Hits & Takes
Yesterday I had a procedure on my hip where I was given an anesthesia drug whose effects could best be described as a psychedelic trip of “Mister Toad’s Wild Ride.” WOW! One benefit of the drug is supposed to be a more positive outlook for 2 to 3 weeks. So if I seem to have lost my edge, blame it on my tripping procedure.~JJL
My Elmhurst neighbor William Gallwas of Striker Securities was interviewed by AlphaWeek in a Q&A.~JJL
The FIA Year in Review is published. Don’t miss it.~JJL
Blockress (International Blockchain Congress) is back for its third year in Chicago with 50+ speakers from 15+ countries. The event will be held April 2 at the Aon Center. Go to the Blockress web site for information and registration.~SR
Anthony Crudele has an interview with CFTC Chairman Chris Giancarlo titled “Ensuring The Integrity Of The Futures Markets.”~JJL
Andrew Dunmore of Maven Wave has a commentary titled “4 Ways to Make the Move to Cloud Effective in Financial Services.”~JJL
The following is a list of some artists performing at Lollapalooza in Chicago that I think could also be the names of fintech startups and/or cryptocurrencies: Madeon, Wavedash, Matoma, Honne, Baynk, and Masego. (Pretty confident we’re not at the stage where people would be willing to invest in “Yung Gravy” but what do I know?)~SD
Purdue won its opening round game in the NCAA basketball championship tournament, as did the rest of the Big 10 teams in the tournament. So far, so good.~JJL
Facebook Says Millions of Users’ Passwords Were Improperly Stored in Internal Systems
Aisha Al-Muslim and Jeff Horwitz – The Wall Street Journal
Facebook Inc. stored hundreds of millions of user passwords in a format that was accessible to its employees, in yet another privacy snafu for the social-media giant.
Facebook estimated it will notify hundreds of millions of Facebook Lite users, tens of millions of other Facebook users, and tens of thousands of Instagram users, the company’s vice president of engineering, security and privacy Pedro Canahuati said in a blog post Thursday.
*****You mean someone knows my password, “NeverPostPicturesofFood123”?~JJL
Instagram Is the Internet’s New Home for Hate; As other social networks wage a very public war against misinformation, it’s thriving on Instagram.
Taylor Lorenz – The Atlantic
When Alex, now a high-school senior, saw an Instagram account he followed post about something called QAnon back in 2017, he’d never heard of the viral conspiracy theory before. But the post piqued his interest, and he wanted to know more. So he did what your average teenager would do: He followed several accounts related to it on Instagram, searched for information on YouTube, and read up on it on forums.
***** Try love, not hate.~JJL
Stop USDA from Restricting SNAP Benefits
Earlier this year the Administration posted a notice for proposed rulemaking through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to restrict states’ flexibility to provide vital nutrition support to people who struggle to feed themselves and their families. It is estimated this change to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) would result in 755,000 people losing access to life-saving nutrition benefits.
***** “Feed my sheep.” The United Church of Christ asks for US citizens to send an email protesting this move by the USDA in the name of social justice. Join me in helping feed people in need.~JJL
Thursday’s Top Three
Yesterday’s top clicked story was Spencer Doar’s Go Small or Go Home: CME’s Micro Launch. In second was an update on Cumberland from The Block Cumberland’s business development head James Radecki set to depart firm. Third place went to a look at a dinosaur of finance, The Old Daytime-Drinking, Sexual-Harassing Ways Are Thriving at Lloyd’s.
147,508,433 pages viewed; 23,637 pages; 217,858 edits
CryptoMarketsWiki Coin of the Week: Tezos
Following the successful implementation of Ethereum’s recent system-wide upgrades, the Tezos community recently voted on their own system-wide upgrade. The vote was between two system-wide upgrades: “Athens A” and “Athens B.” The majority of the community voted for “Athens A,” which was successfully added to the Tezos protocol, causing a hard fork.
Bitcoin Futures Launch Hits Regulatory Snag; Intercontinental Exchange’s talks with CFTC stall over regulation of bitcoin warehouse
Alexander Osipovich and Gabriel T. Rubin – The Wall Street Journal
Government concerns about cryptocurrencies have snarled a plan by the owner of the New York Stock Exchange to launch the first futures contract that would pay out in bitcoin.
Intercontinental Exchange Inc., ICE 0.26% known as ICE, initially targeted November 2018 for the launch of the bitcoin futures, which it envisioned as a building block in a broader platform for trading and storing digital currencies. But the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which must sign off on the plan, has so far declined to approve it.
Hedge fund launches fall to 18-year low; Handful of largest managers scoop up bulk of cash inflows, squeezing new players
Chris Flood – FT
New hedge fund launches have sunk to their lowest level since the start of the century as untried managers struggled to attract capital in 2018, a year of widespread disappointment for investors in the asset class.
Star Trader’s China Stock Fund Lures $10 Billion in 10 Hours
Chen Guangming’s Foresight Fund blows past fundraising target; Speed of China’s stock rally has fueled bubble concerns
It took just 10 hours for a star Chinese stock picker to attract more than 70 billion yuan ($10 billion) of orders for his new firm’s debut mutual fund, the latest sign of investor exuberance in the world’s best-performing equity market.
A $6,000,000 Inheritance Now Worth $5.6 Billion in Levi’s IPO
By Devon Pendleton and Sophie Alexander – Bloomberg
When Levi Strauss died childless in 1902, the bulk of his $6 million estate, worth $175 million in today’s dollars, passed to his four nephews and other relatives.
Rajat Gupta Is Unrepentant for His Crimes; After a stint in federal prison, the former McKinsey chief and Goldman Sachs director maintains he is innocent ó and is trying to repair his reputation.
Andrew Ross Sorkin – NY Times
Rajat Gupta had been moved to a larger part of the prison when he came face to face with his nemesis, Raj Rajaratnam.
Investors Reawaken to Brexit RiskóBut That Spells Opportunity; The most global of U.K. stocks are naturally hedged against a no-deal Brexit
Jon Sindreu and Pat Minczeski – WSJ
Heads you win, tails you win. The chaotic Brexit endgame may not seem an obvious place for investors to find well-hedged trades, but the renewed attention it is bringing to U.K. stocks could end up benefiting the most global of themówhatever the outcome.
BlackRock Is in Advanced Talks to Buy French Software Provider eFront; Asset manager could pay between $1 billion and $1.5 billion for the French company
Dawn Lim, Ben Dummett and William Louch – WSJ
BlackRock Inc. BLK 0.10% is in advanced talks to buy French software firm eFront, according to people familiar with the matter, as the world’s largest money manager seeks to become a bigger provider of the technology used by Wall Street.
EU Gives May Another Two Weeks to Avoid a No-Deal Brexit
Ian Wishart and Nikos Chrysoloras – Bloomberg
May accepts offer to extend Article 50 process by two weeks; Tusk says he’s more optimistic about securing orderly exit
European Union leaders staved off the threat of the U.K. crashing out of the bloc without a deal next Friday by giving Theresa May an extra two weeks to work out what to do.
U.S. corporate breakups could be catalyst to change Dow index
Lewis Krauskopf – Reuters
Shake-ups come infrequently for the Dow Jones Industrial Average, but some degree of change may be in the works for the stock index as two of its 30 constituents prepare to transform from large conglomerates into smaller companies.
Fed ‘Put’ Lacks Key Ingredient Bulls Dare Not Ignore; A slump in bank stocks leads financial commentary. Plus, a bond-market mystery, an about-face in Brazil’s “Bolsonaro Boom” and more.
By Robert Burgess – Bloomberg
Just one day after the Federal Reserve said the economic outlook was such that it couldn’t support even one interest-rate increase this year, the S&P 500 Index responded by setting a new high for the year. Clearly, investors were overjoyed with the prospect that the Fed had their backs. Maybe the party would have been less ebullient if anyone bothered to check in on the banks.
Exchanges, OTC and Clearing
CME Group Inc. Announces First-Quarter 2019 Earnings Release, Conference Call
CME Group Inc. will announce earnings for the first quarter of 2019 before the markets open on Wednesday, May 1, 2019. Slides and written highlights for the quarter will be posted on its website at 6:30 a.m. Central Time, the same time it provides its earnings press release. The company will hold an investor conference call that day at 7:30 a.m. Central Time, at which time company executives will take analysts’ questions.
Guest-of-Honour Speech by Tan Boon Gin, CEO of Singapore Exchange Regulation, at the inaugural REITAS Seminar on Rules and Ethics
Good morning Mr Jerry Koh, REITAS Secretary and Deputy Managing Partner Allen & Gledhill, members of the association, ladies and gentlemen
Exchange Updates and Streamlines Guidance Materials
The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (the Exchange), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX), today (Friday) published one new Guidance Letter, updated six Guidance Letters and withdrew 31 Guidance Materials. The withdrawn materials were either outdated or incorporated into the new or updated Guidance Materials.
Eurex Clearing’s circulars and Readiness Newsflashes: New subscription procedure and new subscription categories
On 15 April 2019, Eurex Clearing will launch a new concept for Eurex Clearing’s circulars and Readiness Newsflashes with the following features:
Exchange Publishes Guidance on Reasons for Rejected Listing Applications in 2018
The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (the Exchange), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX), today (Friday) published its annual listing decision on rejected applications (Listing Decision). This provides background and guidance on the reasons for the rejection of certain listing applications during 2018. In 2018, the Exchange rejected 24 listing applications, as compared with 3 rejections in 20171.
ETC Options: Liquidity Provider scheme and amendments to the Price List of Eurex Clearing AG
Effective 2 May 2019, Eurex Clearing AG will offer payment of rebates for the following Exchange-traded Commodities (ETC) options as outlined in the “Product Specific Supplement” to the Liquidity Provider Agreement (LPA), which is attached to Eurex circular 035/19.
MSCI index derivatives: Introduction of 26 index futures and one index option
The Management Board of Eurex Deutschland took the following decisions with effect from 8 April 2019
LSEG’s UnaVista TRADEcho gains approval for EU and UK reporting; UnaVista TRADEcho will provide MiFID II and EMIR reporting in the EU and the UK.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
The London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) will be able to continue providing reporting services in the European Union and the UK post-Brexit after it received approval for regulatory authorities.
EquiLend MTF approved by Central Bank of Ireland; Approval will allow European-based clients to continue trading on the EquiLend platform without the interruption of the UK’s exit from the EU.
Joe Parsons – The Trade
The Central Bank of Ireland has approved EquiLend’s Dublin-based securities finance trading platform to operate.
FTSE Russell plans launch of digital asset index; FTSE Russell’s Digital Asset Index could provide an industry standard for the crypto market.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
The London Stock Exchange Group’s (LSEG) FTSE Russell has confirmed it will launch an indicative index for the most actively traded digital assets, in a bid to establish an industry standard for the market.
NYSE wins Uber, Pinterest listings: sources
Liana B. Baker, Joshua Franklin – Reuters
Uber Technologies Inc and Pinterest, two of the highest profile internet companies planning to go public this year, have picked the New York Stock Exchange as the venue for their stock listings, according to sources familiar with the matter.
Short-Selling Ban on Fintech Giant Agitates Investors; Germany’s ban on betting against payments company Wirecard reopens a battle over when such prohibitions are appropriate
Paul J. Davies – WSJ
An unusual ban on bets against the shares in one of Europe’s most valuable financial-technology companies is due to be lifted in April, reopening a battle between investors and regulators over when curbing short sellers is appropriate.
Hundreds of Millions of User Passwords Exposed to Facebook Employees; Security lapse the latest privacy issue for the social-media giant
By Jeff Horwitz and Robert McMillan – WSJ
Facebook Inc. for years stored hundreds of millions of user passwords in a format that was accessible to its employees, in yet another privacy snafu for the social-media giant.
BlackRock close to buying risk platform eFront for $1.3bn; The acquisition would be part of the asset manager’s push into alternative investments
Robin Wigglesworth – FT
BlackRock is in advanced talks to snap up a risk management platform for the burgeoning “alternative” asset management industry for about $1.3bn, according to people familiar with the matter.
Bakkt Gets $740 Million Valuation But Investors Have Questions, Sources Reveal
By William Suberg – Cointelegraph
Intercontinental Exchange’s to-be-launched institutional trading platform Bakkt has earned a $740 million valuation after it raised over $180 million in funding last year, anonymous sources told cryptocurrency industry news outlet The Block on March 21.
Bakkt, which has yet to launch any investment products and continues to liaise with regulators, could increase its valuation even further should it raise further funds.
Overstock’s tZERO Exchange to Launch Bitcoin Trading App This June
Anna Baydakova – Coindesk
Overstock’s security token platform tZERO is going full crypto. Until now, security tokens had been the startup’s priority, but this summer, tZERO plans to launch its own mobile trading app for buying and selling bitcoin and, possibly, ether, CEO Saum Noursalehi told CoinDesk Thursday. The app for IOS and Android devices is scheduled to launch in June and is being developed by Bitsy ó a crypto startup in the portfolio of Overstock’s venture arm Medici Ventures.
Blockchain Lawyer Drew Hinkes Joins New Firm to Help ICO Issuers Fight Back
Anna Baydakova – Coindesk
Blockchain lawyer Andrew Hinkes is spoiling for a fight. The general counsel at investment bank Athena Blockchain and an adjunct business and law professor at New York University, Hinkes believes token issuers will soon start pushing back against regulatory enforcement actions and demanding clearer guidance, after mostly taking it on the chin for the last year or so. And when that happens, he’ll be in their corner.
Alleged BTC-e Operator Alexander Vinnik Seeks Extradition to Russia
Yogita Khatri – Coindesk
Alleged BTC-e exchange operator Alexander Vinnik, who is accused of laundering billions of dollars, is officially seeking extradition to Russia. According to a report from local news source e-Kathimerini on Thursday, Vinnik, a Russian national, has filed an appeal in a Piraeus city court for release or extradition to his home nation for humanitarian reasons. Vinnik was arrested in Greece back in July 2017, after police alleged that he had laundered at least $4 billion in cash through a bitcoin platform since 2011. He was detained for money laundering, conspiracy and transacting in cash obtained through illegal means.
JPM Coin Is the Wildest Big Bank Idea in Many Years
Aaron Brown – Bloomberg
It’s been a month since JPMorgan issued a press release announcing JPM Coin, and everyone is as confused now as they were then. No one seems to agree what JPM Coin is, what it’s intended to do, what it competes with, or whether it is a vote of confidence in cryptocurrencies, an attempt to hijack crypto ideas in evil big bank ways, or an unremarkable traditional ledger dressed in crypto clothes for publicity purposes.
PwC Partner: Central Banks May Issue Digital Currencies After Being ‘Battle-Tested By Corporations’
Rebecca Campbell – Forbes
France’s central bank is unlikely to issue its own digital currency in the coming months. That’s according to Pauline Adam Kalfon, a blockchain and financial services partner at PwC France. Speaking about this, she said that even though several recommendations have been made to further investigate the idea, it would be complex to deploy.
Bitmain Reportedly Plans to Install 200,000 Crypto Miners in China
Arnab Shome- Finance Magnates
Crypto mining hardware maker Bitmain is planning to utilize its inventory devices for mining crypto. According to a Coindesk report published on March 21, the Chinese miner manufacturer will deploy around 200,000 mining devices from its inventory in southwestern China to take benefit of cheap hydroelectric power costs during the summer following the excessive rains in the region.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Launches Open-Source Bitcoin Dev Team
Rachel McIntosh – Finance Magnates
On March 20th, Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter & Square, announced that $32 billion payments company Square is planning on hiring up to five individuals to develop “open source contributions to the Bitcoin and crypto ecosystem.” Up to four of the possible open positions are for engineers – particularly those who have prior experience in building blockchains. One of the positions is for a designer. Each of the positions is full-time, and the new hires will either work at Square’s San Francisco headquarters or remotely. And hey, they can even be paid in Bitcoin.
Voices 4 tips for CPAs providing cryptocurrency tax services
Pat Larsen – Accounting Today
The meteoric rise of cryptocurrencies brings many legal and regulatory repercussions that are still unfolding. As a CPA, manually filing cryptocurrency taxes for your clients can be a convoluted and arduous experience. The sheer scale of cryptocurrency exchanges, both foreign and domestic, as well as different avenues for investing and using them (i.e., mining or trading), makes them a novel asset class with few tools at your disposal to ease the burden of filing.
Russians in Heartland Sour on Vladimir Putin Over Money Woes; stagnant wages, rising costs fuel grumbling among working-class residents who once lauded president
Thomas Grove – WSJ
President Vladimir Putin’s promise to boost arms spending should have been a boon for this hardscrabble factory town, famed for making the heavy tanks that destroyed Nazi panzers in World War II.
Trump Aides Play Down Odds of Swift China Deal Ahead of Talks
Saleha Mohsin and Jennifer Jacobs – Bloomberg
Lighthizer, Mnuchin will head to Beijing for more trade talks; U.S. officials say deal not expected until Trump and Xi meet
U.S. officials are downplaying the prospect of an imminent trade deal with China as President Donald Trump’s top negotiators prepare to head to Beijing for a fresh round of talks next week, according to people familiar with the matter.
FCA to introduce UK Benchmarks Register
We continue to plan for a range of outcomes in relation to Brexit, including the UK leaving the EU without an implementation period on 29 March 2019. To prepare for this scenario, we have developed a new UK Benchmarks Register. The new Register will replace the ESMA Register for UK supervised users, and UK and third-country based benchmark administrators that want their benchmarks to be used in the UK.
ESMA ADDS NEW VENUES TO REGISTER OF DERIVATIVES TO BE TRADED ON-VENUE UNDER MIFIR
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has updated today the public register of those derivative contracts that are subject to the trading obligation under the Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation (MiFIR).
ESMA PUBLISHES TAXONOMY FILES TO FACILITATE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE ESEF ESMA
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) publishes today taxonomy files to facilitate implementation of the requirements set out by the draft RTS on ESEF.
CFTC’s Energy and Environmental Markets Advisory Committee to Meet April 17
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) Energy and Environmental Markets Advisory Committee (EEMAC) announced today that it will hold a public meeting on April 17, 2019 at CFTC’s Washington, DC headquarters.
Morgans Financial Limited meets requirements of additional ASIC licence conditions
The additional licence conditions imposed on Morgans’ Australian financial services licence in November 2016 have been removed as of 19 March 2019.
ASIC cancels the licences of firms that failed to join AFCA
ASIC has, for the first time, cancelled the Australian financial services (AFS) licences of two NSW-based financial services providers for failure to obtain membership of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) scheme.
BSDR LLC Voluntarily Withdraws from Swap Data Repository Registration with the CFTC
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced today that BSDR LLC (BSDR) has voluntarily withdrawn from registration with the CFTC as a swap data repository (SDR), effective today. BSDR initiated the withdrawal from SDR registration pursuant to CFTC Regulation 49.4(a), and the withdrawal became effective pursuant to CFTC Regulation 49.4(b).
CFTC’s Energy and Environmental Markets Advisory Committee to Meet April 17
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) Energy and Environmental Markets Advisory Committee (EEMAC) announced that it will hold a public meeting on April 17, 2019 at CFTC’s Washington, DC headquarters.
Investing and Trading
German 10-year bond yield slips below zero for first time since 2016; Gloomy new economic data and dovish shift in global monetary policy spark rally in Bunds
Adam Samson and Michael Hunter – FT
Germany’s benchmark bond yield fell below zero for the first time since 2016 on Friday, with investors buying up the debt as a safe haven amid mounting evidence of a eurozone slowdown and a more dovish outlook among global central bankers.
Traders Are Blindsided Again by Treasuries Paying Same as Cash
Emily Barrett – Bloomberg
10-year notes barely yield more than run-of-mill bank accounts; Tepid growth, inflation lure investors with few good options
U.S. Treasuries are, once again, proving to be a buy at almost any price. After the Federal Reserve’s surprise dovish turn this week, investors piled into the $15.8 trillion market and left the 10-year note yielding a mere 2.5 percent. Just a few months ago, it had surged past 3.2 percent, sparking all sorts of talk — yet again — that this was the dawn of a new era of rising rates.
Everyone Loves This Stock After a 1,500% Gain in Five Years
Justina Lee – Bloomberg
Every fund owning Burford is overweight, Bank of America says; Litigation firm is sole European stock that’s a consensus pick
By any measure, Burford Capital Ltd. is an investor darling. Every fund that owns shares in the litigation-finance company holds it in a higher percentage than the company’s weighting in a benchmark stock index, according to research from Bank of America Corp. investment strategists. Burford, listed on the London Stock Exchange, is the only stock in Europe that’s an overweight for every fund holding it, the firm’s research shows.
Pimco Sees MMT Rise Signaling ‘Paradigm Shift’ to Fiscal Policy
John Gittelsohn – Bloomberg
The rise of Modern Monetary Theory signals the increasing popularity of using government fiscal tools to stimulate growth, according to Pacific Investment Management Co.
Fed’s New Abnormal Marks a Watershed Moment in a Low-Rate World
Matthew Boesler and Jeanna Smialek – Bloomberg
U.S. central bank no longer expects to tighten beyond neutral; Low inflation continues to challenge old theories of economy
Federal Reserve policy makers have concluded that when in doubt, do no harm.
GM Is Plotting an Electric Investment in Feud With Trump
David Welch – Bloomberg
Analysts expect CEO to announce new EVs to be built in Orion; President has excoriated the company over idling Ohio factory
General Motors Co. will throw a bone to President Donald Trump on Friday by announcing $300 million investment in its electric-car plant north of Detroit after enduring days of intense criticism for idling an Ohio factory, a person familiar with the matter said.
Deutsche Bank CEO paid $8 million, top managers get first bonuses in four years
Tom Sims – Reuters
Deutsche Bank paid its management board members their first bonuses in four years in 2018, with Christian Sewing’s 7 million euro ($8 million) total pay package making him one of the best paid chief executives in European banking.
Deutsche Bank CEO sees strong case for Commerzbank merger: source
Tom Sims, Andreas Framke – Reuters
Deutsche Bank chief executive Christian Sewing believes there is a strong case for a merger with Commerzbank, a person with direct knowledge of his thinking said.
Deutsche-Commerzbank tie-up should not create big investment bank: BlackRock
The aim of a potential merger between Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank should not be to create a large investment bank because that “will not work”, a major shareholder in both banks said on Friday
A College Investor Who Beats the Ivys
Geraldine Fabrikant – NY Times
In 2005, Paula Volent, the head of the Bowdoin College endowment, wanted to move some of the college’s money into a Sequoia Capital venture fund focused on China.
A comedy turn at the new RBS HQ; Chairman Howard Davies gave the press a sharp-witted welcome to 250 Bishopsgate
Patrick Jenkins – FT
RBS chairman Howard Davies was in sharp-tongued form on Tuesday when he welcomed the press to the bank’s new HQ at 250 Bishopsgate. First he ribbed the (absent) Ross McEwan, saying he was gradually being replaced as chief exec: he had one new knee last week, the other one would be renewed soon, then there’d be a heart and lung transplant.
Standard Chartered faces investor unrest over chief executive’s pay; Bank accused of acting ‘fast and loose’ after changing Bill Winters’ pension calculation
David Crow and Owen Walker – FT
Standard Chartered is facing an investor rebellion over its chief executive’s pay after the bank changed how it calculated his pension in a way that falls foul of UK corporate governance guidelines.
Swedbank CEO Survives Initial Laundering Review
Niklas Magnusson and Hanna Hoikkala – Bloomberg
Review was commissioned to look into laundering allegations; SVT alleges Swedbank handled $10 billion in suspicious flows
Sweden’s oldest bank left investors and analysts with more questions than answers on Friday after a report it commissioned failed to address a number of key issues surrounding money laundering allegations.
****FT – Swedbank publishes heavily censored money laundering report
Credit Suisse Boosts Thiam’s Pay 30% After Turnaround Ends
Patrick Winters and Jan-Henrik Foerster – Bloomberg
Thiam is rewarded after taking a cut last year amid losses; Investors had critized executive pay in previous years
Credit Suisse Group AG boosted Chief Executive Officer Tidjane Thiam’s compensation by about 30 percent for delivering the first annual profit in four years, even as trading losses continue to overshadow the bank’s progress.
Ghana plots 50-year bond after 30-year flies off shelves; Robust demand for yield leads to coupon cut for Accra’s $3bn debt sale
Nikou Asgari – FT
Ghana says it wants to push the boundaries of the sub-Saharan African debt markets by issuing a 50-year bond, fresh after selling a debut ultra-long bond to investors thirsty for yield.
China’s Citic finds Wall Street values hard to stomach at CLSA
Henny Sender and Don Weinland – Financial Times
When Citic Securities was created in 1995, its eventual chairman Wang Dongming told visitors to his Beijing office that he wished to make the Chinese brokerage an international player on a par with the most powerful Wall Street groups.
Shadow margin loans make a sly return as China stocks sizzle
Shu Zhang, Samuel Shen – Reuters
On a cloudy March morning in Shanghai’s glitzy financial district of Lujiazui, Ye Lixia was knocking on the doors of potential clients, offering loans to bet on a surging stock market.
Brexit Risks Could Still Disrupt European Finance
Silla Brush – Bloomberg
A no-deal Brexit has been averted on March 29, but the prospect of a chaotic U.K. withdrawal from the European Union is still looming. Uncertainties remain despite regulators saying there is almost no chance of a crisis in the financial system and that they’ve prevented the biggest potential problems. Here are the key vulnerabilities.
The European Council extends Brexit, with strings attached
It was meant to be sorted out before dinner. In fact the European Council discussion on March 21st over whether to extend the Article 50 deadline of March 29th went on to almost midnight. That was partly because European Union leaders wanted to resolve the issue, not to be dragged back to Brussels on March 28th. But it was also because Theresa May was maddeningly vague about what she would do if Britain’s Parliament once again rejects the Brexit deal when she puts it to a third meaningful vote next week.
Who in the EU Has the Most to Lose in Case of a No-Deal Brexit
Maeva Cousin and Dan Hanson – Bloomberg
The European Union’s manufacturing sector — already attempting to recover from a series of shocks and facing risks from U.S. trade tariffs — has a sizable exposure to U.K. demand. Bloomberg Economics estimates that almost 2.5 percent of EU-27 activity is exposed to the bloc’s exports to Britain and most types of exports, goods and services alike, will face disruption as and when the exit occurs. A disorderly exit would add to the costs and that’s partly why the EU-27 have an incentive to avoid that scenario.
Brexit Havoc Adds to Misery for Nation Battling With Debt; Charities helping Britons cope with rising bills say they’re fielding a record number of calls.
David Goodman and Lucy Meakin – Bloomberg
From their gray office block above a shopping center in the English city of Leeds, the 200 or so debt advisers get a very different view of the U.K. to the one portrayed by government ministers and central bankers.
Goldman Sachs raises chances of no-deal Brexit after UK PM’s late reprieve
Goldman Sachs on Friday lowered its expectations of UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal getting ratified, and hiked its estimate of the chances of a “no-deal” exit from the European Union.
How Anne Welsh McNulty, Philanthropist, Spends Her Sundays
Nancy A. Ruhling – NY Times
Anne Welsh McNulty, a former managing director at Goldman Sachs and now the chief executive of the McNulty Foundation, is focused on locating and nurturing the next generation of formidable leaders. In the last three years alone, she has given more than $18 million to organizations with that goal in mind, including creating the annual $100,000 McNulty Prize for individuals willing to address seemingly intractable problems.
Duke’s Title Run Revives Status as Wall Street’s Favorite Team
Scott Soshnick – Bloomberg
Zion Williamson has energized an already-vocal fan base; Duke enters NCAA men’s basketball tournament as No. 1 seed
Private equity mogul David Rubenstein, co-founder of the Carlyle Group, has found religion in the form of a 6-foot-7, 285-pound basketball wunderkind from Duke.
‘Corngate’ gets nastier, as MillerCoors sues archrival AB InBev; The Chicago-based brewer of Miller Lite seeks to halt Bud Light’s corn syrup ad campaign.
Jessica Wohl – Crain’s Chicago Business
If you thought the “corngate” controversy over Bud Light’s Super Bowl ads would quiet down, think again.