The $9.2 Trillion Price Tag for Failing to Vaccinate World; When Will Life Return to Normal? In 7 Years at Today’s Vaccine Rates

Feb 5, 2021

First Read

$27,801/$300,000 (9.3%)
Scott Eisner, Robert Schaffer

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Hits & Takes
John Lothian & JLN Staff

The law firm of Vinson & Elkins has appointed Allan Schoenberg as global director of public relations and corporate affairs. Schoenberg was most recently senior vice president, corporate communications and social media for Nasdaq.

This is a big forward-looking move for Schoenberg, getting into the law firm, commodity, energy space as the world moves towards more green energy. It is a big step for Vinson & Elkins to hire one of the leading corporate communications and social media visionaries to help them emerge from the law practice pack. Congratulations to Allan on his new job. We wish you the best. And to our friends at Nasdaq, he has left you an incredible legacy to continue.

Longtime industry lawyer Paul Buscher Uhlenhop passed away on January 30, 2021 at the age of 84. Here is his obituary posted by Donnellan Funeral Home, and here is a longer obituary posted by his former law firm, Lawrence Kamin.

The Intercontinental Exchange, known informally as ICE, has secured the ICE.com website and will move email addresses to ICE.com from TheICE.com on March 1, 2021, they announced in an email notice from a TheICE.com email address. WWW.ICE.COM is already up and running.

Speaking of ICE, FOW has a headline and story “ICE to retain 65% interest in Bakkt – Sprecher.”

The CME Group has issued a press release with the names for the slate of director nominees led by Terry Duffy.

CME Group also has a webinar to teach people about their new ether contract titled “Getting Started with Ether Futures.” The webinar will be led by CME Group director of education David Lerman, who will review the fundamentals behind the contract, different ether futures trading examples, and the recent ether price action. In addition, Lerman will cover the evolution of institutional participation in the cryptocurrency market and the ether investor ecosystem.

The webinar is on February 18, 2021 at 10 AM CST and you can get additional information at events@cmegroup.com.

The FT’s US investment editor Michael Mackenzie has a commentary in today’s newspaper titled “Beware the madness of markets; From tulips to GameStop, retail investors usually end up losers in speculative booms.” Mackenzie, a former derivatives broker for Tullett & Tokyo in Hong Kong, London, Toronto, New York and Tokyo. writes that the “siren call of minting fabulous riches from the tap of a share trading app recalls past speculative manias down the ages that all ended badly; misallocating capital, wiping out savings and scarring investors.”

SGX has issued this notice on their website: As at 05 Feb 2021 06:55 PM | Please be informed that due to website maintenance, there will be intermittent access to our site from 08:00 am 6 Feb 2021 to 08:00 pm 7 Feb 2021 (Singapore time). We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

The Wall Street Journal has a story about Super Bowl commercials and has an early look at some we will see during Sunday’s game. The lemon of a year from Budweiser is my early winner, though M&Ms has a couple of strong ones too.

We had three new donations to the JLN MarketsWiki Education GoFundMe campaign yesterday. Michael Shore, Scott Eisner and Robert Schaffer donated to help our efforts to preserve industry history. Michael Shore is the executive director of communications for the OCC, home of many JLN supporters. Michael is a former CME Group communications professional who has also had stops at Magnetar Capital, William Blair and Motorola Solutions. Scott Eisner is a longtime industry executive I first encountered when he was the CFO at Gerald Commodities, where I was a broker. Scott also was the COO of Iowa Grain and the CFO of Hehmeyer + Trading + Investments. Robert is a veteran metals trader and a member of the COMEX since 1987. He successfully moved to become a screen trader in 2006.

Thank you to Michael, Scott and Robert and to all who have given and all who have yet to give.

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

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Nasdaq Chief Economist Phil Mackintosh’s latest column is the timely “How Short Selling Works,” which answers such questions as “How can a stock be more than 100% shorted?” You can read the column here.~SR

Next week’s Cboe Options Institute webinar on trading strategies using mini index futures and options is apparently a hot ticket. Cboe’s Matt Moran says 350 people have already signed up for the February 10 event. Registration is open here. ~SC

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John Van Der Bleek – The Path to Electronic Trading
JohnLothianNews.com

John Van Der Bleek got his start in the markets after working for a hospital part time with someone later hired at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange as an employment manager. He began as a price reporter at the CME, and the minute he saw the trading floor he knew it was where he wanted to be, and he gave up his aspirations for law school. After working for the CME, he tried his hand at trading there in the S&P pit with his own money. That did not work out as well as he had hoped.

Watch the video »

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How a Dated Cyber-Attack Brought a Stock Exchange to its Knees; DDoS attacks, the cyber equivalent of being mugged, grow in size and sophistication
Jamie Tarabay – Bloomberg
The website of the New Zealand Stock Exchange slowed to a crawl on a Tuesday afternoon in August. It was so badly throttled that the exchange couldn’t post market announcements, as required by financial regulators. So with an hour left for trading, management shut the entire operation down. It didn’t take long to figure out what happened. The website had been overwhelmed by a tsunami of offshore digital traffic. An email from the perpetrators made clear that it was a malicious attack.
/bloom.bg/3oPw49m

****** Be prepared. Prepared for what? For any old thing.~JJL

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Wall Street firms paid almost $3bn last year for retail brokers’ trades; ‘Payment for order flow’ attracts attention of lawmakers and regulators in Washington
Philip Stafford, Joe Rennison, Madison Darbyshire and Patrick Temple-West – FT
Wall Street trading firms paid almost $3bn to retail brokers such as Robinhood to handle their trades last year — a practice that is attracting rising scrutiny in Washington. Monthly regulatory filings collated by Bloomberg show “payment for order flow” earned US brokers $2.9bn in 2020. TD Ameritrade generated fees of $1.1bn between its broker-dealer and clearing divisions, while rival Robinhood grew fastest, earning fees of almost $700m.
/on.ft.com/39QVH5q

******Follow the money.~JJL

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How to Make Sense of GameStop? The Internet Turns to Beer and Puppets; The Reddit-fueled market frenzy has inspired a flurry of TikTok videos, memes and online explainers
Julia Carpenter – WSJ
To help explain the complexities of the GameStop market frenzy, Brianna Parkins turned to two tall cans of Guinness, a sad-looking gray dog puppet and a pile of candy. In her series of short TikTok explainers, Ms. Parkins casts the puppet as a hedge-fund manager looking to short a can of Guinness, reaping profits (that would be the candy) along the way. A white plaster statue enters the scene—representing the popular Reddit forum WallStreetBets—and buys up not one, but two cans of Guinness. “This is bad news for your hedge funds,” she says, waving the puppet to the camera.
/on.wsj.com/3toWget

******They had me at beer.~JJL

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Reddit Revolt Makes Saint Petersburg Bourse Russia’s Busiest
Anna Baraulina – Bloomberg
Volumes on SPB hit $36 billion in January amid GameStop mania; Russians piled into Reddit targets among 1,500 securities
A stock exchange founded in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s hometown just became the busiest venue for equity trading in the country thanks in part to last week’s retail-trader frenzy in the U.S. Stock volumes on the Saint Petersburg Exchange — which lets investors buy and sell foreign shares directly via their Russian brokerage accounts — surpassed those of the Moscow Exchange for the first time on record last month. Trading on the SPB, as it’s known, climbed 14% in January to $36.1 billion. The Moscow Exchange, which focuses on Russian securities, saw the equivalent of $30.2 billion change hands.
/bloom.bg/3cK27Fm

******Follow the money.~JJL

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Commentary and musings on the complex, fascinating and peculiar world that is securities regulation
Brad Rosen, J.D. – Jim Hamilton’s World of Securities Regulation
On the Biden Administration’s first full day in office, the members of the CFTC elected Commissioner Rostin Behnam as Acting Chairman effective immediately. Behnam, who was the longest serving commissioner affiliated with the Democratic party, began his term on September 6, 2017. It expires on June 19, 2021. Despite a change of power in Washington D.C., the Republican commissioners will continue to maintain a 3-2 edge at the CFTC until such time a third Democrat is nominated and confirmed by the Senate, be that a permanent chairman or another commissioner.
/bit.ly/36F1mJS

******Hmmmm.~JJL

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Vinson & Elkins Appoints Allan Schoenberg as Global Director of Public Relations and Corporate Affairs;Vinson & Elkins today announced that Allan Schoenberg has joined the firm as Global Director of Public Relations and Corporate Affairs.
Vinson & Elkins
Schoenberg, who brings 30 years of marketing and communications experience to the role, will work closely with firm leadership to develop and implement strategic public relations initiatives to increase market prominence for the firm’s brand. He will also be responsible for various internal and external communications regarding key client activities, firm and community initiatives, and attorney developments and achievements. Schoenberg most recently served as Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications and Social Media for Nasdaq.
/bit.ly/39RetJT

******Allan Schoenberg was the person who pushed me to get onto Twitter. He helped us organize the first Twitter panel for the industry, and that led to the industry getting on Twitter.~JJL

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Thursday’s Top Three
Our top story Thursday was John Lothian News’ John Lothian: A Futures Trader’s Confession. Second was the Vermiculus announcement, The First Microservices-based Clearing System with AI-Capabilities. Third was the Financial Times’ The Robinhood drama teaches us to look beneath the surface.

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CryptoMarketsWiki Coin of the Week: Uniswap (UNI)
Uniswap is outperforming other decentralized (DEX) exchanges. According to Dune Analytics, a DEX market analytics company, in January 2021 the total trading volume on DEXs reached an all-time high over $50 billion in digital assets traded. Uniswap accounted for 48.8 percent of total transactions across DEXs. Its governance token, UNI, exceeded its previous all-time high on January 31, 2021.
bit.ly/3cmAbFn

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MarketsWiki Stats
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MarketsWiki Statistics

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

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Lead Stories

The $9.2 Trillion Price Tag for Failing to Vaccinate World
Enda Curran and Michelle Jamrisko – Bloomberg
Economic outlook hinges on the vaccine race against mutations; IMF, others have warned entire globe needs to be inoculated
The global economy’s recovery risks being dampened or even derailed by the lag in coronavirus vaccinations for poorer nations relative to their wealthier peers. Bloomberg’s Vaccine Tracker shows 4.54 million doses were given on average across the world each day over the last week, but it’s far from an even spread. The U.S. and U.K. make up about 40% of the 119.8 million doses administered globally.
/bloom.bg/39QQPNt

When Will Life Return to Normal? In 7 Years at Today’s Vaccine Rates; Our new calculator shows how long it will take states and countries to vaccinate 75% of their populations
Tom Randall – Bloomberg
When will the pandemic end? It’s the question hanging over just about everything since Covid-19 took over the world last year. The answer can be measured in vaccinations. Bloomberg has built the biggest database of Covid-19 shots given around the world, with more than 119 million doses administered worldwide. U.S. science officials such as Anthony Fauci have suggested it will take 70% to 85% coverage of the population for things to return to normal. Bloomberg’s Vaccine Tracker shows that some countries are making far more rapid progress than others, using 75% coverage with a two-dose vaccine as a target.
/bloom.bg/3jiq5su

Libor Exit to Cost Global Banks $100 Million Each This Year
William Shaw and Donal Griffin – Bloomberg
Annual bill to dip below $50 million in 2022, EY survey finds; Wells Fargo has dozen full-time Libor staff, Grabenstein says
Most major global banks will spend more than $100 million each this year preparing for the end of the discredited Libor rate, according to Ernst & Young. A majority expect bills for the transition to then dip below $50 million over 2022 and 2023, a survey by the accountancy firm found. Firms are pouring money into overhauling IT systems and payment settlements, as well as renegotiating contracts with individual counterparties, according to bank executives and their advisers.
/bloom.bg/2MtY0Tb

In a first, HKEX gets go-ahead to acquire stake in Guangzhou Futures Exchange, buys 7 per cent for US$32.45 million; The deal is the first time Beijing has allowed a non mainland Chinese investor to buy a stake in a domestic exchange; Beijing’s approval shows commitment to opening up capital markets to world: analyst
Enoch Yiu -South China Morning Post
HKEX’s acquisition means it is among Guangzhou Futures Exchange’s founding shareholders. Photo: Martin ChanHKEX’s acquisition means it is among Guangzhou Futures Exchange’s founding shareholders. Photo: Martin Chan
HKEX’s acquisition means it is among Guangzhou Futures Exchange’s founding shareholders. Photo: Martin Chan
Bourse operator Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEX) said on Friday it has acquired a 7 per cent stake in the newly created Guangzhou Futures Exchange.
/bit.ly/2Mt3q0H

A Bigger Risk Than GameStop? Beware the Ponzi Scheme Next Door; Experts have seen an increase in the frauds, many of which are preying on investors who feel they lost out on the market gains of the last few years.
Paul Sullivan – NY Times
The GameStop stock saga — with its element of David versus Goliath, not to mention its head-turning price gains followed by stomach-churning drops — may have been all the talk of Wall Street in the last couple of weeks. But that is just a sideshow.
/nyti.ms/2O1iRxi

The kitty that roared: As GameStop tanks, stock booster faces probe
Matt O’Brien – AP
“IF HE’S STILL IN, I’M STILL IN,” was the constant refrain from followers of Roaring Kitty, the YouTube personality whose enthusiasm about buying stock in video-game retailer GameStop made him an icon in the social media frenzy that shocked Wall Street last week.
/bit.ly/3rprh02

Robinhood Traders Bash the App But Just Can’t Leave It; Investors are discovering that it’s not easy to switch, reminiscent of how Facebook and Apple iPhone users have struggled to quit those platforms.
Misyrlena Egkolfopoulou, Suzanne Woolley, and Lisa Fleisher – Bloomberg
Being cast as a villain in the Reddit-fueled GameStop trading saga is doing little to damage Robinhood’s popularity. The no-fee brokerage app has continued to lead industry downloads, defying expectations that a user exodus would follow the howls of anger that greeted its move to block purchases of some hot stocks last week. Robinhood Markets will make a bid to capitalize even more on the trading mania this Sunday, when it’ll run a Super Bowl ad that tells potential customers “You don’t need to become an investor, you were born one.”
/bloom.bg/3oR2AIe

The money behind Robinhood is pure Sheriff of Nottingham; The discreet family offices that fund the broker may well emerge as the Reddit rebellion’s biggest winners
Gillian Tett – FT
Who are the final winners from the Robinhood saga? If you ask Reddit-reading retail investors, they might mutter angrily about Wall Street banks and hedge funds such as Citadel. Fair enough. Some hedge funds, such as Melvin Capital, were damaged by last week’s market mayhem. But other established traders profited handsomely, such as market makers.
/on.ft.com/2LnE9o3

Yellen and Regulators Met Amid GameStop Frenzy to Discuss Market Volatility; The Treasury Secretary met with her fellow regulators to discuss whether markets need new attention after the rise of so-called “meme stocks.”
Jeanna Smialek and Deborah B. Solomon – NY Times
Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen met with fellow regulators on Thursday to discuss recent market volatility and few wild weeks on Wall Street, in which a crush of retail investors sent stocks soaring — in GameStop’s case, more than 1,700 percent — and then plunging back to earth.
/nyti.ms/2O5yILj

Quest for Hollywood Fame Splits Redditors at Heart of Market Frenzy; The moderators of the Reddit message board WallStreetBets battled over movie deals after their sudden fame with the GameStop mania.
Nathaniel Popper, Taylor Lorenz and Matt Phillips – NY Times
Late on Wednesday, a moderator of the popular Reddit message board WallStreetBets posted several screenshots on the chat app Discord. They showed that other moderators had quietly started talking among themselves about landing a movie deal. “What’s our cut?” one of the moderators had asked in a Discord chat, according to the screenshots.
/nyti.ms/39OEwkW

Ion Group acquires Dash Financial in move to bolster options execution; The deal will allow Ion to pair Dash alongside Fidessa as it looks to “own the sell-side technology space.”
Rebecca Natale Anthony Malakian – WatersTechnology
WatersTechnology can reveal that a deal has been agreed in principle for Ion Group to buy Dash Financial from private-equity firm Flexpoint Ford. The purchase had been rumored about in recent days, as four individuals had told WT about the deal. A spokesperson has confirmed that the acquisition agreement was signed in December and is now awaiting approval from Finra. They add that the deal is expected to close in Q2, pending regulatory approval.
/bit.ly/3oONUcD

UK platforms see uplift after shorted stocks frenzy; Younger investors flock to brokerage providers
Madison Darbyshire – FT
Investment platforms in the UK have seen a surge in new business from younger investors, following the rush by retail investors to target shorted stocks. In the past fortnight, day traders on social media platforms such as Reddit piled into a number of beleaguered US stocks including video game retailer GameStop, driving up some prices more than 400 per cent.
/on.ft.com/3tpLQLH

Hedge Fund Association Elects New Officers and Strengthens Global, Regional and Committee Leadership
The Hedge Fund Association
The Hedge Fund Association (“HFA”), a leading international nonprofit trade and nonpartisan lobbying organization, is pleased to announce the addition of new HFA Officers, Regional Directors and Committee Leaders. HFA’s leaders are all elected and appointed volunteers that work on behalf of the entire alternative investment industry, including hedge funds, private equity, venture capital, real estate and wealth management firms, institutional investors, family offices and service providers.
/yhoo.it/3pODY44

Power, Patriotism and 1.4 Billion People: How China Beat the Virus and Roared Back
Steven Lee MyersKeith BradsherSui-Lee WeeChris Buckley
Steven Lee Myers, Keith Bradsher, Sui-Lee Wee and Chris Buckley – NY Times
The Chinese Communist Party reached deep into private business and the broader population to drive a recovery, an authoritarian approach that has emboldened its top leader, Xi Jinping.
/nyti.ms/39TjlhH

Brace Yourself: Long-Haul Travel May Not Get Going Until 2023
Angus Whitley, Jason Gale, Tara Patel, and Christopher Jasper – Bloomberg
Long-haul flying may not properly resume until 2023 or 2024; Lobbying by airlines for vaccine passports yet to convince WHO
As coronavirus vaccines started rolling out late last year, there was a palpable sense of excitement. People began browsing travel websites and airlines grew optimistic about flying again. Ryanair Holdings Plc even launched a “Jab & Go” campaign alongside images of 20-somethings on holiday, drinks in hand. It’s not working out that way.
/bloom.bg/2MZk9IA

SIX Welcomes Acceptance by the United Kingdom and Recognition of Respective Trading Venues
SIX
At the same time, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA added the UK exchanges to the list of recognized foreign trading venues pursuant to the Federal Council Ordinance of 30 November 2018 (Ordinance). With the completion of this process, trading in Swiss equities on UK exchanges can now resume.
/bit.ly/2MZkrPG

Covid-19 Vaccine Distribution Has a Fairness Problem; Directing shots to areas with exploding infection rates is the best way to control the pandemic.
Faye Flam – Bloomberg
Figuring out how to combine science with fairness in Covid-19 vaccine distribution is a tricky puzzle. Science can help predict how to distribute limited doses to minimize overall deaths, but that means acting fast, which might compromise fairness. That’s how we end up with outrage when hospital administrators get shots ahead of nursing home residents, or, as The Atlantic reports, offspring ahead of their elderly parents.
/bloom.bg/3jn8LT9

Who’s Winning the GameStop Game? Hedge funds, Roaring Kitty, a price update and Robinhood skill.
Matt Levine – Bloomberg
How’d the hedge funds do?
I wrote yesterday that what I really want to read right now are accounts of how hedge funds made decisions when confronted with the weird price action in GameStop Corp. stock in the last couple of weeks. Clearly some hedge funds were trading the stock in incredibly choppy Reddit-driven markets, and I just want to know what they were thinking. Did they have some sort of robust tested process for trading based on momentum or social-media sentiment or technical factors, and coolly apply that process to the craziness around GameStop? Or were they distressed-credit or global macro funds who were like “this is too crazy, I cannot resist a trade like this”?
/bloom.bg/2YPJQ0U

Coronavirus

Red Cross warns of ‘devastating’ consequences as poorer countries struggle to secure vaccines.
NY Times
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, announcing a $110 million plan to help distribute vaccines, warned on Thursday of the “potentially devastating” consequences if poorer countries lagged behind their richer counterparts in inoculations.
/nyti.ms/3trM7NT

‘The mutants are here’: US vaccines in a race to box out virus
Anne Flaherty – Yahoo News
In the waning months of Donald Trump’s presidency, several top White House political advisers were locked in the wrong debate: Should the U.S. lock down until a vaccine arrives, or should the virus be allowed to spread in the hope enough young, healthy people would become immune, and the virus eventually would die out?
/yhoo.it/2NXtKAa

China’s Covid Vaccine Drive Is Falling Behind the U.S., Europe
Bloomberg News
Safety concerns, fewer Covid cases account for slow rollout; Distribution has eased and China risks missing own targets
China quelled the coronavirus by deploying its authoritarian system to get things done: from building hospitals in days, to blitz-testing entire cities and basically sealing off its vast border. So when it came time to roll out its home-grown Covid-19 vaccines, the world expected an inoculation effort of similar speed and ferocity, with the potential to again cast western governments in a poor light.
/bloom.bg/3cKe51q

Emmanuel Macron under pressure as Covid vaccination rollout falters; French president’s handling of crisis raises questions about his chances in next year’s presidential poll
Victor Mallet – FT
It was an uncharacteristically fretful and tired-looking Emmanuel Macron who last week cast doubt on the effectiveness for the elderly of the Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine and remarked that the UK’s successful inoculation campaign would not change its “total” dependence on road freight from the EU.
/on.ft.com/39N6SvQ

US state department acknowledges ‘confusion’ over staff vaccinations; Exclusive: Officials promise future distribution of coronavirus jabs will be ‘data driven’
Katrina Manson and Kiran Stacey – FT
Senior US state department officials have moved to mollify concerns about the pace of coronavirus vaccinations for employees, acknowledging there has been “some confusion” about the distribution of the jabs.
/on.ft.com/3ax58pE

UK coronavirus quarantine system to start on February 15; Hotels to be asked to bid to provide 10 days’ isolated accommodation for arrivals from ‘red list’ countries
Jim Pickard, Alice Hancock and Philip Georgiadis – FT
Ministers are poised to invite hotel chains to bid for a role in the new mandatory coronavirus quarantine for arrivals from “red list” countries as pressure grows on the UK government to get the system up and running.
/on.ft.com/3jiwqEi

Sunak hails vaccine success as model for more nimble UK economy; Chancellor sees active role for the state in future in nurturing innovation
George Parker – FT
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has hailed the early success in Britain’s coronavirus vaccine rollout as an economic model for the future, with an emphasis on “nimble” regulation and an active role for the state in promoting innovation.
/on.ft.com/39OJttO

Treasury economists work on plan for phased lifting of Covid restrictions; Tory MPs call on government to get rid of curbs completely by end of May, assuming vaccine supplies remain steady
George Parker and Sebastian Payne – FT
Treasury officials have been assigned to work on the government’s “road map” for lifting England’s coronavirus lockdown, to ensure that scientific information is matched by rigorous economic advice. Boris Johnson will set out his plan for coming out of England’s lockdown in the week beginning February 22, and the prime minister is expected to publish proposals for a phased reopening of the economy.
/on.ft.com/3jkWkqK

Why investing in data is never money wasted; ‘Without good information, we can’t track Covid cases, see which hospitals need help — or rebuild the economy’
Tim Harford – FT
In 1935, officials in the British Air Ministry were trying to figure out whether it was possible to shoot down enemy aircraft with a death ray. Reader, they did not succeed. Fortunately, the effort spawned something much more useful. Robert Watson-Watt and Arnold “Skip” Wilkins of the Radio Research Station suggested a better use for radio beams: spotting incoming bombers when the beams reflected off them.
/on.ft.com/3txhDtQ

Vaccine Shortage Sparks Fights Over Who Should Get First Shots; Most countries are giving priority to health-care workers and the elderly, but calls are growing from other groups to be put first
Ruth Bender – WSJ
As a shortage of Covid-19 shots slows vaccination efforts in the West, groups that haven’t been given high priority are increasingly jostling for the right to get immunized first. In most countries that are currently deploying vaccines, those most at risk of dying or getting seriously ill from the virus—nursing home residents and those caring for them, medical workers and the elderly—have been at the front of the queue.
/on.wsj.com/3rpodAR

AstraZeneca Vaccine Effective Against U.K. Covid-19 Variant in Study; Study finds the vaccine’s efficacy against the U.K. variant is 75%
Jason Douglas – WSJ
A vaccine jointly developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca AZN 0.72% PLC worked against a highly transmissible variant of the coronavirus first spotted in the U.K. in a clinical trial, the university said Friday. The vaccine’s effectiveness against the U.K. variant was estimated to be 75%, compared with 84% for older variants.
/on.wsj.com/3rmU6dq

U.S. Coronavirus Cases Are Down, but Eclipse Spring and Summer Peaks
Lazaro Gamio – NY Times
The worst of the current wave of coronavirus infections seems to be behind us, with the seven-day rolling average of new cases trending down in almost every part of the country. Nationally, that average peaked on Jan. 8 at nearly 260,000 new cases; the figure for Feb. 3, 136,442, amounts to a 47 percent drop from that peak.
nyti.ms/2O92cbk

What Robinhood Traders Need to Know About Taxes; If you’ve been buying or selling GameStop or other hot stocks, the IRS will be interested
Laura Saunders – WSJ
Joseph Holler started day-trading stocks last July when he was stuck at home during the pandemic and his work slowed down. “It was fun and exciting. I enjoyed it,” says Mr. Holler, a 38-year-old telecom salesman who lives near Huntsville, Ala., with his wife and their five children. Using several no-commission online brokers, he sometimes made more than 200 trades a day and thousands in 2020, according to brokerage records he provided. Overall, he says, he’s ahead by more than $8,000.
on.wsj.com/3pTGJRx

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

Miami International Holdings Reports January 2021 Trading Results, Market Share and Volume Records for MIAX Exchange Group
Miami International Holdings
MIAX Exchange Group’s equity options market share grew to 12.65% in January, led by MIAX Emerald, which increased by 26.9% compared to December and saw a peak market share of 5.94% on Jan. 27.
/bit.ly/3pQLMlL

Tradeweb hits record total trading volume in January; Total trading volume for January at Tradeweb reached a record $20 trillion across its electronic marketplaces for rates, credit, equities and money markets. 
Annabel Smith – The Trade
Fixed income trading platform provider Tradeweb hit a new record for total trading volume in January, reaching $20 trillion across its rates, credit, equities, and money markets businesses.  The platform provider also saw its average daily volume (ADV) for the month reach a record $1 trillion, marking a 29.5% increase year over year.
/bit.ly/2ObTBof

Pherecydes Pharma lists on Euronext Growth Paris to accelerate its fight against antibiotic-resistant bacteria; EUR8 MILLION RAISED – MARKET CAPITALISATION OF EUR34.9 MILLION
Euronext
Euronext today congratulates Pherecydes Pharma, the French biotech company specialising in the treatment of bacterial infections, especially those that are complicated and/or resistant to antibiotics, on its listing on Euronext Growth Paris (ticker code: ALPHE).
/bit.ly/3rne8V8

Eurex Exchange Readiness Newsflash | T7 Release 9.1 – Preliminary Release Notes are now available
Eurex
On 29 January 2021, Eurex Exchange published the T7 Release 9.1 – Preliminary Release Notes:
Simulation start is planned for 3 May 2021
Cloud Simulation start is planned for 1 April 2021
Production launch is scheduled for 28 June 2021
/bit.ly/2YORKrq

January 2021 monthly figures at Eurex; A strong start to the year for OTC Clearing at Eurex with market share in euro clearing reaching 20%
Eurex
Notional outstanding volumes at Eurex grew 20% year-on-year in January – from 17,054 billion EUR in January 2020 to 20,390 billion EUR this year – while average daily cleared volumes grew by 4% across the same period. Eurex’s euro clearing market share in notional outstanding volume now stands at 20%.
/bit.ly/2MVezqW

HKEX Invests in Guangzhou Futures Exchange
HKEX
HKEX invests in a 7 per cent stake in GFE;The first ever offshore institution to invest in a Mainland futures exchange
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) is pleased to announce today (Friday) that it is investing in a minority stake in the newly-established Guangzhou Futures Exchange (GFE), the first-ever equity investment in a domestic futures exchange by a non-Mainland Chinese investor. This investment underscores HKEX’s commitment to supporting the further internationalisation of China’s and the region’s financial markets.
/bit.ly/3rtDyjN

HKEX Welcomes Government Appointments to its Board
HKEX
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) today (Friday) welcomed the Government’s appointment of Nisa Leung and the reappointment of Rafael Gil-Tienda and Stephen Yiu to its Board of Directors. The two-year terms of the three directors will begin at the conclusion of HKEX’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) in 2021, and will end at the conclusion of the AGM in 2023.
/bit.ly/2YNp1mR

Intercontinental Exchange Chairman & CEO Jeffrey C. Sprecher to Present at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference on February 11
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc.
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE:ICE), a leading operator of global exchanges and clearing houses and provider of mortgage technology, data and listings services, announced today that Jeffrey C. Sprecher, Chairman and CEO, will present at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference. The presentation will take place on Thursday, February 11 at 2:50 p.m. ET. The presentation will be available live and in replay via webcast and can be accessed in the investor relations and media section of ICE’s website at http://ir.theice.com/.
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Cboe Global Markets Reports 2020 Fourth Quarter and Full Year Results
Fourth Quarter and Full Year Highlights*
Cboe Global Markets
Cboe Global Markets, Inc. (Cboe: CBOE) today reported financial results for the 2020 fourth quarter and full year.
/prn.to/36KTJl0

Nasdaq CEO Adena Friedman to Present at Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference 2021
Nasdaq
Nasdaq (Nasdaq: NDAQ) is a global technology company serving the capital markets and other industries. Our diverse offering of data, analytics, software and services enables clients to optimize and execute their business vision with confidence. To learn more about the company, technology solutions and career opportunities, visit us on LinkedIn, on Twitter @Nasdaq, or at www.nasdaq.com.
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CME Group Inc. Names Slate of Director Nominees
CME Group
CME Group Inc. today announced its slate of candidates for its board of directors for election at the company’s annual meeting to be held Wednesday, May 5, 2021.
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CME Group Declares Quarterly Dividend
CME Group
CME Group Inc., the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, today declared a first-quarter dividend of $0.90 per share, a 6% increase from the prior level of $0.85 per share. The dividend is payable March 25, 2021, to shareholders of record as of March 10, 2021.
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Dalian Commodity Exchange Rises To 7th Place Globally In Terms Of 2020 Trading Volume
Mondovisione
Dalian Commodity Exchange (DCE) rises to 7th place globally in terms of 2020 trading volume, according to the Futures Industry Association (FIA) rankings released recently.
/bit.ly/3ty4DEG

SET’s Board Elects Prasarn Trairatvorakul As SET’s 17th Chairman, Effective From Feb 5 http://
Mondovisione
The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET)’s Board of Governors (BoG) today resolved to elect Prasarn Trairatvorakul as the 17th Chairman of the Board to succeed Chaiyawat Wibulswasdi whose term has ended, as well as to name Pichet Sithi-Amnuai as Vice Chairman. The current BoG has a three-year tenure, effective from today to February 4, 2024.
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Fintech

Dash Financial Is Said to Be the Latest Fintech Up for Sale
Luisa Beltran- Barron’s
The private-equity firm Flexpoint Ford has put Dash Financial Technologies up for sale, four people familiar with the matter said. Dash is expected to sell for $700 million to $1 billion, two of the people said. Jefferies Financial Group is advising on the process, the people said.
/bit.ly/3jjpkPT

Alibaba’s $38 Billion Bond Sale Shows Jack Ma Fans Still Believe
Hong Shen, Ina Zhou, Rebecca Choong Wilkins, and Ameya Karve – Bloomberg
Notes were priced at 30-40 basis points tighter than guidance; Jack Ma’s reappearance, Ant’s restructuring boosted confidence
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. drew robust orders for a $5 billion bond sale, demonstrating investor confidence in the e-commerce giant’s long-term prospects amid easing tensions with Chinese regulators.
/bloom.bg/2YTNxmd

BNY Mellon and Google to work on eliminating settlement fails in US treasury market; BNY Mellon predicts its new initiative will help traders predict approximately 40% of settlement failures in Fed-eligible securities.
Joe Parsons – The Trade
BNY Mellon has partnered with Google Cloud on a data analytics model to help traders predict billions of dollars’ worth of daily settlement failures in the US treasury market. The initiative will see BNY Mellon leverage Google Cloud data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning technologies to develop new collateral management and liquidity solutions, helping clients to achieve significant capital savings.
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Cryptocurrencies

Police seize $60 million of bitcoin! Now, where’s the password?
John O’Donnell – Reuters
German prosecutors have confiscated more than 50 million euros ($60 million) worth of bitcoin from a fraudster. There’s only one problem: they can’t unlock the money because he won’t give them the password.
/reut.rs/3jjPnpW

Coinbase choses Nasdaq as venue for direct listing
Oliver Knight – Coin Rivet
San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has chosen Nasdaq as the venue for a direct listing, according to a report by The Block.
/yhoo.it/39PejCB

New crypto VC fund attracts Wall Street billionaires and LL Cool J
Andy Serwer – Yahoo Finance
In another sign that crypto has become a mainstream investment, private equity veteran Glenn Hutchins, along with his son James Hutchins and partner Travis Scher, have launched a new venture capital crypto fund with a marquee list of investors including hedge fund billionaire Paul Tudor Jones, Raj and Indra Nooyi (the latter being the former CEO of PepsiCo) and James Todd Smith, better known as LL Cool J.
/yhoo.it/3pNPD30

Cryptocurrency Hedge Fund Founder Admits to Massive Fraud
Joel Rosenblatt – Bloomberg
A 24-year-old founder of two New York-based cryptocurrency hedge funds with more than $100 million in investments pleaded guilty Thursday to securities fraud.Stefan He Qin was charged with duping investors by claiming he used a trading algorithm to take advantage of price differences for a number of cryptocurrencies, federal prosecutors said in an emailed statement.
/yhoo.it/3jkOehQ

*****You can read the DOJ press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of New York here.~MR

Musk Helps Crypto Market Value Climb to Record in Volatile Week
Eric Lam – Bloomberg
Combined value of digital coins rose closer to $1.2 trillion; Musk comments buffeted prices of Bitcoin, joke token Dogecoin
It seems there’s never a dull week in cryptocurrencies. In the most recent period, Elon Musk’s support for Bitcoin and a record runup in Ether helped take the market value of digital tokens to an all-time high.
/bloom.bg/2O1535W

Elon Musk is moving the market with joke-tweets about a joke-coin; A memecoin is mooning. Because markets are kayfabe now too.
Jemima Kelly – FT
It’s all a bit quiet on the internet these days isn’t it? Without the Orange All-caps Toddler-in-Chief spewing out all sorts of twaddle to get us riled up and indignant, Twitter can sometimes feel a little dull (not to mention Facebook, YouTube, and, er, Pinterest).
/on.ft.com/3cGxgta

Yearn Finance suffers exploit, says $2.8 million stolen by attacker out of $11 million loss
Michael McSweeney – The Block
DeFi platform Yearn.Finance said Thursday that one of its pools of funds had been exploited, resulting in the loss of $2.8 million. “We have noticed the v1 yDAI vault has suffered an exploit. The exploit has been mitigated,” the project’s official Twitter account said. Yearn.Finance is a so-called yield aggregator, through which users can deposit funds in pools — or vaults — which are then deployed to other DeFi protocols in an effort to generate yields for those depositors.
bit.ly/39OzFAe

Bitcoin an ‘Emerging Competitor’ to Gold, Says CME’s Chief Economist; Blu Putnam said gold’s ongoing production, likely to increase this year, contrasts with bitcoin’s fixed supply.
Sebastian Sinclair – Coindesk
Bluford Putnam, chief economist and managing director of CME Group, believes bitcoin is an “emerging competitor” to gold. In a CME-presented explainer video posted by Bloomberg on Wednesday, Putnam said the yellow metal’s ongoing production, likely to increase in 2021, contrasts with bitcoin (BTC, +1.71%)’s fixed supply. The World Gold Council estimates roughly 197,576 metric tonnes (217,790 tons) of the shiny metal have been mined throughout history with an additional 2,500-3,000 tonnes (2,756-3,306 tons) added to stock levels each year.
bit.ly/3cFPmvn

BitMEX’s holding company backs new investment fund Cadenza
Ryan Weeks – The Block
100x Group, the holding company connected to derivatives exchange BitMEX, has backed a new investment fund named Cadenza Capital Management. The fund is run by managing partners Kumar Dandapani and Max Shapiro, who used to manage BitMEX’s venture capital arm 100x Ventures. Dandapani was head of ventures at 100x Group from 2018 until 2020, while Shapiro served as an investment manager for the same period. A 100x Group spokesperson told The Block its own venture arm remains active despite the departures of Dandapani and Shapiro, who appear to have taken up roles at Cadenza at the start of this year.
bit.ly/3ro0CQZ

Wyoming lawmakers propose letting DAOs officially register in the state
Michael McSweeney – The Block
A working group in the Wyoming legislature dedicated to blockchain technology and innovation has put forward a bill that, if approved, would allow decentralized autonomous organizations, or DAOs, to officially incorporate in the state. The bill was originally submitted in mid-January, though a publicly available draft of the measure appears to have existed online since December. Public records indicate that the bill was sent to the Wyoming Senate’s Joint Corporations, Elections & Political Subdivisions Committee on February 3. A DAO is an organization that is governed by the terms of a smart contract. Such governance may take the form of token-based preference setting or voting, with decision outcomes based on the degree of participation and the preferences expressed in the vote.
bit.ly/3jx0b4t

Ethereum Transaction Fees Hit Record Highs as Ether, DeFi Coins Soar; The average Ethereum transaction fee has passed $20 for the first time.
William Foxley – Coindesk
Fees for transacting on the Ethereum network breached previous records, passing above $20 for the first time Thursday. As of 05:45 UTC, the average and median transaction fee on Ethereum reached as high as $23.43 and $11.77, respectively, data from Blockchair indicates. Ethereum last broke its transaction fee record a month ago on Jan. 11, hitting an average $19 per transaction. Current values double the peak transaction fees recorded during “DeFi Summer” of 2020.
bit.ly/39OSfrJ

Politics

Dems Propose Transaction Tax on All Wall Street Trades
Nik Rajkovic – KTRH
House Democrats are using the Robinhood-GameStop story to push a new “financial transaction tax” on every Wall Street trade. Minnesota’s Ilhan Omar says it would only cost point-one percent of a trade, adding up to what she estimates to be one trillion dollars a year. But who do you think will foot the bill?
/ihr.fm/3pOS4m5

New York Financial Groups Urge State Leaders to Oppose Stock-Transfer Tax Proposal; Proponents of the idea say it would raise additional revenue as the state confronts a budget deficit
Jimmy Vielkind – WSJ
Major financial exchanges and securities industry groups on Wednesday urged New York state lawmakers to not support a proposal being pushed by some Democrats and unions to impose taxes on stock sales. In a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and leaders of the state Assembly and Senate, the exchanges said any tax would prompt the relocation of securities industry firms and jobs out of New York and would also be passed along to investors and public pension funds. The letter’s 27 signatories include Nasdaq Inc., the New York Stock Exchange, groups representing downstate businesses and the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, or Simfa, which represents financial firms.
/on.wsj.com/3oOHxpB

Get Ready For a Merkel-Biden Bust-Up Over Russian Gas; Despite the outward affection between their leaders, the U.S. and Germany have bitter differences, starting with a Russian pipeline. Is there a solution?
Andreas Kluth – Bloomberg
The new transatlantic honeymoon isn’t over yet. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, like most European leaders, is still basking in the afterglow of Joe Biden’s inauguration as the 46th president of the U.S. After Number 45, of course, she’d have warm feelings for anybody. And yet, it’s just a matter of time — days or weeks — before they’ll need to have an awkward talk. The topic will be Russia. The U.S. and Germany have long been at odds about an almost finished pipeline that would carry Russian gas under the Baltic Sea directly to Germany. It’s called Nord Stream 2 because it would double the capacity of an existing pipeline in the same waters.
/bloom.bg/2YNXEt6

Michael Bloomberg Re-Appointed as United Nations Climate Envoy
David Wainer – Bloomberg
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres re-appointed Michael Bloomberg as his Special Envoy on Climate Ambition and Solutions, in an effort to mobilize global action in the lead-up to a key climate conference in Scotland in November.
/bloom.bg/3txtY1d

Hedge Funds Risk Biden-Era Closing of Money-Laundering Loophole
Neil Weinberg – Bloomberg
Private fund managers had been targeted under 2015 draft rule; Proposal sought same source-of-cash disclosures as banks
Private-equity and hedge funds face an increased risk that the U.S. will close a longstanding money-laundering loophole for assets they manage. All it would take is the Biden administration to quickly revive a rule that was developed during Barack Obama’s term but left unused by Donald Trump.
/bloom.bg/2YKmha1

How the race for renewable energy is reshaping global politics; As the transition from fossil fuels to clean energy gathers speed, what does it mean for the balance of power?
Leslie Hook and Henry Sanderson – FT
While the world was locked down by coronavirus last year, Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest, chairman of Fortescue Metals Group, was on the move. The billionaire mining magnate and his entourage toured 47 countries over five months, managing to convince some of them to open their borders to the delegation despite the pandemic.
/on.ft.com/39OJttQ

Regulation

ASIC cancels credit licence of Australian Golden Securities Pty Ltd
ASIC
ASIC has cancelled the Australian Credit Licence of Melbourne-based Australian Golden Securities Pty Ltd (Australian Golden Securities) (formerly AFS Capital Securities Ltd), effective 25 January 2021.
/bit.ly/3oP0PLE

Former director disqualified from managing companies for five years
ASIC
Ms Violetta Esposito of Peakhurst, NSW, has been disqualified from managing companies for five years for her involvement in two failed companies.
/bit.ly/36K4Bzv

ASIC suspends AFS licence of Investors Exchange Limited
ASIC
ASIC has suspended the Australian financial services (AFS) licence of Queensland-based financial services provider Investors Exchange Limited (IEL) for a period of six weeks, effective 15 January 2021.
/bit.ly/2YPNPKV

Mining Giant Ordered to Pay $2 Billion Fine for Fuel Spill in Arctic
Yuliya Fedorinova – Bloomberg
Miner previously disagreed with penalty asked for by watchdog; Regulator found faults in fuel-tank construction, maintenance
A Russian court ruled that MMC Norilsk Nickel PJSC should pay 146 billion rubles ($1.94 billion) in compensation for an Arctic fuel spill, in line with a demand by the nation’s ecological watchdog.
/bloom.bg/3oSYEqn

SFO Chases Fraudster for $99 Million a Decade After Conviction
Nimra Shahid – Bloomberg
U.K. agency trying to get assets from man sentenced in 2006; Smith used funds on hotel portfolio, London homes, yacht
The Serious Fraud Office is trying to untangle a legal web that’s blocked the agency from collecting 72 million pounds ($99 million) owed by a London real-estate investor, more than a decade after his conviction for theft. Gerald Smith built up a portfolio that included a yacht, 37 U.K. hotels and properties in expensive areas of London before pleading guilty in 2006 to a number of offenses relating to Izodia Plc, an unsuccessful U.K. software company.
/bloom.bg/2Z0Lu05

Regulator raises energy price cap for UK consumers by nearly 10%; Move follows recovery of wholesale market and includes £23 to allow suppliers to cover customers’ debts
Donato Paolo Mancini – FT
The maximum amount millions of UK customers pay for their energy bills will rise by nearly 10 per cent to pre-pandemic levels from April, piling pressure on household finances as coronavirus continues to ravage the economy. UK energy regulator Ofgem said on Friday changes in wholesale energy prices would push the price cap £96 higher for 11m default tariff customers, and by £87 for 4m prepayment meter customers. The maximum cap for both categories will increase to £1,138 and £1,156, respectively.
/on.ft.com/3jjLAcc

UK directors face new liability demands under major audit reform; Far-reaching overhaul of corporate governance set to be unveiled in long-awaited white paper
Daniel Thomas and Jim Pickard – FT
Directors will be held personally responsible for the accuracy of their company’s financial statements — with fines and bans for major failures — as part of far-reaching proposals to overhaul UK corporate governance and audit oversight.
/on.ft.com/3cFJ7aZ

Giuliani Associates Lev Parnas and David Correia Sued by SEC
Bob Van Voris and Christian Berthelsen – Bloomberg
Lawsuit covers some of the same ground as criminal case; Correia pleaded guilty in October and has sentencing next week
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission sued two associates of Rudy Giuliani, the former New York City mayor and lawyer for Donald Trump, alleging they defrauded investors of $2 million in a company that never got off the ground. Lev Parnas and David Correia raised the money for their company, Fraud Guarantee, but used it to pay for “lavish personal expenses unrelated to the company,” the SEC claimed in a complaint filed Thursday in Manhattan federal court. They told investors they had invested hundreds of thousands of dollars of their own money and raised $5 million for the company, but “these representations were false,” the SEC said in the complaint.
/bloom.bg/36KKOjE

Trading in dark pools and periodic auctions lowers execution costs, FCA paper concludes; Analysis from the UK’s regulator has said that dark trading, which the EU has restricted under MiFID II rules, can reduce costs for investors.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Investors can save on execution costs by trading in venues that the EU has tried to restrict or ban, a paper from the UK’s financial watchdog had concluded.
/bit.ly/3rpm4W2

ETFs have highest percentage of turnover traded in the dark, ESMA report finds; An analysis from the EU regulator revealed that the LIS waiver was most commonly used, with ETFs accounting for around 64% of the turnover executed under the waiver.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Exchange traded funds (ETFs) have the highest percentage of dark trading in terms of overall volume traded compared to other asset classes, a report from the EU markets watchdog has shown.
/bit.ly/3aI4o1c

2021 FINRA Annual Conference | May 18-20 | Washington, DC
FINRA
FINRA’s premier event — This year we are bringing the conference to you. The 2021 FINRA Annual Conference will be held entirely online. This virtual conference provides the opportunity for practitioners, peers and regulators to exchange ideas on timely compliance and regulatory topics.
/bit.ly/3rshypQ

SEC Requests Comment on Potential Money Market Fund Reform Options Highlighted in President’s Working Group Report
SEC
The Securities and Exchange Commission today published a request for public comment on potential reform measures to improve the resilience of money market funds as highlighted in a report of the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets issued in December 2020.
/bit.ly/3aBZtyD

SEC Charges Investment Adviser and Others With Defrauding Over 17,000 Retail Investors
SEC
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged three individuals and their affiliated entities with running a Ponzi-like scheme that raised over $1.7 billion from securities issued by a New York-based asset management firm and registered investment adviser, GPB Capital. The SEC also charged GPB Capital with violating the whistleblower protection laws.
/bit.ly/3pSMCP0

Request for Comment on Potential Money Market Fund Reform Measures in President’s Working Group Report
SEC
jlne.ws/1JoVeWA

FCA report outlines practices firms can consider to reduce consumer harm caused by failed technology changes
UK FCA
A new FCA multi-firm review looks at how firms implement technology change, the challenges caused when changes fail, and steps firms can take to protect consumers from harm and disruption in the market.
/bit.ly/3tso9Ch

Investing and Trading

How Short Selling Works; Short squeezes are nothing new. But recent action in some heavily shorted stocks over the past weeks has brought the topic to the fore again.
Phil Mackintosh – Nasdaq
Short squeezes are nothing new. But recent action in some heavily shorted stocks over the past weeks has brought the topic to the fore again. One thing many people ask is: How can a stock be more than 100% shorted? Being 100% shorted doesn’t mean there are zero net investors in a stock. In fact, it means the opposite. Here is why.
/bit.ly/3oQ54qj

From Vaccine News to Retail Traders, See What’s Rattled Markets; Almost every trading day since March 2020 has been eventful.
Katherine Greifeld and Claire Ballentine – Bloomberg
As the coronavirus pandemic surged around the globe last year, markets went on a wild ride. Unprecedented fiscal and monetary stimulus, along with a flood of new retail investors, spurred increased activity in financial assets and rapid swings. With nonstop political news and a vaccine rollout under way, volatility is likely to continue into 2021.
/bloom.bg/2MVCfvl

Silver surge could signal coming commodities boom; Digital economy will still need metals and minerals
Merryn Somerset Webb – FT
Last weekend everyone slightly wished they owned silver. The social media-driven investors who so upset the market with their short squeeze on GameStop spent Saturday and Sunday chatting about doing the same to the metal — which obligingly rose 7.7 per cent on Monday alone.
/on.ft.com/36IvKmk

Where do the next generation of investors go from here? After riding the Reddit wave, short-term trading could develop into a longer-term habit
Claer Barrett – FT
An intriguing advertisement for an investment platform popped up on my social media feed this week. Not only did it feature a picture of a female investor, but she had prominent tattoos on both arms.
/on.ft.com/3pWE8q4

Beware the madness of markets; From tulips to GameStop, retail investors usually end up losers in speculative booms
Michael Mackenzie – FT
The siren call of minting fabulous riches from the tap of a share trading app recalls past speculative manias down the ages that all ended badly; misallocating capital, wiping out savings and scarring investors.
/on.ft.com/39Qv3ti

A Piggly Wiggly warning for the Reddit investor rebels; A hundred years ago, a brave investor gave Wall St professionals a black eye — but then got two of his own
Richard Lambert – FT
Clarence Saunders was not a man to be pushed around. When members of his golf club complained that he was overtipping the caddies, his response was to construct his own private golf course in the grounds of the pink palace he was building for himself in Memphis, Tennessee. And when, at the end of 1922, Wall Street speculators — or “welchers” as he liked to call them — started to sell shares in his company, Piggly Wiggly Stores, he decided to buy them up, and to keep on buying.
/on.ft.com/3aE0B4K

What Robinhood Traders Need to Know About Taxes; If you’ve been buying or selling GameStop or other hot stocks, the IRS will be interested
Laura Saunders – WSJ
Joseph Holler started day-trading stocks last July when he was stuck at home during the pandemic and his work slowed down. “It was fun and exciting. I enjoyed it,” says Mr. Holler, a 38-year-old telecom salesman who lives near Huntsville, Ala., with his wife and their five children. Using several no-commission online brokers, he sometimes made more than 200 trades a day and thousands in 2020, according to brokerage records he provided. Overall, he says, he’s ahead by more than $8,000.
/on.wsj.com/3jlkJMV

Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance

Will Ferrell’s Super Bowl Ad Has Norway Taking an EV Victory Lap
Lars Erik Taraldsen and Craig Trudell – Bloomberg
GM’s videos get the attention of Solberg and climate minister; Nordic nation wants all cars sold in 2025 to be zero-emission
Boy, that escalated quickly. A Super Bowl ad campaign featuring “Anchorman” actor Will Ferrell has shone a spotlight on Norway as the envy of the world for electric-vehicle adoption. An initial set of teasers released by General Motors Co. got the attention of Prime Minister Erna Solberg, and now the country’s climate minister is inclined to do a bit of crowing.
/bloom.bg/2YKgQrD

U.K. on Cusp of Battery Boom to Boost Renewable Power Supply
Will Mathis – Bloomberg
RenewablesUK says country on path to have 16GW of batteries; Energy storage is crucial to cut emissions in the power grid
Developers of batteries in the U.K. have projects on the go that would increase the country’s capacity more than 14 times what it is today. Batteries are crucial to complement renewable power by storing electricity from wind and solar farms. As the U.K. works to quadruple its offshore wind farm capacity this decade, the growing portfolio of battery projects will help keep the country’s lights on without burning fossil fuels, even when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing.
/bloom.bg/3oYchVm

BP Deepens Tech Ties With Palantir in Push for Low-Carbon Future
Laura Hurst and Javier Blas – Bloomberg
BP to use Palantir’s data-processing software for 5 more years; The two have worked since 2014 with tech to help produce oil
BP Plc is deepening its use of Palantir Technologies Inc.’s data processing software, as the oil company looks to a greater use of technology to help cut greenhouse-gas emissions.
/bloom.bg/39P3Abm

Goldman Sachs joins Linux Foundation push for Open Source climate data
Geospatialworld
OS-Climate today announced that Goldman Sachs has joined its cross-industry coalition seeking to shift global investment toward zero-carbon emissions through the development of comprehensive data sets and evaluation tools that are available to all. We expect Goldman Sachs to provide critical expertise in climate risk, product development, and financial reporting that will result in better tools to help all companies, asset managers, and investors more consistently and effectively evaluate progress against decarbonization goals.
/bit.ly/3oNrt7D

The End of Demand Isn’t the End for Big Oil; Producers may be worried because 150 years of uninterrupted growth have drawn to a close. The iron ore market may offer a lesson.
David Fickling – Bloomberg
The oil market is taking reports of the death of crude surprisingly well. Crude jumped to its highest level in more than a year Friday, on signs that inventories are declining amid a hoped-for recovery from Covid-19. Brent moved as high as $59.12 a barrel, within a whisker of the $60 level where swathes of the industry find it easy to balance their books.
/bloom.bg/2MYOxDb

Institutions

BNP Names Two Lieutenants to CEO Bonnafe in Broad Shakeup
Alexandre Rajbhandari – Bloomberg
COO Bordenave, deputy d’Estais step down from their roles; Laborde, Gerardin to become second-in-command as COOs
BNP Paribas promoted investment banking head Yann Gerardin and top retail banker Thierry Laborde, elevating them to co-chief operating officers and making them potential successors to eventually take over from Chief Executive Officer Jean-Laurent Bonnafe. COO Philippe Bordenave and head of international financial services Jacques d’Estais are stepping down, BNP said Friday, confirming a Bloomberg News report last week. Laborde will take over some of d’Estais responsibilities, adding the bank’s international retail banking operations as well as BNP Personal Finance to effectively oversee all retail operations.
/bloom.bg/3jngMqY

UBS Boosts Middle East Expansion Drive With New Qatari Hub
Archana Narayanan and Marion Halftermeyer – Bloomberg
Swiss bank plans to hire another 20 people for Doha office; May eventually add investment bank, asset management services
UBS Group AG is setting up a second Middle Eastern hub in Qatar that will eventually add investment banking and asset-management services to its wealth-management business as part of an expansion in the region.
/bloom.bg/39QUM4L

BNP Paribas Sees Revenue Recovery After Debt-Trading Miss
Alexandre Rajbhandari – Bloomberg
Debt trading beat Wall Street but fell short of estimates; Sees revenue trending upward as economies return to normal
BNP Paribas SA signaled higher revenue and potential share buybacks this year after reporting weaker-than-expected trading results and a slowdown at the fixed-income business. The French bank posted an uneven fourth-quarter performance that saw net income and provisions beat estimates, while overall revenue and trading — including debt and equity — came in below expectations. While the lender signaled an uncertain outlook as the pandemic continues to lock down large swathes of Europe, it did signal that revenue would trend upwards this year as economies start to rebound in the second half.
/bloom.bg/2ObKEv9

Report on Credit Suisse Banker’s Fraud Shows Years of Lapses
Hugo Miller – Bloomberg
Regulator report that bank sought to block is published online; Lescaudron was convicted in 2018 of defrauding Russian clients
Credit Suisse Group AG failed to adequately handle early episodes of misconduct by one of its former star bankers who was subsequently convicted and imprisoned for fraud, according to a report from Switzerland’s banking regulator that the lender had sought to suppress. “Drastic restructuring” in 2012 and 2015 led to frequent personnel changes at Credit Suisse’s private-banking unit that only contributed to the problem, according to a copy of the report that a group called CS Victims posted on its website. A spokesman for Finma, which commissioned the Zurich firm Geissbuehler, Weber & Partner to prepare the report, declined to comment on the document.
/bloom.bg/39OAwko

BNP Paribas Posts Smaller-Than-Expected Drop in Profit Amid Pandemic; France’s biggest bank benefited from a trading boom amid market volatility
Noemie Bisserbe – WSJ
French bank BNP Paribas SA BNPQY 0.87% reported a drop in fourth-quarter profit, hurt by record low interest rates and the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, but said it expected revenue to bounce back this year as the global economy gradually recovers.
/on.wsj.com/36MRU75

Robinhood lifts trading restrictions on all stocks, including GameStop
Reuters
Online brokerage app Robinhood said on Thursday it has removed temporary trading restrictions on all stocks, including GameStop Corp and AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc, according to an update on its website.
/bit.ly/3aFy135

Regions

China Investors Evade Capital Controls to Buy Hong Kong IPOs
Bloomberg News
Mainland money has fueled Hong Kong’s share-sale boom; China’s financial regulators have so far looked the other way
It’s not hard to find reasons why cash is pouring into Hong Kong initial public offerings at a record pace: rock-bottom interest rates, frothy markets, pandemic boredom. But one of the biggest factors behind the frenzy often goes overlooked: the growing willingness of Chinese investors to evade capital controls as regulators turn a blind eye.
/bloom.bg/3js86Qj

Stock Boom Helps Japan’s GPIF to $100 Billion Quarterly Gain
Shoko Oda and Emi Urabe – Bloomberg
Japan’s GPIF posts 6.3% gain in October-December quarter; Foreign stocks are best performers, followed by Japan shares
The world’s biggest pension fund posted a 10.4 trillion yen ($98 billion) gain in the three months ended December, lifting assets to a record as global equity markets extended their recovery from the pandemic. Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund gained 6.3%, with assets reaching 177.7 trillion yen, the fund said in a statement. Overseas stocks were its best-performing investment, returning 11.9%, followed by an 11.3% return in domestic stocks. Overseas debt gained 1.2%, while Japanese debt added 0.02%.
/bloom.bg/39Oqy2u

Australian farmers warn China trade spat will cost them $28bn; Agricultural lobby asks Canberra for help finding alternative export markets
Jamie Smyth – FT
Australian farmers have warned that the country’s trade dispute with China and supply chain disruption linked to the coronavirus pandemic will cost the industry $28bn over the next decade.
/on.ft.com/2Mupc4c

Forget GameStop and Scrutinize Chinese Listed Companies; Just look at the performance of those mid-sized stocks in U.S. exchanges. Biden shouldn’t delay delisting.
Shuli Ren – Bloomberg
With all the bubbling frenzy around GameStop Corp., it’s time to step back and look at how the broader market is doing. It turns out, there’s froth elsewhere, too. Look no further than the Chinese companies listed in the U.S.
/bloom.bg/3aECLpp

Brexit

Barclays CEO Jes Staley Says Brexit Will Benefit of City of London
Tom Metcalf – Bloomberg
Barclays boss tells BBC robust regulation is a strength; City of London should focus on New York and Singapore, not EU
Barclays Plc’s Jes Staley said the U.K.’s departure from the European Union will prove to be a net benefit for the City of London. While some jobs and assets have shifted to the bloc, the chief executive officer said in an interview with the BBC that the ability of the finance industry to set its own agenda would better enable it to compete with Asian and American financial hubs.
/bloom.bg/3oMZ0i1

UK carmakers after Brexit: a race to attract battery production; Manufacturers are less concerned about tariffs and supply chains than the switch to mass production of electric vehicles
Peter Campbell in London and Kana Inagaki – FT
From Tokyo to Paris to Detroit, the headquarters of the world’s major carmakers let out a collective sigh of relief when Britain signed its last-minute deal with the EU on Christmas Eve.
/on.ft.com/3rkkMLG

The EU’s vaccine response has not made the case for Brexit
Henry Mance – FT
It’s been a tough couple of months for lovers of the EU. The bloc is on a losing streak. It was slow to order vaccines, slow to approve them and quick to blame a producer, AstraZeneca, when supplies were delayed. Brussels jeopardised goodwill in Northern Ireland by briefly planning to invoke the Brexit deal emergency protocol. It agreed an investment treaty with China, despite the horrors of Xinjiang. It hasn’t punished Russia for poisoning and imprisoning Alexei Navalny. Where does this leave the millions of pro-EU Britons? Those who, in 2019, waved EU flags at the Last Night of the Proms and carried placards such as “Fromage Not Farage” on marches? Must they accept that Britain, with its faster vaccine rollout, will do fine on its own?
on.ft.com/36KdTvy

Can the Northern Ireland Brexit protocol survive? The European Commission’s move to invoke a ban on vaccine exports to the region exposed old divisions on both sides
Arthur Beesley, Peter Foster, George Parker, and Mehreen Khan – FT
Just weeks after the UK finally completed its departure from the EU, the topic that dogged more than four years of bitter wrangling over Brexit has reared its head again: the tortured question of the Irish border. During the past few days ministers and officials from the European Commission and the UK have been trying to ease growing tensions over the so-called Northern Ireland protocol — the part of Boris Johnson’s Brexit treaty designed to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland. Talks will continue in London next week.
on.ft.com/3cKgTMk

Live farm animal exports to mainland EU at a standstill post-Brexit
Sophie Kevany – The Guardian
Livestock and live shellfish exports from the UK to mainland Europe are at a standstill as producers struggle with post-Brexit transport conditions. In 2019, excluding lamb and cattle traded between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, a combined 31,000 cattle, sheep and goats were exported from the UK to the EU mainland. About 5% would have been exported for fattening for slaughter and the rest for breeding, the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) estimates. National Pig Association (NPA) data shows about 12,000 breeding pigs were shipped from the UK to the EU in 2020. The UK does not export pigs for slaughter, the NPA said, although 1,000 to 2,000 pigs are sent from Great Britain to Northern Ireland each year when extra slaughter capacity is needed.
bit.ly/3pT4oSh

Brexit: 71 pages of paperwork for 1 lorry of fish
Lora Jones, Dominic Bailey & Lilly Huynh – BBC News
“It’s slow, it’s outdated, it’s challenging in a number of ways we never expected,” says Charlie Samways. His grandfather founded Dorset-based fish merchant Samways 60 years ago, selling fish from a wooden barrow. Today, with Charlie as sales director, the firm promises to get its fish and seafood “from port to plate” in 24 hours. But extensive paperwork, rising costs and border delays following the end of the Brexit transition period have put that pledge under threat.
bbc.in/2ObYzBp

‘British brands will die’: Fashion raises the alarm on Brexit trade deal; Costs and paperwork are spiralling because of Britain’s new deal with the EU, designers and executives say
Grace Cook – FT
“It’s been an absolute disaster.” Ben Taylor, co-founder of the British knitwear brand Country of Origin, is reflecting on his first month of business post-Brexit. The brand produces all its colourful intarsia cardigans and cable-knit sweaters using British wool at its own factory in the British Midlands, and attributes about 30 per cent of its online orders to the EU. Taylor says the paperwork is now a persistent headache. “One jumper was rendered an animal product by a duty official in the EU and the customer got slapped with a EUR200 import bill,” he says. As a result, some European customers have stopped shopping; sales in the region are down 58 per cent from pre-Brexit levels. “People have heard the horror stories,” he says.
on.ft.com/2YLMKDQ

Miscellaneous

How ‘Work From Home’ Became ‘Work From Anywhere’
Noah Buhayar – Bloomberg
What You Need To Know
The way the pandemic reshapes where and how we work could be one of the most visible legacies from the health crisis. In the U.S., lockdowns sent many wealthy knowledge workers fleeing to suburbs, second-tier cities, and “Zoom towns” in scenic areas near ski slopes or national parks. While most people will eventually return to an office, things might look different than before. It all has the potential to profoundly impact office culture, labor markets, city finances and the American landscape.
/bloom.bg/2Z0Ij8F

Internet bets on Sunday’s game expected to climb 63% this year; Penn’s Barstool investment generates early haul in Michigan
Christopher Palmeri – Bloomberg
Houston furniture retailer Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale flew to Colorado Wednesday night and placed one of the largest Super Bowl bets ever from his mobile phone. McIngvale wagered $3.46 million that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers would cover the 3.5-point spread against the favored Kansas City Chiefs, according to DraftKings Inc., which took the bet through its mobile app. That means the Bucs must either win the game or not lose by more than 3 points for him to win a potential $2.71 million.
/bloom.bg/2YMNB7r

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