New SEC Chairman Sets Sights on Citadel Securities and Virtu; Hedge Funds Face Backlash From Europe in Bond Market

May 10, 2021

First Read

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Hits & Takes
John Lothian & JLN Staff

The architect who designed the Annex to the Chicago Board of Trade Building and the United Airlines Terminal 1 at O’Hare Airport in Chicago, Helmut Jahn, has died. He was killed over the weekend in a bicycling accident in the western suburbs of Chicago when he did not stop as he crossed a road and was hit by cars going both ways. — Crain’s Chicago Business

Chris Topple, CEO Euronext London, head of sales Euronext, chairman Euronext FX, chairman Nordpool, chairman Commcise, head of FICC & advanced data services, had this to say (on LinkedIn) about Borsa Italiana Group joining Euronext:

“We are delighted to welcome Borsa Italiana Group to Euronext. This marks a historic day in our ambition to create the leading pan-European market infrastructure, supporting local economies by connecting them to global markets, and building the backbone of the Capital Markets Union in Europe. Borsa Italiana will be a key market in Euronext’s federal model, preserving its Italian identity and strengths to cater to the needs of the Italian community. It will join our Single Order Book, which offers a unique gateway to Italian investors accessing the largest liquidity pool in Europe, and enables international investors to access the Italian market. Together, we will become the leading venue for Secondary Markets in Europe, and we expect to enhance the businesses of all segments, leading to greater benefits for investors, members and issuers alike.”

We missed a recent story from the Wall Street Journal that was an obituary for William Lupien, the former CEO of Instinet and technology pioneer who died at the age 79. — WSJ

The Financial Times has a Special Report on Exchange Traded Funds FT. The titles of the articles include:


The New York Times has a podcast titled “Who Wins in a Meme Stock World?” — NY Times

HKEX won the In-House Communications Team of the Year award in the Asia-Pacific Association of Communication Directors #APACD 2020 Awards, which celebrate excellence among in-house communications professionals and teams across the region.

Congratulations to David Hoag, OCC’s chief information officer, for his nomination as a finalist for the 2021 National CIO of the Year ORBIE Awards for the Corporate category, which includes CIOs for organizations up to $1 billion in annual revenue. This nomination recognizes Hoag’s excellence in technology leadership and innovation at OCC.

Corn prices are up 50% in 2021 and the options trading floor pits are closed, never to reopen. — WSJ

Peter Tuchman, the NYSE trader referred to as “the most photographed man on Wall Street,” is profiled in an NPR story titled “I Came Close To Dying: Wall Street’s Most Photographed Man Is Ready For Normalcy.” — NPR

Joshua Brown, the Reformed Broker, says “Saturday Night Live is the modern day Shoeshine Boy,” noting Elon Musk’s hosting of SNL. — The Reformed Broker

CME Group is looking for a TPRM Client Response Analyst, which is an “entry/junior role in our risk & compliance team for an enthusiastic new graduate….they will interact with clients and learn about many different aspects of a corporate environment, as well as operational functions such as information security and business continuity.” Hat tip to CME Group Managing Director Carrie Di Santo —

There was a whale stuck in the Thames in London over the weekend. It has been freed. No word on if it works for JP Morgan. — CNN

Fact of the day: “In 1966, an RJO employee, 22-year-old Sandra Stephens, becomes the first woman ever to work on the floor of CME. Robert O’Brien, Sr. and Leo Melamed were instrumental in advancing the role of women on the trading floor.” — RJO via LinkedIn

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


With so much talk about all the “retail” business flooding into the futures markets recently, let’s take a quick look at the state of the event and other retail-focused contracts that the average punter is supposed to be eager to trade more of. Kalshi, the events market designated by the CFTC last November, still has not listed its first contract despite pumping event trading ideas about COVID vaccination rates, greenhouse gas emissions, and economic growth on its website. ErisX withdrew its proposed football sports betting contracts in March at about the same time the Minneapolis Grain Exchange (MGEX) was successfully certifying its corporate tax rate futures contract that is set to launch on May 24. In the meantime, Nadex, home of exotic retail derivatives since 2004, reported trading in 64 different contracts on May 6. There were 16 trades in three employment number event contracts that day, the day before April U.S. unemployment data was published.~Thom Thompson

ISDA kicks off its 35th Annual General Meeting today (it extends through Wednesday, May 12). Among its offerings are new 2021 ISDA interest rate derivatives definitions that the group says reflects changes in market practices. To better explain why the definitions were changed and how to access them, ISDA produced a brief animation video. You can watch it here.~SC


CME announces close of most of its trading pits; Cboe dabbles in ESG – The Spread

This week on The Spread, the CME Group announces it’s keeping most of its pits closed for good, Cboe announces it’s getting into ESG derivatives, and more.

Watch the video »


It’s not a ‘labor shortage.’ It’s a great reassessment of work in America.
Heather Long – The Washington Post
From Wall Street to the White House, expectations were high for a hiring surge in April with potentially a million Americans returning to work. Instead, the world learned Friday that just 266,000 jobs were added, a massive disappointment that raises questions about whether the recovery is on track.
President Biden’s team has vowed that its massive stimulus package will recover all the remaining jobs lost during the pandemic in about a year, but that promise won’t be kept unless there’s a big pickup in hiring soon. There are still 8.2 million jobs left to recover. At the same time, business leaders and Republicans are complaining that there is a “worker shortage,” and they largely blame the more generous unemployment payments and stimulus checks for making people less likely to take low-paying fast food and retail jobs again. Democratic economists counter that companies could raise pay if they really wanted workers back quickly.

*****The pandemic was an inflection point in a lot of people’s lives about what is important and what is not. Changes in careers are bound to be part of that. ~JJL


The Personality Traits That Make Lockdown Coping Easier; Character plays a huge role in resilience. But not in the way many of us thought a year ago.
Andreas Kluth – Bloomberg
In March 2020, still early in the pandemic, I opined that for introverts quarantine can be a liberation. I was extrapolating from personal experience and historical examples. And many other pundits had a similar hunch. But we were speculating before we had empirical data. Now that such information is available, what does it say? By and large, the research shows that I was wrong. But I couldn’t be happier because what the evidence actually says is that the truth, as usual, is more complex, more subtle and more interesting.

*****Being like Little Orphan Annie has its advantages. THE SUN WILL COME OUT TOMORROW.~ JJL


Vlad the vaccinator: Dracula’s castle lures visitors with COVID-19 jabs
Luiza Ilie – Reuters
Visitors to Dracula’s castle are more likely to find puncture marks in their arms than their necks this month, after medics set up a COVID-19 vaccination centre at the Transylvanian attraction.
Doctors and nurses with fang stickers on their scrubs are offering free Pfizer (PFE.N) shots to all-comers at 14th century Bran Castle, which is purported to be an inspiration for the vampire’s towering home in Bram Stoker’s novel “Dracula”.

*****OK, this pandemic just got really weird.~JJL


Creative destruction is the silver lining of the Covid-19 crisis; Post-pandemic business is growing, and so are the policy challenges
Rana Foroohar – FT
If there is a silver lining to the Covid-19 crisis, it is the remarkable creativity shown by the many businesses that have thrived by transforming themselves in unexpected ways during the pandemic. The examples I’ve come across are numerous. There is the airport security company that made plans to launch a vaccine tracking app after the travel business tanked. Or the mall and store owners renting out empty retail areas to schools that need more space for students to social distance during lessons. Or the digital businesses that can barely keep up with their own growth.

*****This is the force that rules your life. The more you embrace creative destruction, the more you can move on. The floor traders on the CME Group trading floor who will not be returning to the floor because their pits are permanently closed never quite caught on to the idea. ~JJL


Friday’s Top Three
Our most clicked story on Friday was our lead story, the Wall Street Journal’s From Dutch Tulips to Internet Stocks, How to Spot a Financial Bubble, which compared cryptocurrencies and SPACs with past “investment crazes.” Second was an editorial from Bloomberg called Why Congress Should Care About the Laws of Physics, about the discovery in Batavia, Illinois of an anomaly that “might hold the key to explaining the deepest mysteries of the universe.” Third was an opinion piece from David Brooks at the New York Times, Our Pathetic Herd Immunity Failure.


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Lead Stories

New SEC Chairman Sets Sights on Citadel Securities and Virtu; Regulator questions payment for order flow, in which firms pay brokers such as Robinhood for opportunity to execute investors’ orders
Dave Michaels and Alexander Osipovich – WSJ
The electronic-trading firms Citadel Securities and Virtu Financial Inc. VIRT -1.40% have become pillars of the stock market in recent years, rivaling the role played by stock exchanges. Wall Street’s new top regulator is putting pressure on them by questioning a key service they provide: executing the orders of millions of ordinary investors whose trades go to their black boxes, instead of being routed to public exchanges.

Hedge Funds Face Backlash From Europe in Bond Market; Spain, France and Italy have moved to curb orders from hedge funds to avoid demand for new bonds from appearing inflated, bankers say
Anna Hirtenstein – WSJ
European governments are acting to limit hedge funds’ participation in the market for new sovereign bond issuance, following a surge in demand from the firms. The pushback was prompted by unusually large orders placed by hedge funds for new bonds, which can then potentially be sold—sometimes within hours—to the European Central Bank for a profit, bankers, investors and a government official said. Order books, which track demand for new bonds and help determine the prices, have ballooned since hedge funds began to pile into this trade.

Ransomware Attack Shuts Down Biggest U.S. Gasoline Pipeline
Michael Jeffers and William Turton – Bloomberg
The attack appeared to use ransomware group called DarkSide; U.S. energy department is monitoring potential supply impacts
The operator of the biggest gasoline pipeline in the U.S. shut down operations late Friday following a ransomware attack that threatens to roil energy markets and upend the supply of gas and diesel to the East Coast. Colonial Pipeline said in a statement Saturday that it “proactively took certain systems offline to contain the threat, which has temporarily halted all pipeline operations, and affected some of our IT systems.” It’s working to get business back to normal.

US and Europe split on bringing bankers back to the office; Transatlantic rift opens over speed at which employees should return to their desks
Imani Moise and Stephen Morris – FT
A transatlantic rift has opened up in banking over the merits of bringing employees back to the office quickly, with some US executives calling for a swift return to pre-pandemic normality while many of their European counterparts take a more cautious approach.

As Scrutiny of Cryptocurrency Grows, the Industry Turns to K Street; Companies behind digital currencies are rushing to hire well-connected lobbyists, lawyers and consultants as the battle over how to regulate them intensifies.
Eric Lipton – NY Times
When federal regulators late last year accused one of the world’s most popular cryptocurrency platforms of illegally selling $1.38 billion worth of digital money to investors, it was a pivotal moment in efforts to crack down on a fast-growing market — and in the still-nascent industry’s willingness to dive deeply into the Washington influence game.

Bank CEOs Should Resist the Urge to Hot-Desk; In Europe, lenders are jumping on the hybrid-working bandwagon. Their U.S. peers can’t wait to get back in the office. It’s a safer bet.
Elisa Martinuzzi – Bloomberg
The degree to which bankers will be back in the office after the pandemic looks very different depending what side of the Atlantic you’re on. In Europe, big lenders are signaling Covid-19 has revolutionized the world of work. The century-old banking behemoth HSBC Holdings Plc recently said its top executives are giving up their treasured private offices to hot-desk across open-plan spaces. Gone too will be one-fifth of its global office space this year as the lender embraces a hybrid home-office arrangement for staff.

Investors Gird for Fallout as Indian States Lock Themselves Down
Bloomberg News
Investors assess how long the states will have to be shut; Over two thirds of states by GDP output are closed: Jefferies
Investors are bracing for market fallout as state after state locks itself down in India to contain the spread of the coronavirus as infections and deaths surge. More than two thirds of states are shut if assessed by their contribution to national output, analysts at Jefferies calculated last week. Tamil Nadu, which houses foreign manufacturers including BMW and Dell, will also close from Monday, while Delhi extended its lockdown for another week. The measures come as pressure builds on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to impose strict nationwide curbs as he did last year.

China’s Much-Hyped Digital Yuan Fails to Impress Early Users
Bloomberg News
Biggest e-CNY trial in Shenzhen gets a lackluster reception; The response highlights hurdles to yuan internationalization
As China moves closer to rolling out the world’s first major sovereign digital currency, speculation over the global implications has reached a fever pitch. Historian Niall Ferguson is calling the digital yuan a “potentially fatal challenge” to decades of American financial hegemony. Franklin Templeton’s Michael Hasenstab says it could undermine the dollar’s role as the world’s reserve currency. Joe Biden’s White House is studying the potential threat to U.S. interests.

Cyber attack sparks US effort to keep fuel lines open; Emergency powers enacted after ransomware strike shuts Colonial Pipeline system
Myles McCormick and Derek Brower, Lauren Fedor and Hannah Murphy – FT
The US government enacted emergency powers in an effort to keep fuel supply lines open as fears of shortages rose following the shutdown of an essential pipeline.

Ex-SEC enforcement chief regrets ‘breakdown of civility’ in Exxon case; US judge faults Alex Oh for behaviour that led her to resign from regulator after only 6 days
Kate Beioley and Mark Vandevelde – FT
Alex Oh, who quit a top role at the US Securities and Exchange Commission last month after only six days in the job, has acknowledged contributing to a “breakdown of civility” during a hearing in which she represented oil company ExxonMobil.

Bitcoin’s Waning Dominance Stirs Warning of Crypto Market Froth
Joanna Ossinger – Bloomberg
Rise of Ether, other tokens sparks worry about investor excess; Bitcoin share of $2.6 trillion crypto market value down to 43%
Parabolic jumps in digital tokens such as Ether, Dogecoin and Binance Coin are outshining Bitcoin, prompting more questions about whether that segment of the cryptocurrency sector is ripe for a reckoning. The rallies have contributed to a slump in Bitcoin’s share of the $2.6 trillion crypto market to 43% from about 70% at the start of 2021, a metric that for strategists at JPMorgan Chase & Co. and DataTrek Research LLC may be a warning sign of investor excess in a range of digital tokens.

BlackRock hits back at BIS theory that it short-changed market makers; Asset manager releases data aiming to show bond ETFs did not stuff redemption baskets with low-quality paper
Steve Johnson – FT
BlackRock has hit back at suggestions from the Bank for International Settlements that bond exchange traded funds might have short-changed market makers during the March 2020 market sell-off.

A talent war has broken out for equity derivatives traders at Wall Street’s top investment banks — here are the latest moves
Alex Morrell – Insider
Equity derivatives traders have become one of Wall Street’s hottest commodities. Following record trading hauls in 2020 — thanks in part to market shocks from the pandemic that amped up volatility throughout the year — derivatives traders at top investment banks have seen their market value soar, and many have seized the moment to chase new opportunities.

Gary Gensler Has an Auditing Problem; Non-execs are supposed to hire and fire the company auditor. Yet it’s all too easy for management to influence the appointment to its benefit.
Chris Hughes – Bloomberg
Gary Gensler has a jumbo to-do list as he settles into his role as chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Here’s an important addition: Prevent high-earning audit partners from being beholden to the managers of the clients whose accounts they scrutinize.

Flexibility and fellow staff will pull us back to the office; In planning a post-pandemic return to the workplace, too many employers are fixated on fixtures and fittings
Andrew Hill – FT
Near the end of the Oscar-winning film Nomadland, Fern, played by Frances McDormand, wanders silently through the abandoned offices of US Gypsum, where she used to work in human resources. She sheds a tear as the camera takes in the dust-covered detritus of a typical workplace. A stapler, a whiteboard, a printer, a company-branded mug and a hard-hat, left behind when USG closed its operations in Empire, Nevada.

Global passive assets hit $15tn as ETF boom heats up; Exchange traded funds close to eclipsing traditional index trackers for first time
Robin Wigglesworth – FT
Assets under management in exchange traded funds are eclipsing traditional index-tracking mutual funds for the first time, after the global passive investment industry vaulted past $15tn in assets last year.

U.S. Pipeline Shutdown Exposes Cyber Threat to Energy Sector; For years, security officials and experts have warned about the energy infrastructure’s susceptibility to cybercrime
Collin Eaton, James Rundle and David Uberti – WSJ
The ransomware attack that forced the closure of the largest U.S. fuel pipeline this weekend showed how cybercriminals pose a far-reaching threat to the aging, vulnerable infrastructure that keeps the nation’s energy moving.

Should You Go Back to the Office? It can be a complicated choice for those lucky enough to have a job, with mental health, physical fitness and professional prospects to consider
Rachel Feintzeig – WSJ
After months of experimenting with remote work, your company is calling you back to the office. Should you go? “It’s been weighing on me,” Christina Marcellino, a 34-year-old business development manager for a law firm, says of the back-to-work question. It’s all her working-mom friends in Charlotte, N.C., can talk about. “What is it going to look like? What are we going to do?”

Outsourcing: Why all the fuss?
Audrey Blater, research director, Aite Group via The Trade
Outsourcing is hardly a new concept in the financial services industry. However, it feels like many of the discussions I have with service providers and buy-side shops ultimately include references like “as-a-service” or “in-a-box”. In many aspects, these references have gotten pretty imaginative making it feel like anything can be outsourced today. To get to the bottom of what outsourcing really is and how it impacts our industry, I decided to turn to one of my knowledgeable colleagues, Spencer Mindlin, to understand what’s driving the demand for outsourced services and solutions.

The Future for Private-Equity Stocks Doesn’t Rest on Taxes; Tax policies have often been a major driver for the industry. But the state of affairs today isn’t the same.
Telis Demos – WSJ
Taxes have long been a key element of the business of private equity. But while past tax regime changes have been big moments for the industry, that might not be the case for the Biden administration’s proposals.

RSM acquires practice from Rego
Michael Cohn –
RSM US, a Top 10 Firm based in Chicago, is buying Rego Consulting’s ServiceNow workflow automation practice and plans to combine it with RSM’s own. The firms have signed an agreement for RSM to acquire the ServiceNow practice from Salt Lake City-based Rego Consulting, with the transaction expected to close on June 1. As part of the deal, Jerry Dolak, executive vice president and ServiceNow business lead at Rego, and Rego’s team of ServiceNow professionals will join RSM, bolstering RSM’s existing ServiceNow practice across the U.S. and Canada. The deal comes shortly after an agreement between RSM and ServiceNow to allow RSM to bring its workflow automation software to its clients.


CDC Limits Reviews of Vaccinated but Infected, Spurring Concerns
Elaine Chen – Bloomberg
Little is known about tiny number of Covid breakthrough cases; CDC shifts strategy in May to focus only on hospitalized, dead
Sign up here for our daily coronavirus newsletter on what you need to know, and subscribe to our Covid-19 podcast for the latest news and analysis. Federal health officials this month decided to limit how they monitor vaccinated people who have been infected with Covid-19, drawing concern from some scientists who say that may mean missing needed data showing why and how it happens.

Deadly Fungus Infection Found in Covid-19 Patients in India
Bhuma Shrivastava – Bloomberg
“Black fungus” damages the sinuses or lungs: local authorities; Experts warn risk of new mutations, virus effects in India
India’s health authorities warned about a fungal infection seen in some Covid-19 patients which can disfigure facial features and even kill, as the country continues to grapple with the world’s fastest-growing coronavirus outbreak.

BioNTech to Build Covid-19 Vaccine Facility in Singapore By 2023
Michelle Jamrisko – Bloomberg
German vaccine developer BioNTech SE selected Singapore as its Southeast Asia headquarters and first Asia-Pacific hub, giving a boost to supply of an mRNA vaccine that’s been extraordinarily effective in fighting Covid-19. The production site could be operational as early as 2023 and will create as many as 80 jobs in Singapore, the company said in a statement Monday.

Singapore Goes on Defensive as Virus Success Status at Risk
Michelle Jamrisko, Philip Heijmans, and Ramsey Al-Rikabi – Bloomberg
Rise in new cases sets off new restrictions, tighter borders; Economic rebound, global events like WEF at risk of disruption
Singapore, the Asian city-state that has been among the world’s best at containing the Covid-19 pandemic, is back on the defensive, reimposing local restrictions and tightening its borders amid a pop in cases.

India’s Out-of-Pocket Health Care Can’t Win; Policy makers need to get serious about setting a minimum — and rising — standard of care for everyone.
Anjani Trivedi and Andy Mukherjee – Bloomberg
Covid-19 related deaths in India are expected to double in the coming weeks. People across socioeconomic classes are being cremated en masse in large holes in the ground. The ordeal doesn’t even end with death. Medical bills are piling up, a burden large enough to tip working-class families into multi-generational poverty. Younger adults desperate for vaccines are effectively being forced to pay for them, while those most at risk aren’t adequately insured. The state’s threadbare safety net has all but collapsed.

BioNTech Raises Covid Vaccine Sales Estimate to $15 Billion
Naomi Kresge – Bloomberg
Vaccine access expanding to new populations, CEO Sahin says; Shots have become mainstay of countries’ immunization drives
BioNTech SE boosted its Covid-19 vaccine sales estimate to 12.4 billion euros ($15.1 billion) for this year, issuing a new target for the shot it sells with Pfizer Inc. as countries increase orders to spur their inoculation campaigns. The partners have contracted for about 1.8 billion doses this year and started clinching deals for 2022 and beyond, the Mainz, Germany-based company said Monday. BioNTech had previously predicted 9.8 billion euros in 2021 revenue from the shot, its first marketed product.

BioNTech’s Covid-19 Vaccine Success Sparks Investments in German Biotech; After the company partnered with Pfizer on a vaccine, investors last year poured $3.7 billion into the sector
Ruth Bender – WSJ
A small German company’s success in coming up with the West’s first Covid-19 vaccine is drawing attention from investors in a country where biotech has struggled to raise funding in recent years.

How a Canadian Province Contained the Brazilian Covid-19 Variant; British Columbia quickly imposed limits on indoor activities and used genomic surveillance to identify where vaccines were most needed
Kim Mackrael – WsSJ
A Canadian province curbed an outbreak of the P.1 coronavirus variant believed to have originated in Brazil through a combination of targeted vaccinations and physical-distancing rules, moves that health experts say can offer lessons to other jurisdictions dealing with rising variant cases.

Economists Disagree Over How Much Covid-19 ‘Herd Immunity’ Needed for Recovery; Some say world’s economies could return to normal before such a critical mass of population is vaccinated or otherwise immune
Phred Dvorak – WSJ
As countries rush to get their citizens vaccinated, a debate is heating up among economists about how much herd immunity matters for the world’s economic recovery—or even if it does.

When Covid Hit, China Was Ready to Tell Its Version of the Story; The government has been using its money and power to create an alternative to a global news media dominated by outlets like the BBC and CNN.
Ben Smith – NY Times
In the fall of 2019, just before global borders closed, an international journalists’ association decided to canvass its members about a subject that kept coming up in informal conversations: What is China doing?

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

New York Stock Exchange says it will ease trading floor restrictions
Lydia Moynihan – NY Times
The New York Stock Exchange said Friday it will begin allowing more traders and employees back onto its famed trading floor in lower Manhattan based on rising vaccination rates. Officials at the Big Board said that beginning Monday they will allow fully vaccinated traders to remove face coverings at their desks inside its iconic trading pit located at 11 Wall St., which got shut down last March amid a coronavirus outbreak and was reopened two months later under tight restrictions.

Nasdaq gets green light from SEC for volatility index options; Nasdaq plans to launch the volatility index options later this year, following the approval from the US financial regulator.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
US exchange operator Nasdaq has received approval from the Security and Exchanges Commission (SEC) to launch options on its Nasdaq-100 Volatility Index (VOLQ). Following the approval from the SEC for the options on 5 May, Nasdaq said it plans to launch later this year.

StoneX Financial joins LSE and Turquoise as new member; As a new member of the London Stock Exchange and its pan-European MTF, Turquoise, StoneX said it can provide a streamlined on-boarding process and offering to all client types.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
US-based brokerage StoneX has joined the London Stock Exchange (LSE) and its pan-European multilateral trading facility (MTF), Turquoise, as a member. The move will allow StoneX Financial, the London-based subsidiary of StoneX Group, to expand its trading offering in cross-border equities and its cross-asset capabilities.

Micro futures launch set to bring new participants to Europe’s futures markets
Will Mitting – Acuiti via Eurex
Micro futures have been one of the biggest success stories across the global derivatives market over the past two years. In a recent webinar, held on the launch of Europe’s first micro futures on Eurex, panelists from Eurex and RSJ discussed the potential for the products and the benefits they bring to the market.

TMX Group Equity Financing Statistics – April 2021
TMX Group today announced its financing activity on Toronto Stock Exchange and TSX Venture Exchange for April 2021.

ICE Benchmark Administration Consults on Potential Cessation of ICE Swap Rate based on GBP LIBOR
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc.
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE:ICE), a leading global provider of data, technology, and market infrastructure, today announced that ICE Benchmark Administration Limited (“IBA”) has published a consultation on its intention to cease the publication of ICE Swap Rate® settings based on GBP LIBOR.

Initial Resetting of Price Limits for Live Cattle and Feeder Cattle Futures
CME Group

SGX reports market statistics for April 2021
Risk-management demand stays robust across equities, FX and commodities; Secondary fundraising on SGX rises to highest amount in six months
Singapore Exchange (SGX) today released its market statistics for April 2021. Demand to manage portfolio risk across multiple asset classes stayed robust, even as manufacturing activity in key Asian markets improved, cooling price volatility in equities. Emerging Asia foreign exchange (FX) and commodity derivatives performed strongly.

SGX welcomes Sri Trang Gloves (Thailand) Public Company Limited to Mainboard
Singapore Exchange (SGX) today welcomed the secondary listing of Sri Trang Gloves (Thailand) Public Company Limited on its Mainboard under the stock code “STG”. Sri Trang Gloves (Thailand) PLC is one of the largest glove manufacturers globally, manufacturing and distributing rubber gloves for a wide range of industries including healthcare and medical. The company currently has three production plants with a total of 145 production lines in Thailand, and its products are exported to more than 140 countries. Listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand under the stock code “STGT”, it is a subsidiary of Sri Trang Agro-Industry Public Company Limited – a fully integrated natural rubber company and the world’s largest producer and distributor of natural rubber – which is also dual-listed in Thailand and Singapore.

Closure Of Bursa Malaysia In Conjunction With Hari Raya Aidilfitri
In conjunction with the Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebrations, Bursa Malaysia will close for trading half-day Wednesday 12 May 2021 afternoon, and all-day Thursday, 13 May 2021 and Friday, 14 May 2021.

DGCX Signs MoU With S & Royal Group Mongolia
The Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange (DGCX), the region’s leading derivatives exchange, has signed a strategic Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at exploring long-term business opportunities and exchanging information, with S & Royal Group Mongolia, a Mongolian-based investment firm involved in industries such as energy, infrastructure, foreign trade and construction.

SEBI’s peak margin rule hits commodity futures
Akhil Nallamuthu –
With high transaction cost adding to woes, traders face a double whammy
Leverage is the fuel that keeps speculators going and any clampdown on leverage will result in lower speculative activity. This is the trend playing out in the commodity futures market with the stage-wise implementation of SEBI’s peak margin rules since December last year.


Jailed Ex-Wirecard CEO Sues Chubb to Pick Up His Legal Bills
Karin Matussek – Bloomberg
Braun won rulings in a Frankfurt court over D&O insurance; Wirecard had bought executives’ police from global provider
Markus Braun, the former chief executive officer of scandal-ridden Wirecard AG who has been in jail for almost a year, sued insurance giant Chubb Ltd. to make it pick up his legal bills, people familiar with the case said. Braun, who is being investigated over Wirecard’s demise, won an initial ruling in January in a Frankfurt court ordering Chubb to cover the costs under so called D&O insurance that his now-defunct employer had bought for top managers, said the people who asked not to be named because they aren’t authorized to speak about the matter.

U.K. Cyber Spies Took Down 15-Times More Scams in Pandemic
Thomas Seal – Bloomberg
Attackers imitated government agencies to exploit pandemic; Fake celebrity endorsements underpinned other popular schemes
Criminals launched more websites to trick people into giving up data, downloading malware and sending them money during 2020, taking advantage of pandemic lockdown by pretending to be celebrities, shops and government agencies.

Capital Calls: Fintech will have to do trustbusters’ job on banks
BRASS NECK. You can’t fault Metro Bank (MTRO.L) Chief Executive Daniel Frumkin for lack of brazenness. Little more than two years after the 190 million pound UK lender’s previous boss said it had massively under-reported the risk in its loan book, Frumkin wants regulators to ease rules on small banks to make his life easier. Admittedly, he’s responding to a serious problem. A Metro-sponsored report by the Social Market Foundation found that fewer customers switched banks in 2020, helping incumbents like Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY.L). The market for personal current accounts is “moderately concentrated” under the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index, trustbusters’ favourite competition measure. That’s a failure for the post-2008 drive to shake up the sector.

IGM CEO Says Wealthsimple Validates Power’s Fintech Strategy
Kevin Orland – Bloomberg
This week’s fund-raising round for online brokerage Wealthsimple Inc. shows how Power Corp. of Canada’s fintech investments will pay off for the financial conglomerate, IGM Financial Inc. Chief Executive Officer James O’Sullivan says. Not only are those investments profitable in their own right, as Wealthsimple’s surging valuation illustrates, but they keep managers at Power Corp.-controlled companies, such as IGM, “alert” and thinking about the future for their industry, O’Sullivan said in an interview Friday. Wealthsimple raised C$750 million ($617 million) this week from venture capital firms and private investors including rapper Drake and actor Ryan Reynolds. IGM is the largest shareholder, with a 23% stake worth about C$1.15 billion.

Disrupting Established Brands: What Entrepreneurs Can Learn From FinTech’s D2C Explosion
Dov Marmor – Forbes
Over the past 10 years, we have seen an explosion of direct-to-consumer brands as they took on the Goliaths across a variety of product categories. Warby Parker, for instance, took on Luxottica, which owns Ray-Ban, Oliver Peoples, Oakley and many other brands. Similarly, Dollar Shave Club disrupted popular shave brands such as Gillette, which owned 70% of the razor market in 2010. Casper took on Sealy, Away took on Samsonite, Third Love took on Victoria’s Secret and the list goes on.

AI-powered fintech Expend celebrates impressive start to crowdfunding campaign
PR Newswire
Expend, the AI-powered fintech startup changing the way businesses manage expenses and spending, has announced a great start to its crowdfunding campaign on Seedrs. The company is experiencing a strong growth period having performed well in the past turbulent year with revenue more than doubling, largely because the platform has become a core part of a business’ technology stack, bridging the gap between financials and accounting.


Bridgewater CFO Dalby Leaving for Bitcoin Services Firm
Hema Parmar – Bloomberg
Dalby is latest industry leader to move into cryptocurrency; NYDIG offers services such as Bitcoin custody and execution
John Dalby, chief financial officer at Bridgewater Associates, is leaving to join Bitcoin financial services firm NYDIG. Dalby will be the organization’s CFO, NYDIG said in a statement Friday. It offers customers Bitcoin custody, execution and financing and is a subsidiary of $10 billion alternative asset manager Stone Ridge. NYDIG recently raised more than $300 million from strategic partners including Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. and Liberty Mutual.

Hundreds of US banks to offer Bitcoin trading by partnering with FIS, crypto custodian
Tom Auchterlonie – Insider
The full rollout to customers is expected in the coming months, and bigger banks may join later. Banks want to offer Bitcoin trading in order to stanch the flow of their customers’ funds to crypto exchanges such as Coinbase, NYDIG President Yan Zhao told CNBC. NYDIG also plans to support Bitcoin payments generated by traditional banking features, such as deposit interest and card rewards points.

Days of Torrid Dogecoin Gains Erased as Musk ‘SNL’ Episode Airs
Joanna Ossinger – Bloomberg
Character played by Musk in a sketch calls Dogecoin ‘a hustle’; DCG’s Silbert shorting Dogecoin; Robinhood has trading issues
Dogecoin, the fifth most valuable cryptocurrency, retreated from an all-time high after billionaire Elon Musk, appearing on “Saturday Night Live,” jokingly called it “a hustle.” The altcoin had surpassed 73 cents on Saturday before dropping to 46.01 cents as of 8:08 a.m. in New York Sunday, a 35% decline in 24 hours, according to pricing from CoinGecko.

Dogecoin Goes on Wild Ride as Musk Calls It a ‘Hustle’
Anders Melin – Bloomberg
Digital currency has surged more than 21,000% in past year; SpaceX says it will launch a mission to the Moon in 2022
Dogecoin investors had a wild ride this weekend. After hitting a record on Saturday ahead of Elon Musk’s appearance on “Saturday Night Live,” the digital currency began to fall hours before the show began and continued to drop as he delivered his opening monologue.

Canadian Issuer Is Making Its Bitcoin ETF Carbon-Neutral
Vildana Hajric – Bloomberg
Firm to use part of management fee to offset carbon costs; Exchange-traded fund was converted from a trust last week
Ninepoint Partners LP is seeking to lessen apprehension about the energy usage of Bitcoin by dedicating a portion of its crypto ETF’s management fee to offset the fund’s carbon footprint. “For some investors who are concerned about the carbon footprint of mining, they may be wary of investing in a Bitcoin ETF,” said Alex Tapscott, managing director of digital assets at the Toronto-based firm, referring to the vast array of computers worldwide that compete to confirm Bitcoin transactions. “What we’re doing is creating what we hope is a solution to that problem and giving them the choice that they want and, frankly, that they need.”

Viktor Shvets on Inflation and How Crypto Could Cause the Next Financial Crisis
Tracy Alloway and Joe Weisenthal – Bloomberg
What will the economy really look like when things normalize? Lots of people are, of course, anticipating a sustained rise in inflation, even beyond this burst in prices right now. Our guest this week is skeptical. We speak about the new landscape with Viktor Shvets, a Managing Director at Macquarie, on why he doesn’t see the disinflationary trends changing anytime soon. He also argues that the next crisis could originate in the mania for cryptocurrencies.

Crypto start-up Dfinity set to launch blockchain rival to AWS; ‘Internet computer’ project comes with a currency that starts trading on Monday
Richard Waters – FT
One of the most ambitious and long-delayed cryptocurrency projects is finally ready to see the light of day, amid signs that it could add a new twist to the speculative frenzy in digital assets when trading officially starts on Monday.

Revolut wants to add dogecoin to crypto trading tool: sources
Ryan Weeks – The Block
Revolut, the $5.5 billion London-based digital bank, is preparing to add dogecoin to the list of cryptocurrencies customers can trade on its app. People close to the situation told The Block that Revolut is hoping to launch dogecoin soon, although as of May 7 the startup was still running tests to ensure any update goes smoothly. One source even suggested that dogecoin could be added to the app ahead of Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s appearance on Saturday Night Live this weekend. Analysts have suggested that the possibility of Musk mentioning the meme-token on the show has further inflated its price over the past week.

Two Bakkt institutional executives have left the company
Saniya More – The Block
Two high-level executives from Bakkt have taken up new roles in the crypto space in the past month. Laura Edelman, Bakkt’s former head of market development, is now working as global head of sales at messaging trade platform Paradigm, according to a Telegram announcement. Per LinkedIn, Edelman began the new role this month. Before Bakkt, Edelman worked at the Intercontinental Exchange Inc. (ICE), which owns and operates the digital assets company as well as the New York Stock Exchange.

VanEck submits SEC filing to create an ETH exchange-traded fund
Michael McSweeney – The Block
Asset manager VanEck has filed to create an ether-focused exchange-traded fund (ETF), according to public filings. The move comes months after VanEck renewed its efforts to create a bitcoin ETF. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently extended its review period for that proposed product, a development that mirrored how the U.S. securities regulator has weighed bitcoin-centric ETFs in the past. To date, no bitcoin ETF has been approved in the U.S.

Twitter Scammers Used Elon Musk’s SNL Appearance to Reap $100K in Crypto; The scammers reportedly hijacked verified Twitter accounts to promote a fake giveaway by the Tesla CEO.
Jamie Crawley – Coindesk
Bad actors used the hype around Elon Musk’s Saturday Night Live (SNL) appearance to promote a fake giveaway on Twitter that reportedly defrauded nearly $100,000 in bitcoin (BTC, +1.84%), ether (ETH, +9.23%) and dogecoin (DOGE, +12.81%).


The Next Global Disaster Is on Its Way, and We Aren’t Ready; A major lesson of Covid-19 is that there is no distinction between natural and man-made catastrophes.
Niall Ferguson – Bloomberg
The Covid-19 pandemic is not over, but it is already clear that Lord Rees, Britain’s astronomer royal, has won his 2017 bet with the Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker that “bioterror or bioerror will lead to one million casualties in a single event within a six-month period starting no later than Dec. 31, 2020.”

A Baby Boom Would Be Bad; Before we champion faster population growth, let’s curb climate change and find a better way to feed the people who are already here.
Amanda Little – Bloomberg
The 2020 census reported the lowest rate of population growth in the U.S. since the post-Depression decade, inspiring a chorus of economic Cassandras who want to reverse this trend. To shore up economic growth, they argue, we need to “raise fertility” and “avoid becoming yet another graying, stagnating wealthy society,” perhaps even tripling our population to “one billion Americans.” But while the census numbers do offer a solid argument for immigration, the case for boosting birthrates fails to acknowledge the increasing difficulty of nourishing a more populated world.

Biden Has Emergency Powers to Counter Fuel Disruption
Jennifer A Dlouhy, Alan Levin, and Ari Natter – Bloomberg
A cyberattack on the nation’s biggest fuel pipeline system has threatened to disrupt the supply of gasoline, jet fuel and diesel from Atlanta to New York. President Joe Biden can invoke an array of emergency powers to ensure that supplies keep flowing to big cities and airports along the U.S. East Coast, despite the Colonial Pipeline outage. The federal government has the power to waive a slew of requirements governing the formulation of gasoline and even a mandate that U.S. ships be used to transport fuel and other cargo between American ports. Previous presidents have turned to such emergency action to keep fuel flowing after hurricanes, pipeline shutdowns and other disasters. Biden on Sunday used one of them: extending the amount of time delivery drivers can spend behind the wheel when transporting fuel.

US-China rivalry drives the retreat of market economics; Industrial policy is back in fashion as geopolitical tensions increase
Gideon Rachman – FT
Old ideas are like old clothes — wait long enough and they will come back into fashion. Thirty years ago, “industrial policy” was about as fashionable as a bowler hat. But now governments all over the world, from Washington to Beijing and New Delhi to London, are rediscovering the joy of subsidies and singing the praises of economic self-reliance and “strategic” investment.

Biden tax plan could hasten shift to ETFs, say asset managers; President has proposed nearly doubling capital gains and dividend levies for wealthiest Americans
Michael Mackenzie – FT
Higher capital gains taxes on wealthy investors proposed by the Biden administration could hasten a shift out of mutual funds and into exchange traded funds, US asset management executives are predicting. The tax plan has focused attention on a structural advantage of ETFs over mutual funds, namely that they generate fewer capital gains tax bills for investors.

Why the toughest capitalists should root for a wealth tax; Capitalism would benefit from a tax regime that rewarded the best investors
Martin Sandbu – FT
You are a successful capitalist and pride yourself on getting rich by investing your capital better than most. You are also politically savvy enough to see which way the winds are blowing: not necessarily to your advantage. So you agree that something has to change to make the economy work for everyone, or at least to keep the pitchforks locked up.


SEC Chief Signals New Rules That Could Threaten Robinhood, Citadel
Ben Bain – Bloomberg
Robinhood Markets and Citadel Securities had starring roles in the GameStop Corp. trading frenzy that rocked financial markets this year. Now, they have among the most to lose as U.S. regulators’ threaten a clean up.

SEC chair Gensler is wary of Citadel Securities’ market power
John Detrixhe – Quartz
The US stock market’s top watchdog has questions about the underpinnings of the retail trading boom. One of those concerns is whether a small number of trading firms and brokerages have too much market power. At issue is the structure of the $45 trillion US stock market, which has seen a surge in trading by everyday investors using commission-free trading apps. Brokerages like Robinhood and Charles Schwab have cut brokerage fees to zero, which has made them more dependent on money from companies like Citadel Securities and Virtu Financial that pay them to execute trades for retail investors (known as payment for order flow). Those market makers, which match trades internally, have ballooned in size, putting their share of stock transactions in the neighborhood of storied stock exchanges like Nasdaq and New York Stock Exchange.

SEC approves swaps data repository
Hazel Bradford – Pensions & Investments
A long-awaited repository for data on security-based swaps has been approved, the Securities and Exchange Commission said Friday.
SEC approval allows DTCC Data Repository LLC to accept transaction reports on security-based swap transactions in the equity, credit and interest rate derivatives asset classes.

Proposed Rule Change to Amend the Requirements for Covered Agency Transactions under FINRA Rule 4210 (Margin Requirements) as Approved Pursuant to SR-FINRA-2015-036
Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (“FINRA”) is filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or “Commission”) a proposed rule change to amend the requirements for Covered Agency Transactions under FINRA Rule 4210 (Margin Requirements) as approved by the SEC pursuant to SR-FINRA-2015-036. The proposed rule change would amend, under FINRA Rule 4210, paragraphs (e)(2)(H), (e)(2)(I), (f)(6), and Supplementary Material .02 through .05, each as amended or established pursuant to SR-FINRA-2015-036.

Esma: Firms struggled with trade data porting after CME wind down; The EU regulator had to coordinate efforts with local NCAs to clamp down on failures made by counterparties to meet Emir guidelines for porting data.
Josephine Gallagher – Waters Technology
In May 2020, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange announced plans to wind down several of its regulated businesses, including its European trade repository (TR), CME ETR. The rollback meant that thousands of regulated market participants reporting trade data to ETR would have six months to reroute their reporting flows to a new TR ahead of November 30, 2020, when the services were scheduled to be terminated.

Hedge fund founder sentenced to prison in Neiman Marcus fraud
The New York hedge fund founder who predicted he might “go to jail” for corrupting the sale of some assets during the bankruptcy of Neiman Marcus was sentenced on Friday to six months in prison. Daniel Kamensky, 48, of Roslyn, New York, had pleaded guilty in February to bankruptcy fraud for pressuring Jefferies Financial Group not to bid for securities belonging to the luxury retailer’s creditors so his now-closed Marble Ridge Capital could buy them at a lower price.

ASIC grants temporary relief from certain dollar disclosures in PDSs for litigation funding schemes
ASIC has granted responsible entities of registered litigation funding schemes temporary relief from the requirement to disclose certain sensitive information in dollar terms in the scheme’s Product Disclosure Statement (PDS).

ASIC cancels Master Wealth Control’s Australian Credit Licence
ASIC has cancelled the Australian credit licence (ACL) of Dominique Grubisa’s company Master Wealth Control Pty Ltd (Master Wealth Control), effective from 5 May 2021.

SEC Approves Registration of First Security-Based Swap Data Repository; Sets the First Compliance Date for Regulation SBSR
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that it has approved the registration of its first security-based swap data repository (SDR). With today’s registration of DTCC Data Repository (U.S.), LLC (DDR), the security-based swap market now has the first SDR that can accept transaction reports. DDR intends to operate as a registered SDR for security-based swap transactions in the equity, credit, and interest rate derivatives asset classes.

Investing and Trading

Hack Knocks Out Pipeline for Third Day With Traders on Edge
Sheela Tobben and Jeffrey Bair – Bloomberg
Fuel traders are working to supply East Coast by tanker, barge; U.S. fuel prices jump during Asian hours on shortage concerns
Fuel suppliers are growing increasingly nervous about the possibility of gasoline and diesel shortages across the eastern U.S. almost two days after a cyberattack knocked out a massive pipeline. Colonial Pipeline said on Sunday that it was still developing a plan for restarting the nation’s largest fuel pipeline — a critical source of supply for the New York region — and would only bring it back when “safe to do so, and in full compliance with the approval of all federal regulations.” Gasoline futures surged by as much as 4.2% in Asian trading on Monday.

Refined Oil Outsourcing Is Going to a Whole New Level; U.S. and European dependence on oil product imports will become more acute as environmental rules at home make plants too expensive to upgrade or build.
Julian Lee – Bloomberg
We’ve all gotten used to the idea that much of our clothing and electronic gadgets are made in far corners of the world, where labor is cheaper and regulation may be less onerous. What’s less well-known is how dependent North America and Western Europe have become on foreign suppliers of the refined oil products on which we rely on for much of our power, heat and fuel for our cars, trucks and airplanes.

Carbon Trading at Top Oil Trader Vitol Jumped 61% Last Year
Andy Hoffman – Bloomberg
Commodity traders embracing emissions markets as prices soar; Vitol discloses carbon figures in first-ever ESG report
Carbon emissions trading at Vitol Group soared 61% in 2020 as the world’s biggest independent oil trader embraced the red-hot pollution market. Vitol traded 106 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2020, the Rotterdam-based company disclosed in its first-ever environmental, social and governance report. That compares with 66 million metric tons traded in 2019, a Vitol spokeswoman said.

Inflation Debate Hits Emerging Markets as Pimco Stands Firm
Selcuk Gokoluk and Ben Bartenstein – Bloomberg
Citi’s EM inflation surprise index rose to highest since 2008; Brazil, China and India among those reporting CPI data
Investors are about to get a snapshot of potential price pressures building across the developing world — the fallout of the unprecedented stimulus that’s been unleashed to revive the global economy.

US investors revolt against executive pay in record numbers; Many backlashes stem from plan changes to ensure bonuses were paid out during pandemic
Patrick Temple-West – FT
Executive bonuses in the US have received record low support from investors this year after boardroom moves to loosen performance targets during the pandemic backfired.

Long-term greedy: why investors should block out the noise; Rewards await those who put sustainability ahead of short-term gains
Patrick Jenkins – FT
This week a well-meaning British organisation called The Purposeful Company will publish a new rejoinder on a question that has vexed the world of work since James Rowntree, that epitome of benevolent capitalism, challenged the image of the greedy Victorian industrialist: how to make companies worry less about quick profits and more about the social benefits they bring — or at least how to be seen to be doing so?

Meet the academic who has fired up moonshot investing; Arizona professor provides backing for the approach of investors such as Ark and Baillie Gifford
Robin Wigglesworth – FT
The accidental high priest of moonshot investing works at a public university in Phoenix, Arizona, a place mostly known for dry heat, golf and allegedly the home of a deep-fried burrito dish known as the chimichanga.

Iron ore price leaps 10% on hopes of global economic recovery; Steelmaking ingredient rises to more than $226 a tonne as commodities surge on stimulus hopes
Thomas Hale and Neil Hume – FT
Iron ore prices jumped more than 10 per cent in Asia trading on Monday on growing expectations that the global economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic would extend beyond China and buoy commodities markets.

Colorado Drillers to Combine, as Consolidation Continues in Oil Patch; Bonanza Creek Energy and Extraction Oil & Gas are the latest to tie up, creating a $2.3 billion company
Collin Eaton – WSJ
Two oil-and-gas producers that operate in Colorado— Bonanza Creek Energy Inc. BCEI -1.32% and Extraction Oil & Gas Inc. XOG 1.12% —plan to announce Monday that they are combining into a company valued at about $2.3 billion. The all-stock, no-premium merger of companies that produce in Colorado’s Denver-Julesburg Basin is the latest example of regional consolidation in U.S. oil and gas fields, as the energy industry emerges from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Corn Is the Latest Commodity to Pop; Prices for corn have risen 50% in 2021 and a bushel costs more than twice what it did a year ago
Ryan Dezember and Kirk Maltais – WSJ
America’s biggest cash crop has rarely been more expensive. Corn prices have risen 50% in 2021 and a bushel costs more than twice what it did a year ago. Corn has been one of the sharpest risers in the broad rally in raw materials that is prompting companies to boost prices for goods and fueling concern among investors that inflation could hobble the post-pandemic economic recovery.

Many Women of Color Use Social Media, Peers for Investment Advice; As financial advice becomes popular on social-media platforms, some women say they don’t need an adviser
Veronica Dagher – WSJ
Many women of color are turning to social media and their peers for investment know-how instead of hiring financial advisers. Individual investors are increasingly seeking free financial advice on platforms including TikTok, Twitter and YouTube. For women of color, nearly half say they are likely to turn to social media for financial guidance compared with 18% of white women, according to a study released in April by investment-management firm Capital Group.

Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance

Leading Higher-Education Institutional Investors to Guide New Initiative for Net Zero Endowments, Targeting 50 Endowments Over Two Years; Early Steps by Harvard, Stanford, Michigan and Penn Now Encouraged for Other Schools
Business Wire
A group of seventeen leaders from higher education endowments, investment consultants, asset managers, and nonprofit partners have joined together as a steering committee to guide a new Net Zero Endowments initiative hosted by the Intentional Endowments Network (IEN). After groundbreaking commitments from institutions like Harvard, Stanford, Michigan, and Penn over the last year, IEN aims to accelerate the adoption of Net Zero Portfolio commitments to fifty endowments over the next two years.

Wind groups fall back from giddy heights; Market leaders Vestas, Orsted and Siemens Gamesa suffer tough start to year after stellar 2020
Leslie Hook – FT
A difficult quarter for the world’s biggest wind companies has taken the shine off several renewables darlings amid an accelerating sell-off in clean energy shares.

Standard Chartered accused of hypocrisy over climate change; Bank warned it will be the target of shareholder action over loan to large coal miner
Attracta Mooney and Stephen Morris – FT
Standard Chartered has been accused of hypocrisy on climate change by an influential pressure group, which warned the bank will be the target of shareholder action unless it tightens its fossil-fuel lending policies.

Millennials, ESG & the Rise in Ethical Investing
Nathan Gore – The Fintech Times
When it comes to the subject of investing, a discussion on ethics might not be the first thing that springs to mind. After all, the primary function of companies is to make money for their shareholders, and the only reason you invest in a company is to see a return on that investment, right? Well, the landscape is starting to shift, thanks to a new generation of more ethically-minded investors, and a fintech market that is capitalising on this.


JPMorgan, Deutsche Bank Said to Be Among Firms Sued by 1MDB
Yantoultra Ngui – Bloomberg
1MDB, SRC file combined 22 civil suits, finance ministry says; Recovery efforts focused on pursuing other wrongdoers: Govt
Malaysia’s 1MDB and a former unit have filed suits against firms including JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Deutsche Bank AG as the nation seeks to recover assets worth more than $23 billion linked to the scandal-plagued state-owned investment fund.

1MDB sues Deutsche Bank, JPMorgan and Coutts over $23bn loss;Malaysian government tries to recoup money that was embezzled from state investment fund
Stefania Palma and Tabby Kinder – FT
Malaysia’s disgraced state investment fund 1MDB is suing Deutsche Bank, Coutts and JPMorgan, and more than 20 individuals including Malaysia’s former prime minister in an effort to recover more than $23bn in losses the country said it incurred in its largest corruption scandal.

UBS Dangles $40,000 Bonuses to Slow Junior Banker Defections
Cathy Chan – Bloomberg
Bonus is about 30% of yearly base pay for new associates; UBS is offering double the bonus of Wells Fargo, Credit Suisse
UBS Group AG will pay a $40,000 one-time bonus to its global banking analysts when they are promoted, doubling what some competitors are offering, as lenders seek to reward younger employees weighed down by a surge in dealmaking. Starting as soon as this month the Swiss bank will pay the sign-on bonus to analysts promoted to associates on top of any regular salary increases, said people familiar with the move who asked not to be identified because the information is private. The amount represents about 30% of the annual base pay of a newly promoted associate, one of the people said.

Amundi’s New CEO Has Roadmap Laid Out as She Takes on BlackRock
Alexandre Rajbhandari – Bloomberg
Baudson becomes top-ranking woman in Europe’s asset management; Baudson inheriting solid firm from Perrier, who’s now chairman
As Valerie Baudson takes charge today as chief executive officer of Amundi, Europe’s biggest asset manager, she says pressure on margins from low interest rates, intensifying competition from rivals like BlackRock Inc. and the development of passive management will be among her biggest challenges.

Should thematic ETF investors be worried about liquidity? It would be prudent to apply caution when investing in a fund that has a relatively narrow focus
Brooke Masters – FT
It is an investor’s worst nightmare: you put your money into something and can’t get it out. For those entangled in M&G’s £2.3bn UK property fund, that possibility has been all too real. They have been unable to withdraw their money from the M&G Property Portfolio for 17 months. The fund finally reopens on Monday.

Equiti Capital selects NatWest Markets as FX prime broker; Following the need to use multiple prime brokerage partners to diversify risk, Equiti Capital has partnered with NatWest Markets as its second prime broker.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
Prime of prime liquidity provider Equiti Capital has expanded its prime brokers partners with NatWest Markets for its FX agency desk after building out its electronic trading capabilities.

BNP Paribas Asset Management Embeds Its Sustainable Convictions Into Its New Strapline – ‘The Sustainable Investor For A Changing World’
BNP Paribas Asset Management (‘BNPP AM’) has been committed to sustainability since 2002 and has continued to strengthen its ambition, its investment philosophy and its management processes to take ESG[1] considerations into account and promote a low carbon, environmentally sustainable and inclusive economy.


One of London’s Top Rivals Explains How to Score a Brexit Boost
Harry Wilson – Bloomberg
Schools and English-speakers win banks, not marketing; Luxembourg is ‘the safest bet’ says financial lobby group CEO
The U.K.’s departure from the European Union has gifted the City of London’s European rivals with a once-in-a-generation opportunity to win back some of the business that has gravitated towards the Square Mile over the past few decades.

Beijing’s Rising Pollution Risks Smoggy 2022 Winter Olympics; As China prepares to host the winter games next year, one major challenge is keeping the air fresh.
Bloomberg News
When Beijing hosted the 2008 Summer Olympic Games, China was determined to welcome visitors from around the world with blue skies and fresh air. Authorities shut down or cut production at almost all the factories in and around the capital. The government launched measures to cut traffic congestion by half that are still in place today.

UK’s services sector starts to count the real cost of Brexit; Although they account for 80 per cent of the economy, services were rarely a priority in the negotiations over leaving the EU
Andrew Hill – FT
Ross Patel is an exporter. But his stock in trade is not fresh food or car components in crates. It is musicians in minivans. Even so, like his counterparts in UK farms and factories, Patel is running into problems at the EU border.


Collecting rare stamps is an investment in oddity
John Gapper – The Financial Times
The British Guiana One-Cent Magenta shows the financial allure of imperfect rarities
When stamp collecting became a common hobby in the 19th century, one philatelist called it “catching the fever”. The fever will rise next month in New York when Sotheby’s auctions the British Guiana One-Cent Magenta, the world’s most valuable stamp, for an estimated value of up to $15m.

Vice Media Targets Valuation of Nearly $3 Billion in Proposed SPAC Deal; Company investors—including Disney, A&E Networks and TPG—would remain shareholders under proposed structure
Benjamin Mullin – WSJ
Vice Media Group’s plan to go public later this year is coming into focus. Under a proposed deal to merge with blank-check company 7GC & Co Holdings Inc., VII 0.20% Vice would remove one of the biggest obstacles it has faced, onerous financial obligations to private-equity investor TPG, people familiar with the matter said.

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