Hits & Takes
John Lothian & JLN Staff
Friday’s John’s Take took a look at the latest move by ICE Mortgage Technology, which had a torrent of news last week. I interviewed ICE data head Lynn Martin for the lowdown. ICE is building a set of benchmarks that will become essential to any bank or financial firm lending money for a mortgage. This could have big implications for the way mortgage risk is hedged.
Business Insider has an interview with former CFTC Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo titled “A former CFTC chairman told us why everyone should be paying attention to the shift towards digital currencies — and says they will change ‘virtually everything we know about money.” That might be one of the best clickbait headlines I have seen in a long time. — Business Insider
Back in June, the Thomson Reuters Institute and Thomson Reuters Regulatory Intelligence published a Special Report: “Cryptos on the Rise.” They have a follow up to that report titled “US crypto framework begins to evolve: A Special Report update.” — Reuters
The Derivatives and Futures Law Committee of the D.C. Bar Corporation, Finance and Securities Law Community is hosting a fireside chat with CFTC Commissioner Dan Berkovitz as he prepares to leave the CFTC to join the SEC as general counsel. The program is to be moderated by Micah Green of Steptoe & Johnson LLP and Peter Malyshev of Reed Smith LLP. For more details and to register, click HERE.
MIAX is holding a webinar on October 28 at 1:00 p.m. ET to introduce the BRIXX CRE indexes and derivatives. This newest suite of proprietary products from MIAX includes BRIXX™ Commercial Real Estate Futures and Options. BRIXX Futures and Options are cash-settled contracts based on the family of BRIXX Commercial Real Estate (CRE) Indexes developed by Advanced Fundamentals. For more information and to register, click HERE.
The ALTSO Rocktoberfest event held last week raised over $300,000 to bring life-changing prosthetic limbs, orthotic braces and appropriately fitted wheelchairs to ALTSO’s CoolKids worldwide. To see the band lineup from the event, you can click HERE.
There were no new donations to the JLN MarketsWiki Education GoFundMe campaign.
Have a great day and stay safe and treat people the same way you want to be treated: with respect, equality and justice.~JJL
Cboe Options Institute will offer a 75-minute webinar, “Put-writing and Portfolio Risk Management,” on Wednesday, October 27, at 12 p.m. ET with Derek Devens, managing director and senior portfolio manager at Neuberger Berman, and Gaurav Sinha, managing director, head of Americas, Global Research & Design at S&P Dow Jones Indices. Registration information is here.~SC
Crypto Steals Headlines With Cboe-ErisX Deal, U.S. Bitcoin ETF; John’s Take Connects With ICE Mortgage Tech; A Look at Cash-Secured Puts – The Spread – October 22, 2021
– Crypto edges into the mainstream with Cboe-ErisX acquisition announcement, first-ever bitcoin U.S. ETF debut; SEC’s GameStop study a reflection without regulation;
– John’s Take reviews the data-driven mortgage experience with ICE Mortgage Technology;
– Are you bullish on a stock? The Term of the Week looks at a cash-secured put strategy with Jermal Chandler.
Bitcoin, Jason Sudeikis, WeWork Mark Historic Week at the NYSE
Farrell Kramer – NYSE
This week, Bitcoin joined the list.
While crisp, fall weather greeted traders and staff early Monday as they entered the NYSE building in lower Manhattan, anticipation was already red hot for the debut of the nation’s first bitcoin-linked ETF. News coverage on the launch of the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF began the week before and had risen to a crescendo.
*****Checking in with Farrell Kramer’s latest column after a rather interesting week at the NYSE.~JJL
Richard Driehaus’ Lake Geneva estate for sale at almost $40 million; The financial star and historic preservationist, who died earlier this year, presided over many press-worthy parties and fireworks shows at the lavish estate, one of the biggest properties on the lake.
Dennis Rodkin – Crain’s Chicago Business
A lavish estate in Lake Geneva that the late Richard Driehaus owned, restored and hosted extravagant parties at is going up for sale at the record-busting asking price of $39.25 million. The gated estate, 40.7 acres, includes a 13-bedroom Georgian mansion built in 1906, 621 feet of shoreline on Geneva Lake, a four-bedroom guest house, and a “children’s village” of playhouse-sized buildings including a thatched-roof cottage and an ice cream parlor. There’s also a pool, two boat docks, an orchard and formal gardens.
***** This property has only had three owners in its history. It is an iconic location on Geneva Lake. For a mere $39 million it can be all yours.~JJL
Hertz Orders 100,000 Teslas in Car-Rental Market Shake-Up
Erik Schatzker – Bloomberg
Hertz Global Holdings Inc., barely four months out of bankruptcy, placed an order for 100,000 Teslas in the first step of an ambitious plan to electrify its rental-car fleet, according to people with knowledge of the matter, Bloomberg News reports.
***** This is a great outside the box move that will differentiate Hertz from the rest of the rental car business. ~JJL
Friday’s Top Three
Our top story Friday was the CFTC’s press release CFTC Awards Nearly $200 Million to a Whistleblower. Second was the YouTube video posted by Cantor Fitzgerald Chairman and CEO Howard W. Lutnick in which he disclosed that he was diagnosed with both COVID-19 and treatable Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. We wish him a speedy recovery from both. Third was the Financial Times’ take on the CFTC release, Deutsche Bank whistleblower paid $200m in record reward.
26,635 pages; 236,082 edits
The dangerous private capital party; The rush into shadowy markets is understandable, but many investors will probably rue their recklessness eventually
Robin Wigglesworth – FT
The frenzied boom in private markets is one of the biggest trends in the global money management industry. It will leave many investors bitterly disappointed and could ultimately cause wider, long-term economic problems. The party in this opaque corner of the financial system — which includes unlisted and untraded assets like venture capital, real estate, private equity, infrastructure and direct lending — is hard to miss.
Crypto Boss Laughs All the Way to the Bank; FTX chief Sam Bankman-Fried probably cost himself some money by getting the numbers 420 and 69 into his latest fundraising, but Elon Musk’s example shows that juvenile humor can pay off
Spencer Jakab – WSJ
Elon Musk, eat your heart out. When the Securities and Exchange Commission rapped the Tesla chief’s knuckles with a $20 million fine each for him and his company for his infamous August 2018 tweet falsely claiming Tesla might be taken private at $420 a share, he said it was worth it. Mr. Musk later reupped the marijuana gag with a more prurient one, selling satin short shorts for $69.420 on Tesla’s website.
S&P Global and IHS Markit get green light from European Commission for $44 billion megadeal; The deal has won conditional approval from Brussels after the Commission launched an investigation into the transaction due to competition concerns in September.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
S&P Global has been given a conditional green light from the European Commission for its $44 billion acquisition of IHS Markit, announced in November last year. If successful, the transaction would combine the business information providers’ offerings to create a data and analytics powerhouse to rival that of Bloomberg and Refinitiv, offering extensive solutions across data, platforms, benchmarks, and analytics across climate, energy transition and ESG.
****Reuters also has the story here.
Bitcoin ETF’s Success Could Come at Fundholders’ Expense; The first exchange-traded fund based on bitcoin futures is rolling up assets, but traders say the ProShares fund’s structure makes it a sitting duck for ‘front-running’
Michael Wursthorn – WSJ
There are signs that the bitcoin futures market isn’t big enough for a planned wave of crypto exchange-traded funds. Since launching Tuesday, the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF has amassed $1.2 billion in investor assets, the quickest billion-dollar fundraising on record. But that success is almost certain to come at fundholders’ expense, analysts say, because the gains make the ProShares ETF an outsize target for traders who seek to exploit futures-based ETFs’ Achilles’ heel: their need to take large positions in near-term futures and frequently “roll” them into the following month, rather than taking cash at expiration.
Carbon Offsets Are Used by Companies Seeking ‘Net Zero,’ but Concerns Persist; Microsoft, Shell are active participants yet have criticized the tool; as demand booms, efforts are under way to provide standards, oversight
Sarah McFarlane – WSJ
Companies are snapping up carbon offsets, but the patchwork of informal markets serving that appetite lack consistent standards and oversight, some businesses say, making their effectiveness in cutting emissions hard to gauge. The basic concept behind offsets is that activities like planting trees and restoring peatlands reduce atmospheric carbon. Dozens of private companies and nonprofits develop such projects, evaluate the level of carbon reduction and issue credits, equivalent to one metric ton of emissions. These credits are then certified by a third party, which confirms that the projects exist and meet certain standards.
Larry Fink: the undisputed king of Wall Street; Larry Fink survived two big financial crises and went on to build a massive asset manager, doing for investing what Henry Ford did for cars. He has his critics, but his reign seems as secure as ever.
Jane Lewis – MoneyWeek
In 1976, fresh from taking an MBA at UCLA’s business school, Larry Fink “strutted off to Wall Street” without a firm idea of what he wanted to do “except make money”, says the Financial Times. Taken on by First Boston as a bond trader, Fink proved “a rare talent” and, within a decade, had become the youngest managing director in First Boston’s history. “My team and I felt like rock stars,” he later recalled. The sky seemed the limit.
Could banks ban cryptocurrencies in the west? Why countries could REFUSE to follow China; CRYPTOCURRENCIES have enjoyed a renaissance in 2021, with both seasoned investors and rookies taking advantage of the lucrative swings that have seen some tokens explode in value. The market ignited a clampdown in China, with fears mounting that the west could follow.
Liam Doyle – Express
China’s extensively regulated economy, governed by the People’s Bank of China, has clamped down on cryptocurrencies several times in 2021, especially Bitcoin. The bank levelled a new threat in tandem with 10 other government agencies last month, reiterating its position that it considers all cryptocurrencies illegal. At the same time, it resolved to “resolutely clamp down” on the industry, causing the market to sink and renewing a similar discussion in the west.
New FCA chairman ‘must win confidence of stakeholders beyond Square Mile’
James Hurley – The Times
The Treasury has been urged to consult financial services consumers on the replacement for the outgoing chairman of the City regulator to ensure “another conflicted City insider” is not appointed. The chancellor has been told by a group of about 200 campaigners that the appointment must win the confidence of “stakeholders beyond the Square Mile” given the Financial Conduct Authority has been rocked by a spate of scandals in recent years.
Talks Collapse Over Sale of Troubled Italian Bank Monte dei Paschi; End of negotiations between Italy’s government and UniCredit leaves little time to find a solution for the lender
Giovanni Legorano – WSJ
Monthslong talks between the Italian government and bank UniCredit UNCFF -1.12% SpA over the sale of nationalized lender Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena BMPS -1.31% SpA have ended, UniCredit and the government said Sunday.
Banks warn travel quarantine threatens Hong Kong’s international status; Financial lobby group that includes Goldman Sachs says ‘talent’ is deserting the territory
Tabby Kinder – FT
Asia’s largest financial lobby group, whose members include Goldman Sachs and BlackRock, has warned the Hong Kong government that the territory’s status as an international financial centre is at risk because of “highly restrictive” coronavirus policies that stifle foreign travel.
Global banks pressure Hong Kong to abandon zero-Covid policy, lift quarantine rules as environment makes it difficult to operate; 90 per cent of Asia Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association members said they are finding it difficult to operate in Hong Kong because of Covid-19 policies
Enoch Yiu – South China Morning Post
International financial firms have urged Hong Kong? to abandon its tough quarantine requirements and zero-Covid approach, with a survey showing that nearly half of them may move staff or functions away from the city because of operational challenges, according to a letter seen by the South China Morning Post on Monday.
Hot demand for bitcoin ETF as ‘Wild West’ meets Wall St; Launch of crypto-linked investment fund lends ‘professional’ edge to swashbuckling asset class
Michael Mackenzie, Philip Stafford, Madison Darbyshire and Stefania Palma – FT
Wall Street threw open its doors to the crypto industry this week as the first US exchange traded bitcoin fund attracted more than $1bn of investor cash and sent the price of the biggest digital currencies to new highs.
Alibaba, Tencent rebrand NFT offerings as ‘digital collectibles’ amid Beijing’s scrutiny of new virtual asset market; The rebranding moves by Alibaba and Tencent reflect their efforts to steer away from any potential conflict with Beijing, which has cracked down on Big Tech firms; Chinese state-run media recently warned of a potentially ‘huge bubble’ in the NFT market
Coco Feng – South China Morning Post
Chinese technology giants Alibaba Group Holding and Tencent Holdings have both renamed their non-fungible token (NFT) offerings as “digital collectibles”, as Beijing casts a weary eye on this new virtual asset market as a potentially huge bubble.
Bloomberg to offer Sustainalytics’ ESG research and ratings on its terminal; The offering will allow investors to utilise material ESG insights for security selection, portfolio management activities, ESG integration, and engagement and voting activities.
Wesley Bray – The Trade
Bloomberg has announced that Sustainalytics’ ESG Research and Ratings are now available on its Terminal platform, meeting the needs of investors to access in-depth ESG information. Sustainalytics’ ESG Research and Ratings can now be accessed alongside the broader functionality across the Bloomberg Terminal.
Citadel jettisons some staff in reshuffle at Surveyor unit
Kenneth C. Griffin’s Citadel has dismissed several portfolio managers and analysts in a shakeup at its Surveyor Capital unit. More than a half-dozen portfolio managers and even more analysts have departed since Phillip Lee took Surveyor’s reins in May, according to people familiar with the matter. The restructuring included cutting several teams, hiring new ones and asking some employees to relocate.
Companies Grapple With Disclosing Climate-Change Risks; Businesses are racing to understand and communicate their climate risks as investor pressure grows and regulators consider making such disclosures mandatory
Will Horner – WSJ
When Bank of Montreal began considering how climate change could affect its business in 2019, it turned to others for help. The bank collaborated with a climate mapping company, used third-party software to study how its portfolios would fare under different scenarios and worked with academics at a Canadian university on a climate-risk research project.
With stockbroking licence on hand, Phillip Futures’ Teyu ‘comes full circle’, eyes sustainable growth
The Edge Singapore
As a fresh graduate in the midst of the Asian Financial Crisis, it was not easy for Teyu Che Chern to find a job in the stockbroking industry he was so keen on. Without a ready contact list of potential clients, there was hardly any immediate value he could bring.
Indonesia Fears Covid-19 Surge as 20 Million Travel for Holidays
Arys Aditya and Claire Jiao – Bloomberg
Indonesia is bracing for a potential upsurge in infections with almost 20 million people estimated to travel in Java and Bali for the year-end holidays. Testing will be made mandatory on all modes of transport as tourist sites reopen, Luhut Panjaitan, coordinating minister for maritime and investment affairs who’s overseeing the pandemic response, said in his weekly briefing Monday. Currently, negative PCR test results are required for passengers traveling by air.
New Virus Cases Hitting Faster Than Ever Challenge China’s Covid-Zero Strategy
After long periods virus-free, delta has changed the equation; Elimination helped economy in 2020 but weighs on growth now
China has driven Covid-19 cases back to zero three times over the past five months, but outbreaks are flaring more frequently than ever before, raising questions about how long the nation can persist with a strategy that’s leaving it increasingly isolated. The gaps between major outbreaks in China have fallen from around two months in the second half of last year to as little as 12 days since May, when the country saw its first delta cases. While China is still able to drive locally-transmitted infections back to nil, the amount of time virus-free is getting shorter, data on daily cases compiled by Bloomberg News shows.
U.K. Leaning Toward Mandatory Vaccines for NHS Staff, Says Health Secretary
Kitty Donaldson – Bloomberg
Around 100,000 NHS workers not vaccinated against Covid-19; Regulation could come within weeks, Sajid Javid says
Health Secretary Sajid Javid says he is “leaning towards” mandatory Covid vaccinations for National Health Service staff, after revealing around 100,000 are not protected.
Covax falters as rich countries buy up Covid vaccines; WHO-backed programme has cut its projected deliveries following setbacks
Donato Paolo Mancini and Chelsea Bruce-Lockhart, and Andres Schipani – FT
Wealthy countries have received over 16 times more Covid-19 vaccines per person than poorer nations that rely on the Covax programme backed by the World Health Organization, according to analysis by the Financial Times.
U.S. Covid-19 Battle Turns a Corner as Borders Open to Foreign Travelers; Crowded planes, eased mask mandates in San Francisco and jammed pumpkin patches
Joe Barrett – WSJ
When U.S. borders open to foreign travelers on Nov. 8, the country will have lifted one of the longest-standing restrictions imposed 19 months ago at the start of the pandemic, signaling a new phase of guarded optimism in the nation’s battle with Covid-19. With the Delta variant surge easing and vaccinations opening to more age groups, many places are dropping mask mandates or other restrictions on vaccinated people. The pullback represents a bet that the most recent surge could be the last.
Millions of Workers Stay Home to Watch Young Children as Daycares Struggle; The fallout from more than 100,000 missing child-care workers is stymieing company efforts to hire and sidelining some women’s careers
Kathryn Dill – WSJ
Children across the U.S. have returned to school in person and many daycare centers have reopened with vaccinated staffers. Still, a shortage of child-care workers is sending ripples across the U.S. workforce, stymieing employers as they try to hire more workers and sidelining the careers of women who would otherwise opt to remain in the labor force.
‘There’s Almost No Incentive at All to Give Him the Vaccine.’
Jessica Calarco – NY Times
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, a mother I interviewed as part of my study on pandemic parenting said she never had a problem with vaccines. Her 2-year-old son got all his recommended immunizations on schedule. When it comes to the Covid-19 vaccines, however, the mother, who is white and has a college degree, says she isn’t so sure.
Covid-19 Vaccines for Younger Children Could Be Available in Early November, Fauci Says; U.S. officials prepare for a rapid rollout for children ages 5 to 11 once the FDA and CDC give their approval
Katy Stech Ferek – WSJ
The country’s top public-health experts on Sunday predicted a rapid rollout of the coronavirus vaccine for younger children if regulators move quickly to give their approval in the coming weeks. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said it was possible that the vaccines would be available for children from ages 5 to 11 by early November.
German COVID-19 infections at highest since mid-May
Germany recorded the highest incidence of coronavirus infections since mid-May on Saturday, reaching the threshold of 100 cases per 100,000 in the past seven days that used to be the yardstick for imposing a strict lockdown.
Record Covid fatalities as Russia prepares for nationwide curbs; Putin blames low vaccination rates as the country records 1,075 deaths in a day
Agence France-Presse in Moscow
Russia reported a record 1,075 Covid deaths in 24 hours on Saturday as Europe’s hardest-hit country with dramatically low vaccination rates prepares for nationwide curbs from next week. Despite a number of pleas from the country’s president, Vladimir Putin, and the availability of the home-produced Sputnik V vaccine, only 36% of Russians are fully vaccinated.
The Unlikely Outsiders Who Won the Race for a Covid-19 Vaccine; Ugur Sahin and Stéphane Bancel were long underestimated by investors and scientists. But when Covid-19 threatened the globe, these two unknowns had a solution.
Gregory Zuckerman – WSJ
It was early October 2019 and Ugur Sahin was standing in a Kansas City, Mo., parking lot, sweating under the blazing midafternoon sun. He and a few colleagues had spent weeks crisscrossing the U.S. and visiting different cities in Europe. They were trying to drum up investor interest in the initial public offering of BioNTech SE, the German biotechnology company Dr. Sahin had started. The trip wasn’t going well.
Exchanges, OTC and Clearing
CME Takes Over as Largest Bitcoin Futures Exchange as BITO Pushes Limits
Omkar Godbole – Coindesk
The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) has replaced Binance as the world’s biggest bitcoin futures platform, thanks to the strong investor appetite for the recently launched ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF.
2021 Annual General Meeting – Voting Results Update Statement
London Stock Exchange Group
At LSEG’s (London Stock Exchange Group) Annual General Meeting on 28 April 2021, Resolution 3 (Approval of the Annual Report on Remuneration) was passed with 76.5% of votes in favour. Following the vote, the Board has continued to engage with shareholders. These engagements confirmed that the large majority of shareholders continue to support the decision and recommendations of the Remuneration Committee as the Group becomes a significantly larger and global business.
Keynote Speech by Loh Boon Chye, CEO of SGX, at the Bund Summit, 22 October 2021
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, a very good afternoon. Thank you to the Bund Summit organisers for giving me the opportunity to be here, albeit virtually, to share our thoughts on Singapore and Shanghai’s financial cooperation.
— Performance Bond Requirements – Energy Margin – Effective October 25, 2021 — CME
PayPal says it isn’t interested in pursuing Pinterest.
Michael J. de la Merced – NY Times
PayPal, the digital payments giant, said late on Sunday that it was not interested in buying the social media network Pinterest, ending efforts to draft a potential $45 billion deal that would have been one of the biggest consumer internet takeovers in a decade. In a brief statement, PayPal said it was “not pursuing an acquisition of Pinterest at this time.”
This Little-Known Woman Billionaire Built A Fortune Powering Fintech Firms Like SoFi And Webull
Jennifer Wang – Forbes
A former single mother and options trader, Jenny Just runs a multi-billion dollar business that provides the trading and technology behind popular mobile trading platforms, robo-advisors, and online banks.
SolarWinds Hackers Continue to Hit Technology Companies, Says Microsoft; Russia-linked group has stepped up attacks, cybersecurity experts say
Robert McMillan and Dustin Volz – WSJ
The Russia-linked hackers behind last year’s compromise of a wide swath of the U.S. government and scores of private companies, including SolarWinds Corp. SWI 0.43% , have stepped up their attacks in recent months, breaking into technology companies in an effort to steal sensitive information, cybersecurity experts said.
Russia Challenges Biden Again With Broad Cybersurveillance Operation; The new campaign came only months after President Biden imposed sanctions on Moscow in response to a series of spy operations it had conducted around the world.
David E. Sanger – NY Times
Russia’s premier intelligence agency has launched another campaign to pierce thousands of U.S. government, corporate and think-tank computer networks, Microsoft officials and cybersecurity experts warned on Sunday, only months after President Biden imposed sanctions on Moscow in response to a series of sophisticated spy operations it had conducted around the world.
Cybersecurity Firm Pull Off a Rare Ransomware Win
Nicole Perlroth – NY Times
In a year rife with ransomware attacks, when cybercriminals have held the data of police departments, grocery and pharmacy chains, hospitals, pipelines and water treatment plants hostage with computer code, it was a win, rare in the scale of its success.
For months, a team of security experts raced to help victims of a high-profile ransomware group quietly recover their data without paying their digital assailants a dime.
MORE Alarming Cybersecurity Stats For 2021 !
Chuck Brooks – Forbes
Earlier this year I wrote a FORBES article called “Alarming Cybersecurity Stats: What You Need To Know For 2021.” Alarming Cybersecurity Stats: What You Need To Know For 2021 (forbes.com) It included an assortment of stats on the increase in threats to our digital wellness as companies, governments, and consumers. The article was based on the backdrop of a spate of high-profile cyber-attacks such as Solar Winds, and Colonial Pipeline and had painted a dire assessment of the 2021 first half status of the cyber-threat ecosystem. Now we have reached the second half of 2021. Just when we thought it could not get much worse from a cybersecurity stat perspective, it did.
Google’s future in enterprise hinges on strategic cybersecurity
Louis Columbus – VentureBeat
Gaps in Google’s cybersecurity strategy make banks, financial institutions, and larger enterprises slow to adopt the Google Cloud Platform (GCP), with deals often going to Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services instead.
It also doesn’t help that GCP has long had the reputation that it is more aligned with developers and their needs than with enterprise and commercial projects. But Google now has a timely opportunity to open its customer aperture with new security offerings designed to fill many of those gaps.
Top officials turn over Twitter accounts to ‘share the mic’ with Black cybersecurity experts
Maggie Miller – The Hill
Top federal officials and cybersecurity experts participated Friday in an online campaign to “share the mic” in cyber, giving control of their Twitter accounts to Black cybersecurity officials and experts in an effort to combat systemic racism.
The event, billed online as #ShareTheMicInCyber, featured the accounts of over 100 individuals and almost two dozen organizations used to promote diversity in cybersecurity throughout Friday. Twitter Security hosted live audio conversations through Twitter Spaces as part of the all-day event.
A Rare Win in the Cat-and-Mouse Game of Ransomware; A team of private security sleuths, in their first public detailing of their efforts, discuss how they used cybercriminals’ mistakes to quietly help victims recover their data.
Nicole Perlroth – NY Times
In a year rife with ransomware attacks, when cybercriminals have held the data of police departments, grocery and pharmacy chains, hospitals, pipelines and water treatment plants hostage with computer code, it was a win, rare in the scale of its success.
Second U.S. Bitcoin Futures ETF Makes Lower Profile Debut
Katie Greifeld and Vildana Hajric – Bloomberg
The second futures-backed U.S. Bitcoin exchange-traded fund made a more inconspicuous debut than the launch of the first such investment product three days ago. The Valkyrie Bitcoin Strategy ETF — trading under the ticker BTF — was down 2% from its inception price of $25 as of 10:54 a.m. in New York. More than 1.2 million shares worth about $31 million changed hands as of that time. Bitcoin, meanwhile, pared an earlier advance to fall as much as 1.9% to $61,506. The largest digital currency reached an all-time high of just under $67,000 on Wednesday.
The ETF revolution is going to disrupt bitcoin
John Detrixhe – Quartz
This week ProShares launched the first ETF in the US for bitcoin, and it won’t be the last. “We call it the ‘great cost migration,'” Eric Balchunas, an exchange-traded funds expert at Bloomberg Intelligence, said in an interview last month.
A new cryptocurrency called worldcoin wants to scan 1 billion people’s iris by 2023 to speed up digital currency adoption
Isabelle Lee – Business Insider
The team behind a new cryptocurrency is aiming to fast-track mass digital-asset adoption – and to achieve this, they want to scan people’s iris. One billion by 2023 to be exact. Worldcoin, which came out of stealth this past week, will give its cryptocurrency to each person who signs up. So far, it has scanned more than 100,000 people from around the world through a new device called the Orb. The coin will go live in the first quarter of 2022.
An Ether futures ETF is next likely step after ProShares watershed bitcoin moment, a former SEC official explains
Frances Yue – MarketWatch
Every week we highlight the most timely news in the crypto and blockchain industry, from developments in digital-asset companies, exchanges, funds and ventures, as well as important sector research and data.
Nigeria to Launch Its ENaira Digital Currency on Monday: Report
Kevin Reynolds – Coindesk
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will launch its digital currency, the eNaira, on Monday, Bloomberg reported. The eNaira, which is intended to complement the physical Naira rather than replace it, will “make financial transactions easier and seamless for every strata of the society,” the CBN said in emailed statement on Saturday, according to the report. The launch had originally been set for Oct. 1 to Oct. 4 but was delayed
in deference to the 61st anniversary of Nigerian independence on Oct. 1.
What CBDCs Mean for the Future of DeFi and Stablecoins
Charles d’Haussy – Coindesk
Over the last year, the narrative surrounding central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) has advanced considerably. From an almost entirely conceptual discussion, CBDCs are now in various stages of research and development to ascertain how they could work in practice.
Crypto Bargain Hunters Stalk German Sale of Seized Bitcoin
Karin Matussek – Bloomberg
The auction website of Germany’s law enforcement agencies experienced a bitcoin-fueled frenzy on midday Monday as cryptocurrency investors sought to snap up a bargain.
‘Ruthless’ bitcoin ETF fee war looms after Van Eck filing; Asset manager’s planned launch will significantly undercut ProShares’ BITO and Valkyrie’s BTF
Steve Johnson – FT
A potentially “brutal” price war for US-listed bitcoin exchange traded funds could kick off as soon as Monday, less than a week after the launch of the first such vehicle. Van Eck has lodged a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission to launch its Bitcoin Strategy ETF (XBTF) “as soon as practicable” and signalled that it will charge a management fee of just 65 basis points.
LedgerEdge Close to UK Launch
Shanny Basar – MarketsMedia
LedgerEdge, the distributed ledger corporate bond trading platform, is close to launching a UK multilateral trading facility before expanding into the US and the European Union in 2022. David Nicol, chief executive and co-founder of LedgerEdge, and Michelle Neal, US chief executive of LedgerEdge, spoke on a webcast hosted by consultancy Coalition Greenwich on 20 October.
FTX Trading raises $420 million in Series B-1 funding round; Funding round will allow FTX to expand into new jurisdictions and improve upon its current offerings.
Wesley Bray – The Trade
FTX Trading, owner and operator of global cryptocurrency exchange FTX.com, has seen its valuation climb to $25 billion following the successful closing of Series B-1 funding worth $420 million. Approximately 70 investors participated in the round, including Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board via its Teachers’ Innovation Platform, Temasek, Sequoia Capital, Sea Capital, IVP, ICONIQ Growth, Tiger Global, Ribbit Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners and funds and accounts managed by BlackRock.
Error-Prone Crypto Exchanges Need Guardrails, FTX.US Head Says
Katherine Greifeld and Tim Stenovec – Bloomberg
FTX.US trading rules are entirely self-imposed: Harrison; Bitcoin prices briefly plunged by 87% on Binance.US this week
In order to protect investors from the kind of flash crashes that plagued Binance’s U.S. platform on Thursday, cryptocurrency exchanges need to take a page from the equity market.
Analysis-From zero to $12 billion; investors chase Trump stock hype
Krystal Hu and Anirban Sen – Reuters
Donald Trump has united some of his supporters and detractors in buying shares in his new company and hoping to score a big win. Anthony Nguyen, a 49-year-old software consultant from Austin, Texas, is a Republican who refused to vote for the former U.S. president in last year’s election.
Trump’s Tech SPAC Could Make Him Billions With Meme-Stock Frenzy
Sophie Alexander, Tom Maloney, and Crystal Kim – Bloomberg
New venture is valued at $8.2 billion after surge in shares; Investors look past questions over the planned media empire
Donald Trump’s sagging fortune is suddenly poised to get a massive boost from meme-stock mania. News late Wednesday that the former president’s nascent media enterprise, Trump Media & Technology Group, is planning to go public via a special purpose acquisition company has sent retail investors into a frenzy, even with few details released. The stock gain drove the implied value of the new venture to more than $8.2 billion.
Meet the Mexican Dealmaker in Shanghai Behind Trump’s SPAC Deal
Ben Scent and Crystal Tse – Bloomberg
A Mexican dealmaker in China was one of the key architects behind former President Donald Trump’s deal with a special purpose acquisition company. Shanghai-based ARC Group Ltd. was an adviser to Trump’s merger partner Digital World Acquisition Corp. and was tasked with building the SPAC’s deal pipeline, according to its listing prospectus. The boutique is led by Mexican founder Abraham Cinta, who’s lived in the Chinese financial center for over eight years.
Trump NFT Helps Mint Another Meme Stock Tied to Former President
Sam Unsted – Bloomberg
Being associated with former U.S. President Donald Trump is proving a successful way to be minted as a meme stock. Shares in Creatd Inc. more than doubled in U.S. premarket trading after the company announced a new non-fungible token art drop through its OG Gallery unit consisting of three photographs of Trump. The NFT includes “three candid images of a young Donald Trump, captured as he signs the breast of a model,” Creatd said.
Erdogan Feasts on Chaos While the Lira Suffers; The Turkish president’s diplomatic broadsides come at a perilous time for the currency, which is already weakened by big rate cuts. It isn’t too late to change course.
Daniel Moss – Bloomberg
It’s almost like Turkey desires an economic crisis. Threatening to expel envoys from powerful allies days after a massive and widely derided interest-rate cut was a recipe for the currency’s nose dive. That’s precisely what President Recep Tayyip Erdogan got: The lira fell to a record low against the dollar in early Asian trading Monday. It’s down about 24% this year, making it the worst performer among emerging market peers. There are few good outcomes for the country, even after allowing for U-turns on some of Erdogan’s most contentious measures. Monetary and diplomatic policy look increasingly driven by the need for controversy and brinkmanship.
Joe Biden’s bid for banks that serve the people; Republicans have called his nominee for comptroller of the currency a ‘radical’ — she is, but not in the way they think
Rana Foroohar – FT
One of the great failings of Democratic governments in the US in recent decades has been their inability to get ahead of financial markets via smart regulation. Republicans should have been doing this as well, of course, but the public don’t expect it from them to the same extent. The conservative position is still that markets know best, even as it becomes quite clear that public markets no longer allocate capital in ways that are the most productive, or even understandable. Just look at the value and highly concentrated make-up of the S&P 500 today versus the state of the real economy.
Al Gore urges overhaul of global finance to cut greenhouse gases Former US vice-president calls for an end to the large-scale backing of carbon-intensive projects
Harriet Agnew, Attracta Mooney and Patrick Jenkins – FT
The global financial system must be reformed because it facilitates “reckless emissions” that treat the world’s atmosphere “as an open sewer,” according to former US vice-president Al Gore. In a wide-ranging interview with the Financial Times, the politician-turned-climate activist said the world could no longer afford for the finance industry to continue its large-scale backing of carbon-intensive projects.
S&P Global and IHS Markit Merger Receives Conditional Approval from European Commission
S&P Global (NYSE: SPGI) and IHS Markit (NYSE: INFO) today announced that they have received a conditional Phase 1 approval for their $44 billion merger from the European Commission (EC), marking another significant step toward the combination of these highly complementary companies.
Lassoing a Stallion: How Gary Gensler Could Approach DeFi Enforcement
David Z. Morris – Coindesk
Earlier this week, we considered the challenges of creating viable long-term regulations for decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols. These systems can ostensibly remove intermediaries from the trading of any asset represented on a blockchain, but those intermediaries have been the ones enforcing rules on behalf of regulators for the better part of a century. That means workable DeFi regulation will likely be much different in substance, and enforced differently, than current securities and finance rules.
SEC Considers Banning Payment for Order Flow; Would damage the Robinhood (HOOD) business model
Mark Kolakowski – Investopedia
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is considering a full ban on the payment for order flow (PFOF). The reason is that this practice creates “an inherent conflict of interest,” according to SEC Chairman Gary Gensler, in a recent interview with Barron’s.?
Singapore Adds 18 New Charges Against Alleged Nickel Hoaxer
Chanyaporn Chanjaroen – Bloomberg
Singapore added 18 new charges against businessman Ng Yu Zhi, who’s accused of cheating investors in an alleged $1.1 billion fraud, taking the number of accusations to 69. Ng, who remains on bail, made false electronic recordings to deceive investors that Envy had entered into nickel trades with Australian miner Poseidon Nickel Ltd. and units of BNP Paribas SA, according to charge sheets seen by Bloomberg News on Monday.
Brussels warned not to delay tighter capital rules for EU banks; European Commission set to propose 2025 date for implementation of final phase of Basel reforms
Laura Noonan, Sam Fleming and Martin Arnold – FT
The EU has been warned not to delay the next phase of global banking rules, as draft plans show that Brussels is suggesting giving European banks a two-year extension to an internationally agreed deadline.
SEC’s Peirce Criticizes Conditions Placed on Credit Suisse as Part of Waiver; The waiver allows the bank’s investment adviser affiliates to keep doing business following an SEC settlement, but the official says some requirements could be harmful
Dylan Tokar – WSJ
A Republican member of the Securities and Exchange Commission criticized conditions placed on Credit Suisse Group AG as part of a reprieve granted to the Swiss bank in connection with its $475 million settlement over a fundraising scandal in Mozambique.
FINRA Updates the OTCBB/OTC Equities High Price Dissemination List
FINRA is publishing its quarterly OTCBB/OTC Equities High Price Dissemination List for the second quarter of 2021. This updated list of OTC equity securities eligible for trade report dissemination for trades of fewer than 100 shares is effective as of October 22, 2021. To view changes, visit the Daily List: Security Attribute Changes page, select the “Unit of Trades” filter and enter October 21, 2021 as the “Start” date and October 22, 2021 as the “End” date.
FCA finalises rules for a new type of fund designed to invest efficiently in long-term assets
Sophisticated investors and pension funds are among those who will have access to new types of investment opportunities following changes made by the Financial Conduct Authority.
Investing and Trading
BOJ says Japan’s banking system stable, warns of risks
Leika Kihara – Reuters
Japan’s banking system remains broadly stable but financial institutions could face risks including from a possible increase in credit costs caused by a delay in the economic recovery, the Bank of Japan (BOJ) said in a report on Thursday.
CUSIP Global Services and American Bankers Association Joint Statement on CUSIP Operations; Operations at World’s Most Reliable, Accessible and Transparent Securities Identifier Will be Unaffected by S&P Global Commitment to Divest CUSIP Global Services
CUSIP Global Services
USIP Global Services (CGS) and the American Bankers Association (ABA) today reaffirmed that CUSIP operations will be unaffected by S&P Global’s commitment to divest CGS as a condition for European Commission approval of its proposed merger with IHS Markit.
The 1929 Stock Market Crash Caught Nearly Everyone Off Guard. Are We Headed for a Similar Fate?
Kenneth G. Pringle – Barron’s
The 1929 Stock Market Crash Caught Nearly Everyone Off Guard. Are We Headed for a Similar Fate?
The Great Crash that began on Oct. 24, 1929, demolished every investing strategy that didn’t include stuffing cash into mattresses. Are we on a similar trajectory now?
Mystical Hold of ‘Transitory’ Tempts Huge Fed Error; Failure to respond quickly and fully to persistent inflation would constitute the biggest monetary policy mistake in more than 40 years.
Mohamed A. El-Erian – Bloomberg
When inflation started to rise earlier this year, many central bankers were quick to call it “transitory,” asserting that it would dissipate soon. Over the course of 2021, however, neither the quantitative forecasts nor the arguments cited in support of this hypothesis have held up. Yet, in stark contrast with the mindset of corporate leaders who are dealing daily with the reality of higher and persistent inflationary pressures, the transitory concept has managed to retain an almost mystical hold on the thinking of many policy makers. The longer this persists, the greater the risk of a historic policy error whose negative implications could last for years and extend well beyond the U.S.
Investors show fear of central bank errors in short-term bonds; Two-year debt takes the strain in sign investors think policymakers will end up reversing rate rises
Tommy Stubbington and Kate Duguid – FT
The focal point of the global drop in government bond prices has shifted to short-term debt as high inflation spooks investors, who worry that a response from central banks could knock the economic recovery off course.
Investors pull $9.4bn from UK funds in 2021 on rising inflation angst; Withdrawals come amid fear of rapid price growth and spectre of higher interest rates
Naomi Rovnick – FT
Investors have pulled $9.4bn out of UK-focused equity funds this year after hopes that a Covid-19 vaccination drive will fuel a vigorous economic recovery were overshadowed by questions about slow growth and high inflation.
Supply-Chain Disruptions Encourage Rio Tinto to Mine Its Own Sludge for Critical Minerals; Mining company aims to recover key materials including rhenium at its Kennecott copper mine in the U.S.
Rhiannon Hoyle – WSJ
Snarled supply chains are giving new impetus to Rio Tinto RIO 0.52% PLC’s efforts to produce minerals essential for modern technologies, starting with mining sludge from a giant copper pit in Western U.S.
Why Your Adviser Might Start Talking Up Bitcoin; The advent of bitcoin-related ETFs makes it easier for financial professionals to help you add crypto to your portfolio. It also lets them earn fees on it.
Jason Zweig – WSJ
Some days it seems just about everybody is urging you to buy bitcoin. Now, your financial adviser might, too. This week, the first cryptocurrency-focused exchange-traded fund in the U.S., ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF, raised $1.1 billion in its first two days of trading. Advisers who want to buy bitcoin directly for clients have to clear some onerous regulatory hurdles first; in comparison, buying a bitcoin-related ETF is as easy as breathing.
Prepare for Propane Sticker Shock; Exports have drained domestic supply ahead of heating season and prices have surged
Ryan Dezember – WSJ
Propane prices haven’t been so high heading into winter in a decade, which is bad news for the millions of rural Americans who rely on the fuel to stay warm. At $1.41 a gallon at the Mont Belvieu trading hub in Texas, on-the-spot prices are about triple those of the past two Octobers. Of the two main U.S. propane futures contracts, one hit a high earlier this month and the other doesn’t have far to climb to eclipse the record it set during the blizzard of 2014. The average residential price tracked by the U.S. Energy Information Administration has jumped by 50% from a year ago, to $2.69 a gallon.
As Hedge Funds Endure Rocky Year, Private-Company Bets Ease the Pain; Soaring valuations and a hot U.S. IPO market have boosted private wagers, helping to offset poor performance in public markets
Juliet Chung – WSJ
Investments in private companies are saving the year for stock-picking hedge funds. Prominent managers that invest in both public and private companies in the same funds have seen their portfolio of public investments flail, weighed down by losses from January’s meme-stock rally and a retreat by fast-growing technology stocks. But soaring valuations of private companies and a hot U.S. IPO market have boosted their private wagers. That has helped mask their poor performance in public markets and driven up their overall returns.
Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance
Your Top COP26 Questions, Answered; Don’t expect a visit from Xi Jinping to the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, but do keep your eye out for fresh promises.
Therese Raphael and Nicole Torres – Bloomberg
The U.K. is preparing to host the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, starting on Sunday, Oct. 31st and running until Friday, Nov. 12th. Bloomberg Opinion editor Nicole Torres chatted with columnist Therese Raphael about what COP26 is, why it’s a big deal, and what to look out for over the next few weeks.
Saudi Arabia Commits to Net-Zero Emissions by 2060
Matthew Martin and Akshat Rathi – Bloomberg
Saudi Arabia says that it will become carbon neutral by 2060; Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announces decision in Riyadh
Saudi Arabia has pledged to eliminate planet-warming emissions within its borders by 2060.
La Nina Threatens to Worsen Energy Crisis With Colder Winter; Lower than usual temperatures from China to Japan will add to power demand at a time of already tight supply and high prices.
A weather phenomenon that typically delivers harsher winters is on the way and expected to add to Asia’s energy crisis. The La Nina pattern, which forms when equatorial trade winds strengthen to bring colder, deep water up from the bottom of the sea, has emerged in the Pacific. That typically spells below-normal temperatures in the northern hemisphere and has prompted regional weather agencies to issue warnings about a frigid winter.
This Coal Plan Offers Only Half a Solution; An effort backed by the Asian Development Bank to push coal into early retirement looks optimistic. It shouldn’t be allowed to eclipse alternatives.
Clara Ferreira Marques – Bloomberg
The Asian Development Bank and a handful of financial institutions will take an ambitious proposal to end Southeast Asia’s coal addiction to the COP26 climate talks. They want to speed up the shift away from the dirtiest fossil fuel by buying out coal-fired power plants and closing them early, while fostering green alternatives. Good news, considering the ADB only formally stepped back from funding the black stuff this year and coal power plans in this region risk putting global climate targets out of reach.
London Expands Ultra-Low Emission Zone to Clean Up City’s Air; New rules for drivers came into force Monday in an attempt to cut vehicle pollution, and achieve a net-zero target
Damian Shepherd and Rakteem Katakey – Bloomberg
London expanded its ultra-low emission zone in an attempt to clean up the city’s air, and help achieve a net-zero target that’s less than 10 years away. The new area, 18 times larger than the previous zone that operated in only the central city, covers 3.8 million people across a quarter of London. It’s expected to reduce emissions from road transport by almost a third in 2021.
M&A Heads to Record $5 Trillion Year Despite, Well, Everything; Low rates and abundant cash help explain the dealmaking boom. But don’t ignore psychology.
Ed Hammond – Bloomberg
It’s been a big year for deals. There’s the planned merger of AT&T’s media businesses with Discovery, the high-stakes takeover battle for railroad Kansas City Southern, and Square’s agreement to acquire the Australian “buy-now, pay-later” company Afterpay. If PayPal Holdings Inc.’s reported discussions about buying social media company Pinterest Inc. go further, global deals could top $4.1 trillion this year, breaking the record set in 2007. By the end of 2021, transactions could easily top $5 trillion.
Drilling shutdown would mean end of green transition, Norway PM warns; Labour leader Jonas Gahr Store tells FT that country’s $1.4tn oil fund is ‘political’
Richard Milne – FT
Norway’s new prime minister has defended his country’s oil and gas industry by emphasising its shutdown would scupper the transition to greener industries such as renewable energy.
Navigating the thicket of ESG metrics; In the vast pool of data, how can investors see the impact their money is making?
Sarah Murray – FT
Sustainable investing may be gratifying for wealthy individuals and families, but it is far from simple. A lack of standards in the measurement and reporting of ESG (environmental, social and governance) products and funds can leave investors confused. And when it comes to impact investments, capturing the right data takes time, effort and, often, a hands-on approach.
Methane leak near COP26 venue underscores emissions challenge; Researchers find plume of greenhouse gas spewing into atmosphere from site in Glasgow
Leslie Hook, Camilla Hodgson and Steven Bernard – FT
A powerful greenhouse gas responsible for 40 per cent of the world’s warming over the past decade is spewing into the atmosphere from a site in Glasgow not far from where the COP26 climate summit is set to begin.
Climate crisis brings venture capital money back to clean tech; Investors have learnt some lessons from the late-2000 “mini green bubble”
Eleanor Olcott – FT
Venture capital money is flooding back into clean tech companies a decade after the “mini green bubble” saw private financing for the sector dry up. But John Thornhill argues that the climate tech 2.0 investment boom has better promise than version 1.0.
Paschi Bondholders Weigh Risk of Losses After Merger Talks Fail
Alice Gledhill and Antonio Vanuzzo – Bloomberg
Bonds hit the lowest since March 2020 before bouncing back; Italy mulls recapitalization amid rising risk of bond bail-in
Bondholders of Italian lender Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA are enduring a fresh bout of volatility after talks to sell the bank to UniCredit SpA fell through over the weekend. Notes of Monte Paschi hit the lowest since March 2020 before paring some of the losses, according to prices compiled by Bloomberg. A 750 million-euro ($872 million) subordinated bond, maturing in 2028, tumbled as much as 12.5 cents on the euro on Monday.
Italy Seeks Time to Sell Monte Paschi After UniCredit Deal Fails
Sonia Sirletti, Chiara Albanese, and Luca Casiraghi – Bloomberg
UniCredit argued Monte Paschi needs 7 billion euro injection
European Commission had set year-end deadline to exit stake
Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s government is set to ask the European Union for more time to find a buyer for Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA, after efforts to sell the troubled Tuscan lender to UniCredit SpA fell apart over the weekend.
HSBC to buy back $2bn of stock as profit surges 74%; Bank confident of UK economic bounceback and global outlook as Covid impact recedes
Stephen Morris and Tabby Kinder – FT
HSBC announced a $2bn share buyback and posted a 74 per cent increase in third-quarter profit, making it the latest global lender to turn bullish on the economic outlook nearly two years after the start of the pandemic.
BlackRock partners with Saudi infrastructure fund; Fund has investment target of $53bn over next decade across sectors including power, water and transport
Andrew England and Samer al-Atrush – FT
Saudi Arabia has hired BlackRock to help set up and manage an infrastructure fund that has an investment target of $53bn in the kingdom over the next decade. The US asset manager is partnering with Saudi Arabia’s National Development Fund, a state entity chaired by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, to operate the infrastructure fund over a multiyear period.
What FSOC’s climate risk report means for banks
Brendan Pedersen Polo Rocha – American Banker
A long-anticipated federal report on climate change’s risk to the U.S. economy is not the regulatory nightmare that some bankers had feared, but the recommendations could shape decades of financial policy.
The Financial Stability Oversight Council, led by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and consisting of U.S. financial regulators, released a 133-page report detailing the potential risks of climate change and calling the human-driven phenomenon an “emerging and increasing threat” to financial stability.
Goldman Sachs Awards One-Time Bonuses to Executives David Solomon, John Waldron; Bank grants restricted stock awards and cites ‘the rapidly increasing war for talent’
Orla McCaffrey – WSJ
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. GS 0.46% is giving CEO David Solomon and president John Waldron one-time stock bonuses designed to keep the executives at the helm of Wall Street’s biggest bank.
Bollywood stars, Indian celebrities launch NFTs amid global craze
Nupur Anand and Shilpa Jamkhandikar – Reuters
Indian celebrities from the world of Bollywood and cricket are increasingly launching digital memorabilia through non-fungible tokens (NFT), hoping to rake in thousands of dollars by cashing in on growing interest in such assets.
Japan to Miss Target With $7.4 Billion Postal Stake Sale
Taiga Uranaka – Bloomberg
Government had originally planned to raise $8.4 billion; Price in secondary sale is a 2% discount to Monday’s close
The Japanese government will raise 843 billion yen ($7.4 billion) from the sale of Japan Post Holdings Co. shares — about $1 billion short of its original target — in the ongoing privatization of the postal and financial-services giant. Shares in the secondary share sale were priced at 820.6 yen apiece, according to a statement, marking a 2% discount to Monday’s closing price of 837.4 yen.
The pandemic stimulus has backfired in emerging markets; Aggressive monetary and fiscal intervention added nothing discernible to developing countries’ recovery
Ruchir Sharma – FT
From the start of the pandemic, many emerging nations watched the US and other large developed countries “go big” on economic stimulus, and wished they could afford to follow. It turns out they were lucky if they couldn’t and wise if they chose not to.
Can hybrid meetings ever live up to the real thing? In-person encounters trump videocalls for some board discussions, but there is a place for a best-of-both approach
Andrew Hill – FT
As thousands start to gather in Glasgow for the COP26 climate summit, braving crowds, protests, strike threats, and price-gouging landlords, the question has been posed: why don’t they just meet on Zoom? It is friendlier to the environment, they have had months of enforced practice in using it, and — perhaps, just perhaps — it is a more efficient use of their time.
Picasso auction reveals Vegas shift from gambling to ‘experience’; The casino and resort industry has adopted Steve Wynn’s art-focused formula beyond baccarat and slot machines
Christopher Grimes – FT
When Steve Wynn opened the Bellagio resort on the Las Vegas strip in 1998, it marked a dramatic departure from the casino formula that had worked for decades in Sin City. The Italian-themed resort featured upmarket restaurants, luxury retail and other diversions that offered patrons opportunities to spend large sums of money on activities that did not involve gambling. The Bellagio also became a showcase for Wynn’s art collection, including his Picassos, 22 of which have been displayed for more than 20 years in a restaurant called — what else? — Picasso.