SVB, Signature Bank Depositors to Get All Their Money as Fed Moves to Stem Crisis

Mar 13, 2023

First Read

Hits & Takes
John Lothian & JLN Staff

If you did not know what SVB was or stood for before today, don’t worry, you will know after today. We have “Everything Everywhere All At Once” about SVB right here in JLN, with a hat tip to the Oscars where the movie by that name took home seven Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Actress Michelle Yeoh and Best Supporting Actress for Jamie Lee Curtis. This is “The Whale” of a problem as the Silicon Valley Bank, or SVB, was taken possession by California State regulators Friday, who assigned the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, or FDIC, as the receiver. Problems accelerated for SVB when Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund and other venture capital firms told the firms in their portfolios to remove their deposits from the bank.

Much of the business journalism over the weekend reported on this west coast bank that focused on the technology sector and startups and failed to raise capital last week. The FDIC held an auction for the bank, which started on Saturday and was to end on Sunday. Initially the story was that if no buyer was found, U.S Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen was looking for a way to protect uninsured depositors, The New York Times reported. The Federal Reserve came out with emergency measures on Sunday that backstopped all depositors, insured and uninsured.

Also on Sunday, state regulators closed Signature Bank and the Federal Reserve also announced its deposits would be made whole, Barron’s reported. Signature was one of the last firms to offer services to blockchain companies, after Silvergate announced it was liquidating, Fortune reported. Signature is the third largest bank to fail, behind SVB and Washington Mutual back in 2008, Yahoo Finance reported. A bank with a similar profile to SVB, Republic Bank in San Francisco, received some additional funding from JP Morgan and the U.S. Federal Reserve, MarketWatch reported.

The UK arm of SVB was bought by HSBC for £1 in a transaction that was completed immediately. The Bank of England said all the the SVB deposits are “safe and secure,” Bloomberg reported.

This week is FIA’s International Futures Industry Conference in Boca Raton, Florida. The conference opens Monday with the Coinbase evening reception, the first ever pre-conference networking reception. The conference features a current and former CFTC chairman speaking, current CFTC Chairman Rostin Behnam and former Chairman Timothy Massad. It also features the return to the conference of former ICE executive and former Georgia U.S. Senator Kelly Loeffler. Loefller will be joined at the ICE Energy Breakfast by Wall Street Journal Contributor Karl Rove and Democratic Strategist Donna Brazile. Loeffler’s return to the industry will be something to watch as she has not changed directions since her hard right turn when she ran for the U.S. Senate. Her Twitter feed is a stream of political red meat themes, including anti-Biden, anti-Soros, anti-Antifa posts.

Registration for the Boca conference has been closed for weeks due to capacity constraints and FIA even stopped taking additions to the waitlist. It must have been a long wait list. They have instituted a signup for a list for an early notification for registration for the 2024 Boca conference so you don’t get shut out again.

The 2023 FIA BOCA Charity Golf Event, scheduled for March 16 at 1 p.m., has HKEX as the title sponsor. Other sponsors of the event include ABN AMRO Clearing, Barclays, BSO, CQG, Eventus and Genesis

JLN will be set up in the Grand Pre-Assembly Hall with our video team during the conference. Look for the bright lights and the old guy with the shiny forehead.

Speaking of video, Cboe Digital is coming out with a new offering, Cboe Digital TV. This is another example of a commercial entity producing high quality content in their sweet spot, but missing the important element of independence that professional journalists have. Interestingly, Cboe Digital TV does feature former JLN journalist and executive Jessica Darmoni and she has been aided with her social media promotion of the new offering by Cboe digital media specialist and former JLN journalist Spencer Doar. So the new offering does have that going for it, but I still value independent journalism over quality in-house production, no offense to my former colleagues. While I am talking about my own book, I am also talking about the principles in which I believe.

For those of you in the U.S., did you spring forward on Sunday? Did you change your clocks that are not tied to some computer that is smart enough to do it by itself? Are you ready for the darker mornings in exchange for later sunsets? Welcome to Daylight Savings Time.

Alexandra Bocking has left FIS and is joining FIA Tech as a senior business development manager.

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


The agenda is live for The Derivatives Forum Frankfurt taking place March 22-23 at Congress Center Messe Frankfurt. Focused on trading and clearing for derivatives, and securities financing across asset classes, The Derivatives Forum features thought leadership insights, industry debates, keynote speeches and on-site networking opportunities. This year, The Derivatives Forum is in person and online. Learn more and register here.~SAED

The World Resources Institute is hosting a webinar, Unlocking Clean Energy Deployment: A Conversation with Sen. Brian Schatz About the Future of Transmission Permitting Reform, March 14, 1:00 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. EST. The Webinar will discuss federal transmission permitting reform and the growing need to rapidly deploy clean energy infrastructure. Learn more and register here.~SAED


Crypto Bros Turn Back Time on Their Rolexes, Patek Philippes; Many of those who bought luxury timepieces during the boom of 2022 have been forced to sell. But those bargains might soon run out.
Andrea Felsted – Bloomberg
Inflation? What inflation? It’s gotten so much cheaper to get your hands on a Rolex. After a boom and bust in the market for pre-owned watches over the past three years, there have lately been signs of stability, particularly for Rolex. Time may now even be running out for bargain hunters, though that will depend on whether crypto bros are finished offloading their collections and if a resurgent China compensates for slowing demand in the US.

****** Back in the day, you could find a nice Rolex for sale behind the CBOT building after a wicked day in the markets.~JJL


Ivy League Schools Sure Look Like a Cartel; Plaintiffs say the universities have engaged in price-fixing by agreeing not to offer athletic scholarships. It’s a fair point.
Stephen L. Carter – Bloomberg
Pity the poor Ivy League. Last January, a lawsuit claimed that the Ivies have been, contrary to their promises, making admission decisions based on how much students can pay. Then in September, their cherished antitrust exemption expired. This week brought a fresh suit, in which former student athletes argue that by agreeing not to offer athletic scholarships, the schools have engaged in illegal price-fixing.

****** They are not a cartel. They are just a strategically aligned higher education group of schools.~JJL


Paul Krugman says Silicon Valley Bank could’ve been called the ‘Schmoozing and Vibes Bank,’ but it’s probably not another ‘Lehman moment’
Ryan Hogg – Business Insider
Paul Krugman has played down the threat posed by Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse to the financial sector, suggesting the startup lender was more a “Schmoozing and Vibes Bank” than the new Lehman Brothers. In a Twitter thread, the NYU economist argued why SVB’s failure wasn’t a “harbinger for the banking system as a whole,” or a repeat of the Lehman collapse that sparked the 2007/08 global financial crisis.

****** Paul, you need to work harder on your insults.~JJL


Earning More Money Actually Does Make People Happier: Study
Sarah Hansen – Money
We all suspected it, and now there’s (even more) research to prove it: Earning more money does actually make people happier. That’s according to a new study from Daniel Kahneman and Matthew Killingsworth, researchers at Princeton University and the University of Pennsylvania, respectively, which finds that happiness rises as income does. The analysis upends previous research from Kahneman that concluded happiness tends to increase with income only up to about $75,000 in annual earnings. In his 2010 study, earnings above that threshold didn’t seem to have a big impact on a person’s daily happiness.

****** Whoever posted this to JLN, I am cutting your pay. How does that make you feel now?~JJL


Friday’s Top Three
Our top story last Friday was the Financial Times’ Smartphones and social media are destroying children’s mental health. Second was from Reuters (via Yahoo), Main Street investors pressure SEC, confront Wall Street on stock plan. Third was Intercontinental Exchange’s CME’s Terry Duffy Visits the NYSE, Reflecting on Trading Futures and the Future of Trading.


MarketsWiki Stats
27,234 pages; 243,502 edits
MarketsWiki Statistics


Lead Stories

SVB, Signature Bank Depositors to Get All Their Money as Fed Moves to Stem Crisis
Nick Timiraos, Andrew Ackerman and Andrew Duehren – The Wall Street Journal
U.S. regulators took control of a second bank Sunday and announced emergency measures to ease fears depositors might pull their money from smaller lenders after the swift collapse late last week of Silicon Valley Bank. The measures, which include guaranteeing all deposits of SVB, were designed to shore up wavering confidence in the banking system. They were jointly announced Sunday night by the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

SVB Fallout Spreads Around World From London to Singapore; More than 100 founders and CEOs are writing to UK Chancellor; SVB’s collapse has led to cash crunch for startups globally
Thomas Seal, Mark Bergen and Hannah Miller – Bloomberg
The fallout from the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank is beginning to spread around the world. Startup founders in California’s Bay Area are panicking about access to money and paying employees. Fears of contagion have reached Canada, India and China. In the UK, SVB’s unit is set to be declared insolvent, has already ceased trading and is no longer taking new customers. On Saturday, the leaders of roughly 180 tech companies sent a letter calling on UK Chancellor Jeremy Hunt to intervene.

Wall Street examines risks around short-dated options as warnings rise-sources
Carolina Mandl and Laura Matthews – Reuters
An explosion in trading in a type of equity derivative security in recent months has prompted Wall Street players and a major clearing house to examine the potential risks it poses, according to two sources familiar with the matter. So-called zero day to expiry options (0DTE), which refers to contracts that expire in less than 24 hours, offer retail and institutional traders a relatively cheap, though high-risk, way to bet on intra-day swings in stock prices. They could be tied to the price of indices, exchange traded funds or single stocks.

Regulators seize Signature Bank in third-largest US bank failure
David Hollerith – Yahoo Finance
Regulators seized New York regional bank Signature Bank (SBNY) two days after shutting down Silicon Valley Bank as overseers of the banking system try to restore calm before markets open Monday. Signature becomes the third-largest bank to ever fail in the U.S., behind Silicon Valley Bank and Washington Mutual in 2008, if its assets haven’t changed significantly since the end of 2022. Signature had $110 billion in assets as of Dec. 31, ranking 29th among U.S. banks. It had $88 billion in deposits as of that date, and approximately 89.7% were not insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

HSBC Buys SVB’s UK Unit for £1 in Reprieve for Tech Sector; Transaction completes immediately, HSBC says in statement; Bank of England says all SVB deposits are ‘safe and secure’
Harry Wilson – Bloomberg
HSBC Holdings Plc is buying the UK arm of Silicon Valley Bank, the culmination of a frantic weekend where ministers and bankers explored various ways to avert the SVB unit’s collapse. The London-listed lender’s “ring-fenced subsidiary, HSBC UK Bank plc, is acquiring Silicon Valley Bank UK Limited (SVB UK) for £1,” HSBC said in a statement Monday. The deal completes immediately and will be funded from existing resources.

Signature Bank takeover could leave crypto companies scrambling for financial services
Leo Schwartz – Fortune
After the crypto-friendly Silvergate announced it would be voluntarily liquidating amid a capitalization crisis, blockchain companies rushed to one of the last U.S. banks that would offer financial services to the volatile industry-New York-based Signature Bank.

Credit Suisse Default Swaps Hit Record as SVB Failure Hits Banks
Colin Keatinge – Bloomberg
The cost of insuring the bonds of Credit Suisse Group AG against default climbed to the highest on record as the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank sparked concern about broader contagion in the banking industry.

Italy says hopes EU acts to shore up banks if needed, after SVB collapse
Italy’s Economy Minister Giancarlo Giorgetti is closely watching market developments following the collapse of the Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), the ministry said on Monday, adding that the European Union should act quickly to shore up banks if needed.

The Silicon Valley Bank office in New York. SVB was the bank of choice for startups backed by the region’s most prominent venture firms.
Priya Anand, Dawn Lim, Hannah Miller and Heather Perlberg – Bloomberg
The collapse of Silicon Valley Bank has prompted a global reckoning at venture capital and private equity firms, which found themselves suddenly exposed all together to the tech industry’s money machine. SVB billed itself as a one-stop shop for tech visionaries – more than just a bank, a financial partner across loans, currency management, even personal mortgages. Its tactics to bundle client services were deemed aggressive by some, but it was hard to argue with the results: business with 44% of venture-backed technology and health-care companies that went public last year, and overall explosive growth during boom times.

SVB Backstop Revives the Specter of Moral Hazard; When bad things happen in banking, limits on deposit insurance turn out to be meaningless.
Chris Hughes – Bloomberg
This is no time for lectures on moral hazard, former US Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers said ahead of the raft of US policy initiatives announced on Sunday to stabilize the financial system in the wake of the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank. Maybe, but might we at least be allowed a brief lament? Depositors in SVB are to be made whole even if their cash holdings with the failed lender are above the $250,000 cap that’s meant to apply to US bank deposit insurance. As in the financial crisis of 2008-2009, the authorities have stepped in to ensure that depositors don’t lose money.

Crypto’s On-Ramp Ran Right Into SVB’s Brick Wall; The hinterland between TradFi and DeFi looks even riskier.
Lionel Laurent – Bloomberg
Stablecoins are failing to live up to their billing, again. After last year’s Terra blowup, bouts of market stress at Tether and a regulatory clampdown on Binance’s BUSD, now Circle’s USDC -one of the stablest of stablecoins – is scrambling to calm panic over its exposure to now-defunct Silicon Valley Bank, where it had $3.3 billion of reserves. Even if it succeeds, regulators and banks have plenty of reason to stay on their guard.

Signature Bank Closure Deals Another Blow to Crypto Industry; Lender had relationships with likes of Circle and Coinbase; Closure comes days after the collapse of SVB, Silvergate
Olga Kharif – Bloomberg
The closure of Signature Bank, a lender that counted a number of crypto companies as customers, marks another major setback for digital assets as the industry becomes ever more cut off from the banking system. The Treasury Department said Signature Bank was closed by New York state regulators Sunday and that depositors will have access to their money Monday.

History can instruct us on the fallout from SVB’s collapse; Banks will be far more sensitive to the threat of deposit flight and pay up for funding, tightening financial conditions
Huw van Steenis – Financial Times
What are the implications of the rapid demise of Silicon Valley Bank? That is arguably now the most important question in global finance. What can financial history tell us about what may happen next?

Risky Bet on Crypto and a Run on Deposits Tank Signature Bank; Regulators said keeping open the 24-year-old institution, which held deposits from law firms and real estate companies, could threaten the financial system’s stability.
By Matthew Goldstein and Emily Flitter – The New York Times
Signature Bank, a New York financial institution with a big real estate lending business that had recently made a play to win cryptocurrency deposits, closed its doors abruptly on Sunday, after regulators said that keeping the bank open could threaten the stability of the entire financial system.

Silicon Valley Bank failure raises fear of broader financial contagion; The firm faced unique risks, but rising interest rates and economic uncertainty have many people on edge
David J. Lynch – The Washington Post
Friday’s implosion of Silicon Valley Bank could blow a hole in the most innovative corner of the U.S. economy, interrupt tech workers’ paychecks and push other regional banks into similar distress. But one thing it doesn’t seem likely to do – at least for now – is trigger a wider financial meltdown, banking experts said. Unlike the giant banks that ignited a global crisis in 2008, SVB was heavily dependent upon a single risky sector of the economy for both its depositors and its customers.

Silicon Valley Bank’s demise began with downgrade threat
Echo Wang – Reuters
In the middle of last week, Moody’s Investors Service Inc delivered alarming news to SVB Financial Group (SIVB.O), the parent of Silicon Valley Bank: the ratings firm was preparing to downgrade the bank’s credit. That phone call, described by two people familiar with the situation, began the process toward Friday’s spectacular collapse of the startup-focused lender, the biggest bank failure since the 2008 financial crisis.

What Silicon Valley Bank’s Collapse Means for Your Money; The failure of a prominent bank for tech startups is inciting fears of a 2008 repeat. Experts say not to panic.
Claire Ballentine, Charlie Wells and Suzanne Woolley – Bloomberg
The biggest bank failure since 2008 is stoking fears among everyday investors and savers. Silicon Valley Bank, a major lender for US tech startups, collapsed on Friday as regulators took over. That’s incited worries that it could be the start of a much bigger problem across the US finance industry. For people with savings in commercial banks and retirement accounts, the news conjured echoes of the financial crisis. Many are wondering: Is my money safe?

Stablecoin Issuer Circle Reveals $3.3 Billion SVB Exposure; The USDC token falls sharply below its intended 1-1 dollar peg; $3.3 billion of its reserves are at failed Silicon Valley Bank
Suvashree Ghosh and Yueqi Yang – Bloomberg
The second-largest stablecoin in crypto fell from its intended $1 peg on Saturday, trading as low as 81.5 cents, hurt by the exposure of issuer Circle Internet Financial Ltd. to the collapsed Silicon Valley Bank. USD Coin, or USDC, is a key plank of crypto markets and is supposed to hold a constant $1 value, fully backed by reserves of cash and short-dated Treasuries. But $3.3 billion of that roughly $40 billion stockpile is with Silicon Valley Bank, which has just become one of the largest US bank failures in recent history.

Magnets Will Be Minting Tomorrow’s Billionaires; “Lodestones” started out as lightning-infused magical rocks that could cure baldness. Now they’re an essential part of our machine-driven world.
Stephen Mihm – Bloomberg
In one of the most iconic scenes of The Graduate, Dustin Hoffman’s young character, Benjamin Braddock, gets some unsolicited investment advice from a family friend: “plastics.” Replay that scene today and feckless Benjamin might hear a different word: magnets. In recent years, the humble magnet has become utterly essential to a number of modern industries, from electric vehicles to wind turbines. It’s a high-tech building block upon which fortunes will be made.

SVB’s 44-Hour Collapse Was Rooted in Treasury Bets During Pandemic; Largest bank failure since 2008 rooted in bad bets on rates; Leaders who recently showed confidence now seeking quick deal
Brian Chappatta – Bloomberg
Greg Becker sat in a red armchair at an invite-only conference in Los Angeles last week, legs crossed, one hand cutting through air. “We pride ourselves on being the best financial partner in the most challenging times,” SVB Financial Group’s chief executive officer told the Upfront Summit on March 1, a day before his firm was up for Bank of the Year honors at a London gala. Just a week later, it all fell apart.

Scrutiny Falls on $43B USDC Stablecoin’s Cash Reserves at Failed Silicon Valley Bank
Krisztian Sandor – CoinDesk
U.S.-based stablecoin issuer Circle held a part of its USDC stablecoin’s cash reserves at Silicon Valley Bank as of Jan. 17, according to the firm’s latest attestation. USDC is the second-largest stablecoin on the market, with a $43 billion circulating supply that is fully backed by government bonds and cash-like assets. According to Circle’s January reserve report, the firm held some $9.88 billion of cash deposited at regulated banks to back USDC’s value. According to Circle’s website on March 10, cash deposits in the reserves amounted to $11.1 billion.

Wall Street’s 4 top banks just had $55 billion wiped off their market value in a single day
Zinya Salfiti – Business Insider
Wall Street’s biggest banks took quite a thrashing in the stock market Thursday as investors spooked the turmoil at Silicon Valley Bank and Silvergate Capital dumped financial shares. JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Morgan Stanley – the four most valued US lenders – saw $55 billion wiped off their combined market capitalization on Thursday, Refinitiv data show.

Ex-US congressman convicted of insider trading before T-Mobile merger
Jody Godoy – Reuters
Former U.S. Congressman Stephen Buyer was convicted by a New York jury on Friday of trading on inside information he learned in 2018 as a consultant to T-Mobile US Inc (TMUS.O) ahead of its $23 billion merger with Sprint. Buyer was a Republican from Indiana in the U.S. House of Representatives between 1993 and 2011 before working as a corporate consultant.

Ukraine Invasion

Ukraine-Russia news – latest: Putin suffering ‘extremely heavy casualties’ in Bakhmut ‘killing zone’
Martha McHardy and Arpan Rai – Independent
Vladimir Putin is suffering “extremely heavy casualties” in Ukraine as the battle for Bakhmut rages on, according to UK intelligence. Russia has made Bakhmut the main target of a winter push involving hundreds of thousands of reservists and mercenaries. It has captured the eastern part of the city and outskirts to the north and south, but has so far failed to close a ring around Ukrainian defenders.

Russian wives and mothers call on Putin to stop sending mobilized men ‘to the slaughter’
Josh Pennington and Heather Chen – CNN
A group of Russian wives and mothers have called on President Vladimir Putin to stop sending their husbands and sons “to the slaughter” by forcing them to join assault groups without adequate training or supplies. In a video shared by the independent Russian Telegram channel SOTA, the women said their loved ones had been “forced to join assault groups” at the beginning of March despite having just four days training since their mobilization in September.

Russian Bombing of Mariupol Shattered a City-and a Family
Isabel Coles – The Wall Street Journal
On the day she had been due to give birth last year, Viktoria Shishkina was asleep on the first floor of the maternity hospital in Mariupol, Ukraine-then under siege by Russian forces. That morning was unusually quiet-until the strike that changed everything. The bombing of the maternity hospital was an early watershed in a war that shattered Ms. Shishkina’s city-and her life.

Defending Ukraine’s ‘highway of life’ – the last road out of Bakhmut
Alex Horton and Anastacia Galouchka – The Washington Post
The battle for Bakhmut raged behind them, but the tank crew had a more immediate concern: finding a patch of asphalt on the last viable road out of the embattled city to fix their clattering T-64 without falling into a quagmire of thigh-high black mud. The tank engine quit its smoky growl on a solid chunk of Highway T0504, and two crewmen leaped off to inspect the tracks. They had run over an explosive in the neighboring village of Ivanivske, a soldier explained, adding a string of expletives, and needed to make quick repairs to return to the fight.

Moscow fumes as Ukraine considers changing Russia’s official name
Lauren Sforza – The Hill
Russian officials railed against Ukraine’s talk of changing Russia’s official name to Muscovy, after a Ukrainian petition regarding a potential name change garnered 25,000 signatures. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky reportedly instructed Ukrainian Prime Minister Denis Shmygal to “carefully” consider renaming Russia to Muscovy, accounting for consequences under international law and whether it was possible in historical and cultural contexts. Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said in a statement posted to Telegram on Saturday that Zelensky is trying to create an “anti-Russia Ukraine.”

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

Euronext promotes from within for equity, derivatives, structured products and buy-side sales head in Italy; New head joined Euronext two years ago, after spending 13 years at the London Stock Exchange Group, and Borsa Italiana before its eventual acquisition by Euronext.
Wesley Bray – The Trade
Euronext has promoted Massimo Giorgini to the role of head of Italy, equity, derivatives, structured products and buy-side sales. Giorgini has been promoted to the role after serving at Euronext for the last two years, initially joining as head of equity and derivatives markets business development.

Tel Aviv Stock Exchange takes on Avelacom for low latency trading execution; Connectivity provider Avelacom is setting up in TASE’s primary data center to provide connectivity, colocation and hardware-as-a-service (HaaS) solutions
Laurie McAughtry – The Trade
Avelacom, the low latency connectivity, IT infrastructure and data solutions provider for global financial markets, has increased its presence in Israel by partnering with the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) and setting up a new point-of-presence (PoP) in TASE’s primary data center.

Eurex Clearing supports sustainable transformation with new innovative ESG Clearing Compass
Eurex ESG Clearing Compass will include two services, the ESG Portfolio Assessment and the ESG Visibility Hub. Eurex Clearing is supporting sustainable transformation of clients by creating transparency regarding cleared portfolios and counterparties. Source of the data is ISS ESG, a globally leading provider of ESG data and analytics. Eurex Clearing, one of the leading central counterparties globally, announces the introduction of its new ESG Clearing Compass on 3 April 2023. It will include two services, the ESG Portfolio Assessment and the ESG Visibility Hub. With these new services, Deutsche Börse aims to support the sustainable transformation journey of clearing members and their clients by creating more transparency and awareness with regards to cleared portfolios and counterparties.

CME Group Announces First Day of Trading of Event Contracts on Bitcoin Futures
CME Group
CME Group, the world’s leading derivatives marketplace, today announced the first day of trading of event contracts on Bitcoin futures. “Our new event contracts on Bitcoin futures provide a limited-risk, highly transparent way for a wide range of investors to access the bitcoin market via a fully regulated exchange,” said Tim McCourt, Global Head of Equity and FX Products at CME Group. “These cash-settled, daily expiring contracts will further complement our existing suite of 10 event contracts tied to our benchmark futures markets, which have traded more than 550,000 contracts to-date. In addition, these new contracts will offer an innovative, lower-cost way for investors to trade their views on the up or down price moves of bitcoin.”

CME Group FX Futures and Options Reach New Volume and Open Interest Records
CME Group
CME Group, the world’s leading derivatives marketplace, today announced its foreign exchange futures and options reached a new single-day volume record of 3.15 million contracts on March 8, 2023, equivalent to $296 billion in USD notional. In addition to the overall futures and options volume record, which represents a 5% increase over the previous record of 3 million contracts set in September 2022, CME Group also reached trading records in several individual currencies, including a record of 1.1 million Euro FX futures and a record 264,000 Canadian Dollar FX futures.

DTCC Launches New Centralized Communication Solution As Part Of Its Lens Service In Support Of Libor Cessation
The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC), the premier post-trade market infrastructure for the global financial services, today announced that it has launched its new LIBOR Benchmark Replacement Index solution to support the industry’s transition from LIBOR benchmark rates to Secured Overnight Financing Rate Data (SOFR) as well as other new fallback rate indices by June 30, 2023. Market participants will be able to access the solution through DTCC’s Legal Notice System (LENS), a repository of notices designed to report organizational actions that affect securities issues from issuers, agents and trustees, as well as via an automated data feed that will support machine-to-machine capture of standardized reference data.

EU completes 2,500 ETS auctions representing over 6.7 billion tonnes of CO2 via EEX
Today, the European Energy Exchange (EEX) has successfully concluded the 2,500th EU ETS primary auction for EU emission allowances (EUA) and EU aviation allowances (EUAA) since they began in 2010. This milestone comes as the EU is set to roll out new rules to cut 62% of emissions for the covered sectors by 2030. As part of the 2,500 EU ETS auctions, Germany’s 750th successful primary market auction was concluded on 3 March 2023. “EEX is proud to provide the EU ETS auction platform since the very beginning,” Peter Reitz, Chief Executive Officer at EEX, says. “Recent record carbon prices in auctions demonstrate the EU ETS’ effectiveness as a cornerstone for the energy transition. With our products and services, we contribute directly to the EU’s climate targets including the new targets for 2030 and 2050.”

ICE Provides Access to Blue Ocean Technologies Overnight Real-Time Equity Data Feed
Intercontinental Exchange
Provides greater transparency into U.S. equity trading during Asian business hours; Blue Ocean ATS joins roster of leading global exchange data offered over ICE Consolidated Feed. Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE: ICE), a leading global provider of data, technology and market infrastructure, today announced that Blue Ocean Technologies’ real-time data feed for U.S. equities trading during Asian business hours will be available on the ICE Consolidated Feed. This offering combines Blue Ocean ATS’ real-time afterhours market data with the global reach and distribution of the ICE Consolidated Feed and connectivity.

JSE Launches 50th Edition of Flagship Investment Challenge
Johannesburg Stock Exchange
Virtual trading floors for the Johannesburg Stock Exchange’s (JSE) flagship financial literacy programme, the JSE Investment Challenge, have officially opened as the competition marks a 50-year milestone. Designed to highlight the importance of investing and to increase financial knowledge among South African school learners and tertiary students, the Investment Challenge provides participants with an opportunity to invest a virtual amount of R1 million on the stock market in actual JSE listed shares over a six-month period. Their performance is tracked and measured against other competitors, with top-performers eligible for outstanding prizes after the floor closes in September.

Nasdaq Halts SVB Financial Group
The Nasdaq Stock Market® (Nasdaq: NDAQ) announced that trading was halted on March 10, 2023 in SVB Financial Group (Nasdaq: SIVB and SIVBP) at 08:35:18 Eastern Time for “news dissemination” from the company at a last sale price of $106.04 (Nasdaq: SIVB), and $15.23 (Nasdaq: SIVBP). Trading will remain halted until SVB Financial Group has fully satisfied Nasdaq’s request for additional information.

SGX Group reports market statistics for February 2023
SGX Group
Optimism over China’s reopening lifts trading activity across multiple asset classes; Rebound in retail participation bolsters securities market turnover. Singapore Exchange (SGX Group) today released its market statistics for February 2023. Global institutional investors leaned on SGX Group’s multi-asset offering as China’s reopening drove trading activity, particularly in commodities and foreign exchange (FX).


Virtu Financial adds Liquidnet alumnus to execution services team; New appointment brings considerable experience in equities to Virtu, having previously held positions at Liquidnet, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs.
Wesley Bray – The Trade
Virtu Financial has expanded its execution services team with the appointment of Leon Mouzourakis. Mouzourakis joins Virtu Financial from Liquidnet where he spent the last four years, most recently as head of equity platform distribution and execution consulting.

FIX EMEA 2023: EMS still at risk of venue classification; Despite ESMA’s recent decision that an EMS is not a trading venue, audience members at the FIX EMEA conference were divided when asked if the debate could now be put to bed.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
Execution management systems (EMS) are not yet in the clear when it comes to being classed as a multilateral trading facility, an audience at FIX EMEA 2023 Suggested last week.

FIX EMEA 2023: Old kids on the block – what blockchain technology means for traditional financial instruments and trading; At the FIX EMEA 2023 conference last week, one of the most talked-about topics was the issue of how blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT) can be utilised to increase trading efficiency.
Laurie McAughtry – The Trade
Few people would deny that DLT is one of the most exciting trends in the trading space. But with numerous different perspectives, what’s clear is that despite the appetite and ambition in the market, there is still some way to go before the technology becomes incumbent.

Brevan Howard Continues Digital-Asset Push With Crypto Fund Takeover; Crypto asset manager Dragonfly Capital spinning off fund; Fund will operate under Brevan Howard’s digital asset division
Muyao Shen – Bloomberg
Brevan Howard Asset Management is taking over a long-short hedge fund run by Dragonfly Capital, a crypto investment firm, in the latest sign of its push into digital assets. The Jersey, Channel Islands-based firm that has some $30 billion in assets under management has entered into an agreement to assume an actively-managed Dragonfly fund, according to people familiar with the matter who asked not be named because they weren’t authorized to share information about the transaction.

Circle assures market after stablecoin USDC breaks dollar peg
Elizabeth Howcroft and Rishabh Jaiswal – Reuters
Stablecoin USD Coin (USDC) lost its dollar peg and slumped to an all-time low on Saturday before recovering most of its losses after Circle, the firm behind it, assured investors it would honor the peg despite exposure to failed Silicon Valley Bank. Circle said in a tweet on Friday it has $3.3 billion of its $40 billion of USDC reserves at Silicon Valley Bank. On Saturday, the cryptocurrency company said in a blog post that USDC liquidity operations will resume as normal when banks open on Monday morning in the United States.

Crypto Exhales as USDC Stablecoin Rebounds Toward Peg After Being Roiled by SVB Exposure; Circle’s USD Coin is the world’s second-largest stablecoin; Around $3.3 billion in reserves held at Silicon Valley Bank
Muyao Shen and Yueqi Yang – Bloomberg
Crypto’s second-largest stablecoin rebounded toward its intended $1 dollar peg as issuer Circle Internet Financial Ltd. pledged to cover any shortfall in $3.3 billion of reverses held at collapsed Silicon Valley Bank. USD Coin, a key plank in crypto markets, rose as high as $1 and was trading at 98.2 cents as of 10:50 a.m. Sunday in Tokyo. The coin had earlier fetched less than 85 cents in a depeg that sent a shudder through digital assets.

After Landmark Crypto Law, European Politicians Contemplate Building Their Own Blockchain
Jack Schickler – CoinDesk
After regulating cryptocurrencies, European politicians are contemplating the next step in the race to attract Web 3 business – and it might be a tailor-made blockchain that respects privacy, Belgium’s digital minister told CoinDesk in an exclusive interview.


One-fifth of CME clearing members hit by Ion hack; Advisory committee heard CFTC believed it could “play a more direct role” in cyber security practices
Luke Clancy –
Around 20% of all CME Group clearing members were affected by the Ion ransomware event, an executive at the clearing house has told a public hearing. Ion Group, which supplies software used to process cleared derivatives trades, had to shut down access to some of its services on January 31 after hackers seized control of its servers.

FIA’s Walt Lukken announces Cyber Risk Taskforce after ION Markets ransomware
Rick Steves – Finance Feeds
Walt Lukken, President and CEO of the Futures Industry Association (FIA) spoke before the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Market Risk Advisory Committee on 8 March 2023 in Washington, D.C. about the recent ION Markets cyber incident. ION Markets is a software service provider that offers middle- and back-office products to a number of clearing firms that are active in futures markets, not only in the US but also in Europe, Asia-Pacific, and the rest of the Americas.

China is ‘Big Threat’ to US Energy Industry, Cybersecurity Official Says; ‘We all need to be concerned about’ China, Easterly says; Power-grid attacks can cause chaos, Exelon CEO Butler warns
Naureen S Malik – Bloomberg
The US energy industry must shore up protection against cyberattacks from China, a more pressing concern than attacks from Russia amid its war on Ukraine, according to a senior government cybersecurity official. “The big threat we all need to be concerned about is China,” Jen Easterly, director of the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, said during a dinner event Thursday at CeraWeek by S&P Global. “Russia is the hurricane and China is climate change.”

Russian Cyberwar in Ukraine Stumbles Just Like Conventional One; The Russian cyber threat, like President Vladimir Putin’s army, was expected to overwhelm Ukraine’s capacities quickly.
William Turton and Andrew Martin – Bloomberg
Even before Russia invaded Ukraine, its hacking offensive was well under way. Suspected Russian hackers targeted Ukrainian government and financial websites with so-called distributed denial-of-service attacks aimed at creating chaos; they bombarded government, nonprofit and IT organizations with malicious software designed to render computers inoperable; and, in a broadside widely blamed on Russia, they zeroed in on Viasat Inc.’s commercial satellite network, causing major disruptions in Ukrainian communications, including for military units, at a crucial early stage in the war.

How A Satellite Hack Became a Cybersecurity Wakeup Call: Big Take Podcast
Wes Kosova – Bloomberg
People around the world rely on satellites for their internet connections, credit card transactions – and even to keep track of time. Last year, a suspected Russian-led satellite hack exposed how vulnerable satellites are to security breaches, from individual hackers seeking to pilfer information for profit and governments looking to weaken their adversaries.


Sam-Bankman Fried faces revoked bail as judge wonders about communication restrictions
Aislinn Murphy and Marta Dhanis – FOX Business
U.S. District Court Judge Lewis Kaplan on Friday worried about whether restrictive communications for Sam Bankman-Fried would be sufficient, concerns that raised questions again about whether the FTX founder could have his bail revoked and get sent back to jail as he awaits the trial currently set for the fall. Kaplan voiced the worries about the restrictive communications for Bankman-Fried’s bail terms during a conference held in Manhattan federal court Friday morning.

IMF Had Warned G-20 That Widespread Crypto Use Would Impact Banks
Amitoj Singh – CoinDesk
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) had warned the Group of 20 (G-20) nations that the widespread proliferation of crypto assets could lead to banks losing deposits and curtailing lending.

EU Merchants Could Be Required to Accept Digital Euro, Ministers Told
Jack Schickler – CoinDesk
Merchants within the euro area could be obliged to accept a digital euro if it is deemed to be legal tender, according to a paper set to be put before finance ministers later Monday and seen by CoinDesk. Giving the central bank digital currency (CBDC) the same status as banknotes and coins would mean payments legally discharge obligations to pay, and with mandatory acceptance at full face value, the paper said.

Binance Swaps BUSD Stablecoin From ‘Recovery Fund’ to Bitcoin, Ethereum, BNB
Andrew Asmakov – Decrypt
Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange by trading volume, responded to the latest drama around the USDC stablecoin by converting the remainder of its $1 billion Industry Recovery Initiative funds into Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and other digital currencies.

OKX-Affiliated OKCoin Pauses USD On-Ramp Due to Signature Bank’s Collapse
Sam Reynolds – CoinDesk
OKCoin has temporarily lost the ability to allow customers to deposit USD because of Signature bank’s collapse, according to a tweet by its CEO. “Our team are working very hard on alternative channels and solutions in real-time,” OKCoin CEO Hong Fang tweeted. “We’ve been through much worse times since our inception. If this weekend has told us anything, it’s the significance of the future that we are building.”

SVB Collapse Shows Fickleness of Crypto Money; The world’s second-biggest stablecoin got thrown off its peg because of the demise of a bank relatively unknown outside Silicon Valley.
Andy Mukherjee – Bloomberg
When the world’s second-largest stablecoin got caught up in the collapse of a California bank late last week, it reprised the now-famous maxim of Nobuhiro Kiyotaki and John Moore. “Evil,” the economists had claimed in a 2001 lecture, later made available as a paper of the same title, “is the root of all money.”

Central banks’ digital currency plans face public backlash; Policymakers’ attempts to take on cryptocurrencies and other payment rivals are coming up against resistance
Martha Muir – Financial Times
US critics deride it as the “Biden coin”, Europeans worry their privacy is at risk, while in China few are prepared to ditch tried-and-tested payment apps for the state-backed equivalent. About 85 central banks are engaged in projects to create digital currencies, according to figures from the Bank for International Settlements. Among them is the Bank of England, which said last month it was “likely” that the UK would eventually need one.

Billions Worth of Crypto Trades at Risk as Bank Shutdowns Take Toll; Demise of Silvergate’s SEN, USDC depeg cloud industry; Costs of moving between fiat and crypto could jump 40%
Olga Kharif and Muyao Shen – Bloomberg
The digital-asset market is coming off of a turbulent year featuring a number of high-profile blowups. Now, three shutdowns in the banking industry – SVB Financial Group’s Silicon Valley Bank, Silvergate Capital Corp. and Signature Bank – have set off a fresh set of stresses. SVB’s failure triggered a knock-on effect in the crucial market for stablecoins after digital-asset giant Circle Internet Financial Corp., one of the biggest issuers of the widely used tokens known for their perceived safety, revealed it had $3.3 billion of reserves with the bank.

Courses in the metaverse struggle to compete with real world; Fulfilment of initial promise made for the technology remains elusive
Jonathan Moules – Financial Times
The Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU) has offered a tantalising prospect to people who want to learn but don’t like to leave the house: join us ‘virtually, for a postgraduate course in the metaverse.


SVB Failure Sparks Blame Game Over Trump-Era Regulatory Rollback
Jenny Surane, Tracy Alloway and Katanga Johnson – Bloomberg
Eight years ago, Greg Becker delivered a blunt message to lawmakers in Washington: the bank he ran was not like Wall Street. As chief executive officer of SVB Financial Group, he urged Congress to pass legislation that would let workers at his firm avoid thousands of hours every year undergoing stress tests and prepping resolution plans. His was a simple lender, not like the global systemically important banks that regulators should be focused on.

Elizabeth Warren: Silicon Valley Bank Is Gone. We Know Who Is Responsible.
Elizabeth Warren – The New York Times
No one should be mistaken about what unfolded over the past few days in the U.S. banking system: These recent bank failures are the direct result of leaders in Washington weakening the financial rules. In the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Act to protect consumers and ensure that big banks could never again take down the economy and destroy millions of lives. Wall Street chief executives and their armies of lawyers and lobbyists hated this law. They spent millions trying to defeat it, and, when they lost, spent millions more trying to weaken it.

Competition From the US Is Forcing Europe to Up Its Green Game; A newly muscular American approach is forcing the European Union to get savvier about the business side of its climate strategy.
Laura Millan Lombrana and Akshat Rathi – Bloomberg
It looked like the start of a transatlantic trade war over climate policy. As US President Joe Biden hosted his French counterpart in Washington on Dec. 1, not long after finalizing a $369 billion green tax-break bonanza, there was a rupture in the usual diplomatic cooperation on global warming. Just a day earlier, and in front of US lawmakers, French President Emmanuel Macron criticized protectionist features of the Inflation Reduction Act that would be “super aggressive” toward European businesses.

Barney Frank Sees Crypto as Common Element in New Bank Failures
Max Reyes – Bloomberg
Barney Frank – the former congressman known for the Dodd-Frank Act, which overhauled US banking regulation to prevent another global financial crisis – said there was one thing lawmakers and regulators didn’t reckon with back in 2008: cryptocurrencies.

Yellen Says Bank System Remains Resilient in Wake of SVB Failure; Treasury secretary convened meeting with Fed, FDIC, OCC; Regulators ‘have effective tools’ to address developments
Viktoria Dendrinou and Christopher Condon – Bloomberg
The Biden administration on Friday reacted to the largest failure by a US lender in more than a decade, offering its assurance that the US financial system would weather fallout from the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and that regulators were closely monitoring developments. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said she had “full confidence in banking regulators to take appropriate actions in response,” adding that regulators “have effective tools” to address the situation.

The New Anarchy – America faces a type of extremist violence it does not know how to stop.
Adrienne LaFrance – The Atlantic
In the weeks before Labor Day 2020, Ted Wheeler, the mayor of Portland, Oregon, began warning people that he believed someone would soon be killed by extremists in his city. Portland was preparing for the 100th consecutive day of conflict among anti-police protesters, right-wing counterprotesters, and the police themselves. Night after night, hundreds of people clashed in the streets. They attacked one another with baseball bats, Tasers, bear spray, fireworks.

Yellen says Treasury Department ‘carefully’ watching crisis at ‘a few banks’
Jennifer Schonberger – Yahoo! Finance
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said there are “a few” banks the department is closely watching as a crisis at Silicon Valley Bank roils the financial world. During a hearing before the House Ways & Means Committee Friday morning, Yellen said she is closely watching Silicon Valley Bank, which is scrambling to raise fresh capital sparking fears that other banks could be forced to take losses and raise cash.

Biden Scraps Trump’s Air Force One Update, Keeps Its Iconic Look; Main US presidential plane is getting a 21st century makeover; Color scheme disregards Trump’s red, white and blue proposal
Akayla Gardner – Bloomberg
The US president’s plane is getting a new paint job – and it looks a lot like the old one. President Joe Biden has selected a white, light blue and yellow scheme for a modern update to the fleet of Air Force One planes, which are specially modified Boeing Co. 747s. The decision scraps plans by former President Donald Trump – who has declared a renewed presidential bid in 2024 – to adopt the colors of the American flag: red, white and dark blue.

John McAfee’s Presidential Run Was Never About the White House; The campaign brought new fame and wealth, but no one seemed to think it was serious – not even McAfee.
Jamie Tarabay and Shawn Wen – Bloomberg
Back in the US, John McAfee worked to shed the notorious reputation he gained from his time in Belize. But he soon became entangled with a controversial business partner. More unexpectedly, McAfee decided to run for US president as a candidate for the Libertarian Party. The campaign had an awkward start, but he soon adapted and gained the support of several influential people in the party.

Yes, some Vallas donors are conservative, but not MAGA
Andy Shaw – Crain’s Chicago Business
After watching the first runoff debate in the Chicago mayor’s race on NBC-5 March 8, I feel compelled to weigh in on Brandon Johnson’s comments about Ken Griffin and the other wealthy donors who’ve contributed generously to Johnson’s opponent, Paul Vallas. First, some context: – My late mother was a Chicago high school English teacher and loyal Chicago Teachers Union member for 30-plus years, and I have always supported the union’s fight for better teacher wages, benefits and working conditions.

McCarthy Says He’s Hopeful for SVB Announcement by US on Sunday
Tony Czuczka – Bloomberg
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said he’s been in touch with the Biden administration and is hopeful that US officials will make an announcement on Sunday to address the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank. “Well, I have talked with the administration, from Jay Powell and Janet Yellen,” McCarthy said on Fox News’s “Sunday Morning Futures.”

A Lost Decade Worse Than Japan’s Threatens to Change UK Forever; Crumbling infrastructure and overstretched services are symbols of Britain’s economic stagnation since the 2016 Brexit vote
Tom Rees, Andrew Atkinson and Philip Aldrick – Bloomberg
As the UK buckles under the strain of anemic growth, strikes, fraying infrastructure and record hospital waiting lists, Jason James thinks back to another economic crisis that dominated an earlier part of his banking career: Japan’s infamous “lost decade.” James, 58, spent the 1990s working for HSBC Securities in Tokyo’s Nihonbashi financial district.

EU Financial Regulators Testing Climate Transition Resilience
Emmy Hawker – ESG Investor
The European Commission has asked the three European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs) to conduct a one-off analysis of the financial system’s resilience as EU member states decarbonise their economies in line with the bloc’s 2030 net zero targets. “This one-off exercise should go beyond the usual climate stress tests, as a cross-sectoral exercise looking also at contagion and second-round effects, thereby giving us a better understanding of the vulnerabilities in the financial system,” the Commission said. “As part of this work, we would also appreciate any insights into the financial system’s capacity to support green investments under stress.” The ESAs will be expected to develop “severe but plausible scenarios” that could affect the financial system as a whole between now and 2030.

Rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran restore ties, with China’s help. Here’s why it matters
Aya Batrawy – NPR
Regional rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran announced on Friday they are restoring full diplomatic relations in a deal brokered by China, a move that could reduce tensions in the region and asserts China’s growing influence in the Gulf. The agreement paves the way for Saudi Arabia and Iran to reopen their embassies and diplomatic missions within the coming two months. It also revives accords on security cooperation and trade and investment.


As Banks Topple, Regulators Face Reckoning on Week of Mayhem; Collapses of SVB, Silvergate in a workweek stoked market panic; There was a ‘bit of a regulatory blind spot,’ ex-OCC boss says
Hannah Levitt, Katanga Johnson and Katherine Doherty – Bloomberg
On Monday, the head of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. warned a gathering of bankers in Washington about a $620 billion risk lurking in the US financial system. By Friday, two banks had succumbed to it. Whether US regulators saw the dangers brewing early enough and took enough action before this week’s collapse of Silvergate Capital Corp. and much larger SVB Financial Group is now teed up for a national debate.

German Regulator Freezes Local Silicon Valley Bank Branch; SVB branch at risk of not fulfilling credtor commitments; Banks says German deposit insurance system won’t be needed
Nicholas Comfort – Bloomberg
Germany’s financial regulator froze Silicon Valley Bank’s branch in the country after the sudden collapse of the U.S lender. Silicon Valley Bank Germany Branch will not be allowed to sell assets or make payments because it’s at risk of not being able to fulfill commitments to creditors, BaFin, as the regulator is known, said in a statement on Monday. The bank also has to close its client business.

Regulators face questions over missed warning signs at Silicon Valley Bank; Experts say red flags at tech lender could have been spotted if banking rules had not been weakened
Colby Smith and Stefania Palma in Washington – Financial Times
US regulators are facing questions over whether they missed signs of mounting problems at Silicon Valley Bank, the tech lender whose implosion last week fomented fears of contagion across the banking sector.

CFTC Staff Announces Modifications to the Technical Specification for Parts 43 and 45
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission staff today announced the publication of modifications to Version 3.1 of the CFTC Technical Specification, issued in August 2022. The Technical Specification provides detailed instructions for swap data reporting and public dissemination requirements under Parts 43 and 45 of CFTC regulations. The Technical Specification includes the definitions, formats, and allowable values for data elements that are to be reported to swap data repositories (SDRs).

CFTC Commissioner Proposes Framework for Environmental/Climate-Related Product Oversight
Pamela T. Wu and Levi McAllister – Morgan Lewis
In recent remarks, Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Commissioner Christy Goldsmith Romero proposed that the CFTC promote market resilience to climate-related risk by adopting an approach for environmental/climate-related products, such as carbon offsets, similar to the CFTC’s regulatory response to virtual currencies.

Statement Regarding the Commission’s Disapproval of a Proposed Rule Change to List and Trade Shares of the VanEck Bitcoin Trust
Nearly six years have passed since the Commission issued, via authority delegated to the Division of Trading and Markets, its first order disapproving an application by an exchange to list and trade an exchange-traded product (“ETP”) designed to track the price of spot bitcoin. Notwithstanding significant evolution of the bitcoin market, the Commission has continued to disapprove every such filing that has come before it.

Statement by SEC Chair Gary Gensler on Current Market Events
Chair Gary Gensler – SEC
“In times of increased volatility and uncertainty, we at the SEC are particularly focused on monitoring for market stability and identifying and prosecuting any form of misconduct that might threaten investors, capital formation, or the markets more broadly. Without speaking to any individual entity or person, we will investigate and bring enforcement actions if we find violations of the federal securities laws.”

Statement Regarding the Commission’s Disapproval of a Proposed Rule Change to List and Trade Shares of the VanEck Bitcoin Trust
Commissioner Hester M. Peirce and Commissioner Mark T. Uyeda – SEC
Nearly six years have passed since the Commission issued, via authority delegated to the Division of Trading and Markets, its first order disapproving an application by an exchange to list and trade an exchange-traded product (“ETP”) designed to track the price of spot bitcoin.[1] Notwithstanding significant evolution of the bitcoin market, the Commission has continued to disapprove every such filing that has come before it. In our view, the Commission is using a different set of goalposts from those it used-and still uses-for other types of commodity-based ETPs to keep these spot bitcoin ETPs off the exchanges we regulate.

FMA appoints Daniel Trinder to new executive leadership team
Financial Markets Authority
The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) – Te Mana Tātai Hokohoko – today confirmed the appointment of Daniel Trinder, to join its enterprise leadership team as Executive Director – Strategy and Design.
Mr Trinder brings over twenty-five years’ experience in strategy, policy and regulatory affairs including senior roles at HM Treasury in the UK, the IMF, international investment banking firms, as an advisor to central banks and international organisations, and as a consultant on strategy, policy, and governance to several firms and institutions. Mr Trinder joins the FMA from his most recent role with Binance, and has also held senior global roles at Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs.

Statement on Silicon Valley Bank UK
Following events at Silicon Valley Bank, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has been working closely with the Bank of England, Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) and the UK Government.
This morning, The Bank of England (Bank), in consultation with the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), HM Treasury (HMT) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), has taken the decision to sell Silicon Valley Bank UK Limited (SVBUK), the UK subsidiary of the US bank, to HSBC UK Bank Plc (HSBC).

Joint consultation on changes to the OTC derivative Clearing Rules
Securities & Futures Commission of Hong Kong
The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) today launched a joint consultation on proposed changes to the types of transactions subject to clearing obligations under the Clearing Rules (Note 1) for over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives (Note 2).

Investing and Trading

Blindsided by SVB, Credit Traders Are Rushing Toward Safety; SVB failure causes risk premiums on junk debt to jump; Credit derivatives volumes surge as investors seek hedges
Jill R Shah – Bloomberg
The rapid failure of Silicon Valley Bank is threatening to upend a rebound in credit markets that had been luring investors back to even some of the riskiest corporate borrowers. With phones ringing nonstop on credit trading desks Friday as traders and money managers sought to understand the potential fallout from the biggest US bank collapse in more than a decade, investors across the globe rushed to derivatives markets that offered a hedge against losses, trading data show.

Schwab Has Worst Drop in Years After SVB, Block Trade; Analysts defend stock after worst two-day stretch since 2016; Block trade came amid stock offerings by SVB, First Republic
Drew Singer – Bloomberg
The worst two-day stretch since 2016 for Charles Schwab Corp. looks like a case of bad timing for the buyers behind a large block trade in the brokerage. Schwab is down 17% since a person familiar with the matter said JPMorgan was managing a block trade worth about $650 million on Thursday before the market opened.

Who Saw It Coming? Short Sellers Were Out Front of Bank Upheaval; Short interest in biggest regional bank ETF hit 78% on March 3; Silvergate, SVB Financial triggered slump across bank sector
Sam Potter and Isabelle Lee – Bloomberg
While this week’s bank-stock drama blindsided most of the market, at least one corner of Wall Street spied trouble ahead. Short sellers pushed bearish interest in the $2.2 billion SPDR S&P Regional Banking ETF (ticker KRE) gradually higher for weeks before it peaked at about 78% of shares outstanding on March 3, according to data from analytics firm S3 Partners. That was the highest level in at least a year.

Ultra-Rich Investors Want Second Passports; Wealthy members in the elite network Tiger 21 are nervous about political instability, but they’re still putting money into riskier assets.
Suzanne Woolley – Bloomberg
Wealthy investors are nervous. So nervous that they’re lining up second passports, but not so nervous that they’re straying from tried-and-true investments like private equity. That’s according to Michael Sonnenfeldt, the founder and chairman of Tiger 21, a worldwide network of more than 1,200 high-net-worth investors with assets totaling more than $135 billion.

Traders Brace for More Market Shocks After Week of Wild Swings; As one threat recedes, another takes its place, says Bianco; At Morgan Stanley, recession trade was widespread with clients
Vildana Hajric, Katherine Greifeld and Lu Wang – Bloomberg
Bank runs. Stiffening Federal Reserve resolve against inflation. Credit risk, and the risk of recession. Investors absorbed a lot of shocks the last few days. Shaking them off all at once may be impossible. For harried traders, the problem is that as one threat recedes, another takes its place. The economy is too hot – or at risk of being gutted by financial stress. One day bond yields surge as inflation anxiety spirals, the next they plummet as the travails of lenders convince everyone the Fed will step back.

Watch Stocks Exposed to SVB as US Pledges to Protect Deposits; Dozens of companies have disclosed exposure to the failed bank; Bank’s customers face uncertainty around uninsured deposits
Matt Turner and Jeran Wittenstein – Bloomberg
Shares of technology companies with money at Silicon Valley Bank may be active after US authorities pledged to fully protect all depositors’ funds following the collapse of the lender. Dozens of companies have reported exposure to the bank, which in its four-decade history cultivated deep ties within the tech sector. The Treasury Department, Federal Reserve and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. on Sunday jointly announced efforts aimed at strengthening confidence in the banking system in the wake of SVB’s failure.

The 4% Yield on UK Bonds Is Luring Investors Who Never Buy Gilts; Government to unveil Spring Budget, issuance plan this week; Bloomberg survey: 37% of issuance will be short-maturity debt
Naomi Tajitsu and Alice Gledhill – Bloomberg
Before this year, Dan Boardman-Weston hadn’t bought UK government bonds in more than a decade. Now yields close to 4% are putting short-dated gilts on his radar. New investors like Boardman-Weston, who runs BRI Wealth Management, are a boon for Chancellor Jeremy Hunt. He’s expected to focus the UK government’s bond sales on closer maturities when he unveils the Spring Budget this week.

Saudi Aramco Posts Blowout Annual Profit and Raises Dividend; Firm made net income at $161 billion, highest since listing; Unexpectedly raises fourth quarter dividend to $19.5 billion
Paul Wallace, Matthew Martin and Leen Al-Rashdan – Bloomberg
Saudi Aramco unexpectedly increased its dividend and said it would hike spending as it looks to deploy an avalanche of cash generated by last year’s surge in oil and gas prices. The world’s biggest energy company made net income for the full year of $161 billion, the most since it listed and up 46% from 2021. Its performance was bolstered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine roiling oil markets and the OPEC+ alliance raising production.

SVB’s Demise Shows UK Pension Funds Weren’t the Only Cockroach; Elevated bond yields are revealing some nasty surprises. More are likely.
Marcus Ashworth – Bloomberg
It’s the unknown unknowns which rattle confidence the most, because there’s never only one cockroach. Following a year of significant central bank interest-rate hikes, the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank has aroused concern that higher bond yields and lower prices may not have been acknowledged or hedged sufficiently across the less visible private sectors of the economy and the banks that cater to them. It’s quite amazing that with short-maturity US yields having soared in a straight line to 5% from zero we haven’t had more incidents of naked bathing – but with the tide still a long way from shore, more unclothed swimmers may still be revealed.

Long-Dated Oil Prices Are Too Low for Comfort;’ The futures market is mispricing the outlook for crude.
Javier Blas – Bloomberg
It’s a puzzling mismatch. The oil industry believes it is underinvesting in future production capacity, creating the risk of future shortages and higher prices. Yet long-dated oil prices keep falling, sitting now at $65 a barrel and suggesting the market expects spending would be more than enough to avoid a gap. Either the industry is wrong – or the market is.

Venture Capital Loses Its Relevance After SVB Fiasco; Have we reached the point where startups will bypass VC firms and just go straight to billionaires for funding?
Shuli Ren – Bloomberg
If you are an entrepreneur who specializes in artificial intelligence or rocket launches, chances are, you are not familiar with how banks work, or know what a held-to-maturity portfolio means.

Asset managers warn too much choice is confusing retail investors; Thousands of new funds launched in the past decade has led to an ‘oversupplied’ market
Madison Darbyshire – Financial Times
The number of investment products has proliferated to the point that they are confusing retail investors, top asset management executives have said in a warning for the industry. About 4,300 funds and exchange traded funds alone have been launched in the US in the past decade, according to Refinitiv, bringing the total to more than 10,000. Many of these products are available to everyday investors.

Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance

The first great energy transition: how humanity gave up whaling; The modern oil industry was born in 1859, yet it would take more than 100 years – and the near-extinction of a species – before it replaced blubber. As we now seek to replace oil in turn, are there lessons to be learned?
Oliver Dirr – The Guardian
Humpback whales can rhyme. Their songs are made up of individual themes, phrases and sounds – many of them ending similarly. These are repeated in patterns that create rhythms and structures. To human ears, the songs are a series of grunts, groans, sighs, burps and squeaks. But they are arranged by the whale in a highly elaborate manner. The songs change over time, too: themes develop and are replaced, and phrases shift until every few years a completely new song emerges. Whales also adopt the songs of other whales – like a pop hit that everyone starts singing.

WBCSD aims to help CFOs Advance the “S” in ESG in new CFO Network primer; The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) together with Shift has released a primer for CFOs on advancing the “S” in ESG.
The World Business Council for Sustainable Development
Social issues are becoming a higher priority on the business agenda. This is, in part, due to growing recognition of inequality as a systemic risk to the resilience of business operations, value chains and business models. New due diligence regulations and reporting standards are solidifying what is expected of companies. CFOs have an evolving, but critical, role to play in communicating corporate social performance, serving as the link between a company’s impacts and its financial performance. CFOs are also tasked with engaging with investors, regulators and standard setters in guiding and implementing how the “S” is measured and evaluated internally and by external stakeholders.

Helping big U.S. companies lower their carbon footprint was hard enough. Then came the war
Clint Rainey – Fast Company
Last February, Regrow Ag founder and CEO Anastasia Volkova darted from a meeting with investment firm Galvanize Climate Solutions to the home of Regrow’s COO, Manal Elarab. She wanted to share the news that the firm was planning to underwrite a Series B for Regrow, a tech platform that helps such companies as Nutrien, Bayer, Cargill, and John Deere reduce their carbon footprint by identifying the farmers and tools that will make their supply chains more regenerative. But Elarab had a different announcement to make. “She said, ‘Have you seen the news?’ ” Volkova recalls. ” ‘Russia just invaded Ukraine.’ ”

Scientists find a way to suck up carbon pollution, turn it into baking soda and store it in the oceans
Laura Paddison – CNN
Scientists have set out a way to suck planet-heating carbon pollution from the air, turn it into sodium bicarbonate and store it in oceans, according to a new paper. The technique could be up to three times more efficient than current carbon capture technology, say the authors of the study, published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances. Tackling the climate crisis means drastically reducing the burning of fossil fuels, which releases planet-heating pollution.

Tropical forests face ‘substantial carbon loss’ as humid areas contract
Yanine Quiroz – Carbon Brief
Plants And Forests. Tropical forests face ‘substantial carbon loss’ as humid areas contract; The reduction of humid regions in a warming climate could cause “substantial carbon loss” across the tropics by the end of the century, a new study finds. The research, published in Nature Climate Change, assesses the potential changes in the distribution of wet and dry regions in tropical ecosystems by 2100 – under two different emissions scenarios – and the subsequent carbon loss that may occur due to these shifts. The study projects a decrease in the extent of humid regions of tropical ecosystems and an expansion of areas with intense dry periods over the next several decades.

Managers not Committing to “Most Impactful” Stewardship Measures
Chris Hall – ESG Investor
Despite strong progress by asset managers on stewardship since 2020, voting data disclosure and new policies “are not being matched by real-world action”, reports ShareAction. Asset managers need to build on recent improvements to their stewardship and governance standards to meaningfully address systemic risks such as climate change, says a new analysis. Three times as many asset managers are now holding their board responsible for ESG-related concerns compared to two years ago, according to a survey of 77 of the world’s largest asset managers by UK-based responsible investment non-profit ShareAction.

Africa’s GSS+ Bond Market Ripe for Growth
Jack Grogan-Fenn – ESG Investor
Despite development barriers, opportunities are emerging for investment in sustainable assets in growing market. Africa has seen rapid growth in issuance of green, social, sustainability and sustainability-linked (GSS+) bonds and could prove enticing to investors, in spite of existing challenges. There was a 14% issuance increase in the region 2022, outstripping the 6% growth in the global market, weakened by the widespread consequences of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The UN previously described the GSS bond market as a “new frontier that can help Africa build a deeper, resilient, and sustainable financing”.

CSR Sweden and IMS Luxembourg join the WBCSD Global Network
World Business Council for Sustainable Development
WBCSD is pleased to welcome two new partners within its Global Network: CSR Sweden and IMS Luxembourg. This network of more than 60 business-led organizations worldwide represents some 6500 businesses, all united by a shared commitment to providing business leadership for sustainable development across the world. As a global community, this network connects business, policy and civil society sustainability leaders to exchange knowledge and insights, build capacity, and enhance each other’s reach, impact and credibility. CSR Sweden and IMS Luxembourg bring significant sustainability expertise and competence to the WBCSD Global Network, further strengthening its close-knit footprint across Europe and building new bridges with partners in the Americas, Asia-Pacific and Africa.

CERAWEEK: Mitsubishi Power shifts focal point of hydrogen business from Japan to US
Brandon Mulder and Benjamin Morse – S&P Global
US will become “tip of the spear” of energy transition; Company to perfect technologies in the US before global deployment. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has shifted the focus of its hydrogen business from the Japanese market to the US market over the last year, recognizing that the US will become the “tip of the spear” for energy transition, a Mitsubishi executive said during CERAWeek by S&P Global.

ECB And The ESAs Call For Enhanced Climate-Related Disclosure For Structured Finance Products
The European Supervisory Authorities1 (ESAs), together with the European Central Bank (ECB), today published a Joint Statement on climate-related disclosure for structured finance products. The Statement encourages the development of disclosure standards for securitised assets through harmonised climate-related data requirements. Currently, there is a lack of climate-related data on the assets underlying structured finance products. This poses an obstacle for the classification of products and services under the EU Taxonomy Regulation and Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR) and hinders the proper assessment and management of climate-related risks.

ESG Fund Regulation Analysed Globally blank
Vibeka Mair – ESG Investor
Ratings agency Fitch has launched a new report comparing fund-level ESG regulatory developments across North America, Europe and Asia and the potential impact on asset managers and funds. In the US, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has proposed ESG fund labels – ‘ESG-focused’, ‘ESG impact’ and ‘ESG integration’. The UK is also proposing ESG fund labels – ‘sustainable focused’, ‘sustainable improvers’ and ‘sustainable impact’. Meanwhile, in Canada, there are no legal requirements for ESG-related fund disclosures, but the Canada Standards Association has published guidance on the disclosure practices of investments, including requirements based on a fund’s name.

Maple-pocalypse? Syrup looks like the latest victim of climate change; Tree tappers in the Midwest are having to adapt to an earlier and shorter season
Patti Waldmeir – Financial Times
Climate change is coming to a breakfast table near you: global warming is hitting the US maple syrup industry. Tapping trees for sap is already starting earlier, and within years or decades, sap will be less sugary, each tap will yield less and some parts of the US will stop producing the iconic pancake topping altogether, maple experts say.


SVB CEO Sold $3.6 Million in Stock Days Before Bank’s Failure; Greg Becker used prearranged stock-trade plan to sell shares; Silicon Valley Bank failed Friday and was taken over by FDIC
Austin Weinstein – Bloomberg
Silicon Valley Bank Chief Executive Officer Greg Becker sold $3.6 million of company stock under a trading plan less than two weeks before the firm disclosed extensive losses that led to its failure. The sale of 12,451 shares on Feb. 27 was the first time in more than a year that Becker had sold shares in parent company SVB Financial Group, according to regulatory filings. He filed the plan that allowed him to sell the shares on Jan. 26.

Short Sellers Make $500 Million on SVB’s Demise. Collecting Won’t Be Easy; One-day mark-to-market profit of $513 million on short bets; Stock remains halted after falling 63% in premarket trading
Breanna Bradham – Bloomberg
SVB Financial Group’s record plunge on Thursday minted short sellers roughly half a billion dollars in paper profits. But they now face a challenge: how to close their positions. SVB shares plunged by 60% on Thursday as worries mounted over the bank’s operation, netting traders who bet against the stock a one-day mark-to-market profit of roughly $513 million. The stock fell another 63% in premarket trading Friday before being halted, with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. ultimately announcing that it had seized the bank.

SVB’s 44-Hour Collapse Was Rooted in Treasury Bets During Pandemic; Largest bank failure since 2008 rooted in bad bets on rates; Leaders who recently showed confidence now seeking quick deal
Brian Chappatta – Bloomberg
Greg Becker sat in a red armchair at an invite-only conference in Los Angeles last week, legs crossed, one hand cutting through air. “We pride ourselves on being the best financial partner in the most challenging times,” SVB Financial Group’s chief executive officer told the Upfront Summit on March 1, a day before his firm was up for Bank of the Year honors at a London gala. Just a week later, it all fell apart.

First Republic Hit by Silicon Valley Bank Failure
Jonathan Weil – The Wall Street Journal
First Republic Bank came under renewed pressure amid Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse on Friday as investors tried to sort out which other banks might face similar risks. First Republic shares fell 52% in early trading before storming back to near the previous day’s closing level, only to then finish the day down 15%. Investors expressed concerns about unrealized losses on assets at the bank as well as its heavy reliance on deposits that could turn out to be flighty.

Thiel’s Founders Fund Withdrew Millions From Silicon Valley Bank
Lizette Chapman – Bloomberg
Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund had no money with Silicon Valley Bank as of Thursday morning as the bank descended into chaos, according to a person familiar with the matter. Founders Fund withdrew millions from SVB, said the person, who asked not to be identified discussing private information. It joined other venture funds that took dramatic steps to limit exposure to the now-failed financial institution. Founders Fund also advised its portfolio companies that there was no downside to moving their money away from SVB, even if the risk was low.

Hedge Funds, Banks Offer to Buy Deposits as SVB Fails
Susanne Barton – Bloomberg
Hedge funds and banks are swooping in to try and pick up deposits held by startups at failed Silicon Valley Bank at steep discounts, according to reports. Oaktree is among hedge funds that have offered to buy the deposits, with bids ranging from 60 cents to 80 cents on the dollar, Semafor said, citing people familiar with the matter. The bids reflect a range of expectations for how much of the uninsured deposits will ultimately be recovered once the bank’s assets are sold or wound down, according to the report.

SVB’s New Owner, the FDIC, Gives Workers 45 Days of Employment; Regulators want to incentivize workers to stay with more pay; FDIC aims to find buyers for the firm’s various businesses
John Sage and Katanga Johnson – Bloomberg
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation added a few new employees to its payroll late Friday, taking on workers from shuttered Silicon Valley Bank, at least for a few weeks, as it serves as receiver of the collapsed lending institution. The newly-formed entity, the Deposit Insurance National Bank of Santa Clara, or DINBSC, sent a letter to employees offering 45 days of employment, according to a copy of the message seen by Bloomberg. After the 45 days, the employees will be let go, the letter states.

SVB’s Auction Block Includes VC-Focused Lender, Wealth Unit; FDIC seeks asset buyers as it looks to repay depositors; Failed lender’s startup client base may attract suitors
Dan Reichl – Bloomberg
As US regulators seek a buyer for the remnants of SVB Financial Group, they’ll be working to find a home for sprawling commercial-banking operations, a wealth unit, an investment bank and a fund manager. Silicon Valley Bank was seized by regulators Friday amid a run on deposits and an aborted push to raise capital. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. now aims to find buyers for the firm’s various businesses to return as much of clients’ money as possible.

As Banks Topple, Regulators Face Reckoning on Week of Mayhem; Collapses of SVB, Silvergate in a workweek stoked market panic; There was a ‘bit of a regulatory blind spot,’ ex-OCC boss says
Hannah Levitt, Katanga Johnson and Katherine Doherty – Bloomberg
On Monday, the head of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. warned a gathering of bankers in Washington about a $620 billion risk lurking in the US financial system. By Friday, two banks had succumbed to it. Whether US regulators saw the dangers brewing early enough and took enough action before this week’s collapse of Silvergate Capital Corp. and much larger SVB Financial Group is now teed up for a national debate.

Jeremy Grantham’s World of Super Bubbles Has No Soft Landings; Market bottom could be late next year, warns GMO co-founder; But great bear markets can contain wonderful rallies, he adds
Vildana Hajric and Michael P. Regan – Bloomberg
Federal Reserve policy has been a “horror show” ever since former Chair Paul Volcker stepped down in 1987, resulting in a series of bubbles and crashes, according to Jeremy Grantham, the co-founder of investment firm GMO. That’s why the stock market is now in what 84-year-old Grantham calls a “meat-grinder” phase, arising after a super bubble fueled by extraordinarily low interest rates in the decade following the global financial crisis.

Startup Bank Had a Startup Bank Run; One problem for Silicon Valley Bank is that its customers had too much cash, and now they don’t.
Matt Levine – Bloomberg
The lesson might be that there are some industries that are bad to bank. Imagine that it was 2021, and someone was like “do you want to start the Bank of Crypto? What about the Bank of Venture-Backed Tech Startups?” You’d be tempted, right? Those industries had so much money! They seemed cool. If you were their bank – if you were the specialized bank that exclusively focused on those industries – influencers on Twitter would tweet nice things about you, and you’d get invited to fancy parties.

SVB’s UK Business to Be Declared Insolvent by Bank of England
Dan Reichl – Bloomberg
SVB Financial Group’s UK unit is set to be declared insolvent after the collapse in the US of the Silicon Valley Bank parent. Eligible depositors would be paid by the UK’s deposit-insurance fund, the Bank of England said late Friday in a statement. Deposits are insured up to £85,000 ($102,000) or £170,000 for joint accounts, the central bank said late Friday in a statement.

SVB Rocks California as Founders Join Napa Vintners in Fear; Sudden collapse leaves clients scrambling to get money; ‘Seismic’ effect for region all ready struggling from downturn
John Gittelsohn, Margi Murphy and Hannah Miller – Bloomberg
The shocking collapse of Silicon Valley Bank rippled across California Friday to industries far beyond the technology community that it played a major role in shaping. From wealthy founders to Napa vineyard owners, clients were scrambling to secure funds or find out basic information about what would happen to their deposits. Anxious customers formed lines outside branches across the Bay Area and fears grew that some companies will struggle to make payroll next week.

SVB Draws Support From More Than 100 Venture Firms, Investors; General Catalyst, Sequoia, others call bank ‘trusted partner’; Investors are appealing for invervention to help startups
Katie Roof and Priya Anand – Bloomberg
More than 100 venture capital and investing firms have signed a statement supporting Silicon Valley Bank, part of mounting industry calls to limit the fallout of the bank’s collapse and avoid a possible “extinction-level event” for tech companies. As of Saturday afternoon in San Francisco, about 125 venture firms including Sequoia Capital had signed on to the statement, spearheaded by venture firm General Catalyst, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund got its cash out of Silicon Valley Bank before it was shut down, report says
Ryan Hogg – Insider
Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund had no cash left in Silicon Valley Bank by Thursday as it began to unravel, Bloomberg reported. A source told Bloomberg the PayPal cofounder’s fund had moved to close its exposure to the failing bank after running into problems using SVB’s services. The venture capital group had been engaging in a “capital call” – where it asked investment partners to send funds to invest in a company – by transferring funds to its Silicon Valley Bank account.

Wall Street Braces for the Next Silicon Valley Bank; Shares of regional banks tumble amid concern that SVB’s collapse is only the beginning
Eric Wallerstein, Matt Grossman and Gregory Zuckerman – The Wall Street Journal
Investors were worried that the fastest interest-rate increases in decades meant that something in the economy might break. Last week, it did. Now, investors are asking: What else might crack? On Friday, Silicon Valley Bank was shut down after getting hit by a run on its deposits, the second-largest bank failure in U.S. history.

Silicon Valley Bank failure could wipe out ‘a whole generation of startups’
Bobby Allyn – NPR
Stefan Kalb was in the middle of a meeting around 1 p.m. on Thursday when a fellow company executive sent him a panicked Slack message: “Do you know what’s happening at SVB?” Kalb, the CEO and co-founder of Seattle-based food management startup Shelf Engine, had been following news of a bank run at Silicon Valley Bank, with droves attempting to pull out $42 billion from the bank on Thursday alone on fears that it was teetering on the brink.

US Discusses Fund to Backstop Deposits If More Banks Fail; FDIC, Fed weigh special vehicle after SVB swiftly collapses; Regulators are racing to stem the fallout for other banks
Jennifer Surane, Katherine Doherty and Hannah Levitt – Bloomberg
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Federal Reserve are weighing creating a fund that would allow regulators to backstop more deposits at banks that run into trouble following Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse. Regulators discussed the new special vehicle in conversations with banking executives, according to people familiar with the matter.

SVB Securities Management Exploring Buying Firm Back
Matthew Monks, Gillian Tan and Sridhar Natarajan – Bloomberg
The managers of Silicon Valley Bank’s investment banking arm are exploring ways to buy the firm back from its parent, according to people familiar with the matter. The head of SVB Securities, Jeff Leerink, and his team are seeking help to finance a potential management buyout of the business, said the people, who asked to not be identified because the matter isn’t public.

From Shanghai to Mumbai, Tech Chiefs Race to Contain SVB Fallout; Asian startups, investors rush to assess impact from collapse; Some managed to withdraw deposits in time, others left waiting
Lulu Yilun Chen, David Ramli and Saritha Rai – Bloomberg
Asia’s tech leaders, half a world away from the chaos that’s engulfed Silicon Valley, are scrambling to assess the potential ramifications for an industry that’s always relied heavily on US capital and connections to supercharge growth. Financiers and entrepreneurs packed the Shangri-La’s ballrooms during a global Wharton alumni gathering in Singapore, huddling in groups and tables over gourmet buffet meals with the latest news on Silicon Valley Bank’s spectacular implosion on Friday a main topic of conversation.

South Korea to Monitor SVB Fallout on Local Markets, Economy
Hooyeon Kim – Bloomberg
South Korea will closely watch for signs of impact on its financial markets and economy from the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, the nation’s finance ministry said Sunday after a meeting of senior officials. The possibility of higher volatility and uncertainties can’t be ruled out, though most officials at the gathering agreed it won’t likely develop into a systemic risk, according to a statement from the finance ministry.

FDIC, Fed, Treasury to Brief California Lawmakers on SVB
Allyson Versprille and Austin Weinstein – Bloomberg
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the US Federal Reserve plan to brief California’s congressional delegation on the Silicon Valley Bank collapse at 11:00pm Saturday, after having to cancel a briefing originally set for earlier in the day, according to three people familiar with the plan. The Treasury Department is set to hold a separate briefing for the lawmakers Sunday at 1:00pm, one of the people said. The situation is fluid and plans could change.

HPS, Oaktree Among Firms Pitching Deals for Trapped SVB Deposits; Some look to buy claims on deposits at 60-75 cents on dollar; Other lenders in dicussions to provide liquidity at 80 cents
Carmen Arroyo, Rachel Butt and Davide Scigliuzzo – Bloomberg
HPS Investment Partners and Oaktree Capital Management are among investment firms that are offering to provide financing to companies with cash trapped at Silicon Valley Bank, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Some are offering to buy claims on the deposits of SVB clients, including startups and publicly traded companies, at discounted prices of between 60 cents to 75 cents on the dollar, said the people, asking not to be identified because the discussions are private.

The Bank of London Considering Making Offer for SVB UK: Sky
Charles Capel – Bloomberg
The Bank of London Group Ltd. is considering making an offer for Silicon Valley Bank UK Ltd., the UK branch of the collapsed Californian bank, Sky News reported Saturday, citing people familiar with the matter. The Bank of London has appointed Perella Weinberg Partners to advise it on the possible deal, Sky cited one person as saying. Sky noted speculation that Carlyle could become involved in the possible bid, although it said sources close to Carlyle downplayed the suggestion.

SVB’s Balance-Sheet Time Bomb Was ‘Sitting in Plain Sight,’ Short Seller Says; Short seller Martin began tweeting about risks in January; Suspicions about loans drew him in; he found something else
Isabelle Lee – Bloomberg
The problems that triggered SVB Financial Group Inc.’s death spiral were hiding in plain sight in the firm’s earnings reports. That’s according to short seller William C. Martin, who warned his Twitter followers about the balance-sheet issues for almost two months before the parent of Silicon Valley Bank blew up in the blink of an eye this week.

20 banks that are sitting on huge potential securities losses-as was SVB
Philip van Doorn – MarketWatch
Silicon Valley Bank has failed following a run on deposits, after its parent company’s share price crashed a record 60% on Thursday. Trading of SVB Financial Group’s stock was halted early Friday, after the shares plunged again in premarket trading. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said SVB was one of a few banks she was “monitoring very carefully.” Reaction poured in from several analysts who discussed the bank’s liquidity risk.

Etsy freezes transactions after Silicon Valley Bank closure, squeezing sellers nationwide
Peter Aitken – FOX Business
The collapse of start-up backer Silicon Valley Bank this week continues to cause ripples across the tech industry, with Etsy the latest company to voice concerns after announcing a transaction freeze. “I noticed today my money that was supposed to be deposited to be available tomorrow was never sent to my checking account,” one Etsy seller said in a video posted to TikTok on the handle amgeee1. “Then I get an email saying because of the Silicon Valley Bank they can’t issue my deposit.”

Swiss regulator sees ‘no sufficient grounds for proceedings’ against Credit Suisse
Swiss financial regulator FINMA said on Friday it does not see sufficient grounds for proceedings against Credit Suisse, but has set expectations for future communication from the Swiss bank after investigating statements made by the chairman on outflows. In a statement released after market close in Zurich, FINMA confirmed an earlier report by Reuters and said it had looked in to “possible violations of financial market law” at the Swiss bank.

Working to address SVB collapse, but not looking at bailout, says Yellen
Sarah N. Lynch, Rami Ayyub and Andrea Shalal – Reuters
U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Sunday said she was working closely with banking regulators to respond to the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SIVB.O) and protect depositors, but a major bailout was not being considered. Yellen told the CBS News “Face the Nation” show that she had been working with regulators to “design appropriate policies to address the situation,” the largest bank collapse since the 2008 financial crisis, but declined to give further details.

FDIC Working on Finding Buyer for SVB, California’s Khanna Says
Tony Czuczka – Bloomberg
Democratic Representative Ro Khanna said the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp is working to find a buyer for Silicon Valley Bank and urged the US government to step in and guarantee all of the bank’s deposits. Asked on CBS’s “Face the Nation” about the option of a private-sector bank buying SVB’s assets, Khanna said: “That would be the ideal situation and our delegation that talked to the FDIC last night made that clear. That’s what we urged them to work on, they said they’re working on it.”

Jefferies CEO Says Merger Best for SVB, a 2008 Repeat Unlikely; ‘A merger occurring today’ ideal, Jefferies executives say; Any impairment of deposits ‘should be fairly modest,’ they say
Daniel Taub – Bloomberg
The best solution for resolving the failure of SVB Financial Group’s Silicon Valley Bank “would be a merger occurring today,” said Jefferies Financial Group Inc. Chief Executive Officer Rich Handler, who said he doesn’t see a repeat of the 2008 global financial crisis emerging from the past week’s events. “In 2008, almost the entire financial system was over-leveraged and filled with mis-marked complex illiquid assets,” Handler and Jefferies President Brian Friedman said in a letter to clients and employees of their New York-based investment bank.

Fed Discusses Easing Access to Discount Window to Help Banks; Such a move would help banks meet any demands for withdrawals; Some banks already tapped discount window after SVB collapse
Hannah Levitt, Matthew Monks, Sridhar Natarajan and Max Reyes – Bloomberg
The Federal Reserve is considering easing the terms of banks’ access to its discount window, giving firms a way to turn assets that have lost value into cash without the kind of losses that toppled SVB Financial Group. Such a move would increase the ability of banks to keep up with demands from depositors to withdraw, without having to book losses by selling bonds and other assets that have deteriorated in value amid interest-rate increases – the dynamic that caused SVB to collapse on Friday.

Israeli VC OurCrowd Sees Limited SVB Risk in Portfolio So Far; VC firm provides crowd-funding platform for investors; OurCrowd transferred ‘almost all of our funds’ out of SVB
Anne VanderMey – Bloomberg
OurCrowd, a SoftBank Group Corp-backed Israeli venture capital firm that provides a crowd-funding platform for investors, said it transferred “almost all” of its money out of Silicon Valley Bank before the lender failed – and more than 85% of the portfolio companies it has been in contact with have “minimal to no exposure.”

Liquidity Group Plans $3 Billion Emergency Loans to Aid Start-Ups Hit by SVB; The tech lender aims to allocate over $1 billion in weeks; Liquidity to ask funders to offer an additional $2 billion
Vinicy Chan – Bloomberg
Global asset manager and tech lender Liquidity Group is planning to offer about $3 billion in emergency loans to start-up clients hit by the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank. Liquidity has about $1.2 billion ready in cash to make available in the coming weeks, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder Ron Daniel said in an interview on Sunday.

France Isn’t Concerned by Contagion Risk From SVB Collapse; No knowledge of French banks’ direct exposure to SVB: official; French supervisory authorities will keep monitoring situation
William Horobin and Alexandre Rajbhandari – Bloomberg
France says there is no concern that its banks including Societe Generale SA and BNP Paribas SA will be affected by the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank. The failure of SVB isn’t a systemic event, and there is no particular concern regarding a potential contagion to the French financial system, a Finance Ministry official told Bloomberg News Sunday. The ministry has no knowledge of any direct exposure of the nation’s lenders to the California-based bank.

Silicon Valley Bank exec was Lehman Brothers CFO prior to 2008 collapse
Sarah Rumpf – FOX Business
Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) executive, Jospeph Gentile, was a former executive of the Lehman Brothers’ Global Investment Bank prior to the bank’s public collapse in 2008. Prior to joining SVB as Chief Administrative Officer, Gentile worked as Chief Financial Officer at Lehman Brothers’ Global Investment Bank. Gentile left Lehman in 2007, just one year before it went bankrupt in 2008.

Regulators Close Signature Bank, Say Depositors of Silicon Valley, Signature to Be Made Whole
Carleton English – Barron’s
After a dramatic few days in the banking industry, regulators stepped forward Sunday to restore faith in the banking system and said that depositors of now-defunct Silicon Valley Bank would be made whole as will depositors of Signature Bank, which also was closed. “Today we are taking decisive actions to protect the U.S. economy by strengthening public confidence in our banking system…”

An analysis of regulatory filings reveals that 1,074 firms-from Andreessen Horowitz to General Catalyst-were holding capital at Silicon Valley Bank in 2022
Alexandra Sternlicht, Jessica Mathews – Fortune
While many startup founders who used Silicon Valley Bank contend with how to make payroll in coming days and weeks, the impact of SVB’s demise will stretch far beyond the startups themselves.

Ackman Says More Banks Will Likely Fail Despite Fed Intervention
Zoe Ma – Bloomberg
More banks will likely fail despite US authorities intervening to boost the confidence in the banking system following the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, according to Pershing Square founder Bill Ackman. He also applauded the government for providing “a clear roadmap” for how it will manage bank failures in the future, Ackman said in a tweet Sunday evening.

JPMorgan analysts warned about Silicon Valley Bank’s $16B in ‘unrealized losses’ in November
Lydia Moynihan – NY Post
JPMorgan warned in November that Silicon Valley Bank’s “$16 billion unrealized losses” could pose a serious risk, according to an analyst report reviewed by The Post on Sunday. SVB – which collapsed Friday – was the subject of a Nov. 15 report issued by the JPMorgan North America Equity Research Team for customers paying for the research.

Work & Management

Jamie Dimon throws Jes Staley off the battlements
Neil Unmack – Reuters
Clawbacks of pay from misbehaving employees aren’t uncommon, but some are sharper than others. JPMorgan (JPM.N) is suing to take back eight years of compensation from former executive Jes Staley, who left in 2013 to become chief executive of UK lender Barclays(BARC.L), over his links to deceased sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Suing former employees – in this case using an archaic-sounding doctrine that brands Staley a “faithless servant” – isn’t a great look, but the bank led by Jamie Dimon has more reasons than most to defend itself.

JPMorgan faces tough battle to make Jes Staley pay for Epstein ties; Bank’s attempt to claw back former executive’s salary could set a Wall Street record
Joshua Franklin and Stephen Gandel – Financial Times
JPMorgan Chase is attempting to engineer what could be the biggest clawback of pay in Wall Street history by demanding that Jes Staley return more than $80mn for failing to fully disclose the extent of the former executive’s relationship with Jeffrey Epstein.

Drowning in Email? Consider a Paywall; A spam tsunami is coming for our inboxes as more senders use ChatGPT. Maybe an old idea to gate them will finally take off.
Parmy Olson – Bloomberg
The deluge of daily email at work has become such a mundane part of professional life that it’s no longer fun to complain about. Try bringing it up with a colleague and they’ll barely hear you, so immersed are they in trying to obliterate an endless stream of spam. The problem will only get worse as marketers use ChatGPT to draft emails, allowing them to send even more bumf you have no intention to read.

The Virtue of Inertia Has Kept the UK Sane; In a world driven increasingly mad by technological innovations, from Twitter to TikTok to ChatGPT, the immutability of Britain’s institutions has never looked more attractive.
Niall Ferguson – Bloomberg
In the novels of Thomas Hardy, small lapses have dire consequences. In Jude the Obscure it is the cerebral Jude Fawley’s ill-advised lust for the vacuous Arabella Donn that dooms his ambition to become a “Christminster” scholar. Gabriel Oak’s misfortunes in Far from the Madding Crowd begin with a novice sheepdog and end with an amoral sergeant. The plot of The Mayor of Casterbridge hinges on a moment of drunken bravado.

Wellness Exchange

Here’s Why the Science Is Clear That Masks Work
Zeynep Tufekci – The New York Times (Opinion)
The debate over masks’ effectiveness in fighting the spread of the coronavirus intensified recently when a respected scientific nonprofit said its review of studies assessing measures to impede the spread of viral illnesses found it was “uncertain whether wearing masks or N95/P2 respirators helps to slow the spread of respiratory viruses.” Now the organization, Cochrane, says that the way it summarized the review was unclear and imprecise, and that the way some people interpreted it was wrong. “Many commentators have claimed that a recently updated Cochrane review shows that ‘masks don’t work,’ which is an inaccurate and misleading interpretation,” Karla Soares-Weiser, the editor in chief of the Cochrane Library, said in a statement.

China Flu Outbreak Intensifies as Infection Rises for Sixth Week
An influenza outbreak in China picked up intensity over the past week as a major city prepared to enforce pandemic-style lockdowns to curb the surge in infections. The positivity rate for flu jumped to 41.6% in the week beginning March 5 from 25.1% the previous week, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention said in its weekly Covid surveillance report on Saturday. The Covid positivity rate was down to 3.8% from 5.1%.

We May Never Get the Truth About Nord Stream or a Covid Lab Leak; War and plague are ideal breeding grounds for unsolvable mysteries and conspiracy theories.
Andreas Kluth – Bloomberg
The first casualty of war is truth, they say. I’d add that truth is equally moribund in a Cold War and a pandemic, or other calamities for which humans blame one another. These days, there are two mysteries of particular importance about which we may never know the truth. One has to do with the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, and the wider confrontation between Moscow and the West.

Finding COVID-19’s origins is a moral imperative – WHO’s Tedros
Discovering the origins of COVID-19 is a moral imperative and all hypotheses must be explored, the head of the World Health Organization said, in the clearest indication yet that the U.N. body remains committed to finding how the virus arose. A U.S. agency was reported by the Wall Street Journal to have assessed the pandemic had likely been caused by an unintended Chinese laboratory leak, raising pressure on the WHO to come up with answers.


Rookie Traders Are Earning $400,000 in One Unlikely Markets Hub; City has become an Asia-Pacific base for tech-driven trading; Citadel Securities, IMC, Optiver hired rapidly, plan more
Patrick Winters – Bloomberg
Graduate traders are earning salaries of as much as $400,000 straight out of school. But this isn’t New York, London or Hong Kong. It’s Sydney, where firms including Citadel Securities, IMC Trading BV and Optiver BV have established bases, hired rapidly and plan to employ even more. Elite recruits with math and science backgrounds can command up to that amount, people familiar with the matter said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. Sydney has become an unlikely Asia-Pacific hub for tech-driven trading companies, a part of finance that’s bucking the global trend of layoffs and pay cuts. Observers say the city has attracted the high-paying roles thanks to a university system that churns out candidates who adapt well to the business, favorable tax policies and a long history in the trading industry.

Floods and Old Trees in Malaysia Set to Tighten Palm Oil Market; Malaysia, Indonesia may seen marginal output gain, MPOA says; Floods will affect harvest, logistics and lead to poorer fruit
Anuradha Raghu – Bloomberg
The global palm oil market is expected to tighten this year as floods and older trees constrain production in the world’s second-biggest supplier, according to a major Malaysian growers group. Indonesia and Malaysia may only see a marginal increase in output this year of less than 3%, respectively, Joseph Tek, the chief executive of the Malaysian Palm Oil Association, said in a statement.

Hong Kong to host world’s central bankers next week for Basel committee meetings as city shows it is ‘back to normal’
South China Morning Post
Central bankers and regulators from Spain, England, Japan, Singapore and mainland China will be among the financial heavyweights coming to Hong Kong next week, as the city hosts another event to mark its re-emergence onto the world stage after three years of Covid-19 restrictions.

‘Steady hand’: China surprisingly retains central bank chief
Kevin Yao – Reuters
Yi Gang’s surprise re-appointment as China’s central bank governor on Sunday means a pro-market mind of high international stature will continue to represent the world’s second-largest economy on the global stage.

Mizuho Dangles Amazon Perks as Japan’s Banks Fight for Retail Deposits; Rival SMFG is starting app to attract money from customers; Observers prepare for a normalization of monetary policy
Taiga Uranaka – Bloomberg
Mizuho Financial Group Inc. is launching the biggest promotion in a decade to attract new accounts, an effort that could pay off in a big way if Japan’s policymakers decide to ditch negative interest rates in the future.

China set to tighten grip over global cobalt supply as price hits 32-month low; Share of global output expected to reach 50% over next two years
Harry Dempsey and Leslie Hook – Financial Times
China is set to tighten its grip on global cobalt supply, as the price of the key metal for electric-car batteries hits a 32-month low off the back of a surge in production.

2 dead, nearly 10,000 under evacuation orders as California floods intensify
Alaa Elassar, Aya Elamroussi, Joe Sutton and Cheri Mossburg – CNN
At least two people have died as the result of the ongoing storms inundating California, and nearly 10,000 residents are under evacuation orders, officials said, as intense flooding threatens several coastal counties. The powerful storms have delivered heavy rainfall across the central and northern parts of the state, prompting the Weather Prediction Center to issue a Level 4 of 4 warning of excessive rainfall in the area.

Red Tide Flares Up on Florida Coast, Burning Eyes and Killing Fish
Residents are complaining about burning eyes and breathing problems. Dead fish have washed up on beaches. A beachside festival has been canceled, even though it wasn’t scheduled for another month. Florida’s southwest coast experienced a flare-up of the toxic red tide algae this week, setting off concerns that it could continue to stick around for a while. The current bloom started in October.

Why the Debate Over Daylight Saving Time Rages On; It’s time to change our clocks, again. These maps reveal why making daylight saving time permanent is more controversial than it seems.
Linda Poon – Bloomberg
Starting this Sunday, most Americans will wake up to darker mornings in exchange for later sunsets as clocks “spring forward” an hour to daylight saving time. In November, clocks will fall back again. Every year like clockwork, these impending disruptions to our sleep-wake cycle have many people questioning the necessity of the twice-a-year time change.

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Wildfires rage in Canada’s oil hub

Wildfires rage in Canada’s oil hub

First Read Hits & Takes John Lothian & JLN Staff Trading Technologies (TT) celebrated its 30th anniversary yesterday, marking three decades of pioneering advancements in electronic futures trading. Founded in 1994, TT initially revolutionized the industry with its...