Hits & Takes
John Lothian & JLN Staff
Today’s lead story is about the impact of the pandemic on New York real estate. The story says about 1 in 10 office workers have returned to the office since Covid-19 hit. The story is titled “Manhattan Offices Are Nearly Empty, Threatening New York City’s Recovery.”
The Wall Street Journal also has a story titled “Recreational Vehicle Sales Rise as New Buyers Take to the Highway.” Having just come back from a camping trip, where the camping area was full of RVs and has been since the pandemic broke, I can confirm the basis of this story. RVs are a great way to get out into open air and have your own living space. I will also say the people camping were more reserved and did not engage with their neighbors as much. They kept their social distance and more.
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 American Financial Exchange and the University of Chicago Law School will host a webinar on October 5 called, “The Role of Regional, Mid-Sized and Community Banks in the Economy and Job Creation,” with Brian Brooks, Acting Comptroller, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). The webinar will take place at 3:00 pm CT/4:00 pm ET. You can find the agenda here and go here to register.~SR
The Security Traders Association (STA) has released a new episode of its Trading Views podcast. In Episode 4 of STA Trading Views, STA spoke to former SEC Commissioner Troy Paredes of Paredes Strategies LLC about AI, recent developments at the SEC, and insights on how to track the issues you care about post-Presidential election. STA also highlighted Paredes’ bi-monthly podcast Appetite for Disruption, which focuses on the business and regulation of fintech. You can go here to listen.~SR
The lawsuit against the Maker Foundation, creators of the DAI stablecoin, has moved to arbitration after Judge Maxine Chesney granted a motion by the Maker Foundation. The lawsuit alleges that the Foundation misrepresented the risks of using its platform to its users.~MR
SGX Bull Charge beneficiaries receive largest single donation in recent years from AMTD Charity Foundation
AMTD Charity Foundation donates a total of S$1 million to SGX Bull Charge and Community Chest; 17th annual Charity Run, transformed to two-week virtual fundraiser, kicks off on 30 October
Beneficiaries of SGX Bull Charge, the flagship charity initiative of Singapore Exchange (SGX), have received a boost from AMTD Charity Foundation amid a challenging year for fundraising. AMTD Charity Foundation is donating S$500,000 to SGX Bull Charge ahead of its 17th annual Charity Run – the largest single contribution in recent years. The proceeds will be channelled through Community Chest to this year’s adopted beneficiaries in Singapore – AWWA Ltd., Autism Association (Singapore), Fei Yue Community Services, HCSA Community Services and Shared Services for Charities. In addition, AMTD will donate S$500,000 directly to Community Chest, with whom it will work to identify charities and programmes to support.
*****That is some good bull news.~JJL
Memorabilia-Trading App Rally Raises $17 Million; Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian joined the funding round
Logan Moore – WSJ
A New York-based app on which users can trade against vintage cars, fancy wine and baseball cards just received a cash injection from a handful of investors, including Reddit’s co-founder Alexis Ohanion. Launched in 2017, the Rally Rd. platform gives almost 200,000 users access to alternative asset investments in collectibles.
*****Maybe I can sell my Game of Thrones memorabilia there.~JJL
Owner of Bitcoin Exchange Convicted of Racketeering Conspiracy for Laundering Millions of Dollars in International Cyber Fraud Scheme
US Department of Justice
A Bulgarian national was found guilty today for his role in a transnational and multi-million dollar scheme to defraud American victims through online auction fraud. Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian C. Rabbitt of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Robert M. Duncan Jr. of the Eastern District of Kentucky, Assistant Director Michael D’Ambrosio of U.S. Secret Service’s Office of Investigations and Kentucky State Police Commissioner Rodney Brewer made the announcement.
*****Interesting story of a scam selling things and then using cryptocurrency to launder the money.~JJL
Monday’s Top Three
Our top read story Monday was the lead story, ‘Dumb money’ is fueling one of the biggest lies on Wall Street, researcher says, from CNBC, mostly referring to Robinhood retail traders. Second was Bloomberg’s Inside the JPMorgan Trading Desk the U.S. Called a Crime Ring, about the JPM precious metals desk. Third was JLN’s DOJ Obtains Mixed Verdicts In Spoofing Case by Thom Thompson.
188,977,406 pages viewed; 24,435 pages; 226,134 edits
|CryptoMarketsWiki, our archive of the cryptocurrency and blockchain world, is going strong and keeping pace as this area of finance grows and evolves.Recently Updated Pages
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Manhattan Offices Are Nearly Empty, Threatening New York City’s Recovery; About 1 in 10 office workers have returned since Covid-19 hit, far fewer than elsewhere, hurting local businesses
Peter Grant and Emma Tucker – WSJ
Manhattan office employees are returning to work at a much slower pace than those in most other major U.S. cities, raising the risk that New York faces a more protracted and painful recovery from the coronavirus pandemic than much of the rest of the country.
HKEX announces interim chief as Charles Li hastens departure; Group continues search for permanent successor to lead one of the world’s most valuable exchanges
Hudson Lockett – FT
Hong Kong’s stock exchange has announced an interim replacement for chief executive Charles Li, who will step down at the end of the year after more than a decade as head of one of the world’s most valuable exchanges.
Nominee to Financial Regulator CFTC Traded Stocks, Options While in Government; Robert Bowes, a housing official, bought options in cruise-ship operator, shares of in-flight internet company
Paul Kiernan – WSJ
President Trump’s nominee to the agency that regulates the vast derivatives market is no stranger to risky bets. Robert Bowes, a political appointee in the Department of Housing and Urban Development, has reported 140 trades of stocks and options that collectively amount to between $671,000 and $3.2 million since joining the government in early 2017. Three bets on options or individual stocks were larger than $50,000 each.
Wall Street banks are making even more than usual from equity underwriting, even as other businesses lag behind
Telis Demos – WSJ
It has been an exceptional year for stock sales in the U.S. It has been just as exceptional for bankers’ fees. U.S.-listed equity capital markets offerings—encompassing initial public offerings, follow-ons, and convertibles—already have eclipsed the amount raised in 2000, according to Dealogic. Compounding that, bankers’ fees as a percentage of deal proceeds are running at the highest since 2000. Underwriters are earning 4.9% of gross proceeds in the U.S. as fees so far this year. That is almost half a percentage point higher than the average over the prior five years, Dealogic figures show.
U.S. Likely Exceeded Authority in TikTok Ban, Judge Says; Ruling finds government likely overstepped powers under national security law Trump had invoked to pursue ban on video-sharing app
Katy Stech Ferek – WSJ
The federal judge who stopped the Trump administration’s download ban on video-sharing app TikTok determined that the government likely overstepped its authority under national security law, according to his decision made public Monday.
Launch of CME Group Petroleum Index Futures
Osaka Exchange, Inc. (OSE) is pleased to announce that we have decided to prepare for launching CME Group Petroleum Index Futures on the golive date on JGATE3.0 scheduled in the third quarter of FY2021 and start the public comment process.
Fears of a disputed US election fuel market volatility bets; Vix index futures rise further after Trump indicates he might not concede if he loses November vote
Robin Wigglesworth and Eric Platt – FT
Investors are growing more jumpy about the risk of a disputed US presidential election, stepping up preparations for a potential period of market volatility as the costs of insuring against turbulence rise.
How to Climb the Corporate Ladder While Working Remotely; Women would be wise to learn how to navigate the new office politics, executive coaches say
Joann S. Lublin – WSJ
Office politics hasn’t gone away just because a pandemic forces millions to work away from the office. Even in a radically altered work environment of endless Zoom calls with children underfoot at home, women need to raise their visibility during virtual meetings, find ways to strengthen bonds with work allies and impress their higher-ups by exceeding expectations, according to executive coaches and leadership advisers.
EU regulators to vet LCH on future European market access; Watchdog to assess systemic risk in 18-month grace period and may force activities to relocate
Jim Brunsden and Philip Stafford – FT
The EU has put the City of London on notice that some of its most prized financial market infrastructure may have to move on to EU territory from mid-2022. The European Securities and Markets Authority said on Monday it would label UK-based LCH and ICE Clear Europe as critical to its financial system, under the terms of EU preparations for the end of Britain’s post-Brexit transition period.
Swiss broker Tradition to expand into private markets; Group hires team from Duff & Phelps to try to profit from a possible wave of fund restructurings
Laurence Fletcher – FT
Swiss interdealer broker Tradition has poached a team from professional services group Duff & Phelps to build a new private markets business, as it looks to profit from a possible wave of fund restructurings amid tough economic conditions.
Upbeat bond market at odds with banks over scale of Covid risks; US lenders are provisioning for hefty losses but yield spreads suggest they are too conservative
Robert Armstrong – FT
A dramatic gap has opened in how banks and the bond market perceive the health of corporate America, with banks setting aside billions against bad loans even while bond prices suggest a dramatic recuperation from the Covid-19 shock.
Madoff Clawbacks Point to a Recipe for Fairness; It may seem harsh to take back profits from investors who were unaware of the scam. But the alternative is worse.
Nir Kaissar – Bloomberg
No one wins when money managers set out to defraud their investors, as Bernie Madoff infamously and spectacularly did for decades until his Ponzi scheme came to light in late 2008. But once the scheme is uncovered and the hard work of righting wrongs begins, regulators and courts need the tools to craft the fairest result possible. In the context of Ponzi schemes, that means giving hoodwinked investors an equal opportunity to recover the value of their investments.
U.K. Set for Tax Hikes as Bigger State Seen Outlasting Covid
Andrew Atkinson – Bloomberg
IFS think tank warns on difficult choices facing Chancellor; Outlook highlights major political shifts wrought by virus
The U.K. could be facing a long-term increase in the size of the state as well as a substantial tax increase as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies.
Swatch shuts down some technology systems after cyberattack
Swatch Group shut down some of its technology systems after detecting a cyberattack over the weekend, the world’s biggest watchmaker said on Tuesday.
You Can Go Back to the Office—You Just Need a Virtual-Reality Headset; Meeting up with holographic versions of distant colleagues is a great change from flat, boring video calls
Joanna Stern – WSJ
Sometimes, when I’m sick of being boxed in on the video-chat checkerboard, I slip into my 3-D holographic self and wander, like a floating digital ghost, in search of colleagues. Sometimes we meet in a virtual conference room overlooking the mountains. Sometimes we just chat in an elevator to nowhere. Yes, my elevator.
Global Coronavirus Deaths Surpass One Million; U.S. accounts for nearly a fifth of the more than 33.1 million Covid-19 cases reported globally
Ted Mann – WSJ
The death toll from the coronavirus pandemic reached one million world-wide on Monday, as several nations continue to struggle to contain a virus that has overloaded health-care systems, upended economies and remade daily life around the globe.
Covid-19 accelerates Singapore’s digital push; City-state ‘puts its money where its mouth is’ by funding companies’ digitisation efforts
Mercedes Ruehl – FT
Midway through this year, sales assistants at Singaporean digital payments start-up MatchMove stopped making cold calls to potential customers. The number of inquiries from companies wanting to digitise their payment systems had “shot up 10 times” from the beginning of the year and staff could not keep up, says Shailesh Naik, chief executive.
Three more UK universities clamp down as campus cases soar; Thousands of students forced to self-isolate at Exeter, Aberystwyth and Belfast
Bethan Staton and Jasmine Cameron-Chileshe and Andy Bounds – FT
At least three UK universities imposed fresh coronavirus restrictions on Monday, forcing thousands of students to self-isolate as cases soar on campuses. The University of Exeter asked all students to avoid meeting indoors with anyone who was not part of their household for two weeks, while the University of Aberystwyth in Wales announced that all in-person teaching would be suspended temporarily.
Sweden Lifts Audience Cap for Restaurant Events 10-Fold to 500
Rafaela Lindeberg – Bloomberg
Sweden’s government is planning to ease restrictions for restaurant goers, despite an uptick in the number of Covid-19 cases in recent weeks. Starting Oct. 15, restaurants and cafés will be allowed to host events with a seated audience of up to 500 people compared to the current limit of 50, according to the Minister of Home Affairs, Mikael Damberg.
Deaths Top 1 Million; Germany May Limit Parties: Virus Update
Global confirmed deaths topped 1 million as major developed and emerging economies endeavor to suppress the coronavirus almost 10 months after it first emerged.
JPMorgan Says Most Consumer Staff to Work From Home Until 2021
Michelle F. Davis – Bloomberg
JPMorgan Chase & Co. told thousands of office workers across its consumer unit they can plan to continue working remotely until next year, breaking with the firm’s Wall Street operations, which mandated that senior traders return to work.
Four Different Family Members. Four Different Covid-19 Outcomes; Stanford, Columbia researchers study why people, even in the same family, have different coronavirus symptoms, from serious to mild; ‘We really need to figure this out’
Sumathi Reddy – WSJ
The Ruspini family in Sunnyvale, Calif., went down like dominoes. One by one, they all got the coronavirus in early April, but with different symptoms and recovery trajectories. Diego Ruspini, a 53-year-old computer scientist with a history of asthma, was hospitalized for a week in early April, and coped with respiratory issues and fatigue until August.
Inovio Covid-19 Vaccine Trial Placed on Hold After FDA Questions; Start of Phase 2/3 trial of DNA-based vaccine delayed again, prompting stock selloff
Jared S. Hopkins – WSJ
A planned later-stage trial for a Covid-19 vaccine from Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc. INO -28.34% is on hold, after U.S. health regulators raised questions, the company said. The delay means the Phase 2/3 trial for Inovio’s experimental vaccine won’t begin until October at the earliest.
Exchanges, OTC and Clearing
DTCC OUTLINES STEPS TO ACHIEVE COMPLETE DEMATERIALIZATION OF PHYSICAL SECURITIES IN THE U.S.
DTCC is building consensus among stakeholders on critical next steps to fully transition securities processing from physical certificates to electronic records
The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC), the premier post-trade market infrastructure for the global financial services industry, today issued its latest whitepaper, “From Physical to Digital: Advancing the Dematerialization of U.S. Securities,” outlining the necessary steps to reduce, and ultimately eliminate, certificated U.S. securities.
Retirement of Charles Li as Chief Executive and Appointment of Calvin Tai as Interim Chief Executive
Charles Li to step down as Chief Executive on 31 December 2020, but to remain as Senior Advisor to the Board; Calvin Tai appointed as Interim Chief Executive, effective 1 January 2021; Considerable progress made in search process for new HKEX Chief Executive
Reference is made to the announcement of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) dated 7 May 2020 in relation to Charles Li’s intention not to seek reappointment as the Chief Executive of HKEX at the end of his current contract in October 2021.
Salmon Evolution admitted to trading
The land-based salmon farming company Salmon Evolution has today been admitted to trading on Merkur Market (ticker code: SALME-ME). Salmon Evolution is a land-based salmon farming company with its first production facility under construction on Indre Harøy, Norway. Salmon Evolution recently raised NOK 500 million through a private placement. “The private placement attracted very strong interest from Norwegian, Nordic and international high-quality institutional investors and was more than nine times oversubscribed excluding shares pre-allocated to cornerstone investors,” the company announced.
LCH registers first SONIA/SOFR swap from Bank of America and Lloyds; The cross-currency basis swap between Bank of America and Lloyds highlights LCH’s commitment to supporting the reform of reference rates.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
LCH has registered its first SONIA/SOFR cross-currency basis swap between Bank of America and Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets via SwapAgent.
EU to recognise LCH, ICE Clear Europe and LME Clear as third country CCPs; Three UK clearing houses will be recognised as third country CCPs under EMIR while the European Commission’s temporary equivalence decision is in place.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
UK-based central clearing counterparties (CCPs) LCH, ICE Clear Europe and LME Clear are set to be recognised as third country CCPs in Europe once the Brexit transition period ends, the EU markets watchdog has confirmed.
Eurex Exchange Readiness Newsflash | Eurex Exchange’s T7 Release 9.0 – Update regarding EFS Trade Field “SwapClearer”
With this Newsflash we would like to highlight a change to T7 Release 9.0 regarding EFS Trades. With T7 Release 9.0, the new field “SwapClearer” must be populated when entering an EFS trade request. The field differentiates whether the swap leg is cleared at Eurex Clearing (ECAG) or elsewhere (Non-ECAG).
LCH SwapAgent processes its first SONIA/SOFR cross-currency basis swap
Highlights LCH SwapAgent’s commitment to supporting industry efforts to reform reference rates; Bank of America and Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets acted as counterparties to the swap; LCH SwapAgent offers standardised infrastructure and efficiencies to the non-cleared derivatives market
LCH SwapAgent, a service for the non-cleared derivatives market announces that it has registered its first SONIA/SOFR cross-currency basis swap. The GBP / USD basis swap was executed between LCH SwapAgent members Bank of America and Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets.
ICE Clear Europe receives Recognition as a Third Country Central Counterparty under EMIR
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc.
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE: ICE), a leading operator of global exchanges and clearing houses and provider of mortgage technology, data and listings services, announces that ICE Clear Europe, ICE’s London-based clearing house, has been recognized by the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the European Union (EU) securities markets regulator, as a third country central counterparty in accordance with the European Markets Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR). This recognition will take effect once the transition arrangement between the United Kingdom and EU ends.
Exercise & Assignment and Clearing Transformation Trade Types Project – New Phase 1 Production Date
Please be advised that the Production date for Phase 1 of the Exercise & Assignment and Clearing Transformation Trade Types Project has been moved to Monday January 25, 2021.
Notice of Disciplinary Action
CME RULE VIOLATION: Rule 534 Wash Trades Prohibited
No person shall place or accept buy and sell orders in the same product and expiration month, and, for a put or call option, the same strike price, where the person knows or reasonably should know that the purpose of the orders is to avoid taking a bona fide market position exposed to market risk (transactions commonly known or referred to as wash trades or wash sales). Buy and sell orders for different accounts with common beneficial ownership that are entered with the intent to negate market risk or price competition shall also be deemed to violate the prohibition on wash trades. Additionally, no person shall knowingly execute or accommodate the execution of such orders by direct or indirect means.
Notice of Disciplinary Action
CME RULE VIOLATIONS: Rule 432. General Offenses
W. for any party to fail to diligently supervise its employees and agents in the conduct of their business relating to the Exchange.
Notice of Disciplinary Action
CME RULE VIOLATION: Rule 534 – Wash Trades Prohibited
No person shall place or accept buy and sell orders in the same product and expiration month, and, for a put or call option, the same strike price, where the person knows or reasonably should know that the purpose of the orders is to avoid taking a bona fide market position exposed to market risk (transactions commonly known or referred to as wash sales). Buy and sell orders for different accounts with common beneficial ownership that are entered with the intent to negate market risk or price competition shall also be deemed to violate the prohibition on wash trades. Additionally, no person shall knowingly execute or accommodate the execution of such orders by direct or indirect means.
Delisting of Five (5) Argus Energy Futures Contracts
Effective today, Monday, September 28, 2020, New York Mercantile Exchange, Inc. (“NYMEX” or “Exchange”) delisted five (5) Argus energy futures contracts (the “Contracts”) as set out in the table below. There is no open interest in the Contracts.
Product Modification Summary: Delisting of Five (5) Argus Energy Futures Contracts
Effective September 28, 2020, the New York Mercantile Exchange, Inc. (NYMEX or Exchange) delisted the below products from CME Globex and CME ClearPort.
New OTC FX PAA Report Available
Please be advised that a new OTC FX price alignment report is live in New Release. The report will be published in Production on October 5th, 2020. The OTC FX PAA Rate will continue referencing Fed Funds Effective rate for USD-settled forwards (CSFs and NDFs) and options. Similarly, the OTC FX PAA Rate will continue referencing EONIA for EUR-settled CSFs. The new standalone OTC FX report will contain the PAA Rate information for the 6 FX settlement currencies.
Daily Submission of Large Trader, Ownership/Control Reports, and Open Interest Data
This Advisory Notice supersedes Market Regulation Advisory Notice RA1713-5 from September 26, 2017, and is being issued as a result of the extension of the CFTC’s Division of Market Oversight’s No-Action relief set forth in CFTC Letter 20-30 issued on September 25, 2020.
Electronic Dissemination of Rights Issue and Take-over Documents Extended to 30 June 2021; Joint Statement by Monetary Authority of Singapore, Securities Industry Council and Singapore Exchange Regulation
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the Securities Industry Council (SIC) and the Singapore Exchange Regulation (SGX RegCo) announced that listed issuers and parties involved in rights issues and take-over or merger transactions will continue to have the option to electronically disseminate Offer Documents through publication on SGXNET and their corporate websites for another 9 months, until 30 June 2021.
China Merchants Bank Joins LGX With Its First Sustainability Bond
The Luxembourg Stock Exchange (LuxSE) and China Merchants Bank (CMB) today celebrated the display of CMB’s first Sustainability Bond on the exchange’s green platform, the Luxembourg Green Exchange (LGX). The USD 300 million Sustainability Bond is the first-of-its-kind to be issued by CMB, in turn making it the first Sustainability Bond ever issued by a Chinese commercial bank.
Borsa Istanbul: Periodic Review For The BIST-KYD Corporate Eurobond Indices For The Period October-December 2020 Has Been Finalized
In accordance with the article 3.3. of BIST-KYD Indices Ground Rules, periodic review for the BIST-KYD Corporate Eurobond Indices for the period October-December 2020 (October 1, 2020 – December 31, 2020) has been finalized. According to the results of the periodic review, the Eurobond whose issue information is given below, will be included in BIST-KYD Corporate Eurobond USD and BIST-KYD Corporate Eurobond USD (TRY) Indices, effective from October 1, 2020.
BOX Business Continuity Planning – Trading Floor Closure
On Monday, September 28, 2020, BOX Exchange LLC (“BOX”) will initiate its business continuity plan and move, on a temporary basis, to fully electronic trading.
NYSE Member Firms Report Second Quarter Results
New York Stock Exchange member firms that conduct business with the public reported a second-quarter 2020 after-tax profit of approximately $13.9 billion and revenues of approximately $57 billion, compared with approximately $5.3 billion after-tax profit on revenues of about $69 billion in the second-quarter of 2019.
All-Round Strategic Cooperation Between Shenzhen Stock Exchange And Guangxi Province Reaches A New Level With Cooperation Agreements Signed And SZSE Guangxi Service Center Officially Launched
On 24 September 2020, SZSE and the People’s Government of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region entered into the Strategic Cooperation Agreement on Strengthening Application of Equity and Debt Instruments and Promoting High-quality Development of Guangxi.
In Cooperation With Dubai Clear And Nasdaq Dubai: Dubai Financial Market Plans To Launch Equity Derivatives Platform As Part Of Its Product Offering Diversification Strategy
As part of its strategy to diversify product offerings and attract further investments, Dubai Financial Market (DFM) today announced that it has reached the final stages of preparations to launch an equity derivatives platform (DFM Derivatives Platform), in cooperation with Dubai Clear and Nasdaq Dubai as well as leading brokerage firms, enabling investors to diversify and hedge their portfolios and access leverage.
CCP12 Publishes Its First 2020 Newsletter http://
CME Group to Launch Pork Cutout Futures and Options on November 9
PR Newswire (press release)
CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, today announced it will launch Pork Cutout futures and options on November 9, 2020, pending all relevant regulatory review periods. “As the market has evolved, our customers continue to look for new tools to manage the price risk associated with hog and pork production,” said Tim Andriesen, CME Group Managing Director of Agricultural Products. “The Pork Cutout futures and options are complementary to our Lean Hog contracts and will provide clients with the ability to manage risk and discover price from the hog all the way to the meat case.”
Microsoft Office 365, Azure Cloud Disrupted by Service Issues; Company says problems included some users of its Outlook email services
Aaron Tilley – WSK
Microsoft Corp. MSFT 0.78% on Monday suffered disruptions with its Office 365 workplace software tools and its Azure cloud that disabled some users for hours. Microsoft said problems included some users of its Outlook email services and Teams workplace collaboration suite that provides chat functionality and videoconferencing and has seen rapid growth during the pandemic. Users trying to log into the systems were unable to connect, though those already logged in weren’t affected, the company said on its website.
Schroders revamps transaction reporting processes with SteelEye; SteelEye CEO, Matt Smith, told The TRADE the implementation took just three months and was completed in July this year.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
Global investment management giant Schroders has overhauled its MiFIR transaction reporting processes with SteelEye’s compliance technology platform. Speaking to The TRADE, SteelEye chief executive, Matt Smith, revealed that the implementation of the SteelEye system at Schroders took three months and was completed in July. This included product demonstrations, due diligence, testing, legal discussions, and onboarding.
The Payments Sector Is Doing Deals Again: Will PayPal Or A Fintech Move Next
Daniel Webber – Forbes
The consolidating impact of the pandemic on the global payments sector is finally being felt. After a dearth of M&A deals in the money transfer and cross-border payments space, two significant deals have come thick and fast sweeping up two sizable independent players.
Amid Consumer Behavior During Covid-19, Congress Examines Granting Fintech Bank Charters
Jason Brett – Forbes
On Tuesday, September 29 at 12pm, the Task Force on Financial Technology will hold a hearing entitled, “License to Bank: Examining the Legal Framework Governing Who Can Lend And Process Payments In The FinTech Age”. The hearing will be led by Chairman Stephen Lynch (D-MA) with Ranking Member Tom Emmer (R-MN).
5 Fintech Trends Likely To Stick Around After The Pandemic – Forbes Advisor
Stephanie Walden – Forbes
Seven months after the coronavirus pandemic first hit the U.S., even self-proclaimed Luddites have migrated much of their day-to-day life online.
Managers who never planned to run meetings remotely have mastered the art of looking professional from the waist up on Zoom. Tenured college professors have learned how to conduct classes virtually. Busy parents have traded strolling the grocery aisles for scrolling through Amazon Fresh.
Orchestrade Partners With GLMX To Deliver Real-Time Risk Management Solutions For Global Repo Markets
GLMX Technologies LLC (“GLMX”), a comprehensive technology solution for the trading of repurchase agreements and securities lending, and Orchestrade Financial Systems (Orchestrade), a leading provider of cross-asset trading, risk management and operations technology, are collaborating to integrate the two award-winning platforms for greater trading and operational efficiency for global repo markets. The new connectivity modernizes securities financing workflows, enabling front-to-back processing, while providing clients with access to real-time risk assessment tools and capabilities on commodity hardware.
TNS Supports US Equities Expansion
In an attempt to introduce different approaches to trading and promote competition, three new US equities exchanges are preparing to go live this fall, and Transaction Network Services (TNS) will be supporting all three with live connections to both primary and disaster recovery (DR) locations.
Liquidnet sales director joins blockchain-based bond trading start-up LedgerEdge; Charlie Gibson, the former fixed income sales director for EMEA at Liquidnet, has joined LedgerEdge in the firm’s latest senior appointment.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
The start-up corporate bond trading platform established by the founder of blockchain consortium R3, David Rutter, has hired a former sales director from Liquidnet in a similar senior role. Charlie Gibson has been appointed as the business development director at LedgerEdge marking the latest senior appointment for the company, which aims to address the structural challenges in corporate bond markets with blockchain technology.
Thiel Leads Investment in European Crypto-Exchange Bitpanda
Katharine Gemmell – Bloomberg
Valar Ventures, Speedinvest leads $52 million fundraising; Funding will allow it to enter new EU markets and add staff
Digital investment platform Bitpanda raised $52 million in its first major funding round, led by Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures. Retail investors have boomed since the pandemic hit, with day-traders pouring money into investing apps like U.S.-based Robinhood Markets Inc. Based in Vienna, Bitpanda currently allows customers to buy and sell cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, as well as precious metals.
Blockchain-based storage network Filecoin to launch mainnet in October
Saniya More – The Block
Decentralized storage network Filecoin expects to launch on mainnet on October 15, the Filecoin team announced in a blog post published Sunday. The platform, developed by Protocol Labs, is meant to enable users to buy and sell unused storage using the network’s cryptocurrency, filecoin (FIL). The mainnet was originally supposed to launch in March of this year but has been delayed multiple times. The launch comes over three years after the platform held an initial coin offering that raised $200 million in just 30 minutes.
IRS may put cryptocurrency question at the top of 1040 to catch cheaters
Timothy B. Lee – Ars Technica
The Internal Revenue Service is considering adding a question to Form 1040—America’s primary income tax form—asking tax filers if they dealt in virtual currency in 2020. It would be the agency’s latest attempt to crack down on underreporting of cryptocurrency profits. If an American buys bitcoin, ether, or another cryptocurrency and then sells it later at a profit, she or he will typically owe capital gains tax on the difference. But blockchains do not have the tax reporting infrastructure that has become standard for conventional financial institutions. So the IRS doesn’t have an easy way to figure out who has received a cryptocurrency windfall. In the early years of the bitcoin boom, many taxpayers failed to report large bitcoin-related profits.
FCA Warns Britons over Illegal Cryptocurrency Broker Cryptenix
Aziz Abdel-Qader – Finance Magnates
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) today issued several warnings to local investors highlighting unauthorized firms known to have been soliciting customers in the UK jurisdiction. The regulator also pointed out that one of the brokers highlighted in the latest flurry against unauthorized firms is offering FX and cryptocurrency-related services to British residents without being authorised to do so. Cryptenix is posing as an authorised company and claims to be a trading name of Finplex Group LTD. Additionally, the company is targeting UK investors with a full range of offshore investment services, including FX, commodities and stocks trading products.
Coinbase Has Drawn a Line in the Sand for Its Activist Employees
Pete Pachal – Coindesk
You might call it taking a stand by not taking one. Brian Armstrong, CEO of Coinbase, took a strong stance against employee-driven corporate activism over the weekend, explaining that, going forward, his company would be “mission focused.” That means Coinbase will devote all of its attention to achieving the goal creating “infrastructure for the cryptoeconomy,” but will eschew any kind of activism, and won’t take a stand on policy or societal issues that go beyond that mission.
CFTC charges overseas trading company with engaging in illegal crypto transactions
Saniya More – The Block
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has charged an overseas trading company with “engaging in unlawful retail commodity transactions” involving ether, litecoin and bitcoin. According to the CFTC, the Laino Group Limited — also known as PaxForex — violated the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) by “failing to conduct these transactions subject to the rules of a board of trade that had been designated or registered by the CFTC as a contract market.” The agency also says that PaxForex broke the law by failing to register as a futures commission merchant. PaxForex allegedly engaged in illegal transactions from as early as March 2018 to present.
Ethereum 2.0 Developers Launch Spadina, a Three-Day Practice Testnet
William Foxley – Coindesk
Ethereum 2.0 developers have launched yet another testnet, this time to give on-boarding stakers a dry run before the launch of Eth 2.0 sometime this fall. Called Spadina after a subway stop in Toronto, the testnet follows the official Ethereum Foundation’s Medalla testnet which launched in early August. Developers will only be supporting Spadina for the next three days while Eth 2.0 stakers practice joining the network with the testnet, said Ethereum Foundation researcher Danny Ryan in a September 14 blog.
$28M MakerDAO ‘Black Thursday’ Lawsuit Moves to Arbitration
Sebastian Sinclair – Coindesk
A class-action lawsuit alleging the Maker Foundation and others associated with lending platform MakerDAO knowingly misrepresented the risks of investment has been stayed and the case sent to arbitration.
Chainalysis Expands APAC Presence, Opens Tokyo & Singapore Offices
Celeste Skinner – Finance Magnates
Blockchain analysis company, Chainalysis recently announced that it has expanded its presence in the Asia Pacific region by opening two new offices in Tokyo and Singapore. The move comes as the company realises its commitment to support local cryptocurrency businesses, government agencies and financial institutions. The new offices will serve as hubs for sales, professional investigative services and training.
Binance CEO Says He Fully Expects DeFi to Cannibalize His Crypto Exchange
Muyao Shen – Coindesk
Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao acknowledges the contradictions inherent in trying to tap into the fast-growing business of decentralized finance, or DeFi, while trying to defend his company’s reign as the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange. The company’s new foray into DeFi, Binance Smart Chain, attempts to replicate some of the features of the Ethereum blockchain that have proven fertile for developers building decentralized, blockchain-based trading and lending applications that theoretically could one day challenge traditional lenders and Wall Street trading firms. But DeFi could also threaten big cryptocurrency exchanges like his own.
Silvergate Bank: How Deep Is the Moat?
Matt Yamamoto – Coindesk
While not often in the limelight, Silvergate Bank serves as an integral part of the cryptocurrency ecosystem. It’s often claimed by crypto-enthusiasts that bitcoin will eventually displace the financial system as we know it. As it stands today, however, banks still play the pivotal role of fiat on/off ramps for exchanges and investors. CoinDesk Research presents an in-depth look into San Diego-based Silvergate Bank, a leading bank serving the cryptocurrency industry. With over 880 digital asset clients with an aggregate balance of $1.5 billion in deposits, Silvergate is one of the market leaders within this niche market.
Bitfinex Derivatives Goes Live With Europe 50 & Germany 30 Perpertual [sic] Swaps, Roger Aitken Reports
Bitfinex Derivatives, a platform provided by iFinex Financial Technologies accessible through Bitfinex crypto and digital asset exchange, has gone live with trading perpertual [sic] swaps representing the ‘Europe 50’ and ‘Germany 30’ stock market indexes Perpetual Swaps. As highly leveraged products they are designed largely for high frequency trading (HFT) market participants.
Coinbase Rejects Corporate Social Activism ;Taking a Stand Against Social Stances
Coinbase has one job
While many companies and business groups embrace social justice as part of their missions, the cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase is moving in the other direction. This has become the talk of Silicon Valley.
Tax Records Reveal How Fame Gave Trump a $427 Million Lifeline ; Tax records show that “The Apprentice” rescued Donald J. Trump, bringing him new sources of cash and a myth that would propel him to the White House.
Mike McIntire, Russ Buettner and Susanne Craig – NY Times
From the back seat of a stretch limousine heading to meet the first contestants for his new TV show “The Apprentice,” Donald J. Trump bragged that he was a billionaire who had overcome financial hardship.
Trump Paying $750 in Income Tax Shows Why He’s a Billionaire
Caleb Melby, Tom Maloney, and Devon Pendleton – Bloomberg
Report on his taxes shows he cites losses to reduce payments; But it doesn’t impact $2.7 billion estimate for his net worth
A New York Times story based on Donald Trump’s long-sought-after tax data shows he avoided paying income taxes for most of the past two decades and paid only $750 the year he was elected president. That doesn’t mean he isn’t a billionaire.
Wirecard: the scandal spreads to German politics
Guy Chazan and Olaf Storbeck – FT
In September 2019, Angela Merkel’s top economic adviser, Lars-Hendrik Röller, met a delegation from payments group Wirecard, which at the time was still seen as one of Germany’s most successful tech companies. One of Mr Röller’s visitors in the chancellery in Berlin was Burkhard Ley, a strategic adviser to Wirecard and its former chief financial officer. A year later, Mr Ley is in police custody, accused of fraud, embezzlement and market manipulation. He denies any wrongdoing. The get-together highlighted the extraordinary access the payments group enjoyed to Germany’s top decision makers until shortly before its collapse this summer — access which has shone an unforgiving light on the influence of lobbyists over German politics.
The New York Times Confirms Trump Is a Genius; He may not be stable, but he has a coherent strategy for harnessing self-promotion for personal gain.
John F. Harris – Politico
President Donald Trump’s self-appraisal is that he is “a very stable genius,” but now comes The New York Times with new evidence suggesting, as Joe Biden would put it, that this is malarkey. The Times’ writers themselves, in the introduction to their ground-shaking scoop, say that two decades of Trump tax returns “tell a story fundamentally different than the one he has told the public.”
Steven Mnuchin’s Deal Staved Off Catastrophe. Can He Make Another One? Even many Trump critics credit his Treasury secretary with rescuing the economy from the pandemic. Will the White House and Congress keep him from doing it again?
By Jason Zengerle – NY Times
There have not been many victims of their own success in the Trump administration, but Steven Mnuchin was trying to stake his claim to that distinction. It was a September afternoon, and the Treasury secretary, sitting in the private conference room off his office, was reflecting on his recent inability to steer a coronavirus relief package through Congress and past the president’s desk.
Citi to pay $4.5 million penalty after subpoenaed trader audio files were deleted; A known design flaw in an audio preservation system at Citi saw 2.77 million audio files, some of which had been subpoenaed by the US CFTC, erased.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Citi will pay a $4.5 million penalty after a known system design flaw saw millions of trader audio files deleted, despite some of those files being subpoenaed by the US derivatives watchdog. According to an order issued by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), Citi had been sent a subpoena in December 2017 for certain trader audio recordings on a particular day for an ongoing investigation into specific trading activity.
ESMA updates regulatory technical standards (RTS) under the Benchmarks Regulation (BMR)
The European Securities and Markets Authority, the EU’s securities markets regulator, has published its final report containing new sets of draft regulatory technical standards (RTS) under the Benchmarks Regulation (BMR). These contain additional detailed rules to implement the European regulatory framework aimed at ensuring the accuracy and integrity of benchmarks across the European Union.
ESMA proposes amendments to the MiFIR transparency regime for non-equity financial instruments
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the EU’s securities markets regulator, has today published the Final Report on the MiFID II/MiFIR transparency regime applicable to non-equity financial instruments. The proposals contained in the report aim at simplifying and bringing more efficiency to an overly complex regime and fostering harmonised application across the EU.
Updated Guidance on OATS Exchange Route Matching – MIAXPearl Equities Exchange
FINRA has updated its Guidance on OATS Exchange Route Matching to reflect changes necessary for firms to successfully match OATS routes to the related order on the MIAXPearl Equities Exchange. Specifically, the updates apply to firms using the MIAX Express Order (MEO) interface and how to populate the Connection ID in OATS to ensure proper matching. If you have any concerns regarding this matter, please contact the OATS Help Desk at 800-321-6273.
FINRA New Issue Form Changes – Live Today
This is a reminder that beginning today, Monday, September 28, 2020, the updated FINRA New Issue Form is live. Users can access the new platform by going to https://newissue.finra.org or via the FINRA New Issue quick link in the FINRA Gateway and logging in with the same log in credentials used to access the retired FINRA New Issue Form.
SEC Issues $1.8 Million Whistleblower Award to a Company Outsider; Marks 100th Individual Awarded Under Whistleblower Program
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced an award of over $1.8 million to a company oFiat Chrysler Agrees to Pay $9.5 Million Penalty for Disclosure Violations
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V., a London-based public company that sells vehicles through its Michigan-based subsidiary, agreed to settle charges that it made misleading disclosures about an internal audit of its emissions control systems.
SEC Issues $1.8 Million Whistleblower Award to a Company Outsider
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced an award of over $1.8 million to a company outsider, who expeditiously reported significant information to the Commission about ongoing securities law violations.
SEC Staff to Host October 26 Roundtable on Regulation Best Interest and Form CRS
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced October 26 as the date for its roundtable at which Commission staff and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) will discuss initial observations on Regulation Best Interest and Form CRS implementation.
SEC Charges Amazon Finance Manager and Family With Insider Trading
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged a former finance manager at Amazon.com Inc. and two family members with insider trading in advance of Amazon earnings announcements between January 2016 and July 2018.
SEC Proposes Rules to Extend Regulations ATS and SCI to Treasuries and Other Government Securities Markets; Proposed Rules Would Enhance Operational Transparency and System Integrity for Government Securities Alternative Trading Systems; Agency Also Issues a Concept Release on Electronic Fixed Income Trading Platforms
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced a proposal to enhance the operational transparency, system integrity, and regulatory oversight for alternative trading systems (ATSs) that trade government securities as well as repurchase and reverse repurchase agreements on government securities (Government Securities ATSs) and issued a concept release soliciting public comment on the regulatory framework for electronic platforms that trade corporate debt and municipal securities.
CFTC Orders New York Firm and its Trader to Pay $585,000 for Spoofing
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission today issued two orders filing and settling charges against Thomas Donino and his employer, FNY Partners Fund LP, for spoofing—bidding or offering with the intent to cancel the bid or offer before execution. This case was brought in connection with the Division of Enforcement’s Spoofing Task Force.
CFTC Charges Georgia Man with Fraudulent Scheme to Profit from COVID-19 Second CFTC Enforcement Action Targeting Misconduct Directly Tied to COVID-19
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission today announced that it has filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas against Kenzley Ramos, a Georgia resident, charging him with fraudulent solicitation, misappropriation, operation of an unlawful commodity pool, and failure to register with the CFTC.
CFTC Orders Three Citibank Affiliates to Pay $4.5 Million for Supervision Failures That Led to Deletion of Subpoenaed Audio Recordings
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission today announced it has issued an order filing and simultaneously settling charges against Citibank N.A. and Citigroup Energy Inc., both provisionally registered swap dealers, and Citigroup Global Markets, Inc., a provisionally registered swap dealer and a registered futures commission merchant (collectively, Citi entities), for failing to diligently supervise their audio preservation system.
CFTC Charges Foreign Trading Platform with Offering Illegal Leveraged Transactions in Ether, Litecoin, and Bitcoin
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission today filed a civil enforcement action in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas against Laino Group Limited d/b/a PaxForex, a company registered in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The CFTC’s complaint charges the defendant with engaging in unlawful retail commodity transactions and failing to register as a futures commission merchant (FCM).
FCA publishes annual report on the regulatory perimeter; The FCA has published its second annual perimeter report.
The FCA perimeter determines which activities require authorisation and what level of protection consumers can expect for the financial services and products they purchase. The perimeter is decided by the Government and Parliament through legislation.
Konstantin Vishnyak found not guilty of destroying documents
In a case brought by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Konstantin Vishnyak has been found not guilty at Southwark Crown Court of one count of destroying documents in September 2018.
Industry to begin testing the Financial Instruments Transparency System (FITRS)
As part of developing the post-exit MiFID regime, industry testing for FCA FITRS (Financial Instruments Transparency System) will open on 5 October 2020.
The FCA and the Bank of England encourage market participants in further switch to SONIA in interest rate swap markets
Following close engagement with market participants, the FCA and Bank of England support and encourage liquidity providers in the sterling swaps market to adopt new quoting conventions for inter-dealer trading based on SONIA instead of LIBOR from 27 October this year. The intention is to facilitate the further shift in market liquidity toward SONIA swaps, bringing benefits for a wide range of end users and other market participants as they move away from use of LIBOR.
Hong Kong Securities And Futures Commission Signs New MoU With The Insurance Authority
The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) and the Insurance Authority (IA) announced today that they have entered into a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) following the introduction of the direct regulatory regime of insurance intermediaries (Note 1).
Investing and Trading
Shale Merger Promises Big Payout, Just Not Yet; Consolidation seems to be a sensible answer for Devon Energy, WPX Energy
Jinjoo Lee – WSJ
Being a small fish in the world of gigantic oil-and-gas majors is tough, especially when oil prices remain low. Shale drillers Devon Energy DVN 11.11% and WPX Energy WPX 16.44% are taking matters into their own hands.
Devon agrees to buy rival shale producer WPX; $12bn transaction is the biggest in the US shale industry since the collapse of crude prices
Derek Brower – FT
US oil producer Devon Energy has agreed to buy rival WPX in a deal valued at $12bn, the biggest in the shale industry since the collapse of crude prices earlier this year.
How All Financial Markets Turned Into the Same Big Trade
Joe Weisenthal and Tracy Alloway – Bloomberg
These days it seems like all financial markets are the same big trade. A gold chart looks like a Tesla chart, which looks like an Ethereum chart, which looks like a chart of a basket of cloud computing stocks. So why is this? And what could cause that to change? On this episode, we speak with Jared Woodard, the head of the Research Investment Committee at Bank of America, who recently published a report on exactly this. As Woodard explains it, the question starts with low growth and inequality, and the premium that investors will pay for certain types of securities in such an environment. He walked us through how that might change, and what investors can do in the meantime to discover under-appreciated values in the market.
Penny Stock’s 1,500% Jump Fueled by Reddit Left CEO Dumbfounded
Ishika Mookerjee and Jackie Edwards – Bloomberg
A meteoric rally in an Australian penny stock is fast unraveling after confounding not just market watchers but also the company’s CEO.
Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance
Why Are There Still So Few Black CEOs? Black professionals comprise 1% of the executives running America’s top 500 companies
Te-Ping Chen – WSJ
If corporate life is a pyramid, for Black Americans, it is one with the steepest of peaks. Out of the chief executives running America’s top 500 companies, just 1%, or four, are Black. The numbers aren’t much better on the rungs of the ladder leading to that role. Among all U.S. companies with 100 or more employees, Black people hold just 3% of executive or senior-level roles, according to Equal Employment Opportunity Commission data.
Rosneft warns BP and Shell creating ‘existential crisis’ for oil supplies; Russian group says shift towards renewables could lead to supply shortages and higher crude prices
David Sheppard and Anjli Raval – FT
Russia’s Kremlin-controlled oil company has warned that BP and Royal Dutch Shell are creating an “existential crisis” for oil supplies that will lead to higher prices, attacking their shift towards renewables when demand is still growing.
Egypt Offers the Middle East’s First Sovereign Green Bond
Mirette Magdy – Bloomberg
Egypt opened books on a $500 million green bond, becoming the first sovereign from the Middle East and North Africa to offer environmentally friendly debt as it pushes ahead with renewable energy projects. The Arab world’s most populous nation is offering one tranche of five-year notes at an initial guidance of about 5.75%, according to a person familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified because they aren’t authorized to speak publicly.
Bank Behind World’s First Green Bond Soon to Blaze New Trail
Frances Schwartzkopff and Hanna Hoikkala – Bloomberg
The Swedish bank that helped usher in the era of green bonds may be just months away from introducing a new kind of sustainable finance to its home market. SEB AB expects to be the first to arrange a sustainability-linked bond in the Nordic region, according to Mats Olausson, a senior adviser for climate and sustainable finance.
Blackstone Sets Goal to Reduce Carbon Emissions; Firm seeks to cut emissions by 15% on new investments across its portfolioN
Miriam Gottfried – NY Times
Blackstone Group Inc., BX 2.95% one of the world’s largest owners of real estate, is making a new commitment to cut its carbon footprint.
Goldman Sachs becomes latest major institution to launch Singapore FX trading engine; The FX trading engine will be built by Goldman Sachs with the support of the Monetary Authority of Singapore to deliver low latency client execution.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
US investment bank Goldman Sachs is set to build an electronic foreign exchange trading and pricing engine in Singapore with the support of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). The FX trading engine is expected to go live in the first quarter of next year across deliverable and non-deliverable currencies, Goldman Sachs confirmed.
Credit Suisse Fund Lent to Billionaire Greensill’s Neighbor
Lucca De Paoli and Luca Casiraghi – Bloomberg
It held $15 million in loans to company, Special Needs Group; Fund has recently disposed of the assets, people familiar say
Two months ago, Credit Suisse Group AG overhauled a group of funds it runs with Lex Greensill’s eponymous firm to end an unusual arrangement with a large investor that had sparked concerns about conflicts of interest. Turns out, that wasn’t the only relationship in the multibillion-dollar strategy that may have been somewhat out of the ordinary.
Julius Baer Weighs Opening U.S. Business, Buying LatAm Firms
Cristiane Lucchesi and Felipe Marques – Bloomberg
Sanchez says her job requires a serious look at U.S. platform; Wealth manager focusing on Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Chile
Julius Baer Group Ltd. is deciding whether to start a wealth-management business in the U.S. as it seeks partnerships or acquisitions in its core Latin American markets. “I would not be doing my job as somebody that is totally committed to making our Americas’ business a top competitive business for Julius Baer if I wasn’t seriously looking at a U.S. platform,” Beatriz Sanchez, the bank’s head of the Americas, said in a virtual interview from Switzerland.
Billionaire Louis-Dreyfus Takes Big Dividend From Commodities Trader
Javier Blas and Andy Hoffman – Bloomberg
Controlling shareholder taking payouts to repay borrowings; Dividends are reducing value of agricultural commodity trader
Margarita Louis-Dreyfus took another hefty dividend from the eponymous agricultural-commodity trading house she controls, as the billionaire continues to squeeze the business for cash. During the first six months of the year, Louis Dreyfus Co. paid a dividend of $302 million. The payout related to last year’s profit, the sale of several assets in Canada and its former metals-trading business, according to the company’s interim financial statement. The dividend reduced the company’s equity to $4.48 billion at the end of June, down from $4.79 billion six months earlier.
Solar panels on homes in Northcote, one of Melbourne’s inner suburbs; Solar panels on homes in Northcote, one of Melbourne’s inner suburbs.Credit…Alana Holmberg for The New York Times
Livia Albeck-Ripka and Ivan Penn – WSJ
Australia is the world’s second-largest exporter of coal, which plays an outsize role in its economy and politics. But the country has also quietly become a renewable energy powerhouse.
Lebanese bankers plead their case to some new sheriffs; A visit to Paris by representatives of the country’s powerful banking lobby shows how far financiers have fallen
Chloe Cornish – FT
In early September, six of Lebanon’s top bankers touched down in Paris. It was not a business visit — Lebanese lenders have been shunned by overseas counterparts since the state defaulted in March. Representing Lebanon’s powerful banking lobby, the financiers had gone to plead their case to some new sheriffs: French officials.
China Evaluates Ways to Contain Evergrande Financial Risks
Developer’s bonds, shares tumbled last week on liquidity fears; Yet some investors are betting the company is too big to fail
China’s top financial officials are evaluating the risks posed by China Evergrande Group, according to people familiar with the matter, amid heightened investor concern that the world’s most indebted developer faces a cash crunch.
The City must not be forgotten in Brexit talks; UK finance has a vital role to play in delivering ‘levelling up’ agenda
The editorial board – FT
The City of London has had little to celebrate in recent months. The pandemic, and now renewed fears of a second spike of the virus, has forced thousands of employees to work from home and turned the Square Mile into something of a ghost town. Covid-19 may have pushed the threat of Brexit down the agenda, but with negotiations on Britain’s departure from the EU entering a critical phase, the future of the country’s financial services industry should not be forgotten. While the headlines from the trade talks have been about fisheries and state aid, the City of London is one of Britain’s few global success stories — and an almost indispensable source of tax revenues.
EU and Britain far apart as key week of Brexit talks begins
Jan Strupczewski, John Chalmers and Elizabeth Piper – Reuters
The European Union and Britain both said a post-Brexit deal was still some way off and differences persisted on Monday over putting in place their earlier divorce deal as they began a decisive week of talks in Brussels.
Brexit: MPs to vote again on government’s plan
MPs are set to vote once again on Tuesday whether to back the government’s plans to override parts of its Brexit agreement with the EU. Amid concerns that the move would break international law, ministers have agreed to give Parliament a say before ever using the powers they would be granted by the Internal Market Bill. The legislation is expected to pass before going to the House of Lords. But former Prime Minister Theresa May has said she “cannot support” it.
Brexit: UK risks being flooded with cheaply produced food, EU warns
Daniel Boffey, Jennifer Rankin and Peter Walker – The Guardian
The UK will be flooded with cheaply produced food should it lower its regulatory standards after Brexit, Brussels has warned, echoing a new animal and child welfare campaign backed by the celebrity chef Jamie Oliver. On the eve of a crunch round of negotiations in Brussels over the UK’s future trade and security relationship with the EU, the European council president, Charles Michel, said Boris Johnson’s government faced a major choice with just three months left of the transition period in which the UK remains in the single market.
Brexit: warnings for care sector in pandemic as freedom of movement ends
Jamie Grierson – The Guardian
The end of freedom of movement after Brexit will increase pressure on the social care sector in the midst of a pandemic unless ministers make jobs more attractive to UK workers by increasing salaries, government advisers have said. The migration advisory committee (Mac) warned of the “stark consequences” of low wages in social care with most frontline roles ineligible for the post-Brexit skilled worker immigration route or on the official list for job shortages in the UK. Senior care workers and nursing assistants are among healthcare roles that can be added to the shortage occupation list to relieve pressure when freedom of movements ends on 1 January, the committee said in a report.
43 Student Journalists Quit N.Y.U. Paper After Dispute With Adviser; A post signed by nearly all of the Washington Square News staff accused its new adviser, a longtime journalism professor, of being “rude and disrespectful.”
By Katie Robertson – NY Times
Three weeks ago, a student-run newspaper with ties to New York University got a new editorial adviser: Kenna Griffin, a former reporter and editor who had taught journalism at Oklahoma City University for 16 years. She started advising the paper, Washington Square News, remotely from Oklahoma. On Monday, 43 of its student journalists — all but four people on staff — resigned.