SEC’s Gensler Signals Support for Commodities Regulator Having Bitcoin Oversight

Sep 9, 2022

First Read

Hits & Takes
John Lothian & JLN Staff

Because of her 70-year reign, Queen Elizabeth II was in some ways the queen of the world. As queen of the United Kingdom, she represented it on its money, starting in 1960 when she first appeared on the £1 note. Because of her death, the UK’s currency and national anthem, need to be revamped. Her likeness on coins and banknotes will be replaced by currency featuring portraits of King Charles III. The coins and notes featuring Elizabeth II will continue to be legal tender, the Bank of England said yesterday.

FIA issued this statement on the passing of Queen Elizabeth II:

FIA joins the U.K. in mourning the loss of Queen Elizabeth II and has begun discussions with market participants in the cleared derivatives industry about the potential of market closures in observance of her passing. “We are deeply saddened by the passing of Queen Elizabeth and extend our condolences to all of FIA’s members and friends in the United Kingdom,” said FIA’s President and CEO Walt Lukken. “The Queen was admired around the world, and leaves a legacy of public service that everyone can admire no matter which country they call home.”

Trading Technologies posted the following statement on LinkedIn about the passing of the Queen:

Today with heavy hearts, we join the United Kingdom and Commonwealth in mourning the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. Her historic 70-year reign will forever be remembered not only for its record-setting duration, but for the grace, poise, dignity and leadership that she brought to the throne.

Our CEO, Keith Todd CBE, said: “The great privilege of meeting the Queen will forever be one of the most treasured moments of my life. On behalf of myself and my TT colleagues, I would like to express deepest condolences to the Royal Family as well as all of our British colleagues, clients, partners and friends.”

SGX posted the following statement on LinkedIn about the passing the Queen:

SGX Group extends our most sincere and heartfelt condolences to the Royal Family and British people on the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. We pay tribute to the broader role Her Majesty played in enhancing the longstanding and close relations between Singapore and the U.K. Our thoughts are with the Royal Family and those around the world who mourn her loss and celebrate her legacy.

And SGX CEO Boon-Chye Loh shared this on LinkedIn as well:

Her Majesty was greatly respected at home and around the world for her lifetime of steadfast service and dedication to the British people, and was a beacon of strength and moral courage throughout the U.K.’s modern history. Her hard work and common touch, indeed reaching millions of people far beyond the Commonwealth, was a true embodiment of her belief in bringing out the best of her beloved nation. My thoughts and prayers are with His Majesty King Charles and the Royal Family.

Marex posted the following statement on LinkedIn on the passing of the Queen:

It is with great sadness that we join the British nation, the Commonwealth and countless people around the world in mourning the death of Her Majesty The Queen.

On behalf of Marex, our thoughts are with the Royal Family and everyone affected by this very sad news.

The CME Group’s 2022 University Trading Challenge registration is open. It closes on September 29 at 5 p.m. CT and the competition begins on October 2 at 5 p.m. CT.

Eurex is holding a Derivatives Forum in Amsterdam on October 11. For more details, click HERE.

Deutsche Boerse has posted a video to its YouTube site titled “The story behind our partnership with Eintracht Frankfurt” about how it became the lead sponsor of the German football club team Eintracht Frankfurt.

Do you know how to read a wine label? What is the vintage or the producer’s name? What is the wine name, the place name or the grape name? Well, The Wall Street Journal has an article to help you out the next time you are perusing the wine section at Costco or your local grocery store.

Citadel’s Ken Griffin is in the real estate news again in Florida with a $109 million purchase of a four-acre compound in Coconut Grove, Fla., the New York Post reported.

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


Cboe, MIAX and NYSE held moments of silence this morning at 9:20 a.m. ET in commemoration of the 21st anniversary of the September 11th attacks and honoring the victims, survivors, and their families. ~SR


MWE SHORT: Veronica Augustsson – From Sports To Business In An International Arena

Veronica Augustsson, the CEO of Cinnober Financial Technology, has a background in both computer science and sports and believes that businesspeople can learn from sports, because business is a team sport.

One of the things that translates from sports to business is feedback. In sports, when you do something, you instantly learn whether it did or didn’t work, and that’s true of writing code as well. Augustsson believes it should work that way with your business team – you should give your team instant feedback rather than waiting six months. And, like a sports team, you don’t want all your players to have exactly the same skills. It’s important to have people from a variety of backgrounds who think in different ways.

Watch the video »


FTX Ventures Buys 30% Stake in Scaramucci’s SkyBridge Capital
Sonali Basak – Bloomberg
The venture capital unit of Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX is taking a 30% stake in Anthony Scaramucci’s SkyBridge Capital. SkyBridge has been wading deeper into crypto through direct token acquisitions as well as private investments in digital-asset firms, filings show. The new capital is intended to help SkyBridge’s growth, with a portion being used to buy $40 million worth of cryptocurrencies as a balance sheet investment, according to a statement on Friday.

****** Anthony is the ultimate salesman.~JJL


King Charles III’s Reign Dawns as Britain Mourns Loss of Queen Elizabeth II; Under leaden skies, thousands gather at Buckingham Palace to pay respects to U.K.’s longest-serving monarch
Max Colchester – The Wall Street Journal
King Charles III will address the British people as their new monarch for the first time on Friday, as the nation begins a period of mourning following the death of Queen Elizabeth II and tries to get accustomed to the idea of having a king.

****** God Save the King!~JJL


New Tax on Stock Buybacks Would Have Raised Over $8 Billion in 2021, Study Says; Tech and communications firms might be hit hardest, but analysts and executives say buyback practices won’t likely change much
Theo Francis and Mark Maurer – The Wall Street Journal
The 1% tax on stock buybacks signed into law last month would have raised about $8.4 billion from the biggest publicly traded U.S. companies if it had been in effect last year, absorbing the equivalent of nearly a half-percentage-point of net income overall, a new analysis finds. The financial impact would have been similar to raising the combined effective tax rate for the companies to 17.95% from 17.56%, according to financial data firm S&P Dow Jones Indices, which analyzed the buybacks for companies in the S&P 500 index.

****** Investing in yourself is one thing, buying back your shares is another. ~JJL


A Canadian citizenship ceremony was delayed after officials were confused whom to swear allegiance to following Queen Elizabeth II’s death
Lauren Frias – Insider
A Canadian citizenship ceremony was delayed on Thursday as officials figured out whom to swear allegiance to after Queen Elizabeth II’s death, according to a journalist who attended.
On Thursday afternoon, the Queen “died peacefully at Balmoral,” the Buckingham Palace announced, ending her unprecedented 70-year reign. She was 96 years old. Her son automatically ascended to the throne with her death and will be known as King Charles III.

****** The King ascended to the throne; did they not see the golden unicorn steeds taking him there?~JJL


Thursday’s Top Three
Our top item Thursday was the LinkedIn post from James Boudreault announcing that he had been elected to the board of the CFA Institute. Second was BusinessWire’s IG North America Appoints Catherine Davis CMO. Third was The Trade’s CME Group continues SOFR conversions as demand grows.


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Lead Stories

SEC’s Gensler Signals Support for Commodities Regulator Having Bitcoin Oversight; Former CFTC chief says he could back giving agency oversight of nonsecurity tokens
Andrew Ackerman – The Wall Street Journal
Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler signaled that he would support Congress handing more authority to the SEC’s sister markets regulator to oversee certain cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. Mr. Gensler, speaking at an industry conference, said Thursday he looked forward to working with Congress to give the Commodity Futures Trading Commission added power, to the extent the agency needs greater authority to oversee and regulate “nonsecurity tokens…and the related intermediaries.” The remarks come amid an intensifying battle among federal agencies and congressional committees that oversee them over who will regulate crypto.

Citadel Securities Warns Against Sub-Penny Trading Across Stocks
Katherine Doherty – Bloomberg
Citadel Securities, one of the finance industry’s biggest market makers, said that lowering the minimum price increment at which a security gets traded to less than a penny across all stocks could have a negative impact on markets. The trading house founded by Ken Griffin found that, based on research, such a move would not guarantee better pricing for investors and could have “many negative unintended consequences,” according to a white paper to be released Thursday. Citadel Securities has previously recommended the minimum increment be lowered to half a penny only for shares that have a bid-offer spread of less than 1 cent, known as tick-constrained stocks.

Emerge to Launch 10 Sustainable ETFs That Are All Run by Women; ‘They’re just wicked smart and they work so hard’: Langley; Five different ESG strategies offered in both US and Canada
Peyton Forte – Bloomberg
Even as flows into environmental, social and governance ETFs are slowing, Emerge is introducing its first set of active sustainable ETFs with a twist — each fund will be overseen by women. On Sept. 8, the investment management firm will launch five different ESG exchange-traded funds, with versions listed on both the Cboe BZX Exchange in the US and the NEO Exchange in Canada. The funds will invest in equity securities that exclude certain categories, according to prospectus documents, such as gambling, adult entertainment and chemical weapons.

Cboe and NEO Dual Launch New Suite of Women-Led Sustainable ETFs in the U.S. and Canada
Cboe Global Markets, Inc.
Cboe Global Markets, Inc. (Cboe: CBOE), a leading provider of global market infrastructure and tradable products, today announced that two of its exchanges have listed a new suite of sustainable ETFs from Emerge. The investment strategies are available in both U.S.- and Canada-domiciled funds, marking Cboe’s first coordinated launch of ETFs on both sides of the border. The suite of Emerge EMPWR ETFs begins trading simultaneously on two of Cboe’s stock exchanges – Cboe BZX Exchange in the U.S., and the NEO Exchange in Canada – under the following respective U.S. and Canadian symbols. The U.S. funds are managed by Emerge Capital Management Inc., and the Canadian funds are managed by Emerge Canada Inc.

EU Ministers Push for Action on Liquidity Crunch: Energy Update
Bloomberg News
European Union ministers asked the Commission to come up with emergency liquidity measures to help strained energy markets as well as ways to skim off energy companies’ profits. After talks in Brussels, there were no concrete new measures on demand, according to the conclusions, and a proposal to cap imported gas prices still needs more work.The bloc, suffering from an unprecedented energy crisis, is increasingly desperate to prevent price surges from hammering the economy.

SEC Chief Renews Vow to Crack Down on Crypto Industry Rule-Breakers
Lydia Beyoud – Bloomberg
US Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler is going back on the offensive against those in the crypto industry that he says are purposefully shirking regulations. Gensler on Thursday repeated his demands that crypto exchanges, brokers and attorneys in the digital-coin industry comply with securities rules. It’s the latest salvo by the SEC chief in his push to clamp down on an asset class that he says often operates in legal gray areas.

The head of the SEC says most cryptocurrencies are operating illegally
Scott Nover – Quartz
There’s a legal test US regulators use to determine what qualifies as an investment contract, and therefore should be regulated by the US Securities and Exchange Commission. And the head of the SEC says most cryptocurrencies pass it. “Of the nearly 10,000 tokens in the crypto market, I believe the vast majority are securities,” SEC chair Gary Gensler said in a Sept. 8 speech. “Offers and sales of these thousands of crypto security tokens are covered under the securities laws.” In other words, as Gensler sees it, most of the crypto industry is operating illegally.

Queen Elizabeth II, Longest-Reigning British Monarch, Dies; Her seven decades on the throne spanned the dismantling of an empire and a shrinking of the U.K.’s role in the world
James Hookway – The Wall Street Journal
Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-reigning monarch in British history and a symbol of stability in an era of sweeping social and political change, has died at age 96. During her seven decades on the throne, the British Empire was dismantled and the U.K.’s role in the world shrank dramatically. Growing pressure for independence in Scotland and arguments for Irish unification threatened to redraw the U.K.’s own borders, and ruptures within her family raised questions about the monarchy’s future role.

SEC Chair Gensler Calls On Crypto Tokens to Come Forward and Register
Kenneth Corbin – Barron’s
Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler on Thursday called for almost all players in the cryptocurrency sector to come forward and register with the commission to achieve the same investor disclosures and regulatory oversight that govern more conventional securities markets. Gensler addressed the issue in two public appearances, in each case making the argument that nearly all crypto tokens function as securities, and therefore should be subject to SEC registration requirements and oversight, appearing to assert that the agency has all the legal authority it needs to regulate the crypto sector.

SEC Chair Gary Gensler sends a message to crypto startup founders and VCs: ‘This field will not take off unless you have some trust’
April Joyner – Insider
The crypto industry is not going to make it without increased regulation to build trust among investors and the general public, says Gary Gensler, the chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Gensler, speaking via a video call at the NYC Summit, a conference for startup founders and investors hosted by the venture firms Primary and Inspired Capital, said that he believed that most cryptocurrencies, aside from bitcoin, should be regulated as securities under his agency.

Crypto Platforms Should Work With SEC, Chair Gensler Says
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Gary Gensler discusses the need for key players in the crypto ecosystem to work with the agency. “Make no mistake… if you have a platform, and you’re lending or borrowing crypto securities, you’ve got to come in and and work with us and get registered,” Gensler said. “Don’t wait for us to knock on your door.”

‘These are not laundromat tokens.’ SEC chief sends warning to crypto industry
Chris Matthews – MarketWatch
Gary Gensler had strong words for the crypto industry in a Thursday speech, telling an audience of lawyers that the “vast majority” of the nearly 10,000 existing crypto tokens are securities, being issued to the public in violation of federal laws. “The investing public is buying or selling crypto security tokens because they’re expecting profits derived from the efforts of others in a common enterprise,” the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission said according to prepared remarks, paraphrasing the definition of a “security” in U.S. case law. Gensler took aim at those in the industry who say that existing securities law is incompatible with cryptocurrencies and who have asked for new set of rules tailored specifically for the industry.

US Treasury to Recommend Issuing Digital Dollar if in National Interest: Source
Jesse Hamilton – CoinDesk
The U.S. Treasury Department will advise the federal government to press forward on work to issue a digital dollar, though it should only take the final step if there’s sign-off that the government-created tokens are in the “national interest,” according to a person familiar with a report emerging soon.

Sterling Trading Tech names new president and CEO; Incoming chief executive brings considerable experience to the firm, having previously served at Vela Trading Systems, NYSE and REDI Global Technologies.
Wesley Bray – The Trade
Sterling Trading Tech has appointed Jennifer Nayar as its new president and chief executive officer. She joins the firm from Vela Trading Systems, where she served as chief executive for six and a half years.

Deutsche Borse partners with Forge to expand global private market platform into Europe; The partnership will see a new digital platform established for private growth company shares, driven by investor demand and interest in liquidity solutions from private growth companies.
Laurie McAughtry – The Trade
Private market infrastructure and market data provider Forge Global Holdings has announced plans to enter the European market through a strategic partnership with Deutsche Borse. Through Leveraging the Deutsche Borse network, the two firms will establish a digital marketplace for European companies and investors that provides access to Forge’s US liquidity network.

‘Love Island’ Twins’ Crypto Instagram Posts Misled Viewers, UK Ad Authority Says
Jack Schickler – CoinDesk
Two former contestants from U.K. reality TV show “Love Island” have been told to stop misleading their Instagram followers with pro-crypto posts, local regulators said in a statement published Wednesday. Jessica and Eve Gale should have warned people about the risk of losses from crypto investments in posts made earlier this year, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said.

Trading of Hong Kong-listed ETFs via China Connect jumps by 90%; The scheme saw also trading volume growth of more than 50% for 83 mainland China-listed vehicles
Fred Chan – Financial Times
Two months into the launch of the new exchange traded fund connect scheme between China and Hong Kong, southbound trading by mainland investors and trading via the northbound route for Hong Kong and foreign investors have begun to pick up.

Ukraine Invasion

Ukraine Army’s Breakthrough in North Threatens Russian Grip
Marc Champion – Bloomberg
A Ukrainian counteroffensive appears to be progressing in the north, but less so in the southern Kherson region that has attracted greater attention and Russian reinforcements. Ukrainian officials and Russian military bloggers alike on Thursday described a counteroffensive in the north that has surprised in its speed, the first time since the war began that Ukrainian forces have been able to push past Russian defenses on a more than tactical level.

Russia warns the West: energy price cap will be your undoing
Guy Faulconbridge and Felix Light – Reuters
Russia warned the West on Friday that plans to try to cap the price of Russia’s oil and gas exports in retaliation for the war in Ukraine would fail and ultimately lead to the instability of the United States and Europe. The confrontation over Ukraine has prompted European Union customers to reduce their purchases of Russian energy while both the G7 and the EU are trying to impose a price cap on Russian oil and gas.

Ukraine’s Counteroffensive Shows Time Isn’t on Putin’s Side; Russia’s president is overestimating the weakness of Europe’s democracies and underestimating Ukraine’s willingness to fight.
Leonid Bershidsky – Bloomberg Opinion
A battle for initiative is raging in southern and eastern Ukraine, and signs suggest that Ukrainian forces are gaining momentum on both fronts. This is hardly Ukraine’s last gasp. Time isn’t really on Russia’s side in this war, even if Putin — and some Ukrainian officials — appear to believe otherwise.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

MIAX Exchange Group – Moment of Silence on Friday, September 9, 2022
Please be advised the MIAX Exchanges will observe a one minute moment of silence at 9:20 A.M. Eastern on Friday, September 9, 2022 to honor 9/11 victims, survivors, and their families. While trading will not be affected, we encourage our members and participants to join us in this silent tribute.

NYSE Pays Tribute to the Victims and Heroes of 9/11 with a Moment of Silence
On Friday, September 9, 2022, the NYSE will observe a one-minute moment of silence at 9:20 a.m. Eastern Time (ET) to recognize the anniversary of 9/11 and honor the victims, survivors and their families. A single strike of the NYSE Bell will indicate the start of the moment of silence.

Abaxx Technologies: Discounted Cash Flow Analysis Of Future LNG, Carbon, And Gold Contracts
Abaxx via Seeking Alpha
Abaxx Technologies announced on August, 16th that they are onboarding FCMs and clearing banks for their 91% owned Singapore exchange and clearinghouse. The company is targeting a 2023 Q1 launch. The company remains deeply undervalued based on a Sum Of The Parts analysis of $3.71. In my view, their exchange alone is worth $2.78 per share. With the pending launch of their exchange, Abaxx is moving into a “revenue growth phase” and in the author’s opinion will transition to be valued as a growth company. A discounted cash flow analysis illustrates the multi-billion dollar growth potential for Abaxx should their benchmark LNG and Carbon contracts succeed. Abaxx still has an attractive asymmetric risk-reward profile. The author presents an instructive case study on the Singapore Exchange which launched an iron ore futures contract in 2014. The exchange captured nearly 100% market share within 4 years.

SIX Benefiting From Sino-American Audit Debate; SIX Swiss Exchange Gets First Chinese Member
While the US was arguing with China over access to audit papers of Chinese companies listed on US exchanges, Switzerland’s stock exchange was picking up secondary listings of Chinese companies. SIX’s «Stock Connect» scheme with exchanges in China has been luring mainland Chinese companies for secondary listings in Zurich, the Financial Times reported. It is also the first time that there has been more Chinese corporate dealmaking in Europe than in New York, the newspaper said, adding that Switzerland has «less demanding requirements over the transparency of company audits.

Fixed Income market briefing September 2022
Lee Bartholomew – Eurex
As the peak of summer draws to a close, it is always a good time to take stock of key initiatives. Several segments have continued to evolve over the busy summer, with progress set to accelerate into the year’s final months. Additionally, we have new initiatives that will be launched in September, giving me confidence that we will deliver on our objective to build a diversified yet complimentary product portfolio that supports key trends, namely, FX, ETFs, ESG and credit. August was yet another strong period for the FIC portfolio. The core German segment performed strongly across the board, underpinned by the macroeconomic backdrop.

Eurex MSCI roll update: Early stages of roll activity, Total OI of over EUR 152 billion – Calendar roll markets on screen on ZTW, FMI and ZWP
Eurex MSCI roll updates for last 3 days (Sep 5 – 7) Calendar books are also tightening in ZTW, FMI and ZWP; Late roll activity was already observed in March and June this year; majority of rolling activity only happened in either the last week (March22) or start of mid of the previous week (June 22).

Euronext announces September 2022 quarterly review results of the ISEQ® Family
Euronext today announced the results of the quarterly review for the ISEQ 20®, ISEQ 20® Capped and ISEQ® Small, which will be implemented after markets close on Friday 16 September 2022 and will be effective from Monday 19 September 2022.

Euronext announces annual review results of the CAC 40 ESG®
Euronext today announced the results of the annual review for the CAC 40 ESG® index, which will be implemented after markets close on Friday 16 September 2022 and will be effective from Monday 19 September 2022.

Euronext announces annual review results of the CAC® Family
Euronext today announced the results of the annual review for the CAC® family indices, which will be implemented after markets close on Friday 16 September 2022 and will be effective from Monday 19 September 2022.

Trading Calendar Enhancement for Stock Connect – Webinar Briefings
Reference is made to the circular dated 12 August 2022 regarding the trading calendar enhancement under Stock Connect (“the Enhancement”), the Clearing and Settlement arrangement will be adjusted to accommodate the additional Northbound trading days under Stock Connect. The launch of the Enhancement will be in the first half of 2023, subject to regulatory approval. To facilitate China Connect Clearing Participants (“CCCPs”) and Designated Banks (“DBs”) to prepare for the launch of the Enhancement, Hong Kong Securities Clearing Company Limited (“HKSCC”) will arrange 3 webinar briefings in September 2022 to provide an overview of the Enhancement and the Clearing and Settlement arrangement for the additional Northbound trading days.

Bakkt Appoints Meredith Spatz as Chief Client Officer
Meredith Spatz joined Bakkt as Chief Client Officer, overseeing customer success and relationship management for all our clients. In this newly created position, Meredith is leading a combined team responsible for partner management and relationship building across our large loyalty partners, platform partners and crypto partners. “Meredith’s deep expertise across financial services and technology, along with her extensive experience in working to unleash the collective power of business partnerships, will be instrumental to serving our partners as we continue to scale,” said Gavin Michael, President & CEO of Bakkt.

The annual competition of the Moscow Exchange “Best Private Investor 2022” starts
On September 15, 2022, Russia’s largest annual exchange trading contest “The Best Private Investor” (BFI) will start. The task of the contestants is to show the best result of portfolio management during the competition, using the tools of the stock, derivatives , markets and the precious metals market of the Moscow Exchange. Participants will compete in exchange trading for the top prize of 1 million rubles (after taxes). The total prize fund of the competition exceeds 9 million rubles. Additional bonuses are also expected from brokerage companies and issuers.

TMX Group Consolidated Trading Statistics – August 2022
TMX Group Limited today announced August 2022 trading statistics for its marketplaces – Toronto Stock Exchange, TSX Venture Exchange, TSX Alpha Exchange and
Montréal Exchange.


Taiwan Approves 24 Crypto Platforms, Including WOO Network, for AML Compliance
Eliza Gkritsi – CoinDesk
Fintech startup WOO Network was among the first 24 crypto platforms to be registered under Taiwan’s Money Laundering Control Act, the firm said on Thursday. The liquidity platform received notice of its registration on Monday from Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) of the Banking Bureau of Taiwan, WOO Network’s Marketing Vice President Ben Yorke told CoinDesk. Other platforms that received approval include local exchanges Max Exchange and ACE, Yorke said.

Google Pays ‘Enormous’ Sums to Maintain Search-Engine Dominance, DOJ Says
Leah Nylen – Bloomberg
Alphabet Inc.’s Google pays billions of dollars each year to Apple Inc., Samsung Electronics Co. and other telecom giants to illegally maintain its spot as the No. 1 search engine, the US Justice Department told a federal judge Thursday.

Twitter Agreed to Pay Whistleblower Roughly $7 Million in June Settlement; Peiter Zatko pact over lost pay didn’t prevent him from filing complaint now part of Elon Musk case
Cara Lombard – The Wall Street Journal
Twitter Inc. agreed in June to pay roughly $7 million to the whistleblower whose allegations will be part of Elon Musk’s case against the company, according to people familiar with the matter. The settlement was completed days before Peiter Zatko filed his whistleblower complaint in July. Mr. Zatko is the hacker who was Twitter’s security head before being fired in January. In his whistleblower complaint, Mr. Zatko accuses the company of failing to protect sensitive user data and lying about its security problems.

How SaaS Technology Is in the Driving Seat of the Fintech Industry
Pierre Raymond – Finance Magnates
During the age of the digital revolution, where global consumers are more connected than ever and underserved communities can partake in financial inclusion due to the rapid development of financial technology services, fintech is one sector ripe with opportunity.

Canadian Fintech Investments Dip Sharply in H1 2022
Bilal Jafar – Finance Magnates
KPMG, a leading global professional services firm, published its Canadian fintech report and highlighted a significant drop in overall investments during the first half of 2022 (H1 2022), yesterday. According to the report, companies working in Canada’s financial technology ecosystem attracted $810 million worth of investments across 85 deals in H1 2022.

JPMorgan Considers Investment in London Fintech Startup Yapily
Jan-Henrik Foerster and Ivan Levingston – Bloomberg
JPMorgan Chase & Co. is considering buying a stake in Yapily, a financial technology startup that’s seeking to raise fresh funds, people familiar with the matter said.
The US bank is in early-stage talks with London-based Yapily about the possibility of making an investment, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing confidential information.

SteelEye secures $21 million in Series B funding round; The latest funding round brings the regtech firm’s total capital raised to date to $43 million.
Wesley Bray – The Trade
Regulatory technology provider SteelEye has raised $21 million in a Series B fundraising to accelerate its global expansion, with a focus on North America. The funding round, led by Ten Coves Capital and existing investors Fidelity International Strategic Ventures, Illuminate Financial and Beacon Equity Partners, increases SteelEye’s total capital raised to date to $43 million.


DeFi Hacks Keep Adding Up as Scammers Exploit Code Ethos; Projects lost $270 million in August alone, according to one report.
Jeff Stone – Bloomberg
Crypto scammers are using the transparent ethos of open-source code to steal money. DeFi crypto drama is starting to get expensive. Scammers who ransacked cryptocurrency projects to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars in recent months have been able to carry out such heists by taking advantage of a central tenet of decentralized financial services.

Microsoft builds fast-track to six-figure cybersecurity jobs at more than 180 colleges
Meghan Malas – Fortune
The largest technology companies in the world have a vested interest in addressing the global cybersecurity talent shortage. By 2025, there will be 3.5 million cybersecurity jobs open globally—a 350% increase over eight years, according to Cybersecurity Ventures—and Microsoft is intent on closing this gap.

Will Your Cybersecurity Degree Be Worth It?
Nneoma Uche – Forbes
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, people with a college degree earn about 67% more than those whose highest qualification is a high school diploma. However, a college degree doesn’t guarantee employment. Considering the investment of time, money and energy required for a college degree, this begs the question: Is a cybersecurity degree worth it?
If you want to work as a cybersecurity specialist but are confused about how to start, this article is for you. We’ll dissect the potential return on investment (ROI) for a cybersecurity degree, as well as alternative educational options.

Global Artificial Intelligence in Cybersecurity Market Research Report to 2027 – Players Include Cylance, Darktrace, Deep Instinct and Feedzai –
Press Release
The “Artificial Intelligence in Cybersecurity Market Research Report by Function, Type, Technology, Industry, Deployment, Region – Global Forecast to 2027 – Cumulative Impact of COVID-19” report has been added to’s offering. The Global Artificial Intelligence in Cybersecurity Market size was estimated at USD 11.35 billion in 2021, USD 13.98 billion in 2022, and is projected to grow at a CAGR 23.27% to reach USD 39.87 billion by 2027.

Who Will Pay the Price for Cyberattacks? Insurers have long excluded war damage from their coverage. A new spate of legal battles will decide whether they can consider state-sponsored hacking an act of war.
Josephine Wolff – The Wall Street Journal
The U.S. wasn’t officially at war with Japan on the morning of Dec. 7, 1941, when the Japanese navy bombed Pearl Harbor, killing 2,403 people. Congress declared war only the next day, December 8. So when Arthur and Freda Rosenau filed a claim for their son Howard’s $1000 life insurance policy, they were surprised to hear back from Idaho Mutual denying the claim on the grounds that Howard, a Navy seaman killed at Pearl Harbor, had died at war. Many insurance policies—not just life insurance—exclude coverage for acts of war on the grounds that war is so unpredictable, and potentially catastrophic, that insurers simply cannot model it or cover the resulting losses. Policyholders tend not to worry too much about these exclusions because they don’t imagine that war is likely to affect them.

How Leaders Can Create a Cybersecure Workplace Culture; Bosses can start by highlighting the importance of cybersecurity—as often as possible
Keri Pearlson and Stuart Madnick – The Wall Street Journal
Everyone pays lip service to the idea of creating cybersecurity-resilient organization. But few leaders know how to actually make it happen. It certainly isn’t easy. New vulnerabilities emerge every day, as malicious cybersecurity actors find fresh ways to attack or infiltrate organizations. Technology can help, but it can only do so much. Just as important is a culture where all employees fill in the gaps—by noticing anomalies, questioning things that might look legitimate but are slightly off in some way, or stopping compromised processes that would otherwise proceed.


Bitcoin Supply per Whale Drops to Lowest Since December 2020
Bitcoin’s (BTC) supply per whale, or large investor, has dropped to its lowest level since December 2020, suggesting a low probability of a bull revival in the near term. Yet, the number of BTC on the Lightning Network continues to make all-time highs. “All About Bitcoin” host Christine Lee breaks down the Chart of the Day.

Florida Man Pleads Guilty to Role in $100M Crypto Investment Ponzi Scheme
Cheyenne Ligon – CoinDesk
A Florida man pleaded guilty on Thursday for his role in a global crypto Ponzi scheme that defrauded investors of approximately $100 million, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Joshua David Nicholas, 28, was the “head trader” for EmpiresX, which was launched in late 2020 and was advertised to hopeful investors as a legitimate cryptocurrency trading and investment platform. Nicholas and EmpiresX’s founders, Emerson Sousa Pires and Flavio Mendes Goncalves, both 33, promised investors that their proprietary artificial intelligence-powered “trading bot” guaranteed returns of up to 1% a day.

Bitcoin Bombed in El Salvador. It’s a Cautionary Tale for Crypto.
Sabrina Escobar – Barron’s
For those who believe in Bitcoin, El Salvador looks like a crypto paradise. It’s one of the few places in the world where you can use Bitcoin to buy a Coke or cerveza on the beach. In theory, you can pay rent in Bitcoin, buy a house, pay off a credit card, or send a payment to a Mayan pottery vendor in the local market.

The Ethereum Merge Is Disrupting Crypto Services. What to Know.
Jack Denton – Barron’s
Crypto markets linked to EtherETHUSD +3.59% are facing disruption as the blockchain network behind the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency nears the end of a critical upgrade. The final stage of Ethereum’s “Merge” is now about a week away. Expected to finish around Sept. 15, it will change the mechanics of processing transactions from the current “proof of work” system to a method based on “proof of stake,” designed to be far less energy intensive. Among other changes, it will eliminate the process of “mining” Ether tokens.

Singapore’s Lee Family Scions Make Crypto Push With New Funds
Bloomberg News
Scions from two of Singapore’s most prominent families are boosting their involvement in digital assets. Whampoa Group, a multi-family office anchored by principals from the Lee family that founded Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. and Amy Lee, the niece of the city-state’s founding prime minister, wants to spin out its asset-management business for digital investments. It plans to raise $50 million for a crypto-related hedge fund, and is seeking to deploy $100 million for a venture-capital fund in the same space, Whampoa co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Shawn Chan said in an interview.

Mysten Labs valued at over $2 billion after FTX-led funding round
Mysten Labs, a platform that provides infrastructure to accelerate web3 adoption, raised $300 million in a funding round led by cryptocurrency exchange FTX, valuing the firm at more than $2 billion. The Series B round also saw participation from a16z crypto, Apollo, Binance Labs, Franklin Templeton, Coinbase Ventures and Lightspeed Venture Partners, among others.

Canadian Crypto Exchange Coinberry Files Lawsuit Against 50 Users After Losing 120 BTC: Report
Oliver Knight – CoinDesk
Canadian cryptocurrency exchange Coinberry has filed a lawsuit against 50 users who collectively withdrew 120 bitcoins (BTC) following a software error in 2020. nAccording to a court filing cited by Financial Post, users were able to siphon off the bitcoin with Canadian dollars that had not yet been transferred to their accounts, following a bug with the Interac e-transfer function.

Crypto Startup Slide Raises $12.3M to Connect New Users to Web3 Apps
Brandy Betz – CoinDesk
Slide, a startup that provides user experience infrastructure for decentralized applications (dapps), has raised $12.3 million in a seed funding round that was co-led by crypto-focused investment firms Polychain Capital and Framework Ventures. The funding will help Slide continue to hire more staff, build out its infrastructure and distribute its product to dapps.

GameStop’s FTX Partnership Draws Wave of Retail Trader Buying; Stock is trending on social media platforms after accord Video game seller has fallen about 48% over past 12 months
Bailey Lipschultz – Bloomberg
GameStop Corp.’s partnership with Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX US cryptocurrency exchange is fueling a flurry of buying from retail investors who are pumping their bets on popular social media. Individual investors flocked to the video-game retailer on Thursday, making it the third-most purchased stock on Fidelity’s platform with buy orders outpacing those to sell at a more than two-to-one clip. The stock closed 7.5% higher with more than 14 million shares changing hands.


Wartime Economics Comes to Europe
Paul Krugman – The New York Times
The West isn’t exactly at war with Russia. However, it isn’t exactly not at war, either. Western weapons have helped Ukraine to stall Russia’s invasion and even to counterattack, while Western economic sanctions have clearly created serious problems for Russian industry. Russia has retaliated with a de facto embargo on exports of natural gas to Europe. This shows how Vladimir Putin actually thinks the war is going. After all, this will have huge long-run costs: Nobody will ever again consider Russia a reliable trading partner. But Putin appears willing to bear those costs in an attempt to bully the West into reducing its support for Ukraine — which he wouldn’t do if he were confident about the military situation.

German Anger Spills Over as Countries Balk at Gas-Sharing Deals
Arne Delfs – Bloomberg
Hope is dimming in Germany that it will be able clinch more gas solidarity agreements with European Union partners beyond the ones already in place with Denmark and Austria, a potential further hindrance to Berlin’s ability to mitigate the effects of the energy crisis.

EU Ministers Oppose Capping Only Russian Gas: Energy Update
Bloomberg News
EU energy ministers won’t back any cap on the price of only Russian gas, according to diplomats, but they are pressing for the European Commission to come up with other ways of taming the price of imported gas.

Democrats want probe of airline Covid bailouts over staff buyouts
Leslie Josephs – CNBC
Two House Democrats have asked a Treasury Department watchdog to investigate whether airlines used a portion of a federal coronavirus relief package to pay for staff buyouts during the pandemic. Airlines were prohibited from laying off staff as a condition for accepting $54 billion in taxpayer aid to weather the Covid-19 pandemic. Travel demand collapsed in the early days of the crisis. However, carriers were able to urge workers to take early retirement packages or extended leaves of absence. Thousands took them up on the offer, including hundreds of pilots.


U.S. seizes $30 million in crypto from North Korea-linked hackers
The United States has seized over $30 million in cryptocurrency stolen by North Korean-linked hackers Lazarus from the popular online game Axie Infinity, crypto intelligence firm Chainalysis said on Thursday.

US authorities recover $30 million of hacked ‘Axie Infinity’ crypto funds
Mariella Moon – Engadget
US authorities, with help from blockchain analyst Chainalysis, have recovered $30 million worth of cryptocurrency stolen from Axie Infinity in March. It’s but a fraction of the $625 million the play-to-earn game lost to the North Korean-linked hacking unit known as the Lazarus Group, but it’s a significant achievement for law enforcement and the crypto community. Chainalysis says this is the first time that cryptocurrency stolen by a North Korean hacking group has been seized.

How Germany’s regulators beat the SEC in the race for crypto regulation – and convinced me to establish my business there
Philipp Pieper – Fortune
There is prestige to be had building a successful business in the U.S. and, when we set out to build a liquidity solution for security tokens, it was a U.S. launch we had firmly in our sights. However, the U.S. lacked the regulatory framework to facilitate a service model that could leverage asset digitalization and the benefits of blockchain technology, let alone support its development. This was not the place to build innovative blockchain technology. Instead, we went to Germany to found our business – and we weren’t alone in doing so. Thanks to the attitude of the financial market regulator BaFin, Germany is home to a vibrant blockchain ecosystem that’s surprisingly ahead of the U.S.

Head Trader of Crypto Platform EmpiresX Pleads Guilty in $100 Million Fraud Scheme; Thursday’s guilty plea follows a Justice Department indictment in June against Joshua David Nicholas and the company’s founders on fraud charges
Mengqi Sun – The Wall Street Journal
The head trader of South Florida-based cryptocurrency platform EmpiresX pleaded guilty in an alleged investment fraud scheme that raised around $100 million from investors, the Justice Department said. Joshua David Nicholas, of Stuart, Fla., pleaded guilty Thursday at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida in Miami to one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud, according to court document

Justice Department Recruits AB InBev Data Expert to White-Collar Crime Force; Former executive at brewer will be agency’s resident compliance expert, advising prosecutors investigating foreign bribery and fraud
Dylan Tokar – The Wall Street Journal
A former executive for the world’s largest brewer who championed the use of machine learning to help companies detect and prevent employee misconduct is joining the Justice Department to help fight white-collar crime. Matt Galvin, Anheuser-Busch InBev SA’s former global compliance chief, will join the Justice Department’s fraud section in Washington on Monday, a department spokesman said.

SEC Charges Two Advisory Firms for Custody Rule Violations, One for Form ADV Violations, and Six for Both
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced charges against a number of investment advisers that failed to comply with requirements relating to safekeeping client assets and/or to timely update their SEC disclosures to reflect the status of audits of financial statements for the private funds they advised.

Kennedy and Crypto
Gary Gensler – SEC
Thank you. It is good to be back with SEC Speaks. I’d like to thank the Practising Law Institute for working with our agency on this program, and my colleagues Gurbir Grewal and William Birdthistle for co-chairing this event. As is customary, I’d like to note my views are my own, and I’m not speaking on behalf of the Commission or SEC staff. Joseph Kennedy, the first Chairman of the SEC, had a saying: “No honest business need fear the SEC.”[1]

Federal Securities Laws: Closed-Book or Open-Book Exam? – Remarks at SEC Speaks 2022
Sebastian Gomez Abero – SEC
Good morning. It is so nice to be back in person at SEC Speaks – a welcome change. One thing has not changed, though, and that is the number of times you probably heard, and will continue to hear, that the views expressed are the speakers’ own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Commission, the Commissioners, or other members of the staff, which equally applies to my remarks.[1]

SEC Charges “Money Magnet” Promoter and Company with Offering Fraud Totaling Approximately $300,000
The Securities and Exchange Commission charged Money Magnet Platinum Membership Initiative LLC (“MMPMI”) and its principal, LaKenya Hopkins, with fraudulently raising funds and misappropriating those funds from investors.

Federal Court Orders New York Man to Pay Over $800,000 for Commodity Pool Fraud
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission today announced the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York entered a final judgment and consent order on August 31 for a permanent injunction, monetary sanctions, and equitable relief against Tae Hung Kang, a/k/a Kevin Kang, of Queens, New York.

Court sets pre-trial review date for unlicensed activities prosecution
Securities & Futures Commission of Hong Kong
The Eastern Magistrates’ Court today fixed the pre-trial review date for prosecutions against Mr Tony Choi Yick Man and Mr Ma Yau Tim after they pleaded not guilty to charges by the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) for unlicensed activities.
The SFC commenced criminal proceedings on 30 June 2022 against Choi for carrying on a business in asset management without a SFC licence between 2010 and 2019 and Ma for aiding and abetting Choi’s unlicensed activity (Note 1).
The pre-trial review is scheduled for 27 October 2022.

Court Convicts Five Former Remisiers for False Trading
Monetary Authority of Singapore
Five former remisiers have been convicted and sentenced to imprisonment terms and fines for false trading in the shares of 55 securities listed on the Mainboard and Catalist of the Singapore Exchange, over 85 occasions between 9 March 2015 and 12 April 2016.

ASIC remakes ‘sunsetting’ class order on financial requirements for retail OTC derivative issuers
The new instrument, ASIC Corporations (Financial Requirements for Issuers of Retail OTC Derivatives) Instrument 2022/705, sets out the financial requirements for issuers of over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives to retail clients. The financial requirements aim to ensure Australian financial services licensees have adequate financial resources to operate their business in compliance with the Corporations Act 2001, and to manage the operational risks inherent in the OTC derivatives market. ASIC has made the instrument for five years.

Investing and Trading

LGIM Launches L&G Emerging Cyber Security ESG Exclusions UCITS ETF, Tracking Solactive Index
Mondo Visione
The protection against cyber risks is essential for every organization that relies on information technology, and investors are increasingly concerned about cyber risks to their investments. Cyber security companies prevent stakeholders from losing valuable information and money in cyber-attacks. According to Statista, the projected revenue in the Cybersecurity market is US$159.80bn in 2022. An annual growth rate (CAGR 2022-2027) of 13.33% in earnings is expected, resulting in a market volume of US$298.70bn by 2027. Looking into this growth opportunity, LGIM launched the L&G Emerging Cyber Security ESG Exclusions UCITS ETF, tracking Solactive Emerging Cyber Security Index. The Index aims to track the performance of a basket of stocks of companies that are actively engaged in different verticals of the cyber security industry.

Crash-Obsessed Traders Splurge on Options at Two-Decade High; Investors prefer single-stock protection over index insurance; Cboe equity put-call ratio jumps in sign of growing angst
Lu Wang – Bloomberg
Seasoned investors, staring at a world clouded by war, inflation and economic uncertainty, are buying catastrophe insurance at a record clip. Institutional traders paid $8.1 billion to initiate purchases of equity puts last week, the highest total premium in at least 22 years, Options Clearing Corp. data compiled by Sundial Capital Research show. Adjusted for market capitalization, demand for hedges matches levels from the 2008 financial crisis.

Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance

World on brink of five ‘disastrous’ climate tipping points, study finds; Giant ice sheets, ocean currents and permafrost regions may already have passed point of irreversible change
Damian Carrington – The Guardian
The climate crisis has driven the world to the brink of multiple “disastrous” tipping points, according to a major study. It shows five dangerous tipping points may already have been passed due to the 1.1C of global heating caused by humanity to date. These include the collapse of Greenland’s ice cap, eventually producing a huge sea level rise, the collapse of a key current in the north Atlantic, disrupting rain upon which billions of people depend for food, and an abrupt melting of carbon-rich permafrost.

The World’s Third-Richest Man Sells the World a Green Dream Built on Coal; Gautam Adani’s fortune is gaining on that of Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk. Creating a global empire to match may prove harder, though, beyond the political connections of home.
Chris Kay and P R Sanjai – Bloomberg
Early one evening in April, Asia’s newly minted richest person strode onto the stage of the National Centre for the Performing Arts, in Mumbai. Stocky and mustachioed, Gautam Adani was there to deliver a speech at the India Economic Conclave, a gathering of the country’s financial elite. Historically media shy, Adani’s become more prominent in recent months, and not just because of the meteoric surge in his wealth. A rapid diversification spree has pushed his vast, largely fossil-fuel driven conglomerate into a raft of new sectors in and outside of India, and Adani is seeking to reinvent himself for the global stage.

Companies Are Buying Large Numbers of Carbon Offsets That Don’t Cut Emissions; With the boom in renewable energy, many of the credits that trade hands merely represent a transfer of money from one profitable enterprise to another, critics say
Shane Shifflett – The Wall Street Journal
With its 34 turbines perched on a hill in southwestern India, the Tuppadahalli wind farm generates green energy—and profits. The wind farm and three others in India are owned by Acciona SA, an EUR8.1 billion Spanish infrastructure conglomerate which held an IPO of its renewables business last year. Tuppadahalli is performing so well that an Indian credit-ratings firm upgraded it, citing its strong cash position, modest debt and long-term contracts to sell the energy.

ESG Sector ETFs Could Be Volatile. What to Do Instead.
Debbie Carlson – Barron’s
Hot money has come to sustainable investing. Despite lagging behind the market in the first half of 2022, investors in sustainable funds weren’t more likely to ditch their holdings versus their traditional-investing counterparts. But one area was more susceptible to turnover: sector exchange-traded funds.

The Fastest Way to Improve ESG in Latin America: Women on Boards; Gender-diverse corporate boards are a low-cost solution to bring the region to global standards.
Luisa Palacios – Americas Quarterly
The framework for environmental stewardship, social responsibility and corporate governance, or ESG, remains a work in progress in Latin America. The region is starting to catch up, but adoption of ESG practices will require time and money as it entails a different way to assess operational and financial risks and opportunities. But there is a key component with the potential to bring high ESG returns at very low cost: increasing the share of women on the boards of directors of companies in the region. This is an ESG metric where Latin America does poorly at a global level. While women directors now occupy 20% of board seats of companies globally and 30% in advanced economies, in Latin America that number is closer to 11% of board seats, according to a report by Deloitte. This is also a big opportunity cost for companies in the region given the strength of the female talent pool in Latin America.

1 Rough Year Doesn’t Doom ESG’s Fate
Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing and the related exchange traded funds are enduring plenty of criticism — some of it pent-up — but that doesn’t mean this style of investing is doomed. In fact, some experts argue that ESG, both the investing style and ETFs such as the IQ Candriam ESG US Equity ETF (IQSU), remain positioned for long-term success. It’s not an unreasonable assertion. After all, one of the primary reasons that ESG ETFs are faltering this year is because growth stocks are doing the same. Many ESG funds are growth-heavy and lack the value heft necessary to capitalize when the latter factor is recovering.

Soaring Solar Costs Lead Chinese Group to Stop Publishing Prices; Industry group stops publishing weekly polysilicon prices; Prices at 10-year high are increasing cost of solar panels
Bloomberg News
China’s silicon industry group stopped releasing prices of a key solar material after surging costs threatened the country’s ambitious renewables plan and led to a government crackdown. The China Silicon Industry Association suspended posting weekly prices of polysilicon as supply chain costs increase and “shock” the stability of the solar industry, the group said Thursday. The association did not specify when it will resume releases.


Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley latest to lose trading execs to crypto challengers; Both banks have seen senior traders depart for digital asset start-ups in recent weeks, as the crypto exodus continues.
Laurie McAughtry – The Trade
Morgan Stanley’s global head of macro electronic trading, Thomas Restout, this week joined digital asset liquidity provider B2C2 as its new CEO of EMEA, the latest senior executive to join the crypto exodus. Restout, who will report to B2C2 group CEO Phillip Gillespie, has long experience in the digital asset space, including as a member of Morgan Stanley’s Securities Digital Currencies working group and as the driving force behind the adoption of crypto trading within the bank’s fixed income division. He was previously at Goldman Sachs and began his career at Natixis.

Taking Sustainability to the Bank; The two big questions institutions must answer to do well from doing good
Kris Kowal – Banking Exchange
In the spring of 2021, a new API called the Carbon Calculator debuted, giving consumers access to a snapshot of the carbon emissions generated by their purchases, along with tips to live more sustainably and even opportunities to contribute to reforestation projects. The source of the Carbon Calculator? None other than Mastercard, which has made the API (developed in tandem with Swedish fintech company Doconomy) available for banks to integrate into their own apps. In unveiling the Carbon Calculator API, Mastercard cited “a growing trend toward eco-conscious spending and consumption among people who want to turn their purchases and rewards redemption into meaningful action for the planet.” Recent research by the company revealed that 85% of adults are willing to take personal action on environmental and sustainability issues.

Wellness Exchange

China’s Public Puts on a Show of Zero Covid for an Audience of One
Li Yuan – NY Times
As fire was raging in the mountains surrounding the southwestern Chinese metropolis of Chongqing, 10 million residents stood in 100-plus-degree heat to get Covid tests. Two cases were detected that day in August.

For many weary Chinese, lockdown dread trumps fear of COVID
David Kirton – Reuters
When COVID-19 case numbers started ticking up in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen last week, Robin Chen got in his car and fled to nearby Huizhou.
It wasn’t because he feared the virus – many of his friends overseas had caught it and recovered – but he didn’t want to lose his freedom again as speculation swirled that Shenzhen was headed for its second lockdown in six months.

Florida’s tough COVID summer. Now what?
Editorial – Tampa Bay Times
Florida recently passed 80,000 COVID deaths. The number reminds us that for more than 2½ years, through lock downs and mask disputes, vaccine rollouts and omicron outbreaks, the virus has taken a wearying toll. The pace ebbs and flows, but the deaths keep coming, about 70 a day in recent weeks. We want COVID to be over, but the virus has other ideas.

WA’s COVID state of emergency will lift on Oct. 31, Inslee says
Jim Brunner and Elise Takahama – The Seattle Times
After more than two years, Gov. Jay Inslee is declaring an end to Washington’s COVID-19 state of emergency.
Inslee made the announcement at a news conference Thursday at the state Capitol, lifting the emergency order he imposed on Feb. 29, 2020, at the outset of the coronavirus pandemic.


China’s Credit Market Is Moving Into Fresh Phase of Distress
Rebecca Choong Wilkins and Ailing Tan – Bloomberg
One by one, the pillars of strength in China’s property bond market are crumbling. The selloff that began with China Evergrande Group and decimated nearly all of the country’s weaker developers is now threatening giants like China Vanke Co. that until this week seemed largely insulated from the debt crisis sweeping the industry.

India’s Rice Export Ban to Further Strain Global Food Supplies; Export ban on broken rice driven by concerns over shrinking supplies and inflation
Vibhuti Agarwal – The Wall Street Journal
India banned exports of broken rice and levied a tax on other key varieties in a move that would add to global inflationary pressure and exacerbate food supply pains caused by the war in Ukraine. Late Thursday, India’s Directorate of Foreign Trade issued the ban, which came into effect Friday. New Delhi also imposed a 20% export duty on overseas shipments of white and brown rice, which make up about 60% of India’s total global sales. Parboiled and basmati rice are excluded from the ban, the notice said.

U.K. Government to Cap Household Energy Prices for Two Years; Businesses will have their energy prices capped for six months
Max Colchester and Paul Hannon – The Wall Street Journal
The U.K. government said it would cap household energy prices over the next two years, a costly bailout aimed at staving off a deep recession and bringing down inflation, but one that could add to growing worries about the British government’s financial health. The package, which economists say is likely to be worth more than $120 billion, marks one of the largest U.K. state interventions in peacetime and underscores how the war in Ukraine is now fundamentally reshaping energy markets across the West. It also marks the first big act in office for new U.K. Prime Minister Liz Truss, who took over from Boris Johnson this week.

Crypto Dreams Dashed in Thailand as Regulators Tighten Rules; SEC sanctions industry leaders, eyes more investor protections; Thailand led the region in adopting digital-asset legislation
Anuchit Nguyen – Bloomberg
Thailand’s goal of becoming Southeast Asia’s leading trading center for digital assets has suffered a setback, following moves by regulators to tighten rules in the wake of trading irregularities and the collapse of a major acquisition involving a crypto exchange.

Bank of England says banknotes featuring Queen’s image remain legal tender
The Bank of England said its banknotes featuring the image of Queen Elizabeth remained legal tender, following the monarch’s death on Thursday. “Current banknotes featuring the image of Her Majesty The Queen will continue to be legal tender. A further announcement regarding existing Bank of England banknotes will be made once the period of mourning has been observed,” the central bank said.

UBS Dials Down Swiss Office Heat to Cut Soaring Energy Bills
Myriam Balezou and Steven Arons – Bloomberg
UBS Group AG has decided to let temperatures in its Swiss offices fluctuate more strongly in a bid to cut power consumption amid Europe’s worsening energy crisis. The Zurich-based bank will adjust the average office temperature by one degree Celsius, effective immediately, a person familiar with the matter said. It will also switch off lights after 6 pm where possible and urge staff to turn off their computer screens when leaving, the person said.


Head of Hong Kong Journalists Group Arrested While Reporting
Kari Lindberg – Bloomberg
The leader of Hong Kong’s largest journalists group was arrested on allegations of obstructing police, in the latest case to fan concerns about press freedom in the city.

CNN anchor Bernard Shaw dead at 82
Veronica Stracqualursi – CNN
Former CNN anchor Bernard Shaw died Wednesday at a Washington, DC, hospital of pneumonia unrelated to Covid-19, Shaw’s family announced Thursday. Shaw was 82.
Shaw was CNN’s first chief anchor and was with the network when it launched on June 1, 1980. He retired from CNN after more than 20 years on February 28, 2001. During his storied career, Shaw reported on some of the biggest stories of that time — including the student revolt in Tiananmen Square in May 1989, the First Gulf war live from Baghdad in 1991, and the 2000 presidential election.

Citadel boss Ken Griffin sets record with Miami home purchase for $109 million
Selim Algar – NY Post
Finance kingpin Ken Griffin has been revealed as the buyer in the most expensive residential real estate transfer in Miami history. The Citadel boss — who recently announced the relocation of his firm from crime-ravaged Chicago to Miami — purchased the four-acre compound in Coconut Grove for $106,875,000 last week, according to the Real Deal. The palatial waterfront spread was put on the market by businesswoman and philanthropist Adrienne Arsht for $150 million in January.

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China commodity trader woe a setback for Glencore

China commodity trader woe a setback for Glencore

First Read Hits & Takes John Lothian & JLN Staff Congratulations to Larry Tabb. STA announced Larry as the 2022 Dictum Meum Pactum (DMP) Award recipient. Here is a success story for you. The Greenwood Project placed four interns at Goldman Sachs this summer...

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