The Unique U.S. Failure to Control the Virus; Wall Street Enforcement Chief to Leave Agency

Aug 6, 2020

First Read

Hits & Takes
By John Lothian & JLN Staff

Children are not immune to Covid. They can catch the virus, they can spread the virus and they can become very ill from the virus.~Gov. Andrew Cuomo, NY

Dr. Anthony Fauci’s family is receiving death threats and he has had to hire security to protect them.

If you missed the FIA Midyear 2020 Advocacy Report, here it is again. We all need advocates.

The Radio City Music Hall Rockettes’ ‘Christmas Spectacular’ is canceled. Yes, because of Covid-19.

I have sold $3.1 billion in John J. Lothian & Company, Inc. stock because its shares have surged in recent weeks. Oops, sorry, that was Jeff Bezos who sold Amazon shares for that amount. Nice to have a little walking around money. I wonder what he will buy.

The World Gold Council has a guide for responsible retail investing in gold.

Today would be a good day for the CFTC commissioners to announce they are dropping all changes against Jitesh Thakkar and his firm for a case that never should have been brought and which continues to put a stain on our industry.

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


Grayscale Investments, the company that created the SEC-reporting Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, announced today that it has voluntarily filed a registration statement on Form 10 with the SEC for the Grayscale Ethereum Trust. If accepted, this would make the Trust the second SEC-reporting digital currency company, the first being Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust.~MR


4 Distributed Ledger Technology Proof-of-Concepts Leading the Way Toward a Digital Future; Four efforts illustrate how distributed ledger technology will transform financial markets
In 2017 it looked as if bitcoin, the original manifestation of distributed ledger technology (DLT), was on course to become a dominant and ubiquitous force in financial markets. Unfortunately, bubbles are bound to burst and bitcoin was no exception. However, out of the rubble of the cryptocurrency crash an interesting trend emerged: the corporate financial services world began to pay attention and explore DLT as an option for the development of new systems and processes. Now, new efforts are taking shape that seem destined to develop DLT infrastructure in ways that will radically change the very face of financial markets.

*****It seems to me the main thing impeding companies from using distributed ledger technology is the “distributed” part. Companies seem loath to spread out all of that information and lose control of it, which is at the root of all of this.~JB


C.D.C. Warns of the Dangers of Drinking Hand Sanitizer After Fatal Poisonings; Four people died and nearly a dozen others were poisoned after swallowing alcohol-based hand sanitizer, federal health officials said.
Neil Vigdo – NY Times
Federal health authorities issued a formal warning on Wednesday about the dangers of drinking hand sanitizer and alerted poison control centers across the nation to be on the lookout for cases of methanol toxicity after four people died and nearly a dozen became ill.

*****Our education system is failing us. I don’t care how many memes my crazy uncle shares with me on Facebook to eat hand sanitizer. School taught me that methyl-alcohol is converted into formaldehyde in your body if you drink it. No thanks.~JB


Goldman Says Covid-19 Vaccine Approval Could Upend Markets
Cormac Mullen – Bloomberg
Investors should consider the risk of a successful coronavirus vaccine unsettling markets by sparking a sell-off in bonds and rotation out of technology into cyclical stocks, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. The increased probability of an approved vaccine by the end of November is underpriced by equity markets, wrote strategists including Kamakshya Trivedi in a note Wednesday. Over the next few months, the ramifications of the U.S. election and the evolution of the virus — in part as schools reopen — are also likely to be key drivers of the market, they said.

*****”While the strategists suggested it may be too early for investors to position themselves aggressively for such a shift, they recommended options trades as a way to play the theme. For example, some call options on the S&P 500 still look attractive, and Goldman sees upside to around the 3,700 level should there be an early vaccine.”~SR


The Teenager Allegedly Behind the Twitter Hack and How He Did It; Prosecutors say Florida teen impersonated IT department, used other techniques
Robert McMillan and Euirim Choi – WSJ
The crucial moment in the worst hack in Twitter Inc.’s history sounded like something millions of Americans would find unremarkable. It was a call from the IT department. Or at least, it seemed to be. In fact, the call was from a Florida teenager who convinced a Twitter employee that he was a co-worker, according to prosecutors, who revealed their case last week. The persuasion was a key leap forward during months of reconnaissance that ultimately granted the 17-year-old access to a host of Twitter accounts, including Barack Obama, Elon Musk and Kanye West, authorities allege.

*****No matter how careful the IT department is, people are always the weak link in the chain.~JB



Wednesday’s Top Three
Our top story Wednesday was Sen. Kelly Loeffler blasts players on her WNBA team for supporting challenger, from the New York Post. Second was CME Settles Lawsuit With Regulator Over Leaks by Former Employees, from the Wall Street Journal. Third was The Strain the Covid Pandemic Is Putting on Marriages, also from the Wall Street Journal.


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Lead Stories

The Unique U.S. Failure to Control the Virus; Slowing the coronavirus has been especially difficult for the United States because of its tradition of prioritizing individualism and missteps by the Trump administration.
David Leonhardt – NY Times
Nearly every country has struggled to contain the coronavirus and made mistakes along the way. China committed the first major failure, silencing doctors who tried to raise alarms about the virus and allowing it to escape from Wuhan. Much of Europe went next, failing to avoid enormous outbreaks. Today, many countries — Japan, Canada, France, Australia and more — are coping with new increases in cases after reopening parts of society.

Wall Street Enforcement Chief to Leave Agency; Securities and Exchange Commission Co-Director Steven Peikin to exit Aug. 14
Dave Michaels – WSJ
The co-chief of enforcement for Wall Street’s main regulator will leave the government this month, the first high-profile director to leave the agency as it readies for turnover among its top personnel around the November presidential election.

Empty Tokyo Offices Jump by Record as Virus Bankruptcies Rise
Gearoid Reidy – Bloomberg
Vacancies at offices in central Tokyo rose by the most on record in July as the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic continued to spread and virus-related bankruptcies in the capital reached 100. Office vacancies in five of Tokyo’s major business districts increased for a record fifth consecutive month, rising to 2.77% from 1.97% in June, real estate brokerage Miki Shoji Co. said on Thursday. It was the largest one-month gain on record, beating a high set in 2009 in the aftermath of the global financial crisis.

Goldman Says Covid-19 Vaccine Approval Could Upend Markets
Cormac Mullen – Bloomberg
Investors should consider the risk of a successful coronavirus vaccine unsettling markets by sparking a sell-off in bonds and rotation out of technology into cyclical stocks, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

Singapore Exchange Regulator Seeks More Power to Sanction Firms
Ishika Mookerjee – Bloomberg
SGX RegCo wants to deter wrongdoing amid pressures of pandemic; Consultation paper to market will close for comments Sept. 7
Singapore Exchange Ltd.’s regulatory arm wants to beef up its enforcement powers, as it seeks to deter wrongdoing at a time when companies face financial pressure from the coronavirus pandemic.

A first in the history of capital markets?
Jamie Powell – FT
Nikola, the $13bn born-of-SPAC electric truck manufacturer that, in absolutely no way, is riding on Tesla’s coat tails, reported earnings Tuesday evening after the bell. With no products to sell yet, FT Alphaville was expecting to see the Phoenix-based company post no revenues, and a loss of some sorts. Instead, the company made some revenues — $36,000 (yes, 36 grand) — and a loss of $87m.

House Democrats probe $765m government loan to Kodak; Investigators focus on share purchases by company insiders before deal was announced
Eric Platt and Richard Henderson and Kadhim Shubber – FT
Democrats in the US House of Representatives have launched an investigation into a $765m government loan to Eastman Kodak last week that drove the company’s stock up nearly 1,500 per cent in a matter of days.

Switzerland’s Biggest Family Fortune Has Prospered for 124 Years; The family behind drug maker Roche has neatly navigated the pitfalls of generational change.
Tom Metaled – Bloomberg
The timing was precise, the choreography immaculate: with two deft maneuvers, a new generation of the Oeri-Hoffmann family marked its growing influence over the wealthiest dynasty in Switzerland.

Barclays Activist Raises Stake, Pressure on Trading Rejig
Stefania Spezzati – Bloomberg
Bramson says Barclays is pursuing unrealistic ambitions; British lender should emulate Deutsche Bank’s restructuring
A strong first half of the year for Barclays Plc traders hasn’t stopped the bank’s top shareholder from renewing calls to shrink its investment bank. Edward Bramson’s Sherborne Investors
Management LP, which recently boosted its stake to 5.9%, said Barclays should mimic cutbacks at Deutsche Bank AG to improve profitability, according to a letter sent to investors this week and seen by Bloomberg News.

Macron Visits Lebanon Promising Post-Blast Aid Yet Urging Reform
Ania Nussbaum and Dana Khraiche – Bloomberg
French president says former protectorate must reform its ways; Macron says he’ll help to organize international aid
France’s President Emmanuel Macron arrived in Lebanon on Thursday with a message of solidarity for a country reeling from a devastating explosion, but warned that the country must reform its corrupt ways.

Why Are U.S. Stock Markets Booming When Everything Is So Bleak?
Lucy Harley-McKeown – Newsweek
At the end of March, news about the coronavirus sent markets into a tailspin as investors digested the potential knock the virus could give the economy. Stocks saw a dramatic crash across a plethora of sectors.

Robert Schlesinger Trump’s ‘Axios on HBO’ interview proves how much he relies on marketing to counter reality; The power of positive thinking can’t make the coronavirus crisis disappear — and neither can the president’s preferred charts or willful ignorance.
Robert Schlesinger – NBC News
In Donald Trump’s book “The Art of the Deal,” he offered readers a piece of advice he might now do well to take: “You can’t con people, at least not for long,” he (or his ghostwriter) explained. “You can create excitement, you can do wonderful promotion and get all kinds of press, and you can throw in a little hyperbole. But if you don’t deliver the goods, people will eventually catch on.”

Arb Trading Signs with Trillium Surveyor for Trade Surveillance
Business Wire
Trillium, a pioneering financial and technology service provider, announced today that Arb Trading, a Chicago-based proprietary trading firm, will now use Trillium’s Surveyor trade surveillance platform. “We are thrilled to welcome Arb Trading to the Surveyor family and share in Arb’s excitement about this partnership. Arb joins a number of proprietary trading firms that have chosen to use the Surveyor platform. “Trillium’s attention to its clients’ needs made a real impression on us. In addition to having an effective, user-friendly product, the excellent customer service provided by Trillium’s team was one of the main reasons we made the switch to Surveyor. Trillium is not just a vendor, but a partner we can trust,” said Adam Passaglia, Managing Partner at Arb Trading.


Virus ‘Checkpoints’ in N.Y.C. to Enforce Travel Rules? Well, Not Exactly; The mayor is sending the sheriff to city bridges and tunnels to try to ward off a second wave of the coronavirus.
Michael Gold – NY Times
The announcement by Mayor Bill de Blasio on Wednesday seemed to signal a new crackdown in the city’s efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus: “Traveler registration checkpoints” would be set up at bridges and tunnels, conjuring images of police officers stopping cars and detaining people from out of state.

Why There’s No Going Back to Pre-Covid Capitalism
Tracy Alloway and Joe Weisenthal – Bloomberg
In light of the massive disruption to the economy, there’s a widespread view that things have been permanently altered, that fiscal policy must take a more active role in economic stabilization, and that the job of central banks will inevitably change. While this is a trendy thing to say now, the guest on this episode has been anticipating it for a while. Viktor Shvets is a Managing Director at the investment bank Macquarie Group Limited and the author of the new book, The Great Rupture: Three Empires, Four Turning Points, and the Future of Humanity. He explains how the old model of economic growth, which he argues widened inequality by being dependent on the growth in asset values, must give way, and that an attempt to return to to the pre-crisis model will be a disaster.

German Cases Reach Three-Month High; Trump Blocked: Virus Update
Bloomberg News
Germany recorded the highest number of new coronavirus cases in more than three months, though still well below the peak reached in early April. Sweden’s light-touch lockdown may have contributed to a less severe economic contraction, the country’s finance minister said.

Misery Ranking Will Show U.S. Getting Worse Versus Rest of World
Catarina Saraiva and Michelle Jamrisko – Bloomberg
China improves as Covid-19 modestly impacts 2020 forecast; Venezuela, Argentina and South Africa top the misery list
The U.S. is projected to see the worst reversal of fortune this year in a ranking of global economic misery, underscoring just how much havoc the pandemic has wrought. America fell 25 spots, from the No. 50 spot to No. 25, on Bloomberg’s Misery Index, which tallies inflation and unemployment outlooks for 60 economies. The drop comes as President Donald Trump fights for re-election while millions of Americans remain unemployed. Only Iceland, Israel, and Panama were even close to that level of deterioration in the annual rankings.

Welcome Back to Germany. Now Take Your Free Virus Test; The country’s capacity to make testing efficient, affordable and available has distinguished it. Now, to head off a potential second wave, it’s testing anyone returning from a “hot zone” on entry.
Melissa Eddy – NY Times
When she returned to Germany last week from a vacation in Serbia, one of the first things Snjezana Kirstein did was to stop at a pop-up coronavirus testing center at Berlin’s Tegel Aiport.

Australia Third-Quarter GDP to Be Cut 2.5% by Victoria Lockdown
Michael Heath – Bloomberg
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison warned the lockdown across Victoria state and even tighter measures in Melbourne to contain a Covid-19 outbreak will cut gross domestic product by 2.5% in this quarter.

The class of Covid-19: can US college students really go back? The attitude of some young people to risk will make a safe return to campus challenging
Gillian Tett – FT
Will university students ever get back to college? Can freshmen even start? These are the questions preoccupying many parents in the US and elsewhere. And, judging from the angst-ridden conversations I’ve had with my friends in recent days, the outlook is exceedingly mixed.

We’ve Hit a Pandemic Wall;New data show that Americans are suffering from record levels of mental distress.
Jennifer Senior – NY Times
Lyfe Tavarres in his apartment in Portland, Ore. He has found support during the coronavirus crisis by reaching out to family members and friends.Credit…Leah Nash
I am trying to think of when I first realized we’d all run smack into a wall. Was it two weeks ago, when a friend, ordinarily a paragon of wifely discretion, started a phone conversation with a boffo rant about her husband?

J&J Forges $1 Billion Pact With U.S. for Covid-19 Vaccine Supply
Riley Griffin – Bloomberg
Experimental vaccine offers one-shot alternative to others; One in a series of deals by the government to speed delivery
Johnson & Johnson said it has agreed to supply 100 million doses of its experimental Covid-19 vaccine to the U.S. for more than $1 billion, the latest in a string of such pacts between the government and pharmaceutical companies. Under the agreement, J&J will manufacture and deliver its SARS-CoV-2 investigational vaccine in the U.S., according to a statement by the health-care giant on Wednesday. The J&J vaccine is expected to go into late-stage trials in September.

Fauci Says Fast Development of Vaccines Doesn’t Threaten Safety
Anna Edney – Bloomberg
The rapid speed at which researchers are developing coronavirus vaccines doesn’t mean that safety is being sacrificed, said Anthony Fauci, the U.S. government’s top infectious-disease expert. “The rapidity with which we are moving relates more to technological advances with how you can make a vaccine even before you start testing it,” Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and one of the top U.S. health officials, said on Wednesday in an interview with Bloomberg Television.

Covid-19 Surge Threatens M.B.A. Programs’ Already Limited Back-to-School Plans; Under pressure to provide an on-campus experience, many business schools planned to offer some in-person teaching. Now some are opting for online-only.
Patrick Thomas – WSJ
Business schools spent months scrambling to provide fall M.B.A. classes with at least some of the on-campus experience that students say makes the pricey degree worth it. Weeks before classes start, some of those plans are already falling apart.

Covid-19 May Keep Developing Countries From Catching Up to Rich Ones; Pandemic’s economic shock could exacerbate stagnation in emerging markets; Indonesia struggles as manufacturing declines
Jon Emont – WSJ
Even before the pandemic, developing countries struggled to sustain the high growth rates of a decade ago that had promised to catapult them into the economic big leagues. The coronavirus is making their path much rockier, potentially entrenching the divide between the world’s rich and poorer parts.

U.S. Treasury Expects Borrowing Needs to Remain Elevated Amid Coronavirus Spending; Treasury to increase auction sizes across all tenors this quarter, particularly 7- and 10-year notes and 20- and 30-year bonds
Kate Davidson – WSJ
The Treasury Department said Wednesday it expects the government’s borrowing needs to moderate somewhat this quarter but remain elevated amid an unprecedented surge in federal spending to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

SGX RegCo proposes new enforcement framework for swifter outcomes, wants issuers to have whistleblowing policy
Singapore Exchange Regulation (SGX RegCo) is consulting the market on changes to the Listing Rules governing enforcement actions for greater and swifter accountability, and clarity, in the securities market. We are also proposing that all issuers have in place a whistleblowing policy.

Intercontinental Exchange Reports July Statistics; Energy Open Interest +16% y/y
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc.
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE:ICE), a leading operator of global exchanges and clearing houses and provider of data and listings services, today reported July 2020 trading volume and related revenue statistics, which can be viewed on the company’s investor relations website at in the Monthly Statistics Tracking spreadsheet.

TMX Group Consolidated Trading Statistics – July 2020
TMX Group Limited today announced July 2020 trading statistics for its marketplaces – Toronto Stock Exchange, TSX Venture Exchange, TSX Alpha Exchange (Alpha) and Montréal Exchange.

TMX Group Limited Increases Dividend to $0.70 per Common Share
The Board of Directors of TMX Group Limited today declared a dividend of $0.70 on each common share outstanding, an increase of $0.04 or 6%, from the previous $0.66 per common share. This dividend is payable on September 4, 2020 to shareholders of record at the close of business on August 21, 2020.

TMX Group Limited Reports Results for Second Quarter 2020
TMX Group Limited [TSX:X] (“TMX Group”) today announced results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2020.

ASX Monthly Activity Report – July 2020

Euronext announces volumes for July 2020
Euronext, the leading pan-European exchange, today announced trading volumes for July 2020.

VP Securities CEO resigns after Euronext completes acquisition; New chief executive for VP Securities as Euronext completes takeover announced in April.
Jon Watkins – The Trade
Long-serving VP Securities chief executive, Niels Olsen, has resigned from his post to pursue personal projects after Euronext completed its acquisition of the central securities depositary (CSD). Olsen had been CEO of the Danish CSD for seven years and hands over the reins to Maria Hjorth, the current deputy CEO.

EEX Group Press Release – Monthly Report Juli 2020
EEX Group

Borsa Italiana Monthly Update – July 2020

Tradeweb Markets Monthly Activity Report July 2020 – Tradeweb Reports July Trading Volume
Average daily volume (ADV) across rates, credit, equities and money markets for Tradeweb Markets was $724.7 billion (bn) in July 2020, a decrease of 3.5 percent (%) year over year (YoY). Steady growth across products, including new records in Chinese bonds as well as repurchase agreements, was offset by softer swaps trading as a result of lower market-wide rates volatility. Average daily trades for the month totaled 45,373.

Cboe Global Markets Reports July 2020 Trading Volume
Cboe Global Markets
ADV across Cboe’s four options exchanges up 33 percent from July 2019; U.S. Equities total ADV across Cboe’s four equities exchanges was up 48 percent from July 2019; Global FX ADNV up 9 percent from July 2019
Cboe Global Markets, Inc. (Cboe: CBOE), one of the world’s largest exchange holding companies, today reported July monthly trading volume.

Tomorrow’s Capital Podcast; Tomorrow’s Capital is Nasdaq’s podcast series with thought leaders, influencers, & industry titans making their mark on the economic landscape
Tomorrow’s Capital is a Nasdaq podcast featuring thought leaders, influencers, and industry titans making their mark on the current economic landscape and reshaping the markets in the years to come.


Liquidnet veteran departs for buy-side block trading platform Luminex; Ilisa Gruber joins Luminex as a sales and relationship manager after 18 years with Liquidnet.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
A Liquidnet sales veteran has departed the firm and joined US-based buy-side owned block trading platform Luminex Trading & Analytics in a senior sales role.

Fintech Greenlight is building ways to let kids invest in stocks
Shannen Balogh – Business Insider
A personal finance app for kids that’s managed by their parents has doubled its user base in the first half of this year.
Greenlight, which currently offers debit cards and savings accounts, is eyeing more financial products to launch for its parent and child users off that back of that growth.
“We’re trying to help parents raise financially smart kids,” Tim Sheehan, cofounder and CEO of Greenlight, told Business Insider.

Wirecard business partner reported dead in Philippines; Christopher Bauer was being investigated over the collapse of the German payments group
Stefania Palma, Olaf Storbeck and Dan McCrum – FT
A German businessman responsible for one of Wirecard’s biggest sources of stated profits has been reported dead a month after Philippine authorities announced he was under investigation over the payments company’s collapse.

Wirecard Implosion Tears Through European Banks’ Bottom Lines
Steven Arons, Ruben Munsterman, and Alexandre Rajbhandari – Bloomberg
Wirecard AG’s spectacular collapse is leaving a gaping hole in the income statements of its European banks. While only three of the biggest lenders to the German payments company have reported earnings so far, all wrote down virtually their entire exposure. Commerzbank AG and ING Groep NV each took a hit of about 175 million euros ($207 million), according to people familiar with the matter, more than half of their profit for the second quarter. Credit Agricole SA suffered a loss of about 110 million euros.

Square’s Future Takes Shape; Gross payment volume is declining, but Square is seeing big growth in areas that will drive its future business
Telis Demos – WSJ
Stay-at-home orders are certainly taking their toll on Square, but investors are already looking around the corner. In the second quarter, gross payment volume, the lifeblood of any payments company, dropped 15% from a year earlier at Square. But its gross profit—a measure that excludes certain costs of revenue like transaction processing—actually rose 28%. That growth was driven largely by the company’s Cash App, its digital wallet for consumers, where gross profit was up 167%. By July, Cash’s gross profit was up around 200% from a year earlier, the company said.

Cloud9 And comitFS Partner To Enhance Real-Time Voice Trading Apis And Compliance Applications
Cloud9 Technologies (“Cloud9”), a leader in cloud-based communications, has partnered with comitFS, a UK-based provider of voice middleware and API abstraction capabilities for financial service organizations, to provide more robust real-time call control capabilities for voice trading within the institutional marketplace.

IOWArocks Adds ICE Data Services To Marketplace
ICE Data Services consolidated data feed available now; Provides flexible access to ICE’s broad catalogue of data
Highly complimentary new service offering
IOWArocks, the connect once, use anywhere, global data marketplace, today announces ICE Data Services (IDS) has joined their fast growing data owner community. ICE Data Services is part of Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE: ICE), and provides a comprehensive set of market insights and information, including pricing and analytics, indices and exchange data. IOWArocks is powered by MDX Technology.


Majority of banks and brokers will be ready for ASX blockchain-based post-trade system in 2022, says exchange; A recent consultation by the ASX on the CHESS replacement timetable, showed around 91% of CHESS users said they will be able to meet the revised go-live date.
Joe Parsons – The Trade
The majority of banks, brokers and custodians using the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) post-trade system, CHESS, have said they will be ready when the new blockchain-based platform will go live in April 2022.

‘Year of the Phish’? Socially-Engineered Attacks Populate Crypto in 2020
Rachel McIntosh – Finance Magnates
When it comes to cryptocurrency-related crime, every year seems to have its own particular ‘flavor’. 2018 was the year of massive exchange hacks (remember Coincheck?); 2019 was seasoned with an air of massive ponzi schemes (PlusToken, OneCoin) with a few scandals thrown in the mix (QuadrigaCX, anyone?) So far in 2020, however, the most memorable crypto-related criminal moments seem to be taking a new shape.

Genesis’s lending business surges as trading firms hunt for yield
Frank Chaparro – The Block
Traders have been on the hunt for yield, benefiting one of the crypto industry’s largest trading and lending shops. According to a second-quarter review of Genesis Global Trading’s lending business, the total number of loans outstanding hit $1.4 billion in Q2, a 118% quarter-over-quarter increase. It added more than $2.2 billion in new originations, a 324% increase relative to the same quarter last year. Since the launch of the business, Genesis has originated more than $8.4 billion in crypto loans.

‘Crypto Instagram’ Is Becoming a Thing, Scams and All
Leigh Cuen – Coindesk
The same type of crypto scams that plague Twitter are running rampant on Instagram in 2020. For example, there are more than 1.3 million Instagram posts using #Coinbase, an overwhelming number of which display inauthentic behavior. Coinbase declined to comment on any past influencer campaigns, with the short statement: “We don’t have an active influencer campaign right now.” Instagram isn’t tackled specifically in the company’s blog post about social media scams.

Upcoming crypto derivatives exchange Alpha5 raises more than $1.5 million in seed round
Yogita Khatri – The Block
Alpha5, an upcoming crypto derivatives exchange, has raised more than $1.5 million in seed funding, founder Vishal Shah told The Block. The round saw participation from several venture capital and trading firms, including FBG Capital, CMT Digital, Altonomy, SNZ Holding and Nima Capital, as well as existing investor Polychain Capital. Alpha5 has been under development since almost a year and is expected to debut this summer. The exchange would offer several products down the road, including exotic or customized derivative products, as The Block previously reported.

Judge Worries Plaintiffs’ Lawyers Trying to Line Their Pockets in ICO Lawsuit
Paddy Baker – Coindesk
A judge choosing the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit has expressed concern some parties appear to be there primarily for the promise of high legal fees. Earlier this week, District Judge Lewis Kaplan said a class-action lawsuit for five investors showed a distinct lack of diligence and commitment that made them unsuitable to become the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit.

Bitmain delays AntMiner shipments amid ongoing battle between co-founders
Yogita Khatri – The Block
Bitcoin miner manufacturer Bitmain has delayed shipments by three months as its co-founders, Jihan Wu and Micree Zhan Ketuan, continue to fight for control of the company. The official WeChat account of Bitmain’s AntMiner brand posted the news on Thursday, saying that “external interference over the company’s management” has caused the delay. Wu’s team reportedly controls the WeChat account. Customers whose orders were due in June and July will have to wait until September and October.
/ Investors Get Lead Plaintiff in Cryptocurrency Fight
Jennifer Bennett – Bloomberg Law
Investors who purchased tokens during and after’s 2017 initial coin offering had their cases consolidated and a lead plaintiff appointed in their New York federal district court action. claimed its tokens weren’t securities during the offering, then paid the Securities and Exchange Commission a $24 million fine to settle registration failure allegations, the investors said. Crypto Assets Opportunity Fund LLC will represent the proposed class, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York said Tuesday.

PEG Network Chooses Vertalo As Digital Transfer Agent To Bring Digital Assets to DeFi; The partnership will allow digital asset issuers to stake their digital assets as collateral when minting stablecoins
Vertalo, the digital transfer agent connecting and enabling the digital asset ecosystem through their API-based platform, is excited to announce their partnership with PEG Network. PEG Network allows anyone to create a stablecoin from an ERC-20 token. PEG Network will work with Vertalo to enable digital asset issuers to stake their digital assets as collateral when minting stablecoins.

CasperLabs Announces Its Second Public Incentivized Testnet and Open Multi-Language Support for Ethereum Applications; With the launch of its beta Testnet, CasperLabs Debuts a Proprietary Transpiler Allowing Developers to Test Unreleased Functionality
CasperLabs has released its second incentivized testnet with an innovative toolchain that enables developers to test and access the full feature set of the Casper network including Casper consensus, meta transactions, WASM smart contracts, and more.

SEC official who helped spearhead ICO enforcement actions is leaving the agency
Saniya More – The Block
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced Wednesday that Division of Enforcement co-director Steven Peikin will leave the agency this month. Peikin joined the agency in 2017 at a time when the SEC was coming up against a number of cryptocurrency court cases. The agency lost several of these cases before it refined its enforcement team, which Peikin and co-director Stephanie Avakian led.

Ethereum Classic suffers another 51% attack in five days
Yogita Khatri – The Block
The Ethereum Classic (ETC) blockchain has experienced a second 51% attack in a week. Bitfly, the parent company of Ethermine mining pool, reported the attack on Thursday morning. Binance also confirmed the reorganization of more than 4,000 blocks on ETC at block number 10935622. As a result, both Bitfly and Binance have halted ETC payouts, withdrawals and deposits.

Grayscale Ethereum Trust Files Form 10 with SEC
GlobeNewsWire (press release)
Grayscale Investments, the world’s largest digital currency asset manager and sponsor of Grayscale Ethereum Trust (OTCQX: ETHE), today announced that it has publicly filed a Registration Statement on Form 10 with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on behalf of Grayscale Ethereum Trust.* This is a voluntary filing that is subject to SEC review. If the Registration Statement becomes effective, it would designate the Trust as an SEC reporting company and register its shares pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended.** It would also designate the Trust as the second digital currency investment vehicle to attain the status of a reporting company by the SEC, following Grayscale Bitcoin Trust as the first.


Trump’s Bank Was Subpoenaed by N.Y. Prosecutors in Criminal Inquiry; The subpoena, sent to Deutsche Bank, suggests that the inquiry into President Trump’s business practices is more wide-ranging than previously known.
David Enrich, Ben Protess, William K. Rashbaum and Benjamin Weiser – NY Times
The New York prosecutors who are seeking President Trump’s tax records have also subpoenaed his longtime lender, a sign that their criminal investigation into Mr. Trump’s business practices is more wide-ranging than previously known.

Facebook Removes Trump Campaign’s Misleading Coronavirus Video; It was the first time Facebook took down a post by Mr. Trump’s campaign for spreading virus misinformation, but it did not signal a change to the company’s defense of free expression.
Cecilia KangSheera Frenkel
Cecilia Kang and Sheera Frenkel – NY Times
Facebook took down a video posted by the campaign of President Trump on Wednesday in which he claimed children were immune to the coronavirus, a violation of the social network’s rules against misinformation around the virus.

The politics of fiscal relief is failing Americans; Stimulus has downsides but Congress must err on the side of action
The Editorial Board – FT
In one of its worst-ever years in peacetime, the US has been able to nurse a consolation. As badly as it handled the Covid-19 pandemic, it was quick to soften the economic effects. Fiscal relief for a shuttered economy achieved bipartisan support in March. The $2tn Cares Act — worth roughly a tenth of national output — raised unemployment benefit, offered credit to companies and shored up state governments. Given the initial defeat of the 2008 bank bailout in Congress, none of this was inevitable.

Joe Biden would be wise to pick Kamala Harris; Most of the other contenders for his vice-presidential choice are not ready for prime time
Edward Luce – FT
More often than not US vice-presidential picks channel Shakespeare’s line about a tale, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. History tells us that after the excitement fades, they rarely have much impact on an election. Joe Biden’s choice will be far more heavily freighted. At 78 next January, he would be by far America’s oldest president (older than Ronald Reagan was when he retired). Whomever he selects will instantly be sized up as America’s first female commander-in-chief.

New poll shows plummeting GOP satisfaction with direction of country
David Knowles – Yahoo News
Thanks to a marked shift among Republican voters since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, just 13 percent of Americans surveyed now say they are satisfied with “the way things are going in the United States.”

Deutsche Bank Gives Up Trump Records Under Subpoena, NYT Reports
Dan Reichl – Bloomberg
Deutsche Bank AG handed over detailed records related to dealings with U.S. President Donald Trump’s family business after receiving a subpoena from prosecutors last year, the New York Times reported.The subpoena demanded documents that Trump and the Trump Organization had provided to the lender, the newspaper reported, citing four people familiar with the matter. The German firm complied, turning over records including financial statements and other materials it had received as Trump sought loans, the paper said.

Fact check: At briefing, Trump continues to mislead on coronavirus, mail-in voting and Beirut
Daniel Dale, Holmes Lybrand and Tara Subramaniam, CNN
President Donald Trump ended his Wednesday much like he began it, by repeating falsehood after falsehood. During a morning interview on Fox News, Trump made at least 20 false claims. In a briefing hours later, he continued the trend, repeating several false statements on the coronavirus and voting by mail.
He continued to say that the virus is “going away” and to suggest that children are immune. And in a series of confusing comments, he also falsely alleged that Arizona’s and Nevada’s voting systems do not verify signatures on mail-in ballots. CNN holds elected officials and candidates accountable by pointing out what’s true and what’s not.

Trump Says Surging Virus ‘Will Go Away Like Things Go Away’
Mario Parker and Josh Wingrove – Bloomberg
President reiterated his call for schools in U.S. to reopen; Trump incorrectly says kids are ‘almost immune’ to the virus
President Donald Trump said the coronavirus pandemic is “going away,” as the U.S. continues to see tens of thousands of new daily cases and recorded 1,380 deaths on Tuesday. “This thing’s going away. It will go away like things go away,” Trump said Wednesday morning in a telephone interview with Fox News. He said the U.S. is in “very good shape” while touting economic indicators.

Trump still not grasping the severity of the pandemic, source tells CNN
Jim Acosta and Maegan Vazquez, CNN
(CNN)President Donald Trump was still struggling to fully grasp the severity of the coronavirus pandemic during a task force meeting in the Oval Office on Tuesday, a source familiar with the meeting told CNN. “He still doesn’t get it,” the source said. “He does not get it.”

Democrats Propose Requiring Fed to Reduce Inequality in U.S.
Catarina Saraiva and Laura Davison – Bloomberg
Bill would require Fed to try to narrow jobs, wealth gaps; Legislation adds to calls for Fed to target disparities
Democrats in Congress have introduced a bill that would cement the Federal Reserve’s role in fighting economic inequality. The Federal Reserve Racial and Economic Equity Act would amend the Federal Reserve Act and mandate that the U.S. central bank specifically work to decrease and eliminate gaps in employment, wages, wealth and access to credit. It would also require the central bank to report on racial disparities and how it’s working to decrease them in its biannual reports to Congress and in the Fed chair’s accompanying testimony.

Democrats Press for Concessions With Deadline for Deal Looming
Laura Litvan, Erik Wasson, and Billy House – Bloomberg
Differences on major issues still dogging a virus-relief pact; Meadows says Trump may take executive action on unemployment
Democrats are demanding more Republican concessions to meet an end-of-the-week deadline for a deal on pandemic relief, and one of the chief White House negotiators warned there is little time left for negotiations.

States Show Fury at Trump With Bipartisan Testing Plan
David R Baker and Emma Court – Bloomberg
Governors, Rockefeller Foundation want at least 3 million kits; Republicans and Democrats seek more states to join the effort
Frustrated by a lack of federal leadership, governors of both parties are trying to forge a national coronavirus testing program without the White House’s help. The seven-state effort to buy more than 3 million coronavirus antigen tests was born of need and disappointment. It was midwifed by the Rockefeller Foundation and Maryland Governor Larry Hogan and skirts President Donald Trump’s administration, even if many governors would prefer an approach coordinated by the federal government.


NFA orders Gautam Prakash, a former associated person, to not reapply for membership for seven years
NFA has ordered Gautam Prakash to not reapply for membership or principal status with any NFA Member for seven years. Prakash was a principal and associated person of former Bethesda, Md. NFA Member commodity trading advisor and commodity pool operator Monsoon Capital LLC (Monsoon). NFA also ordered Monsoon to not reapply for membership or apply for principal status with any NFA Member for two years.

FCA highlights concerns when credit firms allow repeat borrowing
The FCA has today published the findings of a review into relending by firms that offer high-cost credit.

SEC Proposes to Improve the Retail Investor Experience through Modernized Fund Shareholder Reports and Disclosures; Amendments would update and tailor mutual fund and exchange-traded fund disclosures to retail investors’ needs
The Securities and Exchange Commission today proposed comprehensive modifications to the mutual fund and exchange-traded fund disclosure framework to better serve the needs of retail investors. The proposed disclosure framework would feature concise and visually engaging shareholder reports that would highlight information that is particularly important for retail investors to assess and monitor their fund investments. The proposal is a central component of the Commission’s investor experience initiative and responds to comments the Commission received in response to a 2018 request for comment on retail investors’ experience with fund disclosure.

SEC Provides Transparency to the Process of Nominating Candidates to the Investor Advisory Committee
The Securities and Exchange Commission today published procedures setting forth a staff-led process to nominate candidates for appointment to the Investor Advisory Committee. Candidates for vacancies on the Committee will be identified by a nominating committee composed of staff from across the SEC’s divisions and offices. The nominating committee will initially be chaired by Robert Marchman, Senior Policy Advisor for Diversity and Inclusion.

SEC Charges Affiliated Advisers for Misrepresentations About Payment for Order Flow Arrangements
The Securities and Exchange Commission today filed settled charges against affiliated registered investment advisers WBI Investments Inc. and Millington Securities Inc. for making material misrepresentations to clients about compensation Millington received in an institutional payment for order flow arrangement for routing client orders to certain brokerage firms for execution. As part of the settlement, WBI and Millington agreed to pay a combined total of $1 million in penalties.

FINRA Shares Practices Firms Implemented to Prepare for the LIBOR Phase-out
FINRA reminds firms to evaluate their exposure to LIBOR (formerly, the London Interbank Offered Rate), and review their preparedness to manage LIBOR’s phase-out. To understand how firms are preparing for that phase-out, FINRA surveyed a representative cross-section of member firms, including some firms with significant trading volume or positions in LIBOR-linked securities. This Notice provides a summary of the results of the survey.

Virtual Compliance Boot Camps
FINRA’s Virtual Compliance Boot Camps are one-hour interactive virtual classroom sessions that include training on Cybersecurity, AML and Social Media topics and provide an opportunity to learn from and work closely with FINRA subject matter experts in a small group setting. Participants gain valuable insights on compliance activities for immediate application in the workplace.

Litigation funders to be regulated under the Corporations Act
On 22 May 2020, the Government announced that it would regulate litigation funders under the Corporations Act. The regulations to implement this commenced on 24 July 2020.

Lindsay McCord Named Chief Accountant in Division of Corporation Finance
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Lindsay McCord has been named Chief Accountant in the Division of Corporation Finance. Ms. McCord has served as Acting Chief Accountant in the Division since March 2020, leading its work to monitor disclosures by companies impacted by COVID-19 and provide targeted regulatory relief and guidance on financial statement and related disclosure requirements. In addition, Ms. McCord has led the Division’s work to assist companies as they prepare to comply with the Commission’s changes to Rules 3-05, 3-14, and Article 11 of Regulation S-X. As the Division’s Chief Accountant, Ms. McCord will continue leading these efforts as well as other ongoing initiatives to make disclosure and financial reporting more effective and relevant for investors and issuers.

Ontario Securities Commission Publishes New Resource For Virtual Hearings – Guide To Virtual Hearings Before The OSC Tribunal
The Ontario Securities Commission today published its “Guide to Virtual Hearings Before the OSC Tribunal.” The Guide is intended to assist parties to proceedings and others who are participating in teleconference and videoconference hearings before the Tribunal.

Investing and Trading

Cult figure of investing one of few to grasp early promise of internet stocks; Success of British fund manager Nicholas Sleep vindicates value of shrewd and original active management
Miles Johnson – FT
Europeans are not very good at understanding technology companies. Or at least this is the charge sometimes levelled at a continent that has produced few internet groups that can compare with those across the Atlantic, and one where the vast majority of its largest listed companies remain those founded before the second world war.

Glencore scraps $2.6bn dividend after fall in half-year profits; Miner focuses on strengthening its balance sheet as net debt rises 12%
Neil Hume – FT
Glencore has decided not to pay a proposed $2.6bn dividend after reporting a drop in half-year profits due to weaker commodity prices and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

BOE Isn’t Yet Convinced the U.K. Needs Negative Interest Rates
Paul Gordon – Bloomberg
Central bank publishes status of its review of subzero policy; Bank weakness during virus may mean they don’t pass rate on
The Bank of England isn’t yet ready to follow peers such as the European Central Bank and Bank of Japan into negative interest rates, saying it’s not clear that borrowers would reap the benefits. The BOE published a summary of its review of subzero monetary policy on Thursday, as it opted to keep its benchmark rate at 0.1% and bond purchases unchanged.

New York Times Posts Lower Profit, Revenue on Ad Declines; Publisher said digital revenue exceeded print revenue for the first time
Lukas I. Alpert – WSJ
New York Times Co. NYT 1.26% reported a 44% decline in advertising revenue in its second quarter as the punishing impact of the coronavirus outbreak came to bear, more than offsetting a record increase in digital subscriptions.

Digital Revenue Exceeds Print for 1st Time for New York Times Company; The pandemic squeezed advertising for the web as well as print, but subscription growth was the best ever for a quarter.
Marc Tracy – NY Times
Over a three-month period dominated by the coronavirus pandemic and a slowdown in advertising, The New York Times Company for the first time reported quarterly revenue that owed more to digital products than to the print newspaper.

With Biotech Stocks, Investors Love the Thrill of the Chase; Small investors place bets on biotech companies pursuing coronavirus advances; ‘It’s like being in Vegas without the hangover.’
Gregory Zuckerman and Michael Wursthorn – WSJ
?Eric Distenfeld is rolling the dice on CytoDyn Inc. Last month, the real-estate executive bought 1,000 shares of the little-known biotech company, which hopes to discover a Covid-19 drug.

Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance

Slow start for CDS index reveals challenge for sustainable investment; Market participants report just a handful of early trades in index designed to hedge exposures
Nikou Asgari – FT
A pioneering index of credit default swaps linked to sustainable companies has struggled to gain traction with investors, with some viewing it as a solution in search of a problem.

Update on Inclusion and Diversity at Goldman Sachs, Including New Aspirational Goal;
The following email was sent today to all Goldman Sachs people globally from David Solomon, Chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs.
Goldman Sachs
Attracting and developing a diverse workforce is essential to help our firm advance sustainable economic growth and financial opportunity. Progress on diversity will enhance our ability to execute our strategy and deliver for our clients. As I reflect on the events of the past several months, the intensity of our focus on accelerating our journey in ensuring a truly inclusive and diverse Goldman Sachs has only grown stronger.


ING profits plunge almost 80% on virus-induced loan defaults; Netherlands’ largest bank becomes latest European lender to be hit by growing pandemic fallout
Nicholas Megaw – FT
ING, the Netherlands’ largest bank, has become the latest major European lender to report a rising impact from coronavirus-induced loan defaults, driving its second-quarter profits down 79 per cent.

Calpers investment chief resigns after 18 months at $400bn fund; Ben Meng departs as CIO of US’s biggest public sector pension fund
Miles Kruppa – FT
The investment chief of Calpers has resigned after 18 months in the top job at the US’s biggest public sector pension fund. Calpers, the $400bn Californian employee pension fund, said late on Wednesday that Ben Meng would leave effective immediately. The fund said Dan Bienvenue, deputy chief investment officer, would serve as interim chief investment officer as it looked for a permanent successor.

R.J. O’Brien Acquires Global Interdealer Broker Lombard Forte Securities
Press Release
Chicago-based R.J. O’Brien & Associates (RJO), the oldest and largest independent futures brokerage and clearing firm in the United States, today announced that its affiliate RJO MENA has just acquired Lombard Forte Securities Limited (LFS), a Dubai-based interdealer broker (IDB) specializing in cash equities, exchange-traded funds, equity derivatives, fixed income and structured products for clients globally. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Credit Agricole Sees Provisions Rise as Covid Hits Clients
Alexandre Rajbhandari – Bloomberg
French bank sets aside 842 million euros to cover bad loans; Mixed quarter saw bank post better-than-expected net income
Credit Agricole SA set aside more than expected to cover souring loans in the second quarter after the covid pandemic hit the French lender’s retail clients and large corporate customers. Provisions in the three months through June jumped to 842 million euros ($998 million), higher than the 775 million-euro estimate of analysts polled by Bloomberg. Costs to cover souring debt drove down results at some of the lender’s most important business units, including the large clients segment, which saw a five-fold increase in the cost of risk from a year earlier.

BGC Announcing Tender Offer For Any And All Of Its $300 Million Outstanding 5.125% Senior Notes Due 2021
NEW YORK, Aug. 5, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — BGC Partners, Inc. (NASDAQ: BGCP) (“BGC”) today announced that it has commenced a cash tender offer for any and all $300 million outstanding aggregate principal amount of its 5.125% Senior Notes due 2021 (the “Notes”), on the terms and subject to the conditions set forth in the Offer to Purchase dated the date hereof (as it may be amended or supplemented from time to time, the “Offer to Purchase”) and the related Notice of Guaranteed Delivery attached to the Offer to Purchase (as it may be amended or supplemented from time to time, the “Notice of Guaranteed Delivery”). The tender offer is referred to as the “Offer.” The Offer to Purchase and the Notice of Guaranteed Delivery are referred to together as the “Offer Documents.”

German Banks Push Back as American Investors Seek More Influence; A drive by buyout firm Cerberus to force cost cutting at Commerzbank has run into resistance from Berlin.
Jack Ewing – NY Times
A few weeks ago the American private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management seemed to be on the cusp of provoking a major shake-up in German banking after it pressured the two top executives of the country’s second-largest lender to quit.


Japan Banks Unveil Plan to Build Cheaper Money Transfer System
Taiga Uranaka and Yuki Hagiwara – Bloomberg
Platform will handle smaller transactions among individuals; High fees for sending money seen as barrier to going cashless
Japan’s biggest banks said they will jointly build a cheaper money transfer network catering mainly to small transactions among individuals, a move that may spur the nation’s drive toward going cashless. Five major banks including the domestic lending units of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc., Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. and Mizuho Financial Group Inc. will start planning the new payments infrastructure, which will cost less to operate than the existing one, they said Thursday.

Turkey’s Lira Hits Record Low as Interventions Fail to Stem Drop
Alexander Nicholson – Bloomberg
Turkey’s lira tumbled to its lowest level against the dollar as interventions by state banks failed to reassure investors. The lira depreciated as much as 3.2% on Thursday to 7.2775, and traded at 7.2627 versus the U.S. currency as of 1:15 p.m. in Istanbul, leading declines in emerging markets. The previous all-time low was set in May. The cost of insuring the nation’s bonds against default climbed to the highest in three months, while the main stock gauge lost 4.8%, making it the worst performer among developing-nation peers.

Lebanon Bonds Hold Ground After Deadly Explosion; Investors measure the blast’s impact on an economy already at risk of financial collapse
Julia-Ambra Verlaine – WSJ
The deadly explosion that devastated Beirut left investors grappling with the potential damage to an economy already ravaged by crisis. The blast in the capital port of Lebanon killed at least 100 people and injured thousands, marking the latest hardship to the Middle Eastern state, which defaulted on its debt in March and is struggling to save its economy from financial collapse.

REDD Intelligence Closes $5.8m Equity Financing to Accelerate Global Expansion, Expand Emerging Market Research Offering, Open London Office
REDD Intelligence Press Release
REDD Intelligence, an online fixed-income intelligence and analytics platform focused on the emerging markets, today announced that it closed a $5.8m equity financing round, effective immediately.


UK and Japan rush to secure post-Brexit trade deal; Both sides see agreement as key although it will largely replicate existing EU-Tokyo accord
George Parker and Leo Lewis – FT
Britain and Japan will on Thursday attempt to thrash out a post-Brexit free trade agreement, although the UK admits a deal might only boost British GDP by 0.07 per cent and would be a bigger prize for Japanese exporters.

Why State Aid Has Become a Stumbling Block in Brexit
Aoife White – Bloomberg
In theory, the system of free trade driving the world economy is supposed to provide a level playing field for all. In practice, countries have long complained that rivals unfairly dish out aid in the form of state-backed subsidies to boost favored companies — often as they do the same. Now that the pandemic has forced governments to mount huge rescue efforts for their economies, the fragile set of rules that aim to keep state support in check is under threat. State aid has also become a sticking point in the U.K.’s protracted talks on shaping its future relationship with the European Union.

Brexit will put pressure on Welsh NHS at winter, senior doctor says
BBC News
Brexit creates “additional planning pressures” for the NHS as it prepares for the winter, Wales’ chief medical officer has said. Frank Atherton was talking about a potential spike in coronavirus cases later this year. The transition period for the UK leaving the EU is due to end on 31 December. NHS bosses are thinking about the possible impact if a deal is not achieved, Dr Atherton said.

Brexit: Pembrokeshire business views wanted on internal trade
James Hemingray – The Milford Mercury
PRESELI MP Stephen Crabb is urging Pembrokeshire’s businesses to take part in a consultation on the UK’s post-Brexit internal trade market. Earlier this month, the UK Government published a White Paper on the future of the UK Internal Market. This sets out the UK Government’s plans to ensure businesses across the whole of the United Kingdom will continue to enjoy seamless internal trade, when the Brexit Transition Period ends later this year.


Met Shrinks Staff Again, Totaling 20 Percent Cut; The Metropolitan Museum of Art told its staff that it was laying off 79 employees and announced 181 furloughs and 93 voluntary retirements.
Julia Jacobs – NY Times
The Metropolitan Museum of Art laid off dozens more of its workers on Wednesday and reduced its ranks even further through furloughs and voluntary retirements, leaving the museum with a staff that is about 20 percent smaller than it was before the pandemic.

It’s Never Too Late to Start Your YouTube Career; From a 68-year-old fitness instructor to a 57-year-old music aficionado, a new generation of influencers is emerging on the streaming platform as the number of older YouTube users rise.
Don Steinberg – NY Times
Rick Beato figured he was onto something when the first music video he posted online went viral and got 22 million views (it featured his young son Dylan showing off preternaturally perfect pitch). He was in his mid-fifties, with a long career behind him as a college professor and music producer. A millennial-age intern encouraged him to put himself in more videos and start a YouTube channel, but Mr. Beato wasn’t sure.

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