The Crypto Party Is Over

Jun 20, 2022

First Read

Hits & Takes
John Lothian & JLN Staff

Yesterday was a double holiday, Father’s Day and Juneteenth, so today the markets are closed for Juneteenth. Father’s Day, which links its roots to a sermon delivered in 1908 “in memory of the 362 men who had died in the previous December’s explosions at the Fairmont Coal Company mines in Monongah” did not become a federal holiday until 1972 when President Richard Nixon signed a proclamation making Father’s Day a federal holiday.

One year ago, President Biden signed a proclamation making Juneteenth a federal holiday. As with other U.S. federal holidays, JLN will be published today, but the JLN team will be getting the rest of the day off.

NYSE and Nasdaq are closed in observance of the Juneteenth holiday.

Farrell Kramer of the NYSE has a new column titled ‘At 230, the NYSE Continues to Transform and Evolve.” Farrell tells the NYSE story well, including highlighting the role Jeff Sprecher has played in revitalizing the NYSE and that of Lynn Martin, the NYSE’s new president.

Today the lead story is an obituary for the crypto party, while the second story is about Jump Crypto and how it continues to not “party on,” but rather just go about the business of running an industry-leading crypto business.

Also today, we have the first of the interviews I conducted in London for IDX. This interview is with Rich Counsell, the founder and CEO of Stable, a firm that is revolutionizing risk management for commodity markets that don’t have listed futures contracts on them. It is great to hear a story right from the founder. JLN will be doing more with Stable in the coming months to help them tell their story.

Chris Grams announced that he has left the CME Group. He was part of the corporate communications group there for the last 11.5 years. Thank you Chris for all the help over the years.

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


Stable Could Become the Home of Hedging; JLN Interviews Stable Founder and CEO Rich Counsell in London at IDX

Rich Counsell said that after walking by the CME in Chicago every day he became intrigued by what the CME did and why farmers like his father did not use its markets to hedge. Counsell had grown up on a beef farm in the southwest in the U.K. before leaving to become a trader in the City and a technology entrepreneur.

Watch the video »


Is the Stock Market Closed on Juneteenth?; Markets will be shut Monday for Juneteenth, a federal holiday that observes the end of slavery in the U.S.
Hardika Singh – WSJ
U.S. stock markets will be closed to observe Juneteenth for the first time in history. The New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq will shut down on Monday, June 20, in observation of the newest federal holiday, adding it to the list of market holidays that also includes Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. Juneteenth—also known as Emancipation Day, Black Independence Day and Jubilee Day—commemorates the end of slavery in the U.S. Here’s what to know about which markets are closed for Juneteenth.

***** It will take some time for Juneteenth to become part of the traditional holiday cycle, but today it starts year two as a national holiday.~JJL


At 230, the NYSE Continues to Transform and Evolve
Farrell Kramer – NYSE
When senior executives, government officials and other luminaries visit the New York Stock Exchange, they typically stop at the Big Board Club, two floors of the building designed to host a variety of events including bell ringings, conferences, investor meetings and media interviews. Out of public view, these floors combine the modern and the iconic, the opulent and the functional, as befits an organization that recently celebrated its 230th anniversary but continues to sit at the cutting edge of finance, commerce and technology. Walking the halls of the Big Board Club brings this fascinating contrast into sharp relief and tells the story of the world’s largest stock exchange and its constant evolution and transformation.

****** NYSE is 230 years young and will continue to be a force for years to come.~JJL


The Crypto Crash: all Ponzi schemes topple eventually
Robert Reich – The Guardian
One week ago, as cryptocurrency prices plummeted, Celsius Network – an experimental cryptocurrency bank with more than one million customers that has emerged as a leader in the murky world of decentralized finance, or DeFi – announced it was freezing withdrawals “due to extreme market conditions”. Earlier this past week, Bitcoin dropped 15% over 24 hours to its lowest value since December 2020. Last month, TerraUSD, a stablecoin – a system that was supposed to perform a lot like a conventional bank account but was backed only by a cryptocurrency called Luna – collapsed, losing 97% of its value in just 24 hours, apparently destroying some investors’ life savings.

******Weebles wobble and they DO fall down.~JJL


Warren Buffett’s final charity lunch sets eBay record; The unidentified winning bidder, along with seven guests will have lunch with Buffett in New York City
Ken Martin – FOX Business
Warren Buffett saved the best and biggest for last as the auction for lunch with the billionaire set a record. A person bid more than $19 million to dine with the ‘Oracle of Omaha’ in the 21st and final time that the businessman auctioned a private lunch to benefit a San Francisco charity. The winning bidder couldn’t immediately be identified. An eBay spokeswoman said the lunch was the most expensive item ever sold on the company’s website to benefit charity. The winning bid in the eBay auction that ended on Friday night far topped the previous record of $4.57 million, paid in 2019 by cryptocurrency entrepreneur Justin Sun. The auction proceeds go to Glide, a nonprofit in San Francisco that helps the poor, homeless or those battling substance abuse.

****** That is a lot of money for one lunch. I can’t wait to hear the backstory.~JJL


Friday’s Top Three
Our top clicked story on Friday was the Tom Kadlec Retirement Party in Pictures, from John Lothian News. Second was the New York Times opinion piece from Farhad Manjoo, Crypto, Houses, Sneakers, Rolexes: How FOMO Drove the Economy. Third was Elon Musk sued for $258 billion over alleged Dogecoin pyramid scheme, from Reuters.


MarketsWiki Stats
26,859 pages; 238,938
MarketsWiki Statistics


Lead Stories

The Crypto Party Is Over; The cryptocurrency industry was built on swagger, enthusiasm and optimism. All three are in short supply these days, as losses and layoffs mount.
Corrie Driebusch and Paul Vigna – WSJ
On Super Bowl Sunday, a ad featuring billionaire NBA star LeBron James lit up millions of Americans’ TVs. “If you want to make history, you gotta call your own shots,” Mr. James said in the 30-second spot for the popular cryptocurrency-trading platform. The words that splashed across the screen as the commercial ended read “Fortune favors the brave.” Last week, laid off 5% of its workforce as its chief executive officer said on Twitter that the company was making “difficult and necessary decisions.” The cryptocurrency industry was built in part on swagger, enthusiasm and optimism. Bitcoin backers’ rallying cry to rebuff skeptics was, “Have fun staying poor.” Those who didn’t buy in were letting the future pass them by.

As the Crypto Winter Hits Its Peers, Chicago Trading Firm Jump Is Ready for More Bets; Industry reels amid job cuts, frozen withdrawals and bailouts; Chicago firm leans in despite setbacks from Wormhole, Terra
Katherine Doherty and Yueqi Yang – Bloomberg
Twelve weeks and $1 trillion ago, Kanav Kariya had a question for thousands of people gathering in Spain to glorify cryptocurrencies: “Who the f**k is Jump?” This was before crypto broke bad and then unraveled to worse. Before the spectacular collapse of Luna and TerraUSD, the digital currency that was supposedly safely pegged to the dollar. Before Bitcoin plunged into a vicious bear market and people began whispering about a “crypto winter.” Before all that, Kariya, 26, was his relentlessly bullish self. Wearing flip-flops and an orange jacket, he regaled a conference in Barcelona about his crypto ambitions at Jump Trading, a normally hush-hush private firm that elbowed its way out of the hurly-burly Chicago commodities pits and into the “Flash Boys” realm of high-speed, electronic trading.

The Unraveling of Robinhood’s Fairy Tale; An online brokerage that helped usher in an investing revolution faces a number of new threats. Where does it go from here?
Caitlin McCabe, Gunjan Banerji and Alexander Osipovich – WSJ
Few companies embodied the market mania of the past two years quite like Robinhood Markets Inc. The flashy online brokerage ushered in an investing revolution at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic that, for the first time in decades, made trading cool. Robinhood’s easy-to-use interface hooked millions of Americans on buying and selling stocks, options and cryptocurrencies. A raging bull market helped turn many newbie investors’ trades into wins. Good times for customers meant good times for Robinhood. The more customers traded, the more revenue Robinhood raked in. By last summer, it boasted more than 22 million funded customer accounts, had opened offices around the country and was preparing for an initial public offering of its stock. Then the party ended.

Bankers’ beach holidays threatened by market turmoil; Financiers suffering lacklustre first half performance are poised to cancel summer plans in bid to claw back business
Ian Johnston and Owen Walker – FT
Bankers are preparing for a disruption to summer holiday plans to make up for a lacklustre start to 2022 in capital markets, as they hope for business to pick up in the second half of the year. Markets have been shaken by war in Ukraine, the impact of China’s zero Covid policy on the world economy, the threat of global recession and snarled supply chains in 2022.

The Lords of Money Pose Massive Threats to Markets; When central banks unexpectedly go into full reverse, watch out
James Mackintosh – WSJ
Think the Fed’s job is hard? At least the U.S. Federal Reserve can concentrate on fighting inflation. In Japan and Europe, the central banks are battling the markets, not merely price rises. That’s leading to some very strange, even contradictory, policies. The troubles of the three central banks mean investors should prepare for the sort of low-probability, high-threat risks that lead to extreme shifts in prices. When central banks unexpectedly go into full reverse, watch out. Let’s go through the risks. The Fed failed to stem inflation because it spent too long looking to the past, as part of its policy of being “data driven,” and so kept rates too low for too long. By sticking to the data-driven mantra, it risks repeating the mistake in the opposite direction, raising the chance that it causes the next recession and has to do a 180. Since the markets have barely begun to price in a recession and so a fall in earnings, that would hurt.

Luna Crash: Crypto Hedge Fund Three Arrows Seeks a Savior; The fall of cryptocurrencies causes colossal losses to investors and threatens to wipe out certain projects and firms.
Luc Olinga – The Street
Who’s next? The cryptocurrency crash for several weeks continues to claim victims. In addition to retail investors who have lost their savings, institutional investors are also in disarray and more particularly the firms which have funded a large number of crypto projects. This is the case of Three Arrows Capital (3AC), which has just confirmed the rumors according to which it was having very serious financial difficulties after its investments in projects like Luna turned into disaster. 3AC co-founder Kyle Davies told the Wall Street Journal that the firm invested over $200 million in Luna tokens in February, an amount that is now essentially worthless after the coin imploded in May.

In Prevalence of Selling, This Is a Market Rout Without Equal; Sweeping losses hit S&P 500 at a frequency never seen before; Nowhere to hide with major assets suffering concerted declines
Lu Wang and Elaine Chen – Bloomberg
You can look but you won’t find a stretch of futility as pervasive as the one that is landing on Wall Street. Even in the long and storied history of market meltdowns, the breadth of losses is without equal, based on data that goes back to the Great Depression. In five of the seven sessions through Thursday, at least nine in 10 S&P 500 stocks dropped, a record run of widespread losses, according to Sundial Capital Research. A similar if slightly less harrowing picture prevailed across asset classes. From Treasuries to corporate bonds and commodities, everything was down for a second straight week, a stretch of sweeping declines that hasn’t happened since the 2013 taper tantrum.

CFTC’s Goldsmith Romero warns of similarities between crypto today and banks in 2008; ‘We’ve got a pretty sizable market that’s largely unregulated and regulators just have no window into it,’ she said.
Chris Matthews – MarketWatch
Prices of digital assets continued to fall Tuesday following steep declines in recent days, and at least one regulator is concerned about financial contagion spreading through the crypto economy. Christy Goldsmith Romero, who serves as a member of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, said in an interview with Axios Tuesday that she sees parallels between crypto markets today and the banking industry in the 2000s, in the years leading up the financial crisis. “The first [similarity] is that we’ve got a pretty sizable market that’s largely unregulated and regulators just have no window into it,” she said. “The second is that the market has become pretty broadly correlated with the broader equity markets.”

Trillion-dollar crypto collapse sparks flurry of US lawsuits – who’s to blame?; Kim Kardashian and Floyd Mayweather among those being sued, but prosecuting fraud in the crypto arena is notoriously difficult
Edward Helmore – The Guardian
With investors worldwide looking at a collective $1.5tn in recent cryptocurrency losses, a blizzard of class-action lawsuits are being prepared. One big question is: who, if anyone, is to blame – and who could be held to account? With inflation and interest rates rising, the best-known cryptocurrencies have been hit with heavy and continuing losses: Bitcoin has lost more than 50% of its value this year; Ethereum, its largest rival, is down 65%; and the total value of crypto assets has dropped to less than $1tn from its November 2021 peak of $3tn. US federal regulators say 46,000 people have reported losing $1bn in crypto to scams since January 2021.

Tycoon in Murder Trial Faces Investor Fury Over Lost Millions; Harvey Boulter’s UK security clearance helped him amass $670 million in investments. As his empire crumbles, backers are looking for answers.
Benjamin Robertson and Jonathan Browning – Bloomberg
For more than a decade, Harvey Boulter was a go-to guy for investors seeking hot British technology start-ups. Holder of a UK security clearance, he was a gatekeeper for Ministry of Defence-backed projects touted as revolutionizing realms from blood screening to diagnostics testing. His past as an aerospace banker at UBS Group AG helped convince Middle Eastern royalty, veteran business executives and disparate UK expatriates to commit some $670 million to ventures marketed by Boulter’s Cayman Islands-registered Porton Capital, named to echo the MOD research center. While Boulter, 53, amassed boats, cars and estates on three continents, very few of his investors got any of their money back. But that may be about to change. Boulter is facing a London lawsuit by creditors from one of his most promising startups as well as scrutiny in his personal life over a murder charge in Namibia and an alleged assault on his ex-wife. As detractors suddenly step forward, claims against Boulter of financial malpractice are shaping up into one of the biggest set of such allegations in the UK in years. Some are calling for an official investigation and new safeguards in the defense investment industry. Boulter denies any wrongdoing.

New Stanford Study: Half of Workers Are Ignoring Requirements to Return to the Office Full Time. And Bosses Don’t Know What to Do About It; Do you really want to fire half your staff right now? If not, maybe set more realistic requirements.
Jessica Stillman –
When a memo from Elon Musk demanding Tesla executives return to the office or find another place to work leaked earlier this month, a tsunami of commentary swiftly followed (including here on Most of it centered on the question of whether the policy was dumb or brilliant. A new survey from professors at Stanford and Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México suggests perhaps more experts should have weighed in on another angle of the story. What should Musk — and other bosses do — if a huge proportion of the workforce flat out refuses to comply with return-to-the-office requirements?

BIS Paper Takes Aim at Crypto Miners “Front-Running”
Colin Lambert – The Full FX
An article in the latest BIS Bulletin, published by the Bank for International Settlements, highlights the practice of MEV (miner extractable value) in crypto markets, suggesting it is akin to front-running in traditional markets and in need of study by regulatory authorities as cryptocurrencies go more mainstream. The paper, Miners as Intermediaries: Extractable Value and Market Manipulation in Crypto and DeFi, argues that far from being “trustless”, cryptocurrencies and decentralised finance (DeFi) rely upon validators or miners to update the blockchain, many of whom decide how and when to add transactions to the blockchain to best benefit themselves economically.

The Importance of the NYSE’s Market-Driven Approach to Board Diversity
Elizabeth King – NYSE
Last month, a California lower court struck down a state law requiring gender diversity on public company boards. Weeks earlier, a California law mandating the inclusion of directors from underrepresented groups also fell to a California state court ruling. The news drew national attention as the importance of board diversity has become widely understood. To many, these laws were considered an important early step. In truth, the progress our public companies have made toward greater board diversity owes as much to market forces as rules-based mandates. The New York Stock Exchange has been a strong proponent of diversity on boards for some time. In 2019, the NYSE Board Advisory Council launched an initiative to identify board-ready candidates from underrepresented groups. This solutions-based approach is a resource to help public and private companies meet their market-driven needs.

Crypto Industry Shows Cracks as a Second Firm Limits Withdrawals
Joe Light – Barron’s
Four days after crypto giant Celsius Network abruptly halted withdrawals for customers, other firms in the industry are showing cracks. A major crypto hedge failed to repay some creditors. And another firm that like Celsius holds crypto deposits said it would cap customer withdrawals. Still, the biggest shoe to drop so far has been Celsius. As recently as mid-May, Celsius held $11.8 billion worth of crypto assets on its platform with promises to pay alluring yields sometimes exceeding 10% to investors. To earn that yield, the company lent money to institutional investors and in some cases made large investments on “decentralized finance” protocols that paid Celsius even higher rates. But recent pressures in the crypto market—as well as the lack of liquidity in some of Celsius’ investments—apparently lead the company to suspend withdrawals, triggering fears about how long investors’ money might be locked up and whether they might ever get it back.

FTX Agrees to Acquire Canadian Trading Platform Bitvo as It Eyes Regional Expansion
Oliver Knight – CoinDesk
Cryptocurrency exchange FTX has entered an agreement to acquire Alberta-based trading platform Bitvo, in a deal that will be completed in the third quarter of 2022 subject to regulatory approval, according to a press release issued on Friday. Bitvo, founded in 2018, is registered as a restricted dealer under the securities laws of all provinces and territories in Canada. It is also registered with FINTRAC, Canada’s financial intelligence agency, as a money services business in the virtual asset service provider category.

A Crypto Bankruptcy Could Be Investors’ Nightmare; Few safeguards are in place for individual investors should a digital asset platform file for chapter 11 protection
Paul Kiernan, Alexander Gladstone and Soma Biswas – WSJ
The cryptocurrency market’s latest swoon is giving investors a painful lesson about the risks of trading digital tokens through intermediaries. Sliding digital asset values pushed lending service Celsius Network LLC this week to freeze all customer withdrawals and explore options that include a financial restructuring. In a bankruptcy restructuring, crypto investors would be navigating uncharted territory. “What can safely be predicted is that there will be litigation, and there will be delay,” said Adam Levitin, a law professor at Georgetown University who studies bankruptcy.

Crypto Tumult Spreads as Lender Babel Puts Freeze on Withdrawals
Muyao Shen – Bloomberg
In a sign of deepening turmoil in the crypto community, Babel Finance became the second major digital-asset lender this week to freeze withdrawals, telling clients it is facing “unusual liquidity pressures” as it contends with recent market declines. “The crypto market has seen major fluctuations, and some institutions in the industry have experienced conductive risk events,” the Asia-based lender and asset manager said in a notice on its website to explain the temporary measure. A spokesperson at Babel told Bloomberg that the team has faced “some pressure” and “are working on it.”

NYU’s Mathematics in Finance Program Selects BMLL for Market Microstructure Research; NYU quant team to use BMLL Data Lab to run computations at scale and conduct futures market research
BMLL, the leading, independent provider of harmonised, historical data and analytics, today announced a collaboration with New York University’s Mathematics in Finance program, making its Data Lab available to its team of quantitative researchers. Part of NYU’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, the program and its research activities are directed by Professor Petter Kolm, a leading quantitative analyst specialising in market microstructure modelling and buy-side trading, who was named as “Quant of the Year” in 2021 by Portfolio Management Research (PMR) and Journal of Portfolio Management (JPM) for his contributions to the field of quantitative portfolio theory. An NYU team, led by Professor Kolm, has previously conducted research that showed that deep-learning models across a large number of stocks at large scale is found to be fully feasible, and that future returns of “information-rich” stocks can be predicted more accurately by deep learnin

Conoco Sees Gas Volatility Lasting Years as it Invests in Qatar; Houston firm to get a 3.1% stake in Qatar’s North Field East; Exxon, Shell also made bids to be part of $29 billion project
Verity Ratcliffe, Simone Foxman, and Paul Wallace – Bloomberg
ConocoPhillips said volatility in global gas markets may last years, as it joined other Western energy firms by investing in a $29 billion project to boost Qatar’s exports of the fuel. The Houston-based company will buy a 3.1% holding in the North Field East project. Chief Executive Officer Ryan Lance announced the deal alongside Qatar’s energy minister, Saad Al-Kaabi, in Doha on Monday.

Central banks and markets share a secular awakening; There is no hiding from the long-term transition to more challenging financial conditions
Mohamed El-Erian – FT
For the global economy and markets, last week marked a definitive “awakening”. As nice words from central banks about battling inflation gave way to more meaningful policy actions, there was a first awakening with the realisation that, undoubtedly, we were making a transition to a new and more challenging regime for financial conditions. And because this transition is so late in coming, there was a second awakening — a recognition that there is no hiding from the difficulties this poses for policymakers, households, companies and markets.

Italy and its banks feel the heat of spooked bond market; Markets are singling out the country as the worst of a bad lot among eurozone nations
Patrick Jenkins – FT
Milan was unseasonably warm last week: a sweltering 35 degrees that had locals complaining bitterly. The pathetic fallacy was not lost on the posse of European central bankers in town for a youth education conference: with Italian 10-year government bond yields hitting a near-decade high of more than 4 per cent, and the spread over German Bunds reaching levels not seen since the start of the pandemic, the heat was on.

China IPO fundraising doubles US total to top global ranks; Government officials camped out at Shanghai bourse to ensure steady flow of listings during lockdown
Hudson Lockett and Cheng Leng – FT
New listings in China this year have raked in more than double the amount raised on Wall Street, after officials camped out at Shanghai’s stock exchange during the city’s strict lockdown to ensure a steady flow of deals. Total fundraising from initial public offerings in China has hit almost $35bn this year, compared with just $16bn on Wall Street, according to data from Dealogic.

Why China is not rising as a financial superpower
Beijing must find the confidence to lift capital controls and make the renminbi fully convertible
Ruchir Sharma – FT
China’s rise on the world stage is perhaps this century’s most frequently repeated news story. The country’s economic footprint has expanded spectacularly. Its widening military reach has made recent headlines. Yet as an aspiring financial superpower, China is going nowhere.

Ukraine Invasion

Ukraine’s Farmers, Contending With Stolen Grain and Mined Fields, Now Say Land Is Being Seized; Land ‘nationalization’ in occupied parts heaps more misery on Ukraine’s beleaguered farming industry, and threatens to further crimp food supplies
Alistair MacDonald and Thomas Grove – WSJ
Last month, an armed group turned up at Dmitry Skorniakov’s farm close to Mariupol and told workers that the land was being “nationalized” and now belonged to them. Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine has captured some of the most productive agricultural land in what is one of the world’s great breadbaskets, disrupting supplies and pushing up food prices. Russian forces have also stolen grain and equipment, the Ukrainian government and farmers say. Now, entire farms are being taken, some farmers say. That allegation of land theft is becoming increasingly common in parts of Ukraine occupied by Russian forces, heaping more misery upon the country’s beleaguered farming industry and threatening to crimp harvests when the world needs Ukrainian crops.

Documents Reveal Hundreds of Russian Troops Broke Ranks Over Ukraine Orders; Desertions and refusal to engage in the invasion have put Moscow in a bind over how to punish service members without drawing attention to the problem
Matthew Luxmoore – WSJ
Hundreds of Russian soldiers have escaped the fighting in Ukraine or refused to take part during the early stages of the war, according to military decrees viewed by The Wall Street Journal as well as accused soldiers and lawyers defending them. Military analysts and Ukrainian officials say there have been many more. Russia’s army stumbled badly early in its invasion of Ukraine and suffered thousands of casualties and the loss of an estimated quarter of its deployed military hardware, a senior Pentagon official said in April. Desertions and insubordination among soldiers, Interior Ministry troops and members of the National Guard are compounding the problem. The desertions place Russian authorities in a bind over how to punish those who refuse to serve without drawing more attention to the issue, defense experts said. The Russian military is short on manpower and seeking recruits to help turn the tide in Ukraine.

Russia sending large number of reserve troops to Sievierodonetsk, Ukrainian governor says
Russia is sending a large number of reserve troops to Sievierodonetsk from other battle zones to try to gain full control of the frontline eastern city, the governor of Ukraine’s Luhansk region said on Saturday. “Today, tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow, they will throw in all the reserves they have … because there are so many of them there already, they’re at critical mass,” Luhansk regional governor Serhiy Gaidai said on national television. He said Russian forces already controlled most but not all of Sievierodonetsk.

Russia advances in battle for eastern Ukraine city as NATO warns of long war
Natalia Zinets and Max Hunder – Reuters
Russia said on Sunday it seized a village near Ukraine’s industrial city of Sievierodonetsk, a prime target in Moscow’s campaign to control the country’s east, as the head of NATO predicted the war could last for years. Russia’s defence ministry said it had won Metyolkine, a settlement of fewer than 800 people before the war began. Russian state news agency TASS reported that many Ukrainian fighters had surrendered there. Ukraine’s military said Russia had “partial success” in the area, which is about six kilometers (four miles) southeast of Sievierodonetsk. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said supplying state-of-the-art weaponry to Ukrainian troops would boost the chance of freeing its eastern region of Donbas from Russian control, Germany’s Bild am Sonntag newspaper reported.

The Electric Bikes Facing Off Against Putin’s War Machine; Delfast founder and CEO Daniel Tonkopi talks e-bikes in Ukraine and managing remotely during a military invasion.
Ira Boudway – Bloomberg
When Daniel Tonkopi founded Delfast in Kyiv, Ukraine, in 2014, he had no intention of building and selling electric bikes. He also never anticipated that his company would be caught up in a war with Russia or that his bikes would become military vehicles. But at 43, Tonkopi, a native of Almaty, Kazakhstan, now finds himself living in Los Angeles, running an e-bike company and remotely managing dozens of employees living in a war zone. In May, Tonkopi made headlines when he shared images on Facebook of Ukrainian fighters using Delfast bikes to carry anti-tank weapons to the front, demonstrating yet another use case for electrified two-wheelers. “Our bikes are still working despite damages,” he told me on a video call earlier this month.

Putin Gets Unexpected Pushback From Ally Over War in Ukraine; Kazakh leader dissents as Putin defends invasion at forum; Putin claims sanctions are hurting West more than Russia
Bloomberg News
Russian President Vladimir Putin sought to justify his war in Ukraine as legal under international law at his flagship economic forum on Friday. Sitting beside him on the stage, a key ally diplomatically disagreed. After Putin argued he was protecting Russian-speakers in the self-declared Donetsk and Luhansk peoples’ republics of eastern Ukraine, which Russia had recognized as independent days before the invasion, moderator Margarita Simonyan, head of the Kremlin-funded RT TV, pressed Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev on whether he supported Russia’s view. He didn’t.

Refugee Food Rations Cut as War in Ukraine Worsens Global Hunger; Curbs as high as 50% impacting Ethiopia, South Sudan, Uganda; Global food prices have soared nearly 18% so far this year
Quinn – Bloomberg
The World Food Programme is cutting food rations for refugees by as much as half, as it faces a hunger crisis worsened by the war in Ukraine and funding constraints. “We are being forced to make the heart-breaking decision to cut food rations for refugees who rely on us for their survival,” WFP Executive Director David Beasley said Monday in a statement.

Ukraine war hits global timber trade and adds to risks for forests; Fears rise that illegal logging will meet demand as protections are loosened and sanctions curb Russian exports
Madeleine Speed – FT
The war in Ukraine has caused serious disruption to the global timber trade and increased concerns over forest destruction as exports are interrupted, environmental protections are lifted and Kyiv redirects manpower away from fighting wildfires to the front line.

Germany fires up coal plants to avert gas shortage as Russia cuts supply; Emergency move is ‘bitter but essential’ to ease threat of energy shortage, economic minister Robert Habeck says
Olaf Storbeck in Frankfurt and David Sheppard – FT
Germany will significantly increase its use of highly polluting coal to preserve energy supplies ahead of the winter as Russian cuts to gas exports threaten shortfalls in Europe’s largest economy.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

HKEX Considers Opening Offices in New York, London, SCMP Reports
John Cheng – Bloomberg
Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd. is considering establishing offices in New York and London to attract global investors and market the city as a fundraising destination, the South China Morning Post reported, citing unidentified people. The newspaper reported exchange Chief Executive Officer Nicolas Aguzin confirmed plans for a New York office but that the HKEX hadn’t decided on the location for a European office yet. SCMP reported in May that the bourse operator was seeking to open offices in the US and Europe over the next year. HKEX currently has offices in Singapore, Beijing and Shanghai in addition to its headquarters in Hong Kong. It also owns the London Metal Exchange.

Two American Institutions: The NYSE welcomes the United States Army on the Army’s 247th Birthday
Josh King – LinkedIn
Just outside the New York Stock Exchange, on the steps of Federal Hall in Lower Manhattan, stands a statue of George Washington, the first Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army. The statue stands 12 feet 6 inches tall, a little more than twice the height of the man himself, who was 6 feet 2 in real life. 247 years ago today, on June 15, 1775, in response to the British march on Lexington and Concord, Washington received his commission from the Second Continental Congress…

REVISION: Enhancements to Account Management Service for OTC Customers
CME Group
Two enhancements to Account Management Service (AMS) will be available in New Release on the evening of Tuesday, June 21, 2022 and available in Production starting Friday, June 24, 2022. The enhancements are as follows:

Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation presents two new exhibitions: “Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize 2022” and “New Works – Art Collection Deutsche Börse”
Deutsche Börse
– The exhibitions can be seen from June 30 to September 25, 2022 in The Cube, Frankfurt/Eschborn.
– The visit is possible as part of guided tours and on the “Open Saturdays” on July 16 and September 10, 2022.
– A press tour will take place on June 30, 2022 at 11 a.m.

Playing Footsie with Eurex
More and more participants choose to hedge their UK benchmark index exposure using Total Return Futures on FTSE 100 Index (TTUK). The first five months of 2022 saw a 120,000 lots trading in TTUK (the equivalent of almost GBP 10 billion notional). This is more than seven times 2021 volumes, the year in which Eurex launched the FTSE product suite.
Open interest has been growing steadily and currently standing at 87,000 lots (equivalent to GBP 6.5 billion).

ICE Midland WTI American Gulf Coast Futures See Record Volume
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE:ICE), a leading global provider of data, technology, and market infrastructure, today announced that ICE Midland WTI American Gulf Coast futures (contract code: HOU) had a single day volume record on June 14 with 4,136 contracts traded.

Deliverable bonds / Conversion Factors
Deliverable bonds and conversion factors of JGB Futures (except for mini-10-year JGB Futures (Cash-Settled))

Updates to LME Group Fees and Charges 2022
This Notice sets out certain updates to the fees and charges for LME and LME Clear (together the “LME Group”) that will take effect from 17 June 2022.

Decision Notice on OTC Position Reporting Accountability Levels for Reportable OTC Positions
This Notice (the “Decision Notice”) sets out the LME’s decisions in relation to the matters consulted on in LME Notice 22/145 and summarised below.

Moscow Exchange launches options trading on real estate index and Chinese yuan
On June 20, 2022, trading on the derivatives market of the Moscow Exchange will begin trading in two new derivative instruments: options on the real estate index and on the Chinese yuan-Russian ruble exchange rate.

Nodal Exchange Successfully Lists New Environmental Futures and Options
Business Wire – Financial Post
Nodal Exchange announced today the successful listing of new environmental products including several first-of-their-kind futures contracts in voluntary carbon offsets, renewable natural gas certificates and renewable energy credits. The new Nodal Exchange products further expand the world’s largest exchange listed suite of environmental products…This new environmental product launch is part of EEX Group’s continued commitment to a sustainable future. Nodal Exchange and the European Energy Exchange (EEX) are collaborating with highly experienced industry partners to build their environmental and voluntary carbon offset offering. This includes expanding cooperation with IncubEx, a long-standing partner for developing exchange-traded products and services and client relationships in global environmental markets. In addition, Net Zero Markets, a spin-off from award winning carbon risk management firm Redshaw Advisers is collaborating with EEX Group to develop the GER product which Nodal listed today.


Robots Will Answer Your Tax Questions in IRS Wait-Time Call Fix; Taxpayers can manage payment plans with automated system; IRS hopes to boost phone service levels to 70% from 20%
Richard Tzul and Laura Davison – Bloomberg
The IRS is expanding its use of voice bots to help taxpayers quickly set up or modify payment plans without having to wait long periods on the phone. “We continue to look for ways to better assist taxpayers, and that includes helping people avoid waiting on hold or having to make a second phone call to get what they need,” IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said in a statement Friday. The Internal Revenue Service was only able to answer about 20% of the calls coming into the agency in the latest tax-filing season, Rettig told lawmakers earlier this year.

Ex-Amazon Cloud Worker Convicted of Massive Capital One Hack; Paige Thompson, whose screen name was ‘erratic,’ found guilty; Data from about 100 million people accessed in server attacks
Robert Burnson – Bloomberg
A former Amazon Web Services worker was convicted of hacking into the company’s cloud servers to steal customer data and computer power that she used to mine cryptocurrency. Following a week-long trial in Seattle, Paige A. Thompson, 36, was found guilty of seven federal crimes, including wire fraud, which carries a prison sentence of as long as 20 years, US prosecutors said Friday in a statement. Prosecutors say Thompson, who went by the screen name “erratic,” created a tool that searched for misconfigured accounts on Amazon Web Services. She was able to hack into the accounts of more than 30 Amazon customers, including Capital One Bank, and download the personal information of more than 100 million people, they said. Capital One disclosed the breach in 2019 and paid regulatory fines of more than $80 million, along with $190 million to settle customer lawsuits.

Web3 Fans Say It Was Never About the Money; The downturn will test the theory.
Joshua Brustein – Bloomberg
The collapse of crypto markets over the last week has inspired a hearty round of I-told-you-so’s from people who’ve been skeptical that cryptocurrencies and nonfungible tokens serve much purpose beyond base financial speculation. While some people have insisted that dunking on crypto isn’t just about taking a victory lap, the victory laps are definitely a part of it. “Obviously, expensive digital images of monkeys are going to improve the world immensely. That’s so incredible,” said a smirking Bill Gates at a TechCrunch conference on Tuesday, referring to the prominent NFT project Bored Ape Yacht Club. He then described NFTs as “an asset class that’s 100% based on greater fool theory—that somebody’s going to pay more for it than I do.”

No, Russia won’t replace Swift with the blockchain; Because don’t be daft, honestly.
Bryce Elder – FT
Have you heard that Russia’s developing a blockchain platform for international payments to replace the current Swift system? There’s a good chance you have, but if you haven’t you soon will, because the story has been stuck in a holding pattern above the news agenda for weeks. It loomed back into view this morning via coinbro churnalism and tweets such as this one, from Watcher.Guru to its 1.1mn followers:

Payment Technology Company Paya to Explore Sale
Liana Baker and Matthew Monks – Bloomberg
Paya Holdings Inc., a payments technology company that went public in 2020 through a blank-check deal, is exploring a potential sale amid takeover interest, according to people familiar with the matter. Paya is working with an adviser to field interest, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private. Large, publicly traded payments companies are circling the company as bidders, the people said. An agreement hasn’t been reached and talks could end without one, or the company could still decide to remain independent, the people said. Paya rose 2.3% to close at $5.37 in New York trading Friday, giving it a market value of about $709 million. A representative for Paya didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.


Hackers crash internet as ‘Russian Davos’ adjusts to new reality
Hackers on Friday delayed the start of President Vladimir Putin’s speech to Russia’s flagship economic forum, shorn of strong Western participation as Russia adjusts to the “new reality” of life under Western sanctions. State companies made a point of publicly signing deals and many firms had stalls with floor-to-ceiling display screens and glamorous attendants at the 25th St Petersburg International Economic Forum, which aims to rival the Davos World Economic Forum. But the Western investors and investment bankers who had turned up in previous years were conspicuously absent.

What the Russia-Ukraine war means for the future of cyber warfare
Ines Kagubare – The Hill
Russia’s war on Ukraine has been largely defined by indiscriminate shelling and grinding exchange of artillery, however it has also shown how cyberspace will be a central battleground in the future of global conflicts.
Early Russian cyberattacks were a harbinger of a ground war to come, and the battle for hearts and minds is now largely playing out online. And Russia has strategically timed cyberattacks for advantage in its on-the-ground assaults.

Chicago Quantum Exchange could help revolutionize computing, medicine and cybersecurity
Robert McCoppin – Chicago Tribune
Flashes of what may become a transformative new technology are coursing through a network of optic fibers under Chicago.
Researchers have created one of the world’s largest networks for sharing quantum information — a field of science that depends on paradoxes so strange that Albert Einstein didn’t believe them.

How to address the diversity gap in cybersecurity, and why it matters 
Ilona Simpson – Technative
Despite numerous initiatives designed to attract new blood to the world of technology, cybersecurity is still embroiled in a war for talent
Arguably, this talent crunch boils down to a number of things, in particular the cybersecurity industry being seen as ‘intimidating’. I myself, after 20 years of experience working in technology, had to overcome this apprehension before throwing myself into it.


‘Crypto Winter’ Could Become ‘Crypto Hell’
Joe Light – Barron’s
When a traditional bank fails, a SWAT team of regulators swoops in, winding it down in secret and preventing a panic that could spread throughout the financial system. In cryptocurrency banking, the demise happens in full public view—and there is no regulatory SWAT team to keep the markets calm. That story unfolded this past week as Celsius Network, a major crypto lender that had more than $11 billion in deposits, froze withdrawals. “Celsius has billions in liquidity,” CEO Alex Mashinsky said publicly on Friday, June 10. Less than 72 hours later, Celsius halted all withdrawals, swaps, and transfers between accounts. No investors have been able to get their money out since then. And there is nothing like the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. in crypto to repay depositors in an insolvency scenario.

Founders of $10 Billion Crypto Hedge Fund Have ‘Ghosted’ After Bets Go Bad; Three Arrows Capital, founded by two high school friends, is MIA as firms scramble to assess the damage amid indications the fund has been wiped out.
Maxwell Strachan – VICE
The co-founders of an influential multi-billion-dollar crypto hedge fund have suddenly gone MIA right at the moment that people want their money. Days of swirling rumors have been followed by harder evidence that Three Arrows Capital, or 3AC, is ghosting its business partners as it attempts to avoid insolvency after the firm overleveraged itself ahead of the recent “crypto winter,” which has plagued the industry and led to a steep decline in crypto prices. Now, firms are scrambling to distance themselves from 3AC to assure customers that their funds won’t go down with the ship run by Zhu Su and Kyle Davies, two childhood friends who suddenly found themselves wielding billions in the Wild West of emerging crypto markets.

Coinbase refuses to rule out further job cuts; Senior executive says crypto exchange is operating in ‘very very tough environment’
Scott Chipolina and Stephen Morris – FT
One of Coinbase’s most senior executives has admitted that the exchange may have to consider further job cuts should the global sell-off in the crypto market continue to worsen. “You never say never. The only commitment we can make is that we are going to operate the company responsibly and for the long haul and if that requires additional action, we will take that”, said Faryar Shirzad, the company’s chief policy officer, at the FT’s “The Next Web” conference in Amsterdam on Friday. However, he added that: “We don’t anticipate it at this time.”

Crypto’s Excruciating Week Has Traders Bracing for Next Crisis; Strains at Celsius, Babel, Three Arrows fuel contagion fears; Price declines, industry job cuts magnify downbeat vibe
Michael P. Regan – Bloomberg
It was one of the most dramatic weeks in the short history of the cryptocurrency market, bookended by the type of announcements investors fear the most from a counterparty: We’re sorry, but we just can’t return your money right now. In between, a nascent technocratic industry with grand ambitions to reinvent the financial system was rocked repeatedly by echoes of past crises in the old system. It was a week of margin calls, forced selling and important collateral being exposed as way too illiquid in a time of crisis. There were rumblings of hedge-fund blowups, tales of opportunistic predatory trading, job cuts and loud denials of problems from key players proven wrong almost immediately. Amid it all, the myth was shattered once and for all that this new crypto financial system was somehow immune to — or even able to benefit from — the economic fundamentals currently punishing the old system.

DeFi Platform MakerDAO Pauses Some Aave-Related Lending Activity; Traders can no longer borrow DAI against stETH on Aave; Contagion risks in DeFi are increasing, MakerDAO member says
David Pan – Bloomberg
MakerDAO, a long-established decentralized autonomous organization that supports the stablecoin DAI, has suspended the token from being deposited and minted in Aave’s crypto lending platform. The organization cast the vote to disable the DAI Direct Deposit Module on Aave, which effectively prevents traders from borrowing the stablecoin against a troubled derivative token stETH, citing adverse market conditions in a post Friday. “The reason we believe this is risky is because out of 200 million DAI borrowed on Aave Ethereum v2, 100 million DAI is being borrowed by Celsius and collateralized mostly by stETH.” Primoz, a member of the Risk Core Unit Team at MakerDAO said in the Maker Forum.

Bankman-Fried’s Alameda Lends $485 Million to Crypto’s Voyager; Terms include credit lines of $200 million and 15,000 Bitcoins; Voyager seeks to safeguard customer assets in current market
Emily Nicolle – Bloomberg
Crypto broker Voyager Digital Ltd said it secured loans from Alameda Research, the trading outfit from FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, to shore up protection for customer assets while activity in the digital asset market remains highly volatile. Voyager said it had signed a non-binding term sheet for a $200 million credit facility from Alameda, compiled using a mix of cash and USDC, a stablecoin tied to the value of the US dollar. The sheet also included a revolving line of credit for 15,000 Bitcoins, worth roughly $285 million on Saturday morning in London as crypto prices tumbled. The loans are intended to be used as a safeguard for client assets in light of the “current crypto market conditions,” Voyager said in a statement published on its website Friday, adding “and only if such use is needed.”

Elon Musk compliments Kraken CEO’s controversial thread on ‘triggered’ employees
Marco Quiroz-Gutierrez – FORTUNE
Elon Musk threw his support behind the CEO of crypto exchange Kraken on Thursday, applauding Kraken boss Jesse Powell for a series of recent statements clamping down on “triggered” employees who bring social justice debates into the workplace. “Good thread,” Musk wrote in a tweet late Thursday night, commenting on a series of earlier tweets by Powell defending Kraken’s corporate culture. Powell’s tweets followed a controversial blog post by Kraken outlining its corporate principles. The nearly 4,000 word Kraken document bemoaned Silicon Valley’s view of diversity, and said that Kraken emphasized “diversity of thought” over that of “physical features.” It also laid out rules forbidding Kraken employees from calling anyone’s speech “racist” and saying that firearm and self-defense training may be included in corporate retreats.

The Battle Over Bitcoin In 401(k)s Is Heating Up
Luisa Beltran – Barron’s
Battles over allowing Bitcoin in 401(k) plans are intensifying, even as the token continues to slide amid a broad crypto crash. Fidelity Investments kick-started the debate with an announcement in April that it plans to create “digital assets” accounts for the 401(k) plan it oversees. Fidelity is the country’s largest 401(k) administrator, overseeing $2.7 trillion in 401(k) assets spread over 20.4 million investors as of December 31. The Labor Department almost immediately pushed back, reiterating warnings it had issued in March about the dangers of crypto in 401(k)s. Now, a crypto industry group that includes Coinbase Global (ticker: COIN) and Block (SQ) is urging the DOL to back off.

OSL and Interactive Brokers Partner for Crypto Services in Hong Kong; Interactive Brokers will offer crypto services to professional clients in Hong Kong.
Oliver Knight – CoinDesk
Interactive Brokers (IBKR) has formed a partnership with cryptocurrency exchange OSL Digital Securities that will allow it to provide virtual asset services to its professional trading clients in Hong Kong, according to a press release. “Investors worldwide are rallying to digital asset markets, and the collaboration with OSL comes at a key moment in the development of the regulated digital asset ecosystem in Hong Kong,” David Friedland, head of APAC (Asia-Pacific) at Interactive Brokers, said in the release.

With His Bitcoin Bet, Michael Saylor Mistook ‘Scarcity’ For An Inflation Hedge
John Tamny – Forbes
Argentina has a population of 45 million, while Switzerland can claim roughly 8.6 million citizens. Where it gets interesting is that the Swiss franc is one of the world’s most circulated currencies, while the Argentine peso isn’t even the currency of choice in Argentina. Given the country’s history of devaluation, Argentines go to great lengths to exchange their pesos for dollars as a way of mitigating the horrors of devaluation. Though the peso is the country’s official currency, the dollar liquefies much trade, and is most certainly the required currency for debt issuance and imports. Really, who would provide real goods and services for paper that’s so routinely in decline?

Celsius Warns It Needs More Time Before Crypto Lending Business Can Resume
Rupert Steiner – Barron’s
Celsius Network, the crypto lender that suspended customer withdrawals last week following the wide selloff in digital assets, warns it needs more time before it can return to business as usual.

Ethereum creator Vitalik and his father, Dima Buterin, on this ‘morally clarifying moment’ and why there’s more to crypto than money
Taylor Locke – Fortune
He learned about Bitcoin as a teenager from his father, a Russian-born engineer and entrepreneur who moved his family to Canada named Dmitry Buterin. Vitalik and Dmitry, who is often called Dima, both told Fortune they are used to the volatility by now, but this Father’s Day one of the most prominent father-son duos in DeFi have another message: think of how else crypto could be used.

Crypto market starting to see even old-timers panic-selling: ‘What was once a massive flood of FOMO money trying to get in is now an equally raging torrent the other way’
Vildana Hajric and Bloomberg – Fortune
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As the crypto market crumbled this year, short-term speculators were among the first to dump their holdings. Now mounting losses have even some of the most steadfast investors looking like they’re bailing out. A measure called the spent output profit ratio, which tracks how much profit has been realized from market activity in digital currencies on a blockchain on any given day, has declined to its lowest level in a year, according to Glassnode data.

How Brands Should Approach NFTs and Web3: VaynerNFT; Gary Vaynerchuk and Avery Akkineni discuss helping Budweiser, Pepsi, and Behr enter and explore the Web3 space.
Andrew Hayward – Decrypt
It’s been a whirlwind year for the NFT space, and that’s especially true when it comes to brands trying to wrap their arms around the tech. About a year ago, according to entrepreneur and investor Gary Vaynerchuk, many companies barely understood the use case or opportunity. “Early on, they were like, ‘What is this?'” he told Decrypt at May’s VeeCon conference. Vaynerchuk—a serial entrepreneur and creator of the VeeFriends Ethereum NFT collection—launched the VaynerNFT Web3 consultancy last July, spun out of his VaynerX creative and media agency. The firm has since launched various initiatives with brands like Budweiser, Ford, Pepsi, Behr, L’Oreal, and crypto exchange Coinbase.

Neqotkuk couple want more Indigenous artists to pursue NFT market; ‘We can have our culture live forever on the block chain,’ says Bronson Nicholas
Oscar Baker III – CBC
A Tobique First Nation (Neqotkuk), N.B., couple want more Indigenous artists to enter the world of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) as they say it’s an excellent way for artists to sell their digital products. An NFT is a digital asset that cannot be replicated, and unlike cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, each NFT has a unique value. Bronson Nicholas and Mandy Perley are developing an NFT coaching business and plan to offer a six-week course to teach Indigenous artists to package their own art, music and knowledge into NFTs. “We really just want to bring our people with us and bring them with us into this new technology and allow them to make money on it,” said Perley, 24.

PlayStation Creator Kutaragi Snubs Metaverse and VR Headsets; Tech should blend rather than separate real and cyber, he says; Kutaragi’s venture raised 1 billion yen from Sony, SBI
Takashi Mochizuki and Yuki Furukawa – Bloomberg
PlayStation inventor Ken Kutaragi shrugged off the metaverse as the tech industry’s next big undertaking and head-mounted displays as the portal to that destination, describing them as dividing rather than unifying the real and virtual realms. “Being in the real world is very important, but the metaverse is about making quasi-real in the virtual world, and I can’t see the point of doing it,” the 71-year-old entrepreneur told Bloomberg News in an interview. “You would rather be a polished avatar instead of your real self? That’s essentially no different from anonymous messageboard sites.” Kutaragi, who created Sony Group Corp.’s video game business in 1993, now serves as the chief executive officer of Ascent Robotics Inc., a Tokyo-based artificial intelligence startup that just raised 1 billion yen ($8.7 million) from Sony and SBI Holdings Inc.


Putin May Win in Ukraine, But the Real War Is Just Starting; Russia’s war is becoming a larger struggle of good against evil, and Europe must do more or evil may triumph.
Max Hastings – Bloomberg
Deliver us from evil. The line is among the most familiar, in one of the oldest Christian prayers. Most of us are wary about using the E-word, because grown-up people know that few issues, or indeed people, can rightfully be characterized as either wholly good or the other thing, but instead exist somewhere between.

UK’s Top Oil, Gas Producer Asks Sunak for Windfall-Tax Rethink; Harbour Energy CEO Linda Cook sends letter to UK Chancellor; Levy ‘disproportionately’ hits firms like Harbour: Cook
Laura Hurst – Bloomberg
The UK’s largest oil and gas producer wrote to Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak asking for a rethink of his £5 billion windfall tax on the industry. Harbour Energy Plc Chief Executive Officer Linda Cook told Sunak in the letter that the Energy Profits Levy announced last month disproportionately affects independent oil and gas companies, rather than global majors such as BP Plc and Shell Plc.

The deafening silence over Brexit’s economic fallout; As economists start to quantify the damage from leaving the EU, a tentative debate has begun over how to soften the blow
George Parker and Chris Giles – FT
As he battled to save his job this month, Boris Johnson warned his MPs not to get into “some hellish, Groundhog Day debate about the merits of belonging to the single market”. Brexit, he warned his mutinous party in a sweaty House of Commons meeting room, was settled.


Statement of Commissioner Caroline D. Pham on the U.S. Senate Confirmations of Mark Uyeda and Jaime Lizárraga
CFTC Commissioner Caroline D. Pham today made the following statement on the unanimous U.S. Senate confirmations of Mark Uyeda and Jaime Lizárraga: “I congratulate Mark Uyeda and Jaime Lizárraga on their historic and unanimous Senate confirmation as SEC Commissioners. It is encouraging to see more diverse leadership in financial services and government. In addition to recognizing their deep expertise and many accomplishments, I especially want to recognize that this is the first time in the SEC’s 88-year history that an Asian Pacific American will serve as Commissioner. I look forward to opportunities for our agencies to work together.”

Financial Watchdog FATF Curbs Russia’s Influence Within Group; In other moves, the Financial Action Task Force takes Malta off its terror-financing watch list and adds Gibraltar
Mengqi Sun – WSJ
A global financial watchdog has moved to limit Russia’s role and influence in the organization, citing the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine, the group said Friday. The Financial Action Task Force, a Paris-based intergovernmental body that sets anti-money-laundering law standards, said Russia would no longer be allowed to hold any leadership or advisory roles or participate in decision-making on standard-setting, peer-review processes, and governance and membership issues. Russia, which joined the FATF in 2003, can also no longer provide assessors, reviews or other experts for the organization’s peer-review processes.

Second Circuit Affirms Judgment for SEC in Layering, Manipulative Trading Case
On June 15, 2022, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the amended final judgment entered on February 9, 2021 by the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York against Vali Management Partners, DBA Avalon FA LTD and its principals, Nathan Fayyer and Sergey Pustelnik. The district court had ordered each defendant to pay $7.5 million in penalties following a jury verdict finding the defendants liable for engaging in market manipulation in violation of the Securities Act of 1933, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder.

Caloundra man sentenced for insider trading
Mr Jin Xi Li, of Caloundra, Queensland, has been sentenced to nine months imprisonment for insider trading. The Court ordered Mr Li be released forthwith on recognisance upon the condition that he be of good behaviour for a period of two years.

ASIC releases May 2022 financial adviser exam results
ASIC has released exam results from the 17th Financial Advisers Exam cycle, held in May 2022. The exam has been continuously conducted by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) since its inception and follows a rigorous process to ensure all candidates in all cycles are held to the same standard.

Former Queensland financial adviser convicted for breaching ASIC banning order
Former Queensland financial adviser Lawrence Toledo has been convicted and fined $1500 after pleading guilty to three charges of breaching an ASIC banning order. In 2017, Mr Toledo was banned from providing financial services for seven years after ASIC found he had failed to act in the best interests of his clients when advising them to establish a self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) to purchase properties (17-304MR).

FMA publishes Auditor Regulation and Oversight Plan 2022-2025
FMA New Zealand
The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) – Te Mana Tatai Hokohoko has published its Auditor Regulation and Oversight Plan 2022-2025. The plan sets out how the FMA aims to improve the audit quality of Financial Markets Conduct reporting entities by: reviewing the systems, policies and procedures that registered audit firms have in place to deliver high-quality audits; reviewing individual audit engagements, to ensure they meet the auditing and assurance standards; monitoring accredited bodies to ensure they are effective frontline regulators of licensed auditors.

Assistant Commissioner of International Affairs Office Elected New Co-Chair of the FATF Policy Development Group
FSA Japan
At the FATF (Financial Action Task Force) Plenary from 14th to 17th June 2022, the FATF appointed HABUCHI Takahide, Assistant Commissioner of International Affairs Office of Japan FSA, as new Co-Chair of the FATF PDG (Policy Development Group), one of the five standing committees at the FATF. PDG conducts policy developments, including revision of the FATF Standards. His term is the two years from June 2022 to June 2024. This is the first time that Japan FSA serves as Co-Chair of a FATF standing committee.

MAS and SFA invite entries for 2022 FinTech Awards
Monetary Authority of Singapore
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Singapore FinTech Association (SFA) announced today the launch of the 2022 Singapore FinTech Festival (SFF) Global FinTech Awards (the Awards). The Awards, supported by PwC Singapore, seek to recognise innovative FinTech solutions by FinTech companies, financial institutions, technology companies, as well as individuals and companies that have been instrumental in creating new growth opportunities, transforming FinTech industry practices and promoting financial inclusion.

Investing and Trading

13 Ways To Tell If It’s A Good Time To Buy A House, According To A Financial Expert
Evie Carrick – Buzzfeed
Buying a home is the biggest purchase most of us will ever make. And knowing when the time is right can be tricky, because you have to consider everything from where you are in life to what’s going on in the housing market. It isn’t an easy to decision to make. For anyone. So we leaned on Amy Richardson, a certified financial planner with Schwab Intelligent Portfolios Premium, to share the considerations she takes with her clients.

Hedge Funds Are the Rage as ‘Nothing Seems to Be Working’: Q&A; Fed is maybe regaining some control, iCapital’s Amoroso says; Crypto will remain under pressure until the Fed pauses
Vildana Hajric and Michael P. Regan – Bloomberg
Anastasia Amoroso, chief investment strategist at iCapital, joined the latest episode of the “What Goes Up” podcast to discuss the market volatility that followed the Federal Reserve’s rate hike and how hedge funds are attracting client interest again after years of languishing in a raging bull market. She joined this week’s “What Goes Up” podcast to talk about that as well as the biggest Fed hike in almost three decades. Below are lightly edited and condensed highlights of the conversation. Click here to listen to the whole podcast, and subscribe on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen. Q: Hedge funds, we see a lot of headlines about some that are struggling, but in aggregate, they’re outperforming. Has the decline revived the demand for hedge funds?

How to Stand Up to a Bear Market; Younger investors can treat this year’s steep decline in stocks as a buying opportunity. Older investors may not be able to wait around for a recovery.
Jason Zweig – WSJ
This isn’t a bear market; it’s two bear markets. One is menacing younger investors who are still in their saving years. The other is mauling those who are in or near retirement. For people still in their prime earning years, this bear market is likely to be as bullish in the long run as it is painful in the short run. For older investors, the decline is potentially devastating. With the Federal Reserve raising interest rates by 0.75 percentage point this week and inflation raging at nearly 9%, U.S. stocks have fallen 22% this year; bonds are down 11%. Recovery could take more time than some older investors have.

Forget Crypto Winter. In Biotech, It’s Been Freezing for Months; Industry executives worry that capital will dry up amid downturn
Angelica Peebles – Bloomberg
Biotech executives are bracing for more pain as global uncertainty hammers the already beaten-down industry. The downturn in biotech started long before Russia invaded Ukraine and high inflation became a dinner-table conversation. In the biotech stock slide that accelerated last winter and that’s continued in recent weeks, few companies have been spared. That includes those that went public in 2021 – a record number – amid pandemic-induced euphoria in the sector. Many of those same firms are now facing the possibility that the situation could deteriorate more. It was enough to create a notable sense of anxiety at the BIO International Convention in San Diego this week, where more than 10,000 executives, scientists and investors gathered.

America’s Top 1% Lose $1.5 Trillion on Stocks Before Bear Market; New Fed data show the losses piled up by rich Americans this year through March, when the decline in equities was just getting started.
Ben Steverman – Bloomberg
Even before US stocks tumbled into a full-blown bear market this week, the country’s richest 1% were staring down huge losses. The group’s overall wealth plunged by $701 billion last quarter, the first decline since early 2020, driven by $1.5 trillion in stock losses that were offset by gains in real estate and other assets, according to new estimates from the Federal Reserve. It’s an abrupt end to the extraordinary two-year run that added more than $11 trillion to their collective net worth. Those figures, while large on their face, put in stark relief the amount of wealth extinguished in recent weeks among the top 1%, which own more than half of the equities held by Americans. The S&P 500 Index is down another 19% since March 31, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 has plunged an additional 24%. The two benchmarks had more modest declines of 5% and 9% in the first quarter, respectively.

Retail Traders Who Drove Meme Frenzy Bail Out in Bear Market; Those investors this time aren’t buying the dip: Goldman; Consumers pulling back, sitting out volatility, says Gaffney
Vildana Hajric and Peyton Forte – Bloomberg
Stock traders who whipped up the meme craze that took Wall Street by storm last year are furiously rushing to the exits. Roughly 50% of single-stock retail positions in the Nasdaq 100 and a quarter of those in the S&P 500 that had been accumulated since January 2019 have been sold, according to data from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. In another sign their exuberance has faded, call-option volumes have reversed about 70% of their increases from the start of 2019 to November 2021, when tech stocks and Bitcoin peaked. “While historically retail investors have bought the dip, this time they haven’t,” wrote John Marshall, head of derivatives research at Goldman Sachs.

Activist shareholder Nelson Peltz in tussle with insurgent investors; Group of asset managers demand changes on the board of Trian Investors 1 fund to ‘restore trust’
Harriet Agnew and Joshua Oliver – FT
A London-listed fund linked to Nelson Peltz’s Trian Fund Management has come under pressure from a group of insurgent investors seeking to shake up its board “to improve governance and restore trust.” Peltz, known for waging campaigns against the management of companies including consumer goods group Unilever and asset manager Janus Henderson, has found himself the target of investors demanding changes at his Trian Investors 1 fund.

Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance

Meet FN’s fifty leaders in sustainable finance; FN is pleased to present the inaugural list of professionals shaping the ESG agenda in the City and beyond
Clare Dickinson – Financial News
The list recognises those shaping the ESG agenda in financial services
Few themes have become more important to financial services today than ESG.

Fresh worries for oil, gas projects over ESG standards
Kingsley Jeremiah – The Guardian Nigeria
ARDA Seeks Options For Nigeria, Africa Downstream Oil Sector; Stakeholders Raise Alarm Over Protection Of Energy Infrastructure
Oil and gas experts are worried over the impacts of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) issues on financing for oil and gas projects, insisting that unless borrowers like Nigeria and other African oil producers quickly adapt, securing necessary funding for the sector may remain very difficult.

Millions set to swelter as intense heat builds for summer solstice
Mary Gilbert – AccuWeather
Residents across the central United States have barely had time to cool down after days of brutal heat smashed records across a wide swath of the country. Now, AccuWeather forecasters say Mother Nature is set to crank up the thermostat to dangerous levels once again. A northward bulge in the jet stream will keep sizzling heat centered over much of the Plains and portions of the Mississippi River Valley to end the weekend. This setup is sometimes referred to as a heat dome. On Sunday, much of the Dakotas and portions of Minnesota and Nebraska had temperatures soar into the upper 90s F and low 100s F. For the Dakotas and northern Minnesota, temperatures of this level are a staggering 15-25 degrees F above normal for the middle of June.

Next Juneteenth, Let’s Have More Black Economists; The American Economic Association’s training program is an example worth building on.
Rhonda Vonshay Sharpe – Bloomberg
This weekend’s Juneteenth holiday, which commemorates the day in 1865 when enslaved Black people in Texas learned of their freedom, should also present America with a challenge: How to address the deep economic disparities that, more than 150 years later, still divide the nation by race? One part of the solution: Get more Black people involved in crafting economic policy. As supply-chain disruptions make essential goods scarce and inflation renders them more expensive, and as the Federal Reserve responds by hitting the economic brakes, Black Americans yet again stand to bear the brunt of the suffering. At 6.2%, their unemployment rate remains almost double that of their White counterparts and more than twice that of Asians. With lower incomes and less savings, they’re much more likely to experience financial and food insecurity.

‘Banking While Black’ Is the Next Target for Civil Rights Lawyer; Netflix documentary tells the story of Ben Crump, the lawyer for George Floyd’s family
Sarah Rappaport – Bloomberg
After chalking up major financial victories for the families of George Floyd and other victims of police brutality, civil rights lawyer Ben Crump said he’s eyeing the US banking system as his next target. In an interview ahead of the June 19 release of Civil, a Netflix documentary about him, Crump said he also plans to continue his efforts to use the civil courts to achieve racial justice. Money talks, as he put it: Big payouts from local governments and corporations can make a difference in how Black people are treated. In April, Crump, a personal-injury lawyer, joined a lawsuit against Wells Fargo & Co. over racial disparities in home-lending practices. He has called on governments and other institutions to stop doing business with the bank. Bloomberg in March published an article showing that Wells Fargo approved just 47% of Black homeowners who completed applications to refinance mortgages in 2020, compared with 72% of White applicants.

‘Marching towards starvation’: UN warns of hell on earth if Ukraine war goes on; Unprecedented food shortages could spark riots in dozens of countries as Black Sea blockade adds to pressures, says WFP chief
Fred Harter – The Guardian
Dozens of countries risk protests, riots and political violence this year as food prices surge around the world, the head of the food-aid branch of the United Nations has warned. Speaking in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, on Thursday, David Beasley, director of the UN World Food Programme (WFP), said the world faced “frightening” shortages that could destabilise countries that depend on wheat exports from Ukraine and Russia. “Even before the Ukraine crisis, we were facing an unprecedented global food crisis because of Covid and fuel price increases,” said Beasley. “Then, we thought it couldn’t get any worse, but this war has been devastating.”

Why It’s So Hard to Get the Oil Taps Turned Back On; Why even $120 oil hasn’t done the trick.
Tracy Alloway and Joe Weisenthal – Bloomberg
Oil prices are sky high. And there’s plenty of oil in the ground in North America. And so far the supply response has been disappointing. Frustration is boiling over among drivers and politicians, and of course higher gas prices are contributing to inflation. So what’s the hold up? On this episode, we speak to longtime energy investor and industry participant Peter Tertzakian about the reality on the ground. He explains that there are numerous operational factors constraining oil supply, including degraded quality of equipment and a shortage of labor, not to mention a reluctance among investors to splurge on new production. We discuss the specific constraints, as well as what it will take to get supply going on.

Global Shortages Are Pushing Food Producers Back Toward Palm Oil; The war in Ukraine is knocking out sunflower oil shipments, derailing efforts to clean up supply chains.
Anuradha Raghu and Katie Linsell – Bloomberg
Food producers, responding to consumer demand for sustainable options, have spent years sourcing alternatives for palm oil, a versatile product derived from the oil palm tree, whose farming has led to the destruction of rainforests in Southeast Asia, including critical habitat for endangered orangutans. Now the war in Ukraine is disrupting more than half the global supply of sunflower oil—a substitute of choice for the palm oil found in potato chips, cookies, and nut butters—and consumer goods manufacturers are reversing course.


Former Goldman Sachs MD Is Publishing a Book Alleging Abuse and Attack; ‘Bully Market’ by Jamie Fiore Higgins scheduled for August; Goldman disagrees with her characterization of its culture
Max Abelson – Bloomberg
After Jamie Fiore Higgins was promoted inside Goldman Sachs Group Inc., the veteran she replaced pinned her to the wall of their New York office and lifted her by the jaw. At a work conference, one of her bosses at the bank propositioned her. When she got up from her desk in Goldman’s headquarters to pump milk for her fourth child, a longtime trader mooed at her. Those are some of the allegations she makes in a memoir, “Bully Market,” due to be published this August. On Wall Street, it’s unusual to make it into the club of Goldman managing directors, as she did in 2012, and almost unheard of to tell the world what goes on there. The book will make Fiore Higgins one of the most senior people to do it — Greg Smith, who released “Why I Left Goldman Sachs” a decade ago, was a Wall Street deckhand by comparison.

Zara’s Pink Party Dresses Are Made From Recycled Greenhouse Gases; The limited clothing line is an example of how fashion companies are experimenting with new technology to cut their carbon footprint.
Zahra Hirji – Bloomberg
This is not your average cocktail dress. Released last week by Inditex’s Zara as part of a limited clothing collection, this little pink number costs $90 and is sourced, in part, from captured carbon emissions. It’s also officially sold out. Carbon and other greenhouse-gas emissions are, for lack of a better description, the worst.

After a brief streak, venture capital has ditched Black startups; Crunchbase data from the second quarter of 2022 shows a steep drop from previous record highs.
Nate Berg – Fast Company
Black-founded startups have seen record amounts of investment recently, with quarterly funding commitments nearing or even topping $1 billion. But according to new data from Crunchbase, VC funding has dropped significantly in the second quarter of 2022, down to just $324 million. This comes on the heels of a relatively strong streak for Black entrepreneurs. Beginning in the first quarter of 2021, VC funds invested at least $866 million in Black startups. These companies saw peak investments of $1.2 billion in three separate quarters since then, most recently the first quarter of 2022.

Worst Drought in 70 Years Threatens Northern Italy’s Food, Power; Hydroelectric reservoir levels are at historic lows and towns are bracing for shortages of drinking water.
Marco Bertacche – Bloomberg
Italy is in the depths of one of its worst droughts, with the country’s largest river, the Po, hitting its lowest level in 70 years, threatening crops and raising the specter of power outages. While much of Europe has had drier-than-average conditions this year, northern Italy’s Po valley is the worst hit, according to the JRC Global Drought Observatory. Several months without rains and an earlier-than-usual halt in flows from melting snow in the western Alps have made large swaths of the river bed visible — so much so that a German tank from World War II resurfaced recently.

BlackRock Strategist Sees Big Opportunity in European Banks; Nigel Bolton says lenders to benefit from positive real yields; Sees European stocks falling another 10-15% before bottoming
Sagarika Jaisinghani and Kat Van Hoof – Bloomberg
European banks may be an unlikely bet when recession risks are stacking up, but BlackRock Inc. says it’s the right time to add exposure to the beleaguered sector. “It’s contentious, but I see an extreme valuation opportunity in European banks,” Nigel Bolton, co-chief investment officer of BlackRock Fundamental Equities, said in a phone interview on Friday. “Rising interest rates are boosting net interest margins. Banks are still very cheap and backed up by strong earnings, with retail-focused banks to benefit in particular.”

ETF strategies for food insecurity offer divergent approaches; Investing in commodities futures contrasts sharply with newer future of food funds
Emma Boyde – FT
Dire forecasts of worsening food insecurity present opportunities and potential ethical problems for exchange traded fund investors who want to gain exposure to food, food production and agriculture.

Public versus private: Do asset management ownership structures matter? Managers remain sharply divided on the benefits of remaining private versus the support for growth from listing
Adrienne Klasa – FT
Asset management, in recent decades, has been a story of extraordinary growth — but also of increasing competition and concentration, as active managers contend with the rise of passively-run exchange traded funds and new ideas about shareholder capitalism.

Asset managers told to clean up greenwashing and net zero claims; Financial regulators clamp down on companies misleading investors by overstating the greenness of their funds
Chris Flood – FT
The resignation of the head of Germany’s largest asset manager, following a police raid over claims it had misled investors on its environmental record, is fuelling an intense debate over so-called ‘greenwashing’ in the investment industry.

ETF and active fund managers: what is stopping them from investing in crypto? Sharp price movements and high-profile blow-ups have underscored concerns that the crypto market is too volatile for major players to invest in
Joshua Oliver – FT
Larry Fink’s annual letter to shareholders is always closely watched for clues to what the head of the world’s largest asset manager is thinking. And, this year, it revealed just a hint of warming to cryptocurrencies.

Technology providers push direct indexing into the mainstream; Asset managers are acquiring fintech partners to capitalise on the surge in client interest in tax reductions and customised portfolios
Madison Darbyshire – FT
Investment firms are racing to provide access to direct indexing (DI) — a way of creating bespoke indices for individual clients — as demand rises for portfolios that are more personalised and tax efficient.

Traditional asset managers race to expand private investment alternatives; Mainstream asset managers are competing with private equity groups for a bigger slice of the growing private asset market
Harriet Agnew – FT
Last month, Franklin Templeton agreed to buy Alcentra, one of Europe’s largest credit managers, from BNY Mellon for up to $700mn. The deal marked the latest in a string of acquisitions in one of the hottest areas of the asset management industry: private assets.

Talent war in the funds industry is driving a ‘great negotiation’; Employees have more options and fund firms are having to work to keep staff, says JPMorgan Asset Management chief George Gatch
Harriet Agnew – FT
A fierce and broad talent war in the asset management industry is driving a “great negotiation” as employers fight to retain and attract staff, according to the chief executive of JPMorgan Asset Management.

TP ICAP names new global broking chief; New global broking chief previously spent 25 years at Société Générale as its global head of trading and global head of sales in its global banking and investor solutions division.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
Interdealer broker TP ICAP has appointed a new chief executive officer of its global broking division. Daniel Fields joins TP ICAP after most recently serving as a partner focused on strategic advisory and capital markets at Altero Capital Partners for the last three years.

Wellness Exchange

CDC recommends Pfizer, Moderna Covid vaccines for children under 5
Jason Mast – STAT
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended Saturday that children as young as 6 months old receive Covid-19 vaccines developed by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. The move follows an unanimous vote earlier in the day by an advisory panel of outside experts known as Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, or ACIP. “Together, with science leading the charge, we have taken another important step forward in our nation’s fight against COVID-19. We know millions of parents and caregivers are eager to get their young children vaccinated, and with today’s decision, they can,” said CDC Director Rochelle Walensky in a statement. Shots could be offered at pharmacies and other providers as soon as Monday.

Insurers in Taiwan Pay the Price for Misjudging Covid Risks; Claims on pandemic policies could top $1.4 billion after a surge in infections
Joyu Wang – WSJ
Insurers in Taiwan thought they hit the jackpot last year by selling millions of Covid-19 policies that promised payouts to people who contracted the virus. Now, as the highly transmissible Omicron variant of the coronavirus sweeps across the self-ruled island, the insurers are facing a flood of claims, mounting losses and a wave of anger from the public. Before this year, daily Covid case counts in Taiwan, which has a population of about 23 million, were extremely low compared with the rest of the world, thanks to the island’s tight border controls and strict quarantine and contact-tracing measures. Taiwan went more than 200 days in 2020 without any local Covid cases and largely squashed an outbreak in 2021.

How Japan Achieved One of The World’s Lowest Covid Death Rates; Masks, vaccinations, good general health help avert fatalities; Japan relies on population compliance in absence of mandates
Kanoko Matsuyama and James Mayger – Bloomberg
Japan’s Covid-19 death rate is the lowest among the world’s wealthiest nations, with health experts pointing to continued mask wearing, extensive vaccination and an already healthy population as the core factors behind its success. The population has continued to adhere to basic infection control measures, including avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated venues, as other parts of the world grapple with pandemic fatigue. And Japan’s measures have been bolstered by a robust vaccination program and free medical care. But what truly sets it apart from many places, particularly Asian neighbors like China, is it’s managed to limit deaths without mandates and with few restrictions. The constitution prevents imposing lockdowns backed by police actions, meaning that even during a state of emergency the government puts the onus on businesses and individuals to change their behavior.

When Will It Be Time For Another COVID Booster? Here’s What Experts Think.; Experts discuss the next round of booster shots and the variant-specific vaccines now being tested.
Julia Ries – HuffPost
We’ve seen second COVID-19 boosters recommended for older adults and people with underlying health conditions — but what about the general population? Will another booster shot be recommended for everyone in the fall to fend off a winter surge? Or will the next booster campaign be geared to those most at risk for developing severe disease? These are the key questions vaccine experts are considering right now. The Food and Drug Administration’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee recently met to discuss the next round of boosters. The panel agreed that while there is a strong need to craft a plan ahead of fall and winter, there isn’t enough data to know who would benefit from another booster. The committee also didn’t decide whether a next booster would be an already-approved shot or one of the updated vaccines currently being tested. The advisory group will meet again on June 28.

Beijing Says Covid Spread From Bar Cluster Is Basically Stopped
Bloomberg News
The spread of Covid-19 related to a bar cluster in Beijing has been basically stopped, the municipal government said Saturday. Beijing added one new local case within quarantined areas as of 3 p.m. local time Saturday, officials said at a regular virus briefing in the Chinese capital. The person has no symptoms, they said. The city reported no new cases outside quarantined areas for the third consecutive day, officials said. Daily infections have fallen to single digits, they said.

Singapore Urges Elderly to Take Boosters as New Covid Wave Looms
Aradhana Aravindan – Bloomberg
Singapore is expecting a fresh wave of Covid-19 cases in the next one to two months, its health minister reiterated, urging thousands of elderly to get their booster shots to avoid the risk of serious illness.

This May Be the COVID Variant Scientists Are Dreading; A brand new subvariant is starting to surge, and there are signs this one can dodge our immunity.
David Axe – Daily Beast
COVID-19 cases are increasing again in the United Kingdom, potentially signaling a future surge in infections in the United States and other countries. A pair of new subvariants of the dominant Omicron variant—BA.4 and BA.5—appear to be driving the uptick in cases in the U.K. Worryingly, these subvariants seem to partially dodge antibodies from past infection or vaccination, making them more transmissible than other forms of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Covid Cases Surge, but Deaths Stay Near Lows; Most Americans now carry some immune protection, experts said, whether from vaccines, infection or both.
Benjamin Mueller – NY Times
For two years, the coronavirus killed Americans on a brutal, predictable schedule: A few weeks after infections climbed so did deaths, cutting an unforgiving path across the country.


Bitcoin Thanks Japan For Making It Look Less Pathetic
William Pesek – Forbes
As bitcoin spills credibility all over the globe, Japan’s Haruhiko Kuroda is saying “hold my beer.” On Friday, with the eyes of the financial world fixed on a hemorrhaging yen, Bank of Japan Governor Kuroda did—nothing. Not the slightest move to plug holes in a yen down 16% this year. Not the smallest hint that the central bank is on top of things. Maddeningly little in the way of guidance for traders determined to drive the yen to 150 to the dollar. It was an oddly detached performance by a respected economist hired nine years ago to restore trust in Japan’s economy.

China Buys $7.5 Billion of Russian Energy With Oil at Record; Russia overtakes Saudi Arabia as China’s top crude supplier; Russian LNG sales also soar despite weaker overall demand
Xiao Zibang – Bloomberg
China continued to snap up Russian energy products last month, including a record quantity of crude oil, lifting purchases to $7.47 billion — about $1 billion more than April and double the amount of a year ago.

It Took a Record $81 Billion Bond Buy for BOJ to Restore Calm; Weekly bond purchases by BOJ reach record as yields surged; Traders see the calm in Japan’s bond market as temporary
Chikako Mogi – Bloomberg
Tokyo’s bond market began the week on a much calmer footing as traders mulled unprecedented intervention by the Bank of Japan, which dragged benchmark yields back below their closely watched ceiling. Ten-year yields edged higher to 0.23% Monday in the aftermath of the BOJ’s 10.9 trillion yen ($81 billion) of government bond purchases last week, the most on record, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The central bank ramped up bond buying as benchmark yields breached its 0.25% tolerated limit amid a global debt selloff.

UK Farmers Look Farther Afield to Replace Ukrainian Workers; War is cutting off supply of seasonal laborers as fruit ripens; Agencies recruiting from Tajikistan, Nepal to make up shortage
Aine Quinn – Bloomberg
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is choking off a vital supply of labor for the UK’s apple, strawberry and raspberry farmers, forcing them to recruit migrant workers from nations where the risks of exploitation may be greater. Ukrainians received about 67% of Britain’s 30,000 seasonal visas for farm work last year, but that percentage is falling as the government in Kyiv enlists people to fight in the war. With crops ripening, British growers are turning to countries such as Tajikistan, Moldova and Nepal to make up the difference, but that may not be as simple as it sounds, according to a report by London-based charity Work Rights Centre.

Gas Rationing Is Getting Closer for Europe; The region is on high alert after Russia made its biggest moves yet to use energy as a weapon.
Isis Almeida, Anna Shiryaevskaya, and Elena Mazneva – Bloomberg
Throughout the entire Cold War and in the decades since, Russia was a stable supplier of gas to Europe. That changed this week. Russia slashed gas supplies in apparent retaliation over Europe’s support for Kyiv. After its biggest moves yet to use energy as a weapon, gas rationing in the region is now a very real prospect. The squeeze caused prices to surge, added pressure to the region’s economy and could strain European solidarity — all victories for the Kremlin that came as European leaders underlined support for Ukraine during a high-profile trip to the country. With European utilities forced to tap reserves intended to cover needs for the winter, government controls of gas distribution could start within months. If Russia completely shuts its main link, the region could run out of supplies by January, according consultant Wood Mackenzie Ltd.

Nearly One in Four European Firms Consider Shifting Out of China; 23% figure is highest proportion in a decade: European chamber; ASEAN, Europe among most considered alternatives, survey shows
Bloomberg News
Nearly one in four European companies in China are considering shifting their investments out of the country as the ongoing Covid outbreaks and lockdowns dim the outlook for the world’s second-largest economy, a survey showed. Some 23% of the businesses that responded to the survey are thinking of moving their current or planned investments away from China, according report released Monday by the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China. The survey was conducted at the end of April, when Shanghai was still in shutdown and restrictions in places like Jilin disrupted business activity.

ECB Will Act With ‘Cool Head’ on Market Volatility, Kazaks Says; Officials will act before July 21 if they have to, he says; Latvian central bank chief says some turbulence is natural
Martins Kazaks – Bloomberg
The European Central Bank is ready to combat unwarranted financial-market moves but must also be prepared to look through turbulence as it exits negative interest rates, Governing Council member Martins Kazaks said.

Gold Billionaire to Moonlight as DJ at Sold-Out Cairo Club; Egypt’s Naguib Sawiris, who forged a $4.6 billion fortune from telecom and gold mines, is the latest tycoon drawn to the DJ booth.
Devon Pendleton – Bloomberg
Naguib Sawiris built a $4.6 billion fortune with bold leveraged bets on telecom businesses and gold mines all over the world. His latest risky foray: the DJ booth. On Sunday, the 68-year old Egyptian tycoon will make his debut at Bibo’s Music Night hosted by a Cairo nightclub. “Prepare for a night like no other!” The Museum Cairo wrote on Instagram announcing Sawiris’s gig. The post featured an unvarnished silhouette of Sawiris in a sports coat an

Saudi, Kuwait Oil Refinery Expansions Set to Ease Diesel Crisis; The Middle East is adding the capacity that Europe has lost; Energy Aspects sees start-ups easing diesel and LSFO markets
Rachel Graham – Bloomberg
The Middle East could help ease a global diesel-supply crunch as it drives an expansion in refining capacity in the coming year. Gasoline and diesel prices have surged to records this year in nations including the US and the UK, as oil refiners struggle to make up for the loss of Russian crude and other petroleum products. Europe is reliant on diesel imports and is looking to regions such as the Middle East to replace lower shipments from across the Atlantic.

Africa needs $25bn a year of investment to boost energy provision, says IEA chief; Focus on renewables and natural gas would charge up continent’s economic development, says Fatih Birol
Tom Wilson – FT
Annual investment of $25bn would deliver universal energy access in Africa by the end of decade, according to the International Energy Agency, reversing a fall in electricity provision as a result of the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

More People Are Moving to Manhattan Than Before the Pandemic
Sarah Holder – Bloomberg
New York City is making a comeback. After the US was briefly frozen by Covid, the city started to see more movement than the rest of the country, much of it in one direction: out. Now, that migration out of many NYC neighborhoods has reversed. In fact, even as the city’s population is still decreasing, more households are moving into Manhattan now than were moving in before the pandemic in 2019, according to moving data provided by Melissa, a global data intelligence and address analytics company. “New York City had one of the largest declines in the first stage of the pandemic and one of the fastest rebounds,” said Rob Warnock, a senior researcher at the rental search platform Apartment List.

The farmers restoring Hawaii’s ancient food forests that once fed an island; Maui is a hub for GMO research but Indigenous farmers are trying to bring back the abundant and thriving landscapes of their ancestors
Nina Lakhani – The Guardian
Rain clouds cover the peaks of the west Maui mountains, one of the wettest places on the planet, which for centuries sustained biodiverse forests providing abundant food and medicines for Hawaiians who took only what they needed. Those days of abundance and food sovereignty are long gone. Rows of limp lemon trees struggle in windswept sandy slopes depleted by decades of sugarcane cultivation. Agricultural runoff choking the ocean reef and water shortages, linked to over-tourism and global heating, threaten the future viability of this paradise island. Between 85% and 90% of the food eaten in Maui now comes from imports while diet-related diseases are soaring, and the state allocates less than 1% of its budget to agriculture.


You’re Still on Mute; Hybrid or remote work is settling in as a permanent reality for millions. Their setups and technical skills can still feel like a temporary solution.
Emma Goldberg – NY Times
It’s been almost 28 months since offices shut down and millions of people started working from home. More than enough time to buy a ring light, hang some art on the walls and figure out the mute button. But as is clear to Claude Taylor, co-creator of the Twitter account Room Rater, which scores video call backgrounds, that is not what has happened. “You’re not going to do well,” he warned me, spying my spare and dimly lit walls over Zoom. “You have to put up some artwork. Slap a big frame there!” Mr. Taylor rated my video backdrop a three out of 10, though he softened the blow with a word of caution: “The whole thing is just a schtick,” he said. “We’re not interior decorators. We just pretend to be on Twitter.”

Why I Love Golf—and What It Has Meant for My Life; Confessions of a golf fanatic after five decades of playing
Timothy J. Carroll – WSJ
I remember when I started playing golf. And why. Tennis was the family sport. There were eight of us kids—my two older brothers, five younger sisters, and me. The older of the brothers played No. 1 on his college tennis team. Our mother, now 92, would play into her 80s, still diving for balls. We bought cans of tennis balls by the dozens. Everyone was expected to play. As a middle child, I had to find a way to stand out from my tennis-obsessed mother and siblings. I also needed a game I could play by myself, since my older brothers never wanted to play anything I suggested. So, just as my age odometer ticked over into double digits, I sought my own path. I took up golf.

Dads Are Often IT Guys When Couples Divide Chores; Shared calendars and notes can make it easier for fathers to manage to-dos, but so can asking for help
Julie Jargon – WSJ
Faheem Noor Ali cares for his toddler and manages the household when his wife, an obstetrician, is on call. He also plays the role of live-in IT guy. He’s now handling the transfer of cable and internet services to a new house they’re moving into, setting up the Wi-Fi and installing new security cameras and smart-home devices. Sometimes, he says, it can get overwhelming. To keep track of all the to-dos and his wife’s unpredictable schedule, the Washington, D.C.-area government worker and his wife share calendars, iPhone notes and a Dropbox account. They also jot things down on a physical calendar posted to their fridge.

Sergey Brin Seeks Divorce, Joining Gates and Bezos in Split; Google co-founder with $94 billion fortune to end marriage; The couple have taken steps to keep details of split sealed
Sophie Alexander, Malathi Nayak, and Mark Bergen – Bloomberg
Sergey Brin, the Google co-founder and world’s sixth-richest person, filed for a divorce from his wife of three years, making him the third mega-billionaire to do so in as many years. Brin filed a petition for dissolution of his marriage to Nicole Shanahan this month, citing “irreconcilable differences,” according to court documents. The couple, who have a three-year-old son, took steps to keep the details of the split private, requesting that documents be sealed by the court. “Because of the high profile nature of their relationship, there is likely to be significance public interest in their dissolution case and any potential child custody issues,” according to the filing in Santa Clara, California.

Euromoney Gets £1.6 Billion Private Equity Takeover Approach; Suitors required to lodge offer or withdraw by July 18; Firm sells subscriptions, events to financial professionals
Thomas Seal – Bloomberg
Financial news and information business Euromoney Institutional Investor Plc is discussing a £1.6 billion ($1.96 billion) takeover approach with a private equity consortium, it said Monday. The £14.61 per share cash offer from Luxembourg-based private equity manager Astorg Asset Management Sarl and British firm Epiris LLP came after four earlier offers, the company said.

Why Is It So Hard to Find a Decent Public Bathroom?; With Starbucks threatening to limit use of its facilities, our options will dwindle. The reasons for that are tangled up with the history of sex, race and class.
Stephen Mihm – Bloomberg
Starbucks, which has long made its bathrooms available to the public, recently announced it may soon insist, however gently, that you will have to purchase something for this privilege. A latte for the loo, as the Brits might say. This is unfortunate. Most of us — unlike Vladimir Putin — can’t take our toilets with us; we have to depend on private establishments. All this begs a larger question: Why aren’t public restrooms more readily available? The answer requires going back to the 19th century. Our potty shortage is nothing new. Consider, for example, this long-winded but otherwise familiar complaint articulated by well-meaning reformer Augustus K. Gardner at a meeting in New York City in 1862.

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