2022, with dozens of companies now facing difficult questions over how to raise more funds after their share prices tumbled. High-growth, lossmaking groups dominated the market for initial public offerings in 2020 and 2021, with 150 tech groups raising at least $100mn each in the period, according to Dealogic data.

Humanity is sleepwalking into a neurotech disaster
Camilla Cavendish – Financial Times
Last June, when the US Supreme Court overturned Roe vs Wade, women started deleting period-tracking apps from their phones. With abortion set to become illegal in certain states, they feared the data might be used to prosecute those seeking terminations. Was this an overreaction, or simply the realisation that we have entered the age of Orwellian electronics?

Coinbase bridges crypto-institutional gap with acquisition of One River Digital AM; Acquisition of the digital asset manager falls in line with Coinbase’s strategy to increase opportunities for institutions to participate in the crypto-economy.
Wesley Bray – The Trade
Coinbase has acquired institutional digital asset manager and SEC-registered investment adviser One River Digital Asset Management (ORDAM). Following the acquisition, ORDAM will become Coinbase Asset Management (CBAM), operating as an independent business and wholly-owned subsidiary of Coinbase.

Ukraine Invasion

Why Russia and Ukraine are fighting over Bakhmut
Claire Parker – The Washington Post
If there’s one city that has come to symbolize the grinding war of attrition in Ukraine, it’s Bakhmut. Russia has pummeled the city for more than seven months, reducing it to a charred and mutilated ghost town. Moscow has sent wave after wave of soldiers and Wagner Group mercenaries toward Ukrainian positions, sustaining heavy casualties. At several points, as Russian forces close in, the city has appeared on the verge of falling. But for months, Ukrainian fighters have stood their ground.

Garland makes surprise visit to Ukraine
Kelly Hooper – Politico
Attorney General Merrick Garland made an unannounced trip to Ukraine on Friday to join President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at a conference, according to the Justice Department. “The Attorney General held several meetings and reaffirmed our determination to hold Russia accountable for crimes committed in its unjust and unprovoked invasion against its sovereign neighbor,” a Justice Department official said.

Ukraine Latest: US Building War Crime Cases, Merrick Garland Says in Lviv
US Attorney General Merrick Garland made an unannounced visit to Ukraine, meeting President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in Lviv, along with top prosecutors from several European nations, to discuss criminal investigations regarding Russia’s actions during the war. Ukraine’s ground forces commander visited Bakhmut troops after Yevgeny Prigozhin, founder of Russia’s Wagner mercenary group, released a video saying his units had “practically surrounded” the eastern Ukrainian city.

Ukrainians defending Bakhmut under severe pressure from Russian onslaught
The Guardian
Ukrainian forces defending Bakhmut are facing increasingly strong pressure from Russian forces, according to British military intelligence, with intense fighting taking place in and around the eastern city. Ukraine is reinforcing the area with elite units, while the regular Russian army and forces of the Russian private military Wagner group have made further advances into Bakhmut’s northern suburbs, the UK Ministry of Defence said in its daily intelligence bulletin on Twitter.

Russia’s Wagner Troops Exhaust Ukrainian Forces in Bakhmut
Yaroslav Trofimov – The Wall Street Journal
Shielded by a small hill from Russian positions a half-mile away, a Ukrainian soldier spotted via drone feed a new foxhole that appeared overnight northwest of the embattled city of Bakhmut. Three troopers of Russia’s Wagner paramilitary organization had crawled through no man’s land to establish a firing position, likely for a grenade launcher. The drone’s camera zoomed to Russian trenches behind.

Ukraine asks EU for 250,000 artillery shells a month
Andy Bounds – Financial Times
Ukraine has appealed to the EU to send Kyiv 250,000 artillery shells a month to ease a critical shortage that it warns is limiting its progress on the battlefield. In a letter to his counterparts in the 27 member states on Friday, obtained by the Financial Times, Ukraine’s defence minister Oleksiy Reznikov writes that his country’s forces are only firing a fifth of the rounds they could because of lack of supplies.

Affluent Ukrainian refugees boost Polish luxury businesses
Raphael Minder and Barbara Erling – Financial Times
From private schools to cosmetic surgery clinics, restaurants and upmarket estate agents, Polish businesses catering to the well-heeled are adapting to a new influx of customers: wealthy Ukrainians fleeing Russia’s war. While a majority of refugees were forced to escape their country with few possessions, a smaller group of relatively affluent Ukrainians arrived in their own cars and have provided an unexpected boost to upmarket businesses amid an economic slowdown.

US launches new crackdown on Russian sanctions busting
James Politi – Financial Times
The US has launched a renewed crackdown on countries and individuals helping the Kremlin evade western sanctions amid growing fears Russia is fuelling the war in Ukraine by funnelling imports through countries such as the United Arab Emirates and Turkey. The push by the US Treasury, commerce and justice departments, details of which were first obtained by the Financial Times, comes as western allies increasingly believe Turkey and the UAE, as well as countries in central Asia and the Caucasus, have emerged as the weak links in their efforts to isolate Russia both economically and militarily.

Wagner chief says Russian position at Bakhmut at risk without promised ammunition
Nick Starkov – Reuters
The head of Russia’s Wagner mercenary force warned that Russia’s position around the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut was in peril unless his troops got ammunition, the latest sign of tension between the Kremlin and the private militia chief. Ukrainian military officials and analysts also reported leaders of Russia’s 155th Brigade fighting near the town of Vuhledar, south of Bakhmut, were resisting orders to attack after sustaining severe losses in attempts to capture it.

Russia Is Getting Around Sanctions to Secure Supply of Key Chips for War; Imports of chips from Turkey, UAE have soared since invasion; European goods may be reaching Russia through those countries
Alberto Nardelli – Bloomberg
Russia looks to be successfully working around European Union and Group of Seven sanctions to secure crucial semiconductors and other technologies for its war in Ukraine, according to a senior European diplomat. Russian imports in general have largely returned to their pre-war 2020 levels and analysis of trade data suggests that advanced chips and integrated circuits made in the EU and other allied nations are being shipped to Russia through third countries such as Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and Kazakhstan, the diplomat said, pointing to those private assessments.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

Standard Chartered and IndusInd Bank clear first NDF client trade through LCH ForexClear; LCH said the move furthers its commitment to servicing clients in the APAC region, which now accounts for 69% of notional on its ForexClear service.
Wesley Bray – The Trade
Standard Chartered and IndusInd Bank have partnered to clear its first NDF non-deliverable forward (NDF) client transaction at LCH ForexClear. Standard Chartered provides international banking services across emerging markets in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, while IndusInd Bank provides corporate banking services across India. The move becomes IndusInd Bank’s first clearing of over-the-counter (OTC) FX at ForexClear.

ASX Group Monthly Activity Report – February 2023
Listings and Capital Raisings. In February 2023, total capital raised was $1.6 billion, down 98% on the previous corresponding period (pcp).

Cboe Global Markets Reports Trading Volume for February 2023
Cboe Global Markets
Cboe Global Markets, Inc. (Cboe: CBOE), a leading provider of global market infrastructure and tradable products, today reported February monthly trading volume statistics across its global business lines. The data sheet “Cboe Global Markets Monthly Volume & RPC/Net Revenue Capture Report” contains an overview of certain February trading statistics and market share by business segment, volume in select index products, and RPC/net capture, which is reported on a one-month lag, across business lines.

EBS Direct Announces Rulebook Changes to Help Drive Industry Adoption of FX Global Code
CME Group
EBS, a leading provider of electronic trading platforms and technology services in foreign exchange markets, today announced an update to its liquidity provider eligibility criteria for EBS Direct, its relationship-based quote-driven market, to help accelerate the industry shift towards full compliance with the FX Global Code.

February 2023 figures at Eurex
OTC Clearing and Repo volumes continued their upward trend. Repo Market volumes nearly doubled to EUR 209.8 billion y-o-y. Notional outstanding in OTC clearing up 21 percent. Eurex, Europe’s leading derivatives exchange, reports 146.1 million traded contracts in February in its listed business, 12 percent less compared to February 2022. Interest rate derivatives went down by 7 percent year-on-year in February from 65.6 million to 61.4 million. Index derivatives decreased by 14 percent, from 78.8 million to 67.9 million contracts traded. Trading in equity derivatives fell by 23 percent compared to February 2022, from 21.7 million to 16.7 million contracts.

Rheinmetall is included in the DAX; Several changes in the MDAX, SDAX and TecDAX
Deutsche Boerse Group
STOXX Ltd., the global index provider of Qontigo, has announced the new composition of the DAX index family effective March 20, 2023. The selection indices DAX, MDAX, SDAX and TecDAX represent the largest companies in the regulated market of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. They are selected by free float market capitalization and reviewed every three months.

Euronext Corporate Services’ IntegrityLog supports greater protection for whistleblowers in Spain
Euronext Corporate Services’ IntegrityLog supports the implementation of the European Union (EU) Whistleblower Directive in Spain. The online tool can automate whistleblowing for companies in a safe and anonymous way to guarantee protection for whistleblowers. On 9 February 2023, the Spanish law implementing the EU Whistleblower Directive was adopted by the Spanish parliament, changing the way whistleblowers are protected. The new law includes the obligation for companies and public institutions with at least 50 employees, as well as municipalities with more than 10,000 inhabitants, to implement a whistleblowing system.

JSE Investor Services launches new BEE Verification Platform
JSE Investor Services (JIS), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), is pleased to announce the launch of its centralised BEE Verification platform. The BEE Verification Platform is an electronic solution that provides a streamlined process for individual shareholders to verify themselves on a ‘once-off’ basis, eliminating multiple verifications for BEE purposes when buying and selling BEE shares. In addition, the platform also affords stockbrokers and listed companies the ability to search the central BEE verification platform database for BEE verifications of shareholders to enable trade on various BEE share schemes on offer on the JSE.

Replacement of Component Issues for the Nikkei Stock Average(Nikkei 225)
Nikkei Inc. announced the following partial change of component issues of the Nikkei Stock Average (Nikkei 225).

Nasdaq February 2023 Volumes
Nasdaq (Nasdaq: NDAQ) today reported monthly volumes for February 2023 on its investor relations website. A data sheet showing this information can be found at:

Press Release No. 1. Clarification by Aptus Value Housing Finance India Limited
Significant increase in volume has been observed in Aptus Value Housing Finance India Limited. The Exchange, in order to ensure that investors have latest relevant information about the company and to inform the market place so that the interest of the investors is safeguarded, has written to the company. Response from the company is awaited.

NYSE Member Firms Report Fourth Quarter Results
Intercontinental Exchange
New York Stock Exchange member firms that conduct business with the public reported a fourth-quarter 2022 after-tax profit of approximately $6 billion and revenues of approximately $84 billion, compared with approximately $11.6 billion after-tax profit on revenues of about $58.4 billion in the fourth-quarter of 2021.

New York Stock Exchange Proposes New Compensation Clawback Rules
Chapman and Cutler LLP
On February 22, 2023, the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) proposed the adoption of new listing standards contained in the Corporate Governance section of the NYSE Listed Company Manual (the “Manual”). New Section 303A.14 would “require issuers to develop and implement a policy providing for the recovery of erroneously awarded incentive-based compensation received by current or former executive officers.

TMX Group Welcomes International Mining Community to PDAC 2023
Toronto Stock Exchange and TSX Venture Exchange are patron sponsors. TMX Group, the global exchange leader in mining, is pleased to welcome delegates to Toronto for the 2023 Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada’s (PDAC) Annual Convention, taking place from March 5-8, 2023.

Moscow Exchange expands the list of instruments available at evening trading
On March 9, 2023, the Moscow Exchange will increase the number of securities available for transactions during the evening trading session on the stock market.11 securities will be added to the list of instruments at evening trading on the equity market: common shares of Beluga Group, FESCO, Sovcomflot, M.Video, OGK-2, Segezha, Gazprom Neft, Samolet Group, Unipro, common and preferred shares of Mechel.


NinjaTrader Introduces New Mobile, Web Apps for Seamless, Multi-Device Trading; Firm Unveils Suite of New Tools, Refreshed Brand
NinjaTrader Group via PR Newswire
NinjaTrader Group, LLC, a global leader in futures brokerage and advanced technology for active traders, announced that it has just launched new web and mobile apps for fully integrated multi-device trading, along with a series of enhancements to its offering. The new suite includes a dramatically streamlined account opening and management process, accompanied by a refreshed website and brand experience unveiled today. The introduction of NinjaTrader Web and Mobile facilitates seamless trading across devices through a cloud-based trading infrastructure, offering access to all the firm’s trading applications, including a new generation of its award-winning desktop platform.

BestEx Research raises $10m to expand algo execution solution into new asset classes and regions
Rick Steves – FinanceFeeds
BestEx Research has raised $10 million in follow-on investment from its existing investors, said the provider of algo execution solutions for equity, futures and foreign exchange trading. The new funding, which valued the firm at $110 million, will be used to accelerate its growth and expand the global team as it prepares to roll out a differentiated suite of algorithms for FX and enhancements to existing tools for equities and futures.

Tech-sponsored study criticises plan to exclude non-EU cloud vendors
Foo Yun Chee – Reuters
A proposed European Union cloud security label that could exclude Amazon (AMZN.O), Alphabet’s (GOOGL.O) Google, Microsoft (MSFT.O) and other non-EU cloud services providers from the bloc is discriminatory and could lead to retaliatory measures, a study commissioned by a tech lobbying group said. The European Centre for International Political Economy (ECIPE) report, which was commissioned by the Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA), underscores growing private concerns about the draft label plan among U.S. tech giants, which have so far not made any public comment on it.

Law firm DLA Piper poaches data scientists to capitalise on AI boom; Appointments made by multinational firm as regulators seek to police the rapidly expanding technology
Joe Miller – Financial Times
DLA Piper, one of the world’s largest law firms by revenue, has poached 10 data scientists from a smaller rival to advise clients on the use of artificial intelligence, as regulators across the world draft policies to police the rapidly expanding technology. A new unit at the multinational firm will be boosted by the arrival of Bennett Borden, a former CIA official who used data analytics and machine learning at the agency to predict human behaviour. He will be joined by members of his former team at Faegre Drinker, alongside current DLA staff.

WANdisco plans to add a US listing; UK software group says it remains committed to London’s Aim junior market
Daniel Thomas – Financial Times
Software group WANdisco has become the latest UK company to announce plans to list shares in the US. The company, which has headquarters in the UK and the US, said on Monday it was “in the early stages of proactively exploring” an additional listing of its shares in New York.

Is a resurgence of direct connectivity for the buy-side in fixed income on the cards? ESMA’s recent decision to leave EMS’ out of the scope of its trading venue definition, combined with rising platform fees and qualms around data ownership could spark a wave of direct connectivity, writes Annabel Smith.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
Sell-side institutions have long been advocating direct connectivity for fixed income as a means to sidestepping the major venues that hold a monopoly over execution in these markets.

WhatsApp Approved by Regulators for Business Payments in Brazil
Kurt Wagner – Bloomberg
WhatsApp, the messaging service owned by Meta Platforms Inc., will soon allow users in Brazil to make payments to businesses through the app. “The Central Bank just authorized the launch of our new payment feature so people will be able to pay small businesses right on WhatsApp,” Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted Thursday on Instagram. “Excited to roll this out soon.”


Pentagon Sees Giant Cargo Cranes as Possible Chinese Spying Tools; Equipment at U.S. ports could pose risk of surveillance or sabotage, officials say; China says concerns are ‘paranoia-driven’
Aruna Viswanatha, Gordon Lubold and Kate O’Keeffe – The Wall Street Journal
U.S. officials are growing concerned that giant Chinese-made cranes operating at American ports across the country, including at several used by the military, could give Beijing a possible spying tool hiding in plain sight. Some national-security and Pentagon officials have compared ship-to-shore cranes made by the China-based manufacturer, ZPMC, to a Trojan horse. While comparably well-made and inexpensive, they contain sophisticated sensors that can register and track the provenance and destination of containers, prompting concerns that China could capture information about materiel being shipped in or out of the country to support U.S. military operations around the world.

Cybersecurity Trends & Statistics For 2023: More Treachery And Risk Ahead As Attack Surface And Hacker Capabilities Grow
Chuck Brooks – Forbes
Every year I peruse emerging statistics and trends in cybersecurity and provide some perspective and analysis on the potential implications for industry and government from the data. While cybersecurity capabilities and awareness seem to be improving, unfortunately the threat and sophistication of cyber-attacks are matching that progress.

The High-Stakes Blame Game in the White House Cybersecurity Plan
Lily Hay Newman – WIRED
In the endless fight to improve cybersecurity and encourage investment in digital defenses, some experts have a controversial suggestion. They say the only way to make companies take it seriously is to create real economic incentives-by making them legally liable if they have not taken adequate steps to secure their products and infrastructure. The last thing anyone wants is more liability, so the idea has never exploded in popularity, but a national cybersecurity strategy from the White House this week is giving the concept a prominent boost.

Where are the women in cyber security?
Brandon Vigliarolo – The Register
If you can’t join them, then you may as well try to beat them – at least if you’re a talented security engineer looking for a job and you happen to be a woman. As we’ve noted before, the infosec world moves at a glacial pace toward gender equity. It appears that’s not the case in the cyber criminal underground, according to Trend Micro, which recently published a study in which it claims at least 30 percent – if not more – of cyber criminal forum users are women.


FTX: ‘Massive Shortfall’ in Liquid Assets Far Worse Than Thought
Leo Jakobson – CoinMarketCap
In a preliminary analysis prepared for the court, FTX has been able to locate just $694 million worth of “Category A” liquid assets like cash, stablecoins and Bitcoin. It owes customers $10.54 billion. Which is to say, FTX is short $9.47 billion. It noted: Other FTX-related companies, most notably Bankman-Fried’s private trading firm Alameda Research, owe $13 billion.

Bankman-Fried Gets a Flip Phone While Out on Bail, US Says; Agreement describes devices that the FTX founder can use; Websites are limited but include Netflix, Uber Eats and MLB
Joel Rosenblatt – Bloomberg
Sam Bankman-Fried’s communication device will be a flip phone or some other “non-smartphone” without internet capabilities or such access disabled while he’s out on bail, prosecutors said. Limiting the FTX founder’s access to a device that gained popularity when he was about three years old is the latest development in a fight over his communications. The functions on his phone will be restricted to voice calls and SMS text messages.

Bankrupt Crypto Lender Celsius Reopens Withdrawals for Certain Custody Accounts
Camomile Shumba – CoinDesk
Bankrupt crypto lender Celsius Network is allowing withdrawals of assets in certain custody accounts, according to a tweet on Tuesday. Eligible users will be able to withdraw all the funds in their accounts up to a certain limit, the company said in an earlier blog post. Celsius secured approval to process certain withdrawals according to several U.S. court orders in January.

Binance CEO reaffirms support for Voyager deal amid SEC pushback
Binance Chief Executive Officer Changpeng Zhao on Friday reiterated support for the exchange’s U.S. partner to acquire Voyager Digital, after an earlier tweet indicated he was weighing walking away from the offer. Voyager, a crypto lender which went bankrupt last year, signed an agreement to be acquired by Binance.US in December.

Coinbase Acquires One River Digital Asset Management
Jamie Crawley – CoinDesk
Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase (COIN) said it bought One River Digital Asset Management, an institutional digital-asset manager, as it looks to expand beyond its core business catering to retail customers. One River Digital, a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission-registered subsidiary of One River Asset Management, will become Coinbase Asset Management and will “form the foundation” of Coinbase’s investment advisory service for institutional clients, the exchange said in a blog post Friday. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

UK Crypto Crackdown: Which British Banks Allow You to Buy Bitcoin?
Mathew Di Salvo – Decrypt
UK banks are getting tougher on customers using crypto. In the past week, two of the country’s biggest banks-Nationwide and HSBC-cracked down by applying daily limits for buyers or restricting credit cards from making crypto purchases. These two banks aren’t the only ones: a number of banks over the past year have got tougher. Some took a tougher stance following the collapse of mega digital asset exchange FTX back in November.

Silvergate suspends crypto payments network; shares fall after-hours
Hannah Lang and Akriti Sharma – Reuters
Silvergate Capital Corp said on Friday it made a “risk-based decision” to discontinue the Silvergate Exchange Network, its crypto payments network, two days after the digital asset-focused bank raised doubts about its viability. “Effective immediately Silvergate Bank has made a risk-based decision to discontinue the Silvergate Exchange Network (SEN). All other deposit-related services remain operational,” Silvergate said in a statement posted on its website.

Silvergate Shuts Crypto Payments Network It Once Hyped
Max Reyes, Yueqi Yang and Tom Schoenberg – Bloomberg
Silvergate Capital Corp. discontinued the payments network that has served as a vital hub for investors in the cryptocurrency industry, days after the firm raised questions about its own viability. “Effective immediately Silvergate Bank has made a risk-based decision to discontinue the Silvergate Exchange Network,” the firm said Friday on its website. “All other deposit-related services remain operational.”

Crypto Hedge Fund Looks to Swiss Banks After Silvergate Exodus; Digital Asset Capital Management used Silvergate bank’s system; Bank has raised questions over whether it can stay in business
Suvashree Ghosh – Bloomberg
A crypto fund manager overseeing $400 million is looking to Swiss banks to help plug the gap created by the unraveling of a key payments network operated by ailing US lender Silvergate Capital Corp. Digital Asset Capital Management used Silvergate’s round-the-clock, real-time network to move funds to and from Coinbase Global Inc.’s platform. But Coinbase, and Gemini are among the exchanges that will no longer accept or initiate payments through Silvergate.

Babel Pitches ‘Recovery Coin’ to Repay Creditors After $766 Million Loss; Crypto lender blames trading desk’s loss on co-founder Wang Li; Filing envisions restructuring centered on Babel Recovery Coin
Muyao Shen and Zheping Huang – Bloomberg
A top executive at Babel Finance is betting a new stablecoin can resolve the troubled crypto lender’s financial crisis, which came to a head last year when it froze withdrawals. Co-founder Yang Zhou, now sole director of Babel, is planning to file a moratorium of protection to the high court of Singapore, asking creditors not to take further action against the company for up to six months as it seeks their approval on a restructuring plan.

Coinbase ‘Iterating Quickly’ on NFT Marketplace Despite Lackluster Rollout: Protocols Head
Jason Nelson – Decrypt
When most people think of Coinbase, the decade-old publicly traded crypto company, product innovation may not be the first thing that comes to mind. At ETH Denver, however, Coinbase head of protocols Jesse Pollak says the company aims to change that.

Binance documents show ties to U.S. unit unknown to regulators, WSJ reports
Danny Park – Forkast
Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, reportedly didn’t disclose the extent of its ties and control over Binance.US, a supposedly independent unit set up to comply with U.S. financial regulations, according to the Wall Street Journal, which cited internal documents and communications that it said it had reviewed.

Demand for Blockchain Devs Is Soaring-But Not Just in Crypto
Will McCurdy – Decrypt
Last year was one of the most chaotic for the broader crypto industry. After FTX’s collapse, thousands of employees were laid off, and many firms, especially those in the mining sector, shut shop entirely. After layoffs and bankruptcies, cryptocurrencies were also hit hard. The industry’s market cap plummeted from roughly $2.23 trillion at the start of 2022 to just $832 million at the start of 2023, starting in earnest from June onwards and intensifying following the implosion of FTX, according to data from CoinGecko.

The FBI says the ‘Crypto-queen’ scammed $4 billion out of investors and vanished. She’s now one of 11 women who have made the agency’s most-wanted list in its 72-year history.
Sarah Al-Arshani – Insider
The so-called ‘Crypto-queen’ – Ruja Ignatova. In the FBI’s Most Wanted List’s 72-year history, only 11 women have made it on it. The women ranged from political activists like Angela Davis to the most recent, Ruja Ignatova. Ignatova became the 11th woman to make it on the FBI’s most-wanted list for allegedly scamming wealthy investors out of $4 billion between the end of 2014 and 2016 in a Ponzi scheme under her company OneCoin. She then boarded a plane and disappeared in 2017 and has not been seen since. US authorities charged Ignatova with wire fraud, securities fraud, and money laundering in 2019 in absentia. The FBI is now offering $100,000 for information on her whereabouts but suspects she may have had plastic surgery or altered how she looks in some ways.

Silvergate’s Bad Debts Weren’t Its Assets But Its Deposits; Bank runs are normally sparked by fears of loans losses, not because all the liabilities are only there to trade a single market
Paul J. Davies -Bloomberg
If Silvergate Capital Corp. fails, it might be the first bank to be brought down by bad liabilities rather than bad assets. The California-based bank warned in a filing last week that it might not be able to stay in business, which heightened depositors’ rush to move their money elsewhere. Normally, a run on a financial institution is sparked by fears that it has made loans so terrible that the losses would eat into its customers’ savings. It’s a different story at Silvergate.

Crypto Exchange Bybit Suspends Dollar Payments via Bank Transfers; Bybit cites service outage from ‘end-point processing partner’; Move comes after unraveling of Silvergate payment network
Sidhartha Shukla – Bloomberg
Crypto exchange Bybit is suspending US dollar-denominated deposits and withdrawals via bank transfers, including SWIFT payments. Dollar wire deposits have been temporarily suspended and withdrawals will be halted on March 10, the platform said on its website, citing “service outages from our end-point processing partner.”


ESG Investing Fight Is Less Than Meets the Eye; A Republican resolution to amend retirement-plan rules is more political than consequential. Still, Biden should veto it.
The Editors – Bloomberg
Congressional Republicans have fired yet another volley in their ongoing battle against environmentally and socially conscious investing. Although their effort to influence retirement-plan managers is more political than consequential, President Joe Biden is right to veto it.

The harshest mayor’s race in years is being fueled by unions and Citadel donors
Crain’s Chicago Business
Chicago’s mayoral runoff could be swayed by executives at Citadel and Madison Dearborn Partners as well as the country’s largest teachers unions. Paul Vallas, the city’s ex-schools chief who pledged to be tough on crime and restaff the police force, is backed by personal donations from executives at hedge fund Citadel and private equity firm Madison Dearborn Partners. He has raised $6.3 million – more than any other candidate except Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who lost her reelection bid on Tuesday.

Politicians should return FTX contributions
David Moon – The Knoxville News-Sentinel
Officials in charge of trying to recover billions of dollars stolen by Sam Bankman-Fried are looking to recover $73 million for victims from some interesting beneficiaries of the massive fraud: almost 40% of the members of Congress who received political contributions from him and related entities, including one East Tennessee member of Congress.

Oklahoma Looking for Natural Gas Price Rigging After Kansas Suit
Rachel Adams-Heard – Bloomberg
Oklahoma is assessing a lawsuit filed by Kansas – alleging natural gas market manipulation during 2021 Winter Storm Uri – to determine if similar trading behavior occurred in Oklahoma in the run-up to record-high energy prices. “In light of the Kansas legal action, that has prompted us to review whether similar circumstances exist in Oklahoma,” said Trebor Worthen, chief of staff for Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond. “Should we find that they do, we’ll be taking appropriate action.”

US Pick for World Bank Kicks Off Vote Campaign With Africa Trip; Ajay Banga heads to Ivory Coast and Kenya from March 6-8; Trip first stop in campaign to Asia, Latin America and Europe
Viktoria Dendrinou – Bloomberg
President Joe Biden’s pick to lead the World Bank will head to Ivory Coast and Kenya early next week as he kickstarts his campaign to shore up support for his nomination from nations around the world. Ajay Banga’s trip to Africa marks the first leg of a three-week journey to both creditor and borrower nations, with further stops planned in countries in Europe, Latin America as well as China, the largest bilateral lender to developing economies.

FBI Documents Show Leonardo DiCaprio, Kim Kardashian Grilled for 1MDB Secrets
Anthony Cormier, Jason Leopold and Matthew Campbell – Bloomberg
Leonardo DiCaprio was struggling to remember some of the details about his relationship with financier Jho Low. In an office on Sunset Boulevard back in April 2018, an FBI special agent, an IRS investigator and three Department of Justice prosecutors started off their interrogation of the movie star with gentle questions, according to an FBI summary of the interview. They spoke about his acting career, his charity work and his production company, Appian Way.

UK and Australia urge Washington to ease secrecy rules in security pact
Demetri Sevastopulo – Financial Times
Australia and the UK are urging the Biden administration to relax restrictions on the sharing of technology and information that they say risk undercutting the trilateral Aukus security pact. Several people familiar with the discussions said Canberra and London want to ensure the second pillar of Aukus – which includes co-operation in areas such as hypersonic weapons – does not fall behind the first, which is the landmark deal to help Australia procure nuclear-powered submarines.

Far-right US Republicans receive millions from new class of debt hardliners
Courtney Weaver and Sam Learner – Financial Times
A new class of political donors is funnelling millions of dollars to far-right Republicans, as growing dissatisfaction with the party establishment fuels support for hardline causes such as resistance to raising the US borrowing limit. Unlike previous generations of conservative megadonors – often Wall Street types who poured money into major fundraising vehicles – the new, more geographically diverse cohort is making targeted donations to far-right candidates and the groups supporting them.

TikTok a potential target in upcoming US bill to ban some foreign tech – Senator
Two U.S. senators plan to introduce legislation this week aimed at letting the government “ban or prohibit” foreign technology products such as Chinese-owned TikTok, Senator Mark Warner said on Sunday. Warner, the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said TikTok would be “one of the potentials” for review under the bill. The Democratic senator made the comments on Fox News Sunday.

Brexit Might Have Been Prevented With Deals Like This; A new agreement to replace the Northern Ireland Protocol breaks a pattern of mutual destruction between the UK and the EU.
Clive Crook – Bloomberg
The so-called Windsor Framework – the new agreement between the UK and the European Union to replace the woeful post-Brexit Northern Ireland Protocol – is so good it’s downright bewildering. Since well before 2016, when Britain voted to leave the European Union, this kind of commonsense deal-making between London and Brussels had become impossible. Standing on principle was everything; going along to get along was disdained. If the alternative reality that yielded this new proposal had prevailed seven years ago, Brexit would never have happened.

SoftBank’s Arm Confirms It Plans US-Only Listing for IPO; Arm held talks with UK government over several months; Chip technology company to open new site in west of England
Ian King – Bloomberg
Arm Ltd. will pursue an initial public offering listing solely in the US, rejecting calls from the UK government to conduct a dual listing in its home market. The SoftBank Group Corp.-owned chip technology seller will concentrate on a New York listing when it sells shares to the public, according to a statement Thursday. Arm is keeping its headquarters in Cambridge, England, and may consider a secondary listing in London down the road.

Germany and Italy block Brussels from banning petrol and diesel cars
Chris Price – The Telegraph
Germany and Italy have thrown a planned European Union ban on new petrol and diesel cars into disarray as they seek exemptions to protect their powerful car industries. EU diplomats have been forced to delay a key vote on the proposals, which would outlaw the manufacture of combustion engine cars across the bloc from 2035, following a last-minute revolt by the two countries.

A case in Switzerland may unravel how Russian president Vladimir Putin hides his ‘enormous assets’
Nicholas Gordon – Fortune
No one knows how wealthy Vladimir Putin is, but a new case in Switzerland might start to unravel the ways Russia’s president stores his alleged fortune. The Swiss government is bringing charges of criminal negligence against four Swiss-based executives at Gazprombank, as first reported by Tages-Anzeiger, a Swiss publication. Prosecutors accuse the bankers of mishandling money from Sergei Roldugin, a cellist who also serves as godfather to Putin’s daughter. The trial starts March 8.

Hong Kong political elite pressed to give up western passports
Chan Ho-him and Primrose Riordan – Financial Times
Beijing is pressing Hong Kong’s political elite to give up their western passports in order to be selected for the Chinese parliament as it tries to stamp out foreign influence and tighten control of the territory. Officials told politicians and tycoons wishing to represent Hong Kong at China’s top decision-making body to renounce passports or travel documents from countries including the UK, according to one new delegate, one former delegate and another person briefed on the selection process.

Adani Stuffs Plant With $1 Billion Debt That Won’t Go Down; Auditor, experts say they’re confused by promise of profits; The tycoon’s wealth has plunged since Hindenburg’s report
Anders Melin and Stephen Stapczynski – Bloomberg
Few places encapsulate the questions swirling around billionaire Gautam Adani like the Mundra power plant – a coal-fired colossus that for years has burned through money. This crown jewel of his power company, which can light up millions of homes, has more liabilities than assets and has run up $1.8 billion of losses. To paper over the deficit, Adani has deployed more than $1 billion of creative debt-financing and reassured investors and lenders that profits will come soon.


Singapore Police Have Begun Probing Crypto Fugitive Do Kwon’s Terraform Labs; Island’s police force says investigations have now commenced; US SEC last month accused Kwon and Terraform Labs of fraud
Suvashree Ghosh and Joanna Ossinger – Bloomberg
Singapore police said they have begun a probe linked to Terraform Labs Pte, the company co-founded by crypto fugitive Do Kwon. In an emailed statement on Monday, the force said “investigations have commenced in relation to Terraform Labs” and added the inquiries are “ongoing.” It also said Kwon isn’t currently in the city state.

Chairman Behnam to Testify Before the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry
Chairman Rostin Behnam will testify at the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry’s hearing on the Oversight of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Commissioner Johnson Announces Agenda for March 8 Meeting of the Market Risk Advisory Committee
CFTC Commissioner Kristin N. Johnson, sponsor of the Market Risk Advisory Committee (MRAC), today released the agenda for its public meeting on Wednesday, March 8 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (EST) at the CFTC’s Washington, D.C. headquarters. Members of the public may also attend the meeting virtually.

Remarks by Commissioner Caroline D. Pham at Fordham University School of Law; What It Means to Be A Leader
Thank you very much for inviting me here to speak with you all at Fordham Law, with faculty and students who are working on cutting-edge issues of law and technology today. As I look around the room at a law school with more than 100 years of history, I see the future generation of leaders. And so I’d like to begin this fireside chat by sharing a few thoughts on leadership.

Ripple’s CEO Expects a Decision on SEC Suit Over XRP This Year
Hannah Miller and Kailey Leinz – Bloomberg
Brad Garlinghouse said the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s suit against his crypto payments company, Ripple Labs Inc., is “going to be pivotal for the whole industry” and that he expects a decision on the case this year. The SEC’s recent increase in crypto enforcement actions is keeping the US behind other countries in terms of establishing productive crypto regulation, he said.

Ripple says recent Supreme Court ruling weighs in its favor in SEC case
Ripple Labs Inc said in court papers Friday that a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision supports one of its key defenses in the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s case over the cryptocurrency XRP. The San Francisco-based blockchain payments company said the ruling on Tuesday limiting the government’s ability to levy penalties on U.S. taxpayers who fail to report foreign bank accounts emphasized that federal laws must give “fair warning” of what they prohibit.

Crypto exchanges not necessarily ‘qualified custodians’: SEC’s Gensler
Anushree Dave – MarketWatch
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler on Thursday said that based upon how crypto trading and lending platforms generally operate, investment advisers can’t rely on them as qualified custodians. Gensler spoke before a meeting of the Investor Advisory Committee. A qualified custodian is an institution with regulatory approval to hold assets on behalf of clients.

Voyager’s Bankruptcy Token Needs Regulation, SEC Lawyer Says
Steven Church – Bloomberg
New cryptocoins that Voyager Digital Ltd. plans to issue to pay creditors in bankruptcy are actually securities that should be regulated, a lawyer with the US Securities and Exchange Commission said in court Friday.The comments by William Uptegrove, reflecting the views of the SEC staff, may complicate the bankrupt crypto firm’s proposal to repay creditors by issuing the digital tokens, part of a plan that also includes selling itself Binance.US, the US arm of the world’s biggest crypto exchange.

SEC Charges Silver Edge Financial and Equity Acquisition Company With Unregistered Broker-Dealer Activity Relating to Pre-IPO Funds
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged Silver Edge Financial LLC, Equity Acquisition Company Ltd. (EAC), the owners of both companies, and sales staff of Silver Edge Financial with unregistered broker-dealer activity relating to their sales of interests in shares of various pre-IPO companies.

SEC Charges New York-Area Brothers with Misappropriating Investment Advisory Client Funds
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged New York-area twin brothers, Adam Kaplan and Daniel Kaplan, for engaging in several different fraudulent activities to misappropriate more than $5 million from at least 60 of their investment advisory clients.

How Indian YouTube influencers are manipulating the stock market
Mimansa Verma – Quartz
India’s financial markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has cracked down on two YouTube channels for allegedly manipulating stock prices by serving misleading information. Sebi has barred more than 50 entities that used YouTube channels The Advisor and Moneywise to fraudulently promote the shares of Sharpline Broadcast and Sadhna Broadcast.

Former CEO and CFO of Benjamin Hornigold Limited charged with dishonest breach of duties and misleading the ASX
The former CFO of Benjamin Hornigold Limited, Mr Samuel Elderfield, appeared in the Brisbane Magistrates Court charged with a criminal offence.
Mr Stuart McAuliffe, the former CEO of Benjamin Hornigold Limited, has also been charged with criminal offences but did not appear in court when his name was called.

Investing and Trading

Term SOFR trading ban remains as easing talks collapse; Fed working group resolute on interdealer trading restrictions despite looming capacity crunch
Bernard Goyer –
Industry attempts to overturn an interdealer trading ban on derivatives linked to the forward-looking version of the secured overnight financing rate, or SOFR, appear to be dead in the water after discussions around a possible easing of trading restrictions reached an impasse, understands.

Stock Traders Are Ignoring Blaring Bond Alarms; S&P 500 bounced after falling near its 200-day moving average; Interesting to see stocks whistling past graveyard: Zaccarelli
Vildana Hajric and Katherine Greifeld – Bloomberg
The fixed-income market’s unblemished record of striking fear into the hearts of equity traders is in danger. With rates on two- and 10-year Treasuries up a sixth straight week, and payouts on cash at or above the earnings yield of the S&P 500, stock investors are barely registering a shrug. Benchmark US share indexes just posted their biggest runup in a month, climaxing Friday with a jump in the Nasdaq 100 that topped any since early February.

VC’s “mythical” denominator effect, debated
Kia Kokalitcheva – Axios
A common refrain to venture capitalists contemplating raising new funds over the last year has been the so-called “denominator effect,” which impacts limited partners’ portfolio compositions. Yes, but: Some VCs just aren’t buying it. “The denominator effect is largely a mythical beast that was manufactured largely to kindly say, ‘no, I don’t want to invest in you,'” John Ruffolo, managing partner at Maverix Private Equity, said during a panel on Wednesday at this year’s Upfront Summit.

How to invest in the stock market and never lose money; An alternative to Fixed Index Annuities
Mark Hulbert – MarketWatch
Fixed index annuities are not the only way you can invest in the stock market and be assured of not losing money over the short term. That’s because there’s a do-it-yourself alternative that avoids the high commissions associated with fixed index annuities (FIA). And it’s not particularly onerous. I’m focusing on this do-it-yourself alternative as a follow-up to last week’s column on strategies for immunizing your equity portfolio from losses.

Stock Market’s Fate Comes Down to the Next 13 Trading Sessions; Powell remarks, jobs and CPI updates and FOMC decision on tap; Forward implied volatility on payrolls data underpriced: Citi
Jess Menton and Elena Popina – Bloomberg
Four major events over the next 13 trading sessions will be the key catalysts in determining whether this year’s stock-market revival gets derailed or starts rolling again after a February slump. It all begins Tuesday, when Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell delivers his two-day biannual monetary policy testimony on Capitol Hill. With the S&P 500 Index coming off its best week in a month, investors will be searching for any hint on the central bank’s interest-rate hiking path.

Quirky Bond Trade Gives Companies a Way to Cut Borrowing Costs; Companies can lower borrowing costs with callable bonds, swaps; Embedded options values different in debt, derivatives markets
David Caleb Mutua and Nina Trentmann – Bloomberg
Companies are taking advantage of price discrepancies in debt and derivatives markets that give them a way to trim their borrowing costs. Investors eager to take advantage of rising interest rates are buying the debt even if they only earn the extra yield for a year. A raft of investment-grade companies have sold bonds this year in the US that allow issuers to buy back their securities if rates drop enough for refinancing to make sense, an uncommon feature for high-grade notes.

Zoom Abruptly Fires President Greg Tomb ‘Without Cause’; Stock falls nearly 2% in premarket trading Friday morning; Citi analyst says move is hard to view in positive light
Brody Ford and Ryan Vlastelica – Bloomberg
Zoom Video Communications Inc. slumped in early trading Friday after abruptly terminating the employment of President Greg Tomb, a former Google executive who had only started at the firm in June. Shares of the video-conferencing software company fell as much as 2% in premarket, putting them on track to extend their decline this week to more than 6%.

Holding Cash Will Be a Winning Strategy in 2023, Investors Say
Suzanne Woolley – Bloomberg
In 2023, cash is far from trash. That’s the verdict of the 404 professional and retail investors who took part in the latest MLIV Pulse survey. Two-thirds of respondents said the cash in their portfolios would bolster rather than drag down their performance in the year ahead. That cash holds such allure says a lot about the unsettled financial and economic environment.

Harris Associates Sells Entire Credit Suisse Stake, FT Says; Firm’s David Herro told FT it has divested full stake; The exit comes as the Swiss bank’s stock hit a record low
Breanna Bradham – Bloomberg
Harris Associates sold its entire stake in Credit Suisse Group AG, according to the Financial Times, ending ties with the firm after about two decades of ownership and piling further pressure on the Swiss bank’s leadership. “There is a question about the future of the franchise,” the FT cited David Herro, chief investment officer for international equities at Harris, as saying. “There have been large outflows from wealth management.”

Wall Street Concedes There Is Finally an Alternative to Stocks; TARA, TAPAS and TIARA are battling to replace TINA as traders’ favorite investing mantra
Akane OtaniF – The Wall Street Journal
Wall Street says it is done with TINA. For years after the 2008 financial crisis, investors held on to the belief that “there is no alternative” to stocks. Bond yields had hit rock bottom-they were even in negative territory in Japan and much of Europe. The stock market, especially in the U.S., seemed to be the best place to seek robust returns. Then came last year’s market selloff. Stocks slumped and bond yields soared to levels not seen in more than a decade.

The Hidden Message in Credit Spreads; The credit market looks alarmingly tight given the outlook of rising interest rates and recession fears. But there are reasons for this.
John Authers – Bloomberg
Credit Where It’s Due
The credit market is trying to tell us something. But what, exactly? Look at it almost any way, and credit is available at rates that imply no particular risk of default, and very little risk of recession. In both the euro zone and the US, high-yield bonds are looking misnamed. After a brief and sharp rise last year, their spreads over equivalent five-year government bonds are right back to a level that suggests all is quiet:

Stocks Aren’t the Inflation Hedge You Think They Are; When inflation is above 8%, your best bet is to buy cheap and focus on dividends.
Merryn Somerset Webb – Bloomberg
Virgin Media has been sending customers letters telling them their prices are going up. Really going up. This year they, will be up 12% and from April 2024 they will go up by the RPI rate of inflation (which is usually a good one percentage point more than the government’s official measure, CPI), plus an additional 3.9%. Every year.

Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance

Celebrating Women in Sustainable Finance
International Sustainable Finance Centre (ISFC)
There is growing recognition that sustainability and women’s empowerment are closely linked. IMF report finds that banks with higher shares of women board members had higher capital buffers, a lower proportion of nonperforming loans, and greater resistance to stress, resulting in more financial stability. S&P Global finds that firms with female CEOs and CFOs have produced superior stock price performance compared to the market average.

The Week in Business: The Escalating Battle Over E.S.G.
Marie Solis – The New York Times
What’s Up? (Feb. 26-March 4) Republicans Block Investing Rule. Senate Republicans, joined by two Democrats, voted on Wednesday to approve a resolution – already passed by the House – to block a Labor Department rule that would allow retirement plan managers to incorporate environmental, social and corporate governance considerations into their investment decisions. This practice, known as E.S.G., was a widely accepted norm in financial circles for almost 20 years until it recently became a target for conservatives and others who argued E.S.G. investing was hurting businesses and little more than a trend they termed “woke capitalism.” The rule from the Labor Department had been intended to overturn a Trump-era policy that limited investing options to purely financial matters.

Food Firms Called Out on Unhealthy Food Revenues
Emmy Hawker – ESG Investor
Despite claiming to have an active focus on improving the healthfulness of their products, new analysis has highlighted that some of the world’s biggest food manufacturers remain over-reliant on the sales of unhealthy foods. More than 2,000 products produced and sold by Danone, Kellogg’s, Kraft Heinz, Nestlé and Unilever across Australia, France and Mexico were assessed against government-endorsed definitions of healthier food and drink, in a project conducted by research group World Action on Salt, Sugar and Health (WASSH) and supported by UK-based NGO ShareAction. The report noted that Australia had the highest proportion of unhealthy products (65%), followed by France (63%) and Mexico (60%), with Danone being the only one of the assessed manufacturers with a greater share of healthier products available in each of the three countries.

Climate Change Risks Costing Germany Up to euro 900 Billion by 2050; Government study says damages to occur more frequently; 2021 floods already shaved more than euro 40 billion off GDP
Petra Sorge – Bloomberg
Climate change could end up costing Europe’s largest economy up to euro 900 billion ($958 billion) by 2050, according to a government report. Devastating floods in 2021 already shaved more than euro 40 billion off German gross domestic product, a report published Monday said, with such damages possibly occurring “more and more frequently” by the middle of the century. The ultimate cost depends on the scale of climate change and whether Germany takes adequate measures to mitigate it, researchers said.

Britain must leave the Energy Charter Treaty; Withdrawal from the outdated agreement is a test of the UK’s climate leadership and seriousness about getting to net zero
Chris Skidmore – Financial Times (opinion)
The writer is chair of the UK’s Net Zero Review and a former UK Energy Minister. In the Net Zero Review, published earlier this year, I called for the UK to respond to increasing global competition on net zero with a clearer approach to green trade. There would be no better place to start than by acting on the outdated Energy Charter Treaty, which is a threat to the UK’s net zero ambitions at home and its credibility abroad. The Energy Charter Treaty is an investment agreement that dates back to the mid-1990s. Its original aim was to promote European energy investments in post-Soviet countries after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Forget Peak Oil Demand: A Thirst for Barrels Puts $100 in View; China’s consumption is soaring as Covid restrictions ease; Global oil demand heads for a record despite energy transition
Grant Smith, Sharon Cho and Devika Krishna Kumar – Bloomberg
As Covid-19 lockdowns gripped the world in 2020, Bernard Looney, chief executive officer of BP Plc, made a startling admission: He thought that oil demand might never return to its pre-pandemic peak. But recently, Looney has done an about-face. After announcing ambitious plans to cut emissions, BP, one of the world’s top crude producers, is now plowing more money into fossil fuels.

ESG Funds Hit by ‘Staggering’ Inflows Head for Issuance Freeze; Article 9 funds get inundated by client cash as EU raises bar; But managers steer clear of issuance amid regulatory crackdown
Frances Schwartzkopff – Bloomberg
The ESG fund class drawing in the most client cash has become too difficult to handle for a growing number of asset managers, according to lawyers advising the industry and analysts monitoring the market. The funds in question are called Article 9, the European Union’s highest classification for investment products claiming to deliver environmental, social and governance results.

Your Local Solar Panel Plant May Be Holding Back Net Zero; A new wave of protectionism is sweeping the sector under the guise of a push for more local manufacturing.
David Fickling – Bloomberg
How do you ban a technology without outlawing it? One way is to throw up obscure regulations that make it all but impossible for developers to go ahead. That’s what happened in the UK in 2015, when a little-noticed tweak to planning laws brought a booming onshore wind sector to a juddering halt by making it easier for local objectors to stop development.

BP insists it is not slowing green transition to cash in on high oil prices
Derek Brower – Financial Times
The boss of BP’s US business has insisted that the company is sticking with its promised transition away from fossil fuels even though it plans an aggressive oil output increase in the country and is slowing down its planned production cuts elsewhere. BP announced a scaling back of its climate goals last month as it unveiled record annual profits in 2022 after oil prices surged following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Global stock exchanges grapple with green equities
Tessa Walsh – International Financing Review
More stock exchanges around the world are exploring using green equity labels to help companies position their ESG stories to meet increasing demand from investors and regulators as IPO activity returns. Only the London Stock Exchange and Nasdaq offer green equity designations, and more exchanges are expected to launch green equity classifications as activity starts to pick up after a marked slowdown last year in IPOs and follow-on offerings. “We are seeing more exchanges engage with the idea of recognising green equities in their markets,” said Amy Smith, a manager in London Stock Exchange Group’s sustainable finance capital markets team.

ESG Investing Fight Is Less Than Meets the Eye; A Republican resolution to amend retirement-plan rules is more political than consequential. Still, Biden should veto it.
The Editors – Bloomberg
Congressional Republicans have fired yet another volley in their ongoing battle against environmentally and socially conscious investing. Although their effort to influence retirement-plan managers is more political than consequential, President Joe Biden is right to veto it. At issue is the extent to which private-sector retirement plans, which hold some $12 trillion in assets, can explicitly consider environmental, social and governance issues in selecting investments.

We Now Know How Much the Coal Surge Set Us Back; But the latest IEA report on carbon emissions comes with two spots of good news – and a lesson.
Lara Williams – Bloomberg
In an era where bad news on the climate comes thick and fast, the latest International Energy Agency report on global CO2 emissions at least came with a few pinches of positivity. First, the negative bit. Total global CO2 emissions from energy and industrial processes grew by 0.9% to 36.8 gigatons in 2022. That is a smaller increase than was originally feared, but it’s a miniscule win: It still takes us up to an all-time high.


Preparing for FRTB – What Banks Should Know
Jones Day
First introduced following the 2008 global financial crisis, the Fundamental Review of the Trading Book (FRTB) was designed to establish worldwide rules pertaining to banks’ regulatory capital requirements as they apply to trading activities. Jonathan Gould and Josh Sterling talk about the changes proposed by FRTB, how those changes address specific problems, and what banks should do now.

Citadel Securities Eyes OTC Options to Boost Market-Making Clout
Miles Weiss – Bloomberg Law
Citadel Securities, a pillar of billionaire Ken Griffin’s market-making and hedge fund empire, is seeking a foothold in a corner of the options world traditionally dominated by global banks. A unit of the firm is applying to become an over-the-counter derivatives dealer under a 1998 Securities and Exchange Commission rule intended to help broker-dealers compete with banks and foreign firms, filings show.

The quant coding interview problem you need to know for HFT
Alex McMurray – Efinancialcareers
Have you got an interview lined up with a hedge fund or high frequency trading firm? If so, the chances are you’ve been looking at problems on hackerrank and leetcode to brush up your knowledge, but which problems should your practise solving most of all? In a recent webinar from crypto research and trading firm ProfitView, CEO Richard Hickling invited on two employees of high frequency trading firm Portofino Technologies to discuss how to get a job in HFT.

Silvergate Capital’s Ratings Cut by Moody’s Amid Crypto Meltdown
Moody’s Investors Service cut its ratings on Silvergate Capital Corp. and its bank subsidiary Silvergate Bank, citing concern about its viability amid the crypto market’s turmoil and a crackdown by federal regulators. Silvergate Capital’s long-term issuer rating fell to Ca from B3, with the potential for another cut, Moody’s said in a statement.

Ex-Goldman Banker Ordered to Forfeit $43.7 Million Over 1MDB Bribery Fraud
Patricia Hurtado – Bloomberg
Former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. banker Tim Leissner, who pleaded guilty to participating in the massive 1MDB foreign bribery fraud, was ordered to forfeit $43.7 million in cash as well as all 3.3 million shares in fitness drink company Celsius Holdings Inc. US District Judge Margo Brodie on Friday ordered Leissner to surrender the assets as part of his earlier guilty plea to foreign bribery and money-laundering charges related to the 1MDB scandal. Leissner has been free on $20 million bail since his arrest in June 2018.

Ken Griffin’s hedge fund Citadel is up again in 2023 following a record year
Yun Li – CNBC
Billionaire investor Ken Griffin’s flagship hedge fund matched the broader market’s performance in the beginning of 2023 following a record year, according to a person familiar with the returns. Citadel’s multi-strategy flagship Wellington fund gained 0.7% last month, bringing its 2023 performance to 2.8% through February, the person said. The lost 2.6% in February, but is still up 3.4% this year through the end of last month.

Credit Suisse First Boston Will Have Goldman Sachs-like Partners; Hundreds of bankers attend strategy meeting in New York; Up to 100 managing directors said to be up for partnership
Crystal Tse, Gillian Tan and Marion Halftermeyer – Bloomberg
Credit Suisse Group AG’s new investment bank will create a partner level above its existing managing directors, providing a senior rank for top deal makers. Between 50 and 100 existing CS First Boston managing directors are up for partnership in the boutique’s new organizational structure, which will be similar to that of banks like Goldman Sachs Group Inc., executives said this week at an off-site meeting, according to people who attended the presentations.

Sorry, Fed, Most US Mortgage Rates Were Locked In During Pandemic Lows
Ben Holland – Bloomberg
More than 40% of all US mortgages were originated in 2020 or 2021, when the pandemic drove borrowing costs to historic lows and triggered a refinancing boom, according to data from Black Knight. That’s good news for all the homeowners who locked in cheap loans – but maybe not so great for the Federal Reserve, as it seeks to cool the economy by raising interest rates.

How the Federal Reserve Became Too Big to Fail
Allison Schrager – Bloomberg
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. Your new book, Limitless: The Federal Reserve Takes on a New Age of Crisis, is a modern history of the Fed that focuses on the extraordinary expansion of the central bank’s role over the last few decades and the impact it’s had on the US economy. want to jump in with the quote that closes your book, from the former Fed chair Marriner Eccles:

Missing Banker Reignites Fear of Xi Among China’s Tech Bosses
Jane Zhang and Sarah Zheng – Bloomberg
After a two-year crackdown on the private sector, Xi Jinping is trying to persuade China’s entrepreneurs they can safely return to founding tech startups and rebuilding the country’s economy. It’s a tough sell. The Communist Party’s assault on private enterprise began in late 2020 with the silencing of billionaire Jack Ma and sweeping restrictions on real estate, and then traumatized wide swaths of the economy.

Former top Credit Suisse shareholder Harris Associates sells out of bank
Stephen Morris and Owen Walker – Bloomberg
One of Credit Suisse’s longest-standing shareholders has sold its entire stake in the scandal-hit Swiss bank after losing patience with its strategy amid persistent losses and a client exodus. US investment manager Harris Associates, whose deputy chair and chief investment officer David Herro was for years among the Swiss bank’s most prominent supporters, owned as much as 10 per cent of Credit Suisse’s stock last year.

Goldman’s Top Equity Trader Whose Pay Rivaled CEO’s Makes Surprise Exit; Bank’s equities business has led Wall Street in last two years; Montesano emerged as one of the top paid over past three years
Sridhar Natarajan – Bloomberg
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is losing stock-trading rainmaker Joe Montesano, a key player in its ascent to the industry’s No. 1 rank in equities for two straight years. The 46-year-old recently informed the firm he is stepping down as head of equities trading for the Americas and leaving to take a break, according to people with knowledge of the situation. He has yet to line up another job. He’s among a group of top producers at Goldman whose pay has rivaled the more than $75 million awarded to Chief Executive Officer David Solomon over the three-year Wall Street trading frenzy set off by the pandemic. In 2021, Montesano even out-earned Solomon’s $35 million package, nudged ahead by his global oversight of the bank’s lucrative program-trading business, the people said, asking not to be named discussing confidential information.

Rheinmetall to be included in DAX
Qontigo’s global index provider STOXX Ltd. has announced the new composition of the DAX index family, which will become effective on 20 March 2023. DAX, MDAX, SDAX and TecDAX represent the largest companies on the Regulated Market of Frankfurt Stock Exchange; they are reviewed every three months. Selection is based on free float market capitalization. According to the âEURžGuide to the DAX Equity Indices”, the March review includes the Regular Exit, Regular Entry, Fast Exit, and Fast Entry rules.

Inside Goldman’s Latest Reinvention; The bank seeks stability in a down market but has already burned billions in the effort.
Sonali Basak – Bloomberg
Goldman Sachs is rewriting its story again. It’s not a question of whether the iconic Wall Street bank can continue its success in the highflying worlds of investment banking and trading. Rather, it’s long been a question of how to build up other businesses that can keep its fees stable in a down market. When I spoke to John Waldron, president and chief operating officer for Goldman Sachs Group Inc., this week for Bloomberg Television, he said: “If there’s a 2.0, it’s really talking about having two market-leading businesses-global banking and markets, and asset and wealth management.”

UBS chief Ralph Hamers’ pay jumps 11% but overall bonus pool falls; Increase in remuneration cements executive’s position as best-paid bank boss in Europe
Owen Walker and Oliver Ralph – Financial Times
UBS chief executive Ralph Hamers enjoyed an 11 per cent pay bump last year, cementing his position as Europe’s best-paid bank boss. The Dutch executive, who joined from Dutch bank ING in 2020, earned a total of SFr12.2mn ($13mn) in salary and bonuses, up from SFr11mn the year before, UBS disclosed in its annual report on Monday.

UBS Rejigs Asia Technology Banking Team as China Deals Slump; UBS appoints new two APAC TMT co-heads from non-China region; McKessar, Granger named co-heads, Tsang stepping down
Cathy Chan – Bloomberg
UBS Group AG reshuffled its telecommunication, media and technology investment banking team in Asia-Pacific, naming new heads to replace a China veteran as dealmaking in the world’s second-largest economy is struggling to rebound.

Citi to Double Paris Trading Staff in Post-Brexit Adjustment; Trio of FX traders have best views of the Eiffel Tower for now; Bank has moved, hired traders across Europe following Brexit
Jennifer Surane and Alexandre Rajbhandari – Bloomberg
Citigroup Inc. is building a new trading floor in Paris as the Wall Street giant prepares to nearly double its staff in the French city. The new floor in its existing building – located steps from the Avenue des Champs-Élysées and the Arc de Triomphe – will help Citigroup increase staffing for its trading division to 250 in the coming years, up from 130 currently, said Fabio Lisanti, head of the bank’s trading business across Europe, excluding the UK. The new floor is set to include at least 85 desks.

Work & Management

Microsoft’s AI War With Google Will Be a Costly One
Mark Milian – Bloomberg
In 217 BC, the Roman dictator Fabius Maximus conceived a novel strategy in the war with Carthage. His opponent, Hannibal, had won several devastating battles, and the Roman people were ready to try something different. Fabius knew Hannibal liked to fight and had the military power to do so effectively. Instead of meeting Carthage head on, Fabius studiously avoided large confrontations.

Snapchat’s AI Will Test Whether Chatbots Belong in Messaging Apps
Aisha Counts and Alex Barinka – Bloomberg
As Facebook and Twitter Inc. try to persuade people to pay for blue check marks, Snapchat has something completely different to sell: a chatbot. Snap Inc.’s new chatbot is based on the OpenAI system behind ChatGPT. The Snapchat bot, called My AI, will appear inconspicuously in a subscriber’s list of friends. It can do just about anything ChatGPT can – write a poem, answer trivia questions, plan a weekend or provide a recipe.

AI Presents a Nearly Level Playing Field for Startups and Big Tech in Asia
Jane Zhang and Saritha Rai – Bloomberg
Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Baidu Inc. and Microsoft Corp. are all sprinting to get ahead in the race to create the world’s best chatbot, and yet, the one that sparked this global frenzy was a startup. OpenAI is now very well funded, courtesy of a $10 billion commitment from Microsoft, but it does suggest that the moment we’re in harbors opportunity for the little guys.

AI Tools Offer to Save You From the Drudgery of Writing
Brad Stone – Bloomberg
Writers over the years have posited a variety of jobs that could be most ripe for disruption by artificial intelligence: warehouse work, professional driving, customer service. We somehow overlooked the prospect that the most susceptible vocation might be the act of writing itself. ChatGPT, the easily anthropomorphized software released in November by OpenAI, has enabled several companies to develop word processors that plug into the chatbot’s underlying service, GPT-3.5.

Maybe Being Smart Isn’t Everything; And maybe having a lot of money doesn’t mean you’re smart.
Brooke Sample – Bloomberg
LeBron James will go down in history as perhaps the best to ever play his sport. Does that make him the smartest person to ever set foot on a basketball court? Tyler Cowen says that what makes LeBron so exceptional is his ability to bring his individual talents to work in tandem, not excellence in one particular skill.

Women have raced into the boardroom, but now comes the hard part
Pilita Clark – Financial Times
What might an insurer, a housebuilder and two water companies have in common in early 21st-century Britain? Here’s one answer: if you checked the UK’s biggest listed companies at the end of January, these four businesses would have been among the only ones with a female chief executive and chair. This finding comes from the authors of a report published last week by the FTSE Women Leaders Review, a government-backed campaign group with an otherwise striking record of success in getting women into the boardroom and the executive suite.

The politics of deglobalisation favours the robots; As labour supply problems persist, automation sales are hotting up
Leo Lewis – Financial Times
Last week Tokyo was teeming with fund managers from around the world eager to establish how Japan will fare as its biggest trading partners square up for a new cold war. The Daiwa Investment Conference provided the venue and the bento lunch boxes; robots, via their human advocates, provided the most convincing part of the answer. Geopolitics, runs an argument that particularly favours a cohort of Japanese companies, is increasingly colliding with labour shortages.

Wellness Exchange

Newly discovered chemicals are so deadly to fungi they are named after Keanu Reeves
Taylor Nicioli – CNN
It’s not every day that effective fungus-killing compounds are discovered, so researchers in Germany knew their recent find needed a special name. Identifying and testing three natural compounds that proved lethal to fungi, they were so impressed they’ve named the chemicals after actor Keanu Reeves, a nod to how he eliminates villains in movies such as “John Wick” and “The Matrix.”

Long Covid is associated with significantly increased risk of death, heart and lung problems, study finds
Janelle Chavez – CNN
As the nation anticipates the end of the Covid-19 public health emergency, new research is showing that some groups are still feeling the long-term impacts of the disease. In the year following infection, individuals who experience long Covid are at high risk for a range of adverse health outcomes, including a doubled risk of death, according to a new study published Friday in JAMA Health Forum.

The Most Common Long COVID Symptoms Doctors Are Seeing Right Now; The condition can affect your cardiovascular system, neurological system, respiratory system and more.
Jillian Wilson – HuffPost
As we near the three-year mark of the coronavirus pandemic, things look a lot different from a few years ago. We have a vaccine, bivalent booster shots, COVID treatments and more of an understanding of the highly contagious virus. But a more uncharted area is now part of the equation, too: long COVID, which is a debilitating result of a COVID-19 infection, is affecting millions of people throughout the world.

Philip Morris’s CEO on quitting smoking and detoxifying the brand
Oliver Barnes – Financial Times
The chief executive of the world’s largest tobacco group Philip Morris International is not short of anecdotes in which he implored people to quit smoking. Over a cigarette at a US embassy party in Warsaw in the mid-2000s, Jacek Olczak recited the health warning on a pack to the then-Polish health minister. A few years later, the minister, Zbigniew Religa, died of lung cancer.


Vietnam Allows Companies to Make Bond Payments With Other Assets
Nguyen Kieu Giang – Bloomberg
Vietnam said companies facing a liquidity crunch can use other assets to make principal and interest payments on bonds if their debtholders agree. The government did not specify which assets could be used to make payments. The changes are effective March 5, according to a statement on Sunday. The new regulation also allows companies to extend debt maturities as long as two years if approved by bondholders.

China Aims to Boost Grain Capacity Under New Food Security Push; Authorities will target capacity expansion of 50 million tons; Output above 650 millions tons is vital to stable prices: NDRC
Hallie Gu – Bloomberg
China will push to increase grain production capacity by 50 million tons under the nation’s drive to bolster food security and meet rising demand. Keeping grain output above 650 million tons is crucial to ensure adequate supply and maintain stable prices, the National Development and Reform Commission – the top economic planner – said in a report to the annual parliamentary gathering in Beijing on Sunday.

Metals Feel Chill as Beijing Shies Away From Major Stimulus; China’s 2023 growth target of around 5% underwhelms markets; Iron ore slumps 1% in Singapore; Copper drops 0.7% in London
Commodities from iron ore to copper fell after China set a cautious economic growth target of about 5% for the year and didn’t announce any major new stimulus. The goal unveiled at the National People’s Congress was below what most economists had been expecting, giving Beijing more room for maneuver after it missed last year’s target by a wide margin. The absence of a landmark announcement to boost real estate and infrastructure is damping enthusiasm among metals investors.

Japan Piled Back Into U.S. Treasurys This Year. Investors Worry It Won’t Last; Weakened demand for U.S. government debt could portend higher American borrowing costs
Eric Wallerstein – The Wall Street Journal
Japan’s rebounding appetite for U.S. Treasurys supported shaky bond markets early this year. Now, investors worry it might be growing satiated. Japanese investors bought the most long-term foreign bonds in the week ended Feb. 17 since the onset of Covid-19, according to Japan Ministry of Finance data. Institutional investors-comprising banks, life insurers and pensions-added nearly $21 billion to their foreign bondholdings. The following week, that fell to $1.6 billion.

Chinese regulators probe large Covid-related writedowns; Property developers have led in making provisions, even though home sales are starting to recover
Sun Yu – Financial Times
Regulators at China’s two biggest stock markets have asked more than 70 companies to explain why they made large provisions for the effects of the pandemic, with industry observers expressing concerns that China’s strict zero-Covid policy may have been used as a cover for earnings manipulation.

SoftBank-Backed CloudMinds Is Said to Weigh $500 Million HK IPO; CICC and Haitong are working with firm on potential share sale; CloudMinds could seek Hong Kong listing as soon as this year
Pei Li – Bloomberg
Artificial intelligence-powered robot developer CloudMinds Inc. is considering a Hong Kong initial public offering that could raise as much as $500 million, according to people familiar with the matter.

China Local State Firms May Use More Debt Swaps to Ease Risk; Beijing issued more specific instructions on debt reprieves; LGFVs are likely to get more debt extensions, analysts say
Wei Zhou and Fran Wang – Bloomberg
More local government financing vehicles in China may seek debt reprieves including maturity extensions this year, after authorities issued clearer instructions on how to defuse one of the nation’s top financial risks. That’s the takeaway for analysts after Premier Li Keqiang highlighted regional governments’ debt pile as a key threat to financial stability alongside property woes in a key address Sunday to open China’s annual parliamentary meetings.

China’s Smaller LNG Firms Are Buying Again After Price Drop; Beijing Gas procured a spot shipment for April delivery; Purchase is first for a second-tier firm since summer 2021
Stephen Stapczynski – Bloomberg
One of China’s smaller liquefied natural gas importers procured a shipment from the spot market, heralding a return by the nation’s price-sensitive buyers after the energy crisis halted purchases for about a year-and-a-half. Beijing Gas bought a shipment for April delivery to China, according to traders with knowledge of the matter. This is the first purchase by a so-called Chinese second-tier importer – firms unaffiliated with the state-owned giants that handle most of the country’s trade – since summer 2021 when the fuel became too costly.

Deadly Fire at Shell Nigeria Pipeline That Feeds Bonny Crude; Blast caused by lifting stolen oil, killed about 15: official; Crude theft is a major illicit industry in the Niger Delta
Bill Lehane and William Clowes – Bloomberg
A fire on an oil pipeline operated by Shell Plc in Nigeria that feeds crude to the key Bonny export terminal killed about a dozen people, according to state police and a local political official. The explosion hit the Rumuekpe-Nkpoku Trunk Line in Rivers State in the early hours of Friday morning, Chidi Lloyd, chairman of the Emohua local government area, said by phone.

Germany’s Sleepy Savings Banks Play Wall Street With LBO Bets;Local lenders have stepped in to finance private equity deals; Critics say moves go beyond mandate to keep business local
Eyk Henning and Stephan Kahl – Bloomberg
Move over, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Germany’s savings banks are emulating the titans of Wall Street to become an unconventional source of funding for private equity deals. Lenders ranging from Kreissparkasse Biberach near Lake Constance to Sparkasse KölnBonn in the Rhineland are upping their bets on small and medium-sized leveraged buyouts, helping plug a financing gap left by the retreat of larger international peers.

Yosemite National Park closed indefinitely amid winter storms
Li Cohen – CBS News
A series of brutal winter storms that pummeled California have now shuttered one of the state’s most iconic wildlife areas. Yosemite National Park officials said Tuesday that the park will now have to be closed indefinitely after some areas of the park got up to 15 feet of snow. “Yosemite has experienced significant snowfall in all areas of the park,” officials said three days after the park first closed due to weather. “…Park crews are working to restore critical services so visitors can safely return. There is no estimated date for reopening.”

Newsom, IRS give Californians until October to file tax returns
Jon Healey – Los Angeles Times
Good news for most Californians who owe taxes to the federal or state government: The deadline for filing your return and paying what you owe has been pushed back to October. The relief is available to anyone living or working in the 44 counties covered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s emergency declaration. That includes Los Angeles, Ventura and San Diego counties. FEMA’s action came in response to the severe winter storms that caused floods, landslides and mudslides between Dec. 27 and Jan. 31.

This Road Could Save the Planet-and Carve Up Alaskan Wilderness
David Wolman – Bloomberg
Coldfoot, Alaska, is a lone truck stop-cafe-bar-motel 60 miles north of the Arctic Circle. It’s the last spot for northbound semis to gas up on their way to Prudhoe Bay and a place where camo-clad hunters smelling to high hell eat stacks of burgers and swap stories while dead moose lie in pickups parked outside.

Maine lobstermen have slower year amid industry challenges
Patrick Whittle – AP
Fishers of Maine lobster, one of the most lucrative seafood species in the U.S., had a smaller haul during a year in which the industry battled surging fuel and bait prices, rebukes from key retailers and the looming possibility of new fishing restrictions. Maine lobster has exploded in value in recent years in part due to growing international demand from countries such as China.


Archaeologists find well-preserved 500-year-old spices on Baltic shipwreck
Tom Little – Reuters
Archaeologists say they have uncovered a “unique” cache of well-preserved spices, from strands of saffron to peppercorns and ginger, on the wreck of a royal ship that sunk off Sweden’s Baltic coast more than 500 years ago. The wreck of the Gribshund, owned by King Hans of Denmark and Norway, has lain off the coast off Ronneby since 1495 when it is thought to have caught fire and sank as the monarch attended a political meeting ashore in Sweden.

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