Robinhood Doubles Down on Crypto With Deal for Bitstamp

Jun 6, 2024

First Read

Hits & Takes
John Lothian & JLN Staff

Last night Leo Melamed, Mary Dillon, Rick Bayless, Guadalupe Arce and Don and Liz Thompson were honored by the Chicago History Museum’s 30th Annual Making History Awards at a well-attended event at the Four Seasons Hotel in Chicago. Melamed was the first to be honored and was introduced by CME Group board member and journalist Terry Savage, who used The Wall Street Journal’s editorial from the previous day for her introductory remarks.

Melamed was presented with The Daniel H. Burnham Making History Award for Distinction in Visionary Leadership. He made the point in his remarks that “Volume is the best way to measure success” and that when he became chairman of the CME in 1969 the volume of futures traded in the entire world was 12 million contracts. He said, “Last year, in 2023, the CME Group alone traded over 6 billion contracts. But even more impressive is that the world volume exploded to 137 billion contracts traded on exchanges all over the globe.”

“That is an increase of over 11,000 times the volume since currency futures were conceived,” Melamed said.

Melamed said the success perhaps came from what Victor Hugo believed, “Nothing else in the world is so powerful as an idea whose time has come.” Melamed went on to give new words to the famous Carl Sandburg poem about Chicago:

Risk Capital of the World,
Innovator, Conceive of Markets,
Player with Concepts and Nation’s Derivatives,
Stormy, husky, brawling,
City of Big Shoulders

The secret weapon, Melamed said, was the IMM traders, to whom he offered his own poem at the 1982 gala celebration of the IMM’s 10th anniversary. Who were the IMM traders?

We were a bunch of guys who were hungry
We were traders to whom it did not matter
Whether it was eggs or gold, bellies or
The British Pound, turkeys or T-bills.

We were babes in the woods, innocents,
In a world we hardly understood,
Too dumb to be scared.

We were audacious, brazen, raucous pioneers,
Too unworldly to know we could not win.

That the odds against us were too high;
That the banks would never trust us;
That the government would never let us;
That Chicago was the wrong place.

Don and Liz Thompson are Purdue University alumni and both were in West Lafayette, IN at the same time I was; however, Don graduated six months after me and Liz 18 months later. Don also lived in the same dormitory as I did, Cary Quadrangle, though he lived in Cary East and I in Cary West, of the country’s then largest all-male university dormitory. We did not know each other from Purdue, but our paths may have crossed. Don Thompson would go on to become the CEO of McDonalds from 2012 to 2015. I can’t tell you how impressed I was with both of them. They are just outstanding, all-around people. The same can be said for the rest of the honorees as well. Congratulations to the Chicago HIstory Museum on selecting an outstanding class of honorees and holding a great event.

Trading Technologies is holding a webinar called “New Cross Product Functionality in TT Score,” to be hosted by TT’s Ted Morgan, Jay Biondo, and Dan Langley on Wednesday, June 12 at 9am CDT. It aims to provide a detailed overview of TT Score’s new Cross Product models, which help identify suspicious trading behaviors between multiple traders and across various instruments, products, and markets. The webinar will explore scenarios such as automated collusive spoofing, automated spoofing, collusive spoofing, and spoofing. Attendees will also learn about the new customizable models that users can configure. The session will be recorded and shared with all registrants. Additional resources include a guide to trade surveillance models, the TT Score Help Library, and a Cross Product Functionality whitepaper. Register HERE.

Leila Fourie, CEO of JSE Group, has been appointed to the board of the UN Global Compact Network South Africa, the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative, JSE shared on LinkedIn.

Industry veteran Eric Aldous shared on LinkedIn that his wife, Janet, was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease last year after multiple hospital stays and a major surgery resulting in a temporary ileostomy. She had reversal surgery this year and is now recovering. Janet’s Crohn’s is aggressive and was likely undiagnosed for over 15 years. The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation has been a valuable resource for them. Janet is the Adult Honored Hero at this year’s Take Steps Liberty State Park charity walk. For those interested in supporting or joining the walk, or contributing to his team’s efforts to raise money for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, click HERE.

Today is the 90th anniversary of the creation of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission with the passage of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the SEC Historical Society shared on LinkedIn.

The Chicago Board of Trade Building has installed furniture in the lobby of its 1929 building entrance, just outside the venerable Ceres Cafe. There are lots of different types of seating for conversations, or even sitting with a laptop.

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


Our most read stories from our previous edition of JLN Options were:
John Palmer to Lead New Markets at IEX, Driving Future Expansion from IEX.
‘Spaghetti cannon’ filings for 25 hot-trend ETFs prompt concerns from the Financial Times.
Here’s what happened in 9 major bubbles in the last 100 years – and what’s going on now from MarketWatch. ~JB

Subscribe to the JLN Options Newsletter HERE (it’s free).


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CQG Executives Discuss AI Integration and Future Plans at FIA Conference

At the recent FIA International Futures Industry Conference, CQG executives Pat Kenny and Ryan Moroney shared insights into the company’s exploration of AI technology and its future plans during an interview with John Lothian News for the JLN Industry Leader video series sponsored by Wedbush.

Watch the video »


Symphony CEO Brad Levy Sees Convergence of Traditional and Decentralized Finance

Brad Levy, the CEO of Symphony, a leading financial services messaging platform, envisions a future where traditional finance (TradFi) and decentralized finance (DeFi) coexist on a continuum rather than being separate entities.

Watch the video »


Why the hurricane season matters for the Federal Reserve; The US central bank increasingly needs an understanding of meteorology to see where the economy is headed
Rebecca Patterson – Financial Times (opinion)
The writer is a former chief investment strategist at Bridgewater Associates.
While the US Federal Reserve may not want to complicate its policy mandate by incorporating climate considerations, it increasingly needs an understanding of meteorology to see where the economy is headed. Hurricane season started on June 1, providing a timely illustration of the weather-driven challenges faced by the Fed, which holds a monetary policy meeting next week. The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting an above-normal rate of 8-13 hurricane-strength storms before the end of November.

****** If I were the Fed, I would trade in some of the helicopters they drop money from for boats. Maybe Arcs. ~JJL


As Nvidia Stock Split Looms, Traders Swarm Short-Term Bets
Gunjan Banerji – The Wall Street Journal
Nvidia mania is sweeping the options market. Nineteen out of 20 of the most actively traded options tied to Nvidia that traded on Wednesday expire by the end of this week, Cboe Global Markets data show. That is a sign traders are placing short-term wagers on the stock’s next move. Nvidia’s stock split takes place on Friday, and its recent ascent is reminiscent of the frenzy that broke out in Tesla shares around the EV-maker’s stock split in 2020. Options activity tied to Nvidia has been through the roof. On Tuesday, around $283 billion worth of Nvidia options traded, compared with $18.7 billion for Apple, according to David Boole at BayCrest Partners.

*****Nvidia is going to become even bigger after its stock split, if you can believe it. ~JJL


Wednesday’s Top Three
Our top clicked item Wednesday was our MarketsWiki page for John Palmer, which was the Page of the Day yesterday. Second was the IEX announcement that Palmer had joined the company as a member of the IEX Group, Inc. leadership team. Third was New Texas Stock Exchange Takes Aim at New York’s Dominance, from The Wall Street Journal.



Lead Stories

Robinhood Doubles Down on Crypto With Deal for Bitstamp; Move comes a month after SEC notice of a potential lawsuit over the brokerage’s crypto offerings
Caitlin Ostroff – The Wall Street Journal
Robinhood is wading deeper into crypto with a $200 million deal for Bitstamp, despite the Securities and Exchange Commission’s warning that it plans to sue the brokerage over its digital-assets business. The deal for the crypto exchange comes a month after Robinhood disclosed that it received a so-called Wells notice that the regulator is preparing to sue the company over alleged violations of securities laws. The acquisition would allow Robinhood to serve institutional crypto clients and expand its crypto offerings internationally, the company said. Bitstamp holds more than 50 licenses and registrations globally.

***** Here is the Bloomberg version of this story.~JJL

Bakkt Teams with Crossover Markets to Power “BakktX” ECN with High-Performance Technology; Bakkt to further its U.S. institutional capabilities with its own high-performance trading venue; Crossover Markets to provide cutting-edge technology, including customized liquidity solutions combined with ultra-low-latency trade execution
Bakkt Holdings, Inc.
Bakkt Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: BKKT) announced today that the company has tapped Crossover Markets to provide technology to help power “BakktX,” its forthcoming crypto Electronic Communication Network (ECN). “As institutional interest in crypto grows, further expanding Bakkt’s capabilities is a key priority,” said Ray Kamrath, Chief Commercial Officer at Bakkt. “With the development of BakktX, we are positioning ourselves as an ideal partner for institutions seeking a compliant, qualified trading venue. This will be a truly groundbreaking solution that fulfills a currently unmet need in the U.S. market.”

U.S. Clears Way for Antitrust Inquiries of Nvidia, Microsoft and OpenAI; The Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission agreed to divide responsibility for investigating three major players in the artificial intelligence industry.
David McCabe – The New York Times
Federal regulators have reached a deal that allows them to proceed with antitrust investigations into the dominant roles that Microsoft, OpenAI and Nvidia play in the artificial intelligence industry, in the strongest sign of how regulatory scrutiny into the powerful technology has escalated. The Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission struck the deal over the past week, and it is expected to be completed in the coming days, according to two people with knowledge of the matter, who were not authorized to speak publicly about the confidential discussions.

US SEC’s Gensler welcomes competition on multiple clearing houses for Treasuries
Davide Barbuscia – Reuters
Gary Gensler, chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission, said on Wednesday he welcomed competition around having multiple clearing houses for U.S. Treasuries, though he said there was no formal filing from potential applicants. Currently, the Fixed Income Clearing Corporation, a subsidiary of trade processor DTCC, is the country’s sole clearer of Treasuries. But competition is set to increase after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in December adopted new rules aimed at reducing systemic risk in the U.S. Treasury market by forcing more trades through clearing houses.

Timing for US ether ETF launches depends on how fast issuers can move, SEC chair says
Hannah Lang and Chris Prentice – Reuters
The timing for when exchange-traded funds (ETFs) tied to the cryptocurrency ether can begin trading depends largely on how quickly issuers respond to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s queries, Chair Gary Gensler said on Wednesday. The SEC last month approved applications from Nasdaq, CBOE and NYSE to list spot ether ETFs. It was a surprise win for the cryptocurrency industry which had expected the SEC to reject the filings after discouraging meetings with the regulator. The SEC still has to approve the ETF issuers’ registration statements detailing investor disclosures before they can start trading. That process usually involves a lot of back and forth between the ETF issuers and SEC officials.

2x ether ETF debuts in US before plain vanilla spot rivals; Leveraged and inverse products from Volatility Shares and ProShares get green light, while physically backed funds wait
Will Schmitt – Financial Times
US exchange traded fund investors can buy a fund offering two times the daily return of ether, but are still waiting for final approval of an ETF that actually invests in the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency. Volatility Shares launched the 2x Ether ETF (ETHU) on June 4, while ProShares, one of the largest providers of leveraged and inverse ETFs, said it expected ETFs offering twice the daily return of ether (ETHT) and twice the inverse daily ether return (ETHD) to list on the New York Stock Exchange on June 7.

At $3 Trillion, Nvidia Is Worth More Than Many National Stock Markets
Quentin Webb – The Wall Street Journal
Nvidia today isn’t just bigger than every other listed company out there except Microsoft. Its $3 trillion-plus capitalization also makes the chip maker more valuable than many national stock markets, at least as measured by broad equity indexes. For instance, Nvidia’s market cap is closing in on that of the FTSE All-Share Index, which captures the value of most London-listed stocks, and has recently surpassed broad benchmarks in Toronto and Seoul.

Texan stock exchange start-up draws sceptical industry response; BlackRock and Citadel Securities have backed a bourse hoping to challenge Nasdaq and NYSE for listings
Jennifer Hughes – Financial Times
A new Texas stock exchange’s bid to break New York’s dominance of US equity markets has met with scepticism from rivals, traders and investor advocates in spite of backing from BlackRock and Citadel Securities. TXSE, the Dallas-based group behind the planned Texas Stock Exchange, said on Wednesday it would apply for approval from the US Securities and Exchange Commission to become a new hub for listed companies and the $8.6tn exchange traded funds industry.

Keith Gill’s GameStop Trades Pose Conundrum for Market Cops; Lawyers say it is unlikely regulators could bring a case against the meme-stock influencer based on the facts currently known
Alexander Osipovich – The Wall Street Journal
Keith Gill placed a big bet on GameStop, then single-handedly moved the stock higher by returning to social media. Was that market manipulation? Lawyers say it is unlikely that the Securities and Exchange Commission could bring a case against Gill, the meme-stock influencer known as Roaring Kitty, based on the facts currently known about his trading. For the SEC to sue Gill for manipulation, it would need evidence that he deceived the market in some fashion. But there is nothing clearly deceptive about Gill’s tweeting of cryptic memes or revealing the size of his GameStop position. It has reached a whopping $260 million in shares and options contracts, according to a post on his Reddit account on Monday afternoon.

US antitrust enforcer says ‘urgent’ scrutiny needed over Big Tech’s control of AI; Jonathan Kanter pushes for ‘meaningful intervention’ over concentration of power in artificial intelligence sector
Stephen Morris in San Francisco, Javier Espinoza in Brussels and Stefania Palma – Financial Times
The top US antitrust enforcer will look “with urgency” at the artificial intelligence sector, following concerns that power over the transformative technology is being concentrated among a few deep-pocketed players. Jonathan Kanter said in an interview with the Financial Times that he was examining “monopoly choke points and the competitive landscape” in AI, encompassing everything from computing power and the data used to train large language models, to cloud service providers, engineering talent and access to essential hardware such as graphics processing unit chips.

SEC Hedge Fund Fee Disclosure Rule Struck Down by US Court
Madlin Mekelburg and Rachel Graf – Bloomberg
A federal appeals court struck down the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s rules requiring hedge funds and private equity firms to detail quarterly fees and expenses to investors – a significant setback in the regulator’s clampdown on the private-funds industry. A three-judge panel of the US 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans on Wednesday sided with industry groups, who argued that the agency overstepped its authority and that rules weren’t necessary for the “highly sophisticated” investors that pour money into private funds. Writing for the panel, Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt said the SEC “exceeded its statutory authority” by adopting the rule.

AI is a green curse as well as a blessing; The amount of energy used by data centres is staggering
John Thornhill – Financial Times
One of the breeziest promises made about artificial intelligence is that it will enable us to tackle the world’s biggest challenges such as climate change. AI can help run smarter electricity grids, design more efficient electric vehicles and track plastic pollution in our oceans. But the data centres that host the latest AI models consume shocking amounts of energy and water. Is AI more of a problem than a solution when it comes to the climate emergency? The ways in which technology is tugging in opposite directions is highlighted by the experience of Microsoft, which in 2020 made one of the boldest environmental commitments in corporate history. By 2030, the technology company promised, it would be carbon negative and by 2050 it would have offset all the emissions it had generated since its birth in 1975. But Microsoft still has a long way to go. Last month, it reported that its emissions had risen 29 per cent since 2020 as it continued to invest massively in data infrastructure.

Your invite to Leaders in Trading New York! The inaugural Leaders in Trading New York awards will be held at Current, Pier 59 in New York City on 19 November; stay tuned for award nominations.
Editors – The Trade
The rumours are true. The TRADE is excited to announce its inaugural Leaders in Trading New York awards, in recognition of the achievements of the trading and execution industry in North America. Set to be held at Current in New York City on 19 November, the awards will honour the top desks and traders in our coveted Buy-Side Awards, recognise leading market players from all corners of the industry in the Editors’ Choice categories, and acknowledge the biggest outperformers in The TRADE’s reputable Algorithmic Trading, Execution Management System and Outsourced Trading Surveys.

Ukraine Invasion

Drones Attack Novoshakhtinsk Refinery in Southern Russia
Bloomberg News
Drones attacked the Novoshakhtinsk refinery in southern Russia near the border with Ukraine, sparking a fire at the plant. The fire was extinguished at 4 a.m. local time, Rostov region Governor Vasily Golubev said on his Telegram channel Thursday. There were no casualties from the attacks, he added. It’s unclear what damage the fire caused or how operations were affected at the refinery. The facility, which processed over 4.8 million tons of crude last year, or around 97,000 barrels a day, was the target of a drone strike earlier this year.

US seeks EU sanctions guarantee to back $50bn Ukraine loan; Washington needs Russian assets held in Europe to be frozen indefinitely to support fresh finance for Kyiv
Paola Tamma and Henry Foy and James Politi and Claire Jones – Financial Times
The US is ready to lead a loan of $50bn to Ukraine repaid by profits from frozen Russian assets if the EU can indefinitely extend sanctions against Moscow, according to a leaked discussion paper. Washington needs the EU to prolong the bloc’s sanctions on Russian state assets, which expire every six months unless renewed by unanimous consent, until the end of the war to ensure the US is not left on the hook for repayments.

NATO to Expand Defense Tech, Intelligence Sharing with Ukraine; Alliance is devoting more resources to tracking Russian tech; NATO sees Ukraine as an example to follow on innovation
Mark Bergen – Bloomberg
NATO is planning to expand cooperation with Ukraine on defense technology and share more intelligence about Russia’s electronic warfare capabilities, as some of its members lift constraints on Kyiv’s ability to wage war. The conflict has pushed the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to devote more resources to cybersecurity deterrence and tracking Russia’s military tech, Assistant Secretary General David van Weel told journalists this week.

Israel/Palestine Conflict

Dozens reported killed in strike on Gaza school that Israel says targeted Hamas
Nidal Al-Mughrabi and James Mackenzie – Reuters
Israel hit a Gaza school on Thursday in an airstrike that it said targeted and killed Hamas fighters inside, while a Hamas official said 40 people including women and children were killed as they sheltered in the U.N. site. The strike took place at a sensitive moment in mediated negotiations on a ceasefire agreement entailing the release of hostages seized by Hamas on Oct. 7 and some of the Palestinians held in Israeli jails. Hamas seeks a permanent end to the war. Israel says it must destroy the Islamist group first.

Israeli strike kills at least 33 people at a Gaza school the military claims was being used by Hamas
Wafaa Shurafa and Samy Maddy – Associated Press
An Israeli strike early Thursday on a school sheltering displaced Palestinians in central Gaza killed more than 30 people, including 23 women and children, according to local health officials. The Israeli military said that Hamas militants were operating from within the school.

Israeli Nationalists, Marching in Jerusalem, Balk at U.S. Cease-Fire Push; Members of the religious right call for resettling Gaza and the complete defeat of Hamas
Dov Lieber and Marcus Walker – The Wall Street Journal
The marchers waved Israeli flags alongside flags of religious seminaries and banners in support of Donald Trump. Some chanted “Death to Arabs,” while others called for tearing down the Al Aqsa Mosque in the heart of this ancient city and rebuilding an ancient Jewish temple in its place. This year, the young religious nationalists at Israel’s annual flag march also called for carrying on the war against Hamas in Gaza, rejecting President Biden’s push for a cease-fire that could save some Israeli hostages but might help Hamas to survive.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

A cautious revival of the London IPO market; New listings could shore up the positive mood in the City
The Editorial Board – Financial Times
The London Stock Exchange has had a disappointing few years. It has been devoid of any major initial public offerings since Deliveroo’s disastrous 2021 floating. Investors and market bosses have been let down, too, by a series of snubs and turnabouts, including former UK tech star Arm’s decision to list in New York and Turkish miner WE Soda’s last-minute withdrawal, both in 2023.

LSEG appoints Pascal Boillat as Chief Operating Officer; Pascal brings 35+ years of experience in senior operational, technology and data roles within the financial services industry.
London Stock Exchange Group plc (LSEG) today announces that Pascal Boillat has been appointed as Chief Operating Officer (COO). Pascal will join the Group on 1 July 2024, reporting to David Schwimmer. Based in New York, Pascal will lead LSEG’s global operations division supporting the services delivered both to our people and to customers. He will also be a member of the Group’s Executive Committee.

Bridging the Gap in Southeast Asia’s Capital Markets
Jenny Lee and Ng Yao Loong – SGX Group
Southeast Asia (SEA) is flourishing with some of the world’s fastest-growing economies and a dynamic start-up ecosystem. Despite Singapore’s thriving startup scene, finding sustainable capital or public equity can be challenging. Last year, Singapore led SEA in start-up investments with a total of US$6.1 billion, even amid a global downturn in funding(1). In a challenging year for public listings globally, SEA IPO markets raised a combined US$5.8 billion last year, of which only US$35 million came from Singapore(2). The gap in comparison to the U.S. start-up funding and IPO markets is stark and concerning.

MARF registers a new Commercial Paper Programme from Eroski for 100 million euros
The BME’s fixed income market, MARF, has admitted to trading a Commercial Paper Programme of Eroski, Sociedad Cooperativa for an amount of 100 million euros. The commercial papers to be issued under the program will have unit amounts of 100,000 euros and maturities ranging from 3 days to a maximum of 2 years. With this new financing mechanism, Eroski diversifies its access to short-term capital markets.

Nordeste Properties Socimi joins BME Scaleup on June 10
The Board of Directors of BME Scaleup has approved the incorporation of NORDESTE PROPERTIES SOCIMI on 10 June, once all the documentation submitted by the company has been analysed and studied and a favourable evaluation report has been issued by the Market Coordination and Incorporation Committee.

Cboe Global Markets Reports Trading Volume for May 2024
Cboe Global Markets, Inc. (Cboe: CBOE), the world’s leading derivatives and securities exchange network, today reported May monthly trading volume statistics across its global business lines. The data sheet “Cboe Global Markets Monthly Volume & RPC/Net Revenue Capture Report” contains an overview of certain May trading statistics and market share by business segment, volume in select index products, and RPC/net capture, which is reported on a one-month lag, across business lines.

Changes in MDAX and SDAX
STOXX Ltd. has announced the new composition of the DAX blue-chip indices. DAX, MDAX, SDAX and TecDAX represent the largest companies (by free float market capitalization) listed on the Regulated Market of Frankfurt Stock Exchange, which meet the basic criteria for index inclusion as defined in the DAX rulebook. The indices are reviewed on a quarterly basis. The scheduled June review includes the Fast Exit and Fast Entry rules.

May 2024 figures at Eurex
Eurex, Europe’s leading derivatives exchange, reports a 13 percent increase in traded contracts for May compared to the previous year, up from 142.5 million to 161.3 million contracts. Interest rate derivatives went up by 41 percent to 78.3 million contracts. Equity derivatives grew by 15 percent compared to May 2023, while index derivatives decreased 12 percent to 54.5 million traded contracts.

DTCC Testifies to Congress on Opportunities to Advance Financial Markets with Digital Securities and Tokenization Services
Nadine Chakar, Managing Director and Global Head of DTCC Digital Assets, today testified before the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Digital Assets on the potential for tokenization to transform today’s financial markets through further automation, increased efficiency and lower costs.

EEX Press Release – EEX Group Volume Report – May 2024
EEX Group
EEX Group reports its May monthly volumes with the following highlights:

Intercontinental Exchange Reports May 2024 Statistics
Intercontinental Exchange
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE:ICE), a leading global provider of technology and data, today reported May 2024 trading volume and related revenue statistics, which can be viewed on the company’s investor relations website at in the Monthly Statistics Tracking spreadsheet.

John Palmer to Lead New Markets at IEX, Driving Future Expansion
Taking the next step in its growth journey, IEX Group, Inc. (IEX) today announced the appointment of John Palmer to lead its efforts to build out new markets. As a member of the IEX Group, Inc. leadership team, Palmer will focus on leveraging the strengths of IEX’s core system and technology to develop new markets and expand its product innovations to create more value for IEX customers.

ASX Group monthly activity report – May 2024

Straits Times Index (STI) quarterly review
FTSE Russell announces that there will be no changes to the constituents of the Straits Times Index (STI), following the June 2024 quarterly review.

FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI June 2024 semi-annual review
FTSE Russell announces that there will be One change to the constituents of the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI, following the semi-annual review of the FTSE Bursa Malaysia Index Series today.

Caution for Investors_Tradex

Nasdaq May 2024 Volumes
Nasdaq (Nasdaq: NDAQ) today reported monthly volumes for May 2024 on its Investor Relations website. A data sheet showing this information can be found at:

National Stock Exchange and Government of Rajasthan sign MoU to facilitate fund raising for SMEs in the State


Arcesium Announces Collaboration With Bloomberg to Make Its Data License Plus (DL+) Solution Available to Mutual Customers to Deliver Enhanced Efficiency
Arcesium via Valdosta Daily Times
Arcesium, a leading data and operations technology provider to the global investment industry, announced today the expansion of its collaboration with Bloomberg. The extended capabilities will make Bloomberg’s data management solution, Data License Plus (DL+), available via Arcesium’s advanced operations platform, providing mutual customers with more efficient and streamlined data management capabilities. Now with access to DL+, Arcesium and Bloomberg customers, including institutional asset managers, hedge funds, banks, and private markets funds, can more seamlessly integrate Bloomberg’s Data License content into their day-to-day workflows via the Arcesium platform. Bloomberg’s Data License content includes 70+ million securities and 40,000 data fields spanning reference, pricing, regulatory, ESG data, and more.

Difference between CME iLink 2 and iLink 3
The CME’s iLink protocol is crucial for order entry and management in financial trading. Understanding the differences between iLink 2 and iLink 3 can help traders and financial professionals make informed decisions about their trading infrastructure. Before we begin, it’s important to note that CME iLink 2 is set to be decommissioned from 31st December 2024, however, you may still find yourself curious in terms of what the difference actually is.

Will AI Destroy the World? Even Its Creators Are Wondering; Inside OpenAI, employees often debate the dangers of what they’re building.
Ellen Huet and Shawn Wen – Bloomberg Podcasts
A group of high-level, early employees of OpenAI had glimpsed the fluidity and power of the technology behind ChatGPT and chose to run. They left to start a new company, and their exit sparked concerns about OpenAI’s approach to safety. Meanwhile, the success of ChatGPT drove a craze within the tech industry but also added fuel to existing AI apocalypse fears. Episode three of Foundering: The OpenAI Story examines the frenzy around AI, both its utopian dreams and its visions of impending doom. Some people in the AI industry believe that an all-powerful computer intelligence would be good for humanity. Sam Altman describes a future in which AI ushers in a world of abundance. But others fear that advanced AI could spell catastrophe.

Sam Altman’s Dream of AI Ending Poverty Faces a Messy Reality; He talked publicly about giving away money unconditionally while his sister struggled with homelessness.
Ellen Huet and Shawn Wen – Bloomberg Podcasts
It’s widely predicted that artificial intelligence will upend the economy and threaten many existing jobs. Sam Altman, in trying to stay ahead of public fears of mass unemployment, has offered a solution: universal basic income, an economic support system designed to give everyone a regular cash income, no strings attached. Altman has made universal basic income part of his personal brand, and he’s envisioned an AI future of abundance, where everyone has enough to eat and a place to live. He has called AI a technology that can “end poverty.” Episode four of Foundering: The OpenAI Story delves into the way that these grandiose projections collide with a messy, complicated reality.

How Apple Fell Behind in the AI Arms Race; After years of playing it safe with generative artificial intelligence, Apple is set to unveil new features next week
Aaron Tilley – The Wall Street Journal
For those who saw them, the demonstrations inside Apple earlier this decade of a revamped Siri offered a showcase of the amazing capabilities a powerful AI voice assistant could have. The famed assistant, one of the last projects Apple co-founder Steve Jobs worked on before his death, had been given a total overhaul. Capable of running on an iPhone and without an internet connection, the new Siri impressed people with its improved speed, conversational capabilities and the accuracy with which it understood user commands. Code-named Project Blackbird, the effort also imagined a Siri with capabilities built by third-party app developers, according to people familiar with the work.

Nvidia’s Pitch in AI Chips Holds Echoes of Apple and iPhones
Vlad Savov – Bloomberg

Elon Musk’s xAI to Develop New Supercomputer in Memphis; Startup could receive tax breaks and other business incentives; New facility would come on the heels of $6 billion fundraising
Kurt Wagner – Bloomberg

Humane Tells Users to Stop Using Ai Pin Case Over Fire Risk
Mark Gurman – Bloomberg

Meta’s AI Project Faces Privacy Complaints in Europe; Meta said it’s confident its approach complies with privacy laws and is consistent with how other tech companies are developing AI in Europe
Helena Smolak – The Wall Street Journal

‘Most exciting moment’ since birth of WiFi: chipmakers hail arrival of AI PCs; Intel, AMD, Qualcomm and Nvidia battle to get their processors into next wave of artificial intelligence-enabled computers
Eleanor Olcott – Financial Times

Will Cloud Software Be Ready for Its AI Moment? Recent earnings misses by Salesforce and other cloud software firms may be tied to the fact that the AI investment cycle is still unfolding, analysts say
Isabelle Bousquette – The Wall Street Journal


US Aims to Curb Cybercrime by Messing With Hackers’ Minds; Government-funded study seeking to develop tools to take advantage of hackers’ biases and vulnerabilities.
Andrew Martin – Bloomberg
An arm of the US intelligence community is trying to figure out how hackers think in order to thwart their attacks. Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity, part of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and known as IARPA, selected five different research teams to conduct research and find ways to boost cybersecurity by better understanding what motivates hackers, and try to predict their behavior. “We think we can affect the attackers’ judgment and reaction and behavior to the benefit of the offenders,” said Kimberly Ferguson-Walter, program manager.

Dangerous macOS malware steals browser data and cryptocurrency
Jacob Siegal – BGR
Our malware articles typically concern either Android or Windows, but Apple users occasionally have to deal with malicious software of their own. For instance, the Moonlock Lab cybersecurity team recently discovered a macOS malware strain that can easily evade detection. As the researchers explain, the infection chain begins when a Mac user visits a site in search of pirated software. On the site, they might download a file titled CleanMyMacCrack.dmg, believing that the file is a cracked version of the Mac cleaning software, CleanMyMac. After launching that DMG file on their computer, a Mach-O file is executed, which downloads an AppleScript capable of stealing sensitive information from the Mac.


SEC’s Gensler Shrugs About New Crypto ETFs Strolling Through His Agency’s Gates
Nikhilesh De – CoinDesk
The approval of new exchange traded funds (ETFs) for Ethereum’s ether {{ETH}} is a logical next step to the regulator previously approving spot bitcoin ETFs, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair Gary Gensler seemed to suggest twice on Wednesday. Despite the crypto industry’s widespread belief that Gensler’s SEC was planning to block the ETH spot ETF before reversing course and granting the first stage of applications, the head of the agency sped through an account of its ongoing approval process as if it were a casual matter, echoing himself in two separate interviews – in a CNBC appearance and on the sidelines of an International Swaps and Derivatives Association/Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association event.

Robinhood bets big on crypto with $200 million deal for Bitstamp
Manya Saini – Reuters
Trading platform Robinhood Markets said on Thursday it has agreed to buy crypto exchange Bitstamp for about $200 million in cash, speeding up a broader push into digital assets with its biggest-ever deal. Robinhood, whose shares were up 3.4% before the bell, has been looking to expand its product offerings to become a full-fledged financial services provider.

SEC chair Gensler cautions crypto exchanges on enforcement
U.S Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Gary Gensler issued a warning to cryptocurrency exchanges, stating that providing disclosures to investors does not shield them from regulatory enforcement. Gensler emphasized in a CNBC interview Wednesday that disclosures alone are inadequate if crypto exchanges engage in activities such as market manipulation or disseminate misleading information that affects investment decisions.

AI’s Insatiable Data-Center Demand Makes Crypto Miners Targets; Takeover bid for Core shows rising value of company’s assets; Miners have gone on a shopping spree for Nvidia equipment
David Pan – Bloomberg
Matt Brown figures he must have been one of the most sought-after attendees at a technology conference hosted by Nvidia Corp. this spring. From employees at the chipmaking giant itself to those representing Silicon Valley stalwarts like Google and to little-known artificial intelligence startups, it seemed like everyone wanted to ask the 46-year-old executive from crypto mining company Core Scientific Inc. if his company had any extra capacity in its data centers.

Doubts About US Ether ETF Demand Herald Test for Second-Largest Token; BlackRock, Fidelity among issuers preparing to list Ether ETFs; JPMorgan analysts expect fraction of demand for Bitcoin funds
Sidhartha Shukla – Bloomberg
Debut US exchange-traded funds for the Ether cryptocurrency may generate much less demand than spot-Bitcoin products, according to analysts, muddying the outlook for the second-largest token. BlackRock Inc. and Fidelity Investments are among the issuers seeking to list Ether funds pending final Securities and Exchange Commission approvals. JPMorgan Chase & Co. strategists expect far smaller Ether ETF net inflows versus the $15.3 billion that has poured into Bitcoin vehicles this year.

Crypto Miner Riot Targeted by Short-Seller Kerrisdale on ‘Flawed’ Business Model; Riot Platforms falls as much as 8.9% after Kerrisdale report; Firm has a winning bet against MicroStrategy in similar trade
Bailey Lipschultz – Bloomberg

Spanish Court Grants ‘Bitcoin Jesus’ Bail in Extradition Fight
Jorge Zuloaga – Bloomberg


Vermont Takes On Big Oil. Will Other States Follow?
Lee Wasserman – The New York Times
As extreme climate-driven weather events and rising seas savage infrastructure and human health, the costs to states grow. Expensive but necessary measures to fortify communities have been put off because money or political will is lacking. At the same time, fossil fuel companies – whose decades of deception and continued resistance to a clean-energy transition bear responsibility for our climate emergency – continue to generate enormous profits. It does not take a climate scientist or economist to recognize that something is desperately wrong with this picture. Now Vermont – with a population just under 650,000, the second smallest among the states – has stepped up and accomplished what no other state or Congress has been able to do.

The next UK government must make it easier for businesses to invest; There should be assurances that large infrastructure projects won’t be summarily cancelled
Amanda Blanc – Financial Times
I’m relieved we are having a general election in the UK in a matter of weeks. It ends the constant speculation that had become a distraction and stifled important policy debate. My hope is that, regardless of which party wins, there is a clear result and mandate for the next administration. This will give the country both the political consistency and stability that are essential to seizing one of the biggest opportunities for economic growth – securing greater investment in the UK economy.

Five Takeaways: How a ‘Greenlash’ Could Transform Europe’s Vote; After years of political consensus on the transition to cleaner energy, a backlash appears to be building as prices rise and right-wing candidates gain ground.
Somini Sengupta – The New York Times
Over the past five years, the leaders of the European Union tried to turn the 27-country bloc into a global climate front-runner. They made big strides. They enshrined into law an ambitious target to cut planet-heating emissions by more than half by 2030. They set a 2035 deadline on the sales of new gas-guzzling cars. They expanded the price that industries must pay for emitting greenhouse gases. But this week, as voters prepare to go to the polls, Europe’s green credentials face a very different test.


Former Sustainable Fuel Startup CEO Sentenced for Embezzlement; Bryan Sherbacow was sentenced to three years in prison for transferring about $5.9 million from Alder Fuels to his own bank account and for defrauding investors through false documents
David Smagalla – The Wall Street Journal
The former chief executive of a sustainable aviation fuel startup was sentenced Tuesday to three years in prison, after pleading guilty in a Washington, D.C., court to embezzling at least $5.9 million and defrauding investors out of around $15 million. Between January 2021 and December 2022, Bryan Sherbacow, 55, founder of sustainable aviation fuel company Alder Fuels, made unauthorized transfers of company funds to his personal bank account, according to the Justice Department.

Founder and Former CEO of Sustainable Fuel Company Sentenced for Multimillion-Dollar Embezzlement and Investor Fraud Scheme
U.S. Department of Justice
The founder and former CEO of a sustainable fuel company was sentenced today to three years in prison in connection with a scheme to embezzle at least $5.9 million and to defraud several investors out of approximately $15 million. According to court documents, between 2021 and 2022, Bryan Sherbacow, 55, of Charleston, South Carolina, and Washington, D.C., defrauded the company he co-founded by transferring company funds without authorization to his personal bank account and by making unauthorized personal expenditures from a company bank account. Sherbacow attempted to conceal his actions by, among other things, emailing altered bank statements and other falsified financial records to the company’s outside accounting firm and members of the company’s board. Sherbacow used embezzled funds to pay for, among other things, a vintage Mercedes-Benz sports car, a Range Rover sport utility vehicle, payments to an art auction operator, personal tax liens, personal credit card payments, rent payments on personal residences, payment to a beach club, electronics, and a down payment on a condo.

Keynote Address of CFTC Chairman Rostin Behnam at the Piper Sandler Global Exchange and Trading Conference, New York, NY
Before I shared some details regarding the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) role with respect to voluntary carbon credits, I led with some remarks on the historical significance of the Greek philosopher Thales. His weather forecasting and business savvy in the sixth century B.C.E. demonstrated foundational use of what we today call the futures markets: encompassing price discovery, risk management through hedging, and the impacts of weather and climate on regional economies.[2]

SEC Invites Regulated Entities to Submit Self-Assessments of Diversity Policies and Practices
The Securities and Exchange Commission has commenced its biennial collection of Diversity Self-Assessment Submissions from Regulated Entities. Engaging in a self-assessment provides an opportunity for organizations to closely review their diversity and inclusion policies and practices for any strengths, opportunities, risks, and vulnerabilities.

“Hamilton: Ensuring Treasury Markets Are a Blessing Long Into the Future” Prepared Remarks Before the ISDA/SIFMA Treasury Forum
Chair Gary Gensler – SEC
A couple hundred years before he became a Broadway star, Alexander Hamilton had a star turn as Secretary of the Treasury. In 1790, Hamilton told Congress that “the proper funding of the present debt, will render it a national blessing.”[1] Hamilton’s prophecy has turned out to be prescient. Treasuries are called “risk-free assets,” not just here in the U.S. but around the globe. They are the base upon which our entire capital markets are built. The U.S. Treasury markets play an integral role in the dollar’s dominance. They are how we, as a government and as taxpayers, raise money to fund roads, bridges, and public universities. We are the issuer. They are integral to how the Federal Reserve conducts monetary policy.

ASIC cancels licence of Aussie Wealth Super Pty Ltd
ASIC has cancelled the Australian financial services (AFS) licence of Aussie Wealth Super Pty Ltd (Aussie Wealth Super) effective from 3 June 2024. The AFS licence was cancelled after ASIC received notification that liquidators had been appointed on 14 March 2024 and it had been resolved that Aussie Wealth Super be voluntarily wound up.

Scam alert: Fake ASIC branding is appearing on social media scams
ASIC is warning consumers about the misuse of ASIC’s logo on social media to promote fake investments and stock market trading courses and cold calling, and Telegram impersonations. ASIC has received a number of reports about ads for a ‘Stock Trading Master Class’. The ads have been seen on social media platforms, display the ASIC logo and claim to be sponsored by ASIC.

ASIC cancels AFS licence of retail OTC derivative issuer XTrade.AU Pty Limited
ASIC has cancelled the Australian financial services (AFS) licence of retail over the counter (OTC) derivatives issuer XTrade.AU Pty Ltd (XTrade). XTrade offered clients opportunities to trade in contracts for difference (CFDs) and foreign exchange contracts (FX contracts).

NPL Ratio for Domestic Banks as of the End of April 2024
The total outstanding loans extended by the current 38 domestic banks increased by NT$302.6billion (US$9.3billion) as compared to the figure of previous month and amounted to NT$39.89trillion (US$1,226billion) at the end of April 2024. Meanwhile, the NPLs of these banks totaled at NT$66.9billion (US$2,06billion) which increased by NT$1.83billion (US$56.33million) from NT$65.06billion (US$2billion) as of the end of the previous month. The average NPL ratio of the 38 banks increased by 0.01 percentage points and therefore rose to a figure of 0.17% from 0.16% of the previous month, and rose by 0.01 percentage points compared to the same month last year.

Investing and Trading

China’s Dwindling ‘Snowball’ Derivatives Deliver a Big Payout; Total of 64 products reach knock-out levels in May, data show; New offerings are drying up after regulators tighten scrutiny
Bloomberg News
More investors in the Chinese index-linked derivatives known as snowballs are cashing in, reaping gains just as regulators are trying to rein in the popular but potentially risky products. Gains in the underlying indexes triggered payouts for 64 snowball products in May, more than double the total in the first four months of the year, according to data compiled by Galaxy Technologies. That’s what’s known as a knock-out – if the underlying index rises above a predetermined range, many around 103% of the initial level, the investor gets his investment back plus a coupon payment, and the contract terminates.

Trafigura profits slide more than 70% in sign that market volatility is ending; Drop follows period of record earnings for biggest commodity traders after Ukraine war disrupted energy sector
Tom Wilson – Financial Times
Trafigura’s profits tumbled more than 70 per cent even as it reported its fourth-best performance on record in a sign of an end to the extreme market volatility that has boosted the earnings of commodity traders. Net profit in the six months to the end of March was $1.5bn, down from $5.5bn in the first half of 2023 and $2.7bn in the same period in 2022, Singapore-registered Trafigura said. Its financial year ends in September. The drop follows a period of record earnings for the world’s biggest traders, who all profited from the disruption in commodity markets triggered by Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

I Bonds: Are They Still a Good Deal?
Steve Garmhausen – The Wall Street Journal
“A couple of years ago every article about where to park your cash recommended Series I bonds as an excellent option. Are they still a good investment?” You’re right: In 2022, Series I bonds, issued by the U.S. Treasury, rode a wave of popularity because they were one of the few safe ways to beat then-soaring inflation. “Rates were so poor everywhere else that people were like, ‘Wow, I’ll take 9% in a heartbeat,'” says Bob Peterson, a Chicago-area financial advisor.

The takeaway from BHP’s bid for Anglo: more mining investment is needed; The industry requires backing to fulfil its critical role in decarbonising the global economy
Tom Wilson – Financial Times
BHP’s takeover attempt of rival Anglo American may have failed but the frenzied six-week pursuit has invigorated the mining industry, lifting share prices across the sector and drawing attention to the critical role mining has to play in decarbonising the global economy. Now the challenge for executives is how to convert that attention into the level of financial support the industry needs to produce the metals required for the renewable power plants, power lines and electric vehicles at the heart of the energy transition.

Office Building Losses Start to Pile Up, and More Pain Is Expected; The distress in commercial real estate is growing as some office buildings sell for much lower prices than just a few years ago.
Joe RennisonJulie Creswell – The New York Times
Since the early days of the pandemic, owners of big buildings in New York and other large cities have been desperately hoping that the commercial real estate business would recover as workers returned to offices. Four years on, hybrid work has become common, and the strain on property owners is intensifying. Some properties are going into foreclosure and being sold for sharply lower prices compared with valuations from less than a decade earlier, leaving investors with steep losses.

‘Everything Is Not Going to Be OK’ in Private Equity, Apollo’s Co-President Says; Fewer realizations and lower returns are on the horizon
Jan-Henrik Foerster and Kat Hidalgo – Bloomberg

Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance

World’s Leading Nations Failing to Deliver on Climate Goals; Two reports out this week highlight the work that still needs to be done to reduce demand for fossil fuels and limit global warming
Fabiana Negrin Ochoa – The Wall Street Journal
As the G-7 group of rich countries prepares to gather for a summit, a new report claims they are failing to deliver on climate change goals. Instead, they could be on track to be the biggest polluters over the next decades. “G-7 countries are massively expanding fossil fuel production at home and investing billions in more fossil fuel infrastructure abroad,” advocacy organization Oil Change International said in a report.

Investors pull cash from ESG funds as performance lags; Sustainability-focused equity funds suffer net $40bn of outflows in 2024, the first sustained exodus
Patrick Temple-West and Will Schmitt – Financial Times
Global investors are turning their backs on sustainability-focused stock funds, as poor performance, scandals and attacks from US Republicans hit enthusiasm for a much-hyped sector that has pulled in trillions of dollars of assets. Clients have withdrawn a net $40bn from environmental, social and governance (ESG) equity funds this year, according to research from Barclays, the first year that flows have trended negative. Redemptions, which include a record monthly net outflow of about $14bn in April, have been widespread across all main regions.

Ban fossil fuel ads to save climate, says UN chief
Matt McGrath, Mark Poynting – BBC
The world’s fossil fuel industries should be banned from advertising to help save the world from climate change, the head of the United Nations said on Wednesday. UN Secretary General António Guterres called coal, oil and gas corporations the “godfathers of climate chaos” who had distorted the truth and deceived the public for decades. Just as tobacco advertising was banned because of the threat to health, the same should now apply to fossil fuels, he said.

World must exit ‘highway to climate hell’, UN boss warns, as records are again broken; Battle to limit temperature rise will be ‘won or lost’ this decade, says António Guterres
Kenza Bryan and Jana Tauschinski – Financial Times
The UN secretary-general said the world needed “an exit ramp off the highway to climate hell”, as the latest data showed the streak of record global temperatures stretched into a 12th consecutive month in May. The battle to limit the world’s temperature rise “will be won or lost” this decade, António Guterres said, under the watch of current political leaders. “We are playing Russian roulette with our planet,” he said on Wednesday, in an effort to spur hundreds of negotiators from almost 200 countries gathered for the third day of 10 days of UN climate talks in Bonn, ahead of the G7 and G20 summits.

UN Secretary-General Urges Ban on Fossil Fuel Ads as Planet Warms; António Guterres said countries and businesses must fight harder to slash climate emissions before Paris Agreement goals are out of reach.
Zahra Hirji – Bloomberg
Urging world leaders to take “an exit ramp off the highway to climate hell,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday said the battle for a livable planet will be won or lost in the next few years, and that companies and countries must take swift, dramatic action to lower greenhouse gas emissions and quit fossil fuels. “It’s climate crunch time,” he said in a special address on climate change delivered at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.

Orsted’s Americas CEO on Fixing What Went Wrong in Wind Power; David Hardy on avoiding another perfect storm for the industry.
Tracy Alloway and Joe Weisenthal – Bloomberg (podcast)

US Nuclear Industry Fetes Rare New Reactors as Retrofits to Dominate; Despite resurgent interest in nuclear power and the Vogtle plant opening in Georgia, the US can expect only minor reactor upgrades in the years ahead.
Will Wade – Bloomberg

Grid operator confirms clean tech helping to curb risk of winter energy shortfall
Cecilia Keating – Business Green

The Audacious Plan to Seed a Global Green Hub in Namibia’s Desert; Sun, wind and abundant land have attracted European investment in the southwestern African nation. But it’s unclear if the projects will ever be commercially viable.
Antony Sguazzin and Paul Burkhardt – Bloomberg

Drought Reduces Zambian Corn Harvest to 14-Year Low
Taonga Mitimingi – Bloomberg


A hedge funder’s private island off the coast of Connecticut has listed for $35M
Hannah Frishberg – NY Post
One of the numerous islands composing the Thimble Islands archipelago off southeastern Connecticut has hit the market for a princely $35 million sum. Known as Rogers Island, the glam landmass is being sold by Greg Jensen, an executive at Bridgewater Associates, Mansion Global first reported. Jensen, who is the Connecticut-based hedge fund’s co-chief investment officer, purchased Rogers Island in 2018, paying former owners Edmund and Christine Stoecklein $22 million for it, according to the outlet. Rogers was one of numerous islands the couple had accumulated before listing eight of them for $78 million in 2016. It’s located off the coast of Branford.

Work & Management

AI’s Hidden Workers Are Stuck in Dead-End Jobs; An industry awash with money is sitting atop a supply chain of millions who are often just scraping by.
Parmy Olson – Bloomberg Opinion
You may have heard that revolutionary AI sits on old-world foundations. The supply chain churning out generative AI tools like ChatGPT has highly paid executives and researchers at the top, and at the bottom, working stiffs who toil at screens training algorithms. Between 150 million and 430 million people do such work, according to a recent World Bank estimate: They annotate images, text and audio; create bounding boxes around objects in images and, more recently, write haikus, essays and fictional stories to train the sophisticated tools that could eventually replace people like me.

Can an Outsider Fix the House that Bogle Built? On this episode of Trillions, we discuss Salim Ramji’s arrival as CEO of Vanguard, and the challenges he faces.
Eric Balchunas and Joel Weber – Bloomberg (podcast)
For the first time in its 49-year history, Vanguard has chosen a chief executive from outside the company. His name is Salim Ramji, who previously served as head of BlackRock’s global exchange-traded fund business. The move comes as Vanguard continues to lead the industry in flows, but the giant has other challenges-such as customer service. How much should we expect Ramji to change, or leave the the same, in the House that Bogle Built?

‘This Is Going to Be Painful’: How a Bold A.I. Device Flopped; Humane’s Ai Pin was supposed to free people from smartphones, but sales have been slow. Now Humane is talking to HP and others about a potential sale.
Tripp Mickle and Erin Griffith – The New York
Days before gadget reviewers weighed in on the Humane Ai Pin, a futuristic wearable device powered by artificial intelligence, the founders of the company gathered their employees and encouraged them to brace themselves. The reviews might be disappointing, they warned. Humane’s founders, Bethany Bongiorno and Imran Chaudhri, were right. In April, reviewers brutally panned the new $699 product, which Humane had marketed for a year with ads and at glitzy events like Paris Fashion Week. The Ai Pin was “totally broken” and had “glaring flaws,” some reviewers said. One declared it “the worst product I’ve ever reviewed.”

When a Bank Rescinds a Job Offer Because It Canceled Your Credit Cards; Last year, JPMorgan Chase wanted to pay Mansoor Shams a low-six-figure salary to work in a marketing role. Then it reviewed his account activity.
Ron Lieber – The New York Times
Last year, my colleague Tara Siegel Bernard and I wrote a series of articles about banks that shut down the checking accounts of scores of everyday citizens and small businesses. There was often no clear reason, explanation or recourse. JPMorgan Chase seemed to have done a lot of this in recent years. Customers would get a call from the bank, or their A.T.M. cards would stop working and then their credit cards would freeze as well.

Wellness Exchange

The Bird Flu Virus Adapted to Sea Mammals. It May Not Be Done Yet; Huge die-offs of elephant seals occurred after the virus gained nearly 20 troublesome new mutations, scientists found.
Apoorva Mandavilli – The New York Times
Elephant seals in South America died in massive numbers because the bird flu virus acquired mutations that allowed it to spread among mammals, according to a new study. The research offers the first genetic and epidemiological evidence of bird flu virus transmission among mammals. And the findings hold a warning: The virus, called H5N1, may similarly transform to cause large-scale infections in other mammalian species, including people.

New Report Underscores the Seriousness of Long Covid; The National Academies said the condition could involve up to 200 symptoms, make it difficult for people to work and last for months or years.
Pam Belluck – The New York Times
One of the nation’s premier medical advisory organizations has weighed in on long Covid with a 265-page report that recognizes the seriousness and persistence of the condition for millions of Americans. More than four years since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, long Covid continues to damage many people’s ability to function, according to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, a nongovernmental institution that advises federal agencies on science and medicine.

Mexico Death Linked to Bird Flu Strain Never Before Seen in Humans; Resident of central Mexico died a week after fever began; Person had no known exposure to poultry, infected animals
Riley Griffin and Jessica Nix – Bloomberg
A man in Mexico died after contracting a strain of bird flu that hasn’t been confirmed in humans before, the World Health Organization said Wednesday. The virus was detected in a 59-year-old patient who had been hospitalized in Mexico City. The man died one week after developing a fever, shortness of breath and diarrhea. It’s the first lab-confirmed case of a person contracting a form of bird flu known as H5N2, the WHO said in a statement, raising questions about a strain that has largely been under the radar. The current bird flu outbreak in US dairy cows is being driven by a different strain – H5N1.


Nomura’s Head of Markets Returns to Singapore After Revamp; Karkhanis heads back to Asia after one-year stint in London; Karkhanis hired 400 staff for markets last year amid overhaul
Cathy Chan – Bloomberg
Rig Karkhanis, head of global markets at Nomura Holdings Inc., is moving back to Singapore after a short stint in London revamping the business and making a slew of executive hires, according to a memo. Karkhanis, who relocated to London a year ago, will be returning to Asia along with the unit’s Chief Operating Officer Aleem Jivraj. The two executives were promoted to their current roles in March last year. A Hong Kong-based spokesperson confirmed the contents of the memo. Under Karkhanis’ leadership, the global markets division added more than 400 people last year – the largest hiring ever, to diversify the business mix and deliver stable earnings while cutting non-revenue generating roles. The Tokyo-based brokerage is targeting 20% revenue gains for the global markets unit over the next few years, he said in a recent interview.

Japan’s Retail Trader Masses Get Right Back Into Yen Carry Trade; Mexican peso-yen positions little changed on political news
Daisuke Sakai – Bloomberg
Political upheavals, tumbling stock markets, spiking volatility and a flash crash from nowhere: None of it is enough to dissuade Japan’s large cohort of individual investors from betting on emerging-market currencies. While election-related volatility has hit South Africa’s rand, the Mexican peso and the Indian rupee, retail investors in Japan are sticking tight to carry trades that enable them to capture both shifts in exchange rates and the higher yields available in foreign currencies. Little wonder, when the strategy returned 58% since the start of 2023 via bets on the peso, even if the trades run the risk of losses if the yen strengthens or Japanese borrowing costs rise.

How a Crack in a Pipe Caused Panic in Europe’s Gas Market; European prices surged after outage at key gas transit point; Safety precautions are central to operations in Norway
Kari Lundgren, Priscila Azevedo Rocha, and Anna Shiryaevskaya – Bloomberg
Urgent repairs to a pipe on a gas platform in Norway are underway but the event served as a grim reminder that small outages can send European prices soaring. Helicopters carrying equipment and engineers have arrived at the Sleipner platform 250 kilometers (160 miles) off the coast of Norway to repair a small crack in a pipeline that’s the width of golf ball. The field’s riser platform is a key connection point in Europe’s gas network.


The Life, Death and Rebirth of an A.I.-Generated News Outlet; BNN Breaking had millions of readers, an international team of journalists and a publishing deal with Microsoft. But it was just an A.I. chop shop.
Kashmir Hill and Tiffany Hsu – The New York Times
The news was featured on “Prominent Irish broadcaster faces trial over alleged sexual misconduct.” At the top of the story was a photo of Dave Fanning. But Mr. Fanning, an Irish D.J. and talk-show host famed for his discovery of the rock band U2, was not the broadcaster in question. “You wouldn’t believe the amount of people who got in touch,” said Mr. Fanning, who called the error “outrageous.” The falsehood, visible for hours on the default homepage for anyone in Ireland who used Microsoft Edge as a browser, was the result of an artificial intelligence snafu.

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The Spread

The Stock Market Has Rarely Been This Sleepy

Lead Stories The Stock Market Has Rarely Been This Sleepy Gunjan Banerji - The Wall Street Journal It's eerily calm out there in the stock market. The Cboe Volatility Index, or VIX, dropped below 12 last week, a nearly five-year low. The gauge, based on options prices...

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