The quest for the investment Holy Grail — an index of everything

Jul 13, 2021

First Read

$51,206/$300,000 (17.1%)
Trading Technologies


Hits & Takes
John Lothian & JLN Staff

We have had a schedule mix up slash complication for our MarketsWiki Education World of Opportunity event scheduled for July 21. We are replacing the live interview with Cboe Global Markets Executive Chairman & CEO Ed Tilly with a live interview with Small Exchange CEO Donnie Roberts. A scheduling conflict emerged with Mr. Tilly, whom we will present to the registrants in a pre-recorded interview. Mr. Roberts will talk about The Small Exchange and its new cannabis futures and all the new contract ideas that have been thrown his way by industry players. This will be a great look at the different growth areas in the industry for the interns and younger employees to learn more about.

You can register your interns or newer employees HERE for the July 21 event that starts at 1:30 p.m. and ends at 2:30 p.m. As previously mentioned, we will be offering the registrants some additional pre-recorded presentations from a myriad of speakers in addition to the live program.

Our apologies for the mixup. Here is a quick clip of Mr. Roberts’ previous presentation at a MarketsWiki Education World of Opportunity event from 2020.

PanXchange CEO Julie Lerner has an opinion piece in titled “Opinion: Hemp industry must emulate mature markets.” —

Steve Randich of FINRA has penned a commentary titled, “Why The Best Mid-Sized Company to Work In IT Is A Financial Regulator – FINRA. Again.” That is a bold claim, but I am sure he believes it and that is good enough for me. — FINRA

Trading Technologies made their matching donations to the JLN MarketsWiki Education GoFundMe campaign, which shows over $51,000 of the $300,000 goal raised to date. Thank you to TT and all who have given and all who have yet to give. Support our efforts to preserve industry history by giving to our GoFundMe campaign.

Today we have a video interview with Alex Lamb for The Path to Electronic Trading video series. This is part one of a two-part interview. Lamb has had a long and varied career in banking, brokering, trading and technology and his hiring Gary Kemp to build a new front end spawned Trading Technologies’ desktop front end.

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



Alex Lamb Always Landed Amid Opportunity in Early Years of European Futures Trading

Alex Lamb wanted to be a helicopter pilot in the U.K. Royal Airforce. He never had the chance, but he strategically landed opportunity after opportunity in the banking, trading and related technology businesses during his long and varied career.

Lamb even helped launch the firm Trading Technologies, outlining to then contractor Gary Kemp what he wanted for a new electronic trading screen that would allow brokers to enter orders for multiple accounts and be able to track them more efficiently. That was the genesis of the screen that became Trading Technologies’ desktop offering.

Watch the video »


Farewell open outcry; Following the decision by US derivatives exchange group CME to permanently close its open outcry trading pits, Annabel Smith looks at the history of trading floors in Chicago.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
The clock reads six o’clock and the end of day whistle blows. In his final attempt to kill Sam the sheepdog after a long day at work trying to do so, Looney Tunes’ Ralph the wolf stands next to the clocking out system, pulls a stick of dynamite out of his pocket and lights it.

*****The long farewell continues.~JJL


The World’s Financial Centers Struggle Back to the Office
Emily Cadman, Steven Arons, Charlotte Ryan, Felix Tam, Faris Mokhtar, Nic Querolo, Sarah Holder, Natalie Wong, Hayley Warren and Sam Dodge – Bloomberg
The journey back to your desk is shaping up to be slow and indirect. Roughly 15 months after locking down to ward off Covid-19, several of the globe’s key financial centers are struggling to get employees back to their offices. Workplace activity in London, New York and San Francisco is still 50% below its normal level, according to mobility data from Google, which tracks the locations of its users. Other evidence from Frankfurt, Singapore and Hong Kong reveals how virus-related restrictions have changed habits and caused new problems.

*****I like working from home. I am sure others do too.~JJL


Exchange Analytics Offers 2021 Customer Protection Rule Course
Exchange Analytics
This course offers new features to optimize the learning experience for users. It captures a number of regulatory updates, beginning with COVID-related regulatory changes, along with corporate guidance on virtual currencies, as well as the December 2020 changes to the CFTC’s bankruptcy rule and the January 2021 update to permitted investments. Employees of FCMs, SROs, DSROs, and DCOs involved in finance, treasury, operations, regulatory, compliance, settlement as well as other relevant officers and employees are required to take annual Customer Protection training.

******This is one industry where you can’t have enough training, especially about protecting customer funds.~JJL


Singapore Karaoke Clubs Become Covid Hotspots
Niluksi Koswanage – Bloomberg
Singapore monitoring Covid-19 cases linked to social hostesses; Daily cases in Singapore rise to 19, highest since June 17
Singapore’s daily coronavirus infection tally hit the highest in nearly a month as authorities started investigating new cases from karaoke lounges and clubs. The uptick in cases may fuel concerns of a delay in rolling back restrictions although the government has said it is drawing up a road map that treats Covid-19 as endemic, and manageable as part of daily living like influenza.

****** Time to give up karaoke for a while. Back to singing in the shower. ~JJL


Covid: Seoul bans speedy songs in gyms to stop sweating
Gyms in South Korea’s capital Seoul and its surrounding region have been told not to play music with a tempo higher than 120 beats per minute (bpm), in order to limit the spread of Covid-19. Treadmills will be limited to a maximum of 6km/h (3.7 mph). Health officials say the restrictions will prevent people from breathing too fast or splashing sweat on each other.

******Don’t sweat too fast or you will spread Covid-19?~JJL


Monday’s Top Three
Our top story Monday was Bloomberg’s Wall Street’s Math Whizzes Are Racing to Wire Up the Bond Market, which says WFH is fueling a surge in electronic bond trading. Second was The Unassuming Nerve Center of the NYSE Trading Floor, by Farrell Kramer, head of NYSE Communications, on LinkedIn, about something called the Ramp. (The story quotes broker Peter Tuchman, who says, “I always think of the Ramp as the bridge from Star Trek.”) Third was the very disturbing story ‘Unrecognizable.’ Lake Mead, a lifeline for water in Los Angeles and the West, tips toward crisis, from the Los Angeles Times via Yahoo News.


MarketsWiki Stats
26,455 pages; 234,389 edits
MarketsWiki Statistics


Lead Stories

The quest for the investment Holy Grail — an index of everything; Benchmark providers seek to capture the performance of the entire market, from bonds and equities to private assets
Robin Wigglesworth – FT
Financial benchmarking giant MSCI is working on an “ultimate index” tracking the performance of all markets, which could mark the culmination of half a century of academic theory and practical financial engineering.

Banks face potential class action over alleged currencies manipulation; London courts consider £1bn lawsuit and another case related to foreign exchange trading
Jane Croft and Eva Szalay – FT
Allegations of foreign exchange price manipulation continue to haunt large banks as two courts in London consider separate cases related to claims that dealers in the past ripped off their clients on currency deals.

China’s Giant Carbon Market to Start Trading This Week
Bloomberg News
Market will be world’s largest in terms of emissions covered; System has encountered delays and missed a June deadline
China’s national carbon market, which will become the world’s largest emissions trading system, will finally begin online trading on Friday, according to people familiar with the matter.

Brussels offers financial cushion to get support for climate plan; EU looks to phase out free carbon credits for companies and also address energy poverty
Mehreen Khan – FT
Brussels wants to allow industry in the EU to maintain free carbon credits for more than a decade and offer potentially billions of euros of financial aid to poorer households in a bid to win support for its effort to limit global warming.

Goldman Doesn’t Want Mercenaries; Also BlackRock model portfolios, bond quants and Binance.
Matt Levine – Bloomberg
Disclosure, I used to work at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., and I would like nothing better than to tell you that it is an invaluable credential and an elite club. I’d love to tell you that every year the best and most accomplished 22-year-olds in the world graduate from college and enroll in finishing school at Goldman, that they spend a few years there learning the secrets of finance and power and handshakefulness and then go on to leading positions in investing and industry and government and academia and professional sports and writing financial newsletters. I’d love to tell you that these opportunities are so good, the training so comprehensive and the alumni network so powerful that Goldman could charge tuition for its two-year educational program, and that the fact that it instead pays those 22-year-olds a nice stipend is simply generous on Goldman’s part, a kind gesture to win the love and loyalty of the young people that it will soon send off into the world.

Crypto Derivatives Trading Exceeded Spot in June as Prices Fell
Olga Kharif – Bloomberg
First time monthly derivatives volume exceeded spot this year; Bitcoin price slump helped drive 40%-plus volume drop
More cryptocurrency derivatives were traded in June than actual coins for the first time this year, according to data tracker CryptoCompare. While trading volumes for both the spot and derivatives markets shrank last month by more than 40%, derivatives garnered 53.8% market share in June, compared to 49.4% in May, CryptoCompare said. Derivatives volumes in June was $3.2 trillion while total spot volumes reached $2.7 trillion.

Biden to warn US companies of risks of operating in Hong Kong; President plans more sanctions in retaliation to Beijing’s policy in the territory and Xinjiang
Demetri Sevastopulo in Washington and Primrose Riordan – FT
The Biden administration will this week warn US companies of the increasing risks of operating in Hong Kong as China asserts greater control over the financial hub.

R.J. O’Brien Elevates Gilhooly to Global COO, Rucci to Chief Human Resources Officer
R.J. O’Brien & Associates
Chicago-based R.J. O’Brien & Associates (RJO), the oldest and largest independent futures brokerage and clearing firm in the United States, today announced the promotion of two senior executives. Terry Gilhooly assumes the role of Global Chief Operating Officer (COO) from COO, North America, and Heather Rucci takes on the new position of Chief Human Resources Officer, from Managing Director, Human Resources.

The European school of central banking is no more; ECB strategy review aligns it with Fed on inflation and unconventional monetary tools
Martin Sandbu – FT
Last week the European Central Bank completed its strategy review ahead of schedule, to much less fanfare than the Federal Reserve’s equivalent update two years ago. But behind this subdued reception lies a notable normalisation of the eurozone institution.

JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs start earnings season strong.
Lananh Nguyen and Emily Flitter – NY Times
The big banks are booking big profits as customers shake off the pandemic and deal makers seize on busy markets. JPMorgan Chase, the country’s largest bank by assets, on Tuesday reported net income of $11.9 billion in the second quarter, up from $4.7 billion a year earlier. Its earnings per share of $3.78 and revenue of $30.5 billion exceeded analysts’ expectations.

JP Morgan warns hedge funds to expect intraday margin calls; US bank may demand variation margin ‘up to seven’ times a day after Archegos default
Nell Mackenzie –
JP Morgan is warning hedge fund clients that it will demand they post more cash at any time during the day if their trades lose value. The biggest US bank by assets called clients of its prime brokerage division in the aftermath of the collapse of Archegos Capital Management, according to three people familiar with the matter. JP Morgan told the hedge funds and family offices that they would have to post more collateral on their single-name equity swap positions if they lost value intraday.

The Covid-19 Pandemic Hasn’t Truly Tested Banks; Government support for the economy meant lenders came through the pandemic with generous capital buffers, leaving questions about how they will perform next time around
Rochelle Toplensky – WSJ
Banks have had a good crisis, but that doesn’t mean they are fit to weather the next one. On Tuesday, the Bank of England freed U.K. lenders of restrictions on shareholder payouts introduced early in the pandemic. It said the financial sector remains resilient to outcomes much more severe than their central forecast, with enough “capital and liquidity to be able to support the economy.”

China Called Finance Apps the Best Thing Since the Compass. No Longer; Beijing’s tech crackdown could imperil the innovation that brought modern finance to underserved people — but also led to concerns about reckless lending and borrowing.
Raymond Zhong – NY Times
When the coronavirus jammed up China’s economy last year, Rao Yong needed cash to tide over his online handicrafts business. But he dreaded the idea of spending long, dull hours at the bank.

If Bitcoin Isn’t Money, What Is It?
David G.W. Birch – Forbes
Crypto-assets will disrupt financial markets, crypto-currencies will not.
Speaking at the Paris Fintech Forum in June, Francois Villeroy de Galhau, the Governor of the Bank of France, said that there is no such thing as a cryptocurrency, only crypto-assets. I understand what he means. Brett Scott, who is always thoughtful about such things, recently made a similar point. He said that just as a child trading an action figure for a football “does not undermine the Federal Reserve (which issues dollars that both are priced in)” so “swapping a dollar-priced Bitcoin collectible for dollar-priced goods does not fundamentally alter the structure of the monetary system”. Indeed it does not.

BioBonds Would Use Wall St. Tools to Fund Medical Research; Karen Petrou invented a new funding model for curing blindness. Proposed legislation aims to apply it to medical research more generally.
phrat Livni – NY Times
In the development of disease treatments, the stage between basic research and advanced clinical trials is known as “the valley of death.” While ample public grants fund early-stage research and pharmaceutical companies are willing to fund studies on proven solutions, research at the “translational” stage, when basic findings are applied to potential treatments, is notoriously difficult to finance. Some promising treatments are never pursued as a result.


Israel Sees No Need to Administer Third Pfizer Shots to Everyone
Farah Elbahrawy, Yousef Gamal El-Din and Manus Cranny – Bloomberg
Israel maintains that two shots of the Pfizer vaccine are sufficient for the majority of its population, and is only planning to give a third round to patients with weakened immune systems, according to a senior adviser to the country’s Health Ministry.

U.S. Cases Soar; New Side Effect Tied to J&J Shot: Virus Update
Bloomberg News
Confirmed cases in the U.S. soared 47% in the week ending Sunday, the largest weekly rise since April 2020. The increase came as the delta variant spreads while vaccination rates fall. Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. virus specialist, said “ideological rigidity” is slowing use of the shots.

More Than Half of EU Adults Vaccinated; U.K. Fears: Virus Update
Bloomberg News
More than half of adults in the European Union are now vaccinated and France turned up the pressure to get more people immunized as the delta variant gains hold.

Europe’s Long March Toward Living With Covid-19; The delta variant sweeping across the world is a reminder of the efforts needed to make this coronavirus manageable.
Lionel Laurent – Bloomberg
“Living” with Covid-19 has been talked about since the pandemic first began: A moment when the coronavirus disease becomes part of everyday life, rather than an overpowering wave of cases and deaths that overloads hospitals and triggers society-crushing lockdowns. This so-called “endemic” phase would see Covid-19 look more like influenza, with regular vaccine campaigns and a focus on primary care. Not eradicated, but managed.

US struggles to track Delta variant due to fragmented health system; Country falls behind other nations with high vaccination rates in race to sequence virus
Nikou Asgari – FT
The fragmented US healthcare system is hampering the country’s efforts to rapidly sequence Covid-19 cases so it can track the Delta variant and potential future mutations, scientists and laboratory companies have warned.

Macron makes vaccines compulsory for care workers; French president seeks to limit surge of Covid infections while also reaffirming economic reforms
Victor Mallet – FT
France will make vaccination against Covid-19 compulsory for all healthcare workers and will restrict access to cafés, restaurants and other venues to those customers with “health passports” in order to put pressure on everyone else to be inoculated as well, President Emmanuel Macron announced on Monday.

Pandemic-driven hunger is making the world more unequal
Anthony Faiola – Washington Post
Up a narrow hillside populated by thin, snarling dogs and the grief-stricken mourners of the coronavirus pandemic, another plague has befallen the slum where 5-year-old Milinka and 8-year-old Luis Miguel sleep in one room with their parents. Hunger.

France Reimposes Restrictions as Delta Variant Spreads; Only people who are vaccinated or recently tested negative for Covid-19 will be allowed in bars, restaurants and malls
Noemie Bisserbe – WSJ
Only people who are vaccinated or recently tested negative for Covid-19 will be allowed in bars, restaurants and malls in France starting from August, President Emmanuel Macron said Monday, as the spread of the virus increases across the country.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

Tradeweb equities RFQ product manager joins Refinitiv in senior role; After building and implementing the RFQ for cash equities platform at Tradeweb, the product manager has joined Refinitiv.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
The product manager who built and implemented the request for quote (RFQ) for cash equities tool at Tradeweb has departed after almost three years to join Refinitiv in a senior role. Richard Bateson confirmed in an update on social media that he has been appointed head of equities and sell-side workflows at the London Stock Exchange Group’s (LSEG) Refinitiv, effective this month.

Nasdaq June 2021 Volumes And 2Q21 Statistics
Nasdaq (Nasdaq: NDAQ) today reported monthly volumes for June 2021, as well as quarterly volumes, estimated revenue capture, number of listings and index statistics for the quarter ended June 30, 2021 on its investor relations website. A data sheet showing the monthly volumes and quarterly capture rates can be found at:

Product Modification Summary: Expansion of the Listing Schedule of the Dutch TTF Natural Gas Calendar Month Futures Contract – Effective August 16, 2021
CME Group
Expansion of the Listing Schedule of the Dutch TTF Natural Gas Calendar Month Futures Contract.

Opening Speech by Loh Boon Chye, CEO of SGX, at the Singapore Iron Ore Forum 2021
1. Good afternoon all and welcome to the Singapore Iron Ore Forum. We are privileged to have you with us today as we come together again after a brief hiatus last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
2. The forum is well-known to the industry and is the highlight of our annual Singapore International Ferrous Week. Some of you will better remember this to be the Singapore Iron Ore Week.

Opening Speech by Mr Kwa Chong Seng, Chairman of SGX, at the Singapore International Ferrous Week 2021
1. Good morning, distinguished guests and welcome to the Singapore International Ferrous Week. We are privileged to have with us today our Guest-of-Honour Minister Dr. Tan See Leng; as well as our strategic and event partners, and our media friends.
2. While the pandemic has caused great suffering for many people, continued economic growth and trade is essential for global living conditions to continue to improve. There have been some supply chain disruptions but by and large, the financial and commodity markets continue to function seamlessly. Global central banks have all maintained largely accommodative monetary policies and kept interest rates low – this of course, has enabled trade and maintained growth.

DTCC Partners With Ebix To Deliver New Solution To Address Increasing Challenges Of Annuity Compliance
The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC), the premier market infrastructure for the global financial services industry, today announced that it is partnering with Ebix, Inc. (NASDAQ: EBIX), a leading international supplier of on-demand software and e-commerce services, to deliver an automated annuity compliance solution to significantly increase efficiency, reduce costs, and lower the risks associated with certifying agent compliance for annuity sales. Under this partnership, the firms will link Ebix’s platform, AnnuityNet, with DTCC’s Producer Management Portal (PMP).

SIX Acquires ULTUMUS From ETFS Capital To Strengthen Its ETF And Managed Data Service Offering
SIX, the Swiss and Spanish Exchange group, acquires ULTUMUS, the international index and ETF data specialist, from ETFS Capital, an investment firm focused on growth opportunities across the investment ecosystem.


Zynga Co-founder’s Gaming Firm Teams Up With Binance Smart Chain
Joanna Ossinger – Bloomberg
Gala Games is developing a decentralized, player-run ecosystem; Binance Smart Chain is designed to host blockchain apps
Blockchain gaming company Gala Games has received funding from the Binance Smart Chain’s $100 million Accelerator Fund. Two-year-old Gala, founded by Zynga Inc. co-founder Eric Schiermeyer, is building a platform to allow players to own any in-game items and non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, that they buy or earn, in a decentralized ecosystem that also gives them a voice in game development, according to the company.

Crypto Pioneer Quigley Sees NFTs Everywhere in Next 10 Years
Joanna Ossinger – Bloomberg
Co-founder of Tether sees authenticity as big draw for token; Quigley says NFTs can also be used for environmental projects
The world’s digital answer to collectibles that has fetched millions of dollars at art auctions this year could well end up being a daily necessity within a decade, according to a cryptocurrency doyen.

NatWest Markets implements TransFICC API for fixed income connectivity; As the rates business at NatWest Markets continues to grow, TransFICC will provide more efficient connectivity to its clients.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
NatWest Markets has partnered with fixed income and derivatives venue connectivity specialist TransFICC to drive its fixed income technology transformation. Through the partnership, NatWest Markets will use TransFICC’s connectivity and workflow tools as it looks to modernise its fixed income infrastructure and reduce costs for clients.

Digital mortgage lender Better acquiring Goldman Sachs-backed fintech
Riley de León – CNBC
Digital mortgage lender Better announced Monday that the company is making its first expansion overseas with the acquisition of Trussle, a U.K.-based digital mortgage and insurance broker backed by Goldman Sachs and Finch Capital, among others.
The deal values Trussle at roughly $9 million, according to people familiar with the matter.

Fintech Tifin Adds Cathie Wood to Board Amid Brokerage Expansion
Claire Ballentine and Katherine Chiglinsky – Bloomberg
Star ETF manager Cathie Wood is expanding her reach into the world of investing startups by joining the board of a fintech company.
The head of Ark Investment Management LLC will assist fintech platform Tifin as the company’s subsidiary Magnifi introduces commission-free brokerage services. Magnifi is a financial search platform that allows users to look for and compare investment options.

Warburg Pincus leads $153 mln fundraising for UK fintech Quantexa
Simon Jessop – Reuters
UK-based Quantexa has raised $153 million in a funding round led by Warburg Pincus, the financial technology start-up said on Tuesday, as it seeks to accelerate its regional expansion and develop new products in areas including banking and insurance.

Small U.K. fintech going global on backs of Visa, Railsbank
John Adams – American Banker
The fintech Novus plans to launch an app that encourages environmentally sustainable purchasing. But to succeed, the five-person company must itself be sustainable — and scalable — as a business.
About 15,000 users have signed up for a waitlist for the London-based company’s product, which offers financial rewards that can be spent, saved and tracked on its app. The fintech’s small remote staff is spread between the U.K., Finland, Switzerland and Bulgaria.


Obscure Cyber Agency Becomes Nemesis of China’s Tech Giants
Jamie Tarabay and Coco Liu – Bloomberg
Cyberspace Administration of China takes lead in data fight; Agency grows beyond its role as watchdog for sensitive content
In its earliest iteration, the Cyberspace Administration of China used to police the country’s internet for pornography and sensitive content online. Now, the low-profile agency holds the future of IPO-hungry tech firms in its hands.

BOE Warns on Risks of Banking’s Reliance on Cloud Computing
Libby Cherry and Lizzy Burden – Bloomberg
Tech giants are taking on more critical bank IT systems; Central bank says it needs powers to oversee the risks
The Bank of England wants additional powers to police the finance industry’s switch to cloud computing, saying it’s cloaking systems in secrecy and concentrating sensitive data with a handful of technology giants like Inc. and Microsoft Corp.

‘Iranian hackers’ impersonated academics at London university
Helen Warrell – Financial Times
Iranian hackers impersonated academics at London’s School of Oriental and African Studies to conduct an online espionage campaign targeting experts on the Middle East, according to the cyber security company Proofpoint. The hacking attempt was carried out by a group called Charming Kitten, also known as “Phosphorus” and APT35, which is widely thought by regional experts to carry out intelligence efforts on behalf of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard.

The Cybersecurity 202: Biden’s cybersecurity team is finally ready to go
Joseph Marks with Aaron Schaffer – Washington Post
President Biden’s full slate of top cybersecurity officials is finally ready to get down to work nearly six months into the administration and amid a sea of crises. The Senate yesterday unanimously confirmed Jen Easterly to lead the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) just hours after Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) removed a hold that had kept her and other top Department of Homeland Security nominees from Senate confirmation for weeks.


Met Police seize record £180m of cryptocurrency in London
The Met Police has seized a record £180m worth of cryptocurrency linked to international money laundering in London.
The seizure is the largest of its kind in the UK – beating the previous record set when the Met confiscated £114m of cryptocurrency on 24 June.

Bitcoin Miners Building Rigs Must Navigate World of Crypto Power-Hunting
Will Mathis, Josh Saul, Alfred Cang and Zheping Huang – Bloomberg
One weekend in late June, hundreds of gloomy Bitcoin miners crowded into a luxury hotel in Western China. They had a big problem: Just weeks earlier, the Chinese government banned cryptocurrency mining over concerns about illicit coal mining and underlying financial risks. Now they had to figure out how to move millions of computers out of the country.
The miners sat in rows of white chairs in a hall at the Gran Melia Chengdu Hotel and listened intently to the executives at Bitmain Technologies Ltd., the world’s largest mining-equipment maker. In between presentations about Texas energy fundamentals and crypto mining in Kazakhstan, the attendees nibbled cupcakes, drank cocktails and discussed the dismal outlook for their local industry.

Bitcoin price drop: Cryptocurrency trading volume plunges as interest wanes
Tanaya Macheel – CNBC
Cryptocurrencies are in a summer slump as they navigate a two-month correction period following a string of negative stories.
Trading volumes at the largest exchanges, including Coinbase, Kraken, Binance and Bitstamp, fell more than 40% in June, according to data from crypto market data provider CryptoCompare, which cited lower prices and lower volatility as the reason for the drop.

Bitcoin Miners Navigate Extreme World of Crypto Power-Hunting; A crypto crackdown sent them in search of cheaper, greener power sources
Will Mathis, Josh Saul, Alfred Cang, Zheping Huang – Bloomberg
One weekend in late June, hundreds of gloomy Bitcoin miners crowded into a luxury hotel in Western China. They had a big problem: Just weeks earlier, the Chinese government banned cryptocurrency mining over concerns about illicit coal mining and underlying financial risks. Now they had to figure out how to move millions of computers out of the country.

FTX Deal Gives Institutions New Access to Crypto Markets
Joanna Ossinger – Bloomberg
Copper’s client base will have access to bourse’s products; FTX joins ClearLoop instant settlement trading network
Cryptocurrency exchange FTX is joining’s ClearLoop settlement trading network, which will allow it to gain new access to institutional funds.

Crypto crackdown targeting USD access points has begun: Caitlin Long
Martin Young – CoinTelegraph
Caitlin Long, founder and CEO of the pioneering bank for the crypto sector Avanti Bank & Trust, has declared that the regulatory crackdown on crypto “has begun.”
In a lengthy tweet on Tuesday, the Wall Street veteran highlighted her thoughts on the current regulatory situation in the United States, predicting that authorities will not target Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) directly, instead opting to go after “intermediaries” and “access points” for U.S. dollars into the sector.

Crypto billionaire: Regulatory scrutiny may be good for the industry
Eustance Huang – CNBC
The recent regulatory scrutiny on cryptocurrency is “very healthy” for the sector, crypto billionaire Wu Jihan told CNBC on Tuesday.
“I think that such kind of crackdown may be a good thing for the industry in long term,” Wu said on the sidelines of the Asia Tech x Singapore conference.

FTX Joining Copper Technologies ClearLoop Settlement Broadens Crypto Access
Joanna Ossinger – Bloomberg
Cryptocurrency exchange FTX is joining’s ClearLoop settlement trading network, which will allow it to gain new access to institutional funds.
Copper’s client base of more than 300 institutional asset managers will now be able to trade FTX’s products — which include derivatives, options and tokenized stocks — with their funds secured within Copper’s platform, according to a statement from the companies.

Crypto Pioneer Quigley Sees NFTs Everywhere in Next 10 Years
Joanna Ossinger – Bloomberg
The world’s digital answer to collectibles that has fetched millions of dollars at art auctions this year could well end up being a daily necessity within a decade, according to a cryptocurrency doyen.
Non-fungible tokens, which are digital certificates of authenticity powered by blockchain technology, have the potential to add value for not just artworks but also everyday essentials such as retail goods, according to William Quigley, a co-founder of stablecoin Tether.
“All consumer products — that can’t be eaten — in the next 10 years will have digital twins. They will have NFTs,” Quigley said in a recent interview.

Illegal Crypto Mining Farm With Almost 5,000 Computers Busted in Ukraine; The illegal operation cost between $186,000 and $259,300 in electricity to the state each month.
Ameya Paleja –
Last week, the Ukraine police unit exposed a massive underground crypto mining farm in the city of Vinnytsia, three hours from the capital city of Kyiv. The police have begun criminal proceedings against the operators of the farm, who hail from Kyiv and Vinnytsia, for unauthorized use of water, electricity, and thermal energy.


Johnson’s U.K. Virus Gamble Sparks Fear and Unease as Cases Grow
Joe Mayes, Khadija Kothia and Emily Ashton – Bloomberg
Doctors warn of threat to health service from extra pressure; Economists expect dip in consumer confidence on fresh wave
Boris Johnson’s decision to ease remaining coronavirus restrictions in England is prompting growing fear and calls for caution, fueling worries that a surge in infections will strain hospitals and undermine Britain’s economic recovery.

U.S. Companies Say Climate Change Is a Problem—But Still Lobby Against Solutions; A new report from sustainability nonprofit Ceres finds that most large companies aren’t putting lobbying muscle behind climate goals.
Michael Tobin – Bloomberg
While more than 80% of the largest U.S. companies have set emissions reduction goals, less than half engaged with lawmakers to advocate for science-based climate policies — and more than 20% have lobbied against them, according to report released Tuesday by sustainability nonprofit Ceres.

Biden to Warn U.S. Companies About Hong Kong Risks, FT Says
Kari Soo Lindberg and Iain Marlow – Bloomberg
Administration to cite data access, sanctions, paper says; Move reportedly planned as firms not taking issue seriously
The U.S. will warn American companies this week of the increasing risks of operating in Hong Kong, the Financial Times reported, as Washington seeks to ramp up pressure over Beijing’s crackdown on the financial center.

Biden Is Restoring America’s Tradition of Battling Big Business
Nelson Lichtenstein – NY Times
On Friday, President Biden signed a sweeping executive order intended to curb corporate dominance, enhance business competition and give consumers and workers more choices and power. The order features 72 initiatives ranging widely in subject matter — net neutrality and cheaper hearing aids, more scrutiny of Big Tech and a crackdown on the high fees charged by ocean shippers.


Bank of England removes restrictions on bank dividends and share buybacks; Fed has already scrapped its payout limits, while ECB plans to do so in October
Stephen Morris – FT
The Bank of England has removed restrictions on bank dividends and share buybacks imposed during the pandemic, judging the sector to be resilient enough to absorb any further Covid-19 shocks.

Google Fined $593 Million in France Over Treatment of News Publishers; Regulator says company violated orders to negotiate with publishers for right to show snippets of content in search results
Sam Schechner – WSJ
France’s Competition Authority fined Google $593 million for allegedly violating orders to negotiate paid deals with news publishers, raising pressure on the company in a global fight over how and whether tech companies should pay for news.

ASIC obtains orders against Alliance Insurance Broking Services
ASIC has obtained urgent interim orders in the Federal Court against Alliance Insurance Broking Services Pty Ltd (AIBS) and its sole director Renato De Maria (the defendants).

ESMA publishes methodology for assessing third country CCPs systemic importance
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the EU’s securities markets regulator, today published a methodology for assessing whether a third country central counterparty (TC-CCP) or some of its clearing services are of such substantial systemic importance that the TC-CCP should not be recognised to provide certain clearing services or activities in the European Union.

ESMA warns firms and investors about risks arising from payment for order flow
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the EU’s securities markets regulator, is issuing a public statement to remind firms that the receipt of payment for order flow (PFOF) raises significant investor protection concerns. It also highlights key MiFID II obligations aimed at ensuring firms act in their clients’ best interest when executing their orders.

Why The Best Mid-Sized Company to Work In IT Is A Financial Regulator – FINRA. Again.
Steve Randich – FINRA
When you think of the best work environment in information technology, you probably think of a place where you can do highly advanced work that makes a positive difference. Where the organization values your unique contribution and perspective, and invests in your ability to reach your potential. Where collaboration and innovation are among the core values. You might not think of a securities regulator. But think again.

Notice: Enhancements to TRACE Volume Reports
TRACE Volume Reports are produced on a monthly basis for TRACE participants to review TRACE activity for the past month by sub-product. FINRA will implement changes to these reports on Monday, July 26, 2021 that will include the addition of ATS, Interdealer and Customer categories and modify how volumes are computed. Specifically, volumes will be computed similarly to the Weekly Treasury Aggregates, in which only one report for an ATS trade is included.

Joint Bank of England and FCA review of open-ended investment funds
In the report on Assessing the resilience of market-based finance published today, the Bank of England has set out the conclusion to the joint review by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Bank of England on open-ended investment funds and the risks posed by their liquidity mismatch.

Investing and Trading

Lumber Wipes Out 2021 Gain With Demand Ebbing After Record Boom
Marcy Nicholson – Bloomberg
Wood prices often drift lower in the summer, rise in September; Lumber futures still at historically elevated prices
Lumber, which at one point was among the world’s best-performing commodities as the pandemic sent construction demand soaring and stoked fears of inflation, has officially wiped out all of its staggering gains for the year.

IEA Warns of Much Tighter Oil Market Unless OPEC+ Boosts Supply
Grant Smith – Bloomberg
Fuel inventories below average levels and demand is rebounding; Agency keeps forecasts for global demand and supply steady
Global oil markets are set to “tighten significantly” unless the OPEC+ alliance resolves its standoff and agrees to increase production, the International Energy Agency warned.

Record Natural Gas Prices Give Power Markets a Jolt; Chinese demand, heat in the Pacific Northwest and drought in Brazil create pockets of scarcity for the key electricity-generating fuel
Joe Wallace – NY Times
A scramble for natural gas is creating pockets of scarcity in the global market, boosting prices for the fuel and for the electricity generated by burning it. Rampant demand in China is sucking in chilled cargoes of gas from the U.S., after a year in which American energy companies throttled back production. A drought in Brazil has added to the competition by curtailing power output from hydroelectric dams.

Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance

ESG investing: funds weigh sovereign debt profits against human rights; Activists are increasing pressure on asset managers to stop supporting regimes that abuse their own citizens
Laurence Fletcher and Tommy Stubbington – FT
Late one evening last November Nickolai Prakofyeu answered the phone to some troubling news: he had 24 hours to leave Belarus or face at least 12 years in prison. Prakofyeu’s father had been tipped off by a sympathetic source within the Belarusian KGB that the security forces of Alexander Lukashenko’s regime were no longer willing to tolerate the family’s pro-democracy activities since last August’s disputed election.

Hydrogen Is One Answer to Climate Change. Getting It Is the Hard Part; Hydrogen is one of the most plentiful elements in the universe, but producing it in a way that is emission-free is costly. Pioneering companies are working to change that.
Stanley Reed and Jack Ewing – NY Times
Rachel Smith has lived through green hydrogen’s bumpy journey from scientists’ dream to an industry that may be on the verge of a commercial breakthrough. An engineer, she started out two decades ago working in a converted barn on early devices for making the clean-burning gas.


JPMorgan’s Bankers Notch Record Quarter on Merger Flurry
Hannah Levitt – Bloomberg
Shares decline as expenses come in higher than expected; Reserve release of $3 billion almost twice as big as predicted
JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s investment bankers posted their best quarter ever as a record first half in dealmaking bolstered the bottom line. Shares of the company fell as expenses climbed and loan growth remained out of reach.

***** Here are the FT and WSJ versions of this story.

Credit Suisse Has Key Credit Rating Cut Over Twin Scandals
Patrick Winters – Bloomberg
Long-term senior unsecured debt of Credit Suisse AG downgraded; Rating company cites methodology changes, risk taking
Credit Suisse Group AG had a key credit rating cut following the twin hits from Archegos Capital Management and Greensill Capital, adding to headwinds for Chairman Antonio Horta-Osorio as he seeks to turn around the lender.

Pace of US ETF launches doubles in space of two years; New providers and niche strategies fuel ETF boom as wide range of investors gravitate towards these products
Jackie Noblett – FT
Fund shops have pumped out ETFs at a breakneck pace so far this year in an attempt to capture a share of the massive inflows into the products.

Credit Suisse’s Swiss Banking Arm Compliance Chief Steps Down; Floriana Scarlato, the head of compliance at Swiss Universal Bank, joined Credit Suisse in 2005
Dylan Tokar – WSJ
The compliance chief of Credit Suisse Group AG’s Swiss banking arm has stepped down, creating another vacancy in the bank’s compliance function in the wake of a fallout over losses tied to the meltdown of Archegos Capital Management.

BNP Paribas completes Exane acquisition; The acquisition of Exane after a 17-year partnership will play a key role as BNP Paribas aims to boost its position in the European equities space.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
French investment bank BNP Paribas has completed the acquisition of its long-standing partner and equity brokerage Exane following confirmation of the deal in March. BNP Paribas has acquired the remaining 50% stake in Exane that it has held throughout its 17-year partnership with Exane in a deal that will bring the bank’s cash equities trading and research and derivatives activities back in-house.

JP Morgan futures and options head returns to Barclays to head up electronic trading; New head of electronic trading and digital strategy at Barclays will be responsible for driving the bank’s BARX offering, The TRADE can reveal.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
The former global head of futures and options electronic trading at JP Morgan has left to rejoin rival investment bank Barclays as head of electronic trading and digital strategy. The bank has confirmed that Peter Ward will join Barclays in September later this year after 11 years with JP Morgan, most recently serving as global head of futures and options trading.


Arab Spring Redux? Middle East Most Exposed to Food Prices
Ziad Daoud and Felipe Hernandez
International food prices have risen close to their 2011 peak. Ten years ago, they triggered waves of protests, especially in the Middle East. The region is still exposed today — seven of the 10 most-exposed emerging market economies are in the Middle East according to Bloomberg Economics’ food vulnerability scorecard — but its weakest links are Sudan and Lebanon instead of Egypt and Tunisia, with Yemen rounding off the top three.

Cocoa Data Suggests Chocolate Demand Is Bouncing Back in Europe
Irina Anghel – Bloomberg
Second-quarter cocoa processing jumped 14% year-on-year: ECA; Data beat estimates; Asia, North America figures due this week
Chocolate demand appears to be roaring back in Europe as easing Covid-19 restrictions encourage consumers to buy more treats again. Cocoa processing — where beans are turned into products used in confectionery — jumped 14% in the second quarter from a year earlier, when grindings slumped early on in lockdowns. That was much more than projected in a Bloomberg survey and marked the largest volume for that quarter in more than a decade.

Hong Kong ‘doxing’ crackdown stirs further fears for business; Critics say data privacy law shake-up will cut access to information and hamper social media groups
Tabby Kinder – FT
During the Hong Kong protests in 2019, doxing — the malicious sharing of personal information online — was rife. Protesters used Facebook and Telegram to broadcast the details of police officers accused of violence, and government supporters published the private information of opposition politicians, activists and journalists.

Will Europe’s asset managers defy the mantra that big is better? As American investment groups rush into mergers, the pressure on European rivals to respond is growing
Robin Wigglesworth and Harriet Agnew – FT
As US asset managers strain to prove that big is better, Jean Pierre Mustier, one of Europe’s best-known bankers, believes competitors on the continent are better off leaving that mantra to Americans.

Drought Hits the Southwest, and New Mexico’s Canals Run Dry; Acequias, the fabled irrigation ditches that are a cornerstone of New Mexican culture, have endured centuries of challenges. Can they survive the Southwest’s megadrought?
Simon Romero – NY Times
Nestled in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the remote village of Ledoux has for more than a century relied on a network of irrigation ditches to water its crops. The outpost’s acequias, as New Mexico’s fabled canals are known, are replenished annually by snowmelt and rains. But with the Southwest locked in an unrelenting drought, they have begun to run dry.

‘Everyone Has a Tipping Point’: Hunger Fuels Cuba’s Protests; A day after a rare outbreak of anti-government protests in Cuba, the United States and Cuba traded sharp words.
Oscar Lopez and Ernesto Londoño – NY Times
Hospitals and pharmacies have run out of medicines as basic as penicillin and aspirin. Blackouts have become maddeningly frequent and agonizingly long. Cubans lucky enough to have foreign currency wait in line for hours for staples like beans and rice.


UK charities struggle to navigate foreign exchange markets; High transaction costs and currency volatility are eating into donations, study shows
Eva Szalay – FT
UK charities are losing out as a result of currency volatility and high transaction costs, according to a new study that shows how donations to multinational organisations are often eroded by the foreign currency market.

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