Protests Hammer U.S. Cities Still Recovering From Lockdown

Jun 1, 2020

First Read

Hits & Takes
By John Lothian & JLN Staff

Outrage over the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis by a white policeman has sparked protests, violence and looting in the U.S. and protests internationally. Corporate leaders, bank leaders and others have opined on the matter, offering support to the oppressed.

Chicago Trading Company offered this statement via LinkedIn about the killing of Floyd:

Chicago Trading Company:

We are saddened by the senseless death of George Floyd. We are saddened by the all too familiar scene of black Americans dying at the hands of misguided law enforcement. We are saddened by the violence that has swept the country, but understand that there is an opportunity to do the hard work of moving towards Dr. King’s vision of the “Beloved Community”. That requires all of us to see each other’s humanity and commonality. Tomorrow, we will be sharing several donations we are making to support the important work needed. We are also taking this moment to intensify our efforts on diversity and to foster those very discussions at our company that promote an understanding of inclusion, equity, and belonging. We are a small company, but we hope that our actions are like a drop into the sea of this country that will add to the ripples of justice and equality for all citizens. Our hope is that others will join us and have these conversations in their companies. #GeorgeFloyd #diversity #racism #blacklivesmatter
/jlne.ws/2MiieeL

Additionally, Adena Friedman, CEO of Nasdaq, offered her thoughts on a post to LinkedIn that included a note she shared with the Nasdaq staff.

We here at JLN also take note of the attacks on journalists by police and the arrests of journalists during this time of unrest over the killing of George Floyd. We are appalled at the treatment of journalists doing their job while treating the police with respect and courtesy to do theirs. The U.S. and its freedoms are under attack in front of our very eyes and the world is watching and re-evaluating their views of the U.S.

We encourage the industry to join Chicago Trading Company and others in speaking about inequality and racism in our society and take positive steps, ala CTC, to foster diversity and promote understanding of inclusion, equity and belonging.

Happy Birthday to George Gero, who turned 84 over the weekend. George is looking good and going strong.

IEX is looking for people to work in the IEX Cloud. Here are the jobs they have OPEN

Stay safe.~JJL

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Reminder: Imagineer Technology Group is offering a live virtual roundtable on Wednesday, June 3rd, at 2pm CT titled “Vendors vs. Virus: How software providers in the asset management & trading industries are adapting in the COVID-19 pandemic.” Moderated by Jeremie Bacon, CEO of Imagineer, it includes panelists: Rick Lane, CEO of Trading Technologies; Hazem Dawani, CEO of Predata; Monel Amin, Founder & CEO of DiligenceVault; and Kristi Ross, Co-CEO & President of tastytrade.
The event is free and you can go here to register. ~SR

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State Rep. Kelly Cassidy: Illinois legislators take notice of strong cannabis revenues
JohnLothianNews.com

John Lothian News caught up with Illinois State Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago) on Wednesday, May 27, just days after the finish of a special state legislative session. Amid talk of a budget deficit and pandemic-related business closures, the healthy revenue stream provided by the state’s adult-use cannabis sales through April stood out, she said.

Watch the video »

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CBD Suffers from Hangover as Planting Season Begins
By Thom Thompson – JLN

The prices for unprocessed hemp for CBD (CBD biomass) and for distilled CBD have consolidated at low levels, according to May data reported by the PanXChange, holding at about 20 percent of last year’s peak prices posted shortly before the harvest started.

Around this time last year, CBD-hemp prices started on a tear that didn’t let up until a dramatic price collapse in August. Hemp grown for CBD production currently dominates non-marijuana cannabis production and consumption.

Last year’s generally wet spring supplied the moisture that benefits hemp germination and the first weeks of growing and, it turned out, everybody planted some hemp last year.

(Not really, although it seemed that way. Producers still need a hemp growing license from their states and must comply with state regulations. Hemp legality is predicated on the basis of states’ ability to segregate it functionally and commercially from marijuana.)

To read the rest of this article, go HERE.

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The Spread: Moving Out, Moving Back In
JohnLothianNews.com

This week on The Spread – the CME Group announces new options products, MSCI moves from Singapore to Hong Kong, and more.

Watch the video »

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Our Commitment to Equality
Adena Friedman – President and CEO of Nasdaq
Our country is facing great challenges right now, and it is in these times that it is more important than ever to stand together, to respect others, and to strive to create positive change. Over the weekend I sent a note to the entire Nasdaq team to share my feelings. I was encouraged by many to share it externally, so I’m including it below. Let’s all be part of the solution.
/jlne.ws/2Xmz02M

***** Adena Friedman is listed as an “influencer” on LinkedIn. She is that and more.~JJL

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America Is Raging. Listen to What’s Being Said; As cities boil over, pleas from sports figures to hear the voices in the streets
Jason Gay – WSJ
A humble ask from a sports columnist:
Pay attention.
Pay attention to what’s happening in America.
Pay attention to who is speaking out, and who is laying low.
/jlne.ws/3cqPHhv

****I encourage you also to read “75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice” by Corinne Shutack, posted to Medium.~JJL

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Company chiefs join outrage at police killings of African-Americans; Executives speak out over death of George Floyd and vow to address inequality at work
Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson – FT
Protests over the police killings of George Floyd and other unarmed black men and women have spread to US boardrooms, prompting dozens of executives to express solidarity and vow to address inequalities in their companies.
/jlne.ws/2XNQEvg

*****Even Michael Jordan has joined the chorus on this.~JJL

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Anger Is Right. Rioting Is Wrong; “We as a people are strongest when we use our voices to heal our city instead of using our hands to tear it down.”
Editorial Board – FT
It’s impossible to watch the video of George Floyd dying — handcuffed, helpless, face down in the road, complaining he can’t breathe, as a Minneapolis police officer kneels on his neck for more than eight minutes — without feeling a surge of anger and incomprehension. Learning that the crime for which Floyd was apprehended was “forgery in progress” (he apparently bought cigarettes with a fake $20 bill) only adds to one’s sense of outrage.
/jlne.ws/36OapH6

******Anger does not begin to describe the situation.~JJL

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Summary of responses to the consultation on market structure and trading hours
London Stock Exchange
Issued 1 June 2020
London Stock Exchange (“Exchange”) would like to thank all those who took the time
to reply to our recent consultation on potential changes to market structure. We
received over 140 responses, from respondents ranging from individual investors
through to global investment banks. We also received collective feedback from
industry associations and other bodies on behalf of their members. This summary was originally prepared for publication at the end of Q1 2020, but with the unprecedented period of market activity associated with COVID-19, we postponed publication until a time when stakeholders and other interested parties could better focus on these issues.
/jlne.ws/3dmkLjP

*****Here is the LSE report about shortening the trading day.~JJL

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An Unlikely Hero for 1906, 1929…and Today; The way A.P. Giannini built Bank of America shows that hard times can breed the upstarts who fuel the next boom
Jason Zweig – WSJ
A century ago, one banker was the lender of first resort when disasters hit. With coronavirus crippling the economy, we could use far more financial entrepreneurs like him today. His story shows that innovation often comes when unlikely people and unusual events collide. Born in 1870, Amadeo Peter Giannini quit school at age 15, becoming a wildly successful fruit-and-vegetable merchant. At the age of 31, three years before he went into banking, he had a net worth of about $300,000—more than $9 million in today’s money.
/jlne.ws/2XmhmvW

*****Chaos and change create opportunity. I have seen it. I have lived it.~JJL

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Former Cinnober CEO joins OSTC as financial chief; Peter Lenardos was formerly CFO and then CEO of Cinnober prior to its acquisition by Nasdaq last year.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Global derivatives and proprietary trading firm OSTC has confirmed the appointment of the former chief executive at Nasdaq’s Cinnober as its permanent chief financial officer. Peter Lenardos will become CFO at OSTC from 20 July, after engaging with the company as a financial consultant since February. He replaces Kenny Su, who served as CFO on an interim basis since October 2018.
/jlne.ws/36VJKYX

***** All kinds of former Cinnober people are moving about. Today, Vermiculus joins JLN as a sponsor. Vermiculus is the new company of Nils-Robert Persson.~JJL

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Friday’s Top Three
Our top story Friday was The New York Times’ C.D.C. Recommends Sweeping Changes to American Offices, most of which seem highly impractical. I’m betting working from home will be the choice for most. Second was the on-air tussle between Andrew Ross Sorkin and Joe Kernan on CNBC, via Julie VerHage’s Twitter account. It was also our top story on Thursday. Third was JLN’s video interview, James Gordon: Former Timber Hill Open Outcry Trader Story.

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Lead Stories

Protests Hammer U.S. Cities Still Recovering From Lockdown
Amanda Albright, Eric Martin, Elizabeth Campbell, and Christopher Palmeri – Bloomberg
Violence threatens to undermine push to revive the economy; Major urban areas on verge of reopening when unrest erupted
The reopening of America was always going to be fraught, with competing fears of new virus outbreaks and economic meltdown. Now cities across the nation, from New York to Chicago to Los Angeles, are reeling from unrest that could worsen both.
/jlne.ws/2Asq82q

London Stock Exchange finds broad backing for shorter trading day
Reuters
LONDON (Reuters) – There is broad backing in markets for cutting trading hours in a coordinated way across European exchanges, the London Stock Exchange said on Monday. The LSE published feedback from its public consultation on making trading hours more family-friendly to help diversify trading desks and improve mental wellbeing.
/jlne.ws/3clIKyt

Penalty Guidance Gives Companies More Transparency, CFTC Official Says; A new memorandum is the first public update since 1994 on how the derivatives regulator calculates fines
Dylan Tokar – WSJ
New guidance on how the nation’s derivatives regulator calculates fines is intended to give companies and officials a framework for settlement discussions, an official said. The guidance on civil monetary penalties from the Commodity Futures and Trading Commission lays out factors regulators are meant to consider when calculating fines. It was issued in the form of a memo to CFTC staff by enforcement director James McDonald and released publicly this month.
/jlne.ws/3gJosCg

China Halts Some U.S. Farm Imports, Threatening Trade Deal
Bloomberg News
Sinograin, Cofco told to halt soy imports as relations worsen; Move comes after Trump chastises Beijing over Hong Kong
Chinese government officials told major state-run agricultural companies to pause purchases of some American farm goods including soybeans as Beijing evaluates the ongoing escalation of tensions with the U.S. over Hong Kong, according to people familiar with the situation.
/jlne.ws/2Auz1IG

Citi warns markets are out of step with grim reality; Tougher times ahead as a result of pandemic, says co-head of investment banking
Laura Noonan – FT
Citigroup said financial markets were “way ahead of reality” with tougher times to come, warning corporate clients that they should raise as much money as they could before the pandemic’s true cost is factored in by investors.
/jlne.ws/36N3RIG

US pension plans warned they will run out of money by 2028; Seven struggling public funds could have a severe impact on state finances as their funded ratio drops
Chris Flood – FT
The weak financial condition of seven US public pension plans threatens to deplete their assets by 2028, leading to severe risks for the living standards of thousands of American employees and retired workers.
/jlne.ws/2AsTspH

Protests over George Floyd’s death spread to London and Berlin
CNN
Protesters took to the streets in London and Berlin to show solidarity with demonstrators in the US over the death of George Floyd while in police custody.
/jlne.ws/2MkO22u

The Small Exchange Announces Access to New Markets via CQG
CQG Provides Front-End to New Exchange, Facilitating Trading of Products Worldwide
Press Release
The Small Exchange, a new futures exchange offering smaller, simpler products aimed toward retail customers, today announced that its products are now available for trading through CQG, a leading global provider of high-performance technology solutions for traders, brokers, commercial hedgers, and exchanges. Through CQG’s platform, market participants around the world have access to the Small Exchange and its suite of products.
The Small Exchange opens to investors for trading today.
/prn.to/2yR9Kbk

Women-led hedge funds beat male rivals in coronavirus crisis; Small cluster of women-run funds avoided some of the broader losses
Laurence Fletcher and Hudson Lockett – FT
A small cluster of hedge funds managed by women has outperformed those run by men through the coronavirus crisis, new data show, highlighting the industry’s long-running lack of progress in fixing its gender imbalance.
/jlne.ws/2TSZ5nV

Coronavirus

Coronavirus Prods the U.K. to Consider the Once-Unthinkable: Negative Rates; Below-zero policy rate would be first in Bank of England’s 326-year history
Jason Douglas and Anna Hirtenstein – WSJ
The club of central banks willing to contemplate negative interest rates has a new member: the Bank of England. The economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic is whittling away the U.K. central bank’s long-held aversion to subzero rates. Senior officials, including Gov. Andrew Bailey, who took over from Mark Carney as the pandemic swept across Europe, have said the controversial policy is under review as a potential tool to support the U.K. economy as it emerges from lockdown into what will likely be a slow and protracted recovery.
/jlne.ws/3eEPuch

Every manager is having a midlife crisis; Human vulnerabilities exposed by the pandemic could revitalise our working practices
Gianpiero Petriglieri – FT
Until the start of this year, the future of work was the main focus of the academics, consultants and executives whose business it is to make profitable predictions. The century of management seemed past. Some lamented the lack of new management theories. Others observed that the bureaucracies of the 20th century, whose existence depended on managers, were giving way to tech platforms that had little use for them. Algorithms were better at coordinating those platforms’ loosely affiliated and widely distributed workers. The robots were slowly coming for managers’ offices. Only tech-savvy leaders would survive.
/jlne.ws/2Bmxk0A

Toronto’s Underground City Faces Bleak Future With Bankers MIA
Steven Frank, Sandra Mergulhao, and Doug Alexander – Bloomberg
A 19-mile maze of halls and shopping plazas goes eerily silent; Tight spaces, high rents a ‘bad formula’ in once-thriving area
To get an idea of the long recovery ahead for Toronto’s financial district, take a walk through the vast subterranean pathways that connect the city’s skyscrapers.
/jlne.ws/2Xl2LRg

Half of U.K. Families Won’t Send Children Back to School, Heads Say
Tim Ross – Bloomberg
Boris Johnson’s plans to get the stalled U.K. economy to start moving again face a significant challenge, with many parents choosing to keep their children at home even though they could send them back to school.
/jlne.ws/2Aw7SW8

Europe’s Virus Hot Spots Exit Lockdown as Experts Urge Caution
Lucy Meakin and Alessandra Migliaccio – Bloomberg
U.K., Italy plan to remove some restrictions this week; Italian government clashes with regions as protests erupt
Europe’s most virus-stricken countries are preparing to further ease lockdown measures that helped trigger the biggest economic downturn since World War II, even as scientists warned against moving too quickly.
/jlne.ws/2MhNc6H

Jefferies raises over $9 million for COVID-19 charities to honour memory of CFO; More than $9 million has been raised at Jefferies for various charities to honour memory of late CFO Peg Broadbent, who died of the coronavirus in March.
Kiays Khalil – The Trade
Investment bank Jefferies has raised a total of $9.25 million for charities dealing with the impact of coronavirus, following the death of its chief financial officer in March.
/jlne.ws/3cnz720

The Golden Rule Is Dying of Covid-19; How the spirit of shared sacrifice present as the pandemic began has shattered into a clash of irreconcilable moral traditions.
John Authers – Bloomberg
As the coronavirus forced the western world into lockdown in March, humans were confronted with a moral test. Drawing on centuries of philosophical thought that produced the world’s competing modern value systems, each person had to decide which measures were justified to limit the medical and economic carnage. There was plenty of possibility for discord.
/jlne.ws/36N5ENU

Riots Breed Chaos, Violence and Most Likely Covid-19; The pandemic seems to be forgotten amid the rage, but the demonstrations will only make it worse.
Joe Nocera – Bloomberg
Like so many Americans, I didn’t get much sleep Friday night. All night long, I kept refreshing my Twitter feed, watching and re-watching the videos of the rioting that took place in cities nationwide in reaction to the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis earlier in the week.
/jlne.ws/36Tojrp

England risks COVID-19 resurgence by ending lockdown too soon, scientific advisers say
Kate Holton – Reuters
England risks losing control of the coronavirus pandemic again and is at a “very dangerous moment” as it starts to ease out of the COVID-19 lockdown, senior scientific and medical advisers warned on Saturday.
/jlne.ws/3cqSsPT

Global coronavirus cases surpass 6 million
Reuters
Global coronavirus cases surpassed 6 million on Saturday, according to a Reuters tally, as Latin America reported a grim milestone of 50,000 deaths from the disease.
/jlne.ws/36Qwzsi

The world’s new Covid-19 epicenter could be the worst yet
Matt Rivers, CNN
For months, Latin America watched the rest of the world suffer as the coronavirus spread. It is a spectator no longer.
/jlne.ws/36P3D3J

The effects of Covid-19 could deepen secular stagnation; Monetary policy as we know it has become redundant. Central banks’ golden era is probably over
Gavyn Davies – FT
When former US Treasury secretary Lawrence Summers delivered his famous address on the return of secular stagnation at the IMF in 2013, he revived interest in a Keynesian construct that had fallen into disuse since the 1940s. He argued that a chronic excess of savings, relative to capital investment, may be developing in the global economy, forcing long-term interest rates down and threatening a persistent shortage of demand.
/jlne.ws/2AsqiXA

Wuhan’s Mass Testing May Have Eradicated the Coronavirus
Bloomberg News
City reports zero asymptomatic cases for the first time; Officials on campaign to test whole population of 11 million
Wuhan authorities said they found no new cases of “silent spreaders” for the first time in nearly two months as the city’s aggressive push to test its entire population appears to have succeeded in breaking hidden chains of transmission.
/jlne.ws/2Xn4O7K

Is the Worst of the Coronavirus Behind Us Now? Fears of a flare-up in virus cases after lockdown haven’t come to pass, though some caution is warranted.
Lionel Laurent – Bloomberg
The story of Covid-19 has been pretty bleak, from the scale of the novel coronavirus’s death toll to the pain of draconian lockdowns imposed by, in many cases, unprepared and under-resourced governments. But several weeks after the tentative lifting of tough stay-at-home restrictions in several major European countries, there are reasons to be optimistic about the risk of a second wave of cases — with a dose of appropriate caution.
/jlne.ws/36Nswgc

Keep your distance: people queue for school and IKEA in England
Phil Noble – Reuters
Thousands of people across England queued up for school and IKEA on Monday as the British government eased the coronavirus lockdown by allowing some children to return to class and many shops to reopen for the first time since March.
/jlne.ws/36Ns69C

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

Trading Overview in May 2020; Japan Exchange Group released Trading Overview in May 2020.
JPX
Cash Equity Market – In May 2020, the daily average trading value for the TSE 1st Section (domestic common stocks) was JPY 2.7860 trillion.
Derivatives Market (OSE) – In May 2020, total derivatives trading volume was 29,074,804 contracts.
/jlne.ws/2TZmWCh

TMX Group Interim CEO John McKenzie to present at the Virtual Piper Sandler Global Exchange and FinTech Conference
TMX
TMX Group Interim CEO John McKenzie will present at the Virtual Piper Sandler Global Exchange and FinTech Conference on June 3, 2020.
/jlne.ws/2zOUIU1

EGX Announces Trading Hours To Be Applied After Eid Al-Fitr Holiday
Mondovisione
The Egyptian Exchange (EGX) announced trading hours to be applied starting Sunday 31st of May 2020, as follows:
/jlne.ws/370n6il

Moscow Exchange to offer new single-stock futures
MOEX
On 3 June 2020, Moscow Exchange will launch cash-settled futures contracts on Sistema ordinary shares and Global Depository Receipts (GDRs) of Tinkoff Bank and X5 Retail Group.
/jlne.ws/3cqNXVv

Moscow Exchange Group Announces Changes To The Management Team
Mondovisione
At its meeting on 5 June 2020, the Supervisory Board of Moscow Exchange will discuss the proposed appointment of Alexey Khavin as member of the Executive Board. He is currently Chief Executive Officer of the Central Counterparty National Clearing Centre (CCP NCC), part of Moscow Exchange Group.
/jlne.ws/3cqO7w5

Andrey Burilov appointed as new Chief Information Officer of Moscow Exchange
MOEX
On 1 June 2020, Andrey Burilov was appointed Chief Information Officer of Moscow Exchange. After his candidacy is approved by the Supervisory Board, he is expected to be appointed as a member of the Moscow Exchange Executive Board.
/jlne.ws/2MjDv80

Tokyo Financial Exchange: Trading Volume In May 2020
Mondovisione
The total trading volume of FX Daily Futures contracts (Click 365) was 2,288,868 ( -8.1% MoM / +4.1% YoY ) and its average daily trading volume was 108,991 . See the TABLE 1 for the composition of the trading volume.
/jlne.ws/2yVbZuk

Fintech

AcadiaSoft begins soft launch for compliance with phase 5 of UMR; Following a one-year delay to UMR, AcadiaSoft is helping firms test initial margin calculations with a mock go-live program.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Risk and collateral management services provider AcadiaSoft has gone live with a soft launch of its program designed to help firms comply with the recently extended uncleared margin rules (UMR) deadline.
/jlne.ws/3clIwaB

Google and Twitter Are Right. Workers Should Stay Home; Rather than prepare to reopen, companies should help employees settle into operating remotely.
Sarah Green Carmichael – Bloomberg
The more I read and hear about what offices will be like as they reopen, the more dystopian it sounds: empty desks, no meetings, everyone keeping their distance from one another. I miss the thrum and hum of the workplace, but the need to maintain social distancing means reopening won’t bring that back.
/jlne.ws/2MhKRc7

Exclusive: Zoom plans to roll out strong encryption for paying customers
Joseph Menn – Reuters
Video conferencing provider Zoom (ZM.O) plans to strengthen encryption of video calls hosted by paying clients and institutions such as schools, but not by users of its free consumer accounts, a company official said on Friday.
/jlne.ws/2MkHRvj

Dealmaking Exchange CEO Wants Staff Off Zoom and In the Office
Bloomberg Law
Euronext’s Boujnah says working at home destroys creativity; Bourse boss also calls Covid-19 a key stress test for the EU
Stephane Boujnah says energy, innovation and dealmaking aren’t truly possible via Zoom. The chief executive officer of Euronext NV, which runs stock exchanges from Paris to Oslo, is keen to get staff back to the office as early as the end of June. He bowed out of the bidding for the Madrid exchange in March, not wanting to overpay, but predicts that as the coronavirus pandemic wanes, more businesses will be available to buy at reasonable prices.
/jlne.ws/36Nqz3m

Cryptocurrencies

Regulatory uncertainty keeps traditional asset managers out of the crypto space, survey takers say
Michael McSweeney – The Block
More than half the participants in a recent The Block Research survey say that regulatory uncertainty is keeping traditional asset managers from entering the crypto and digital asset space. The Block completed 38 interviews with firms in our sample set, drawing on professionals who predominantly work in the digital asset sector. The list of participants includes market makers, exchanges, custody providers, and traders.
/jlne.ws/2MvwMbb

We may be heading towards a post-dollar world
Rana Foroohar – FT
Unfettered globalisation is over. That is not a controversial statement at this point for obvious reasons, from the post-Covid-19 retrenchment of complex international supply chains to the decoupling of the US and China. It’s hard to imagine a reset to the 1990s neoliberal mindset, even if Joe Biden wins the US presidential elections, or if the EU experiences a moment of renewed cohesion in response to the pandemic.
/jlne.ws/2ZVn61m

The number of blockchain investment deals has declined for seven consecutive months
Michael McSweeney – The Block
According to research findings by The Block, 44 blockchain-related investment deals occurred during May 2020, a significant decline from the numbers seen last year. As shown in the chart below, the number of reported deals peaked in July 2019 – with 121 – though figures have fallen more consistently since the start of the year.
/jlne.ws/3eHfioi

A Chinese fund founder accused an IEO project of fraud, but later said it was a ‘misunderstanding’
Celia Wan – The Block
On May 26, Qihan Lin began introducing Troy — a self-proclaimed crypto prime broker that raised an Initial Exchange Offering (IEO) on Binance — to a group of Chinese investors during a WeChat-based “Ask Me Anything” session. “We provide prime brokerage services to institutional investors and professional traders through the revolutionary fintech product TroyTrade, which combines spot trading, leverage trading, derivatives trading, data analysis, asset custody, mortgage lending, and other functions together into one single account,” Lin said.
/jlne.ws/2MjWXRO

Chase Bank to Refund 95% of $2.5M It Allegedly Overcharged Crypto Buyers
Sebastian Sinclair – Coindesk
Chase Bank has agreed to repay most of $2.5 million in fees customers say it unfairly charged for cryptocurrency transactions. A subsidiary of JP Morgan Chase, the bank has agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit resulting from the bank’s decision in 2018 to charge higher fees on Chase credit cards that had classified the crypto purchases as “cash advances.”
/jlne.ws/2XNXvou

Got Cryptocurrency? Get Ready For An IRS Audit
Guinevere Moore – Forbes
On May 12, the IRS issued a statement of work soliciting “consulting services to support a taxpayer examination involving virtual currency.” The SOW was sent to popular cryptocurrency tax software companies such as CyrptoTrader.Tax, among others, in an effort to provide the IRS with the industry expertise necessary to identify and pursue cases where taxpayers’ reporting (or lack thereof) of digital assets is inconsistent with their actual cryptocurrency transactions.
/jlne.ws/2At730d

Russia Is About to Drop the Crypto ‘Iron Curtain,’ Industry Warns
Anna Baydakova – Coindesk
Russia’s crypto industry is pushing back against a set of bills that would make it more difficult to operate in the Eurasian country. Russian lawmakers introduced a set of draft bills regulating digital assets earlier this month, which would effectively ban any transactions using crypto within the country’s borders. In response, the crypto community has filed a number of protest letters.
/jlne.ws/2TUArDi

J.P. Morgan—Bitcoin’s ‘Biggest Enemy’—Suddenly Appears To Be Going All In On Crypto
Billy Bambrough – Forbes
J.P. Morgan, the largest U.S. bank by assets, has been waging a war of words with bitcoin and cryptocurrency for years. The bitcoin price has swung wildly since J.P. Morgan chief executive Jamie Dimon called bitcoin a “fraud” in September 2017—rising to around $20,000 per bitcoin before crashing to under $4,000 (twice).
/jlne.ws/2XVmJS2

Tether stablecoin launches on OMG Network as Ethereum is ‘vulnerable to severe network congestion’
Yogita Khatri – The Block
Tether (USDT), the largest stablecoin by market capitalization, has been integrated into the OMG Network (formerly OmiseGO). The integration will result in reduced transaction confirmation times and fees, Bitfinex announced on Monday. The exchange will enable USDT deposits and withdrawals on the OMG Network. Vansa Chatikavanij, CEO of OMG Network, said the network supports “thousands of transactions per second at a third of the cost of the same transaction on Ethereum.”
/jlne.ws/2TVJLqI

Behind ‘Prime Broker’ Buzzword Lies a Complex Strategy Game for Crypto Firms
Ian Allison – Coindesk
It’s probably no coincidence that three major crypto firms – Coinbase, Genesis Trading and BitGo – have almost simultaneously announced plans to become prime brokers, a kind of fixer when it comes to financing and facilitating trades for institutional investors. This type of vertical integration happens in every business, whether that’s Amazon running the internet or Coinbase trying to own the crypto space. Given the long road of the last couple of years, it’s maybe surprising there hasn’t been more M&A activity in the blockchain world.
/jlne.ws/2XjC1Rc

Bitmain releases cheaper bitcoin miner as it loses market share to MicroBT
Yogita Khatri – The Block
Bitmain has launched a new, cheaper model for its Antminer range of bitcoin mining machines. The Antminer T19 has a hashrate or mining power of 84 TH/s (terahash per second), and power efficiency of 37.5 J/TH (joules per terahash). The numbers compare well with the S19 model that has a hashrate of up to 95 TH/s. Antminer T19 is priced at around $1750, while S19 comes at the cost of $1785.
/jlne.ws/370AfYJ

Politics

China blasts Trump over his response to US unrest
Tom Mitchell, Xinning Liu – FT
Chinese officials and state media outlets have savaged the Trump administration’s response to violent protests raging across the US, describing the president as a hypocrite after he supported Hong Kong’s demonstrations. In a tweet directed at US state department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus, who said the Chinese government had “flagrantly broken its promises to the people of Hong Kong” with its plan to impose a new security law in the territory, her counterpart at China’s foreign ministry, Hua Chunying, wrote “I can’t breathe”.
/jlne.ws/3dnsqhL

We may be heading towards a post-dollar world; Continued erosion of trust in America politically could have an impact on the primacy of its currency
Rana Foroohar – FT
Unfettered globalisation is over. That is not a controversial statement at this point for obvious reasons, from the post-Covid-19 retrenchment of complex international supply chains to the decoupling of the US and China. It’s hard to imagine a reset to the 1990s neoliberal mindset, even if Joe Biden wins the US presidential elections, or if the EU experiences a moment of renewed cohesion in response to the pandemic.
/jlne.ws/2ZVn61m

China Says U.S. Hurting Bilateral Ties With Hong Kong Action
Bloomberg News
China accused the U.S. of undermining bilateral relations and said its comments regarding Hong Kong “disregarded facts,” days after President Donald Trump moved to rescind the city’s special trading status.
/jlne.ws/2TYOoA4

Trump to Meet With Attorney General and Governors Amid Escalating Protests
Derek Wallbank – Bloomberg
President Donald Trump will meet on Monday with Attorney General William Barr at the White House, before convening a teleconference with governors, law enforcement and national security officials, the White House said late Sunday.
/jlne.ws/2XjYBco

Hong Kong Bans Tiananmen Vigil for First Time in Three Decades
Natalie Lung – Bloomberg
Event organizer says commemoration will be held online instead; Move comes amid heightening concern about Hong Kong autonomy
Hong Kong’s police for the first time banned people from gathering on June 4 to commemorate the 1989 crackdown on activists in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, fueling concerns about the Asian financial hub’s dwindling autonomy.
/jlne.ws/2XOIFht

Trump has sown hatred of the press for years. Now journalists are under assault from police and protesters alike.
Margaret Sullivan – Washington Post
There are those who argue that President Trump’s endless disparagement of the news media is harmless — perhaps a little extreme at times, but mostly just a lot of talk.
/jlne.ws/2Mjkpi5

China’s Weaker Yuan Fix Is the Real Cold War Salvo; Setting the currency at its cheapest versus the dollar since 2008 is a clearer signal of intent than tear gas in Hong Kong.
John Authers – Bloomberg
It is never comforting to return from a long weekend to find headlines dominated by the word “war.” But that is what the deteriorating relationship between the U.S. and China has created. What exactly do all these references mean?
/jlne.ws/2MfLUco

Security Law Sends Hong Kong Residents Dashing for the Exit
Fion Li and Vinicy Chan – Bloomberg
Immigration advisers say they’ve been flooded with inquiries; Taiwan, U.K. signal they may ease entry requirements
Phyllis Lam has lived in Hong Kong for 42 years. It’s where she was born, went to school, met her husband and planned to raise her two children. But like a growing number of Hongkongers disillusioned by China’s tightening grip on the city, Lam now feels she has little choice but to leave. “I have no confidence in Hong Kong’s future,” she said in an interview. “I have two young kids, so I have to plan for them.”
/jlne.ws/36Mh1Wy

After Congress Debuts Digital Dollars Amid COVID-19, New Think Tank Broadens Vision Of U.S. Money
Jason Brett – Forbes
I sat down with J. Christopher Giancarlo and David Treat for an exclusive to discuss a new white paper by the Digital Dollar Project, the US CBDC White Paper, which explores a United States Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).
/jlne.ws/36OcIKg

What the arrest of a black CNN journalist on air taught us; The mistake was always to think that it can’t happen here, because it can, it has and – unless we remain aware and vocal – it most certainly will again
Francine Prose – The Guardian
The circumstances surrounding the 29 May arrest of the CNN reporter Omar Jimenez couldn’t be clearer, more obvious, less subject to doubt or debate. You need only watch the video of the incident to know: this is not fake news.
/jlne.ws/2Ax4EkQ

Open season on the free press: Journalists targeted in attacks as U.S. protests rage
Kenneth Li – Reuters
On Friday evening, viewers watched as CNN correspondent Omar Jimenez and his crew were arrested on live television while covering a protest following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
/jlne.ws/3clDUBo

Trump Invokes Law-and-Order to Put Protests Over Pandemic
Justin Sink – Bloomberg
President stokes divisions instead of seeking to console; Some allies worry protests are one crisis too many after virus
President Donald Trump has seized on destructive nationwide protests against police brutality to portray himself as an icon of law and order, eschewing the soothing role past presidents have adopted in similar moments as he seeks to turn the election-year conversation from his widely panned handling of the coronavirus outbreak.
/jlne.ws/36PwOUo

U.S. lawmakers to unveil bill banning investment in firms tied to China’s military
Alexandra Alper – Reuters
A group of Republican lawmakers plans to unveil legislation this week to keep Americans from investing in foreign defense companies with ties to China’s military, according to a document seen by Reuters, the latest in a string of measures aimed at curbing U.S. funding for China-based firms.
/jlne.ws/3clBRND

China says U.S. ‘addicted to quitting’ over plan to withdraw from WHO
Reuters
China said on Monday the United States was “addicted to quitting” following a U.S. decision to leave the World Health Organization (WHO) and said the withdrawal reveals a pursuit of power politics and unilateralism.
/jlne.ws/3dnXXjJ

Urban unrest raises the stakes of US politics; Donald Trump risks worsening the troubles with his provocative tweets
The editorial board – FT
What has happened in US cities in recent days is no less distressing for its familiarity. The country has known protests to turn violent before, as it has known police aggression and racial strife. If there is a difference now, it is the immediacy with which camera phones and social media bring home the severity of the unrest — and, at times, enable them to spread.
/jlne.ws/2Xjwom5

Regulation

ESMA’s Supervisory Coordination network concludes its work
ESMA
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the EU securities markets regulator, today announces the finalisation of the work of the Supervisory Coordination Network (SCN).
/jlne.ws/2XSfRET

ESMA updates its Q&As on MiFID II and MiFIR transparency and market structures topics
ESMA
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has today updated its Questions and Answers regarding market structures and transparency issues under the Market in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II) and Regulation (MiFIR).
/jlne.ws/3eHdVpE

Update on FCA test case of the validity of business interruption claims
UK FCA
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is today providing an update on progress on its court action on business interruption (BI) insurance policies.
/jlne.ws/2ySvKTl

Investing and Trading

Shareholder climate rebellions surge despite coronavirus crisis; Investors pile pressure on companies including JPMorgan and Rio Tinto over global warming
Attracta Mooney – FT
Shareholders have ramped up pressure on companies to tackle global warming even as businesses grapple with the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.
/jlne.ws/3gBLqLL

Threat of negative rates hangs over $4.8tn US money fund industry; Thin margins and fee waivers to jeopardise profitability as part of coronavirus disruption
Chris Flood – FT
US president Donald Trump’s view that the country should accept the “gift” of negative interest rates would be hugely damaging for the nation’s $4.8tn money market funds sector.
/jlne.ws/2U1Ymkq

IMF Warns Investors: You’re Not Ready for Climate Change
Laura Millan Lombrana and Eric Martin – Bloomberg
Fund calls for mandatory disclosure of company climate risks; Climate stress tests could help firms measure their exposure
Investors worldwide are underestimating the financial risks from climate change, and companies need to start disclosing their exposure, according to the International Monetary Fund.
/jlne.ws/3clu81Z

Could OPEC+ Become a Victim of Its Own Success? OPEC+ must work hard to avoid another damaging split between those who want to roll back output cuts in July and those who may want to prolong them.
Julian Lee – Bloomberg
With oil prices roaring back, the OPEC+ output cuts are undoubtedly doing their job. But they’re due to be reviewed, perhaps as early as this week, and the unwieldy group of oil producing nations needs to ensure the fault lines between its de facto leaders, Saudi Arabia and Russia, don’t resurface. We all know what happened last time they couldn’t agree on the way forward.
/jlne.ws/3chrSc4

Negative interest rates: What they are, how they work and whether they are coming to the U.S.
Russ Wiles – Arizona Republic
Stimulus payments. Forgivable business loans. Federal unemployment benefits. So many unusual policies and practices have come out in recent months to help stabilize the economy that it seems almost anything could be on the table. Might negative interest rates be next?
/jlne.ws/3dl7us0

Bond Traders Glimpse Yields’ Liftoff Potential as Economy Wakens
Liz McCormick – Bloomberg
Treasuries curve ends month near the steepest since March; Labor data this week may show jobless rate approaching 20%
Investors in the world’s biggest bond market are starting to see what the other side of America’s worst-ever economic downturn could mean for their portfolios. With more U.S. regions gradually reopening and investor sentiment picking up, the Treasuries yield curve from 5 to 30 years ended May close to the steepest since the height of the virus-fueled market panic more than two months ago.
/jlne.ws/3coi4x4

Don’t Ignore the Nuclear Option; It may be controversial. It’s also a reliable source of clean power that can replace fossil fuels.
Clara Ferreira Marques – Bloomberg
With billions of workers at home and factories idle, early April saw daily carbon emissions fall 17% compared to 2019 averages, according to a study by a team of international scientists published this month. That’s great. Unfortunately, it only takes us back to 2006 levels, and it’s temporary.
/jlne.ws/2Mvhovr

Fed Should Resist Market Pressure to Do More; The consequences of additional action outweigh the potential benefits.
Mohamed A. El-Erian – Bloomberg
In listening to market chatter urging the Federal Reserve to do more, I’m reminded of two simple insights I was exposed to years ago that have stayed with me. They don’t help predict what the Fed will end up doing, but they help shed light on the possible consequences.
/jlne.ws/2MiS7V0

Goldman Rolls Back Its Pessimistic Outlook for American Stocks
Joanna Ossinger – Bloomberg
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. has effectively bowed to pressure from the continuing rally in U.S. stocks and abandoned its call for another steep sell-off.
/jlne.ws/3ckdRuk

Goldman Says U.S. Jobs Market Showing Early Signs of Recovery
Jason Clenfield – Bloomberg
The U.S. labor market is showing the earliest signs of recovery, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. A drop in continued jobless claims, especially in states that reopened earlier than others, suggests rehiring by businesses may be starting to turn the tide, analysts led by New York-based economist Jan Hatzius wrote in a report to clients Sunday.
/jlne.ws/2yP7uBk

Biggest Solar Panel Maker Doubles Capacity With New Plant
Bloomberg News
JinkoSolar Holding Co., the world’s biggest solar panel maker, started operations at the first phase of a massive 11 billion yuan ($1.6 billion) factory in China’s eastern Zhejiang province that will eventually double its manufacturing capacity.
/jlne.ws/2Ap6a8W

Markets Are Again Proving Immune to Violence; Stocks have a history of rallying after riots, from the U.S. in 1968 to London in 2011.
John Authers – Bloomberg
June starts amid conflict. China’s assertion of authority over Hong Kong has prompted commentary in the U.S. likening the moment to Hitler’s annexation of the Rhineland or the Sudetenland. The situation is ugly and the ramifications of a further breakdown in the relations between the world’s two biggest economic powers would, as has been widely discussed, be profound.
/jlne.ws/2MfhrLH

Institutions

Has the investment industry learnt from the Woodford scandal? Questions hang over fund rules, conflicts of interest and role of intermediaries
Siobhan Riding – FT
A year ago today, a group of local government officials and retired council workers in Kent made a momentous decision that would trigger the downfall of Britain’s most famous fund manager and spark Europe’s biggest investment scandal for a decade.
/jlne.ws/3eD7vHP

Banks Have a Mountain of Deposits So They Don’t Need PPP Funding
Yalman Onaran – Bloomberg
Firms got just $49 billion from Fed while loaning $511 billion; Deposits at U.S. banks grew $1.8 trillion in last two months
A record surge in bank deposits has given U.S. lenders more cash than they know what to do with. One thing they don’t need: help from the Federal Reserve to fund the government-backed loans they made to small businesses.
/jlne.ws/3gGfLsz

Barclays to Return About 700 Staff, Mostly Traders, to Offices
Luca Casiraghi and Stefania Spezzati – Bloomberg
Remaining staff to work from home until at least end-September; Banks craft plans to gradually return staff as pandemic eases
Barclays Plc will begin returning about 700 staff to offices in the U.K., U.S. and India starting next month. The London-based bank told staff in a memo Monday that the rest of its employees will work from home at least until the end of September, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The employees who will go back to the office over the summer will be mostly traders and others who can’t work from home, and they comprise less than 1% of global headcount, the people said. A spokesman at Barclays declined to comment.
/jlne.ws/2MhM2bx

Barclays investment bank appoints former JP Morgan veteran chairman for banking; Alex Lynch, a former 15-year JP Morgan veteran, has joined Barclays as chairman of banking within its investment bank.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Barclays has hired former JP Morgan veteran Alex Lynch as chairman of banking within its investment bank business, the institution has confirmed.
/jlne.ws/3cjhDEh

BlackRock’s Fink Follows Banks in Statement on Race Inequality
Annie Massa – Bloomberg
BlackRock Inc. Chief Executive Officer Larry Fink joined other executives in the financial-services industry in condemning a series of episodes underscoring racial inequality in the U.S. Fink, CEO of the world’s largest-asset management firm, said that he was appalled by three separate issues that drew nationwide attention.
/jlne.ws/2XnuwZq

Regions

Swiss debate on corporate liability comes to a head; Parliament considers new ethical regulations for some of the world’s biggest companies
Sam Jones – FT
Some of the world’s biggest companies, from Nestlé to Glencore, face the prospect of tougher ethical regulations in Switzerland, as a four-year debate over business practices comes to a head in parliament this week.
/jlne.ws/3eDqjqn

Delisting Chinese companies plays straight into their hands; Controlling shareholders and Beijing are likely to exploit a ban to further their objectives
Jesse Fried – FT
Last month, the US Senate unanimously passed a bill aimed at improving the reliability of financial statements by China-based companies trading in the US.
/jlne.ws/2XSPwq4

U.K.’s Largest Private Pension Fund to Exit Coal, Tobacco Firms
Alastair Marsh – Bloomberg
Universities Superannuation Scheme oversees about $84 billion; Pension funds face growing pressure on sustainable investment
The U.K.’s largest private pension manager plans to stop investing in companies involved with tobacco, thermal coal and controversial weapons.
/jlne.ws/2Xkt22c

Chinese banks stampede to offer perpetual bonds as incentives spur risky debt issuance; Banks, including smaller ones without easy access to capital markets, increasingly issuing riskier bank debt
Georgina Lee – SCMP.com
More Chinese banks are issuing perpetual bonds as a way to replenish capital and support their loan growth, with regulatory incentives spurring 569.6 billion yuan (US$79.6 billion) in total issuance last year for one of the riskiest types of bank debt.
/jlne.ws/3dn4jjt

Billions Going to China’s Quants Takes Fight to Global Funds
Bloomberg News
A mix of machine learning and local knowledge is paying off; One of Zhejiang High-Flyer’s products returned 99% last year
As China was welcoming in the world’s largest hedge funds four years ago, a Hangzhou-based quantitative fund was burning through motherboards and buying the wrong types of servers as it figured out machine learning.
/jlne.ws/2yRVhvT

NYC’s Finance Jobs Won’t Recover for Six Years, Analysis Shows
Alexandre Tanzi – Bloomberg
New York City’s finance industry won’t recover from the devastation wrought by Covid-19 until 2026, according to an analysis by software firm LaborIQ by ThinkWhy that ranks U.S. employment markets.
/jlne.ws/2Mkn2Ak

Hedge Fund in Sweden Trounces Return Goal With Rare AI Model
Jonas Cho Walsgard – Bloomberg
A Swedish hedge fund called Volt Capital Management AB has run circles around its own return target by relying on a form of artificial intelligence it says is unique.
/jlne.ws/2AsSIkp

Texas Is Showing the World How to Reopen Cautiously; A month into lifting restrictions, coronavirus cases haven’t surged. Many residents are keeping their distance, raising doubts about the speed of the economic recovery.
Matthew Townsend, Andre Tartar, Rachel Adams-Heard, Vanessa Fayzulin – Bloomberg
Over Memorial Day weekend, a club in Houston hosted a pool party that looked straight out of spring break, with loads of bulky bare chests, bikinis and day drinking on an umbrella-filled patio during a balmy Saturday.
/jlne.ws/370mbyp

China’s Solar Giants Slash Prices as Virus Curbs Demand
Bloomberg News
Chinese manufacturers that dominate nearly every step in the global solar power supply chain are being forced to slash prices as the coronavirus disrupts projects around the world.
/jlne.ws/36Pyuxb

I Wish Hong Kong Were Just Another Chinese City; Its economy has been swallowed by the financial sector. Just across the border, Shenzhen has struck a healthier balance.
Shuli Ren – Bloomberg
U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo has said Hong Kong is no longer autonomous from China after a monthslong crackdown on pro-democracy protesters. This has paved the way for the Trump administration to strip the territory of some of its privileged trade status. But alas, sometimes, I wish Hong Kong could be just another Chinese city.
/jlne.ws/2ArKk4E

China Halts Some U.S. Farm Imports, Threatening Trade Deal
Bloomberg News
Sinograin, Cofco told to halt soy imports as relations worsen; Move comes after Trump chastises Beijing over Hong Kong
Chinese government officials told major state-run agricultural companies to pause purchases of some American farm goods including soybeans as Beijing evaluates the ongoing escalation of tensions with the U.S. over Hong Kong, according to people familiar with the situation.
/jlne.ws/3clC9nH

Beekeeper’s Plight Points to $109 Billion Remittances Problem
Aine Quinn and Naubet Bisenov – Bloomberg
Europe and Central Asia could see biggest fall in remittances; Some former Soviet countries saw money flows halve in April
Since the breakup of the Soviet Union three decades ago, Khatam Khaydarov has helped support his family in Uzbekistan by traveling over 1,500 miles to work in Russia. Not this year. Khaydarov, 62, was visiting his home in Samarkand in March when Russia and Uzbekistan shut their borders to halt the spread of the coronavirus. The beekeeper has lost about 60,000 rubles ($858) in income since then, and has been living off savings.
/jlne.ws/36P06Cv

Brexit

London mayor urges Gove to extend Brexit transition; Sadiq Khan asks Cabinet Office minister to ‘put ideology aside’ and protect economy
Jim Pickard – FT
Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, has written to Michael Gove calling for an extension to the Brexit transition period. Mr Khan urged Mr Gove, the Cabinet Office minister, to “put political ideology aside” and seek an extension to the negotiations to avoid more potential damage to the economy.
/jlne.ws/3gHVJhd

Pound Investors Have Too Much on Plate to Obsess About Brexit
William Shaw – Bloomberg
Currency reaches 3-week high a day before negotiations resume; Economic fears around pandemic have become dominating factor
Even with the risk of a hard Brexit hanging over their heads, pound traders seem to be looking the other way. The currency touched a three-week high against a weaker dollar, one day before fraught trade negotiations resume between London and Brussels. A gauge of sentiment in sterling over the next month, which covers the deadline for an extension to the U.K.’s Brexit transition period, is the least negative since late March.
/jlne.ws/3ckkFbm

Miscellaneous

Ex-Pimco CEO’s Bid for Second Chance Is a Scam Itself, U.S. Says
Patricia Hurtado and Janelle Lawrence – Bloomberg
Douglas Hodge in admissions scandal may get new hearing; Prosecutors urge judge to slam the book closed on his case
Former Pimco chief Douglas Hodge, who got the toughest sentence of all the parents so far in the U.S. college admissions scandal, snatched prized places away from honest applicants knowing it was all a fraud, prosecutors said in urging a judge not to reconsider his plea.
/jlne.ws/2Xn7GkO

Without Fans or High-Fives, Baseball Plays On in Korea; With no start in sight for MLB, American fans and ESPN have turned to the KBO.
Peter Pae, Shoee Kim – Bloomberg
The Kia Tigers were down by two runs to the visiting Doosan Bears on a recent Sunday, when Preston Tucker came up to bat. The former Atlanta Braves outfielder was on a hot streak, batting .475 in the first two weeks of the season. He didn’t disappoint, going deep into the “Kia Home Run Zone” in right field.
/jlne.ws/2MhFPfx

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