Investors find new hedges against a US election sell-off; Covid-19 Making a Dangerous Comeback in Most Parts of U.S.

Oct 6, 2020

First Read

Hits & Takes
JLN Staff

The FIA has written an open letter to the industry urging market participants to prioritize data standardization. Their “Tag 1031” effort aims to resolve brokerage rate issues. Here is more about Tag 1031.

Today JLN has a podcast interview with David Gurle, the founder of Symphony, that was conducted yesterday. Symphony is an important product for the industry, especially during these pandemic times.

Vermiculus, the new endeavor of Nils-Robert Persson, recently celebrated its growth with a picture on LinkedIn showing 13 employees now at the startup.

There are still no trades in the CME Group’s new VOLQ index product.

A new CNN poll says former Vice President Joe Biden is ahead of President Trump by 9 Points in Michigan and 16 points nationally. This poll is an outlier in that it shows the largest lead Biden has had.

New York Magazine has an article titled “GOP Elites Thought They Could Buy Their Way Out of a Pandemic” that features a picture of what appears to be Sen. Kelly Loeffler speaking to President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump in the Diplomatic Room of the White House during the recent gathering for the Supreme Court Nominee Amy Coney Barrett. Loeffler has her back turned to the camera. I hope Sen. Loeffler is well and stays safe.

Bloomberg is reporting that the worst case scenario for the Napa wine country impacted by wildfires will see some 80% of cabernet lost to the fire and smoke.

Fortune has a story that companies with happy employees outperform their peers. If there was ever a reason to create a good and happy work environment, this is it.

We are looking for sponsors for the John Lothian Newsletter Daily Update, a podcast turning the daily JLN hits and takes comments, our original content, and the stories and quips in the top box of First Read into a daily podcast.

You can sponsor either the daily episodes or the weekly recap that bundles all the episodes from the week into one longer podcast. The podcast is getting an average of 690 plays per weekday and the weekly update has averaged 1695 listens each.

Our audience is a perfect match for companies in the market space. Our readership comes from all over the world.

For more information reach out to me at

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


“I am cautiously optimistic about the status of our banks,” said Brian Brooks, acting head of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). In a widely divergent online discussion Monday about the economy and the role of regional, midsize and community banks sponsored by the American Financial Exchange and the University of Chicago Law School, Brooks said deposit data show banks “have a little bit of runway left” in the current recession. That’s thanks in part to the $2 trillion economic relief package known as the CARES Act and the fact that most “banks entered into the recession well-capitalized,” he said. However, Brooks said he expects the reprieve may be short-lived: “a couple of months or until another rescue.” He added that it is important for a variety of reasons to implement the OCC’s Project REACh (Roundtable for Economic Access and Change), which promotes financial inclusion for underserved Americans through better access to credit and capital. He noted that an estimated 45 million Americans don’t have credit scores and therefore can’t get traditional loans. Brooks also said he did not expect the looming conversion of Libor (London Interbank Offered Rate) to other benchmark rates, like SOFR (Secured Interbank Overnight Rate) and Ameribor (Ameribor Unsecured Overnight Rate) would be smooth. Contracts for loans with adjustable rates “never thought Libor would go away. There will be litigation and we’ll need a backstop,” he said. ~SC


Symphony: Timed Perfectly for the Pandemic

John Lothian interviewed David Gurle, the founder of Symphony, about how the company, its customers and prospective customers are responding to the provider of secure collaboration for global markets in light of the pandemic.

In this podcast conducted October 5, 2020, Gurle spoke of the demand for apps on the Symphony platform and the types that are being used. He talked about how his employees are using the Symphony platform like never before and what they miss while doing so.

And lastly, he talked about growth at Symphony and their plans for future acquisitions to help augment it.

Listen to the podcast »



FIA urges market participants to prioritize data standardization;”Tag 1031″ effort to resolve brokerage rate issues is an important example of industry-led solutions
Dear Industry Leaders:
FIA’s core mission is to support open, transparent and competitive derivatives markets, and to protect the integrity of the financial system. This is most obvious in our work with various regulators around the world; however, FIA’s mission increasingly means we are supporting industry-led solutions for our members, too.

*****What if I am an industry follower or groupie? ~JJL


Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation shows “Open for Business – Magnum photographers on commission”; Press tour with Anne-Marie Beckmann on October 22, 2020 at 11 a.m. / Open without prior registration on two “Open Saturdays” on November 7 and December 5, 2020
Deutsche Börse
The Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation is presenting the exhibition “Open for Business – Magnum photographers on commission” in The Cube, Eschborn / Frankfurt from October 23, 2020 to January 22, 2021. It shows commissioned work from six decades by more than 50 photographers from the legendary photo agency Magnum Photos and thus gives an insight into a fascinating and lesser-known part of their portfolio.

******It is nice to see something open for business.~JJL


How podcasting became a new front in the streaming wars; The likes of Spotify see a chance to differentiate in a world where all music services offer access to roughly the same product
Anna Nicolaou and Alex Barker – FT
Former child actor Renay Richardson was ready to quit show business and start a vegan café. Then she fell into podcasting, taking a chance on a job at an unknown start-up Acast in 2014. She was its first employee in London.

*****I’ve always thought there’s something almost democratic about podcasts…it used to take a room full of expensive equipment, a license from the FCC, and a roof-mounted metal tower to allow someone to have their own radio show. Now, anyone with a microphone and a laptop can create one, and since podcasts aren’t broadcast on public bands, they can create an original show about anything. A lot of people with valuable things to say have access to a platform because of this…though the opposite is also true, unfortunately.~MR


Monday’s Top Three
Our top story Monday was The New York Times’s How Kelly Loeffler Went From Atlanta Elite to Trump Loyalist. Second was Bloomberg’s The Race to Replace the City of London Begins. Third was CME Group’s Nasdaq-100 Volatility Index Futures Quotes.


MarketsWiki Stats
189,486,871 pages viewed; 24,442 pages; 226,195 edits
MarketsWiki Statistics


CryptoMarketsWiki Website»
CryptoMarketsWiki, our archive of the cryptocurrency and blockchain world, is going strong and keeping pace as this area of finance grows and evolves.Recently Updated Pages

Recently updated pages include
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

CryptoMarketsWiki Stats

1,462 pages; 12,882 edits
CryptoMarketsWiki Statistics

Lead Stories

Investors find new hedges against a US election sell-off; Fund managers choose other forms of protection as Treasuries ‘parachute’ stops working
Colby Smith and Tommy Stubbington – FT
Investors are facing a conundrum in the run-up to what is expected to be a uniquely turbulent US presidential election: how to insulate their portfolios from a stock market sell-off. Traditional safe assets have recently served investors poorly as an equity hedge, with government bonds barely moving and gold prices falling during September’s stock market wobble.

Covid-19 Making a Dangerous Comeback in Most Parts of U.S.
Jonathan Levin and Kristen V Brown – Bloomberg
Thirty-four states seeing more virus cases than a month ago; Canada troubles, too: Quebec hospitalizations have soared 46%
Covid-19 is spreading again across most of the U.S., hammering rural America and smaller cities and raising anxiety in New York, as experts warn that school reopenings and colder weather may cause the situation to rapidly deteriorate. In 34 states, the seven-day average of new cases is higher now than it was a month ago. Although the virus has waned in populous states including California and Florida, it is wreaking unprecedented havoc in the Midwest and making an incipient return in parts of the Northeast.

City of London’s Brexit Departures Are Speeding Up; Whether there’s a Brexit trade deal or not, the big investment banks are shifting significant resources to the EU.
Elisa Martinuzzi – Bloomberg
Since Britain voted in 2016 to quit the European Union, there has been a fierce debate about the harm this will do to the City of London. Pessimists warned that losing unfettered access to the single market would force banks to move trillions of dollars in assets out of the world’s leading financial hub. Hundreds of thousands of jobs would go, the Cassandras said. The reality has been more difficult to discern. The finance industry’s move to the continent has been piecemeal, and Brexit preparations have been complicated by the onslaught of the pandemic. Indeed, the management of the virus and the demands of home-working during lockdown mean some firms have had to slow their Brexit planning.

New Anti-Money-Laundering Tool Could Overcome Privacy Concerns
Ott Ummelas – Bloomberg
Lenders in a country at the center of one of Europe’s largest dirty-cash scandals are testing a new anti-money-laundering system that doesn’t interfere with banking privacy. Local units of Swedbank AB and SEB AB, as well as their smaller rivals Luminor Bank AS and LHV Pank AS, will join a six-month pilot project by technology startup Salv to create a secure data-exchange tool with financial watchdogs in Estonia.

FCA bans the sale of crypto-derivatives to retail consumers
The FCA has published final rules banning the sale of derivatives and exchange traded notes (ETNs) that reference certain types of cryptoassets to retail consumers.

LCH to provide clearing of Euronext stocks traded at Cboe Europe; Traders can now choose LCH EquityClear as their preferred CCP for Euronext stocks traded on Cboe Europe’s UK order books.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Central clearing counterparty (CCP) LCH SA will provide clearing services for Euronext stocks that are traded via Cboe Europe’s UK order books via a ‘preferred CCP’ model.

LCH SA connects to Cboe Europe for equities clearing
LCH SA offers clearing of all Euronext stocks traded on Cboe Europe’s UK order books; Clearing available via the “Preferred CCP” model; Market participants benefit from the efficiencies of consolidating activity at one CCP
LCH SA, a leading global clearing house, today announced that its EquityClear service is providing clearing services for Cboe Europe, one of the largest pan-European equities exchanges by value-traded. Under the ‘Preferred CCP’ model, market participants trading Euronext securities via Cboe Europe’s UK order books, BXE and CXE, are now able to select LCH SA as their clearing house.

ICE rolls out beta version of GBP swap rate for SONIA swaps; ICE has started publishing the beta version of the ICE Swap Rate for swaps referencing SONIA for market participants to test and submit feedback.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
US derivatives exchange ICE has launched a beta version of its GBP ICE Swap Rate for SONIA swaps through its ICE Benchmark Administration (IBA) business. ICE said that IBA has started publishing the beta version of the ICE Swap Rate for SONIA swaps following market feedback and consultation papers.

When China Opens Markets and Customers Don’t Arrive; Overseas investors have been lukewarm buyers of Chinese stocks this year, and are picky with their purchases of bonds, even as Beijing has opened access in unprecedented ways
Mike Bird – WSJ
For years, the idea of insatiable, pent-up foreign appetite for Chinese assets was taken as a given—as was the idea that further opening Chinese markets would lead to a flood of ravenous investors. But it’s increasingly unclear that the would-be patrons are that hungry at all—outside of the very safest Chinese assets issued by the central government.

London explores hopping on Spacs bandwagon; Blank-cheque companies are booming in the US, but the UK is being left behind
Camilla Hodgson – FT
The London Stock Exchange is exploring how to entice “blank cheque companies” to the UK while the US market booms. So far this year, $48bn has been raised by US special purpose acquisition companies, or Spacs, which list on a stock exchange, raise money for an acquisition, then look for a private company to buy and bring on to the stock market. For the US, that is more than three times last year’s haul. In the UK, the 2020 running total for Spac launches is zero.

Software entrepreneur McAfee arrested on tax evasion charges; Founder of antivirus company allegedly hid income from touting cryptocurrencies
Kadhim Shubber – FT
John McAfee, the controversial software entrepreneur, has been arrested in Spain on US charges that he evaded taxes on millions of dollars he earned from activities such as touting cryptocurrencies.

Deutsche Bank CEO Focused on Strategy But Won’t Rule Out M&A
Steven Arons and Matthew Miller – Bloomberg
Says main part of restructuring will be done by end of year; Sewing reiterates he doesn’t want to be ‘junior partner’
Deutsche Bank AG Chief Executive Officer Christian Sewing didn’t rule out considering a takeover as early as next year if the lender’s share price recovers, while saying the priority remains implementing his turnaround plan. Speaking in an interview with Bloomberg TV, Sewing said he was “laser-focused” on executing on his four-year strategy, which runs through 2022. But pushed on whether that means no deal before then, the CEO said the key phase of the bank’s transformation will actually be completed within the next three months.

CDC Says Virus Can Spread Indoors in Air Beyond Six Feet
John Tozzi – Bloomberg
Change follows CDC’s earlier reversal on revised guidelines; Evidence of limited airborne spread has mounted for months
The novel coronavirus can spread through the air to people who are more than 6 feet away from an infectious person, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Monday, in guidance that could raise new challenges for safely re-opening businesses and schools.

Big Oil vs Big Lizard: the fight a Biden presidency could ignite; US officials will soon decide whether to protect a lizard that shares its habitat with oil majors
Derek Brower, Gregory Meyer and Myles McCormick – FT
One thing to start: digitalisation and technology advances mean many of the oil jobs lost during this downturn in the US are not coming back, a new Deloitte study shows.

All stocks could become tokenized, says SEC chairman Clayton
Yogita Khatri – The Block
Jay Clayton, chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), appears to believe in blockchain technology’s power and thinks that all stocks could become tokenized one day.


What It’s Like Living in 9 Parts of N.Y.C. Facing a New Lockdown; Residents in parts of Brooklyn and Queens were concerned over the threat of the virus and the effect a shutdown would have on schools and businesses.
Michael Gold – NY Times
For as long as the coronavirus pandemic has stalked New York City, Tatsiana Vazgryna has been looking for work near her home in southern Brooklyn.

Coronavirus Pandemic Hastens the Demise of at-Risk Municipal Money Funds; Vanguard, Federated Hermes and Bank of New York Mellon’s Dreyfus shutter state-focused funds
Dawn Lim and Heather Gillers – WSJ
The pandemic is putting a nail in the coffin of the most vulnerable municipal money funds, taking away tax-free investment options from some mom-and-pop investors. In September, Vanguard Group told investors it would shutter New Jersey and Pennsylvania-focused funds. Bank of New York Mellon’s Dreyfus liquidated one state-specific fund last month and in August, Federated Hermes said it would wind four down in February.

The Covid Economy Carves Deep Divide Between Haves and Have-Nots; Comeback since start of pandemic is kind to those who can work from home, to firms serving them and to regions hospitable to them. Many others are left behind.
Eric Morath, Theo Francis and Justin Baer – WSJ
A two-track recovery is emerging from the country’s pandemic-driven economic contraction. Some workers, companies and regions show signs of coming out fine or even stronger. The rest are mired in a deep decline with an uncertain path ahead.

Hedge funds seek out emerging markets as Covid-19 continues to wreak havoc; Trading opportunities seen in debt restructurings and low valuations
Laurence Fletcher – FT
As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to strike countries around the world, hedge funds are preparing for a host of debt restructurings in emerging economies.

EU Drug Regulator Starts Review of Pfizer-BioNTech Covid Vaccine
Naomi Kresge – Bloomberg
Sign up here for our daily coronavirus newsletter on what you need to know, and subscribe to our Covid-19 podcast for the latest news and analysis. Europe’s drugs regulator started reviewing data on an experimental Covid-19 vaccine from Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE, potentially speeding the shot’s assessment and reducing its time to market.

Without a Will, Covid Victims’ Families Face Legal Nightmares; Only about a third of Americans have any form of estate planning, forcing those left behind to navigate a daunting bureaucratic process.
Donald Moore – Bloomberg
Covid-19 robbed Sheryl Pabatao of both of her parents within four days of each other. Now, as she deals with the grief and shock of their untimely deaths — both were only in their 60s — she must also face the ordeal of managing their affairs in the absence of a will.

German Cases Climb; Italy Set for Stricter Rules: Virus Update
Bloomberg News
Germany’s new coronavirus cases jumped the most since mid-April, highlighting Europe’s struggles to keep the pandemic in check. Italy’s government is set to order stricter measures, including a decree that masks be worn outdoors.

Trump Invokes His Own Bout With Covid as Voters’ Doubts Grow
Justin Sink – Bloomberg
Most Americans believe president has treated virus cavalierly; ‘Don’t let it dominate you,’ president says in Twitter video
President Donald Trump and his allies looked to capitalize on his discharge from the hospital on Monday, painting his return to the White House as a triumphant metaphor for his strength and vigor a month before Election Day.

Italy Set to Tighten Measures to Counter Pandemic Resurgence
John Follain – Bloomberg
Health minister Roberto Speranza speaks in parliament; New rules likely to include wearing protective masks outdoors
Italy’s government is set to reinforce measures to curb the coronavirus pandemic, including decreeing that protective masks must be worn outdoors across the country, Health Minister Roberto Speranza said.

CDC reverses again, now says Covid-19 is ‘sometimes’ airborne; The agency once again says that the coronavirus can be airborne, but that it is not the main method of transmission.
Erika Edwards – NBC News
For the third time in less than a month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has altered its guidance on how Covid-19 spreads. The agency said Monday that airborne transmission is possible, but that it’s not the most common way the virus travels from person to person — a position that was published and then removed from its website in September.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

Intercontinental Exchange Reports September and Third Quarter Statistics; Energy Open Interest +10% y/y
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc.
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE: ICE), a leading operator of global exchanges and clearing houses and provider of mortgage technology, data and listings services, today reported September and third quarter 2020 trading volume and related revenue statistics, which can be viewed on the company’s investor relations website at in the Monthly Statistics Tracking spreadsheet.

Soybean Futures Reach Open Interest Record of 1 Million Contracts
CME Group
CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, today announced that open interest in Soybean Futures reached a record of 1,005,393 contracts on October 2, 2020, up from the previous open interest record of 994,165 set on September 30, 2020.

COMEX & NYMEX Metal Delivery Invoice CSV Reports – Effective October 05, 2020
CME Group
Please be advised, csv versions of the COMEX and NYMEX metal delivery invoice reports are now available from the New Release environment for download and review in EREP. Reports from the Production environment will be available beginning with assignment activity for Monday, October 12.

Euronext announces volumes for September 2020
Euronext, the leading pan-European market infrastructure, today announced trading volumes for September 2020.

Deutsche Boerse/Dax: wider, deeper, stricter;Revamp of rules and possible enlargement of German exchange is necessary and welcome
Exclusive clubs often have permissive rules. The collapse of Wirecard, a fintech giant riddled with fraud, showed up the quirks of those governing the Dax, the index representing the corporate elite of Germany. A revamp of the rule book — and a possible enlargement — proposed by exchange operator Deutsche Boerse is necessary and welcome.

Further Update: NYSE Extends the Waiver of Certain Shareholder Approval Requirements Through the End of 2020 Due to Ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic
Alexandra Clark Layfield, Thomas D. Kimball of Jones Walker LLP via The National Law Review
On September 28, 2020, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved the New York Stock Exchange’s (NYSE) request to further extend the waiver of shareholder approval requirements for certain security issuances through December 31, 2020. The NYSE’s stated purpose for the temporary waiver was to provide relief for NYSE-listed companies with urgent liquidity needs due to, for example, lost revenues and maturing debt obligations during the COVID-19 pandemic, enabling NYSE-listed companies to access additional capital that might not be available in the public equity or credit markets.

EEX Group Monthly Report – September 2020

FTSE Russell Index Selected By Blackrock For First Climate Risk-Adjusted Government Bond ETF http://
FTSE Russell’s ‘Advanced Climate EGBI’ selected as benchmark for the first climate risk-adjusted government bond ETF in the market

Cboe Global Markets Reports September 2020 Trading Volume
Options ADV up 6 percent, Futures up 11 percent, U.S. Equities up 12 percent, European Equities up 19 percent and Global FX up 11 percent from previous month; Total options volume up 34 percent year over year; ADV in SPX options, VIX futures and VIX options up 20 percent, 22 percent and 5 percent, respectively; Total U.S. equities volume up 34 percent year-over-year
Cboe Global Markets, Inc. (Cboe: CBOE), a market operator and global trading solutions provider, today reported September monthly trading volume.

BOX Exchange HSVF Multicast Source Address Changes
On Friday, October 9, 2020 at 6:00PM EST, BOX Exchange LLC (“BOX”) will begin offering new host routes for the High Speed Vendor Feed (“HSVF”). The new host routes will allow Participants to distribute HSVF Multicast source addresses over multiple cross connects.


Citi invests in low-code application platform Genesis; Citi has made an investment in Genesis via its Markets FinTech Investments and SPRINT groups.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
US investment bank Citi has made an investment in London-based capital markets software provider Genesis Global Technology and will deploy its low-cost application platform (LCAP) for innovation projects.

Embedded finance might represent fintech’s future
Romain Dillet – TechCrunch
The fintech industry is on a tear. Popular consumer services like Robinhood to Coinbase and Revolut have managed to attract millions of customers, but the most interesting trend right now is embedded finance.
Tech companies that don’t necessarily provide financial services can embed services from fintech companies directly in their products. At the same time, fintech companies can find a new distribution channel by providing financial products outside of their main product. They don’t necessarily need a consumer product anymore.

COVID-19 hastens fintech adoption while industry seeks guidance
Keith Lewis – Roll Call
Unique circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic forced more Americans to get comfortable with financial technology, while leaving the industry wondering whether regulators will devise a reliable legal framework to support it.
Plaid Inc., which offers products to power fintech apps, commissioned a survey by The Harris Poll that released findings on Sept. 15 showing that a large majority of Americans relied more than ever on digital applications to manage their money after the coronavirus outbreak — and they’re not going back.

Global Fintech App Usage Grew Significantly in H1 2020, Accelerated by COVID-19
PR Newswire (press release)
Adjust, the global app marketing platform, and app intelligence provider Apptopia, released today The Mobile Finance Report 2020 — a global benchmark of banking, payment and investment apps — showing COVID-19 has considerably accelerated the already exponential growth of fintech apps in 2020. Comparing the first half of 2019 with the first half of 2020, data from Adjust and Apptopia data from a cross-section of countries around the world suggest that:
Activity in investment apps — which allow users to trade stocks directly from their phone, is booming — with an 88% growth in average sessions per day from January to June 2020. Apps offered by trading platforms such as Acorns, Gatsby and Stash are democratizing investing by making it easier and more accessible. Globally, investment apps are the second-fastest growing vertical tracked by Adjust in 2020, beating out other hot verticals such as casual and hyper-casual games.


John McAfee, Software Pioneer Who Fled the Law, Is Arrested in Spain; The U.S. authorities accused the former antivirus impresario of evading taxes and said his extradition to American soil was pending.
Mike Ives – NY Times
John David McAfee, an antivirus software pioneer who fled Belize in 2012 ahead of a murder investigation there, has been arrested in Spain on tax evasion charges, the U.S. Justice Department said on Monday. Mr. McAfee, 75, is a Silicon Valley legend who earned millions from the computer virus-fighting software company that still bears his surname. In 2012, he disappeared from his home in Belize after the local police sought him for questioning over the death of his neighbor.

This Regulator Wants to Help Banks Embrace Cryptocurrency; The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency hopes more guidance from the regulator would help ease banks’ concerns about the new financial technology
Mengqi Sun – WSJ
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is hoping more regulatory guidance will help traditional banks warm up to cryptocurrency. The Treasury Department unit, which supervises national banks and federal savings associations, has issued interpretive letters in recent months to spell out its view of how traditional financial institutions can do business involving digital currencies.

UK regulator bans sale of crypto derivatives to retail users
Yogita Khatri – The Block
The U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has today officially banned the sale of cryptocurrency derivatives and exchange-traded notes to retail users, more than a year after first proposing such a ban.

Ripple Has Mixed Success in Motion to Dismiss Lawsuit Alleging Securities Fraud
Sebastian Sinclair – Coindesk
Blockchain payments firm Ripple has been only partially successful in its bid to have a class-action lawsuit over alleged securities fraud thrown out.
In a court ruling filed last Friday, Judge Phyllis J. Hamilton of the U.S. District Court of Northern California granted with prejudice two parts of Ripple’s motion to dismiss the 10 claims against it and its CEO, Brad Garlinghouse.

Binance Alliance With Japanese Crypto Platform Abandoned
Sandali Handagama – Coindesk
Global virtual asset exchange Binance and Japanese crypto trading platform TaoTao did not reach an agreement on a strategic alliance to launch a joint venture in Japan. TaoTao announced Monday that negotiations between the two parties to create a crypto trading platform dedicated to Japanese users have ended without agreement and the alliance was abandoned, CoinDesk Japan reported.

Bitcoin’s Options Market Retains Long-Term Bull Bias Despite Sluggish Price
Omkar Godbole – Coindesk
Longer-term sentiment in bitcoin’s (BTC) options market remains bullish even as the cryptocurrency struggles to claw its way back to $11,000. Bitcoin’s six-month put-call skew, which measures the cost of put options (bearish bets) expiring in six months relative to calls (bullish bets), is currently seen at close to -11%, according to data source Skew. In other words, demand for call options expiring in six months is outstripping demand for puts. The three-month skew is also leaning bullish at -5%.

Banks are permitted to hold crypto assets. Will they?
Miriam Cross – American Banker
Banks regulated by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency were given the go-ahead by regulators in July to hold customers’ digital assets. But so far, no OCC-regulated banks have done so. What’s holding them back? One factor seems to be lack of clarity around exactly what banks are allowed to do and the risks therein. The concept of custody isn’t so complicated when it comes to cash held at a bank. Account deposits are assets that are owned and controlled by the bank, while items in a safety deposit box more directly belong to the customer.

The public token sale for Flow, from Dapper Labs, is already CoinList’s most popular ever
Saniya More – The Block
More than 12,500 users participated in the first phase of a public token sale on CoinList for Flow, a new blockchain platform developed by Dapper Labs, the creator of CryptoKitties. That makes it CoinList’s largest-ever public token sale. The Flow sale has two phases: a “community sale” followed by a Dutch auction. According to CoinList’s CEO Graham Jenkin, Flow’s community sale — in which participants were allowed to purchase up to 10,000 Flow tokens at $0.10 per token — drew purchasers from 115 countries. Residents from China, the U.S., and Canada were not allowed to participate — although according to independent reporter Colin Wu, at least some Chinese users participated anyway.

China’s digital currency has already been used in pilot transactions worth $162 million
Yogita Khatri – The Block
The People’s Bank of China (PBOC), the country’s central bank, has already processed 1.1 billion yuan (~$162 million) worth of digital currency in pilot transactions. The new detail was revealed by PBOC’s deputy governor Fan Yi Fei at the SWIFT-organized virtual conference Sibos 2020, as reported by the South China Morning Post on Monday. Fan said 3.13 million transactions have already been processed using the digital currency as of late August.

Estonia’s central bank launches digital currency research project
Yogita Khatri – The Block
Eesti Pank, Estonia’s central bank, has launched a “multi-year” research project into digital currency. The project aims to determine whether the KSI Blockchain, already deployed in the Estonian government’s e-initiatives, is suitable for launching a central bank digital currency (CBDC) to work alongside cash. Guardtime, one of the developers of KSI Blockchain, and the SW7 Group, a London-based tech startup, both would work with the central bank on the research project. “Guardtime is the Estonian government’s long-term blockchain partner and is a global leader in its field,” said Rainer Olt, head of the payment and settlement systems department of Eesti Pank.

Singapore banks to develop digital trade registry for better transparency; To be powered by blockchain technology, the digital registry aims to be a central database for banks to access records of trade transactions and reduce risks of duplicate financing.
Eileen Yu – ZDNet
Banks in Singapore are teaming up to develop a digital trade finance registry that will serve as a central database from which they can access records of trade transactions. To be built on blockchain technology, the platform aims to drive greater transparency and reduce the risk of trade fraud, including duplicate financing.


The One Name the W.N.B.A. Won’t Say; Players have united to depose a sitting senator in Georgia, who has clashed with the Black Lives Matter movement and is an owner of the Atlanta Dream.
Kurt Streeter – NY Times
They will not say her name. Not now, after what these players have been through. It is important not to give her recognition. Think of it as protest jujitsu. The W.N.B.A. finals have begun. On Sunday, the Seattle Storm defeated the Las Vegas Aces, 104-91, to take a two-games-to-none lead in their best-of-five series. Game 3 is Tuesday night.

A White House Infected With Propaganda; Trump risks lives to sustain his coronavirus lies.
Michelle Goldberg – NY Times
There is a line from Hannah Arendt’s 1951 book “The Origins of Totalitarianism” that I’ve thought about constantly during the last four years. “Totalitarianism will not be satisfied to assert, in the face of contrary facts, that unemployment does not exist; it will abolish unemployment benefits as part of its propaganda,” Arendt wrote.

For the Secret Service, a New Question: Who Will Protect Them From Trump? Central to the job is a willingness to say yes to the president no matter what he asks. Now, that means subjecting an agent’s health to the whims of a contagious president.
Zolan Kanno-Youngs and Michael S. Schmidt – NY Times
For more than a century, Secret Service agents have lived by a straightforward ethos: They will take the president where he wants to go, even if it means putting their bodies in front of a bullet. But that guiding principle has been tested in recent days by President Trump’s desire to get back to work, play or campaigning, despite an active coronavirus infection that could pose a serious threat to those around him.

Liberal democracies have a creeping loyalty problem; We are seeing the normalisation of a politics indifferent to the success or failure of policy implementation
William Davies – FT
The writer is author of ‘This Is Not Normal: The Collapse of Liberal Britain’ What happens when an organisation or service stops working as well as it should? We are all confronted with this question periodically, as consumers, public service users, clients and voters. But the feeling of powerlessness in the face of service failure grows all the more acute as the consequences of that failure grow more severe. In cases such as the UK’s inadequate coronavirus testing regime, government incompetence has become a matter of the utmost urgency.

Boris Johnson downplays claims his Covid illness left him unfit to be PM; UK prime minister tells Conservative party conference it was ‘nonsense’ to suggest he had lost his ‘mojo’
George Parker – FT
Boris Johnson has attempted to downplay claims that his bout of Covid-19 has left him unfit to be prime minister, saying it was “seditious propaganda”. Speaking to the “virtual” Conservative party conference, Mr Johnson said it was “a lot of nonsense” to suggest he had lost his “mojo”.

Biden Is Ahead of Trump by 9 Points in Michigan: Campaign Update
Ryan Teague Beckwith – Bloomberg
Check here for live updates from the 2020 campaign trail; New CNN poll shows Biden with a 16-point lead nationally
Democratic nominee Joe Biden is up 9 percentage points in Michigan. He’s ahead by 16 points nationally in a new poll. And he called the first debate a “clownish undertaking.” There are 28 days until the election and 69 days until the Electoral College meets.

Jewish Lawmakers Face ‘Alarming’ Anti-Semitic Tweets, Report Says; The Anti-Defamation League says Jewish members of Congress are facing anti-Semitic vitriol on Twitter
Rachael Levy – WSJ
Jewish members of Congress are facing anti-Semitic attacks on Twitter in the lead-up to the November election, according to a new report from the Anti-Defamation League. “The findings of this report, while limited, are alarming and, unfortunately, not surprising,” said the ADL, which reviewed 5,954 tweets directed at 30 Jewish members of Congress who are up for re-election in November. The ADL, in its first-ever report on Twitter content, said it analyzed tweets over a one-month period in July and August.

How Washington’s embrace of the stock market is fueling an unequal recovery; The reality is that the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans own 50 percent of the value of stocks held by individual households.
Kellie Mejdrich, Victoria Guida – Politico
President Donald Trump regularly promotes the soaring stock market as a barometer of the economy’s health, tweeting again on Monday that it’s a key reason he should be reelected. But investors aren’t sharing the wealth.

‘The Coal Industry Is Back,’ Trump Proclaimed. It Wasn’t; The demise of coal-fired power plants in Arizona and Kentucky shows how the president, despite promises to restore jobs, failed to counter the forces decimating the industry.
Eric Lipton – NY Times
For decades, waves of electricity poured from this behemoth of a power plant on the high desert plateau of the Navajo reservation in northern Arizona, lighting up hundreds of thousands of homes from Phoenix to Las Vegas as it burned 240 rail cars’ worth of coal a day.

White House Blocks New Coronavirus Vaccine Guidelines; The F.D.A. proposed stricter guidelines for emergency approval of a coronavirus vaccine, but the White House chief of staff objected to provisions that would push approval past Election Day.
Sharon LaFraniere and Noah Weiland – NY Times
Top White House officials are blocking strict new federal guidelines for the emergency release of a coronavirus vaccine, objecting to a provision that would almost certainly guarantee that no vaccine could be authorized before the election on Nov. 3, according to people familiar with the approval process.


Weekly OTC Transparency Data Publication Delay
FINRA experienced an issue this morning with the processing of Weekly OTC Transparency Data, thereby causing a publication delay for the week of September 14th, 2020 (Tier 1) on the OTC Transparency Data website. The issue has now been resolved and all data has been published on the website.

Proposed Amendments to FINRA Rule 2165 and Retrospective Rule Review Report; Comment Period Expires: December 4, 2020
The protection of senior investors is a top priority for FINRA. In August 2019, FINRA launched a retrospective review to assess the effectiveness and efficiency of its rules and administrative processes that help protect senior investors from financial exploitation. The review indicated that FINRA’s steps to protect seniors have provided helpful and effective tools in the fight against financial exploitation, but it also suggested some additional tools, guidance and rule changes.

FINRA and the FINRA Investor Education Foundation Promote World Investor Week 2020
FINRA and the FINRA Investor Education Foundation (FINRA Foundation) join securities regulators and investor advocates around the globe to raise awareness about the importance of investor education and protection in recognition of World Investor Week 2020, a global weeklong campaign held Oct. 5-11, which will be celebrated throughout the entire month of October due to the ongoing pandemic.

Tips for World Investor Week 2020
The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the National Futures Association (NFA), and the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) are issuing this Investor Bulletin to highlight key messages from World Investor Week 2020, a global campaign to raise awareness about the importance of investor education and protection. From October 5-11, 2020, investors, investment professionals, teachers, parents, researchers, and others are encouraged to make a special effort to promote investor education. Here are a few key messages for Main Street investors.

SEC Charges John McAfee With Fraudulently Touting ICOs
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged businessman and computer programmer John McAfee for promoting investments in initial coin offerings (ICOs) to his Twitter followers without disclosing that he was paid to do so. McAfee’s bodyguard, Jimmy Watson, Jr., was also charged for his role in the alleged scheme.

IRS Investigating NRA’s Wayne LaPierre for Possible Tax Fraud; New York attorney general previously sued gun-rights organization over alleged expense abuses
Mark Maremont and Aruna Viswanatha – WSJ
The Internal Revenue Service is investigating longtime National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre for possible criminal tax fraud related to his personal taxes, according to people familiar with the matter. Mr. LaPierre was paid $2.2 million by the NRA in 2018, the most recent year available, the nonprofit group’s public filings show. His total reported pay from 2014 to 2018 was $11.2 million.

SEC Staff Releases Report on U.S. Credit Market Interconnectedness and the Effects of the COVID-19 Economic Shock; Announces October 14 Staff Roundtable to Discuss Issues Raised in Report
The Securities and Exchange Commission today published a staff report titled U.S. Credit Markets: Interconnectedness and the Effects of the COVID-19 Economic Shock, which focuses on the origination, distribution and secondary market flow of credit across U.S. credit markets. The staff report also addresses how the related interconnections in our credit markets operated as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic took hold. In addition, staff will host a Roundtable on Interconnectedness and Risk in U.S. Credit Markets to discuss the issues raised in the report on the afternoon of Oct.14.

SEC’s Messages for World Investor Week 2020
As World Investor Week (WIW) 2020 kicks off, the Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that staff will engage with Main Street investors to emphasize the importance of two particularly relevant investing topics-planning for life’s unexpected challenges and investing for the long term in times of uncertainty and market volatility

Cybersecurity Pioneer McAfee Arrested for U.S. Tax Evasion
Chris Dolmetsch – Bloomberg
McAfee is awaiting extradition in Spain, the U.S. says; McAfee was sued by U.S. securities regulators earlier Monday
Elusive cybersecurity pioneer John McAfee was arrested in Spain for tax evasion in the U.S., the Justice Department in Washington said. McAfee is accused of failing to file U.S. tax returns from 2014 to 2018 and hiding assets including real estate, a vehicle and a yacht in the name of others, prosecutors said. An indictment returned in June was unsealed on Tuesday after he was taken into custody. He’s being held pending extradition, the Justice Department said.

Final Vote On EU Rules For Crowdfunding Platforms
On Monday evening, the plenary approved the deal struck with the Council last December on common rules to boost EU crowdfunding platforms and protect investors.

Collaboration and Standardization Opportunities in Derivatives and SFT Markets
Financial market participants around the world share a common goal and a common challenge: to increase margins and profitability by more efficiently deploying capital and other resources while maintaining strong balance sheets.

New Zealand Financial Markets Authority: World Investor Week Focus On Beginners After Steep Rise In Direct Investment
The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) is using World Investor Week this year to remind thousands of new Kiwi investors to do their homework and understand the risks of investing in financial markets.

Investing and Trading

The total addressable market craze is detached from reality
Jamie Powell – FT
When market historians look back at 2020, the Spac craze, the March sell-off and negative oil will undoubtedly take centre stage (apart from that other thing, that is). Yet this year has also been marked by another unavoidable trend: the rise of the TAM, or total addressable market, investment thesis.

ExxonMobil to axe 1,600 jobs in Europe; Hard-hit US oil major steps up efforts to cut costs in face of pandemic
Myles McCormick – FT
ExxonMobil will cut up to 1,600 jobs in Europe as the oil major continues to struggle with the destruction to demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

How can I get started as an investor?
Claer Barrett – FT
The pandemic has forced everyone to reexamine their finances, whether it’s dealing with a pay cut, how to best use cash from staying home, managing the ups and downs of investment markets or using this time to make a career change. Whatever the question, Financial Times consumer editor Claer Barrett knows where to find the right tips for your money. Every week, Claer talks to a listener about their money queries and consults her rolodex of financial advisors, planners and writers for no-nonsense and informed guidance that will help all of us feel more confident making our money work. Produced by Josh de la Mare. The sound engineer is Breen Turner and the editor is Aimee Keane. Music by Metaphor Music.

ECB’s Lagarde Voices Cliff-Edge Fear as Virus Curbs Hit Recovery
Carolynn Look and Piotr Skolimowski – Bloomberg
Central bank president comments in pre-taped WSJ interview; Spain’s De Cos echoes warning not to end fiscal aid too soon
European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde warned that coronavirus containment measures pose a clear risk to the region’s economic recovery, as she urged governments not to end fiscal support too soon.

Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance

Investors hit out at Samsung over $14bn in coal financing; Fossil fuel funding by insurance units undermines South Korean group’s green credentials
Edward White – FT
South Korea’s Samsung has been criticised by investors and environmentalists after research suggested its insurance units financed $14bn of fossil fuel projects and investments over the past 10 years.

Fossil fuel suppliers face battle for survival as transition builds; Oil majors must decide whether they can remain ‘last man standing’ or pivot towards clean energy
Derek Brower – FT
As the global economy reeled this year from the impact of the coronavirus, the fallout on the energy sector was devastating. But the disruption was not uniform. Demand for oil and gas plummeted causing the prices for the two fossil fuels to plunge — in April the cost of crude even dropped below zero. Renewables were the exception, increasing their share of global electricity demand even as consumers used less power.


Former Bridgewater Co-CEO Eileen Murray Settles Pay Dispute With Hedge Fund; Her suit alleged the fund was withholding as much as $100 million in deferred compensation
Juliet Chung – WSJ
Former Bridgewater Associates co-Chief Executive Eileen Murray has settled her pay dispute with the world’s largest hedge fund, she said Monday. Ms. Murray had filed suit against Bridgewater in July, alleging it was withholding up to $100 million in deferred compensation because she disclosed to a third party that she had a gender-discrimination dispute with the hedge fund. The suit described Ms. Murray as having claims against Bridgewater “based on gender discrimination, unequal pay, and breach of contract.”

What is the ETF creation-redemption mechanism? Authorised participants ultimately control how many shares of an ETF are available
Emma Boyde – FT
An exchange traded fund provider relies on other entities called authorised participants, which are usually investment banks, to create and redeem the ETF shares that are available in what is known as the secondary market for ordinary investors to buy and sell.

BlackRock ETF thrusts climate change into political sphere; Coal-reliant Germany falls foul of first environmentally-weighted sovereign bond fund
Steve Johnson – FT
BlackRock has launched a sovereign bond ETF designed to weight countries on their level of risk from climate change, thrusting the debate over sustainable investment into the political sphere. Government debt from Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium and Ireland will be underweighted in the new ETF because of their higher greenhouse gas emissions or greater exposure to climate change risks.

BGC Partners’ Third Quarter 2020 Financial Results Announcement To Be Issued Prior To Market Open On Wednesday, October 28, 2020
BGC Partners’
BGC Partners, Inc. (NASDAQ: BGCP) (“BGC”), a leading global brokerage and financial technology company, today announced the details regarding its third quarter 2020 financial results conference call. This call will take place on Wednesday, October 28, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. ET.


Iran’s stock-buying frenzy gives way to market fall; Benchmark Tedpix index down more than a quarter since record peak in August
Najmeh Bozorgmehr and Laurence Fletcher – FT
Iranian stocks have plunged more than a quarter since their August peak, threatening losses for retail investors who had flocked to the market. Tehran Stock Exchange’s benchmark Tedpix index topped 2m points for the first time earlier this year after share sales in state-owned companies helped to encourage a new generation of Iranians to buy stocks. But the index has since slumped about 28 per cent, trading below 1.5m points on Monday, in what analysts say is one of the most dramatic swings on record.

Suicides rise after virus puts squeeze on India’s middle class; Job losses, fear and the burden of supporting families are exacting a heavy toll
Stephanie Findlay – FT
Manu and Jeena started working at one of India’s top IT companies on the same day two years ago, brimming with enthusiasm as they embarked on their careers. But as the months went by, Manu watched Jeena, a kind woman in her mid-20s with striking almond-shaped eyes, growing increasingly stressed at work.


Brussels reaffirms post-Brexit stance on airline ownership rules; BA parent IAG says it has agreed contingency plans with national regulators on non-EU shareholdings
Jim Brunsden and Mehreen Khan and Philip Georgiadis – FT
Europe’s transport chief has warned airlines that they must face up to their obligations to overhaul share-ownership structures in order to continue qualifying for single-market flying rights after Brexit.

EU says that no-deal Brexit becoming ever more likely
Raf Casert – Associated Press
A top European Union official dealing with the United Kingdom said Tuesday that a cliff-edge rupture between the two without even a basic trade deal by the end of the year is becoming more likely by the day. European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic told the European Parliament that “time is short” to reach a deal before a Brexit divorce transition period ends by year’s end, effectively giving negotiators less than four weeks to broker a deal which must subsequently go through a lengthy approval process.

City of London’s Brexit Departures Are Speeding Up
Elisa Martinuzzi – Bloomberg
Since Britain voted in 2016 to quit the European Union, there has been a fierce debate about the harm this will do to the City of London. Pessimists warned that losing unfettered access to the single market would force banks to move trillions of dollars in assets out of the world’s leading financial hub. Hundreds of thousands of jobs would go, the Cassandras said. The reality has been more difficult to discern. The finance industry’s move to the continent has been piecemeal, and Brexit preparations have been complicated by the onslaught of the pandemic. Indeed, the management of the virus and the demands of home-working during lockdown mean some firms have had to slow their Brexit planning.

No-deal Brexit risks violence in Northern Ireland, MPs warn MI5
Dan Sabbagh – The Guardian
MI5 cannot afford to cut resources devoted to countering terrorism in Northern Ireland because of the risk of a rise in violence in the event of a hard or no-deal Brexit, parliament’s intelligence and security committee (ISC) has warned. The watchdog said dissident republicanism remained resilient, actively recruiting young members, and could inflame further if “border infrastructure” were to reappear along the frontier with the Republic of Ireland.

Brussels reaffirms post-Brexit stance on airline ownership rules
Jim Brunsden, Mehreen Khan, and Philip Georgiadis – FT
Europe’s transport chief has warned airlines that they must face up to their obligations to overhaul share-ownership structures in order to continue qualifying for single-market flying rights after Brexit. Adina Valean, the EU’s transport commissioner, told the Financial Times that Brussels would maintain its strict rules requiring airlines to be effectively owned and controlled by EU nationals if they wanted to retain operating licences to fly in the bloc after January 1 2021.

NHS faces drug shortages as Brexit stockpile used in Covid crisis
Denis Campbell – The Guardian
Hospitals could face shortages of drugs during the second wave of Covid because some of the medicines stockpiled for Brexit have already been used, NHS bosses have warned. NHS Providers, which represents hospitals in England, said problems associated with Brexit could conjure a “perfect storm” of problems this winter that could undermine care, including flu, bad weather, workforce shortages, a resurgence of Covid and an epidemic of burnout among staff. “All of the issues we feared about Brexit remain. None of those have gone away because we are in a pandemic. It’s important to remember drug supplies could be compromised”, said Saffron Cordery, the organisation’s deputy chief executive.

John Lothian Newsletter

We visit more than 100 websites daily for financial news (Would YOU do that?)

“John Lothian and Company… our industry intelligence.”

Rick Lane

CEO, Trading Technologies

Past JLN Newsletters

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This Story