The High Price of Bad Business: Corporate America’s Biggest Settlements

Dec 9, 2022

First Read

Hits & Takes
John Lothian & JLN Staff

The OCC says be wary of crypto – the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency that is, not The Options Clearing Corporation. The SEC says public companies should disclose their crypto exposure, assuming they even know what it is. And the SEC also says bankers should preemptively confess to any crimes they have committed. Why do I think that line would be a long one?

Sam Bankman-Fried is going to testify before Congress after all. He will be testifying Tuesday at 10 a.m. ET before the House Committee on Financial Services, probably remotely. But the House committee is not the only one that wants to hear from him; the Senate Banking Committee also wants to hear him tell them he can’t tell them what they want to know because he will probably say his attorneys told him to take the Fifth.

Not to be outdone by The New York Times, The Washington Post is also weighing in with a seasonal list of books to read, in a story titled “14 mystery books to savor during the long nights of winter; Our critic’s picks include a Sherlockian adventure, classic locked-room mystery collections and a true-crime story for the ages.”

Congratulations to BMLL CEO Paul Humphrey on winning the Harrington Starr Top 1% Leadership Award, given to an individual that embodies the innovation, excellence and positivity that is synonymous with those at the peak of the financial services industry.

FEAS, the Federation of Euro-Asian Stock Exchanges conducted a video interview with George Paresishvili, the CEO of the Republican Stock Exchange Tashkent.

Kirsten Wegner, the chief executive officer at Modern Markets Initiative, has been recognized on The Hill’s top lobbyists list for the 5th year running.

Here is your ESG bad pun joke of the day: Two windmills are standing in a wind farm. One asks, “What’s your favorite kind of music?” The other says, “I’m a big metal fan.”

I have nominated three people for the FIA Hall of Fame. All of them have MarketsWiki pages and all of them have been interviewed by John Lothian News for a historical video series.

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


Two upcoming events at COP 15 are focused on integrating the value of nature into business and financial decision making, known as Target 15. On Saturday, December 10, 18:15 – 19:45 EST, CDP, Capitals Coalition and Business for Nature will offer “Practical business experiences in integrating nature values into decision-making.” The session will demonstrate the use of frameworks, tools, and metrics to assess nature values and what is needed from governments to scale up these practices. The second session, on Monday, December 12, 14:30 – 16:00 EST, Biodiversity & Business Forum, Palais des Congres, Montreal examines “Measuring Ambition: Valuing nature in decision-making.” This session explores how business and finance can work with governments to implement Target 15 successfully. You can learn more here.~SAED


TNS Global Expansion Now Includes Madrid and Johannesburg; Jeff Mezger Interviewed at FIA EXPO 2022

Transaction Network Services, also known as TNS, is a global infrastructure provider that has spent the past five years building out its managed hosting, low latency infrastructure and expanding it globally, according to Jeff Mezger, TNS’s vice president of product management. Mezger spoke to John Lothian News at the November FIA EXPO in Chicago.

Watch the video »


Best in Biz Awards Honors OCC Corporate Communications as ‘PR Department of the Year’
The Options Clearing Corporation
OCC today announced that its Corporate Communications team was named PR Department of the Year in the 12th Annual Best in Biz Awards, an independent business awards program judged by editors and reporters from top-tier publications in North America. OCC’s Corporate Communications team consists of five individuals who work together to develop and implement OCC’s corporate marketing and communications strategy, including external relations (brand awareness and public relations), internal relations (employee communication and engagement), social media, and creative/design.

***** Congratulations to Michael Short and his team on a well-deserved honor.~JJL


The New Guard: Meet the People Changing Business, Art and Politics; Increasingly influential women-led groups are upending old-world power structures.
Ella Ceron and Claire Ballentine – Bloomberg
It started with a 200-worker walkout in New York City, coordinated by labor and community groups. Ten years later, the Fight for 15 movement has become a global phenomenon, touching 300 cities and six continents. Angered by commonplace injuries like cooking and oil burns, abusive customers and unfair pay, thousands of workers have participated in protests and walkouts, helping spur change such as new legislation to get a higher minimum wage in Seattle and more political power for restaurant workers in California. “I have learned so much about my rights. I knew nothing before I joined,” says Guillermina Blancas, who’s worked in fast-food restaurants for 23 years. “The most important thing is that it’s an all-for-one kind of fight.”

***** I don’t like having guards, old or new. ~JJL


Three New Yorkers Ordered Cocaine From the Same Delivery Service. All Died From Fentanyl.
Margot Patrick – The Wall Street Journal
Ross Mtangi, a trading executive at Credit Suisse Group AG, left his Manhattan penthouse in March 2021 with his laptop and told his pregnant partner he was going to work. He checked into a nearby hotel and tuned in to work calls. Later, he texted for cocaine from a drug delivery service. A man wearing a baseball cap, cross-body bag and face mask appeared on hotel surveillance. Mr. Mtangi, 40 years old, missed a follow up meeting. His sister and her partner found him dead at the hotel the next day. Police found on a table translucent black baggies that contained lethal fentanyl mixed in with the cocaine.

***** Cross this delivery service off your list. Go back to your old pusher.~JJL


Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried says he will testify to Congress NEXT WEEK about the collapse of the crypto-currency exchange in response to request to Democrats
Associated Press via the Daily Mail
Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO of the failed cryptocurrency exchange FTX, announced in a tweet Friday that he is willing to testify to Congress next week about the firm’s massive collapse. However he admitted that he will be limited in what he can say and that he ‘won’t be as helpful’ as he’d like to be as he deals with the huge fallout.

****** He can only say 1/5 of what he would really like to say.~JJL


The cutting edge solution to rising debt? Paying in cash
Stacey Vanek Smith – NPR
Meet the new personal finance revolution: cash. A growing number of Gen Z and Millennial debtors are getting a handle on their finances by spending actual paper money: no Apple pay, no Venmo, no cards.

****** Can I borrow the cash to pay the debt?~JJL


Thursday’s Top Three
Our top story Thursday was Why financial participants matter to the commodity markets, a paper by Trabue Bland, SVP Futures Markets at ICE. Second was The women turning to sex work to make ends meet, from the Financial Times, which was our number one story Wednesday. Third was FTX Founder Sam Bankman-Fried Is Said to Face Market Manipulation Inquiry, from The New York Times.


MarketsWiki Stats
27,095 pages; 241,986 edits
MarketsWiki Statistics


Lead Stories

The High Price of Bad Business: Corporate America’s Biggest Settlements; BP’s Deepwater Horizon to Bernie Madoff, these are some of the biggest payouts for everything from tax violations to insider trading.
Minh-Anh Nguyen – Bloomberg
A list of the largest US corporate settlements reads like an atlas of boardroom disasters. After the financial crisis, Bank of America Corp. set a record with a mortgage-related settlement of more than $16 billion, and following the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion, BP Plc faced thousands of claims from people affected by the spill. In California, utility PG&E Corp. was penalized after its equipment ignited wildfires. And in New York, JPMorgan Chase & Co. settled claims that it failed to stop Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme. Good Jobs First, the Washington nonprofit that compiled the data, notes that in most cases, even if they pay large settlements, companies don’t admit wrongdoing. But the litany of multibillion-dollar payments is a reminder that good business is cheaper than the alternative.

Banks Should Be Wary of Crypto, Top U.S. Regulator Says; The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency urged caution in a report citing recent ‘stresses and surprises’
Richard Vanderford – The Wall Street Journal
Banks should take a cautious approach to digital asset markets, including discussing any new plans with regulators, a top U.S. banking authority said, pointing to ongoing turmoil among crypto firms. Crypto industry risk management lacks maturity, and some industry practices mean trouble in one firm could spill over to others, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency said Thursday. “Most crypto market participants appear unprepared for the stresses and surprises that have taken place this year, resulting in substantial losses for millions of consumers,” the OCC said in a report. Noting recent “dislocations” in crypto markets, the regulator said banks should take “a careful and incremental approach” to ensure that appropriate risk management practices are in place before they engage with digital assets or expand existing business.

Retail Traders Lose $350 Billion in Brutal Year for Taking Risks; Average retail portfolio is down about 30% this year: Vanda; Sharp drop for Tesla, Apple could deter dip buying habit
Bailey Lipschultz – Bloomberg
Investment portfolios belonging to retail traders suffered a $350 billion blow this year as big bets on risky stocks and former high-fliers like Tesla Inc. backfired for the mom-and-pop set. The average active amateur investor’s portfolio is down about 30% in 2022, according to data compiled by Vanda Research, which studies self-directed retail traders globally. By contrast, the S&P 500 Index has lost 17%.

SEC Presses Firms to Disclose Exposure to Crypto Bankruptcies; SEC seeks details on crypto bankruptcies’ impact on companies; Companies should inform investors about legal, financial risks
Lydia Beyoud – Bloomberg
Publicly traded companies exposed to the “crypto winter” and the collapse of FTX or other digital-asset companies might have to disclose those details to investors under new guidance from the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Carbon Trading in China Isn’t Helping Tackle Climate Change; Participation in market is too narrow and permits too generous; Expansion plans have been set back by economic concerns
Heesu Lee and Sheryl Tian Tong Lee – Bloomberg
More than a year after its launch, China’s national carbon market has failed to force the country’s power companies to slash emissions. Trading volumes have underwhelmed as narrow participation and outsized allowances keep the price of polluting at a fraction of the more established market in the European Union. And while coal remains at the forefront of China’s electricity generation, utilities don’t have much incentive to limit the amount of carbon they spew into the atmosphere.

Norway’s $1.3 Trillion Wealth Fund Encourages Traders to Bet Against the Market; Norway’s sovereign wealth fund unveils three-year strategy; CEO Tangen says key to returns is betting against the market
Kari Lundgren – Bloomberg
Nicolai Tangen, the chief of Norway’s $1.3 trillion sovereign wealth fund, wants his traders to bet against the market. The world’s biggest single owner of publicly traded companies, with roughly 1.3% of all listed stocks, on Thursday outlined a three-year plan to stem losses that have built up in the turbulent markets of 2022, exacerbated by soaring inflation, interest-rate hikes and war in Europe. The wealth fund is – for the first time in its history – looking to a future where investments yield a fraction of what it’s used to seeing.

The $1.3tn contrarian wealth fund; Yes, absolutely *everyone* wants to be contrarian these days
Robin Wigglesworth – Financial Times
Norway’s $1.3tn sovereign wealth fund has unveiled a new strategy. Given its size – it famously owns an average 1.5 per cent of every listed company in the world – it’s worth a closer look.

How Wirecard Went from Fintech Star to Criminal Court
Stefan Nicola – Bloomberg
German payments company Wirecard AG was a hot growth story that had shaken off allegations of accounting fraud – until the truth came knocking. First came the admission that about $2 billion of company funds had gone missing, then insolvency. The scandal led to the resignation and jailing of the company’s former Chief Executive Officer Markus Braun. More executives, banking officials and auditors became ensnared in the embarrassing fallout that rattled Germany’s financial industry and left its regulators looking flat-footed.

SEC should abandon its misguided and costly proposal for fund names; The risk is that the regulator would invite itself into the management of savings vehicles
Susan Olson – Financial Times
Names can be a beginning, yet they can only describe so much. To make investment decisions, an accurate description of the product is far more important than the name alone. It’s like choosing a movie based solely on its title: do you simply look at the name, or do you watch the trailer first?

Sam Bankman-Fried to testify to Congress over FTX failure; Disgraced crypto founder bows to pressure after reluctance to speak to lawmakers
Nikou Asgari – Financial Times
FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried is “willing to testify” next week at a US Congressional hearing on the collapse of his crypto group, he said on Friday, in a U-turn that will mark his first public contact with US officials about the events surrounding its bankruptcy.

Crypto was a ‘bubble of a generation,’ and ‘doomed to burst,’ says ECB official
Mark DeCambre – MarketWatch
Hi there! This is Mark DeCambre, Editor in Chief at MarketWatch, pitching in for our crypto reporter, Frances Yue, who will be on vacation for the next few weeks. Failed crypto exchange FTX remains a focal point of conversation and there is growing expectation that its founder Sam Bankman-Fried will appear for a hearing on Capitol Hill next week. The Senate Banking Committee late Wednesday ordered Bankman-Fried to testify on Dec. 14 and said the committee is prepared to issue subpoenas to compel him to do so.

Legal Pressure Is Rising for Sam Bankman-Fried. It Isn’t Just FTX’s Collapse.
Jack Denton – Barron’s
Legal difficulties are mounting for Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder and former CEO of FTX-and it doesn’t seem to be limited to the crypto exchange’s collapse last month. FTX filed for bankruptcy on Nov. 11, just over a week after concerns began circulating in earnest over the exchange’s financial health due to its relationship with trading firm Alameda Research, which was also founded by Bankman-Fried.

Amid FTX fallout, SEC’s Gensler once again asks for a bigger budget but doesn’t say how he’d use it
Marco Quiroz-Gutierrez – Fortune
Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler stuck to his time-tested talking points in a Wednesday interview with Yahoo Finance even as criticism mounts for not doing anything to prevent the implosion of crypto exchange FTX. Gensler, who’s previously called crypto “the Wild West” and launched several enforcement actions against the sector, once again called on crypto companies operating in the country to “come into compliance” with U.S. securities laws or face the consequences.

US Watchdog Says Banks Shying Away From Stumbling Crypto Industry
Jesse Hamilton – CoinDesk
U.S. banks have been cooling in their crypto interest since this year’s twin failing of Terra (and its currency, LUNA) and FTX, said Michael Hsu, the acting chief of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). “Overall, I can say – and this is going to be obvious – is that there was more interest before Terra/LUNA and FTX than since Terra/LUNA and FTX,” said Hsu, whose banking agency released its “Semiannual Risk Perspective” report Thursday, in which cryptocurrency risks were given heightened prominence.

First Mover Americas: Mr. Bankman-Fried Must Go to Washington
Lyllah Ledesma and Omkar Godbole – CoinDesk
Following up on the unfolding of crypto exchange FTX, the Senate Banking Committee said it wants Sam Bankman-Fried, the exchange’s founder and former CEO, to appear in person next week to discuss the collapse of the exchange. If he doesn’t voluntarily testify, the committee will subpoena him, according to a letter from its leaders on Wednesday. “FTX’s collapse has caused real financial harm to consumers, and effects have spilled over into other parts of the crypto industry. The American people need answers about Sam Bankman-Fried’s misconduct at FTX,” the lawmakers said in a statement.

‘The more damage you do now, the more jail time’: Binance’s Zhao warned FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried in crypto group chat: report
Anviksha Patel – MarketWatch
‘The more damage you do now, the more jail time.’ Binance founder Changpeng Zhao reportedly sent a flurry of concerned texts to FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried the day before the now collapsed crypto exchange filed for bankruptcy, warning him that his trades could destabilize the industry. In a group chat with other cryptocurrency executives on Nov. 10, seen by the New York Times, Zhao warned Bankman-Fried that an FTX collapse could bring down the rest of the crypto industry, the newspaper reported on Friday.

Bernstein Says Saving Grayscale Will Come at a Cost for Digital Currency Group
Will Canny – CoinDesk
Genesis’ extended withdrawal freeze – the lender has told its creditors it will take weeks rather than days to find a solution – continues to weigh on crypto markets, Bernstein said in a research report Thursday. Parent company DCG owes Genesis about $1.7 billion. Bernstein sees three potential approaches for DCG: It could raise capital; sell non-strategic assets and save digital currency asset manager Grayscale; or dissolve the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC).

The SEC wants public companies to disclose their crypto exposure
Ananya Bhattacharya – Quartz
US financial regulators don’t want any more crypto-related surprises-or shocks, rather-to mar the market. That’s why the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) advised publicly-listed companies to release updated, detailed disclosures of how they’ve been affected by recent upsets in the cryptocurrency industry, sparked by crypto exchange FTX’s downfall. It shared a “sample letter” companies can use as guidance to meet disclosure obligations yesterday (Dec. 8).

Cryptofinance: Circle of life on Wall St; Plus Washington wants to speak to Bankman-Fried and the market’s most liquid coins
Scott Chipolina – Financial Times
Famed investor Benjamin Graham’s verdict that the stock market is short-term voting machine but long-term weighing machine could have been delivered with crypto in mind. This week Circle, which runs the USDC stablecoin, abandoned its bid to list on the New York Stock Exchange when it called time on a $7bn-$9bn deal to merge with Concord Acquisition, a special purpose acquisition vehicle chaired by former Barclays chief Bob Diamond. For reasons never fully explained, many investors who saw a world of opportunity in crypto decided they needed to tap equity investors for cash and credibility.

Alameda CEO Caroline Ellison Joken About Putting “Wire Fraud” On Her Dating Profile
Noor Al-Sibai – The Byte
One of the figures embroiled in the fallout from the FTX collapse seemed to joke on her blog about committing financial crimes – and now, she’s being sued over it. Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison is accused in one class action lawsuit of a “years-long pattern of racketeering and conspiracy.” Included in the suit is a reference to a 2018 Tumblr post in which she appears to have joked about wire fraud, an umbrella term that applies to a range of serious financial crimes.

Temasek-backed crypto shop Amber halts expansion plans in rocky market; Group says it has secured half of planned $100mn fundraising round
Mercedes Ruehl and Primrose Riordan and Gloria Li – Financial Times
Amber Group has raised just half of a planned $100mn funding round and halted expansion plans as the Temasek-backed crypto group fights concerns that it will be pulled into the market turmoil sparked by the collapse of FTX. Crypto traders this week became nervous about Amber’s outlook after industry analysts expressed concerns with how the failure of FTX affected the trading shop.

Fireside Friday with… Goldman Sachs’ Ellie Beasley; Chief operating officer for EMEA equity execution at Goldman Sachs, Ellie Beasley tells The TRADE that regulators in the UK and Europe should re-focus their attention on fostering growth and competition.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
What do you think should be the regulatory and market structure focus in Europe and the UK over the next year?
Over the next 12 months, I think we’re going to be in a continued state of flux as Europe confirms their position in relation to the Mifid II review and the UK continues to release various consultation papers and finalise their positions following the Wholesale Markets Review. Europe has been through so much change over the course of the last few years with Mifid II and Brexit. It can be a complicated market for investors to navigate and the bifurcation of the UK with the rest of Europe has added to this complexity. We need a period of stability to regroup and develop the market and grow volumes to address some of the liquidity challenges that we see. That’s the really big focus for us at the moment.

UK Chancellor announces swathes of wholesale markets changes to ‘seize Brexit freedoms’; HM Treasury commits to having a regulatory regime in place for 2024 to support a consolidated tape and to “formally review” the effects of Mifid research unbundling.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
The UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt has today, 9 December, announced a set of sweeping changes to the wholesale markets under a set of Edinburgh Reforms.

Ukraine Invasion

The Risks of Taking the War to Putin
Having failed to break Ukraine’s army on the battlefield, Vladimir Putin’s attempts to freeze and starve its population into submission aren’t having a lot of success so far either. Russia’s relentless campaign of missile attacks on Ukraine’s critical energy infrastructure is certainly inflicting enormous winter hardship. Yet as Volodymyr Verbyany and Olesia Safronova report, Ukrainians are defiantly getting on with it, adapting their daily lives to blackouts and heating outages.

Russia May Cut Oil Output in Response to G-7 Price Cap, Putin Says
Bloomberg News
Russia may cut its oil production in response to the G-7 cap on the price of its crude, President Vladimir Putin said. A decision on Russia’s response will be made within the next several days, he told reporters in comments broadcast on state Rossiya 24 TV, providing no further details.

‘Hell. Just hell’: Ukraine and Russia’s war of attrition over Bakhmut; Soldiers say fighting in and around eastern Donetsk city is reminiscent of first world war-style trench conflict
Christopher Miller – Financial Times
Rockets and mortars rained down on Ukrainian military positions on the eastern edge of the city of Bakhmut, spraying shrapnel and sending troops diving for cover. Then came the Russian infantry, charging in a first world war-style attack across a no man’s land of shredded trees and artillery craters. The Ukrainians popped up and mowed down many of them with machine guns and grenade launchers.

Why the price of oil has dropped despite new constraints on Russian supply; Crude settles at lowest level of 2022 after European embargo and G7 price cap take effect
Derek Brower and David Sheppard – Financial Times
This week marked a pivotal moment in global geopolitics, as a European embargo and G7 price cap on Russian crude came into force. Russia, faced with the humiliation of western powers dictating the price it earns for its oil, threatened to halt exports to any countries complying with the price cap. Within hours, supply disruptions were visible as a backlog of tankers queued in the Bosphorus Strait.

Total loosens Russian ties with Novatek writedown; French energy group under fire for slow withdrawal says it cannot for now sell investment in gas producer
Sarah White and Tom Wilson – Financial Times
TotalEnergies has moved to further loosen its ties with Russia more than nine months after the invasion of Ukraine, taking a $3.7bn writedown on its stake in Novatek and removing its directors from the board of the gas producer even as it holds on to the investment.

Pentagon Reviews Munitions Needs as Ukraine Drains Stocks; U.S. might need less ammo on hand because Russians have used so much of theirs
Doug Cameron – The Wall Street Journal
The Pentagon is reassessing the U.S.’s stockpile of missiles, artillery shells and other munitions in light of the huge quantities consumed in fighting in Ukraine this year, and could find the U.S. needs to keep less ammunition in its arsenal because the Russians have fired so much of theirs, defense officials said.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

Listing act proposal is a welcome step to improve EU primary markets; The European Commission’s proposal on the listing act is a positive start, ticking many of the right boxes – but policymakers must now close the gap with trading rules to realise the full potential of EU capital markets.
FESE welcomes the European Commission’s (EC) proposal to improve the European Union’s (EU) listing ecosystem, as part of the latest Capital Markets Union package. Strong capital markets play a key economic role as drivers of growth and wealth creation, and an attractive and vibrant listing and trading ecosystem is a prerequisite for this. In a scenario of high indebtedness, we support the Commission’s efforts to incentivise equity-based financing. Economies where market-based funding play a bigger role have greater environmental quality. Stock markets reallocate investment towards less polluting and more technology-intensive sectors1. However, credit-intensive expansions tend to be followed by deeper recessions and slower recoveries.

Euronext announces December 2022 quarterly review results of the MIB ESG
Euronext today announced the results of the quarterly review for the MIB ESG index, which will be implemented after markets close on Friday 16 December 2022 and will be effective from Monday 19 December 2022.

Request For Feedback On Proposed Amendments To The LME Responsible Sourcing Policy
The London Metal Exchange (“LME”) is requesting feedback to proposed minor amendments to the LME Policy on Responsible Sourcing of LME-Listed Brands (“thePolicy”) and associated compliance documents, including the Red Flag AssessmentTemplate and Secondary Materials Sourcing Attestation Form.

TMX Group Equity Financing Statistics – November 2022
TMX Group today announced its financing activity on Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) and TSX Venture Exchange (TSXV) for November 2022. TSX welcomed 12 new issuers in November 2022, compared with 10 in the previous month and 25 in November 2021. The new listings were 11 exchange traded funds and one mining company. Total financings raised in November 2022 decreased 59% compared to the previous month, and were down 90% compared to November 2021. The total number of financings in November 2022 was 36, compared with 25 the previous month and 60 in November 2021.

Upcoming Feb. 2, 2023: ICE Fourth Quarter 2022 Earnings Conference Call & Webcast
Participant Connection Information
Participant Us Dial In (Toll Free): 1-844-200-6205
Participant International Dial In: 1-929-526-1599

Performance Bond Requirements: Agriculture, Energy and Rates – Effective December 09, 2022
As per the normal review of market volatility to ensure adequate collateral coverage, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc., Clearing House Risk Management staff approved the performance bond requirements for the following products listed in the advisory at the link below.


BNY Mellon and Baton Systems announce collaboration to deliver enterprise collateral optimisation solution
Baton Systems
BNY Mellon and Baton Systems (“Baton”), the global fintech digitally transforming post-trade processing using distributed ledger technology (DLT), announced today a new collaboration to integrate Baton’s market-leading Core-Collateralâ„¢ solution into BNY Mellon’s collateral management platform. This integration will enable mutual clients to optimise portfolio allocations and accelerate the mobilisation of cash and securities collateral across both uncleared and cleared margin obligations globally.

Europe’s Fintech Future Looks a Lot Like Traditional Banking; Firms are branching out amid rising interest rates and losses; Business banking and interest-bearing loans are on the cards
Abhinav Ramnarayan – Bloomberg
Europe’s fintech giants were built on the promise of new ways to do finance. Under pressure from rising interest rates and nervous investors, their next steps are looking more like tried-and-tested traditional banking. Dutch payments firm Adyen NV began lending to small companies this year following US-Irish rival Stripe, while the UK’s Revolut has looked beyond fee-free offers into more lucrative interest-bearing services and Swedish group Klarna is outsourcing more of its technology.

Deutsche Bank partners with AI provider to support Google cloud migration; Multi-year partnership with NVIDIA will see the development of new products to accelerate the bank’s migration to the Cloud.
Wesley Bray – The Trade
Deutsche Bank has entered a multi-year partnership with artificial intelligence technology provider NVIDIA to boost its ongoing cloud migration. The bank said the combination of its financial industry services with NVIDIA’s provision of AI and accelerated computing will “simplify and accelerate cloud migration decisions”.

UK government sets up taskforce to explore shift to T+1; The Accelerated Settlement Taskforce, chaired by Charlie Geffen, was launched by the Chancellor on 9 December 2022.
Jonathan Watkins – The Trade
The UK has established an industry taskforce to examine the case for a transition to T+1 settlement, with initial findings to be published by December 2023. The announcement added that a full report and recommendations will be made by December 2024.

BMLL CEO Paul Humphrey wins Harrington Starr Top 1% Leadership Award
We are delighted to announce that our CEO Paul Humphrey has won Harrington Starr’s Top 1% Leadership Award for 2022. The Top 1% Leadership Award is given to an individual that embodies the innovation, excellence and positivity that is synonymous with those at the peak of the financial services industry.

FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried Once Said Blockchain Would’ve Fixed Enron
Matt Novak – Gizmodo
Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of hedge fund Alameda Research and crypto platform FTX, was a frequent guest on both mainstream financial news and more niche crypto podcasts. And while digging through his media appearances over the years, Gizmodo has stumbled upon a very weird analogy from SBF, as he was often known, where the now-former billionaire explained that massive fraud at Enron wouldn’t have been possible if the company used the blockchain.

PayPal Expanding its Crypto Service to Luxembourg ‘in Coming Days’
PayPal will start its crypto service to Luxembourg, marking the first rollout of its crypto service to a European Union country. “The Hash” panel discusses how Luxembourg could serve as a gateway for the other 26 countries in the bloc once the Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) regulation comes into effect.


2022’s Best Hacks, Cybersecurity Breaches, and Leaks, Ranked
Lucas Ropek – Gizmodo
Well, it’s that time of year folks. Yes, as we inch into December and towards 2023, the time has finally come to tally up the greatest (read: worst, most unfortunate, most ridiculous) hacking episodes of the year.

This cybersecurity job is one of the fastest-growing in the U.S.-and it pays six figures
Sydney Lake – Fortune
No company nor individual is immune from the growing number of cyber attacks. During the third quarter, which ended September 30, just one type of cyber attack-data breaches-exposed 15 million data records, a 37% increase compared with the previous quarter, according to Statista.

NYC’s Metropolitan Opera is under cyberattack
Olivia Ebertz – Gothamist
It is the third day of a cyberattack on the Metropolitan Opera that has prevented the institution from selling tickets. The attack has hit the Met Opera’s website, box office and call center – crippling the opera company’s ability to serve its customers. The Met Opera says it normally processes more than $200,000 worth of tickets each day. Its credit card orders for the Met Opera Shop are also down, according to a spokesperson.

Recruiters to early-career cyber applicants: One certification is enough
Sam Sabin – Axios
Recruiters and employers are starting to warn applicants against getting too many cybersecurity training certifications, they tell Axios. Why it matters: Cybersecurity training certifications aim to show specialized knowledge in everything from securing enterprise networks to the basics of responding to a cyber incident. And entry-level candidates can be swayed into getting as many as possible to appear more employable.


Crypto Hedge Fund BKCoin Fired Co-Founder Kang Over Misappropriated Investor Funds
Brandy Betz – CoinDesk
Crypto hedge fund BKCoin fired co-founder Kevin Kang in October for allegedly misappropriating $12 million in assets from three multi-strategy funds, according to filings with U.S. Circuit Court in Florida. The documents, in the 11th circuit court covering Miami-Dade County, date back to Oct. 28 but have largely gone unnoticed. Miami-based BKCoin was founded in 2018 by Carlos Betancourt and Kang, and claimed $150 million in assets, according to a Business Insider profile in June. The firm oversees at least five funds – including three multi-strategy funds – and multiple separately managed accounts. The multi-strategy funds at the heart of the court case have six U.S. and foreign businesses as its investors, which have collectively invested over $18 million they now hope to recover, according to the court documents.

Kevin O’Leary says he lost almost $10 million in the FTX collapse, and that the exchange had paid him $15 million to be a spokesman
Matthew Fox – Business Insider
Kevin O’Leary was paid about $15 million by FTX to be a spokesman for the failed crypto exchange, he said in an interview with CNBC on Thursday. O’Leary also said he had $9.7 million worth of crypto tokens in his FTX account that has since been wiped out to $0 amid the company’s implosion. O’Leary also owned a $1 million equity stake in FTX that has since been wiped out after the company filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy last month.

Did Sam Bankman-Fried Finally Admit the Obvious?
Daniel Kuhn – CoinDesk
Despite the focus on FTX following its catastrophic collapse, it’s remarkable how little we know about how the crypto exchange and its in-house trading firm Alameda Research actually operated. New CEO John Jay Ray III has called Sam Bankman-Fried’s crypto trading empire the “greatest failure of corporate controls” he’s seen. Wednesday, Coffeezilla, a YouTuber with a rising star who has made a career of shining a light on sketchy projects in and out of crypto, pressed Bankman-Fried for information related to how different customer accounts were treated at the exchange. It turns out, there wasn’t much differentiation – at the very least during the final days the exchange was in business, Bankman-Fried admitted.

A Handful of Simple Rules Might Have Prevented FTX’s Demise; Existing financial regulations, if followed, would have stopped commingling of FTX and client funds.
Allyson Versprille and Lydia Beyoud – Bloomberg
In retrospect, there were red flags everywhere. Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX crypto empire was a tangled web of offshore companies rife with conflicts. It mixed client money with its own. It had little or no corporate governance. There were few financial disclosures. But there were celebrities-lots of celebrities. As prosecutors and creditors circle, everyone seems to be asking a version of the same two questions: How could this have been allowed to happen? And what can be done to keep it from happening again?

The Lost Gospel of S.B.F.
Theodore Schleifer – Puck
Over the last few months, before FTX filed for bankruptcy and its 30-year-old founder admitted to being a fraud, aides to Sam Bankman-Fried began thinking bigger than just their quotidian work of preventing the next pandemic. The crypto king was at the height of his powers, with a $20 billion net worth and seemingly everyone in Washington begging for an introduction. And so quietly, in private conversations that made their way to me, S.B.F. aides hatched a venture to tackle not just pandemics, but all of the great challenges of the day.

Is Sam Bankman-Fried Crypto’s Bernie Madoff? This Crypto Hedge Fund Manager Thinks So
Jacob Wolinsky – Forbes
Apparently, the collapses of Three Arrows Capital, crypto exchange FTX, and other crypto-related businesses were not enough to put institutional investors off of cryptocurrency. Data from Bitstamp reveal that registrations by institutional investors rose 57% in November – when the collapse of the crypto exchange FTX was front and center in the news headlines.

Crypto Exchange Coinbase Asks Users to Switch USDT for USDC
Sam Reynolds – CoinDesk
Coinbase is waiving the conversion fees for users that wish to switch to a “trusted stablecoin” in a new campaign that highlights the quality of reserves that back Circle-owned USD Coin (USDC).

Binance CEO CZ Takes On Renown Skeptic Paul Krugman In Cryptocurrency MasterClass
Jason Nelson – Decrypt
“I’m part of the crypto skeptic community, I guess you’d say,” said economist Paul Krugman, opening a 30 minute-long conversation with Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao produced for a new MasterClass course. Krugman perhaps understates his position on cryptocurrency and blockchain, last week penning a New York Times column in which he says the hype over cryptocurrency and blockchain technology is a “tragedy” that has resulted in “waste on an epic scale.” He certainly made an ideal sparring partner to CZ for the online class. MasterClass provided Decrypt access to the fifth lesson, which featured the pair of experts.

UK Extends Crypto Tax Break for Investment Managers in Financial Reforms
Jack Schickler – CoinDesk
The U.K. has confirmed it will extend tax breaks for investment managers to cover crypto assets, after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he wanted to make the country a crypto hub. In October, minister Andrew Griffith said he wanted to “tentatively seize” crypto opportunities, and promised a consultation on how to use new legislative crypto powers contained in the Financial Services and Markets Bill before the Christmas holiday.

Grayscale Bitcoin Trust Discount Widens to Record High Near 50%
Lyllah Ledesma – CoinDesk
Shares of the world’s largest bitcoin fund, Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), hit a record-high discount rate of nearly 50% relative to the price of bitcoin (BTC) on Thursday. GBTC is a way for investors to gain exposure to bitcoin through a traditional investment vehicle. GBTC was trading at a discount rate of 47.3%, according to data from crypto index provider TradeBlock. “The fact that Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust is now trading at nearly 50% discount is just awful for holders of GBTC. It really highlights the vast differences in structure quality between different investment vehicles,” Bradley Duke, co-CEO at ETC Group, said in a note to CoinDesk.

Whales Bail on Bitcoin
Large investors have reduced their holdings of bitcoin (BTC) since June, which is one reason the price has sagged and a reversal of that trend might need to happen before a big price rally can begin. “All About Bitcoin” host Christine Lee breaks down the Chart of the Day.

Bitcoin Trading Has ‘Fallen Off a Cliff.’ FTX Has Scared People Away.
Jack Denton – Barron’s
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies were mostly stagnant Thursday, with sentiment for risky bets mostly muted amid recession fears. The failure of crypto exchange FTX, which sent prices down on their latest leg, continues to hang over the market. The price of Bitcoin was flat over the past 24 hours, sitting just above $16,800. The largest crypto has tumbled some 20% in a month since FTX’s shock collapse in November, plumbing two-year lows amid fears of financial contagion and tough new regulatory scrutiny. Bitcoin is now trading at less than one-quarter of its all-time high, with Wall Street betting against a recovery anytime soon.

FTX Revival Proposal Supported by Sam Bankman-Fried Lifts FTT Token
Omkar Godbole – CoinDesk
FTT, the native cryptocurrency of the now-bankrupt FTX crypto exchange, surged Friday after the platform’s founder Sam Bankman-Fried came out in support of an exchange revival plan proposed by a crypto influencer Ran Neuner.

Grayscale, Under Pressure as GBTC Discount Widens, Says DeFi Fund Now Trading
Lyllah Ledesma – CoinDesk
Grayscale Investments, manager of the world’s biggest publicly-traded bitcoin fund, said a new decentralized finance (DeFi) fund has started trading on over-the-counter markets.


Meet Tom Emmer, a powerful crypto advocate in a crypto-wary Congress
Tony Romm – The Washington Post
Tom Emmer had a message: Embrace cryptocurrency, and the campaign checks would soon follow. It was August 2020, and the Minnesota congressman – tapped to help Republicans retake the House – had convened crypto executives for an online town hall. Already a beneficiary of the industry’s largesse, Emmer stressed on camera that a steady stream of political donations could prove mutually beneficial, advancing the industry’s prospects while swaying cash-hungry crypto skeptics on Capitol Hill.

Sam Bankman-Fried gave $2.5 million to a leading political ethics watchdog. The group says it can’t give the money back because officials already spent it.
Dave Levinthal – Business Insider
The nonprofit Campaign Legal Center – a leading nonpartisan political watchdog that’s hounded Donald Trump and scores of other politicians with legal challenges and ethics complaints – recently accepted more than $2.5 million in contributions from embattled “crypto-king” Sam Bankman-Fried. The Campaign Legal Center confirmed to Insider that Bankman-Fried, who is now himself facing significant legal and ethical scrutiny, gave the organization about $2.5 million since 2021.

Elizabeth Warren urges that ‘corporate wrongdoers’ shouldn’t be managing retirement funds
Beth Pinsker – MarketWatch
Sen. Elizabeth Warren is urging the Department of Labor to get tougher on corporations that have been convicted of financial crimes, by restricting their ability to manage Americans’ retirement funds.In a letter in support of proposed regulation changes to the Employee Benefits Security Administration, Warren (D- Mass.), and co-author Sen. Tina Smith (D- Minn.), outline why they feel retirees need additional protections and transparency.

Bitcoin Miners Forced to Report Energy Use in Proposed Bill (1)
Naureen S Malik – Bloomberg
US crypto miners would be forced to disclose greenhouse gas emissions under a new bill, adding pressure to a fast-growing industry criticized for its heavy toll on the environment and power grid. The legislation, introduced by Democratic Senator Edward Markey, would require crypto miners using more than 5 megawatts of electricity – a threshold that most Bitcoin mining companies would pass – to report emissions and the source of power, according to a copy of the bill shared with Bloomberg News. The US Environmental Protection Agency would conduct a study on the impact of existing and planned digital mining operations – including the level of stress on the energy grid and fossil fuel usage – and offer any measures state regulators can take to reduce their energy demand.

Justice Department tells bankers to confess their misdeeds to cut better enforcement deals
Hugh Son – CNBC
Banks and other corporations that proactively report possible employee crimes to the government instead of waiting to be discovered will get more lenient terms, according to a Justice Department official. The DOJ recently overhauled its approach to corporate criminal enforcement to incentivize companies to root out and disclose their misdeeds, Marshall Miller, a principal associate deputy attorney general, said Tuesday at a banking conference in Maryland.

Congressman Calls for Investigation Into Gensler, SEC’s Role in FTX Collapse
Sander Lutz – Decrypt
A Democratic congressman is calling for an independent investigation into the Security and Exchange Commission’s failure to prevent the historic collapse of crypto exchange FTX. In a strongly worded letter sent Tuesday, Representative Ritchie Torres (D-NY) called upon the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to conduct an independent review of the SEC’s actions-or lack thereof-in the months leading up to FTX’s implosion last month.

Alberta’s sovereignty act could scare off investors, warns former Bank of Canada governor
Carrie Tait – The Globe and Mail
David Dodge, the former governor of the Bank of Canada who previously served as a deputy minister in the federal finance department, joined Alberta’s Opposition New Democrats on Wednesday to warn that the province’s proposed sovereignty act would create uncertainty and unnerve investors. Mr. Dodge joined Alberta NDP Leader Rachel Notley at a news conference, where he argued that the United Conservative Party government’s proposed Alberta Sovereignty Within a United Canada Act would undermine confidence in the rule of law in Alberta. That confidence, he said, is necessary for Alberta to attract investment.

City minister sets out post-Brexit reform of financial services; Andrew Griffith says measures will be designed to make sector as competitive as possible
Daniel Thomas, Laura Noonan and George Parker – Financial Times
Andrew Griffith, the City minister, has pledged that the “Edinburgh” package of post-Brexit reforms for the financial services industry will make the sector “as internationally competitive as possible”. On Friday, chancellor Jeremy Hunt will launch wide-ranging consultations on rules for financial services in order to discard EU standards and make the City more competitive against global rivals.

UK Includes Crypto Assets in Financial Services Reform Package
Andrew Asmakov – Decrypt
The UK government today announced a package of more than 30 reforms to financial regulation, including the extension of tax breaks for investment managers to cover crypto assets. Dubbed the “Edinburgh Reforms,” the measures are designed to replace EU regulation covering areas such as disclosure for financial products and include relaxing ring-fencing capital rules to lighten the burden on smaller banks.

Jeremy Hunt defends UK financial services shake-up; Chancellor rejects suggestions the government is abandoning lessons learnt after the 2008 financial crisis
Jasmine Cameron-Chileshe – Financial Times
Jeremy Hunt has defended his overhaul of UK financial services rules, which relaxes some of the measures introduced after the financial crisis of 2008. The UK chancellor, speaking at the Financial Times’s Global Boardroom event, rejected suggestions that the government was abandoning the lessons learnt following the financial crisis more than a decade ago.

City set for boost as Hunt loosens financial services rule book; Chancellor launches reforms amid warnings UK will become riskier place to do business
George Parker, Daniel Thomas and Laura Noonan – Financial Times
Jeremy Hunt will redraw the financial services rule book on Friday, including casting aside some safeguards designed to avoid a repeat of the 2008 crash, in an attempt to boost the City of London as a driver of growth.

City minister sets out post-Brexit reform of financial services; Andrew Griffith says measures will be designed to make sector as competitive as possible
Daniel Thomas, Laura Noonan and George Parker – Financial Times
Andrew Griffith, the City minister, has pledged that the “Edinburgh” package of post-Brexit reforms for the financial services industry will make the sector “as internationally competitive as possible”.

Six EU Nations Oppose Broader Gas Price Cap on Short-Term Trades; Germany, Netherlands outline position on EU gas market measure; Energy ministers to discuss gas cap on in Brussels next week
Ewa Krukowska and Alberto Nardelli – Bloomberg
Germany, Netherlands and four other European Union member states oppose extending a proposed price cap on natural gas to over-the-counter trade and short-term markets, warning that any intervention must ensure prices in the region stay competitive with world markets. The group, which includes Austria, Denmark, Luxembourg and Estonia, called for the the so-called market correction mechanism to include an automatic suspension clause, according to a document shared with other EU member and seen by Bloomberg News.


SEC advises public firms to disclose crypto risks
Timmy Shen – Decrypt
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has advised publicly-listed firms to disclose their exposure to the cryptocurrency market, in light of the fallout of the FTX collapse.

Japanese Regulator Extends FTX Japan’s Suspension as Users Wait for Their Funds
Lavender Au – CoinDesk
Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) has extended FTX Japan’s suspension to Mar. 9. An earlier suspension order, issued on Nov. 10 after FTX Japan halted user withdrawals, was set to expire on Friday. The FSA reiterated its earlier position, saying that it is necessary to take all possible measures to ensure that FTX Japan’s assets do not flow out to overseas affiliates and that the interests of users are not harmed.

Hong Kong Amends Finance Law to Incorporate Crypto Firms
Jamie Crawley – CoinDesk
Hong Kong is to subject crypto providers to the same anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing laws that it does traditional finance firms. The territory’s Legislative Council voted to add virtual asset service providers (VASP) to the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorist Financing Ordinance as of June 1, 2023, according to a Dec. 5 amendment to the law.

NFA orders Warren, NJ retail forex dealer and futures commission merchant Gain Capital Group LLC to pay a $700,000 fine
NFA has ordered Gain Capital Group LLC (Gain) to pay a $700,000 fine. Gain, which does business as, is a registered retail forex dealer and futures commission merchant Member of NFA headquartered in Warren, New Jersey.

It’s Not Just Scope 3: Remarks at the American Enterprise Institute
Commissioner Hester M. Peirce – SEC
Thank you, Ben [Zycher], and thanks to the American Enterprise Institute for the opportunity to be part of today’s event. Before I begin, I must remind you that my views are my own and not necessarily those of the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) or my fellow Commissioners. As an SEC Commissioner, I appreciate hearing about people’s views of the SEC, even negative ones.

Remarks at Meeting of the SEC Investor Advisory Committee
Commissioner Hester M. Peirce – SEC
Over the course of the day, the IAC will hear and consider presentations from three panels on topics ranging from account statement disclosure, corporate tax transparency, and single-stock exchange-traded funds. I am looking forward to what our panel of experts has to say about these topics and to the subsequent questions by and discussion among the Committee members. Account statements that convey information in a way that investors can understand and use are fundamental to investor protection.

Remarks Before the Investor Advisory Committee
Chair Gary Gensler – SEC
I want to begin by welcoming the Committee’s new Access and Inclusion Working Group. Access and inclusion are so important, as they relate directly to fairness in the markets. Fairness, of course, sits within the middle part of the SEC’s mission: to maintain fair, orderly, and efficient markets.

SEC sends letter to companies urging updated disclosures amid ‘widespread disruption’ in crypto markets
David Hollerith – Yahoo!Finance
The Securities and Exchange Commission is sending a letter to U.S. public companies asking firms evaluate their disclosure obligations, including a “specific tailored disclosure,” about how recent crypto bankruptcies and broader financial distress across the digital asset market may have hit their business. The letter is intended to illustrate the type of comments the securities agency might send to public companies. “In meeting their disclosure obligations, companies should consider the need to address crypto asset market developments in their filings generally, including in their business descriptions, risk factors, and management’s discussion and analysis,” the SEC’s division of corporate finance said in its release.

U.S. SEC issues new guidance on disclosing crypto risks
Chris Prentice – Reuters
The U.S. securities regulator on Thursday advised public companies to examine whether they need to disclose to investors any potential impacts from turmoil in the cryptocurrency industry. The guidance from the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) division of corporation finance – tasked with ensuring public companies give investors key information – is the latest sign that regulators are on high alert for further fallout in the wake of the collapse of major crypto firms including FTX and BlockFi Inc.

FCA fines Santander UK £107.7 million for repeated anti-money laundering failures
The FCA has fined Santander UK Plc (Santander) £107,793,300 after it found serious and persistent gaps in its anti-money laundering (AML) controls, affecting its Business Banking customers.

ASIC sues McPherson’s and its former CEO alleging continuous disclosure and directors’ duties breaches, misleading statements
ASIC has commenced proceedings in the Federal Court against health, beauty and wellness company McPherson’s Limited (ASX:MCP) for allegedly breaching its continuous disclosure obligations and engaging in misleading or deceptive conduct during capital raising in late 2020.

Investing and Trading

Canada’s Futures Market for Housing Is Signaling Distress; Investors who bought pre-construction condo contracts for an easy profit are now facing losses.
Ari Altstedter – Bloomberg
As Toronto home prices rose rapidly in recent years, real estate agent Jordon Scrinko and his friends on social media started joking about some of the speculative behavior they were seeing. Scrinko ended up putting it on his Twitter bio: “Condo futures.” The joke was that futures contracts like the ones Wall Street traders use to bet on stocks, oil and gold don’t technically exist for condominiums. But Scrinko, who specializes in selling condos years before they’re built, noticed people were using that product the same way: buying contracts pre-construction only to flip them just before the unit’s completion, profiting from soaring values.

Your TD Ameritrade Account Is About To Vanish – What To Do Now
Matt Krantz – Investor’s Business Daily
If you’ve been trading on TD Ameritrade, get ready to say goodbye. TD Ameritrade clients are being notified now their accounts are being moved into Charles Schwab starting next year. It’s a long-awaited move after Schwab bought TD Ameritrade in 2019.

Forget What You’ve Learned About Investing in the Last 20 Years; The volatility in stock markets is telling us the story of huge structural change – one that takes us back to an old normal.
Merryn Somerset Webb – Bloomberg
The Association of Investment Companies recently polled UK fund managers, asking them what sectors they expect to perform best over the next year and over the next five years. The top two answers over both time frames were energy (28% over 12 months) and information technology (21%). All the other sectors lagged far behind (11% said healthcare).

ExxonMobil announces $50bn buyback despite political backlash; US group also expects to increase capital spending but at lower levels than forecast pre-pandemic
Justin Jacobs – Financial Times
ExxonMobil will expand its share buyback programme to $50bn as the US supermajor defies a political backlash by handing investors the profits from surging oil and gas prices. Exxon said it would spend a total of $50bn buying back its own shares over the three years from 2022 to 2024, an increase from the current $30bn programme that was due to end in 2023.

Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance

The US is a rogue state leading the world towards ecological collapse; It’s not just indifference. It’s an active, and deadly, cavalier attitude towards the lives of others: an example other nations follow
George Monbiot – The Guardian
There are two extraordinary facts about the convention on biological diversity, whose members are meeting in Montreal now to discuss the global ecological crisis. The first is that, of the world’s 198 states, 196 are party to it. The second is the identity of those that aren’t. Take a guess. North Korea? Russia? Wrong. Both ratified the convention years ago. One is the Holy See (the Vatican). The other is the United States of America. This is one of several major international treaties the US has refused to ratify. Among the others are crucial instruments such as the Rome statute on international crimes, the treaties banning cluster bombs and landmines, the convention on discrimination against women, the Basel convention on hazardous waste, the convention on the law of the sea, the nuclear test ban treaty, the employment policy convention and the convention on the rights of persons with disabilities.

Despite a Changing Climate, Americans Are ‘Flocking to Fire’; Over the past decade, Americans have migrated to areas of the country with high wildfire risk, indicating that climate disasters are not yet prioritized in moving decisions.
Grace van Deelen – Inside Climate News
Despite an increase in wildfire risk spurred by climate change, Americans are moving to wildfire-prone areas and prioritizing lower housing costs and amenities such as temperate weather and recreational opportunities over risk of natural disasters. An analysis of U.S. migration data from the past decade published today, “Flocking to fire: How climate and natural hazards shape human migration across the United States,” shows that Americans have been moving into certain “migration hot spots” in the West, Pacific Northwest and South that have high risk of wildfires, as well as to metro areas with high summer temperatures.

An Introductory Guide for Net Zero Target Setting for Farm-Based Agricultural Emissions
World Business Council for Sustainable Development
In this report, the Banking for Impact on Climate in Agriculture (B4ICA) initiative aims to supplement existing guidance by providing banks with clear, pragmatic, and practical recommendations for setting targets to support companies within their agriculture sector portfolios to reduce GHG emissions, with special focus on farms.

Start-ups eye opportunity in Plibersek’s biodiversity reforms
Tess Bennett – Financial Review
A promised overhaul of Australia’s environmental laws, including revamping biodiversity offset schemes and improving access to environmental data, will provide a boost for local biodiversity start-ups. Environment and Water Minister Tanya Plibersek on Thursday said the government would establish a federal environmental protection agency as part of an overhaul of Australia’s environmental laws.

Former US Energy Secretary Proposes Agency to Pay for Carbon Removal; Feds would pay companies to extract CO2 as a public benefit; Agency would need $33 billion for first 10 years, Moniz says
David R Baker – Bloomberg
Former US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz called for creating a federal authority to pay for removing vast amounts of carbon from the atmosphere, saying the approach was needed to scale up an industry he called essential to fighting climate change. Moniz’s Energy Futures Initiative think tank proposed establishing a National Carbon Removal Authority that would treat extracting carbon from the air as a public benefit, paid for with public money. The authority would begin operations in 2035, paying private companies to remove atmospheric carbon and either use it or store it. The authority would have a $33 billion budget to cover its first 10 years.

A Town in Washington Takes a Step Toward Recognizing the Rights of Southern Resident Orcas; The move is the latest development in the “rights of nature” movement gathering momentum in countries around the world, including the U.S. With only 73 of the orcas of the Salish Sea still in existence, time is of the essence.
Katie Surma – Inside Climate News
The city of Port Townsend, Washington, on Monday proclaimed that Southern Resident Orcas have legal rights, marking the first time a U.S. city council has made such a recognition.

The Metals for Your EV Are Stuck in a 30-Mile Traffic Jam; A slow and bumpy journey on the trail of Africa’s copper.
Matthew Hill – Bloomberg
In order to get a truckload of copper out of Africa and into the hands of tech-hungry buyers, Chanda Kulungika must spend a week sitting in one of the world’s longest traffic jams. Young men weave through the 30-mile (about 50 kilometers) queue pushing crudely built bicycles stacked with soft drinks, snacks and charcoal. At night, Kulungika sleeps in the cabin of his truck with one eye open, periodically flashing his hazard lights to check for lurking thieves who might steal his fuel or the valuable minerals he’s transporting.

Japan to Ramp Up Scrutiny of ESG Data Providers With New Guidelines; Voluntary guidelines aimed at ensuring quality of ESG data; Europe also considering review of global data providers
Sheryl Tian Tong Lee and Takashi Umekawa – Bloomberg
Japan will soon be the first country to issue guidelines for ESG data and ratings providers as global regulators step up scrutiny of firms that measure companies on their environmental, social and governance practices.

The UK’s Massive Tree-Planting Campaign Isn’t Moving Fast Enough; One of Europe’s least-forested countries has a plan to fight climate change. That’s much easier said than done.
Willem Marx – Bloomberg
Accelerating along a series of twisting grass tracks, Charles Nicholls pushes his off-road golf cart up the hillside, passing hundreds of saplings sheltered by vertical plastic cylinders. Reaching the top, he clambers off, his thick, dark eyebrows jiggling beneath a mop of gray hair. From that height, Nicholls admires a classic British view: grazing sheep, bright green fields and jagged hedgerows extending in all directions. But like many places in the UK, something is missing from this patch of central Wales: forests. Apart from the planted saplings, the only visible trees are confined to narrow patches along roads, rivers or the edges of farm plots. “We absolutely think of ‘England’s green and pleasant land,’âEUR‰” Nicholls says, quoting a line from a William Blake poem that’s been taught to generations of schoolchildren. But, he says, it’s “not necessarily green including forestry.”

How will ESG funds make money next year? With markets uncertain, picking winning stocks and funds will be tough in 2023
Alice Ross – Financial Times
There have not been many places for investors to hide from the equity sell-off this year and sustainable funds are no exception. The MSCI World index, for example, is down 14 per cent and its environmental social and governance (ESG) counterpart has lost 15 per cent.


Credit Suisse Offering Set to Sail Through After Wild Ride; Arranger banks expect take up of more than 90% of stock; Shares had sunk to near rights issue price last week
Swetha Gopinath and Myriam Balezou – Bloomberg
Banks handling Credit Suisse Group AG’s rights offer expect nearly all of those rights to be exercised, spelling success for a capital raise that looked shaky as recently as last week. Lenders arranging the deal currently expect investors to take up well above 90% of the stock on offer, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. The banks don’t currently anticipate needing to hold a sizeable amount of Credit Suisse stock on their books afterwards, according to the people.

Fidelity Funds Seek to Make Bigger Bets on Individual Stocks
Miles Weiss – Bloomberg
Fidelity Investments is asking shareholders to sign off on a proposal that would allow 13 of the firm’s growth funds to exceed limits on the size of stakes in individual stocks.

Credit Suisse Gets Strong Demand for $4 Billion Capital Increase
Alex Frangos – The Wall Street Journal
Credit Suisse Group AG sold nearly all of the shares it offered to investors as part of a plan to shore up the bank’s beleaguered balance sheet. The Swiss lender said Thursday that investors exercised 98% of the rights offering, raising around 2.24 billion Swiss francs, equivalent to $2.4 billion. In addition to a separate share sale it made to Saudi National Bank, the bank has raised a total of $4.3 billion in fresh cash in recent weeks.

A close Suisse shave; Credit Suisse’s rollercoaster rights issue shows risks even for a Justice League of underwriters
Craig Coben – Financial Times
Yesterday Credit Suisse announced that its shareholders subscribed to 98.2 per cent of its rights issue. That’s an impressive level of take-up, but it was nail-biting suspense until the end. The CS share price fell so much during the rights issue period that late last week it looked like the underwriters might end up owning a significant chunk of the Swiss bank’s stock. This would have been a nasty shock to everyone involved, including the market.

Chris Rokos to Raise New $3 Billion After Hedge Fund Soars; Fund aims to grow via existing clients and new investor cash; Macro hedge fund heads for its best year since 2015 launch
Nishant Kumar – Bloomberg
Billionaire Chris Rokos is raising fresh capital as his macro hedge fund heads for a record year of gains. Rokos Capital Management has held talks with potential clients to grow his assets by as much as $3 billion through both new money and existing backers reinvesting their gains, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

DWS launches emerging markets Paris-aligned ETF; Its Solactive index seeks a 50 per cent reduction in carbon intensity compared with non-ESG equivalent
Alf Wilkinson – Financial Times
DWS has expanded its range of exchange traded funds aligned with the Paris climate agreement with the launch of an emerging market equities strategy. The Xtrackers Emerging Markets Net Zero Pathway Paris Aligned Ucits ETF had been listed on Deutsche Börse and the London Stock Exchange, with other exchanges to follow, the Frankfurt-listed asset manager said.

Wellness Exchange

Beijing’s 47% Drop in Covid Cases Questioned as Signs Point to Virus Resurgence
Bloomberg News
A sudden drop in Beijing’s official daily case numbers to less than 3,000 has sparked incredulity from members of the public who are seeing infection spread quickly through the capital, with even one of the government’s most prominent defenders questioning the veracity of the data.


Fidelity International Wins China Mutual-Fund License; Asset manager follows BlackRock, Neuberger Berman in getting approval to manage money for individual Chinese investors
Jing Yang – The Wall Street Journal
Fidelity International has received final approval from regulators in China to start selling mutual funds in the world’s second-largest economy, joining other global investment firms that directly manage money for individual Chinese investors. A Fidelity subsidiary, FIL Fund Management (China) Co. Ltd., has been granted a permit from the China Securities Regulatory Commission that would allow it to offer yuan-denominated investment products to retail customers, the company said in a statement Friday.

Copper and Aluminum Bulls are Running Too Fast; As China moves from ‘zero Covid,’ metals are rallying in hopes of a quick economic rebound
Megha Mandavia – The Wall Street Journal
The cliché is that when China sneezes, commodities catch a cold. Logically, then, when it’s feeling better the commodity complex should too: Industrial metals like copper, aluminum and iron ore have staged an impressive rally recently as signs that China is preparing to reopen become more obvious.

Turkey says to continue blocking oil tankers without proper insurance
Ece Toksabay and Can Sezer – Reuters
Turkey’s maritime authority said on Thursday it would continue to block the passage of oil tankers without appropriate insurance letters, adding that the insurance checks on ships in its waters was a “routine procedure.” A Turkish measure in force since the start of the month has caused shipping delays. It requires vessels to provide proof of insurance covering the duration of their transit through the Bosphorus strait or when calling at Turkish ports.

Extortion ‘Mafia’ Hits South Africa’s $55 Billion Mining Sector; Extortionist groups are adding to the mining industry’s woes, making South Africa a less attractive destination for investments.
Felix Njini and Antony Sguazzin – Bloomberg
A threatening letter, a derailed train, blocked roads, burned vehicles, workers locked up. That’s what some of the world’s biggest mining companies say they’re battling in South Africa: Extortion.

Germany’s Floating Gas Terminal Budget Triples to €9.7 Billion; Cost estimate is three times higher than initial estimate; German government chartered five floating LNG import units
Anna Shiryaevskaya and Iain Rogers – Bloomberg
Germany’s bill for new floating liquefied natural gas terminals is ballooning, with the cost now more than three times higher than initially budgeted.

Blackstone to Buy TD Warehouse Portfolio in Tight Toronto Market; Private equity firm is snapping up Canadian industrial properties in a bet on demand for warehouse space.
Natalie Wong – Bloomberg
A Blackstone Inc. business has agreed to buy six industrial properties in the Toronto area. Blackstone Real Estate is paying more than C$400 million ($297 million) in cash for the properties, which total 1.5 million square feet (140,000 square meters) and are all fully leased. The transaction is one of the largest trades of a private industrial portfolio in Canada in recent years.

Canada Eyes Streamlining Mine Approvals in Critical Minerals Push
Jacob Lorinc – Bloomberg
Canada is looking to streamline permitting processes for mines to boost production of metals vital to the global energy transition, as part of government efforts to develop the nation’s critical minerals sector.


14 mystery books to savor during the long nights of winter; Our critic’s picks include a Sherlockian adventure, classic locked-room mystery collections and a true-crime story for the ages
Michael Dirda – The Washington Post
According to historian Philip Guedalla, reading detective fiction is the “normal recreation of noble minds.” Yet even those of us with plebeian intellects can enjoy ingenious murders and cozy mayhem – especially on these long nights of winter. Here, for instance, are some 2022 mysteries I’ve been curling up with during the past month. Any devotee of the dynamic duo of Baker Street will welcome Bonnie MacBird’s “What Child Is This?” (Collins Crime Club), subtitled “A Sherlock Holmes Christmas Adventure,” with illustrations by the inimitable Frank Cho.

Crypto Trading Firm Amber Group Ditches $25M Chelsea Sponsorship Deal Amid Layoffs: Report
Oliver Knight – CoinDesk
Singapore-based cryptocurrency trading firm Amber Group is terminating a $25 million sponsorship deal with football club Chelsea FC, according to a Bloomberg report, citing a source. Amber Group, which is backed by Temasek and Sequoia Capital, is also laying off around 300 staff to slash its workforce to less than 400, at its peak it employed more than 1,100, the report said.

In celebration of David Gardner; An address for our FT colleague at his memorial service
Martin Wolf – Financial Times
The following address was delivered by Martin Wolf at the Service of Thanksgiving and Celebration for the life of David Gardner at St Bride’s Church, Fleet Street, London on December 1 2022. A great journalist does not just have a beautiful way with words, a determination to get the story, a devotion to wooing sources, a dedication to the truth, an understanding of human beings and a powerful and subtle intellect. A great journalist needs to have something over and above these talents: moral passion. Our treasured colleague, David Gardner, had all these qualities. But he was endowed with the last to a quite exceptional degree. Decent himself, he demanded decency in others. Truthful himself, he demanded truthfulness in others.

[et_social_follow icon_style="slide" icon_shape="circle" icons_location="top" col_number="4" counts="true" counts_num="0" total="true" outer_color="dark"]

We visit more than 100 financial news websites daily (Would YOU do that?)

The Spread

Past JLN Newsletters

The unsustainable hype around ESG

The unsustainable hype around ESG

First Read Hits & Takes John Lothian & JLN Staff Fifty years ago today, SEC Commissioner A.A. Sommer, Jr. issued a paper titled "The SEC in the Midst of Revolution." Here is a summary of his speech: The securities industry is undergoing a significant...