S&P Global Agrees to Buy IHS Markit for About $44 Billion

Nov 30, 2020

First Read

$16,711/$300,000 (5.6%)
Steve Auerbach, Guy Sheetz (and Anonymous x2)


The Hemp Industry Has Room To Grow
Thom Thompson – John Lothian News

As the third nationally legal industrial hemp crop hits the market, it is clear that American producers, consumers, merchants and processors are engaged, at an early stage, in a grand and exciting economic experiment to leverage an ages-old commodity into effective, reliable products for technologically advanced markets.

According to the November PanXchange Hemp Benchmarks Analysis and Report, prices continue to languish at bargain basement levels not only for biomass and CBD-priced refined products but also to a lesser extent for grain and fiber hemp.

By now most, if not all, of the 2020 field crop has been harvested. According to estimates from our friends at PanXchange, about two-thirds of planted acres were dedicated to CBD-hemp, 7.5% for fiber-hemp, and 16.5% for grain-hemp, with the remaining acreage dedicated to seed-hemp.

To read the rest of this article, go here.


Hits & Takes
JLN Staff

Thanksgiving. We are thankful for the holiday, the family, friends and food. We at JLN are thankful for our readers, subscribers, sponsors and donors. Thank you all.

FIA Asia-V is December 1 to 3. JLN will be covering the conference this year remotely. If you have some news related to the conference, please reach out to me. You can register for the conference HERE.

We had four new donors to the JLN MarketsWiki Education GoFundMe campaign. Guy Sheetz, the CFO of the FIA, donated to our efforts to preserve industry history. We had two anonymous, but notable donors and a generous one from Steve Auerbach of the OCC. Auerbach is an executive director at the OCC for participant solutions. He is also the former president of Sungard Futures Systems, among his other career highlights. Thank you to Guy and Steve and our two anonymous donors and all who have given and all who have yet to give. You can donate HERE.

Drinking coffee can be beneficial to you. Here are the ways.

My dog Indy found the carcass of our Thanksgiving turkey on the kitchen counter and ate the whole thing. I am thankful she is OK after having a couple of days of expunging the bones and more from her system.

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


Last week Yearn Protocol, a set of lending smart contracts, announced that Pickle Protocol, another set of lending smart contracts, was merging into it. Then on Saturday, Yearn Protocol said it was taking over responsibility for further developing the Cover Protocol, a DeFi insurance platform whose Claim tokens are used to insure yield-seeking deposits on lending platforms. As this is all “decentralized finance” there appears to be no cash or tokens or property involved in the take-overs. Unmentioned by Yearn in its takeover announcements was that Pickle, which started up in August, had been hacked on November 21 for about $19.7 million. Cover, which launched on November 17, admitted liability for $285,000 of those November 21 losses. Crypto moves fast.~Thom Thompson

President-elect Joe Biden has hired an all-female communications team, four of whom are women of color. The communications director of Biden’s election campaign, Kate Bedingfield, will serve as communications director for the White House. Democratic spokeswoman Jen Psaki will serve as Biden’s press secretary. This will be the first time in history that the senior White House communications team will consist entirely of female employees.~MR


Hong Kong Covid-19 wave traced to socialites’ love of the cha-cha; Rich businesswomen and ‘tai tais’ caught coronavirus at elite dance clubs
Nicolle Liu – FT
Hong Kong is battling a new coronavirus cluster originating from one of the city’s lesser-known elite pastimes — wealthy older women visiting dance clubs for lessons, often with handsome younger instructors. The cluster has fuelled a so-called fourth wave in the Asian financial hub, its worst outbreak in months with 92 cases reported on Friday. The sharp rise in infections has been linked to ballroom dancing venues, including the Starlight Dance Club and Heavenly, the government said.

*****I would have guessed the rumba or the mambo, not the cha-cha.~JJL


My Son’s School Has Closed Again. Stop This; Shutting classrooms doesn’t control Covid-19. The young generation is paying a huge price for the sum of our fears.
Anjani Trivedi – Bloomberg
It was 9 a.m. on a Wednesday when I received a call from my six-year-old’s school nurse. He’d come to her office and put himself to bed. The nurse reported no temperature and that he was “alert, times three.” His teacher said that he’d seemed discombobulated and not his usual self earlier in the morning. When my son — who isn’t normally a sleepy kid and stopped napping far sooner than I’d have liked — called me after waking, he said, “I was just exhausted.”

*****This current generation is paying a steep price during the pandemic. We should try our best to lower that cost.~JJL


‘Tired of being sad.’ The financial stress from Covid is taking an emotional toll
Jeanne Sahadi, CNN Business
The holidays often make people more vulnerable to feeling depressed or anxious. But for the millions of Americans suffering from a pandemic-induced financial crisis, the risk is much greater this season. Many are at their wit’s end. And it doesn’t appear that help is on the way. Congress is still at odds over a package that would provide additional economic aid to those who have lost their jobs or are struggling to get by. For many Americans, federal pandemic benefits are set to expire by the end of next month — if they haven’t already.

*****The holidays can be a difficult time. With social distancing, an increasing number of COVID-19 cases and deaths, it is important to try to stay mentally strong and connected to people. Reach out. Talk. Be healthy.~JJL


North Korea executes forex trader as Kim tightens grip on economy; Supreme leader speeds up centralisation of power as Covid and sanctions halt growth
Edward White and Kang Buseong – FT
North Korea has executed a currency trader as part of a crackdown on foreign exchange markets, according to South Korea’s spy agency, as supreme leader Kim Jong Un tightens his grip over the economy.

****** This is not acceptable, anywhere, anytime.~JJL


Wednesday’s Top Three
Our top story Wednesday was Bloomberg’s account of the impact of Wirecard’s collapse Confidence in German Capital Markets Has Been Shattered. Second was The Trade’s NYSE sales head departs for role at HFT Jump Trading, which also made it to the top last week, and third was Business Insider’s JPMorgan story, A US regulator fined JPMorgan Chase $250 million for ‘deficient’ risk controls.


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

Recently updated pages include
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Lead Stories

S&P Global Agrees to Buy IHS Markit for About $44 Billion; Landmark deal would combine two of the largest providers of data to Wall Street
Cara Lombardo And Liz Hoffman – WSJ
S&P Global Inc. SPGI 1.04% agreed to acquire IHS Markit Ltd. INFO 0.30% for about $44 billion, the companies said Monday, a landmark deal that would combine two of the largest providers of data to Wall Street. The all-stock deal is the largest of the year. IHS Markit, based in London, had a market value of about $37 billion before the deal was announced; S&P’s was about $82 billion.

Tokyo Stock Exchange chief resigns over October outage; Head of TSE’s owner JPX to take on role with a 50% temporary pay cut
Leo Lewis – FT
The head of the Tokyo Stock Exchange has resigned over a debacle that closed the $6tn bourse for a day in early October and earned its operator the humiliation of a business improvement order from the financial regulator. The resignation of Koichiro Miyahara as TSE president and chief executive was announced almost two months after the shutdown, the worst outage the exchange has suffered since making the jump to a fully electronic trading system in 1999.

International rollout of Covid-19 vaccine on track for next month; Regulators on both sides of Atlantic set to decide on approval in coming weeks
Donato Paolo Mancini, Guy Chazan and Joe Miller – FT
The first coronavirus vaccine is on track for international deployment within weeks, with health officials on both sides of the Atlantic confident that inoculations will begin before the end of the year.

The Pandemic Has Broken Shale and Left Oil Markets in OPEC Hands; The contraction of the U.S. oil industry this year means the cartel probably won’t need to worry too much about losing market share for some time.
Kevin Crowley, David Wethe, and Sheela Tobben – WSJ
OPEC’s oil ministers have a few challenges to consider at a crucial summit next week, but for the first time in years the shale boom won’t be at the top of the list. A devastating global pandemic and a reckoning with Wall Street appear to have broken the resolve of the shale wildcatters who turned the U.S. into the world’s biggest oil producer. Years of breakneck growth, at the expense of crude kingpins in the Middle East and Russia, have come to an end. If there was ever any doubt, it’s now abundantly clear who has the upper hand in the global oil market.

Dow on Track to Finish Best Month in 33 Years; Stocks have soared in November, briefly pushing the blue-chips index over 30000 for the first time in its history
Joe Wallace – WSJ
U.S. stocks are on track to complete a banner November, giving the Dow Jones Industrial Average its best month in over 33 years, as investors cheer the prospect of Covid-19 vaccines halting the pandemic and fresh stimulus spending to bolster the economy. Futures tied to the Dow ticked down 0.5% Monday, signaling that the blue-chips index will enter the final trading session of November down about 200 points. The benchmark was up roughly 12.9% month-to-date by the end of Friday.

Warning lights are flashing for Big Tech as they did for banks; How the risks of financial services were managed can provide a model for the digital economy
John Flint – FT
When bankers got too clever and our businesses too complex, we all suffered the consequences. The 2008 financial crisis touched so many of us because the banks were woven into all our lives. Society was exposed to risks it didn’t understand, and we all paid the price via government-backed bailouts. Today, warning signs are flashing again. Some of the elements are familiar: huge, growing companies relied on by the rest of society that will do grave damage if they fail, or deliver poor outcomes for their customers. But this time it is the technology sector rather than the financial that is leaving us all exposed.

Brussels seeks to help banks offload rising tide of bad loans; Paper will set out ideas for how to tackle forecast increase in corporate distress
Sam Fleming and Martin Arnold – FT
Brussels is planning to lay out a raft of proposals in a bid to make it easier for EU banks to offload soured loans as it anticipates the risk of a pandemic-related wave of corporate distress.

S&P Global Agrees to Buy IHS Markit for About $39 Billion
Matthew Monks, Ishika Mookerjee, and Viren Vaghela – Bloomberg
Deal will see S&P shareholders own 68% of new company; Data provider tie-up would be this year’s second biggest deal
S&P Global Inc. has agreed to buy IHS Markit Ltd. for about $39 billion in stock, a deal that accelerates the wave of consolidation among Wall Street’s biggest data providers. S&P is offering 0.2838 shares for each IHS Markit share, according to a statement Monday. That represents about a 4.7% premium to IHS Markit’s last close, according to Bloomberg calculations. After the deal, S&P shareholders will own approximately 67.75% of the combined company on a fully diluted basis.

Spate of Chinese defaults tests investor confidence; Tremors shed light on weaknesses of world’s second-biggest bond market
Tom Mitchell – FT
President Xi Jinping is widely regarded as communist China’s most powerful leader since Mao Zedong, its revolutionary founding father. But can he tame the country’s bond market? Now worth more than $15tn, China’s bond market is the second largest in the world, about one-third the size of its US equivalent. Over recent weeks, it has demonstrated an ability to embarrass its communist masters.

China’s crackdown on Australian coal imports sends prices sliding; Traders say move is reshaping trade flows and could undermine pricing benchmark
Neil Hume – FT
Fraying relations between Australia and China have sparked a more than 25 per cent drop in coking coal prices even as iron ore — the other ingredient needed to make steel — has soared to six-year highs. China last month placed what has been seen as an unofficial ban on imports of coal from Australia, following a sharp deterioration in diplomatic relations after Canberra called for an inquiry into the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic. On Friday, Beijing followed up with tariffs on Australian wine.

Expats Are Snubbing London, Paris and Hong Kong; Major metropolises earn low rankings from foreign workers while smaller Spanish cities garner top scores in a new survey.
Charlie Wells – Bloomberg
London, Paris, and Rome are famed for their history, culture, and commerce. Now, they share something else in common: Expats don’t like them. The three European capitals attracted some of the lowest rankings in a global survey of more than 15,000 people representing 173 nationalities. Concerns about health care, safety, work-life balance, and the affordability of housing weighed on their scores in research conducted by InterNations, a Munich-based expat network with around 4 million members.

Tesla FOMO Fires Up Wall Street’s $300 Billion Custom-Index Boom
Claire Ballentine – Bloomberg
BlackRock, Morgan Stanley purchases target direct indexing; Free trades, fractional shares make strategy more accessible
When the world’s most-famous electric car maker finally joins the S&P 500, it will be bittersweet for investors with about $11 trillion in funds tied to the gauge. Their benchmark-hugging bets get some Elon Musk magic at last, but they pay seven times last year’s price for the privilege. Given the chance, how many would have added Tesla Inc. to their index exposure in January? Or even June, when the shares had merely doubled?

OPEC+ Fails to Agree on Output-Hike Delay Before Big Meeting
Dina Khrennikova, Grant Smith, Salma El Wardany, and Javier Blas – Bloomberg
Ministerial panel met on Sunday before full meeting on Monday; UAE, Kazakhstan opposed a proposal to maintain current cuts
A panel of OPEC+ ministers couldn’t reach an agreement on whether to delay January’s oil-output increase, leaving the matter unresolved before a full meeting of the cartel and its allies on Monday.

Credit Suisse Spied on More Employees Than Previously Disclosed; As Swiss bank moves to recover from spying scandal, two prior instances of physical surveillance emerge
Margot Patrick and Patricia Kowsmann – WSJ
Lawyers hired by Credit Suisse Group AG’s board in the aftermath of a spying scandal last year have found two earlier instances of employees being followed by private investigators, despite the bank’s assertions that it doesn’t condone physical surveillance.

The World Is Bingeing on Debt—and Smashing Records; Companies and governments have issued $9.7 trillion of debt this year
Frances Yoon – WSJ
Companies and governments have issued a record $9.7 trillion of bonds and other debt this year, as extraordinary support from the Federal Reserve and other central banks has fueled a borrowing bonanza. The total covers the year to Nov. 26 and includes nearly $5.1 trillion of corporate bonds, as well as some kinds of loans, including riskier leveraged loans, according to Refinitiv. Both figures already exceed those for any prior full year.

CLS And Finastra Collaborate To Deliver Netting Services To Customers – More Market Participants To Benefit From CLSNet’s Improvements To Intraday Liquidity, Operational Efficiency, And Risk Mitigation
CLS, a market infrastructure delivering settlement, processing and data solutions, and Finastra, one of the world’s largest fintechs, have agreed to enter into a collaboration to provide Finastra customers with access to CLSNet, CLS’s bilateral payment netting calculation service. The move addresses increased demand from the buy-side for a centralized infrastructure to manage post-trade processes.

India’s Farmer Protests Challenge Modi’s Market Deregulations; Prime minister’s push to overhaul agricultural markets in an effort to boost growth meets resistance
Vibhuti Agarwal and Eric Bellman – WSJ
Angry Indian farmers protested in and around the capital over the weekend, worried that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to deregulate agricultural markets will leave them without a safety net.

ABN Amro to Cut About 2,800 Jobs as Investment Bank Shrinks
Ruben Munsterman – Bloomberg
Extra dividends to be paid only if CET1 ratio exceeds 15%; Costs expected to increase next year on investments, levies
ABN Amro Bank NV plans to cut about 2,800 jobs over four years as the Dutch lender retreats from large parts of its investment bank and digitization allows it to operate with a smaller staff. The company plans to reduce costs by about 700 million ($840 million) by 2024 to 4.7 billion euros. The workforce will shrink by about 15%, with most reductions to start in 2022, Chief Executive Officer Robert Swaak said in an investor update on Monday.

Lloyds Names HSBC’s Nunn as CEO to Replace Horta-Osorio
Harry Wilson and Stefania Spezzati – Bloomberg
Charlie Nunn is HSBC’s head of wealth and personal banking; Analysts expect Nunn to keep pushing in wealth, insurance
Lloyds Banking Group Plc poached HSBC Holdings Plc’s Charlie Nunn to be its next chief executive, a choice that puts a wealth veteran at the helm of the British bank that’s making a bigger push into managing money for individuals.

A Quant Pioneer Fights to Save Trend Following in Dismal Decade
Justina Lee – Bloomberg
Trend strategies work but don’t expect consistent gains: Lueck; Aspect co-founder sees diversification value in exotic markets
Martin Lueck has already watched one systematic trading program reach the end of its shelf life when he was building a pioneering quant hedge fund in the 1980s. Now, the 59-year-old is confronting a fresh existential crisis in the world of Commodity Trading Advisors, who typically make money by riding trends in financial futures.


Vaccines not politics are driving the soaring markets; ‘Cheap’ UK equities stand to benefit from a rotation into companies that will rise with a recovery
Merryn Somerset Webb – FT
Earlier this week, the Dow Jones Industrial index hit 30,000. You can say the Dow is an outdated index. You can say that this isn’t a record high in real terms. But record round numbers still mean something to market watchers — and the much broader S&P 500 has risen around 8 per cent since US election day.

Toxic side effects of coronavirus weaken global pension systems; Retirement schemes fear resurgent inflation and stuttering economic recovery
Chris Flood – FT
Toxic side effects from the coronavirus pandemic will cause further damage to the world’s pension systems, which are already struggling to cope with ultra-low interest rates and escalating financial pressures, according to a new study.

International rollout of Covid-19 vaccine on track for next month; Regulators on both sides of Atlantic set to decide on approval in coming weeks
Donato Paolo Mancini, Guy Chazan and Joe Miller – FT
The first coronavirus vaccine is on track for international deployment within weeks, with health officials on both sides of the Atlantic confident that inoculations will begin before the end of the year.

Airlines Face ‘Mission of the Century’ in Distributing Vaccines
Christopher Jasper and William Wilkes – Bloomberg
Carriers must balance delicate storage requirements with speed; Airlines from Asia to Europe working frantically behind scenes
Lufthansa, one of the world’s biggest cargo carriers, began planning in April in anticipation of the shots that Pfizer Inc. to Moderna Inc. and AstraZeneca Plc are developing in record time. A 20-member task force is at work devising how to fit more of the crucial payload onto the airline’s 15 Boeing Co. 777 and MD-11 freighters, along with hold space in a vast passenger fleet now flying at just 25% of capacity.

World’s Largest Vaccine Maker Denies Trial Volunteer’s Illness Claims
Muneeza Naqvi – Bloomberg
Company says volunteer’s symptoms unconnected to vaccine; Local developer Bharat had adverse event in trial: reports
The Serum Institute of India Ltd. denied allegations that a Covid-19 trial volunteer in India suffered serious side effects from a vaccine developed by AstraZeneca Plc and Oxford University, and said it would take legal action over the claims.

How to Vaccinate a Nation of Skeptics Against Covid; People sitting on the fence, not hardened anti-vaxxers, should be the target of any communication campaigns.
Lionel Laurent – Bloomberg
A Covid-19 vaccine is getting closer, and governments are scrambling to meet the financial and logistical challenge of immunizing their populations in a short space of time. Hopes for a pickup in global economic growth next year depend on it.

How AstraZeneca Can Recover From Its Vaccine Stumble; Even without a new trial, Astra and its partner Oxford can get beyond confusing interim data and regain confidence in their still-promising Covid-19 vaccine candidate.
Sam Fazeli – Bloomberg
With the Covid-19 pandemic now resurgent across the globe, it’s a comfort to know that there are several promising vaccine candidates in speedy development. Their success is crucial in fighting the virus and charting a path back to normal. It’s important, though, that we are able to see rigorous, clean and transparent trial data, to help gain trust in any vaccine and know that proper protocols are in place. Unfortunately, one of the leading vaccine candidates – from AstraZeneca Plc, working with the University of Oxford — is having a problem in this area.

The Fed Effort to Save Midsize Firms Isn’t Working, and Here’s Why; The program hasn’t incentivized lenders, who’ve pushed out less than $6 billion in loans so far.
Christopher Condon, Catararina Saraiva – Bloomberg
It sounded like a great idea back in April. With the economy getting hammered by Covid-19, the Federal Reserve hatched a bold plan to rescue thousands of midsize companies that were falling into a gap between government aid programs. Using its magic printing press, the U.S. central bank would take $75 billion appropriated by Congress and turn it into as much as $600 billion in loans to companies damaged by the pandemic.

Indonesia’s Doctors Urge Government to Scrap Year-End Holiday
Arys Aditya – Bloomberg
The Indonesian Medical Association of doctors is urging the government to shorten or scrap the year-end holiday entirely to prevent a resurgence in coronavirus infections.

Swedish Government Says Vaccine Won’t Make Pandemic Go Away: DN
Rafaela Lindeberg – Bloomberg
Sweden’s government expects the pandemic to continue through 2021 even if vaccines become available, according to Dagens Nyheter. “The pandemic will not go away just because we get a vaccine,” Elisabeth Backteman, the government’s crisis coordinator, said in an interview with the newspaper.

Pharmacies Add Freezers, Train Staff to Handle Covid-19 Vaccination Drive; Retailers are preparing to administer coronavirus shots, but many guidelines remain uncertain
Jaewon Kang – WSJ
Neighborhood grocery stores are aiming to become major providers of Covid-19 vaccinations. Supermarkets are rushing to secure freezers, thermometers and other medical gear for administering shots. They are also training staff and establishing online services for scheduling appointments. With a vaccine approval potentially weeks away, it isn’t yet known how federal and state authorities will distribute shots to the public, and grocers say they are unsure how many customers will seek immunization when it becomes available.

Fears of coronavirus jump intensify in Thanksgiving’s aftermath
Sarah Kaplan – Washington Post
At a rural health system in Wisconsin, officials and medical experts began drawing up protocols for the once unthinkable practice of deciding which patients should get care. The chief quality officer of a major New York hospital network double- and triple-checked his system’s stockpile of emergency equipment, grimly recalling the last time he had to count how many ventilators he had left. In Arizona, a battle-weary doctor watched in horror as people flooded airports and flocked to stores for Black Friday sales, knowing it was only a matter of time before some of them wound up in his emergency room.

Covid-19 Vaccine Studies May Suffer as Volunteers Consider Dropping Out; People who believe they got a placebo during testing say they want to leave to get the real shots once they are approved
Rolfe Winkler – WSJ
Susan Baker volunteered for Johnson & Johnson’s JNJ 0.22% vaccine trial to seek protection from Covid-19. For the same reason, she may drop out of the study.

‘It’s Like the Second World War.’ Covid-19 Is Tearing Into the Parts of Europe That Lack Doctors; Europe’s crisis is moving into poorer states that have exported doctors for decades. Now the bill from that exodus is coming due.
Drew Hinshaw and Natalia Ojewska
So many new doctors left Poland for better-paying jobs in Europe’s west that when Lukasz Rotnicki decided to stay behind he often found himself working 36-hour shifts, sleeping on the brown pullout sofa of a small-town hospital with too few staff.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

Tokyo Stock Exchange’s CEO Resigns Over Daylong Shutdown; Regulator says TSE’s ‘never stop’ slogan left it unprepared to restart when glitches happened
Megumi Fujikawa – WSJ
A one-day shutdown was enough to end the 32-year career of the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s head. The exchange’s parent, Japan Exchange Group Inc., said Koichiro Miyahara resigned Monday, two months after computer problems caused one of the world’s largest markets to halt trading for a full day.

HKEX Welcomes Neil Shen to International Advisory Council
HKEX appoints Neil Shen, Steward of Sequoia Capital, Founding and Managing Partner of Sequoia Capital China, as the sixth member of its International Advisory Council;Council comprises experts in economics, business, technology and finance who advise the HKEX Board of Directors
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) is today (Monday) pleased to announce the appointment of Neil Shen to the HKEX International Advisory Council.

HKEX to Introduce New Stock Futures Contracts and Option Classes
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) is pleased to announce today (Monday) the launch of four new stock futures contracts and four new stock option classes on Monday, 7 December 2020. HKEX has recorded strong growth in the trading of stock futures and options this year, with average daily turnover of 523,011 contracts in the first 10 months, a 15.4 percent increase compared with the same period last year.

HKEX Announces Stock Connect Expansion Arrangements
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) is pleased to announce today (Friday) that its wholly-owned subsidiary, The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (SEHK), has reached an agreement with Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) and Shenzhen Stock Exchange (SZSE) on the Stock Connect inclusion arrangements for eligible pre-revenue biotech companies listed in Hong Kong, as well as for eligible A-shares listed on the SSE’s Sci-Tech Innovation Board (STAR Market).

ASX equity market outage update – letter to customers

Turkey And Qatar Signed MoU On 10% Of Borsa Istanbul Shares Purchase
Turkey Wealth Fund (TWF) and Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to consider and finalise the potential purchase of 10% of Borsa Istanbul AS shares by QIA and their future collaboration in the governance of Borsa Istanbul.

Euronext Confirms Successful Oslo Børs Cash Equities, Structured Products And ETFs Migration To Euronext Systems
Euronext confirms the successful migration of Oslo Børs Cash Equities, Structured Products and ETFs onto the Euronext systems and invites clients to prepare themselves for the start of Oslo Børs Cash Equities, Structured Products and ETFs market operations on Euronext systems on Monday 30 November 2020.

Oslo Børs cash equities and ETF markets go live on Euronext Optiq platform; Cash equities, structured products, and ETFs market operations at Oslo Børs?are live on the Euronext Optiq platform.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
Euronext has confirmed that Oslo Børs cash equities, structured products, and exchange traded funds (ETFs) market operations?have gone live on its proprietary trading platform Optiq. The news comes as part of the exchange operator’s plan to migrate all of its trading operations onto the Optiq platform, which has been ongoing since 2019.

Nigerian Stock Exchange, Principles For Responsible Collaborate To Host Webinar On Responsible Investing
The Nigerian Stock Exchange (“the Exchange” or “NSE”) will collaborate with the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) to host a webinar on Responsible Investing (RI) and Economic, Social and Governance (ESG) integration on Tuesday, 1 December, 2020.

SIX x-clear To Add Support For Spanish Instruments Trades On UBS MTF
UBS MTF is pleased to announce that SIX x-clear is expected to offer clearing for trades in Spanish instruments executed on UBS MTF from 30 November 2020.

SGX offers ultra-fast trading cloud connectivity via Beeks; The Beeks CaaS provides ultra-low latency access to SGX trading platforms via shared or dedicated fibre uplinks through the Beeks infrastructure.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
Markets technology specialist Beeks Financial Group has launched a new cloud service to provide ultra-low latency access to Singapore Exchange (SGX) trading platforms.

HKEX launches new Northbound Stock Connect settlement platform; HKEX will use DAML-developed smart contracts and has partnered with DTCC to streamline and automate Northbound Stock Connect post-trade processes.
Joe Parsons – The Trade
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEX) has launched a new settlement platform that will streamline and automate post-trade processes on the Northbound Stock Connect programme.

LSEG prepares to launch Turquoise Europe this month in case of non-equivalence; LSEG confirmed Turquoise Europe would go live on 30 November unless relevant equivalence decisions between the EU and UK are agreed upon.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
The London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) has said it will launch its Turquoise trading venue in Europe later this month if equivalence post-Brexit is not agreed upon between the UK and EU.

Euronext Amsterdam welcomes Unilever PLC
Euronext today congratulates Unilever on the new listing of Unilever PLC shares on Euronext’s regulated market in Amsterdam (ticker code: UNA).

Eurex EnLight – extending the liquidity pool step by step
Launched in 2018, Eurex’s selective RFQ platform has developed into a versatile nearly indispensable tool for many of our customers. “By listening to our customers, we continue to improve Eurex EnLight, with the clear goal of making it the off-book price-discovery venue of choice for equity, equity index and fixed income derivatives”, says Andre Eue, Head of Market Development. He explains here how the platform has been enhanced in 2020 and what the further plans are for the upcoming year.

Intercontinental Exchange Chairman & CEO Jeffrey Sprecher to Present at the Goldman Sachs U.S. Financial Services Conference on December 9th
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc.
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE:ICE), a leading operator of global exchanges and clearing houses and provider of mortgage technology, data and listings services, announced today that Chairman & CEO, Jeffrey Sprecher, will present at the 2020 Goldman Sachs U.S. Financial Services conference on Wednesday, December 9th at 10:40 am ET. The presentation will be available live and in replay via webcast and can be accessed in the investor relations and media section of ICE’s website at http://ir.theice.com/.

ICE Benchmark Administration to Consult on Its Intention to Cease the Publication of One Week and Two Month USD LIBOR Settings at End-December 2021, and the Remaining USD LIBOR Settings at End-June 2023
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc.
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE:ICE), a leading operator of global exchanges and clearing houses and provider of mortgage technology, data and listings services, announces that ICE Benchmark Administration Limited (IBA) will consult on its intention to cease the publication of the one week and two month USD LIBOR settings immediately following the LIBOR publication on December 31, 2021, and the remaining USD LIBOR settings immediately following the LIBOR publication on June 30, 2023. This follows the announcement on November 18, 2020, that IBA would consult on its intention to cease the publication of all GBP, EUR, CHF and JPY LIBOR settings immediately following the LIBOR publication on December 31, 2021.


S&P Global to acquire IHS Markit in mega $44 billion deal; The acquisition of IHS Markit by S&P Global will create a data and analytics powerhouse upon its completion next year.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
Index provider S&P Global has confirmed it will acquire data and analytics provider IHS Markit after agreeing to terms of a major $44 billion deal.

CLS rolls out netting calculation service to Finastra clients under partnership; Partnership between CLS and Finastra aims to address increased demand from buy-side firms for a centralised post-trade management infrastructure.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
Foreign exchange settlement specialist CLS will provide its netting calculation platform to clients of global FinTech provider Finastra under a new partnership. Finastra’s clients, including over 800 corporate and buy-side firms, will gain access to the CLSNet platform following an integration between CLS and the Finastra Fusion confirmation matching service.

DIFC FinTech Hive Continues To Lead The Innovation Agenda In Financial Services Through Its Latest Digital Cohort
DIFC FinTech Hive, the first and largest financial technology accelerator in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region has announced that its much anticipated ‘Investor Day’ will take place today, 30 November 2020.

Juniper Research: Mobile Money Users In Emerging Markets To Exceed 1.2 Billion Globally By 2025, As P2P And Merchant Payments Surge
A new study from Juniper Research has found that the total number of mobile money users in emerging markets will exceed 1.2 billion in 2025, up from 980 million in 2020; equating to just under 30% of all mobile phone users across emerging markets.

FXCM And Capitalise.ai Partner To Offer Advanced Trading Automation Tools http://
Capitalise.ai, a trading automation platform, and FXCM Group, LLC (‘FXCM Group’ or FXCM’), a market leader in online foreign exchange (FX), CFD, and cryptocurrency trading, announced a strategic partnership that offers FXCM’s clients access to a ground-breaking automated trading experience.

Union Investment expands Bloomberg relationship with PORT Enterprise; PORT Enterprise from Bloomberg will provide portfolio managers at Union Investment with risk and attribution models, portfolio analytics and reporting functionality.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
European asset manager Union Investment has extended its partnership with Bloomberg by integrating its PORT Enterprise solution. The solution will give Union’s portfolio managers access to Bloomberg’s risk and attribution models, portfolio analytics, and reporting functionality.

Waters Wrap: Machine-Learning Models Suffer from Covid (And Exchanges in the Cloud, Pt. 2); Anthony says that while machine-learning models have been hit-and-miss during the pandemic, NLP is taking on greater importance. He also looks at how exchanges are looking to move their core matching engines to the cloud.
Anthony Malakian – Waters Technology
Thursday was Thanksgiving in the United States—maybe elsewhere, too, but American hegemony insists that I only care about Pilgrims and Indians. I’m thankful for many things in my life, but when it comes to work, beyond the amazing reporters I get to work with on a daily basis, I’m very thankful for our subscribers.


Facebook’s Libra currency to launch next year in limited format; Long-awaited project to arrive as soon as January, with just one dollar-backed coin
Hannah Murphy – FT
The long-awaited Facebook-led digital currency Libra is preparing to launch as early as January, according to three people involved in the initiative, but in an even more limited format than its already downgraded vision.

Bitcoin Fights Back With Power, Speed and Millions of Users
Todd White and Eddie van der Walt – Bloomberg
More investors are viewing Bitcoin as a diversifying asset; Over 30 million wallet addresses now have an active balance
Even with a big selloff Thursday, Bitcoin’s rebound toward all-time highs this week is no sign of a speculative bubble but the growth spurt of a major asset class in the making, say crypto diehards. Just look at market technicals and Wall Street’s growing embrace of the world’s biggest digital currency.

Guggenheim Fund Reserves Right to Put Up to 10% in Bitcoin Trust
Joanna Ossinger – Bloomberg
Count Guggenheim Partners LLC among those institutional investors casting an eye on cryptocurrencies. Guggenheim is reserving the right for its $5.3 billion Macro Opportunities Fund — which aims for total return via fixed income and other debt and equity securities — to invest in the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust. The trust’s shares are solely invested in Bitcoin, and track the digital asset’s price less fees and expenses.

Bitcoin Is Winning the Covid-19 Monetary Revolution; The virtual currency is scarce, sovereign and a great place for the rich to store their wealth.
Niall Ferguson – Bloomberg
In “Shuggie Bain,” Douglas Stuart’s award-winning and harrowing depiction of alcoholism, sectarianism and deprivation in post-industrial Scotland, money is always scarce and often dirty. Deserted by her second husband and unable to hold down a job, Shuggie’s mother, Agnes, relies on her twice-a-week child benefit to feed her children — or her booze habit. As the latter nearly always wins, she and Shuggie are regularly reduced to desperate expedients to fend off starvation: Extracting coins from electricity and television meters, pawning their few valuable possessions, and ultimately selling their bodies for brutal sexual favors.

Record-setting bitcoin faces test after volatile week
Eva Szalay – FT
Bitcoin is set for a crucial few weeks to determine whether its record-breaking rally this year marks a rerun of the cryptocurrency bubble that burst in 2017 or the first leg of a long-term ascent. The notoriously divisive cryptocurrency has surged more than 300 per cent since its low point of the year in March, hitting an all-time intraday high this week of $19,510, with bulls heralding the rally as a sign of new support from long-term institutional investors. But the following day it plunged as much as 14 per cent. On Friday afternoon in London, it was trading below $17,000.

China Charges PlusToken Organizers in $2.3 Billion Crypto Scam
Bloomberg News
A Chinese court in the eastern province of Jiangsu charged organizers of PlusToken with building a pyramid scheme which collected billions of dollars worth of cryptocurrencies from members. The ruling on 14 people including Chen Bo, who created the platform in 2018, was upheld in a second trial as final, according to a document from the Intermediate People’s Court in Yancheng city. The statement was released Nov. 26 on a website affiliated with the Supreme Court. Cryptocurrencies collected from users as a joining fee were valued at at least 14.8 billion yuan ($2.3 billion) as of June 2019, the document showed.

Ethereum Classic Activates Thanos Upgrade, Increasing Access for GPU Miners
Sebastian Sinclair – Coindesk
Ethereum Classic (ETC) has undergone a hard fork that ushers in a new upgrade aimed to increase miner participation and increase security. According to the ETC explorer by Blockscout, at around 3:45 UTC on Sunday, the ETC mainnet reached a block height of 11,700,000, automatically triggering the anticipated Thanos upgrade. Terry Culver, CEO at ETCLabs, told CoinDesk Thanos is an “important milestone” as the network moves to improve support for existing miners and draw in new ones.

Yearn Merges With Cover, DeFi Protocol’s 4th Deal in a Week
Kevin Reynolds – Coindesk
Yearn is “joining forces” with market coverage provider Cover, capping a busy week for the decentralized finance (DeFi) protocol. Cronje said Cover will become the backstop coverage provider for Yearn, and for DeFi as a whole. Cover will also be able to expand into a new cover money money market, making the CLAIM token collateral and a borrowable asset. For its part, Yearn will get coverage for its vaults and be able to cover its users with a reduced risk product.

Coronavirus-Induced Poverty Will Bring More Bitcoin Crime in 2021: Kaspersky Report
Daniel Palmer – Coindesk
Cybersecurity specialist Kaspersky foresees a rise in crypto crime ahead, as the COVID-19 epidemic hits national economies. In a report on financial threats for 2021, based on data and patterns from this year, the company said Monday that attacks aimed at stealing bitcoin will “become more attractive as many nations plummet into poverty as a result of the pandemic.” The compounding factor of weakening local currencies amid the crisis will also drive people to cybercrime, leading to more bitcoin fraud as well as theft, the firm predicted. It said the focus would be on bitcoin because it is “the most widespread cryptocurrency.”

Ripple is selling a part of its stake in MoneyGram for the first time
Yogita Khatri – The Block
Ripple is selling one-third of its stake in MoneyGram for the first time, after investing in the remittance firm last year. A Ripple spokesperson told The Block that the decision has been taken to “realize some gains” on the investment. Ripple is selling one-third of its stake in MoneyGram for the first time, after investing in the remittance firm last year. The development was revealed in a filing submitted to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday, in which Ripple said it has authorized an unnamed financial institution to sell up to 4 million shares of MoneyGram on its behalf by March 31, 2021.

Ethereum’s mining difficulty and hashrate touch new all-time highs. Here’s why
Yogita Khatri – The Block
Ethereum’s mining difficulty and hashrate have both reached new all-time highs. These indicators suggest that more people want to mine ETH. Experts told The Block that Ethereum mining revenue is increasing, thus increasing the incentives for miners. Ethereum’s mining difficulty — an indicator of competition among Ethereum miners, and hashrate — its computing power, have both reached new all-time highs. These indicators suggest that more people want to mine ETH, as its price continues to surge, at around $600 a unit.

LVMH digital chief to join French fintech start-up; Ian Rogers trades Louis Vuitton glam for new frontier of digital currencies
Leila Abboud – FT
Ian Rogers, LVMH’s chief digital officer, has left the luxury giant to join a French start-up called Ledger that is a world leader in making hardware-based digital wallets to hold cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin.


Biden to Name Rouse, Tanden to Economic Team; Biden’s team will face difficult decisions to boost the economy in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic
Ken Thomas and Kate Davidson – WSJ
President-elect Joe Biden intends to nominate a team of liberal and centrist economic advisers to serve alongside planned Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen, people familiar with his plans said Sunday, as he prepares to confront the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

QAnon’s Rise in Japan Shows the Conspiracy Theory’s Global Spread
Max Zimmerman – Bloomberg
Japan’s QAnon is among most active global chapters: Graphika; Domestic issues have been absorbed into conspiracy’s narrative
QAnon’s days as a solely U.S. phenomenon are over. The conspiracy theory’s foothold in Japan — home to one of its most active networks outside the U.S. — demonstrates how the movement can be made palatable in a range of countries as it gains popularity from Europe to Brazil. Research by social media analytics firm Graphika Inc. shows the Japan-based QAnon community is among the most developed international chapters, with distinct terminology, influencers, and behaviors — such as idolizing Michael Flynn, a former U.S. national security adviser in the Trump administration.

Johnson Tries to Win Over U.K. Tories as Covid-Law Revolt Grows
Tim Ross – Bloomberg
Ministers plan February ‘sunset’ clause for new pandemic curbs; Raab: Government is ‘listening’ to MPs who say rules too tough
U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson offered concessions in an effort to win over critics in his own Conservative Party who are threatening to oppose his plan for tougher pandemic rules in a crucial vote on Tuesday. The premier promised the new restrictions, which keep most of England under tight curbs when the national lockdown ends on Dec. 2, will put to a vote again in January and automatically come to an end in February.

How to Stop the Paris Climate Accord; Trump should submit it for the Senate to ratify, or rather reject.
Steve Milloy – WSJ
Joe Biden has promised to rejoin the Paris Climate Accord on day one, but President Trump could stop it from having any binding legal power.

Poland Upset With EU But Not Enough to Follow U.K. Exit Path
Dorota Bartyzel -Bloomberg
Poland increasingly perturbed with Brussels over budget terms; Hungarian official sparks outrage with ‘gas chamber’ remark
The Polish government is getting increasingly upset with European Union efforts to add conditions to budget funding, but the issue isn’t enough for them to consider quitting the bloc, a deputy minister said.

China Urges U.S. to Drop Probe That Claims Yuan Undervalued
Bloomberg News
China said a preliminary U.S. ruling that it allegedly provided a trade subsidy to some exporters by undervaluing the yuan violated international rules. The case relates to a U.S. investigation into Chinese exports of cable or twist ties, with the U.S. Department of Commerce imposing tariffs on the products after determining that producers are getting an unfair advantage because of the currency. China’s Commerce Ministry called on U.S. authorities to stop its investigation, while also disputing the preliminary finding.

The King of Trump TV Thinks You’re Dumb Enough to Buy It; Chris Ruddy, the C.E.O. of Newsmax, has found a business opportunity in feeding Trump supporters the fantasy that the president could still win the election.
Ben Smith – NY Times
In 2004, Hillary Clinton was in the Senate and Christopher Ruddy had some making up to do. He was, back then, best known as “the Inspector Clouseau” of the Vince Foster case — a New York Post reporter who had popularized the baseless theory that Mrs. Clinton’s friend, who committed suicide in 1993, had been murdered. But it now seemed possible that Mrs. Clinton might run for president, and Mr. Ruddy laid it on pretty thick. Mrs. Clinton was doing “a remarkably and surprising good job for NY as Senator,” he wrote to a mutual friend, former Mayor Ed Koch of New York. “I might not like Hillary’s liberalism, but I don’t dislike her on a personal level — as I do Rudy. Rudy Giuliani is a bad person.”

Perdue traded hundreds of thousands worth of bank stocks while on Senate Banking Committee; Georgia senator co-sponsored 14 bills benefiting finance industry, and got millions in campaign contributions
Roger Sollenberger – Salon
David Perdue, one of two multimillionaire Georgia Republican senators facing insider-trading scrutiny ahead of runoff elections in January, traded hundreds of thousands of dollars in bank stock while passing pro-bank legislation on the Senate Banking Committee, financial disclosures show. Between 2017 and 2020, while on the committee, Perdue co-sponsored 14 bills that benefited the financial industry, including through deregulation and extended liability protection. In that time he also accepted more than $1 million in political contributions from financial interests, federal filings show.

Trump Nominates a Top Bank Regulator as Biden Starts Transition
Jesse Hamilton – Bloomberg
Selection of Brian Brooks to lead OCC outrages Democrats; Biden could fire Brooks even if he wins Senate confirmation
President Donald Trump formally nominated Brian Brooks to take over a key banking regulator, potentially forcing Joe Biden to fire him after the president-elect is sworn in. In a brief Friday statement, the White House said it had sent the nomination to the Senate, where Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo has already signaled that Brooks would get a confirmation hearing for a five-year term leading the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. Brooks has been acting OCC chief since May.

Some Wall Street Democrats Are Sitting Out Georgia Senate Races
Bill Allison and Sonali Basak – Bloomberg
They fret that Warnock, Ossoff wins could lead to higher taxes; Novogratz says most Democrats in finance want split government
As deep-pocketed Democrats on Wall Street celebrate the ouster of President Donald Trump, some are privately showing little appetite for backing the party’s remaining skirmishes in Georgia.


‘Citgo 6’ oil executives found guilty in Venezuela; US citizens sentenced to jail in case that has worsened tensions between Washington and Caracas
Gideon Long – FT
A court in Venezuela has found six US-based oil executives guilty of corruption and sentenced them to between eight and 14 years in prison, in a case that has exacerbated tensions between Washington and the government in Caracas.

ASIC issues information sheet on managing conduct risk during LIBOR transition
ASIC has today published Information Sheet 252: Managing conduct risk during LIBOR transition (INFO 252) on practical guidance that Australian entities can adopt to manage conduct risk during the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) transition.

SEC Issues Agenda for Dec. 1 Meeting of the Asset Management Advisory Committee
The Securities and Exchange Commission today released the agenda for the Dec. 1 meeting of the Asset Management Advisory Committee (AMAC). AMAC was formed to provide the Commission with diverse perspectives on asset management and related advice and recommendations.

The business of social purpose
Speech by Jonathan Davidson, Executive Director of Supervision – Retail and Authorisations, given at the 6th Annual Culture and Conduct Forum.

INC Rating’s CRA Registration Withdrawn
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the EU’s securities markets regulator, has today withdrawn the credit rating agency (CRA) registration of INC Rating Sp. z o.o.

Dubai Financial Market Market Holiday – Commemoration Day And UAE’s 49th National Day – Market Closed From 1st To 3rd December – Trading Resumes Sunday 6th December 2020
On the occasion of Commemoration Day and UAE’s 49th National Day, DFM will be closed starting from Tuesday 1 December2020 till Thursday 3 December 2020 and work shall resume on Sunday 6 December 2020.

Ontario Securities Commission Provides Funding To FAIR Canada
The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) today announced that it will provide $3.75 million to FAIR Canada (FAIR), a national charitable organization dedicated to advancing the interests of individual investors.

JP Morgan to pay $250 million penalty for risk management failures; The OCC said JP Morgan had failed to maintain adequate internal controls and internal audit over its fiduciary business.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
US investment bank JP Morgan will pay a $250 million penalty after the Office for Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) issued the action for risk management failures.

Shortlist for chair of EU markets watchdog position revealed; The new chair of ESMA will take up the role in April 2021 once Steven Maijoor steps down.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
A shortlist of candidates that the EU markets regulator is considering for the role of chair once Steve Maijoor steps down from the position next year has been revealed.

Investing and Trading

Investors Pile Into Risky ETFs During Wild Market Rally; A hunt for bigger returns has led investors to plow money into funds offering a chance to double or triple daily returns but at sizable risk
Michael Wursthorn – WSJ
Investors’ penchant for risk-taking has rejuvenated a volatile and sometimes dangerous group of exchange-traded funds. Leveraged and inverse ETFs have raked in $16.3 billion through the first 10 months of the year, on pace to top 2008’s record haul of $16.7 billion, according to Morningstar. The funds use leverage to double or triple daily returns and sometimes offer investors a chance to profit off the inverse, or opposite, of an index’s move.

Tesla’s S&P 500 Debut Is Set to Put $100 Billion in Trades in Motion; Asset managers and trading desks will be scrambling next month to account for the market juggernaut
Michael Wursthorn and Gunjan Banerji – WSJ
Additions and subtractions to the S&P 500 are normally a ho-hum affair. The 509th biggest company in the U.S. might jump to 497th place, and thus into the index. Investors who track it buy the one stock and sell another.

AA’s biggest shareholder rejects ‘derisory’ private equity offer; Albert Bridge Capital says £219m bid ‘fundamentally undervalues’ UK roadside recovery group
Owen Walker -FT
The AA’s largest shareholder has urged its fellow investors in the British roadside recovery group to reject a takeover bid from a consortium of private equity firms unless the offer is improved.

Bond investors bet on battered companies surviving virus shock; Turn in fortunes for borrowers beaten up by coronavirus as yields tumble
Joe Rennison – FT
Debt investors are betting that some of the companies most damaged by coronavirus will manage to avoid bankruptcy. Bonds issued by low-rated companies in the US have rallied 7 per cent this month, one index of triple C bonds shows — the biggest jump in more than four years. In Europe, junk bond yields have fallen from over 8 per cent in March to almost 3 per cent as prices have risen, with November providing the bonds’ best performance since April.

Goldilocks Year Awaits Emerging Markets Defying Pandemic Rout
Simon Flint, Justin Carrigan, Robert Brand, and Payne Lubbers – Bloomberg
EM currencies remain undervalued based on Z-score analysis; Positioning remains light in emerging bond and equity markets
Emerging-market investors seem to have everything going for them right now, with the November rally offering a hint of what 2021 may have in store. A plethora of tailwinds from accommodative central banks to an impending change of U.S. president and Covid-19 vaccine progress has put the assets of developing nations on course for some impressive milestones. Bonds have wiped out their year-to-date losses, while MSCI Inc.’s currency index is poised for the best month since January 2019 as well as a second successive annual gain. The MSCI stocks gauge is on track for its best month since March 2016.

Beware the Dow 30K Euphoria; The market always dives en route to long-term rises. And tech stocks look wobbly.
Andy Kessler – WSJ
A great Wall Street lesson: Keep those decamillennial hats around. Last Tuesday saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average close above 30000 for the first time, but by Friday it was underwater again. Remember, more than 10 years passed between March 1999, when the market first crossed 10000 (with wild celebration), and November 2009, when it finally crossed that mark for good (hopefully). Even more time passed between when the market briefly crossed 1000 in 1966 and when it passed that mark permanently late in 1982.

The Oil Patch Took a Heavy Hit From the Pandemic; Despite a recent oil rally, energy companies are riding out a historic downturn.
Collin Eaton and Luis Santiago – WSJ
Oil prices briefly went negative. Exxon Mobil Corp. was booted from the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Pioneering fracker Chesapeake Energy Corp. succumbed to bankruptcy. By some measures, the pandemic hit the energy industry harder than any other major segment of the U.S. economy in 2020. While crude prices have staged a rally in recent weeks, the sector is still going through one of the most brutal years in its history.

Dollar’s Slump Propels Global Peers Toward Multi-Year Peaks
Ruth Carson and Greg Ritchie – Bloomberg
Euro, Canadian dollar near highest versus greenback since 2018; U.S. currency weakness has further to run: RBC Capital Markets
The dollar’s protracted decline is spurring Group-of-10 peers toward multi-year highs. The Bloomberg Dollar Index is poised for a 2.7% drop this month, taking its fall since a March peak to 12%. China’s economic rebound and bets on a successful roll-out of vaccines are bringing key levels into play for currencies from the euro to the Aussie and the Canadian dollar.

Europex: Minimum Carbon Pricing Is Distortive And Not Needed – Why Free Price Formation Should Remain A Cornerstone Of The EU ETS’ Volume-Based Cap-And-Trade Mechanism
The EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) is a cornerstone of the EU’s policy to combat climate change and the key carbon pricing instrument for reducing greenhouse gas emissions cost efficiently. While the main variant in terms of carbon pricing is a cap and trade system such as the EU ETS, other variants exist.

The Stock Market’s Rally Is Finally Widening; More companies in the S&P 500 are rising as technology stocks share the stage
Karen Langley – WSJ
A wide range of stocks have powered the November market rally, a broadening of support beyond the few highflying companies that propelled indexes earlier this year. With a drumbeat of promising reports on Covid-19 vaccines and the easing of U.S. election uncertainty, stocks have surged in November. The S&P 500 is up 11%, on pace for its best month since April when the market was rebounding from its coronavirus lows. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, meanwhile, topped 30000 for the first time last week and is on pace for its best month since 1987.

Some U.S. Soy Cargoes Canceled With Margins Flagging
Kim Chipman and Michael Hirtzer – Bloomberg
American soybean sales to other countries dipped 42% last week to the lowest level in more than two months after unknown buyers canceled orders, U.S. Department of Agriculture data showed Friday.

China Says Its Grain Imports Not to Blame for Global Price Surge
Bloomberg News
Price surge driven by export controls, stockpiling: official; China’s grain imports only account for a 10th of global trade
A Chinese government official rebuffed the idea that the nation’s massive corn and wheat imports are to blame for the jump in international prices, saying the coronavirus pandemic and uncertainty in global food trade drove “panic” in the industry.

BlackRock’s Hildebrand Says Global Inflation Isn’t Dead
Matthias Wabl – Bloomberg
Central banks will face pressure to not tighten too quickly; Covid and its aftermath likely to lead to higher costs, wages
BlackRock Inc. Vice Chairman Philipp Hildebrand said financial markets are underestimating the risk of higher inflation in the medium term, especially that central banks will struggle to raise interest rates even when price pressures start to build up. Hildebrand, the former Swiss central bank chief, said he doesn’t share the widely-held view that “inflation is dead.”

Contrarian scenarios that could upset the market consensus; Year-end forecasts from strategists narrow to a common outlook as the pandemic shock eases
Robin Wigglesworth – FT
This is the time of year when financial analysts figuratively gut the global economy and examine the entrails to divine what the next year might hold. What is always a difficult exercise looks particularly hopeless right now.

Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance

Solar Power Booms in Texas; The state, a leader in wind energy, will be home to the nation’s largest solar farm, part of an expected surge in development
Katherine Blunt – WSJ
Wind power made Texas the leading renewable-energy producer in the U.S. Now solar is fast catching up. Invenergy LLC broke ground this year on a $1.6 billion solar farm northeast of Dallas that is expected to be the largest in the country upon completion in 2023. AT&T Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google are among the large corporations that have contracted to purchase power from the project, which will span more than 13,000 football fields and supply enough electricity to power 300,000 homes.

Biden’s SEC chair likely to take ‘hard look’ at ESG; Democratic member Caroline Crenshaw predicts climate risk will likely be on the agenda at the agency
Mark Schoeff Jr.
President-elect Joe Biden’s choice to chair the Securities and Exchange Commission likely will make oversight of socially responsible investing an agency priority, current members predicted Friday.

China’s ESG ratings tarnish its allure for sustainable investors; World’s second-largest economy has the worst ESG ratings of any major market
Steve Johnson – FT
Sustainable investing and the opening up of China’s once closed markets are two of the hottest investment trends. But the world’s second-largest economy has the worst environmental social and governance (ESG) ratings of any major nation and the two approaches may be on a collision course.

The problem with zero carbon pledges; Ambitions to cut emissions are expressed in almost every company press release and annual report — but some are a lot more real than others.
Matthew Vincent – FT
“Ambitions tend to remain undisturbed by realities.” It was an observation first made in a work of science fiction by the author Frank Herbert 44 years ago. But it is arguably now borne out in works of science fact, by the corporate thought leaders of today. “Ambitions” to combat climate change, by reducing carbon emissions, are expressed in almost every company press release and annual report. On closer reading, though, some appear a lot more real than others.

Investor Beating 95% of Peers Digs for the ESG Gems of Tomorrow
Ksenia Galouchko and Hanna Hoikkala – Bloomberg
One of Europe’s top-performing equity managers is investing in targets with less-than-perfect sustainability scores, betting on companies with the potential to boost those credentials in the future. Henrietta Theorell, whose 26 billion Swedish krona ($3 billion) Swedbank Robur Smabolag Sverige fund is up 42% in dollar terms and 30% in local currency this year, says that environmental, social and corporate governance tallies aren’t flawless and that she looks for companies whose business models can propel them to the top of the ESG ladder in future. To make that happen, she works with her corporates on improving their sustainability.

Emissions Clampdown Sends Rhodium Prices on Explosive Rally; Already the most expensive precious metal and one of the rarest elements on Earth, rhodium prices have more than doubled in 2020
Joe Wallace – WSJ
Rhodium prices are soaring to record highs, making the precious metal that helps to strip pollutants out of car fumes one of the best-performing commodities in 2020. A drive to improve air quality has boosted purchases of unreactive metals used in catalytic converters, driving up prices for rhodium and its more abundant sister, palladium. Adding to demand is the revival in car sales since the nadir of the downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Revealed: Winners of Sustainable and ESG Investment Awards 2020 – relive the full ceremony now
Investment Week
The winners, see below, were announced during a virtual awards ceremony on 26 November and you can watch the show again on demand above. You can view the finalists again here. These awards are intended to honour best-in-class fund providers, research and ratings teams and service providers who now have a key part to play as sustainable and ESG investing moves firmly into the mainstream. All entrants for the awards had to fill out a lengthy questionnaires for the judges providing detailed information and clear examples to demonstrate excellence in their approach to sustainable and ESG investing and the impact they are having. Our experienced judging panel then chose their winners after some heated debates on our judging day earlier this year.


Perella Weinberg close to merger with banking tycoon’s Spac; Boutique investment bank to list via Betsy Cohen’s blank-cheque vehicle by end of 2020
James Fontanella-Khan, Ortenca Aliaj and Sujeet Indap – FT
Boutique investment bank Perella Weinberg Partners is in advanced discussions to combine with a blank-cheque vehicle sponsored by Betsy Cohen, a 79-year old commercial banking tycoon, according to people familiar with the matter.

Price of sellside analyst meetings almost halved by pandemic; Shift to online presentations means fund managers are paying less for investment research
Siobhan Riding – FT
The price fund managers are willing to pay for sellside research has fallen dramatically during the pandemic due to the shift to digital meetings.

Top-Performing Fund Manager Explains ‘Where Money Goes to Die’; Forget about labels like ‘growth’ and ‘value,’ Invesco’s Dishmon says.
Sarah Ponczek and Michael P. Regan – Bloomberg
Randy Dishmon doesn’t care much for investment strategies based on lumping stocks into boxes with labels like growth and value. The manager of the Invesco Global Focus Fund, which has returned 46% this year and consistently ranks in the top 1% of similar funds, joins the latest “What Goes Up” podcast to discuss how he approaches investing and the recent rotation in equities.

Perella Weinberg Nears Merger With SPAC Sponsored by Betsy Cohen
Sonali Basak and Gabrielle Coppola – Bloomberg
Boutique investment bank Perella Weinberg Partners is close to a deal to go public via a blank-check company sponsored by finance entrepreneur Betsy Cohen, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Citi’s Jane Fraser Talks About the Priorities She’ll Set as CEO; The first woman named to run a big U.S. bank says Covid and regulatory challenges give her an opportunity to accelerate reforms.
Jennifer Surane – Bloomberg
In September, Jane Fraser shattered the financial industry’s ultimate glass ceiling when she was named the next chief executive officer of Citigroup Inc., one of the world’s three most important banks. Weeks later, she was saddled with regulatory homework by the U.S. Federal Reserve and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, which said the bank must update its technology and systems to better manage risk.

A Boutique Investment Bank Bets on a SPAC; The boutique M&A shop can take full credit if it cuts a good deal with a SPAC. But it’ll have no one to blame if it all goes wrong.
Chris Hughes – Bloomberg
There’s a puzzle in Perella Weinberg Partners’ ambition to go public by merging with a so-called SPAC. Special purpose acquisition companies often partner with early-stage businesses that lack the track record of revenue generation required to do an initial public offering. A boutique investment bank that’s been around since 2006 is an unusual candidate for this sometimes controversial route to market. The terms of any deal will be instrumental to demonstrating Perella Weinberg has gone for a SPAC out of choice rather than necessity.

SocGen Ordered to Return $150 Million of Allen Stanford Ponzi Cash
Hugo Miller – Bloomberg
Bank ordered to hand over $150 million first requested in 2012; Allen Stanford stashed $330 million in foreign bank accounts
Societe Generale SA was reprimanded by a Swiss court and ordered to give up $150 million deposited by convicted fraudster Allen Stanford that it had fought for nearly a decade to keep. The court ruled that Societe Generale failed to do proper due diligence before accepting Stanford’s money. The bank’s Swiss unit had argued that it had acted in good faith and that it had a valid claim to the assets, partly based on a loan to the businessman.

Wells Fargo’s struggle to escape the dog house isn’t over yet; Bank stock sees whipsaw-like rebound but investors wait for news on cost cuts and regulatory cap
Robert Armstrong – FT
A few years ago I asked a Wall Street chief executive — known for his frankness — what the banking industry needed to do to rebuild its reputation with the public. “Simple,” he said, “we need to stop messing up.” He did not use that verb.

ABN Amro to cut 2,500 jobs in cull of investment bank business; As part of a business overhaul, ABN Amro will cut 15% of its workforce from 2022 and sell its Amsterdam Zuid headquarters.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Dutch bank ABN Amro will cut roughly 2,500 jobs under plans to wind-down part of its investment banking division in a major business overhaul to reduce costs in the next few years.


India’s Farmer Protests Challenge Modi’s Market Deregulations; Prime minister’s push to overhaul agricultural markets in an effort to boost growth meets resistance
Vibhuti Agarwal and Eric Bellman – WSJ
Angry Indian farmers protested in and around the capital over the weekend, worried that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to deregulate agricultural markets will leave them without a safety net. Farmers from northern India used tractors and motorcycles to block highways on the fringes of New Delhi, creating traffic jams and forcing people to drive around the protest. Authorities have offered to create a place for the protesters to demonstrate that won’t lead to gridlock, but they have declined.

Hang Seng tech ETF to launch in Singapore; Debut to come just weeks after the suspension of Ant Group’s IPO in Hong Kong and Shanghai
Ernest Chan – FT
Lion Global Investors and OCBC Securities have partnered to launch Singapore’s first technology-focused exchange traded fund, rolling out a new ETF that tracks the recently launched Hang Seng Tech index, which has already spawned a host of new products in Hong Kong.

UK’s high Covid spending delivers worse outcomes than peers; Britain languishes near bottom of G7 tables for economic performance and deaths caused by the virus
Chris Giles – FT
The UK has spent more money fighting coronavirus than almost all comparable countries but still languishes towards the bottom of league tables of economic performance in 2020 and deaths caused by the virus, according to Financial Times research.

Bundesbank Deputy Says Not Time for Bank Dividend Return: FAS
William Wilkes – Bloomberg
Bundesbank Vice President Claudia Buch says now isn’t the time for the ECB to lift its de facto ban on banks paying dividends, according to an interview in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung’s Sunday edition.

Swiss Reject Business Liability Plan, Ban on SNB Investments
Catherine Bosley – Bloomberg
Multinationals feared extra bureaucracy, flood of lawsuits; Opposition to ban SNB investing in arms makers was at 57.5%
Swiss voters rejected two proposals that had the potential to alter the corporate landscape of a country known for low taxes and light-touch regulation. An initiative that would’ve banned the Swiss National Bank from investing in defense companies was opposed by almost 60% in a ballot on Sunday.

China Stirs Trouble With Plan to Hike Retirement Age From 60
Tom Hancock – Bloomberg
Officials may take a gradual approach in face of discontent; Reforms needed to ensure funding sustainability and growth
China is making a new push to raise one of the world’s lowest retirement ages as it tries to cope with a rapidly aging population, a move that’s already fueling public discontent and will test the Communist Party’s ability to implement reforms. The ruling party alluded to the change earlier this month when it released an outline of its five-year economic plan, which included a recommendation to “implement postponing the retirement age.” Specific measures in the plan are due to be unveiled in March.

Hong Kong’s Bankless Leader Reveals the Long Arm of the U.S. Treasury; International lenders fear secondary sanctions: here’s why
Mike Bird – WSJ
After being sanctioned by the U.S. in August, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam says she can’t get a bank account in her own city, according to an interview with TV station HKIBC that aired Friday. The message from Mrs. Lam’s statement is that Hong Kong and Chinese banks are unable to provide services for her because the risk of what the U.S. government could do in retaliation is too great. And there is good reason to think that is true.

China Escalates Australia Trade Dispute With Wine Tariffs; Australia calls a Chinese finding that its exporters are dumping cheap wine ‘erroneous in fact and in substance’
Stuart Condie – WSJ
China imposed antidumping tariffs on Australian wine, escalating a monthslong trade dispute and forcing local vintners to seek other markets for millions of bottles during a pandemic. China’s Ministry of Commerce said the temporary duties of 107.1% to 212.1% will take effect Saturday. They follow an investigation begun in August that concluded Australian exporters dumped cheap wine into the Chinese market, hurting the domestic wine industry. Australia’s government rejected these preliminary findings.

Why China Sought Help With Credit Ratings for Bonds
Bloomberg News
One reason foreign investors think twice about dabbling in China’s $15 trillion bond market is the quality of domestic credit ratings — and a pickup in defaults in late 2020 has cast fresh doubt on their reliability. The authorities sought to address such concerns last year by allowing S&P Global Inc. to become the first foreign ratings firm to operate independently in the country. The move proved to be a milestone but hardly a watershed. Even with Fitch Ratings Inc. also in China now, there’s a long way to go in a market where the vast majority of bonds receive stellar ratings and defaults can come out of nowhere.


No-deal Brexit is the UK’s biggest economic threat, not Covid; Boris Johnson is avoiding difficult decisions and inconvenient truths
David Gauke – FT
UK government to produce a cost-benefit analysis of the economic consequences of its Covid-19 restrictions. There has been less interest from my former colleagues in seeing analysis of another matter that will have a big impact on our economic prospects — the nature of our relationship with the EU, when the transitional arrangements come to an end on December 31.

Worse Than Covid? Risks to U.K. Economy as Brexit Deadline Nears
Andrew Atkinson and Lucy Meakin – Bloomberg
U.K. economy will likely be smaller regardless of the outcome; But failure to reach a deal could inflict more lasting damage
With the U.K. economy suffering more from the coronavirus than most advanced nations, the stakes couldn’t be higher as Brexit trade negotiations enter their endgame. Gross domestic product will likely be smaller than what it would have been had the U.K. stayed in the European Union regardless of the outcome. But reaching an accord would help avoid major trade disruptions come Jan. 1.

London ‘Thrown to the Lions’ as Brexit Finance Deal Unlikely
Viren Vaghela – Bloomberg
Growing signs of trading, assets and people moving to Europe; London’s long-standing advantages may help soften Brexit
The golden age of the City of London began with a big bang. It’s ending with a whimper. Fears that the finance powerhouse that emerged from Margaret Thatcher’s 1986 deregulation — known as the Big Bang — will gradually be dismantled have deepened with a recent flurry of announcements about some business heading to the European Union as Britain enters the last month of the Brexit transition period without a financial-services deal in sight.

A $364 Trillion Game of Brexit Chicken Gets Ugly; The U.K. and the European Union are locked in a derivatives standoff driven by politics rather than what’s best for investors.
Lionel Laurent – Bloomberg
Politicians in the European Union are fretting about how little time is left to strike a Brexit trade deal, with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian publicly bemoaning British foot-dragging this week. Now frustration has hit the once dull world of financial regulation, where the City of London and EU are locked in a staring contest over a big chunk of the $364 trillion interest-rate swap market.


Oranges Were a Pandemic Pick-Me-Up Before the New Normal Set In
Paul Tugwell and Thomas Gualtieri – Bloomberg
Prices have dropped after quadrupling during the spring wave; ‘People aren’t in the same panic mode,’ Greek grower says
Citrus growers in Europe got an unexpected lift this year when people sought to boost their immune systems with vitamin C, but now even that coronavirus bright spot is fading. Farmers in Spain, Italy and Greece were expecting to sell oranges for 20 cents a kilogram at the start of 2020, but prices in some cases quadrupled due to pandemic-induced buying in the spring. The latest rates for winter fruit are closer to seasonal norms, despite a resurgence that’s far worse than the initial wave.

Depression-Era Secrets of Retail Survival; How can smaller players get wiped out while the larger chains thrive? It’s happened before.
Stephen Mihm – Bloomberg
Since January, upward of more than 12,000 retailers in the U.S. have shuttered their doors – a record rate of decline. Yet shares in Macy’s and its counterparts are surging in anticipation of the world after Covid-19, thanks to recent vaccine breakthroughs. How can smaller players get wiped out while the larger chains thrive? The bloodletting that’s taking place right now is eerily reminiscent of what happened during the Great Depression.

Giving thanks may make your brain more altruistic; Neuroscience is revealing a fascinating link between gratitude and generosity.
Sigal Samuel – Vox.com
Over Thanksgiving, in between mouthfuls of turkey and sweet potato pie, many of us will be asking ourselves: What are we grateful for? Taking a moment to practice gratitude like this isn’t an empty holiday tradition. It’s good for our mental and physical health. And here’s another thing: It can actually change our brains in ways that make us more altruistic — just in time for Giving Tuesday.

John Lothian Newsletter

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Past JLN Newsletters

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