PredictIt Betting on US Elections Nixed by American Regulators

Aug 8, 2022

First Read

Hits & Takes
John Lothian & JLN Staff

The first sign of fall is not a leaf falling from a tree, or a leaf turning color, but instead registration for FIA’s EXPO opens. Yes indeed, the FIA EXPO registration is open for the November 14 and 15 event that will be held at the Sheraton Grand Chicago Riverwalk.

That is right, the EXPO is leaving the Chicago Hilton on South Michigan and heading north. If I recall correctly, EXPO has been held at the Sheraton Grand Chicago Riverwalk before, but it has been a number of years.

Good news for cheapskates: according to the Wall Street Journal, free samples are back in grocery stores.

This is the time of year to go to a Chicago Cubs game, even though they are not in contention. If you go to the park, you will notice the TastyTrade signs around. On your home television screens, when looking at the pitcher’s mound, you will see behind the mound that it says TastyTrade. Of course, you will also notice the umpire’s uniforms have an FTX logo on them as well. Our markets and players are well represented at Wrigley Field and other baseball parks around the U.S.

This coming weekend is my family’s favorite summer event, the annual Williams Bay Lions Club Corn and Brat Roast. The Lions bring in bands and the most delicious Wisconsin freshly cut and roasted sweet corn. Saturday night features a fireworks show from a barge off the beach in Williams Bay. My kids come back to town, cousins come visit and friends join us for this fun summertime, midwest experience.

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


JSE Ltd (the Johannesburg Stock Exchange) CEO Leila Fourie will give a welcome keynote address at “JSESheInvests 2022: Fearlessly Owning the Markets,” the fifth year of empowering women through financial literacy and education at the Johannesburg Exchange. The program takes place on August 13, 2022. It is virtual and live and welcomes all women to the JSE, home of South Africa’s capital markets. Register here. ~Sally Duros


Europe battles water shortages as severe drought sweeps the continent; An unusually dry winter and spring followed by a summer of baking heat are part of an overall warming trend
FT reporters
In Obwalden, high in the Swiss Alps, the army has been drafted in to save the cows. With mountain streams in the Alpine country drying up, military helicopters were dispatched last week to transport huge containers of water up to the pastures from the lakes below, in an effort to prevent the herds from dying of thirst.

***** When they restrict water from the breweries, then we have a problem.~JJL


Londoners Cut Off From Water Supply as Burst Pipe Floods Streets; It comes as millions of Brits are banned from using hosepipes; Nearby football club Arsenal affected by a lack of water
Priscila Azevedo Rocha – Bloomberg
Families and businesses in north London lost their supply of running water after a large pipe burst on Monday morning, flooding streets and holding up traffic. Six postcodes in the boroughs of Islington and Hackney had no or very low water supply, Thames Water Utilities Ltd. said on its webpage.

***** Time for us to create viable water markets.~JJL


World Series of Poker Player Charged With Spoofing Gold Market
Joe Deaux – Bloomberg
A Nevada metals trader with a side gig on the world poker circuit was charged Friday with manipulating gold and silver markets using a technique called spoofing. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission alleges that Daniel Shak, who also runs a small hedge fund, repeatedly placed orders for gold and silver futures contracts with the intent to cancel the bids or offers before execution. Called spoofing, the practice gained notoriety following a high-profile criminal case involving several JPMorgan Chase & Co. bankers.

***** Here is the complaint from the CFTC.


Friday’s Top Three
Our most read story Friday was Every U.S. Crypto Exchange (And Binance) Is Being Investigated By The SEC, Says Senator Lummis Staffer, from Forbes. Second was The Real Reason Root Beer Was Invented, from TastingTable. Third was a tie between Paul Britton, CEO of $9.5 billion derivatives firm, says the market hasn’t seen the worst of it, from CNBC and CFTC Investor Protections Are Robust and Appropriate for Digital Asset Markets, from FTX US.


MarketsWiki Stats
26,964 pages; 240,061 edits
MarketsWiki Statistics


Lead Stories

PredictIt Betting on US Elections Nixed by American Regulators; CFTC revokes permission used by platform for legal authority; PredictIt trading in related contracts must cease by Feb. 15
Lydia Beyoud and Liam Vaughan – Bloomberg
PredictIt, a market that built its name by letting Americans bet on who will be elected to Congress or the next president, has lost its legal authority to operate in the US. The move by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission on Aug. 4 to revoke the regulatory letter relied on by the platform sent shock waves through the political-gambling industry. Since 2014, PredictIt has used the permission granted for research purposes to a New Zealand university to let Americans bet on US elections, something that’s generally forbidden.

China IPO Market Trounces the World With Record $58 Billion Boom; Proceeds raised since start of the year reach a record high; This contrasts with slump in deals in traditional IPO venues
Bloomberg News
From London to Hong Kong, large initial share sales have all but dried up across the world’s major financial centers this year. But the market in China is bustling with activity. Initial public offerings on mainland exchanges have climbed to $57.8 billion so far in 2022, the largest ever for such a period, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. There have been five IPOs of above $1 billion since January, and one more is on the way. That’s versus just one such sale each in New York and Hong Kong, and none in London.

The Humbling of Coinbase; In just over a year, the United States’ largest cryptocurrency exchange went from a triumphant public offering to a “crypto winter” of cost cutting and layoffs.
David Yaffe-Bellany and Mike Isaac – The New York Times
Brian Armstrong, the chief executive of the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the United States, traveled across the world to make an announcement in early April: Coinbase was bringing crypto to India. In an auditorium in Bangalore, Mr. Armstrong, wearing a type of loose buttoned shirt popular in India, said Coinbase planned to set up a hub of 1,000 employees there by the end of 2022. The company was investing in Indian start-ups and allowing local customers to buy and sell digital currencies on its exchange. For Coinbase, it was a chance to transform finance in a country of more than one billion people and lure new customers from across Asia.

XTX Markets sues Mazars for discrimination over Russian founder; One of the world’s biggest market makers alleges accounting firm is in breach of UK law
Michael O’Dwyer and Daniel Thomas – FT
Financial trading firm XTX Markets is suing accounting firm Mazars for racial discrimination over its refusal to work for the company because its owner is a Russian citizen. The London-based trading group is majority owned by billionaire Alexander Gerko, a dual Russian and British citizen, who has lived and worked in the UK since 2006 and is not the subject of any international sanctions, according to a copy of the legal claim seen by the Financial Times.

Coinbase’s Rapid Rise Left It Exposed in Crypto’s Collapse; Fast expansion made Coinbase the biggest U.S. crypto exchange. Now it faces high expenses, dwindling cash and a challenge from regulators.
Gregory Zuckerman – WSJ
Brian Armstrong, an early devotee of blockchain technology, built the cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase Global Inc. to be big. He hired employees by the hundreds, pushed into new markets and scaled up the number of digital tokens available on the platform. Coinbase became the largest crypto exchange in America and went public in spring 2021 with a market value of nearly $86 billion.

London Stock Exchange says Refinitiv costs and savings on track
Huw Jones – Reuters
London Stock Exchange Group’s (LSEG) cost and savings targets for integration of data company Refinitiv are on track, it said after half-year results and the launch of a larger than expected 750 million pound ($911 million) share buyback.

SEC crypto clampdown puts digital asset industry on notice; Wall Street’s top cop has been using traditional finance rules to police industry
Scott Chipolina and Akila Quinio – FT
US markets regulators have put the crypto industry on notice, indicating that they will crack down on violations such as insider trading and fraud with the same vigour at which they pursue them in traditional finance. In recent weeks the Securities and Exchange Commission has filed charges against individuals for allegedly creating a $300mn “fraudulent crypto pyramid and Ponzi scheme”, as well as a case against a former employee of crypto exchange Coinbase.

Coinbase Shorts Lost $887 Million, Squeezed by BlackRock Partnership
Eric Wallerstein – WSJ
Short-sellers of the largest cryptocurrency exchange, Coinbase Global, lost a collective $887 million this week, according to S3 Partners, as shares rallied 48% to $93.05. After a bruising 75% year-to-date loss through July, Coinbase shares began rallying early in the week, accelerating after the firm unveiled a partnership with BlackRock Thursday. The price increases squeezed those betting against the stock, forcing them to close their positions by buying shares and reflexively leading to even higher prices, in what’s known as a short-squeeze. Over the past 30 days, short-sellers bought shares of Coinbase worth roughly $322 million to close out their positions, an 11% decrease in the total value of publicly available shares that are shorted. Coinbase remains the 36th-largest U.S. equity short, and fourth largest in financial services.

How a Tiny Hong Kong Firm Grew Bigger Than Goldman, Then Began to Plunge; AMTD Digital’s eye-popping stock gains have left people from Hong Kong to New York baffled.
Ainsley Thomson and Venus Feng – Bloomberg
Before this week, you probably had never heard of AMTD Digital Inc., the firm that got so big that its market cap surpassed that of giants like Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Bank of America Corp. Here’s all you need to know. What is AMTD Digital? AMTD Digital describes itself as a developer of digital businesses in Asia, primarily using its parent company’s SpiderNet platform — an “ever-extending” network of clients, shareholders, business partners and investors. The Hong Kong-based company listed in New York just weeks ago.

Carbon Prices in Asia Are Too Cheap to Help Curb Emissions; Prices and taxes on emissions in the region are well below levels estimated to have a meaningful impact on polluter behavior.
Heesu Lee – Bloomberg
More Asian governments are putting prices on emissions to try and curb global warming, but the region’s carbon markets and taxes are mostly off to slow and disappointing starts.

Bank of England accused of failures on shadow banking; Former deputy governor Paul Tucker says UK central bank must adopt comprehensive regulation of the sector
Laura Noonan – FT
British financial regulators have failed to tackle risks outside traditional banking and should now develop a comprehensive UK policy instead of waiting for an international agreement, according to a former Bank of England deputy governor.

US banks tout fossil fuel credentials after Republican ESG backlash; Several ‘Red’ states have introduced legislation to punish firms adhering to ‘woke’ agenda
Patrick Temple-West and Joshua Franklin – FT
In recent years, Wall Street firms have tried to talk up their commitment to the environment and social justice. Now they are singing a different tune. Large US banks such as Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase are among a clutch of global financial services firms that have been touting their business relationships with oil and gas companies. They are doing so to placate politicians in Republican-led states who are penalising them for not doing enough to support the fossil fuel industry.

Alexander Vinnik extradited to the US on money laundering charges
Ali Raza –
Alexander Vinnik, a Bitcoin BTC-e operator, has been extradited to the United States. Vinnik is now facing multiple charges, including money laundering, while working on the exchange that has since been shut down. Vinnik has faced several legal battles following his work at the defunct BTC-e cryptocurrency exchange. The exchange reportedly made profits from involvement in multiple illegal activities where the platform was used to launder around $4 billion worth of Bitcoin.

Podcast: Henrard on the remaining challenges for Libor transition; Rates quant says swaptions fallbacks turn cash-settled vanilla products into exotics
Mauro Cesa –
As Libor benchmarks are replaced by compounded overnight rates, the pricing and risk management of legacy contracts can become increasingly challenging. As Marc Henrard, managing partner at MurisQ Advisory puts it, legacy vanilla swaptions have now become exotic products, thanks to a fallback approach that introduces new layers of complexity into cash-settled instruments. A swap, a simple series of multiple Libor payments, needs to be replaced by functions of overnight indexed swap (OIS) rates that account for different payment frequencies, and that is not straightforward.

Crypto Business Leaving Japan Due to High Tax, Entrepreneur Says
Takashi Nakamichi and Nao Sano – Bloomberg
Japan should reduce corporate taxes on crypto to prevent entrepreneurs leaving the country, one of the nation’s most high-profile crypto businesspeople said. “At least 20 or more” firms have opted to establish their crypto business abroad rather than Japan because of the high levy, said Sota Watanabe, CEO of Web3 infrastructure developer Stake Technologies Pte., in an interview on Monday.

U.S. Weighs New Rules for Regional Banks, Complicating Merger Plans; The Fed and OCC are discussing requiring regional lenders to hold more long-term debt that can help absorb losses in a crisis
Justin Baer and Andrew Ackerman – WSJ
U.S. regulators are considering whether to require large regional banks to add to the financial cushions that protect them in times of crisis, a move that is slowing down some pending bank mergers. The Federal Reserve and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency are discussing whether regional lenders should hold more long-term debt that can help absorb losses in a downturn, according to people familiar with the matter. Among the issues under consideration, the people said, is how those requirements should apply to the larger regional banks that are now seeking to close big deals.

Before Crypto Lender Celsius Crashed, CEO Alex Mashinsky Was Known for Big Ideas and Battles; Entrepreneur proposed a stream of moonshot ideas in different industries over many years—and frequently left a string of unhappy colleagues and investors
James Fanelli, Vicky Ge Huang – WSJ
For some 30 years, Alex Mashinsky barreled into whatever was the hot technology of the time, promising revolutions in long-distance calling, airport rides and, most recently, crypto. He often left a trail of unhappy friends, colleagues and investors.

BlackRock Opening South Florida ‘Snowbird’ Office for Dozens of Employees; Head of fixed income and about 35 staff are expected to start working at West Palm Beach location early next year
Deborah Acosta, Angel Au-Yeung – WSJ
BlackRock Inc., the world’s largest money management company, is opening a satellite office in South Florida to accommodate a top executive and dozens of other employees, joining a migration of financial firms to the state. Rick Rieder, who as BlackRock’s head of fixed income oversees roughly $1.7 trillion in assets, or about 20% of the firm’s total assets, owns a home in Palm Beach County and is expected to work out of the new West Palm Beach office space when he is in Florida, according to people familiar with the matter. About 35 other BlackRock employees are expected to start working there early next year, according to BlackRock.

Ukraine Invasion

Russia Invites Nuclear Monitors to Visit Shelled Ukrainian Plant; IAEA still needs permission from Kyiv to visit Zaporizhzhia; Europe’s biggest atomic power station was damaged last week
Jonathan Tirone – Bloomberg
Russia told diplomats it’s ready to welcome international monitors into Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, whose safety is in doubt after coming under attack last week.

Nuclear-Plant Disaster in Ukraine Is ‘Real Risk,’ IAEA Says; Area around Zaporizhzhia atomic plant shelled again Saturday; Moscow, Ukraine trade blame over risk to Russian-occupied site
Bloomberg News
Ukrainian officials said Russian forces shelled the area around Europe’s largest nuclear plant for a second day, hours after the head of the UN’s atomic safety agency warned of “potentially catastrophic consequences.” Russian shells landed near spent nuclear fuel stored at the Zaporizhzhia atomic power plant on Saturday evening, wounding one worker, according to Energoatom, the facility’s operator. “This time a nuclear catastrophe was miraculously avoided, but miracles cannot last forever,” Energatom said.

Ukraine’s Drone Spotters on Front Lines Wage New Kind of War; A reconnaissance unit using drones to direct artillery strikes is frequently a target itself. Commercially available drones selling for as little as $3,000 are revolutionizing combat.
Yaroslav Trofimov – WSJ
“Fire,” a Ukrainian reconnaissance unit commander said after receiving a message from the artillery team. It took more than 20 seconds for the sound of an outgoing Ukrainian artillery round to reach this narrow strip of woodland on the front line between Ukrainian-held Mykolaiv and Russian-occupied Kherson in southern Ukraine.

Ukraine says it will receive tanks, planes from North Macedonia
North Macedonia has agreed to supply tanks and planes to Ukraine to help fend off Moscow’s ongoing invasion, senior Ukrainian presidential aide Mykhailo Podolyak said on Saturday.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

ICE to Host Auctions of Nature Based Carbon Removal Credits for GreenTrees
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE:ICE), a leading global provider of data, technology, and market infrastructure, today announced that it plans to begin carbon credit auctions for GreenTrees, a global leader in reforestation.

JSE innovates to pave the way for the listing of Actively Managed Certificates
To meet the growing demand for Actively Managed Certificates (AMC), the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) has amended the listing requirements to include AMCs in the suite of products offered to the market, providing investors with exposure to one of the fastest-growing securities globally. AMCs are non-interest paying instruments that offer investors exposure to the performance of a portfolio that is actively managed by an independent portfolio manager according to a specific investment mandate.

BOX Options Market: New Options Class Symbol With Duplicate Group Names
On Monday, August 29, 2022, BOX Options Market LLC (“BOX”) will start listing new options series on ClassSymbol (UnderlyingSymbol) which are currently cleared by OCC but not yet listed on BOX.

Resignation of Trading Member
BSE India
Trading Members of the Exchange are hereby informed that surrender of Trading membership of “Ashutosh Kumar Agrawal [Trade Name : Shanu Investment] (Member No. 6275)” has been approved by SEBI.

HKEX Welcomes First Msci China A 50 Connect Index Structured Products
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) is pleased to welcome today (Monday) the listings of the first A-share structured products, MSCI China A 50 Connect Index Derivatives Warrants, further enhancing Hong Kong’s role as an offshore A-share risk management centre. The new derivative warrants listed on HKEX are based on the MSCI China A 50 Connect Index, which tracks the performance of 50 key Shanghai and Shenzhen stocks available via Stock Connect.

Miami International Holdings Reports July 2022 Trading Results; MIAX Options and MIAX Pearl Equities Set Year-to-Date Volume Records
Miami International Holdings, Inc. (MIH) today reported July 2022 trading results for its U.S. exchange subsidiaries – MIAX®, MIAX Pearl® and MIAX Emerald® (together, the MIAX Exchange Group™), and Minneapolis Grain Exchange (MGEX™). July 2022 Trading Volume Highlights: Total U.S. multi-listed options market share for the MIAX Exchange Group reached 13.57%, down 196 basis points year-over-year (YoY) and representing a 12.6% decrease. A total of 93.0 million multi-listed options contracts were executed on the MIAX Exchange Group, representing a 20.1% decrease YoY and an average daily volume (ADV) of 4,649,083 contracts. Total year-to-date (YTD) volume reached 755.7 million contracts, a decrease of 0.9% from the same period in 2021.

TMX Group Consolidated Trading Statistics – July 2022; Toronto Stock Exchange, TSX Venture Exchange, TSX Alpha Exchange and Montréal Exchange
TMX Group Limited today announced July 2022 trading statistics for its marketplaces – Toronto Stock Exchange, TSX Venture Exchange, TSX Alpha Exchange and Montréal Exchange.

Elimination of CME Rule 552. (“Dual Trading Restrictions”) and CME Rule 555. (“Top Step Trading Restrictions”)
CME Group
Effective on trade date August 19, 2022, and pending all relevant CFTC regulatory review periods, Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. (“CME”) will eliminate CME Rule 552. (“Dual Trading Restrictions”) and CME Rule 555. (“Top Step Trading Restrictions”).

JPX Monthly Headlines
JPX group companies undertake various initiatives and disseminate information with the aim of providing the most attractive markets to all users.
Every month, we showcase the highlights of these efforts in short and concise summaries just for you.

Remodeling and change of constituents in REITs Infra balanced Index
KRX remodels: ?REITs Infra balanced Index? and revises the index methodology.
Index name change: REITs Infra Preferred balanced Index ? KRX REITs Infra Index


Q3 outlook forecasts cloudy days ahead for fintech M&A
Mary Ann Azevedo – TechCrunch
Last week, Paystand — a blockchain-enabled B2B payments startup — announced it had acquired Mexican fintech Yaydoo — creating a new unicorn in the resulting new entity.
Execs from the two startups say the combined company will have processed over $5 billion in payments and built a network of over 500,000 connected businesses by creating B2B DeFi payment networks in both the U.S. and Mexico.

Fintech Investment Stagnates As Embedded Finance Emerges
Callum Burroughs – Business Insider
Consumer-facing fintech companies have had a year to forget.
Stock-trading app Robinhood and cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase have laid off swathes of staff while shares in money transfer business Wise collapsed a year on from its London IPO.
VC investment in fintechs dipped slightly to $53.5 billion in the opening half of the year, according to PitchBook data. It represents a marked slowdown in the amount of capital flowing into an industry where investment ballooned to over $121 billion in 2021.

Top 25 Fintech Companies 2022
From e-payments to open banking and crypto-assets exchanges, Fintech companies are booming across MENA, driven by high demand from a young and increasingly digital-first population.
According to a report by KPMG, investment in Fintech companies in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) hit $77.4 billion in 2021, across 1,859 deals, compared to $26.7 billion in 2020. VC investment in Fintech skyrocketed in the EMEA region during the last year to hit $30 billion — more than tripling from its previous high of $9.9 billion in 2020.

MatrixPort leads $4.6 million funding round for OrBit Markets; Hedge fund Brevan Howard, which recently launched its own digital assets division, was among the participants involved in the fundraising.
Wesley Bray – The Trade
Crypto options and structured products liquidity provider OrBit Markets has raised $4.6 million in an angel funding round led by digital assets financial services ecosystem Matrixport. Brevan Howard Digital, which launched late last year, as well as New Form Capital, Maven 11 and Westridge Markets, were among the participants in the oversubscribed round.

Ad tracking by online gambling industry comes under scrutiny; UK’s data watchdog assesses complaint on ways betting firms profile and target problem players
Madhumita Murgia and Alice Hancock – FT
Dave, a Scotsman in his early twenties, received a marketing email for an internet casino in 2009, offering him £200 more to bet with if he played £200 on the online slot machines. Over the next decade, Dave would lose £100,000 to his gambling addiction. Despite multiple attempts to close his accounts and opt out of marketing, he continued to be sent deals, which he blamed for triggering addictive behaviour and thoughts of suicide. Dave had been targeted by a constellation of companies, including gambling operators and third-party data brokers, who had been quietly tracking, profiling and targeting him as a highly valuable asset.

Turkish Banks Are Adopting Russian Payments System, Erdogan Says
Tugce Ozsoy – Bloomberg
Five Turkish banks have adopted Russia’s Mir payments system, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on his return from talks with President Vladimir Putin in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.

Singapore FinTech Festival 2022 returns as an in-person event from 31 October to 4 November
Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and Elevandi (a not-for-profit entity set up by the MAS to connect people and businesses, ideas and insights in the FinTech sector in Singapore and globally) today announced the return of the Singapore FinTech Festival (SFF) as an in-person event to be held from 2 to 4 November 2022, with industry events and the annual Innovation Lab Crawl being held on 31 October and 1 November. Organised by MAS and Elevandi, in partnership with Constellar (a global player in the Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions industry) and in collaboration with The Association of Banks in Singapore, SFF 2022 will be held at the Singapore EXPO.


North Korean hackers target crypto experts with fake Coinbase job offers
Bill Toulas –
A new social engineering campaign by the notorious North Korean Lazarus hacking group has been discovered, with the hackers impersonating Coinbase to target employees in the fintech industry. A common tactic the hacking group uses is to approach targets over LinkedIn to present a job offer and hold a preliminary discussion as part of a social engineering attack.

The cybersecurity funding bubble hasn’t burst — but it’s starting to deflate
Carly Page – TechCrunch
Last year was record-breaking for the cybersecurity market. Data from Momentum Cyber, a financial advisory firm for the security industry, showed that cybersecurity startups raised a “record-shattering” $29.5 billion in venture capital in 2021, more than doubling the $12 billion raised in 2020, while a record number — including Dragos and Noname Security — were minted as unicorns.

Validate Your Cybersecurity Skills On The Range
Tony Bradley – Forbes
The phrase “practice makes perfect” is misleading. There is no perfect. However, good practice makes you better and allows you to both hone and verify your skills—and one of the best ways to practice is on a range. If you want to get better at golf, you go to a driving range. If you want to improve your marksmanship, you go to a shooting range.

Weak Cybersecurity is taking a toll on Small Businesses
Life among America’s nearly 32 million small businesses has never been easy. According to the Small Business Administration, about 20% of small business startups fail in their first year and half succumb to failure within five years. Bigger businesses have always had more capital, better access to loans, and more staying power.

Finance Sector Deals Latest Blow to Cyber Solarium Construct Teetering in NDAA
Mariam Baksh – Nexgov
Congress will return from the August recess faced once again with the challenge of building cybersecurity policy for private providers of critical infrastructure faster than industry can tear it down.

Cryptocurrencies Expands in South Korea, Looks Beyond Market Route; Digital-asset exchange said it acquired PnLink and OK-BIT; South Korea prized for relatively wide embrace of crypto
Hooyeon Kim and Muyao Shen – Bloomberg
Digital currency platform unveiled acquisitions in South Korea, pushing ahead with expansion in a bet that digital-asset markets will recover from this year’s rout.

Crypto Adoption Is Accelerating – What Should CPAs Discuss With Clients?
Sean Stein Smith – Forbes
The recent news that Coinbase and Blackrock – the largest asset manager in the world – are setting up a partnership that will allow institutional clients easier access to crypto investing is the latest sign of a fundamental shift in the cryptoasset sector. Put simply, as crypto continues to mature, expand, and develop more comprehensive solutions, it seems increasingly likely that institutions – and not necessarily individuals – will play the leading role during this crypto winter. Controversial as that may seem to some crypto purists, or bitcoin maximalists, market evidence continues to point in that direction, and not just due to this recent announcement.

A Look At the Lightning Network; Examining the scaling method of the Bitcoin network and its evolution from a store of value to a medium of exchange.
Lyn Alden –
This article examines the relationship between a monetary asset being a store of value vs being a medium of exchange. Specifically, it focuses on the scaling method of the Bitcoin network as its main example, but also takes a broad look at the history of trade-offs in the cryptocurrency space as well to see why a layered approach makes the most sense.

Crypto Miner Pushback Suggests Ethereum Offshoots Are Coming; Ethereum miners face grim prospects after software upgrade; Forks have long been a mainstay of the cryptocurrency world
Olga Kharif – Bloomberg
A monkey wrench is about to be thrown into the already complicated transition that the Ethereum blockchain is slated to go through soon. In as early as September, Ethereum is expected to undergo a major software upgrade dubbed the Merge, in which the network will shift from using the scores of computers commonly referred to as miners to more energy-efficient validators to order transactions. Not everyone is going along with the change. A growing number of factions are making plans for forks that will copy the current software and, with a few tweaks, continue to essentially run the old version of Ethereum using miners.

Crypto’s Limp BlackRock Response Is a Clear Tell; If not even a vote of confidence from the world’s largest asset manager can spark a rally, then the bear market is far from over.
Jared Dillian – Bloomberg
You would think the news that Coinbase Global Inc. had entered into a partnership with BlackRock Inc. to help institutional investors manage and trade Bitcoin would energize the slumping cryptocurrency market. After all, if the world’s largest asset manager is interested in transacting in Bitcoin, it would mean Bitcoin and crypto in general had just been given its imprimatur. That is what the crypto folks have been looking for all along, which is some recognition that crypto is a legitimate asset class to go along with equities, fixed income, commodities and currencies.

Asian Crypto Lender Hodlnaut Halts Withdrawals
Suvashree Ghosh and Anna Irrera – Bloomberg
Hodlnaut, a cryptocurrency lender operating in Asia, said it has halted withdrawals making it the latest company in the digital-assets sector affected by a series of defaults. In a statement on Monday the company announced that it was “halting withdrawals, token swaps and deposits with immediate effect” due to “recent market conditions”. The company also said it had withdrawn its license application with Singapore’s central bank.

Twitch’s Gambling Boom Is Luring Gamers Into Crypto Casinos; Overseas site partners with Twitch streamers to gamble with crypto—and their fans follow suit
Cecilia D’Anastasio – Bloomberg
Enneric Chabot, 26, didn’t start gambling until he saw his favorite gamers doing it online. Three years ago, Chabot began regularly watching Felix “xQc” Lengyel, a former professional Overwatch player, as he competed in various video games on Inc.’s livestreaming site Twitch for audiences of up to 25,000 viewers. In 2021, during some of his streams, Lengyel started playing something else—online blackjack.

Someone stole Cameo CEO’s Bored Ape NFT and Sold it for $130k; Cameo co-founder Steven Galanis said his Apple iCloud was compromised, leading to a loss of over $200,000-worth of crypto assets.
Daniel Van Boom – CNET
Owning a Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT puts a target on your back for scammers and hackers, especially if you’re high profile. Steven Galanis, the co-founder and CEO of the Cameo app, was victim to a crypto hack on Saturday, according to Gelanis, resulting in the loss of several NFTs, including a Bored Ape, and over $70,000-worth of cryptocurrency.

Is Gaming a Good Use Case for Blockchain? Adding digital assets and NFTs to an already huge and complex industry has the potential to create even more complications. Here’s what you need to know.
Victoria Vergolina – Bloomberg
Stacy-Marie used to argue that you could divide folks into two categories: people who play video games, and people who don’t. Gaming is bigger, in revenue terms worldwide, than the film and television industries combined. It’s also a complex universe dealing that often involves hard and necessary conversations around who benefits, as well as work and labor conditions and (as always) intellectual property. Add blockchain and NFTs into the mix, and it gets even more complicated. Or does it?


Senate Passes Climate and Tax Bill After Marathon Debate; Despite all Republicans being opposed, the vote was a major victory for President Biden and Democrats. The bill now goes to the House, where it is expected to pass by the end of the week.
Luke Broadwater, Lisa Friedman, Stephanie Lai, Alan Rappeport, Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Jim Tankersley – NYT
The Senate passed legislation on Sunday that would make the most significant federal investment in history to counter climate change and lower the cost of prescription drugs, as Democrats banded together to push through major pieces of President Biden’s domestic agenda over unified Republican opposition. The measure, large elements of which appeared dead just weeks ago amid Democratic divisions, would inject more than $370 billion into climate and energy programs. Altogether, the bill could allow the United States to cut greenhouse gas emissions about 40 percent below 2005 levels by the end of the decade.

The Carried Interest Loophole Survives Another Political Battle; The latest effort to narrow the preferential tax treatment used by private equity executives failed after Senator Kyrsten Sinema objected.
Alan Rappeport, Emily Flitter and Kate Kelly – The New York Times
Once again, carried interest carried the day. The last-minute removal by Senate Democrats of a provision in the climate and tax legislation that would narrow what is often referred to as the “carried interest loophole” represents the latest win for the private equity and hedge fund industries. For years, those businesses have successfully lobbied to kill bills that aimed to end or limit a quirk in the tax code that allows executives to pay lower tax rates than many of their salaried employees.

The Carried-Interest Tax Isn’t Dead Yet. Here’s Why.
Luisa Beltran – Barron’s
The carried-interest loophole will live to fight another day, a sign that Wall Street’s lobbying prowess remains largely intact in Washington. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz), the last Democratic holdout in the Senate to passing the “Inflation Reduction Act,” agreed to vote for the bill if it removed a measure to reform carried interest.

Kyrsten Sinema is significant beneficiary of private equity lobbying machine; FT analysis shows centrist Democrat has received more than half a million dollars from industry this election cycle
Aime Williams and Caitlin Gilbert – FT
When the centrist Democratic senator Kyrsten Sinema gave the green light this week to move forward with the much-slimmed-down version of her party’s long-awaited climate and tax bill, her colleagues breathed a sigh of relief.

How Republicans Are ‘Weaponizing’ Public Office Against Climate Action; A Times investigation revealed a coordinated effort by state treasurers to use government muscle and public funds to punish companies trying to reduce greenhouse gases.
David Gelles – NY Times
Nearly two dozen Republican state treasurers around the country are working to thwart climate action on state and federal levels, fighting regulations that would make clear the economic risks posed by a warming world, lobbying against climate-minded nominees to key federal posts and using the tax dollars they control to punish companies that want to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Alarm mounts in western capitals over Turkey’s deepening ties with Russia; Officials warn of retaliation if Ankara helps Moscow evade sanctions after Erdogan and Putin agree to increase co-operation
Laura Pitel, Amy Kazmin, Alice Hancock and James Politi – FT
Western capitals are increasingly alarmed at the deepening ties between Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Vladimir Putin, raising the prospect of punitive retaliation against the Nato member if it helps Russia avoid sanctions.

Military Recruitment Woes Endanger National Security; The US is facing a shortfall of troops. Here’s how to solve the problem.
Michael R. Bloomberg – Bloomberg
From the Suwalki Gap to the Taiwan Strait, the US military faces no shortage of potential crises. But perhaps its biggest challenge lies close to home: A dwindling number of Americans are able and willing to serve in uniform. To maintain the military’s edge, the Pentagon needs to rethink how it recruits and retains troops — while also preparing to fight future wars with a leaner active-duty force.

Don’t Call It a Windfall Tax: Elements by Liam Denning; The US Senate’s IRA package puts a levy on buybacks that companies may view differently.
Liam Denning – Bloomberg
Whenever oil producers gush profits, some politician will propose a windfall tax. Besides the extra revenue, it helps portray high pump prices as a result of greed rather than plain old supply and demand. Now, with the Inflation Reduction Act’s passage this weekend by the U.S. Senate, one finally arrived. Sort of.

Senators Call Out Fidelity for Adding Bitcoin to 401(k)s. Are You at Risk?
Wola Odeniran – Yahoo Finance
Democrat senators sent a letter to Fidelity Investments questioning why the company would allow its 401(k) participants to be exposed to Bitcoin. Legislators called the crypto investment a “volatile, illiquid and speculative asset.” In April 2022, Fidelity Investments announced that it would allow individuals to allocate part of their retirement plan savings to Bitcoin. Let’s break down the risks and benefits of adding a crypto asset to your retirement plan.


CFTC Charges Nevada Metals Trader with Spoofing in Gold and Silver Markets
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission today filed a civil enforcement action in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada against Daniel Shak of Las Vegas, Nevada, charging him with spoofing and engaging in a manipulative and deceptive scheme in the gold and silver futures markets. In its continuing civil litigation, the CFTC seeks, among other relief, civil monetary penalties, disgorgement, trading bans, and a permanent injunction against future violations of the federal commodities laws, as charged.

Former financial adviser banned following conviction for dishonesty offences
ASIC – Australian Securities and Investments Commission
ASIC has permanently banned former financial adviser Ezzat-Daniel Nesseim from performing any function involved in the operation of a financial services business or controlling, whether alone or with others, an entity that operates a financial services business.
The ban follows Mr Nesseim’s conviction for engaging in dishonest conduct, for providing forged documents to ASIC and lying to ASIC when questioned about those documents (22-110MR).

Definitions of ESG products and investments should be legislated; Senior ASIC executive says government should make the call on labels and definitions for environmental, social, and governance investments.
Samantha Freestone – ProBono Australia
Definitions of ESG products and investments should be set by legislation, a senior executive leader at the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) has argued at the recent Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI) conference. As reported by FS Superannuation, Claire LaBouchardiere said, “ASIC is taking note of how regulators in other definitions are addressing greenwashing and definitions of sustainable investments, and pointing to the recent issuance of Information Sheet 271 on the topic.”

CFTC Charges Nevada Metals Trader with Spoofing in Gold and Silver Markets
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission today filed a civil enforcement action in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada against Daniel Shak of Las Vegas, Nevada, charging him with spoofing and engaging in a manipulative and deceptive scheme in the gold and silver futures markets.
In its continuing civil litigation, the CFTC seeks, among other relief, civil monetary penalties, disgorgement, trading bans, and a permanent injunction against future violations of the federal commodities laws, as charged.

FCA fines Sir Christopher Gent for disclosing inside information
While Chairman, Sir Christopher disclosed inside information to individuals in senior positions at two of ConvaTec’s major shareholders before this information had been announced properly to the market. The disclosures concerned an expected announcement by ConvaTec relating to a revision of its financial guidance and the CEO’s plans for retirement.
The FCA considers that Sir Christopher acted negligently in disclosing the information.

Alleged Russian Cryptocurrency Money Launderer Extradited to United States; Defendant Extradited from Greece to Face Charges Stemming from the Operation of BTC-e, an Illicit Bitcoin Exchange Alleged to Have Received Deposits Valued at Over $4 Billion
US Department of Justice
The alleged operator of the illicit cryptocurrency exchange BTC-e was extradited yesterday from Greece to the United States to face charges in the Northern District of California. “After more than five years of litigation, Russian national Alexander Vinnik was extradited to the United States yesterday to be held accountable for operating BTC-e, a criminal cryptocurrency exchange, which laundered more than $4 billion of criminal proceeds,” said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “This extradition demonstrates the Department’s commitment to investigating and dismantling illicit cyber activity and would not have been possible without the relentless work of the Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs. The Justice Department thanks the Government of Greece, particularly the Ministry of Justice, for all their efforts in securing the defendant’s transfer to the United States.”

Investing and Trading

When billionaires like Bill Gates give away ‘virtually all’ their wealth, where does it go?
Amanda Pérez Pintado – USA TODAY
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates last month said he plans to give away “virtually all” of his wealth to his and his ex-wife’s philanthropic organization, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The pledge, he said, will knock him off the world’s wealthiest list.

20 Ideas for Adjusting Your Stock and Bond Portfolio; Stocks are down, inflation is high and a recession may be looming. We asked financial experts what investors should do.
Cristina Lourosa-Ricardo – WSJ
Is it time to rethink the percentage of stocks you hold in your portfolio? The standard ratio is often 60% stocks and 40% bonds. Of course, that varies depending partly on an investor’s age or risk tolerance. But with stocks down, inflation rising and a possible recession being declared, some experts say the conventional wisdom might need adjusting.

World’s Hunger for Wheat Spawns New Group of Nimble Exporters; Ship-loaders using fleets of trucks to get the grain on ships; Wheat rose to a record in March after Russia invaded Ukraine
Sybilla Gross – Bloomberg
Bottlenecks at Australia’s biggest wheat export terminals have opened up opportunities for innovators who are using lines of smaller ships and fleets of trucks to get more supplies onto global markets craving grain. Two consecutive bumper harvests have stretched capacity at the nation’s major shipment terminals run by companies such as CBH Group, GrainCorp and Viterra. Now, with another large crop looming later this year, impatient exporters are increasingly turning to other ways of getting grain to market.

‘Snoozefest’ No Longer: Volatility Seizes Europe’s Bond Market; German bonds are most turbulent on record by some metrics; End of forward guidance, energy crisis are compounding moves
Greg Ritchie and Libby Cherry – Bloomberg
One of the sleepiest debt markets in the world has woken up, ripping up the playbook for traders and companies alike. Europe’s bond investors, caught between a central bank raising rates for the first time since 2011 and the prospect of a recession are braving some of the wildest swings on record by some metrics. The yield on Germany’s benchmark bond has oscillated 10 basis points on almost 80 days this year — something that happened only once in 2021. Hedging costs across euro rates markets have soared.

Buffett’s Berkshire Pounces on Market Slump to Buy Equities; Conglomerate snapped up net $3.8 billion in the second quarter; Geico insurance unit reports underwriting loss of $487 million
Max Reyes – Bloomberg
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. is following an age-old adage: Buy the dip. The conglomerate was a net buyer of equities in the quarter, reporting $3.8 billion in purchases, according to results released Saturday. It was a net seller in the second quarter of last year.

Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance

England is heading for a drought, Environment Agency warns; Continuing dry weather is forecast with three water companies introducing hosepipe bans
Camilla Hodgson – FT
Continuing dry weather is likely to push England into a drought, the government warned on Friday, as the national weather service said hot conditions were expected next week. Last month marked the driest July in England since 1935, while an unprecedented heatwave sent temperatures in the UK to above 40C for the first time on record. Such extreme weather has already forced three UK water companies to announce hosepipe bans that will affect around 2.4mn people in England and Wales.

Global impact of war in Ukraine: Energy crisis; Un Global Crisis Response Group On Food, Energy And Finance
More people are now forecast to be pushed into food insecurity and extreme poverty by the end of 2022. The most recent operational programming update from the World Food Programme (WFP) estimates that in 2022, 345 million people will be acutely food insecure or at a high risk of food insecurity in 82 countries with a WFP operational presence, implying an increase of 47 million acutely hungry people due to the ripple effects of the war in Ukraine in all its dimensions.

Opinion: Japan Inc. is getting ready to pivot away from ESG; Toyota and GPIF are leading the way for a collective retreat
Stephen Givens – NIKKEI Asia
In recent weeks, mainstream Japanese media, echoing their foreign counterparts, have begun reporting second thoughts about the wisdom of investments and corporate policies based on environmental, social and governance (ESG) concerns. This appears to be laying the groundwork for a revisionist pivot away from ESG and its close cousin, sustainable development goals (SDG), roughly five years after the twin utopian projects were launched. The religious overtones of woke capitalism never attracted true believers in Japan, in contrast to countries with a Christian heritage of sin, repentance, redemption and salvation.

Northern Trust launches quant ESG strategy
Liam Cormican – Money|Management
Northern Trust Asset Management (NTAM) has expanded its suite of responsible quantitative investment solutions with the launch of the NT World Quality ESG Strategy. The fund had been available for US investors since 2015 but was now being launched for the Australian market. The strategy sought to efficiently target high-quality stocks and companies with higher relative environmental, social and governance (ESG)-ratings whilst defining a responsible investment universe and managing climate change risk. Julie Moret, global head of sustainable investing and stewardship at NTAM, said: “We believe material environmental, social and governance factors are pre-financial indicators that can affect a company’s future financial viability and clients’ long-term risk-adjusted investment returns. When managed well, they can position a company for success and when mismanaged, they can result in significant risks.

Driving a sustainable digital economy with ESG; Mahadhir Aziz, CEO of the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), addresses questions frequently asked about sustainability reporting.
HRM Asia Newsroom
There is increasing regulatory and stakeholder demand for businesses to disclose non-financial metrics of the environmental and social impact of their operations. Organisations are now urged to better manage these risks, progressing in a way that delivers both a decent rate of return, as well as wider environmental and social benefits and greater accountability. There is also increasingly strong evidence of a connection between good corporate practices and financial performance – an ethics premium. According to Ethisphere’s Ethics Index, the world’s most ethical companies outperformed a comparable index of companies by 24.6 percent from January 2017 to January 2022.

Landlords must comply with growing ESG demands, says CBRE
Priya Devan – The Edge Markets
As countries shift towards the endemic phase, most office occupiers in Asia-Pacific are embracing the emphasis on real estate strategies that recognise the Covid-19 pandemic is here to stay. According to the CBRE Research July 2022 report: Landlords and Tenants Must Collaborate to Achieve Sustainability Goals, most tenants are implementing or considering the implementation of related initiatives in pursuit of wellness and sustainability in the workplace. This report was built upon information extracted from the CBRE Asia Pacific’s 2022 Spring Office Occupier Survey.

Natural Gas Is Better Than Many Environmentalists Admit; At current margins, the fossil fuel makes economic sense, and using it can actually help reduce carbon emissions.
Matthew Yglesias – Bloomberg
While most of progressive Washington has celebrated the announcement of the Inflation Reduction Act, at least one left-wing gadfly isn’t having it. “A pipeline?” asked Nina Turner on Twitter last week. “In a climate bill? It’s not a climate bill.”

US Drivers Are Using Less Gasoline. Let’s Keep It That Way; The problem of soaring pump prices in the US appears to have cured itself by choking back demand. The government should take note.
Julian Lee – Bloomberg
The US summer driving season is a bust. But that’s no bad thing. With less than a month until Labor Day, which marks the end of the peak gasoline demand season, deliveries of the fuel have dropped below the level seen during the pandemic summer of 2020. On a four-week average basis, which smooths out a lot of the noise in the weekly figures, gasoline deliveries from primary storage facilities, which the Energy Information Administration measures as a proxy for demand, slipped below those seen in the same period two years ago.

Xpansiv Buys Evolution Markets to Drive Global Decarbonization
Xpansiv, the leading market platform for environmental commodities, announced the deal to acquire Evolution Markets, a major brokerage firm in global carbon, renewable, and energy markets. The acquisition will be beneficial for both parties. Though Xpansiv is already the dominant player in the carbon market, buying Evolution Markets will help it expand more.


Carlyle CEO Resigns in Sudden Reversal of Generational Shift; Sole CEO since 2020, Lee had been trying to diversify revenue; Co-founder Conway to be interim chief during successor search
Dawn Lim – Bloomberg
Carlyle Group Inc. said Chief Executive Officer Kewsong Lee stepped down, a setback to the private equity giant’s bid to navigate a generational transition during a period of market turbulence.

Macro hedge fund stars enjoy the market volatility; Inflation unlocks some favoured trades in bonds and commodities
Laurence Fletcher – FT
Soaring inflation may be putting the frighteners on investors and consumers alike, but one group of traders is taking full advantage. Global macro hedge funds, made famous by the likes of George Soros and Louis Bacon, are enjoying their biggest gains in years as inflation unlocks some of their favourite trades in bond and commodity markets.

Funds Are Turning Sour on Gold When You’d Least Expect It; Investors who hoarded gold as a hedge against uncertainty in the wake of the Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have seen it whittled away to almost nothing. Something’s got to give.
David Fickling – Bloomberg
Gold, according to financial markets lore, is a pretty simple beast. For all its complexities, at bottom what it likes is a weak dollar, turmoil, and lower interest rates. Falls in the greenback mathematically raise the price of dollar-denominated commodities. Turmoil makes investors head for safe-haven assets, of which gold is by far the most long-standing. Lower rates reduce the appeal of its main competitor as a haven, yield-producing government debt.

Goldman Sachs AM equities alumnus returns after six years with BlackRock; Returning individual previously spent 15 years with Goldman, leaving in 2016 to become BlackRock’s head of US iShares markets and investments client engagement group.
Annabel Smith – The Trade3
A former 15-year Goldman Sachs Asset Management alumnus has returned to the firm after spending the last six years with BlackRock, The TRADE can reveal.

Wellness Exchange

China’s Hainan Orders More Lockdowns as Covid Sweeps Island; Tens of thousands of tourists stuck in popular tourist resort; National cases rise to two-week high of 807 on Sunday
Bloomberg News
The Chinese resort island of Hainan has placed more cities, including the provincial capital, into lockdown as a Covid-19 outbreak spreads, stranding tens of thousands of tourists in one of the nation’s most popular holiday destinations.

Tibet Sees First Covid Cases in More Than 900 Days; Travelers from within the region were found to be infected; Tibet has reported only one infection, in January 2020
Linda Lew – Bloomberg
Tibet reported four Covid-19 infections for Sunday, the first sign of the virus in the isolated region since a single case was found at the start of the pandemic in January 2020.

Hong Kong Cuts Hotel Quarantine to Three Days to Revive Hub; Quarantine will be followed by four days of health monitoring; Chambers say travel restrictions should be scrapped altogether
Linda Lew and Bruce Einhorn – Bloomberg
Hong Kong will reduce the period of time people entering the city must spend in hotel quarantine to three days from seven, a bolder-than-expected easing of its strict Covid-19 travel curbs, yet still leaving the Asian financial hub isolated in a world that’s mostly moved on from the pandemic.


China’s retail traders covet ‘demon stocks’ for wild gains, ready to crash and burn, as blue chips struggle to repeat feat; China’s retail investor base consists of 206 million accounts with a collective investment power of about 24 trillion yuan (US$3.55 trillion); At least 18 stocks have surged by more than 50 per cent this year in onshore markets, while four have more than doubled
Yaling Jiang, Zhang Shidong – South China Morning Post
Put aside the “white horses,” the local parlance for blue-chip stocks in mainland China. The nation’s army of mom-and-pop traders with US$3.55 trillion buying power are enchanted by “demon stocks”, and regulators are presumably not too happy about it.

Bangladesh Plans Staggered Factory Holidays to Ease Power Crunch
Arun Devnath – Bloomberg
Bangladesh is considering staggered holidays for garment manufacturers to tackle a worsening power crunch caused by fuel shortages, according to a government minister.

Malaysia to Offer Crop Insurance as Part of Food Security Push
Ravil Shirodkar – Bloomberg
Malaysia will offer government-backed insurance plans to help compensate farmers for losses after natural disasters, as part of measures to strengthen food security. The Agro-Food Takaful Insurance Scheme will be launched through the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industries and will initially be offered to the nation’s 189,500 rice farmers, Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said.

Taiwan Academics Call on Government to Reform Central Bank; Bank shouldn’t be treated as ‘state-run enterprise’: academics; Recommendations aren’t mandatory, but still carry weight
Argin Chang and Samson Ellis – Bloomberg
Taiwan’s top government-funded research institute has called on the central bank to overhaul some of its long-held approaches to foreign exchange and monetary policy as part of a landmark set of recommendations. The government should draw lessons from the US Federal Reserve system to improve the independence and transparency of the central bank, according to a white paper released by Academia Sinica on Monday. The report marks the first time the influential institute has weighed in so publicly on central bank reform.

German Power Rises to Record as Heat Wave Scorches Europe
Will Mathis – Bloomberg
Benchmark German power for next year rose to a record as a heat wave bolstered demand, putting pressure on energy supplies ahead of the critical winter period. Prices have reached a fourth record in five trading days, showing the exorbitant cost of keeping the lights on in Europe’s biggest market. While demand and prices typically drop off in the summer months, this year a decline in Russian gas supplies during the key stockpiling season — as well as reduced power output in neighboring France — has underpinned a blistering rally.

UK North Sea Oil Needs Investment to Stem Decline, Shell Says; Lack of major oil and gas developments unsustainable; Fossil fuel projects should continue alongside renewables
Laura Hurst and Elena Mazneva – Bloomberg
Britain needs to keep developing new oil and gas fields in the North Sea even as it rolls out major offshore wind and carbon capture and storage projects across the country, according Shell’s UK head of upstream. “The UK will still need its home-produced oil and gas, which would otherwise only be replaced by likely higher-emissions imports,” Simon Roddy said in an interview. “There was only one major development consent for the whole of the North Sea last year. I don’t fundamentally think that’s a sustainable position.”

Ethiopia’s War Ended. Now There’s Hunger and Strife
Samuel Gebre and Fasika Tadesse – Bloomberg
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed battled rebels for more than 16 months before declaring a truce in March 2022, staving off a challenge to his authority. But the conflict has pushed millions of people into hunger in the northern Tigray region and soured his once-illustrious reputation. The nation’s misery has been compounded by the worst drought in four decades and soaring prices of grain and fuel. Abiy is also having to contend with fresh political violence in the center of the country, a territorial dispute with Sudan and attacks by al-Qaeda-linked militants.

South African Eskom Signals Respite From Power Output Curbs
Colleen Goko – Bloomberg
South African power utility Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. has lifted the current round of power production curbs, partly due to low weekend demand. The current round of blackouts, known locally as loadshedding, started on Aug. 3 after 11 days without interruptions. Loadshedding has been suspended, Eskom said in a statement on Sunday.

UK Households Get £280 Million Bill as Energy Suppliers Collapse
Alex Longley – Bloomberg
The UK’s largest electricity distribution business said a hit of £280 million from energy companies failing will be passed on to customers. UK Power Networks Ltd has received the claims under the so-called supplier of last resort scheme — a regulatory plan that ensures domestic supply isn’t interrupted when suppliers fail.


Meta Delays Job Offers for Summer Interns, Making Gen Z Sweat; Meta says it will wait to offer them full-time employment; Interns say they’re more likely to take any offer that comes
Carly Wanna – Bloomberg
Internships at Meta Platforms Inc., the Facebook and Instagram owner, are coveted for their selectivity, high compensation, lavish perks — and most of all, the potential job offer waiting at the end of the summer. This year, that’s more elusive. Meta told interns via email in early July that it would delay deciding whether to hire them, giving the company extra time to assess staffing needs, according to a spokesperson. It’s so far the most prestigious program to change or cancel plans to offer interns full-time jobs, but it’s not the last. Twitter Inc. also said it would be delaying hires, as did a number of startups.

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China commodity trader woe a setback for Glencore

China commodity trader woe a setback for Glencore

First Read Hits & Takes John Lothian & JLN Staff Congratulations to Larry Tabb. STA announced Larry as the 2022 Dictum Meum Pactum (DMP) Award recipient. Here is a success story for you. The Greenwood Project placed four interns at Goldman Sachs this summer...

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