Hits & Takes
John Lothian & JLN Staff
Tomorrow is the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S., when we all stuff ourselves with turkey, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie, then watch football games on television. There are also lots of naps after the tryptophan kicks in from the turkey.
There will be no JLN tomorrow due to the holiday. We will have an abbreviated JLN on Friday, due to the normally slow news day because of the holiday.
We wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving. Be safe.
The NFA and the NIBA (National Introducing Broker Association) will hold a joint webinar on Tuesday, December 7 at 3:30 p.m. CT titled “Supervision in a Hybrid Environment.” For those of you who don’t think there is supervision in the hybrid environment, or those who don’t supervise despite the hybrid approach, you might want to consider attending the webinar. — NFA
FIA Tech is holding a webinar titled “Is your firm ready for the CFTC position limits compliance deadline of January 1, 2022?” on Wednesday, December 1, 2021 at 10 a.m. New York, 3 p.m. London. Speakers include Neal Kumar, Partner, Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP and Justin Hasnat, FIA Tech position limits expert. You can register HERE.
Registration is open for the Amsterdam Investor Forum on March 30, 2022 at ABN AMRO’s head office in Amsterdam. For more information, click HERE.
Two Nigerians were sentenced to prison in the U.S. for their roles in Business Email Compromise (BEC) schemes, the U.S. Department of Justice announced. It also turns out that neither of them were princes. — SecurityWeek
The Chicago Tribune Building on North Michigan Avenue in Chicago is being turned into condos, and John S. Koudounis, the CEO of Calamos Investments, has bought one for $4M. The Tribune Tower is renowned for having stones in its walls from all over the world, everywhere from the Cave of the Nativity in Bethlehem to the Great Pyramid in Giza, Egypt.
I guess it was not a good idea to hang on to my spare Turkish lira after my trip there in 2011. Oh well.
TMX has a new market making program on the 30-Year Government of Canada Bond Futures (LGB®) starting on Monday, November 29.
The OCC is looking for an Associate Principal, Organizational Development.
CME Group is looking for a Senior Sales Associate – BrokerTec Platform Solutions.
Tom Thornton-Smith, the son of Patrick Thornton-Smith, is now global head of trading operations & trading platforms at ARRACO. — LinkedIn
If turkeys were candy bars, rather than raising prices for turkeys, we would all be eating Cornish hens this year and be told they were turkeys.
Dollar Tree, a retail store company whose stores are found mostly in small towns and has charged $1 for its items, has raised prices to $1.25. That is an increase of two bits.
Have a great day and stay safe and treat people the same way you want to be treated: with respect, equality and justice.~JJL
Catching up: The American Financial Exchange (AFX) said Tuesday that the AMERIBOR futures complex posted record trading volume on Friday, November 19, with 1,027 contracts. (The total represents more than $12.3 billion in notional value.) In addition, open interest hit a record high of 1,017 contracts across all products, the exchange said.~SC
FIA EXPO 2021 Video: ‘Everyone Is Threatened’ By Disintermediation
Robert Fitzsimmons, executive vice president at Wedbush Securities, spoke with John Lothian News at FIA Expo 2021 about his observations, insights and opinions on everything from the conference itself to the state of cryptocurrency today. As executive vice president, Fitzsimmons manages futures, fixed income groups, and securities lending.
Did You Hear the One About Jamie Dimon and China’s Communist Party? The famously brash JPMorgan CEO might discover that his sense of humor doesn’t play as well in Beijing as it does at home.
Shuli Ren – Bloomberg
In the U.S., chief executives like to be funny, cracking jokes on stage to get the audience’s attention and showcase their charisma. But some jokes can go too far, especially when they involve China, where politicians have a different sense of humor — and sometimes none at all.
***** Jamie Dimon is needing help today removing his Gucci loafer from his mouth.~JJL
Cyber Scammer Confesses to Fraud Fueled by Cocaine, Whiskey
Karin Matussek – Bloomberg
Case is part of multinational effort against cyber-trade fraud; Scheme was run out of call centers in Eastern European cities
An Israeli man confessed on Tuesday to helping to steal nearly $10 million from hundreds of victims of a sprawling cyber-trading scam headed by the so-called Wolf of Sofia, while under the influence of cocaine and whiskey.
***** He left out sex?~JJL
A Pirate Bay For NFTs Wants To Prove That Digital Assets Are Worthless
Felipe Erazo – FX Empire
As non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are on fire among the cryptocurrency communities, some people doubt the concept’s solidness because images turned on NFTs could be downloaded without purchasing them. An Australian developer compiled thousands of NFT images and made them freely available, aiming to show what he suggests it’s the absurdity of the property rights behind these assets.
*****Sounds like a bad idea and a worse strategy. But can you short a NFT?~JJL
China Finds 12 Million Children That It Didn’t Know Existed
China undercounted the number of children born in 2000 to 2010 by at least 11.6 million — equivalent to Belgium’s current population — partly because of its stringent one-child policy. The latest statistical yearbook released by the government puts the number of children born during that period at 172.5 million, well above the 160.9 million in that age group recorded in the 2010 census.
***** On the plus side, they can now take a deduction on their taxes for all 12 million children.~JJL
Tuesday’s Top Three
Our most-clicked story Tuesday was the John Lothian News video FIA Expo Video 2021: CQG Pivots To Next Generation With New Technology Tools, an interview with Ryan Moroney, CQG president, and Pat Kenny, CQG senior vice president. Second was The ‘Tesla-financial complex’: how carmaker gained influence over the markets, from The Financial Times. Third was Bitcoin Is The Single Best Shot At Achieving Liberty In Our Lifetime, a libertarian’s opinion piece from Bitcoin Magazine via Nasdaq.
26,664 pages; 236,388 edits
Rapid Covid Test Scarcity Is Making Thanksgiving Riskier; Antigen tests could help us congregate more safely, but good luck finding any.
Mark Gongloff – Bloomberg
Earlier this week, Faye Flam had a piece on how Americans could safely gather for Thanksgiving without: Wearing masks through the entire ordeal; Eating outdoors in the cold; or Leaving vulnerable people at home to binge-watch TV, deprived of uncomfortable conversation, boring football games and dry turkey, which, wait a minute, I would like to hear more about this option. One solution Faye offered was rapid tests. These do a decent job of measuring whether somebody will pass Covid along with that delicious ambrosia salad (option 3 keeps sounding better and better, doesn’t it?).
ASX Responds to ASIC Conclusion of Outage Investigation; ASIC investigation of ASX market outage concluded; licence conditions align with ASX’s program of improvement
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has today announced the conclusion of its investigation into the ASX equity market outage in November 2020.
On 23 August 2021, ASX agreed to address the recommendations of the independent expert report into the outage. This work has begun and is expected to be completed over the next 12 to 18 months. Until the implementation of these recommendations and the completion of the CHESS replacement project, additional conditions will be applied to ASX’s market and its clearing and settlement licences.
Wall Street’s $22 Trillion Carbon Time Bomb; It’s not just the moral imperative of dumping fossil-fuel producers anymore. Now it’s a matter of financial health.
Tim Quinson – Bloomberg
The clock is ticking for banks, insurers and asset managers still providing support to oil, gas and coal producers. It’s not just the moral imperative—that fossil-fuel use is destroying the atmosphere and life on Earth with it. It’s that their financial health requires leaving such companies behind.
Wall Street Grudgingly Allows Remote Work as Bankers Dig In; Finance employees who couldn’t imagine working from home before the pandemic are now reluctant to return to the office. Their bosses can’t figure out how to bring them back.
Lananh Nguyen – NY Times
In her two decades on Wall Street, Nadia Batchelor never once thought she could do her job from home. Face-to-face meetings were a must for Ms. Batchelor, a senior executive at Jefferies, a New York investment bank. Without being in the same room as her clients and colleagues, she assumed, there was no way she could win their trust and do her job of introducing companies to potential investors.
Treasury’s 20-Year Bond Struggles to Catch On With Investors; Reintroduced last year for the first time in more than three decades, the 20-year maturity is offering higher yields than the 30-year bond
Sam Goldfarb – WSJ
U.S. government bonds have had a tough time this year. And then there’s the 20-year old bond, which has faced its own unique problems. Reintroduced last year for the first time since 1986, the 20-year bond was intended to help the government get the lowest possible long-term borrowing costs. For the past few weeks, however, investors have demanded extra payment to hold the 20-year bond instead of the 30-year, the government’s longest-maturity debt.
ASIC imposes additional licence conditions on ASX and issues expectations to improve market resilience
ASIC has concluded its investigation and consideration of the November 2020 market outage at the ASX. Additional licence conditions have been imposed on three licences held within the ASX Group. The licence conditions are directed at mitigating risks for future upgrades, with specific emphasis on the oversight of the CHESS Replacement Program, due to go live in April 2023. ‘The ASX outage was a very serious event, exacerbated by subsequent operational issues. The imposition of these licence conditions will confirm that remedial actions are implemented appropriately and efficiently to address these operational issues – including for the critical rollout of the CHESS Replacement Program,’ said ASIC Chair Joe Longo.
Will a Wealth Tax Affect Singapore’s Rivalry with Hong Kong?The two Asian financial centers have played their policies against each other but times are changing and one may now have an advantage.
Andy Mukherjee – Bloomberg
When it comes to staying attractive to the rich, Asia’s two rival financial centers have always tried to play their tax policies against each other. Hong Kong abolished its estate duty in 2006; Singapore followed suit in 2008. And after Singapore made a play for large family offices, Hong Kong, which boasts the highest population of uber-wealthy after New York, started looking at its own tax code to see where it could do better.
A $391 Million Fine Has China’s Board Members Quitting En Masse
China’s independent directors are quitting once coveted seats on the boards of listed companies, spooked by fines levied on five directors of Kangmei Pharmaceutical Co. that totaled hundreds of millions of dollars. Independent directors of at least 20 companies listed on the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges have resigned after a Guangzhou court ruled on Nov. 12 that some Kangmei executives and their external accountants were responsible for fabricating its financial statements. They were required to jointly compensate investors for a combined 2.5 billion yuan ($391 million) of losses.
Much of Biden’s Oil Release Will Likely End Up in China, India
Sheela Tobben, Devika Krishna Kumar and Javier Blas – Bloomberg
A large portion of the barrels that will be offered from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve will likely be exported to China and India, traders said. That’s because the supplies will consist of sour crude, a type of oil that U.S. refiners are shunning due to its high sulfur content, which makes it more expensive to process. For some foreign buyers, though, U.S. sour crude is attractive because it’s much cheaper than the global Brent benchmark.
What’s the SEC Saying About Crypto?
Nikhilesh De – Coindesk
Key U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) officials mentioned enforcement around crypto projects earlier this month: Chair Gary Gensler and Director of Enforcement Gurbir Grewal. We’ve spent literally years interpreting statements from SEC officials to determine how the agency might approach crypto. This month, Gensler and Grewal mentioned crypto in the context of enforcement actions, which might just be a coincidence, but could also be a signal for those looking for more concrete action.
JPMorgan CEO Dimon jokes his bank will outlast China’s Communist Party
David Henry – Reuters
JPMorgan Chase and Co’s Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon joked that his bank would last longer than China’s Communist Party while speaking in Boston Tuesday. While reiterating his bank’s commitment to doing business in China, Dimon said: “I made a joke the other day that the Communist Party is celebrating its 100th year – so is JPMorgan. I’d make a bet that we last longer.”
JPMorgan Has $20 Billion at Stake as Dimon Jokes About China
Denise Wee and Cathy Chan – Bloomberg
U.S. bank takes steps to downplay Dimon’s comment internally; JPMorgan among top Wall Street banks with exposure to China
Jamie Dimon’s eyebrow-raising joke about JPMorgan Chase & Co. outlasting China’s Communist Party has so far been met by public silence from officials in Beijing.
Jamie Dimon Says He Regrets Joke About JPMorgan Outlasting China’s Communist Party; Chief executive made comment during an event in response to a question about doing business in China
Elaine Yu and Jing Yang – WSJ
JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Jamie Dimon made an offhand remark Tuesday about the American banking giant’s ability to outlast China’s Communist Party, days after he made a whirlwind trip to the Chinese financial hub of Hong Kong on a government travel exemption.
Biden Releases Sour Crude That’s Out of Favor With U.S. Refiners
Sheela Tobben and Devika Krishna Kumar – Bloomberg
President Joe Biden’s move to unleash supplies from U.S. petroleum reserves will flood the market with sour crude that refiners are currently shunning.
EU seeks more independence for bank regulators after Wirecard scandal; German supervisor BaFin set to have to cut ties with industry representatives
Sam Fleming and Olaf Storbeck – FT
Germany’s financial regulator BaFin is set to have to cut its ties to banking lobbyists and ensure it does not take orders from the finance ministry under rules being proposed by Brussels in the wake of the Wirecard scandal.
Hong Kong to Mandate Diners Use Contact Tracing App from Dec. 9
Jinshan Hong – Bloomberg
Some eateries have allowed patrons to handwrite contact info; City is one of last Covid Zero holdouts, along with China
Hong Kong will require all diners to use the government’s Covid-19 contact tracing app from December 9, bolstering anti-virus measures as it works to reopen the border with mainland China.
India’s Homegrown Vaccine Gave Lower Protection in Delta Wave
Chris Kay – Bloomberg
Study finds shot has 50% efficacy against symptomatic Covid; Virus wave, hospital setting may have blunted effectiveness
Covaxin, one of the main vaccines used in India’s coronavirus immunization drive, provides only 50% protection against symptomatic Covid-19, according to a real-world study that suggests the shot is less effective than initially thought.
As Virus Cases Rise in Europe, an Economic Toll Returns; A series of restrictions, including a lockdown in Austria, is expected to put a brake on economic growth.
Patricia Cohen and Melissa Eddy – NY Times
Europe’s already fragile economic recovery is at risk of being undermined by a fourth wave of coronavirus infections now dousing the continent, as governments impose increasingly stringent health restrictions that could reduce foot traffic in shopping centers, discourage travel and thin crowds in restaurants, bars and ski resorts.
Covid-19 Antibody Tests in Demand as People Worry About Immunity; Doctors say what constitutes a sufficient level of protection against the virus isn’t known
Robbie Whelan and Brianna Abbott – WSJ
Some people are taking Covid-19 antibody tests to determine whether they might be protected against the virus. Many health officials and doctors wish they wouldn’t. Antibody tests are one tool some people are deploying to help them decide which precautions to take to protect themselves and curb the spread of Covid-19. Some vaccinated people say they want to know whether their protection has weakened to the point that they should get a booster, while some previously infected people say they want to measure the strength of the response the virus generated in their immune systems.
New Zealand, Once A Paragon Of COVID Zero, Will End Elimination Effort, Lockdowns; Only 40 people have died in New Zealand since the coronavirus pandemic began.
Nick Visser – Huffington Post
New Zealand will abandon its long-touted effort to eliminate cases of COVID-19 across the nation amid an ongoing outbreak of the highly transmissible delta variant of the virus. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Monday that Auckland would end its more than three-month lockdown in early December and the country would institute a three-tier “traffic light” system that will give broader freedoms to fully vaccinated people.
Switzerland First to Give Covax Priority With Moderna Doses
James Paton – Bloomberg
Rich countries have so far been slow to narrow access gap; Covax program now will get 1 million Moderna doses earlier
Switzerland has become the first and only country so far to swap places in the vaccine supply queue with the global distribution program known as Covax, expediting the delivery of a small number of Modern
EU Waits for Vaccine Data Before Unveiling Covid Travel Rules
John Follain – Bloomberg
Commission weighing shift from risk-area focus, officials say; EU governments pushing for help to sort out travel patchwork
The European Union delayed unveiling a proposal to update its Covid-19 travel guidelines as it waits for guidance from the bloc’s public health agency on the efficacy of different vaccines.
Did AstraZeneca Keep Britain Safer from Covid Than Europe? CEO Pascal Soriot hinted as much. Unfortunately, the theory doesn’t go very far.
Therese Raphael – Bloomberg
Pascal Soriot knows how to make a headline. The AstraZeneca Plc chief executive officer gave a rare interview to the BBC to mark the opening of a billion-pound ($1.3 billion) research facility in Cambridge. But he couldn’t resist a little plug for his vaccine, too.
China’s Homegrown Virus Pill Could Offer a Pivot From Covid Zero
The highly vaccinated population remains vulnerable to Covid; Oral pills crucial for China to pivot away from Covid Zero
Where will newly developed Covid pills be needed the most? Rather than pandemic hot spots, it’ll be a place where the virus has yet to gain a sustained foothold: China.
UK boosted by third-jab success as infections surge in much of Europe; Early push on top-ups and immunity from earlier wave puts UK on different trajectory from some continental neighbours
Oliver Barnes and John Burn-Murdoch, and Sam Jones – FT
For much of the autumn, the UK was buffeted by the worst Covid-19 wave in western Europe. But surges in coronavirus infections and hospital admissions on the continent in recent weeks, set against a fast-paced booster rollout in the UK, have prompted a change in fortunes.
EU loosens defence of pharma groups on Covid vaccine patents; Softened approach to intellectual property would allow emerging markets to manufacture own treatments
Andy Bounds – FT
The EU has proposed that developing countries be allowed to manufacture Covid-19 vaccines, softening its defence of drug companies’ intellectual property.
US to require vaccines for all foreign border crossers in January
Jesse O’Neill – NY Post
Essential nonresident workers who drive into the US have to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Jan. 22, the White House was expected to announce. Truck drivers, emergency responders and government officials will be held to the same rules as those traveling across the border from Canada or Mexico for pleasure, a top official in President Biden’s administration said Tuesday.
Exchanges, OTC and Clearing
American Financial Exchange® Announces Combined Volume Records in the AMERIBOR® Futures Complex
AFX press release via Mondovisione
The American Financial Exchange (AFX), electronic exchange for direct interbank lending and borrowing for American financial institutions, announced record volume trading on Friday, November 19 in the AMERIBOR futures complex. A record 1,027 contracts were traded, which represents more than $12.3 billion in notional value. Additionally, open interest reached a record high of 1,017 contracts across all products.
China’s New Stock Exchange Is Off to a Strong Start. International Investors Don’t Have Access—Yet.
Tanner Brown – Barron’s
China’s newest stock exchange is following up its solid opening week with more gains this week, as Beijing seeks to stimulate its laggard equities markets. Of the 81 firms listed on the new Beijing Stock Exchange, 77 saw growth Tuesday, with several hovering in double digits. This follows a robust opening day last Monday and a 158.69% total increase over last week, with overall turnover of 21.2 billion yuan ($3.3 billion), according to data published by the Financial News, a publication of China’s central bank.
Video: Eurex EnLight now includes staging of RFQs
With the T7 Release 10.0, our selective Eurex EnLight RFQ platform provides new functionalities which offer additional flexibility and enhanced access for our members: Staging of RFQs facilitates a new streamlined integration of the members’ Order Book Management System (OMS) into Eurex EnLight, helping agency desks to manage their orders in a few simple steps. It contributes to further workflow electronification and provides for easy OMS integration. In short, staging of RFQs will greatly reduce implementation efforts.
Trading hours at Eurex Exchange on 30 December 2021
This year, Thursday, 30 December 2021 will be the last exchange trading day at Eurex Exchange. This is also the last day of the year on which exercises can be done.
Equity Index Derivatives: Tradability of additional Sector Index Futures and the CECE® Index Future for Participants in the U.S.
With effect from 29 November 2021, the following additional products will be activated for tradability in the U.S.:
Börse Frankfurt extends trading hours for shares, ETFs / ETPs and mutual funds
Deutsche Börse Group
From November 29th, investors can trade shares, ETFs / ETPs and mutual funds on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange until 10:00 p.m. By extending trading hours, investors can react to events on the US markets late in the evening, among other things, and take advantage of on-exchange trading.
SGX welcomes Cantor Fitzgerald as Accredited Issue Manager
Singapore Exchange (SGX) is pleased to welcome Cantor Fitzgerald as a newly accredited Issue Manager for SGX Mainboard listings.
SGX welcomes Mooreast Holdings Ltd. to Catalist
Singapore Exchange (SGX) today welcomed Mooreast Holdings Ltd. (Mooreast) to its Catalist under the stock code “1V3”.
Spanish securities markets’ 2022 trading calendar
BME, the operator the Spanish Equity, Fixed Income and Derivatives markets, has set the trading calendar for 2022. It has been agreed that the markets will be closed the following days:
MARF registers a new Securitisation Fund originated by SWK Bank
BME’s Fixed Income Market, MARF, today admitted a new bond issue to trading from SWK Consumer 2021-1’s Securitisation Fund for 400 million euros. The issue is divided into two series: Class A, of 352 million euros, and Class B, of 48 million euros, which will bear annual interest rates of 0.25% and 2.25%, respectively. The Fund’s assets consist of a portfolio of German consumer loans originated by the German financial institution Süd-West-Kreditbank Finanzierung GmbH (SWK Bank). The Fund will be managed by Titulización de Activos (TdA).
Nasdaq CEO Adam Kostyál wants to see both new companies and investors on the stock exchange
Katrina Kovisto – HBL
Wolt is a company Adam Kostyál, European listing manager at Nasdaq, mentions several times during the interview. Both Finland and Sweden are currently experiencing a rush to the stock market and companies of the same type as Wolt are happy to see Kostyál listed.
SE Asian fintech fundraising surges after lockdown shopping spree; Consumers turn to mobile banking and ecommerce during pandemic, fuelling investor interest
John Reed and Mercedes Ruehl – FT
Investors have pumped record amounts into south-east Asian financial technology companies this year, as locked-down consumers have switched to mobile payment and banking apps.
Zoom Set to Lose $100 Billion From Peak Value as Pandemic Gains Fade
Thyagaraju Adinarayan – Bloomberg
Zoom Video Communications Inc., the poster child of the so-called “pandemic winners” basket, is losing more of its luster. The video conferencing company slumped 15% to close at the lowest since June 2020. Its latest quarter showed slowing growth as people started socializing in-person — also a trend that roiled the shares of other lockdown winners Peloton Interactive Inc. and Teladoc Health Inc. Including Tuesday’s losses, Zoom saw about $100 billion wiped out from its market value since its October 2020 peak, which is a decline of 64% for the stock. Despite the pullback, the stock is still up nearly 500% since its 2019 debut.
NoBroker becomes India’s first proptech unicorn with fresh $210 million funding
Manish Singh – Techcrunch
An Indian startup that is improving the way millions of people in the nation lease or buy an apartment is the latest firm to become a unicorn in the South Asian market. Bangalore-based NoBroker has raised $210 million in its Series E financing round, its founders told TechCrunch in an interview. Tiger Global and General Atlantic, two existing investors, and Moore Strategic Ventures co-led the eight-year-old startup’s Series E financing round.
Citigroup to create 100 roles in digital asset push
Citigroup is looking to create 100 roles focused on digital assets including blockchain and digital currencies at its institutional division, the U.S. bank said on Tuesday. The initiative is the latest by traditional banks looking to find ways to tap the growing cryptocurrency sector, which has been gaining mainstream appeal as well as regulatory scrutiny.
Jack Ma’s Ant Rebrands Some Credit Offerings as Part of Overhaul; Financial-technology giant starts differentiating loans offered under its Huabei and Jiebei services
Jing Yang – WSJ
Ant Group Co. has started making it clear to customers if they are borrowing from outside lenders or from the company itself, as Jack Ma’s financial-technology giant continues to fall in line with Chinese regulations. Before its wings were clipped by Beijing, Ant, via its payment and lifestyle app Alipay, offered consumer-credit services that were widely popular among Chinese consumers and small businesses. The products later became one of the key reasons for Chinese regulators to scuttle its blockbuster initial public offering, just two days before the scheduled listing in November last year.
NeoXam and Refinitiv partner to help firms more easily access reference, ESG, regulatory and tax data; Financial institutions will be able to connect to aggregated reference and market data sources without adding additional pressure on IT infrastructure.
Wesley Bray – The Trade
Financial software company NeoXam has strengthened its partnership with Refinitiv to provide market participants with greater choice and simplification over their data. Reference, pricing, ESG, regulatory and tax data sets will be provided by Refinitiv, while quality control and disseminating will be provided by NeoXam through its DataHub platform.
FIA Tech to launch analytic service to simplify trading of index futures; New solution, created in partnership with exchanges and index providers, will help classify non-US indices for US firms.
Wesley Bray – The Trade
FIA Tech has partnered with nine futures exchanges and five index providers to launch an analytics service that enables US trading firms and investors to better navigate complex regulations governing trading of non-US index derivatives.
Bureau Veritas hit by cyberattack on cybersecurity system
As a preventive measure, the company took all its servers and data offline for a temporary period.
French firm Bureau Veritas, which specialises in laboratory testing, inspection and certification services, has reported a cyberattack that affected its cybersecurity system.
The security breach was detected on 20 November.
As a preventive measure, the company took all its servers and data offline for a temporary period.
At present, further investigations and corrective procedures are in place.
Armis Ranked Fastest Growing Cybersecurity Software Company
Jessica Lyons Hardcastle – SDxCentral
IoT security vendor Armis is one of the fastest growing companies in North America — and the fastest growing cybersecurity software company — according to Deloitte’s annual North America Technology Fast 500, which ranks the continent’s fastest-growing companies in the technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences, fintech, and energy tech sectors.
Deloitte ranks the 500 firms based on percentage fiscal year revenue growth from 2017 to 2020. Overall, the 2021 Technology Fast 500 companies achieved revenue growth ranging from 212% to 87,037% over the 3-year time frame with a median growth rate of 521%.
Armis, which ranked No. 25 on the list, grew 8,826% over that period.
Two Nigerians Sentenced to Prison in U.S. for Role in BEC Scams
Ionut Arghire – Security Week
Two Nigerian nationals have been sentenced to prison in the United States for their roles in Business Email Compromise (BEC) schemes, the U.S. Department of Justice announced. The two, Opeyemi Abidemi Adeoso, 46, and Benjamin Adeleke Ifebajo, 47, were arrested in 2019 as part of Operation reWired, a joint US-Nigeria operation targeting online scams.
Hit by ransomware? Make sure you don’t make this first obvious mistake
Cybersecurity researchers have analysed 700 ransomware negotiations between victims and crooks. Here’s what they found.
Danny Palmer – ZDNet
Organisations that fall victim to a ransomware attack shouldn’t let the cyber criminals know they have cyber insurance – because if the attackers know that their victim holds an insurance policy, they’re more likely to outright demand the ransom payment in full.
Cybersecurity researchers at Fox-IT, part of NCC Group, examined over 700 negotiations between ransomware attackers and ransomware victims in order to analyse the economics behind the digital extortion attacks that demand a ransom payment – often millions of dollars in Bitcoin – in exchange for the decryption key.
Bitcoin Should Not Be Legal Tender in El Salvador: IMF
Andrés Engler – Coindesk
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said bitcoin should not be used as legal tender in El Salvador and urged the Central American country to strengthen the regulation and supervision of its newly established payment ecosystem.
India to Consider Allowing Crypto Trading for Some Investors
Vrishti Beniwal – Bloomberg
Cryptocurrency could be classified as a financial asset; Minimum threshold may be put for investment in cryptocurrency
India is considering a proposal to treat cryptocurrencies as a financial asset while safeguarding small investors, according to people familiar with the matter.
Binance Rebuilding DOGE Wallet to Deal With User Account Freeze
Eliza Gkritsi, Anna Baydakova – Coindesk
Binance is trying to rebuild its wallet to deal with a technical issue that resulted in numerous erroneous dogecoin transactions and user accounts being frozen. Users previously told CoinDesk that their accounts were frozen by the exchange until they returned the DOGE, which was incorrectly transferred, back to the exchange.
US agencies unveil ‘crypto sprint’ roadmap as regulatory debate heats up
Jennifer Schonberger – Yahoo Finance
U.S. financial regulators on Tuesday released an inter-agency policy agenda for regulating cryptocurrencies, as discussions unfold about how to provide oversight for the booming market. The so-called “crypto sprint,” as officials call it, sketches out a to-do list for 2022 that will offer crypto players more clarity on the rules of the road.
The World’s Largest Bitcoin Fund Is Troubled. Here’s Why.
Daren Fonda – Barron’s
Bitcoin can’t seem to shake its funk. The world’s largest cryptocurrency was trading at around $57,300 on Tuesday, down 1% and hovering well below its all-time highs near $69,000. Investors in the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (ticker: GBTC), however, may be faring even worse.
Robinhood Is Testing A Dogecoin Wallet, SHIB Army Keeps Waiting
Felipe Erazo – FX Empire
The well-known trading platform among millennials in the United States, Robinhood, seems to be poised to start testing the Shiba Inu’s (SHIB) competitor, Dogecoin (DOGE).
Musk chides Binance CEO on dogecoin glitch
Tesla founder Elon Musk on Tuesday delivered a stinging rebuke to Binance Chief Executive Changpeng Zhao on Twitter after the cryptocurrency exchange limited withdrawals of meme-based digital currency dogecoin.
A Huge Arbitrage Opportunity Has Just Opened Up in Crypto
Tracy Alloway – Bloomberg
News that the country is preparing a bill to regulate cryptocurrencies appears to have sparked a sell-off on exchanges popular with Indian investors. Altcoins including Shiba and Doge were at one point down more than 20% in trading on the WazirX platform, which bills itself as India’s “most trusted” cryptocurrency exchange. The coins appeared far less affected on trading platforms such as Binance or Kraken.
NFT Hype Gets Endorsed With Collins Word of Year Award
Vlad Savov – Bloomberg
Short form of non-fungible tokens picked from tech-heavy list; Crypto, metaverse and double-vaxxed were also among runners-up
The Collins Dictionary declared NFT its word of the year for 2021 in recognition of the convergence of the worlds of money, tech and art in what became known as “non-fungible tokens.”
David Cameron lobbied Tory associate at Lloyds Bank to rescue Greensill deal; UK lender maintained ties with ailing supply-chain finance firm after Lord James Lupton intervened
Stephen Morris, Robert Smith and Jim Pickard – FT
David Cameron lobbied Lloyds Banking Group to reverse a decision to cut ties with the ailing Greensill Capital, appealing to a board member whom he had ennobled while prime minister.
U.S. Senator Warren lashes out at energy companies over natural gas prices
Kanishka Singh – Reuters
U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren on Tuesday called on energy companies to explain “their decisions to export record amounts of natural gas while imposing massive price increases” on consumers, accusing them of “corporate greed” while Americans struggle to pay their bills. Warren sent letters to 11 energy companies, including Exxon Mobil, ConocoPhillips and Occidental Petroleum.
India plans law that will prohibit ‘all private cryptocurrencies,’ with ‘certain exceptions’
Manish Singh – Techcrunch
India plans to introduce, evaluate and enforce a bill to prohibit “all private cryptocurrencies” in the country, according to a legislative agenda for the winter session. The Indian government said Tuesday evening that the proposed law will permit “certain exceptions” to promote the underlying technology of cryptocurrency and its applications.
Biden’s new Fed could be a boon for crypto, experts say
Chris Matthews – MarketWatch
Investors have focused on what Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s renomination means for interest rates, but coming personnel changes at the central bank will be just as important for the crypto industry, experts say.
Olaf Scholz to become Germany’s next chancellor after clinching coalition deal;Social Democrats, Greens and liberals agree to form ‘traffic light’ government
Guy Chazan – FT
Germany’s Social Democrats, Greens and liberals have reached a deal on forming a new government, paving the way for finance minister Olaf Scholz to succeed Angela Merkel as leader of Europe’s largest economy.
Joe Biden cannot ignore the political cost of rising energy prices; US president has reason to fear his domestic agenda and popularity will be forever tainted
The editorial board – FT
The US Democratic party has an ancestral fear of rising energy prices. For good reason: Jimmy Carter, president from 1977 to 1981, is indelibly associated, in the minds of voters of a certain age, with queues of cars outside petrol stations and his well-meaning but seemingly ineffectual instructions to turn down the thermostat and put a sweater on. The incumbent president, Joe Biden, now has reason to fear that his domestic agenda and popularity, like those of his predecessor, will be forever tainted by higher fuel prices.
Sugar Industry Merger Challenged by Justice Department; Antitrust lawsuit alleges U.S. Sugar’s proposed acquisition of Imperial Sugar is anticompetitive
Brent Kendall – WSJ
The Justice Department filed an antitrust lawsuit challenging U.S. Sugar’s proposed purchase of rival Imperial Sugar, arguing the tie-up would lead to higher prices for refined sugar and food-and-beverage staples for consumers. The suit, filed Tuesday in a Delaware federal court, is the fourth major deal challenge in recent months from the department, which has been following through on a Biden-era enforcement pledge to take a harder line against industry consolidation.
Are US regulators about to get tough on crypto? Agencies say they want to look into whether certain crypto activities are “legally permissible”.
Claire Jones – FT
This dropped in our inbox a little over an hour ago, courtesy of the Fed (our emphasis): Throughout 2022, the [agencies that regulate the financial system] plan to provide greater clarity on whether certain activities related to crypto-assets conducted by banking organisations are legally permissible, and expectations for safety and soundness, consumer protection, and compliance with existing laws and regulations related to: Crypto-asset safekeeping and traditional custody services.
BoE governor says ‘regulated’ central bank digital currency preferred option; Andrew Bailey acknowledges there would be issues around privacy and the management of personal data in any new system
Chris Giles – FT
Andrew Bailey has indicated that he would prefer a “regulated” form of central bank digital currency, involving a platform in which the Bank of England would oversee commercial banks and users of sterling in electronic wallets.
Orange CEO Convicted in $453 Million Arbitration Fraud Case
Gaspard Sebag and Benoit Berthelot – Bloomberg
Richard gets one year suspended sentence over Adidas payout; Paris appeals judges overturn decision of lower court
Orange SA Chief Executive Officer Stephane Richard was convicted by Paris appeal judges over his handling of a multi-million euro dispute when he worked for the then-French finance minister more than a decade ago.
Why the UK’s overhaul of takeover rules is bigger than you think; The new screening regime, which comes into force in January, applies to domestic buyers and even to internal restructurings
Helen Thomas – FT
The biggest misconception about the UK’s new national security regime governing takeovers is that it is simply a system for vetting foreign buyers of British companies. It’s far broader than that. And the reams of recently published government guidance ahead of the National Security and Investment Act coming into force in January have only served to emphasise just how big the changes are for companies, dealmakers and investors — and how hard it is to gauge how these new powers will be used.
Former Victorian financial adviser sentenced to jail for obtaining financial advantage by deception
Former financial adviser Ahmed Saad, of Glenroy, Victoria, has been convicted by the County Court of Victoria of one count of obtaining financial advantage by deception and one count of attempting to obtain financial advantage by deception.
Warning: Scammers are impersonating ASIC
ASIC has received reports that consumers are being targeted by scammers impersonating ASIC employees. Scammers are offering to help consumers recover funds, usually lost via an initial scam. In this follow-up scam, they ask for payment to help retrieve funds. ASIC would never ask for money or crypto-currency to retrieve funds that have been invested or lost. ASIC will never request direct transfers of money into a personal bank account or crypto-wallet.
SEC Issues Whistleblower Awards Totaling Approximately $10.4 Million
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced awards totaling approximately $10.4 million to several whistleblowers who provided information and assistance in three separate covered actions.
FINRA Reminds Firms of Exercise Cut-Off Time for Options Expiring on the Friday After Thanksgiving
The national options exchanges are closing at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on Friday, November 26, 2021 (the Friday after Thanksgiving), which will modify the exercise cut-off time for expiring options. FINRA reminds firms that, pursuant to FINRA Rule 2360(b)(23)(A)(viii), if a national options exchange or The Options Clearing Corporation announces a modified time for the close of trading in standardized equity options, then the deadline for an option holder to make a final decision to exercise or not exercise an expiring option will be 1 hour 30 minutes following the time announced for the close of trading on that day, instead of the 5:30 p.m. ET deadline. Accordingly, option holders must make a final decision to exercise or not exercise options expiring on November 26, 2021, by 2:30 p.m. ET. 1
CFTC Staff Provides No-Action Letter to Korea Exchange, Inc. Concerning the Offer or Sale of KOSPI and Mini KOSPI 200 Futures Contracts
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Division of Market Oversight (DMO) announced today that it will not recommend that the Commission take enforcement action against Korea Exchange, Inc. (KRX) with respect to the offer or sale of Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) 200 Futures Contracts and Mini KOSPI 200 Futures Contracts (collectively, the Contracts) to persons located within the U.S. while the Commission’s review of KRX’s forthcoming request for certification of the Contracts under CFTC Regulation 30.13 is pending. The letter will be effective on December 1, 2021.
NFA and the NIBA announce joint webinar: Supervision in a Hybrid Environment
On Tuesday, December 7, 2021 at 3:30 p.m. CT/4:30 p.m. ET, NFA and the NIBA will hold a webinar discussing NFA supervision requirements as they pertain to hybrid and remote work environments.
Investing and Trading
When is it worth hiring someone to manage your money?
CD Moriarty – MarketWatch
Deciding how to invest your money is a process, not a one-time decision. For example, portfolio allocation is a simple concept; the complexity comes with your age, personal risk preferences and work retirement plans. A free and simple program where you drop in your data online offers basic advice and is a good fit if you have only one financial goal, like saving for retirement.
Momentum Was a Thing in the 19th Century Stock Market, Too; The search for factors that provide dependably superior equity returns just got a valuable new weapon in a trove of historical data.
John Authers – Bloomberg
Human Nature Really Is a Constant
The work to find factors, or aspects of different stocks that will lead to persistent and predictable superior returns, has turned into an academic arms race in recent years. Literally hundreds of putative factors have been claimed in the literature. Many of them disappear once the factor has to survive “out-of-sample,” after the period during which the eager academics did their data-mining.
Surging Inflation Is Forcing Big Investors to Recalibrate Their Strategies
Anchalee Worrachate and Liz McCormick – Bloomberg
DoubleLine, BlackRock now see first Fed rate hikes next year; Pimco expects inflation to fall to official targets next year
The surge in U.S. inflation is sending some of the biggest names on Wall Street into rethink mode, forcing them to recalibrate strategies that depended on bonds as a shock absorber against equity downturns.
Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance
Dancing on the edge of climate disaster; Despite signs of hope, scepticism is fully justified when it comes to the COP26 announcements
Martin Wolf – FT
How are we to assess the outcome of COP26 in Glasgow? It would be reasonable to conclude that it was both triumph and disaster — triumph, in that some notable steps forward have been taken, and disaster, in that they fall far short of what is needed. It remains very doubtful whether our divided world can muster the will to tackle this challenge in the time left before the damage becomes unmanageable.
Carney Says Carbon Offsets Must Be Limited to Residual Emissions
Stephen Treloar and Lars Erik Taraldsen – Bloomberg
The use of carbon offsets should be a last resort to cover only a small fraction of emissions if the world is to achieve meaningful decarbonization, according to Mark Carney, the co-chair of the Global Financial Alliance for Net Zero.
The Oil And Gas Industry Is Facing A $3.3 Trillion Stranded Asset Nightmare
The largest international oil and gas firms wrote down assets worth $150 billion last year when prices crashed with the demand slump in the pandemic. Despite the fact that this year’s oil prices are now nearly double compared to the 2020 average, the energy industry faces additional impairments in the coming years and decades, this time due to the investor pressure to slash emissions and start accounting for changes to energy demand in the transition to low-carbon sources.
Turning Green Into Gold Takes a Leap of Faith; Two conflicting reports highlight the lack of reliable and standardized data on how to make a profitable portfolio greener.
Mark Gilbert – Bloomberg
The climate crisis has provoked a debate about whether asset managers should disinvest from the most polluting companies or use their influence as shareholders to persuade firms to curb their carbon emissions. Unfortunately, the paucity of reliable and standardized data makes assaying the likely profit and loss of greening portfolios a thankless task, as two conflicting reports in recent weeks highlight.
Bank of England Starts Policing Unruly World of ESG Debt
Tasos Vossos – Bloomberg
BOE will buy assets based on ESG criteria from Wednesday; Some see the transparent rules as ‘template’ for ESG investors
The Bank of England will enforce its green criteria in corporate bond purchases for the first time, establishing a blueprint for investing in a part of the credit world rife with greenwashing. Starting Wednesday, the London-based central bank will only buy bonds with public environmental, social, and governance goals that meet its standards, and will start scorecards that grade bonds by their issuers’ levels of emissions intensity, among other metrics. It’s a marked shift for the central bank, which already buys ethical assets, but doesn’t filter them based on the firm’s credentials.
Martin Gilbert battles rival in effort to take over River and Mercantile; Takeover offers push London asset manager’s shares up 12% as bidding war appears likely
Chris Flood – FT
Martin Gilbert is battling a rival suitor for the London-listed asset manager River and Mercantile as he attempts to create a new competitor in the UK’s investment industry.
The veteran dealmaker has submitted a bid for River and Mercantile, which has also received an offer from Premier Miton, a rival fund house led by chief executive Mike O’Shea.
Daniel Loeb’s Third Point makes $300m profit from Rivian IPO; Hedge fund among several to score large gains on electric vehicle start-up
Laurence Fletcher – FT
Daniel Loeb’s Third Point has made a profit of about $300m on its stake in Rivian, one of several hedge funds to make large gains from the electric vehicle maker’s turbocharged flotation this month.
Ray Dalio’s Bridgewater Raises $1.25 Billion for Its Largest China Fund Yet; The Connecticut hedge-fund firm’s first yuan-denominated fund has earned a 19% annualized return
Jing Yang, Rebecca Feng and Juliet Chung – WSJ
Bridgewater Associates LP has raised the equivalent of $1.25 billion for its third investment fund in China, according to a person familiar with the matter, catapulting the hedge-fund firm into the ranks of the biggest foreign managers of private funds in the world’s second-largest economy.
Mexico’s next central bank governor in doubt; Revelation of López Obrador’s rethink on choice of Arturo Herrera sparks concern at time of high inflation
Christine Murray – FT
The leadership of Mexico’s central bank was thrown into confusion on Tuesday after Senate majority leader Ricardo Monreal said the leading candidate’s name had been withdrawn, provoking uncertainty over monetary policy at a time of high inflation.
London attracts first Spac after rule change; Venture capital group Hambro Perks is targeting a technology company with its blank cheque vehicle
Daniel Thomas – FT
London’s stock market has attracted its first special purpose acquisition company since the government overhauled rules in an attempt to compete with Wall Street as a destination for much-hyped blank cheque companies.
Euro Area to Maintain Fiscal Expansion in 2022 Despite the Risks
Jorge Valero – Bloomberg
Commission calls for agile policy as Covid risks increase; EU executive will assess imbalances of 12 member states
Euro-area governments will prioritize public spending next year as they look to cement the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic amid increasing prices and supply chain challenges.
An OPEC+ Counterpunch to Oil Reserve Releases Would Come at a Cost
Julian Lee – Bloomberg
Producers warned that they would respond to a stocks release; Group would need to give up two months of output increases
The OPEC+ group of oil producers would have to defer at least two months’ worth of planned output increases to offset strategic stockpile releases led by the U.S. That won’t be a comfortable option for the countries involved, which have been steadily raising output targets since May, writes Bloomberg oil strategist Julian Lee.
Japan Prime Minister Says Country to Release Oil From Reserves
Shoko Oda – Bloomberg
Release is part of joint effort with U.S., other countries; Kishida refrains from giving details on volume and timing
Japan Prime Minister Fumio Kishida confirmed that the country will release oil from its reserves as part of a joint effort with the U.S. and other nations to rein in soaring prices.
In surprise move, Mexican president pulls pick to head central bank
The former finance minister tapped to be the next head of Mexico’s central bank said on Tuesday that President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador had changed his mind about choosing him, casting doubt over the future leadership of the Bank of Mexico. After a senior lawmaker said Arturo Herrera’s name had been withdrawn, the former minister issued a statement saying he could “confirm” that Lopez Obrador told him last week he had “decided to reconsider” his nomination to head the bank.
Goldman Sachs says global oil reserves release ‘a drop in the ocean’
Florence Tan – Reuters
A coordinated release from government oil reserves led by the United States may add about 70 million to 80 million barrels of crude supply, smaller than the more-than-100 million barrels the market has been pricing in, analysts at Goldman Sachs said.
UAE, Turkey to Sign Financial Cooperation Deals as Ties Warm
Firat Kozok – Bloomberg
Turkey and the United Arab Emirates will sign cooperation pacts for their wealth funds and stock exchanges during one of the highest-level visits in years between the old Middle East foes.