SEC charges 11 in ‘massive’ crypto Ponzi scheme

Aug 2, 2022

First Read

Hits & Takes
John Lothian & JLN Staff

Here is your mood brightener of the day from a story in The New York Times by Farnaz Fassihi and Michael Levenson. The lead paragraph reads:

The secretary general of the United Nations warned on Monday that humanity was “just one misunderstanding, one miscalculation away from nuclear annihilation,” citing the war in Ukraine among the conflicts driving the risk to a level not seen since the height of the Cold War.

So we’ve got that going for us.

FMX Futures Exchange has named Terry Belton to its board of directors. Belton sat for an interview for John Lothian News as part of The History of Financial Futures video series in a video that was published in 2020.

Our friends at IEX are not just about digital assets, it seems, but have ventured into the world of commodities for the latest episode of Boxes and Lines, featuring Ronan Ryan and John “JR” Ramsay. They interview Rich Counsell, the CEO of Stable, about market structure for unlisted commodities.

For more Rich Counsell of Stable, watch the JLN video interview from this year’s IDX, which we published earlier this summer.

Last night I was out on the Gold Coast in Chicago for dinner with my wife Cheryl and her brothers and one brother’s husband and we experienced a lovely evening with no crime or reports of shots fired. It was a refreshing experience.

JLN is not going to have a MarketsWiki Education World of Opportunity event this year. However, we are working on re-releasing some of our previous presentations in shorter versions. Here is an example of one, a presentation by the CME Group’s Terry Duffy that is just 3:04 minutes long. We will have more details on this soon.

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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War, Climate Change, Energy Costs: How the Wheat Market Has Been Upended; The price has fallen sharply from its peak after one major producer, Russia, invaded another, Ukraine. But that hasn’t ended fears of a global hunger crisis.
Joe Rennison – NY Times
The price of wheat has tumbled from its peak after Russia invaded Ukraine, but experts say one of the world’s most widely consumed foods remains in short supply and warn that a global hunger crisis still looms. Like oil, steel, beef and other commodities integral to the economy, wheat shifts in price and availability in response to a complex set of overlapping factors, such as geopolitics and the weather. While the falling price of wheat offers some respite for countries dependent on importing the crop, it may dissuade farmers from planting more.

***** When I was a cub reporter for Commodity News Service I covered the wheat market. I was told if you could understand the wheat market, you could understand markets. I think that still holds.~JJL


Acuiti Proprietary Trading Managers’ Insight Report Q3 2022; Acuiti and Avelacom today release the Q3 Proprietary Trading Managers’ Insight Report.
This quarterly report was produced by Acuiti in partnership with Avelacom. It is designed to provide Senior Executives at Proprietary Trading Firms across the world with high-value insight and deep dives. This quarterly report features:

****** One wonders if the team at Acuiti gets seasick from all these deep dives they do.~JJL


Man who accidentally threw away £150m in bitcoin ‘secures funding’ for plan to dig up landfill; James Howells says he has assembled a team of experts specialising in landfill mining, waste management and AI-powered sorting
Vishwam Sankaran – Independent
James Howells, a Welshman who claims he accidentally threw away a hard drive containing bitcoin worth about £150m ($184m) in 2013 has reportedly secured funding to dig up a Newport landfill to find the lost drive. “The funding has been secured. We’ve brought on an AI specialist. Their technology can easily be retrained to search for a hard drive,” Mr Howells told BBC News.

***** Throwing good pounds after lost bitcoin?~JJL


Blue Ocean Technologies Successfully Integrates with Broadridge Trading and Connectivity Solutions
Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc.
To better serve banks and broker-dealers in North America and APAC regions on the NYFIX network around the clock, global Fintech leader, Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc. (NYSE:BR), announced a global partnership with Blue Ocean Technologies (BOT), a unique capital markets Fintech focused on global afterhours trading. Blue Ocean ATS (BOATS) will integrate with Broadridge’s NYFIX order-routing network to offer clients untapped, after-market access to US equities.

*****JLN interviewed Blue Ocean’s Brian Hyndman when he was promoted to CEO. Here is that interview for reference about Blue Ocean.~JJL


Monday’s Top Three
Our top story Monday was Marex to acquire ED&F Man Capital Markets, a press release from Marex. Second was A legendary options trader who banked 70 consecutive months of profits above six figures shares his top 4 tips, about Tony Saliba, founder of Mercury Digital Assets, from Insider. Third was Citadel Securities Loses Flash-Boys Legal Fight Over IEX Product, from Bloomberg, about Citadel Securities’ lawsuit against the SEC.


MarketsWiki Stats
26,960 pages; 239,960 edits
MarketsWiki Statistics


Lead Stories

SEC charges 11 in ‘massive’ crypto Ponzi scheme
Scott Chipolina and Stefania Palma – FT
The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged 11 people in an alleged $300mn cryptocurrency pyramid scheme, highlighting how authorities are increasing enforcement in digital asset markets. The Wall Street watchdog said the scheme, known as Forsage, raised funds by using promoters to convince millions of investors worldwide to recruit others into the programme. “Forsage is a fraudulent pyramid scheme launched on a massive scale and aggressively marketed to investors,” said Carolyn Welshhans, acting chief of the SEC’s crypto assets and cyber unit.

They Quit Goldman’s Star Trading Team, Then the Bank Raised Alarms;’ Goldman accused a trading pair of accessing sensitive code on their way to a hedge fund. They say they’re being baselessly tarnished for leaving together.
Sridhar Natarajan and Max Abelson – Bloomberg
Inside a lucrative and envied Goldman Sachs Group Inc. trading squad, a pair of employees racked up praise in their recent reviews. One was dubbed “exceptional” with an “impeccable work ethic,” the other as “outperforming” and a “culture carrier.” When the duo accepted new jobs at a hedge fund this year, they said, the bank urged them to reconsider. One recalled that after he refused, his manager’s tone shifted to a warning: “I would be concerned about your behavior in the past” at Goldman. Soon after, Goldman fired the pair — Jon “JP” Paul and Sina Lashgari — from jobs on its program-trading desk, telling regulators they accessed sensitive computer code without authorization or a valid business purpose. Goldman suspected, but couldn’t prove, they intended to swipe some of the secret sauce behind several hundred million dollars in revenue, according to documents seen by Bloomberg. A notice it posted in their public employment records is now a red flag to any future employer.

From Global Pandemic to Pandemonium; Amid the Ukraine war, inflation and tensions with China, governments pursue national interests above transnational values.
Walter Russell Mead – WSJ
The past two years were the years of the global pandemic. So far, 2022 is looking like a year of global pandemonium. It began with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and has gone on to feature rising tensions between the U.S. and China, the collapse of the Iran nuclear deal, and a budding economic crisis that has set off inflationary spirals, financial panics and even political upheaval around the world.

FMX Futures Exchange Names Terry Belton To Its Board Of Directors
BGC Partners, Inc.
BGC Partners, Inc. (NASDAQ: BGCP) (“BGC”), a leading global brokerage and financial technology company, today announced the addition of Terry Belton to the FMX Futures Exchange Board of Directors. Robert Allen, President of the FMX Futures Exchange, commented on today’s announcement, “We are excited to welcome Terry Belton to the FMX Futures Exchange Board of Directors. Terry’s broad experience adds a valuable perspective to our Board. He is a thoughtful leader who has tackled some of the market’s most complex challenges. Terry’s sharp business acumen and vision will play an important role in FMX’s mission to bring competition to the interest rate futures market.”

Mifid II ESG regulation amendments come into force today, but are firms prepared? The amendments come as part of the EU’s objective to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals, but data suggests many firms are struggling to meet the compliance requirements.
Wesley Bray – The Trade
Amendments to Mifid II come into force today, regarding the integration of sustainability factors, risks and preferences into certain organisational requirements and operating conditions for investment firms. But recently published data suggests that many buy-side firms are not yet ready to submit the data required by the new rules.

SEC Charges Crypto Platform Forsage With $300 Million Pyramid Scheme; The founders raised funds from individual investors through the ‘unregistered offer and sale of securities,’ the agency says
Vicky Ge Huang – WSJ
The Securities and Exchange Commission said on Monday it charged 11 individuals with creating and promoting a fraudulent platform that operated as a global crypto pyramid and Ponzi scheme. The platform in question, Forsage raised more than $300 million from millions of individual investors worldwide since it was launched in January 2020. The Forsage’s four founders – Vladimir Okhotnikov, Jane Doe (also known as Lola Ferrari), Mikhail Sergeev, and Sergey Maslakov – were among those charged and were last living in Russia, the Republic of Georgia and Indonesia, according to the SEC complaint.

The U.S. may need ‘more natural gas to decarbonize the rest of the world’: Strategist
Yaseen Shah – Yahoo Finance
Democrats are eager to push the brakes on inflation ahead of November’s midterm elections. The Biden-Harris administration negotiated with Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) last week to push the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, a bill focused on corporate tax reform, prescription drug pricing reform, and U.S. energy production.

TD Bank Nears Deal to Buy Cowen; Acquisition would give Toronto-Dominion a deeper presence in investment banking as well as the U.S.
Cara Lombardo – WSJ
Toronto-Dominion Bank is close to a more than $1 billion deal to buy investment bank Cowen Inc., according to people familiar with the matter. A deal valuing Cowen at around $39 a share could be unveiled as soon as Tuesday, assuming talks don’t fall apart, the people said. New York-based Cowen’s shares closed Monday at $35.49, giving it a market value of over $900 million, while TD Bank’s is well over $100 billion.

New ESG Rules to Protect Everyday Investors Cause Confusion
Greg Ritchie – Bloomberg
A new set of EU rules coming into force Tuesday will put fresh pressure on asset managers as they seek to steer everyday retail investors around the complexities of sustainable investing. The changes are the result of an amendment to the revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive, or MiFID. It requires investment managers and financial advisers to understand and act on the “sustainability preferences” of retail clients. These investors, in turn, can hold asset managers to account if their ESG funds don’t meet expectations — by not being as green as they might initially appear, for example.

China’s derivatives market opens up with the passing of long-awaited trading framework; The Futures and Derivatives Law creates potential for a huge new market – but means transactions with Chinese entities are likely to lose their UMR exemption, less than a month ahead of the final deadline.
Laurie McAughtry – The Trade
Despite being the world’s second-largest economy, China’s derivatives market accounts for just 1% of global derivatives market turnover, according to BIS data. That could be set to change, however, with the passing on 1 August of the country’s long-awaited Futures and Derivatives Law (FDL), which creates a framework for the trading of futures and derivatives onshore.

Pelosi’s Taiwan Trip Raises Angst in Global Financial Markets
Cormac Mullen and Karl Lester M. Yap – Bloomberg
Traders are bracing for US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s expected arrival in Taipei Tuesday to raise tensions with China, with stocks sliding and haven assets such as the yen and Treasuries climbing.

The future of stablecoins is commercial bank money
Nicolaes Tollenaar – FT
As the world of decentralised finance continues to grow, there is much demand for a digital currency fit for use in blockchain-based applications with near-real-time, peer-to-peer global settlement that can be used as a medium of exchange. CBDCs may not be based on the distributed ledger technology of blockchain or be available for retail use. As a result, stablecoins or e-money tokens have taken off to meet the market’s demands.

Bitcoiners Are Trying to Redefine the Word ‘Inflation’
Joe Weisenthal – Bloomberg
These days there’s a lot of arguing about the definition of the word ‘recession’ and whether the US is in one or not. And to be honest, you can kind of understand both sides. On the one hand, consumer sentiment is pretty terrible right now. And given that ‘two quarters of negative GDP’ is a common dictionary-definition of a recession, it seems reasonable to say that we’re in one right now following the negative data released last week.

Soaring US Diesel Exports Underscore Global Fuel Vulnerability; US diesel exports rose to five-year high in July: Vortexa; Demand to peak during harvest, heating season in coming months
Chunzi Xu – Bloomberg
A worldwide diesel supply crunch is making more of the world dependent on US fuel exports, a situation that could worsen heading into the winter. US diesel exports last month rose to 1.4 million barrels a day, a five-year high, according to data from oil analytics firm Vortexa compiled by Bloomberg. Europe is buying more US diesel as the continent tries to wean itself from Russia. Latin America has also stepped up imports, in part to replace lost volumes from Europe.

Hedge Funds That Charge Most Tend to Perform Best, Barclays Study Shows
Hema Parmar – Bloomberg
Hedge funds have fresh ammunition to push back against detractors who have long criticized their hefty fees.
The firms that charge the most — often the industry’s biggest names — tend to produce better returns over time than less expensive competitors, according to a recent study by Barclays Plc’s Capital Solutions group, which examined about 290 hedge funds, their fees and the ultimate payoff.

SIFMA, ICI and DTCC Publish T+1 Implementation Playbook as the Industry Readies for Accelerated Settlement; New Resource Provides Guidance Around Activities, Timelines, Dependencies and Risks Associated with a Move to T+1
The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), the Investment Company Institute (ICI), and The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) today published The T+1 Securities Settlement Industry Implementation Playbook. The Playbook outlines a detailed approach to identifying the implementation activities, timelines, dependencies, and risk impacts that market participants should consider to prepare for the transition from the current trade date plus 2 days (T+2) settlement cycle to a trade date plus one day (T+1) settlement cycle.

Billionaire Steve Cohen Exits Investment in Crypto Startup Radkl
Muyao Shen, Vildana Hajric and Katie Greifeld – Bloomberg
Hedge fund billionaire Steve Cohen exited his investment in cryptocurrency trading startup Radkl, according to a spokesperson for the digital-asset company. The quantitative crypto trading firm, which was formed last year by New York Stock Exchange market maker GTS, has already lost at least two managing directors this year, including Jim Greco and Beatrice O’Carroll. On Radkl’s website, only five employees are listed including O’Carroll, who confirmed with Bloomberg in a LinkedIn message that she has left the company.

For Crypto Customers, a Long Battle Ahead in Bankruptcy; Customers who have money with bankrupt crypto firms Voyager Digital and Celsius Network are expected to face a protracted, uphill battle in court to recover the funds they invested
Becky Yerak and Akiko Matsuda – WSJ
Millions of customers of crypto platforms Voyager Digital Holdings Inc. and Celsius Network LLC have been thrust into a potentially long and painful battle in bankruptcy trying to retrieve their money. The chapter 11 filings of crypto brokerage Voyager and nonbank lender Celsius have tied up the holdings of their customers, who are realizing how little control they have over their funds and that they aren’t likely to recover in full through bankruptcy court.

Binance’s KYC Cost Exchange ‘Billions in Revenue,’ Says Compliance Officer
Three leading members of Binance’s compliance team opened up to Reuters about what it takes to deal with fraud, money laundering, terrorist financing and bad press for the world’s largest crypto exchange. “The Hash” team unpacks the report and what it reveals about Binance behind the scenes.

Ukraine Invasion

Turkey says ship carrying first Ukrainian grain on track for safe arrival
Can Sezer and Orhan Coskun – Reuters
The first ship carrying Ukrainian grain to world markets since Russia’s invasion blocked exports more than five months ago is on track to safely arrive in Istanbul on Tuesday night, Turkey said, amid Ukrainian fears it could still run into problems.

As Russia Threatens Europe’s Energy, Ukraine Braces for a Hard Winter; “Our goal is survival,” says the mayor of Lviv, as residents stockpile timber and ironworkers churn out wood-burning stoves.
Liz Alderman – WSJ
In a thickly forested park bordered by apartment blocks and a playground, a dozen workers were busy on a recent day with chain saws and axes, felling trees, cutting logs and chopping them into firewood to be stashed in concealed sheds around Lviv, the largest city in western Ukraine.

Ukraine Sees Slow Return of Grain Exports as World Watches; First ship since invasion set sail with corn from Odesa Monday; Obstacles to ramping up exports include insurance, crew
Kateryna Choursina, Aine Quinn, and Annmarie Hordern – Bloomberg
Ukraine laid out plans to cautiously ramp up grain exports, as the first shipment since Russia’s invasion was hailed as an encouraging early step toward unblocking millions of tons of crops and easing global food prices. The first two weeks will be treated as a trial period, with no more than three vessels a day in each direction through new safe-passage corridors established under the agreement with Russia, Turkey and the United Nations, Ukraine Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov told Bloomberg TV on Monday. If successful, exports could increase to as much as three million tons per month in four to six weeks’ time, he said.

Ukraine’s Coming Attack Could Win or Lose the War; A successful offensive by the Kyiv government can keep Putin from consolidating victory and, more importantly, ensure continued support from the West.
Hal Brands – Bloomberg
The Ukraine war is entering its third phase, and this one could well be decisive. Phase one was Russia’s failed blitzkrieg, meant to destroy the Ukrainian state. Phase two, which continues in desultory fashion, was Moscow’s push to seize all the Donbas area along the Ukraine-Russia border.

Europe Shouldn’t Let Ukraine Go Into Default; The EU is far behind the full amount it promised Kyiv. It shouldn’t allow bureaucratic and political dysfunction to hurt the war effort
Maria Tadeo – Bloomberg
The European Union cannot let Ukraine default. For six months, the country has been fighting a war on two fronts: repelling the Russian army on the battlefield while countering an economic blitzkrig that is fast degrading its frail economy. The EU pledged to keep Ukraine’s economy afloat in the face of aggression — and it must not allow bureaucratic and political dysfunction to get in the way now.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

HTLF Joins The American Financial Exchange®
AFX via Mondovisione
The American Financial Exchange (AFX), an electronic exchange for direct unsecured lending and borrowing for American banks and financial institutions, is pleased to announce that HTLF has joined the AFX. HTLF’s 11 member banks increase AFX Membership to 242.
HTLF has approximately $20 billion in assets, and is currently comprised of 11 separate legal entities:

The Spanish Stock Market Trades 26.4 Billion Euros In July; Monthly Trading Statements For Bme’s Markets
The volume traded in Equities so far this year is 10.7% higher year on year; Fixed-income trading in July amounted to 6.3 billion euros, while the outstanding balance was 1.77 trillion euros, up 3.4% year to date; Trading in Futures contracts on the IBEX 35 ® index increased by 10.5% in the first seven months of the year. The Spanish stock market traded 26.4 billion euros in Equities in July, up 1.7% year on year and down 19.8% from the preceding month. The trading volume in the first seven months of this year grew by 10.7% from the same period a year earlier. The number of trades in July was 3 million, down 18.3% year on year and down 8% from a month earlier.

CME Group Reports 20% ADV Growth in July 2022; 40% growth in Equity Index ADV, driven by micro and E-mini contracts; Record SOFR options and futures OI on July 29
CME Group
CME Group, the world’s leading derivatives marketplace, today reported its July 2022 market statistics, showing average daily volume (ADV) increased 20% to 20.4 million contracts during the month.

OCC July 2022 Average Daily Volume Up 3.6% Year-Over-Year
OCC, the world’s largest equity derivatives clearing organization, announced today that year-to-date average daily volume through July 2022 was 40.6 million contracts, up 3.6 percent compared to year-to-date average daily volume through July 2021. Total volume was 742.0 million contracts, down 6.6 percent compared to July 2021. Highlights: ETF options cleared contract volume up 38.0% year-over-year; Index options cleared contract volume up 29.0% year-over-year; Stock Loan transaction volume up 10.0% year-over-year.

Policy Regarding Corrections to CME, CBOT, NYMEX, and COMEX Options Exercise Instructions
CME Group
Please be reminded that corrections to CME, CBOT, NYMEX, and COMEX option exercise instructions may be accepted by the Clearing House up to option assignment processing provided that such corrections are a result of: (1) a bona fide clerical error, (2) an un-reconciled Exchange option transaction(s), or (3) an extraordinary circumstance where the Clearing Member is unable to communicate final option exercise instructions prior to the relevant deadline and up to the Exchange’s option processing window. Such permissible corrections shall be determined at the sole discretion of the Exchange.

Hong Kong Investor Identification Regime (Hkidr) – Reminder On End-To-End (E2E) Test
Reference is made to the previous Exchange circulars (Ref. No.: CT/078/22 and CT/103/22) regarding E2E Test for the HKIDR. Completion of E2E Test.Relevant Regulated Intermediaries (RRIs)2 are reminded to complete the mandatory E2E Test for the HKIDR on or before 5 August 2022 in order to proceed to the Market Rehearsals (MRs) following the successful completion of the E2E Test. Details of the MRs will be announced in due course.

JSE delivers strong financial performance as it continues to drive growth
The JSE delivered a strong performance in the first half of 2022 driven by revenue growth across all segments and disciplined cost management. Earnings before interest tax depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) increased by 20% to R627 million, with the EBITDA margin improving from 42% to 45% in the corresponding period in 2021. Headline earnings per share (HEPS) increased by 29% year-on-year (YoY) to 542.7 cents per share. The JSE’s core business model, underpinned by quality earnings and strong cash generation, continues to provide a solid foundation for growth.

Shenzhen Stock Exchange Holds 2022 General
On July 29, SZSE held the 2022 General Assembly. Representatives of 121 members attended the General Assembly, and representatives, directors and supervisors of special members and SZSE management members attended as delegates. without voting rights. The General Assembly was held in the “on-site + online” format strictly according to the routine requirements in the fight against the pandemic. The General Meeting examined and approved the reports on the work of the Board of Directors, the Chief Executive Officer and the Supervisory Board, as well as the reports on the annual financial budget and the final accounts.

SZSE Upgrades the Functions of V-Next to Support the 11th China Innovation & Entrepreneurship Competition
On July 25, SZSE launched a special zone for the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Competition on V-Next to support the quality holding of the 11th China Innovation & Entrepreneurship Competition. The competition is jointly guided by the Ministry of Science and Technology and other relevant ministries and commissions, supported by SZSE, etc., and organized by the Torch Center of the Ministry of Science and Technology and SZSE’s wholly-owned subsidiary Shenzhen Securities Information Co., Ltd. (SSIC).


Celsius Network Custody Clients Tap Lawyer to Reclaim $180M
Ian Allison – Coindesk
Customers who held cryptocurrency in custody accounts at Celsius Network, the bankrupt trading and lending firm, have banded together to hire legal counsel in a bid to get their money back.

Cloud Giants Can’t Keep Making Rain; Amazon, Microsoft and Google show early signs of slowing capital expenditures as growth decelerates
Dan Gallagher – WSJ
Last week’s deluge of major tech earnings made clear that demand for cloud services remains strong. But it also made clear that the tech giants behind those services are watching expenditures closely in the current economic climate. Amazon, Microsoft and Google-parent Alphabet, which operate the three largest public cloud services, all reported solid, double-digit growth in revenue from their cloud segments for the June quarter on a year-over-year basis. That, along with other areas of strength in their respective businesses, was good enough to give all three stocks a decent postearnings bounce. Amazon, Microsoft and Alphabet shares averaged a gain of more than 8% the day after their results were announced.

Morgan Stanley, BofA Subpoenaed by Twitter in Musk Fight; Firms must turn over documents on bots ahead of Oct. 17 trial; Subpoenas seek details on debt and equity financing in deal
David Voreacos and Jef Feeley – Bloomberg
Twitter Inc. subpoenaed records from Morgan Stanley and other financial firms as part of its legal fight with Elon Musk over his canceled $44 billion acquisition of the social media platform.

Einhorn Bets That Musk Will Be Forced to Buy Twitter
Connor Smith – Barron’s
David Einhorn’s Greenlight Capital GLRE – 0.28% is betting against Elon Musk again, but this time it’s all about Twitter TWTR – 1.73% . Greenlight disclosed in a letter to partners viewed by Barron’s that it’s built a Twitter stake at an average price of $37.24 a share. Einhorn’s firm believes Musk will be forced in court to go through with his acquisition at $54.20. Reuters first reported on the letter.

Xpansiv Acquires APX to Scale Environmental Commodity Market Infrastructure
Xpansiv, the premier market-infrastructure platform for global carbon and environmental commodities, today completed its acquisition of APX, the leader in registry infrastructure for energy and environmental markets. The acquisition brings together two innovators with the technologies and capabilities to empower markets to scale with liquidity and efficiency.

Global Payments to acquire EVO in $4 bln deal to boost B2B segment
Global Payments Inc (GPN.N) said on Monday it would buy smaller peer EVO Payments Inc (EVOP.O) for nearly $4 billion including debt, as the fintech firm seeks to expand its footprint in the business-to-business (B2B) space.

Funding Disparity Widens for UK Female Fintech Founders in 2022; Startups founded by women made up just 4% of total investment; Weak economy disproportionately bad news for female founders
Aisha S Gani – Bloomberg
Funding for UK female-driven fintechs dropped by two-thirds in the first half of this year compared with the same period last year, widening the gender investment gap in the male-dominated industry.


How Can Companies Build a Culture of Cybersecurity and Data Privacy
Peter Vogel – The National Law Review reported “With cyberattacks becoming more frequent and costly, not to mention the additional challenges inherent in securing a remote workforce, it is more important than ever that organizations build a culture of security.” The July 29, 2022 article entitled “3 Tips for Creating a Security Culture” included the comments about TIP #1 “Don’t Be the Team of “No””:

Yale to Partner in NSF Program Advancing Cybersecurity and Privacy
Yale School of Engineering & Applied Science
Yale University is among the key partners of the Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace program, a $25.4 million multi-institutional effort supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) that seeks to advance ambitious research and center-scale projects in cybersecurity and privacy.
“The Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace program is one of NSF’s largest research programs, recognizing the criticality of cybersecurity and privacy to the nation’s economy and to citizens,” said NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan. “These investments support cybersecurity research across the country that can be translated into solutions that improve our quality of life.”

Banking Groups Urge Senators to Reject NDAA Provision as Harmful to Cybersecurity
Mariam Baksh – Nextgov
The provision for identifying “systemically important entities” included in the House-passed NDAA could still hitch a ride on the massive defense bill when it’s called to the floor in the upper chamber.A provision in annual legislation to authorize spending by the Defense Department could endanger the cybersecurity of critical infrastructure, trade associations for the financial sector argued in a letter to key senators.

The CISO’s Guide – How to Talk to Your Board & C-Suite About Cybersecurity
Leora Pudell – Security Boulevard
Cybersecurity has become a business topic taking more prominence in the boardroom. A global survey conducted last year named cyber-attacks and data loss as the top two risks concerning directors & officers due to the pandemic-related changes such as work from home, hybrid working environments, and cloud technology transitions. The survey covered the USA, UK, Europe, and APAC across various industries.
With many data breaches and ransomware attacks making the news, and the associated catastrophic consequences such as operations shutting down, financial/revenue losses, damage to reputation, etc., many boards of directors and C-suite officers have woken up to the fact that cybersecurity is no longer an IT issue but a business issue.


The U.K. Wants to Cap Bitcoin Holdings. Protections Are Developing for Crypto Investors.
Jack Denton – Barron’s
The U.K. financial regulator is pushing for changes that would encourage caps on individual Bitcoin holdings and limit how cryptocurrencies can be marketed as it clamps down more broadly on retail investment in risky assets.

The Welshman who accidentally threw out 8,000 Bitcoin in 2013 is mounting an $11 million campaign to get it back
Chris Morris – Fortune
James Howells was doing some housecleaning in 2013 when he mistakenly threw out a hard drive that contained 8,000 Bitcoin he had mined. At the time, it was a mistake that cost him anywhere from $108,000 to $8.6 million depending on when he tossed the drive (2013 was a particularly volatile year for Bitcoin). That’s enough to make anyone kick themselves.

Binance spent over US$1B on compliance, founder Changpeng Zhao says
Timmy Shen – Forkast
Binance founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao Monday said the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume spent over US$1 billion on compliance efforts with its market share continuing to increase.

China’s central bank to expand digital yuan pilot program
Ningwei Qin – Forkast
The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) has listed the “orderly expansion of the scope of the digital yuan pilot” as one of its key tasks in the second half of the year, according to a Tuesday press release from the Chinese central bank’s second-half-year work plan.

BofA Says Ethereum Needs Scalability Improvements to Hold Its Market Position
Will Canny – Coindesk
The Ethereum blockchain’s transition from a proof-of-work (PoW) consensus mechanism to proof-of-stake (PoS) seems imminent, with an Ethereum Foundation member saying recently that the switch is provisionally expected in mid-September, Bank of America (BAC) said in a research report last week.

Binance.US Delists Cryptocurrency Cited by SEC as a Security
Paul Vigna – WSJ
Despite its small size, AMP looms large because it was one of nine cryptocurrencies cited by the SEC as unregistered securities as part of its investigation of insider trading at Coinbase. The SEC has informally said that the two largest tokens, bitcoin and ether, aren’t securities.

Reserve Bank of India appoints firm to adopt blockchain for cross-border payments
Ali Raza – Inside Bitcoin
India has been hostile towards cryptocurrencies, given the hefty taxes that the country has imposed on the sector. However, it has shown more openness towards blockchain technology, with the Reserve Bank of India now looking into how it can deploy the technology to facilitate cross-border payments.

Nomad Bridge Drained of Nearly $200M in Exploit; The exploit calls the security of cross-chain token bridges into question once again.
Sam Kessler – Coindesk
Nomad was completely drained on Monday after pitching itself as a “secure” alternative to other cross-chain bridges. (Source: DefiLlama) The cross-chain token bridge Nomad was exploited Monday, with attackers draining the protocol of virtually all of its funds. The total value of cryptocurrency lost to the attack totaled near $200 million.
Nomad, like other cross-chain bridges, allows users to send and receive tokens between different blockchains. Monday’s attack is the latest in a string of highly-publicized incidents which have drawn the security of cross-chain bridges into question.

CoinShares Announces Interim Results for the Quarter ended 30 June 2022
CoinShares International Limited
CoinShares International Limited (Nasdaq First North Growth Market: CS; US OTCQX: CNSRF) (“CoinShares”), Europe’s largest and longest standing full-service digital asset investment and trading group today announced financial results for its second quarter ended 30 June 2022.

Crypto Exchange Zipmex Starts to Allow Some Altcoin Withdrawals; Firm to allow SOL, XRP, ADA withdrawals from trading wallets; Thailand regulator had ordered firm to lift transaction freeze
Suvashree Ghosh and Emily Nicolle – Bloomberg
Asia crypto exchange Zipmex Pte plans to allow users to withdraw some tokens from their trading accounts. The exchange set a timeline for withdrawals of Solana’s SOL, Ripple’s XRP and Cardano’s ADA, from Zipmex’s Z Wallet. Larger coins including Bitcoin and Ether remain locked up, the company said in a statement.

How NFTs Could Help Fight Counterfeit Products In The Future; Origin Threads uses NFTs to track product authenticity. Each garment has a QR code that tells its story, from cotton field to clothing store.
Phoenix Angell –
NFTs are the most well-known niche within blockchain technology, but many likely don’t realize how versatile and powerful they are beyond being expensive JPEG profile picture collections, such as fighting counterfeit goods by tracking production and shipping history. NFTs lend themselves remarkably well to this purpose, since every item in the world has a unique history, and uniqueness is the literal definition of “NFT”.


U.S. Senators Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Simplify Crypto Transactions for Everyday Purchases
Senators Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) introduced a new bipartisan bill that would simplify the use of digital assets for everyday purchases. Coin Center Executive Director Jerry Brito shares insights into the proposed legislation and what this means for mass adoption.

Crypto: Lawmakers rip industry, demand SEC action during recent hearings
Jennifer Schonberger – Yahoo Finance
Crypto winter and resulting bankruptcies are pushing lawmakers to up the ante on regulators. During a hearing last week, Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) said the SEC is the missing cop on the crypto beat while Sen Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) ripped on the crypto industry for scamming mom-and-pop investors and pledged to introduce a bill soon to regulate the crypto market and stamp out scams.

Targeting ‘Woke Capital’; West Virginia’s banning of five big Wall Street banks for doing business with the state is yet another step toward a politicized world of red brands and blue brands.
Andrew Ross Sorkin, Vivian Giang, Stephen Gandel, Lauren Hirsch, Ephrat Livni and Jenny Gross – NYT
States take action against ‘woke C.E.O.s’; Five big Wall Street firms woke up to a headache yesterday, and the ailment seems to be spreading fast. Riley Moore, the outspoken treasurer of West Virginia, announced that Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, BlackRock, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo were banned from doing business with the state because they had stopped supporting the coal industry, reports The Times’s David Gelles.


ISDA and FIA Respond to ESMA’s Consultations on Guidelines in Relation to CCP R&R Regulation
On May 19, ESMA published four consultations on proposed guidelines for the EU central counterparty resolution regime (CCPRRR). ISDA and the Futures Industry Association (FIA) responded to three of these four consultations: Consultation on Guidelines Template Summary Resolution Plans Article 12(7)(a); Consultation on Art 79 CCPRRR Cooperation Arrangements; Consultation on Guidelines Resolvability -Annex Section C Article 15(5) CCPRRR; The Associations generally agree with the proposals in the consultations and make mostly technical proposals.

2 California Men Sentenced to Prison for $1.9M Crypto Grift
Cheyenne Ligon – Coindesk
Two men from Orange County in California were sentenced to prison on Monday for operating a cryptocurrency scam that swindled more than 2,000 investors out of a collective $1.9 million, according to the Department of Justice.

TRACE, Market Research and Policy Making
For 20 years, FINRA’s Trade Reporting and Compliance Engine, known as TRACE, has contributed to reduced trade execution costs, facilitated price formation, aided regulatory programs and protected investors, as detailed in a recent blog commemorating this milestone anniversary. As an economist, I’d argue TRACE’s impact extends. For me, some of the real impact is in the research it has enabled.
Strong, independent analysis plays a pivotal role in policy debates. And healthy and robust policy debates are central to all aspects of FINRA’s oversight of the broker-dealer industry including our work to write and enforce rules, examine firms for compliance, foster market transparency and educate investors. All of this is done in the name of investor protection and market integrity.

SEC Charges Eleven Individuals in $300 Million Crypto Pyramid Scheme
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged 11 individuals for their roles in creating and promoting Forsage, a fraudulent crypto pyramid and Ponzi scheme that raised more than $300 million from millions of retail investors worldwide, including in the United States. Those charged include the four founders of Forsage, who were last known to be living in Russia, the Republic of Georgia, and Indonesia, as well as three U.S.-based promoters engaged by the founders to endorse Forsage on its website and social media platforms, and several members of the so-called Crypto Crusaders—the largest promotional group for the scheme that operated in the United States from at least five different states.

ASIC extends transitional relief for foreign financial services providers
ASIC – Australian Securities and Investments Commission
ASIC is extending for a further 12 months the transitional relief for foreign financial services providers (FFSPs) from the requirement to hold an Australian financial services (AFS) licence when providing financial services to Australian wholesale clients.
The extension of the transitional relief to 31 March 2024 is made by ASIC Corporations (Amendment) Instrument 2022/623.
The current transitional arrangements for ASIC’s sufficient equivalence relief and limited connection relief were due to expire on 31 March 2023.

The SEC Probably Thinks This Is A Security; The Bloomberg Opinion columnist weighs in on securities semantics, insider trading at Coinbase and his recent conversation with Sam Bankman-Fried.
Victoria Vergolina – Bloomberg
One of the most interesting conversations in crypto right now is all about definitions, especially the definition of a security. Who better to tackle this than Bloomberg Opinion columnist Matt Levine, a former practicing lawyer and investment banker who has written extensively about securities, securities law, insider trading — all things that are very much topical in crypto right now. You’ll also hear highlights from Matt’s interview with Sam Bankman-Fried at the recent Bloomberg Crypto Summit in New York.

Investing and Trading

BP Boosts Returns as Oil Refining and Trading Drive Profit Beat
Laura Hurst – Bloomberg
BP Plc hiked its dividend and accelerated share buybacks to the fastest pace yet after an “exceptional” in oil refining and trading lifted profits above even the highest expectations.

Glencore Is Cashing In on Coal to Dodge Big Mining’s Slowdown
Thomas Biesheuvel – Bloomberg
The world’s biggest miners have spent the past two weeks reporting lower profits, shrinking dividends and a worsening outlook as the year rolls on. Next up: Glencore Plc looks set to buck the trend.

Stanford Alum’s 26-Year-Old Winemaker Braves India IPO Market
Alex Gabriel Simon Thattil and Saritha Rai – Bloomberg
While recession fears have seen new listings grind to a halt this year, one of the few companies currently seeking to go public in Mumbai is testing investor appetite for India’s growing wine market.

‘Problem Child’ 20-Year Bond in Focus for Treasury-Auction Plan
Liz Capo McCormick – Bloomberg
The US Treasury is expected to make its fourth straight reduction in a quarterly sale of longer-term debt this month, with most dealers predicting extra cutbacks for the 20-year bond.

Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance

Blistering Heat Sends Tokyo’s Power Price to 18-Month High; Hot weather expected to boost power consumption, Tepco says; Surging gas and coal prices boost the cost to generate power
Stephen Stapczynski – Bloomberg
Power prices in Japan’s capital jumped to the highest level in 18 months as surging temperatures stretched the grid. Hot weather is expected to boost electricity use above demand forecasts during some parts of the day, which will worsen as solar output drops in the evening, according to Tokyo Electric Power Co. The metropolis’s power reserve cushion is expected to fall to near 3% in the evening, the minimum level seen as necessary to ensure a stable grid.

Food Prices Are Falling. Why Is There Still a Hunger Crisis? Cost is just one part of the equation: war, civil unrest and climate disasters all drive starvation and hinder recovery.
David Fickling – Bloomberg
As quickly as it blew up, the food crisis of 2022 appears to be receding. Red spring wheat rose to nearly $13 a bushel in March, prompting the world’s biggest wheat importer, Egypt, to devalue its currency. It’s now trading around $8, a fall of more than a third. Indonesia halted exports of palm oil in April in the face of a similar price spike. Prices are now down more than 40% from the peak. Corn prices fell by nearly a quarter since the start of May. Sugar and arabica coffee beans have hit respective one-year and nine-month lows in the past few weeks.

ESG Investing Isn’t Designed to Save the Planet
Kenneth P. Pucker and Andrew King – Harvard Business Review
Summary: Most people assume that ESG Investing is designed to reward companies that are helping the planet. In fact, ESG ratings which underlie ESG fund selection are based on “single materiality” — the impact of the changing world on a company P&L, not the reverse. Asset management firms have been happy to let the confusion go uncorrected — ESG funds are highly popular and come with higher management fees. The danger with ESG investing is that it might convince policy makers that the market can solve major societal challenges such as climate change — when in fact only government intervention can help the planet avoid a climate catastrophe.

New Study Finds a Common Reporting Approach for ESG Data Use in Infrastructure Investment Remains an Unfulfilled Goal
Guggenheim Investments – GlobeNewsWire
Guggenheim Investments, the global asset management and investment advisory business of Guggenheim Partners, and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) today released the results of a global survey on the collecting, reporting and application of environmental, social and governance (ESG) data in infrastructure projects. “Testing Industry Attitudes Toward a Common Reporting Approach for ESG Data Use in Infrastructure Investment,” conducted by KPMG Advisory N.V. and Mott MacDonald, takes the unique approach of surveying both ESG data users and data preparers to explore whether an industrywide standard approach to measuring ESG in infrastructure investment is desired and how this might be achieved.

ESG, cryptocurrency discussed a lot but not often adopted
Brian Croce – Pensions & Investments
Environmental, social and governance investing and incorporating cryptocurrency into 401(k) plans have become popular topics of conversation recently. But widespread adoption of ESG funds in plan lineups still hasn’t taken off, due in large part to regulatory pingpong out of Washington. The Department of Labor under the Trump administration finalized a rule stipulating that Employee Retirement Income Security Act plan fiduciaries cannot invest in “non-pecuniary” vehicles that sacrifice investment returns or take on additional risk. The Biden administration proposed its own rule in October that would explicitly permit retirement plan fiduciaries to consider climate change and other ESG factors when selecting investments and exercising shareholder rights. A final rule is expected later this year.

The ESG Report – Episode 53 – Corporate Culture and ESG with Ty Francis
Thomas Fox – JD Supra
I welcome renowned compliance leader Ty Francis to the ESG Report! Ty is the Chief Advisory Officer at LRN; he leads the company’s worldwide ethics and compliance consulting, ESG, and community outreach strategy. In this week’s episode, Ty and I discuss LRN’s new report, Assessing Corporate Culture, and how it relates to ESG. The Genesis of the Assessing Corporate Culture Report; I ask Ty about the genesis of the LRN report. This is the second report LRN produced; the first was about activating culture and ethics in the boardroom. Their previous research led the team at LRN to realize that most corporate boards did not understand the culture.

Wharton launches Environmental, Social and Governance program featuring new courses this fall
Harsha Ravindran – The Daily Pennsylvanian
The Wharton School recently announced the launch of the Environmental, Social and Governance Initiative, which aims to explore how business intersects the three ESG aspects through research, education, and policy practices. ESG refers to the environmental, social, and governance factors that are relevant for business decisions and financial calculations. The program will focus on introducing new classes and programming. The initiative brings together four existing divisions at Wharton: the Climate Center, formerly known as the Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center; the Impact Investing Research Lab, formerly known as the Wharton Social Impact Initiative; the Political Risk and Identity Lab; and the Zicklin Center for Governance & Business Ethics.

It’s been a slow start to hurricane season — but it’s still early; This is the first year since 2017 that a hurricane has not developed in the Atlantic by Aug. 1
Jacob Feuerstein – Washington Post
Leading up to this Atlantic hurricane season, numerous signs pointed toward a summer and fall bustling with storms. Forecasters said the broad weather patterns governing the oceans and atmosphere would come together to boost activity; experts with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Colorado State University predicted activity above to well above average. Not to mention that climate change has primed oceans for the development of strong tropical systems.

France Has Driest July on Record With Crops Taking a Battering; High temperatures have spread forest fires, stressed corn; Country faces another heat wave this week, Meteo France says
Vivian Iroanya – Bloomberg
France experienced its driest July on record as searing heat spread across Europe, putting strain in key crops. The average precipitation across the country was 8.1 millimeters (0.3 inches), making it the driest month since March 1961, forecaster Meteo France said on its website. Rainfall in Brittany, Auvergne and Corsica was at least 95% below the norm.

Olive Oil Set to Get Pricier as Spain’s Heatwave Hits Production; Spain’s olive harvest could be worst in years, minister says; Spanish grains output may drop as much as 13% this year
Alonso Soto and Thomas Gualtieri – Bloomberg
Relentless heatwaves blasting Spain this summer threaten to sink production of olive oil from the world’s top exporter of the cooking ingredient, according to Agriculture Minister Luis Planas. “If there is no temperature relief or rains in the coming weeks, this year’s olive harvest could be notably lower than previous ones,” said Planas in an interview, declining to give an exact output estimate. “The olives sector is concerned about oil production.”


At JPMorgan and the Bank of Korea, She Blazed a Trail for Women in Finance; In a wide-ranging interview, Jiwon Lim discusses her career in finance and central banking—and talks about what she plans do next.
Whanwoong Choi – Bloomberg
Jiwon Lim, 57, has been a path-breaker for women in Korean finance roles, most recently in her four-year term on the Bank of Korea’s board, which ended in May. Lim spoke with Bloomberg Markets in early July about her career in market economics, women’s progress in Korea, and how working in a bank differs from policymaking. The interview has been edited for length and content.

Deutsche Bank staff broke its own rules to enable clients to siphon off millions of euros in government revenues
Sophie Mellor – Fortune
German prosecutors are cracking down on the bankers who funneled money out of the government in the biggest tax fraud scheme to ever hit Europe, and Deutsche Bank may be next to face the music. An internal investigation into the German banking giant has found that staff broke regulatory rules and company policy to help clients rake in millions of euros in government revenues in the CumEx scandals, the FT reports.

Americana adds HSBC to list of banks for Gulf dual listing -sources
Hadeel Al Sayegh – Reuters
The Middle East and North Africa franchisee of fast-food restaurants KFC and Pizza Hut has added HSBC (HSBA.L) to its syndicate of advisers for its potential dual listing this year, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Credit Suisse Hands Out $300 Million in a Month to Retain Talent; Awards in July come amid the bank’s third straight loss; More than 60 rainmakers have defected in past 18 months
Myriam Balezou – Bloomberg
Credit Suisse Group AG handed out more than $300 million in a single month to retain top bankers spooked by years of scandals, losses and an ongoing leadership shakeup.

HSBC’s Promises Won’t Satisfy Ping An for Long; Higher dividends and better returns are a good start, but dissident shareholders will soon ask for more.
Paul J. Davies – Bloomberg
HSBC Holdings Plc is hoping to buy off dissenting investors with a boost to dividends and a forecast for higher returns. The promises made at Monday’s half-year results sent the bank’s stock sharply higher, but the shareholders agitating for big changes are likely to want more — and soon.

Wells Fargo reinstates diverse slate hiring policy following June pause
Wells Fargo reinstated a hiring policy that requires recruiters to interview a diverse pool of candidates nearly two months after its suspension in June, the bank said on Monday. The U.S. bank had paused the hiring policy in June after the New York Times reported such interviews were often fake and conducted even though the job had already been promised to someone else.

HSBC Leaders Try to Placate Restive Hong Kong Shareholders; Bank’s U.K. bosses apologize for earlier dividend cuts and say splitting off Asia business would hurt its value
Elaine Yu – WSJ
Top executives of HSBC Holdings PLC met with the bank’s shareholders in Hong Kong on Tuesday and sought to convince small investors that splitting off its Asian business wouldn’t benefit them.

Citigroup Is Planning a Hiring Spree to Add 500 People to Its New Wealth Unit; Bank is trying to replicate its success with junior attorneys; CEO Fraser sees wealth business as key to remaking the bank
Jennifer Surane – Bloomberg
Citigroup Inc. is planning a 500-person hiring spree over the next three years for a new wealth division catering to junior employees at private equity offices, consultancies and accounting firms, betting those clients will someday join the ranks of the ultra wealthy. The bank started the unit, known as Wealth at Work, last year and tapped longtime private-banking executive Naz Vahid to oversee its development. Vahid has spent years leading the private bank’s law-firm group, which counts 50,000 lawyers and 1,000 firms as clients.

Wellness Exchange

China’s Covid Outbreak Stabilizes as Shanghai Cases Hold at Zero
Bloomberg News
China’s latest Covid-19 outbreak has stabilized, with cases in Shanghai holding at zero for the second day in a row and the flareup in Shenzhen seemingly under control. Nationwide, 373 cases were recorded Monday. While up from Sunday’s near three-week low of 277, it’s still well down from the peak of 935 infections two weeks ago.

CDC adds 3 places to its ‘high’ risk list for Covid-19
Forrest Brown and Marnie Hunter – CNN
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday added three destinations to its “high” risk category for travel, including an Eastern European country known for its mountains, thick forests and folklore culture.


Top LNG Exporter Australia Is Told to Keep More Fuel At Home
Stephen Stapczynski and Ben Westcott – Bloomberg
Australia should tighten measures to curb natural gas exports from one of the world’s biggest suppliers to avoid a domestic fuel crunch, according to the nation’s competition watchdog. Gas that hasn’t been sold under long-term contracts should be made available domestically before it is exported, because of a significant risk of a shortfall in supply next year to eastern Australia, home to about four-fifths of the nation’s population, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said Monday.

North Koreans Steal LinkedIn Resumes in Crypto Job Search Scam; Scammers are pilfering language from LinkedIn and Indeed; Software development, cryptocurrency skills are major focus
Jeff Stone – Bloomberg
North Koreans are plagiarizing online resumes and pretending to be from other countries to get remote work at cryptocurrency firms to aid illicit money-raising efforts for the government, cybersecurity researchers say following a US warning on a similar scheme in May. The fraudsters lift details they find on legitimate profiles on LinkedIn and Indeed for their resumes to get work at US cryptocurrency firms, according to security researchers at Mandiant Inc. One applicant identified by Mandiant on July 14 claimed to be an “innovative and strategic thinking professional” in the tech industry and an experienced software developer. “The world will see the great result from my hands,” the job seeker added in a cover letter.

Chaos in Bond Market Is Dangerous Side Effect of Inflation Fight; Poor liquidity and economic uncertainty triggers yield swings; German bonds are their most volatile on record by some metrics
Liz McCormick, Garfield Clinton Reynolds, and Greg Ritchie – Bloomberg
In their crusade to get rampant inflation under control, the world’s major central banks risk fueling further chaos in bond markets that play crucial roles for the economies they’re trying to protect. Policy makers, in a rush to rein in consumer prices, are quickly lifting interest rates and ending programs that made them the dominant buyers of government debt in places such as the US, Europe and Australia. Investors have yet to pick up the slack, helping create a liquidity drought that’s led to historic swings in yields in recent months.

Japan Investors Take Billion-Dollar-Plus Hit on Russian Gas Assets; Mitsui, Mitsubishi write down value of stakes in Sakhalin-2 project by more than half after Putin decree
Chieko Tsuneoka – WSJ
Two big Japanese energy investors said Tuesday that the value of their stakes in a Russian natural-gas project has fallen by more than half after a decree by President Vladimir Putin threatened to strip them of their rights.

Bangladesh Cracks Down on Money Changers to Curb Dollar Crunch
Arun Devnath – Bloomberg
Bangladesh is cracking down on money changers as a shortage of dollars pushed the taka to a record low and forces trade to the so-called kerb market.

Singapore Stepping Up Efforts to Tackle Heat, Straits Times Says
Alfred Cang – Bloomberg
Singapore is working on a range of measures to counter the impact to rising temperatures driven by global warming, its Minister for Sustainability and the Environment said, according to a Straits Times report.


Craig Wright v. Peter McCormack: Wright Put Forward ‘False Evidence,’ Will Receive Damages of One British pound; Wright had sued McCormack for libel after the popular podcaster called him “a liar” and “a fraud” in 2019.
Jamie Crawley – Coindesk
U.K. High Court Judge Martin Chamberlain has ruled that Craig Wright, the Australian scientist who claims to be Bitcoin inventor Satoshi Nakamoto, advanced false evidence in his defamation case against Peter McCormack. Though finding that comments made by McCormack caused “serious harm” to Wright’s reputation, the judge awarded Wright only nominal damages of one British pound (US$1.23) — barely enough to buy a candy bar.

Central bankers have been incompetent for decades and inflation is our ‘big hangover’, well-known financial historian says
Will Daniel – Fortune
Who or what is responsible for the rampant inflation plaguing the global economy?
President Biden has argued the key culprit is Russian President Vladimir Putin and his war in Ukraine, going so far as to call the current rise in U.S. consumer prices “Putin’s price hike.”
On the other hand, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell says that high inflation is a result of the toxic combination of supply-chain issues brought about by the pandemic, COVID-19 lockdowns in China, the war in Ukraine, and the strong labor market.

Boy Scouts Near End of Bankruptcy, but Group Faces Challenges; Organization’s $2.5 billion plan for compensating roughly 82,200 sex-abuse victims will test whether scouting can still appeal to families
Becky Yerak, Kris Maher and Jodi Xu Klein – NY Times
The Boy Scouts of America has a pathway out of bankruptcy, but the group faces challenges in repairing its finances and reputation after resolving a legacy of sexual abuse. A bankruptcy court last week approved most parts of a landmark compensation plan of at least $2.5 billion that would end the Boy Scouts’ chapter 11 case and resolve roughly 82,200 individual claims of sexual abuse. An exit from chapter 11 would shield the Boy Scouts from further sex-abuse lawsuits, while testing whether it can still appeal to families despite its past failures to protect children.

On HBO Drama Industry, a No-Rules Wall Street Is Sexy, Scrappy Again; The second season of the youthful finance series dials the drama up—and the legal consequences down.
Justina Lee – Bloomberg
The clock is ticking. A man in a crisp, white dress shirt screams, “The bell rings in five minutes!” As the music pounds like a heartbeat, the phone rings—an unknown caller.

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The Spread

Volatility Spike Brews in Charts Signaling Test for Equity FOMO

Lead Stories Volatility Spike Brews in Charts Signaling Test for Equity FOMO Akshay Chinchalkar - Bloomberg Rising volatility may be about to test the US stock market's 13% jump from June lows. That's the picture painted by technical charts looking at the Cboe...

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