How Credit Suisse turned Switzerland’s banking industry into a national embarrassment

Mar 16, 2023

First Read

Hits & Takes
John Lothian & JLN Staff

The FIA Boca International Futures Conference is winding down today after a great two-day affair, including the Futures Hall of Fame ceremony last evening. It was an emotional ceremony to see my mentor, Thomas J. Cashman, inducted into the Hall of Fame, along with so many other deserving individuals.

Scott Early shared a comment with me and one of the Cashman sons that if the FIA had allowed inductees to make comments as part of the ceremony, he would have said that the biggest honor was being inducted into the Hall of Fame alongside Thomas J. Cashman.

After the ceremony, there was a champagne reception for the audience that was sponsored by R.J. O’Brien & Associates and it included a bagpiper, something sure to stir my heart strings. My father was a bagpiper, as it was his mid-life crisis to learn to play them.

John Lothian Productions has been working on a project for RJO for the last many months to honor the business life of John O’Brien, Sr., who was one of the inductees into the Futures Hall of Fame. We produced a 15 minute 37 minute video for RJO about JWO’s business life, featuring numerous interviews with his former RJO colleagues, family members, customers and friends. We were honored and privileged to work on this project, which intersected with the Hall of Fame process. As I served on the Hall of Fame committee this year, and because I had conducted dozens of Zoom interviews about Johnny O’Brien, I was able to give testimony to the committee about why he belonged in the Hall of Fame. It was an example of kismet.

RJO showed the video last night at a dinner in Boca Raton at which many family members and participants in the video were present for its premiere showing. The video will be shown with a select group of RJO friends and clients, company representatives have said. John Lothian Productions had previously produced the 100-year anniversary video for RJO that was shown at the FIA Boca conference back in 2014.

Here are the videos that Patrick Lothian of John Lothian Productions produced for the FIA Hall of Fame ceremony that were played before each tranche of inductees was introduced and given trophies. There were three videos, video one, video two and video three.

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


Apex Chief Commercial Officer Connor Coughlin Talks Trading Trends and Fintech Brokerage “Plumbing”

Connor Coughlin, the chief commercial officer at Apex Fintech Solutions, said the company calls itself “the fintech for fintechs.”

“We are the pipes and plumbing behind the fintech brokerage industry,” he said.

He spoke with John Lothian News recently about the trading differences between generations, investor behavior during the recession, and Apex’s expansion into fixed income and alternative brokerage.

Watch the video »


Russians Use Tether to Send Money to the West, Evading Sanctions and KYC – Transparency International
Anna Baydakova – CoinDesk
The Russian branch of Transparency International, a global anti-corruption nongovernmental organization (NGO), found at least eight over-the-counter (OTC) brokers in Moscow that can sell you tens of thousands dollars in stablecoins for cash and then exchange it in the U.K for pounds sterling – all for cash and without know-your-customer (KYC) paperwork.

******Stablecoins are the solution to the problem of volatility created by crypto that is within my theory about the original purpose for bitcoin, and you are seeing it here. ~JJL


JPMorgan Says Fed’s Loans Will Provide $2 Trillion of Liquidity
Masaki Kondo – Bloomberg
The Federal Reserve’s emergency loan program may inject as much as $2 trillion of funds into the US banking system and ease the liquidity crunch, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co. “The usage of the Fed’s Bank Term Funding Program is likely to be big,” strategists led by Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou in London wrote in a client note Wednesday. While the largest banks are unlikely to tap the program, the maximum usage envisaged for the facility is close to $2 trillion, which is the par amount of bonds held by US banks outside the five biggest, they said.

****** As we like to say in Chicago, “Where’s mine?”~JJL


European regulators criticise US ‘incompetence’ over Silicon Valley Bank collapse; Critics label handling of Californian lender’s failure a ‘disaster’ and claim Washington is failing to adhere to global rules
Laura Noonan – Financial Times
Europe’s financial regulators are furious at the handling of the Silicon Valley Bank collapse, privately accusing US authorities of tearing up a rule book for failed banks that they had helped to write. While the disapproval has yet to be conveyed in a formal setting, some of the region’s top policymakers are seething over the decision to cover all depositors at SVB, fearing it will undermine a globally agreed regime.

*****We in the U.S. resemble that remark.~JJL


Wednesday’s Top Three
Our top story Wednesday was ‘Never daunted,’ the derivatives industry continues to persevere – the opening remarks of Walt Lukken, President and CEO of FIA, at the FIA Boca conference this week, from the FIA. Second was a repeat from Tuesday’s top three, CME CEO Says Wife’s Carjacking Highlights ‘Insane’ Chicago Crime, from Bloomberg. And third was You’ll Never Guess the Top-Performing Stock of the Last 20 Years, about Monster Beverage Corp. and others, from Benzinga.


MarketsWiki Stats
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MarketsWiki Statistics


Lead Stories

How Credit Suisse turned Switzerland’s banking industry into a national embarrassment
Simon Foy – The Telegraph
Once the pride of the Swiss banking industry, Credit Suisse’s fall from grace shows few signs of abating. The beleaguered lender has this week found itself fighting fires on multiple fronts. Firstly, the Swiss financial regulator said it was “closely monitoring” Credit Suisse and other Swiss lenders following the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB). Secondly, the bank was forced to admit it had “material weaknesses” in its reporting and controls procedures. Thirdly, it revealed that a prolonged wave of customer outflows has yet to reverse.

Credit Suisse to Get Liquidity Backstop if Needed, SNB Says; Swiss National Bank, regulator issue show of support for bank; Authorities say bank meets all capital, liquidity requirements
Hugo Miller and Bastian Benrath – Bloomberg
Switzerland’s central bank and financial regulator said Credit Suisse Group AG will receive a liquidity backstop if needed, seeking to restore confidence in the troubled lender after a record slump in its shares. “Credit Suisse meets the capital and liquidity requirements imposed on systemically important banks,” the Swiss National Bank and Finma said in a joint statement late Wednesday. “If necessary, the SNB will provide Credit Suisse with liquidity.”

Credit Suisse fears linger, Swiss National Bank approves $54B loan
Thomas Barrabi – New York Post
Shares of Credit Suisse rebounded Thursday after Swiss National Bank extended a $54 billion lifeline – but investors remained skittish about a potential collapse, with some analysts arguing that a rescue is inevitable. After news of the Swiss government’s support broke late Wednesday, the European Central Bank hiked interest rates by half a percentage point on Thursday – a move that could add more pressure on Credit Suisse and other lenders.

‘Dr. Doom’ Nouriel Roubini warns that ‘contagion’ from U.S. bank failures and Credit Suisse’s problems could spread globally
Will Daniel – Fortune
In November, Nouriel Roubini, CEO of Roubini Macro Associates, lived up to his nickname in an interview with Fortune. “Dr. Doom” warned that the global economy was facing a “variant of another Great Depression” due to rising public and private debts, stubborn inflation, aggressive interest rate hikes, and a number of other “mega threats.”

China Pauses GDR Approvals, Threatening Europe Share Sale Boom; CSRC worried GDR sales may threaten domestic market stability; EV battery giant CATL among firms with GDR listings on hold
Dong Cao and Pei Li – Bloomberg
China’s securities regulator is holding up approvals for new applications to sell global depository receipts, according to people familiar with the situation, potentially choking off a lucrative stream of listings in Europe. The pause stems in part from concern that a substantial portion of GDR issuance is being taken up by Chinese investors who later convert the securities into shares in their home market to profit from persistent price gaps, the people said. The GDRs, primarily listed in Zurich, have tended to trade at discounts. They become fungible with so-called A-shares in mainland China after 120 days.

Credit Suisse Feels the Sting of Betrayal; The bank needs to raise equity, but its biggest shareholder isn’t interested.
Jessica Karl – Bloomberg
With Friends Like These … Friends can be so cruel sometimes. Even, or maybe especially, if they’re just work friends. Say you have an office buddy, let’s call him Johnny, who’s been really down lately. So you go to Johnny’s work BFF, who’s sat in the desk across from Johnny for 167 years, and say, “Hey, let’s take Johnny to lunch!” And he says, “Absolutely not, for many reasons outside the simplest reason.” You might think: What in the -?! What’s wrong with Johnny’s friend?

A Net $3 Billion Was Redeemed From Crypto’s USDC Stablecoin This Week; Second-largest stablecoin recovered peg after weekend slump; Crypto’s stablecoin segment has seen dramatic shifts in 2023
Sidhartha Shukla – Bloomberg
A net $3 billion was redeemed from USD Coin, crypto’s second-largest stablecoin, from Monday morning through Wednesday in the aftermath of US banking turmoil that buffeted issuer Circle Internet Financial Ltd. Circle in a blog post said it had redeemed $3.8 billion of USDC tokens over the period and minted $800 million, adding that a backlog of such requests has been all but cleared.

John McAfee’s Crypto Business Was an Early Warning for Regulators; A parade of scams followed in the footsteps of McAfee’s alleged fraud.
Jamie Tarabay and Shawn Wen – Bloomberg
John McAfee came away from his failed presidential run with a newfound interest in digital currencies and set up a crypto operation in his Tennessee home. At the same time, he was becoming increasingly dependent on synthetic drugs, people close to him said. The resulting delusions and hallucinations cost him relationships. His crypto business waded deep into the grayest waters of the industry, where regulators had yet to define rules. Marketing and promotional schemes – and his public refusals to pay taxes – put him in the crosshairs of law enforcement.

Credit Suisse Chairman Says State Aid ‘Not a Topic’
Marion Halftermeyer – Bloomberg
Credit Suisse Group AG Chairman Axel Lehmann said government assistance “isn’t a topic” for the lender as the Swiss bank seeks to shore up confidence among clients, investors and regulators after a series of missteps. Speaking at the Financial Sector Conference in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, Lehmann said it wouldn’t be accurate to compare Credit Suisse’s current problems with the recent collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, particularly because the banks are regulated differently.

How a law passed by Donald Trump ignited the latest banking calamity
Ben Marlow – The Telegraph
“Americans can rest assured that our banking system is safe. Your deposits are safe.” As guarantees go, they don’t come much better than a personal one from the US president – delivered from the White House lectern too, for added punch. Yet the concern for Joe Biden is that his words, in the aftermath of the collapse of several American banks, not just Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), took a while to sink in.

Credit Suisse and the Crazy, Rich, Anxious Asians; The Swiss lender needs to come up with a strategy or risk hemorrhaging more money from a key group of clients.
Shuli Ren – Bloomberg
It seems like whenever there is a bit of jitter in the global banking world, Credit Suisse Group AG gets a beating. It needs to pre-emptively improve the public narrative before the crazy, rich, and anxious Asians pull all their money out of the Swiss bank.

Credit Suisse Needs Friends Now More Than Ever; The firm is hardly Silicon Valley Bank – though it’s not doing much to help anyone understand that.
Paul J. Davies – Bloomberg
It’s often when you’re most in need that you find you have the fewest friends. So it is for Credit Suisse Group AG. Its shares took another pasting on Wednesday, dropping as much as 30% to less than 2 Swiss francs ($2.17) – a record low.

US Treasury Says It’s Monitoring Credit Suisse Situation
Viktoria Dendrinou – Bloomberg
The US Treasury Department is monitoring the Credit Suisse situation, a spokesperson said Wednesday, after the bank’s biggest shareholder ruled out boosting its stake and the stock fell the most on record.

Fed rate hikes: ‘The chances of a soft landing are very, very small,’ expert saysScroll back up to restore default view.
Jared Blikre – Yahoo Finance
Credit Suisse (CS) just suffered its worst day on record – sending the stock plummeting 22%. The bank’s bonds are also crashing, and investors are paying for insurance on its bonds at rates not seen since the Global Financial Crisis. As investors call into question the solvency of one of Europe’s biggest banks, the safety and soundness of the entire global banking system is once again a big question mark for Wall Street. Meanwhile in the U.S., investors are still coming to grips with the fallout from the failures of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank, sending regional bank stocks down for the seventh time in eight sessions.

‘It is not cut-throat like Goldman Sachs’: SVB’s culture in focus; Insiders say collapsed bank more closely resembled the start-ups it served than Wall Street rivals
Tabby Kinder and Antoine Gara – Financial Times
When Silicon Valley Bank imploded last week, most of its 8,500 staff were still working remotely. “Some people worked from Miami, some moved to Las Vegas or a cabin in the woods and did the digital nomad thing,” said one former banker. SVB’s total embrace of remote working was just one way in which the technology-focused lender diverged from its peers – a top-20 US bank with a culture that more closely resembled the Silicon Valley start-ups it served.

US Bank Giants Cut Direct Exposure to Credit Suisse for Months
Jenny Surane, Katherine Doherty and Hannah Levitt – Bloomberg
The biggest US banks have been whittling down their direct exposure to Credit Suisse Group AG for months as the Swiss lender stumbled from one crisis to the next. Regulators this week have amped up queries with firms including JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of America Corp. and Citigroup Inc. about those exposures, which are now minimal, according to people familiar with the matter. The US firms have been examining and managing their counter-party exposure to Credit Suisse while still working with the Swiss lender, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing internal deliberations.

Here’s why a failure of Credit Suisse matters to U.S. investors
Barbara Kollmeyer – MarketWatch
Thousands of miles away from U.S. shores early Wednesday, a headline began working its way across Europe, then Wall Street, sparking fresh panic as it dawned on investors they may be facing yet another banking crisis. In Zurich, shares of Credit Suisse tumbled more than 20% at one point to a new record under EUR2 after the chairman of the Swiss lender’s top shareholder, the Saudi National Bank, said they won’t invest any more in the bank.

More banks could go under, warns Larry Fink
Matt Oliver – The Telegraph
The chief executive of the world’s biggest money manager has warned that more banks could collapse, as Swiss regulators were last night forced to reassure investors that Credit Suisse was not at risk. Larry Fink, the chief executive of Blackrock, said the recent failure of Silicon Valley Bank, Silvergate and Signature Bank in the US could be the start of a “slow, rolling” crisis that may see others fail.

China to Let Power Prices Turn Negative in Solar-Rich Province
Bloomberg News
Power traders in China’s Shandong province can now ask to be paid for taking electricity as the province’s growing rooftop solar capacity threatens to overwhelm the grid. The province officially set the lowest price on its spot market below zero, according to a draft rule released by Shandong Development and Reform Commission. Negative prices that encourage generators to switch off are typically seen on more advanced electricity exchanges in the US, Germany, and Australia and suggest another step forward in China’s slow march toward liberalizing its power sector.

Effective Altruist Leaders Were Repeatedly Warned About Sam Bankman-Fried Years Before FTX Collapsed
Charlotte Alter – TIME
Leaders of the Effective Altruism movement were repeatedly warned beginning in 2018 that Sam Bankman-Fried was unethical, duplicitous, and negligent in his role as CEO of Alameda Research, the crypto trading firm that went on to play a critical role in what federal prosecutors now say was among the biggest financial frauds in U.S. history.

Savers could end up being big winners after SVB collapse
Janna Herron – Yahoo! Finance
Some financial institutions are upping the yields on their deposit accounts after the failures of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank (SBNY) sparked fears of potential bank runs. In an unusual move on Saturday per one industry analyst, Ally Bank (ALLY) increased the annual percentage yield on its 11-month, no-penalty certificate of deposit, or CD, to 4.75% from 4%. On Monday, UFB Direct – the online division of Axos Bank (AX) – hiked the rates on its money market and savings accounts from 4.55% to 5.02%.

FDIC returned $40 billion in U.S. Treasury funds, reversing withdrawal after SVB takeover
David Lawder – Reuters
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp deposited $40 billion back into the U.S. Treasury General Account on Tuesday, reversing a $40 billion withdrawal on Friday as the regulator took control of the failed Silicon Valley Bank, Treasury financial data released on Wednesday showed. A Treasury spokesperson referred questions about the fund transfers to the FDIC, which declined comment.

Alameda-Linked Wallet Sent $100M of Stablecoins to Trading Firms After USDC Depeg
Oliver Knight – CoinDesk
A wallet linked to the liquidators of the Alameda Research estate sent $100 million in stablecoins to crypto trading firms Cumberland and GSR Markets over the weekend. Over $47 million worth of USD coin (USDC), which fell victim to a depeg last weekend amid banking concerns in the U.S., was sent to GSR Markets on Monday, with a further $50.3 million sent to Cumberland across two transactions, according to on-chain analysis by Arkham Intelligence.

American egg prices are sending a signal to the Federal Reserve
Nate DiCamillo – Quartz
Paying less for raw materials. The average prices that US companies paid for goods and services decreased by 0.1% from January to February, according to new producer price index data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The decrease was led by the cost of goods falling 0.2%, while the price of services fell by 0.1%. Eggs, the US’s recent and rather surprising bellwether for prices, showed the way.

Credit Suisse secures $54 billion lifeline as authorities rush to avert global bank crisis
Tom Westbrook and Saeed Azhar – Reuters
Credit Suisse on Thursday said it would borrow up to $54 billion from the Swiss central bank to shore up liquidity and investor confidence after a slump in its shares intensified fears about a global banking crisis. The Swiss bank’s announcement helped stem heavy selling in financial markets in Asian morning trade on Thursday, following torrid sessions in Europe and the United States overnight as investors fretted about potential runs on global bank deposits.

Exiled Chinese Tycoon Guo Wengui Charged With Billion-Dollar Fraud in US
Bob Van Voris – Bloomberg
Chinese billionaire Guo Wengui, the exiled businessman and vocal critic of Beijing with ties to former Donald Trump adviser Steve Bannon, was charged with fraud after the US seized $634 million linked to his alleged crimes. Arrested Wednesday at 6:24 a.m. by FBI agents at his luxury apartment in Manhattan’s Sherry-Netherland hotel, Guo was later brought before a judge over the alleged billion-dollar fraud.

The Commodities Billionaire Betting on Power Lines for the Energy Transition; Building more long-distance transmission lines will be key to the US clean-energy transition.
Naureen S Malik and Rachel Adams-Heard – Bloomberg
John Arnold, the billionaire philanthropist who made his fortune trading commodities, is betting that building more long-distance transmission lines will be the key to the US clean-energy transition. Arnold said he’s committed “several hundred million dollars” to Grid United, a joint venture he co-founded with transmission pioneer Michael Skelly, to acquire land, easements and the permits needed to build power lines that can stretch for hundreds of miles.

US Shuts Down Crypto Service Tied to $3 Billion in Transactions; DOJ says state, criminal hackers used site for laundering; Vietnamese man charged in connection with the takedown
William Turton – Bloomberg
US and German law enforcement agencies have shuttered ChipMixer, a cryptocurrency service allegedy used to launder billions of dollars in illicit proceeds, authorities said Wednesday. Ransomware groups, suspected North Korean hackers, dark net market users and vendors who bought and sold stolen financial information used the site, which processed more than $3 billion in illicit transactions, according to the US Justice Department.

Silicon Valley’s Favorite Bank Was Its Single Point of Failure; How a regional bank for a specific industry became a case study of everything that can suddenly go very wrong in the financial system.
Ellen Huet – Bloomberg
For 40 years, Silicon Valley Bank enmeshed itself in the venture capital community, often with the comfortable touches of a beloved hometown bank. Sequoia Capital partner Michael Moritz compared the bank to a “cherished local market” where the people behind the counter knew every customer’s name and sold them their cut of meat with a smile. SVB and its employees could be counted on to “tend community gardens, supply food banks, or provide companionship to the elderly,” he wrote March 12 in an op-ed article in the Financial Times. Until the events of the previous week, he said, Sequoia always recommended that new startups open an account with SVB. In cities such as London, Boston, New York and Palo Alto, California, SVB pulled out the checkbook to sponsor technology conferences, networking dinners and happy hours, where stressed-out founders clinked glasses with peers and investors. One startup executive says he always told job-hunting friends to get lunch with a local SVB rep-they’d know everyone in the industry who was hiring.

Ukraine Invasion

Ukraine war has ‘ushered in a new era’, says Germany’s largest defence contractor
Sarah Provan, Maxine Kelly, Akila Quinio, Oliver Ralph and William Langley – Financial Times
Rheinmetall, Germany’s largest defence contractor, has reported record earnings with its chief executive declaring that war in Ukraine has “ushered in a new era”. The company, which has been involved in the delivery of Leopard 2 tanks, said on Thursday that adjusted operating profits jumped 27 per cent to EUR754mn last year.

Raiffeisen seeks to swap EUR400mn with Sberbank in ‘financial prisoner exchange’; Austrian lender in talks with Kremlin-owned bank in an attempt to reduce exposure to Russia
Sam Jones in Vienna and Max Seddon – Financial Times
Raiffeisen Bank is seeking to exchange EUR 400mn worth of profits trapped in Russia against Sberbank’s frozen cash in Europe, in a plan underlining the Austrian lender’s efforts to reduce its exposure to the Russian market. The swap deal, presented at a Raiffeisen board meeting last week, involves Sberbank receiving roubles from Raiffeisen’s Russian subsidiary, which are barred from exiting the country because of capital controls imposed by the Kremlin, according to three people directly involved in the discussions.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

Appendix 3Y – Change Of Director’s Interest Notice – Vicki Carter
Attached is an Appendix 3Y Change of Director’s Interest Notice for Vicki Anne Carter. Release of market announcement authorised by: Johanna O’Rourke; Group General Counsel and Company Secretary.

Amendments To The List Of Fees Of Bourse De Montreal Inc.
Bourse de Montreal Inc. hereby announces the following amendments to its List of Fees effective April 1st, 2023. The new List of Fees in blackline and clean version is attached for your information. Amendment to the fees for transactions per contract per side for fixed-income derivatives.

Ozon Holdings PLC Notified of Anticipated Delisting from The Nasdaq Stock Market
The Nasdaq Stock Market (Nasdaq: NDAQ) announced today that it has notified Ozon Holdings PLC (Nasdaq: OZON) that its securities will be delisted from the Nasdaq Stock Market LLC on March 24, unless the company appeals to a Listing Qualifications Hearings Panel. The securities will remain halted, and unavailable to trade, until any appeal is resolved, and the securities are removed from Nasdaq. Following removal from Nasdaq the securities may be eligible for trading in the over-the-counter market.

Yandex N.V. Notified of Anticipated Delisting from The Nasdaq Stock Market
The Nasdaq Stock Market (Nasdaq: NDAQ) announced today that it has notified Yandex N.V. (Nasdaq: YNDX) that its securities will be delisted from the Nasdaq Stock Market LLC on March 24, unless the company appeals to a Listing Qualifications Hearings Panel. The securities will remain halted, and unavailable to trade, until any appeal is resolved, and the securities are removed from Nasdaq.

Nasdaq Resumes Trading in Nexters Inc.
Nasdaq Stock Market
The Nasdaq Stock Market® (Nasdaq: NDAQ) announced that trading will resume tomorrow in Nexters Inc. (Nasdaq: GDEV and GDEVW) at 09:00 a.m. Eastern Time on March 16, 2023. Trading in the company’s stock was halted on February 28, 2022 at 6:38:00 a.m. (GDEV) Eastern Time and 6:41:09 a.m. (GDEVW) Eastern Time.

HeadHunter Group PLC Notified of Anticipated Delisting from The Nasdaq Stock Market
Nasdaq Stock Market
The Nasdaq Stock Market (Nasdaq: NDAQ) announced today that it has notified HeadHunter Group PLC (Nasdaq: HHR) that its securities will be delisted from the Nasdaq Stock Market LLC on March 24, unless the company appeals to a Listing Qualifications Hearings Panel.

QIWI PLC Notified of Anticipated Delisting from The Nasdaq Stock Market
Nasdaq Stock Market
The Nasdaq Stock Market (Nasdaq: NDAQ) announced today that it has notified QIWI PLC (Nasdaq: QIWI) that its securities will be delisted from the Nasdaq Stock Market LLC on March 24, unless the company appeals to a Listing Qualifications Hearings Panel. The securities will remain halted, and unavailable to trade, until any appeal is resolved, and the securities are removed from Nasdaq.

News about Adani Enterprises Limited
The media had reports that Adani Group Does Not Own Ambuja Cements and ACC; Ultimate Beneficiary Is Vinod Adani The Exchange, in order to verify the accuracy or otherwise of the information reported in the media and to inform the marketplace so that the interest of the investors is safeguarded, had written to the company on March 14, 2023. A copy of the clarification is available on the NSE website ( under (List > Corporate filings > Announcements)

Prospects for the IPO market were discussed at the Moscow Exchange
On March 15, 2023, the Moscow Exchange held a seminar on the practical aspects of an IPO in Russia. The seminar was attended by representatives of Russian companies from sectors of the new economy, including software development, cloud services, carsharing, as well as traditional industries – financial and construction companies, considering the possibility of entering the public capital market.


Goldman Backs Saudi Fintech Tamara With $150 Million Facility
Nicolas Parasie – Bloomberg
Saudi financial technology company Tamara secured a $150 million debt facility from Goldman Sachs Group Inc, defying a funding slowdown in the global venture capital sector.

Where Will Startups Turn To Now That SVB is Gone?; Silicon Valley Bank played an important role in financial innovation tied to the world’s tech hub. Its demise could be profound.
Tim Culpan – Bloomberg
Life was already tough for startups. Funding had dropped to the lowest in five years, venture capital investors were getting skittish, and wealthy angels started holding onto their cash instead of sharing it like candy. Then Silicon Valley’s own bank shut its doors, halting payrolls and forcing founders to stop managing their businesses and focus on the only thing that matters: cashflow.

Blockchain Didn’t Cause Bank Failures: Boring
Perianne Boring, Chamber of Digital Commerce founder, says Blockchain and crypto had nothing to do with the recent bank failures in the US. She’s on “Bloomberg Crypto.”

Princeton University’s Blockchain Initiative, One Year Later (Podcast); The Center for the Decentralization of Power Through Blockchain Technology was created right before the crypto winter.
Janet Babin – Bloomberg
Last year, just before the crypto winter hit in earnest, Princeton University established the Center for the Decentralization of Power Through Blockchain Technology. The initiative was funded in part by a $20 million gift from prominent Princeton alumni including Mike Novogratz, CEO of Galaxy Investment Partners, and Joe Lubin, co-founder of the Ethereum crypto platform.

XTX Markets appoints Credit Suisse alumnus as head of Americas distribution; Incoming head bring 25 years’ experience in financial markets to XTX, having previously served at Credit Suisse, ITG, JP Morgan, Merrill Lynch and Bloomberg.
Wesley Bray – The Trade
XTX Markets has appointed Charlie Whitlock as head of Americas distribution, effective from 3 April. Based in XTX’s New York office, Whitlock will be responsible for growing XTX’s single dealer platform business in the US. He brings 25 years of experience in financial markets to the firm, joining from Credit Suisse, where he most recently served as managing director, head of America’s advanced execution services (AES) sales.


Police shut down dark web crypto laundering service linked to FTX hack
Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai – TechCrunch
An international coalition of law enforcement agencies announced on Wednesday that it had taken down the popular dark web crypto laundering service ChipMixer, seizing more than $46 million in crypto and terabytes of server data. The service, for example, was used last year by the attacker who stole funds from the now failed crypto exchange FTX, as well as by several ransomware groups.

Wall Street regulator proposes new hacking, data and market resiliency rules
Douglas Gillison – Reuters
The top U.S. markets regulator on Wednesday proposed a suite of new policies designed to harden the financial system against hacking, data theft and systems failure. With some dissents from Republican members, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) five members voted at a public meeting to propose rules on protecting consumer financial data, preventing hacking at stock exchanges and broker-dealers and buttressing the resiliency of market infrastructure, part of a continuing concern with modernizing regulations to match advancing technological threats.

Microsoft Warns Russia May Plan More Ransomware Attacks Beyond Ukraine
Aggi Cantrill – Bloomberg
Microsoft Corp. warned an infamous hacking group that is tied to Russia’s military intelligence agency GRU could be gearing up for more ransomware attacks both inside and outside of Ukraine. Microsoft calls the group Iridium, but it is perhaps best known as Sandworm. It has been accused of attacks on Ukraine’s electric power grid and government agencies, the 2018 Winter Olympics and businesses across the globe. Now, it appears to be preparing for a renewed destructive campaign, the software company said in a threat intelligence report on Wednesday.


Sam Bankman-Fried said to have taken $2.2bn from FTX entities
Sujeet Indap – Financial Times
More than $2bn was transferred to Sam Bankman-Fried from FTX entities, according to bankruptcy court filings made by the new management of cryptocurrency exchange on Wednesday night. According to a press release describing financial statements filed with the bankruptcy court in Delaware, Bankman-Fried and five members of his inner circle transferred $3.2bn in total to their personal accounts in the form of “payments and loans”, the funds primarily coming from Alameda Research, a crypto trading hedge fund affiliated with FTX.

Binance suspends pound sterling services for U.K. customers as payment provider backs out
Valida Pau – Forkast
Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, halted British pound deposits and withdrawals for new customers on Monday and will end all such transactions in May after provider Paysafe said it will no longer offer the service in light of U.K. regulations, according to a report in Decrypt that cited a Binance notice sent to customers.

Gibraltar’s Xapo Bank Enables GBP Payments, Prepares USDC Option Amid U.S. Crypto Banking Crisis
Eliza Gkritsi – CoinDesk
Gibraltar-based, crypto-friendly Xapo Bank enabled British pound (GBP) payments today and will enable USDC stablecoin services later this week, after a banking crisis shook the U.S. crypto sector.

Crypto Layoffs, Like Tech Cuts, Show No Signs of Stopping (Podcast); A drawn out crypto winter is sending chills through the industry’s workforce.
Sharon Beriro – Bloomberg
The last 12 months or so have been particularly grueling for crypto. Yet, as Spring 2023 approaches, a clearer idea of what the slump in crypto prices might mean for the companies shaping the industry is starting to emerge. One of the biggest consequences of the prolonged crypto winter is that digital-asset firms have had to make job cuts, including big names like Galaxy Digital, Genesis Global and Chainalysis.

Web3 crowdfunding launchpad Poolz Finance hacked for US$390,000 on BSC, Polygon
Zoltan Vardai – Forkast
Poolz Finance, a cross-chain crowdfunding launchpad for Web3 projects, has been exploited for US$390,000 worth of digital assets on the Binance Smart Chain and Polygon blockchains, according to an alert by blockchain security firm PeckShield on Wednesday.

Coinbase opens local bank transfers for Singapore users at no cost
Rae Wee – Reuters
Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase will let customers in Singapore move funds to and from accounts via local banks, smoothing one path to investing in digital assets at a time when markets are on edge over financial stability and crypto banking.


Warren says $250,000 cap in deposit insurance for banks should be reexamined
Lauren Sforza – The Hill
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on Wednesday said the $250,000 cap on deposit insurance should be reexamined to better suit small business and nonprofit organizations. “I think that we should reexamine, just overall, about why we have limits at $250,000 of protection,” she said on CNBC’s “Squawk Street.” The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insures up to $250,000 for each depositor if a bank fails.

Top US Senate Democrat Schumer wants legislative response to banking ills
Moira Warburton – Reuters
The U.S. Congress needs to act on bipartisan legislation strengthening banking industry controls, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Wednesday, amid global worries over the financial soundness of Credit Suisse and the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank.

U.S. House Financial Services chair urges confidence, says financial agencies acting within law
The House Financial Services Committee chairman on Tuesday urged confidence in the nation’s banking system, saying the Federal Reserve and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation are acting within the law after the collapse of two U.S. banks raised concerns about the banking sector and roiled world markets.

Federal investigators examined Trump Media for possible money laundering, sources say
Hugo Lowell – The Guardian
Federal prosecutors in New York involved in the criminal investigation into Donald Trump’s social media company last year started examining whether it violated money laundering statutes in connection with the acceptance of $8m with suspected Russian ties, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Forty US senators join push for tougher stance over China’s treatment of Hong Kong
Patricia Zengerle – Reuters
Forty of the 100 U.S. senators co-sponsored a resolution on Wednesday urging a strong U.S. government response to any Chinese efforts to clamp down on dissent in Hong Kong, including the use of sanctions and other tools. The measure backed by the 40 Democrats and Republicans, and seen by Reuters before its release, comes as members of the U.S. Congress urge President Joe Biden’s administration to take a harder line in dealings with a rising China over a wide range of issues.

Populist Fury Grips Congress in Echo of 2008’s Bailout Backlash; Lawmakers in both parties express resentment over intervention; Congressional action isn’t likely amid partisan divide
Mike Dorning, Steven T. Dennis and Laura Litvan – Bloomberg
Populists on both sides of the partisan divide in Washington can agree on one thing: They don’t like last weekend’s rescue of Silicon Valley Bank depositors and want to prevent anything like it from happening again. Republicans and Democrats differ on exactly how the US government should respond to the failure of three regional US banks and to the prospect of further financial industry turmoil fueled by troubles at Zurich-based Credit Suisse Group AG.

How Silicon Valley Bank skirted Washington’s toughest banking rules
Dan Fitzpatrick, David Hollerith and Jennifer Schonberger – Yahoo! Finance
Before Silicon Valley Bank went down, it was the 16th-biggest US bank and had more than $200 billion in assets. Yet it didn’t have the same level of regulatory scrutiny as JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Bank of America (BAC), Citigroup (C), or Wells Fargo (WFC). Why? Because lawmakers and regulators decided to loosen requirements for regional banks at the end of last decade.

How Washington Decided to Rescue Silicon Valley Bank’s Depositors
Alan Rappeport, Lauren Hirsch, Jeanna Smialek and Jim Tankersley – The New York Times
On Friday afternoon, the deputy Treasury secretary, Wally Adeyemo, met with Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of JPMorgan Chase & Company, at Mr. Dimon’s office in New York. The Biden administration and the Federal Reserve were considering what would be the most aggressive emergency intervention in the banking system since the 2008 financial crisis, and the question the two men debated was at the heart of that decision.

Barney Frank defends role at Signature Bank: ‘I need to make money’; Ex-congressman behind landmark banking law says he has no regrets about joining failed lender’s board
Joshua Franklin and Stephen Gandel – Financial Times
Former US congressman Barney Frank, an architect of landmark legislation designed to make the banking system safer, has defended his decision to take a job on the board of failed Signature Bank, saying “I need to make some money”. Frank, 82, joined Signature’s board of directors in 2015, two years after leaving Congress, where he shepherded the sweeping Dodd-Frank financial regulatory law in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.

Wall Street Isn’t Taking the Debt Ceiling Debate Seriously Enough: Big Take Podcast; Despite conventional wisdom, concerns over the debt ceiling standoff are growing.
Victoria Vergolina – Bloomberg
The White House and Congress are battling over raising the nation’s $31.4 trillion debt ceiling. If they don’t act and the US defaults on its debt this summer, the economic shockwaves will be felt across the nation and around the world. Even so, the conventional wisdom in many parts of Washington and Wall Street seems to be: don’t worry, in the end of course they’ll reach a deal.

Putin holds a trump card in the 2024 US election; The Russian leader’s best hope of winning the war in Ukraine lies in American politics
Edward Luce – Financial Times
This year’s oddest moment was when Vladimir Putin attacked the Church of England. Its sin was to consider the idea of a gender neutral God. In the midst of what he sees as an existential war, Putin has time to worry about same-sex marriages in America, Shakespeare and JK Rowling being cancelled on each side of the Atlantic, and gender reassignment surgery.


Former Wells Fargo exec faces prison, will pay $17 million fine over fake accounts scandal
Chris Prentice and Pete Schroeder – Reuters
The former head of Wells Fargo’s retail bank is facing prison time after agreeing to plead guilty to obstructing a bank examination in relation to the sweeping phony accounts scandal that roiled the bank in 2016. Carrie Tolstedt, 63, faces up to 16 months in prison under a plea agreement with federal prosecutors filed on Wednesday. The development marks a rare instance of a senior bank executive facing prison time as a result of their job.

US accuses exiled Chinese tycoon Guo Wengui of $1 billion crypto-linked fraud
Timmy Shen – Forkast
Guo Wengui, an exiled Chinese billionaire, was arrested in New York on Wednesday for allegedly orchestrating a more than US$1 billion fraud conspiracy that included cryptocurrency, according to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

India probing ‘several’ crypto cases for money laundering, seizes over $115 million
Manish Singh – TechCrunch
India’s Enforcement Directorate is investigating “several” crypto cases for money-laundering schemes and has seized $115.5 million to date in such crimes, the Ministry of Finance said, the latest in a series of crackdown by the authorities on the nascent space that is already reeling from the tremulous market conditions.

Keynote of Chairman Rostin Behnam at the FIA Boca 2023 International Futures Industry Conference, Boca Raton, Florida
Good morning and thank you, Walt, for the kind introduction.
Returning in person to Boca last year was a true milestone as we emerged from the global pandemic only to find ourselves facing tragedy in Ukraine.[1] My remarks focused on the burgeoning era of change presenting risks that would require a consciously balanced approach.

CFTC Unanimously Approves Proposed Rule to Codify No-Action Position Regarding the Treatment of Separate Accounts of a Single Customer by Clearing Members
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission today unanimously approved a proposed rule to codify the no-action position in CFTC Staff Letter No. 19-17 regarding the treatment of separate accounts of a single customer by futures commission merchants (FCMs) that are clearing members of derivatives clearing organizations (DCOs).

NFA orders Vero Beach, Fla. introducing broker Ocean Solutions LLC to pay a $140,000 fine
NFA has ordered Ocean Solutions LLC (Ocean Solutions), an NFA Member introducing broker located in Vero Beach, Fla., to pay a $140,000 fine. James W. Ronan, an associated person (AP) of Ocean Solutions, was also ordered to pay a $60,000 fine.

SEC Reopens Comment Period for Proposed Cybersecurity Risk Management Rules and Amendments for Registered Investment Advisers and Funds
The Securities and Exchange Commission today reopened the comment period on proposed rules and amendments related to cybersecurity risk management and cybersecurity-related disclosure for registered investment advisers, registered investment companies, and business development companies that were proposed by the Commission on February 9, 2022. The initial comment period ended on April 11, 2022

SEC Charges Exiled Chinese Businessman Miles Guo and His Financial Advisor William Je in $850 Million Fraud Scheme
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged exiled Chinese businessman Miles Guo and his financial advisor William Je for their involvement in unregistered and fraudulent offerings that raised more than $850 million.

SEC Proposes Changes to Reg S-P to Enhance Protection of Customer Information
The Securities and Exchange Commission today proposed amendments to Regulation S-P that would enhance the protection of customer information by, among other things, requiring broker-dealers, investment companies, registered investment advisers, and transfer agents to provide notice to individuals affected by certain types of data breaches that may put them at risk of identity theft or other harm.

SEC Proposes New Requirements to Address Cybersecurity Risks to the U.S. Securities Markets
The Securities and Exchange Commission today proposed requirements for broker-dealers, clearing agencies, major security-based swap participants, the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board, national securities associations, national securities exchanges, security-based swap data repositories, security-based swap dealers, and transfer agents (collectively, “Market Entities”) to address their cybersecurity risks.

SEC Proposes to Expand and Update Regulation SCI
The Securities and Exchange Commission today proposed amendments to expand and update Regulation Systems Compliance and Integrity (SCI), the set of rules adopted in 2014 to help address technological vulnerabilities in the U.S. securities markets and improve Commission oversight of the core technology of key U.S. securities markets entities (SCI entities).

SEC Charges Recidivist with Stealing $5.2 Million from Investors
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged recidivist Peter Krieger, a former manager of Oban Energies, LLC (“Oban”), with misappropriating approximately $5.2 million of investor funds for his personal use including to purchase luxury cars and jewelry. Oban is a Florida-based entity formed to develop an oil refinery and storage facility in the Bahamas.

SEC Charges Darius Karpavicius in $4 Million Offering Fraud for Operating Tbo Capital Group and Gray Capital Group
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged Darius Karpavicius, of Lithuania, with orchestrating an offering fraud that raised more than $4 million from approximately 64 retail investors, much of which Karpavicius used for personal benefit such as cash withdrawals and investments in crypto assets.

SEC Charges Exiled Chinese Businessman Miles Guo and His Financial Advisor William Je in $850 Million Fraud Scheme
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged exiled Chinese businessman Miles Guo and his financial advisor William Je for their involvement in unregistered and fraudulent offerings that raised more than $850 million.

SEC Chairman Gensler Suggests Again That Proof-of-Stake Tokens Are Securities: Report
Cheyenne Ligon – CoinDesk
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Gary Gensler is doubling down on his opinion that proof-of-stake tokens could meet the definition of securities under the Howey Test, thus bringing them under his agency’s regulatory authority. Speaking to reporters after a commission vote on Wednesday, Gensler said securities laws could be triggered because investors anticipate a return when they purchase tokens underpinned by a proof-of-stake consensus mechanism. The Block first reported the news.

U.S. SEC has responsibility to protect for financial stability- Chair Gensler
Douglas Gillison – Reuters
The top U.S. markets regulator on Wednesday renewed a vow to prosecute any misconduct threatening global markets, saying it had a responsibility to protect market resiliency. The remarks from U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair Gary Gensler came after a weekend of turmoil involving the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, as fears mounted for the Swiss lending giant Credit Suisse after the bank’s shares plunged more than 20% on Tuesday.

SVB collapse shows need for stronger financial ‘guardrails’, says SEC chair; Gary Gensler calls for greater public protection amid efforts to push for new rules against Wall St resistance
Stefania Palma and Colby Smith – Financial Times
The chair of the US Securities and Exchange Commission has called for a strengthening of “the guardrails of finance” in the wake of the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, as he pushes to implement a swath of new rules in the face of industry pushback. Gary Gensler on Wednesday said SVB’s dramatic implosion last week was “a reminder of the importance of these resiliency projects for everyday Americans”.

SEC Proposes New Cybersecurity Rules for Financial Firms
Paul Kiernan – The Wall Street Journal
Brokers and asset managers would have to notify their customers of data breaches as part of a raft of cybersecurity and resiliency rules the Securities and Exchange Commission proposed Wednesday. The customer-notification requirement would give firms no more than 30 days to alert individuals whose sensitive information was likely to have been accessed without authorization.

Investing and Trading

China bond trades hit by suspension of pricing data; Feeds are suddenly cut under new regulations, prompting traders to rely on chat rooms to set prices
Cheng Leng – Financial Times
Traders in the world’s second-largest bond market are struggling to complete deals, as Chinese authorities’ suspension of data feeds to price aggregators fuels concerns about the impact of last week’s regulatory overhaul. The suspension of real-time quotes has forced traders to rely on messaging apps such as Tencent’s WeChat and QQ to agree on prices for deals in the interbank bond market, which accounts for 87 per cent of the Chinese market, according to Reuters data.

SVB failure raises a question: who gets to create dollars? We should ask whether creators like banks should face more regulation or pay more in insurance premiums
Brendan Greeley – Financial Times
In the early 20th century, print advertisements for banks featured a dollar amount of the bank’s capital, often above and larger than the name of the bank itself. With bank failures a fairly regular occurrence, particularly in the agricultural Midwest, depositors had to be wary. They would get something back from the receiver, but on average only about 60 per cent of what they’d held.

Oil caught up in banking fears as US crude drops below $70 a barrel; Prices slide on worries that stress in financial sector will spread to broader economy
Myles McCormick and Derek Brower – Financial Times
Oil prices have tumbled to their lowest levels in more than a year as crises in the banking sector unsettled financial markets and stoked fears for the broader economy. Brent crude, the global energy benchmark, slipped 5 per cent on Wednesday to settle at $73.69 a barrel. That left it down more than 10 per cent this week and at its lowest level since December 2021. West Texas Intermediate, the US marker, fell below $70 a barrel to settle at $67.61.

Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance

Arctic sea ice winter peak in 2023 is fifth lowest on record
Ayesha Tandon – Carbon Brief
Arctic sea ice has reached its maximum extent for the year, peaking at 14.62m square kilometres (km2) on 6 March. It is the fifth smallest winter peak in the 45-year satellite record. The provisional data from the National Snow and Ice Data Centre (NSIDC) shows that this year’s Arctic maximum extent was 1.03m km2 below the 1981-2010 average maximum.While the past six months have been fairly uneventful in the Arctic, the Earth’s other pole has seen a record-breaking melt season.

ESG Investors Largely in Dark on Value Chain Risks, Study Finds
Frances Schwartzkopff – Bloomberg
Most companies don’t disclose the climate and environmental impact of their value chains, according to a fresh study. Roughly 60% of firms don’t report their supply-chain emissions, a review by CDP showed. Almost 70% have yet to assess the impact on biodiversity of their value chains, the nonprofit said on Wednesday. The data is based on the 18,500 companies that use CDP’s global system for reporting environmental impacts.

Electric School Buses Can Fight – or Further- Inequity in the US
Elizabeth Moses – World Resources Institute
More than 20 million students in the United States ride school buses every year. This equals approximately 7 billion trips per year, making school buses one of the most widely used forms of public transport in the United States.âEUR¯ But those trips aren’t always safe ones. Most students – especially those from low-income and communities of color – ride diesel-powered buses that regularly expose them to toxic fumes linked to asthma, cancer and other illnesses. And while electric school buses offer a solution, they can actually deepen inequities if programs aren’t designed and deployed properly.

Encina Chemical Recycling Plant in Pennsylvania Faces Setback: One of its Buildings Is Too Tall
James Bruggers – Inside Climate News
One of the country’s largest proposed advanced plastics recycling plants is blocked by a zoning board after residents say they don’t want their views near the Susquehanna River blocked by an eight-story building for sorting plastic waste. A proposed $1.1 billion plant for “advanced” recycling of plastic waste in Central Pennsylvania is blocked-for now-by a local zoning board’s decision on height restrictions. Houston-based Encina has been working to secure environmental permits, financing and corporate partners for one of the larger proposed advanced recycling plants in the country, a technology still being developed that is supposed to use high heat and chemicals to turn plastic waste into fossil fuels or feedstocks for making new plastic products.

French TV transforms weather forecasts to include climate change context
Alison Hird – RFI
State TV channels France 2 and France 3 have changed their daily weather forecasts into “weather and climate bulletins” as pat of France Televisions’ efforts to raise awareness about climate change. Presenters are showing not only what weather to expect, but the reasons behind it. The first of the new format forecasts was broadcast on France 2 and France 3 on Monday evening with the aim of better explaining the consequences of climate change on the weather.

Albania designates Europe’s last ‘wild river’ as a national park
Albania’s government has designated the Vjosa River in the southern part of the country as a national park, marking a victory for environmentalists who have been fighting for years against plans for hydropower plants along the waterway. Environmentalists and scientists have dubbed the Vjosa the last “wild” river in Europe, as it flows uninterrupted for 270 km (170 miles) from Greece across southern Albania to the Adriatic Sea, without any dams or power stations.

The global climate funds are pursuing diverging agendas and failing to coordinate; New article examines the diverging framings and politics of climate finance coordination in the Green Climate Fund and the Climate Investment Funds.
Jakob Skovgaard, Kevin Adams, Kendra Dupuy, Adis Dzebo, Mikkel Funder, Adam Moe Fejerskov & Zoha Shawoo – DIIS
The governance of public climate finance for mitigation and adaptation in developing countries is highly fragmented, with many different actors and overlapping mandates and preferences. This has raised concerns that the already sparse climate funds may be ineffectively used and could end up supporting contradictory activities. Coordination among the global climate funds is therefore needed, yet so far it has proven difficult. This article uncovers some of the reasons by examining the coordination efforts of the two most important multilateral climate funds, the Climate Investment Funds (CIF) and the Green Climate Fund (GCF). The article examines coordination at the global level and in two recipient countries, Kenya and Zambia.

ESG Factors of Munis May Attract Non-US Investors
Shanny Basar – Markets Media
US municipal bonds have traditionally been owned by US retail investors but their environmental, social and governance characteristics may attract overseas and institutional investors. David Knutson, head of US fixed income product management at Schroders, told Markets Media that municipal bonds are generally not widely owned outside the United States. He explained that the US market is a natural habitat for municipal bonds, due to their related tax exemptions

Proxy Voting Services to Launch in SA, France, Belgium
Jack Grogan-Fenn – ESG Investor
Digital investor communications platform Proxymity will go live with its Vote Connect Total digital proxy voting service in South Africa next month, with a roll out underway in France and Belgium for the 2023 proxy season. In South Africa, the firm has reached an agreement with Citi Securities Services which will see the service become available to its clients in the country. The service offers golden source announcements, real-time voting and vote confirmations across the entire proxy voting ecosystem, which looks to benefit issuers, intermediaries, and investors. Deployment in South Africa represents the first African market to go fully live with Vote Connect Total, following collaborations between Proxymity and Citi in Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

Diversity in ESG, But Not in the Data
Yann Bloch – TabbForum
Financial institutions frequently find the increasing plethora of information that they receive from varying sources difficult to consume within the context of portfolio management. It arrives in very different formats that are difficult to integrate directly with their financial data, and significant changes might be made to datasets day-to-day without prior alerts. Yann Bloch, Head of Product and Pre-Sales Americas at NeoXam, says firms must have the data management and governance to match when it comes to ESG.

Deploying Climate Capital Far and Wide Depends on Bank Regulation; Climate companies need to be focused on innovation and building their businesses, not worrying about the stability of their bank.
Nathaniel Bullard – Bloomberg
Banking is a business that borrows short and lends long, and the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank has just put thousands of startups – including dozens of emerging climate-tech businesses – through a crash course about what bankers call “duration risk.”


Credit Suisse Erupts Into Full-Blown Crisis as Rivals Back Away
Abhinav Ramnarayan, Jenny Surane and Katherine Doherty – Bloomberg
The long-brewing troubles at Credit Suisse Group AG exploded into a full-blown crisis Wednesday as its stock and bonds cratered and some of the world’s biggest banks raced to shield their finances from the potential fallout. The stock fell as much as 31%, hitting record lows, and prices on its benchmark bonds sank to levels that indicate the Swiss lender is in deep financial stress – something rarely, if ever seen at a major global bank since the throes of the 2008 crisis. Meanwhile, banks that trade with Credit Suisse snapped up contracts, known as credit-default swaps, that will compensate them if the crisis deepens.

EU Banks in Good Shape Despite SVB Collapse, McGuinness Says
Lyubov Pronina – Bloomberg
The European Union banking sector is in “overall good shape” and there are “no immediate parallels” with the collapse of the Silicon Valley Bank, the bloc’s financial services chief said. “We are monitoring the situation in the US carefully,” Mairead McGuinness told the European Parliament on Wednesday. “The direct impact on the European Union seems to be limited.”

Credit Suisse Asks Swiss Central Bank to Signal Its Support
Nicholas Comfort and Eyk Henning – Bloomberg
Credit Suisse Group AG has asked the Swiss central bank for a public statement of support after its shares and bonds were pummeled on Wednesday, according to a person familiar with the matter. The Swiss lender also asked its domestic regulator, known as Finma, to come out and help shore up confidence, said the person, who asked not to be named as the communication is private.

Powell Faces Bipartisan Chorus Calling for Independent SVB Probe; Democrats, Republicans call for outside investigation; Fed Vice Chair Michael Barr is leading an internal Fed review
Craig Torres, Steven T. Dennis and Laura Litvan – Bloomberg
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell faces growing calls from key lawmakers and regulatory experts for an independent investigation into the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, not just an internal review by the Fed board. “One hundred percent needs to be an outside look at it,” said Senator Jon Tester of Montana, a senior Democrat on the Banking Committee, which has Fed oversight authority. “Let the Fed look at it, but it needs to be somebody on the outside that looks at it.”

BlackRock’s Fink Says SVB Failure Shows Cracks in Finance System; Fink says the consequences could spread to more banks; Inflation likely to stay close to 3.5% or 4% for years: Fink
Silla Brush – Bloomberg
BlackRock Inc. Chief Executive Officer Larry Fink said the banking crisis could worsen beyond the failure of Silicon Valley Bank, worrying aloud about cracks in the financial system that formed during more than a decade of easy money and low interest rates. “Are the dominoes starting to fall?” said Fink, chairman of the world’s largest asset manager, in a letter on Wednesday. “It’s too early to know how widespread the damage is.”

Startups Need to Learn Banking Risks, Australian Investor Says; Square Peg Capital’s Bassat says regulators averted crisis; Bassat sees dealmaking continuing in muted market after SVB
Nabila Ahmed – Bloomberg
The collapse of Silicon Valley Bank shows that technology startups should be doing more due diligence on their banking partners, according to one of Australia’s biggest venture capital firms. Paul Bassat, co-founder of Square Peg Capital, which manages $3 billion in assets, said SVB’s demise is a “real opportunity for all of us to think about the risks we’re taking, and to mitigate those risks.”

Signature Bank Shutdown Caused by ‘Crisis of Confidence’ in Leadership, NYDFS Says
Nikhilesh De – CoinDesk
Signature Bank was not shut down for crypto-related reasons, the New York Department of Financial Services said Tuesday, rejecting claims the regulator took over the bank to send an “anti-crypto message.” NYDFS took over Signature over the weekend, turning it over to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). The move followed California’s banking regulator seizing Silicon Valley Bank last Friday, and Silvergate Bank announcing it would voluntarily liquidate its assets last week. Signature, like Silvergate, served a number of crypto clients.

Credit Suisse is just the ‘tip of the iceberg’ as banking turmoil snarls financial markets, JPMorgan Asset Management investment chief says
Morgan Chittum – Business Insider
JPMorgan Asset Management Chief Investment Officer says the contagion that’s gripped the global banking sector has just begun as turmoil erupts at Credit Suisse on the heels of the largest US bank failure since 2008. “You’re going to get those long and variable, cumulative and lagged impacts hitting the market further. I think this is the tip of the iceberg,” Bob Michele said on Bloomberg TV Wednesday.

Credit Suisse Needs Friends Now More Than Ever; The firm is hardly Silicon Valley Bank – though it’s not doing much to help anyone understand that.
Paul J. Davies – Bloomberg
It’s often when you’re most in need that you find you have the fewest friends. So it is for Credit Suisse Group AG. Its shares took another pasting on Wednesday, dropping as much as 30% to less than 2 Swiss francs ($2.17) – a record low. In markets that have been verging on panic for days after three US lenders failed, investors are ditching anything that smells of banking risk. They are worried about deposit flight and the pain caused by rising rates.

Silicon Valley Bank Is For Sale; Also its failed share sale, Credit Suisse, AMC’s APEs and an SVB musical parody.
Matt Levine – Bloomberg
A big portfolio of Treasury bonds and agency mortgage-backed securities. These are worth what they’re worth: There’s a pretty liquid market for them and not much dispute about their value. They’re worth a lot less than SVB paid for them, which is a big part of why SVB failed last week, but they’re worth a lot more today than they were last week, because SVB failed and so everyone panicked and rushed to buy safe assets like Treasuries.

Dash for Cash by Banks Fuels Signs of Tension in Funding Markets; Repo rates moved higher Wednesday as CS worries reverberated; Federal Home Loan Banks have been raising cash for members
Alex Harris and Benjamin Purvis – Bloomberg
There are some signs of increased pressure within US dollar funding markets as fears grow around the outlook for the banks and the turmoil drives lenders to shore up their own cash buffers. With global financial markets reeling in the wake of Silicon Valley Bank’s bank-run-fueled failure last week, worries about the future of Credit Suisse Group AG have amped up global concern.

Signature’s Dancing Bankers Sang About Big Profit Before Failure; “What possible fate will become of our bank?” a chorus belts. “Other than to diminish and fail?”
Max Abelson – Bloomberg
It begins with three executives sitting in a dressing room in a Broadway theater. They’re talking about starting Signature Bank. “We have to make our own mistakes,” says John Tamberlane, who was vice chairman. “But then we’d have nobody to blame but ourselves,” says Chief Executive Officer Joe DePaolo. His voice rises. “Nobody to blame but ourselves!”

Credit Suisse draws SFr50bn of liquidity from SNB; Nobody puts Suissie in a corner
Alexandra Scaggs – Financial Times
Europe will simply not allow itself to be overshadowed by the US in a news cycle about banking stresses. Credit Suisse has said it plans to borrow up to SFr50bn from the Swiss National Bank in fully collateralised transactions. It’s also buying back $3bn in senior debt securities, according to a statement on its site Thursday morning (still Wednesday night in the US):

Credit Suisse Loses Equities Heads in Asia as Exodus Worsens;Nick Silver, co-head of equities for Asia Pacific, is leaving; Swiss bank has been seeking to reverse a slump in confidence
Cathy Chan and Takashi Nakamichi – Bloomberg
Credit Suisse Group AG is grappling with the departures of several senior executives in its Asia-Pacific equities business as worries about the bank’s financial health roil global markets. Nick Silver, co-head of equities for Asia Pacific and head of equities for Japan is leaving along with Jonathan Jenkins, head of equity sales for the region. Chris Prasertsintanah, head of equities for South Asia, and country manager Thailand, has also decided to leave, according to a memo seen by Bloomberg News.

ECB Defies Mounting Banking Strains With Half-Point Rate Rise; Decision shows central bank still sees tackling inflation as its priority
Tom Fairless – The Wall Street Journal
The European Central Bank raised interest rates by a half percentage point, pressing ahead with its fight against inflation despite concerns that this could exacerbate strains in the financial system. The ECB said in a statement that it would increase its key rate to 3%, the highest level since 2008, while promising to provide liquidity support to the financial system if needed. The move follows consecutive half-point rate increases in February and December. Many investors had been betting that the ECB might unveil a smaller, quarter-point rate increase on Thursday after last week’s turmoil in the U.S. banking sector spread to Europe.

Work & Management

In New York City, a $100,000 Salary Feels Like $36,000; After taxes and adjusting for the sky-high cost of living, a six-figure paycheck doesn’t take you as far you might expect.
Jo Constantz – Bloomberg
For many, earning a salary topping $100,000 feels like a mark of success – but how far it goes depends on where you live. In New York City, that annual paycheck is worth just $36,000, after taxes and accounting for the steep cost of living.

Why ‘mattering’ in the workplace doesn’t really matter; The new buzzword will do little to make employees feel more valued
Jemima Kelly – Financial Times
For those of us not in attendance at the great private-jet-powered, sustainability-obsessed meeting of minds that was Davos this year, there was one buzzword brought back by attendees that has really stuck with me (or in my gullet, to be precise): “mattering”.

Why the higher paid should work longer than the rest; If everyone worked 43 years, the garbage collector might retire at 60 and the lawyer at 67
Simon Kuper – Financial Times
Every now and then a country has a nationwide debate that produces actual learning. It happened in the UK about two years after the vote for Brexit, when many people belatedly found out about the workings of the European single market.

Family business and the succession trap; The changes afoot at C&A owner Cofra show how families are having to adapt in order to invest and attract talent
Andrew Hill – Financial Times
In February 2022, a handful of senior executives gathered in the German town of Mettingen, 50km east of the Dutch border, to discuss an ambitious new strategy for Cofra Holding, the family-owned company for which they worked. The group toured the family archive and stood by the town’s life-size statues of Tüötten, the local name for itinerant Catholic cloth merchants. In 1841, two of those traders, brothers Clemens and August Brenninkmeijer, set up a clothing warehouse in the Dutch town of Sneek. It went on to become C&A, the retail chain that is Cofra’s best-known brand.

From The Great Resignation to The Great Refusal-here’s what the 5 ‘Great Rs’ mean for the future of the work; We are no longer centered on where we work, but rather where work fits in our lives.
Heather E Mcgowan And Chris Shipley – Fast Company
As we weigh yet another strong jobs report against persistent inflation and the looming threat of a recession, we have to acknowledge that the workforce has transformed and now plays by a different set of rules and is motivated by a different set of factors. Leaders take note. The Great Reset is a convergence of trends some decades in the making that culminate in a changed relationship between individuals and organizations. Let’s break down the five “Great Rs” that collectively give us the empowered workforce.

Lost Your Drive at Work? Maybe You Need a Rival; Internal competition could be a cure for quiet quitting, or so some companies hope
Callum Borchers – The Wall Street Journal
When John Winner (yes, thatâEUR™s his real name) needs a winning idea, he breaks some of his 45 employees into teams and challenges each group to outdo the others. The co-founder and chief executive of Kizen, a data automation startup in Austin, Texas, believes that friendly rivalries produce better results than having everyone work together. âEURœCompetition can be really fun and useful,âEUR says Mr. Winner, 34, who considers himself a math whiz but admits he canâEUR™t match the perfect score his business partner achieved on the SATâEUR™s quantitative sectionâEUR”in middle school. âEURœI donâEUR™t believe these narratives that people are soft nowadays. IâEUR™m certainly not soft.âEUR

Wellness Exchange

Scientists Investigate a Bird Flu Outbreak in Seals; Wild birds passed the virus to seals in New England at least twice last summer, a new study suggests.
Emily Anthes – The New York Times
Last summer, the highly contagious strain of avian influenza that had been spreading through North American birds made its way into marine mammals, causing a spike in seal strandings along the coast of Maine. In June and July, more than 150 dead or ailing seals washed ashore. Now, a study provides new insight into the outbreak. Of the 41 stranded seals tested for the virus, nearly half were infected with it, scientists reported on Wednesday in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases. It is likely that wild birds introduced the virus to seals at least twice, the researchers concluded. In several seals, the virus had mutations that are associated with adaptation to mammals.

Covid Worsened a Health Crisis Among Pregnant Women; In 2021, deaths of pregnant women soared by 40 percent in the United States, according to new government figures. Here’s how one family coped after the virus threatened a pregnant mother.
Roni Caryn Rabin – The New York Times
Tammy Cunningham doesn’t remember the birth of her son. She was not quite seven months pregnant when she became acutely ill with Covid-19 in May 2021. By the time she was taken by helicopter to an Indianapolis hospital, she was coughing and gasping for breath. The baby was not due for another 11 weeks, but Ms. Cunningham’s lungs were failing. The medical team, worried that neither she nor the fetus would survive so long as she was pregnant, asked her fiancé to authorize an emergency C-section.

U.S. Maternal Mortality Hits Highest Level Since 1965; Black mothers are the most affected, 2021 data show
Sarah Toy – The Wall Street Journal
Maternal deaths surged to the highest rate in nearly 60 years, data showed, exacerbating a yearslong trend that has made the U.S. the most dangerous place among high-income countries to give birth. The number of women who died during pregnancy or shortly after rose 40% to 1,205 in 2021, compared with 861 in 2020 and 754 in 2019, the National Center for Health Statistics said Thursday. The increase pushed the maternal-mortality rate to 33 deaths per 100,000 live births, the highest since 1965, compared with 24 in 2020 and 20 in 2019.

How to Escape ‘Faux Self-Care’; Dr. Pooja Lakshmin, a psychiatrist who specializes in women’s health, says you don’t need bubble baths to beat burnout. Here’s what she says to do instead.
Alisha Haridasani Gupta – The New York Times
When she was 28, Dr. Pooja Lakshmin blew up her life: She left a less-than-a-year-old marriage, dropped out of her psychiatry residency at the Stanford University School of Medicine and joined a cult in San Francisco that practiced healing through orgasmic meditation. “My Indian parents were really proud of me,” she said, sarcastically, in a recent interview with The New York Times. At the time, she said, she felt “powerless.” “I had gone into medicine with this belief that I was going to help people, but instead, I would have a patient who was unhoused, and the only thing that I could offer them was Zoloft.”


Chinese Banking Shares Emerge as Havens Amid Global Sector Woes; China’s CSI 300 Financials Index has gained 0.3% this week; Stable asset quality, government support aids stocks: analysts
John Cheng – Bloomberg
Immunity from external volatility is benefiting Chinese lenders as investors rush to safety amid a spiraling global banking crisis. The CSI 300 Financials Index has gained about 0.3% so far this week, beating a more than 3% decline in an index of regional counterparts, while a gauge of US lenders has lost 12%. Gains in state-owned lenders have stood out, with shares of Bank of China Ltd. in Shanghai rising for a fourth day on Thursday, reaching their highest level since July 2020.

Nigeria has launched a $672 million fund for startups after the collapse of three US banks
Faustine Ngila – Quartz
Nigeria has launched a $672 million fund to support its tech startups amid the upheaval caused by the recent collapse of three key US banks. The fund was launched on March 14 under the government’s Digital and Creative Enterprises Programme (DCEP). Its corpus will include $170 million in contributions from the African Development Bank (AfDB), $116 million from the Agence Francaise de Developpement, $70 million from the Islamic Development Bank, and $271 million from the country’s private sector. The government itself will provide $45 million.

Traders Marshal a Fleet of Supertankers to Haul US Oil to Europe; Proportion of big ships making the journey has soared;Cost to hire smaller Aframax vessel surges as pool tightens
Sherry Su and Sharon Cho – Bloomberg
Europe is set to import a record amount of American crude this month, relying increasingly on larger tankers as sanctions on Russian oil upend global trade routes. Ships hauling as much as 1.84 million barrels a day are set to arrive from the US Gulf in March, tanker-tracking data compiled by Bloomberg show. Meanwhile, smaller vessels are getting costly with more being booked to transport Russian oil for journeys to Asia.

Brazil’s Surprise Oil Tax Puts $20 Billion in Investment at Risk; Shell and other drillers have sued to block the levy, which effectively yanks the welcome mat for oil majors.
Peter Millard – Bloomberg
When Shell Plc’s new chief executive officer, Wael Sawan, landed in Brazil last month on his first official trip abroad, the reception was warm. He received assurances that the country’s new leftist leadership would respect the status quo in the oil industry, people familiar with the visit said, and he left confident that business would keep chugging along.

Bolivians queue for dollars as crisis of confidence spreads;Plummeting reserves lead to rating downgrade and fears over devaluation and debt default
Michael Stott and Joe Daniels – Financial Times
“WeAreAStableCountry”, Bolivia’s central bank has said on Twitter repeatedly this month. The long queues of people outside its offices clamouring to buy dollars suggest otherwise. The impoverished South American nation’s foreign exchange reserves have been shrinking for years, threatening the boliviano’s peg to the US dollar. As of February 8, just $372mn of net reserves and $3.5bn of gross reserves remained – not enough to cover even three months of imports. The central bank has not published fresh figures since and investors are asking how long Bolivia can stave off a devaluation.


Steve Leuthold, Who Called 2009 Stock Market Bottom, Dies at 85; Iconoclast founded namesake Minnesota-based investment firm; His research reports were essential reading for many investors
Emily Graffeo – Bloomberg
Steve Leuthold, a money manager who founded the multibillion-dollar investment firm that carries his name and called the bottom of the stock market with near-perfect accuracy during the financial crisis of 2008-2009, has died. He was 85. He died on March 7 in his home in Carlsbad, California, according to The Leuthold Group, which didn’t cite a cause.

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