ICE to Start Rival Gas Market in London to Sidestep EU Price Cap

Jan 27, 2023

First Read

Hits & Takes
John Lothian & JLN Staff

Thank you to all who replied to my request to help one of my Eagle Scouts who was recently laid off on the West Coast and is looking for new opportunities in the climate tech and sustainability space. You are all such great people and I appreciate you immensely for the good you do in this world.

One of the other Scouts who went to Japan worked with JLN briefly before getting a job in the publishing world. Another Scout who you helped go to the World Scout Jamboree, and who interned with us during a trip to IDX several years ago, works in the sustainability field. His firm does testing of sites that are being cleaned up.

Conservatives used to believe in the market. Ted Cruz’s latest resolution to the Senate is not a market based solution but a Senator-based solution to add vending machines in the Capitol complex that accept cryptocurrency. So much for faith in the U.S. dollar.

I am in Xenia, Ohio this morning on my way to West Virginia to see my daughter, who turned 25 today. It is hard to believe I have two offspring older than 25, but then I am old.

Randy Myers is starting a new position as head of crypto at Trading Technologies. Randy is a former partner at Geneva Trading, among other stops during his career.

Sam Bankman-Fried’s dog is trained to attack would-be assailants with a secret code word, Business Insider reported. The dog’s name is “Sandor” – yes, that is correct, Sandor. And the code word for the dog to attack is reportedly “Ameribor.”

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



Western Tanks Give Ukraine a Fighting Chance; The agreement between the US and Germany is a critical step toward helping Ukraine regain lost ground.
The Editors – Bloomberg
After weeks of diplomatic hand-wringing, the US and Germany have decided to send battle tanks to Ukraine, a critical step toward helping the country take back territory seized by Russian forces during last year’s invasion. While President Joe Biden and Europe’s leaders deserve credit for maintaining solidarity with Ukraine, they should remain mindful of the risks of deeper Western involvement in the war.

****** If the conflict was looking like World War I in places, tanks will change that.~JJL


‘Extremely disconcerting’: NIH didn’t track U.S. funds going to Chinese virus research, watchdog finds
Alexander Nazaryan – Yahoo News
The National Institutes of Health failed to provide adequate oversight of an American organization that funded controversial research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China, according to a new government report that is sure to raise new questions about the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic.

****** Yes, there are still questions to ask and answers we are seeking. ~JJL


Anthony Scaramucci says he bought Sam Bankman-Fried a suit for their Middle East fundraising tour and that the trip sparked FTX’s downfall
Pete Syme – Insider
Weeks before FTX’s downfall, Anthony Scaramucci was worried that Sam Bankman-Fried’s famously casual dress sense could backfire on a fundraising trip to the Middle East. Scaramucci told Insider he bought the then-FTX CEO a suit from Bloomingdale’s to help impress investors. Insider talked to Scaramucci over Zoom about his relationship with Bankman-Fried, ahead of the launch of Scaramucci’s new podcast, “Open Book.”

****** I wonder if he went to Men’s Warehouse for SBF.~JJL


Thursday’s Top Three
Our most read story Thursday was Bloomberg’s NYSE Mayhem Traced to a Staffer Who Left a Backup System Running. Second was Pritzker says he’s ‘sorry’ Ken Griffin left Chicago, from Crain’s Chicago Business. (If you read the story you’ll note that that was not exactly an apology.) And a close third was The New Yorker’s What’s the Matter with Men?, which suggests that American men are falling behind women in education, employment and other things.


MarketsWiki Stats
27,158 pages; 242,500 edits
MarketsWiki Statistics


Lead Stories

ICE to Start Rival Gas Market in London to Sidestep EU Price Cap; New market will help traders manage risk exposure, ICE says; EU’s temporary gas price cap can be triggered from Feb. 15
John Ainger – Bloomberg
Intercontinental Exchange Inc. will open a parallel natural gas market in London to help traders cope with any potential disruptions caused by the European Union’s new rules to prevent extreme price swings. It will offer Dutch Title Transfer Facility futures and options on the ICE Futures Europe exchange from Feb. 20, five days after the EU’s temporary price cap takes effect, according to a statement.

‘We Hacked the Hackers’: Hive Ransomware Seized in Global Sting; US says group targeted more than 1,500 victims in 80 countries; Justice Department coordinated with German, Dutch authorities
Karin Matussek, Jeff Stone and Chris Strohm – Bloomberg
Hive ransomware was seized after a joint US-German law enforcement crackdown that thwarted $130 million in demands for payment from more than 1,500 victims around the world, according to law enforcement authorities. The FBI penetrated the group’s website starting in July, captured its decryption keys and offered them to victims in 80 countries, which included hospitals, schools, financial firms and critical infrastructure, according to the US Justice Department. The US then coordinated with law enforcement in Germany and the Netherlands.

Meme-stock groups have raised $5bn in 2 years since trading frenzy; Cash bonanza enabled by retail investors fails to boost beneficiaries’ performance
Jennifer Hughes and Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson – Financial Times
Companies at the centre of the meme-stock mania that began two years ago have raised a collective $4.7bn from the hype, according to calculations by the Financial Times, even as the windfall has done little to boost their performance. The eight stocks have also gained a combined $7.5bn in market capitalisation since the retail trading frenzy at the start of 2021. On January 28 of that year the popular US broker Robinhood outraged customers by limiting their ability to buy those companies’ shares, causing their prices to suddenly plunge.

US pursues North Korea in crypto war games; Plus, Moody’s positive outlook on DeFi, and Tether takes market share
Scott Chipolina – Financial Times
North Korea is often portrayed as a backward, economically stunted state, but if you believe US allegations it has a pretty sophisticated understanding of the crypto markets. This week the US Federal Bureau of Investigation said Lazarus Group – a North Korea-backed criminal syndicate best known for the WannaCry cyber attack of 2017 – was responsible for a $100mn crypto heist against crypto platform Horizon Bridge last summer.

Derivatives volumes are up – and it’s giving the buy-side a headache; Equity index derivatives volumes jumped 73% in 2022, according to the Futures Industry Association (FIA) – but the increase is causing higher operational risk and capacity burdens for asset managers and buy-side traders.
Laurie McAughtry – The Trade
The FIA futures and options exchanges data findings for December 2022 and annual year 2022 show that numbers are broadly up for listed futures and options, with equity index derivatives volumes increasing 73% to 48.6 billion in 2022, making up more than half the overall global total. The worldwide volume of exchange-traded derivatives reached 8.44 billion contracts in December, up 8.9% from November 2022 and up 37.4% from December 2021.

Brussels looks at EU-wide ban on inducements for financial advisers; Commissioner Mairead McGuinness says investors are being steered away from low-cost ETFs
Robert Van Egghen – Financial Times
The EU’s financial services chief has said an EU-wide ban on inducements could enable greater retail investment in exchange traded funds, leading to better returns for consumers. Mairead McGuinness, European commissioner for financial stability, financial services and the capital markets union, said inducements paid to financial advisers by product manufacturers are leading to poor outcomes for retail investors in the EU.

Tesla Has Become One of the Hottest Stock-Option Trades on Wall Street; Electric-vehicle maker accounts for roughly 7% of all options trading on an average day
Eric Wallerstein – The Wall Street Journal
Speculators’ love of wagering on Tesla Inc. TSLA 1.80%increase; green up pointing triangle has propelled Elon Musk’s electric-vehicle maker into one of the hottest stock-option trades on Wall Street. Tesla options trading has surged recently: Nearly three million contracts now change hands on an average day, according to Cboe Global Markets data. That is up from 1.5 million a year ago and more than any other stock. Only wagers on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF outpace those on Tesla.

U.S. securities regulator probes investment advisers over crypto custody -sources
Chris Prentice – Reuters
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is probing registered investment advisers over whether they are meeting rules around custody of client crypto assets, three sources with knowledge of the inquiry told Reuters. The SEC has been questioning advisers’ efforts to follow the agency’s rules around custody of clients’ digital assets for several months, but the probe has gathered pace in the wake of the blow-up of crypto exchange FTX, the sources said. They spoke on condition of anonymity as the inquiries are not public.

Perella Weinberg London HQ Searched in Insider Trading Probe; German investigation looking at one London-based employee; Investment bank not accused of wrongdoing or focus of probe
Karin Matussek, Steven Arons and Jonathan Browning – Bloomberg
Perella Weinberg Partners LP London headquarters were searched this week as part of a German insider trading investigation. The investment bank was searched by officials on Jan. 25. Frankfurt prosecutors are looking into allegations that a London-based employee at the bank disclosed information on planned takeovers and other suspects traded on that, according to people familiar with the matter.

CFTC Commissioner Kristin Johnson Urges Congress to Expand Agency’s Authority to Review Crypto Acquisitions
Cheyenne Ligon – CoinDesk
Following FTX’s swift, stunning collapse in November, crypto industry participants, lawmakers and regulators alike have all been mulling the same questions: Why were regulators blindsided by FTX’s implosion and, more importantly, how can the next crypto crisis be prevented?

Billionaire Quant Trader Alex Gerko Named UK’s Biggest Taxpayer; Sunday Times estimates Gerko contributed about £487 million; Gerko replaces gambling mogul Denise Coates at top of ranking
Benjamin Stupples – Bloomberg
Alex Gerko built a quantitative trading firm over the past decade that handles almost $300 billion in daily volume across equities, commodities, currency and fixed income. It’s made him a billionaire several times over, and it’s now earned him the status of the UK’s biggest taxpayer.

FTX Owes Money to Netflix, Binance, Wall Street Journal, Filing Shows
Sandali Handagama – CoinDesk
It’s the list everyone has been waiting for, minus 9.7 million redacted customer names. But the 116-page FTX creditor list, which names companies such as Netflix (NFLX) and Apple (AAPL), still paints a comprehensive picture of the now-bankrupt crypto enterprise’s reach and the impact of its collapse. FTX owes money to media companies, universities, airlines and charities, among others, a court filing from Wednesday shows. The document was filed by lawyers for the company as part of the bankruptcy proceedings in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware

Central banks are buying gold at the fastest rate in half a century
Brett Arends – MarketWatch
Here’s another reason why it may not be completely insane to add some gold bullion to your 401(k) or retirement account. Central banks are stocking up. Three economists-Serkan Arslanalp and Chima Simpson-Bell at the International Monetary Fund, and Barry Eichengreen at UC Berkeley-have published a new report pointing out that gold, far from being on the way out as an international reserve currency, has been coming back in.

Industry body clarifies what happens when crypto derivatives crash
Huw Jones – Reuters
An industry body set out a global framework on Thursday for trading derivatives linked to cryptoassets to avoid FTX-style collapses sowing confusion over ownership. The International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) published guidance for trading digital asset derivatives to clarify what happens when things go wrong in an underlying market, such as the collapse of crypto exchange FTX. While most of the recent problems have occurred in the spot cryptocurrency market, many of the legal uncertainties could affect digital asset derivatives too.

Sam Bankman-Fried’s Mother and Brother Not Cooperating With Financial Probe, FTX Lawyers Say
Jack Schickler – CoinDesk
At least some of Sam Bankman-Fried’s immediate family aren’t cooperating with the probe into the collapsed crypto exchange FTX and should be cross-questioned in court, the company’s lawyers have said in a legal filing made Wednesday. The FTX founder’s brother, mother and father were his “advisors,” and should be subpoenaed alongside former company executives as the company’s new management seeks to find out what happened to allegedly misappropriated funds, the filing said.

Fireside Friday with… UBS Asset Management’s Lynn Challenger; Global head of trading at UBS Asset Management, Lynn Challenger, tells The TRADE a European version of the US SIP and Best Bid and Offer model could drive growth and reduce fragmentation in the region.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
Should EU structure and regulation mirror the US more, how?
As an American, I need to think carefully about how I answer this one, or risk sounding like a cliche. I think both sides of the Atlantic can learn from each other, and from Asia too. While the US embarks on a huge initiative to reduce settlement risk, for example, India has already moved to T+1 settlement, and China to T+0. However, when it comes to trading and liquidity, one of the things that the US has done well is putting the mechanisms in place to enable the creation of a ‘distributed market’.

Ukraine Invasion

From the War Zone to the Classroom, Pursuing Business for Peace; A fellowship program for students from war-torn countries aims to create leaders who will help restore hope and stability in their homelands.
Bill Donahue – Bloomberg
How do you rebuild a country ravaged by war? Nongovernmental organizations have grappled with the question for decades, as has the World Bank and numerous graduate programs focused on global politics. War often renders governments dysfunctional and weak-incapable of effecting change. In the wake of bombing and combat, private businesses are frequently more nimble and better able to muster the vision it takes to, say, keep coffee shops running in Kyiv.

Putin Plans New Ukraine Push Despite Losses as He Prepares for Years of War; Russia is preparing a new offensive to regain the initiative even as it prepares for a long standoff in Ukraine
Bloomberg News
Nearly a year into an invasion that was supposed to take weeks, Vladimir Putin is preparing a new offensive in Ukraine, at the same time steeling his country for a conflict with the US and its allies that he expects to last for years.

EU to Battle on Oil Price Caps, Sanctions in Push to Hurt Russia; Bloc starts talks on planned G-7 price cap on Russian diesel; EU to debate crude oil price cap review, further sanctions
Ewa Krukowska and Alberto Nardelli – Bloomberg
The European Union is heading for intense talks in the coming days over how to further curb Russian revenues from exports of oil and petroleum products, and strengthen sanctions to hit President Vladimir Putin’s war machine. EU diplomats are due to start discussions on Friday about a review of a price cap on Russian crude oil exports to third countries that the Group of Seven and the EU put into place late last year. They also need to decide price levels for new caps on petroleum products, including diesel, by early February.

Russia admits Putin pardoning convicts so they can join Wagner in Ukraine; Kremlin says US ‘demonising’ paramilitary group, which is now playing a key role in the war
Max Seddon – Financial Times
Russian president Vladimir Putin is pardoning convicts to allow them to fight in Ukraine as members of the Wagner paramilitary group, the Kremlin has admitted. Russia also dismissed the US Treasury’s move to label Yevgeny Prigozhin’s group, which is playing an increasingly prominent role on the front lines as Russia’s full-scale invasion enters its 12th month, as a “transnational criminal organisation”.

Wagner Group Designated by U.S. as Transnational Criminal Group; U.S. imposed sanctions against the military infrastructure it says supports Russia’s battlefield operations in Ukraine
Mengqi Sun – The Wall Street Journal
The U.S. has imposed sanctions against the military infrastructure it says is supporting Russia’s battlefield operations in Ukraine, ramping up pressure on the Kremlin as the war enters its next phase. The U.S. took action Thursday against Russian private military group Wagner Group, designating it as a significant transnational criminal organization over its actions in combat operations in Ukraine on behalf of President Vladimir Putin. The U.S. Treasury Department said Wagner Group personnel also are involved in alleged ongoing criminal activity, including mass executions, rape and physical abuse in the Central African Republic and Mali.

U.S. Warns Banks to Watch for Russian Oligarchs Investing in Commercial Real Estate; Wealthy Russians are likely attempting to evade sanctions by moving money into commercial real estate, where opaque ownership structures abound
Dylan Tokar – The Wall Street Journal
Banks should be on alert for Russian oligarchs attempting to circumvent U.S. sanctions by investing in commercial real estate, a U.S. Treasury Department watchdog said. Wealthy Russians with ties to the Kremlin are likely attempting to evade the economic sanctions placed on them in the U.S. by moving money into the commercial-real-estate sector, where complex financing methods and opaque ownership structures can help bad actors hide funds, the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, better known as FinCEN, said Wednesday.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

ICE Announces Plans to Implement EU Market Correction Mechanism and Related Price Cap on TTF Natural Gas
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE: ICE), a leading global provider of data, technology, and market infrastructure, today announced how it intends to implement the European Union’s Market Correction Mechanism Regulation (MCM Regulation) and related price cap on TTF natural gas derivatives, in time for entry into force of the regulation. ICE Endex, based in the Netherlands and operator of the world’s most liquid trading venue for TTF natural gas futures and options, plans to change its Rulebook to promote compliance with the MCM Regulation, effective February 15, 2023, subject to completion of relevant regulatory processes.

REGIS-TR adds TradeHeader to its partnership programme
REGIS-TR adds TradeHeader to its partnership programme. Reflecting the existing collaboration, the official partnership will see a continuation of the common work to provide support to our clients in reporting and keep market participants informed of regulatory changes.

Oslo Boers launches the 2023 edition of IPOready Norway; 11 companies ready to take part in the pre-IPO program; The programme is organised together with Pareto Securities, Advokatfirmaet Thommessen, PwC Norway and Crux Advisers
Oslo Boers, part of the Euronext Group, today launched the second edition of IPOready in Norway. IPOready is a leadership programme for executives looking to enhance their skillsets to scale their companies and raise strategic finance. Eleven companies considering listing on Euronext in the coming years will take part in 2023. IPOready is part of the Euronext pre-IPO programmes1 and covers the IPO process, the legal perspective, IPO valuation, equity story, financial communication, corporate governance and post-listing requirements. The program is run in partnership with Pareto Securities, Thommessen, PwC and Crux Advisers.

Euronext Corporate Services expands its webcast studio network to Milan
Euronext Corporate Services, part of the Euronext Group, today announced the official opening of its webcast studio in Milan, Italy. This is the newest European studio of Company Webcast, the webinar company of Euronext Corporate Services and one of the market leaders in professional webcast and webinar solutions. Company Webcast runs the biggest network of broadcast-quality studios in Europe with eight studios in five countries. Located in the heart of Milan, on Via Agnello the studio facility is equipped with the latest technologies to deliver institutional webcasting services, including greenscreen, HD cameras, professional sound and lighting, and a control moderation room. This development officially completes the full deployment of Euronext Corporate Services in Italy, after the initial roll-out of all its other businesses, such as iBabs, Advisory and IR Solutions and ComplyLog, in the country in 2021 and 2022.

Launch of “Processing Service for Stock Order Data” for Provision of Processed FLEX Full Data
Mitsubishi UFJ Trust Investment Technology Institute Co., Ltd. and JPX Market Innovation & Research, Inc. (JPXI) will launch the “Processing Service for Stock Order Data,” which provides FLEX Full data which is historical information of stock trading orders in the markets of Tokyo Stock Exchange, Inc. and is provided by JPXI in a format that facilitates data analysis. Please refer to the following document for the details.

Changes in Nifty Fixed Income indices
The Index Maintenance Sub-Committee (Debt) of NSE Indices Limited has decided to make changes as listed hereunder. These changes shall become effective from February 01, 2023.

Regular Constituents Change in S&P/KRX ESG Dividend Opportunities index
The Constituents of S&P/KRX ESG Dividend Opportunities index will be changed. Effective date Feb 1, 2023 (Wed)

Regulatory User Group Members List
The Montreal Exchange
On November 15, 2022 the Regulatory Division of Bourse de Montreal Inc. (the “Division”) published a circular (140-22) calling for applications to become a member of the Regulatory User Group for a two year term, 2023 and 2024. The Division is pleased to announce the names of the selected members. The group is composed of representatives from seven Canadian Approved Participants, three foreign Approved Participants, and from the Investment Industry Association of Canada (IIAC). The Regulatory User Group meets a minimum of two times per year.

Nasdaq Announces Mid-Month Open Short Interest Positions in Nasdaq Stocks as of Settlement Date January 13, 2023
At the end of the settlement date of January 13, 2023, short interest in 3,460 Nasdaq Global MarketSM securities totaled 10,244,491,640 shares compared with 10,481,618,341 shares in 3,462 Global Market issues reported for the prior settlement date of December 30, 2022. The mid-January short interest represents 2.92 days compared with 2.82 days for the prior reporting period.


ION partners with OptionsDesk to provide enhanced derivatives capabilities; OptionsDesk will utilise ION’s derivatives solutions as part of its end-to-end digital strategy to support its next growth phase.
Wesley Bray – The Trade
ION has been selected by OptionsDesk to integrate ION’s XTP front-to-back suite to expand its derivatives capabilities. Part of the AMC Group, OptionsDesk is the trading name of AMT Futures, a UK-based options broker that provides advisory and brokerage services for retail investors, corporations, and financial institutions.

Pro-China Propaganda Group Tried, Failed to Go Viral on Google; Google removes accounts operated by ‘Spamouflage Dragon’; Spammy content suggested ‘armed reunification’ with Taiwan
Margi Murphy – Bloomberg
Alphabet Inc.’s Google blocked more than 50,000 pieces of content shared by a China-linked propaganda network last year, the company said Thursday. The group, known alternatively as “Spamouflage Dragon” and “Dragonbridge,” spread spam and social media posts with political content that aligned with Beijing’s interests, researchers said in a blog post.

Artificial intelligence pioneers back $550mn fund for AI start-ups; Radical Ventures secures investment from leaders Fei-Fei Li and Geoffrey Hinton among others
Tim Bradshaw – Financial Times
Artificial intelligence pioneers are backing a new $550mn fund dedicated to investing in AI start ups, in a move that bucks the wider downturn in tech dealmaking. Toronto-based Radical Ventures said it has received investment from several leaders in the AI field. This includes Fei-Fei Li, creator of the influential ImageNet project, Geoffrey Hinton, the pioneer in neural networks who is also a member of the Google Brain team, and the family office of former Google chief executive Eric Schmidt. Radical said it so far raised more than half of its $550mn target.

World Economic Forum’s digital asset head expects real-world blockchain adoption in 2023
Angie Lau – Forkast
Changpeng Zhao, the chief executive officer of Binance, the world’s biggest crypto exchange, said in a talk at Davos that the industry now needs to focus on the evolution and promise of blockchain technology itself. The World Economic Forum’s Head of Blockchain and Digital Assets Brynly Llyr shared similar views, especially around blockchain applications in sustainability efforts and the environment.


Mastermind in JPMorgan Hack Left US for Israel, His Father Says; Gery Shalon pleaded guilty to running huge financial data hack; Georgian TV interview provides glimpse of sealed proceedings
Helena Bedwell and David Voreacos – Bloomberg
Gery Shalon, the mastermind of sweeping hacks on the US financial system early last decade, returned to Israel after being allowed to leave US custody two years ago, his father said in an interview broadcast in the Republic of Georgia. Shalon was extradited from Israel in 2015 and accused of running what then-US Attorney General Loretta Lynch called “one of the largest thefts of financial-related data in history.”

Tech layoffs not hitting this digital job market short 500,000 workers
Kaitlin Balasaygun – CNBC
Strong demand for cybersecurity workers is continuing even as big technology companies lay off thousands of employees. That’s not a big surprise, as cybersecurity is seen as one of the more resilient areas for tech investment in a more cautious economic environment – though even it is not immune from the tech sector slowdown. But it is an area for young professionals, college students, and workers looking to make career transitions to focus on as the tech sector’s labor force contracts significantly for the first time in a decade, from the largest companies to the venture-backed startup community.

Russian cyberattack risks and SEC rules will make cybersecurity a hot topic in 2023
Alan Murray and David Meyer – Fortune
Cybersecurity is emerging as a hot topic for 2023. Not that it wasn’t in 2022. Indeed, cyber has been a loud and persistent background noise in business for years. But two things are turning up the volume: First, the escalation of U.S. and European military aid to Ukraine, which increases the risk that Russia turns to cyberattacks in response. And second, new SEC rules out this spring, that will place enhanced reporting requirements on companies.

ChatGPT is a bigger threat to cybersecurity than most realize
Mirko Zorz – Help Net Security
The tech industry has been focused on creating generative AI which responds to a command or query to produce text, video, or audio content. This type of AI cannot analyze and contextualize data and information to provide understanding. Currently, the value of generative AI, like ChatGPT and DALL-E, is lopsided in favor of threat actors. Generative AI gives you exactly what you asked for – which is useful when crafting phishing emails. Information Security needs AI that can take information, enhance it with additional context, and come to a conclusion based on its understanding.


With eyes on FTX bankruptcy, U.S. regulator seeks more due diligence authority
Chris Prentice and Michelle Price – Reuters
A top official with the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is pressing lawmakers to give regulators authority to dig into the books of any firm seeking to acquire significant interest in any registered market player. In remarks published on Thursday, Democratic CFTC Commissioner Kristin Johnson said the agency needs authority to conduct “effective due diligence” on any firm that wants to purchase 10% or more of the equity interest in an exchange or clearing house registered with the agency.

FTX opposes new bankruptcy investigation as it probes Bankman-Fried connections
Noele Illien, Tom Wilson and Dietrich Knauth – Reuters
FTX has objected to a U.S. Department of Justice request for an independent investigation into the once-prominent crypto exchange’s collapse, saying it is already conducting a wide-ranging probe that includes family members of FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried.FTX said in a court filing in Wilmington, Delaware, late on Wednesday that the DOJ’s proposed review would only add cost and delay to its bankruptcy case. FTX acknowledged “fraud, dishonesty, incompetence, misconduct,

FTX Says Wall Street Heavyweights Are Among Its Creditors
Emily Nicolle and Allyson Versprille – Bloomberg
Advisers to FTX say the collapsed crypto company owes a dizzying assortment of firms including Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo & Co., bankruptcy court documents show. A 116-page document filed on Wednesday detailing FTX’s creditors contains thousands of entries, and names of individuals are redacted. But the globe-spanning list identifies heavyweights across Wall Street as having some kind of connection with Sam Bankman-Fried’s once-giant exchange.

FTX Seeks to Question Sam Bankman-Fried’s Family About Its Wealth
Steven Church – Bloomberg
The parents and brother of alleged crypto fraudster Sam Bankman-Fried should be forced to answer questions and provide financial documents about their personal wealth and any money they may have gotten from FTX, the bankrupt firm he founded, lawyers said in a court filing. FTX asked a judge for permission to question, under oath, Bankman-Fried’s family and a handful of the company’s former top executives as part of a hunt for hidden assets that could be used to repay creditors owed billions of dollars.

Moody’s Is Working on Scoring System for Crypto Stablecoins; Scoring system will analyze up to 20 stablecoins plus reserves; Internal project remains in its early stages of development
Emily Nicolle – Bloomberg
Moody’s Corp. is working on a scoring system for stablecoins, the crypto sector’s most traded tokens, as the asset class grows and faces increased scrutiny from regulators and investors. The system will include an analysis of up to 20 stablecoins based on the quality of attestations on the reserves backing them, according to a person familiar with the plans who asked not to be named discussing private information.

Crypto Exchange BIT Expands Product Suite With Toncoin Options
Omkar Godbole – CoinDesk
Cryptocurrency derivatives exchange BIT on Thursday introduced options tied to toncoin (TON), the native token of the decentralized layer 1 blockchain The Open Network, formerly known as Telegram Open Network. The options are live on the platform today and will be available on the institution-focused liquidity network Paradigm later, the exchange said in a statement shared with CoinDesk.

FTX Cleared to End Endorsement Deal With Gisele Bundchen, Shohei Ohtani
Amelia Pollard – Bloomberg
A federal judge approved FTX Group’s request to formally terminate endorsement deals with supermodel Gisele Bundchen, basketball star Stephen Curry’s SC30 Inc. and baseball phenomenon Shohei Ohtani, court papers show. Bündchen has partnership, endorsement and charitable giving agreements with an FTX affiliate dating to May 2021, according to bankruptcy court papers. Curry’s SC30 and Ohtani have endorsement deals from later the same year.

Crypto Thaw May Be Premature but Advisors Should Prepare for Winter’s End
Christopher Robbins – CoinDesk
The days are slowly getting longer, the birds are singing outside my window and the price of bitcoin hit $23,000 for the first time in months. Could it portend the end of the crypto winter? As someone who has spent many years of my life living in northern climes, I have a healthy skepticism of early signs of the end of winter. Just when you think winter is over, a big storm blows in and snows the town into submission for a day. Still, there are few financial assets outperforming the 25% or so rise enjoyed by most crypto tokens in recent weeks, and the speculative zeal is starting to return.

The year crypto broke: How customers, investors lost millions and what’s being done
Rachel Rosenbaum, Taylor Dunn, Karen Ye, Jaclyn Skurie, Ivan Pereira – ABA News
It seemed like cryptocurrency was having a moment. At the start of 2022, the Super Bowl featured celebrities like Tom Brady, Larry David and Matt Damon in commercials for crypto companies. Logos for crypto companies like FTX could be seen plastered on multiple sports arenas and a new wave of crypto influencers emerged, garnering hundreds of thousands of followers. Cryptocurrency was everywhere.


Chevron’s $75 Billion Buyback Plan Draws Biden’s Ire as Pump Prices Climb; Industry says anti-oil rhetoric in Washington deters drilling; President Biden has implored oil companies to boost production
Jennifer A Dlouhy – Bloomberg
Tensions between President Joe Biden and the oil industry are intensifying, stoked by Chevron Corp.’s decision to repurchase $75 billion of shares and boost dividend payouts instead of plowing that money into new drilling. The renewed acrimony comes as big oil companies are set to report almost $200 billion in collective earnings and alongside climbing gasoline prices that are exacerbating economic pain for consumers already suffering from high inflation.

Senator Ted Cruz Wants Vendors to Accept Bitcoin at the Capitol
Andre Beganski – Decrypt
Senator Ted Cruz introduced a measure in the Senate Wednesday advocating for crypto payments within areas of the Capitol, a sign of Republicans’ continued focus on rules related to digital assets.

Sen. Warren: Why Gensler’s SEC Has to Put Crypto ‘Genie Back in the Bottle’
Kenneth Corbin – Barron’s
When she talks about the risks around cryptocurrencies, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) expresses the greatest concern for retail investors, but she doesn’t stop there. In a speech Wednesday at a virtual event organized by two advocacy groups deeply critical of the crypto sector, Warren warned of other potential threats posed by an unregulated digital asset market, including environmental risks and even national security perils.

Right-Wing Arizona Senator Pushes to Recognize Bitcoin as Legal Tender
Alys Key – Decrypt
An Arizona State Senator has introduced a bill to make Bitcoin legal tender in The Grand Canyon State. Wendy Rogers, a Republican and enthusiastic supporter of former President Donald Trump, yesterday put forward a proposal to amend the definition of legal tender in the state’s statutes to include the world’s biggest cryptocurrency.

Rep. French Hill on Priorities of Digital Assets Committee
Rep. French Hill (R-Arkansas), discusses the priorities of the Financial Services Subcommittee on Digital Assets, Financial Technology and Inclusion as its chair and how the crypto industry can expect clarity on which agency, the SEC or the CFTC, will seek explicit oversight. “That’s exactly what we’re going to sort through,” Rep. Hill said.

Israeli tech sector warns of economic hit from Netanyahu’s hardline policies; Executives say new government’s move to curb judicial powers will scare away vital investment to the self-styled Startup Nation
James Shotter – Financial Times
Israel’s technology sector has put Benjamin Netanyahu’s hardline new government on notice, warning that its controversial plans to curb the powers of the judiciary could damage the country’s $500bn economy. On Tuesday, more than 100 Israeli tech groups gave staff permission to join a “warning strike” in Tel Aviv against the plans, which would give the government and its allies control over the appointment of judges, and severely limit the top court’s ability to strike down government decisions.

UK Sees No Need For Subsidies in US, EU Green Technology Battle; Shapps says US will ‘take rough edges off’ clean power plan; Hunt Seeks Free, Open Trade Between Nations Pursuing Net Zero
Ellen Milligan – Bloomberg
The UK sees no need for immediate subsidies to counter US and EU proposals to boost green industries, two cabinet ministers said. President Joe Biden’s administration has assured Britain it will “take the rough edges off” its $369 billion package of measures to promote cleantech, meaning the UK won’t “get squeezed in the middle” between the US and EU, Business Secretary Grant Shapps said on Friday in an interview. That gives the UK time to consider its response, he suggested.

Brazil and Argentina’s joint currency plan raises economic concerns; Leftwing leaders Lula and Alberto Fernandez push ahead despite questions over unequal benefits of proposal
Lucinda Elliott, Bryan Harris and Michael Stott – Financial Times
The IMF’s former chief economist Olivier Blanchard needed just three words to respond to the news that Brazil and Argentina would begin preparatory work on creating a common currency. “This is insane,” he tweeted. While economists have questioned the viability of the idea, political analysts have been less dismissive, pointing out that the desires of South America’s mainly leftwing presidents to promote regional integration and challenge the US dollar’s dominance should not be underestimated.


You Want Crypto Regulation? I’ll Give You Crypto Regulation
Marc Hochstein – CoinDesk
New cryptocurrency laws are likely coming in the U.S. whether the industry likes it or not. A salubrious outcome would be legislation that helps protect consumers without undermining, and maybe furthering, crypto’s promise of financial autonomy. Here’s an idea. What if Congress mandated the separation of crypto custody and crypto exchange? In other words, a company could be licensed to match buy orders and sell orders between investors, or it could be allowed to store crypto on a customer’s behalf.

Indonesia Regulatory Switch Could See Crypto Classed as Securities, Not Commodities
Sandali Handagama – CoinDesk
A new Indonesian law that transfers crypto regulatory powers to the Financial Services Authority (OJK) from commodities watchdog CoFTRA indicates a shift in the country’s approach to policing the industry and an acknowledgement that there’s more to it than asset trading. The law, signed by Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Jan. 12, is a financial regulations overhaul that modified at least 17 outdated local laws to align with technological developments.

Keynote Address of Commissioner Kristin Johnson at Digital Assets @ Duke Conference, Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering and Duke Financial Economics Center
Thank you so much for the kind invitation to join you for Digital Assets @ Duke. An anticipated disclaimer-the remarks that I will share today are my own and not the views of my fellow Commissioners or the Commission staff. During a media interview last fall, someone asked me what the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) could do to prevent crypto-market crises that lead to substantial losses for retail customers-and potentially devastating consequences for hard working Americans, too many of whom face fragile financial circumstances. I instinctively replied: we must never allow a good crisis to go to waste.

Keynote Address of Commissioner Kristin Johnson at Digital Assets @ Duke Conference, Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering and Duke Financial Economics Center
Thank you so much for the kind invitation to join you for Digital Assets @ Duke. An anticipated disclaimer-the remarks that I will share today are my own and not the views of my fellow Commissioners or the Commission staff. During a media interview last fall, someone asked me what the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) could do to prevent crypto-market crises that lead to substantial losses for retail customers-and potentially devastating consequences for hard working Americans, too many of whom face fragile financial circumstances. I instinctively replied: we must never allow a good crisis to go to waste.

Judges finds bitcoin facility in Falls is operating in violation of court order. Sets fine of $10,000 a day, which could jump to $25,000 a day
Rick Pfeiffer – Niagara Gazette
A State Supreme Court justice, following the lead of another justice, has ordered a cryptocurrency mining company in the Falls to stop operating or face fines of $10,000 a day. Justice Edward Pace said he would impose the fines, dating back to Dec. 9, when Supreme Court Justice Frank Sedita III first issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) that directed U.S. Data Technologies Group Ltd. and U.S. Data Mining Group Inc, doing business as U.S. Bitcoin, to stop operating while lawyers for the Falls sought a preliminary injunction to force their cryptocurrency mining facility on Buffalo Avenue to comply with a new zoning ordinance governing high energy use industries.

Bankrupt BlockFi asks court to approve bonuses to keep staff
Dylan Butts – Forkast
New Jersey-based cryptocurrency lender BlockFi has requested the court to approve bonus paychecks for its staff so the company can keep its talent throughout its bankruptcy proceedings, according to court documents filed on Monday.

SEC Obtains Final Judgment Against Defendant for Role in Offering Fraud
On January 24, 2023, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York entered a final consent judgment against New Jersey resident Walter Gil de Rubio for his role in a scheme that defrauded approximately 80 investors of over $3.7 million between June 2013 and January 2017. In 2018, the SEC charged Gil de Rubio and two other defendants with fraud and misappropriation through sales of securities in a company that falsely claimed to have exclusive rights to a crude oil processing technology. The SEC’s complaint also alleged that Gil de Rubio aided and abetted materially false or misleading statements made by one of his co-defendants concerning the timing and amount of investment returns and the use of offering proceeds.

SEC Rejects Another Spot Bitcoin ETF Bid by ARK and 21Shares
Andrew Throuvalas – Decrypt
Another day, another refusal by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to allow a Bitcoin spot ETF to launch in the United States. The latest rejected proposal came from Cathie Wood’s ARK Invest and global crypto ETF provider 21Shares, which for a second time joined forces in an attempt to launch the ARK 21Shares Bitcoin ETF. It was initially filed last year on May 13, a month after Ark’s first attempt to list the product on BZX was turned down.

Investing and Trading

Indonesia Wants Palm Oil Exporters to Trade on Local Exchanges
Eko Listiyorini – Bloomberg
Indonesia, the biggest palm oil supplier, is studying rules that would require exporters to trade at least some of their oil on local exchanges before shipping it overseas in order to improve control and data transparency. The goal is to have a reference price for a specific palm oil product from the exchanges which can be used to calculate taxes and export levies, said Didid Noordiatmoko, acting head of the Commodity Futures Trading Regulatory Agency, known as Bappebti. It would also offer more clarity on supply and demand, helping efforts to ensure the local market is well supplied, he said.

Investors pour money into emerging markets at near-record rate; More than $1bn has flowed into stocks and bonds every day this week in strong start to 2023
Jonathan Wheatley – Financial Times
Investors are piling into emerging market stocks and bonds at a near-record rate, as falling inflation and the reopening of China’s sprawling economy help reverse last year’s slide. Emerging equity and debt markets have attracted $1.1bn a day in net new money this week, according to high-frequency data tracking 21 countries from the Institute of International Finance. The speed of cross-border flows is now second only to the surge that followed the lifting of coronavirus lockdowns in late 2020 and early 2021, surpassing previous peaks over the past two decades.

Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance

How vulnerable is Wall Street to climate change? The Fed wants to find out. The Federal Reserve is putting the country’s biggest banks to a test.
Jake Bittle – Grist
Regulators have long known that climate change poses a threat to the U.S. financial system. Major disasters like hurricanes and wildfires can wipe out buildings and crops, causing losses for the banks that make loans against these assets. Even efforts to take on climate change could cause problems: A rapid, widespread shift to renewable power could send shock waves through financial markets as stocks and bonds tied to fossil fuel companies fall, hurting the bottom line of banks, insurers, and other institutions tied to them.

Is crypto really riskier than climate change? Plus, investors push for battery metals transparency
Gillian Tett and Kenza Bryan – Financial Times
Greetings from Park City, Utah, where I have just had the privilege of participating in the Sundance Film Festival. This is a place that has launched numerous documentaries that have focused on environmental and social issues, be that Al GoreâEUR™s An Inconvenient Truth (2006), The Cove (2009) or Sea of Shadows (2019). And this yearâEUR™s roster contains more gems: check out To the End and Knock Down The House (which explores activism); the Hindi-language All That Breathes (about the horrors of pollution) and The Territory (about deforestation in Brazil). But amid all this focus on ESG, a lively debate has been bubbling among some of the activists attending the festival around two questions: is the volume of environmentally focused documentaries being made today quietly declining because directors are focusing more on social issues? (It seems the answer is yes.) And are long documentaries, like An Inconvenient Truth, really effective in galvanising the public around green issues today? Are short films on YouTube and TikTok a better way to tell the story?

The global conversation on energy changed at Davos 2023 – here’s why
Radio Davos – World Economic Forum
At the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting that ended days ago there was no bigger issue than the energy crisis – with its links to the challenges of climate change, geopolitics and the cost of living – what has come to be known as the ‘polycrisis’. On this episode, we hear from two people immersed in the discussions at Davos on why the global conversation on energy has changed, with climate change and the energy transition now firmly centre-stage.

Smartphones – and companies – designed for the future: Fairphone’s Bas van Abel
Meet the Leader – World Economic Forum
Meet The Leader / Linda Lacina: What if the next time your smartphone broke, you could fix it yourself? And what if you didn’t feel the need to buy the latest gadget because your current device was easy to update? These were among the questions guiding Bas van Abel in the development of Fairphone, the world’s first smart phone built with circularity and supply chains in mind. Their phones work like any other Android phone, except with a modular design, easy repairs, and the ability to access spare parts. Beyond the devices themselves, the company also focuses on rethinking the entire phone value chain, from materials to working conditions and reuse, helping to change the industry from within.

After Vows Of More Diversity, TV Commercials And Digital Ads Are Getting Whiter, Survey Says; The $330 billion U.S. advertising industry shortchanges Black shoppers and their $1.6 trillion in spending power at its peril.
Jared Council – Forbes
In June 2020, just weeks after a white police officer murdered unarmed George Floyd, AdAge obtained an internal memo from Top Five advertising agency Interpublic Group that showed just 2.6% of its executives were Black while 86% were white. Then-chairman and CEO Michael Roth didn’t need a public shaming to realize the numbers were abysmal. “We can all agree that we MUST do better,” Roth wrote in the memo, according to AdAge. Since then, advertising firms and marketing departments at consumer-products companies have done better at pushing forward on executive representation. The industry, however, is backsliding in a different, essential way. While non-Hispanic white people comprise 59% of the U.S. population, white actors accounted for 72.5% of people who appeared in TV and digital video ads in 2022, according to a study by Extreme Reach, a global marketing logistics company. That marks an increase in white actors from 65.6% in 2021.

Guest post: Can ‘green hydrogen’ grow fast enough for 1.5C?
Adrian Odenwelle, Dr Falko Ueckerdt – Carbon Brief
Hydrogen is expected to become one of the building blocks for reaching global climate goals, yet current production is almost exclusively from high-carbon sources. In a recent study, we looked at how quickly the world would need to scale “green” hydrogen – made by splitting water with low-carbon electricity – in order to help limit warming to 1.5C. (For more on the different ways of making hydrogen, see Carbon Brief’s in-depth Q&A.) The capacity of electrolysers needs to grow 6,000-fold by 2050 in a 1.5C pathway, from today’s levels of 600 megawatts (MW).

Amazon’s least-deforested areas are due to ‘vital role’ of Indigenous peoples
Yanine Quiroz – CarbonBrief
Only 5% of net forest loss in the Brazilian Amazon occurs in Indigenous territories and protected areas – even though these areas contain more than half of the region’s forest. That is a key finding from a recent study, published in Nature Sustainability, which looks at data over the period 2000 to 2021. It analyses satellite images to estimate annual forest area and then overlays that information with national datasets on different governance and management systems. The findings reveal the “vital role” of Indigenous territories and protected areas in forest conservation in the Amazon, the authors write.

Hunt Dismisses UK Tax Cuts and Warns Against Green Subsidies; Chancellor argues leaving EU can be ‘catalyst’ for prosperity; Plans to tackle crisis in economic inactivity, sluggish growth
Philip Aldrick and Anna Edwards – Bloomberg
Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt dismissed calls for tax cuts and pushed back against green energy subsidies, warning that “sound money must come first” as he argued that Brexit will drive UK economic growth. In an interview with Bloomberg TV, Hunt said: “At the moment, we don’t have the headroom for major cuts. Businesses want that, who wouldn’t? But what businesses want even more is stability.”

To Shift Away from Oil and Gas, Developing Countries Need a ‘Just Transition’ to Protect Workers and Communities
Devashree Saha, Ginette Walls, David Waskow and Molly Bergen – World Resources Institute
The phrase “major oil and gas producer” may conjure images of oil and gas wells in Texas or Saudi Arabia. However, about half of the world’s oil and gas is produced by middle-income developing countries, which the World Bank defines as those with annual per capita gross national income between $1,036 and $12,535. These nations are economically dependent on the highly volatile prices of oil and gas but have fewer resources than rich countries to deal with the global transition away from fossil fuels that will help prevent the most dangerous impacts of climate change.

ESG: 10 Environmental Trends to Watch in 2023
Tom Abrams – Factset
Carbon reduction efforts; pressure on fund companies; less reported data, more “sensing data; and corporate restructuring are just a few of the key environmental trends to watch in 2023. Tom Abrams, Associate Director for deep sector content at FactSet, lists the top 10 in detail. Amid the focus on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) frameworks, we continue to watch for new developments and expectations across the investment and regulatory spaces. Significant in 2022 was that the Russia-Ukraine war heightened awareness of energy security, and the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) supported meaningful industry environmental programs. Here are 10 key environmental trends to watch in 2023.

Panasonic Sees Potential for Another EV Battery Plant in US; Talking cells with one of Tesla’s go-to suppliers.
Gabrielle Coppola – Bloomberg
Elon Musk’s response to wavering demand and recession risk is pretty clear: slash prices, keep increasing capacity and try to continue growing even if it means sacrificing profit margin in the short term.

Climate Indexes’ Year in Review: The Journey Toward a Low-Carbon Transition
MSCI Climate Indexes underperformed relative to their parent indexes in developed markets, but they demonstrated greater resilience in emerging markets. An energy sector rally as well as the relative outperformance of companies with low valuations contributed to the underperformance. While the climate indexes underperformed, long-term decarbonization commitments from major energy-consuming nations may support the low-carbon transition going forward.

Poland’s PKN agrees 1 million mt/year US LNG offtake deal with Sempra
Stuart Elliott – S&P Global Commodity Insights
Poland’s PKN Orlen — owner of gas importer PGNiG — has agreed a 1 million mt/year US LNG purchase deal with Sempra Infrastructure for volumes from Phase 1 of the planned Port Arthur export facility in Texas, the companies said Jan. 25. Under the sale and purchase agreement, PKN Orlen agreed to purchase the LNG on a free-on-board basis for 20 years, the companies said, with first cargo deliveries expected in 2027.

Guest post: How the UK’s push to reach net-zero could deliver key health benefits
Dr. James Milner – CarbonBrief
The most recent assessment of climate impacts from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concluded with “very high confidence” that global warming “has adversely affected physical health of people globally”. While action to stem the rise in global temperatures can help avoid these harms, it can also bring wider benefits to health and society in the near term.

Carbon Removal Is Where Green Investment Should Go; Net zero is unreachable without it. And forget about offsets. They’re mostly bunk.
Lara Williams – Bloomberg
Green investment hit a milestone in 2022: The world put as much money into replacing fossil fuels as it put into producing them, with clean energy investments jumping 31% from 2021 to top $1 trillion for the first time. Of course, it’s not job done. Annual investments into decarbonizing the economy must triple for the rest of this decade. One area that’s seen a dramatic expansion in investment lately is carbon capture.

A Copper Mine Could Advance Green Energy but Scar Sacred Land; Tribal groups are fighting an Arizona project whose backers say increasing the supply of copper, crucial to batteries, would reduce fossil-fuel use.
Clifford Krauss – The New York Times
As Wendsler Nosie finished his evening prayers sitting before a mesquite fire, a ceremonial yucca staff festooned with eagle feathers by his side, he gazed sternly toward a distant mesa where mining companies hope to extract more than a billion tons of copper.


Dutch Central Bank Fines Coinbase $3.6M for Non-Compliance
Alys Key – Decrypt
The Dutch central bank has fined the European branch of crypto exchange Coinbase EUR3.3 million ($3.6 million) for failing to meet registration requirements before offering its services in the Netherlands. The regulator said Coinbase had been operating while unregistered between November 15, 2020, and August 24, 2022. Coinbase did eventually obtain the correct registration on September 22, 2022, but in the meantime, the DNB said the firm had enjoyed a competitive advantage by not paying supervisory fees.

Kevin J.P. O’Hara joins Typhon Capital Management as Chief Strategy Officer
Typhon Capital Management
Typhon Capital Management announces today that Kevin J.P. O’Hara has joined the firm as its Chief Strategy Officer after serving 8 years on its Advisory Board. Mr. O’Hara brings to Typhon his broad experience as a senior financial, legal, regulatory, government/international relations, and corporate development executive at Archipelago, NYSE, CBOT, and Gulf Finance House, among others.

Bed Bath & Beyond Says It Received Default Notice From JPMorgan; Retailer failed to make a timely payment to JPMorgan; Company says it lacks cash to make accelerated payments
Amelia Pollard, Jeannette Neumann and Eliza Ronalds-Hannon – Bloomberg
Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. edged closer to a bankruptcy filing on Thursday after the retailer said it had received a default notice from JPMorgan Chase & Co., its loan agent, and warned it didn’t have enough funds to make payments. Creditors are demanding immediate repayment of the company’s debt after it breached the terms of a credit line, according to a regulatory filing Thursday. Bed Bath & Beyond listed around $2.1 billion of obligations it owed as of November. The shares closed down 22%, the biggest drop since Jan. 13.

As Bank Indonesia Governor Race Looms, Current Chief Touts Wins; Warjiyo ends his five-year term as central bank chief in May; Law allows governor to be reappointed to second and last term
Claire Jiao and Grace Sihombing – Bloomberg
Bank Indonesia Governor Perry Warjiyo touted his credentials as a crisis-hardened central banker while the government prepares to select nominees for his successor over the next couple of months. In an interview with Bloomberg Television’s Haslinda Amin on Thursday, Warjiyo, 63, spoke of his mettle navigating challenges since he joined Bank Indonesia nearly four decades ago.

Bank Indonesia Gov. on Bank Mandate, Race for Next Governor
Daybreak Asia – Bloomberg
Bank Indonesia Governor Perry Warjiyo touted his credentials as a crisis-hardened central banker while the government prepares to select nominees for his successor over the next couple of months. In an exclusive interview with Bloomberg Television’s Haslinda Amin on Thursday, Warjiyo, spoke of his mettle navigating challenges since he joined Bank Indonesia nearly four decades ago.

This Fund Made a 32% Return by Embracing the ‘Uncomfortable’; AlphaSimplex’s Kathryn Kaminksi says the key is focusing on what markets are doing-not what they should do.
Michael P. Regan and Vildana Hajric – Bloomberg
The rare bright spots for investing last year were those strategies that follow trends in markets rather than fundamentals. This successful approach included the AlphaSimplex Managed Futures Strategy Fund, which returned more than 32% for the year. Kathryn Kaminski, chief research strategist and portfolio manager at AlphaSimplex Group, joined the What Goes Up podcast to discuss her firm’s strategies, and what she’s expecting in 2023.

Work & Management

ChatGPT Is Not Much of a Pitch Robot; Also Twitter interest, NYSE glitches, DeWi rug pull, Celsius tokens, and people are worried about stock buybacks when everything is securities fraud.
Matt Levine – Bloomberg
The stereotype of ChatGPT, Open AI’s publicly available conversational large language model, is that if you ask it a technical question it will give you an answer that is confident and plausible but not necessarily correct. This is of course an incredibly useful skill, and a very good model of a certain sort of human intelligence; ChatGPT seems dangerous as a software engineer but could have a good run as an investment banker.

BuzzFeed Shares Surge 120% on Plans to Embrace OpenAI; AI-inspired content to become part of core business this year; Move comes amid debate about role of AI in the workplace
Alicia Diaz and Gerry Smith – Bloomberg
BuzzFeed Inc. shares surged by a record on news that the digital-media company plans to use OpenAI to bolster some of its content creation. The stock rose by 120% Thursday, bringing BuzzFeed’s market value to nearly $300 million, in its biggest gain since going public via a blank-check merger in December 2021. The news sparked a trading frenzy with more than 190 million shares changing hands.

Wellness Exchange

We are all playing Covid roulette. Without clean air, the next infection could permanently disable you; As rich people plough money into ventilation to protect themselves, those with long Covid are treated as an embarrassment
George Monbiot – The Guardian (opinion)
You could see Covid-19 as an empathy test. Who was prepared to suffer disruption and inconvenience for the sake of others, and who was not? The answer was often surprising. I can think, for instance, of five prominent environmentalists who denounced lockdowns, vaccines and even masks as intolerable intrusions on our liberties, while proposing no meaningful measures to prevent transmission of the virus. Four of them became active spreaders of disinformation.

How Do Heavy Metals Like Lead Get in Baby Food? The problem begins at the farm where plants draw toxins from the soil. There’s no washing them away.
Christina Jewett – The New York Times
The Food and Drug Administration’s new plan to keep high levels of lead out of baby foods like mashed sweet potatoes, apple sauce and dry cereal is part of a larger effort to eliminate heavy metals from the foods the youngest children eat. The push follows years of studies by public health, consumer and government experts revealing concerning levels of arsenic in rice cereal and other items fed to infants, including big-name brands like Gerber and organic staples like Earth’s Best.

5 Self-Care Habits of Every Successful Entrepreneur; It’s time to take a radical approach toward self-care. Improving your habits can significantly enhance your success.
Ginni Saraswati – Entrepreneur (contributor)
Being an entrepreneur can be exciting, passion-driven, financially advantageous and personally fulfilling. It can also be stressful and emotionally taxing as each day presents many obstacles to navigate. Without a solid health and wellness focus, an entrepreneur’s vision can become skewed, making their goals harder to reach. Entrepreneurs grapple with a heftier load of stress than most people and can quickly get overwhelmed. Whether running a brick-and-mortar store, providing a service to a steady stream of clients, or hosting a popular podcast, prioritizing self-care can be a big part of navigating the entrepreneurial waters to success.


UK Rail Network in Talks With Cellnex to Upgrade Aging Broadband; Network Rail has said it expects to reach a deal by mid-year; Investors will get commercial rights to the telecom network
Thomas Seal – Bloomberg
The company that manages Britain’s railroads is in exclusive talks with a consortium of Spain’s Cellnex Telecom SA and the UK’s Neos Networks Ltd. to upgrade broadband infrastructure along its 16,000 kilometers (10,000 miles) of track, according to two people familiar with the matter. The negotiations are complex and it could still take months before an agreement is signed, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. No final decisions have been made and the deal may still fall apart, they said.

Will Europe’s Sanctions on Russian Diesel Cause a Bang or a Whimper?
The next few days will determine if Europe can avoid running headlong into its next energy crisis with the Feb. 5 ban on Russian diesel, a fuel crucial for road haulage and farming and potentially a key contributor to inflation.

How a $600 Billion Fund Is Building Saudi Arabia’s Post-Oil Future
Matthew Martin – Bloomberg
In a world where deep-pocketed investors are becoming harder to find, Saudi Arabia’s $600 billion sovereign wealth fund is spreading around the oil-rich kingdom’s largesse as never before. The Public Investment Fund has snapped up sports teams and electric carmakers and funded new cities in the desert as it seeks to amass $2 trillion in assets by 2030. Whether all these investments earn a big return is beside the point. The fund’s ultimate goal is to diversify the kingdom’s oil-reliant economy and project Saudi influence around the world.


Sam Bankman-Fried’s new dog is reportedly trained to attack would-be assailants with a secret code word
Sindhu Sundar – Business Insider
The former FTX CEO’s animal companion, named Sandor, pounces in response to a “secret word,” according to Forbes.nThe 75-pound Sandor, whose name evokes the meaning “defender of men,” was a gift from Bankman-Fried’s parents, per a Puck interview. A representative for Bankman-Fried declined to comment on Thursday.

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The Spread


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