New SEC Boss Wants More Crypto Oversight to Protect Investors

Aug 3, 2021

First Read

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Hemp Hangs Tough In July
Suzanne Cosgrove – John Lothian News

Biomass, industrial prices mostly steady; Oversupply looms: PanXchange report

The month of July brought more than its share of disruptions to the growing season — wildfires and severe drought in much of the West, for example — but prices for biomass and industrial hemp ended the month mostly unchanged, according to the latest PanXchange Hemp: Benchmark & Analysis.

The report attributed the biomass market’s ability to ride out erratic weather and other natural disasters, at least for now, to a still-oversupplied market. That glut, particularly in the CBD market, is not expected to change soon.

Quality is a factor, however, and the exchange said that “potent, clean, and well-prepped” CBD-oriented biomass dominated the upper end of July’s price range. As JLN noted in its report last month, the price of biomass where cannabinoids have not degraded was also seen at a small premium when compared with prices for CBD distillates and extracts in June.

Read more HERE.


Hits & Takes
John Lothian & JLN Staff

You may like or dislike SEC Chairman Gary Gensler, but you do have to give him credit for taking jobs with big issues to address and his aggressiveness in addressing them. He took the CFTC chairmanship job, which some said was a consolation prize for his ambitions for a bigger position in the Obama Administration, but he aggressively tackled the demands brought on the commission by the passage of Dodd-Frank. Now, as chairman of the SEC, he is addressing key issues on consumer protection for cryptocurrencies, equities and unresolved SEC issues with Dodd-Frank. Chairman Gensler has my respect for his appetite for addressing these big areas of need in our financial world.

Penny Lee has been named CEO of the Financial Technology Association, a nonprofit trade association committed to shaping the future of technology-centered financial services. — LinkedIn

Liyu Zeng has been hired as an associate controller at J.P. Morgan. She was an intern at Thomson Reuters in 2017 when she attended our MarketsWiki Education World of Opportunity program.

Susquehanna International Group, LLP (SIG) joined #WallStreetRidesFAR again at the Bronze Level! You can support team SIG by giving HERE.

FIA Operations Americas Division is hosting a Chicago golf outing on September 27 at the Arrowhead Golf Club. There is also a golf clinic for those of you whose handicap is a handicap and a networking dinner-only option. The net proceeds from the event will go to support two Chicago-area charities, the Greater Chicago Food Depository and the Greenwood Project. This is a FIA members-only event. Registration includes lunch, golf, golf carts, networking dinner with an open bar, plus door and golf prizes. The golf clinic fee includes the golf clinic and networking dinner. Register HERE.

Broadway Technology is looking for a sales and business operations specialist. You can find details for the job HERE.

Public relations giant Edelman is growing its public affairs unit to help firms cater to consumers, including advising clients about social justice issues and doing business in China. Firms increasingly need help with government relations, crisis management and social responsibility work. — WSJ

There were no new donations to the JLN MarketsWiki Education GoFundMe campaign. So far 156 people have given through the GoFundMe interface.

Gene Hackman is one of my favorite actors. It is hard to believe he has been retired for 17 years. He recently had a picture taken to show he is still alive and well at the age of 91. He is still very active, riding his bike every day. Hat tip to James L Neibaur, @JimLNeibaur, a film historian & writer. — Twitter

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


SOFR is not the only Libor-replacement game in town. At a press briefing given last week by the American Financial Exchange (AFX), the exchange that introduced the Ameribor benchmark, former CFTC Chairman Chris Giancarlo said that with the U.S.’s diverse economy, more than one benchmark is needed to replace the Libor, and Ameribor may be more appropriate for small, medium-sized and regional banks. Tom Broughton, an AFX member and the CEO of ServisFirst Bank, said Ameribor was “the only benchmark appropriate for a bank,” adding, “We looked at SOFR as a benchmark – it’s just not appropriate for a bank of any size.” He said the transition at ServisFirst from Libor to Ameribor was “seamless.” Barbara Novick, one of the co-founders of BlackRock, said that “with the two types of rates out there, you have to look at the use case, the composition and construction…Ameribor is transaction based and very transparent.”

Last week the Alternative Reference Rates Committee (ARRC) backed the term rate created by CME Group based on SOFR to replace Libor. But Giancarlo, who is an independent director at AFX, wrote an opinion piece recently for American Banker titled “Libor is dead. Long live choice,” in which he said that Ameribor, created by Richard Sandor, the AFX’s chairman and chief executive, should be one of the alternatives to the “irredeemably tarnished” Libor. In the opinion piece, Giancarlo wrote, “For many banks big and small, a credit-sensitive benchmark like Ameribor can play a crucial role in ensuring fair pricing on credit and increasing transparency and liquidity in unsecured debt.” He also wrote that Ameribor was recommended by the Alternative Reference Rates Committee as well and is preferred by large primary dealers of U.S. Treasury securities.

He added in the press briefing that there is bipartisan support in both the House and Senate for choice in moving away from Libor.

“Libor suffered from lack of depth but more from lack of breadth, which led to manipulation. Ameribor has remarkable breadth, and its depth is growing, too.”

There is a difference between the role of regional banks and that of the large Wall Street banks, Giancarlo said. “So we need a different type of benchmark diversity.”

AFX members have been talking to their representatives in Congress to make sure they understand the importance of choice in replacement benchmarks, Giancarlo added.

You can watch the entire AFX press briefing, “Ask a Banker: Countdown to LIBOR’s End” with Novick, Giancarlo and Broughton, moderated by Dr. Richard Sandor, HERE. ~SR

The CME Group reported its July 2021 monthly market statistics this morning, which included the highest-ever July ADV, at 17.1 million contracts, as well as interest rate monthly ADV up 96%, options ADV up 55% and energy ADV up 23%.

July ADV across asset classes included: Interest Rate ADV of 7.8 million contracts; Equity Index ADV of 4.8 million contracts; Options ADV of 3.1 million contracts; Energy ADV of 2.1 million contracts; Agricultural ADV of 1.1 million contracts; Foreign Exchange ADV of 735,000 contracts’ and Metals ADV of 538,000 contracts.

You can read the full CME Group press release here. ~SR
The Illinois Department of Agriculture Monday finally issued its first round of adult-use cannabis licenses established under the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act. The action covered 32 craft grow licenses, 28 Infuser licenses and nine transporter licenses, which are separate from the 55 new adult-use dispensary licenses awarded by the state on July 29. Applicants who received notices qualified as 83% social equity by ownership, the state said in a release. The IDOA also plans to issue up to 60 additional craft grower and 60 additional infuser licenses before December 21, 2021. Monday’s list of awards is here.~SC


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Symphony acquires StreetLinx to offer the most complete and secure verified identity directory in financial services
Symphony – the leading markets’ infrastructure and technology platform – will now offer the most complete and secure verified directory in the financial services industry as it has acquired the counterparty mapping platform StreetLinx. This acquisition adds over 200 institutional counterparties to the more than 1000 institutions already served by Symphony.

***** This deal really puts Symphony on the map.~JJL


Society Is in the Middle of a ‘Technological Transformation,’ Andreessen Says; Silicon Valley polymath Marc Andreessen talks about tech’s ascendance, crypto and more on “Bloomberg Wealth with David Rubenstein.”
Monica Greig – Bloomberg
Marc Andreessen, the venture capital investor and early web pioneer, has an idea for regular investors wondering where to invest their money. “Put it in an S&P 500 Index Fund,” he said. “Don’t get fancy.”

****** “Don’t get fancy” is good advice for feeding your cat, too.~JJL


The Olympics needs esports more than esports need the Olympics; Gaming’s global popularity would boost the Summer Games’ ageing, declining viewership
Tom Faber – FT
As the athletes marched around the stadium for the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics, they were accompanied by an unexpected soundtrack: a rousing suite of video game music from the likes of Final Fantasy and Sonic the Hedgehog.

****** I can’t wait for the eSports Olympics!~JJL


China’s Tencent imposes controls to tackle gaming addiction among children; Online games branded ‘spiritual opium’ in Beijing’s latest assault on tech and its social impact
Hudson Lockett and Ryan McMorrow and Sun Yu – FT
Tencent has announced new restrictions on how long minors can play its online games after the Chinese internet group came under intense pressure from state media, which labelled gaming as “spiritual opium”.

******China is already getting ready to game eSports?~JJL


Monday’s Top Three
We may have a first: Our most-read story Monday was Your Odds of Going Back to the Office Are Dropping by the Day, from Mother Jones. I don’t think we’ve had a Mother Jones story as the top story before. Second was, for the third time in the top three, the Insider story Wall Street legend Richard Dennis conducted an intellectual experiment that turned 23 novice investors into overnight millionaires. Third was Can the Fed Fix the Treasury Market by Tweaking Repo? from Bloomberg.


MarketsWiki Stats
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MarketsWiki Statistics


Lead Stories

New SEC Boss Wants More Crypto Oversight to Protect Investors; The nation’s top securities regulator has unusual expertise in digital assets, but he says he’s no cheerleader for them—and has no timetable for a Bitcoin ETF.
Robert Schmidt, Benjamin Bain – Bloomberg
It’s become a parlor game in Washington, on Wall Street, and in Silicon Valley to figure out where U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler stands on cryptocurrencies. Industry lobbyists tune in when he testifies before Congress. Lawyers parse his speeches. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. wealth advisers recently boasted in a research report about looking for clues in 29 hours of the Blockchain and Money course he developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. That’s an arduous but perhaps not novel undertaking, since videos of the classes have garnered millions of views online, something that amazes even Gensler.

IMF warns on crypto as national currency ahead of El Salvador launch; Lender reiterates concerns as Latin American nation prepares for September switch-on
Jude Webber and Eva Szalay and Michael Stott – FT
The IMF has warned on countries using cryptocurrencies as legal tender, just over a month before El Salvador is set to become the first nation in the world to allow bitcoin to pay for everything from haircuts to taxes.

OCC July 2021 Total Volume Up 29.2 Percent from a Year Ago; Highest July on record, fifth highest month in OCC’s history
OCC, the world’s largest equity derivatives clearing organization, announced today that July 2021 total cleared contract volume was 794,793,709 contracts, up 29.2 percent compared to July 2020 and the highest July on record. Year-to-date average daily cleared contract volume through July was 39,175,394 contracts, up 38.2 percent compared to July 2020.

Boerse Stuttgart And Tradeweb Join Forces To Offer Direct Access To Liquidity In US Bond Trading – Collaboration Will Provide Investors With Expanded Access To Deep Integrated US Corporate Bond Liquidity
Boerse Stuttgart, Germany’s leading exchange for corporate bonds and Tradeweb Markets Inc. (Nasdaq: TW), a leading global operator of electronic marketplaces for rates, credit, equities and money markets, today announced their collaboration to integrate Tradeweb’s live streaming prices for US corporate bonds on Boerse Stuttgart’s bond order book.

SEC Approves Finra Rule Targeting Rogue Brokers
Ross Snel – Barron’s
The SEC has signed off on proposed Finra rule changes aimed at better protecting investors from rogue brokers—or brokers with a history of misconduct. Among the changes, Finra plans to adopt a rule that would impose new obligations on broker-dealer firms that are flagged as having higher levels of risk-related disclosures—including regulatory actions and customer disputes—than other firms of similar size. Finra is the self-regulatory organization of the brokerage industry.

Is the crypto market still too Wild West for the traditional buy-side? As more major institutions continue to enter the digital asset space, Annabel Smith explores whether appetite from the traditional buy-side to engage with the crypto market is increasing.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
Interest from institutional investors in cryptocurrencies has been undoubtedly rising with each passing year, sparking a flurry of crypto and digital asset initiatives launched with non-retail participants in mind. What we’ve known for a while, is that hedge funds and family offices have partaken in the whirlwind digital asset market, but the level tends to drop off at the more traditional asset management end of the spectrum.

Singapore to grant first crypto licence in bid to lure digital asset groups; City-state has become an important front in industry’s battle to woo financial regulators
Mercedes Ruehl – FT
Singapore is set to grant regulatory consent to a cryptocurrency exchange for the first time as the Asian city-state becomes a key battleground in the digital asset industry’s bid to woo watchdogs in global financial hubs.

Asset managers are using multiple FX systems to ensure resilience, report finds; EBS Institutional report finds that over half of asset managers surveyed were using multiple systems to ensure business continuity in the event of a system failure.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
Over half of asset managers are using multiple foreign exchange (FX) platforms to ensure resiliency in the case of system failure, a report by EBS Institutional and The Finance Hive has found.

Eurex plans hedging contest in default auction revamp; New step in the default management process would enhance transparency in hedge provider selection
James Ryder –
Eurex is set to introduce a new auction procedure to its default management process, which would see members compete to conduct hedges for a defaulting member’s portfolio before the positions are liquidated. The new component would precede the main liquidation auction in the event of a clearing member collapse. It replaces an opaque process in which the Frankfurt-based clearing house currently appoints a hedging provider in consultation with its default management committee (DMC), in an attempt

ISDA Response to 2021 CDIC Amendments
The International Swaps and Derivatives Association, Inc. (“ISDA”) has been actively engaged for many years with providing input on regulatory reforms impacting derivatives in major jurisdictions globally, including Canada. ISDA appreciates the opportunity to provide comments to the Department of Finance Canada (the “Department”) with respect to proposed amendments (the “Proposed Amendments”) to the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation Act (the “Act”) contained within Bill C-30 (the Budget Implementation Act) (the “Bill”).

ISDA, ICMA and ISLA Sign MoU on the Common Domain Model
The International Swaps and Derivatives Association, Inc. (ISDA), the International Capital Market Association (ICMA) and the International Securities Lending Association (ISLA) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to strengthen collaboration on the future development of the Common Domain Model (CDM), which establishes a single, common digital representation of trade events and actions across the lifecycle of financial products. This cross-industry initiative marks an important step in the Associations’ commitment to define and promote the development of a digital future for financial markets, as set out in a joint letter a year ago.

Goldman Sachs Is Giving Entry-Level Bankers a Nearly 30% Raise; The Wall Street firm, which trailed its peers in raising junior bankers’ salaries, now tops them
Orla McCaffrey – WSJ
Junior bankers at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. GS 0.88% are getting a big raise. The Wall Street firm is increasing base pay for its entry-level employees—first-year analysts—to $110,000, a nearly 30% increase from the previous starting salary of $85,000, according to a person familiar with the matter. Second-year analysts are set to make $125,000, up from $95,000. Salaries for first-year associates will jump to $150,000 from $125,000.


Lack of Progress in Treating Covid Causes Worry for Unvaccinated
Nic Querolo and Carey Goldberg – Bloomberg
Advances to treatment stalled in last year despite early gains; Plateau risks more deaths among unvaccinated U.S. population
A stall in treatment advances for Covid-19 has raised concern among medical experts about unvaccinated people, who still make up half the country, and their likelihood of surviving the coming wave of delta cases.

U.S. Hits Biden’s Covid Vaccination Target, Nearly a Month Late
Jennifer Epstein – Bloomberg
Seventy percent of U.S. adults have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, a key milestone in the fight against the pandemic that the country hit nearly a month later than President Joe Biden had hoped.

Florida and Texas accounted for one-third of all new U.S. coronavirus cases last week, White House says
Alexander Nazaryan – Yahoo News
States with low vaccination rates are driving a new coronavirus wave sweeping over the nation, with the much more transmissible Delta strain filling hospitals across the southern U.S.

Sydney’s ticket out of COVID lockdown? Six million shots
Colin Packham, Renju Jose – Reuters
50% vaccination rate would ‘add options’-New South Wales premier;State lockdown affecting 5 mln people set to end on Aug. 29;At 199, state’s new COVID-19 cases still near 16-month high;PM Morrison rules out paying Australians to be vaccinated
Australian authorities said they could ease a COVID-19 lockdown that demands Sydney’s five million people stay home until the end of August if half the population is vaccinated, even as new infections linger near a 16-month high.

Top Japan medic urges nationwide state of emergency amid COVID surge
Akiko Okamoto, Linda Sieg, Kiyoshi Takenaka – Reuters
Tokyo hospitals feel the crunch; Worries policy shift risks more deaths;Japan Medical Association urges nationwide emergency
The head of the Japan Medical Association called on Tuesday for a nationwide state of emergency to contain a surge in COVID-19 cases in Olympics host city Tokyo and elsewhere, Kyodo news agency said, as worries grow about a strained healthcare system.

Delta variant surges across U.S. South; political leaders clamp down again
Joseph Ax, Nathan Layne – Reuters
The U.S. states of Florida and Louisiana were at or near their highest hospitalization numbers of the coronavirus pandemic on Monday, driven by the still-spreading Delta variant, as one doctor warned of the “darkest days” yet.

S.Korea on alert for new Delta Plus COVID-19 variant
Sangmi Cha – Reuters
Only one contact of man with Delta Plus tests positive;One Delta Plus case recently returned from United States; South Korea reports 1,202 new COVID-19 cases
South Korea has detected its first two cases of the new Delta Plus COVID-19 variant, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said on Tuesday, as the country battles with its fourth wave of infections.

Ireland’s Catholic church, government clash over COVID-19 restrictions
Five Roman Catholic bishops from Ireland’s 22 dioceses are set to defy COVID-19 restrictions after instructing local parishes to hold communion and confirmation services this month, drawing a sharp rebuke from the government, which have pleaded with them to wait until they consider further easing curbs later this month.

England changes COVID-19 app so fewer people need to isolate
England’s COVID-19 mobile phone app will be tweaked so that fewer contacts of asymptomatic people who test positive for the disease will need to self-isolate, Britain’s health ministry said on Monday.

Upgrades, ESG, DeFi usage to help ether outpace bitcoin: Pantera Capital
Lisa Mattackal – Reuters
The Ethereum platform’s potential applications, lower environmental impact and technical upgrades are likely to help the ether token continue to outperform bitcoin, Pantera Capital CEO Dan Morehead said.

Beijing shuts down transport links as Delta variant spreads to cities; Vaccinated citizens infected in latest outbreak, but expert insists Chinese-made jabs are effective
Christian Shepherd – FT
A fast-spreading outbreak of the Delta coronavirus variant in China has caused rare infections among the country’s vaccinated individuals, spurring authorities in Beijing to impose sudden travel restrictions.

CDC’s Covid-19 Mask Mandate Clouded by Flawed Data; Some health experts say agency relies on data that is lacking or inconclusive
Robbie Whelan and Jared S. Hopkins – WSJ
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is fighting Covid-19 without a full arsenal of data that some public-health experts said it would need to persuade more people to take steps to contain the pandemic.

‘Freedom,’ Florida and the Delta Variant Disaster
Paul Krugman – NY Times
Ron DeSantis, governor of Florida, isn’t stupid. He is, however, ambitious and supremely cynical. So when he says things that sound stupid it’s worth asking why. And his recent statements on Covid-19 help us understand why so many Americans are still dying or getting severely ill from the disease. The background here is Florida’s unfolding public health catastrophe.

Don’t Want a Vaccine? Be Prepared to Pay More for Insurance.
Elisabeth Rosenthal and Glenn Kramon – NY Times
America’s Covid-19 vaccination rate is at around 60 percent, for ages twelve and up. That’s not enough to reach so-called herd immunity, and in states like Missouri — where a number of counties have vaccination rates under 25 percent — hospitals are overwhelmed by serious outbreaks of the more contagious Delta variant.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

MGEX Reports a Top-10 Month
MGEX, a Designated Contract Market (DCM) and Derivatives Clearing Organization (DCO), welcomes July 2021 as the 7th best overall month for MGEX with a total exchange volume of 297,235 contracts. This past month was also the 2nd best July in the record book.

Nasdaq acquires minority stake in US equity dark pool LeveL ATS; The exchange joins existing investors of the equity dark pool trading venue Bank of America, Citi, and Fidelity.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
Nasdaq has acquired a significant minority stake in the US-based equity dark pool trading venue, LeveL ATS. Originally launched in 2006, LeveL ATS is an alternative trading system that provides a continuous crossing platform for users to trade in a dark pool environment, allowing them to minimise information leakage and market impact.

CME Group Reports July 2021 Monthly Market Statistics; Highest-ever July average daily volume; Interest Rate Monthly ADV up 96%, Options ADV up 55% and Energy ADV up 23%
CME Group
CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, today reported July 2021 market statistics, including average daily volume (ADV) of 17.1 million contracts during the month. Market statistics are available in greater detail at

MARF lists a commercial paper programme by HT Nexus Securitization Fund
BME’s Fixed Income Market, MARF, has today admitted to trading a commercial paper programme launched by HT Nexus Securitization Fund for a maximum amount of 50 million euros. HT Nexus is an open securitization fund, its asset will be integrated by credit rights originated by Nexus Energía and Yellow Energy, of Nexus Group, related to the commercialization of electricity, natural gas and other services associated with energy supply. Under this program, the Fund will be able to place commercial paper issues with maturities of up to two years to qualified investors and professional clients over the next twelve months.

The Spanish stock market trades 25.9 billion euros in July
The number of trades in July increased 5.4% compared to the previous month; News issues in the Fixed Income markets amounted to 43.7 billion euros, up 10.9% compared to June; Trading in July in IBEX 35 and Mini IBEX 35 Futures contracts increased by 7.1% and 11.1% respectively compared to the previous month
The Spanish stock market traded 25.9 billion euros in Equities in July, 18.4% lower year on year and 26.2% less than the previous month. The number of trades in July was 3.67 million, down 19.4% year on year and up 5.4% compared to June.

SGX leads by example in building climate mitigation strategies
Michelle Quah – Business Times
The Singapore Exchange (SGX) became the first Asian exchange earlier this month to commit to setting science-based emissions reduction targets, articulated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), aimed at keeping global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels….

The next release of Securities and FX market systems
The next release of the FX and Securities markets trading and clearing systems is scheduled for 27 September 2021. The following changes are included. In case the date changes, Moscow Exchange will provide an update.

DGCX And DMCC Strengthen Ties With UAE Ministry Of Economy, Securities And Commodities Authority – DGCX And DMCC Receive A High-Level Delegation Led By The UAE Minister Of Economy, H.E. Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri, And Securities And Commodities Authority Acting CEO, H.E. Dr. Maryam Alsuwaidi
The Dubai Gold & Commodities Exchange (DGCX) today welcomed a high-level delegation at its offices together with the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC). The delegation, led by the UAE Minister of Economy H.E. Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri and Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) Acting CEO H.E. Dr. Maryam Alsuwaidi, was aimed at strengthening ties as well as supporting the growth and development of the trading of gold and commodities, financial derivatives as well as cryptocurrencies.

Nasdaq Nordic And Baltic Markets Trading Statistics July 2021
Nasdaq (Nasdaq:NDAQ) today publishes monthly trade statistics for the Nordic1 and Baltic2 markets. Below follows a summary of the statistics for July 2021:

SIX Trading Key Figures: July 2021
In July 2021 trading turnover on the Swiss stock exchange reached CHF 88.3 billion, 22.6% less than in the previous month, while the number of transactions decreased by 4.4% to a total of 4,574,578. Since the beginning of 2021, trading turnover reached CHF 783.1 billion with a total of 38,228,952 transactions. The SMI® rose by 1.5% and reached 12,116.8 points at the end of the month, registering a new all-time high (closing price on 30.7.2021).

MIAX Exchange Group – Options Exchanges – Updated August 1, 2021 Fee Changes
As previously announced in the July 26th Alert, effective August 1, 2021, the MIAX Options, MIAX Pearl Options and MIAX Emerald Options Exchanges Fee Schedules were amended.

London Stock Exchange traders hit by third Refinitiv outage today
Josh Martin – City AM
London Stock Exchange’s Refinitiv news and data platform Eikon experienced an outage of several hours today, the company said, its third such glitch this year. The company reported similar issues in April and June.


China is ‘6 years ahead’ of US in building blockchain payment system, CEO says
Ihsaan Fanusie – Yahoo Finance
The U.S. has fallen significantly behind China in the race to develop a blockchain-based payment system, Pantera Capital founder and CEO Dan Morehead told Yahoo Finance in a recent interview. “China’s six years ahead of the United States in building a blockchain-based payment system,” Morehead said in a Friday segment on blockchain technology with Yahoo Finance Live.

Square’s $29bn bet on Afterpay heralds future for ‘buy now, pay later’ trend; Jack Dorsey’s deal comes as increasingly competitive sector faces growing regulatory hurdles
Dave Lee, Imani Moise, Jamie Smyth and Tim Bradshaw – FT
Jack Dorsey’s biggest gamble to date has sent ripples around the fintech and banking world, with investors betting that Square’s $29bn all-stock deal to acquire Afterpay signals the “buy now, pay later” trend has staying power.

South Korea looks to fintech as household debt balloons to $1.6tn; Digital lenders set to fill gap as banks pull back in heavily indebted nation
Song Jung-a – FT
After her family business of ferrying drunk people home was hit by closures of bars due to Covid-19 curfews and social distancing, Lee Young-mi* found herself juggling personal debts of about Won30m ($26,000).

Element Ventures pulls in $130M to double-down on the fintech enterprise trend
Mike Butcher – TechCrunch
With the rise of Open Banking, PSD2 Regulation, insurtech and the whole, general fintech boom, tech investors have realized there is an increasing place for dedicated funds which double down on this ongoing movement. When you look at the rise of banking-as-a-service offerings, payments platforms, insurtech, asset management and infrastructure providers, you realize there is a pretty huge revolution going on.

Singapore’s Fintech Firm FinAccel To List In U.S. Via $2.5 Billion SPAC Deal
Jonathan Burgos – Forbes
FinAccel, the Singapore-based parent of Indonesian fintech startup Kredivo, agreed to list in the U.S. through a merger with blank-check company VPC Impact Acquisition Holdings II in a deal that values the combined entity at $2.5 billion.

Payments Startup Rapyd Raises $300 Million Round Amid Fintech Valuations Boom
Iain Martin – Forbes
The valuation of Rapyd, the payments platform that handles payments for Uber and Ikea has doubled to $5 billion since raising its last round in January amid a pandemic-driven boom for fintechs. The London-based company raised a $300 million Series E round to fund acquisitions and expansion into Latin America and Asia.

South Korea looks to fintech as household debt balloons to $1.6tn
Song Jung-a – Financial Times
After her family business of ferrying drunk people home was hit by closures of bars due to Covid-19 curfews and social distancing, Lee Young-mi* found herself juggling personal debts of about Won30m ($26,000).
The 56-year-old resident of Suncheon in South Korea was already struggling to pay off or refinance four credit cards, but now faces the prospect of those debts rapidly multiplying after her husband was diagnosed with cancer.

Broadridge Acquires Innovative Post-Trade Solutions Business
Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc.
Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc. (NYSE:BR), a global Fintech leader, today announced that it has acquired Alpha Omega, a market-leading FIX-based post-trade solutions provider for the investment management industry. This acquisition builds on Broadridge’s recent acquisition of Itiviti. The acquisition, which encompasses the remaining 68% of Alpha Omega, will enable Broadridge to fully consolidate Alpha Omega’s post-trade matching and consolidation solution into its existing NYFIX connectivity and FIX infrastructure to better automate buy-side and sell-side firms’ trade matching processes and further accelerates Broadridge’s product roadmap.

TNS Launches Market Data and Order Routing Services at India INX, GIFT City
Transaction Network Services
Transaction Network Services is expanding its presence in India with the launch of a new connection to the India International Exchange (INX) located at the International Finance Services Centre, Gujarat International Finance-Tec City (GIFT City) Gandhinagar. This new connection delivers low latency access to India INX for both market data and order routing services.

S&P, Markit to Sell Fuel-Data Arm to News Corp. to Ease Merger
Tony Robinson – Bloomberg
S&P Global Inc. and IHS Markit Ltd. agreed to sell fuel-price and other commodities information services to News Corp. for $1.15 billion, aiming to smooth regulatory approval for a planned $39 billion merger. The sale of Markit’s Oil Price Information Services, PetroChem Wire and Coal, Metals and Mining businesses is expected to close with the S&P-Markit combination in the fourth quarter, subject to regulatory approval, according to a statement Monday.


Hackers block Italian Covid-19 vaccination booking system in ‘most serious cyberattack ever’
Livia Borghese and Sharon Braithwaite – CNN
Hackers have attacked and blocked an Italian Covid-19 vaccination booking system, a source from Italy’s cybercrime police told CNN on Monday, marking the worst cyberattack the country’s health service has ever seen. An investigation has been opened into the “very serious” attack on the IT system of the health department of Lazio, one of the most populated regions of Italy and home to capital Rome, according to a source from the Postal and Communications Police, which investigates cybercrime.

Microsoft Web Servers Targeted By Hacker ‘Praying Mantis’: Cybersecurity Firm
Wade Tyler Millward – CRN
A new threat actor is targeting Microsoft Windows web servers, suggesting that users should patch .NET deserialization vulnerabilities and look for suspicious activity on web-facing Microsoft Internet Information Services servers, according to ?cybersecurity technology and services provider Sygnia.

The Cybersecurity 202: Government cyber protections are poor and not getting better, a Senate report finds
Joseph Marks and Aaron Schaffer – The Washington Post
A blistering Senate report in 2019 found dangerous cybersecurity lapses at eight government agencies, including unpatched computer bugs and citizens’ personal information left vulnerable to hacking. Two years later, things are barely any better. A 2021 update released this morning by the Senate Homeland Security Committee found seven of the eight agencies had made only minimal improvements during the past two years. Only the Department of Homeland Security, which includes the government’s lead cybersecurity agency, is doing substantially better.

Chinese Hackers Compromised Telecom Companies, Researchers Say
Ryan Gallagher – Bloomberg
Chinese state-backed hacking groups compromised at least five global telecommunications companies and stole phone records and location data, according to cybersecurity researchers. The hacking groups waged a campaign across Southeast Asia from 2017 to 2021, in some cases exploiting security vulnerabilities in Microsoft Corp.’s Exchange servers to gain access to telecommunication companies’ internal systems, according to a new report published Tuesday by U.S.-based security firm Cybereason Inc.

French cybersecurity agency confirms spyware on two journalists’ phones
Daniel Kuhn – Illinois News Today
French cybersecurity agency Pegasus spyware Attended the phone calls of two journalists from the country’s online research journal Mediapart, The publication reported on Thursday. This is the first backing of a line of alleged surveillance by government agencies around the world.


Bitmain Co-Founder Turns His Second Crypto Venture Into Unicorn
Zheping Huang – Bloomberg
Matrixport, the crypto-finance venture led by Bitmain Technologies Ltd.’s billionaire founder Wu Jihan, has raised fresh capital from investors including DST Global and Tiger Global, ramping up its pre-money valuation to $1 billion in two years since its inception.

Crypto Exchange Gets Singapore Nod on Digital Token Services
Joanna Ossinger – Bloomberg
Independent Reserve gets in-principle approval from regulators; Several applicants in final stages of review as of last week
The Monetary Authority of Singapore has granted an “in-principle approval” under the Payment Services Act to cryptocurrency exchange Independent Reserve, allowing it to operate as a regulated provider for Digital Payment Token services.

How language in the infrastructure bill could roil the crypto markets
Tanaya Macheel – CNBC
The cryptocurrency industry is lobbying hard this week against language in the Senate’s bipartisan infrastructure bill proposal that could choke a vast amount of the crypto ecosystem.
Language in the bill would require crypto brokers to report customer information to the Internal Revenue Service. More importantly, over the weekend it broadened the definition of what’s considered a “broker” to anyone “responsible for regularly providing any service effectuating transfers of digital assets on behalf of another person” which doesn’t exclude miners, software developers, stakers and other individuals in the crypto economy who don’t have customers.

American Bankers Association Encourages Partnerships With Crypto Firms In New Report
Jason Brett – Forbes
The American Bankers’ Association (ABA) has issued a new report that suggests banks consider partnerships with crypto firms based on the increased profitability of the sector and client interest. The report is 20 pages in length and provides a high-level overview of crypto with a glossary, maps crypto business activities to bank products and services. The ABA further suggests crypto use cases for banks with revenue models and regulatory issues for each use case.
The report classifies crypto assets into four categories: cryptocurrencies, Stablecoins, central bank digital currencies, and non-fungible tokens. Decentralized Finance (DeFi) is also mentioned as well.

What new crypto tax rules would mean for average investors and miners
Chris Matthews – MarketWatch
The cryptocurrency industry was caught off guard last week when it was revealed that the Senate’s bipartisan infrastructure bill anticipated raising $28 billion in revenue by adding new reporting requirements that would enable the IRS to collect taxes already owed on capital gains from sales of bitcoin, ether and other digital assets.
The exact text of the bill is still being negotiated, but experts tell MarketWatch that the average crypto investor who uses a centralized exchange like Coinbase or Kraken to buy and sell crypto assets should expect the IRS to know exactly how much money they made on those transactions, if the bill becomes law.

Australian Exchange CoinJar Unveils Crypto Mastercard in Country First
Sebastian Sinclair – Coindesk
Australia’s longest-running crypto exchange has launched a card backed by Mastercard allowing users to buy, sell and spend digital assets directly from its platform using local dollars.

SEC Boss Gensler Eyeing Robust Regulation of Crypto Market: Report
Jamie Crawley – Coindesk
The new chair of the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Gary Gensler, said he is weighing up a robust regulatory regime for the crypto market.

HSBC UK Blocks Payments to Binance Exchange
Tanzeel Akhtar – Coindesk
HSBC is blocking U.K. customers from using credit cards to make payments to crypto exchange Binance “wherever possible,” the banking giant said Tuesday.


Is Congress’s Infrastructure Deal a Threat to the US Crypto Industry? Portion of bill outlines “impossible-to-fulfill” reporting requirements, blockchain associations say
Ben Strack – Blockworks
$1.2 trillion infrastructure deal is financed in part through stronger tax enforcement around cryptocurrencies; Senator Pat Toomey released a statement Monday saying he planned to offer an amendment to fix what he called “unworkable” text in the provision
A portion of the $1.2 trillion infrastructure deal currently being considered by members of Congress “poses an imminent threat” to the US crypto industry, according to a dozen blockchain associations.

Closed-End Funds Are on Congress’ Radar. What Investors Should Know.
Daren Fonda – Barron’s
The Templeton Global Income fund frustrated investors for years. Despite star manager Michael Hasenstab at the helm, the closed-end fund returned an average of 0.3% annually in the past decade, versus an average 7% for peers in global income. Also frustrating, its shares rarely traded close to the fund’s underlying net asset value, or NAV. The discount averaged 11% in the past three years.

GDP Growth Under Trump Was the Worst Since Hoover; The pandemic was partly to blame, and there are some measures that make his record look better. But it was not a stellar performance.
Justin Fox – Bloomberg
It was the whopping-yet-still-disappointing 6.5% annualized growth number for the second quarter that got most of the attention when the U.S. gross domestic product report came out Thursday. But the data release from the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis also included revisions to GDP and related measures back to 1999, making this an opportune time to take another look at economic growth under Donald Trump and his predecessors.

Crypto Exchange Gets Singapore Nod on Digital Token Services
Joanna Ossinger – Bloomberg
Independent Reserve gets in-principle approval from regulators; Several applicants in final stages of review as of last week
The Monetary Authority of Singapore has granted an “in-principle approval” under the Payment Services Act to cryptocurrency exchange Independent Reserve, allowing it to operate as a regulated provider for Digital Payment Token services.

Biden Fed Pick Pits Powell Against Liberal Push for Regulation
Steven T. Dennis and Saleha Mohsin – Bloomberg
Republicans see path to fairly broad Powell confirmation vote; Brainard, other possible picks could mean a Capitol Hill slog
President Joe Biden has a tough decision in choosing the next Federal Reserve chair: Play it safe by giving Jerome Powell a second term or take a chance on a liberal like Lael Brainard, who would please progressives in Congress yet potentially agitate Wall Street.

Edelman Bolsters Public-Affairs Unit as Companies Cater to Consumers; The firm is launching an agency focused on advising clients on issues related to social justice and doing business in places like China
Alexandra Bruell – WSJ
Edelman is planning to invest at least $10 million to bolster its public affairs business, the public-relations giant said, as businesses increasingly seek support in government relations, crisis management and social responsibility work.


NCLA Celebrates Jury Verdict Exonerating Our Clients from a Dozen Inaccurate SEC Charges
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission v. Spartan Securities Group, LTD., et al.
New Civil Liberties Alliance
Today, a federal jury in the Middle District of Florida delivered a favorable verdict in U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission v. Spartan Securities Group, LTD., et al. The New Civil Liberties Alliance, a nonpartisan, nonprofit civil liberties group, commends the jurors who fully exonerated NCLA’s clients David Lopez, former Chief Compliance Officer for Spartan Securities Group, Ltd. and Island Capital Management, before Judge Virginia Hernandez Covington. The jury also ruled in favor of our other clients, Spartan Securities Group and Carl Dilley (on 12 out of 13 charges), and Micah Eldred and Island Stock Transfer (on 11 counts out of 12), rejecting multiple allegations of fraud, aiding and abetting, as well as regulatory violations of the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The drubbing SEC took at the hands of these brave defendants shows the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had massively overcharged them for behavior that was not unlawful.

Financial regulators urgently need to get a grip on ‘Big Tech’ – BIS
Marc Jones – Reuters
Central banks and financial regulators urgently need to get to grips with the growing influence of ‘Big Tech’, according to top officials from central bank umbrella group the Bank for International Settlements (BIS).

Opinion: Advice for the SEC’s Gensler: If you want to get companies’ climate disclosures right, this is the way to do it
Thomas H. Stoner Jr. and David Schimel – MarketWatch
Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler’s call for mandatory climate risk disclosure suggests the U.S. is back on the heroes’ side of the climate fight. Yet, if the power of markets is to be sufficiently harnessed to bend the emissions curve, we need to beware of half-measures.

U.S., Chinese Regulators Work on Framework to Protect Investors; Are the stock watchdogs really able to put the necessary disclosures in place, given the anti-business sentiment coming from the very top?
Alex Frew McMcillian – The Street
After a punishing 10 days for Chinese shares, regulators on both sides of the Pacific are trying to figure out how to handle the increasingly complex issue of Chinese companies that are listed outside China’s borders. That counts China-focused companies here in Hong Kong, and some US$2 trillion worth of shares in the United States.

U.S. SEC to review recent changes to whistleblower program
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will consider revising recent changes to its whistleblower program made under former President Donald Trump, the markets regulator’s chair said on Monday.

UBS Fined $1.5 Million Over Regulatory Breaches in Hong Kong
Bloomberg News
Hong Kong’s securities regulator slapped a total of HK$11.55 million ($1.5 million) fine on UBS Group AG over regulatory breaches, almost 1 1/2 years after lifting a ban on the Swiss bank from sponsoring initial public offerings in the city.

Ernst & Young to pay $10m to settle SEC charges; Big Four accounting firm and three partners accused by regulator of audit independence misconduct
Patrick Temple-West – FT
Big Four firm Ernst & Young and three audit partners have settled charges with the Securities and Exchange Commission over alleged misconduct in their relationship with the chief accounting officer of a large US company.

Questions to ask before investing
ASIC’s Warren Day recently joined ABC Melbourne Drive host, Raf Epstein. to discuss some basic checks people should make before investing that could save some pain down the track. ‘Unfortunately, we’ve seen some recent examples of people losing significant sums of money and in some cases, their life savings, because they invested with people who were not licensed or authorised to provide financial services’, Day says.

ASIC prosecutes ten companies for failing to lodge financial reports
ASIC prosecuted ten companies between 1 January 2021 and 30 June 2021 for failing to comply with their obligations to lodge financial reports. Certain types of Australian companies are required by law to lodge financial reports with ASIC within a specified period after the end of their financial year. Some companies are also required to lodge financial reports every half year. Accurate and timely financial reporting allows shareholders, creditors and the public to make informed decisions about companies.

ASIC bans Timothy Parry and Damian Price of North Coast Financial Services for six years
ASIC has banned Timothy William Parry and Damian Garnet Price of Lismore-based North Coast Financial Services Pty Ltd (NCFS) from controlling a financial services business or performing any function as an officer of an entity that carries on a financial services business for six years, after finding they breached their duties.

SEC Issues Whistleblower Awards Totaling More Than $4 Million
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced awards of more than $4 million to four whistleblowers who provided information and assistance in two separate enforcement proceedings.

SEC Charges Ernst & Young, Three Audit Partners, and Former Public Company CAO with Audit Independence Misconduct
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged accounting firm Ernst & Young LLP (EY), one of its partners, and two of its former partners with improper professional conduct for violating auditor independence rules in connection with EY’s pursuit to serve as the independent auditor for a public company with nearly $5 billion in revenue (issuer). Separately, the Commission brought charges against the Issuer’s then-Chief Accounting Officer for his role in the misconduct. All respondents have agreed to settle the charges and will collectively pay more than $10 million in monetary relief.

Notice of Annual Meeting of FINRA Firms and Election Proxy
FINRA will conduct its Annual Meeting of firms on Wednesday, September 1, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time in the FINRA Visitors Center at 1735 K Street, NW, Washington, D.C. The purpose of the meeting is to elect individuals to fill one small firm seat, one mid-size firm seat and one large firm seat on the FINRA Board of Governors (FINRA Board or Board).1

Notice: NTF System Availability
On Tuesday, August 3, 2021 from 2 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. ET, the FINRA Test Facility (NTF) will be unavailable for testing FINRA Multi Product Platform (MPP) products. This affects FINRA’s Trade Reporting and Compliance Engine (TRACE), FINRA’s Alternative Display Facility (ADF) platform, and the OTC Reporting Facility (ORF).

Consumer warning on Cavendish Incorporated Limited
We have imposed requirements on Cavendish Incorporated Ltd. It is therefore not currently permitted to carry out any regulated activities without the prior written consent of the FCA. Your investments in Cavendish or its former appointed representative Cottesmore Associates Ltd may not be protected.

FCA launches year-round regulatory sandbox
Sonia Rach – FT Adviser
The Financial Conduct Authority has made its regulatory sandbox available for applications throughout the year. The regulatory sandbox, which provides access to regulatory expertise and a set of tools to facilitate pre-launch testing, previously operated on a cohort basis, meaning firms could only apply during specific windows in the calendar year.

Staff Statement on the Proposed Expert Market; Division of Trading and Markets Staff
On December 22, 2020, the Commission issued notice of and requested comment on a proposed exemptive order that, if adopted, would grant a conditional exemption from Rule 15c2-11 for certain publications of broker-dealer quotations on an expert market operated by OTC Link LLC.[1]

Statement in Connection with the SEC’s Whistleblower Program
Chair Gary Gensler – SEC
In September 2020, the Commission adopted amendments to the SEC’s whistleblower program rules.[1] Various members of the whistleblower community, as well as Commissioners Lee and Crenshaw, have expressed concern that two of these amendments could discourage whistleblowers from coming forward. One of these amendments[2] would preclude the Commission in some instances from making an award in related enforcement actions brought by other law-enforcement and regulatory authorities if a second, alternative whistleblower award program might also apply to the action. The second amendment[3] could be used by a future Commission to lower an award because of the size of the award in absolute terms.

Joint Statement on the Departure of Pete Driscoll
Chair Gary Gensler, Commissioner Hester M. Peirce, Commissioner Elad L. Roisman, Commissioner Allison Herren Lee,Commission Caroline A. Crenshaw – SEC
As he departs the agency, we would like to thank Pete Driscoll for his more than two decades of service to the SEC and his leadership of the Division of Examinations. Pete has always demonstrated a remarkable commitment to protecting America’s investors, ensuring the examination program is strong and effective, and supporting his colleagues throughout the agency. We particularly commend him for guiding the examination program through the challenges of the pandemic and for shepherding its transition from the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations to the Division of Examinations. We have benefitted from his many years of experience, his steady leadership, and his dedication to advancing the agency’s mission on behalf of investors.

Investing and Trading

Trillions of Negative-Yielding Debt Redeem Europe’s Bond Bulls
James Hirai – Bloomberg
A deepening pool of debt with yields below zero is vindicating bullish bets on European bonds. In a matter of weeks, German 10-year bond yields went from flirting with zero for the first time in two years to tumbling in July by the most since the start of 2020, all the way back to minus 0.46%. That decline — which has ramped up bond prices — has helped boost the amount of negative-yielding debt in Europe to 7.5 trillion euros ($8.9 trillion), near a six-month high.

The Bond Market’s Very Misleading Message; Much of the drop in yields on U.S. government securities has nothing to do with inflation, and even the bit that does doesn’t say anything interesting about where it’s headed.
Richard Cookson – Bloomberg
When it comes to financial markets, narratives are powerful things — and often misleading. The big (and unexpected) decline in yields on longer-term U.S. Treasury securities from about 1.75% in late March to a recent 1.15% has convinced many investors that central bankers were right all along, and that the faster inflation the world is currently experiencing is merely temporary and will decelerate again when supply-chain bottlenecks caused by the pandemic have eased. The trouble is that much of the drop in yields has nothing to do with inflation and even the bit that does probably doesn’t say anything interesting about where inflation is headed.

Income investing in the summer of the UK ‘super dividend’; Income investors are enjoying a bumper crop of payouts this summer — but are they sustainable?
Maike Currie – FT
Just a year ago, the UK was mired in uncertainty marked by Covid-induced lockdowns, market outflows, deflation fears and an unprecedented dividend cull with scores of companies reducing, deferring or cancelling their income payouts altogether.

Natural Gas Is Looking Like This Summer’s Hottest Commodity; Record exports, steamy weather and frugal producers are pushing up prices for the fuel
Ryan Dezember – WSJ
The heat wave that scorched the West has dissipated, but natural-gas prices have yet to cool off. The power-generation fuel has been in high demand to run air conditioners and make up for parched hydropower markets, and forecasters expect booming exports and more steamy weather to keep supplies down and prices up.

Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance

Carlyle to Award $2 Million to Staff for Focusing on Diversity
Sonali Basak – Bloomberg
Payouts are in addition to bonuses, other diversity goals; Employees nominated almost 200 people for the awards
Carlyle Group Inc. is awarding a total of about $2 million to more than 50 executives and other employees globally who are excelling at goals tied to diversity, equity and inclusion.

Manager of Top-Performing ESG Funds Relies on C-Suite Test; SEB’s Forsberg says Volvo is on the buy list, Hennes & Mauritz isn’t.
Charles Daly and Tasneem Hanfi Brogger – Bloomberg
The woman running this year’s top-ranked ESG funds has developed a series of tests she says offer a reliable path to picking the best sustainable stocks. Caroline Forsberg of SEB Investment Management has trounced many of her peers, delivering her clients a 30% return on two funds. That’s more than double the industry average, and better than all ESG funds tracked by Bloomberg across Europe, the U.S. and Japan.

BlackRock Joins Citi and HSBC in Plan to Close Coal Plants Early
Krystal Chia – Bloomberg
Asian Development Bank is developing proposal with Prudential; Fundraising to begin at global climate conference in November
BlackRock Inc. and other major financial institutions are working on plans to accelerate the closure of coal-fired power plants in Asia in a bid to phase out the use of the worst man-made contributors to climate change.

The Dirty Secret of Carbon Accounting That Underpins Climate Goals; Unlike financial reporting, there’s not much in the form of punishment if companies get emissions reporting wrong
Akshat Rathi – Bloomberg
There’s a dirty secret of carbon accounting, and it could soon be exposed. That’s because the assumptions most companies base their calculations on could be wrong.

Europe’s Pension Funds Still Don’t Know How to Treat a Key Risk
Tasneem Hanfi Brogger and Alastair Marsh – Bloomberg
Fiduciary duties mean pensions direct less money to ESG funds; Asset managers are being forced to adjust to stricter rules
The main organization representing European pension funds says it’s still not clear how the industry should balance financial returns against a desire to do more environmental and social investing.

US forest fires threaten carbon offsets as company-linked trees burn; BP and Microsoft among groups that bought into projects designed to help achieve net-zero emissions targets
Camilla Hodgson – FT
Forests in the US that generate the carbon offsets bought by companies including BP and Microsoft are on fire as summer blazes rage in North America.

Business can be a force for change on climate; Investment in practical ways to get to net zero will help deliver the solutions we need
John Browne – FT
Almost 25 years ago, as chief executive of BP, I delivered a speech which acknowledged the risk posed by climate change, accepted that oil and gas companies were part of the problem, and made a pledge to become part of the solution. I was the first Big Oil CEO to do so, and was accused by my peers of having “left the church”. But it was not long before others followed.


Sunak resists pressure to remove cap on bankers bonuses; Bank chiefs fear the EU rule could hamper the City of London’s global competitiveness
Philip Stafford and George Parker – FT
Chancellor Rishi Sunak is resisting pressure from investment banks to ditch the cap on bankers’ bonuses, in spite of warnings that the City of London risks losing its competitive edge to rivals like New York.

Anti-Ark ETF Plan Caps a Bad Stretch for Cathie Wood’s Funds
Sam Potter and Katie Greifeld – Bloomberg
A new ETF designed to bet directly against Cathie Wood’s flagship fund comes not a moment too soon for her growing band of skeptics. All eight of the exchange-traded funds at Wood’s Ark Investment Management dropped in July and almost all have seen net outflows, with a day’s data still to be gathered.

Credit Suisse Sells $3.75 Billion of Debt Amid Archegos Cleanup
Aysha Diallo – Bloomberg
Credit Suisse Group AG sold $3.75 billion of bonds as the bank recovers from losses stemming from the March collapse of Archegos Capital Management.

Zurich Near Deal for Deutsche Bank’s Italian Advisers Unit
Sonia Sirletti and Jan-Henrik Foerster – Bloomberg
Potential deal is said to value asset at $415 million; Both firms last year struck a distribution deal for Germany
Zurich Insurance Group AG is nearing a deal to buy Deutsche Bank AG’s Italian financial promoters network, according to people familiar with the matter. Zurich has emerged as the leading candidate to buy DB Financial Advisors in a deal that would value the asset at about 350 million euros ($415 million), said one of the people, who asked to not be identified because the matter isn’t public. No final decision has been made and discussions could still fall through, the people said.

Goldman Sachs mints billions through business it is looking to shrink; Bank aims to cut size of equity investments by a fifth even after record $3.7bn in revenue
Joshua Franklin – FT
Goldman Sachs raked in record revenue from asset management in the past quarter thanks to a business that invests the Wall Street bank’s own capital. But rather than expand it, Goldman is seeking to make the business smaller.

Société Générale reports best first-half performance in 5 years; Paris-based bank’s EUR1.4bn second-quarter net income is 68% ahead of analysts’ forecasts
Owen Walker – FT
Société Générale has continued its resurgence from last year’s steep trading losses, reporting its best first-half performance in five years on Tuesday morning.

Soros global trading head departs after 34 years for StoneX outsourced trading team; Alongside the hiring of Soros’ former global head of trading, StoneX has appointed a portfolio construction specialist from Cambridge Associates to its outsourced team.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
The former global head of trading Soros Fund Management has left the firm after 34 years to join the outsourced trading team at US-based brokerage StoneX. Steve Guihan joins the global macro desk based in New York, part of StoneX’s outsourced trading team, having spent the last 24 years in the global head of trading role at Soros Fund Management, StoneX confirmed in an update on social media.


Trading tax hike adds to Hong Kong market gloom; Ongoing pivot toward China tech stocks sees bears stalk Hang Seng benchmark
Narayanan Somasundaram – Nikkei
A move to reorient Hong Kong’s benchmark share index toward Chinese technology stocks was intended to reinvigorate interest and help investors capture growth in the country’s highest-profile growth sector.

Covid Disguises Chronic Scarcity of Workers for U.K. Recovery; The acute labor shortage because of self isolation is masking the systemic challenge for businesses struggling to recruit after Brexit.
Jack Sidders, Deirdre Hipwell, Joe Mayes, and Libby Cherry – Bloomberg
On the outskirts of the Scottish town of Kirkcaldy is a crop of new houses on their way to completion. There are two large banners pinned to the perimeter fence with a mobile phone number: “Bricklayers Required.”

Why it might be good for China if foreign investors are wary; Regulators should be more worried by too much buying of its stocks and bonds than by too little
Michael Pettis – FT
The chaos in Chinese stock markets last week was exacerbated by foreign investors selling Chinese shares, leaving Beijing’s regulators scrambling to regain their confidence while they tried to stabilise domestic markets. But if foreign funds become more cautious about investing in Chinese stocks, this may in fact be a good thing for China.

China green energy ETFs deliver best performance in first half; Surge in returns follows commitments made by Xi Jinping to achieve net zero emissions by 2060
Chloe Leung – FT
Green energy themed exchange traded funds in China have outperformed other thematic and broad-based ETF strategies in the first half of 2021, amid signs of a shift in the economy towards greener energy and more environmentally friendly consumer products.

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