Hits & Takes
John Lothian & JLN Staff
The London Stock Exchange has given notice that CurveGlobal is to be closed effective Friday, the 28th of January, 2022.
CurveGlobal’s CEO Andy Ross had this to say on LinkedIn about the closing: “It’s a shame, but, unfortunately we told the market, yesterday evening, that we were closing CurveGlobal. Our priority is to help all the clients manage out of positions as best they can before the end of Jan 22. I wanted to take this moment to thank all those that have worked with us, traded with us and shared encouragement, advice and support. We’re here to help you close out positions – and manage the LIBOR to SONIA transition.”
If I were a crypto exchange wanting to get into the derivatives trading space, I would be knocking on LSE’s door asking to buy CurveGlobal from them. It is an existing exchange that could be repurposed for their needs and could do so perhaps more quickly than starting from scratch. Plus, it comes with a good pedigree and some very talented staff who would probably welcome another chance to throw the global markets a curve.
Luc Fortin, president and CEO of MX & global head of trading at TMX Group published this on LinkedIn about the exchange’s plans to extend trading hours: “From Canada to the World: Montréal Exchange Extends Trading Hours.” — LinkedIn
Boston FinTech Week will dive into the latest innovations in inclusive and sustainable finance from September 28th to October 1st.
MEMX produced this video and published it to LinkedIn to celebrate one year of full operations and the new all-time records of 5% market share intra-day and 4.5% market share overall. — LinkedIn
DRW is looking for interns and full-time employees. You can see more about the jobs they have open HERE.
Virtu has submitted a petition to the SEC for rulemaking to amend SEC rule 605 “to provide investors with greater transparency and enhanced, critical information about execution quality.” — SEC
FIA Japan posted this on their website: “In line with the Japanese Government’s announced policy to expand Japan’s role as an international finance hub, the Financial Services Agency (FSA) has launched a dedicated website earlier this year, which was recently enhanced. The “Japan as an International Financial Center” website offers a number of updates, links and informational materials covering new policies…” — FIA Japan
Euronext has been awarded again at this year’s Institutional Investor Team Survey. Awards include for Specialty & Other Finance Sector: #1 CEO in the Small & Midcap category; #1 CFO in the full sector and for Small & Midcap categories ; and Most honoured company and #2 ranked in the Specialty & Other Finance Sector. — LinkedIn
The Wall Street Rides Far’s “Team of the Week” is Team GTS, Riding to Build a Better Future.
Wall Street Rides Far says this about Team GTS: “For organizations determined to make a lasting impact, being responsible stewards is a key component of how they do business and interact with society at large. For the team at GTS—a market maker in equities, ETFs, commodities, futures, foreign exchange and interest rate products—these values are at the heart of the firm’s operations, with its commitment to building a better future extending well beyond its work in the financial space.” — WSRF
Nobody has taken us up on our raffle of a free video produced by John Lothian Productions with entry being a donation to the JLN MarketsWiki Education GoFundMe campaign of at least $100. Be the first and get your name in the raffle. This video prize can also be donated to a charitable organization.
Have a great day and stay safe and treat people the same way you want to be treated: with respect, equality and justice.~JJL
The three-day Morningstar Investment Conference 2021 kicks off today, and it’s a hybrid extravaganza, complete with a host of virtual and in-person speakers and exhibits in Chicago’s McCormick Place convention center. This year’s speakers include Morningstar CEO Kunal Kapoor, ARK Investment Management’s founder Cathie Wood, Hermitage Capital Management CEO Bill Browder and Jennifer Grancio from Engine No. 1. Session highlights and other conference information can be found here. ~SC
SEC’s Gensler Doesn’t See Cryptocurrencies Lasting Long; Regulator says history of ‘wildcat banking’ in U.S. shows limited viability for private forms of money
Paul Kiernan – WSJ
Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler said Tuesday he doesn’t see much long-term viability for cryptocurrencies, underscoring the importance of protecting investors in the market and bringing it under regulatory oversight. Mr. Gensler likened the thousands of cryptocurrencies in existence to the so-called wildcat banking era that took hold in the U.S. from 1837 until 1863 in the absence of federal bank regulation. Before President Abraham Lincoln created the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, banks issued their own currencies, which they sometimes refused to redeem for their purported value in gold or silver.
***** I like a man with a sense of history.~JJL
The Coming War Over Digital Currencies—and What It Means for Your Money
Daren Fonda – Barron’s
The war over money is heating up: For the first time in more than a century, the dollar’s supremacy is being challenged. The rise of cryptocurrencies and “stablecoins” has spurred a rethinking of what a currency is, who regulates it, and what it means when it’s no longer controlled by a national government. The dollar itself may be getting an overhaul, transformed into a digital currency that can travel instantly around the world, holding up against Bitcoin or any other token.
*****Hyperbole or truth. Might be time to upgrade from a tin hat.~JJL
Brexit falls flat: Britain’s soft drink makers have just days of carbon dioxide left
Thomas Buckley – Independent.ie
The British Soft Drinks Association has said manufacturers have “only a few days” of carbon dioxide left in reserve to produce beverages and can’t import supplies from the European Union due to Brexit. The gas is also used to stun animals before slaughter and in meat packaging, with that industry also warning it could run out within five days.
***** Soon the table will only be filled with still water. No gas.~JJL
TikTokers Are Trading Stocks By Copying What Members Of Congress Do
Tim Mak – NPR
Young investors have a new strategy: watching financial disclosures of sitting members of Congress for stock tips. Among a certain community of individual investors on TikTok, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s stock trading disclosures are a treasure trove. “Shouts out to Nancy Pelosi, the stock market’s biggest whale,” said user ‘ceowatchlist.’ Another said, “I’ve come to the conclusion that Nancy Pelosi is a psychic,” while adding that she is the “queen of investing.”
***** I am going to pass on the gratuitous attack on Congress.~JJL
The Pandemic and Climate Crisis Have Shown the Costs of Inaction; The past year has laid bare a great many problems that are past due for solutions, including some we already know how to fix. It’s time to stop messing around and do it.
Justin Fox – Bloomberg
The first techno-futurist bestseller, published in France in 1795 and quickly translated into English and other languages, envisioned not only longer life spans, increased agricultural productivity, and more efficient use of resources but also wiser citizens and better governance. Lending poignancy to this last prediction, the author of the Sketch for a Historical Picture of the Progress of the Human Mind, the Marquis de Condorcet, wrote it while he was in hiding from the Jacobin radicals who seized control of the French Revolution from mid-1793 to mid-1794. Condorcet, a mathematician-turned-scientific-administrator who’d briefly risen to political power in the middle stages of the revolution, died on the run not long after finishing the book. It was “a singular instance of the attachment of a man to principles, which every day’s experience was so fatally for himself contradicting,” quipped English clergyman Thomas Robert Malthus.
***** Quick, do nothing…~JJL
‘Soul-crushing’: US COVID-19 deaths are topping 1,900 a day
Heather Hollingsworth – AP News
COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. have climbed to an average of more than 1,900 a day for the first time since early March, with experts saying the virus is preying largely on a distinct group: 71 million unvaccinated Americans. The increasingly lethal turn has filled hospitals, complicated the start of the school year, delayed the return to offices and demoralized health care workers.
*****This soul-crushing number has the potential to change the political landscape. That is a lot of voters to lose.~JJL
Tuesday’s Top Three
Our top story Tuesday was The Real Reason You and Your Neighbor Make Different Covid-19 Risk Decisions, which was No. 2 on Monday. Second was Business Insider’s FTX boss Sam Bankman-Fried told us why US derivatives are ‘a huge missing piece of the crypto ecosystem’ that present ‘an absolutely huge opportunity’ — and breaks down 3 big trends on his radar. Third was Bloomberg’s Billionaire Banker Kotak Calls Evergrande China’s Lehman Moment.
26,621 pages; 235,883 edits
London Stock Exchange to abandon lossmaking derivatives venture; CurveGlobal Markets has failed to win enough business and will cease trading in January
Philip Stafford – FT
London Stock Exchange Group is to shut its lossmaking derivatives exchange CurveGlobal Markets after the venture failed to make headway against rivals in the European bond market. CurveGlobal, which was set up five years ago, will cease trading at the end of January, the LSE said late on Tuesday. Some contracts, including futures on German government debt and long-dated UK gilts, will end trading immediately because there were no open positions, the exchange said.
Crypto is not a viable long-term form of private money and stablecoins are equivalent to poker chips at the casino, SEC chief says
Carla Mozée – Business Insider
Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler likened stable coins to “poker chips,” in an interview with the Washington Post, returning to his previous analogy referring to the $2 trillion cryptocurrency market as the “Wild West.” He also said private forms of money have turned out to be unsustainable, suggesting thousands of such projects won’t last.
Crypto Risks Existential Threat as U.S. Crackdown Gathers Steam
Joe Light – Bloomberg
SEC Coinbase action seen by enforcers as warning shot; SEC, state regulators say more enforcement actions to come
Cryptocurrency firms are fighting for lobbyists and fielding subpoenas in what could be an existential fight over how the multitrillion-dollar industry should be regulated. In the past month, lobbyists have been overwhelmed by firms seeking representation in Washington, as regulators threaten the cryptocurrency companies with lawsuits or cease-and-desist orders. Current and former enforcers say those warnings are likely just the beginning.
US bond lobbies warn SEC of severe disruption under rule change; Regulator’s application of 50-year-old statute would have ‘significant, deleterious effect’, trade groups say
Joe Rennison and Eric Platt – FT
Lobby groups are warning that activity in the world’s biggest bond market could grind to a halt at the end of this month without last-minute exemptions to an obscure 50-year-old rule in the US that has previously taken aim only at stocks.
London Stock Exchange announces closure of CurveGlobal Markets
London Stock Exchange
London Stock Exchange plc (“the Exchange”) is today announcing the closure of its derivatives segment,
CurveGlobal Markets, with effect from the close of trading on Friday 28 January 2022 (“Final Trading Day”).
Bitcoin Crashed to $5,402 in Error on Network Backed by Quants
Nick Baker – Bloomberg
That roughly 90% plunge wasn’t mimicked elsewhere in crypto; Eye-catching error from service affiliated with top traders
A cryptocurrency data network run by some of Wall Street’s biggest players showed a roughly 90% plunge in Bitcoin on Monday, a glitch that didn’t show up on other platforms. The platform, called Pyth, is heralded by its supporters as an industrial-grade source for pricing information on assets like stocks and cryptocurrencies. Its contributors include finance giants like Jump Trading Group, DRW and FTX.
CO2 crisis set to spread to Europe, big distributor warns; Nippon Gases says its supplies have fallen 50 per cent across region
Harry Dempsey and Emiko Terazono – FT
The UK carbon dioxide shortage threatening industries from healthcare to food is spilling over into Europe, one of the world’s largest distributors of the gas has warned. Nippon Gases, which sold almost $1.5bn of industrial gases on the continent last year, said “other countries in Europe will also suffer shortages” of CO2, estimating that its supplies had fallen 50 per cent across the region.
Forget COP26 boasts — decarbonising takes thousands of tiny, boring steps; Truly green companies redesign their products rather than buying offsets or planting trees
Brooke Masters – FT
With the COP26 global climate talks in Glasgow fast approaching, companies are falling over themselves to trumpet their green credentials. In the last week, Rusal unveiled “ultra-low” carbon Budweiser cans, Royal Dutch Shell sold a big chunk of its US shale holdings and Nespresso promised to make its coffee carbon neutral.
In era of quick-fire bosses, Wall Street embraces the ‘forever CEO’; Brian Moynihan, Jamie Dimon and James Gorman buck trend of shorter tenures at US companies
Joshua Franklin and Imani Moise – FT
In 2013, then in his fourth year of running Bank of America, Brian Moynihan became the first chief executive to turn down Yale University’s “Legend in Leadership” award, saying it was too early in his tenure. “He thought he didn’t deserve it yet, he thought it was a work in progress,” said Yale School of Management professor Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, who offered Moynihan the prize, which he ultimately accepted in 2018.
Robinhood’s new crypto wallet lets customers loose in the crypto sector
David Hollerith – Yahoo Finance
Investing app Robinhood (HOOD) said Wednesday it will provide a crypto wallet for customers, letting them send and receive crypto assets off its platform. Officially live in early 2022, the service gives an entirely new set of retail investors keys to the crypto sector. With this added access comes risks for customers and the chance the company is changing how users interact with its platform.
Banks Oppose Strict Basel Rules Targeting Cryptocurrencies; Forum for lenders including JPMorgan and Deutsche Bank argues rules would push crypto trading into unregulated corners of the financial system
Simon Clark and Caitlin Ostroff – WSJ
The biggest U.S. and European banks oppose strict new rules that would require them to set aside a dollar in capital for every dollar of bitcoin they own, a group of trade associations representing the lenders told the top global standard setter for banking regulation.
SEC’s Gensler: Stablecoins Are Poker Chips; Gensler has doubts over the security and legitimacy of the assets, although he did acknowledge that the cryptocurrency industry has been able to influence broader finance.
Casey Wagner – Blockworks
United States Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler thinks digital assets have potential, but that does not make them immune to regulatory oversight, Wall Street’s top regulator explained during a Washington Post virtual event.
Wall Street Blockchain Alliance Adds S&P Dow Jones Indices as Corporate Member
Wall Street Blockchain Alliance
The Wall Street Blockchain Alliance (WSBA), an industry leading non-profit trade association with a mission to guide and promote comprehensive adoption of cryptoassets and blockchain technology across global markets, is proud to announce that S&P Dow Jones Indices has recently joined the family of WSBA corporate members.
The World Bank scandal is a bad sign for the future of globalization
Tim Fernholz – Quartz
It’s never a good sign when a bank gets caught fudging its numbers, but the revelation of the World Bank’s manipulation of an influential index also highlights the challenge of forging a global consensus for the economy in the 21st century. The World Bank came clean last week after hiring an external law firm to investigate allegations that it had altered an index that measures the ease of doing business in member countries. Investigators found that Bank officials pushed the team developing the index to manipulate it in several cases, most notably to improve China’s place in the ranking.
Companies rethink offices to attract workers; Employees are looking for collaboration, fun and shorter commutes
Janina Conboye – FT
Companies are rethinking their office spaces as the growth of hybrid working means the workplace has to compete with homes and other locations as attractive places to get work done.
Leaders in Trading 2021: EMS Awards shortlists revealed; Winners of this year’s Execution Management Systems Awards across six categories will be announced during The TRADE’s Leaders in Trading gala awards night in London on 4 November.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
The TRADE is proud to reveal the shortlisted nominees for this year’s EMS Awards, based upon performance in the Execution Management Systems Survey 2021, conducted earlier in the year. Ratings for EMS vendors across key functional criteria were submitted by over 300 buy-side respondents, with top performers now recognised in the awards shortlist.
UBS Trader Sues Over Claim Extreme Stress Damaged Mental Health
Ellen Milligan – Bloomberg
Simon Rope is seeking $273,000 from Swiss bank for negligence; UBS denies any breach of duty care for veteran U.K. trader
A UBS Group AG trader sued his employer over allegations the “toxic” London work environment and “punishing workload” caused his mental health to deteriorate so far he was no longer able to work. A 35-year veteran at the Swiss bank, Simon Rope, is seeking 200,000 pounds ($273,000), for negligence over an anxiety disorder caused by “the stress to which he was subjected in” UBS’s London office, his lawyers alleged in a U.K. lawsuit. Rope has survived at least 17 rounds of redundancies but hasn’t returned to the trading floor since 2018, they said.
US to donate additional 500m Pfizer and BioNTech Covid vaccine doses; Companies behind jab expand deal at not-for-profit price to boost access for poorest nations
Donato Paolo Mancini and Jamie Smyth – FT
BioNTech and Pfizer have expanded their deal with the US to provide an additional 500m doses of their Covid-19 vaccine at a not-for-profit price to the world’s poorest countries, which are grappling with severe shortages.
Pfizer Study of Covid-19 Vaccine in Pregnant Women Delayed by Slow Enrollment; Changing guidelines, possibility of being given placebo made trial unappealing to some expectant mothers
Jared S. Hopkins and Sarah Toy – WSJ
A study led by Pfizer Inc. PFE -0.63% and BioNTech SE BNTX 0.69% evaluating their Covid-19 vaccine in expectant mothers has been complicated by slow enrollment, researchers say, delaying results that could help inform physicians about how the shots affect pregnant women and their babies.
Biden to Pledge 500 Million More Pfizer Vaccine Donations for Poor Nations at U.N. Covid-19 Summit; Additional doses bring total U.S. commitment to 1.1 billion shots to be delivered to developing countries
Sabrina Siddiqui – WSJ
President Biden is expected to announce Wednesday that the U.S. will purchase 500 million additional doses of the coronavirus vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE to donate to developing countries, according to senior administration officials.
Pressure Grows on U.S. Companies to Share Covid Vaccine Technology; Moderna accepted $2.5 billion in taxpayer money to develop its Covid-19 vaccine. But officials in the U.S. and overseas are having trouble persuading the company to license its technology.
Stephanie Nolen and Sheryl Gay Stolberg – NY Times
As President Biden convenes heads of state for a Covid-19 summit on Wednesday, pressure is growing on American drug companies — particularly Moderna, the upstart biotech firm that developed its coronavirus vaccine with billions of dollars in taxpayer money — to share their formulas with manufacturers in nations that desperately need more shots.
Exchanges, OTC and Clearing
LeveL ATS and Luminex to Merge, Unifying Sell-Side and Buy-Side Networks Under Unique Industry Consortium; Creating a premier industry-owned alternative trading platform with participation from sell-side, buy-side, and a global exchange operator to address critical industry needs; Combination provides a strong runway to expand geographically and into other asset classes
LeveL ATS, a leading, independently operated US equity dark pool trading venue for the sell-side and Luminex Trading & Analytics, a block trading venue built for and owned by the buy-side, have entered a definitive agreement to merge. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.
LSEG to shutter derivatives exchange CurveGlobal after just five years; The derivatives exchange will cease trading of all instruments on 18 January next year following an ongoing unsuccessful period.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
The London Stock Exchange Group has confirmed plans to shutter its derivatives exchange CurveGlobal Markets at the start of next year, bringing a five-year effort to rival Europe’s leading futures platforms to an end. In a market notice, the exchange laid out plans to wind down its derivatives business beginning with the immediate suspension of certain interest rate derivatives contracts, including long-dates UK gilts and futures on German government debt, while moving to a ‘short term’ trading window for others.
Qomply partners with Euronext to simplify transaction reporting; Clients will benefit from a unified process that accepts trade data, checks for accuracy and validity, and sends the transaction data to Euronext ARM directly.
Wesley Bray – The Trade
Transaction reporting firm Qomply has partnered with Euronext to provide market participants with an improved transaction reporting service. Through the connectivity partnership, clients will be provided with a simple solution that reduces cost and gets rid of complications associated with integrating separate solutions.
BlackRock index specialist departs to join LSEG’s FTSE Russell EMEA business; New head of equity index product for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) has spent the last 14 years at BlackRock in institutional and index equity focused roles.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
BlackRock’s director of index equity strategies has left the asset manager after nearly 14 years to join LSEG’s FTSE Russell as its head of equity index product for EMEA. According to an update on his social media, Norbert van Veldhuizen joined LSEG’s FTSE Russell this month after serving at BlackRock for almost 14 years, most recently as its director of index equity strategies for six years.
BNP Paribas and Standard Chartered among first to support new CME sustainable clearing service; As a market first, CME’s new sustainable clearing service will allow participants to track whether their hedging strategies are achieving their sustainability goals.
Wesley Bray – The Trade
CME Group is set to launch a new sustainable clearing service later this year with the aim of helping participants analyse the sustainability of their hedging activities. Expected to launch on 27 September, the new clearing service will allow clients to better track and measure the impact of their sustainable activities and their sustainable derivatives positions.
La Banque Postale joins Deutsche Börse’s GC Pooling market
La Banque Postale, one of the leading French banks active in retail banking, insurance, corporate and investment banking, and asset management, has joined Eurex Repo’s GC Pooling market after being live on Eurex Repo’s Special market since 2020. This move will allow La Banque Postale access to further deep liquidity pools via this cost-efficient and low-risk solution for secured money market trading.
HomeToGo SE: New addition to the General Standard of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange
Deutsche Börse Group
Lakestar SPAC I SE has been listed as SPAC on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange since February 2021. After the successful merger with HomeToGo and subsequent name change, the company’s shares have been traded under HomeToGo SE (ISIN: LU2290523658 ) on the regulated market ( General Standard ) of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange since today . Today’s opening price was EUR 8.70.
PennyMac Expands Use of ICE Mortgage Technology Suite with Encompass Investor Connect to Accelerate Correspondent Digitization
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc.
ICE Mortgage TechnologyTM, part of Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE: ICE), a leading global provider of data, technology and market infrastructure, today announced its latest partnership with PennyMac Loan Services LLC, a subsidiary of PennyMac Financial Services, Inc. (NYSE: PFSI). The integration with ICE Mortgage Technology’s Encompass® Investor Connect will make PennyMac the largest correspondent aggregator within a network of correspondent investors available on one platform.
Canaan, Iboardings and Telice join BME’s Pre-Market Environment
By joining, these three companies show investors their innovative capacity, consolidated activity and vision for growth
Since its launch, in 2017, already 25 companies have joined this BME programme
— Delisting of the Kyrgyzaltyn JSC Gold Brand from all Physically- Delivered COMEX Gold Futures Contracts — CME
— Implementation of 2021 ISDA Definitions for Over-the-Counter Interest Rate Swap Products – Effective October 4, 2021 — CME
— Performance Bond Requirements: Energy, Agriculture, Metals – September 22, 2021 — CME
— Delisting of the Kyrgyzaltyn JSC Gold Brand from all Physically-Delivered COMEX Gold Futures Contracts — CME
IBM Wins Africa Cloud Deals as Banks Quicken Switch to Digital
Loni Prinsloo – Bloomberg
Deals signed with six banks including Nedbank, Attijariwafa; IBM CEO Krishna is pivoting to the fast-growing cloud market
International Business Machines Corp. won hybrid cloud deals with a number of Africa’s largest banks including South Africa’s Nedbank and Morocco’s Attijariwafa Bank, as part of its strategy to pivot the business toward the fast-growing market of storing large amounts of data on the internet.
Pakistan’s Fintech TAG Raises Funds at $100 Million Valuation
Faseeh Mangi – Bloomberg
Pakistan is seeing record funding in startups this year; South Asian country among world’s largest unbanked populations
Fintech startup TAG Innovation Pvt. received $12 million from investors including New-York based Liberty City Ventures and Canaan Partners in its fundraising effort to capitalize on the growing popularity of digital payments in Pakistan.
Zoom’s $14.7bn deal for Five9 receives US scrutiny over foreign ties; Justice department raises national security concerns about risk of Chinese influence at video conferencing company
James Politi, Ortenca Aliaj and Richard Waters – FT
The US Department of Justice has raised national security concerns in connection with Zoom Video Communications’ planned takeover of the cloud software company Five9, calling for a secondary review of the web conferencing provider’s agreed $14.7bn deal.
Growth of staff monitoring software stokes debate over rights and morals; ‘Data is the new frontline in workers’ rights’
Andrew Jack – FT
Brian Cramer has built a growing business helping financial services firms meet their legal obligations by tracking employees’ communications and activities. But, now, demand for such tools is expanding beyond those companies — and for a broader range of reasons.
Turquoise partners with OpenFin on buy-side data as FlexTrade Systems becomes first EMS to integrate feed; The Turquoise on OpenFin data feed will be delivered to FlexTrade via OpenFin’s message bus system as part of the pair’s newly announced collaboration.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
Turquoise has become the first trading venue to connect to OpenFin to offer a direct data feed to the buy-side via its operating system. The pair confirmed that FlexTrade Systems’ EMS was the first to integrate the new data offering aimed at streamlining buy-side trader workflows by offering them access to trading venues’ data directly via OpenFin’s operating system to support better liquidity discovery and decision making.
US imposes sanctions on crypto exchange in ransomware clampdown; Curbs on digital asset group SUEX mark new frontier in battle to halt surge in extortion attacks
Hannah Murphy – FT
The US Treasury has imposed sanctions on a cryptocurrency exchange that it says allowed ransomware hackers to launder extortion payments from victims, in one of its most significant interventions to date against a digital asset group. Working together with the FBI, the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control announced the curbs on an exchange called SUEX, which it said deliberately “facilitated illicit activities for [its] own illicit gains”.
Financial Industry Regulators Continue Crack Down on Cybersecurity
Baker Donelson – JDSupra
On multiple fronts, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) continue to increase their focus on cybersecurity. This is understandable as headlines of recent data breaches and ransomware attacks are in the news almost daily. This alert will highlight several of the actions taken by these regulators and proactive measures that financial services companies can implement to avoid the regulatory scrutiny that may follow from a cyber incident.
DDoS attacks are becoming more prolific and more powerful, warn cybersecurity researchers
Danny Palmer – ZDNet
There’s been a rise in distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks in recent months in what cybersecurity researchers say is a record-breaking number of incidents.
According to a report by cybersecurity researchers at Netscout, there were 5.4 million recorded DDoS attacks during the first half of 2021 – a figure that represents an 11% rise compared with the same period last year.
Vaccine Passports: Rethinking Cybersecurity Best Practices
Jonathan Jackson – CPO Magazine
The beginning of COVID-19 vaccine rollouts globally has signaled the path to reopening of international borders, which also quickly led to the introduction of new verification methods such as vaccine passports or digital vaccine certificates. We have seen the launch of EU’s digital vaccine passport and plans for Japan to have its vaccine passports be accepted by over 10 nations within just two months. Australia, for its part, has recently updated the Medicare Express App to include digital vaccination certificates.
Cybersecurity Solutions to Know in 2021: Open Source and Scaling Up
Dawn Blizard – SecurityIntelligence
Speed is of the essence in digital defense. As the latest Ponemon Institute Cost of a Data Breach Report makes clear, businesses and agencies that are able to respond to and contain an incident rapidly will save millions over their slower peers. The average total cost of a data breach increased by nearly 10%, the largest increase in nearly a decade. However, groups able to identify and contain a breach in less than 200 days saved an average of $1.26 million compared to those that needed more time. So, the right thing to do is put more cybersecurity solutions in place, right?
The Need is Growing for Cybersecurity Attorneys
Kamron Sanders – The National Law Review
Over the last few years dating back to the events of 9/11, cybersecurity law has grown in demand due to an increased number of threats. It’s no surprise that the pandemic has heightened security attacks with business being conducted almost completely online. Compared to Q1 of 2020, cyberattacks increased by 17% in Q2 of 2021 with the majority of them being targeted attacks.
The increase in cyber-attacks has opened a unique opportunity for law students and legal professionals to enter the cybersecurity space. To best combat cybercriminals, it’s important to keep a pulse on current threats and tactics impacting the world today.
There’s Trouble in El Salvador’s Bitcoin Paradise
Between the growing authoritarianism of his government and the massive popular pushback to his absurd new Bitcoin law, the honeymoon for El Salvador’s young, self-styled “disrupter” president Nayib Bukele is over.
Hilary Goodfriend – Jacobin Magazine
Bukele’s Bitcoin proposition was immediately rejected in El Salvador, where the traumas of the deeply unpopular dollarization of the country’s economy in 2001 are still fresh in public memory. The three-page law was presented and approved by the ruling party’s legislative majority in a matter of hours, only days after the president surprised the country with the announcement in English at a Miami conference in June.
Why you’re paying Bitcoin’s energy bill
The vast computing power needed to create new bitcoins has driven up energy bills for residents and businesses
Michael Maiello – Chicago Booth Review
Millions of people who have neither mined nor traded a bitcoin are nevertheless paying for bitcoins to exist. That’s because the vast computing power needed to create new bitcoins consumes enormous amounts of electricity and has driven up energy bills for residents and businesses, according to University of California at Berkeley’s Matteo Benetton and Adair Morse and Chicago Booth’s Giovanni Compiani.
SEC chair compares stablecoins to casino poker chips; “We’ve got a lot of casinos here in the Wild West, and the poker chip is these stablecoins at the casino gaming tables,” said Gary Gensler.
Turner Wright – Cointelegraph
United St Securities and Commission, or SEC, chair Gary Gensler has doubled down on his “Wild West” analogy for cryptocurrencies, calling stablecoins instruments for gambling at old-timey casinos.
Coinbase begins catering to institutions through ‘Coinbase Prime’ platform
Sean Dickens – Coin Rivet
Coinbase has today officially launched its ‘Coinbase Prime’ platform to cater to the growing number of institutions purchasing cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Compass Mining Debuts Hardware to Mine Cryptocurrency at Home
Matthew De Saro – BeInCrypto
The new service, called At-Home Mining, is a direct-to-consumer feature allowing users to buy mining equipment for personal use.
Invesco Teams Up in Push to Create Crypto ETFs; Asset manager and Galaxy Digital aim to capitalize on investors’ enthusiasm for digital assets—if and when the SEC approves the trading of such products
Michael Wursthorn – WSJ
Invesco Ltd. IVZ -1.04% , one of the biggest operators of exchange-traded funds in the U.S., is making plans to roll out a lineup of funds backed by bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The Atlanta-based asset manager plans to announce Wednesday that it is joining with Galaxy Digital Holdings Ltd. GLXY -3.03% , an upstart digital asset firm, to develop U.S.-listed ETFs that hold and track the performance of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, yet trade like a stock.
Who’s Afraid of Peter Thiel? A New Biography Suggests We All Should Be
Belinda Luscombe – TIME
Paypal cofounder Peter Thiel is famous for destroying media outlets, not paying taxes, and being a conservative tech billionaire. A new biography, The Contrarian, suggests that he is after more than riches. TIME chatted with its author, journalist Max Chafkin.
Public Officials Shouldn’t Be Allowed to Day Trade; The Fed is reviewing its rules on policy makers’ trading activities. It should outlaw their buying and selling of individual stocks.
Mark Gilbert – Bloomberg
The U.S. Federal Reserve will review its rules governing personal investments after two policy makers disclosed transactions that raised both eyebrows and issues of potential impropriety. I’m with Senator Elizabeth Warren in agreeing that the ownership and trading of individual stocks by public officials in such sensitive roles shouldn’t be allowed. In fact, I’m struggling to generate a single argument in favor of letting such potential conflicts of interest arise.
CFTC commissioner: agency doesn’t have enforcement resources without Congress
Turner Wright – Cointelegraph
“We’re not necessarily looking for more authority without more resources,” said Dan Berkovitz in regards to crypto markets.
Dan Berkovitz, one of three commissioners currently serving at the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, said while the agency is suited to futures contracts, swaps, and options trading, it would need additional resources to handle the cash market for crypto assets.
Gary Gensler Details Potential Road to Crypto Regulations for the US
Rahul Nambiampurath – BeInCrypto
SEC Chairman Gary Gensler offered detailed insight into the cryptocurrency market and a potential path to regulation in a conversation with the Washington Post. SEC Chairman Gary Gensler, speaking to the Washington Post, offered multiple thoughts on the cryptocurrency market. The interview, titled “The Path Forward: Cryptocurrency with Gary Gensler,” goes into detail about matters that range from regulation to volatility. On the whole, the impression from the speech is yet another strong call for regulation focused on investor protection.
Sharp jump in UK fraud cases sparks warning of ‘national security threat’; Scams in which victims are duped into handing over money or sensitive information have leapt 70 per cent
James Pickford – FT
UK banks have warned that fraud now represents a “national security threat”, as they reported a 71 per cent jump in “authorised” fraud, in which victims are duped into transferring their money to criminals or handing over sensitive personal details.
ASIC bans former dealer and portfolio manager Dylan Rands for market manipulation
ASIC has banned Dylan Christopher Rands, of Sydney, NSW, from providing financial services for five years after finding he engaged in market manipulation. Mr Rands was a former dealer and portfolio manager at Regal Funds Management Pty Ltd (Regal). Regal operates managed investment schemes, known as funds. As part of his portfolio-manager role, Mr Rands managed trading in Clearview Wealth Limited shares, which were held in several Regal funds.
New information about the Financial Advisers Exam for advisers practising prior to 1 January 2019
ASIC has provided new information for financial advisers, who practised before 1 January 2019, on their obligation to pass the Financial Advisers Exam. Following the introduction of the Professional Standards Reforms in 2017, all financial advisers are required to pass the exam in order to continue being authorised to provide personal advice to retail clients on ‘relevant financial products’ (i.e. financial products other than basic banking and general insurance products, and consumer credit insurance). However, advisers who practised before 1 January 2019 (‘existing providers’), have the benefit of special transitional arrangements.
Changing Dynamics Pre-IPO and Going Public on the Agenda for the SEC’s Small Business Capital Formation Advisory Committee
The Securities and Exchange Commission’s Small Business Capital Formation Advisory Committee will meet virtually on Monday, Sept. 27 to explore the changing dynamics for pre-IPO companies raising capital and the pathways those companies take to becoming public.
SEC Charges Puerto Rican Company and Managing Members with Fraud
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced charges against Puerto Rico-based Back to Green Mining LLC and its two managing members, José Jiménez Cruz and Manuel Portalatin, for their participation in a fraudulent and unregistered offering in a purported “green” mining venture.
PODCAST: Single Points of Accountability: Navigating Firms’ Experiences with FINRA
As part of FINRA’s Member Supervision Transformation, each firm was assigned a Single Point of Accountability – a senior leader in Member Supervision that helps firms navigate their experience with FINRA.
Investing and Trading
Evergrande Isn’t a Lehman. Now for the Bad News; State planning might have the tools to avert a debt crisis; the price may be a severe slowdown in economic growth.
John Authers – Bloomberg
The Evergrande Impact
The Evergrande panic isn’t everlong. After Monday’s selloff, which teetered on the brink of panic, stock markets pulled themselves together across the world. Meanwhile, investors appeared to believe that they had brought themselves up to speed on the troubles of China Evergrande Group, the country’s second-largest property developer. Google Trends shows that searches for the word “Evergrande” in the U.S. suddenly took off on Monday morning (even though the situation had been coming to a boil for weeks if not months). After activity peaked at 9 p.m. on the Eastern seaboard, it fell off sharply Tuesday:
Hyperinflation Concerns Top the Worry List for UBS Clients
Carolynn Look – Bloomberg
Clients of UBS Group AG are wondering whether central banks’ massive stimulus could trigger hyperinflation, according to a list of their top economic concerns.
Evergrande Woes Taunt Emerging Markets on Edge About the Fed
Netty Idayu Ismail and Colleen Goko – Bloomberg
Fidelity, Nordea see currencies in developing world weakening; Potential default adds to concerns over wind-down of stimulus
The chorus of emerging-market bears is getting louder as China Evergrande Group’s debt crisis turns a week already fraught with risks into a minefield. Fidelity International and Nordea Investment expect developing-nation currencies to weaken further as the real estate giant’s financial saga exposes cracks in China’s growth engine. Citigroup Inc. now favors long dollar wagers in Poland, Hungary, South Africa and Turkey, while Morgan Stanley said it’s sticking with a bearish view on dollar debt amid the tumult.
Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance
Why the Most Populous U.S. County Just Ended Oil and Gas Drilling; L.A. County’s plan to phase out drilling comes after a years-long environmental justice movement focused on adverse health effects. Advocates hope it will be a model elsewhere.
Brentin Mock and Laura Bliss – Bloomberg
Los Angeles County supervisors voted unanimously last week to phase out oil and gas drilling in unincorporated parts of the nation’s most populous county, in what advocates hailed as a victory in a years-long movement for environmental justice. But thousands of derricks within city limits are unaffected by the new ordinance, and advocates say the fight is ongoing, with hopes that the vote will be a model for other places.
Vanguard Comes Up Short on the Climate Front, Think Tank Says; The asset manager could lose $3 trillion by 2050 from its U.S. equity investments by failing to act on climate change, according to a new report.
Saijel Kishan – Bloomberg
Vanguard Group Inc., one of the world’s largest money managers, says it cares “deeply” about the long-term impact of climate change. It joined an investor group that’s announced a net zero-emissions target and oversees pension funds for technology companies, where employees have a long tradition of being environmentally conscious.
Top Oil Trader Vitol Jumps Into Electric-Vehicle Fleet Business
Andy Hoffman – Bloomberg
Vitol Group, the world’s biggest independent oil trader, is jumping into the electric-vehicle fleet business. The Rotterdam-based trading house formed a $250 million joint venture with BYD Co., a Chinese EV and battery maker, it said in a statement. The new service will offer electric-car fleet services and charging infrastructure to cities, companies and other organizations.
Goldman Junior Banker Uprising Was Ignited by Son of TPG Leader
Sridhar Natarajan and Max Abelson – Bloomberg
Slide deck on toils of trainees set off an industrywide debate; Virtually every big Wall Street firm has since granted raises
The question has gone unanswered for months: Who were the Goldman Sachs bankers who complained so passionately about life on the lower rungs that the firm and its rivals gave raises to legions of rookies?
China to Wall Street: regulatory crackdown not aimed at restricting private firms
Norihiko Shirouzu and Scott Murdoch – Reuters
China’s sweeping regulatory crackdown of recent months does not aim to rein in the country’s private enterprises or decouple from the United States or international financial markets, a top Chinese regulatory official told Wall Street leaders last week.
Venezuela Debt Swap Breathes Life Into All-But-Dead Bond Market
Nicolle Yapur and Ezra Fieser – Bloomberg
PDVSA, sovereign notes have jumped since refinery swap; Whether that deal signals more to come is far from clear
The market for Venezuela’s defaulted bonds is coming back to life as traders bet that the government’s move to swap a stake in a Caribbean refinery to settle some of its obligations could portend more deals to come.
Iraq Warns of Oil Demand Rising as Global Gas Crisis Worsens
Anthony Di Paola – Bloomberg
Government is ready to pump more if needed, says minister; Iraq could produce 5 million barrels daily, Jabbar says
Iraq warned that oil demand will probably rise as the supply crunch in natural-gas markets forces consumers to look for alternative fuels, echoing the views of fellow OPEC member Nigeria. “There is some new concern,” Iraqi Oil Minister Ihsan Abdul Jabbar said in an interview.
Bill Gross Offers Olive Branch in Yearlong Feud With Neighbor
Joe Schneider – Bloomberg
PIMCO co-founder says he’s willing to remove outdoor speakers; Millionaire Mark Towfiq wants Gross found guilty of contempt
Billionaire Bill Gross offered a concession in an effort to end a yearlong feud with his Southern California neighbor Mark Towfiq, saying he’d be willing to remove some of the eight outdoor speakers at his oceanfront home to reduce the volume level.
Billionaire John Paulson and wife in epic divorce
Emily Smith – NY Post
Billionaire investor John Paulson is divorcing his wife of 21 years, Jenny — and the stage is set for one of the most expensive splits of all time as the couple do not have a prenup, sources have exclusively confirmed to Page Six.