SEC plans to go after market manipulation on social media, executive insider trading, Gensler says

Jun 8, 2021

First Read


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Owain Johnson: World-class Listener, Citizen, Author And Researcher, Sees Acceleration Of Economic Change; CME’s Global Head Of Research In London Interviewed By JLN
By John J. Lothian – JLN

Things are happening so fast amidst an acceleration of economic change that the old order of product adoption by various categories of industry players is being upended, Owain Johnson told John Lothian News in a recent interview.

That speed of change is exciting to Johnson, the London-based global head of research for the CME Group. New asset classes are joining the six traditional asset classes of the CME’s traded products, he said. He mentioned digital assets as a new asset class, as well as environmental products. The CME’s new CVOL products are also exciting. The CME’s six traditional asset classes are agriculture, metals, energy, interest rates, equities and foreign exchange.

For the rest of this interview, click HERE.


Hits & Takes
John Lothian & JLN Staff

The final bell has not tolled for the LME’s Ring. Open outcry trading will live on at the London Metal Exchange after all. Bloomberg reported the LME canceled plans to close its open-outcry trading floor after a backlash from major users. — Bloomberg

What is ironic from a Chicago trading perspective is that it was always the Chicago locals and brokers who were credited with having outsized market and political power, yet it is the London Metal Exchange crowd that won the fight to keep its open outcry markets open. The Chicago locals and brokers sold out their CME Group shares for the most part or morphed into electronic traders, ceding their influence over exchange politics to the investors who took their place. It was not a wrong decision, but I do find irony in the LME crowd’s success in keeping the ring open.

The Fair Exchange, or FairX, has issued their fee schedule on their website, which disrupts the industry norm for who pays what. Customers, or non-professional traders, are charged the smallest fees, 2 to 5 cents. Market-makers are charged the most, 35 to 40 cents, and professional traders are charged 25 to 30 cents, depending on the contract. — FairX

Here is how FairX defines each of these categories of market participants:

Market Maker – Account in the name of any person that has signed a market maker agreement with Fair Exchange.

Non-Professional Trader – Account in the name of an Individual or entity that is:
A. Not registered, qualified, or otherwise identified as a professional trader, market maker, liquidity provider, money manager, commodity trading advisor, or investment adviser with any stock, commodities or futures exchange or contract market, or with any financial regulatory authority; B. Not engaged in brokerage, banking, investment, or financial activities, as part of their regular course of business; C. Not using a fully automated order generating computer system; and D. Trading for its own account.

Professional Trader Fee – Account in the name of any person that is not a Market Maker or a Non-Professional Trader.

Since I am still registered as a Commodity Trading Advisor with the National Futures Association, I would be classified as a professional trader.

The NFA is not the only regulator being targeted by a phishing attack. FINRA has issued an alert for emails using the “” domain name. The email asks the recipient to click a link to “view request” and provide information to “complete” that request, noting that “late submission may attract penalties.” — FINRA

Trading Technologies matched the weekly donations to the JLN MarketsWiki Education GoFundMe campaign yesterday. Otherwise, there were no new donations to the campaign. Support our efforts to preserve industry history by giving to our GoFundMe Campaign.

JLN today features Part Two of our interview with Peter Harrigan for the Open Outcry Traders HIstory Project. — JLN

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


On Tuesday, June 22, and Wednesday, June 23, the Association for Digital Asset Markets (ADAM) and Eventus Systems will host a two-day virtual conference on issues affecting digital asset markets featuring Grayscale CEO Michael Sonnenshein and MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor, among others. The event starts at 10:00 a.m. Eastern on both days. You can go here to register.~SR

Women in Listed Derivatives (WILD) is offering another round of virtual networking in this quarter’s Conjunction Function event. It is an online small group discussion with industry peers and friends and is for WILD members only. It takes place via Zoom on June 11, 2021 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and is free. You can go here to register.~SR


Peter Harrigan – Open Outcry Traders History Project – Part Two

Peter Harrigan capped off his career as a floor trader on the CME and the Pacific Exchange in the middle of a bear market in 2002. Since then, he’s managed money, helped start up an AI company and traded cryptocurrencies, but he continues to speak fondly of his floor days, even the challenging ones.

Watch the video »


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Website Outage Hits Reddit, News, U.K. Government Pages
Amy Thomson and Nate Lanxon – Bloomberg
Fastly content delivery service showed a global outage; Disruption shows internet’s reliance on handful of tech
Websites across the internet were temporarily unavailable on Tuesday, including the New York Times, Bloomberg News, Reddit Inc., and the U.K. government, after services from content-delivery network Fastly Inc. went down.

*****We learned how many eggs we have in the same basket in the cloud.~JJL


Treasuries Spike Higher After Internet Outage Spooks Markets
John Ainger – Bloomberg
Websites including New York Times, Bloomberg were unavailable; German, U.K. bonds follow the U.S. higher as websites go down
U.S. Treasuries led global bonds higher after outages across several global websites spurred demand for haven assets. Ten-year Treasury yields fell as much as three basis points to 1.54%, the lowest level in over a month, before paring the drop. Websites including the New York Times, Bloomberg News and Reddit were unavailable after services from content-delivery network Fastly Inc. went down on Tuesday.

***** When all else fails, buy Treasuries.~JJL


The Secret IRS Files: Trove of Never-Before-Seen Records Reveal How the Wealthiest Avoid Income Tax
Jesse Eisinger, Jeff Ernsthausen and Paul Kiel – ProPublica
In 2007, Jeff Bezos, then a multibillionaire and now the world’s richest man, did not pay a penny in federal income taxes. He achieved the feat again in 2011. In 2018, Tesla founder Elon Musk, the second-richest person in the world, also paid no federal income taxes. Michael Bloomberg managed to do the same in recent years. Billionaire investor Carl Icahn did it twice. George Soros paid no federal income tax three years in a row. ProPublica has obtained a vast trove of Internal Revenue Service data on the tax returns of thousands of the nation’s wealthiest people, covering more than 15 years. The data provides an unprecedented look inside the financial lives of America’s titans, including Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Rupert Murdoch and Mark Zuckerberg. It shows not just their income and taxes, but also their investments, stock trades, gambling winnings and even the results of audits.

****** Go long pitchforks. ~JJL


Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation presents two new exhibitions: “Us and Them” and “Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize 2021”
Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation
The program is part of the photography triennial RAY 2021; Both exhibitions can be seen from June 5 to September 19, 2021 in The Cube, Frankfurt / Eschborn; Exhibition visit as part of guided tours and on “Open Saturday” on June 19, 2021
As an exhibition partner and sponsor of the fourth international triennial RAY Photography Projects 2021 Frankfurt / Rhein-Main, the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation is presenting two new exhibitions. “Us and Them” takes up this year’s theme of the triennial, ideologies, and shows four photographic positions that deal with the formation of identity through demarcation. At the same time, the exhibition of the four finalists of the “Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize 2021” can be seen. Both presentations will be shown from June 5 to September 19, 2021 at the corporate headquarters of Deutsche Börse, The Cube, in Frankfurt / Eschborn.

****** Note to self. Book trip to Frankfurt / Eschborn soon. ~JJL


Monday’s Top Three
Our top story Monday was’s CME rebuts accusations of procyclical margining, about a soon-to-be-released white paper in which CME analyses its own performance during the Covid-19 pandemic. Second was, for the second time in our top three, A former head of macro strategy at legendary investment firm Citadel lays out the 5 key qualities he believes makes a great trader — and provides a rare outlook on the future of hedge funds, from Business Insider. Third was What to expect when interviewing and onboarding 100% remotely, from DRW.


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Lead Stories

SEC plans to go after market manipulation on social media, executive insider trading, Gensler says
Chris Matthews – MarketWatch
Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler said Monday that his agency is focused on adopting new rules to guard against company executives using private information to opportunistically sell shares of companies they oversee, while acknowledging that the SEC must come up with new strategies to guard against market manipulation on social media.

SEC Chairman Calls for New Restrictions on Executive Stock-Trading Plans; Speaking at The Wall Street Journal’s CFO Network event, Gary Gensler says he wants to revise the rules to reduce the risk of improper insider trading
Dave Michaels and Mark Maurer – WSJ
The Securities and Exchange Commission is drafting a proposal that would restrict plans that corporate insiders use to avoid insider-trading claims when buying or selling their own company’s stock. Speaking Monday at The Wall Street Journal’s CFO Network event, SEC Chairman Gary Gensler said he is seeking to revise rules that govern the arrangements, known as 10b5-1 plans. Insiders set up plans ahead of time and use them to schedule future trades. The arrangement gives executives a defense against insider-trading claims that would stem from having undisclosed material nonpublic information at the time of a trade.

London Metal Exchange to Reopen Trading Floor After Uproar
Mark Burton and Jack Farchy – Bloomberg
LME backtracks on an earlier plan to close ‘the Ring’; Exchange will set end-of-day closing prices electronically
The London Metal Exchange has canceled a plan to close its open-outcry trading floor after a backlash from major users, and will reopen “the Ring” in September. The decision represents a lifeline for one of London’s oldest financial institutions, and one of the world’s last open-outcry markets. The Ring traces its origins back to the early 1800s, and still has staunch supporters in the metals industry who say that the daily shouting match between floor traders remains the best way to establish global benchmark prices.

An Outage Hit Major Websites. The Internet’s Infrastructure Appears Shaky.
Consumers got a jolt this morning with “error 503 service unavailable” messages on some of their favorite websites. An outage at cloud software provider Fastly caused swaths of the web to go dark, including Reddit, the New York Times, and even the U.K. government’s website. Fastly said that it had identified the problem and initiated a fix. An hour after the outages were first reported, Fastly said its global network was coming back online. Most of the impacted websites appeared to be back online as well.

Retail trading frenzy reflects ‘broken’ US equity markets, says XTX’s Gerko; Small investors encouraged by ‘perverse incentives’, claims founder of computer-driven trading firm
Eva Szalay – FT
The surge of trading in offbeat stocks is duping inexperienced investors into high costs and a battle with Wall Street that they cannot win, according to the founder of one of the largest trading firms in the world. Zero-commission trading helps to build an illusion that amateur investors have never had it better, Alex Gerko, co-chief executive of London-based XTX Markets, told the Financial Times in an interview.

AMC, Other Meme Stocks Turn Options Market Upside Down; Flurry of activity in meme-stock options underscores investors’ fear of missing out on surges
Gunjan Banerji – WSJ
The meteoric rally in meme stocks such as AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. AMC 14.80% and GameStop Corp. GME 12.74% has unleashed a burst of options trading, upending traditional dynamics in the market for stock bets. The rush into the stocks coincided with frenzied trading for options—contracts that allow investors to bet on price moves in stocks or protect their portfolios. The once-obscure corner of the market has boomed this year like never before, with many new investors trying their hands during the pandemic shutdowns.

AMC’s Meme-Stock Traders Mess With Corporate Theory; Neither shareholder value nor stakeholder value explains selling shares into a wild froth
James Mackintosh – WSJ
The theory of the firm features a thriving academic debate about whether responsibility to shareholders or responsibility to broader stakeholders should be the founding principle of corporate life. You can’t fit raising billions of dollars from shareholders merely because the stock price is wildly overvalued into either rubric. Maybe the academics should be following Reddit’s AMC AMC 14.80% Entertainment memes, because the movie-theater operator’s maneuver last week to raise $817 million by selling shares into a wild froth—the latest in a series that quintupled its share count since September—adds a third constituency often missing from the theory of the company: the company itself.

A Commodities Crunch Caused by Stingy Capital Spending Has No Quick Fix; Limited inventory of resources is converging with a buying spree to supercharge prices, spurring inflation concerns
Chuin-Wei Yap – WSJ
A yearlong steep climb in commodity prices is testing an economics maxim: High prices cure themselves by spurring supply and quenching demand. Languishing commodity prices led producers to slash capital spending on major resources by nearly half over the last decade, shrinking stocks of industrial metals to two-decade lows and reducing supplies across commodities. The crunch is now converging with a buying spree in key markets to supercharge prices—and there is no quick fix.

Biden Administration to Outline Measures to Address Supply-Chain Issues; Action follows 100-day review of the breakdown of supply chains during the pandemic
Alex Leary – WSJ
The Biden administration is expected to outline new measures Tuesday to address widespread supply-chain issues, with a goal of bringing manufacturing back to the U.S. and diversifying access to foreign-made materials such as rare-earth minerals used for batteries.

CFTC’s Interest Rate Benchmark Reform Subcommittee Recommends July 26 for Transitioning Interdealer Swap Market Trading Conventions from LIBOR to SOFR
The CFTC’s Market Risk Advisory Committee’s (MRAC) Interest Rate Benchmark Reform Subcommittee voted to recommend a market best practice for switching interdealer trading conventions from LIBOR to the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) for U.S. Dollar (USD) linear interest rate swaps. This MRAC Subcommittee initiative, referred to as “SOFR First,” is the third recommendation this Subcommittee has referred to the MRAC for consideration in connection with the transition of USD derivatives and related contracts away from LIBOR. Acting Chairman Rostin Behnam is the sponsor of MRAC.

The text of an investment revolution; Fund managers are increasingly using AI to mine corporate verbiage for profitable trading signals
Robin Wigglesworth – FT
When US Steel released America’s first annual report more than a century ago, it was an admirably trim 40 pages, and mostly photos of smokestacks. Its 2020 annual report clocked in at 162 packed pages — and even this is concise by modern standards.

Hong Kong risks its global finance status over Covid isolation; Businesses and bankers decry restrictions on international travel
Tabby Kinder – FT
There has been more outspoken criticism of Hong Kong government policy from business and finance circles in the past two months than in two years of political and social turmoil. A slow Covid-19 vaccine rollout combined with the failure to outline an exit plan from the pandemic has finally lit a fire under the territory’s bankers.

UK launches scaled-back financial sector climate risk stress tests; ‘Absolutely critical’ exercise to encompass only largest counterparties after pushback
Camilla Hodgson – FT
The Bank of England kicked off its inaugural stress test of the climate risks facing banks and insurers on Tuesday, but its scope was scaled back after participants raised concerns that they would be unable to model the exposures of potentially thousands of business partners.

U.S. Report Found It Plausible Covid-19 Leaked From Wuhan Lab; The 2020 lab report was used by the State Department in its own inquiry during Trump administration
Michael R. Gordon and Warren P. Strobel – WSJ
A report on the origins of Covid-19 by a U.S. government national laboratory concluded that the hypothesis claiming the virus leaked from a Chinese lab in Wuhan is plausible and deserves further investigation, according to people familiar with the classified document.

Carbon Dioxide in Atmosphere Hits Record High Despite Pandemic Dip; Global emissions dropped last year, but the decline wasn’t nearly enough to halt the buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
Brad Plumer – NY Times
The amount of carbon dioxide piling up in Earth’s atmosphere set a record last month, once again reaching the highest levels in human history despite a temporary dip in the burning of fossil fuels worldwide caused by the coronavirus pandemic, scientists said Monday. Scientific instruments atop the Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaii showed that levels of carbon dioxide in the air averaged 419 parts per million in May, the annual peak, according to two separate analyses from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

A Core Skill Every Fund Manager Needs to Learn; Consolidation seems inevitable in the asset management industry. Fenchurch’s Malik Karim says CEOs need to hone their M&A chops.
Mark Gilbert – Bloomberg
DWS Group GmbH is “actively thinking” about a transformational deal, Chief Executive Officer Asoka Woehrmann said last week. Credit Suisse Group AG and UBS Group AG are both debating what to do with their fund management businesses. Schroders Plc spent several months contemplating a bid for M&G Plc this year. Further consolidation in Europe’s asset management industry seems inevitable, but it’s been elusive.

Cloud glitch brings down thousands of websites; Silicon Valley-based content delivery network Fastly suffers outage
Tim Bradshaw – FT
Thousands of websites went offline for almost an hour on Tuesday morning, including several of the world’s largest news sites, streaming services, online retailers and even the UK government, disrupting millions of internet users.

The TRADE launches 2021 EMS survey; Buy-side users are invited to rate their EMS providers in the 2021 edition of The TRADE’s annual survey.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
The TRADE’s annual Execution Management System (EMS) survey is now open for submissions, allowing buy-side users to assess and rate their vendors. Now in its ninth year, buy-side clients are invited to rate their EMS providers across 13 functional categories, alongside the chance to detail what additional capabilities they would like to see from vendors in the future.

The Pandemic’s Legacy of Financial Frailty in Emerging Markets; Critics of public debt accumulation usually mean well, but in many cases the alternative is steeper borrowing by individuals and companies
Mike Bird – WSJ
Debt levels rose in almost every corner of the world last year, but how the burden is shared between governments and the private sector varies widely. Some countries may come to wish the mix of borrowers was a little different.

Amid Global Inflation Worries, China Moves to Tame Prices; Rising costs at its factories could trickle out into the rest of the world economy.
Keith Bradsher – NY Times
Prices are jumping in the United States and around the world, prompting growing warnings that a wave of inflation could threaten the global economy if it persists. China isn’t waiting to find out.

Wall Street’s Palm Beach Foray Fuels Developer Office Rush
Natalie Wong – Bloomberg
Related boosts investments in Florida haven for New Yorkers; New tower attracts Cohen’s Point72; Goldman in talks for lease
First came the pandemic migration of New York financiers to West Palm Beach. Now comes the investor rush for offices to accommodate them. With the likes of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Steve Cohen’s Point72 Asset Management opening outposts in the Florida city, an area once known for snowbirds and retirees has suddenly become hot market for commercial real estate. At the forefront is Manhattan developer Related Cos., which has been accelerating investments in West Palm Beach and now controls about a third of its downtown office stock.


Gangrene, Hearing Loss Show Delta Variant May Be More Severe
Bhuma Shrivastava – Bloomberg
Indian doctors seeing unusual symptoms in Covid-19 patients; Data from England suggest it has higher hospitalization risk
The coronavirus variant driving India’s devastating Covid-19 second wave is the most infectious to emerge so far. Doctors now want to know if it’s also more severe. Hearing impairment, severe gastric upsets and blood clots leading to gangrene, symptoms not typically seen in Covid patients, have been linked by doctors in India to the so-called delta variant. In England and Scotland, early evidence suggests the strain — which is also now dominant there — carries a higher risk of hospitalization.

Canada Set to Relax Quarantine Rules for Vaccinated Travelers
Kait Bolongaro – Bloomberg
Pressure rises on government with summer tourism season near; Border rules, 14-day quarantine have decimated travel sector
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is preparing to ease Canada’s border restrictions for travelers who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19, according to people familiar with the discussions. The government is crafting plans to loosen the current 14-day isolation period for border-crossers who’ve had two vaccine doses, said the people, speaking on condition they not be identified. Travelers entering Canada would still be tested for the virus and may be required to quarantine for a shorter period.

Rich Nations Are Failing Covid’s Mental Health Test
William Horobin – Bloomberg
OECD warns countries have long under-funded mental care; Distress intensified in pandemic with huge potential cost
Governments are falling short in most areas where they could tackle mental health difficulties that sharply increased in the Covid-19 pandemic and already place a huge burden on economies around the world, the OECD said.

Taiwan’s Covid-19 outbreak spreads to chip companies; Disruptions to semiconductor groups comes as industry battles global shortage
Kathrin Hille – FT
The spread of Covid-19 into Taiwan’s electronics factories is threatening to delay semiconductor shipments, according to companies and analysts, raising the prospect of renewed disruption to an industry gripped by a global shortage.

Tokyo warned locals pose greater Covid risk to Olympics than visitors; Most foreign athletes will be vaccinated but doctors worry about pressure on medical services
Robin Harding – FT
The biggest Covid-19 danger to the Tokyo Olympics is not the thousands of athletes and officials coming from abroad but whether the games lead to greater mobility and socialising among local people, according to experts studying the event.

Hancock says jabs prevent almost all Delta variant cases from needing hospital care; Only 2% of those admitted in England have had two doses of a coronavirus vaccine, health secretary tells MPs
Sebastian Payne and Oliver Barnes – FT
Just 2 per cent of those hospitalised in England with the Delta variant of coronavirus first identified in India had received both doses of a vaccine, the government revealed on Monday.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

London’s Ring metals trading floor wins battle to reopen; LME bows to opposition from brokers and traders who fought to maintain 140-year-old pit
Philip Stafford and Henry Sanderson – FT
The London Metal Exchange has withdrawn plans permanently to close its distinctive Ring trading floor, bowing to a passionate effort to maintain the pit where brokers and industrial traders have gathered for more than 140 years.

London Metal Exchange Pedals Back on Closing Trading Ring; Exchange will reopen storied open-outcry ring in September after members protested against plans to close the pit permanently
Joe Wallace – WSJ
The London Metal Exchange will reopen its open-outcry trading ring in September, halting plans to close a pit that dates back to the industrial revolution following resistance from an influential group of traders. The exchange temporarily closed the ring, a circle of red leather couches around which traders barter metals such as copper and aluminum, in early 2020 when the coronavirus pandemic was ripping through the U.K. In January, the LME said that it planned to permanently shut the trading pit, which caters for producers and consumers of physical metal, in a bid to attract more financial players to its electronic marketplace.

LME Announces Outcomes Of Discussion Paper On Market Structure
Mondo Visione
Strategic principles underpin market structure evolution; positive and balanced outcome that respects the unique nature of LME while enabling it to modernise and adapt to new market dynamics; Ring to reopen on 6 September for trading; Official Prices to be determined on the Ring, to support physical customers who use these prices in their contracts, subject to a further consultation issued today; Closing Prices to be determined electronically, enhancing participation and transparency, supporting financial customers and larger physical users; Electronic liquidity enhancement plans to be optimised and commence in 2022; LME to investigate a flexible approach to variation margin, supporting the continued provision of credit to smaller physical users; delivery of VaR initial margin methodology to be prioritised; Greater transparency to be achieved via enhanced off-warrant stock reporting approach
Mondo Visione
The London Metal Exchange (LME) is today pleased to announce the outcomes of its Discussion Paper on Market Structure, which will enhance the LME’s electronic offering and provide greater transparency, while also preserving optionality for the Exchange’s diverse global customer base. This structural evolution reflects the LME’s strategic principles – serving the physical market, ensuring fairness, increasing user choice and maximising trading efficiency – enabling the LME to modernise its service offering, adapt to new market dynamics and continue its growth trajectory, for the benefit of the market as a whole.

Nasdaq, stock exchange behind diversity push, blasted for own failures
Lydia Moynihan – NY Post
Nasdaq has been beating the drum for diversity across corporate America, but the makeup of its executive ranks looks woefully out of step with that high-profile push. Late last year, the tech-heavy stock exchange startled Wall Street by saying it would de-list companies that didn’t achieve board diversity requirements. That means naming at least two directors who are either female, a minority, or LGBTQ+.

The Italian Sea Group S.p.A. lists on Borsa Italiana’s Main Market; Third IPO of 2021 on Borsa Italiana’s Main Market; The Italian Sea Group S.p.A. brings the total number of companies listed on Borsa Italiana’s Main Market to 240; Total placement volume of the offering equal to about EUR97 million
Borsa Italiana, part of the Euronext Group, congratulates The Italian Sea Group S.p.A. on its listing on Borsa Italiana’s Main Market (MTA) today.

FX derivatives: Introduction of Eurex Daily USD/KRW Futures Contracts on US Dollar Futures of Korea Exchange (KRX)
Eurex Circular 050/21 FX derivatives: Introduction of Eurex Daily USD/KRW Futures Contracts on US Dollar Futures of Korea Exchange (KRX)

Deutsche Börse welcomes CoinShares as the new issuer of crypto ETNs; Easy access to the performance of Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin / products with physical collateral / central clearing reduces risks during processing
Deutsche Börse
Since Monday, three cryptocurrency products from CoinShares have been tradable via Xetra and Börse Frankfurt for the first time.

TMX Group Equity Financing Statistics – May 2021
TMX Group today announced its financing activity on Toronto Stock Exchange and TSX Venture Exchange for May 2021. TSX welcomed 13 new issuers in May 2021, compared with 18 in the previous month and 12 in May 2020. The new listings were five exchange traded funds, one life sciences company, one technology company, two clean technology companies, two consumer products & services companies, one closed end fund and one mining company. Total financings raised in May 2021 decreased 48% compared to the previous month, and decreased 28% compared to May 2020. The total number of financings in May 2021 was 52, compared with 59 the previous month and 54 in May 2020.

The Exchange and FRC to Strengthen Collaboration
The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (the Exchange), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX), and the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) today (Tuesday) signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to further strengthen collaboration between the two organisations, in ensuring the upholding of quality financial reporting by listed entities and their auditors.

Cboe Global Markets Announces Date of Second-Quarter 2021 Earnings Release and Conference Call
Cboe Global Markets, Inc.
Cboe Global Markets, Inc. (Cboe: CBOE), a market operator and global trading solutions provider, today said it will announce its financial results for the second quarter of 2021 before the market opens on Friday, July 30, 2021. A conference call with remarks by the company’s senior management will begin at 7:30 a.m. Central Time (CT), 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time (ET).

Amendments to Trade-at-Marker (TAM) Holiday Calendar for the Light Sweet Crude Oil Futures and Brent Crude Oil Last Day Financial Futures Contracts
CME Group
New York Mercantile Exchange, Inc. (“NYMEX” or “Exchange”) shall enable Singapore marker Trade-at-Market (“TAM”) transactions on Singapore business days that are also U.S. holidays for the Light Sweet Crude Oil Futures (WTI Crude Oil) and the Brent Crude Oil Last Day Financial Futures (Brent Crude Oil) contracts (the “Contracts”).


Nvidia asks Chinese regulators to approve $40bn Arm deal; UK chip designer’s loss of control of China unit adds to approval challenges
Ryan McMorrow and Richard Waters – FT
Nvidia has submitted an application to Chinese competition regulators to review a $40bn takeover of UK chip designer Arm, according to people familiar with the matter, roughly eight months after it announced the deal.

Capitalab enhances its FX optimisation service with sophisticated RWA and SA-CCR focus
PR Newswire
Capitalab, a division of BGC Brokers LP, an entity within the BGC Partners, Inc. (NASDAQ: BGCP) group of companies, announced today enhancements to its Capitalab FX, with CLS optimisation service, which utilises FX trade data provided by CLS. The service focuses on Risk Weighted Asset (RWA) under the Internal Models Method (IMM) and Standardised Approach for Counterparty Credit Risk (SA-CCR) calculations, bringing new ways to optimise capital for clients before and after SA-CCR adoption.

Marqeta IPO puts spotlight on fintech fees; Tie-ups with small community banks allow firms to take higher card fees than large banks
Miles Kruppa and Aziza Kasumov – FT
Marqeta, a debit card company that gets most of its business through Jack Dorsey’s payments processor Square, is aiming to complete one of the largest listings for a fintech company this year, testing a business model that has boomed because of curbs on traditional banks imposed after the 2008 financial crisis.

Mark Cuban-backed banking app Dave going public in $4B deal
Lydia Moynihan – NY Post
The Mark Cuban-backed banking app Dave is going public via a blank-check company deal that values the company at $4 billion. The online banking platform known for its “banking for humans” catchphrase was created in 2017 to help consumers avoid overdraft fees from traditional banks. Dave claims it has saved its 10 million customers an estimated $1 billion since its launch.

Morgan Stanley partners with Microsoft as industry cloud migration continues; Strategic cloud partnership between Morgan Stanley and Microsoft is aimed at driving the bank’s digital cloud strategy and addressing innovation issues in the wider industry.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
US investment bank Morgan Stanley has formed a strategic cloud partnership with Microsoft to drive its innovation internally and that of the wider financial services industry. Microsoft is providing the investment bank with a secure and compliant platform that will accelerate its cloud transformation across natively integrated platforms to improve the developer experience.

CSOP Asset Management implements SS&C Eze OMS for equities and ETFs; Eze Investment Suite by SS&C Technologies will be used across CSOP Asset Management’s equities, ETFs and leverage and inverse products.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
Hong Kong-based CSOP Asset Management has replaced its legacy system with the Eze Investment Suite by SS&C Technologies for its order management and portfolio accounting. CSOP will use the Eze platform to manage its investment activity, including trading, modelling, reporting and settlement across its equities, ETFs, and leveraged and inverse products.

Broadridge Collaborates with AWS to Extend its Private Market Hub, the Industry-Leading Private Equity Blockchain Solution; Latest release adds connectivity to existing industry tools and technologies
Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc.
Utilizing distributed ledger technology (DLT) to better streamline and connect the private equity ecosystem and assets, Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: BR) today released the latest evolution of its industry-leading Private Market Hub platform, using Amazon Managed Blockchain from Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS). The updated platform, the industry’s first deployment of blockchain technology for the private equity market, now has added connectivity to existing industry tools and technologies to help further automate workflows between front-, middle- and back-office functions providing a consistent, secure, real-time view of the data.


Colonial Pipeline’s Bitcoin Ransom Mostly Recouped by U.S.
Chris Strohm and Alyza Sebenius – Bloomberg
Investigators found digital wallet used in ransom payment; Colonial paid a hacking group linked to Russia $4.4 million
The U.S. recovered almost all the Bitcoin ransom paid to the perpetrators of the cyber attack on Colonial Pipeline Co. last month in a sign that law enforcement is capable of pursuing online criminals even when they operate outside the nation’s borders.

One Crypto Exchange Is Going to Extreme Lengths on Cybersecurity; Kraken pushes its employees to act in ways associated more with intelligence agents than tech workers.
Takashi Mochizuki, Yuki Furukawa – Bloomberg
There’s an organization where children of employees have to sign nondisclosure agreements before attending company parties—the only exception is for kids who haven’t yet learned to write—and where a parent had to explain to his 8-year-old that she couldn’t exchange Pokémon with friends because the boss forbids her from connecting her Nintendo Switch to the internet. When he goes to work, that same father has to leave his made-to-order suit, luxury French watch, and classy leather shoes in the closet, donning a $9 Uniqlo T-shirt and jeans to blend in with the crowd near the office.

How Secret FBI App Kept Tabs on ‘Hundreds of Criminals’ in Australia, New Zealand
Mike Corder, Nick Perry – Associated Press
A global sting involving an encrypted communications platform developed by the FBI has sparked raids and arrests around the world, delivering “an unprecedented blow” to crime gangs, law enforcement authorities said Tuesday.

US says it recovered large portion of Colonial Pipeline ransom; Justice department officials seize $2.3m of cryptocurrency payments from ransomware attack
Kiran Stacey, Hannah Murphy and Myles McCormick – FT
US officials said they have recovered $2.3m worth of the ransom payment made to hackers who shut down the Colonial Pipeline last month and disrupted the country’s fuel supplies for several days.

Nato allies need to speed up AI defence co-operation; High-tech warfare will be high on agenda at summit, but most members are playing catch-up with China
Helen Warrell – FT
As Russia intensifies cyber hostilities and China weaponises artificial intelligence, joining forces in the field of high-tech warfare will feature high on the list of topics discussed by Nato allies at a summit next week. But the transatlantic alliance’s 30 members will need to move fast if they aim to make up lost ground.

U.S. Seizes Share of Ransom From Hackers in Colonial Pipeline Attack; Investigators traced 75 Bitcoins worth more than $4 million through nearly two dozen cryptocurrency accounts.
Katie Benner and Nicole Perlroth – NY Times
The Justice Department said on Monday that it had seized much of the ransom that a major U.S. pipeline operator had paid last month to a Russian hacking collective, turning the tables on the hackers by reaching into a digital wallet to snatch back millions of dollars in cryptocurrency.


Korean Crypto Exchange Employees Could Face Heavy Fines for Trading
Martin Young – Be[in]Crypto
Reports are emerging that the government in South Korea is mulling a proposal to fine employees of cryptocurrency exchanges for trading in digital assets. According to a report from local media outlet Yonhap News Agency on June 7, Korea is promoting a plan to impose a fine of not more than 100 million won ($90,000) on crypto exchange operators and employees. The penalties may be levied if employees are caught trading on their own exchanges.

Ripple Proposes Adding Federated Sidechains
Jamie Crawley – Coindesk
Ripple Chief Technology Officer David Schwartz proposed introducing federated sidechains to enable implementation of smart contracts adjacent to the XRP Ledger.

Trump: Bitcoin’s a scam, US dollar should dominate
Suzanne O’Halloran – Fox Business
King Dollar should remain King Dollar. That’s the opinion of former President Donald Trump, who told FOX Business on Monday that Bitcoin seems like a “scam” and the euphoria surrounding the world’s largest cryptocurrency is watering down the U.S. dollar.

Bitcoin Tax Dodgers Targeted in Denmark as Old Law Gets a Revamp
Morten Buttler – Bloomberg
Denmark is cracking down on crypto traders after finding that two-thirds of local transactions made using Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies aren’t properly taxed. The country’s existing tax code, which is roughly a century old, isn’t designed to deal with the challenges posed by crypto assets, the Danish tax ministry said on Tuesday. It cited a heightened risk of fraud as well as widespread errors in filings.

Hong Kong Starts Project to Explore Issuing Digital Currency
John Cheng – Bloomberg
Hong Kong has started a project to explore issuing a digital currency that is anticipated to last over the next 12 months. “This is essentially a research study similar to what is being undertaken by many other jurisdictions,” the Hong Kong Monetary Authority said on Tuesday. It remains open minded and hopes to offer “initial thoughts” in 12 months, it said.

New Cryptocurrency to Cater to ‘Establishment’ With Transparency
Niclas Rolander – Bloomberg
As governments struggle to rein in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum, a Swiss-Danish group is launching a new blockchain technology it says will be ready for regulation from day one. Backed by one of the founders of Saxo Bank A/S and a director at Volvo Cars, which both count Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. as an owner, the project will on Wednesday introduce its blockchain, which has been developed with Denmark’s Aarhus University. The project’s cryptocurrency — Global Transaction Unit (GTU) — will be listed on exchanges over the summer.

Stablecoins must face ‘difficult questions’, warns Bank of England; BoE says companies offering the cryptocurrency should not enjoy ‘regulatory arbitrage’
Siddharth Venkataramakrishnan – FT
The Bank of England has declared that stablecoins — cryptocurrencies pegged to other assets — must be subject to tough scrutiny in the latest sign of regulators preparing to crack down on digital tokens.

Ruffer says ‘speculative frenzy’ pushed it out of $1.1bn bitcoin bet; Investor not buying the dip, but will keep the cryptocurrency ‘on the menu’ for future
Joshua Oliver – FT
Wealth manager Ruffer has exited its high-profile bet on bitcoin after growing nervous about the “speculative frenzy” in the cryptocurrency, but said it would consider holding the digital asset again as a defence against inflation.

Maybe “bitcoin bros” aren’t really a thing after all; At “Bitcoin 2021” in Miami, the cryptosphere was on display in all its sober, enlightened, radical and diverse splendour.
Jemima Kelly – FT
You might have noticed that when we use the term “bitcoin bro” — or “crypto bro” — we tend to take some heat in the comments section. Some people think it’s a sexist term (because apparently it excludes the copious women who call cryptoland home); some think it unfairly portrays crypto culture as a macho, bro-ish pursuit (whereas actually its focus is much more noble: “increasing economic freedom”, or “democratising finance”, or something).

MicroStrategy doubles down; Michael Saylor sails away on his bitcoin boat of dreams.
Jamie Powell – FT
MicroStrategy, a $4.6bn bitcoin asset gatherer masquerading as a tech company, is doing what every gambler is warned against doing: doubling down.

Can I donate cryptocurrencies to charity? I want to support good causes, but don’t understand the tax rules
Lucy Warwick-Ching – FT
I recently acquired my very first cryptocurrency assets. I wish to use these, in due course, to support charitable causes. However, I am still getting to grips with “virtual assets” and the legal implications in areas such as tax.

El Salvador’s president wants to make country world’s first to use bitcoin as legal tender
Reis Thebault and Paulina Villegas – WP
The bitcoin conference had boisterous, ebullient atmosphere, complete with droves of cryptocurrency fanatics, a busy bar, a raffled-off Lamborghini and a skateboard demonstration.
But the two-day gathering, convened in Miami over the weekend, also included a potential milestone moment in global economic policy: The president of El Salvador announced he is trying to make bitcoin legal tender in his country, which would be the first in the world to take such a step.


US targets China rare earth magnets for possible tariffs; Biden considers probe of neodymium magnets in bid to reduce dependency on Beijing
Demetri Sevastopulo – FT
The Biden administration is considering an investigation into whether imports of rare earth magnets made largely in China pose a national security threat that could warrant the imposition of tariffs.

Colonial Pipeline Chief to Testify in Senate Panel on Ransomware Hack; Justice Department says it has recovered more than half of $4.4 million ransom paid to the hackers
Dustin Volz – WSJ
The chief executive of the pipeline company hit in a multimillion-dollar ransomware attack last month is expected to testify Tuesday on Capitol Hill about the company’s cybersecurity practices and its decision to pay the hackers.

Russia Puts the Squeeze on Social Media to Police Its Critics; Kremlin uses Twitter and other platforms to advance its goals overseas, but is now trying to prevent its opponents from using the same tools
Thomas Grove – WSJ
Russia’s government was quick to use social media when it tried to steer the course of U.S. elections, American officials say. It isn’t quite as eager to see its own opponents at home try the same thing.

Biden, Congress and the Free Press
The Editorial Board – NY Times
If the First Amendment’s guarantee of a free press means anything, it has to mean that the government cannot seize reporters’ phone and email records in the hope of smoking out their confidential sources. This chilling tactic, which was used with increasing frequency during both the Obama and Trump administrations, makes it easier to prosecute leaks but harder for reporters to do their job and hold leaders to account. It represents a combination of official secrecy and information control that is anathema to democracy.


Password Protection for NFA Directories and Registries
NFA provides NFA Member and CFTC registrant directories and registries on its website including registration and membership status, NFA ID and state/country location. As a security precaution, on June 14, 2021, NFA will password protect these directories and registries, rendering them accessible only to NFA Members and CFTC registrants. As of that date, Members and registrants will be required to input their ORS username and password to access the directories and registries. For assistance with your ORS username and password, contact your firm’s Security Manager.

Halifax auditors face first criminal charges laid in Australia for failure to comply with auditing standards
On 8 June 2021, criminal charges against EC Audit Pty Ltd (EC Audit) (known as Bentleys NSW Audit Pty Ltd prior to 14 May 2021), an authorised audit company, and its director and registered auditor, Robert James Evett, for breaches of auditing standards were mentioned in the Downing Centre Local Court, Sydney.

ASIC permanently bans Sydney financial planner Gavin Fineff
ASIC has permanently banned Sydney-based financial adviser Gavin Fineff from providing any financial services, controlling a financial services business or performing any function involved in carrying on of a financial services business. Mr Fineff was an authorised representative of Sentinel Wealth Management Pty Limited (Sentinel) in Sydney, from 12 December 2011 to 20 March 2020. Mr Fineff was also a Responsible Manager under Sentinel’s Australian financial services licence from 12 November 2015 until 20 March 2020.

SEC Charges Couple With Insider Trading on Confidential Clinical Trial Data
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged a New York-based couple with insider trading in the stock of the pharmaceutical company where one of them worked as a clinical trial project manager. The defendants have agreed to pay more than $325,000 to settle the charges.

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the EU’s securities markets regulator, has today issued an opinion on product intervention measures communicated by The Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM).

ESMA Organises Second Workshop On “ccp Margins And Procyclicality In Times Of Crisis”
The European Securities and Markets Authority, the EU’s securities markets regulator, is organising its second workshop on CCP margins and procyclicality in times of crisis which will take place on 17 June 2021 from 2:30 to 5:00 PM (Paris time).

FINRA Alerts Firms to Phishing Email Using “” Domain Name
FINRA warns member firms of an ongoing phishing campaign that involves fraudulent emails (see sample in Appendix) purporting to be from FINRA and using the domain name “” The email asks the recipient to click a link to “view request” and provide information to “complete” that request, noting that “late submission may attract penalties.”

Investing and Trading

Retail investors keep buying the dip in ETFs; Inflows help explain the limited pullbacks in the market since last November
Michael Mackenzie and Madison Darbyshire – FT
Amateur traders have driven a record-breaking pace of inflows into exchange traded funds this year, suggesting that beyond their eye-catching forays into quirky individual stocks, they are also playing a role in cushioning broader declines in indices.

Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance

Despite pandemic, carbon dioxide level in the atmosphere hits record high; “If we want to avoid catastrophic climate change, the highest priority must be to reduce CO2 pollution to zero at the earliest possible date,” one top scientist says.
Brady Dennis – Washington Post
Economies worldwide nearly ground to a halt over the 15 months of the coronavirus pandemic, leading to a startling drop in global greenhouse gas emissions.

Court rules Shell needs to do more to cut carbon emissions
Paul Huttner – MPR News
In May, a Dutch court ruled Shell should cut its gas emissions 45 percent by 2030. The ruling has the attention of climate lawyers including Margaret Peloso, an attorney with Vinson and Elkins. Her work focuses on climate change risk management and environmental litigation. MPR chief meteorologist and Climate Cast host Paul Huttner spoke with Peloso following the announcement.

BOE Unveils Sweeping New Climate Test of Banks and Insurers
Silla Brush – Bloomberg
Firms will test themselves against three climate scenarios; Regulators globally are exploring ways to measure climate risk
The Bank of England started a major new stress test of the country’s biggest banks and insurers to judge how resilient they are to climate change. The assessment, delayed last year because of the pandemic, requires HSBC Holdings Plc, Barclays Plc and other lenders to scrutinize the impact of global warming on everything from real estate to corporate loans. Aviva Plc and Phoenix Group Holdings Plc are among insurers also covered by the test.

Europe risks falling behind China and US in renewables, warn industry chiefs; Leaders of BASF and Siemens Gamesa call for shake-up of energy planning rules
Peggy Hollinger – FT
Europe risks falling behind the US and China in efforts to decarbonise unless it legislates for a radical expansion of renewable energy, said leaders of the bloc’s chemicals and wind power industries.

Mining Companies Call Themselves Green in Push for Investor Cash; Many tout their production of materials that go into wind turbines, power lines and batteries
Scott Patterson – WSJ
Mining companies are trying to tap into the flood of cash targeting green investments by touting their production of materials that go into wind turbines, power lines and batteries. They are playing down the environmental impact of their operations and, for many of them, their big businesses mining coal.


Citigroup to Close Turkish Brokerage After Strategic Review
Asli Kandemir – Bloomberg
Client trades tied to the country will be handled from London; Brokerage unit made a loss last year, 2020 accounts show
Citigroup Inc. is closing its brokerage unit in Turkey and will handle client trades tied to the country from London. The move, which will affect a small number of staff, doesn’t reflect a shift away from the region, the bank said. “As part of a regular review of our business strategy, the decision was taken to manage Turkish equity trading activities from Citi’s regional hub in London,” the company said in a statement.

Bill Ackman’s Universal Music deal heralds the era of Spac 2.0; Hedge fund manager’s blank-cheque company is rewriting the rules after boom cools
Ortenca Aliaj and James Fontanella-Khan – FT
Bill Ackman has already once tried — and failed — to redefine the Spac. Now he is trying again. The hedge fund manager’s special purpose acquisition company, Pershing Square Tontine Holdings, which raised $4bn last year, was not just the largest blank-cheque vehicle ever launched. It did away with some of the perks for founders, such as free shares, which have given the Spac phenomenon a bad name in some quarters.

Stock pickers shine after record May performance; Two months this year have ranked among the strongest since 2007 for active fund managers
Michael Mackenzie and Chris Flood – FT
Stock pickers are increasingly beating the broad market after a record May performance for managers of large cap US equity funds. Last month, 70 percent of active fund managers outperformed the Russell 1000 index, making it “one of the best months in history”, according to Bank of America, and the strongest May in at least three decades. February proved slightly stronger, at 70.3 per cent. Those two months now ranked as the strongest for active managers since June 2007, said Ohsung Kwon, US equity strategist at the bank.

Inside Credit Suisse’s $5.5 Billion Breakdown; The fallout from the Archegos collapse shows the Swiss bank’s creaky risk-management systems didn’t do their job, leaving the bank vulnerable with out-of-date trading data and big exposure to single stocks, according to people familiar with the matter
Emily Glazer, Maureen Farrell and Margot Patrick – WSJ
In mid-March, shares in ViacomCBS Inc. and Discovery Inc. rocketed skyward. That was great news for Bill Hwang. His firm, Archegos Capital Management, had borrowed billions from Credit Suisse Group AG CS -0.63% to make wagers on a handful of stocks, including the entertainment companies.

Wells Fargo sees US buy-side uptake in broker wheel technology as demand for better execution increases; Speaking to The TRADE, Wells Fargo’s Peter Eliades said the uptake in merit-based broker wheels on the US buy-side was driven by increasing demand for more efficient execution.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
US bank Wells Fargo has seen a significant uptake in merit-based broker wheel technology from US buy-side clients in the last year as demand for better execution continues to rise. Merit-based broker wheel technology assesses and then assigns a level of trade difficulty to a parent order. It then allocates and systematically routes child orders to brokers based on their performance in that difficulty category.


China Tells Banks to Stress Test Their Evergrande Exposure
Bloomberg News
Developer’s bonds and shares have slumped in recent weeks; Evergrande says its operations remain normal, compliant
Chinese regulators have instructed major creditors of China Evergrande Group to conduct a fresh round of stress tests on their exposure to the world’s most indebted developer, according to people familiar with the matter.

Huarong Trading Dwindles in Onshore Bond Market as Bids Vanish
Bloomberg News
Buyers and sellers can’t agree on price, creating wide spread; Thin liquidity can exacerbate volatility in Huarong’s bonds
Trading activity in China Huarong Asset Management Co.’s onshore bonds has shrunk as investors fail to agree on a price for the securities amid uncertainty over the company’s future.


Black Directors Gained Ground in the Boardroom as Women, Latinos, Whites Slipped
Jeff Green – Bloomberg
Black appointees made progress in gaining corporate boardroom seats last year, though it possibly came at the expense of other groups as representation among women and Latinos among new directors fell.
The percentage of new Black directors in the Fortune 500 almost tripled to about 28%, as the share for Latino directors slipped and women gained fewer seats, according to a report by executive recruiter Heidrick & Struggles. White directors had the lowest percentage of new seats added in the dozen years the analysis has been conducted.

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