OCC Names ABN AMRO Clearing Executive Mike Nowak as Chief Financial Officer

Jul 27, 2022

First Read

Hits & Takes
John Lothian & JLN Staff

Inflation is finally hitting me as McDonald’s is raising the prices of their cheeseburger for the first time in 14 years.

There is some Ken Griffin, Joe Ritchie and Brad Pitt real estate news this morning. Ken Griffin is making good on his move to Florida by listing for sale the two-floor condominium units he owns at the top of the Park Tower on North Michigan Avenue, “for $15.75 million and $13.25 million, respectively,” according to the Chicago Tribune. Meanwhile, Brad Pitt paid $40 million for a circa-1918 coastal California home that was “owned since 1999 by Searock, a limited liability company tied to the late Chicago financier Joe Ritchie and his wife, Sharon Ritchie,” the Wall Street Journal reported.

Andy Ross reported on LinkedIn that he is starting a new position as global head prime brokerage at Standard Chartered Bank after having been with London Stock Exchange Group as the CEO of the now defunct exchange CurveGlobal.

Christa Lachenmayr reported on LinkedIn that she is starting a new position as principal, regulatory policy, at the Options Clearing Corporation (OCC) after having been with the CFTC since 2008.

Acuiti, in conjunction with Sterling Trading Tech, has a new report out titled “Sell-Side Systems in Need of Upgrade for New Risk Reality”

The Mega Millions lottery jackpot has topped $1 Billion for the third time ever. If you buy a $2 ticket, your odds of winning are around 1 in 302 million, the Wall Street Journal quoted lottery officials as saying. This information is provided just in case you need a way to fund that big margin call you have in your crypto account.

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


The Futures Industry Association (FIA) reported its June 2022 volume highlights yesterday via email. Worldwide volume of exchange-traded derivatives reached 7 billion contracts in the month of June, the highest monthly total ever recorded. The June total was up 11.8% from May 2022 and up 40% from June 2021.
On a year-to-date basis, volume in the first half of the year was 38.32 billion contracts, up 32.6% from the first half of 2021. The majority of that increase came from equity index contracts.
Total open interest at the end of June was 1.09 billion contracts. The June total was down 3.6% from May 2022 but up 0.5% from a year ago.
(FIA members can receive monthly exchange volume reports free of charge, and non-FIA members can subscribe by paying an annual fee. Here is more information.) ~SR

The FIA is holding a webinar on Thursday, August 4, from 9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. SGT, titled “Digital Assets – The Transformation of Financial Markets.” A panel of experts will discuss the opportunities and challenges for market participants and share what they see as the future state of market infrastructure and ecosystem. The host is John Ho, Global Head of Legal, Financial Markets, Standard Chartered Bank, and the speakers are: Ave King, Head of Compliance for APAC, FalconX; Darius Liu, Co-founder & Group Chief Strategy Officer, ADDX; Thomas McMahon, Co-founder & CEO, AirCarbon Exchange; Roland Schwinn, Non-Executive Director, Sygnum; and Russell Toop, Senior Relationship Manager, SBI Digital Markets. You can go here to register. ~SR


Crypto Breaks the Rules. That’s the Point.; With cryptocurrencies, as with many other innovations, regulatory arbitrage is a feature, not a bug.
Tyler Cowen – Bloomberg
One of the most common criticisms of cryptocurrency is that it is just a way to get around financial rules and regulations. That criticism is not entirely wrong — but with crypto, as with many other innovations, regulatory arbitrage is a feature, not a bug. Very often, regulatory arbitrage is most successful when the innovation improves on some aspects of the older methods. The arbitrage conveys the message that the old regulations need to change.

****** Rules? What rules?~JJL


Existence of loch ness monster ‘plausible,’ scientists say after fossil discovery; Scientists at the University of Bath discovered some plesiosaurs may have lived in freshwater environments
Aisha Rimi – Independent
The existence of Loch Ness Monster is “plausible”, British scientists have said. The suggestion came after researchers found fossils of small plesiosaurs – long-necked marine reptiles from the age of dinosaurs – in a 100-million-year-old river system that is now Morocco’s Sahara Desert, suggesting they may have lived in freshwater. Loch Ness Monster enthusiasts have long believed that the historic Scottish folklore could be a prehistoric reptile with a small head and long neck, similar to a plesiosaur.

****** Of course the Loch Ness Monster exists. I heard this from Bigfoot.~JJL


Libertarian Cartoons Promise to Turn Your Kids Into Little Ayn Rands; While right-wing politicians and activists fight to keep all kinds of supposed messages out of children’s education, the Tuttle Twins are trying to build an online audience of budding Milton Friedmans and Friedrich Hayeks.
Max Chafkin – Bloomberg
Just before she turned 6 years old, my daughter announced with an unsettling solemnity her plans for the future. “I’m going to buy a mansion,” she said. We were six months into Covid-19 lockdowns, and she was, for no reason I could discern, newly interested in capitalism. She would wake up and, before eating breakfast or going to the bathroom, start rifling through her craft supplies, demanding tape, scissors, pipe cleaners, construction paper, and so on. She told us her plan was to assemble faux flowers in mass quantities, sell them on the corner outside our apartment in Queens, N.Y., “and get rich.”

***** The Road to Serfdom took a wrong turn.~JJL


Tuesday’s Top Three
Tuesday was crypto, crypto, and guns. Our top story Tuesday was Crypto Exchange Layoffs – A Brief Sample, from Exchange Invest on LinkedIn. Second was ‘Cryptojacking’ Attacks on Financial Firms Surged in First Half, from Bloomberg. Third was The Gun Industry Created a New Consumer. Now It’s Killing Us. from The Atlantic.


MarketsWiki Stats
26,954 pages; 239,809 edits
MarketsWiki Statistics


Lead Stories

OCC Names ABN AMRO Clearing Executive Mike Nowak as Chief Financial Officer; Nowak Brings more than 20 Years of Leadership, Finance and Operations Experience
OCC, the world’s largest equity derivatives clearing organization, today announced its Board of Directors elected Mike Nowak as Chief Financial Officer and a member of OCC’s Management Committee, effective August 8. As CFO, Nowak will oversee all of OCC’s Corporate Finance functions, including treasury, finance, accounting, strategic sourcing, as well as facilities and vendor management. To help ensure a smooth transition, Nowak will work closely with outgoing CFO Amy Shelly, who is leaving OCC to pursue a new opportunity.

A $9.4 Trillion Results Day Looms in a Test for Stock Market; Fed rate decision precedes busiest reporting day of the season; US GDP, jobs data, as well as German inflation also expected
Michael Msika and Sagarika Jaisinghani – Bloomberg
For analysts, the last Thursday of July is always one of the busiest dates in the calendar. This year, it’s likely to be even more of a stretch. Firms in the US and Europe worth more than $9.4 trillion will report their latest figures tomorrow at a time when concern over the impact of rampant inflation on corporate profitability is at fever pitch. And coming right on the back of a crucial Federal Reserve meeting and on the same day as a slew of major macro-economic data, there will be a huge amount for market watchers to digest.

Memo to Wall Street: don’t touch that delete button! Technology marches on but business’s outdated approach to document retention does not
Brooke Masters – FT
It should not be so hard to get document retention right. Governments and companies have long known they must capture and keep important communications not just for posterity but for litigation and regulatory purposes. As conversations moved from pen and paper to fax, phone and email, the legal requirements followed.

Credit Suisse Chairman Lehmann Says Bank, Gottstein ‘Under Fire’
Myriam Balezou and Manus Cranny – Bloomberg
Credit Suisse Group AG Chairman Axel Lehmann said that the changes at the top of the bank reflect the pressure the institution and chief executive Thomas Gottstein were under. “We as a company were under fire and he as a CEO was under fire,” Lehmann said in a Bloomberg Television interview on Wednesday. “Thomas and I came to the conclusion that it is better to have new leadership; but also for personal reasons he decided to step down.”

Credit Suisse names new CEO to overhaul investment bank as losses mount
Credit Suisse Group has named asset management boss Ulrich Koerner as its new CEO, who is tasked with scaling back investment banking and cutting more than $1 billion in costs to help the bank recover from a string of scandals and losses. The Swiss bank has dubbed 2022 a “transition” year with a change of guard, restructuring aimed at curtailing risk-taking in investment banking, and bulking up of wealth management, while batting away speculation that it could be acquired or broken up.

Credit Suisse to scale back investment bank under new chief; Ulrich Körner replaces Thomas Gottstein and promises ‘comprehensive’ review of Swiss lender’s business
Owen Walker – FT
Credit Suisse plans to scale back its investment bank under new chief executive Ulrich Körner, as the troubled lender battles to return to profit and reverse a slump in its shares. The Swiss bank on Wednesday installed Körner, who has run its asset management business since March, 2021, to replace Thomas Gottstein, who is stepping down after leading the 166-year-old institution through one of the most tumultuous periods in its history.

Dollar Crunch in Pakistan Leads to Dislocation in Forex Market; Banks are giving dollars at a premium to interbank: Tresmark; Pakistan’s economy is seeing stress amid delay in IMF program
Faseeh Mangi – Bloomberg
The shortage of dollars in Pakistan is creating a dislocation in the foreign-exchange market, with banks offering different rates than the interbank market. Banks are offering higher spreads than the interbank market for import and export transactions because they are unable to cover import payments, Tresmark, a financial portal for treasury markets, said in a note to its clients.

Wuhan Locks Down 1 Million Residents in Echo of Pandemic’s Start; City that imposed first ever lockdown places curbs on one area; Attention remains on southern hub of Shenzhen as cases flare
Bloomberg News
A district on the outskirts of Wuhan has been locked down, the first time the Chinese city that saw the world’s first Covid-19 lockdown has imposed such a measure since 2020, underscoring how far the country is from post-pandemic normalcy. More than two years since the city was sealed off to contain what was then a mysterious pneumonia, almost 1 million residents of Wuhan’s Jiangxia district have been told to stay in their homes and not go out unless necessary. All public transport has been stopped and entertainment venues shut for three days after four asymptomatic cases were found in the district on Tuesday.

Junior Bankers Deserve Their Bonuses. Really; Cutting payouts when inflation is already eroding their value will only hurt the morale of those lowest on the ladder.
Jared Dillian – Bloomberg
Bonuses for junior bankers are a little smaller than they were last year, the mostly anonymous banking discussion board Wall Street Oasis revealed last week, and the junior bankers are not too happy about it. I worked on Wall Street for seven years, and I have observed many cycles in compensation. While the media is usually eager to report with some relish on declining pay — bankers are typically unsympathetic characters for much of America — the complaints from the young men and women who manipulate spreadsheets and do much of the manual labor in investment banking shouldn’t be dismissed out of hand.

Coinbase Faces Huge Challenge — Which May Affect All of Crypto; The Coinbase platform faces a big problem, which has implications for the entire crypto industry.
Luc Olinga – The Street
In the middle of a crypto industry trying to take a breather after months of falling digital-currency prices, a bomb may be primed to explode. The market has lost more than $2 trillion due to a market-shaking combination of recession fears, which have prompted investors to liquidate their positions in all risky asset classes, and scandals affecting crypto lenders. These scandals caused a liquidity crisis and bankruptcy filings for the Celsius Network and Voyager Digital platforms. But now the crypto industry will also have to deal with another serious threat: the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Coinbase Shares Tumble Amid Reported SEC Investigation
According to Bloomberg, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is probing crypto exchange Coinbase (COIN), a publicly traded company it oversees, on suspicion it allowed U.S. persons to trade unregistered securities. COIN shares dropped as much as 15% upon the news. “”The Hash”” panel discusses what this means for Coinbase and the future of crypto regulation.

Coinbase’s Face-Off With the SEC Just Got More Serious. Look Out for a Formal Probe.
Jack Denton – Barron’s
Coinbase Global has since last week appeared poised to clash with the Securities and Exchange Commission over an issue that could prove pivotal to the entire crypto industry—whether some tokens are, in fact, securities. Now, it looks like the cryptocurrency exchange’s face-off with the SEC will get much more serious. Coinbase (ticker: COIN) faces an SEC investigation into whether it improperly let Americans trade digital assets that should have been registered as securities, Bloomberg reported, citing three anonymous sources.

Yellen discusses price cap on Russian oil with UK’s Zahawi – U.S. Treasury
U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen highlighted a proposed price cap on Russian oil on a phone call with British Finance Minister Nadhim Zahawi on Tuesday, a move to reduce the impact of the war in Ukraine on global energy prices. Both discussed the need to continue to accelerate budgetary support for Ukraine, and opportunities to build on sanctions imposed on Russia, the U.S. Treasury Department said in a statement.

Plans for Equity Market Structure Revamp Stimulate Debate
Ivy Schmerken – Flextrade
SEC Chairman Gary Gensler’s plan to revamp the rules for U.S. stock trading is stirring debate among market participants, arguing whether the sweeping overhaul is necessary, while others favor a holistic review. On June 8, the SEC Chair gave a speech outlining a set of far-reaching proposals around retail order handling and execution which could upend the way current equity market structure operates. While these are preliminary ideas, the SEC could look to curtail the ability of retail brokers to receive payments for routing customer orders to wholesale market makers’ execution platforms. To address this issue, Gensler is considering transparent auctions and allowing sub-penny executions on exchanges to increase competition with market makers.

Ukraine Invasion

Vladimir Putin is ‘using energy’ to cause political discord in Europe: Expert
Yaseen Shah – Yahoo! Finance
Vladimir Putin recently reopened the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline after the European Union (EU) had called on its members to start rationing its natural gas out of fear of the Kremlin cutting off Russia’s flow to Europe entirely. Still, fears of a worsening global energy crisis remain high amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war. “Vladimir Putin has really extended the war in Ukraine to a second front, which is the energy front in Europe,” Daniel Yergin, vice chairman of S&P Global and author of “The New Map: Energy Security and the Clash of the Nations,” said on Yahoo Finance Live (video above). “He’s trying to not enable them to achieve what they need, drive up prices, break the coalition … governments are breaking and that’s what Putin wants to see and he’s using energy to get there.”

Ukraine will pursue war-crimes charges against leaders of JPMorgan Chase, Citi, and HSBC over Russia financing, Zelenskyy’s economic advisor says
Kate Duffy – Business Insider
Ukraine is pursuing war-crimes charges against leaders of JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, and other major Western banks over their purported indirect financing of the Russian state, an economic advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Tuesday. “There is no doubt that Russia is committing war crimes in Ukraine, against Ukrainians,” Oleg Ustenko, the advisor, said in an interview with CNBC. “In our logic, everybody who is financing these war criminals who are doing these terrible things in Ukraine are also committing war crimes.”

With No Work or Money, Ukrainians Are Forced to Return Home to Russian-Controlled Territory; Strain on evacuees underscores Russia’s squeeze on Ukraine’s economy
Ian Lovett – WSJ
Oleksandr Ivakhnenko fled his home in Russian-occupied Kherson after Russian soldiers detained and beat him while he was delivering food and medical supplies, he said. Now, unable to find work in Ukrainian-controlled territory, he is reluctantly returning to the southern city with his girlfriend and her parents, just one month after leaving. “We don’t have any choice,” said Mr. Ivakhnenko, 22 years old. ”

Russia Says It Will Withdraw From International Space Station; Leader of country’s space agency says Russia will depart facility after 2024
Micah Maidenberg – WSJ
Russia plans to pull out of the International Space Station, the leader of the country’s space agency said Tuesday, a move that threatens to end years of collaboration on the orbiting research facility. Yuri Borisov, the director general of Roscosmos, as the Russian space agency is called, said Russia would leave the facility after 2024, according to an exchange between him and President Vladimir Putin that was posted to the Kremlin’s website. The country will fulfill its obligations for station operations until it leaves, he said.

Ukraine’s Allies Seek to Bolster Its Air Defenses With Jet Fighters and Training; Long-term plan by Biden administration and Europeans could help Kyiv better shoot down missiles, defend infrastructure, troops
Nancy A. Youssef, Warren P. Strobel and Drew Hinshaw – WSJ
The Biden administration, prompted by Kyiv’s recent successes in blunting Russia’s offensive in Ukraine, has begun reversing course on potentially providing advanced weapons like fighter aircraft that it earlier said could escalate the conflict with Moscow. On Friday, the White House announced that the Pentagon was exploring ways to provide Ukraine with jet fighters, following a U.S. Air Force statement that it is looking at training Ukrainian pilots to defend their airspace with NATO-compatible aircraft.

See Ukrainian army use US rockets in Russian war; CNN’s Ivan Watson talks to Ukrainians who are preparing for more fighting against Russia in the southern region of the country.

Britain targets Russian officials in new wave of sanctions
Britain said on Tuesday it had sanctioned Kremlin-imposed officials in the Luhansk and Donetsk provinces in eastern Ukraine as well as 29 regional governors across Russia in response to Moscow’s invasion of the former Soviet republic. The 42 new designations added to Britain’s Russia sanctions also included Russia’s minister and deputy minister of justice, and two nephews of Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov, who was himself sanctioned by Britain in March.

Russia hits Ukraine’s Black Sea regions of Odesa and Mykolaiv with new air strikes
CBS News
Russia targeted Ukraine’s Black Sea regions of Odesa and Mykolaiv with air strikes Tuesday, hitting private buildings and port infrastructure along the country’s southern coast, the Ukrainian military said. The Kremlin’s forces used air-launched missiles in the attack, Ukraine’s Operational Command South said in a Facebook post. The command posted video Tuesday that appeared to show smoldering rubble and destroyed buildings with the caption: “The consequences of today’s rocket shelling across the Odessa region.”

Pentagon approves plan to treat Ukrainian troops at U.S. hospital in Germany -official
The Pentagon formally approved in late June a plan to help treat wounded Ukrainian troops at a U.S. military hospital in Germany, a defense official said on Tuesday. Nearly five months since President Vladimir Putin ordered an invasion of Russia’s neighbor, its forces are grinding through the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine and occupy around a fifth of the country. The Kyiv government said in June that 100 to 200 Ukrainian troops were being killed per day. A U.S. official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said no Ukrainian troops had been treated so far and U.S. troops would not be going into Ukraine to bring Ukrainian personnel out. It is unclear how many Ukrainian troops have been wounded but thousands of civilians have died and millions have fled. Russian artillery barrages and air strikes have pulverized cities. It is unclear if any Ukrainian troops have been treated in other countries, such as neighboring Poland.

Putin’s troops shoot down their OWN helicopter in Kherson after it mistakenly attacked them – as Ukraine cuts off Russian forces in the province by blowing up a bridge with US-supplied HIMARS missiles; The Ka-52 ‘Alligator’ helicopter was flown over Russian soldiers in Kherson; It mistakenly started firing at them and they shot back at the £12m chopper; The helicopter was shot down as Ukraine hailed the ‘gesture of goodwill’
Jack Newman – Daily Mail
They reported that three of the helicopters were flown over the occupied region and started to shoot at the Russian troops stationed below. They returned fire and shot down one of the choppers in what is just the latest embarrassing blow for Putin’s men.

British vlogger accused of being ‘Kremlin mouthpiece’ sanctioned by UK over work in Ukraine; Graham Phillips is first Briton added to list
Matt Mathers – Independent
A pro-Kremlin vlogger who has been accused of spreading Russian propaganda from Ukraine during the war has been put on the UK’s sanctions list. Graham Phillips, a former Whitehall civil servant, was added to the official list for producing and publishing content seeking to “destablise” the eastern European country.

Russian official says grain deal could collapse unless obstacles to Russian exports lifted
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Rudenko said on Wednesday that a Turkish-brokered deal to unblock Ukrainian grain exports on the Black Sea could collapse if obstacles to Russia’s agricultural exports are not promptly removed, Interfax reported.

Russia cuts gas flows further as Europe makes savings plea
Paul Carrel and Christoph Steitz – Reuters
Russia delivered less gas to Europe on Wednesday in a further escalation of an energy stand-off between Moscow and the European Union that will make it harder, and costlier, for the bloc to fill up storage ahead of the winter heating season.

RT Loses Court Fight Over EU Ban Following Ukraine Invasion; EU Court says inclusion of RT on sanctions list was justified; Kremlin threatens retaliation against ‘western media’
Stephanie Bodoni – Bloomberg
RT, the Kremlin-backed broadcaster, lost its bid to overturn a European Union ban following the invasion of Ukraine, prompting the Kremlin to threaten retaliation against “western media.” The EU General Court, the bloc’s second-highest court, dismissed the appeal in a ruling on Wednesday. The EU “cannot be criticized” for a temporary ban on content “by certain media outlets funded by the Russian State, on the ground that those outlets would support the Russian Federation’s military aggression against Ukraine,” the EU court ruled.

Ukraine’s Fight to Rebuild in Face of Unrelenting War; Premature cease-fire could make frontline economy uninvestible. Hopes set on new infrastructure, strengthened Ukraine ‘brand.’
Marc Champion and Daryna Krasnolutska – Bloomberg
The reality of Russia’s invasion hit Yuriy Sinitsa the day a plane bombed one of the pet stores he had refused to close in Chernihiv, two hours north of Kyiv. He left the besieged city of around 280,000 soon afterward for the relative safety of western Ukraine.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

Singapore’s SGX links up with NYSE to develop ETFs and ESG funds; Move follows announcement of an ETF link with China’s Shenzhen bourse
Ernest Chan, Ignites Asia
The Singapore Exchange has announced a collaboration with the New York Stock Exchange that will include efforts to develop new exchange traded funds, as well as environmental, social and governance products. The two bourses signed a memorandum of understanding last week that outlines the focus areas of the partnership, which will include dual listings of companies on both exchanges and supporting index product development at SGX and NYSE affiliate company ICE Data Indices.

CME Group Inc. Reports Second-Quarter 2022 Financial Results
CME Group
CME Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CME) today reported financial results for the second quarter of 2022. The company reported revenue of $1.2 billion and operating income of $750 million for the second quarter of 2022. Net income was $663 million and diluted earnings per share were $1.82. On an adjusted basis, net income was $717 million and diluted earnings per share were $1.97. Financial results presented on an adjusted basis for the second quarter of 2022 and 2021 exclude certain items, which are detailed in the reconciliation of non-GAAP results.

NYSE President says the appeal of the public market has ‘never been more alive and well’
CNBC Television – YouTube
CNBC’s Jim Cramer spoke with NYSE President Lynn Martin on Monday’s episode of “Mad Money.”

Shenzhen Stock Exchange Releases ESG Ratings Methodology
On July 25, Shenzhen Securities Information Co., Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Shenzhen Stock Exchange (SZSE), launched the CNI ESG Ratings Methodology. The entity also released a series of indices compiled based on the ratings methodology, which are aimed at meeting the diversified ESG investment needs of the market and guiding financial resources to gather in low-carbon fields. The CNI ESG Ratings Methodology aims to provide an ESG evaluation tool suitable for the Chinese market. Under the three dimensions of environment, society and corporate governance, it sets up 15 themes, 32 fields and more than 200 indices, which fully reflect the practice and performance of sustainable development of listed companies and provide a solid foundation for the SZSE to further promote the development and innovation of ESG index and index products.

The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC), the premier post-trade market infrastructure for the global financial services industry, today announced its subsidiary, The Depository Trust Company (DTC), has connected its automated ClaimConnect solution to the claims processing platform offered by leading financial software provider Kingfield Corporation. The partnership will allow mutual clients, including State Street, to bilaterally manage claims and other types of exceptions using Kingfield’s platform. With this connectivity, firms will be able to automatically match claims before sending them to DTC for straight-through-processing and intraday settlement via securities payment orders (SPOs).

Amendments to the Daily Settlement Procedure Document for the S&P GSCI Commodity Index Futures Contract and Expansion to a Four (4) Decimal Place Locator for all CME and CBOT Commodity Index Futures
CME Group
Effective Sunday, August 21, 2022, for trade date Monday, August 22, 2022, and pending all relevant CFTC regulatory review periods, Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. (“CME”) and The Board of Trade of the City of Chicago, Inc. (“CBOT”) (collectively, the “Exchanges”) will amend the daily settlement procedure document (the “Document”) for the S&P GSCI Commodity Index Futures contract to conform with the balance of the CME and CBOT commodity index futures contracts listed in the Table 1. below (the “Contracts”).

Deutsche Börse Group achieves strong organic growth
Deutsche Börse
Deutsche Börse Group has just published its 2022 half-year financial report, including the figures for the second quarter. The link to the full report is at the bottom of the email.
The quarterly results at a glance: Net revenue increased by 15 percent to EUR1,017.8 million in the second quarter of 2022, supported by strong trading volumes and increasing net interest income. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose to EUR584.9 million, an increase of 13 percent.

Clearstream and LCH SA add Austria and Spain to joint connection
Deutsche Börse
As from today, all Austrian and Spanish government debt securities cleared by LCH SA’s RepoClear service are available for settlement through Clearstream Banking AG. The two new markets complement the existing proposition for Belgian, French and German government debt. RepoClear clearing members can now choose Clearstream as a new settlement location for these two markets. Additionally, investors are able to consolidate an even wider range of their European settlement activity in one place, minimising cross-border inefficiencies, reducing intraday liquidity requirements and fostering global trading.

JPX Group Announces Initiatives to Work Toward a “New Form of Capitalism”
Japan Exchange Group, Inc. today announces the release of “JPX Group’s Initiatives to Work Toward a “New Form of Capitalism.”In the “Grand Design and Action Plan for a New Form of Capitalism” and “Basic Policies for Economic and Fiscal Management and Reform 2022” approved by the Cabinet on June 7, 2022, the government set out its plan to formulate a “Doubling Asset-based Incomes Plan” to promote a shift from savings to investment in order to achieve the “virtuous cycle of growth and distribution” that the “New Form of Capitalism” aims for.

Conclusion of Capital and Business Alliance Agreement with Minsetsu, Inc.
Japan Exchange Group, Inc. (JPX) and JPX Market Innovation & Research, Inc. (JPXI) have concluded a capital and business alliance agreement with Minsetsu, Inc. (hereinafter, “Minsetsu”) and will acquire common shares through a third-party allotment of new shares carried out by Minsetsu. Details are as below.

Moscow Exchange expands opportunities for non-resident clients to conduct transactions
Starting August 8, 2022, the Moscow Exchange plans to provide non-resident clients from countries that are not hostile, as well as non-residents whose ultimate beneficiaries are Russian legal entities or individuals [1].Non-resident clients will have access to all trading modes on the stock and derivatives markets of the Moscow Exchange.

Nasdaq Announces Mid-Month Open Short Interest Positions in Nasdaq Stocks as of Settlement Date July 15,2022
At the end of the settlement date of July 15, 2022, short interest in 3,422 Nasdaq Global MarketSM securities totaled 10,591,951,910 shares compared with 10,675,154,725 shares in 3,432 Global Market issues reported for the prior settlement date of June 30, 2022. The mid-July short interest represents 3.11 days compared with 2.44 days for the prior reporting period.

Review underway into capital raising settings
NZX is undertaking a targeted review and public consultation of its capital raising settings to support further development and integrity of New Zealand’s capital markets. Updated Listing Rules have been in place since 2018 and NZX has previously signalled it would review the settings for capital raising. NZX Chief Executive Mark Peterson says the targeted review follows a period of heightened capital
raising activity due to COVID-19, including temporary adjustments to rule settings.

Informational: NYSE Group Security Master Equity files for 07/22/2022 Reposted
INFORMATIONAL: Due to a processing issue, the NYSE Group Security Master Equity files for 07/22/2022 contained incomplete data. Updated NYSE Group Security Master Equity files for 07/22/2022 have been reposted.


Tired of Instagram? Try Discord; The popularity of the social messaging app boomed during the pandemic. Fans say its lack of an algorithmic feed makes it a more natural space for building community than other forms of social media.
Justin Pot – WSJ
David Murphy, 38, discovered Discord soon after the internet messaging platform launched in 2015. The app was designed as an audio-chat platform for online videogamers, a solution for those frustrated by the patchwork of disjointed communication tools available then. Mr. Murphy, a technology writer based in San Jose, Calif., downloaded it out of curiosity, but, for years, rarely opened it. Now, he’s a daily user.

Banks Get Algo-Trading Tool With No Coding Needed Through BestEx Research; Buy-side clients, brokers will save money, time: BestEx CEO; Algo-trading commissions to reach $34 billion next year
Katherine Doherty – Bloomberg
BestEx Research Group LLC, which operates a trading platform driven by algorithms, is offering an electronic tool to banks so they can build their own algos without having to write the code themselves. The technology firm’s new tool, Strategy Studio, gives buy-side clients and brokers the ability to build algos, helping cut costs and time, said Hitesh Mittal, BestEx’s founder and chief executive officer. Each algo can be matched to a bank or broker-dealer’s trading objectives. “In the next decade I think banks are going to be buyers rather than builders in trading,” Mittal said in an interview. Commissions for algo trading are expected to increase to $34 billion next year, according to researcher Chartis, with Wall Street trading more and more asset classes, including foreign exchange, fixed income and options, algorithmically.

VRF at Sunset – Live Stream Event
Value Reporting Foundation
At this virtual sunset event, we celebrate the progress SASB, IIRC and VRF made over the last ten years, and our upcoming consolidation into the IFRS Foundation to support the new International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) and drive connectivity to financial statements. Thanks to a collective effort by many people, we have helped create a system for sustainability disclosure and integrated reporting that has the commensurate level of maturity, credibility, and acceptance as financial accounting. During this event, we explore how many stakeholders working together—companies, businesses, accountants, funders, and others—have achieved such momentous progress in the sustainability disclosure ecosystem over a short time. We are grateful to everyone who has participated in and supported our work over the last decade—thank you!

Germany Plans 30 Billion Euro Fund to Support Homegrown Startups; Part of broader strategy to foster innovation in Europe; Government hopes to keep successful European startups in EU
Aggi Cantrill – Bloomberg
Germany is planning a 30 billion euro ($30.4 billion) fund to support technology-oriented startups. The fund was approved by the German cabinet on Wednesday as part of a broader strategy to make the country a more attractive location for startups and innovation.


Cisco investing $10 million in cybersecurity startup Island
Sophie Shulman – Ctech
American tech conglomerate Cisco is investing in cybersecurity startup Island’s extension of its Series B funding round. According to estimates of sources close to the company, Cisco’s investment is in the region of $10 million.
Island, which has developed a secure enterprise browser, raised a $115 million Series B at a $1.3 billion valuation in March of this year. The round was led by New York-based global venture capital and private equity firm Insight Partners, which also led Island’s prior financing round. Existing investors Stripes, Cyberstarts, and Sequoia Capital also participated in the round, bringing Island’s total funds raised at the time to over $200 million.

5 Best Practices To Ramp Up Cybersecurity At Private Equity And VC Firms
Michelle Drolet – Forbes
Private equity (PE) and venture capital (VC) firms have become prime targets for cyberattacks. Perhaps unsurprisingly, cybercriminals tend to gravitate toward money, and there’s a lot of it in private equity. The numbers are mind-boggling: The average midmarket fund encounters more than 10,000 cyberattacks daily. Advanced Technology Ventures, Sequoia Capital and Plug and Play Ventures are examples of some large VCs that have fallen victim to attacks recently.

Amazon Web Services’ cybersecurity chief Steve Schmidt lays out his outlook for the rest of 2022
CNBC (Video)
Amazon is the largest public cloud provider globally with Amazon Web Services (AWS) holding approximately 39% of the market, according to Gartner. Amazon’s Chief Security Officer Steve Schmidt discusses the current and potential threats to companies that use cloud computing. Wedbush estimates approximately 70% of all workloads will move to the cloud by 2025 from approximately 40% today. Schmidt sits down with CNBC’s Frank Holland and shares his outlook for cloud cybersecurity in the second half of 2022, the emerging trend of ‘Zero Trust Architecture’ and the changing culture of cybersecurity.


Amid the hype, they bought crypto near its peak. Now, they cope with painful losses
David Gura – NPR
For Michelle Milkowski, who lives in Renton, Washington, one thing led to another. Because her son’s daycare closed in the early days of the pandemic, she had some extra cash. So, like millions of other people, Milkowski downloaded the Robinhood trading app. Back then, the stock market was at the beginning of what would become a record-setting run, and Milkowski’s new pastime became profitable. She kept trading shares, but in early 2021, something else caught her eye: Milkowski noticed the value of Bitcoin had reached $60,000. “I just couldn’t believe it,” she says, noting she first heard of the popular cryptocurrency in 2016, when its price was less than a hundredth of that. “I felt like I’d just missed the boat, because I could have bought it before it skyrocketed.”

Why Another ‘Crypto Winter’ Is Test for Digital Money
Olga Kharif – Bloomberg
The latest slump in digital assets has been gut-wrenching for those investors who bought in at the peak last year. Even crypto diehards, while still convinced that the world is on the verge of a blockchain-driven revolution in finance, were left shaken by the market rout. To those still keeping the faith, the “crypto winter” will be like the dotcom bust of the early 2000s — weeding out failing ventures to make room for more promising startups. Others wonder if spring will ever come.

Brazil’s Largest Digital Bank Nubank Reaches 1M Crypto Users After Just a Month
Paulo Alves – Coindesk
Nubank, the largest Brazilian digital bank by market value, reached 1 million users on its crypto trading platform just one month after launching in June, the company said on Tuesday. The company had hoped to reach the milestone within a year, after launching Nucripto in May and making it available to its 46.5 million users in June.

HK crypto exchange OSL sells security tokens to institutional investors
Ningwei Qin – Forkast
Hong Kong-based digital asset trading platform OSL has started selling security tokens to institutional investors via a private placement, with the first purchasers including blockchain game company Animoca Brands, according to a press release on Tuesday.

EU Banking Regulator Worries It Can’t Find the Staff to Regulate Crypto: Report
Camomile Shumba – Coindesk
The European Union’s banking regulator is worried about how it will enforce new crypto rules that are expected to take effect by 2025, according to the Financial Times. European Banking Authority Chair José Manuel Campa said the agency does not yet have the capacity to supervise digital assets. A major concern is hiring and retaining the specialized staff required because there is a high demand for crypto talent, he told the FT in an interview published Wednesday.

The Democratic Nature of DeFi: Real or Imagined? In the best of times DeFi is a utopia of free exchange, but in the worst of times, its’ investors want answers
Victoria Vergolina, Stacy-Marie Ishmael, and Emily Nicolle – Bloomberg
There’s a tension in crypto that Stacy-Marie is fascinated by. On the one hand, there’s this prevailing belief in the necessity, indeed the superiority, of decentralization. On the other hand there’s reality: when things hit the fan, folks respond by seeking a bailout, by demanding someone – perhaps even a regulator! – hold fraudsters accountable, and by consolidating around the strongest and biggest players in the market. In an industry so prone to spectacular scams and expensive hacks, this tension is ever-present. Can you simultaneously reject all forms of centralized control and then demand help from centralized authorities in times of trouble? Bloomberg Reporter Emily Nicolle joins this episode for more on this.

NFT Projects Lost $22M to Largely the Same Hackers on Discord: Reports; One analysis concludes that hackers targeting Bored Ape Yacht Club and other NFT projects are part of a ‘wider network.’
Jason Nelson – Decrypto
Two Web3 security firms have issued reports focused on the recent scourge of hacks targeting NFT projects, likely by a linked group of hackers using compromised Discord server administrator accounts.


Justice Dept. investigating Trump’s actions in Jan. 6 criminal probe; People familiar with the probe said investigators are examining the former president’s conversations and have seized phone records of top aides
Carol D. Leonnig, Devlin Barrett, Josh Dawsey and Spencer S. Hsu – The Washington Post
The Justice Department is investigating President Donald Trump’s actions as part of its criminal probe of efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, according to four people familiar with the matter. Prosecutors who are questioning witnesses before a grand jury — including two top aides to Vice President Mike Pence — have asked in recent days about conversations with Trump, his lawyers, and others in his inner circle who sought to substitute Trump allies for certified electors from some states Joe Biden won, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Toomey calls for answers on crypto enforcement approach in letter to SEC
Aislinn Keely – The Block
Sen. Pat Toomey is asking about the SEC’s enforcement approach in a new letter sent to the agency’s chair Gary Gensler.
He called the agency’s regulation-by-enforcement method “capricious and ineffective” and argued the agency’s failure to act on crypto lenders may have led to their collapse. US Senator Pat Toomey, R-Pa., is asking Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler for clarity on the way the agency regulates cryptocurrency firms, arguing that the current set of standards has resulted in billions in losses for American investors and is stifling financial innovation.

Gary Gensler Stonewalls Congress; The SEC chief refuses to answer questions about his climate rule.
The Editorial Board – WSJ
An administrative agency is obliged to answer Congressional inquiries—even if it’s a pain in the neck. SEC Chairman Gary Gensler is acting as if he’s above all that. Senate Banking Committee Republicans on June 15 sent Mr. Gensler a letter with questions about the agency’s 490-page proposed rule requiring public companies to disclose climate risks. Companies would have to explain how government anti-carbon policies such as the SEC’s proposal might affect their bottom line. They’d also have to quantify and report their greenhouse-gas emissions, including those from suppliers and customers.


Coinbase’s Face-Off With the SEC Just Got More Serious. Look Out for a Formal Probe.
Jack Denton – Barron’s
Coinbase Global has since last week appeared poised to clash with the Securities and Exchange Commission over an issue that could prove pivotal to the entire crypto industry—whether some tokens are, in fact, securities. Now, it looks like the cryptocurrency exchange’s face-off with the SEC will get much more serious. Coinbase (ticker: COIN) faces an SEC investigation into whether it improperly let Americans trade digital assets that should have been registered as securities, Bloomberg reported, citing three anonymous sources.

Ex-Goldman Banker Released on $500,000 Bail in Insider-Trading Case; Brijesh Goel was charged Monday by N.Y. federal prosecutors; Goel’s lawyer says he’s innocent, US rushed case against him
Chris Dolmetsch and Joel Rosenblatt – Bloomberg
Former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. banker Brijesh Goel was released on $500,000 bail after being charged with insider trading. Goel’s indictment was announced Monday by federal prosecutors in New York. He made his initial court appearance in San Francisco later in the day, where a magistrate judge ordered his release on an unsecured bond, according to a court filing. Other terms of his bail remain confidential. Prosecutors accuse Goel, 37, of passing along information he received about potential Goldman deals to a friend and then splitting the trading profits. Goel worked at the investment bank from 2013 to 2021, rising to the position of vice president. Goldman on Monday condemned Goel’s alleged conduct and said it was cooperating with authorities.

Statement of Commissioner Summer K. Mersinger on Extension of No-Action Relief to Shanghai Clearing House
I am disappointed that Shanghai Clearing House (SHCH) is again receiving an extension of relief permitting it to clear swaps for the proprietary accounts of SHCH clearing members that are U.S. persons or affiliates of U.S. persons. SHCH has for too long been permitted to do so without registering with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC or Commission) as a derivatives clearing organization (DCO) or obtaining from the Commission an exemption from registration as a DCO. I am troubled by SHCH’s lack of engagement with Commission staff regarding its application for an exemption from DCO registration, its sudden re-engagement as the expiration date for its prior no-action letter looms, and issues surrounding the feasibility of securing a memorandum of understanding with the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) that satisfies the requirements for such an exemption.

CFTC’s Division of Clearing and Risk Issues No-Action Letter for Shanghai Clearing House
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Division of Clearing and Risk (DCR) today issued a no-action letter providing that DCR will not recommend the CFTC take enforcement action against SHCH for failing to register as a derivatives clearing organization (DCO) as required by Section 5b(a) of the Commodity Exchange Act in light of SHCH’s recently submitted updated application for an exemption from registration as a DCO. Today’s no-action letter extends CFTC Letter 16-56, which expires July 31, 2022. The extension will last until the earlier of July 31, 2023 or the date on which the CFTC exempts SHCH from registration as a DCO. The letter states that DCR does not plan to issue further extensions.
Like CFTC Letter 16-56, today’s no-action letter is limited to SHCH’s clearing of the proprietary trades of U.S. clearing members and their affiliates.

Chairman Behnam Announces Technology and Customer Outreach Reorganization
Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Rostin Behnam today announced a reorganization of FinTech and customer protection efforts and changes to key roles as the agency evolves to address changing markets and market demographics. Chairman Behnam is bolstering the agency’s FinTech efforts by creating the Office of Technology Innovation (OTI), formerly LabCFTC, and naming Jorge Herrada as its director. In addition, the chairman announced today that FinTech specialist Jason Somensatto, in addition to continuing his role in OTI, will be joining the Chairman’s Office along with legal advisor David Felsenthal. Further, and responding to an unprecedented rise in retail futures, options and digital asset trading, Chairman Behnam today announced the realignment of the Office of Customer Education and Outreach (OCEO) within the Office of Public Affairs. Steve Adamske is the director of the Office of Public Affairs and will also serve as interim director of OCEO with additional personnel changes to be announced at a later date.

CFTC Commissioner Christy Goldsmith Romero Announces Joseph R. Cisewski as Chief of Staff and Senior Counsel
Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Commissioner Goldsmith Romero announced today that Joseph R. Cisewski will serve as her Chief of Staff and Senior Counsel.
“I am thrilled to have Joe’s balanced perspective on the complex issues and emerging challenges facing the agency, the U.S. markets, and America’s households,” said Commissioner Goldsmith Romero. “Joe’s unique combination of public and private sector experiences will serve us well as we take bold steps to ensure the resilience of our markets, protect investors and market participants, bring justice for fraud and manipulation, and promote safe, transparent, fair, and competitive derivatives markets.”

Remarks at PLI: Investment Management 2022
Good afternoon. Thank you, Paulita and Rajib, for your gracious invitation and kind welcome to this year’s program on current issues and trends in Investment Management.[1] As I suspect many of you know – and as the spring regulatory agenda demonstrates[2] – there is a significant list of current issues and trends in Investment Management under consideration at the Securities and Exchange Commission right now.
Before I turn to that list, please allow me to begin with the disclaimer that my comments today are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Commission, the Commissioners, or the SEC Staff.

Court Holds British Businessman Accountable for Orchestrating Ponzi Scheme
The SEC today announced that it obtained a final judgment against Thomas Megas for orchestrating a $1.4 million Ponzi scheme that defrauded at least 10 retail investors. As described in the court’s opinion, Megas, a British national and Switzerland-based businessman, did not meet the burden for vacating the Court’s initial ruling.

SEC Charges Former FBI Trainee and His Friend with Insider Trading
On July 25, 2022, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed insider trading charges against Seth Markin, a former FBI trainee, and his friend Brandon Wong.

SEC Charges Former Chief Information Security Officer and Four Friends in Insider Trading Ring
The Securities and Exchange Commission on July 25, 2022 filed insider trading charges against Amit Bhardwaj, the former Chief Information Security Officer of Lumentum Holdings Inc., and his friends Dhirenkumar Patel, Srinivasa Kakkera, Abbas Saeedi, and Ramesh Chitor.

The FCA’s Consumer Duty will lead to a major shift in financial services
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has confirmed its plans to bring in a new Consumer Duty, which will fundamentally improve how firms serve consumers. It will set higher and clearer standards of consumer protection across financial services and require firms to put their customers’ needs first.

SEBI signs MoU with the Financial Regulatory Commission, Mongolia

Sales statistics of foreign-currency denominated products by life insurance industry as of the end of May
The sales statistics of foreign-currency denominated products by life insurance industry as of the end of May 2022 were as follows: premium revenues from new foreign-currency denominated policies amounted to around NT$236.579 billion, down by 7% from NT$254.824 billion year-on-year. Within these figures, investment-linked insurance products accounted for NT$82.773 billion (around 35% of the total), down by 34% from NT$125.45 billion year-on-year, and the sales of traditional insurance products totaled NT$153.806 billion (around 65% of the total), up by 19% from NT$129.374 billion year-on-year.

Sales of spillover-effect insurance products and provision of in-kind benefits by life insurers in 2022 through Q2
As of the second quarter of 2022, the performance of life insurers in selling spillover-effect insurance products and providing in-kind benefits was as follows:

Investing and Trading

Investors Wave Goodbye to Negative-Yielding Debt as Central Banks Fight Inflation; The global stockpile of subzero debt has fallen by $16 trillion since peaking in late 2020
Caitlin McCabe – WSJ
The world’s pool of negative-yielding debt has shrunk to a roughly seven-year low, as an era of exceptionally loose monetary policy draws to a close in most major economies. The total stock of negative-yielding debt last week stood at $2.4 trillion, according to a Bloomberg Barclays index, an 87% plunge from the $18.4 trillion peak reached in December 2020. Investors’ willingness to buy debt that guaranteed a loss if held to maturity was one of the most unusual quirks in financial markets of the last decade.

Native Americans have a secret to managing wildfires
The Native American tradition of cultural burns — which are purposefully set, low-intensity fires — decreases the likelihood of future wildfires. W. Kamau Bell heads to California to see how wildfires have wreaked havoc on the state.

The Hail Mary for Investors; A lot has to go right for the past month’s bounce to continue
James Mackintosh – WSJ
Call it the Hail Mary approach. Stocks are trying for a desperate recovery from the failure that has gripped them all year, and to work out, everything has to go just right. The S&P 500 hit this year’s low just over a month ago; it has risen about 8% since then, and smaller stocks are up more than 10%. For that low to be the base for a new bull run, there is one basic requirement, and an important follow on.

Rare Pink Diamond May Be the Largest Found in Last 300 Years; Australian miner Lucapa says 170-carat stone found in Angola; ‘Lulo Rose’ is set to be sold through an international tender
Ranjeetha Pakiam – Bloomberg
A rare pink diamond found in Angola may be the largest recovered in the last three centuries, according to Australian miner Lucapa Diamond Co. The 170-carat stone from the Lulo alluvial mine has been named the “Lulo Rose,” the company and its partners, Endiama E.P. and Rosas & Petalas, said in an exchange filing on Wednesday. It will be sold through an international tender conducted by Angolan state-owned diamond trading firm Sodiam.

Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance

Japan and South Korea Hit Solar Generation Records in May; Solar and wind power generated a tenth of global electricity in 2021, according to energy think tank Ember.
Aaron Clark – Bloomberg
Solar power generation in Japan and South Korea expanded to record levels in May, according to the global energy think tank Ember. Locally produced renewable energy is making it increasingly possible for countries to take advantage of lower-priced electricity that is also insulated from volatility and disruptions. The expansion of solar in major Asian economies comes amid global disruptions in coal and natural gas markets triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has sent prices for the fossil fuels skyrocketing.

They helped create ESG. Two decades later, some see a mess.
Avery Ellfeldt – E&E News
The story of how ESG investing began is almost as wonky as its name. The intent of Environmental, Social and Governance, or ESG, investing wasn’t to bring “woke capitalism” to Wall Street, its early proponents say. Rather, ESG was designed to be another useful metric to help investors assess the health and future profitability of a company. If a company is too heavily invested in coal operations, for example, it’s probably not going to do well long-term in a global economy that’s cracking down on the dirty fuel. Of course, ESG investing now is much, much more than that. What started as a half-baked idea among low-level staffers at the United Nations has grown into the green Frankenstein of Wall Street. ESG investing is now worth nearly $2.8 trillion in assets worldwide, according to one estimate.

The SEC’s Proposed Rule on Climate-Change Disclosures: A Material Fail; There is no evidence that the proposed disclosures are material to investors, and a reviewing court would likely end up vacating most if not all of them.
Bernard S. Sharfman – National Review
‘Materiality” has been the hallmark of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s disclosure regime since the Supreme Court’s 1976 decision in TSC v. Northway. Materiality limits disclosures “to those matters to which there is a substantial likelihood that a reasonable investor would attach importance in determining whether to purchase the security registered.” In the SEC’s recently proposed rule on climate-change disclosures, the SEC tries, but fails, to make the argument that the proposed disclosures will provide investors with “material” information that is critical to their investment decisions. That the SEC even tries to make a materiality argument may surprise many readers, as it is made so indirectly and done so poorly that readers may have missed it.

A ‘Controversial’ Way to Weed Out ESG Offenders; Companies with a history of ESG-related disasters and wrongdoing are the ones most likely to repeat the same mistakes.
Tim Quinson – Bloomberg
Toxic emissions. Wastewater discharge leaks. Child labor. Indigenous rights violations. Bribery. Fraud. Apart from the damage wrought upon individuals, communities and the environment, these are the kinds of corporate wrongdoing that can trigger statistically significant negative financial consequences for companies.

Oil and gas majors: time for a transformative clean energy deal? Cash bonanza raises prospect of large-scale deals to turbocharge transition strategies
Tom Wilson – FT
The world’s biggest oil and gas companies are generating more money than ever while spending relatively little of it. European supermajors BP, Shell and TotalEnergies have each pledged to become green businesses over the next three decades but are still investing only a fraction of their capital on renewable energy.

Chemicals Giant to Cut Production of Key Fertilizer Ingredient Amid Russian Gas Crisis; BASF’s move could have ramifications for the global food crisis
Georgi Kantchev – WSJ
BASF SE, one of the world’s largest chemicals companies, said it would reduce production of fertilizer ingredient ammonia, as it seeks to curb its natural gas use after Russia throttled flows to Europe. Moscow began Wednesday reducing supplies via the Nord Stream pipeline, the largest Russian gas link to Europe, to around 20% of capacity. The reductions complicate the continent’s efforts to store enough gas ahead of winter, raising the specter for industry of costly rationing. European Union members this week agreed to sweeping cuts to natural-gas consumption, calling for countries to voluntarily reduce their gas use by 15% from August.


Credit Suisse CEO Thomas Gottstein Set to Depart; Executive has headed the Swiss bank since the start of the pandemic, presided over series of costly mishaps
Julie Steinberg, Rachel Louise Ensign and Margot Patrick – WSJ
Credit Suisse Group AG is set to announce the departure of Chief Executive Thomas Gottstein, according to people familiar with the bank, part of an effort to turnaround the struggling fortunes of the Swiss bank. The timing of his departure couldn’t be determined, but an announcement could come as soon as Wednesday, when the bank is set to release quarterly results, the people said. Credit Suisse flagged in June that it would report its third quarterly loss in a row. Mr. Gottstein has headed the bank since the start of the pandemic and presided over a series of costly mishaps, including the implosions of clients Greensill Capital and Archegos Capital Management in early 2021. He was tasked with leading the bank’s cleanup, but has struggled to convince investors that Credit Suisse is on solid footing.

Credit Suisse Plans Strategic Review as It Replaces CEO
Lender names Ulrich Körner as chief executive and launches review to pare back its investment bank further
Margot Patrick – WSJ
Credit Suisse Group AG named Ulrich Körner as its next chief executive and charged him to lead a fresh effort to stabilize the bank after financial losses and scandals.
The troubled Swiss bank has been trying to repair its business managing rich people’s wealth and operating a Wall Street investment bank. On Wednesday, it launched a new strategic review to pare back the investment bank further and slash its overall costs.
Mr. Körner joined Credit Suisse in March 2021 to head its asset management business. He held top jobs at rival UBS Group AG for around 11 years where he helped manage the bank’s post-financial crisis rebuilding. He was with Credit Suisse before that.

Lending to Wealthy Clients Gives UBS’ Wealth Business a Boost
Andrew Welsch – Barron’s
It’s been a challenging period for wealth management firms. Markets are down this year and so are the fees wealth managers collect on the assets they oversee. But there’s a bright spot for the industry’s biggest players: loans to wealthy clients. Several wealth managers have reported that net interest income soared during the second quarter thanks to higher interest rates and steady demand for securities-based loans, mortgages, and other lending products.

Black Swan Hedge Funds Are Booming in Scary Times; Money managers are selling insurance against sudden market drops, but the strategy is expensive and doesn’t always pay off when the market falls.
Denitsa Tsekova and Erik Schatzker – Bloomberg
An increasingly popular sales pitch on Wall Street goes like this: If you’ve insured your home against some disaster, or even a total loss, shouldn’t you do the same for your investment portfolio? In the case of a house or apartment, the danger would be fire, flooding, or perhaps a devastating storm. In the financial markets, it might be a sudden spike in volatility and a rapid decline in prices that wipes out months if not years of gains.

Cathie Wood Dumps Coinbase Shares for First Time This Year
Abhishek Vishnoi – Bloomberg
Funds controlled by Cathie Wood dumped Coinbase Global Inc.’s stock for the first time this year as the the largest US crypto exchange faces a probe.

Credit Suisse Offers Retention Pay to Stem Tide of Defections; US-based senior banker to reap $10 million over two years; Some dealmakers poised to earn more than CEO Gottstein
Gillian Tan – Bloomberg
Credit Suisse Group AG, the Swiss bank that lost dozens of key dealmakers last year, is once again offering lucrative retention payments to prevent senior talent from leaving. The bank has offered multiyear guarantees to keep some managing directors within its investment banking and capital markets group, according to people with knowledge of the matter. In at least one instance, the Zurich-based lender agreed to award a senior US financial sponsors banker a compensation package worth roughly $10 million or more, split across two years, after he received a competing offer, said some of the people, who asked not to be identified discussing compensation.

Credit Suisse Plans Strategic Review as It Replaces CEO; Lender names Ulrich Körner as chief executive and launches review to pare back its investment bank further
Margot Patrick – WSJ
Credit Suisse Group AG named Ulrich Körner as its next chief executive and charged him to lead a fresh effort to stabilize the bank after financial losses and scandals. The troubled Swiss bank has been trying to repair its business managing rich people’s wealth and operating a Wall Street investment bank. On Wednesday, it launched a new strategic review to pare back the investment bank further and slash its overall costs.

Wellness Exchange

Monkeypox Caseload in U.S. Approaches World’s Highest; Known cases exceed 3,500 in both the U.S. and Spain
Jon Kamp – WSJ
The U.S. has reported about 3,600 confirmed or suspected monkeypox cases, federal data showed, while vaulting near the top of the list of countries with the most known infections since the onset of the global health emergency. The rise in cases comes as the U.S. expands testing capacity, broadening the ability to spot new infections, but also as the global outbreak continues to grow. Some public-health experts said rising transmission heightens the chances a broader population will face the risk of infections as the opportunity to slow and potentially stop the outbreak is fading. Data have shown the outbreak is heavily concentrated among men who have sex with men, as the virus exploits social networks among people in close contact. This is already a concern, but spreading more broadly means the potential added challenge of trying to educate and protect a broader population, health experts said.

Now you have yet another reason not to smoke or vape; Patients with a history of smoking are more likely to be ventilated or die due to hospitalizations for COVID-19.
Grace Buono – Fast Company
People who have a history of smoking or vaping prior to being hospitalized for COVID-19 are more likely to suffer severe side effects, including death, according to a new study. Surveying 107 hospitals across the United States between January 2020 and March 2021, researchers with the American Heart Association (AHA) pulled data from patients 18 years of age or older who were admitted to the hospital due to an infection with COVID-19. Patients who reported smoking either traditional or e-cigarette products were found to be 39% more likely to be put on a ventilator and 45% more likely to die compared to nonsmoking, hospitalized COVID-19 patients. “People who smoke or vape tend to have a higher prevalence of other health conditions and risk factors that could play a role in how they are impacted by COVID-19,” Aruni Bhatnagar, senior author of the study, said. “The robust and significant increase in the risk of severe COVID-19 [cases] seen in our study, independent of medical history and medication use and particularly among young individuals, underscores the urgent need for extensive public health interventions.”

Exercise more than the recommended amounts for the longest life, study says
Madeline Holcombe – CNN
A longer life may mean scheduling in even more than the recommended amount of weekly exercise, according to a new study. Adults should get 150 to 300 minutes of moderate physical activity or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous physical activity a week, according to the World Health Organization. But people who surpass those levels live longer than those who don’t. Researchers analyzed more than 116,000 adults in a study published Monday in the American Heart Association journal Circulation. Participants self-reported their leisure time activity in questionnaires several times over the course of 30 years, and researchers estimated the association between the time and intensity of exercise with rates of death. The highest reduction in early death was in people who reported 150 to 300 minutes a week of vigorous physical activity or 300 to 600 minutes of moderate physical activity — or an equivalent mix of the two, said study author Dong Hoon Lee, a research associate in the department of nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

COVID is at or near record levels around the country. Scientists say one (pretty gross) indicator doesn’t lie
Erin Prater – FORTUNE
Wastewater has always been a secret tell of real COVID levels in the U.S., even as testing has failed to capture the true scope of infection. Thanks to it, we know this: COVID in many locations throughout the U.S. is at or around levels seen during the initial Omicron surge in January—the peak of the pandemic so far. Stanford and Emory universities have partnered with Alphabet-owned Verily, a precision health company formerly known as Google Life Sciences, to offer wastewater reporting of pathogens like COVID-19 for free to interested sewage treatment plants in the U.S. Their researchers have found record or near-record levels of the virus in California’s Bay Area and Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, among others, Dr. Alexandria Boehm, professor at the Department of Environmental and Civil Engineering at Stanford University, told Fortune on Tuesday.

Monkeypox emergency could last months, with window closing to stop spread, experts say
Jennifer Rigby – Reuters
Scientists advising the World Health Organization (WHO) on monkeypox say the window is closing to stop its spread, with cases currently doubling every two weeks, raising concerns that it will take several months for the outbreak to peak.

Air Pollution Likely to Contribute to Diseases Including Dementia, UK Committee Finds
Laura Parnaby – Press Association
Air pollution is “likely” to increase the risk of developing dementia, a Government research group has said. The Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants has published its findings after reviewing almost 70 studies which analysed how exposure to emissions affect the brain over time.


The $290 Billion Fund Helping Make Tiny Singapore an Agricultural Powerhouse
David Ramli – Bloomberg
Temasek Holdings Chief Executive Officer Dilhan Pillay runs a $290 billion state-owned investment empire. But every quarter he spends up to two hours chatting to a man in Indonesia about fish. Those lengthy calls with Bandung-based eFishery, a startup so small it only accounts for 0.01% of Temasek’s portfolio, are emblematic of its quiet zeal for the business of food. The precarious state of the world’s food supply, highlighted by sizzling heatwaves that are wilting crops in Europe, China and the US, has found an unlikely crusader in Singapore, a small island with hardly any agriculture at all.

India’s Crackdown on Chinese Phones Is Divorced From Market Realities; Allegations of money laundering and tax evasion show Delhi’s scrutiny is intensifying. What is not clear is what the endgame is.
Megha Mandavia – WSJ
India’s crackdown on Chinese smartphone companies is intensifying. It might get worse—but what is not clear is whether there is a logical endgame. In early July, following a raid on Chinese smartphone maker Vivo’s office, India’s financial crime fighting agency the Enforcement Directorate accused Vivo India of transferring large sums out of the country through shell companies to avoid paying taxes and froze bank accounts with deposits worth nearly $60 million. Those accounts were later unfrozen by court order. This week several local media outlets reported that the Enforcement Directorate filed an affidavit to the Delhi High Court saying that the alleged scheme amounts to an attempt to destabilize India’s financial system.

Dispute Divides Leadership at Secretive Kuwait Investment Authority; Sovereign-wealth fund fired its top London official after he tried to change the culture and pay structure, according to people familiar with the fund
Julie Steinberg and Summer Said – WSJ
A struggle for control has exposed deep divisions at the Kuwait Investment Authority, one of the world’s richest and most secretive sovereign-wealth funds. The KIA, as it is known, last week fired Saleh Al-Ateeqi, the chief executive of its London investment arm. The former McKinsey & Co. consultant joined in 2018 and presided over more than $200 billion of the fund’s money. The KIA, which manages nearly $770 billion in total, didn’t give specific reasons other than that the termination was “in the public interest,” according to a memo viewed by The Wall Street Journal that was distributed to employees.

Auditors Press Clients on Russia Connections; Worried about violating sanctions, firms push for disclosure of investors’ nationalities
Jean Eaglesham – WSJ
Auditors, trying to avoid running afoul of sanctions, are demanding that their clients promise that they have no significant connections to Russians or Russian companies, according to people familiar with the requests. Sanctions experts and some corporate board members say auditors are going beyond what is necessary and could be placing legal liability on their clients if authorities question their Russia connections.

Coinbase Faces Huge Challenge — Which May Affect All of Crypto; The Coinbase platform faces a big problem, which has implications for the entire crypto industry.
Luc Olinga – The Street
In the middle of a crypto industry trying to take a breather after months of falling digital-currency prices, a bomb may be primed to explode. The market has lost more than $2 trillion due to a market-shaking combination of recession fears, which have prompted investors to liquidate their positions in all risky asset classes, and scandals affecting crypto lenders. These scandals caused a liquidity crisis and bankruptcy filings for the Celsius Network and Voyager Digital platforms. But now the crypto industry will also have to deal with another serious threat: the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.


The top reasons people are leaving their jobs right now, according to McKinsey. Hint: It’s not all about pay
Jane Thier – FORTUNE
Despite a lot of recession fears, it doesn’t seem like the Great Resignation will be slowing anytime soon. Another 4.3 million workers quit their jobs in May—and a new McKinsey report suggests that 40% of the workforce are still very unhappy with their jobs and looking for new opportunities. This is bad news for hiring managers. “This isn’t just a passing trend, or a pandemic-related change to the labor market,” Bonnie Dowling, one of the report’s authors, told CNBC.

Brad Pitt Pays $40 Million for Circa-1918 Coastal California Home; Known as the D.L. James House, the property on a bluff in the Carmel Highlands was designed by a prominent early 20th-century architect
Katherine Clarke – WSJ
Actor Brad Pitt has paid $40 million for a roughly century-old home on a bluff in the Carmel Highlands along California’s central coast, according to public records and people familiar with the deal. Local agents said the sale is one of the priciest ever closed in the Carmel area. Known as the D.L. James House, the property dates to around 1918 and was designed by Charles Sumner Greene, a prominent early 20th-century architect known for championing the American Arts and Crafts movement, according to The Gamble House, an organization dedicated to the work of Greene & Greene, the architecture firm headed by Mr. Greene and his brother Henry Mather Greene. The house had been owned since 1999 by Searock, a limited liability company tied to the late Chicago financier Joe Ritchie and his wife, Sharon Ritchie, property records show. A legendary Chicago options trader and founder of the private investment group Fox River Partners, Mr. Ritchie died earlier this year.

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