NYSE Owner Bets on Mortgage Digitization

May 2, 2019

First Read

The Thorny Speed Bump Question


If the industry can agree on one thing, it’s to disagree about speed bumps. In this video, Chicago Trading Company Head of Market Structure and Electronic Trading Strategy Steve Crutchfield talks about why he is in favor of ICE’s recently announced latency protection mechanism.

Watch the video »


MIAX in Minneapolis – SPIKES Futures to List on MGEX
Spencer Doar – JLN

DORAL, FLA. – In the first quarter of 2019, MIAX launched options trading on the SPIKES Index, a competing volatility index to Cboe’s VIX. SPIKES was developed by T3 Index and is based on SPY options instead of SPX options.

At the 37th Annual Options Industry Conference, T3 Index CEO Simon Ho announced during the “Volatility as an Asset Class” panel that MIAX was partnering with the Minneapolis Grain Exchange (MGEX) to list futures on SPIKES.

Read the rest HERE.


Hits & Takes
JLN Staff

The Options Industry Conference is on to its second day. Thank you to the sponsors who help support this conference. And thank you to MIAX for the box of Mrs. Field’s chocolate chip cookies left in my room.~JJL

Here is the transcript of Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s press conference opening remarks from May 1, 2019.~JJL

NYSE President Stacey Cunningham has published “An Insider’s View of Why Companies Pick the New York Stock Exchange on LinkedIn.”~JJL

Frank Chaparro of The Block Crypto is reporting that Bobby Cho, the head of DRW’s crypto business, announced Wednesday he is leaving the firm.~JJL

MarketsWiki will pass the 150 million pageview mark sometime this week. MarketsWiki was launched on January 11, 2008 and the first year it had 1 million pageviews. Amazing how far it has come.~JJL

After Sen Richard Lugar recently passed away, Richard Sandor offered the following statement: “I am saddened to hear about Senator Lugar’s passing. He was a long-time supporter of the American farmer, and his commitment to environmental stewardship was exemplary. He joined the Chicago Climate Exchange as a supplier of carbon offsets associated with his personal farming operation. He expressed his support of AFX and Ameribor, and said he was proud when Indiana banks: Old National and First Merchants became founding members. Our condolences go out to his loved ones.”~JJL

The next part of Anthony Saliba’s “Step Into The Matrix: A “Market Wizards” Retrospective With Tony Saliba, Part Two” is published.~JJL

ABN AMRO Clearing yesterday announced the launch of an international employee and climate action reforestation program with Land Life Company.~JJL

The “Futures Magazine,” “FINalternatives” and “Resource Investor” brands have been bought by a Chicago trader and fintech investor at a bankruptcy proceeding.~JJL


James Comey: How Trump Co-opts Leaders Like Bill Barr; Accomplished people lacking inner strength can’t resist the compromises necessary to survive this president.
James Comey – NY Times
People have been asking me hard questions. What happened to the leaders in the Trump administration, especially the attorney general, Bill Barr, who I have said was due the benefit of the doubt?

***** How to lose your soul by silence and complicity.~JJL


CME Group Reports 17% Drop in Earnings; Chicago exchange giant’s revenue rose in the first quarter, but shares fall 2%
Robert Barba – WSJ
CME Group Inc. CME -2.01% reported a 17% decline in net income in the first quarter, as placid markets led to less trading at the U.S. futures giant.

****”CME’s clearing and transaction fees, the company’s largest source of revenue, slipped 2% to $953 million during the quarter, while its market data and information services had revenue of $130 million, up nearly 37%. Total expenses rose 49% to $549 million, largely driven by higher compensation and benefits costs.”~WSJ


A fraud or the future? Bots and the bitcoin debate; For sceptics, bot activity will be further evidence of cryptocurrencies’ failings
Gillian Tett – FT
Last year, I took part in a noisy public debate about whether bitcoin is a beneficial innovation — or the opposite. It was an eye-opening experience: almost as soon as the event was posted online, I was trolled by furious cryptocurrency fans and critics alike.

*****Gillian Tett pokes the trolls on both sides of the bitcoin debate again.~JJL


Bobby Cho, head of DRW’s crypto business, is set to depart the firm
Frank Chaparro – The Block Crypto
Bobby Cho, the man who helmed DRW’s crypto trading operation, announced Wednesday that he is stepping away from the company.

*****The latest high profile crypto leader to leave their position.~JJL


Wednesday’s Top Three
Our top story of the day on Wednesday was Matt Raebel’s JLN piece Coinbase packs up Chicago office, brings talent to California. Second was Mashable’s piece on the lame Tweet by a bank in Chase bank tried to be relatable on Twitter and got absolutely dunked on. Third was Crain’s Chicago Business’s piece on Ken Griffin, Billionaire hedge fund owner Ken Griffin commits to Chicago. Three firms going in opposite directions.


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Lead Stories

NYSE Owner Bets on Mortgage Digitization; Intercontinental Exchange’s planned $335 million purchase is expected to close in the third quarter
Alexander Osipovich – WSJ
The owner of the New York Stock Exchange is betting on further digitization of the U.S. mortgage market with the $335 million acquisition of Simplifile, a firm that facilitates electronic processing of mortgage records.

**More from the FT ICE furthers mortgage push with Simplifile acquisition

The SEC must solve its cryptocurrency custody conundrum; Too much regulation may stifle innovation but too little will put Main Street investors at risk
Jay Baris – FT
As blockchain technology grows in popularity, the US Securities and Exchange Commission faces a conundrum: how should it regulate the safekeeping or custody of a digital asset owned by an investment fund or managed account?

Central Banks Use Blockchain for First Time to Swap Currency
Doug Alexander – Bloomberg
Test shows cross-border, cross-currency payments can be done; Accenture calls experiment ‘a big milestone’ for transactions
The Bank of Canada and Monetary Authority of Singapore have sent each other digital currencies using blockchain technology, marking the first such successful trial between two central banks.

CFTC Chair: ‘Explosion of Interest’ in Crypto May Spawn New Clearinghouses
Nikhilesh De – Coindesk
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) expects to see more companies apply to become federally-regulated clearinghouses as a result of growing interest in cryptocurrencies.

Blockchain Adopted by Canadian Banks to Verify Client Identities
Doug Alexander – Bloomberg
SecureKey’s Verified.Me available for five lenders’ customers; RBC calls the digital ID network a ‘significant development’
Canada is making a big leap in modernizing identity verification, tapping blockchain technology to let consumers digitally prove who they are to securely access banking and other personal services.

‘He Should Go Back to Connecticut.’ Barclays CEO Battles Activist Over Bank’s Future; Jes Staley’s plans to compete with Wall Street meet resistance from investor Edward Bramson, who wants the bank to narrow its focus
Margot Patrick – WSJ
Jes Staley runs one of the last full-service banks left in Europe that compete with Wall Street. The way the 62-year-old American banker sees it, his ?restructuring of U.K.-based Barclays BCS -0.93% PLC has primed it to take on the likes of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley .

How the dream of creating a German banking champion died; Commerzbank’s signature drink ‘Apfelsecco’ remained in the fridge as Deutsche Bank’s CEO ended talks over breakfast
Olaf Storbeck, Stephen Morris in Zurich, Arash Massoudi and David Crow in London – FT
Paul Achleitner was in his element at Davos this year. As usual, the affable Deutsche Bank chairman roamed the corridors of the Grandhotel Belvedere and pop-up bars on the Swiss ski resort’s main Promenade, exchanging gossip and sounding out deals. But this January he had a special mission.

A Billionaire’s Secret Emails With Reporter Aren’t Off Limits
Gaspard Sebag – Bloomberg
French investigators accessed emails journalist sent to source; Another reporter’s phone records reviewed in a case last year
A probe into the leak of a confidential $15 billion takeover plan put the spotlight on the aggressive methods used by French investigators, and their growing disregard for the anonymity of journalist’s sources.

BNP Paribas Fixed-Income Trading Jumps
Fabio Benedetti Valentini – Bloomberg
Fixed-income revenue growth snaps streak of quarterly declines; BNP debt trading beats rivals, but equities sales fall again
BNP Paribas SA reported the biggest fixed-income trading jump of all U.S. and European banks in the first quarter, marking a rebound after recent losses and downgraded targets.

Hedge Funds Resurrect CDO Trade. This Time They Say It Will Work
Claire Boston – Bloomberg
Hedge funds and other investors are reviving a type of securitized product that blew up during the financial crisis. This time around they’re convinced that the structures will not only weather the next downturn, but might even profit from it.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

Miami International Holdings and MGEX Partner to List and Trade SPIKES Futures on MIAX
Miami International Holdings, Inc. today announced that they have entered into an agreement pursuant to which MGEX will serve as the exclusive exchange to list, trade and clear futures products on the SPIKES® Volatility Index (SPIKES; Ticker: SPIKE), a measure of the expected 30-day volatility in the SPDR® S&P 500® ETF (SPY). SPIKES futures are expected to be available on MGEX in Q3 2019, subject to CFTC approval. SPIKES options are now available exclusively on the MIAX Options Exchange.

CME Group Inc. Reports First-Quarter 2019 Financial Results
CME Group
CME Group Inc. today reported financial results for the first quarter of 2019. The company reported revenue of $1.2 billion and operating income of $631 million for the first quarter of 2019. Net income was $497 million and diluted earnings per share were $1.39. On an adjusted basis, net income was $579.2 million and diluted earnings per share were $1.62. Financial results presented on an adjusted basis for the first quarter of 2019 and 2018 exclude certain items, which are detailed in the reconciliation of non-GAAP results.

CME first quarter earnings top estimates on expenses
John McCrank – Reuters
CME Group Inc, one of the world’s largest exchange operators, on Wednesday reported higher-than-expected quarterly earnings, as tight expense management following the company’s acquisition of NEX Group helped offset lower trading volumes.

Intercontinental Exchange Announces Agreement to Acquire Simplifile LC
Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE: ICE), a leading operator of global exchanges and clearing houses and provider of data and listings services, today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Simplifile, LC. Simplifile operates one of the largest networks connecting the agents and jurisdictions that underpin residential mortgage records, serving as an electronic liaison between lenders, settlement agents, and county recording offices, streamlining the local recording of residential mortgage transactions.

Intercontinental Exchange Approves Second Quarter Dividend Of $0.275 Per Share
Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE: ICE), a leading operator of global exchanges and clearing houses and provider of data and listings services, announced today a $0.275 per share dividend for the second quarter of 2019. The cash dividend is payable on June 28, 2019 to stockholders of record as of June 14, 2019. The ex-dividend date is June 13, 2019.

Cash markets will turnover EUR 120.9 billion in April
Deutsche Börse
Deutsche Börse’s cash markets posted sales of EUR 120.9 billion in April (previous year: EUR 127.2 billion). Of this amount, EUR 107.8bn was attributable to Xetra (previous year: EUR 117.1bn), bringing the average Xetra daily turnover to EUR 5.4bn. At the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, EUR 2.8bn was realized (previous year: EUR 2.9bn) and EUR 10.3bn at the Tradegate Exchange (previous year: EUR 7.2bn).

Eurex EnLight extended: now with all Eurex equity and equity index options
Since June 2018, our selective RfQ-based service is up and running allowing banks and brokers to selectively contact liquidity providers with requests for quotes in order to find a trading counterparty.

CME Traiana upgrades credit risk tool for FX prime brokers; Traiana has bolstered its Credit Risk Hub to provide FX prime brokers with greater control over credit risk.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
CME Group’s Traiana has made several improvements to its Credit Risk Hub to allow FX prime brokers to define trade information in more detail for increased credit risk control.

OCC April Cleared Volume Down Five Percent
OCC, the world’s largest equity derivatives clearing organization, announced today that total cleared contract volume in April reached 385,965,706 contracts, a 4.9 percent decline compared to last April. OCC’s year-to-date average daily cleared contract volume is 19,200,350, down 12.8 percent compared to 2018’s record-breaking pace.


Gedik Investment selects Horizon for futures market making and algorithmic trading
Horizon Software
Horizon Software (Horizon), a leading provider of electronic trading solutions and algorithmic technology, announced today that Gedik Investment, the Borsa Istanbul-listed leading non-bank brokerage house of Gedik Investment Holding, has begun using its platform for futures market making and algorithmic execution.

Human hedge fund managers embrace robot-rival tools to amp returns
Svea Herbst-Bayliss – Reuters
Traditional stock-pickers in the hedge fund world have been struggling to justify their expenses and weak returns in recent years, as low-cost algorithmic funds have done better. Now, human managers are starting to embrace the technologies employed by their robot rivals to improve results.

IBM and Thomson Reuters Expand Regtech Partnership; The new offering will directly connect TR’s regulatory feed and IBM’s OpenPages with Watson platform.
regulation firehose
Anthony Malakian – Waters Technology
IBM and Thomson Reuters are building out their governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) partnership with the latest release of IBM OpenPages with Watson. For this newest iteration, IBM is taking the Thomson Reuters Regulatory Intelligence feed and bringing that directly into OpenPages.


CoinMarketCap Forms Alliance to Tackle Concerns Over Price Data Integrity
Yogita Khatri – Coindesk
Cryptocurrency data provider CoinMarketCap is working with major exchanges on an initiative aimed to make price data more transparent.

Bitcoin Gained In April. What’s Next For The Cryptocurrency?
Charles Bovaird – Forbes
Bitcoin prices rose in April, marking the third straight month of gains. At this point, the question on everyone’s mind is: what will the market’s most prominent digital currency do next? The cryptocurrency experienced some notable increases early in the month, surging more than 20% in 24 hours, CoinDesk price data shows.

Indictment reveals new clues in the Crypto Capital situation
Robert-Jan den Haan – The Block
A superseding SDNY indictment unsealed yesterday charged two men with multiple felonies including bank fraud. Although the case makes mention of processing payments for cryptocurrency exchanges, it also helps put some pieces together in the unfolding story of Crypto Capital, the payment processor that reportedly had $850 million belonging to Bitfinex seized.

Where Crypto Exchanges Are Beating the Bear Market
Leigh Cuen – Coindesk
With the Turkish lira dropping to a six-month low against the dollar last week, bitcoin is continuing to pick up even more traction in Istanbul.

US Income Tax Payers Can Now Get Refunds in Bitcoin
Yogita Khatri – Coindesk
Income tax payers in the U.S. now have the option to receive their federal and state refunds in bitcoin. Blockchain payments processor Bitpay announced the news on Tuesday, saying that the firm has partnered with U.S.-based taxation services provider Refundo for the service.

Everything you wanted to know about cryptocurrencies but were too afraid to ask
John R. Quain – Yahoo Finance
Initially hailed a rebellious technology that would upend the world’s financial institutions and free people from the onerous fees and controls of the banking establishment, cryptocurrency has since been tarnished by criminal activity and wild market speculation. And while everyone has heard of crypto names like Bitcoin, very few people understand the fundamentals of how cryptocurrencies actually work — especially in the context of personal finance.

Shellbot malware evolves to spread and shuts down other cryptominers
Zack Whittaker – Tech Crunch
When hackers want to make a quick buck, mining cryptocurrency seems to be the way to go. New research out Wednesday by Boston-based security firm Threat Stack shared exclusively with TechCrunch reveals a new variant of the Shellbot malware is taking a leaf out of the other cryptocurrency mining by breaking into computers and using their resources to make money. Shellbot, first written about by Jask in February, now uses an old but reliable SSH brute force technique to break into internet-connected Linux servers with weak passwords to infect a system and mine cryptocurrency.

Is Ethereum becoming the new open-blockchain standard as Amazon gets into blockchain?
Nawaz Sulemanji – Yahoo Finance
Amazon is making its entry into the blockchain space, via a new tool available through its AWS (Amazon Web Service) to “create and manage scalable blockchain networks” via open-blockchain networks like Ethereum.

Amazon Web Services Opens Blockchain Building Service Up for Wider Use
Yogita Khatri – Coindesk
Amazon Web Services (AWS), the e-commerce giant’s cloud computing arm, has launched its Managed Blockchain service for wider use among enterprise clients. AT&T, Nestle, Accenture and others are already using the service, AWS announced Tuesday. Initially revealed last November, Amazon Managed Blockchain is said to allow clients to create and manage blockchain networks more easily and economically using open-source frameworks like Hyperledger Fabric.

Alternative Crypto Sources:

AMD Earnings Surpass Target Amid Talk of Cryptocurrency Bull Market Return
William Suberg – Cointelegraph

Hydro Quebec Establishes Standards Cryptocurrency Miners Must Meet to Qualify for More Power
Cali Haan – Crowdfund Insider


House Suspends Deadline for Banks to Hand Over Trump Documents; Deutsche Bank and Capital One agree not to turn over documents until court decision
Rebecca Ballhaus – WSJ
A lawyer for the U.S. House of Representatives agreed to suspend its deadline for Deutsche Bank AG and Capital One Financial Corp. to turn over financial documents related to President Trump and his family until a court settles their legal effort to block the subpoenas.

Trump’s Narrow Definition of Emoluments Rejected by Judge
Erik Larson – Bloomberg
President Donald Trump’s narrow definition of an “emolument” failed to win him an escape from a lawsuit by almost 200 Congressional Democrats who claim the president is violating the Constitution by doing business with foreign governments.

Women Should Apply for BOE Governor Role, Theresa May Says
Jill Ward and David Goodman – Bloomberg
‘I would encourage applications from female applicants’; Mark Carney is due to leave the role at the end of Jan. 2020
Women should apply to succeed Mark Carney in the role of Bank of England Governor, Prime Minister Theresa May said.


Technical issue sees ESMA delay crucial MiFID II systematic internaliser data; Systematic internaliser data due to be published on 30 April has been delayed by the European markets regulatory after a technical issue.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
A technical issue has forced the EU financial regulator to delay the publication of crucial data for systematic internaliser (SI) determination that market participants need to comply with MiFID II in Europe.

FCA begins review of financial advice market; UK financial watchdog to take fresh look at rules amid concerns investors are overpaying
Siobhan Riding – FT
The Financial Conduct Authority has begun to review the rules that govern the retail market amid concerns that investors are struggling to assess the cost of advice and may be overpaying for unnecessary services.

Elon Musk’s Spat With the SEC Is Over. Not Everyone Is Happy About That.
David Marino-Nachison – Barron’s
A judge’s signature has seemingly put to rest the latest dust-up between Elon Musk and the Securities and Exchange Commission, though it appears not everyone is happy about that.

CFTC Staff Issues Clearinghouse Supervisory Stress Test Report
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) Division of Clearing and Risk (DCR) and the Office of the Chief Economist (OCE) today issued, CCP Supervisory Stress Tests: Reverse Stress Test and Liquidation Stress Test, a two-part report that includes the results of a reverse stress test of central counterparties (CCPs) or clearinghouses resources and an analysis of stressed liquidation costs. This is the third in a series of supervisory stress testing exercises and resulting reports on CCPs that CFTC staff has conducted. Previous stress testing reports were issued in 2016 and 2017.

Testimony of Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo Before the House Committee on Agriculture Subcommittee on Commodity Exchanges, Energy and Credit Washington, D.C.
Thank you, Chairman Scott, Ranking Member Scott, and Members of the subcommittee. I appreciate the opportunity to appear before you today to discuss issues before the Commission.

FCA opens debate on intergenerational finance: how industry and regulators should respond to demographic change
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has today published a discussion paper on Intergenerational Differences, exploring the changing financial needs of consumers from different age groups.

Investing and Trading

Why Wall Street is cheering the return of the ‘divi recap’; Aggressive technique sees companies raise new debt just to hand cash to their owners
Robert Smith – FT
What do investment bankers who deal in risky corporate debt do when there are not enough racy loans to meet demand from yield-starved investors? A proposed deal this week involving the owners of PPD, a drug research group, gives us a clue: they get private equity firms to ­create some out of thin air.

Dalio Says Something Like MMT Is Coming, Whether We Like It Or Not
Ben Holland – Bloomberg
Central banking as we know it is on the way out, and it’s “inevitable” that something like modern monetary theory will replace it, billionaire investor Ray Dalio said.

Vanguard Patented a Way to Avoid Taxes on Mutual Funds
Zachary R. Mider, Annie Massa and Christopher Cannon – Bloomberg
Like flipping a light switch, Vanguard Group Inc. has figured out a way to shut off taxes in its mutual funds.

ADM’s CEO Juan Luciano Bought the Stock for the First Time in Years After Earnings Disappointed
Ed Lin – Barron’s
Archer Daniels Midland stock swooned last week, but the agricultural giant’s CEO and chief financial officer both swooped in to buy shares.

Fed Surprises With Mini Rate Cut; Dow Jones Adds To Gains
Jed Graham – Investors.com
The Federal Reserve acted on Wednesday to reverse an unintended 5-basis-point hike of its key interest rate since late March. The Fed meeting sought to cut this benchmark indirectly, by trimming the interest rate it pays on banks’ excess reserves to 2.35%. Although the mini rate cut was a technical fix, not a policy move, the Dow Jones and broader stock market rose after the announcement.


Arki Busson’s hedge fund LumX posts $8.7m loss; Firm delays publication of its annual report and warns on value of goodwill
Jennifer Thompson and Laurence Fletcher – FT
The investment firm run by Arpad “Arki” Busson, once one of the hedge fund industry’s most influential figures, has revealed a large loss and delayed publishing its annual report in the latest sign of its fading fortunes.

Goldman Is Raising a Fund to Take Stakes in Private-Equity Firms
Sonali Basak and Sridhar Natarajan – Bloomberg
Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s Petershill unit, which buys stakes in alternative asset managers, is seeking to raise as much as $4 billion for a new fund, according to people familiar with the matter.
The fund will mostly invest in private equity but also set aside some money for hedge funds, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing fundraising plans.

Should Lloyds’ need for less capital translate to a £1bn payday?; Regulators say bank can reduce its risk buffer but not everyone values the decision
Matthew Vincent – FT
Have you heard the news about Lloyds Banking Group? Jefferies analysts have: “This morning, the PRA announced that LLOY’s Systemic Buffer for the Ring-Fenced Bank (the so-called “D-SIB”) will be 200 bps which = 170 bps at group level. This is below the 210 bps that was included in the group’s capital guidance and leads to a net 30 bps reduction in the group’s Pillar 2A. As a result, the CET1 level targeted by the group falls to circa 12.5 per cent.”

Andreessen Horowitz Raises $2.75 Billion for Two New Funds
Sarah McBride – Bloomberg erg
Andreessen Horowitz, a firm that in just a decade become one of the powerhouses of venture capital, said on Wednesday it had raised another $2.75 billion.

As Goldman Chases Smaller Clients, Some Doubts and Early Wins
Sridhar Natarajan – Bloomberg
Watch out for the friendly, neighborhood Goldman banker. Fresh off a quarter in which Goldman Sachs Group Inc. raked in more fees from dealmaking than any rival, a new slate of managers say they’re looking to expand that lead by ratcheting up a campaign to deepen ties with companies valued at less than $2 billion.


Canada Moves to Mitigate Fallout From China Canola Ban; Financial aid is coming for affected farmers amid signs more import restrictions from China are in the offing
Paul Vieira – WSJ
Canada extended financial help to canola-seed producers affected by China’s import ban on the product, part of an effort to dull the impacts of China’s retaliation for the arrest of a Huawei Technologies Co. executive.

Tainted Russian oil supply to Europe triggers fears; Analysts assess ‘unprecedented’ threat to major pipeline network
James Shotter, Nastassia Astrasheuskaya and Anjli Raval – FT
Heavy contamination of oil in a major pipeline bringing Russian crude to Europe has triggered concerns about a shortfall, with supply equal to 8 per cent of the continent’s daily consumption being affected.

Chinese tech companies revel in convertible-bond boom; Cash-hungry businesses have tapped investors for a record $4.6bn this year
Hudson Lockett and Mercedes Ruehl – FT
For “the Netflix of China”, an initial public offering in New York was just a curtainraiser.

Activist Edward Bramson zeros in on LBO loans in Barclays battle; Bank rejects investor’s criticism it is over-reliant on such lending
David Crow – FT
In his campaign for Barclays to shrink its investment bank, activist investor Edward Bramson is zoning in on a new target: leveraged loans.

The Next ‘Ferrari of Shale’ May Be Hiding in Australia’s Outback
James Thornhill – Bloomberg
Origin Energy prepares to start fracking remote Beetaloo Basin; Protesters say arid region’s fragile water system is at risk
In a corner of outback Australia, a drilling crew will soon try tapping shale rocks that could hold more than three times the world’s annual consumption of natural gas.


Exports sag, UK factories report lower Brexit stockpile boost – PMI survey
Andy Bruce, William Schomberg – Reuters
British factories lost some of the boost from pre-Brexit stockpiling last month while households slowed their borrowing ahead of the original deadline for the country’s departure from the European Union, data showed on Wednesday.

Brexit makes the case for an independent Scotland; At the whim of the Tory party, Scots have been told to surrender their European identity
Philip Stephens -FT
When Scotland voted to maintain the union with England, the argument that separation would diminish both nations seemed compelling. Five years on, Nicola Sturgeon says Brexit has broken the bargain. Scotland’s first minister and leader of the Scottish National party is preparing for a possible second referendum by mid-2021. Ms Sturgeon may be a touch impatient. She is also essentially right.

Brexit drains £30bn from UK funds; Outflows spike as investors spurn UK assets and shift to EU funds
Siobhan Riding – FT
Investment funds based in the UK haemorrhaged £30bn in the 12 months to the end of March, as Brexit uncertainty prompted investors to spurn UK assets and shift money to EU-regulated products.


NASA Says Metals Fraud Caused $700 Million Satellite Failure
David Stringer – Bloomberg
A metals manufacturer faked test results and provided faulty materials to NASA, causing more than $700 million in losses and two failed satellite launch missions, according to an investigation by the U.S. space agency.
The fraud involved an Oregon company called Sapa Profiles Inc., which falsified thousands of certifications for aluminum parts over 19 years for hundreds of customers, including NASA.

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Past Newsletters

Food groups’ fight over wheat manipulation re-erupts

Get a FREE 90 day trial of John Lothian Newsletter First ReadHits & TakesJLN StaffThe CFTC Kraft/Mondelez Global announcement is not worth two bits. Claiming to win the case, without clarity of the specific actions that were manipulative,...

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