Hits & Takes
John Lothian & JLN Staff
The new chairman of The World Federation of Exchanges is Loh Boon Chye, chief executive of the Singapore Exchange, and Jos Dijsselhof, chief executive of SIX, has been named vice chair, The Trade reported and Nandini Sukumar announced at the WFE General meeting.
Sitting in various sessions of the general annual meeting of the WFE, which represents exchanges all around the world, one really gets a sense of the divergent timelines of development for the different markets. The issues are the same, but each of the exchanges seems to be in a unique position as they modernize their exchanges and address the issues of technology, 24-hour trading, clearing and more. What’s more, you really understand the value of the WFE to these exchanges and the value they get from traveling all over the world to meet with their peers.
The host of this year’s conference is the Bermuda Stock Exchange and its owner, Miami International Holdings. The Bermuda Stock Exchange is led by President Greg Wojciechowski, who has charmed the conference with his colorful collection of Bermuda shorts and accompanying knee socks. Besides the informative sessions of the conference, the social event last night was an amazing beachside cookout with live music and dancing. I know the JLN team is concerned I am working long hours and too hard, but sacrifices have to be made.
Today’s top two lead section stories are about the Cboe and Ed Tilly’s exit. The first is from the Chicago Tribune and has the self evident headline “The Ed Tilly scandal at the Cboe is bad news for Chicago,” while the second is from the Sun-Times and David Roeder with the headline “Cboe Global Markets CEO’s exit after board probe stokes talk of a sale.” The Sun-Times article quoted from this newsletter and my allusions to certain potential fishing expeditions.
Another exchange-related scandal that has not gotten enough press coverage is in Sweden, where a Nasdaq market surveillance employee was arrested, suspected of “serious insider trading.” Nasdaq was quick to point out that the employee was not in a managerial role.
The CFTC announced fines yesterday against Chicago-based Advantage Futures LLC, a registered futures commission merchant, and StoneX Markets LLC, a registered swap dealer.
The Financial Times has a special report with the subject of “Navigating Cyber Risk” and the subheading “There is growing concern that AI may be weaponised by hackers to enable cyber attacks. Plus: why airlines care about connections; how to spot a deepfake; global shortage of cyber security staff; and five easy security wins.” The story that jumped out was titled “Deepfakes make banks keep it real,” which had the subheading “AI-enhanced impersonators can be detected with new monitoring technology.”
General Mills has issued a warning that the return to work trend will reduce the number of treats given to “Fido,” and thus negatively impact their pet food business. Clearly it is time to promote a take your pet to work movement in order to save General Mills and other pet food makers.
The Financial Times has a review of the new iPhone 15 Pro Max titled “Should you buy the iPhone 15 Pro Max?” with the subheading “It’s lighter, USB 3.2 compliant, has an exciting new button – and offers significant upgrades for gamers and photographers alike.” It sounds like I need to update again. Along with the iPhone 15 Pro Max being out, there is a new update to the iPhone operating system, or iOS 17, that is available for everyone with a newer iPhone that looks advisable after Apple works out the bugs normally found in the first couple of days. The New York Times has the story on iOS 17.
Have a great day and stay safe and treat people the same way you want to be treated: with respect, equality and justice.~JJL
The SEC yesterday had several commissioners as well as chair Gary Gensler comment on the SEC’s revised naming rule to stop fund names from misleading or deceiving investors. The naming rule was originally adopted in 2001, so it’s been a while since this was looked at. Most (not all) of the commissioners seem supportive of the revised rule. You can read their various statements HERE. ~JB
Our most read stories yesterday on JLN Options were:
– An oral history of the fear index from the Financial Times.
– Cboe Global Markets Announces Leadership Transition from Cboe.
– Cboe CEO Ed Tilly Rose From Trading Pit to Exit in Scandal from Bloomberg. ~JB
Your NFTs Are Actually – Finally – Totally Worthless
Miles Klee – Rolling Stone
A team of researchers have crunched the numbers to explain why you don’t see people hawking ugly cartoon apes on the internet as much anymore: NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, once vaunted as a revolution in crypto and digital art, are largely worthless. “Dead NFTs: The Evolving Landscape of the NFT Market” is a new report from dappGambl, a community of experts in finance and blockchain technology.
****** It took a while, but as expected. The question is when will other crypto assets follow?~JJL
Why I haven’t given up on idealism yet
Gillian Tett – Financial Times
This week, I was moderating a session at the UN General Assembly in New York, when the audience suddenly erupted. They were cheering Mia Mottley, the prime minister of Barbados, who’d just delivered an impassioned speech, asking the rich countries of the world to channel more money to the poor. “We cannot have sustainable development goals without the framework to finance them!” she argued.
****** I am a realist and we must never give up on idealism.~JJL
How Faking Videos Got So Easy and Why It’s a Threat
Nate Lanxon – Bloomberg
Now that artificial intelligence allows anyone with a smartphone to conjure up lifelike images and sound from seemingly nothing, it’s getting harder to tell if what you see and hear online is reality or fiction. At first, so-called deepfake technology was mostly used in adult videos where a celebrity’s face is mapped onto the body of a porn actor without their consent.
****** If John Lothian Productions can do it, just wait for the crazy stuff you’ll see during the upcoming presidential election.~JJL
Zelenskiy Meets With Ken Griffin, Bill Ackman in Bid for Funds to Rebuild Ukraine; Griffin, Ackman among those that met with Ukraine president; The gathering was arranged by JPMorgan executive Mary Erdoes
Katherine Burton – Bloomberg
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy met Wednesday with US financial leaders including Ken Griffin and Bill Ackman to discuss using private-sector funds to help rebuild his country, according to people briefed on the meeting. The gathering at Ukraine’s mission to the United Nations in New York was arranged by JPMorgan Chase & Co. executive Mary Erdoes and included representatives from Ukraine, the people said, asking not to be named because the gathering was private.
****** Nothing has changed in 100 years, with JP Morgan still in a powerful global role. And they are one of my banks.~JJL
Wednesday’s Top Three
Our top clicked item Wednesday was the Cboe press release Cboe Global Markets Announces Leadership Transition from Tuesday. Second was Bloomberg’s Cboe CEO Ed Tilly Rose From Trading Pit to Exit in Scandal. Third was Cboe stock rises as CEO’s sudden exit fuels CME merger speculation, from Crain’s Chicago Business.
The Ed Tilly scandal at the Cboe is bad news for Chicago
The Editorial Board – Chicago Tribune
Ed Tilly started as a trader at the Chicago Board Options Exchange in 1987 and worked his way up to chief executive officer. Under his decadelong stewardship, the exchange grew dramatically, and it was having a banner year until Tuesday, when Tilly’s Chicago success story ended abruptly.
Cboe Global Markets CEO’s exit after board probe stokes talk of a sale; The Chicago-based options exchange owner said Ed Tilly “did not disclose” relationships with colleagues as it names his successors as chairman and CEO.
David Roeder – Chicago Sun-Times
What Ed Tilly did to merit his sudden departure as chairman and CEO of Cboe Global Markets appears to have been serious. “They struck hard and they struck fast,” whatever was learned, an exchange expert said. Tilly resigned from his post at Cboe, the nation’s leading market for options trading, following a month-long board investigation of his conduct, the company said. In its announcement Tuesday, the company said the probe turned up multiple cases of wrongdoing unrelated to finances.
SGX and SIX chiefs elected chair and vice chair of the World Federation of Exchanges; A total of seven board members have been elected to the board; individuals hail from TMX Group, Bermuda Stock Exchange, Cboe, Japan Exchange Group, Singapore Exchange and Korea exchange.
Claudia Preece – The Trade
The World Federation of Exchanges (WFE) has named Boon Chye Loh, chief executive of the Singapore Exchange (SGX) and Jos Dijsselhof, chief executive of SIX, as chair and vice chair respectively following a unanimous vote at a general assembly.
LSE Group chief hits back at ‘clickbait’ criticism of the City; David Schwimmer calls London ‘a fantastic international financial centre’
Nikou Asgari – Financial Times
The head of the London Stock Exchange Group has hit back at criticism that the City’s position as one of the world’s leading financial centres is slipping, calling fears of a loss of business “a kind of clickbait”. David Schwimmer, who has headed the LSE Group for five years, told the Financial Times there were ways to improve the UK’s capital markets, which have suffered this year from a slowdown in trading volumes, loss of equity listings to New York and dearth of initial public offerings.
Trudeau’s Mega Pipeline Promises to Redraw Global Oil Flows; Trans Mountain project to bring 600,000 barrels to new markets; China, India among possible top destinations for crude
Lucia Kassai and Robert Tuttle – Bloomberg
Canada, home to the world’s third-largest crude deposits, is poised to reshuffle global oil flows next year. The nearly completed expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline promises to vault Canada into a new role in global markets by transporting an additional 600,000 barrels a day – on par with the daily output of Azerbaijan – from the country’s vast oil sands to a port on the Pacific Coast.
Hong Kong Says It Calls the Shots, Not Beijing. Investors Are Wary; Its close ties to Beijing are putting the city, still an international financial hub, in a bind as it lures Western investors to revive its economy.
Alexandra Stevenson – The New York Times
Isolated from the world and pulled closer into Beijing’s orbit over the past three years, Hong Kong is finding that its fortunes are tied more than ever to China. The city’s stock market, which is seen as a proxy for China’s economy, is among the world’s worst performing this year. The rivers of money that flowed into companies, minting new wealth, have slowed to a trickle.
Mozambique to seek $1.5bn in damages over ‘tuna bond’ scandal; UK Supreme Court gives green light for lawsuit against Credit Suisse and Gulf-based shipbuilder Privinvest
Joseph Cotterill – Financial Times
Mozambique will pursue around $1.5bn in damages at a trial next month over the $2bn ‘tuna bond’ alleged fraud that wrecked the southern African nation’s finances in the past decade, after the UK’s highest court approved bringing a civil claim in London over the scandal.
‘Witching day’ price spikes point to options market manipulation – study; Data reveals patterns that can be explained no other way, researchers say
Rob Mannix – Risk.net
Is someone manipulating options markets on expiration days? A controversial new study says the evidence suggests they are. Researchers have found signs in the settlement pricing of options that point to market manipulation with the potential to cost hedgers billions every year. Looking at futures data from February 2003 to December 2021, researchers from Robeco, the Chinese University of Hong Kong and Copenhagen Business School identified a price spike in equity index futures in the hours
Tether Is Lending Its Stablecoins Again; Cryptocurrency issuer had said it would cut loans to zero in 2023
Jonathan Weil – The Wall Street Journal
Tether Holdings resumed lending out its own stablecoins to customers, less than a year after it said it would wind down the practice. The cryptocurrency issuer in its latest quarterly financial update said its assets included $5.5 billion of loans as of June 30, up from $5.3 billion a quarter earlier. A company spokeswoman confirmed that Tether made new loans.
The Lawyers Sam Bankman-Fried Once Trusted Are Drawing Criticism; Mr. Bankman-Fried and his allies have blasted Sullivan & Cromwell, the New York law firm managing FTX’s bankruptcy, for its tangled relationship with the crypto exchange.
David Yaffe-Bellany and Matthew Goldstein – The New York Times
Just before FTX collapsed in November, one of its outside lawyers at the law firm Sullivan & Cromwell emailed a colleague at another firm, insisting that the cryptocurrency exchange’s finances were stable. Rumors of FTX’s demise were “silliness,” the lawyer, Andrew Dietderich, wrote. “FTX is rock solid, doesn’t use customer funds or take credit risk at all,” he said.
US SEC cracks down on funds “greenwashing” with new investment requirement
Douglas Gillison and Michelle Price – Reuters
Wall Street’s top regulator on Wednesday adopted a new rule cracking down on so-called “greenwashing” and other deceptive or misleading marketing practices by U.S. investment funds. The changes to the two decades-old Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) “Name Rule” requires that 80% of a fund’s portfolio matches the asset advertised by its name.
EU to ban ‘climate neutral’ claims by 2026; Brussels to crack down on greenwashing of consumer products
Alice Hancock – Financial Times
The EU will ban sweeping environmental claims such as “climate neutral” or “eco” by 2026 unless companies can prove the claim is accurate, as the bloc cracks down on greenwashing of consumer products. The rules, agreed late Tuesday, will also outlaw claims based on emissions offsetting – often used as the basis for assertions that products are carbon neutral or have reduced environmental impact – along with green labels that are not from approved sustainability schemes.
Crypto Firms Are Looking Outside the U.S. for Growth; U.S. regulators are cracking down, but those elsewhere are putting on a charm offensive
Weilun Soon – The Wall Street Journal
Crypto executives are still hungry for growth. But the U.S. market is now off the menu. After a tough clampdown on crypto firms by U.S. regulators this year-including a high-profile case against Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange-bosses in the sector are now being forced to cook up growth plans that effectively exclude the world’s largest economy.
Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital targets Europe for crypto expansion; Group looks to more friendly markets for growth after US crackdown
Nikou Asgari – Financial Times
US billionaire Mike Novogratz’s crypto group Galaxy Digital is expanding into Europe after a crackdown by US regulators sparked a search for more friendly jurisdictions. The group has appointed Leon Marshall, a former executive at crypto broker Genesis, as its first head of Europe. His aim is to build a regional operation from London while rivals retreat in the face of the sustained downturn in digital asset prices.
Russia Temporarily Limits Diesel and Gasoline Exports; Russia is a major supplier of diesel to the global market; Government has been weighing how to curb surging fuel prices
Russia, a major supplier of diesel to global markets, has temporarily limited exports of the fuel in a bid to stabilize the domestic fuel market after car-fuel prices jumped. “Temporary restrictions will help saturate the fuel market, that in turn will reduce prices for consumers,” the government’s press office said in its website. A document signed by the Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin will be published later. The measure also applies to gasoline, which Russia exports less of.
Apollo to Raise About $2.5 Billion to Lend in Private Markets; AOP II to lend to corporate borrowers in North America, Europe; Move comes as other large firms look to compete in market
Katharine Hidalgo and Carmen Arroyo – Bloomberg
Apollo Global Management Inc. is looking to raise roughly $2.5 billion to lend to large corporate borrowers in private markets, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The second fund comes after the Apollo Origination Partnership Fund I, which closed last year and has already been deployed, said the people, who declined to be identified as the details are private.
Michael Bloomberg pumps $500 million into bid to close all US coal plants
Valerie Volcovici – Reuters
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced on Wednesday he will pump $500 million into the next phase of his energy transition campaign, aiming to shut down “every last” coal plant in the United States and slash gas-fired capacity in half by 2030. The $500 million infusion into his decade-long Beyond Carbon initiative aims to “finish the job on coal” by working with state and local organizations to force the closure of the roughly 150 coal plants that have not yet retired, slash current gas generation in half and block the construction of new gas-fired plants.
Saudi Oil Driller Gets $76.5 Billion of Orders for $1.2 Billion IPO; ADES prices shares at 13.50 riyals each, at top of the range; Oil driller’s listing is Saudi Arabia’s biggest of the year
Julia Fioretti – Bloomberg
Oil driller ADES Holding Co. drew 286.9 billion riyals ($76.5 billion) in orders for its $1.2 billion initial public offering in Saudi Arabia, the country’s biggest of the year. ADES, which is backed by the kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund, priced the IPO at 13.50 riyals per share, the top of the range, according to a statement on Wednesday. That values that company at $4.1 billion.
Singapore Laundering Case Assets Seized Rise to Over $1.8 Billion
Chanyaporn Chanjaroen and Alfred Cang – Bloomberg
The value of assets seized in one of Singapore’s largest-ever money-laundering case has climbed to more than S$2.4 billion ($1.8 billion), the country’s police said. More assets were seized during additional operations conducted by the police, according to a statement Wednesday. That includes bank accounts with a value of more than S$1.13 billion and cryptocurrencies of over S$38 million.
UN chief criticises ‘foot-dragging’ and ‘naked greed’ for lack of climate action; Antonio Guterres says ‘Humanity has opened the gates to hell’ as he warns of a 2.8C global temperature increase
Aime Williams – Financial Times
UN secretary-general António Guterres told world leaders that they were still “decades behind” in moving away from fossil fuels as he launched a scathing critique at the UN’s inaugural climate ambition day in New York. “We must make up time lost to foot-dragging, arm-twisting and the naked greed of entrenched interests raking in billions from fossil fuels,” Guterres told leaders as he kicked off a day-long climate summit held immediately after the UN’s general assembly. “Humanity has opened the gates to hell,” he warned, noting that the world was on track for a 2.8C temperature rise since pre-industrial times.
Ukrainian Tactics Put Russia on the Defensive in the Black Sea; Using innovative attacks, Ukraine has eroded Russia’s formidable naval advantage, and it is starting to reopen ports
Yaroslav Trofimov – The Wall Street Journal
Commercial vessels have resumed using Ukraine’s main port of Odesa without asking permission from Russia for the first time since the war began-showing just how much the balance of power has changed in the Black Sea. By imposing an asymmetrical war that relies on domestically produced naval drones and missiles, and that targets Russian ships in their own home bases, Ukraine has eroded much of Russia’s vaunted naval superiority. Now, it is taking the battle to Russia itself.
Ukraine’s Hunger for Howitzers Transforms an Arms Industry
Dasl Yoon – The Wall Street Journal
On a recent afternoon in a South Korean factory, robots assembled bulletproof plates and workers drilled steel parts onto dozens of 47-ton howitzers destined for Poland. Outside the factory in the southern coastal city of Changwon, howitzers destined for Estonia rumbled through a testing area. The 155mm K9 self-propelled howitzer is at the center of South Korea’s unlikely rise as a weapons exporter.
Ukraine says it hit Russian fleet command post in Crimea
Ukrainian forces struck a Russian Black Sea fleet command post near Sevastopol in Crimea on Wednesday morning, the Ukrainian military said. It gave no further details except to say the attack was successful. Earlier on Wednesday, the Moscow-installed governor of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvozhayev, said a missile attack on the city had been thwarted.
Poland Says It’s Cutting Off Arms to Ukraine Over Grain Dispute
Natalia Ojewska and Piotr Skolimowski – Bloomberg
Poland’s premier said the country has halted weapons supplies to Ukraine, escalating a dispute with its eastern neighbor that’s undermining a key alliance in Kyiv’s fight against Russia. “We are no longer transferring weapons to Ukraine, because we are now arming Poland with more modern weapons,” Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said in an interview with Polsat television, in response to a question from a reporter on whether Warsaw would continue to support Kyiv despite a swelling spat over Poland’s ban on grain imports.
Ukraine war inspires weapons that crack battle tanks at weakest point
Sebastian Sprenger – C4ISRNet
Western companies are developing weapons aimed at cracking battle tanks from the top, their weakest point, or that can rain down thousands of metal fragments on dug-in infantry from falling drones. The novelties come as arms manufacturers tune their lineups to the immediate experience of the brutal, close-range fighting in Ukraine, a trend on display at the DSEI defense trade show held last week in London.
Zelenskyy was ‘brilliant’ at ‘trying to shock the conscience of the world’ at UN Security Council
Poland Seeks to Mend Ukraine Rift With Arms Supplies U-Turn; Warsaw will continue to send weapons under existing contracts; Escalating spat between Poland and Ukraine has alarmed allies
Piotr Skolimowski and Natalia Ojewska – Bloomberg
Russia Takes Aim at Exporters With New Tax Targeting Windfall; Measure is seen as a form of capital control by exporters; Government hopes levy will generate extra $1 billion per month
Wheat prices fall as bumper Russian crop replaces Ukrainian supplies; Futures are close to a three-year low, but analysts warn renewed Black Sea escalation could spark a rebound
Susannah Savage – Financial Times
Exchanges, OTC and Clearing
Nasdaq Europe president departs for SIX global head of exchanges role; Individual is currently executive vice president and president of European markets at Nasdaq; Roland Chai, current executive vice president of marketplace technology at Nasdaq will take over his role from next year.
Claudia Preece – The Trade
Bjoern Sibbern has been appointed global head of exchanges at SIX, effective as of 1 January 2024, overseeing the Swiss and Spanish exchanges and the digital exchange, SDX. Sibbern is currently executive vice president and president of European Markets at Nasdaq and will also sit on the SIX executive board as part of the role.
SIX appoints Bjoern Sibbern as Global Head Exchanges and Member of the Executive Board
SIX has appointed Bjoern Sibbern as Global Head Exchanges and Member of the Executive Board of SIX, due to take up the position on 1st January 2024. Currently serving as Executive Vice President and President of European Markets at Nasdaq, he boasts more than two decades’ experience operating across capital markets. He will replace Christoph Landis, who has headed up the exchange business of SIX on an interim basis since February 2023. Landis will return to his previous role as Head IT and member of the SIX Executive Board.
Aquis’ diversification strategy a significant factor in strong H1 results; Aquis reported an overall profit across all four of its businesses: markets, stock exchange, technologies and data.
Claudia Preece – The Trade
Aquis reported a 17% increase in its net revenue at £9.7million for the first half of the year, and a profit of 1.1million before tax, up 64% from the previous period. The Aquis markets division delivered strong results, following on from the integration of Aquis Matching Pool last year, with revenues spurred on by the diversification of the business, Alasdair Haynes, chief executive of Aquis, told The TRADE.
Danmarks Nationalbank now centrally clears repos at Eurex
Danmarks Nationalbank joins Eurex for centrally cleared repo transactions as fifth central bank; Onboarding of the first Nordic central bank is another milestone for Eurex’s cleared repo markets.Danmarks Nationalbank is now actively trading and centrally clearing repo transactions at Eurex. The onboarding of the first Nordic central bank is a major milestone for Eurex’s cleared repo markets.
ICE to Launch CORSIA Carbon Credit Futures Market to Manage Emissions Exposure from Airlines
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE:ICE), a leading global provider of data, technology, and market infrastructure, today announced plans to launch a physically delivered futures contract for carbon credits which the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) considers eligible for use by the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA). CORSIA is the first global market-based carbon credit scheme, targeted at reducing emissions from international aviation. CORSIA is part of a basket of policy measures taken by the ICAO and allows airline operators to offset an amount of carbon dioxide emissions by retiring carbon credits.
Forfeiture of Unclaimed Interim Dividend for 2017
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing
On 4 August 2023, Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (“HKEX”) announced that, pursuant to HKEX’s Articles of Association, the interim dividend for 2017 of HK$2.55 per share, payable on 21 September 2017 and remaining unclaimed on 21 September 2023, would be forfeited and would revert to HKEX. Accordingly, the unclaimed interim dividend for 2017 amounting to HK$12,808,344.87 is forfeited and reverts to HKEX today.
Nasdaq Stockholm Surveillance Officer Held in Custody After Raid
Christopher Jungstedt – Bloomberg
Tuesday’s police raid on Nasdaq Inc.’s Swedish operations has resulted in a surveillance officer from the stock exchange being held in custody to avoid any further collusion or the destruction of evidence. The Nasdaq employee is being held in a Stockholm police station along with two other people, according to prosecutor documents seen by Bloomberg News.
SGX RegCo consults on proposed changes to Futures Trading Rules and other rulebooks
Singapore Exchange Regulation
Singapore Exchange Regulation (SGX RegCo) is seeking market feedback on several changes to its Futures Trading Rules (FTR), Singapore Exchange Securities Trading (SGX-ST) rules and Singapore Exchange Derivatives Clearing (SGX-DC) rules.
The Moscow Exchange is expanding the possibilities of over-the-counter transactions with currencies
From September 25, 2023, the Moscow Exchange will expand the capabilities of market participants and their clients for transactions with currencies. Trading participants will be able to settle over-the-counter transactions with a central counterparty (CCP) in the Turkish Lira – Russian Ruble, US Dollar – Turkish Lira, Hong Kong Dollar – Russian Ruble and US Dollar – Hong Kong Dollar currency pairs.
Meta is expanding its paid verification badge to business accounts
Mia Sato – The Verge
Businesses on Meta platforms will soon be able to purchase a blue check to get exclusive features and support. The expansion was announced by CEO Mark Zuckerberg at an event today. Earlier this year, the company announced Meta Verified for creators, a $12 per month subscription that gives creators a blue check and access to features like priority customer support and impersonation protection.
Interactive Brokers Collaborates with Zero Hash to Enhance Crypto Trading
Zero Hash – Globe Newswire
Zero Hash, the leading crypto infrastructure platform, today announced that Interactive Brokers Group, Inc. (IBKR), an automated global electronic broker, is leveraging Zero Hash’s full-stack API to offer an additional crypto trading and custody provider. Select types of customers, who are newly enrolling for crypto trading access, will utilize the crypto trading platform and custody services provided by Zero Hash.
PayPal adds its PYUSD stablecoin to Venmo in push to expand crypto reach
Ben Weiss – Fortune
PayPal announced on Wednesday that Venmo users will be able to buy PayPal’s new stablecoin, PayPal USD, increasing the number of cryptocurrencies customers can purchase on the app to five. The ability to purchase PYUSD is now open to select users and it will be rolled out to more customers in the coming weeks, PayPal, which owns Venmo, said in a statement.
Deepfakes make banks keep it real; AI-enhanced impersonators can be detected with new monitoring technology
Hannah Murphy – Financial Times
Deepfake technology has been able to create realistic – but false – renderings of real people and their voices for some time. But, now, with rapid advances in generative artificial intelligence, it is set to become suddenly more sophisticated. How soon, then, before digital impersonators start filling our screens with fake narratives and emptying our bank accounts?
AI: a new tool for cyber attackers – or defenders? Hackers and researchers are racing to find out whether systems can write computer malware
Hannah Murphy – Financial Times
Technology groups have heralded the generative AI boom as an opportunity to boost the effectiveness of workers and to slash costs. But there is also growing concern about the technology being weaponised by hackers to enable devastating cyber attacks. Powered by large language models (LLMs), generative AI enables computers to generate complex content – such as text, audio, video and music – from simple human inputs, or “prompts”. It exploded into public consciousness late last year with the launch of OpenAI’s ChatGPT, a consumer chatbot that can answer users’ questions and commands.
Chip bans not enough to secure critical networks; A wide range of cyber defences are needed to protect national infrastructure
Nicholas Fearn – Financial Times
Governments worldwide are banning the use of foreign hardware in critical infrastructure over national security fears. But experts in global cyber threats are questioning the effectiveness of a strategy that may only increase geopolitical tension – while leaving vulnerabilities elsewhere.
Wanted: another 3mn cyber professionals; Ever greater demand for security staff is increasing wage inflation and skills gaps
Nick Huber – Financial Times
Governments and companies are still struggling to find cyber security staff after more than a decade in which demand has outstripped supply, and sent wages spiralling higher. In 2022, the global shortage of cyber security professionals stood at 3.4mn, compared with a total cyber workforce of 4.7mn, according to research by ISC2, an association for cyber security professionals. The gap was particularly wide in the aerospace, government, education, insurance and transportation sectors, it found. To fill all the current vacancies, the workforce must grow by about 70 per cent, says ISC2 chief executive, Clar Rosso.
The FTX Downfall Has Reached New Levels of Farce-All Thanks to Sam Bankman-Fried’s Parents
Alex Kirshner – Slate
As Sam Bankman-Fried’s life has collapsed into rubble in the wake of his cryptocurrency exchange doing the same last fall, the parents of the former FTX CEO have loomed in the background of the wreckage. Rocketing from a job as a Wall Street quant to running his own crypto hedge fund to founding what would become the emblem of the crypto economy’s high highs and low lows, the young entrepreneur relied on his prominent and accomplished parents for expertise and optics.
Did Sam Bankman-Fried’s mother enable the FTX straw-donor scheme?
Leo Schwartz – Fortune
Since it took over the smoldering wreck of the crypto empire in November, the FTX bankruptcy estate led by John Ray III has been methodically launching lawsuits to recover hundreds of millions of dollars from former executives and companies that had been the recipients of the exchange’s riches. The complaints have often seemed like PR campaigns in their own right, packed with juicy details about the excesses and failures of Sam Bankman-Fried’s inner circle.
FTX collapse 1 year on: Crypto exchange VC deals on pace for 97% decline
A damning expose, a liquidity crisis, a buyout offer from a rival that got rescinded and, finally, a bankruptcy-it was a striking few days in November that led to cryptocurrency exchange FTX’s collapse. Since the rise and fall that played out like a rollercoaster ride, the outlook for other cryptocurrency exchanges has become bleak. VC investment has dropped to its lowest point since 2018, according to PitchBook data. Crypto exchange startups have raised $100 million in 2023, tracking for a decline of 97% from 2021.
From free ice cream to one of Hong Kong’s biggest ever financial frauds: what and who is behind the mysterious JPEX?
South China Morning Post
The sudden implosion of crypto exchange JPEX has grabbed headlines in Hong Kong, with authorities under pressure to unravel a mess that could turn out to be the city’s largest ever financial fraud. But after several days of intense media scrutiny, the company itself remains something of a mystery.
South Koreans hold nearly US$100 billion in crypto overseas
Danny Park – Forkast
South Korean investors and corporations hold over 131 trillion Korean won (US$97.9 billion) worth of cryptocurrencies in overseas accounts, South Korea’s National Tax Service announced Wednesday. The figure is 70% of the total reported financial assets held by South Koreans overseas.
Remember when NFTs sold for millions of dollars? 95% of the digital collectibles are now probably worthless.
Phil Rosen – Business Insider
Ex-Alameda Research Engineer Reveals Untold Story Behind 2021 Flash Crash, And It’s Not In The News
Nica Osorio – International Business Times
Ken Griffin, the billionaire hedge fund manager who moved Citadel from Chicago to Florida, slams DeSantis’s ‘pointless’ fight with Disney
Christian Hall and Bloomberg – Fortune
Billionaire Ken Griffin criticized Ron DeSantis’s ongoing feud with Walt Disney Co., calling the Florida governor’s battle with a major employer in his state “pointless.” “It doesn’t reflect well on the ethos of Florida,” Griffin said in an interview with CNBC scheduled to air late Monday. DeSantis needs to “make it clear to the entire United States of America, Florida is open to companies that want to create jobs.”
White House launches American Climate Corps; The move comes as Democratic lawmakers and activists call on President Joe Biden to take bigger steps to fight climate change.
Megan Lebowitz and Caroline Kenny – NBC News
The White House on Wednesday announced the launch of the American Climate Corps, which the administration said will mobilize more than 20,000 Americans in the clean energy and climate resilience sectors.
Carbon-Disclosure Rules for U.S. Companies Are Coming Sooner Than Expected
Paul Kiernan and Christine Mai-Duc – The Wall Street Journal
Many big U.S. companies have been fighting in Washington to block rules requiring them to disclose their greenhouse-gas emissions. They picked the wrong fight. California and the European Union are both poised to approve rules that require companies that do business there to disclose their emissions. The rules would apply to private as well as public companies and require businesses to calculate and disclose emissions from their suppliers and customers, which goes beyond what was expected out of Washington.
A federal government shutdown looks more and more likely: What to know
Jeff Stein, Andrew Jeong and Jacob Bogage – The Washington Post
The possibility of a government shutdown is looming large, after Republican leadership scrapped a procedural vote on a stopgap funding bill to keep the government running through October. Intraparty feuding between moderates and the hard-right lies at the heart of the GOP’s inability to reach a compromise and highlights the challenge before House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).
Sunak delays UK petrol car ban, seeking voter support on climate
Kate Holton and William James – Reuters
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak watered down Britain’s plans to tackle climate change on Wednesday, saying he would delay a ban on sales of new petrol cars to maintain the consent of the British people in the switch to net zero. Sunak said he remained committed to the legally-binding target of reaching net zero emissions by 2050 but said Britain could afford to make slower progress in getting there because it was “so far ahead of every other country in the world”.
Rishi Sunak’s Climate Delays Shortchange Brits; Businesses want ambition and commitment on climate change. The prime minister decides not to give it to them.
Lara Williams – Bloomberg
Swedish government criticised for curbing green policies in budget
Miranda Bryant – The Guardian
Poland Says It’s Cutting Off Arms to Ukraine Over Grain Dispute; Premier cites rising tensions over grain as allies’ ties fray; Warsaw summons Kyiv’s ambassador over Zelenskiy’s UN remarks
Natalia Ojewska and Piotr Skolimowski – Bloomberg
The Russian empire is crumbling before Putin’s eyes
Con Coughlin – The Telegraph Opinion
Russia Wrangles With Oil Companies Over Fuel Costs; Government to decide on cost measures in days, Sorokin said; Russia paid oil companies $22.5 billion in subsidies last year
China’s Fighter Jets Aren’t Just Flying Around Taiwan. They’re Practicing; Surge in activity shows Chinese honing ability to block U.S. military from responding to an invasion
Joyu Wang – The Wall Street Journal
Saudi Crown Prince on Iran acquiring nuclear weapons: ‘If they get one, we have to get one’
Sarah Fortinsky – The Hill
US Government Shutdown Would Hobble SEC Oversight, Gensler Says
Kailey Leinz – Bloomberg
The Securities and Exchange Commission’s ability to police markets would be hobbled by a US government shutdown, according to the head of the regulator. SEC Chair Gary Gensler said the watchdog would be severely limited by a possible federal work halt at the end of this month. Wall Street’s main regulator might not be able to fulfill some basic functions, he said in an interview with Bloomberg Television.
CFTC Orders Chicago-based Advantage Futures LLC to Pay $395,000 for Supervision Failures
Commodity Futures Trading Commission
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission today issued an order simultaneously filing and settling charges against Advantage Futures LLC, a registered futures commission merchant based in Chicago, Illinois, for failing to diligently supervise the handling of commodity interest accounts, which resulted in incomplete and inadequate oversight of its surveillance of customers’ trading activity for disruptive trading over a four-year period, in violation of CFTC regulations.
CFTC Orders StoneX Markets LLC to Pay $650,000 for Violations of Swap Business Conduct Standards
Commodity Futures Trading Commission
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission today issued an order simultaneously filing and settling charges against StoneX Markets LLC (StoneX), a registered swap dealer, for violations of the CFTC’s Business Conduct Standards applicable to swap dealers. Specifically, the CFTC found that StoneX failed to disclose thousands of Pre-Trade Mid-Market Marks (PTMMM), in violation of CFTC Regulation 23.431, and failed to diligently supervise its PTMMM compliance process, in violation of CFTC Regulation 23.602.
SEC Adopts Rule Enhancements to Prevent Misleading or Deceptive Investment Fund Names
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
The Securities and Exchange Commission today adopted amendments to the Investment Company Act “Names Rule,” which addresses fund names that are likely to mislead investors about a fund’s investments and risks. The amendments modernize and enhance the Names Rule and other names-related regulatory requirements to further the Commission’s investor protection goals and to address developments in the fund industry in the approximately 20 years since the rule was adopted.
SEC Approves Revised Privacy Act Rule
The Securities and Exchange Commission today approved a rule to revise the Commission’s regulations under the Privacy Act, which is the principal law governing the handling of personal information in the federal government. The final rule clarifies, updates, and streamlines the Commission’s Privacy Act regulations. In addition, the final rule revises procedural and fee provisions and eliminates unnecessary provisions. The final rule also allows for electronic methods to verify one’s identity and submit Privacy Act requests.
Statement on Final Amendments under the Privacy Act
Chair Gary Gensler – SEC
Yesterday, the Commission voted to adopt amendments to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s rules under the Privacy Act of 1974, the principal law governing how the SEC handles personal information in SEC systems of records. I was pleased to support this adoption because it will update the Commission’s rules with respect to this important law.
The Commission last updated rules related to the Privacy Act in 2011. The rules provide procedures for members of the public to access their records maintained by the Commission or request corrections to those records.
SEC Charges Florida Investment Adviser and Its President with Fraud and Failing to Produce Records to SEC Examinations Staff
On September 19, 2023, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed charges against Lufkin Advisors, LLC, a Florida-based registered investment adviser and its President, Chief Compliance Officer, and majority owner Chauncey Forbush Lufkin III, alleging an ongoing fraud on the private funds they manage and the investors in those funds, as well as multiple other violations, including failing to produce books and records to the SEC’s Division of Examinations when requested.
Investing and Trading
Cathie Wood Sees Revival of Thematic Investing When Fed Cuts Rates; ‘One by one, we’re going to earn our way back,’ Wood says; ETFs part of ARK suite are rallying in 2023, with ARKK up 33%
Vildana Hajric – Bloomberg
Investors will flock to funds focusing on buzzy themes when the Federal Reserve cuts interest rates, according to Cathie Wood, who is doubling down on innovative investment strategies with a new acquisition. The founder of ARK Investment Management – which purchased fellow exchange-traded fund issuer Rize ETF Limited in a big push into Europe’s nascent market for trend-driven investing – says the central bank could start cutting rates in 2024, which will work in favor of the types of strategies she has preferred over the years.
A Popular Quant Trade Misfiring on Wall Street Rallies Overseas; Japan value stocks have soared 38% in 2023, outpacing growth; US is outlier as tech rebound and AI boom drive growth shares
Richard Henderson, Justina Lee, and Hideyuki Sano – Bloomberg
One of last year’s hottest quant trades is getting a reboot, even as it misfires in the world’s largest stock market. So-called value shares – which trade at lower multiples relative to fundamentals – are all the rage again but this time in Asia and, more recently, Europe. Investors are essentially betting that global interest rates will stay higher for longer without torpedoing economic growth.
Ex-Goldman Bankers Make a Fortune With Controversial Bet on Coal; A commodities newcomer is using deep connections with US miners to compete with industry giants – and make its founders very, very rich.
Alastair Marsh, Archie Hunter, and Todd Gillespie – Bloomberg
Shortly before Goldman Sachs Group Inc. officially sold off the last of its coal assets, two of its top commodities traders left the bank to strike out on their own. It seemed a bit retrograde. Global priorities were shifting toward cleaner sources of energy. Investors, activists and regulators were starting to paint financial institutions as enablers of carbon pollution and encouraging them to rethink their coal industry ties.
The Higher-for-Longer Interest-Rate Bonanza; With yields passing 5%, money-market funds rake in cash while banks fail to keep pace.
Alexandra Harris – Bloomberg
With the US Federal Reserve keeping interest rates pinned around zero for most of the past 15 years, depositors grew resigned to earning virtually nothing on their cash, whether it was sitting in a bank or a money-market fund. A turning point came in the spring. Thanks to the Fed’s inflation-fighting interest-rate hikes, people started to see they could earn 4% or more on their money. The regional bank crisis that began with the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank in March served as another wake-up call. “If you maintain idle balances at a bank, that’s an unsecured risk that you’re not getting compensated for,” says Barclays Plc strategist Joseph Abate. “People became more aware in March after SVB, which is when the deposit awakening kicked off.”
Corporate America Brings Its New Skinny Look to Stock Market; ; Deals from Kellogg, Danaher, Aramark ahead in next few weeks; Current cycle of spinoffs ‘far from done,’ says EY’s Schwartz
Bailey Lipschultz – Bloomberg
Wall Street is preparing for a wave of spinoffs as a slew of household-name companies moves to streamline operations. Within the next two weeks, Kellogg Co. will separate its North American cereal business from its portfolio of snacks, frozen foods and emerging-markets brands; Danaher Corp. is spinning out Veralto Corp., its environmental and applied solutions segment; and Aramark will carve out Vestis, its uniforms and workplace supplies business.
Municipal CUSIP Request Volumes Surge in August; Corporate Debt Volumes Slow
CUSIP Global Services
Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance
UN chief puts spotlight on ‘movers,’ excludes US, China at climate summit
Valerie Volcovici – Reuters
U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday will gather heads of state and business leaders that he has identified as taking stronger action on climate change for a meeting aimed at building momentum ahead of the COP28 climate summit. Missing from the list of 34 speakers representing countries at Guterres’ Climate Ambition Summit are the world’s biggest emitters China and United States, as well as the United Arab Emirates, the host of the COP28 gathering in December.
The Taskforce for Nature-related Financial Disclosures Has Released Its Final Guidance.
On September 18, the Taskforce for Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) released its final set of recommendations and guidance for implementation. The bottom-line message: the health and resilience of nature is no longer a social issue but a core strategic issue every business and financial institution must address. A foundational driver of the TNFD approach is that our economies and financial systems are not separate from nature but embedded in it. Nature is declining at an unprecedented pace, and this deterioration poses risks to businesses, financial systems, and economies.
Biden uses executive power to create a New Deal-style American Climate Corps
Matthew Daly – Associated Press
After being thwarted by Congress, President Joe Biden will use his executive authority to create a New Deal-style American Climate Corps that will serve as a major green jobs training program. In an announcement Wednesday, the White House said the program will employ more than 20,000 young adults who will build trails, plant trees, help install solar panels and do other work to boost conservation and help prevent catastrophic wildfires.
Chicago Mayor Unveils Reforms to Fight Environmental Racism; “In the greatest city in the world, no neighborhood should have to suffer the burdens of pollution more so than any other neighborhood,” Mayor Brandon Johnson said.
Brett Chase – Chicago Sun-Times
Promising to end the practice of piling on more environmental burdens to the same South and West Side communities, Mayor Brandon Johnson is proposing a series of reforms aimed at changing city practices after federal investigators last year determined Chicago violates the civil rights of its residents by concentrating polluting businesses in Black and Brown communities. The proposals include new policies for city departments that include better response times to environmental complaints, air monitoring and measures to reduce air pollution, public engagement around planning and development, and investments in so-called environmental justice communities, areas that receive a disproportionate share of pollution.
Investors Call for Policy Unleashing $275 Trillion for Net Zero; A failed energy transition might reduce global GDP by as much as $6 trillion per year by 2050.
Alastair Marsh – Bloomberg
An influential group of institutional investors has called on governments to remove policy barriers to help unleash an estimated $275 trillion in new clean-energy investments over the next three decades.
Electrifying a Fraction of Vehicles in the Lower Great Lakes Could Save Over a Thousand Lives Annually, Studies Suggest; New research reveals that even a “mid-transition” to electrified transportation could have outsized health and economic benefits for Black and Latino residents.
Aydali Campa – Inside Climate News
Former Goldman commodities chief joins Canadian company planning to launch transition-focused futures
Jeffrey Jones – The Globe and Mail
US Home Insurance ‘Bubble’ Closer to Popping as Climate Risks Mount
Leslie Kaufman – Bloomberg
Surveillance Tech Helps Indigenous Groups Protect the Amazon; Indigenous people in Ecuador are using drones, trap cameras and GPS locators to keep intruders away from the rainforest.
Laura Millan – Bloomberg
Carbon Offsets Undercut California’s Climate Progress, Researchers Find; A new study indicates that forest projects in the state’s cap-and-trade system provide little additional benefit for the climate.
Ben Elgin – Bloomberg
The Godfather of Solar Predicts Its Future; “As an academic, you want to push things to the limit,” says Martin Green, director of the Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics, on this week’s Zero.
Oscar Boyd, Akshat Rathi, and Christine Driscoll – Bloomberg
Credit Suisse AT1 Claim Prices Climb on Bets Lawsuits to Succeed
Abhinav Ramnarayan and Reshmi Basu – Bloomberg
Some investors are bidding up legal claims on Credit Suisse’s additional-tier 1 debt in a bet that they can recover some value from the bonds that were wiped out during the UBS Group AG takeover.
UBS cuts nearly 70% Credit Suisse researchers in Hong Kong-sources
UBS has cut around 70% of the Hong Kong-based staff headcount at Credit Suisse’s securities research unit, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter said, as the two Swiss banking giants move ahead with integration of operations.
Deutsche Bank’s Trading Revenue Set to Drop for Third Quarter
Steven Arons – Bloomberg
Deutsche Bank AG is on track for a third consecutive quarter of declining revenue from trading, the firm’s former growth engine. The fixed-income unit will see a “normalization” between July and September compared with the strong performance a year ago, Chief Financial Officer James von Moltke said at a conference hosted by Bank of America Corp. on Thursday. Overall investment banking revenue in the period is set to decline as a result, even though income from advising on deals and underwriting debt and equity issuance will likely be higher, he also indicated.
DAX increases footprint in Japan
STOXX Ltd. has announced the licensing of the DAX Index (JPY Hedged) to Norinchukin Zenkyoren Asset Management Co., Ltd. (NZAM) in Japan. The index is used as an underlying for an ETF which will be listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange tomorrow. It is the 2nd DAX ETF on the Japanese market.
Work & Management
Why former Goldman Sachs partners say they left the firm
Dakin Campbell – Insider
Goldman Sachs partners are leaving – some 202 during David Solomon’s five years as CEO by Insider’s calculation. The venerable Wall Street firm says that the partner departures are part of a decades-old natural order: Partners retire, get bored, seek new opportunities, or are pressed to leave.
People Who Run Public Companies Shouldn’t Live in Glass Houses; Also Goldman M&A embarrassment, leveraged loans, Chicago transaction taxes and investment committee vote weights.
Matt Levine – Matt Levine Opinion
My assumption is that every Tesla shareholder2 is very happy with this tradeoff. They are in the stock mostly to make money, and whatever Musk’s other problems are, he does make them money. Also some of them are in the stock a little bit to be entertained by Musk’s antics, and while not everyone finds those antics entertaining, presumably the shareholders do.
American Labor’s Real Problem: It Isn’t Productive Enough; Factory workers want lots more pay and fewer hours, but that’s hard to justify when U.S. manufacturers are losing ground
Greg Ip – The Wall Street Journal
For the United Auto Workers, it makes perfect sense to demand more pay and better work-life balance from Detroit’s three automakers. After all, workers throughout this historically tight labor market are getting exactly that.
Bosses won’t like it but WFH is a happier way to work; Homeworking is not just a corporate issue, it’s a chance to create a better society
Simon Kuper – Financial Times
Elon Musk calls working from home morally wrong. Google has begun including office attendance in its employees’ performance reviews. Amazon’s chief executive, Andy Jassy, who previously seemed relaxed about remote work, told staff last month that “it’s probably not going to work out” for them at Amazon unless they come in “at least three days a week”. The corporate backlash against working from home is cheered on by many jealous retirees who spent 40 years in offices. But we should treat remote work as much more than a corporate issue. It’s a rare chance to create a better society.
Who’d invite the boss to dinner?; The baby’s crying. The bathroom door has broken. The doorbell rings …
Anjli Raval – Financial Times
The former top editor and his wife had barely made it into our flat when my husband blurted out that our bathroom door was broken. I was mortified. The titan of British journalism hadn’t even been offered a drink. But then I remembered it could have been worse. Earlier in the day, when I had floated the idea of cancelling the dinner after the sliding door came off its rail, my partner suggested we nail up a bedsheet as a makeshift entranceway to the only toilet in our home. Thankfully, he had been persuaded against this plan and by the evening, the door, although barely functioning, could be dragged along the floor far enough to conserve some modesty. I figured things could only get better from there.
So much for sleeping in: A new study says morning exercise is best for losing weight.
Charles Passy – MarketWatch
If you want to lose weight, you may be better off hitting the gym earlier in the day. That’s the finding from a new study published in the research journal Obesity. The study examined data from more than 5,000 participants in a 2003-06 U.S. health survey and looked at their workout patterns. The results showed that the “morning cluster” exercisers had a lower body mass index and waist circumference than their counterparts who exercised in the middle of the day and in the evening.
How to Change Your Mind-Set About Aging; People who think positively about getting older often live longer, healthier lives. Here is how to reconsider your perspective.
Holly Burns – New York Times
At a pool party this summer, Johnnie Cooper climbed onto the diving board, executed a perfect dive and then joined a raucous game of Marco Polo. The occasion? Her 90th birthday. “I’ve always looked forward to this age,” said Ms. Cooper, who lives in Huntsville, Ala., and is retired from the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command. “You no longer have a lot of the struggles you had. There’s a lot more peace.”
Advances in Eye Scans and Protein Structure Win 2023 Lasker Awards; This year’s awards were given to scientists who helped doctors see the retina and used artificial intelligence to predict the shapes of cellular proteins.
Noah Weiland and Cade Metz – New York Times
The prestigious Lasker Awards were given on Thursday to scientists making advances in the diagnosis of eye disease, the prediction of cellular protein structure and the intricacies of the immune system. The awards, closely watched by researchers in biomedical fields, often foreshadow Nobel Prizes.
Chevron Agrees to Regulator’s Plan to End Australia LNG Strikes
David Stringer and Stephen Stapczynski – Bloomberg
Chevron Corp. agreed to a deal proposed by an Australian regulator to end strikes at key natural gas export facilities, while the unions continue to review the plan. If the unions also endorse the agreement, then it would end industrial action at the Gorgon and Wheatstone facilities that has roiled global gas markets.
Foreign investors still shunning China despite signs of upturn; Equities outflows continued in September with many unconvinced the worst is over
William Langley – Financial Times
Foreign investors have dumped a further Rmb23bn ($3.15bn) of Chinese equities so far this month following record outflows in August, despite tentative signs of an improvement in the world’s second-largest economy.
Furniture Giant Ikea Cuts Prices on About 500 Products in Sweden
Christopher Jungstedt – Bloomberg
Swedish flat-pack furniture maker Ikea has decided to cut prices on almost 500 of its products in Sweden, with a focus on home storage items such as the ‘Billy’ bookshelf. “To remain affordable we have focused a lot on lowering operating costs and improving our efficiency,” Elefteria Cromlidou, Country Commercial Manager of Ikea Sweden, said in a statement.
Toilet Paper Maker Plows Hundreds of Millions Into UK Plant
Sabah Meddings – Bloomberg
Finnish company Metsa Tissue is building a new paper mill in the Humber estuary of northeast England, in an investment worth hundreds of millions of pounds that will create 400 jobs. Metsä Tissue said it wants to slash Britain’s reliance on imported paper, which currently accounts for 45% of tissue used in the UK and Ireland. During the Covid pandemic, British supermarkets rationed toilet paper to prevent shelves from emptying amid a rush of demand.
Google Recruiting Propels Zurich Home Prices Past London, Paris; Tax breaks and low interest rates have made the Swiss financial hub one of Europe’s hottest housing markets.
Paula Doenecke and Ainhoa Goyeneche – Bloomberg
Zurich has become one of Europe’s hottest housing markets, with prices surging past London and Paris and showing how local shortages can offset interest rate hikes. With demand in the Swiss financial hub stoked by hiring from companies including Google, apartments in the central Zurich district are being listed at near record levels of over EUR18,000 ($19,000) per square meter, more than double London, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Rishi Sunak announces series of U-turns on net zero pledges; UK prime minister says policy shift to include delaying ban on sale of new petrol and diesel cars until 2035
George Parker, Lucy Fisher and Jim Pickard in London – Financial Times
How wildfire smoke is erasing years of progress toward cleaning up America’s air
Alejandra Borunda – NPR
More US Colleges Are at Risk of Closing or Merging, Fitch Says
Amanda Albright and Nic Querolo – Bloomberg
Secrets of the World’s Coolest Bike Tunnel; Norway’s Fyllingsdalen tunnel is a showstopping piece of urban cycling infrastructure – for a city where car-centric development still dominates.
David Zipper – Bloomberg
History buffs know the Norwegian city of Bergen as a hub of the legendary Hanseatic League, which dominated Northern European commerce as far back as the 1300s. Nestled in a fjord-laden spot along the North Sea, the “City Between the Seven Mountains” offers breathtaking vistas (and lures boatloads of tourists). Bergen’s most recent attraction is a unique one: In April, the city of around 270,000 opened the Fyllingsdalen tunnel, a three-kilometer bike-pedestrian pathway that was bored through a mountain. Local officials proudly declared Fyllingsdalen tunnel to be “the world’s longest purpose-built cycling tunnel.” (The Snoqualmie tunnel in Washington State is lengthier, but it used to be rail line.)
‘Why are 500,000 people watching paint dry?’ The man behind YouTube’s DIY sensation; Martijn Doolaard has released 83 videos documenting his restoration of an Alpine cabin. They are slow, quiet, uneventful – and hugely successful. He explains his secret
Dale Berning Sawa – The Guardian
On 5 October 2021, Martijn Doolaard came home. Not to a flat in Amsterdam, where the Dutch graphic designer turned videographer and travel writer had lived before embarking on the epic road trips that made him internet famous, but to two Alpine stone cabins in the Italian Piedmont region.