Reddit traders wage battle against Wall Street

Jan 27, 2021

First Read

$27,651/$300,000 (9.2%)
Elizabeth Cook and Robin Trott

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SEC Commissioner Peirce Rolls Out Welcome Mat For New Chairman
Thom Thompson – John Lothian News

“Even though there are unknowns, there are potential benefits,” is what SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce would like foreign regulators to keep in mind regarding cryptocurrency regulation. Her comment came in response to a question from Tom Quadmann about working with foreign regulators during the Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness’s virtual conference on digital assets. Quadmann, an executive vice president at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness, had asked the commissioner what she thought about international leaders like ECB President Christine Lagarde, who last week called for global cryptocurrency regulation.

Peirce had been talking about the different approaches she saw regulators taking with regard to cross-border issues. Substituted compliance – compliance with a comparable foreign jurisdiction’s regulations as a substitute for local regulation – and joint research into cryptocurrencies by regulators are two familiar approaches.

To read the rest of this story, go here.

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Hits & Takes
JLN Staff

Today we have a video for the Open Outcry Traders HIstory Project in the newsletter. This video features our first IPE trader to be interviewed for the series, Olivier Raevel. Raevel gives some great color from his experiences on the trading floor and noted that he is sad for the traders of today that they don’t have the experience of working on the trading floor and meeting people from all over the world, from all different economic classes and educational backgrounds. This is something we lost with the move to electronic trading and the closing of the trading floors.

I am in Florida, not in Chicago and the big snowstorm, though Elmhurst only received about 6 inches of snow. I am on an odyssey to take my mom back to Florida and her home there.

Today I leave to return to the Midwest and am stopping in South Carolina to see my former boss and mentor Tom Price and his wife Nancy. Tom is the owner of The Price Futures Group, Inc., where I was president of electronic trading from 1997 to 2011. It was there that this newsletter was created and there that John J. Lothian & Company, Inc. was incubated. We had 10 people working in the Price Group’s offices before we left to get our own offices.

I will be interviewing Tom and Nancy for our Open Outcry Traders HIstory Project. Tom was a trader on the floor of the CME in the cattle pit after leaving Texas to come to Chicago. Nancy was a clerk on the floor, and clerks know everything as they have time to wander the floor and are not confined to a trading pit during market hours. It should be a fun couple of interviews.

Masks will be worn and social distancing rules will be in practice for the interviews.

Bloomberg’s Justin Fox has a story that “It Seems Money Does Buy Happiness After All.”

Robin Trott, executive director of a Singapore-based consultancy, and Elizabeth Cook, a CME Group, Inc. board member, are the latest to give to the JLN MarketsWiki Education GoFundMe campaign. Robin is a former Citi and JPMorgan executive. At Citi he was a director and APAC head of electronic execution, futures, clearing and collateral and at JPMorgan he led Asia Pacific trading solutions and was responsible for all eTrading clients in Asia, except for Japan. Elizabeth is the president and owner of McCat Group LLC and President and owner of Lucky Star LLC. She is also a board member of WILD and of Associated Colleges of Illinois. She is a former floor trader on the CME, where she was the founding broker in the currency options in 1985 when they first started trading at the exchange. Thank you to Robin and to Elizabeth and to all who have given and all who have yet to give. Support our efforts to preserve industry history by donating out our GoFundMe campaign.

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

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Jason Somensatto of the cryptocurrency platform 0x will be leaving the company to take on an advisory role at the CFTC. Somensatto announced on Twitter that he will be working as a “policy and tech specialist for LabCFTC to build a deeper understanding of how crypto/fintech intersects with regulation.”~MR

The International Monetary Fund‘s regular January update to its World Economic Outlook, published Tuesday, projects global economic growth at 5.5 percent in 2021 and a slower 4.2 percent growth rate in 2022. The IMF said its forecast for 2021 partly reflects expectations for “vaccine-powered” activity later this year. The recovery is seen varying widely across countries, with the U.S. up 5.1 percent in 2021, compared with its 3.4 percent decline in 2020. The full report can be found here. ~SC

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Olivier Raevel – MarketsWiki Education Open Outcry Traders History Project
JohnLothianNews.com

[[Olivier Raevel]] is the first trader from the International Petroleum Exchange, or IPE, to be interviewed for the JLN MarketsWiki Education Open Outcry Traders History Project. He made history as a founding member of [[Intercontinental Exchange Group]] and recommended that ICE buy the IPE. He was among the first generation of electronic traders in commodities, pushing the OTC online trading of ICE in competition with Enron Online.

Raevel has been a floor trader, an over-the-counter trader, a founding member of the board of ICE and an exchange executive. Today he works for Griffin Markets.

Watch the video »

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Sponsored Content
?Special Report? First year anniversary workshop of TOCOM/JPX Electricity Futures

Asia’s Most Successful Electricity Futures at Tokyo Commodity Exchange (TOCOM)/Japan Exchange Group (JPX) celebrated its first year of listing in a co-hosted webinar with Quick Corp. on December 15, 2020. The event was attended by over 250 people from 152 companies.

At the workshop, Mr. Hatakeyama, Director-General for Commerce and Service Industry Policy of METI gave opening remarks and Mr. Ishibashi of Astmax Trading, Inc. gave a keynote speech on Electricity trading and Risk management. In the panel discussion, traders from different power companies shared their experiences in using TOCOM Electricity Futures and their internal risk control systems. They pointed out that there is still a huge opportunity in the Electricity Futures market in Japan and requested the exchange to list new products such as those covering the Hokkaido and Kyushu areas and change the product design to extend contract months.

For more details, please refer to the following link
https://www.tocom.or.jp/uploads/en_news/2021/report_E.pdf

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Tuesday’s Top Three
Our top story on Tuesday was a CME announcement, CME Group to Launch a Global Emissions Offset (GEO) Futures Contract on March 1. The second most read was a fun story from CNN, Why swearing is a sign of intelligence, helps manage pain and more, and third was Bloomberg’s What Leon Black Got for Paying Jeffrey Epstein $158 Million.

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MarketsWiki Stats
198,584,500 pages viewed; 25,151 pages; 229,516 edits
MarketsWiki Statistics

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CryptoMarketsWiki Website»
CryptoMarketsWiki, our archive of the cryptocurrency and blockchain world, is going strong and keeping pace as this area of finance grows and evolves.Recently Updated Pages

Recently updated pages include
Central bank digital currency
Marathon Patent Group
CFTC
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CryptoMarketsWiki Stats

1,487 pages; 13,475 edits
CryptoMarketsWiki Statistics

Lead Stories

Reddit traders wage battle against Wall Street; Investors and former regulators are growing concerned over rising impact on broader market
Eric Platt and Colby Smith – FT
An army of amateur traders has launched a siege on Wall Street that has shaken up markets and left seasoned hedge funds reeling. This new legion of day traders, equipped with free trading platforms, spare cash, and boredom, has set its sights on a growing list of US-listed companies over the past several weeks. GameStop, a games retailer whose shares have been sent flying by gangs of traders co-ordinating moves on Reddit, sits at ground zero of a battle that has shown these have-a-go investors are no longer just a sideshow.
/on.ft.com/3onR9aL

How GameStop’s Reddit- and Options-Fueled Stock Rally Happened; The videogames retailer has become a favorite of online traders seeking to make money from buying options
Alexander Osipovich – WSJ
Shares of a handful of firms such as GameStop Corp. GME 92.71% and BlackBerry Ltd. have posted triple-digit gains in recent weeks, part of a frenzy whipped up by individual investors. Here’s what you need to know. Why is GameStop up? Shares of GameStop are up more than sevenfold in 2021, compared with a 2.5% rise in the S&P 500. The Grapevine, Texas, videogames retailer has become a favorite of online traders who invest in companies championed on the Reddit forum WallStreetBets.
/on.wsj.com/39m59x8

Biden’s Candidate for SEC Chairman Is Expected to Be Tough on Companies; Gary Gensler could beef up the regulator’s enforcement efforts and push for new disclosure requirements
Mark Maurer – WSJ
Gary Gensler, President Biden’s pick to run the Securities and Exchange Commission, is expected to seek higher fines and new disclosure requirements on public companies, lawyers and former regulators say. Mr. Biden nominated Mr. Gensler earlier this month to head the agency that oversees U.S. securities markets, succeeding Jay Clayton. The Senate needs to confirm his choice for it to take effect, a process for which there is still no confirmed timeline. Last week, Mr. Biden named SEC Commissioner Allison Herren Lee to serve as acting chairwoman in the interim. Mr. Gensler headed the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission from 2009 to 2014, at which time he spearheaded the creation of a new regulatory framework for derivatives. Prior to running the CFTC, he had spent 18 years at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., where he rose to co-head of finance, and later served in the Treasury Department during the Clinton administration.
/on.wsj.com/2YiAKJV

Can Anything Stop GameStop? The stock has soared to scarcely believable levels, for unlikely reasons.
Andrew Ross Sorkin, Jason Karaian, Michael J. de la Merced, Lauren Hirsch and Ephrat Livni – NY Times
Why is Wall Street obsessed with GameStop, the video game chain that until recently was known for middling performance? The company’s stock has soared to scarcely believable levels — its market cap as of yesterday was $10 billion, and its shares briefly doubled in premarket trading today — thanks to an army of small traders spurred on by a Reddit message board.
/nyti.ms/3okMZ3b

Trading Surge Strains Online Brokerages; A flood of individual investors into the stock market has led to temporary outages at some brokerages
Justin Baer and Peter Rudegeair – WSJ
Stock trading volume has surged in the past week, and Wall Street’s online brokers are struggling to keep up. In recent days, clients of Fidelity Investments, E*Trade Financial Corp., Charles Schwab Corp. and Vanguard Group have encountered brief delays executing trades or temporarily lost access to vital account information. The service disruptions came during a period of frenetic trading, largely driven by individual investors.
/on.wsj.com/3qUx1hP

India’s NSE for the second year in the row is the world’s largest derivatives exchange
National Stock Exchange of India Ltd. (NSE)
National Stock Exchange of India Ltd. (NSE) for the second year in the row has emerged as the world’s largest derivatives exchange in 2020 by number of contracts traded based on the statistics maintained by Futures Industry Association (FIA), a derivatives trade body. NSE is ranked 4th in the world in the cash equities by number of trades as per the statistics maintained by the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE) for calendar year 2020.
/prn.to/2YgruWI

Hong Kong grills finance executives on reasons for leaving; Bankers bound for rival centres in wake of security law report unusual phone calls from authorities
Mercedes Ruehl, Leo Lewis, and Tabby Kinder and Primrose Riordan – FT
Fund managers and bankers leaving Hong Kong for alternative financial centres have been asked to explain their decision to a range of government agencies amid concerns that Beijing’s national security law could cause departures from the Asia finance hub to multiply.
/on.ft.com/2KSo2hT

It Took 100 Years for These Two German Banks to Appoint First Women on Board
Stephan Kahl and Steven Arons – Bloomberg
Merck Finck and ApoBank move away from all-male management; Bigger lenders like Deutsche Bank also lag on gender diversity
Two of Germany’s biggest regional banks have just appointed the first women to their management boards. It took them more than 100 years. Deutsche Apotheker- und Aerztebank, which was founded in 1902 and now has assets of about 50 billion euros ($61 billion), named Jenny Friese to oversee large corporate clients and markets, starting Jan. 1. At Merck Finck, which traces its roots back to 1870, Linda Urban took over last month as Chief Operating Officer.
/bloom.bg/2KRyE0u

Top Bankers Sound Alarm That Remote Work Is Starting to Grate
Silla Brush and Francine Lacqua – Bloomberg
JPMorgan’s Erdoes also compares SPACs, Bitcoin to 2000 bubble; Barclays CEO warns governments can’t borrow for free forever
Senior bankers warn that working from home is at risk of not working anymore. “I don’t think it’s sustainable,” Barclays Plc Chief Executive Officer Jes Staley said Tuesday at the World Economic Forum. JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s asset- and wealth-management boss, Mary Erdoes, agreed. In the corporate world, “if you ask anyone today, it feels like it is fraying, it’s hard, it takes a lot of inner strength and sustainability every single day to continue to focus and to not have the energy you get from being around other people,” she said.
/bloom.bg/3pnqsEr

What Jeffrey Epstein Did to Earn $158 Million From Leon Black; Mr. Epstein specialized in aggressively pitching ways to minimize paying taxes. And not just to Mr. Black, the private equity chief executive who was his main benefactor in his later years.
Matthew Goldstein and Steve Eder – NY Times
He styled himself as a math whiz and “financial doctor” to the rich — even though he was a college dropout who had only a brief tenure at a traditional Wall Street firm. It was said his services were available only to billionaires, whose affairs he handled mostly from a tropical island hideaway.
/nyti.ms/3iRJ4dh

They Found a Way to Limit Big Tech’s Power: Using the Design of Bitcoin; Companies inspired by the cryptocurrency are creating social networks, storing online content and hosting websites without any central authority.
Nathaniel Popper – NY Times
Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s chief executive, publicly wrestled this month with the question of whether his social media service had exercised too much power by cutting off Donald J. Trump’s account. Mr. Dorsey wondered aloud if the solution to that power imbalance was new technology inspired by the cryptocurrency Bitcoin.
/nyti.ms/3iPg99w

JPMorgan ventures into UK retail banking with digital-only launch; Wall Street lender follows similar foray by Goldman and joins local start-ups Monzo and Starling
Nicholas Megaw – FT
JPMorgan Chase has confirmed it will launch a long-rumoured assault on the UK retail banking market with the opening of a digital-only bank later this year.
/on.ft.com/3po2atD

IMF lifts global growth forecast for 2021, still sees ‘exceptional uncertainty’
Andrea Shalal – Reuters
The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday raised its forecast for global economic growth in 2021 and said the coronavirus-triggered downturn last year – the biggest peacetime contraction since the Great Depression – would be nearly a full percentage point less severe than expected.
reut.rs/3t0n7gu

Coronavirus

Sanofi to Make Millions of BioNTech-Pfizer Vaccine Doses
Tim Loh – Bloomberg
Collaboration will help boost European Union’s vaccine supply; Companies pledge more than 125 million doses of mRNA shot
Sanofi agreed to produce millions of doses of BioNTech SE and Pfizer Inc.’s coronavirus vaccine in an unusual collaboration to speed vaccination efforts. The French drugmaker will give BioNTech access to a production facility in Frankfurt, which will start to deliver doses this summer, Sanofi said in a statement Wednesday. The deal will produce more than 125 million doses of the messenger RNA vaccine for the European Union.
/bloom.bg/2KYgmLe

Hong Kong Prepares to Vaccinate 36,000 People Daily With Pfizer-BioNTech Jab
Jinshan Hong – Bloomberg
Sinovac, Astra shots will be sent to other hospitals, clinics; Government may not inoculate elderly all at the same time
Hong Kong will set up 18 community vaccination centers — one in every district — to each handle at least 2,000 residents a day as the city prepares to administer the Covid-19 shot developed by BioNTech SE and Pfizer Inc. as early as the end of February. These centers will only handle the BioNTech vaccine, while the other two shots the city has ordered — from Sinovac Biotech Ltd. and AstraZeneca Plc — will be distributed to private hospitals and clinics, according to Thomas Tsang, a member of Hong Kong’s vaccination program task force.
/bloom.bg/39mKvNF

China’s Zero-Tolerance Covid Approach Now Includes Anal Swabs
Bloomberg News
Schoolchildren, teachers in Beijing tested with new method; Authorities upping the ante in zero-tolerance virus approach
China is ramping up efforts to neutralize the coronavirus as new outbreaks test its already stringent pandemic strategy, with another weapon added to an arsenal of border curbs, mass testing and hard lockdowns: anal swabs. While there is no nationwide policy on use of the technique, some residents in China’s northern regions — where the flare-up now amounts to more than 1,700 cases — have been subjected to the anal swabs with little warning. It involves the insertion of a saline-soaked cotton swab about two-to-three centimeters into the anus, with the sample then tested for active traces of the virus.
/bloom.bg/2Muuufk

Vaccine export rules: what is the EU proposing? Worries grow in bloc over supply shortfalls and rollout in member states
Michael Peel and Sam Fleming – FT
The EU is preparing to put in place tighter rules on exports of coronavirus vaccines produced inside the bloc as anxiety grows over shortfalls in supply and the slow rollout of vaccinations in member states.
/on.ft.com/39kqY03

Goldman Sachs slashes David Solomon’s pay over 1MDB scandal; Package of $17.5m for 2020 is $10m less than previous year and below bank CEO’s peers
Robert Armstrong – FT
Goldman Sachs’ chief executive David Solomon earned $17.5m for 2020, $10m less than the previous year, after the bank’s board cut the pay of senior executives in the wake of 1MDB corruption scandal.
/on.ft.com/39mxLGD

If Covid vaccines stop working, how quickly can drugmakers respond? Pharmaceutical industry faces new race as worrying variants emerge
Anna Gross in London and Hannah Kuchler – FT
It was the fastest vaccine development in history. But now pharmaceutical companies are preparing to do it all over again. With the emergence of worrying variants that could make Sars-Cov-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, more transmissible, more deadly or more resistant to vaccines, the drugmakers that responded in record time are rushing to head off new threats.
/on.ft.com/3iRDQyb

Vaccine protectionism by the EU will backfire; More transparency on pharmaceutical deals is needed but an export ban is not
The editorial board – FT
Europe’s faltering vaccine rollout risks turning into a fiasco. The EU is falling further behind global pacesetters, with only 2 doses administered per 100 residents compared with over 10 for the UK and nearly 7 for the US. If this continues, the region’s economic recovery will be delayed, political reputations could be ruined and more people will die. The EU’s legitimacy in the eyes of the public is at stake too.
/on.ft.com/3po3Tzm

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

Blank-Check Frenzy Prompts Nasdaq Nordic to Set Up New Rules
Swetha Gopinath and Hanna Hoikkala – Bloomberg
Stockholm to introduce blank-check IPO framework next week; Region’s first SPAC to raise as much as $200 million in March
Nasdaq Inc. is introducing new rules for blank-check IPOs on its northern European stock exchanges, in a bid to cash in on the SPAC frenzy gripping the U.S. On Monday, Nasdaq Nordic will adopt a new set of rules to bring its exchange in Stockholm closer in line with the U.S. model for such listings, Adam Kostyal, head of European listings at Nasdaq, said in an interview, adding that Helsinki, Copenhagen and Reykjavik will follow suit “shortly.”
/bloom.bg/2MrbRt1

Tradeweb hires Harvest Global Investments chief to lead Asia business; James Sun joins Tradeweb as head of Asia after over four years at Harvest Global Investments as chief executive officer.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
Fixed income trading platform provider Tradeweb has appointed the former chief executive of Harvest Global Investments to head up its business in Asia. James Sun joins Tradeweb as head of Asia after serving for over four years at Harvest Global Investments, the international arm of Chinese asset manager Harvest Fund Management, as chief executive officer.
/bit.ly/39kfnOO

Euronext study reveals continuous cost of trading is three times higher than at the close; In-depth Euronext study looking at market impact at the close shows costs of continuous trading far exceed trading in closing auctions.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
The cost of trading during the continuous phase is at least three times higher than the cost of trading during the closing auction, a study from pan-European exchange Euronext has revealed. Considering well-known academic continuous market impact models, which are directly linked to execution costs, Euronext found the costs of continuous trading far exceed the empirical cost of trading at the close.
/bit.ly/2YkA1b6

FXall adds Optiver as market maker for FX options after record volumes in 2020; Alongside record volumes in 2020, Refinitiv has on-boarded market maker Optiver as the first non-bank liquidity provider for FX options on the platform.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
Refinitiv has added market maker Optiver as a liquidity provider for FX options on its foreign exchange trading platform, FXall, after posting record trading volumes in 2020. FX options trading volumes saw a 26% year-over-year increase in 2020 as many buy-side traders increasingly relied on options for hedging during the market volatility brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic.
/bit.ly/39kw9NA

InPost S.A. lists on Euronext Amsterdam
Euronext
Euronext today congratulates InPost S.A., the Polish e-commerce enablement company, on its listing on Euronext Amsterdam (ticker code: INPST). InPost offers an extensive network of automated parcel machines, to-door couriers and fulfillment services to e-commerce merchants, providing its partners and their customers with a lower cost, flexible, convenient, environmentally friendly and contactless delivery option.
/bit.ly/3omPe64

EEX Exceeds 1 TWh Milestone In Japanese Power
Mondovisione
The European Energy Exchange (EEX) has set a new record in Japan Power Futures by registering a volume of over 1 TWh in a single month for the first time since entering the market in May 2020.
/bit.ly/2MbuKjN

Horisont Energi lists on Euronext Growth Oslo
Euronext
The carbon tech company Horisont Energi has today been admitted to trading on Euronext Growth (ticker code: HRGI). “Euronext Growth Oslo is the best marketplace for green growth companies,” says Bjørgulf Haukelidsæter Eidesen, CEO and founder of Horisont Energi.
/bit.ly/3iP6oIz

GFF Summit: A cordial invitation and some valuable information
Eurex
A blog by Frank Gast, Managing Director at Eurex Repo GmbH and Head of Funding & Financing Sales Deutsche Börse Group
/bit.ly/39koRtm

New Product Summary: Initial Listing of the Methanol CFR China Specific Origins (ICIS) Futures Contract – Effective February 22, 2021
CME Group
Initial Listing of the Methanol CFR China Specific Origins (ICIS) Futures Contract
/bit.ly/2NGR6Ko

Amendments to the Disclaimer Rule of Two (2) German Power Futures Contracts
CME Group
Effective Tuesday, February 9, 2021 for trade date Wednesday, February 10, 2021, and pending all relevant CFTC regulatory review periods, New York Mercantile Exchange, Inc. (“NYMEX” or “Exchange”) will amend the disclaimer rule of the two (2) German power futures contracts set out in
the table below (the “Contracts”):
/bit.ly/3qZyYJQ

OTC IRS & FX Production Advisory – DMS UI Update
CME Group
CME will launch a new consolidated DMS UI for OTC IRS and OTC FX in the Production environment on Monday, February 8, 2021. All existing user roles and functions will be migrated to the new UI. The new interface migrates existing functionality and incorporates new enhancements summarized in Clearing Advisory 20-458.
/bit.ly/2YkLyHC

Notice of Summary Action
CME Group
MEMBER: R.J. O’BRIEN & ASSOCIATES LLC
RULE VIOLATION: 536. RECORDKEEPING REQUIREMENTS FOR PIT, GLOBEX AND NEGOTIATED TRADES
F. CTR Enforcement Program and Sanction Schedule
The Market Regulation Department will conduct audits of clearing members in order to verify the accurate recording and submitting of required audit trail information.as found to be in violation of the CTR data entry error by exceeding the 10% error level mandated by Rule 536.F.
PENALTY: Pursuant to the Rule 536.F sanction schedule, R.J. O’Brien & Associates LLC. was issued a $2,500 fine on January 7, 2021 for its first violation of Rule 536.F. within 24 months.
/bit.ly/39mlMcc

Notice of Summary Action
CME Group
MEMBER FIRM: DV TRADING, LLC
RULE VIOLATION: RULE 536.B GLOBEX ORDER ENTRY
1. GENERAL REQUIREMENT
Each Globex Terminal Operator entering orders into Globex shall accurately input for each Application Message all fields required to be populated by the CME iLink® Message Specifications set forth in the CME Group Client Systems Wiki in effect at the time, including, but not limited to the: operator ID; price; quantity; product; expiration month; CTI code; manual order indicator; and account number (except as provided in Section C), and, for options, put or call and strike price…)
PENALTY: On December 16, 2020, DV Trading, LLC pursuant to Rule 512 (“Reporting Infractions”), was collectively issued a $2,000 fine for its violations of Rule 536.B.1 (includes Cases CME-DQA-20-0524, CME-DQA-20-0526, CBOT DQA-20-0524, and CBOT-DQA-20-0526), as follows: CME $1,000; CBT $1,000.
/bit.ly/36hgX1U

Notice of Summary Action
CME Group
MEMBER FIRM: DV TRADING, LLC
RULE VIOLATION: RULE 536.B GLOBEX ORDER ENTRY
1. GENERAL REQUIREMENT
Each Globex Terminal Operator entering orders into Globex shall accurately input for each Application Message all fields required to be populated by the CME iLink® Message Specifications set forth in the CME Group Client Systems Wiki in effect at the time, including, but not limited to the: operator ID; price; quantity; product; expiration month; CTI code; manual order indicator; and account number (except as provided in Section C), and, for options, put or call and strike price…)
PENALTY: On December 16, 2020, DV Trading, LLC pursuant to Rule 512 (“Reporting Infractions”), was collectively issued a $2,000 fine for its violations of Rule 536.B.1 (includes Cases CME-DQA-20-0524, CME-DQA-20-0526, CBOT DQA-20-0524, and CBOT-DQA-20-0526), as follows: CME $1,000; CBT $1,000.
/bit.ly/3onvlMi

Notice of Summary Action
CME Group
MEMBER FIRM: DV TRADING, LLC
RULE VIOLATION: RULE 536.B GLOBEX ORDER ENTRY
1. GENERAL REQUIREMENT
Each Globex Terminal Operator entering orders into Globex shall accurately input for each Application Message all fields required to be populated by the CME iLink® Message Specifications set forth in the CME Group Client Systems Wiki in effect at the time, including, but not limited to the: operator ID; price; quantity; product; expiration month; CTI code; manual order indicator; and account number (except as provided in Section C), and, for options, put or call and strike price…)
PENALTY: On December 16, 2020, DV Trading, LLC pursuant to Rule 512 (“Reporting Infractions”), was collectively issued a $2,000 fine for its violations of Rule 536.B.1 (includes Cases CME-DQA-20-0524, CME-DQA-20-0526, CBOT DQA-20-0524, and CBOT-DQA-20-0526), as follows: CME $1,000; CBT $1,000.
/bit.ly/2MxNaeb

Notice of Summary Action
CME Group
MEMBER FIRM: DV TRADING, LLC
RULE VIOLATION: RULE 536.B GLOBEX ORDER ENTRY
1. GENERAL REQUIREMENT
Each Globex Terminal Operator entering orders into Globex shall accurately input for each Application Message all fields required to be populated by the CME iLink® Message Specifications set forth in the CME Group Client Systems Wiki in effect at the time, including, but not limited to the: operator ID; price; quantity; product; expiration month; CTI code; manual order indicator; and account number (except as provided in Section C), and, for options, put or call and strike price…)
PENALTY: On December 16, 2020, DV Trading, LLC pursuant to Rule 512 (“Reporting Infractions”), was collectively issued a $2,000 fine for its violations of Rule 536.B.1 (includes Cases CME-DQA-20-0524, CME-DQA-20-0526, CBOT DQA-20-0524, and CBOT-DQA-20-0526), as follows: CME $1,000; CBT $1,000.
/bit.ly/3prX8wy

SGX RegCo to review Rich Capital’s potential listing rule breaches and report matter to relevant authorities
SGX
Singapore Exchange Regulation (SGX RegCo) refers to Rich Capital’s announcements of 17 May 2019, 23 May 2019, 4 June 2019 and 4 July 2019 on the award of a construction contract and an advance payment of S$2 million to an interested person, Rich-Link Construction Pte. Ltd. (RLC) in 2018. RLC was an associate of Rich Capital’s former Non-Executive Chairman and controlling shareholder, Mr. Wang Zhen Wen. Provenance Capital Pte. Ltd (Provenance) was appointed on 14 August 2019 as the independent reviewer to look into, inter alia, the circumstances surrounding this contract. Provenance reported the findings directly to SGX RegCo. The report was released on 26 January 2021.
/bit.ly/2YkNxf2

Overview Of Refinancing Of Shenzhen Stock Exchange-Listed Companies In 2020
Mondovisione
Refinancing is an important way for listed companies to engage in direct financing in capital market. It is also an important approach to promote the high-quality development of listed companies. With the sudden outbreak of COVID-19 and complicated and severe changes in 2020, companies listed on SZSE made active use of refinancing instruments and raised CNY 391.383 billion through 260 refinancings, vigorously boosting technical innovation, improving risk prevention & control and development sustainability, and advancing high-quality circulation of technology, capital and real economy.
/bit.ly/3a9b3Rx

FEAS Member Depositories Factsheet H2 2020
Mondovisione
The Factsheet outlines FEAS Member Depositories’ activities during the second half of 2020.
/bit.ly/3qYJscO

Fintech

Nasdaq Decodes: Tech Trends 2021
Nasdaq
Discover the technology trends that are driving the global markets forward
COVID-19 accelerated societal and technological changes at a pace we never imagined.
At the onset of the pandemic, market volatility surged and volumes soared. Nasdaq topped several records across its markets, including the U.S. equities market experiencing its highest volume day since 2009, reaching about 5 billion messages, which was about two times its previous all-time high. The Options market recorded ten of its most active days ever, peaking at about 62 billion messages on a single day.
/bit.ly/3cdKmhf

Goldman Sees $200 Billion Opening in European Tech Unicorns
Dinesh Nair and Ruth David – Bloomberg
Clean energy shift another focus for Wall Street bank in 2021; TMT, financial services to help drive Europe M&A, execs say
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is stalking unicorns. The Wall Street bank, which built its reputation by pursuing opportunities that rivals were slow to respond to, wants to find the next generation of technology companies in Europe with the potential to achieve $1 billion-plus valuations.
/bloom.bg/3onXiDu

How China is tackling fintech risk and regulation; The rules need to emphasise the substance instead of the form of a company
Pan Gongsheng – FT
With the rise of big data, artificial intelligence, blockchain and cloud computing, the integration of finance and technology has picked up speed recently. New business models of internet-based finance such as mobile payments have reshaped not only the way we live but also the financial ecosystem. Fintech now affects everything from payments, lending and securities to insurance and wealth management. The advances have improved efficiency, lowered transaction costs and made the financial system more inclusive.
/on.ft.com/3iSS0z6

Jack Ma’s Ant Plans Major Revamp in Response to Chinese Pressure; Fintech giant plans to become a financial holding company overseen by China’s central bank
Jing Yang – WSJ
Ant Group Co. is planning to turn itself into a financial holding company overseen by China’s central bank, responding to pressure to fall fully in line with financial regulations, according to people familiar with the matter. Chinese regulators recently told Ant, which is controlled by billionaire Jack Ma, to become a financial holding company in its entirety, subjecting it to more stringent capital requirements, the people said. Ant, in response, has submitted to authorities an outline of a restructuring plan, they said.
/on.wsj.com/3op13IS

Virtu launches buy-side big data analytics tools; Tools will enable buy-side clients at Virtu to manage data across trading strategy selection, cost attribution and counterparty evaluation.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
Virtu Financial has rolled out two big data analytics tools that aim to help buy-side firms manage their data through a unified web-based technology framework. Named Open Intell and Open Python, the tools have been launched via Virtu Analytics and allow clients to manage data across trading strategy selection, cost attribution, and counterparty evaluation.
/bit.ly/3pptLuz

Cryptocurrencies

Ripple faces a new class-action lawsuit over unregistered XRP sales in Florida
Yogita Khatri – The Block
A new class-action lawsuit has been filed against Ripple, its CEO Brad Garlinghouse and its subsidiary XRP II, LLC. The case alleges that the defendants sold “millions of dollars (or more)” of XRP without registering it either with federal or Florida authorities.
bit.ly/36hAuzh

Valid Points: What to Expect When Ethereum 2.0 Undergoes Its First ‘Hard Fork’; Here’s what the impending Eth 2.0 hard fork means, and why Ethereum devs are still debating the “Ice Age.”
Christine Kim, William Foxley – Coindesk
Eth 2.0 is looking at its first hard fork this year. The Ethereum Foundation-backed research team is currently organizing schematics for a mid-2021 backward-incompatible change to the Beacon Chain, according to a Jan. 14 developer’s call. This hard fork is really not a hard fork in the traditional sense, Teku client project manager Ben Edgington pointed out. Rather, it’s a warmup before sharding and a merge of the Eth 1.x and Beacon Chain.
bit.ly/3ppA1Cz

Crypto’s Young Believers Stoke a Craze for Bitcoin Penny Stocks
Suzannah Cavanaugh – Bloomberg
Day traders ride the crypto rally by bidding up Bitcoin miners; Argo is most popular stock on Hargreaves Lansdown platform
Marko Vulicevic, just 19 years old, has accounts on eight different trading platforms, spends his free time reading blockchain whitepapers, and has a portfolio of ETFs, crypto coins and cannabis stocks. His best bet so far: a 1,400% gain on bitcoin miner Argo Blockchain Plc, he claims. Vulicevic, who lost his job in retail during the pandemic, is one of the many individual investors behind a frenzy for crypto trading — lured by the thrill of big returns and a belief that blockchain technology is on the cusp of revolutionizing the world of modern finance.
/bloom.bg/2YhfWSW

Revolut: bitcoin hype-merchant or bank? The fintech appears to have lost its way in the unicorn forest.
Jemima Kelly – FT
Revolut — the London-based, Russian-led $5.5bn fintech unicorn — appears to be having an identity crisis. Earlier this month the firm applied for a full UK banking licence so that it can start to offer overdrafts, loans and fully fledged current accounts to its three million-plus British customers. Over the past year or so Revolut has also hired a load of grandees from the world of traditional finance — such as Aberdeen Asset Management founder Martin Gilbert, now Revolut’s chairman, and former Goldman Sachs vice-chairman Michael Sherwood — in an apparent bid to shake off its reputation for being unreliable and unprofessional, and to become a grown-up financial institution.
/on.ft.com/2YiCpPH

Scaramucci Says the GameStop Phenomenon Is Positive for Bitcoin
Joanna Ossinger – Bloomberg
The growing number of retail traders sidestepping Wall Street to power rallies in stocks like GameStop Inc. points to a positive backdrop for Bitcoin, according to SkyBridge Capital’s Anthony Scaramucci. That’s because the phenomenon exemplifies financial decentralization, the guiding idea behind Bitcoin, he said. Smartphones and low-cost trading are “democratizing” the formerly insular and highly concentrated business of money management, he added. SkyBridge has an overall Bitcoin exposure of around $385 million. “The activity in GameStop is more proof of concept that Bitcoin is going to work,” Scaramucci said in an interview. “How are you going to beat that decentralized crowd? That to me is more affirmation about decentralized finance.”
bloom.bg/39mRTsl

FTX lists GME stock for tokenized spot and futures trading
Yogita Khatri – The Block
Crypto exchange FTX has listed the viral GameStop (GME) stock for tokenized spot and futures trading. Within a few hours of listing, FTX’s GME spot volume is around $141,000, while the GME futures volume is about $1.3 million. GameStop is a video game retailer listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Its stock has surged more than 1,000% this month after a group of investors on Reddit continued to support the stock even as many others on Wall Street have argued that the stock is overvalued and is due for a sharp fall.
bit.ly/36hAT4L

Ethereum Foundation’s annual conference Devcon won’t happen in August
Yogita Khatri – The Block
The Ethereum Foundation announced Wednesday that its annual conference, Devcon, won’t take place in August 2021 as scheduled before. The new timing is yet to be determined, but the foundation said it would take “a bit longer” than August. The COVID-19 pandemic situation has forced the foundation to postpone Devcon once again as the Ethereum community needs more time to travel to Bogota, Colombia — Devcon 2021’s venue.
bit.ly/36yE1JR

Blockchain payment firm Wyre receives $5 million investment from Stellar Development Foundation
MK Manoylov – The Block
Today, the Stellar Development Foundation announced Tuesday that it invested $5 million in Wyre. The SDF told The Block that the funding effort was a Series B2 funding round, with the foundation leading for $5 million. Draper Associates and Great Oaks Venture Capital invested an additional $2.5 million. The funds are intended to help broaden fintech payment API options for Stellar. By adding Wyre to its ecosystem, Stellar intends to expand its USDC on/off ramps with pairs for USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, and AUS as well as boost its overall support infrastructure.
bit.ly/2NFwMZU

Jihan Wu writes in coded letter that he’s officially stepping down as Bitmain chairman
Wolfie Zhao – The Block
Bitmain’s co-founder Jihan Wu has officially announced that he is stepping down from the bitcoin miner maker giant in an effort to settle down a year-long internal power struggle with rival co-founder Micree Zhan. In a coded letter dated on Tuesday and decrypted by The Block’s Igor Igamberdiev, Wu said the disagreement between Zhan and him has been “finally” settled in an “amicable” and “constructive” manner. Part of the agreement is that Zhan purchased almost half of the Bitmain shares owned by Wu and a group of founding shareholders for a value of $600 million. In return, Wu said he has resigned as CEO and chairman of Bitmain as of Tuesday.
bit.ly/3okMvKp

Union Square Ventures expects to invest ‘around 30%’ of its new $250m fund in crypto industry
Michael McSweeney – The Block
Union Square Ventures is planning to allocate a notable segment of its new fund to the crypto space. Per a January 26 blog post penned by USV managing partner Andy Weissman, USV raised “a 2021 Core Fund with commitments of $250 million.” The crypto approach is in line with USV’s established “thesis-driven” approach to investing, with Weissman noting that “[a]s in our last several funds, we expect a significant portion of the investments -around 30%- will be crypto-related investments.”
bit.ly/3cd0jnW

JPMorgan Chase to Launch U.K. Digital Consumer Bank; The new bank’s offering, which will include app-based services, is being tested internally
Dave Sebastian – WSJ
JPMorgan Chase JPM -0.41% & Co. said it is launching a digital consumer bank in the U.K. in the coming months that will offer services via a mobile app, a move the bank said would be its first entry into the British retail-banking market.
/on.wsj.com/2YlqAIG

Brits Curious Yet Baffled By Cryptocurrency, National Survey Finds
Mondovisione
Almost a third of Brits are curious about investing in cryptocurrency but are too baffled by it to take the plunge, according to a new national survey.
/bit.ly/36yJgJx

CFTC Attorney Who Let Regulators Trade Crypto Joins Private Law Firm
Nikhilesh De – Coindesk
Daniel Davis, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) general counsel, is joining Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, a law firm based in Chicago. Davis, who joined the CFTC in 2017 under former Chair Chris Giancarlo, headed the agency’s legal division for four years, overseeing the regulatory agency’s compliance with the law in rulemaking as well as enforcement actions. In 2018, Davis also authored a memo authorizing agency staff to invest in cryptocurrencies.
/yhoo.it/2M9N6S5

Politics

Competence is Joe Biden’s best strategy; Democrats have to prove that government can work — and Republicans are determined to prove the opposite
Martin Wolf – FT
Will President Joe Biden succeed? Like many others, at home and abroad, I desperately hope so. But first we need to agree on what “success” means. It means, above all, restoring order to his country’s politics. That requires making the present direction of the Republican party politically untenable. Without that, hope of restoring democratic stability at home and a leading role for the US in the world may be in vain.
/on.ft.com/3iU5U3Y

Blinken Takes Over at State Dept. With a Review of Trump’s Policies; The Senate confirmed Antony J. Blinken as secretary of state. He is looking to reverse the Trump administration’s confrontational approach to diplomacy.
Lara Jakes – The New York Times
The Senate on Tuesday confirmed Antony J. Blinken as the nation’s 71st secretary of state, installing President Biden’s longtime adviser with a mission to rejoin alliances that were fractured after four years of an “America First” foreign policy. A centrist with an interventionist streak, Mr. Blinken was approved by a vote of 78 to 22, a signal that senators were eager to move past the Trump administration’s confrontational approach to diplomacy. “Blinken is the right person to reassure America’s prerogatives on the global stage,” Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the majority leader, said before the vote. “This is the person for the job,” said Senator Jim Risch of Idaho, the top Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee.
nyti.ms/3poWLCS

UN chief urges global alliance to counter rise of neo-Nazis
Edith M. Lederer – AP via Yahoo! News
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged coordinated global action on Monday to build an alliance against the growth and spread of neo-Nazism and white supremacy and the resurgence of xenophobia, anti-Semitism, and hate speech sparked partly by the COVID-19 pandemic. The U.N. chief also urged international action “to fight propaganda and disinformation.” And he called for stepped up education on Nazi actions during World War II, stressing that almost two-thirds of young Americans do not know that 6 million Jews were killed during the Holocaust.
yhoo.it/2Mr9ruq

Regulation

Robinhood Traders Face the Taxman After Falling In Love With Stocks
Misyrlena Egkolfopoulou and Ben Steverman – Bloomberg
Almost everyone who makes money must get acquainted with the taxman. That’s the reality dawning on U.S. investors who began buying and selling stocks on apps such as Robinhood last year, when they were cut off from other pastimes during pandemic lockdowns. At least 8 million people opened new brokerage accounts in the first nine months of 2020 — many of them young traders who were dipping their toes into the investing pool for the first time. Now that these investors realize they could be on the hook for taxes, they aren’t outraged (as George Harrison of the Beatles was when he wrote “Taxman”) as much as confused about the rules.
bloom.bg/3prMy8D

Revolutionizing the Digital Experience: Form U4 and FINRA Gateway
FINRA
For the last couple of years, FINRA has been working to revolutionize the digital experience of firms, particularly when it comes to registration and disclosure. Now many of these changes have come to life through the new FINRA Gateway and a new Form U4 filing experience.
/bit.ly/39j280K

Manisha Kimmel to Conclude Tenure as Senior Policy Advisor to the Chair on the Consolidated Audit Trail
SEC
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Manisha Kimmel will conclude her tenure as Senior Policy Advisor, Regulatory Reporting, at the end of this month. Since joining the SEC in January 2019, Ms. Kimmel has coordinated the SEC’s oversight of the creation and implementation of the Consolidated Audit Trail (CAT) by the self-regulatory organizations (SROs). As the primary interface with internal and external stakeholders, Ms. Kimmel has been responsible for assessing CAT development progress, shepherding CAT-related exemptive orders and Commission rulemaking through the agency, and establishing internal governance structures to support cross-divisional coordination and decision-making.
/bit.ly/2KWJEtE

CFTC Charges New York Man in Multi-Million Dollar Digital Asset Ponzi Scheme Involving Bitcoin and Ether
CFTC
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission today filed a federal civil enforcement action in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York charging Jeremy Spence of New York, with fraud for operating a Ponzi scheme involving digital assets such as bitcoin and ether in which he fraudulently solicited more than $5 million of investments from individuals. The Division of Enforcement’s Digital Assets Task Force was involved in this case.
/bit.ly/3pnG4HV

FCA and FRC joint statement reminding companies that extended financial information timelines continue to apply
UK FCA
Public policy interventions made in 2020 provided more time for the work necessary to ensure that published financial information continues to be of the quality that preparers and users of financial information expect.
/bit.ly/39l6S5W

Update on mortgages, consumer credit, banking and payments during coronavirus
UK FCA
We are publishing an update on issues relating to mortgages, consumer credit, banking and payments during coronavirus. This confirms our finalised guidance on repossessions for mortgages and consumer credit, as well as the FCA’s intention to consult on an increase in the limit for contactless payments. The FCA also wants to express its support for finance staff who are continuing to carry out frontline roles.
/bit.ly/3pjLGTs

Retail Market Conduct Task Force Report Initial Findings and Observations About the Impact of COVID-19 on Retail Market Conduct
Mondovisione
The Board of the International Organization of Securities Commissions today published a report that sets forth nine Sound Practices aimed at assisting its members in developing and improving their complaint handling procedures and mechanisms for retail investors.
/bit.ly/2KSCw1f

Investing and Trading

Learning from market bubbles past; Equity rallies can run and run before a reckoning, killing careers of sceptical investors
Robert Buckland – FT
Back in the late 1990s bull market, one value investor gave us an unbeatable definition of a bubble: “Something I get fired for not owning”. I should probably end this column there. But I will persevere. Everywhere I look there’s talk of bubbles, not just the social kind. Bond bubbles, bitcoin bubbles, equity bubbles, tech stock bubbles. There’s definitely a bubble in bubble talk.
/on.ft.com/39rcM5P

US stock rally drives ‘ludicrous index’ towards dotcom era heights; Rising number of US-listed equities are exhibiting signs of investor euphoria
Eric Platt – FT
Booming stock prices have inflated one measure of Wall Street exuberance back towards levels seen just before the dotcom bubble burst more than two decades ago. Shares in 79 companies listed on US stock exchanges have more than doubled in the past three months. These companies — all worth more than $500m — trade at a price-to-sales ratio higher than 10, more than three times the ratio across the benchmark S&P 500 index.
/on.ft.com/2MqR7l8

Why a US flour seller took time out during the home baking boom; King Arthur Baking’s B-Corp status helped it juggle social and business imperatives as sales surged
Billy Nauman – FT
The King Arthur Baking Company has been through a lot in the 230 years it has been selling flour. But nothing in the Vermont-based company’s history — no prior wars, depressions or even pandemics — could have prepared it for what happened in early 2020 when the first round of Covid-19 lockdowns hit and millions of laid-off, furloughed and newly homebound workers took refuge in their kitchens and started baking.
/on.ft.com/2MwceCh

Invention is the mother of profitability; New technologies can bring benefits both to the poorest parts of the planet and to investors
Sarah Murray – FT
From Thomas Edison to Steve Jobs, the ideas of inventors and the companies they went on to found have generated handsome profits while providing society with products and services that help people lead better lives.
/on.ft.com/39m4oUO

Facebook’s Critics Are Riled Up, But Investors Are Happy
Kurt Wagner – Bloomberg
Hey all, it’s Kurt. Facebook Inc. is starting 2021 in much the same way it spent the majority of 2020: embroiled in controversy. While Facebook has so far avoided any known major issues with the U.S. election, the company was criticized for its part in enabling a deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Organizers of the riot used Facebook services, BuzzFeed reported, and prominent venture capitalist Chris Sacca tweeted at Zuckerberg on the day of the riots that he’s “got blood on [his] hands.”
/bloom.bg/3cfjIEB

How ‘Flows Before Pros’ Is Disrupting Stock Markets
Tracy Alloway – Bloomberg
It seems inevitable that the populist forces that have disrupted almost everything else in recent years would eventually arrive to democratize investing. But the sheer impact of retail trading has been shocking, primarily to financial professionals who appear ill-equipped to deal with it. Organizing via social media, the amateurs have been able to send so-called “meme stocks” like GameStop Corp. soaring, while hedge funds that have been betting against the chosen companies are in pain. Some worry that the battle between the “flows” generated by small investors and the “pros,” or professionals, are artificially pumping stocks higher in a feedback loop that could lead to a collapse. Others worry the wild trading is ruining the purpose of capital markets entirely: the efficient allocation of capital.
/bloom.bg/2M9Ug8T

Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance

Investors call for more clarity on Singapore ESG fund labels; Standardisation of some kind would help to prevent ‘greenwashing’, industry figures say
Ernest Chan – FT
Authorities should respond to the growing interest in Singapore in investing according to environmental, social and governance principles and take measures to improve ESG fund labelling, industry figures say. The Monetary Authority of Singapore has called for asset managers to launch more ESG products in Singapore and a total of 22 ESG-related funds were authorised by the regulator in 2020.
/on.ft.com/2KQsPQS

The ESG investor’s dilemma: to engage or divest? Asset managers are debating whether it is time to get tough with problem companies
Patrick Temple-West – FT
When more than 600 institutional investors gathered for a Bank of America conference in December to talk about environmental, social and governance (ESG) themes, one topic rarely discussed among Wall Street elites was very much part of the conversation: divestment.
/on.ft.com/3onYSpc

Fidelity Launches ESG Tech Solution for Advisors
Bernice Napach – Thinkadvisor.com
Fidelity Investments has just launched an open architecture technology solution to help RIAs engage with clients about environmental, social and governance investing and create ESG-focused portfolios. The product, known as ESG Pro, “gives advisors everything they need to get started with ESG in one streamlined solution,” said Rick Smyers, managing director at Fidelity Labs, the firm’s internal fintech incubator, in a statement. “It provides advisors with tools to deepen their relationships with existing clients — and engage prospective clients — by developing sophisticated investment strategies that align with clients’ distinct values.”
bit.ly/2M0Kjec

Biden May Have to Move Quickly to Reverse Anti-ESG Rule
Tim Quinson – Bloomberg
The clock is ticking for the Biden administration to nullify Donald Trump’s restrictions on retirement plan fiduciaries, rules by which the Republican sought to limit their ability to direct money into environmental, social and governance funds. Trump’s Department of Labor moved earlier this month to adjust the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) to require those overseeing pension and 401(k) plans to always put economic interests ahead of so-called non-pecuniary goals. It was seen as a direct attack on ESG and green investing (though they have become more profitable of late).
bloom.bg/36dDKM0

Carbon Offsets That Companies Are Gobbling Up Get a Futures Contract
Ryan Dezember – WSJ
Exchange operator CME Group Inc. plans to launch trading in voluntary carbon-offset futures, tapping into the rush by companies to make up for their emissions. Offset credits are a climate-change currency earned through endeavors that reduce or sequester greenhouse gasses, such as paying timberland owners to leave trees standing and capturing methane fumes at hog farms. Companies, investment firms, governments and other entities that have set carbon-reduction goals apply voluntary offset credits to their internal ledgers in order to balance out emissions they can’t otherwise eliminate.
on.wsj.com/39mOjhZ

Institutions

JPMorgan Plans Retail Bank Expansion Abroad With U.K. Foray
Michelle F Davis – Bloomberg
Digital-only consumer bank to debut with firm hiring hundreds; Bank enters market crowded with upstarts and big-name firms
JPMorgan Chase & Co. is planning to expand its consumer business beyond U.S. borders for the first time, beginning with a digital-only retail bank in the U.K. The New York-based bank will start with a mobile checking account for U.K. customers this year, followed by a full slate of products potentially including credit cards, mortgages and auto loans, according to people briefed on the plans. If all goes well, the debut will serve as a model for expansion into other countries, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public.
/bloom.bg/39r9fo5

UBS Wealth Says It’s Time to Bet Big on Emerging Markets Shares
Filipe Pacheco – Bloomberg
Latin America, Russia top picks among regions for UBS Wealth; Emerging markets are in ‘a sweet spot,’ CIO Bolliger Says
Emerging-market stocks, particularly those in Russia and Latin America, will be the hottest items for equity investors this year. That’s the view of the wealth management arm of UBS Group AG, which oversees more than $4 trillion for its clients. A reviving global economy helped by vaccine rollouts, reduced uncertainty around U.S. foreign policy, a weaker dollar, stronger commodities and stimulus in major markets should all align behind this theme.
/bloom.bg/3iV5I4f

HSBC chief defends bank’s actions in Hong Kong; Noel Quinn tells UK MPs he was not the judge of ‘motives or validity’ of police instructions
Stephen Morris and Tabby Kinder – FT
HSBC’s chief executive has defended the British bank’s actions in Hong Kong, including supporting a controversial national security law and freezing the accounts of activists, as UK politicians accused it of “endorsing” China’s erosion of democracy in the city. Noel Quinn was told his bank was “aiding and abetting one of the biggest crackdowns on democracy in the world” by Labour MP Chris Bryant during a hearing of the parliamentary foreign affairs committee on Tuesday.
/on.ft.com/3onWuyK

Goldman CEO David Solomon Takes $10 Million Pay Cut for 1MDB Scandal; The bank had said it would claw back or withhold $174 million in compensation from current, former executives
Peter Rudegeair – WSJ
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. GS -0.45% slashed Chief Executive David Solomon’s 2020 pay by 36%, punishment for the bank’s admission last year that it broke U.S. laws in its dealings with an investment fund at the heart of a global corruption ring. Mr. Solomon received a $17.5 million compensation package for 2020, down from the $27.5 million he got for 2019, according to a securities filing on Tuesday.
/on.wsj.com/3oo3DPi

Leon Black’s $158M Jeffrey Epstein payout raises eyebrows
Thornton McEnery and Josh Kosman – NY Post
Leon Black’s nine-figure payout to convicted pedophile alleged sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein has the legal world scratching its head. Black’s Apollo Global Management on Monday revealed that its billionaire CEO and co-founder paid Epstein — who committed suicide in prison in August 2019 — $158 million between 2013 and 2017 for professional advice on tax audits, wealth management and estate planning.
/bit.ly/3ohGQos

Regions

TikTok to shed hundreds of India workers after national security ban; Country was previously China-owned video app’s biggest international market with 200m users
Stephanie Findlay – FT
TikTok has announced that it will lay off hundreds of workers in India, seven months after the Chinese-owned video app was banned from what was once its biggest international market on national security grounds. The company, whose parent is Chinese tech group ByteDance, said in a statement on Wednesday that it would reduce its current headcount of 2,000 after its efforts to restore the app in India failed.
/on.ft.com/2YiZHVz

Wall Street eyes China despite continued tensions with US; Opportunities for investors seen despite economic and technological rivalry
Michael Mackenzie – FT
So far, so good. That seems to be the initial assessment of investors watching signals from the new Biden administration on future policy changes. The Democrats’ plans to go big on economic stimulus and get to grips with the pandemic helped drive US and global equity markets to fresh peaks this week.
/on.ft.com/39kqwiq

Brexit

UK government plans post-Brexit reform of investment industry; Tax changes and new alternative investment funds will help keep Britain’s £9.9tn asset management sector competitive
Chris Flood and Emma Agyemang – FT
The government has outlined far reaching proposals to strengthen the international competitiveness of the UK’s £9.9tn asset management industry with tax reforms and innovative fund structures, providing a road map for the sector’s future outside of the EU.
/on.ft.com/2KQr0U2

Britain after Brexit: behind Boris Johnson’s green conversion; The UK prime minister has outlined a plan to address climate change but he will need to win over Conservative sceptics
Sebastian Payne and Jim Pickard – FT
When David Cameron took over as leader of the Conservative party in 2005, he pledged to introduce a “green revolution”. He went into the next election with the slogan “vote blue, go green”.
/on.ft.com/3iSWSE0

Truckers Shun U.K. Ports to Avoid Brexit Red Tape
Stephen Castle – The New York Times
Beneath swirling gray clouds, Bryan Anderson leaned from the cab window of his truck to vent his frustration at the new paperwork that had already delayed his journey through Britain’s second-largest ferry port by half a day. “It’s a nightmare,” Mr. Anderson said, explaining how he spent hours waiting at a depot 250 miles away for export documents required because of Brexit. The delay meant he reached Holyhead, in Wales, too late for the ferry he planned to take to Dublin, and for the next one, too.
nyti.ms/39mNsh5

Brexit and COVID have slammed the not-so-United Kingdom. Its survival may be in danger
Christina Boyle – The LA Times
After fulfilling his lifelong dream of becoming prime minister a year and a half ago, Britain’s Boris Johnson invented an extra title for himself: minister for the union. The new badge was meant to showcase his dedication to strengthening the bonds among England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, which together make up the United Kingdom. Johnson also pledged to “get Brexit done,” which he did by the skin of his teeth, with the U.K. striking a last-minute trade agreement with the European Union before pulling out fully from the club Dec. 31.
lat.ms/3qZGWTg

U.K. Borrowers Court Investors Willing to Put Brexit Behind Them
Tasos Vossos – Bloomberg
British companies’ increasing debt supply is attracting foreign investors willing to look past the stigma of Brexit. Non-financial corporates in the U.K. including Tesco Plc and motoring firm AA Plc have raised more than $5 billion from euro and sterling-denominated issues this year, more than double the amount offered last January, based on data compiled by Bloomberg. With the promise of a pick-up for yield-starved investors and a Brexit deal in place, U.K. firms have the chance to further boost supply of new debt and lure portfolio managers that have shunned them since the vote to leave the European Union in 2016.
bloom.bg/3orzXku

No Brexit bonfire for City of London, but it won’t be a ‘rule taker’
Guy Faulconbridge, Huw Jones – Reuters
London has no desire for a bonfire of regulations to retain its position as a top international finance centre after Brexit but it is ready to act if the European Union blocks access, the City of London’s political leader said. While it is still the only global centre to rival New York, London has seen some business and job losses since the shock 2016 Brexit vote and financial services were largely forgotten by British leaders during EU divorce negotiations, cutting the City off from its biggest single customer.
reut.rs/2M7WNAA

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