Hits & Takes
By JLN Staff
The Atlanta Dream, the WNBA team that Sen. Kelly Loeffler is a co-owner of, posted this to Twitter: “Black lives matter. We are the women of the Atlanta Dream. We are women who support a movement. We are strong and we are fearless. We offer a voice to the voiceless. Our team is united in the Movement for Black Lives. It is not extreme to demand change after centuries of inequality. This is not a political statement.”
Loeffler now has more media focus on her than any other U.S. senator running in the upcoming election. She has even received coverage from right-wing media outlets Breitbart and the Daily Caller. This will be a defining moment in her political career.
Correction: Bernie Dan never worked on a New York trading floor, or any trading floor for Cargill or any other firm. The story I was told in an interview with Thom McMahon was incorrect. Our apologies to Mr. Dan for this error.
Have a great day and stay safe and treat people the same way you want to be treated: with respect, equality and justice.~JJL
Reminder: The FIA will host a presentation on trends in clearing listed and OTC derivatives on 16 July at 10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. ET. The discussion will cover proprietary data from global surveys of derivatives industry executives conducted by Acuiti, a management intelligence platform focused on the derivatives industry, as well as the latest data from the US on customer funds flows. Will Mitting, founder and managing director of Acuiti, will join Will Acworth, senior vice president of FIA, to present their findings. Visit fia.org/events to register. ~SR
Cryptocurrency watchdog “Whale Alert” has published an article on Medium.com saying that cryptocurrency scammers have scammed $38 million worth of bitcoin out of their victims in the past four years – $24 million of which were stolen in 2020. According to the article, which excludes the damage done from Ponzi schemes (a billion dollar industry on their own, according to Whale Alert), such scams are on the rise this year.~MR
The Spread: Until We OCC You Again
This week on The Spread, we catch up on the last two week’s news, including a number of exciting updates from our friends at the OCC.
Seven Rules of Zoom Meeting Etiquette From the Pros; No more dogs, chips or ‘lurkers’—as video-conferencing becomes a fixture in working life, it’s time to shed the rookie moves
Betsy Morris – WSJ
Video-meeting apps have grown up—now users need to, too. Zoom saw daily meeting participants soar to a peak of 300 million in the latest quarter, up from 10 million before the pandemic. Roughly two-thirds of U.S. workers who have been working from home would prefer to continue working remotely as much as possible when pandemic restrictions lift, according to a recent Gallup poll.
*****Rules or guidelines? I prefer a guideline-based etiquette.~JJL
Super-rich call for higher taxes on wealthy to pay for Covid-19 recovery
Rupert Neate – The Guardian
A group of 83 of the world’s richest people have called on governments to permanently increase taxes on them and other members of the wealthy elite to help pay for the economic recovery from the Covid-19 crisis.
The super-rich members, including Ben and Jerry’s ice cream co-founder Jerry Greenfield and Disney heir Abigail Disney, called on “our governments to raise taxes on people like us. Immediately. Substantially. Permanently”.
*****You can tell the Super-rich by their capes and their ability to trade faster than a speeding bullet.~JJL
Traders drunk at home in lockdown spark worry as pubs reopen; More City workers are seeking help for stress-driven drinking, raising red flags as lockdown restrictions ease
Lucy McNulty, Shruti Tripathi Chopra and Trista Kelley – Financial News
Homebound City workers are hitting the bottle. The coronavirus crisis has prompted more and more finance staff to turn to alcohol to cope with the stress of the pandemic, addiction specialists and mental health counsellors are warning.
*****Let’s be responsible at the pubs. If you can’t hit the dartboard, it is time to go home.~JJL
Friday’s Top Three
Our top story on Friday was Sen. Kelly Loeffler says she won’t step down as WNBA owner following BLM backlash, from Yahoo Entertainment. Second was Two Suitors Compete to Scoop Brooks Brothers Out of Bankruptcy from the Wall Street Journal. Third was Former chief operating officer for CME Europe joins Capco, from The Trade.
181,226,433 pages viewed; 24,327 pages; 225,286 edits
|CryptoMarketsWiki, our archive of the cryptocurrency and blockchain world, is going strong and keeping pace as this area of finance grows and evolves.Recently Updated Pages
1,411 pages; 12,482 edits
This Is What It Looks Like When a Texas Oil Boom Busts
Rebecca Elliott and Christopher M. Matthews – WSJ
A year ago, the Permian Basin region was one of America’s hottest labor markets, fueled by a fracking gold rush. Today, the oil field has all but shut down, and everyone is feeling the pain, from restaurant owners to landlords to barbers.
When an oil bust takes hold in West Texas, no one is spared: Drilling rigs collect dust, barber chairs sit empty, students drop out of school and lines swell at the food bank. The collapse in the wake of the new coronavirus has been historically brutal. In a matter of weeks, global demand for oil shriveled by more than 20% this spring, as people hunkered indoors and stopped flying and driving. Oil prices crashed. A fracking industry that had pushed American production to a world-leading 13 million barrels a day went into full retreat. And the nation’s hottest oilfield, the Permian Basin, all but shut down overnight.
Shale boss says US has passed peak oil; Parsley Energy CEO: ‘I don’t think I’ll see 13m barrels a day again in my lifetime’
Derek Brower – FT
US crude production has already peaked, according to one of the country’s leading shale executives, as producers battered by the price crash shun new output growth and start trying to become profitable.
Covid Fear Will Keep the World in a Slump; As governments let up on stimulus measures, things stand to get worse.
Peter R. Orszag – Bloomberg
To date, the economic damage wrought by the pandemic has been mostly hidden by massive government subsidy. That’s about to change. And so the next few months will reveal the underlying economic impact of Covid-19 across the globe more clearly than we’ve seen so far. My bet: As governments withdraw fiscal support, the economic picture is going to look worse than commonly appreciated. Getting a sense of what’s about to happen requires that we first be clear about how and why the pandemic has affected the economy: Is it because governments have required people to stay home, or is it because of the virus itself? New research shows that economic losses have come mainly from fear, not government mandate. So eliminating the mandates without ending the fear does very little.
Most hedge funds to be allowed to keep equity holdings secret; US regulator proposes sweeping away quarterly disclosure requirements for all but largest managers
Ortenca Aliaj – FT
Most hedge funds will be allowed to keep their equity holdings secret under a new plan by the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Late on Friday, the SEC proposed to sweep away the requirement for investment managers to publish stock positions quarterly, for all but 10 per cent of the largest managers.
Vanguard tops BlackRock in battle to win ETF business; Pennsylvania-based asset manager attracts record inflows of $90bn in first half
Chris Flood – FT
Vanguard has charged ahead of arch rival BlackRock in the 2020 race among exchange traded fund providers to drum up new business. Pennsylvania-based Vanguard attracted ETF inflows of $90.4bn in the first six months of the year, 105 per cent higher than the same period last year, according to ETFGI, a London-based consultancy. It also marks a record half-year for Vanguard’s ETF business.
London Banks Urged to Pay Reparations for Historical Slavery Links; Black Lives Matter campaign triggers new calls for London financial institutions to pay for past ties to slave trade
Simon Clark – WSJ
The Black Lives Matter movement is reinvigorating a yearslong campaign to push some of London’s oldest financial institutions to pay reparations to the descendants of slaves. City of London companies played an important role for centuries in organizing and funding the trans-Atlantic passage of African slaves and the Caribbean and American plantations where they were forced to work. Directors of the companies earned fortunes from the trade. The Bank of England, Barclays BCS 7.32% PLC and Lloyd’s of London insurance market are among those to apologize for or acknowledge links to slavery since the May killing of George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis prompted protests world-wide.
The Pandemic Has Accelerated Demands for a More Skilled Work Force; Even groups that regularly disagree on labor issues said there should be significant public investment in programs that can upgrade the skills of American workers.
Steve Lohr – WSJ
Economists, business leaders and labor experts have warned for years that a coming wave of automation and digital technology would upend the work force, destroying some jobs while altering how and where work is done for nearly everyone.
Don’t Buy an Oil Fund With an Identity Problem; USO’s brush with disaster sparked a transformation. Now it wants to issue shares, but the new version may only be safer, not better.
Jinjoo Lee – WSJ
Not so long ago, a lot of sophisticated funds were convinced about an investment that promised something for nothing. Owning commodities was supposed to give them diversification from stocks and bonds, steady returns and an occasional windfall.
Fracking Firms Fail, Rewarding Executives and Raising Climate Fears; Oil and gas companies are hurtling toward bankruptcy, raising fears that wells will be left leaking planet-warming pollutants, with cleanup cost left to taxpayers.
Hiroko Tabuchi – NY Times
The day the debt-ridden Texas oil producer MDC Energy filed for bankruptcy eight months ago, a tank at one of its wells was furiously leaking methane, a potent greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere. As of last week, dangerous, invisible gases were still spewing into the air.
Frac-Sand Supplier Hi-Crush Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy; Hi-Crush is the latest fracking sand supplier to file for bankruptcy amid low crude prices
Jonathan Randles – WSJ
?Hi-Crush Inc., a supplier of sand used in fracking, is the latest company in the oil and gas sector to be pushed into bankruptcy by low crude prices and the disruption from the coronavirus pandemic that has roiled the energy industry. Hi-Crush filed for chapter 11 protection Sunday in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Houston. The filing comes weeks after the Houston-based company disclosed it was negotiating terms of a bankruptcy filing with its key creditors.
Hedge fund titans grab lion’s share of industry spoils; Investors end up paying high fees for poor returns while managers accumulate personal fortunes
Chris Flood and Ortenca Aliaj – FT
Paulson & Co and Lansdowne Partners this month decided to shut their flagship hedge funds after periods of disappointing performance that destroyed much of the wealth created by these managers in earlier years.
FinTech ChartIQ rebrands as Cosaic; ChartIQ will bring its desktop platform and charting software under one brand as the FinTech firm becomes Cosaic.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
US data software provider ChartIQ has confirmed it has rebranded as Cosaic, as it looks to merge its charting software and smart desktop platform under one brand. The FinTech firm’s flagship desktop platform, Finsemble, and charting software, ChartIQ, will be housed under the Cosaic umbrella and include technologies that promote application interoperability for more effective workflows.
Novogratz Says Stock Bubble Spurring ‘Dangerous Valuations’
Sonali Basak – Bloomberg
Mike Novogratz, the longtime money manager who now runs digital currency investor Galaxy Digital Holdings Ltd., said the stock market is “unhinged from reality” as it rises higher — and small investors should get out before it crashes. “We are in irrational exuberance — this is a bubble,” he said Friday in a Bloomberg Television interview. “The economy is grinding, slowing down, we’re lurching in and out of Covid, yet the tech market makes new highs every day. That’s a classic speculative bubble.”
Hedge funds look to algo trading to reduce market impact in volatility; Results from The TRADE’s 2020 Algorithmic Trading Survey reveal that hedge funds are increasingly using algos to reduce market impact, as the buy-side continues to focus on trade performance and price efficiency.
Editors – The Trade
It is no secret that global equity markets had a good year in 2019. Global employment held up, the continual threat of trade (or actual) wars between major powers never quite materialised and the general election in the UK ended much of the political uncertainty that had been holding back investment. In the US, having led markets to believe that rates would be rising the Fed walked back its projections before then cutting rates three times before the end of the year, helping to fuel major gains in US stock markets. These robust market conditions, the drive for efficiency and the rapid digital transformation of the financial industry have all contributed to a favourable environment for algorithmic trading.
Louis Dreyfus chief executive Ian McIntosh to retire; Chief operating officer Michael Gelchie to take helm in October at agricultural trading group
Neil Hume – FT
Louis Dreyfus Company has announced the retirement of Ian McIntosh, chief executive, less than two years after he was appointed to run the agricultural trading company.
In Bid for Manhattan D.A., Trump’s Taxes Meet Hedge Fund Riches
Sridhar Natarajan, Amanda L Gordon, and Katherine Burton – Bloomberg
Tali Farhadian Weinstein set to enter race for Manhattan D.A.; Her husband, Boaz Weinstein, runs hedge fund Saba Capital
It’s the real-life “Law & Order,” the bane of mobsters and crooked politicos, killers and Wall Street greed, and one that gets a peek into President Donald Trump’s tax returns. Now the office of the Manhattan district attorney, one of the most coveted prizes in American law, is again up for grabs — and the list of contenders is growing to unseat Cyrus Vance Jr. in the polls next year. The latest is Tali Farhadian Weinstein, a seasoned federal prosecutor with an unusual insight into the ways of Wall Street: She’s married to Boaz Weinstein, the hedge fund magnate behind the $3 billion Saba Capital.
China’s Stock Market Closes In on $10 Trillion Milestone After Its Biggest Crash
John Cheng – Bloomberg
It has taken five years for market to approach that level; Shares continue on upward trend as Beijing seen supportive
China’s investors have waited five years for stock values to return to $10 trillion, a milestone that would seal the market’s recovery from its biggest crash in history. The good news is that it could happen as soon as this week, and even a slower pace of gains — which is favored by Beijing — would do it. China’s domestic equities are worth about $9.5 trillion after this month’s rally, according to data compiled by Bloomberg as of July 12. The advance has taken two of its indexes to 2015 levels and made virtually all of the country’s stock benchmarks overheat. In local currency terms, China’s market cap is already at a record 66 trillion yuan.
Banker Pay Theory Upended by Harvard Expert in Swedish Study
Frances Schwartzkopff – Bloomberg
A Swedish bank may be about to change perceptions of how bonuses affect performance. Dennis Campbell, a Harvard Business School professor, has been studying how companies design compensation strategies. His work led him to the biggest bank in Sweden, Svenska Handelsbanken AB, which he says uses a model that raises serious questions about how well bonuses drive results.
Only seven women applied for the FCA chief executive role; Six times more men than women applied to replace Andrew Bailey as the head of the Financial Conduct Authority
Shruti Tripathi Chopra and Lucy McNulty – Financial News
Britain’s finance watchdog has been a vocal proponent of diversity and inclusion among the thousands of firms it regulates. But when it comes to the candidates for the top job, it is still stuck in the past.
Study of 17 Million Identifies Crucial Risk Factors for Coronavirus Deaths; The largest study yet confirms that race, ethnicity, age and sex can raise a person’s chances of dying from Covid-19.
Katherine J. Wu – NY Times
An analysis of more than 17 million people in England — the largest study of its kind, according to its authors — has pinpointed a bevy of factors that can raise a person’s chances of dying from Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
When Co-Workers Test Positive for Covid-19: What You Need to Know; Employers should immediately tell workers who have been exposed to the coronavirus while protecting the privacy of the affected employee
Lauren Weber – WSJ
“Somebody at my workplace tested positive for Covid-19. What are my employer’s legal obligations? What do they have to disclose to the rest of us employees and in what time frame?”
Scientists Hoped Summer Temperatures Would Tamp Down Covid-19 Cases. What Happened? How the virus defeated the potential benefits of sunlight, warmer weather
Sarah Toy – WSJ
Just a few months back, some scientists hoped summer conditions might help tamp down coronavirus transmission. Studies have shown simulated sunlight can inactivate the virus on surfaces and in the air, and one study found the virus deteriorates much more quickly in warmer temperatures than in cool temperatures. Some of the other coronaviruses that have long circulated in the population tend to peak in colder months and wane in the summer months, and some thought that summer heat and humidity could work to slow the spread of Covid-19.
Why coronavirus lockdowns are melting cocoa prices; Some analysts see chocolate demand as a good guide to the health of the global economy
Harry Dempsey – FT
Lockdowns have not been sweet for chocolatiers. Cocoa prices have slumped to a 15-month low as stuck-at-home consumers shun confectionery. Demand for chocolate has softened as restaurants, hotels and airport duty-free shops have been closed and parties and gatherings put on hold. As a result, the New York benchmark price for cocoa has fallen by a quarter since the end of February to trade close to $2,150 a tonne.
Universities must offer more than ‘Zoom from your room’; Otherwise the pandemic will be inconvenient for the privileged and a disaster for the rest
Andrew Delbanco – FT
The writer is a professor of American Studies at Columbia, president of the Teagle Foundation and author of ‘College: What it Was, Is, and Should Be’ Four months ago, I thought “zoom” meant the sound of a motorcycle. Then coronavirus struck, students were sent home, and we faculty were given a few days to learn how to teach by Zoom for the rest of the semester.
Covid-19 will finally mark the end of the analogue age; The pandemic has accelerated society’s shift to a more digital world
Wolfgang Münchau – FT
The Covid-19 lockdown will become known as the moment when the world finally abandoned the analogue age. I do not mean this in a technological sense. It is about how we compile and use information.
Covid-19 deaths rise as US states impose new restrictions; President Trump wears mask in public for first time as he visits army medical facility
Courtney Weaver Peter Wells – FT
Donald Trump wore a face mask in public for the first time since the outbreak of Covid-19 in the US to meet wounded soldiers and medical staff at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Saturday.
Florida reports record number of new Covid-19 cases; State has highest single day total since pandemic began as US ‘sunbelt’ surge continues
Courtney Weaver and Peter Wells – FT
Florida on Sunday became the first US state to report an increase of more than 15,000 Covid-19 cases in a single day, as pressure grew on officials to mandate the wearing of masks. A further 15,300 people tested positive for the disease over the past 24 hours, the state’s health department said, up from 10,360 the previous day.
Netanyahu Ally Calls for Immediate Lockdown to Halt Virus Spread
Alisa Odenheimer – Bloomberg
A political ally of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for an immediate lockdown of 10 to 15 days to halt a second coronavirus outbreak. “In the end, that’s what we will have to do, so it’s better to do it earlier rather than later,” Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said Monday in an interview broadcast on the Ynet website. He said he advocates a “porous” lockdown that would allow people out only to go to work and shop for food and medicine.
The Covid Death Rate in Majority-Black Counties Is Getting Worse
Jeff Green and Jackie Gu – Bloomberg
If you’re Black in America, Covid-19 is more likely to kill you, and the disparity has only widened as cases have surged across the U.S. In counties where the majority of residents are Black, the death rate has climbed to 3.5 times the national average, up from roughly three times as high in May, an ongoing analysis of Johns Hopkins University and Census Bureau data by Bloomberg News finds. In places where African Americans exceed 13.4% of the population, the proportion they make up of the U.S., the death rate is double the national average, also a slight uptick from two months ago.
Hong Kong Reports Another Record of 41 Local Cases in New Wave
Jinshan Hong – Bloomberg
Tracing challenge as growing cases are of unknown origins; Social distancing measures likely to be tightened further
Hong Kong reported 41 local coronavirus cases on Monday, another record high as the resurgence of infection looks set to grow into the city’s biggest wave yet. Of the 41 cases, 21 are related to previous clusters while 20 were of unknown origins, government officials said in a press briefing on Monday.
Wealthy Investors Worry About Lack of Cash If Pandemic Returns
Devon Pendleton – Bloomberg
70% say they were financially affected by Covid-19 crisis; Majority anticipate traveling less and working remotely more
The fallout from coronavirus has provoked fears among the world’s wealthy, with the majority planning to curtail travel and move closer to family in a world they see permanently altered by the pandemic. More than half of respondents in a survey of wealthy investors by UBS Group AG said they feared not having enough liquidity in the event of another pandemic, while a similar percentage expressed worry about leaving sufficient money to their heirs.
Putin delays $360bn spending plan as Covid-19 batters economy; Volte-face comes shortly after vote that allows Russian president to extend his rule for another 16 years
Henry Foy – FT
Vladimir Putin has delayed his flagship $360bn national investment plan by six years as the coronavirus pandemic pitches Russia into recession and leaves a hole in the federal budget.
Exchanges, OTC and Clearing
Cboe Futures Exchange to List Mini VIX Futures Beginning August 10
Smaller contract at one – tenth the size of the standard VIX futures; Designed to provide additional flexibility in volatility risk management and greater precision when allocating among smaller, managed accounts; Aims to meet investor demand for expanded offerings tracking the Cboe Volatility Index
Cboe Global Markets, Inc. (Cboe: CBOE), one of the world’s largest exchange holding companies, today announced plans to launch trading in Mini Cboe Volatility Index (VIX) futures on Cboe Futures Exchange (CFE) beginning Monday, August 10, subject to regulatory review.
Dr. Matthias Zieschang is the new Chairman of the Exchange Council of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange
Deutsche Börse Group
The members of the Exchange Council of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (FWB) have Dr. Matthias Zieschang elected as its new chairman. He succeeds Michael Klaus, who left the FWB stock exchange council at the end of March. Dr. Zieschang is the Chief Controlling and Finance Officer at Fraport AG and has been a member of the FWB Exchange Council since September 2012. He has been Vice Chairman since November 2014.
HKEX clears first HONIA swaps through OTC Clear; OTC Clear, HKEX’s CCP, has cleared the first HONIA-based interest rate swap with Bank of China and the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corp.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing’s (HKEX) central counterparty (CCP) OTC Clear has cleared the first Hong Kong dollar interest rate swap contracts benchmarked to the HONIA reference rate.
TRADE Calls: Cboe – Redefining the European equity and derivatives market
Kiays Khalil – The Trade
David Howson, president of Cboe Europe, joins The TRADE to discuss the exchange group’s recent acquisition of EuroCCP, and how the takeover will expand Cboe’s reach in the European equities and equity derivatives markets.
Standard lot size changes on the Equity & Bond and Repo Markets effective September 1, 2020
Effective September 1, 2020 Moscow Exchange will change the standard lot size for the below securities: Ticker Issuer Asset class ISIN Lot size before September 1, 2020 Lot…
FTSE Mondo Visione Exchanges Index Up 2.3 % In June, Up 17.9% In Q2 2020, HKEX Top Performer In June
The three months to the end of June have seen the FTSE Mondo Visione Exchanges Index up by 17.9% as lockdowns meant to slow down the spread of COVID-19 eased. Global markets recovered some of their huge losses in Q1 with the FTSE All World Index up by 218.6%, the MSCI All Country World Index was up 18% and the S&P 500 up by 20 percent in Q2.
Alan Burr Joins Sucden Financial for LME Metals and Options in Hong Kong
Alan Burr Joins Sucden Financial for LME Metals and Options in Hong Kong ACROFAN USA
TP ICAP launches NDF data feed from electronic and voice liquidity pools; The NDF Premium data feed from TP ICAP will include data from the broker’s hybrid trading platform for electronic and voice liquidity.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Interdealer broker TP ICAP has launched a new data feed for non-deliverable forwards (NDFs), which captures data from both electronic and voice liquidity pools.
Asia hedge fund OQ Funds Management to implement TORA OEMS; The system from TORA will provide OQ Funds Management with TCA and commission management tools to support trading activities.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Trading systems provider TORA has confirmed that OQ Funds Management has agreed to install its order and execution management system (OEMS).
Aussie Fintech Sezzle Raises $55 Million, Shares Leap 22%
Arnab Shome – Finance Magnates
Sezzle, an Australian fintech offering interest-free installments on purchases, has secured AUD79.1 million ($55 million) in a funding round via institutional placement, the company announced to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) on Friday.
Fintech will Drive Some of the Largest Venture Capital Exits in the Next 5 Years, Steve Sloane from Menlo Ventures Predicts
Omar Faridi – CrowdFund Insider
Steve Sloane, a Principal at Menlo Ventures who focuses on investing in SaaS applications, marketplaces, and robotics, points out that Fintech has dominated the news cycle during 2020.
He notes that there were some large exits this year, including those involving Credit Karma, Personal Capital, and Plaid. The financial technology sector has continued to attract substantial venture capital investments this year, despite the COVID-19 outbreak.
Fintech Insider Says Online Lenders are Struggling Due to US Government Programs Supporting Businesses During COVID-19
JD Alois – CrowdFund Insider
Yesterday, Crowdfund Insider reported on layoffs at OnDeck (NYSE:ONDK) – an SME focused online lender. Like many online lenders, COVID-19 has hit this sector of Fintech hard.
Looking for additional insight into the challenges the industry CI reached out to an industry insider for their perspective on Fintech lenders letting employees go. Their response was as follows:
Driving anti-money laundering efficiency gains using artificial intelligence
Risk.net – Sponsored Content
Risk management Machine learning View more Anti-money laundering (AML) is expensive and labour-intensive, and artificial intelligence (AI) can offer improved efficiency gains. Could they be a match made in heaven? This Risk.net webinar, in association with NICE Actimize, took place amid the strain on banks’ back offices driven by the lockdown in response to the global Covid-19 pandemic, and explores this potential pairing
Sweden chips away at fintech star’s foundations; Cry now or later
Karen Kwok – Breakingviews.com
Klarna has received a thwack from an unexpected source. The unlisted $5.5 billion Swedish purveyor of so-called “buy now, pay later” (BNPL) payments options, increasingly popular with younger consumers, might have been expecting overseas jurisdictions to shackle its foreign expansion. Instead, its own regulator is clipping its wings.
Do messaging apps put the financial services industry at risk?
Ashley Friedlein – Global Banking and Finance Review
The use of messaging apps for professional communications has soared, in part, accelerated by the coronavirus pandemic as more and more people are forced to work from home. This increase has been seen across all industries.
Automated Trading Systems Market Provides in-depth analysis of the Industry, with Current Trends and Future Estimations to Elucidate the Investment Pockets | (2020-2027)
A new market study has been released on the Automated Trading Systems Market with data tables for historical and forecast years followed by representation with charts and graphs spread through 61 Pages with an easy to understand detailed analysis. The study offers a thorough assessment of the market by revenue, volume, current growth factors, expert opinions, facts, and industry-validated market development data. The research study provides estimates for Automated Trading Systems Forecast till 2026.
Trading Technologies Contracts with BGC Partners for Global Implementation of OMS
Trading Technologies International, Inc. (TT), a global provider of high-performance
professional trading software, infrastructure and data solutions today announced they have signed up BGC Partners, a leading global brokerage and financial technology company, to utilize TT’s new Order Management System (OMS) solution when it is launched in September 2020.
Dash Plans Redesigned OEMS Release for Q4; Blaze 7 will feature an enhanced, integrated suite for options volatility traders.
Rebecca Natale – Waters Technology
Dash Financial Technologies will release its newly rebuilt front end, dubbed Blaze 7, in Q4 of this year, and it will feature a new volatility trading product suite. Blaze Classic—or just Blaze, as the Street knows it—is an order execution management system (OEMS) in the options space inherited by Dash during its merger with LiquidPoint in 2017. Dash chief operating officer, Stino Milito, says the company has spent the last couple of years rebuilding the platform to modernize it, make it easier
LedgerX is taking another shot at a bitcoin fear gauge
Frank Chaparro – The Block
LedgerX is taking another stab at a VIX-like bitcoin volatility index. Announced Friday, the so-called BitVol Index is the result of a partnership between the New York-based options venue and T3 Index, a provider of options-based indices. Similar to Wall Street’s fear gauge—the VIX—BitVol measures the 30-day implied volatility of bitcoin, leveraging LedgerX’s market data.
Crypto Coin Founder Joins Skeptics While Investigation Heats Up
Olga Kharif – Bloomberg
Brock Pierce says he no longer owns any of Tether stablecoin; Controversial entrepreneur recently announced presidential run
Brock Pierce is unsure whether the cryptocurrency Tether that he helped co-found will weather the latest assault from regulators and government officials. Tether, a so-called stablecoin that serves as one of the main conduits for trading in much of crypto market, came under increased scrutiny Thursday after a New York court allowed the state’s attorney general to pursue a claim that Bitfinex, an affiliated company, hid the loss of over $800 million in commingled funds. Two days earlier, international regulators recommended that stablecoins take greater steps to prevent money laundering and the financing of terrorism.
The Didi-PBoC partnership probably isn’t what you think it is
Celia Wan – The Block
Yesterday, the U.S. woke up to headlines that Didi Chuxin — China’s Uber — will trial the country’s digital currency. Big if true. But if you read the original announcement carefully and look past the hand-wavy statements about innovation, it simply outlines a strategic partnership between a tech company and a research institute on an initiative to explore the potential of a new technology — in this case, China’s digital currency (DCEP) — in an industry in which said tech company practically has a monopoly.
Active Ethereum addresses growing twice as fast as Bitcoin
Greg Thomson – Decrypt
The number of active Ethereum addresses has more than doubled since the start of 2020. Ethereum’s active address count is growing at nearly twice the rate of Bitcoin’s. Data from the blockchain analytics website Messari shows that Ethereum’s active address count has increased by 118% since the turn of the year. Bitcoin’s active address count, by comparison, increased by 49%.
Fidelity holds over 10% stake in bitcoin mining firm Hut 8
Yogita Khatri – The Block
Asset management giant Fidelity holds about 10.6% stake in Canada-based publicly traded bitcoin mining firm Hut 8, according to a regulatory filing. Hut 8 filed an alternative monthly reporting (AMR) with the Ontario Securities Commission on Friday, stating that Fidelity holds a mix of its common shares and common share purchase warrants, representing approximately 10.6% stake.
Crypto-friendly Signature Bank was the most popular among industry firms seeking PPP loans
Michael McSweeney – The Block
A review of data from the U.S. government’s Payroll Protection Program reveals that two crypto-friendly banks were the most popular among those seeking such loans. The Block’s Steven Zheng found that Signature Bank and Silicon Valley Bank — both of which maintain a range of crypto industry firms as clients — facilitated nine and eight loans, respectively. The Block Research’s data set included nearly 70 crypto firms gleaned from the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s release last week.
Bitcoin Mining Difficulty Sets New Record High 2 Months After Halving
Wolfie Zhao – Coindesk
Two months after the network’s halving event, it’s harder than ever to mine bitcoin. Bitcoin mining difficulty, a measure of how hard it is to compete for block rewards on the network, just set a new record high of 17.35 trillion around 12:00 UTC on Monday. This marks a 9.89% jump from the previous record of 15.78 trillion posted on July 1, Bitcoin.com’s blockchain explorer shows. The new record comes a little over two months after bitcoin’s halving on May 11, which reduced the block subsidy from 12.5 bitcoin per block to the current 6.25 bitcoin, per the network’s design. The latest figure also surpasses the pre-halving high seen in early March.
Coinbase is selling blockchain analytics software to the US Secret Service
Yogita Khatri – The Block
Crypto exchange Coinbase is providing its blockchain analytics software to the U.S. Secret Service, according to a public record obtained by The Block. The Secret Service, which is part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, is charged with conducting financial crime investigations in addition to protecting the nation’s top leaders. The record shows that the Secret Service awarded a four-year contract to Coinbase in May in order to use its blockchain analytics software, called Coinbase Analytics. The contract is worth $183,750 in total and ends on May 9, 2024.
Singapore’s Central Bank Eyes Commercial Role for Its Blockchain Payments Tech
Paddy Baker – Coindesk
A blockchain project from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and state investor Temasek has completed its final development phase and is now being considered as the basis for commercial payments ventures. Singapore’s central banking authority and Temasek said Monday that with the fifth research cycle for project Ubin now complete, “the next leap will be in implementing live commercial solutions to solve realworld challenges.”
Canaan Creative removes four executives as reports of internal disputes circulate
Momina Khan – The Block
Canaan Creative, a leading bitcoin miner manufacturer, removed four of its leading executives from its company’s listing on July 6, according to the company’s registry. Co-chairman Kong Jianping, non-executive director Sun Qifeng, founder and CFO Li Jiaxuan and supervisor Tu Songhua were all removed. Notably, Jianping, Jiaxuan and Qifeng had recently been appointed as company’s directors.
Ethereum 2.0’s Phase 0 may not go live until 2021, project researcher says
Michael McSweeney – The Block
The initial stage of Ethereum 2.0 — dubbed Phase 0 — may not go live until the start of 2021, according to a researcher involved in the project. Ethereum Foundation Justin Drake was asked during a Reddit Ask-Me-Anything session on Friday when the deployment of Phase 0 would begin. As previously reported, one of the main factors behind past launch delays was the multi-client approach being spearheaded by those involved in Phase 0’s development.
Ripple’s co-founder is paying to install security cameras across San Francisco
Michael McSweeney – The Block
Chris Larsen, a co-founder and former CEO of distributed ledger startup Ripple, is reportedly paying for the installation of hundreds of security cameras across San Francisco. The New York Times profiled Larsen’s efforts, framing them as a way to deter property crime in the city. The outlet said that Larsen is “paying for a private network of high-definition security cameras around the city. Zoom in and you can see the finest details: the sticker on a cellphone, the make of a backpack, the color of someone’s eyes.”
American Horror, Starring Donald Trump; The coronavirus pandemic is spiraling out of control, largely because of the president himself.
Charles M. Blow – NY Times
President Trump visited the U.S. Southern Command in Florida on Friday.Credit…Samuel Corum for The New York Times
I think I echo many Americans, and people of the world in general, when I say that I’m having a hard time fully grappling with the gravity of this moment. It is still hard to absorb that a virus has reshaped world behavior, halted or altered travel, strained the economy and completely reshaped the nature of public spaces and human interaction.
Facebook Said to Consider Banning Political Ads; The social network has been under intense pressure for allowing misinformation and hate speech to spread on its site.
Mike Isaac and Nick Corasaniti – WSJ
Facebook is considering banning political advertising across its network before the November general election, according to two people with knowledge of the discussions, after facing intense pressure for allowing hate speech and misinformation to flourish across its site.
Trump Commutes Sentence of Roger Stone in Case He Long Denounced; The president’s friend had been convicted of impeding a congressional inquiry that threatened Mr. Trump.
Peter Baker, Maggie Haberman and Sharon LaFraniere – NY Times
President Trump commuted the sentence of his longtime friend Roger J. Stone Jr. on seven felony crimes on Friday, using the power of his office to spare a former campaign adviser days before Mr. Stone was to report to a federal prison to serve a 40-month term.
Attacking the Hong Kong Dollar Makes Little Sense for the U.S.; The Hong Kong dollar’s peg to the greenback would be a strange target in retaliation against Beijing, and doesn’t seem particularly vulnerable either
Mike Bird – WSJ
As the Chinese government dilutes Hong Kong’s autonomy, the city’s currency peg is back in the news again. Promises of retaliation against Beijing have prompted discussions over whether Washington might target the Hong Kong dollar’s relationship with the greenback.
US heads for fiscal cliff as stimulus fades; Economists worry that political stand-off over extension of aid could damage recovery as pandemic rages
James Politi – FT
Peter Griesar, the founder of Brazos Tacos in downtown Charlottesville, Virginia, was so disturbed this week that the US might rein in its fiscal stimulus as the pandemic continued to rage that he fired off a tweet from his restaurant’s account. The $600 per week emergency jobless benefits helping millions of Americans — and some 10 to 15 of his former employees — to stay financially solvent were not a “disincentive to work”, he wrote. The payments, which are due to expire this month if Congress does not act, were needed because of “demand suppressed” by coronavirus.
White House takes aim at Anthony Fauci over Covid-19 comments; Outspoken public face of US administration’s coronavirus response appears to be increasingly sidelined
Courtney Weaver – FT
Trump administration officials turned their fire over the weekend on Anthony Fauci, a member of the White House’s own coronavirus task force who has been critical of the US handling of the pandemic. Several administration officials publicly challenged Dr Fauci’s assessment that the US was not “doing great” when compared to other countries’ handling of the virus.
Why Presidential Pardons Are Normal, Trump’s Less So
Erik Larson – Bloomberg
The U.S. president has vast constitutional power to grant clemency in the form of pardons to people facing possible prison terms or commutations to people already in, or sentenced to, jail. George Washington pardoned farmers convicted of treason after the 1791 Whiskey Rebellion; Barack Obama commuted the sentences of hundreds of non-violent drug offenders. What’s unusual about clemency under President Donald Trump is how he’s gone about evaluating how to exercise it.
China to Sanction U.S. Senators Rubio, Cruz Over Xinjiang
Republicans Rubio and Cruz are well-known China hawks; Comes after U.S. sanctioned a top Communist Party member
China announced sanctions against U.S. officials including Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, in a largely symbolic attempt to retaliate over Washington’s moves to punish Beijing for its treatment of ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang region. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said sanctions against the four officials would begin Monday, without elaborating. Hua listed Rubio of Florida and Cruz of Texas — both Republicans and high-profile critics of China — as targets of the unspecified measures, in addition to Ambassador Sam Brownback, Representative Chris Smith and the Congressional-Executive Commission on China.
Millionaires Ask for Higher Taxes to Help Pay for Virus Aid
Frances Schwartzkopff – Bloomberg
Dozens of millionaires from the U.S. and six other countries have a message for their governments: “Tax us. Tax us. Tax us.” Calling themselves the Millionaires for Humanity, more than 80 wealthy individuals — including Walt Disney Co. heiress Abigail Disney, former BlackRock Inc. managing director Morris Pearl, and Danish-Iranian entrepreneur Djaffar Shalchi — are petitioning for higher taxes on the rich to help pay for the billions in new government programs made necessary by the Covid-19 pandemic.
FCA ban on Wirecard UK left vulnerable without access to food; Some of the hardest hit included victims of human trafficking and modern slavery
Nicholas Megaw and Matthew Vincent – FT
The British financial regulator’s move to temporarily close German fintech Wirecard’s UK business last month left some of the counhttps://on.ft.com/2Wfr42fy’s most vulnerable people unable to buy food or access basic services for several days.
ESMA issues second report on sanctions under MiFID II
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the EU’s securities markets’ regulator, has published today its second report on sanctions and measures imposed under the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II) by National Competent Authorities (NCAs)
ESMA’s third EU-wide CCP stress test finds system resilient to shocks
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the EU’s securities markets regulator, has published the results of its third stress test exercise regarding Central Counterparties (CCPs) in the European Union (EU) which confirm the overall resilience of EU CCPs to common shocks and multiple defaults for credit, liquidity and concentration stress risks.
SEC Proposes Amendments to Update Form 13F for Institutional Investment Managers; Amend Reporting Threshold to Reflect Today’s Equities Markets
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that it has proposed to amend Form 13F to update the reporting threshold for institutional investment managers and make other targeted changes. The threshold has not been adjusted since the Commission adopted Form 13F over 40 years ago.
CFTC Invalidates CPO Registration Exemptions for 17 Foreign Entities;Entities Failed to Substantiate Eligibility Requirements in Response to DSIO Special Call
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission today announced it has issued an order deeming the commodity pool operator (CPO) exemptions of 17 entities to be ineffective following a special call by the Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight (DSIO). The order was approved by the Commission on July 7, 2020 and is effective immediately. The special call was authorized by the Commission in March 2020.
Investing and Trading
Why Studying Keynes Is More Important Than Ever
Joe Weisenthal and Tracy Alloway – Bloomberg
In response to the economic crisis, governments around the world have engaged in stimulative policies that might be characterized as “Keynesian” in nature. But what did Keynes really believe, and how did he form his own ideas? On this episode, we speak with Zach Carter, an editor at Huffington Post, and the author of the new book “The Price of Peace: Money, Democracy and the Life of John Maynard Keynes”. We discussed Keynes the individual as well as his ideas and their importance today.
Mercuria scores record profit amid oil market chaos; Price volatility during pandemic offers opportunities for energy trading sector
Neil Hume and David Sheppard – FT
Mercuria’s profits surged to a record in the first half of the year as the oil market storm sparked by the coronavirus crisis kicked up lucrative opportunities for global energy traders.
Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance
George Soros’s Foundation Pours $220 Million Into Racial Equality Push; Mr. Soros’s group will invest $150 million in grants for Black-led racial justice groups, and another $70 million toward local grants for criminal justice reform and civic engagement opportunities.
Astead W. Herndon – NY Times
The Open Society Foundations, the philanthropic group founded by the business magnate George Soros, will announce on Monday that it is investing $220 million in efforts to achieve racial equality in America, a huge financial undertaking that will support several Black-led racial justice groups for years to come.
Economics Journals Faulted for Neglecting Studies on Race and Discrimination; Some editors defend their records, while others agree they need to do more to diversify their ranks and think differently about race-related work
Amara Omeokwe – WSJ
Some economists say their field’s most prestigious journals haven’t been particularly receptive to scholarly work related to race and discrimination, effectively marginalizing such studies and their authors.
ISS urges companies to disclose ethnicity of directors; Action by proxy adviser comes as pressure builds to diversify US boardrooms
Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson and Billy Nauman – FT
One of the most influential shareholder advisers has called on US companies to disclose the ethnicities of their directors and senior executives, as pressure builds to diversify the upper echelons of corporate America. Institutional Shareholder Services, a proxy advisory firm with a record of influencing the US corporate governance agenda, has written to companies asking them to make the disclosures on a voluntary, aggregated and self-identified basis.
SEC commissioner calls for better ESG labelling; Fund groups need to improve disclosure standards for sustainable investment products
Chris Flood – FT
One of the US investment industry’s top regulators has called for asset managers to provide clearer explanations of how environmental, social and governance metrics could affect the performance of ESG-labelled funds.
Pipelines have a place in clean energy; Efforts to block new natural gas infrastructure are misguided
Anne Bradbury – FT
Last week, two US energy groups gave up their six-year battle to build a natural gas pipeline, despite fighting all the way to the US Supreme Court to obtain a permit.
It’s Bad for Stock Pickers If Fed Must Do More, Bernstein Says
Gregor Stuart Hunter – Bloomberg
Active equity investors are likely to face a “horrible environment” if the Federal Reserve is forced to expand its balance sheet again to avert mass bankruptcies and higher unemployment, according to quantitative strategists at Sanford C. Bernstein.
George Soros to Invest $220 Million in U.S. Equality Groups
Nour Al Ali – Bloomberg
The Open Society Foundations, founded by George Soros, will invest $220 million in efforts to achieve racial equality in the U.S., according to a statement.
Demand for Chief Diversity Officers Is High. So Is Turnover; Frustrated by talk but little action and a lack of resources, many diversity executives find themselves rotating through C-suites
Chip Cutter and Lauren Weber – WSJ
It’s one of the hottest jobs in America—and it has a revolving door. U.S. companies are rushing to hire chief diversity officers or elevate existing leaders to the position in the midst of pressure to address racial divisions and inequities within their organizations.
BNP Paribas Asset Management survey shows Covid-19 prompts rise in social considerations within investment decision making; BNP Paribas Asset Management (‘BNPP AM’) reveals key findings of its study on the importance of ESG criteria for investors in the Covid-19 environment:
The COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the need for greater awareness of social considerations in investment decision-making. To better understand investors’ approach to social considerations, BNPP AM sponsored a recent ESG study conducted by Greenwich Associates. The study showed that 81% of respondents already take ESG considerations into account in all or part of their portfolios, with a further 16% planning to do so. The leading reasons were to positively impact society or the environment (80%), reduce risk (58%) and meet stakeholder needs (47%).
Central banks expand their role to address the crisis; Far from being impotent, they have again been crucial actors in the pandemic
Gavyn Davies – FT
Before the economic crash caused by the coronavirus pandemic in March, it had been widely assumed that central banks would be largely impotent in the face of a renewed recession.
Hedge Fund Chatham Wins Bankruptcy Auction for McClatchy’s Newspapers; The pending sale of McClatchy’s assets out of bankruptcy would end family ownership of one of the nation’s largest newspaper publishers
Jonathan Randles and Lukas I. Alpert – WSJ
Hedge-fund manager Chatham Asset Management LLC emerged as the winner in a bankruptcy auction for McClatchy Co., MNIQQ 4.00% ending 163 years of family ownership for the newspaper chain and increasing financial investors’ control of the American publishing industry.
Brevan Howard’s new chief on the revered hedge fund’s inner workings; Publicity-shy firm opens up under Aron Landy’s leadership
Laurence Fletcher – FT
For 17 years, Aron Landy has sat at the heart of one of the world’s most successful, and most publicity-shy, hedge funds. As chief risk officer and now chief executive of Brevan Howard, Mr Landy has worked closely with billionaire star trader Alan Howard at a firm that for years was regarded as the gold standard of macro trading, making billions of dollars in profits.
Black Trader Suing Tullett for Racial Discrimination Is in Limbo
Jonathan Browning – Bloomberg
British regulators hold firms accountable for office culture; Race issues take centerstage after Black Lives Matter protests
For Opeyemi Olayanju, coming to work one day in October to find his computer cables unplugged was the last straw. The way he saw it, the incident was yet another attempt at sabotaging his budding career at the London office of Tullett Prebon, the brokerage unit of energy and commodities trading firm TP ICAP Plc. Coming after what the Black British trader says was bullying and harassment tinged with racism, he quit.
US banks told not to use Covid-19 as cover for branch closures
Laura Noonan and Robert Armstrong – FT
US banks will not be able to use Covid-19 as cover to shut branches or to win permanent concessions from regulators, according to one of America’s top banking watchdogs, who said he “was not prepared to revisit the fundamentals of bank regulation” as a result of the pandemic. Brian Brooks, acting head of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, a federal banking regulator, issued his warning in an interview with the Financial Times.
Julius Baer to offer private equity to ultra-wealthy clients; Swiss bank poaches senior executive from rival UBS to set up new division
Owen Walker – FT
Julius Baer has poached a senior executive from rival Swiss wealth manager UBS to set up a new division offering private equity and debt investments to its ultra-wealthy clients.
Chinese fund groups retreat from global growth drives; Harvest Global cuts international sales team while GF Fund Management drops UK licence
Siobhan Riding – FT
Chinese asset managers that embarked on aggressive international expansion pushes are scaling back their ambitions, as increasingly fraught relations between China and the west bring to an end what was touted as a golden age for Chinese fund houses abroad.
China Renews Push for Increased Global Role for the Yuan
Access to greenback is crucial for Chinese companies, lenders; Yuan still makes up just 2% of global central banks’ reserves
Faced with the prospect of restricted access to U.S. dollars, China’s answer is to get more people to use its own currency instead. The increasing spillover of Sino-American tensions into the financial sphere has ignited a fresh push by China to promote the global use of the yuan. A growing number of government officials and influential market watchers have in recent weeks urged greater efforts on the endeavor, which gained renewed significance after China’s new Hong Kong security law triggered the threat of retaliation from Washington.
Singapore Hedge Fund Gaining 27% Sticks With Asia Tech
Heejin Kim – Bloomberg
Timefolio Asset Management bets on recovery in Asia tech; Relations between China, Korea may be improving: manager
A Singapore-based hedge fund is betting on continued recovery in Asian technology stocks, as it expects consumer demand held back by the coronavirus pandemic will soon rebound.
Norway’s Biggest Bank Tops Best Estimate as Impairments Ease
Jonas Cho Walsgard – Bloomberg
DNB ASA, Norway’s biggest bank, delivered second-quarter earnings that beat even the most optimistic estimates as impairments proved less dire than feared. Shares in DNB soared more than 7% when trading started on Monday, marking its biggest spike since October.
CEO Pichai Says Google Will Invest $10 Billion in India
Saritha Rai – Bloomberg
Investments to help country’s transition to digital economy; To be spent over the next five to seven years, CEO says
Google said it plans to spend $10 billion over the next five to seven years to help accelerate the adoption of digital technologies in India. Sundar Pichai, who was born in the country and is now chief executive officer of parent Alphabet Inc., made the announcement at the annual Google for India event via video conference. He said the outbreak of the coronavirus has made clear the importance of technology for conducting business and for connecting with friends and family.
Scandal-hit jeweller Kingold named and shamed, as China financial regulator calls for stricter risk management; Kingold incident reveals that internal controls and risk management at some financial institutions are ’empty shells’, China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission says; Beijing is clamping down on illegal activity in China’s financial industry
Iris Ouyang – South China Morning Post
The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission confirmed the scandal involving Nasdaq-listed Kingold Jewelry for the first time, as it stressed the need to clamp down on financial irregularities and fraud over the weekend.
Hong Kong migration to UK could hit 200,000; Government estimate is a fraction of 3m citizens of the former British colony offered route to citizenship
George Parker – FT
About 200,000 Hong Kong citizens with British passports could come to live in the UK over the next five years, according to internal Foreign Office estimates, one of the biggest non-European migrations into Britain in recent times.
Zimbabwean Bankers Want Some Pay in Dollars as Inflation Soars
Godfrey Marawanyika – Bloomberg
Bankers in Zimbabwe are demanding that part of their salaries be paid in dollars to cushion themselves against soaring inflation and a depreciating currency.
BlueBay bets on sterling drop from hard Brexit; Bond fund believes a long-term trade deal between UK and EU could be out of reach
Eva Szalay – FT
The UK is on course for a hard Brexit that will hit sterling, according to a large European bond fund. BlueBay Asset Management, which manages $60bn of assets, took the view last year that the UK would “find it hard” to agree to the EU’s demands in trade negotiations and a couple of weeks ago the fund placed a negative bet on the pound.
Britain seeks to preserve UK lawyers’ access to EU market; Proposal opposed in Brussels, which says plan amounts to retaining existing rights
Jim Brunsden – FT
Britain is seeking to preserve rights for UK lawyers to operate in the EU after the Brexit transition period, despite warnings from Brussels that it will not accept “cherry picking” of the bloc’s single market.
Only a Quarter of U.K. Firms Ready for Brexit Transition
Suzy Waite – Bloomberg
Only one-quarter of business leaders say their organizations are fully ready for the end of the Brexit transition period, according to a survey by the Institute of Directors. Nearly half of the 978 company directors polled late last month said they weren’t able to prepare for a transition now, and one in seven said they were focused on the coronavirus pandemic, the survey said. Almost a third said they need more clarity about forthcoming changes before they make any adjustments.
Priti Patel sets out post-Brexit immigration details
A fast-track health and care visa has been unveiled as part of plans for the UK’s points-based immigration system for when freedom of movement ends. Home Secretary Priti Patel said employers would be encouraged to invest in workers from within the UK. But the new system, she added, would also allow them to “attract the best and brightest from around the world”. The new system is set to come into force on New Year’s Day, immediately ending freedom of movement with the EU. Under the government’s plan, those wishing to live and work in the UK must gain 70 points.
Brussels proposes EUR5bn Brexit crisis fund to break EU budget deadlock
Mehreen Khan and Jim Brunsden – FT
EU countries facing a Brexit economic shock are in line to get access to a EUR5bn crisis reserve, under a draft plan from the president of the European Council that is designed to end a deadlock over the bloc’s recovery fund and long-term budget. Charles Michel, the council’s president, on Friday ceded to demands from countries including Ireland and Belgium that have asked for extra financial support to withstand a possible double economic shock in the coming year, from Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic.