New Non-Price Oriented Risks to Manage: Covid and Cancer
By John J. Lothian, John Lothian News
This newsletter is all about managing non-price oriented risks. I used to have a lot of trading related risks when I was an online futures broker and actively managing money as a Commodity Trading Advisor. Today I have different kinds of non-price oriented risks to manage, ones that would fall into our Wellness Exchange section: COVID-19 and cancer.
I tested positive for the virus on Friday and in December learned I have prostate cancer.
The COVID-19 case is mild as I am double vaxxed and boosted. The prostate cancer is localized and small, but aggressive. I began treatment on Saturday for the cancer diagnosis.
To read the rest of this commentary, go HERE.
Hits & Takes
John Lothian & JLN Staff
Lord Paul Myners, who was City minister in the U.K. Treasury under Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown, appointed to the position as the financial crisis of 2007-08 unfolded, has died at the age of 73. He was appointed to the House of Lords in 2008 as a Labour peer. Myners also served as chair of Guardian Media Group.
If you think a lot of people seem to be getting hired in cryptoland, you may be right. According to a story in The Block, LinkedIn reported a 400% increase in the number of crypto-related job ads in 2021.
The pandemic has been good to the 10 richest men in the world, according to Oxfam, with their wealth collectively doubling since March 2020, the BBC reported. At the same time, lower incomes for the world’s poorest contributed to the death of 21,000 people each day, Oxfam’s report said. The report used the Forbes list of the world’s 10 richest men: Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Bernard Arnault and family, Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Ballmer and Warren Buffet. Oxfam is a British-founded confederation of 21 independent charitable organizations focusing on the alleviation of global poverty. For what it is worth, Oxfam also reported that India’s richest doubled their wealth during the pandemic as well.
The New York Times has a story titled “Davos without Davos.” For the second straight year the World Economic forum canceled its annual meeting in the Alpine resort town of Davos, Switzerland because of the pandemic. I think this story was written because someone bought a plane ticket and had hotel reservations and wanted to use them anyway.
Conor Weber, a director and assistant general counsel at the CME Group, is the latest to give to the JLN MarketsWiki Education GoFundMe campaign. Conor joined the CME from Bank of America and was previously at Intercontinental Exchange. Thank you to Conor and all who have given and all who have yet to give. Support our efforts to preserve industry history and educate the next generation of industry professionals and market participants by supporting our GoFundMe campaign.
Have a great day and stay safe and treat people the same way you want to be treated: with respect, equality and justice.~JJL
Coinbase Purchases FairX; NinjaTrader Acquires Tradovate; UBS Faces Legal Battles – THE SPREAD – January 14, 2022
“Alex Perry’s Optionstopia” takes a look at this week’s options news highlights: Coinbase Purchases FairX; NinjaTrader Acquires Tradovate; UBS Faces Legal Battles
Futures exchanges as “hot commodities” is the theme of “John’s Take”
Tom Jarck of MIAX explains “VSPIKES”
‘Trading is gambling, no doubt about it’ – how cryptocurrency dealing fuels addiction; Fears rise over how unregulated trading and promotion of crypto assets are creating a new generation of addicts
Rob Davies – The Guardian
Steven has lost more bitcoin than most people will ever own. Raised on the remote Shetland archipelago, he left school at 13 to become a trawlerman before moving into construction, eventually earning £85,000 a year digging tunnels for Crossrail. Despite his self-made success, compulsive cryptocurrency trading, alcohol and drug use took over his life. mIn the fog of multiple addictions, he lost the “addresses” of between five and 10 bitcoins, rendering his digital buried treasure – worth up to £300,000 today – impossible to retrieve.
***** This is a serious issue. I expect we will see more about this aspect of cryptocurrency trading.~JJL
Ken Griffin, financial prodigy turned industry giant; Citadel Securities deal is latest in string of successes for controversial hedge funder
Robin Wigglesworth – FT
Nearly four decades ago, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel profiled three precocious members of the Boca Raton Community High School’s computer club. While their classmates were shooting hoops, the “disc-drive driven trio” were prepping for a problem-solving competition with other Palm Beach geeks later that month.
***** Ken is the anti-Elon Musk. Musk sold all his real estate. Ken keeps buying more. I will bet Ken can throw a better party.~JJL
Afghanistan’s currency crisis leaves millions at risk of starvation; Afghani has fallen almost 25% against the dollar since the Taliban seized power in August
Benjamin Parkin and Tommy Stubbington – FT
Afghanistan’s currency has plummeted about a quarter since the Taliban seized power, exacerbating an economic crisis that has left millions of people in the import-dependent country facing starvation. The afghani has fallen to 105 per dollar from about 80 before the hardline Islamist group’s August victory, making it among the world’s worst-performing currencies over the past six months. It is second only to Turkey, where the lira has been battered by Recep Erdogan’s unorthodox economic policies.
****** The question is how will the world respond?~JJL
Crypto Enthusiasts Meet Their Match: Angry Gamers; Game publishers are offering NFTs, but skeptical gamers smell a moneymaking scheme and are fighting back.
Mike Isaac and Kellen Browning – NY Times
For years, Christian Lantz has played S.T.A.L.K.E.R., a first-person shooter game set in a post-apocalyptic Ukraine that became a cult hit for its immersive role playing. So when the 18-year-old high schooler heard a sequel was coming this year, he knew he had to buy it.
***** The only thing worse than a gamer is an angry gamer. ~JJL
Friday’s Top Three
Our top story Friday was Inc.’s The Scientific Reason It’s So Hard to Make Friends as an Adult (and What to Do About It), which was also our top story Thursday. Second was Billionaire trader Paul Tudor Jones rings the bubble alarm, warns the Fed could tank the economy, and predicts pandemic winners will struggle, from Business Insider via Yahoo News. And third was Cboe Europe, EuroCCP partner with Freetrade to give UK retail investors commission-free access to pan-European markets, from The Trade News.
26,691 pages; 237,096 edits
London Stock Exchange Proposes Special Listings for Private Companies; It would be the first exchange with a hybrid model in which private companies periodically access public markets in days-long trading windows
Anna Hirtenstein – WSJ
The London Stock Exchange LSEG 0.03% Group is seeking to blur the line between public and private companies, part of a plan to attract fast-growing technology firms to list in the U.K. in the wake of Brexit. The LSE has proposed the creation of a special market for private companies to trade their shares publicly on the exchange on certain days, according to a person familiar with the matter and proposals from the LSE to its regulators, the Financial Conduct Authority, and the U.K. Treasury, seen by The Wall Street Journal.
Day Traders as ‘Dumb Money’? The Pros Are Now Paying Attention; Last year, an army of day traders turned markets upside down. This year, professional fund managers are finding that they had better keep tabs.
Caitlin McCabe – WSJ
Last year, amateur investors took financial markets by storm. This year, Wall Street professionals are watching them closely. Fund managers who might have once derided small-time day traders as “dumb money” are scouring social-media posts for clues about where the herd might veer next. Some 85% of hedge funds and 42% of asset managers are now tracking retail-trading message boards, according to a survey by Bloomberg Intelligence. JPMorgan Chase & Co. in September introduced a new data product that includes information on which securities individual investors are likely buying and selling, as well as which sectors and stocks are being talked about on social media. About 50 clients, including some of the largest asset and quant managers, are testing the product, the bank says. JPMorgan equity traders are also using it to help manage their own risk.
Lord Paul Myners, former City minister, dies aged 73; Assisted in Gordon Brown’s billion-pound bailout for UK banks in wake of financial crisis
Jasmine Cameron-Chileshe and Laurence Fletcher – FT
Former Labour minister and City grandee, Lord Paul Myners has died at the age of 73, his family have confirmed. In a statement first published in the Guardian newspaper, his family said that Myners died in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Credit Suisse Picks Swiss Insider as Chairman in Emergency Fix
Nicholas Comfort and Marion Halftermeyer – Bloomberg
Lehmann takes over as chairman following Horta-Osorio exit; Swiss bank struggling to stabilize after 2021 scandals
Credit Suisse Group AG turned to a Swiss candidate for the second time in two years for a top role at the bank, as it struggles to repair its reputation after a series of trading and personnel scandals.
António Horta-Osório resigns as Credit Suisse chair over Covid breaches; Axel Lehmann drafted in after ex-Lloyds chief says violations compromised his ability to lead the bank
Owen Walker – FT
António Horta-Osório has resigned as chair of Credit Suisse after repeated breaches of coronavirus quarantine rules dealt a fatal blow to his promise to restore the reputation of the scandal-hit bank.
Credit Suisse Chairman to Leave After Breaking Covid-19 Travel Rules; Board had investigated António Horta-Osório’s personal use of corporate aircraft and breach of quarantine rules
Emily Glazer, Margot Patrick – WSJ
Credit Suisse Group AG CS 0.38% Chairman António Horta-Osório is leaving the global bank following a board investigation into his travel and personal conduct, according to people familiar with the bank.
Singapore Asks Crypto Firms Not to Market Services to Public
Chanyaporn Chanjaroen – Bloomberg
Guideline applies to broad array of crypto companies; Crypto firms should only advertise on own websites and apps
Singapore’s financial regulator told companies in the cryptocurrency industry to refrain from advertising their services to the public, in line with the city-state’s desire to curb retail speculation in volatile digital assets.
Bitcoin Widow Jennifer Robertson’s sorrow over hurt caused by missing millions
Charlie Mitchell – The Times
When Gerald Cotten, a Canadian cryptocurrency entrepreneur, died suddenly in India in 2018, it was not only his furious clients, whose digital passwords he took to the grave, that were left in the lurch. With C$215 million (£125.3 million) owed to 76,000 customers, Jennifer Robertson, the QuadrigaCX founder’s widow, was left to pick up the pieces. Four years on, she has spoken out for the first time. “I want the people that Gerry hurt to know that I’m hurt, too. I know they were very hurt, and I know I can’t make it better. I wish I could,” she told The Globe and Mail.
Factbox: Spies, lies and chairman’s exit: Credit Suisse’s scandals
Credit Suisse (CSGN.S) Chairman Antonio Horta-Osorio has resigned after flouting COVID-19 quarantine rules, the bank said on Monday, raising questions over the embattled lender’s new strategy as it tries to recover from a string of scandals.
A Moment of Reckoning on Financial Literacy
Charlie Wells – Bloomberg
We are living in a new era of investing. Meme stocks, cryptocurrencies, NFTs, SPACs and even ETFs have over the past few months attracted tens of millions of new traders, drawn in with a mix of stimulus money, easy brokerage apps and pandemic-era boredom. Those traders are passionate, sometimes very young, often belong to devoted online communities and in some cases have been very financially fortunate. That doesn’t mean they’re financially literate. Experts have warned since the beginning of the latest retail mania that many new entrants are conflating investing with speculating.
London Bankers, Your Jobs and Bonuses Look Safe — For Now; New finance jobs created elsewhere in Europe, rather than transfers from London, threaten to erode the City’s status.
Mark Gilbert – Bloomberg
Britain’s decision to leave the European Union has imperiled the City’s status as the region’s financial center. So far, the loss of jobs has been more of a dribble than an exodus. But the current hiatus masks a longer-term threat, as firms choosing where to house new positions expand elsewhere.
These Are the World’s Top Hedge Funds for 2021
Nishant Kumar – Bloomberg
Citadel, D.E. Shaw follow in ranking of most-profitable firms; Industry produced a total of $176 billion in gains last year
Billionaire Chris Hohn’s TCI Fund Management made $9.5 billion for clients last year, leading some of the world’s biggest hedge funds who collectively produced record gains.
Citadel and TCI drive top 20 hedge fund managers to bumper $65bn gains; Group’s biggest rise in more than a decade comes despite patchy year for the sector
Laurence Fletcher and Jyoti Mann – FT
Large profits at Ken Griffin’s Citadel and Sir Christopher Hohn’s TCI helped the 20 best-performing hedge fund managers of all time to their biggest gains in more than a decade last year, although returns for the overall industry failed to keep pace with the rally in global stock markets.
Pioneering a hybrid organisational structure; Christoph Hock, head of multi-asset trading at Union Investment, sits down with Annabel Smith to discuss the European asset manager’s new hybrid structure, regulatory divergence post-Brexit, the role of the trader in sustainability, and the token economy.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
Union Investment is in many regards a pioneer. At the forefront of several recent market initiatives, the firm has acted as a benchmark for the European institutional buy-side on sentiment around cryptocurrencies, multi-asset trading, regulation, sustainable trading and now a hybrid organisational structure focused on what the ship’s captain, Christoph Hock, refers to as best-in-class-execution.
‘No jab no job’: companies face legal wrangles over Covid vaccine policies; Global tangle of labour laws and government stances complicate return to the workplace
Kate Beioley – FT
US employment lawyer Scott Cruz’s phone has been ringing off the hook in recent weeks as clients scramble to put in place obligatory “vaccine or test” policies for all workers. He has been fielding very different calls since Thursday, when the Supreme Court blocked President Joe Biden’s federal mandate and handed control back to companies and states to decide their own Covid-19 inoculation regimes.
The Virus Has Changed. Maybe We Should, Too; Our defenses against Covid-19 and variants like omicron have improved dramatically since the beginning of the pandemic. Let’s live accordingly.
Brooke Sample – Bloomberg
Say Goodbye to Self-Isolating, WFH Mandates, Mass Testing — Therese Raphael and Sam Fazeli
The balance of power between human and virus is shifting. Better armed against a lesser enemy, our species no longer needs to hide in a bunker waiting for a viral wave to pass. That means it’s time for our Covid response to change.
The C.D.C.’s New Challenge? Grappling With Imperfect Science; The Omicron coronavirus variant is moving much faster than researchers can, worsening a longstanding problem: The agency must make tough decisions with scant data.
Apoorva Mandavilli – NY Times
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was long revered for its methodical and meticulous scientific approach. Agencies in other nations modeled themselves after the world’s most highly regarded public health authority, even adopting the name.
Omicron Reaches China’s Political, Financial and Tech Hubs
Beijing, Shanghai, Guangdong all have local omicron cases; Flareups are occurring in key cities at a critical time
Omicron has breached the political, financial and technology centers of China for the first time, putting pressure on the country’s response to the more transmissible variant as it awaits the Winter Olympics starting in less than three weeks.
Fauci Says It’s Too Soon to Say Omicron Heralds End of Pandemic
Andy Hoffman and Corinne Gretler – Bloomberg
Can’t play ‘whack-a-mole’ for variant specific vaccines: Fauci; Fauci bemoans ‘push-back’ against basic public health measures
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top medical adviser to the U.S. president, said it’s too soon to say whether the omicron variant will herald a shift in the Covid-19 pandemic to endemic. “It’s an open question as to whether or not omicron is going to be the live virus vaccination everyone is hoping for because we have so much variability with new variants emerging,” Fauci said Monday at the World Economic Forum’s Davos Agenda online conference.
Exchanges, OTC and Clearing
LCH achieves record clearing volumes in 2021
LCH services continued to support transition to risk-free rates with conversion of over $35 trillion of notional; LCH SwapAgent registered over 10,000 trades in 2021, a five fold increase; ForexClear and FXall partnership expanded FX traders’ workflows for OTC trades; Record clearing volumes reported across LCH services
LCH, part of LSEG (London Stock Exchange Group) today announced record clearing volumes for 2021, having expanded its services and built new connectivity. Following LSEG’s acquisition of Refinitiv, ForexClear partnered with FXall, to streamline FX traders’ access to clearing for FX OTC trades. LCH also reinforced its commitment to Asia by including Singapore dollar denominated cash and government securities as accepted collateral and extended SwapClear’s operating hours to better serve the region.
NYSE Pillar Options Migration: January 19th Disaster Recovery Connectivity Test
On Wednesday, January 19, 2022, NYSE Arca Options will make available its NYSE Pillar Disaster Recovery environment for connectivity testing from 7:30 to 9:30 PM ET. Limited connectivity support will be available for Exchange Participants during the test. Please contact email@example.com with any questions or issues and the team will respond within 24 hours.
Results of “Availability of English Disclosure Information by Listed Companies” Survey for FY2021
Since 2019, Tokyo Stock Exchange, Inc. (TSE) has been conducting surveys on the availability of English disclosure information by listed companies and providing a list of the results through its website to a wide range of people including overseas investors. By doing this, TSE aims to understand the situation with regards to listed company English disclosure and promote it further, thereby enhancing convenience for overseas investors and allowing them to make appropriate investment decisions based on information disclosed by listed companies.
JPMorgan plots ‘astonishing’ $12bn tech spend to beat fintechs; Big increase in investment will hurt profitability, raising fears for rival bank earnings in 2022
Joshua Franklin and Imani Moise -FT
JPMorgan Chase, the largest lender on Wall Street, said it plans to dramatically increase spending on technology and talent to fortify its competitive position, stirring investor worries about US bank earnings in 2022. As it reported record profits last year, JPMorgan stunned analysts with a forecast that expenses would increase by 8 per cent this year to around $77bn, meaning it would probably miss a key profitability target in 2022, and possibly in 2023.
College Dropout Builds $19 Billion Fortune After Nixing Banking
Benjamin Stupples – Bloomberg
Guillaume Pousaz’s Checkout.com now valued at $40 billion; Online-payments firm raised $1 billion in latest funding round
Guillaume Pousaz studied economics in college in his native Switzerland with hopes of becoming an investment banker. Then his father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, leading him to drop out in his final year of studies in 2005 and later go to work for a payments-processing firm in the U.S.
IBM Launches New Cloud, AI Services in Bid to Modernize Business
Jackie Davalos – Bloomberg
Think Conference highlights IBM’s pivot to hybrid cloud, AI; Watson Orchestrate tool capitalizes on rise of chat bots
International Business Machines Corp. is rolling out a new product that will help businesses automate tasks, capitalizing on the rise of chat bots and virtual assistants during the pandemic and taking another step in its pivot toward cloud services and artificial intelligence.
Singapore c.bank considers action against OCBC for phishing scam
Singapore’s central bank said on Monday it will consider supervisory action against the country’s second-biggest lender Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp (OCBC) (OCBC.SI), after hundreds of its customers were hit by a phishing scam last month.
The race towards renewable energy is creating new cybersecurity risks
Danny Palmer – ZDNet
The renewable energy industry is becoming more important as countries attempt to move away from fossil fuels, but the continued growth of the sector must be managed with cybersecurity in mind, or there’s the danger that vulnerabilities in everything from power plants down to smart meters could leave energy providers and their customers open to risk.
10 cognitive biases that can derail cybersecurity programs
Steve Durbin – Security Magazine
Cybercrime will cost the global economy $10 trillion annually by 2025. Even though security spending is at an all-time high, the majority of security leaders still lack confidence in cybersecurity investments. This is because most security breaches aren’t a consequence of inadequate security controls but are a direct result of human failure.
Even the most experienced cyber professionals agree: We can’t prevent all breaches
Justin Fier – Security Magazine
The reality of cybersecurity is that it is not a solvable problem. We cannot stop determined attackers from getting into systems. They’re too sophisticated and digital infrastructure is only becoming more complex. What we can do, however, is take necessary steps to minimize risk and disruption once attackers inevitably get inside. The sooner security leaders can accept that reality, the better.
Cryptocurrency ads reach record levels on London transport; Exclusive: Mayor urged to implement promised ban on gambling adverts on TfL – and to extend it to crypto companies
Rob Davies – The Guardian
Cryptocurrency firms bombarded Londoners with a record number of adverts on public transport during 2021, fuelling calls for a ban to prevent people being lured into risky investments. The surge in adverts for crypto assets, which are unregulated in the UK, has prompted concerns about the risk of addiction and financial harm, particularly given the wild volatility in the price of digital currencies such as bitcoin, which reached record highs last year before crashing again.
Why GameFi Is Crypto’s Hot New Thing (and What Is It?)
Olga Kharif – Bloomberg
One of the hottest things in the cryptocurrency world right now is GameFi. Its name reflects the combination of the old-fashioned thrill of winning prizes with new crypto developments in what’s known as DeFi. GameFi players can trade, lend or rent out their winnings or or even borrow against them. You can’t do that with the stuffed kitty you scored at the county fair. As its popularity soars, there’s a debate over whether GameFi will remake gaming or just separate the credulous from their money. Reports of people borrowing to play raise the prospect of GameFi democratizing crypto opportunities — or becoming a form of digital sharecropping.
Bitcoin’s Dominance of Crypto Payments Is Starting to Erode
Olga Kharif – Bloomberg
BitPay data show rising use of stablecoins, Ether, Doge; Transaction volumes related to luxury goods surged 31% in 2021
Consumers and businesses are increasingly starting to use digital tokens other than Bitcoin for purchases, according to BitPay Inc., one of the biggest crypto payments processors in the world. Last year, Bitcoin’s use at merchants that use BitPay dropped to about 65% of processed payments, down from 92% in 2020, the company told Bloomberg. Ether purchases accounted for 15% of the total, stablecoins were 13% and new coins added to BitPay in 2021 — Dogecoin, Shiba Inu and Litecoin — accounted for 3%.
NFT Investors Owe Billions in Taxes and IRS Sets Sights on Evaders
Allyson Versprille – Bloomberg
Nonfungible token market exploded to $44 billion last year; Uncle Sam is keen to collect, but the tax rules aren’t clear
It’s one of the hottest corners of crypto — and now the U.S. government wants its share of the profits. Investors and creators of nonfungible tokens — a market that has ballooned to $44 billion, Chainalysis data show, and attracted fans from Justin Bieber to Melania Trump — face billions of dollars in taxes and rates as high as 37%, according to tax experts. Internal Revenue Service officials who deal with tax evaders say they are gearing up for a crackdown.
Coinbase Buy Increases Competition in Crypto Derivatives
Shanny Basar – MarketsMedia
Coinbase, the listed US cryptocurrency exchange, is acquiring regulated derivatives platform FairX following acquisitions last year by other venues in order to launch crypto derivatives. FairX is regulated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission as a designated contract market.
FTX Hires Lightspeed’s Amy Wu to Lead New $2 Billion Crypto Fund
Vildana Hajric – Bloomberg
Amy Wu has left Lightspeed Venture Partners for crypto-exchange FTX, where she will lead a newly launched $2 billion venture capital fund. The fund, known as FTX Ventures, will focus on investing in projects that are operating in Web3, what some consider a new internet ecosystem. Wu, a well-known venture capitalist who spent three years with Lightspeed, will lead the fund but also gaming, mergers and acquisitions, and commercial initiatives for FTX. The new role was attractive because it offers opportunities to work on both the operational and investing sides of the business, she said.
FTX launches $2 billion Ventures fund, hires former Lightspeed Partner Amy Wu; FTX hires former Lightspeed Partner and Discovery, Inc executive Amy Wu to lead FTX ventures, M&A, and commercial initiatives; FTX Ventures launches with $2 billion in AUM; The Fund’s focus is investing in top teams building in web3, across social, gaming, fintech, software, and healthcare
FTX Trading Ltd.
FTX Trading Limited (“FTX”), today announced the launch of FTX Ventures (“the Fund”), a $2 billion venture capital fund focused on backing the world’s best teams building in the digital asset ecosystem. FTX Ventures’ core mission is to advance global blockchain and web3 adoption, with a broad investment mandate across social, gaming, fintech, software, and healthcare. The Fund will invest in multi-stage companies and projects, providing flexible funding and strategic support from FTX and its network of global partners.
Jack Dorsey’s Block commits to build an ‘open’ bitcoin mining ecosystem
Michael McSweeney – The Block
Block, the payments-focused company formerly known as Square, is officially throwing its hat into the bitcoin mining game. Dorsey initially teased such a move last fall, highlighting a possible bid “based on custom silicon and open source for individuals and businesses worldwide.” Now, statements from Block executives as well as recent job postings offer more specifics on what that venture will look like.
Spain announces new rules for influencer crypto posts
Lucy Harley-Mckeown – The Block
Spanish regulators are pushing to control the way cryptocurrencies are marketed, with new restrictions on influencers’ promotions. The Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores (CNMV), the government agency responsible for the financial regulation of the securities markets in Spain, issued a release on Monday defining the new rules.
Demand for metaverse-related jobs rises as digital economy thrives; New skills, roles and titles are being developed as part of efforts to reimagine the future
Alvin R. Cabral – N Business
The metaverse – the new digital space that allows those in it to communicate and move using three-dimensional avatars or digital representations – is slowly registering a growth in demand for jobs in a sign of its imminent integration with the future digital economy. “We are at a very early stage. We are starting to see new skills being developed, new job roles and new titles. Part of this is reimagining the future like we have never seen before,” Kate Barker, a strategic adviser and future of work expert at the UAE Ministry of Interior, said at the Intersec 2022 conference at the Dubai World Trade Centre on Sunday.
Binance Ties Up With Bangkok Billionaire on Thai Crypto Exchange
Ben Bartenstein – Bloomberg
Binance Holdings Ltd. reached an agreement with Thai billionaire Sarath Ratanavadi’s Gulf Energy Development PCL to study a digital asset exchange in the Southeast Asian nation.
Boris Johnson and His Agenda Are Now Lame Ducks; The prime minister’s power seeps away with each partygate revelation and those who used to fear him cease to cower.
Adrian Wooldridge – Bloomberg
In Shakespeare’s cycle of plays on Henry IV and Henry V, the dissolute Prince Hal eventually transforms himself into a heroic patriot king. Since becoming leader of the Conservative Party in May 2019, the dissolute Bo Jo — a man who was sacked from his first job in journalism for making up a quote and who only recently acknowledged how many children he has (six) — has struggled to transform himself into a statesman only to fail at the last moment. Boris Johnson put on smart suits but his hair was always in a mess. He delivered grave speeches but couldn’t resist making off-color jokes (for example, describing the drive to increase the supply of ventilators as “operation last gasp”). It is only fitting, therefore, that his political career may be terminated by “partygate.”
German Envoy Signals Pipeline May Be Targeted If Russia Invades
Arne Delfs and Volodymyr Verbyany – Bloomberg
Baerbock says Nord Stream 2 could be included among measures; German coalition has been divided over controversial gas link
Germany’s top diplomat signaled that Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s government may take action on the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline should Russia invade Ukraine.
Paul Myners, U.K. Minister and City of London Titan, Dies at 73
Harry Wilson – Bloomberg
Myners joined U.K. Treasury at height of financial crisis; Also had senior roles at multitude of City of London firms
Paul Myners, the City of London grandee who helped oversee Gordon Brown’s response to the financial crisis, has died. He was 73. Myners died on Sunday, according to a statement by Edelman UK, where he served as chairman. “With great sadness we announce the loss of our beloved father Lord Paul Myners,” his five children said in a statement. “He passed away peacefully in the early hours of this morning at Chelsea & Westminster Hospital.”
Biden’s Wall Street Watchdog to Have Agenda That Shakes Industry
Robert Schmidt and Jesse Hamilton – Bloomberg
Sarah Bloom Raskin would help lead crypto, climate-change push; She’s expected to face resistance from Senate Republicans
Sarah Bloom Raskin’s nomination as the Federal Reserve’s vice chair for supervision puts a final — and decidedly progressive — stamp on the Biden administration’s Wall Street oversight team. A Duke University law professor and Washington insider who has previously held high-level jobs at the Treasury and the Fed, Raskin was pushed by liberal Democrats as a champion of tighter regulation for the biggest banks. She is also poised to lead efforts on developing financial regulatory policies for cryptocurrencies and fighting climate change, a top priority of the White House.
Ex-Banker ‘Twisted’ Whistle-Blower Role to Seek $10 Million
Gaspard Sebag – Bloomberg
Natixis lawyers ask Paris judges to throw out labor suit; Banker says he faced reprisals after blew whistle on a trade
Natixis SA asked French judges to toss a $10 million lawsuit from an ex-employee after saying he twisted his whistle-blower status to try to squeeze extra cash out of the bank.
FCA aims to use criminal powers in anti-money laundering probes; Move would follow conviction and £264m fine for NatWest for failing to comply with regulations
Jane Croft and Laura Noonan – FT
The UK’s financial regulator is exploring using criminal powers that led to a landmark conviction of NatWest in two other anti-money laundering investigations. The Financial Conduct Authority told the Financial Times there were two criminal probes in about 40 active cases where regulators were investigating financial services companies or individuals for failing to check where customers’ money came from.
Hedge funds oppose SEC’s reform plans after GameStop debacle; Regulator’s ‘misguided’ securities lending proposals risk fuelling volatility, say managers
Chris Flood and Harriet Agnew – FT
Hedge fund managers fear the painful losses they suffered in the meme stock trading frenzy of January 2021 will be repeated if US regulators press ahead with reforms to securities lending, one of the most opaque practices in financial markets. Melvin Capital, Light Street and White Square all lost heavily when their bets against meme stocks, such as the struggling video game retailer GameStop, were pulverised by retail investors who swap trading ideas on bulletin boards such as Reddit’s r/wallstreetbets.
Warning: Self-managed super funds and crypto investments
ASIC has noticed an increase in marketing recommending Australians switch from retail and industry superannuation funds to self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) so they can invest in a ‘high return’ portfolio; SMSF trustees are being targeted to invest in crypto-assets (or cryptocurrencies)
fileX transition from Basic Auth to OAuth 2.0 Deadline Extension
The deadline for transitioning from Basic Auth to OAuth 2.0 for fileX APIs has now been extended to Feb 28, 2022. The transition from Basic Auth to OAuth 2.0 method for authentication is necessary because Basic Auth is a less secure authentication mechanism, which could potentially expose long-lasting credentials. OAuth 2.0 replaces these long-lasting credentials with limited life span tokens, resulting in an improved security and control of FINRA applications.
Testimony Before the Senate Special Committee on Aging
Gerri Walsh, FINRA’s Senior Vice President of Investor Education and President of the FINRA Investor Education Foundation, testified in front of the Senate Special Committee on Aging.
FINRA System Status Page
The FINRA.org website includes a “System Status” page that reports current system conditions for FINRA-based products and applications. FINRA will continue to deliver direct emails and post technical notices regarding ADF, ORF, TRACE and TRAQS products; additionally, the System Status page will provide a general view of the current status of all FINRA systems.
Statement from Nikhil Rathi on Lord Myners
Following news of the death of Lord Myners, Nikhil Rathi, Chief Executive of the FCA, issued the following statement on the organisation’s behalf: ‘I am saddened to hear about the death of Lord Myners. I had the privilege to work closely with Paul during the financial crisis and saw at first hand his ability to quickly grasp the enormity of the situation and navigate the whole system towards decisive solutions. He always expressed his views frankly and in my most recent discussions with him he continued to be motivated by the need to ensure the integrity of the financial system. I always appreciated his support and I offer my sincere condolences to his family.’
Stewardship Code : 321 institutional investors have signed up to the Principles for Responsible Institutional Investors as of December 31, 2021
The Council of Experts Concerning the Japanese Version of the Stewardship Code (Chairman: Professor Hiroyuki Kansaku, University of Tokyo Graduate Schools for Law and Politics) published the Principles for Institutional Investors (Japan’s Stewardship Code, hereinafter referred to as “the Code”) on February 26, 2014. The Council of Experts on the Stewardship Code (Chairman: Professor Hiroyuki Kansaku) revised the Code on May 29, 2017(Finalization of the Japan’s Stewardship Code (Revised version)(May 29, 2017)). Also, the Council of Experts on the Stewardship Code (FY2019) (Chairman: Professor Hiroyuki Kansaku) revised the Code on March 24, 2020(Finalization of the Japan’s Stewardship Code (Second revised version)(March 24, 2020)).
Investing and Trading
How new money is changing venture capital in Chicago; As VC firms proliferate here, more funding options emerge for startups, while competition among investors intensifies.
Katherine Davis – Crain’s Chicago Business
A rising generation of early-stage startup investors in Chicago have proven they’re here to stay by raising additional funds, which is boosting competition among local venture-capital firms in a red-hot startup market. The number of active Chicago VC firms has grown to 89, up from 77 in 2020 and 15 in 2010, according to PitchBook. Several early-stage firms launched in the past decade, including Starting Line, M25, Listen Ventures, Chingona Ventures and Sandalphon Capital, are now lining up investors for second and third funds, according to U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission filings and interviews with fund managers.
Ex-Goldman Sachs partner’s burnout recovery lesson
Sarah Butcher – eFinancialCareers.com
Are you bored with your job? Has the fire gone from your belly? Could you conceivably be happier doing something entirely different instead? This need not be the end of your finance career. Last week, a former Goldman Sachs partner who was burned out aged 50, added several billion dollars more to his net worth aged 62.
MSCI to decide on Israeli involvement in European index
‘This is a game-changer, and if it happens, it will be amazing news for the Israeli market’ International indices company MSCI in February will publish its decision on whether to include Israel in its leading European stock indices which, if approved, would give the Jewish state’s capital market a significant push forward.
You Can Buy The Largest Diamond Ever Auctioned—A 555 Carat Black Gem—With Crypto (Photos)
Carlie Porterfield – Fortune
TOPLINE A rare 555.55 carat diamond will be the largest to ever appear at auction when it hits the market in February, part of a special single-lot sale that will accept cryptocurrency for the record-breaking jewel.
Note to Zuckerberg: META Stock Ticker Will Soon Be Available
Kurt Wagner and Katherine Greifeld – Bloomberg
Meta Platforms Inc., which changed its name from Facebook Inc. late last year but hasn’t yet adopted a new stock symbol, could soon have the perfect ticker: META.
Billionaire Louis-Dreyfus Gets $457 Million From Trading Giant
Benjamin Stupples and Jack Farchy – Bloomberg
Russian-born heiress sold 45% of Louis Dreyfus Co. to ADQ; Trading house has profited from increased volatility, prices
Just over a year ago, Margarita Louis-Dreyfus’s financial outlook looked grim. The Russian-born heiress was trying to sell a stake in Louis Dreyfus Co., one of the world’s biggest agricultural commodity trading houses, after she borrowed more than $1 billion from Credit Suisse Group AG to buy out family members. More than $400 million of debt was coming due by the end of 2020.
Everyone Back Into the European Bond Market Pool![ Records are broken as banks and governments entice investors with new debt issuance.
Marcus Ashworth – Bloomberg
New European bond issuance had a hesitant start to 2022, with the first week constrained by the release of hawkish minutes from the Federal Reserve. But the second week more than made up for it: A new record was set with over 144 billion euros ($165 billion) of Europe-originated syndicated bond deals printed so far this year.
Americans Stampede Into Inflation-Linked Bonds, Smashing Records
Elizabeth Stanton – Bloomberg
Series I savings bond sales totaled $2.78 billion in December; Full-year record had been $1.76 billion back in 2018
American savers piled into inflation-protected savings bonds, scooping up more in December alone than they had for any full previous year, as consumer prices soared across the U.S.
Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance
Europe Desperately Needs a New Gas Storage Strategy; It’s all very well that Europe has lots of gas storage capacity, but it’s no use if it isn’t filled ahead of winter.
Julian Lee – Bloomberg
Europe subcontracted its energy security to President Vladimir Putin — now it’s paying the price. If European energy regulators learn any lesson from this winter’s soaring gas and electricity prices, it ought to be that they need a new set of rules governing gas storage ahead of the cold winter months.
Bring Tech and Innovation to the Climate-Change Fight; The Arctic and Antarctic are heating up fast, creating terrible feedback loops. Breaking the cycle will require urgent action — and creativity.
Editorial Board – Bloomberg
Over the past few weeks, Alaska recorded record-high temperatures, scientists released a “report card” showing relentless deterioration of the Arctic’s climate, and researchers warned that an ice shelf in Antarctica could collapse within a few years, dramatically increasing the region’s contribution to rising sea levels.
T Rowe Price’s Bill Stromberg on building the right culture; Asset manager’s former CEO says the highest pay isn’t why people stay at firms, ‘people want to be a part of something special’
Madison Darbyshire – FT
In the weeks leading up to his retirement, Bill Stromberg was reflective. People in the asset management industry are tired, he says, after keeping up with a rate of change that has only been amplified and intensified during the pandemic. In his 35 years at T Rowe Price, including six as chief executive, Stromberg has guided the Baltimore-based $1.69tn asset manager through a volatile period of change for the industry, as pressure on fees, technological innovation and the acceleration of new investment vehicles such as exchange traded funds have forced traditional managers to evolve at breakneck speed.
Mizuho’s New CEO Faces Legacy Issues From Decades-Old Merger
Taiga Uranaka – Bloomberg
56-year-old Kihara is expected to be named as CEO Monday; Divisions are still plaguing the bank two decades after merger
Mizuho Financial Group is tapping a relatively young career insider to turn around the bank that’s been plagued by a series of technical disruptions and is still grappling with the legacy of a three-way merger more than two decades on.
AQR Cuts 60/40 Forecast Again and Warns of ‘Unpalatable Choices’
Sonali Basak -Bloomberg
Quant giant publishes annual capital markets assumptions; Firm recommends using leverage plus defensive stock tilt
AQR Capital Management is taking the ax to return projections for markets around the globe — yet again — while touting fresh strategies from commodities to leverage to salvage investment performance. The quantitative manager co-founded by Cliff Asness is back with its annual capital-markets outlook, cutting expectations for asset gains in everything from U.S. equities, Treasuries and credit to developed-market stocks and global 60/40 portfolios.
As Wall Street’s Boom Cools, Bank Leaders Start Talking Up Loans
Max Reyes – Bloomberg
JPMorgan has ‘huge firepower’ to lend, CEO Dimon Says; Weaker trading revenue dragged JPMorgan and Citi shares lower
Top U.S. bank executives are taking turns tamping down expectations for Wall Street profits this year, while giving shareholders some reason to stick around: Lending is set to grow. Trading has cooled after a surge set off by the pandemic, and costs to reward rainmakers are climbing, leaders of JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc. told analysts and investors on Friday. But the economy is strong, and rising interest rates will help burnish returns on loans, they and their counterparts atop Wells Fargo & Co. said.
JPMorgan and Citi Pay Raises Leave Less for Investors; The big banks reported higher costs linked largely to compensation that will most likely continue.
Paul J. Davies – Bloomberg
The great economic rebalancing between capital and labor is finally here — in banking at least. The share prices of JPMorgan Chase & Co, Citigroup Inc. and most other U.S. banks tumbled on Friday after both banks reported higher costs for 2021 and predicted more inflation to come, most of which is being driven by higher pay.
Goldman’s Most Elite Rank to Get Millions in One-Time Payouts
Sridhar Natarajan – Bloomberg
Bank readies special awards for its 400-person partner class; It’s coming with a warning: Don’t mistake it as new pay grade
The top 1% at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is set to receive a special one-time reward in addition to annual bonuses, recognizing the Wall Street titan’s roaring success through the pandemic. The unusual payments to partners — the roughly 400 executives who fill out the investment bank’s highest rung — will add millions of dollars to many compensation packages, according to people with knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be identified discussing internal decisions. That group is already in line for larger payouts that range from a few million dollars to multiples of that after a year of record earnings.
BNP Paribas Asset Management Strengthens Private Assets Platform With Integration Of BNP Paribas Capital Partners
BNP Paribas Asset Management (‘BNPP AM’) announces that it has finalised the integration of BNP Paribas Capital Partners (‘BNPP CP’), its specialised alternative multi-management platform including private asset fund solutions, as well as funds of hedge funds and UCITS-compliant hedge funds.
Saxo Introduces Fractional Amounts And Extended Hours For Index CFDs
Saxo Bank, the online trading and investment specialist, today announces the introduction of fractional amounts and extended hours for Index CFDs.
Citigroup Boosts Pay for U.S. Junior Bankers After a Record Year
Jennifer Surane – Bloomberg
Citigroup Inc. increased pay for junior investment bankers in the U.S. after their division posted its best performance on record last year. The New York-based company increased base salaries for first-year analysts to $110,000, while those in their second and third years will now receive $125,000, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. The changes also apply to analysts in the firm’s sales and trading divisions.
BlueCrest Hedge Fund’s 30% Surge Lifts Founder Platt’s Fortune to $12.8 Billion
Nishant Kumar – Bloomberg
Michael Platt’s fortune is set to rise to about $12.8 billion; Firm uses highly leveraged bets after returning clients cash
Michael Platt’s wealth swelled even further last year as the billionaire continues to outperform most hedge funds with the freedom to take on riskier bets after returning clients money.
Thai stock exchange chief cautions against securities transaction tax; Government is also mulling a 15 per cent levy on cryptocurrency trading
John Reed – FT
A proposed tax on securities transactions in Thailand will depress trading and harm the development of the Bangkok stock exchange, said Pakorn Peetathawatchai, the market’s president. Thailand’s government has said it was planning to levy taxes on trading stocks and cryptocurrencies, after the trading and mining of the latter mushroomed in the country’s mostly unregulated environment.
Traders Wanted in a Once-Sleepy Gas Market With New Kingpins
China became world’s top buyer, while U.S. to be top supplier; Trading desks more important than ever to navigate the changes
Around the world, analysts and traders are grappling with the biggest shakeup in the 60-year history of liquefied natural gas: The emergence of two new superpowers, the U.S. and China, who are bringing more uncertainty and price fluctuations to a once-staid commodity market.
Insider-Trading Row Aims to Derail Croat Euro Entry, Vujcic Says
Jasmina Kuzmanovic – Bloomberg
Watchdog is probing decades-old trades by top central bankers’ Croatia seeks to join the EU’s single-currency region in 2023
Croatia’s central bank Governor Boris Vujcic said allegations of insider-trading by him, dating back two decades and unearthed this month, seek to sabotage the Balkan country’s plans to adopt the euro. “The intention of this affair is to hurt euro adoption prospects, but it won’t succeed,” Vujcic told broadcaster RTL TV in an interview Sunday. “Such accusations, without proof, undermine the credibility of our institution. Let’s not take such bait.”
Zero-Covid policies threaten Hong Kong’s place in the world; Record numbers are leaving and companies report problems recruiting as the city’s pandemic measures and political crackdown bite
Tabby Kinder, Leo Lewis, Tom Mitchell, Primrose Riordan and Chan Ho-him – FT
Outside the closed doors of the Landmark Mandarin Oriental on the noisy, congested Queen’s Road Central that runs through the middle of Hong Kong’s business district, stands a lone guard wearing a plastic apron and gloves. The warning not to enter the once bustling five-star hotel — now a high security luxury prison — is symbolic of a city transformed by a pandemic and politics.
Rio de Janeiro Wants to Become Brazil’s Cryptocurrency Capital
Andrew Rosati – Bloomberg
Brazil’s second-biggest city to spend 1% of reserves on crypto; Working group created to incentivize use of digital money
Brazil’s tourist hot spot of Rio de Janeiro now wants to become the nation’s cryptocurrency capital, and plans to dedicate part of its reserves to digital money. In a decree published Friday, Rio mayor Eduardo Paes announced the creation of a working group to study ways to incentivize the use of crypto and boost the city economy, such as offering discounts when paying taxes with Bitcoin.
U.K. Households Unable to Afford Energy Bills to Triple in April
consumers from rising bills
Rachel Morison – Bloomberg
About 6.3 million homes will be under fuel stress from April; Government needs to shield
The number of households in Britain struggling to pay their energy bills is set to triple in April when the nation’s price cap increases. The number of homes under “fuel stress” — those spending at least 10% of income on energy bills — is estimated to rise to 6.3 million households, according to research from the Resolution Foundation thinktank.
India’s Richest More Than Double Their Fortunes During Covid Crisis, Oxfam Says
Archana Chaudhary – Bloomberg
Economic inequality in India worsened during pandemic years; Government asked to reconsider tax policies, fund welfare
India’s richest have more than doubled their fortunes during the Covid-19 crisis that’s ravaged the country and worsened poverty, and the government should revisit its policies to redistribute wealth, according to the global Oxfam Davos report of 2022.
Egypt Could See Military-Owned Firms List on Bourse in 2022
Abdel Latif Wahba – Bloomberg
Some military-owned companies could sell stakes on the Egyptian stock market this year, the head of the country’s market regulatory agency said Monday.
China’s $1 Trillion Wealth Fund Loses Quant Trading Team Leader
Director of public equities Zhang Rong has left, people say; Wu Jian’an left CIC’s private equity department recently
The team leader for quantitative stocks trading at China’s $1.2 trillion sovereign wealth fund has resigned, joining a growing list of departures among the firm’s investing professionals, according to people familiar with the matter.
Don Cheadle, Steven Soderbergh to Team Up on HBO Max Show About ‘Wall Street’s First Black Millionaire’
Ella Ceron – bloomberg
Hollywood heavyweights Don Cheadle and Steven Soderbergh will executive produce a drama series based on the life of Jeremiah Hamilton, a Wall Streeter who in the 1800s became one of the first Black millionaires in the U.S., per a Variety report. The series is set to air on HBO Max, the streaming wing of HBO which is owned by WarnerMedia.