Nickel ‘alchemist’ Xiang Guangda aims to work his magic on batteries

Mar 15, 2023

First Read

Hits & Takes
John Lothian & JLN Staff

The JLN video team and I shot 15 videos yesterday, starting with Larry Tabb of Bloomberg and ending with Terry Duffy of the CME Group. Duffy’s interview followed the exchange leader panel discussion moderated by CNBC’s Bob Pisani and featuring nine global exchange leaders. Pisani did a good job of trying to engage the leaders, trying to rein in talkative types and bring out the not as talkative ones. Some leaders don’t do the CNBC talk-fest competition as well as others, no matter what.

The exchange leaders spoke about the record volumes or near record volumes seen on several exchanges on Friday and Monday. Eurex’s CEO Michael Peters said yesterday was the second highest volume on record for the exchange, not the highest as I had previously reported. Both the CME and Cboe said they had record volumes, with Ed Tilly saying the unknown unknowns were driving the volume numbers.

Terry Duffy said the CME saw 66.2 million contracts traded at the CME on Monday. These volume numbers reflected the strength and resilience of the regulated futures markets. Adena Friedman said, “This is when we shine.”

David Schwimmer of LSEG created the first moment of controversy when he said the London Stock Exchange Group was “the most global of all the exchanges up here.” Multiple other exchanges took umbrage with Schwimmers’s statement. Cboe’s Tilly was restrained in his comments after getting the first question from Pisani. He could have knocked Schwimmers comment out of the park, and likewise a comment later that what we need is a single global regulator. Instead, Nasdaq’s Adena Friedman parried that comment with a rational remark about countries being nationalistic about their stock exchanges, so a global regulator would not work.

As for Mr. Duffy, JLN interviewed him directly after the leaders panel for our industry leaders series and the first question we asked was why he did the interview with Josh King and Inside the ICE House. It turns out the interview was orchestrated by Chris Edmonds, and Duffy just said yes, why not? He understood his role as a spokesman for the industry and saw this as a great opportunity to exercise that.

Personally, I am guessing there may have been some strategic motivation here on the part of ICE, as Duffy has emerged as the champion of the anti-FTX crowd. I am thinking that by giving Duffy a great platform like the Inside the ICE House podcast series and releasing it right before FIA Boca, ICE was making sure the FTX issue was not swept under the carpet during the conference. Duffy for his part, delivered and more and gave the best interview I have heard him give, as I have said before. Of course, you have not yet seen and heard the interview I shot yesterday in Boca.

During the opening comments of the conference from Walt Lukken titled “Never daunted,” Lukken was trying to explain March Madness to Europeans compared to the World Cup. He was telling the story of four words from the Indiana University fight song, Never daunted, we cannot falter, and how the Indiana Hoosiers basketball team is not as highly ranked in the upcoming NCAA men’s basketball tournament as “John Lothian’s Purdue.” Well, with that, I let out a holler from the back row of the room, where the press is strategically located.

Speaking of Mr. Lukken,the FIA continues to thrive under his leadership and the team he has assembled, including such key players as Chief Commercial Officer Emma Davey and Chief Operating Officer & Senior Vice President of Global Policy Jacqueline Mesa, among others. And yes, you too, Will Acworth. Specifically, Mr. Lukken had the wisdom to hear the calls to open the Hall of Fame process for open nominations and broaden the committee that decides who gets in. That has opened the door for more deserving people to get into the Futures Hall of Fame, and it was my honor to serve on this year’s committee and offer personal testimony for such industry stalwarts such as Thomas J. Cashman, James Oliff, John Davidson, and John O’Brien, Sr.

I also applaud Mr. Lukken for the creation of the President’s Award honoring individuals who contributed to the global cleared derivatives industry during the past year. This is a great way to recognize people in mid-career who are making hall of fame-like contributions today.

As you might imagine, the American Financial Exchange, whose Ameribor index is made up of deals between mid-sized banks, has been plenty busy during the SVB turmoil. AFX yesterday issued a statement about two of its members saying AFX “extends its sympathy to the employees, customers and stockholders of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and Signature Bank in this time of market distress. They were valued members of AFX.”

AFX also said:

“Despite last week’s market turbulence, the Exchange performed flawlessly and through a combination of the platform’s technology and the work and vigilance of AFX’s staff, no other banks either had exposure or defaults from these closed banks. Systemic risk was minimized or virtually eliminated. Equally important, the Exchange’s volume for Friday March 10 ($1.09 Billion) was higher than average with no increase in volatility.”

The warm embrace of the (former) CFTC? I received a very warm hug from a female former CFTC commissioner in attendance at the FIA Boca conference yesterday who loves my daily podcasts. At least I have that going for me.

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


Hester Peirce, current commissioner of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, will be the featured speaker at the Financial Executives International (FEI) Third Annual ESG Updates Conference on March 29 and March 30. The virtual conference covers the latest updates on domestic and international ESG reporting requirements and highlights how leading financial reporting professionals are approaching readiness, including for the SEC’s proposed climate reporting rules. Attendees at the FEI conference can earn up to 12.5 CPE credits. View the agenda and register here.~SAED


Banks are designed to fail – and they do; This is a system that is essential to the functioning of the market economy but doesn’t operate by its rules
Martin Wolf – Financial Times
Banks fail. When they do, those who stand to lose scream for a state rescue. If the threatened costs are big enough, they will succeed. This is how, crisis by crisis, we have created a banking sector that is in theory private, but in practice a ward of the state. The latter in turn attempts to curb the desire of shareholders and management to exploit the safety nets they enjoy. The result is a system that is essential to the functioning of the market economy but does not operate in accordance with its rules. This is a mess.

**** I want a job where I get a big bonus even if I screw up really badly.~JB


US regulators are setting a dangerous precedent on Silicon Valley Bank; The FDIC seems to think the banking system is more fragile than it really is
Sheila Bair – Financial Times
Preventing “systemic risk” was repeatedly used as a rationale for bailing out Wall Street during the 2008 financial crisis. The 2010 Dodd-Frank Act was supposed to have fixed all of that by strengthening regulation and banning government bailouts. Yet, banking regulators have now decided that the failure of two midsized banks, Silicon Valley Bank and Signature, pose systemic risk, requiring the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to pay off their uninsured depositors.

**** In 1980 the FDIC increased insurance to $100,000. In 2008, in response to the recession, they raised it to the current $250,000. Apparently that is not enough.~JB


The US bank system is more fragile than you’d think
Robin Wigglesworth – Financial Times
Academia isn’t exactly famous for churning out timely papers of practical value. But occasionally a gem emerges from the scholastic grind at the perfect moment. One such effort has landed in FTAV’s SVB-bloated inbox today. The abstract from five researchers at the University of Southern California, Northwestern University, Columbia University, Stanford University and NBER (our emphasis below):

**** And yet it seems I keep reading over and over that banks are passing their stress tests with flying colors.~JB


Why crummy bank IT is a looming regulatory risk; Lenders will not get a pass on the digital challenges around new consumer protection rules
Helen Thomas – Financial Times
I recently got a new phone. Much of the hassle of setting up the linchpin to your life has been removed: simply stick it next to the old one and the magic of Bluetoothy tech means apps, settings and information spontaneously appear on the new device. The biggest faff was, for obvious reasons, reactivating payments cards and banking apps that require various identification checks, face scans and password hurdles. But in only one case did I have to do the unthinkable: use the technological appendage for its original purpose and telephone the bank. It was, slightly predictably, the only Big Six, high street bank in my wallet.

**** In all my time in IT, every time we enforced new password rules and security there was no end to complaints from our users.~JB


Tuesday’s Top Three
Our top story Tuesday was the FIA’s FIA establishes President’s Award, honoring six derivatives industry leaders. Second was Bloomberg’s CME CEO Says Wife’s Carjacking Highlights ‘Insane’ Chicago Crime. Third was How Silicon Valley Bank skirted Washington’s toughest banking rules, from Yahoo! Finance.


MarketsWiki Stats
27,235 pages; 243,532 edits
MarketsWiki Statistics


Lead Stories

Nickel ‘alchemist’ Xiang Guangda aims to work his magic on batteries; Founder of Tsingshan, world’s largest producer of the metal, plans first IPO after 35 years
Cheng Leng and Harry Dempsey – Financial Times
China’s Tsingshan Holding Group plans to list its battery unit in Hong Kong later this year, in an initial public offering that would begin to lift the veil on the private business empire of Xiang Guangda, the founder who a year ago brought global nickel trading to its knees.

Rishi Sunak is warned not to relax City of London rules; Collapse of Silicon Valley Bank sparks calls for rethink of regulatory overhaul
George Parker, Laura Noonan and Chris Giles – Financial Times
Rishi Sunak was on Tuesday warned not to weaken City of London regulation, including plans to relax rules for smaller banks, following the collapse of the UK arm of Silicon Valley Bank. The prime minister and chancellor Jeremy Hunt have pushed for looser post-Brexit regulation of the City under the so-called Edinburgh reforms, but the SVB debacle has sparked calls for a rethink.

Charles Schwab feels heat after SVB collapse; Broker was already under pressure from customers reacting to higher interest rates
Madison Darbyshire – Financial Times
Charles Schwab is battling to allay fears about interest rates and unrealised losses after the brokerage’s shares fell 40 per cent following the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank. Shares in Schwab, which is the largest brokerage in the US, with $7.4tn in client assets, have fallen further and faster than its rivals, such as Interactive Brokers, in the wake of SVB’s failure.

Signature Bank, former CEO are sued by shareholders for fraud
Jonathan Stempel – Reuters
Signature Bank (SBNY.O) and three former top executives were sued on Tuesday by shareholders who accused the New York bank of fraudulently proclaiming it was financially strong a mere three days before it was seized by a state regulator. The proposed class action against Signature and its former chief executive officer Joseph DePaolo, chief financial officer Stephen Wyremski and chief operating officer Eric Howell was filed in the federal court in Brooklyn.

Tech start-ups assess damage caused by Silicon Valley Bank collapse; Groups prepare to deal with bigger banks after loss of institution that was a one-stop shop for their financing needs
Richard Waters and Elaine Moore, Ian Johnston and Tim Bradshaw – Financial Times
Technology start-ups are scrambling to deal with tighter regulation and the influence of larger banks that are set to replace the informal financial relationships and close personal connections that have characterised Silicon Valley Bank’s dealings with the sector.

The collapse of crypto banks Signature and Silvergate could mean a liquidity crisis for stablecoins
Leo Schwartz – Fortune
Crypto may be a 24/7, 365 ecosystem, but traditional banking is not. For years, disrupters relied on two digital payment networks-Silvergate Bank’s Silvergate Exchange Network (SEN) and Signature Bank’s Signet-as on-ramps from U.S. dollars into cryptocurrencies.

The roles Goldman Sachs played in the final days of Silicon Valley Bank; A new filing shows Goldman Sachs purchased securities from Silicon Valley Bank last week while also raising capital
David Hollerith and Dan Fitzpatrick – Yahoo Finance
A $1.8 billion loss from a securities sale kicked off market panic about California lender Silicon Valley Bank last week. On Tuesday its parent company disclosed which financial giant purchased those securities: Goldman Sachs (GS). The new disclosure made in a filing from SVB Financial (SIVB) reinforces the central role that one of Wall Street’s best-known firms played in the final days of the nation’s 16th-largest bank.

Recriminations fly as venture capitalists contemplate Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse; VCs accused of betrayal after triggering a run on the bank that has left a gaping hole in the tech scene
George Hammond, Tim Bradshaw and Antoine Gara – Financial Times
As Silicon Valley Bank was gripped in a crisis last Thursday, General Catalyst boss Hemant Taneja gathered a group of fellow venture capitalists in a last-ditch attempt to avert disaster. Over the previous few days, some VC funds had leaned on portfolio companies to retreat from the tech scene’s favourite bank, with Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund the most significant to do so, according to people with knowledge of the situation. Founders Fund declined to comment.

First Republic spoke to private equity before securing financing -sources
First Republic Bank spoke to at least one private equity firm about raising capital before it secured financing from JPMorgan Chase & Co and U.S. authorities intervened with support for the industry, two sources familiar with the matter said. The conversations, which have not been previously reported, shed new light on the frenzied activity that took place over the weekend after the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, as other lenders under pressure looked for ways to restore investor confidence.

Crypto Firms Move Cash to Asset Managers Including Fidelity as Banking Crisis Deepens
Muyao Shen and Yueqi Yang – Bloomberg
A rising number of companies in the digital-asset sector are reaching out to asset managers such as Fidelity Investments to invest their cash in products like Treasuries in the aftermath of the recent collapse of several crypto friendly US banks. Justin Bram, co-founder and chief executive officer of crypto startup Astaria, said he was surprised by the number of messages he received after he offered to make introductory calls to Boston-based Fidelity in a private group chat on Telegram last week. Representatives at Fidelity didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. “I’ve referred probably 25 companies and funds their way in the last three days,” Bram said, adding that the introductions included large market makers and venture capital firms in digital assets.

HSBC has finally done something for Britain rather than China
Ben Marlow – The Telegraph
The chaos of this Government is such that sadly all too often it is easy to despair at our political leaders. The drama that engulfed Westminster and led to the resignation of the chancellor and prime minister within just a few days last autumn was a new low for a Conservative Party severely tainted by Partygate.

Why HSBC swooped on SVB UK; British lender could not analyse 30% of loan book but thought start-up clients were worth the gamble
Stephen Morris and Owen Walker – Financial Times
HSBC’s eleventh-hour decision to pay £1 for Silicon Valley Bank UK was driven as much by its inability to fully analyse 30 per cent of its loan book as the opportunity to win a host of start-up clients. The bank’s executives had already determined that SVB UK and its customers were a good strategic fit, but they were struggling to work out a price. When they realised late on Sunday night that there were no rivals left, they settled on a bid of £1.

Private equity leans into the SVB wreckage; Plus, Wirecard’s hard-partying executive on trial
Financial Times
On Sunday, when US president Joe Biden approved emergency powers to stabilise the banking system, a number of large takeovers hung in the balance. By Tuesday, Silver Lake, Blackstone and Apollo Global had announced big acquisitions, signalling confidence that the financial sector had avoided a freefall scenario after the failures of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank. The deals are a positive sign in an otherwise volatile moment for markets.

Buyout titans weigh purchases from Silicon Valley Bank loan book; Apollo, Blackstone and KKR among private capital groups eyeing $74bn portfolio
Sujeet Indap, Antoine Gara and Eric Platt – Financial Times
The world’s largest private investment firms are exploring the purchase of loans from the remains of Silicon Valley Bank after the collapse of the tech-focused lender last week. Blackstone Group, Apollo Global Management, KKR, Ares Management and Carlyle Group are among the buyout groups examining SVB’s $74bn loan book for pieces that might fit into their credit portfolios, said people familiar with the matter.

Federal Reserve considers tougher rules for midsized banks after SVB’s collapse; Central bank to review how it supervised and regulated California-based lender amid fears of wider fallout
Colby Smith – Financial Times
The Federal Reserve is weighing tougher rules for midsized banks as it seeks to avoid a repeat of the recent collapse of Silicon Valley Bank that forced government authorities to intervene.

SVB’s Lack of Risk Officer Emerges as Focus in Fed Probe; Bank didn’t have a chief risk officer for most of last year; Previous CRO left in April 2022 with $2.5 million pay package
Katanga Johnson, Joel Rosenblatt and Chris Dolmetsch – Bloomberg
Silicon Valley Bank’s lack of a chief risk officer for much of last year is being examined by the Federal Reserve as part of its probe of the bank’s failure, two people familiar with the matter said. SVB revealed in a 2023 proxy statement that Chief Risk Officer Laura Izurieta left the company in October but stopped performing the role in April. The company said Kim Olson took over the job in December. Olson is based in New York, across the country from most of the rest of SVB’s top brass.

The Fed’s Easy Fix to Avert Another Bank Crisis; Expanding bank oversight will be laborious. But there might be a simpler way to prevent smaller lenders like SVB from failing.
Shuli Ren – Bloomberg
The Federal Reserve’s plan to expand oversight of lenders after the collapse of SVB Financial Group and Signature Bank is a move in the right direction. While it will likely be a laborious process, there is also an easy fix. The Fed is considering tougher rules for midsize banks after last week’s events, the Wall Street Journal reported. They could target lenders with between $100 billion to $250 billion in assets. In 2018, lawmakers rolled back some of the restrictions imposed after the global financial crisis. They raised a threshold so that those with less than $250 billion in assets – instead of $50 billion previously – could escape the toughest regulatory scrutiny. SVB, the 16th largest lender with about $210 billion assets, was a big beneficiary.

US justice department probes Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse; Authorities’ inquiries come after California-based lender imploded following a run on deposits
Stefania Palma – Financial Times
US prosecutors are investigating the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank after a dramatic outflow of customer deposits from the Californian tech lender led to the biggest US bank failure since the global financial crisis, according to a person familiar with the matter. The Securities and Exchange Commission has also launched an investigation into the lender’s collapse, according to media reports.

BofA Gets More Than $15 Billion in Deposits After SVB Fails; Customers seek safety in biggest banks seen as too big to fail; US government unleashed measures to restore faith in banks
Sridhar Natarajan and Katherine Doherty – Bloomberg
Bank of America Corp. mopped up more than $15 billion in new deposits in a matter of days, emerging as one of the big winners after the collapse of three smaller banks dented confidence in the safety of regional lenders. The inflows offer a first glimpse into the deluge of deposits that made its way to the country’s largest banks as customers fearful of a spreading crisis sought refuge in the firms seen as too big to fail.

SVB Took the Wrong Risks; Also banking as mystery, SVB as securities fraud, and Credit Suisse found some weaknesses.
Matt Levine – Bloomberg
I don’t think that anything interesting turns on whether or not this weekend’s resolution of Silicon Valley Bank was a “bailout,” so let’s not discuss that. But when people talk about bank bailouts, what they often mean to talk about is moral hazard, the idea that if the government saves people from the consequences of bad bank behavior, that will encourage more bad bank behavior in the future. And that seems worth talking about.

The 72-hour scramble to save the United States from a banking crisis
Jeff Stein, Tony Romm and Gerrit De Vynck – The Washington Post
It seemed like a simple question: Did the treasury secretary have any concerns about the economic risks posed by Silicon Valley Bank? It was Friday morning, and a wave of public panic had started to spread about one of the tech industry’s leading financial institutions. Seated for a roughly three-hour grilling on Capitol Hill, Janet L. Yellen replied with a calm nod and a glance at her notes: “There are recent developments that concern a few banks that I’m monitoring very carefully,” she said.

After Days of Panic, Bank Executives Can Breathe Again
Rob Copeland – The New York Times
After nearly a week of tumult, the specter of a billowing crisis over the banking industry appeared to ease, at least for the moment, as pressure began to lift on the midsize and regional lenders most in peril. Shares of First Republic, which over the weekend had to slap together a multibillion-dollar rescue package to shore up its finances, soared over 60 percent on Tuesday before giving back some of those gains and closing up 27 percent. Shares are still down by roughly two-thirds over the past five trading days.

Grocery inflation: Price increases decline for the sixth consecutive month. Eggs? Down!
Brooke DiPalma – Yahoo! Finance
Inflation-weary consumers got some good news this morning: Grocery inflation is decelerating for the sixth consecutive month, following the highs of August 2022. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) February Consumer Price Index (CPI), the cost of groceries is up 10.2% compared to February 2022. Prices are up 0.3%-that’s lower compared to last month, when the cost of food-at-home saw a 0.4% jump compared to December 2022.

SVB: Mark Cuban and Bill Ackman Used Their Influence to Corner Regulators; Influential voices from Wall Street and Silicon Valley used social media to urge regulators to rescue Silicon Valley Bank depositors. The strategy worked.
Luc Olinga – The Street
It will go down as one of the most successful lobbying campaigns in financial history. As soon as U.S. regulators shut down Silicon Valley Bank on March 10, a form of public lobbying to pressure the federal government to save the thousands of depositors of the defunct tech lender started on social media and especially on Twitter.

BlackRock’s Fink Says SVB Failure Shows Cracks in Finance System; Fink says the consequences could spread to more banks; Inflation likely to stay close to 3.5% or 4% for years: Fink
Silla Brush – Bloomberg
BlackRock Inc. Chief Executive Officer Larry Fink said the banking crisis could worsen beyond the failure of Silicon Valley Bank, worrying aloud about cracks in the financial system that formed during more than a decade of easy money and low interest rates. “Are the dominoes starting to fall?” said Fink, chairman of the world’s largest asset manager, in a letter on Wednesday. “It’s too early to know how widespread the damage is.”

Ukraine Invasion

Russian jet collided with unmanned American drone over Black Sea, US says; Incident described by officials in Washington as ‘reckless’ action by Moscow’s military
James Politi, Felicia Schwartz and Max Seddon – Financial Times
A Russian aircraft has struck an unmanned US drone over the Black Sea, American officials have claimed, in an incident they described as a “reckless” action by Vladimir Putin’s military. The US military said two Russian Su-27 aircraft had sought to “intercept” a MQ-9 Air Force Reaper drone on Tuesday morning over international waters, flying repeatedly close to the aircraft. One of the Russian planes then struck the propeller of the drone, forcing the US military to bring it down.

Ron DeSantis says more Ukraine aid not in US ‘vital national interests’
Lauren Fedor – Financial Times
Florida governor and likely presidential candidate Ron DeSantis has said further support for Ukraine is not in America’s “vital national interests”, in a clear break with congressional Republicans that underscores a growing rift between isolationists and hawks that could threaten future aid to Kyiv. In a statement issued to Tucker Carlson, the firebrand Fox News host who has used his primetime television show to praise Vladimir Putin and cast doubt on US support for Ukraine, DeSantis described the war as a “territorial dispute”, and said that “becoming further entangled” was not in America’s “vital interests”.

A railroad fan photographed Putin’s armored train. Now he lives in exile.
Robyn Dixon – The Washington Post
For Mikhail Korotkov, a lifelong “trainspotter,” one unusual train on Russia’s railways became an obsession – like stalking a rare, shy beast. Korotkov, 31, spent years tracking and photographing President Vladimir Putin’s special hush-hush, deluxe armored train. He was the first enthusiast to post an image of the train – sleek sliver with red-and-gray detailing, often pulled by multiple boxy locomotives – online in 2018. “Mere mortals do not travel on such a train,” Korotkov wrote.

Russia is so cut off from the international financial system that the Kremlin thinks Western sanctions have ‘insured’ the country against the banking crisis
Dmitry Peskov – Business Insider
Russia is now so cut off from the global financial system that the Kremlin thinks it will face no impact from the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank. “Our banking system has certain connections with some segments of the international financial system, but it is mostly under illegal restrictions from the collective West,” the spokesperson for Kremlin, Dmitry Peskov, said Tuesday, according to TASS state news agency. He was referring to sanctions against the country over its invasion of Ukraine one year ago.

Russia’s next civil war has already begun
Yevgeny Prigozhin – The Telegraph
One of the bloodiest battles in modern European history is taking place in Bakhmut, with reports of more than 1,000 soldiers dying in a single day. But more significantly for the Kremlin, it may also be the site of an extraordinary Russian civil war, playing out on Ukrainian soil between different factions. At the heart of it are two of the most significant parts of the Kremlin’s war machine: the Wagner Group and the Russian ministry of defence.

Returning to frontline, Ukrainian Leopard crews see their ‘cat’ as game-changer
Sabine Siebold – Reuters
Ukrainian troops fired the 120mm guns of their Leopard tanks at a German shooting range on Monday, a few days before they were due to return home with the “cats” they hope will give Kyiv a breakthrough in what has become a grinding war of attrition. Muzzle flashes could be seen, and dust clouds where the shells hit the ground, as four tanks fought their way through a muddy dip to what was marked as an enemy position two kilometres away, destroying wooden pop-up targets as they rattled along.

Ukraine Wins UK Top Court Case Over $3 Billion Bond Default; Suit will now go to a full trial to probe Russia’s aggression; Issuance of euro bond dates to 2013, before Kyiv revolution
Jonathan Browning – Bloomberg
Ukraine won a significant boost in its attempt to set aside a $3 billion defaulted bond after the UK Supreme Court ruled that judges need to consider the backdrop of Russia’s campaign of threatening behavior in the run-up to the annexation of Crimea. Britain’s top court declared that a judge should pore over Russian attempts to strong-arm Ukraine into issuing the bond, giving the green light to a full-blown London trial. The long-awaited decision allows Ukraine to argue that the bond, sold in 2013 on the eve of the revolution in Kyiv, was part of unlawful political and military aggression from Moscow.

Russia’s Oil Revenue Drops Sharply as Price Caps Work, IEA Says; Russia sold crude for average $52.48/barrel on FOB basis: IEA; The nation’s Feb. oil exports dropped to lowest since Sept.
Bloomberg News
Russia’s oil-export revenue fell to lowest in more than a year in February as buyers of the nation’s barrels largely complied with price caps and sanctions, according to the International Energy Agency. The flow of money into the country from international oil sales fell to $11.6 billion last month, down more than 40% from a year earlier, according to the IEA. February crude oil and product exports averaged 7.5 million barrels a day, the lowest since September, the agency estimated.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

ICE Reports Record Levels of Trading Activity on March 13 as Markets Manage Risk
Intercontinental Exchange
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE:ICE), a leading global provider of data, technology, and market infrastructure, today announced record levels of trading activity across its futures and options markets. On March 13, 2023, ICE hit record volume across its markets with 14.45 million futures and options contracts traded during the day. The volume surpassed the previous record set three years ago, on March 12, 2020, as the market reacted to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Volume records set on March 13, 2023, included ICE’s financials futures and options portfolio, with a record 10 million contracts traded, the highest level since May 29, 2018.

CME Group Hits Daily Trading Volume Record of More Than 66 Million Contracts; Record Interest Rate and Equity Index volume; Record SOFR futures volume; Record 30 Day Fed Funds futures volume
CME Group
CME Group, the world’s leading derivatives marketplace, today reported its highest daily volume on record, with 66,250,862 contracts traded on March 13. This follows the company’s fourth highest daily volume on March 10, when 56,433,765 contracts traded.

LME Responsible Sourcing – Publication Of Red Flag Assessment Summary Statistics
The London Metal Exchange (“LME”) is today publishing summary statistics on reporting received from red flag assessments during the 2021 reporting year for responsible sourcing, in line with the LME Policy on Responsible Sourcing of LME-Listed Brands (the “Policy”).

Prague Stock Exchange adopts ESG reporting guidelines for Czech companies
FinTech Global
The Prague Stock Exchange is adopting its first ESG reporting guidelines with technical assistance provided by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). Alongside the ERBD was technical support from TaiwanBusiness-EBRD Technical Cooperation Fund. The ERBD noted that disclosure of sustainability-related information has become an essential tool for measuring how companies manage sustainability-related risks and opportunities.

HKEX: Exchange Publishes Listing Committee Report 2022
The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (the Exchange), a wholly owned subsidiary of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX), today (Monday) published its Listing Committee Report for 2022, which includes a review of the committee’s work during the year and an overview of its policy agenda for 2023 and beyond.

American Financial Exchange’s Statement on Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank -; Despite Market Turbulence, Exchange Performed Flawlessly
The American Financial Exchange (AFX), an electronic exchange for direct lending and borrowing for American banks and financial institutions, extends its sympathy to the employees, customers and stockholders of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and Signature Bank in this time of market distress. They were valued members of AFX. Despite last week’s market turbulence, the Exchange performed flawlessly and through a combination of the platform’s technology and the work and vigilance of AFX’s staff, no other banks either had exposure or defaults from these closed banks. Systemic risk was minimized or virtually eliminated.

CME Group Announces First Trades of Molybdenum Oxide (Platts) Futures
CME Group, the world’s leading derivatives marketplace, today announced the first trades of Molybdenum Oxide (Platts) futures. A total of 90 contracts were traded on March 13, 2023, with open interest extending out to February 2024.

HKEX Submits Application To Launch Rmb Counter For Trading Of Hkex Shares
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) is pleased to confirm today (Wednesday) that it has submitted an application to launch a Renminbi (RMB) counter for trading of HKEX shares as part of the new Hong Kong Dollar (HKD)-RMB Dual Counter Model. The launch of RMB counter trading under the HKD-RMB Dual Counter Model will allow investors to seamlessly interchange between securities listed in both HKD and RMB, offering a choice of trading currency and the potential to access new liquidity.

Status of Proof of Concept Testing for HTML Disclosure of Earnings Reports (Kessan Tanshin)
JPX Market Innovation & Research, Inc.(JPXI)hereby announces the status of Proof of Concept testing for HTML disclosure of earnings reports* (hereinafter referred to as “the PoC testing”) promoted by JPXI as of the end of February 2023. See “Details of Proof of Concept Testing for HTML Disclosure of Earnings Reports (Kessan Tanshin)” dated December 17, 2021 and “Webinar on “Digital disclosure and promotion of dialogue with investors” video available” dated January 23, 2023 (available only in Japanese).

Inbank connected to the Finuslugi platform
Inbank has joined the Finuslugi platform of the Moscow Exchange and offers its users to make a MAXIMUM online deposit at a rate of up to 8.55% per annum in rubles with interest paid at the end of the term. The deposit can be opened for a period of 31 to 1096 days. The maximum yield is available when placing funds for 367 days. Clients can place funds in the amount of 450 thousand to 500 million rubles. Replenishment and partial withdrawal from the account are not provided.


CloudMargin to Mark Another Year of Record Growth in Revenue, User Groups for Fiscal Year Ending in March; Market Volatility, Inflation, Rising Interest Rates Drive Firms to Centralise Assets, Optimise Collateral
CloudMargin, creator of the world’s first and only collateral and margin management solution native to the cloud, today announced that the firm will report a record year in revenue and client growth for the firm’s fiscal year ending 31 March. The Software-as-a-Service company has continued adding to its roster new clients interested in managing their collateral for cleared over-the-counter (OTC) products and exchange-traded derivatives (ETDs), in addition to its longstanding work with clients on uncleared OTC, repo and Stock Borrowing and Lending (SBL) products.

Bloomberg to Acquire Broadway
Editorial Staff – Traders Magazine
March 15, 2023 Share Tweet Share Bloomberg has entered into an agreement to acquire Broadway Technology, a provider of high-performance front-office fintech solutions. Ben Macdonald The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals. “Broadway’s best in breed fixed income market making software will fill a gap in our product portfolio, enabling customers to interact with the market with more speed and agility,” said Ben Macdonald, Global Head of Enterprise Products at Bloomberg.

Counterparty risk the top concern for crypto derivatives market – Acuiti Reports
Participants in the crypto derivatives market are holding less money at exchanges, onboarding with third-party custody providers and calling for greater regulation of crypto-native markets, the latest Acuiti Crypto Derivatives Management Insight Report has found.

ChatGPT maker OpenAI unveils new model GPT-4; Microsoft-backed company says latest version of AI technology is its ‘most advanced system yet’
Madhumita Murgia – Financial Times
OpenAI has released GPT-4, its latest artificial intelligence model that it claims exhibits “human-level performance” on several academic and professional benchmarks such as the US bar exam, advanced placement tests and the SAT school exams. The new model, which can be accessed via the $20 paid version of ChatGPT, is multimodal, which means it can accept input in both text and image form. It can then parse and respond to these queries using text.

PwC experiments with chatbots to speed up its lawyers; Technology from start-up Harvey aims to make contract analysis and due diligence quicker
Michael O’Dwyer, Madhumita Murgia and Arjun Neil Alim – Financial Times
PwC has announced a chatbot experiment that aims to speed up the work of its 4,000 lawyers, in the latest sign of professional services firms rushing to adopt artificial intelligence. A 12-month contract with start-up Harvey will give the lawyers access to legal AI, which PwC said would help them work more quickly on tasks such as analysing contracts and carrying out due diligence.

The quantum revolution: The race to build a quantum computer; Is hype outpacing reality?
FT Podcast
Tech companies including Google, Microsoft and IBM are all working on plans for a commercially viable quantum computer. They say that these machines will be able to solve climate change, help develop new pharmaceutical drugs and transform our economy. But harnessing quantum physics requires overcoming massive challenges.


Viasat deploying ‘zero trust’ cybersecurity across global network
Sandra Erwin – SpaceNews
The biggest known cyberattack of the Ukraine war happened more than a year ago when Russian hackers targeted satellite modems and knocked Viasat’s KA-SAT customers offline in Ukraine and other parts of Europe. Viasat, a global communications firm based in Carlsbad, California, recently introduced a new threat-detection tool that can be applied to its entire global network, Craig Miller, president of Viasat Government Systems, told SpaceNews on the sidelines of the Satellite 2023 conference.

How AI Is Disrupting And Transforming The Cybersecurity Landscape
Hari Ravichandran – Forbes
One of the reasons for the rapid acceleration of cybercrime is the lower barrier to entry for malicious actors. Cybercriminals have evolved their business models, including now offering subscription services and starter kits. The use of large language models (LLMs) like ChatGPT to write malicious code also highlights the potential challenges to cybersecurity.

New cybersecurity compliance puts pressure on higher education
Igor Volovich – Security Magazine
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is proposing a new rule that would make it necessary for covered entities to report cyber incidents and ransomware payments to CISA within hours. CISA is required to initiate this process by the Cyber Incident Reporting for Critical Infrastructure Act (CIRCIA), signed into law in March 2022.


Staked ETH Withdrawals Being Processed on Ethereum Goerli Testnet Ahead of Shanghai Fork
Margaux Nijkerk – CoinDesk
The final dress rehearsal for Ethereum’s upcoming Shanghai upgrade, more accurately known as “Shapella,” occurred Tuesday on the Goerli test network (testnet). The test simulated staked ether (ETH) withdrawals, bringing the highly anticipated upgrade closer to its final step: activating live on the mainnet blockchain sometime next month.

Counterparty risk is a major concern for crypto derivatives market following FTX collapse, finds report
Wesley Bray – TheTrade
Crypto derivatives market participants are holding less money at exchanges, onboarding with third-party custody providers and seeking increased regulation of crypto-native markets, according to Acuiti’s latest Crypto Derivatives Management Insight Report. The report marks the first institutional study on the response to the collapse of FTX in November last year, and is based upon a quarterly survey of a group of over 70 senior executives from asset managers, hedge funds, sell-side firms and proprietary trading groups active in trading crypto derivatives.

Crypto Platform Anchorage Digital Laying Off 20% of Its Staff: Bloomberg
Nelson Wang – CoinDesk
Anchorage Digital is laying off roughly 20% of its staff, or 75 people, owing to the ongoing downturn in digital assets, according to a report from Bloomberg. The institutional crypto platform and parent company of Anchorage Digital Bank, the first federally chartered crypto bank in the country, told Bloomberg that regulatory uncertainty in the U.S. played a role in its decision to cut staff.

Coinbase Is Adding DeFi Apps Uniswap and Aave to Its Base Blockchain: Source
Ian Allison – CoinDesk
Coinbase (COIN) is busy bringing decentralized-finance applications Uniswap and Aave to Base, the U.S.-listed exchange’s layer 2 network that was launched last month.

UK Bank NatWest Limits Daily Crypto Payments to $1,200
Jamie Crawley – CoinDesk
NatWest has joined the ranks of U.K. banks imposing restrictions on its customers making payments to cryptocurrency exchanges. Customers will be limited to payments of 1,000 British pounds ($1,218) per day and 5,000 British pounds ($6,090) over a 30-day period, NatWest announced via email on Tuesday.

Blockchain Firm RockX Unveils Institutional Liquid Staking Platform
Jamie Crawley – CoinDesk
RockX, a Singapore-based blockchain company, is looking to attract institutional investors to liquid staking with its new service, Bedrock. As well as offering staking services to retail customers, Bedrock offers institutional-grade know your customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) compliance to institutions looking to stake more than 32 ether (ETH)($57,000), RockX said in an email Wednesday.

Banking Crisis in U.S. Likely to Push Crypto Firms Offshore
Eliza Gkritsi, Aoyon Ashraf – CoinDesk
U.S. crypto firms are looking for bank accounts offshore following the collapse of three digital assets-friendly financial institutions last week. Sygnum in Switzerland and Bank Frick in Lichtenstein told CoinDesk they have seen an increase in requests to open accounts in the past few days from various jurisdictions – including the U.S. Meanwhile, Swiss bank SEBA said it has already started onboarding crypto clients that have recently shown interest. On the retail side, Gibraltar’s Xapo Bank has also seen increased demand for new accounts in the past few days and is adding GBP payment services with USDC options likely starting later this week.


Republican presidential hopefuls blast response to banking crisis: ‘Biden is pretending this isn’t a bailout’
Victor Reklaitis – MarketWatch
A number of the Republicans expected to run for president in 2024 have been criticizing the Biden administration’s response to the current banking crisis. It’s a sign the issue could play a pivotal role in the coming weeks and months of discourse as both parties already position themselves for the White House. President Joe Biden, meanwhile, stressed in a speech on Monday that the Trump administration rolled back some banking rules and thus, helped create the scenario the current administration is attempting to rein in. Biden called for Congress and regulators to strengthen regulations on the financial sector KBE, +1.93%.

Biden Issues Executive Order to Strengthen Background Checks for Guns
Michael D. Shear – The New York Times
In the nearly nine months since President Biden signed into law a series of gun safety measures last summer, scores of Americans have been killed or wounded in mass shootings across the country: in the Illinois suburbs, at a Virginia university, in an L.G.B.T.Q. nightclub in Colorado, and at a dance studio in this Los Angeles suburb.

UK poised to remove import tariffs on Malaysian palm oil; Britain’s move to cut duties as it seeks entry to CPTPP trade deal sparks concern among green groups
Alan Beattie and Emiko Terazono – Financial Times
The UK government is planning to eliminate import tariffs on palm oil from Malaysia, a product blamed for widespread deforestation, as the price of joining an Asia-Pacific trade deal, according to people involved in the talks, prompting outrage from green campaigners.

Brussels warns Germany against electricity subsidy for industry; EU commissioner urges Berlin to back use of long-term contracts to reduce volatility in electricity market
Alice Hancock – Financial Times
The EU’s energy commissioner has warned Germany that a cap on electricity costs for industry would harm Europe’s single market, as she urged Berlin to back fairer reforms to ease power prices. Kadri Simson, a commissioner from Estonia, challenged Germany’s idea of an “industry price” for electricity as she advocated the European Commission’s alternative proposals to stabilise the market through the use of long term contracts.

Hong Kong to make first ministerial visit to UK in 3 years; Post-Covid charm offensive comes as Rishi Sunak seeks thaw in trade relations with China
Primrose Riordan and Chan Ho-him – Financial Times
One of Hong Kong’s most senior finance officials is planning to visit the UK in April in the territory’s first ministerial-level trip to the country in three years and a sign of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s quiet reset of UK-China economic relations. The proposed trip by financial services secretary Christopher Hui is the first since the UK accused China of violating the Sino-British Joint Declaration, the 1984 treaty under which Hong Kong was transferred to Chinese control, and since the UK offered Hongkongers a route to citizenship in the wake of Beijing’s crackdown on the territory.

Lebanon’s banks begin strike action over ‘arbitrary’ judicial decisions; Closures are the latest blow for the country’s depositors who are already struggling to access their own money
Raya Jalabi – Financial Times
Lebanon’s commercial lenders have closed their doors to customers for an open-ended strike that presents the latest obstacle for beleaguered depositors struggling to withdraw their money from the country’s zombie banking system.


Customer Alert Regarding CFTC v. Brisco
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Division of Enforcement today alerts customers on how to respond to a civil enforcement action it filed on January 30 against Marcus Todd Brisco and others. Customers should complete the Confidential Customer Survey or email inquiries regarding this case to

SEC Charges IT Services Provider DXC Technology Co. for Misleading Non-GAAP Disclosures
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged DXC Technology Company, an IT services company in Ashburn, Virginia, with making misleading disclosures about its non-GAAP financial performance in multiple reporting periods from 2018 until early 2020.

Court Issues Amended Final Judgment Against Penny Stock “Mailman” and His Two Companies
On January 31, 2023, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama issued an amended final judgment against Florida resident Brian Robert Sodi and two of his now-defunct companies, Capital Financial Media LLC (CFM) and List Data Solutions LLC (LDS), for securities fraud and other violations in connection with promoting penny stocks in scalping and pump-and-dump schemes in 2013.

SEC Charges California Fuel Business Operator with Defrauding Retail Investors and Misappropriating Funds
On March 14, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged John David Gessin and two of his businesses, Equifunds, Inc. and Ice Fleet LLC, with defrauding investors and misappropriating investor funds.

Five more arrested in SFC and ICAC joint operation against sophisticated ramp-and-dump syndicate
Securities & Futures Commission of Hong Kong
Five key members of an active ramp-and-dump syndicate were arrested in a follow-up joint operation of the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) and the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) mounted in the past two days (14 and 15 March). The sophisticated syndicate is suspected of operating ramp-and-dump market manipulation involving illicit gains of $191 million through a complex shareholding network of Hong Kong-listed companies by corrupt means. Eight other members of the syndicate were earlier arrested in another joint operation of the SFC and the ICAC (Note 1).

Investing and Trading

You’ll Never Guess the Top-Performing Stock of the Last 20 Years
William Dahl – Benzinga
If a time machine could take you back to the start of the 2000s – without the desire to open up a crypto wallet – what’s the No. 1 investment you would make? Maybe Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), which has sold 1.3 billion iPhones since 2007 and reported a $19.4 billion profit last quarter? Or Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA), which went from selling just 937 cars in 2009 to over 300,000 last year?

Silicon Valley Bank crash is a red flag on rate risk; Investors need to look harder at vulnerabilities across the big banking markets
Jérôme Legras – Financial Times
Of all the ways a bank can die, the route pursued by Silicon Valley Bank on the way to implosion appears to have been one of the most reckless. Banks exist to take and manage liquidity, interest rate and credit risks. It is therefore stunning to hear that a US bank has just failed because it invested much of its swollen base of deposits, mostly redeemable at demand, into a long-term, held-to-maturity bond portfolio without any interest rate hedge.

Will another bank fall? And have rates gone mad?
Robert Armstrong and Ethan Wu – Financial Times
The regional banks
Let’s play “who’s next?” It was an ugly day for banks: the KBW bank index was down 11 per cent, and there were 10 banks that lost 20 per cent or more. There is clearly fear and speculation in the market that another bank will follow Silicon Valley and Signature into the arms of the FDIC. The worry, of course, is a run on deposits, but there is no way to see bank-level deposit activity in real time (and a good thing, too). All we can look at are share and bond prices and each bank’s financial statements from the end of the last quarter, hoping that (a) the last set of financials bears some resemblance to current economic reality and (b) depositors will not hit a fundamentally sound bank with mass withdrawals.

Trader Seeks 12-Fold Payout If ECB Slashes Rate Below 1% in 2024; Options wager targets the ECB reversing course on rate hikes; Shows investors looking at quicker end to policy tightening
James Hirai – Bloomberg
One trader is betting that European policymakers will slash borrowing costs below 1% next year in a dramatic U-turn. That’s a radical view given money markets see a European Central Bank rate of about 3.5% by mid-2024. If the wager comes off it would return EUR175 million, or more than 12 times the EUR14 million premium paid. The identity of the trader, or whether the move was an outright punt or a hedge, could not be verified.

Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance

GOP blames Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse on ‘ESG’ policies. Here’s what to know.
The investing world is being drawn into the culture wars and hit by a conservative backlash to “wokeism.”
Julian Mark – The Washington Post
The recent implosion of Silicon Valley Bank escalated culture war arguments, as some conservative politicians who were already targeting certain investing approaches blamed the bank’s downfall on “woke” practices. House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) called SVB “one of the most woke banks” because of its “ESG-type” policies – a reference to environmental, social and corporate governance-driven investing that has been embraced by billion-dollar asset managers and scorned by conservatives of late.

SVB Exposes ‘Lazy’ ESG Funds as Hundreds Bet on Doomed Bank; Funds fixated on climate goals overlooked governance risks; Meltdown is latest in string of awkward moments for ESG
Alastair Marsh and Saijel Kishan – Bloomberg
About 915 funds registered under European Union regulations as either “promoting” ESG or declaring it as their “objective” are exposed – directly or indirectly – to the now-collapsed bank, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. For ESG investors, SVB appeared to tick several boxes. The bank was a big lender to renewable energy companies, a favorite among ESG managers on the lookout for low carbon footprints. But when it came to governance risks, fund managers seem to have been less attentive.

UK Plans ‘Green Day’ in Response to Biden’s Climate Subsidies
Alex Wickham, Philip Aldrick and Ellen Milligan – Bloomberg
The UK government will announce a raft of environmental policies by the end of March in response to US President Joe Biden’s massive package of green subsidies, people familiar with the matter said. The plan has internally been titled “Green Day” and will include measures to protect jobs in British industries such as electric vehicle production, which may come under threat from the US Inflation Reduction Act the EU’s Green Industrial Plan, according to the people, who spoke anonymously about unannounced policies.

Fitch Rating Analyses ESG Fund Regulation Globally
ESG Investor
Fitch Rating has launched a new report comparing fund-level ESG regulatory developments across North America, Europe and Asia and the potential impact on asset managers and funds. In the US, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has proposed ESG fund labels – ‘ESG-focused’, ‘ESG impact’ and ‘ESG integration’. The UK is also proposing ESG fund labels – ‘sustainable focused’, ‘sustainable improvers’ and ‘sustainable impact’.

BMW Says EVs, High-End Models to Drive Steady Profit in 2023
Wilfried Eckl-Dorna – Bloomberg
BMW AG expects profit margins to remain steady in 2023, driven by sales of fully electric models and its most expensive vehicles, including the high-end 7-Series and cars from its Rolls-Royce brand. Automaking returns are expected to stay between 8% and 10% this year, in line with long term targets, the Munich-based carmaker said Wednesday. BMW said deliveries will likely increase slightly after dropping 4.8% last year due to supply chain disruptions.

China’s Biggest Wind Firms Are Striking Back at Challengers; Goldwind, Envision, Ming Yang take over half of Chinese market; Siemens, GE installed zero turbines in China last year
Bloomberg News
China’s top wind turbine makers regained market share last year after losing out to smaller players in 2020 and 2021 as developers rushed to meet subsidy deadlines. The three biggest manufacturers installed 54% of the nation’s turbines last year, up from 48% the previous year, according to a new report from BloombergNEF. The increased footprint shows the top firms are able to win back business after developers scrounged for whatever equipment they could find before extra central government payments ended for new onshore projects in 2020 and offshore farms in 2021.

Companies failing to engage suppliers on nature and climate despite incoming regulation
Less than half (41%) of companies disclosing to CDP are reporting on any of their supply chain emissions despite their impact significantly outsizing (11.4x) direct emissions. Companies are not treating their impact on the environment as a whole, with most not engaging suppliers on climate and vital parts of nature, including water security, deforestation and biodiversity. COP15 agreement urged countries to encourage and enable all large companies and financial institutions to take measures by 2030 on their risks, dependencies and impacts on biodiversity in their operations, supply and value chains and portfolios. Nearly 70% of companies reported they do not assess the impact of their value chain on biodiversity despite fast approaching mandatory regulations on nature. In 2022, companies’ suppliers reported saving 70mt CO2 due specifically to CDP supply chain member engagement.

Bank of England report on climate-related risks and the regulatory capital frameworks
Bank of England
This report sets out the Bank’s latest thinking on climate-related risks and regulatory capital frameworks. The report includes updates on: capability and regime gaps; capitalisation timelines; and areas for future research and analysis.

Tuya Smart to drive ESG industry in Middle East
The Dubai International Chamber, one of the three chambers operating under Dubai Chambers, has successfully attracted Tuya Smart, a leading international IoT development platform provider listed on the New York Stock Exchange and the Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd (NYSE: TUYA, HKEX: 2391). Tuya Smart’s all-in-one cloud connectivity applications make it easy and affordable for brands, retailers, and OEMs to make their products smart.Tuya Smart aims to contribute to the development of the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) industry in the Middle East, aligning with the UAE 2050 Energy Strategy.

Is corporate sustainability becoming all about accounting?
Nico McCrossan – GreenFin Weekly
During GreenBiz 23 a few weeks ago, one speaker opined, “If you make sustainability professionals become accountants, they will quit.” That sentiment was regarding the wave of mandatory ESG or corporate sustainability disclosures that have been proposed by governments around the world, some of which have already gone into effect. Mandatory disclosure, especially audited disclosures, certainly have captured the attention of corporate leaders around the world and shifted some sustainability strategy conversations from goal setting and analysis to measuring, assuring and reporting.

EU lawmakers approve CO2-cutting targets and expanding forest carbon sinks
Kate Abnett – Bloomberg
The European Parliament gave its final approval on Tuesday to tougher national targets to cut emissions in some sectors, and expand CO2-absorbing natural ecosystems like forests. The two laws are part of a major package of climate change legislation passing through the European Union’s policymaking process, designed to ensure the 27-country bloc cuts greenhouse gas emissions 55% by 2030, from 1990 levels.

A Rush to Mine the Deep Sea Is Underway. It Must Be Stopped.
Diva Amon – The New York Times (opinion)
Descending to the depths of the ocean is part of my job as a deep-sea biologist. Traveling three miles below the sea surface never ceases to uplift me. I’ve seen strange and wonderful creatures, from anemones with seven-foot tentacles that billow across the seafloor, to sharks that glow in the dark, 1,000-year-old corals and blind white crabs sustained by bacteria they cultivate on their claws. The deep sea is a trove of biodiversity, rich in living resources used in medicines and critical in regulating the climate and providing spawning and feeding grounds for fish. The planet would not be the same without it.


The Fed already had a tough inflation fight. Now, it must deal with banks collapsing
Scott Horsley – NPR
The Federal Reserve’s fight against inflation just got harder. The high-profile collapse of two regional banks in recent days has sparked new fears about the country’s banking system and raised questions about how much higher the Fed should push interest rates in its effort to curb prices. Data released Tuesday showed inflation continues to ease, but prices are still climbing at a rapid rate.

SVB says Goldman Sachs was the buyer of portfolio it booked losses on
Echo Wang, Niket Nishant and Saeed Azhar – Reuters
SVB Financial Group (SIVB.O) said on Tuesday that Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) was the acquirer of a bond portfolio on which it booked a $1.8 billion loss, a transaction that set in motion the failure of SVB. The loss on the portfolio was the reason SVB, a technology-focused lender known as Silicon Valley Bank, attempted a $2.25 billion stock sale last week using Goldman Sachs as an adviser. The capital raise was thwarted as depositors fled and investors fretted SVB would have needed even more capital.

Silicon Valley Bank crisis ‘clearly’ a bailout, ex-FDIC chairman says
Thomas Barrabi – New York Post
The feds’ move to guarantee all deposits at the doomed Silicon Valley Bank was “clearly” a bailout, according to a former chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. William Isaac, who served as FDIC chair from 1981 to 1985 during the Reagan administration, questioned whether federal regulators went too far with their move to backstop depositors.

KPMG stands by audits of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank; The two institutions failed days after issuing annual reports certified by the accounting firm
Stephen Foley and Gillian Tett – Financial Times
KPMG’s US boss said it stood behind its audits of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank, which collapsed within days of putting out annual reports certified by the Big Four accounting firm. Paul Knopp said its audit work considered all the facts available at the time the reports were issued, and that “market-driven events” in the intervening days led to the banks’ failures.

Hedge funds stung by bond market fallout from Silicon Valley Bank collapse
Laurence Fletcher, Katie Martin and Kate Duguid – Financial Times
A violent move in government bond markets sparked by the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank has upended one of the most popular hedge fund trades of recent years. The bank’s failure on Friday sparked concerns that the US Federal Reserve may need to shy away from aggressive rises in interest rates to avoid putting the country’s broader financial sector under strain. It also pushed some investors to look for safe retreats. Both factors sent bond prices soaring.

The Fed can’t abandon the inflation fight, despite bank turmoil
Catherine Rampell – The Washington Post Opinion
The recent collapse of Silicon Valley Bank was partly the result of rising interest rates. But that doesn’t mean the lesson is to stop raising rates, as some are now calling for. Inflation is still much too high to abandon the fight. At least part of what went wrong at SVB is that the bank invested too much in long-term Treasury and mortgage bonds. These are normally super-safe investments, in the sense that they won’t default. But when interest rates rise, they lose their value temporarily.

Schwab Rallies as CEO Bettinger Says He Bought 50,000 Shares
Silla Brush – Bloomberg
Charles Schwab Corp. climbed Tuesday, paring the prior day’s decline, after Chief Executive Officer Walt Bettinger told CNBC that he bought 50,000 shares for his own account.

Credit Suisse shares sink after top shareholder rules out more funding; Swiss lender’s stock price hits all-time low on back of comments from Saudi National Bank’s chair
Owen Walker – Financial Times
Credit Suisse shares tumbled more than 10 per cent to an all-time low following comments from its largest shareholder that it would not provide it with any more capital. The bank had on Tuesday revealed that its auditor, PwC, identified “material weaknesses” in its financial reporting controls.

Hedge funds stung by bond market fallout from Silicon Valley Bank collapse; Investors fuelled a rally in US Treasuries by rushing to exit crowded bets that prices would fall
Laurence Fletcher and Katie Martin and Kate Duguid – Financial Times
A violent move in government bond markets sparked by the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank has upended one of the most popular hedge fund trades of recent years. The bank’s failure on Friday sparked concerns that the US Federal Reserve may need to shy away from aggressive rises in interest rates to avoid putting the country’s broader financial sector under strain. It also pushed some investors to look for safe retreats. Both factors sent bond prices soaring.

Credit Suisse Default Swaps Are 18 Times UBS, 9 Times Deutsche Bank; Cost of protection is closing in on level signaling concern; Credit-default swap curve is inverted, indicating distress
Tasos Vossos – Bloomberg
The cost of insuring the bonds of Credit Suisse Group AG against default in the near-term is approaching a rarely-seen level that typically signals serious investor concerns. The last recorded quote on pricing source CMAQ stood at 835.9 basis points on Tuesday. Traders were seeing prices of as high as 1,200 basis points on one-year senior credit-default swaps Wednesday morning, according to two people who saw the quotes and asked not to be named because they aren’t public. There can be a lag between pricing seen by traders and those on CMAQ at times of frantic activity.

HSBC Cuts Base Pay for Some Bankers by 25% Before UK Reform; Change comes as UK proposes to lift EU-era bonus caps; HSBC’s bonus pool fell last year as dealmaking slowed
Ambereen Choudhury, Harry Wilson and Jan-Henrik Foerster – Bloomberg
HSBC Holdings Plc is cutting the base pay it offers some newly-promoted senior investment bankers in the UK by a quarter, ahead of a rule change that would allow higher bonuses. In some areas, new managing directors are now typically offered a salary of about £225,000 ($273,380), compared to £300,000 paid to bankers that already hold the same position, people familiar with the matter said.

SVB Took the Wrong Risks; Also banking as mystery, SVB as securities fraud, and Credit Suisse found some weaknesses.
Matt Levine – Bloomberg
I don’t think that anything interesting turns on whether or not this weekend’s resolution of Silicon Valley Bank was a “bailout,” so let’s not discuss that. 1 But when people talk about bank bailouts, what they often mean to talk about is moral hazard, the idea that if the government saves people from the consequences of bad bank behavior, that will encourage more bad bank behavior in the future. And that seems worth talking about.

‘Old-School’ Signature Bank Collapsed After Its Big Crypto Leap; The lender survived blowups with cabbies, “bad landlords” and Trump – only to fall after trying a side gig.
Max Abelson – Bloomberg
Signature Bank was flying high when co-founder Scott Shay mused about success on a podcast early last year. The best decision he ever made, he told the host, was sticking close to the company as it grew ever larger. His advice: Always learn from your failures. “They become part of you,” he said. “And if you go in the wrong direction, you can become incapacitated by them.”

Investor Robert Kiyosaki who called Lehman collapse predicts the next big US bank failure
Kristen Altus – New York Post
The Wall Street analyst and investor who called the 2008 Lehman Brothers’ collapse has revealed what bank he thinks will hit insolvency next amid Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) closure shockwaves.
“The problem is the bond market, and my prediction, I called Lehman Brothers years ago, and I think the next bank to go is Credit Suisse,” the Rich Dad Company co-founder Robert Kiyosaki said on “Cavuto: Coast to Coast” Monday, “because the bond market is crashing.”

Meet the Man in Charge of What Remains of Silicon Valley Bank; The F.D.I.C. named Tim Mayopoulos as chief executive of Silicon Valley Bridge Bank. His job is to keep calm and carry on.
Emily Flitter – The New York Times
When the regulators who took control of Silicon Valley Bank on Friday had to quickly find someone to run what remained of its businesses, they chose Tim Mayopoulos, a lawyer who had steered several banking and financial technology organizations through tough times. Mr. Mayopoulous was Bank of America’s general counsel during the 2008 financial crisis. He left the bank that December and later became the chief executive of Fannie Mae, the government-controlled mortgage insurer.

Work & Management

Meta to lay off 10,000 more workers after initial cuts in November
Jonathan Vanian and Rohan Goswami – CNBC
Meta will lay off 10,000 more workers and incur restructuring costs ranging from $3 billion to $5 billion, the company announced Tuesday, with CEO Mark Zuckerberg warning economic instability could continue for “many years.” Meta shares closed up 7% on Tuesday. “Here’s the timeline you should expect: over the next couple of months, org leaders will announce restructuring plans focused on flattening our orgs, canceling lower priority projects, and reducing our hiring rates,” Zuckerberg said in a message to employees, which was also posted to the technology company’s blog.

Tyson Foods to shut two US chicken plants with nearly 1,700 workers
Tom Polansek – Reuters
Tyson Foods Inc (TSN.N) will close two U.S. chicken plants with almost 1,700 employees on May 12, the company said on Tuesday. The closures show the biggest U.S. meat company by sales is still trying to figure out how to improve its chicken business that has struggled for years. Tyson will shut a plant in Glen Allen, Virginia, with 692 employees and a plant in Van Buren, Arkansas, with 969 employees, according to a statement.

Startup Tells New Hires They Need To Know ChatGPT For a Job
Marika Katanuma and Low De Wei – Bloomberg
As businesses grapple with how artificial intelligence tools like ChatGPT will affect working practices, one Japanese fintech firm is making it compulsory for new recruits to use the technology and even testing them on it. With concerns growing about its ability to make jobs obsolete and data protection, Tokyo-based LayerX Inc., is bucking the trend, with a recent job ad for new graduates making it mandatory for recruits to be tested on their use of the chatbot made by OpenAI Inc., and another called Notion AI.

Work Shift: Everyone Is Burned Out. Are You, Too?
Arianne Cohen – Bloomberg
Everyone Is Burned Out. Are You, Too? Burnout rates are sky high – according to many surveys, higher than during the pandemic. Researchers who specialize in the topic say that what the majority of those workers are experiencing is likely more nuanced. “Burnout” is often casually lumped together with stress and mental health issues like depression, or confused with being overextended. “By using the term ‘burnout,’ we may cover up something else that needs intervention,” says Torsten Voigt, professor of sociology at Germany’s RWTH Aachen University.

Wellness Exchange

Airline safety is at a breaking point. We can’t wait for tragedy to fix it.
Lee Moak – The Washington Post Opinion
Over the past three months, an unusual number of commercial aviation incidents have come close to resulting in tragic accidents. These incidents suggest the need for urgent action. Normally, the FAA, the National Transportation Safety Board, the pilot and controller unions, and the airlines do not comment on ongoing safety investigations.

Plan to make mRNA vaccines in developing countries needs U.S. funding, backers say
Adam Taylor – The Washington Post
For much of the coronavirus pandemic, poor and middle-income countries struggled to secure doses of the most successful vaccines, which use cutting-edge messenger-RNA technology. As wealthy countries hoarded doses, the World Health Organization and its partners came up with a path forward: a network of mRNA “vaccine hubs” for poorer countries to share technology and eventually make mRNA vaccines of their own, rather than rely on donations by wealthy governments.

The Worst Covid Strategy Was Not Picking One; The lessons of the pandemic are clearer in a global comparison.
Bloomberg Opinion
Three years after the World Health Organization declared Covid-19 to be a pandemic, we finally have reason to celebrate: Global deaths from the virus have dipped below 1,000 people per day for the first time since March 2020. But with almost 7 million dead, we must figure out a way to do better next time. And there will be a next time.

How ‘Forever Chemicals’ Are All Around Us, From Winter Coats to Fast-Food Wrappers; The EPA is proposing limits in drinking water on some PFAS, which are found in the blood of nearly everyone in the U.S.
Jemal R. Brinson – The Wall Street Journal
The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing the first federal limits for six PFAS chemicals in drinking water. The chemicals have been used in industry and consumer products worldwide for more than 70 years because of their ability to resist water, grease and stains and to put out fires. PFAS, also dubbed forever chemicals, have been found in firefighting foam, drinking water, fast-food containers, dental floss, landfills, hazardous waste sites, manufacturing or chemical-production facilities, fish caught from contaminated water and dairy products from livestock exposed to the chemicals.


What to Know About Australia’s Aukus Nuclear Sub Deal
Ben Westcott – Bloomberg
After 18 months of negotiations, the leaders of the US and the UK have announced details for their plan to provide a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines to Australia over 30 years, part of the ambitious Aukus partnership designed to counter China’s military expansion in the Indo-Pacific region. But the price tag will be daunting for Australia – estimated at hundreds of billions of dollars – and the effort will require a massive ramp-up of industrial production by the three allies before the first new vessel is ready, over a decade from now.

China Reports Economic Rebound But Warns of Risks To Recovery; Retail sales expanded 3.5%, after declining in previous months; Investment climbed, while unemployment rose around holidays
China reported a rebound in consumer spending, industrial output and investment this year after coronavirus restrictions were dropped, while warning of risks to the economy’s recovery as unemployment rose and real estate investment continued to slump. Retail sales rose 3.5% in January and February compared to the same period last year, the National Bureau of Statistics said Wednesday.

Imran Khan supporters protest in Pakistan over fears of his arrest; Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif struggles to restore calm in country hit by economic crisis
Farhan Bokhari and Benjamin Parkin – Financial Times
Protests spread across Pakistan into the early hours of Wednesday after police attempted to arrest opposition leader Imran Khan, with the government of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif struggling to restore calm. For hours on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, police clashed with protesters loyal to Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party outside his home in central Lahore. Authorities fired tear gas into the compound while his supporters threw stones.

Philippines and Vietnam to import LNG but long-term doubts loom; Competition from renewables raises fears new terminals will be ‘underutilised’
Sayumi Take – Financial Times
The Philippines and Vietnam are nearing their long-delayed debuts as importers of liquefied natural gas, even as competition from renewables and fears of future gas supply disruptions are heating up the debate over the fuel’s role in supporting growing south-east Asian economies.

‘It’s a big failure for us.’ Sweden’s largest pension fund invested in both Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank before they failed
Will Daniel – Fortune
Sweden’s largest pension fund, Alecta, is under fire this week for investments it made into now-defunct U.S. regional banks. After the collapse of the tech-startup-focused Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) on Friday and the crypto-focused Signature Bank on Sunday-the second- and third-largest bank failures in American history, respectively-the private pension manager for 2.6 million Swedes is facing over $1 billion in losses.

Nord Stream Sabotage Mystery Leaves All Infrastructure More Vulnerable
Leonid Bershidsky – Bloomberg
Last September’s explosions on three out of four threads of Russia-Germany gas pipelines, Nord Stream 1 and 2, are turning into conspiracy theory generators akin to the Kennedy assassination, the 9/11 attacks or, more recently, the Havana Syndrome that has afflicted diplomats from the US and Canada. As reports surface blaming the US government or a “pro-Ukrainian group” that used a rented pleasure boat to lay hundreds of kilograms of explosives 80 meters deep in the Baltic Sea, clarity seems even further away than directly after the blasts.

A record-breaking storm wreaks havoc in southern Africa
Ishaan Tharoor – The Washington Post
Before this weekend, Cyclone Freddy was already the Earth’s longest-lived tropical storm. As Freddy made landfall on Sunday in central Mozambique for a second time in the space of a few weeks, lashing a stretch of southern Africa with heavy rains and winds, it also may have solidified its status as one of the strongest tropical cyclones ever observed in the southern hemisphere.

An Oil Rush Threatens Natural Splendors Across East Africa; A multibillion-dollar oil drilling and pipeline project is displacing thousands of people in Uganda and Tanzania, and ravaging pristine habitats.
Abdi Latif Dahir – The New York Times
Under dense forest canopy sheltering elephants, rare birds and colobus monkeys, roaring bulldozers and excavators shatter the idyll, toppling ancient trees and carving roads to reach Uganda’s newest source of riches: oil. “This is a sanctuary,” said Ben Ntale, a Ugandan tour guide who has been bringing visitors to the Murchison Falls National Park for two decades. “But they are intent on destroying one of our greatest heritages.”

Submarine with 2 bodies, 3 tons of cocaine seized in the Pacific Ocean off Colombia
Stephen Smith – CBS News
A submarine with two dead bodies and nearly three tons of cocaine aboard was seized in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Colombia, the country’s navy announced Sunday. Two survivors “in poor health” were also found on the vessel and given first aid. “These people’s poor health state is presumably due to the inhalation of toxic fumes caused by fuel problems inside the boat,” Captain Cristian Andres Guzman Echeverry said in a video released by the navy.

Biden Issues Executive Order to Strengthen Background Checks for Guns
Michael D. Shear – The New York Times
In the nearly nine months since President Biden signed into law a series of gun safety measures last summer, scores of Americans have been killed or wounded in mass shootings across the country: in the Illinois suburbs, at a Virginia university, in an L.G.B.T.Q. nightclub in Colorado, and at a dance studio in this Los Angeles suburb.

Nevada considers capping water use for homes in Vegas
Joshua Partlow – The Washington Post
Lawmakers in Nevada are considering new rules that would give water managers the authority to cap how much water residents could use in their homes, a step that reflects the dire conditions on the Colorado River after more than two decades of drought. Among the Western states that rely on the Colorado River for sustenance, Nevada has long been a leader in water conservation, establishing laws that limit the size of swimming pools and ban decorative grass. Residents now consume less water than they did 20 years ago.

SVB Is a ‘Nail in the Coffin’ for Bay Area Housing Market’s Gold Rush; Agents in the San Francisco Bay Area were optimistic about a sales turnaround. The banking crisis threatens to upend that.
Jennifer Epstein, Paulina Cachero and Prashant Gopal – Bloomberg
The collapse of Silicon Valley Bank has dealt yet another blow to San Francisco’s depressed housing market, dashing agents’ optimism that conditions would finally start to improve. After months of weak buyer interest, agents began seeing larger crowds at open houses in January and getting multiple offers above asking price on their listings. By early March, though, climbing mortgage rates, plunging stock prices and mushrooming Big Tech layoffs tempered hopes for a spring rebound. Then came last week’s run on the bank that was intricately tied to the region’s massive explosion in wealth.


RSN armageddon? What fans can expect as likely Bally Sports bankruptcy looms
Daniel Kaplan – The Athletic
Bankruptcy, media giants walking away from team contracts, leagues scrambling to throw liferafts. The much-hyped armageddon, doomsday has arrived this week for the regional sports network universe. But is the upheaval really as bad as it seems, and what does it mean for fans? Short answers: No; and fans should ultimately have more viewing choices, but unfortunately, likely higher costs.

Watch episode one of The TRADE’s dark trading documentary series now!
Annabel Smith – TheTrade
The wait is over. The TRADE’s dark trading documentary series, in partnership with Liquidnet, is finally here. In the first of two episodes The TRADE sits down with participants from Ninety One, Schroders, Invesco, SIX and Liquidnet to unpack the genesis of dark trading.

We visit more than 100 financial news websites daily (Would YOU do that?)

The Spread


In part 2 of this Options Discovery full interview, JLN’s Alex Teng continues the conversation with Mat Cashman, principal of investor education at OCC®, to discuss the relative value framework for analyzing volatility, advice for starting a career in options, and The Options Industry CouncilSM (OIC®) free online tools.

read more

How Options Hedging for Oil Is Turbocharging Volatility

Observations & Insight Gain Small-Cap Exposure with Options on the Russell 2000 Index Learn why small-cap indexes like the Russell 2000 have historically outperformed large-cap counterparts, and how an options strategy can help you manage your risk while...

Past JLN Newsletters

Exchanges Globally Agree Framework for Green Equities

Exchanges Globally Agree Framework for Green Equities

First Read Hits & Takes John Lothian & JLN Staff The CME Group is holding a WTI Futures Trading Challenge from March 26 to 31 to commemorate 40 years of the most liquid oil futures benchmark contract. You get to practice trading WTI in a risk-free environment...

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This Story