This Vegan Billionaire Disrupted the Crypto Markets. Stocks May Be Next; ‘Dramatic’ Round of Regulation Seen Coming for Cryptocurrencies

Apr 16, 2021

First Read

$37,826/$300,000 (12.6%)


Hits & Takes
John Lothian & JLN Staff

A booster shot may be needed for the vaccine for COVID-19 and an annual shot as well (NY Times). I received my second Pfizer shot last Sunday and have been suffering from a headache on and off all week. Next up is a shingles vaccine. Let the shots keep on coming!

Reuters has announced a paywall for their news on their website (Bloomberg).There is no date yet for it to start and no word on how this will work relative to all the other news sites that carry Reuters news.

FIA recently released two letters urging the U.K. Government to start the process of linking the new U.K. Emissions Trading System (UK ETS) with the EU’s Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) as soon as practicable.

According to a CNBC story, Wall Street executives and employees only spent $2.9 billion on campaigns and lobbying during the last U.S. election.

There is a post on the site titled “DRW and Code Platoon: Working together to provide Veterans and military spouses with careers in technology.”

ICE is putting on a series of discussions titled “The Move to Net Zero.” In the first of the series, ICE President of Fixed Income and Data Services Lynn Martin chats with BlackRock’s Head of International and of Corporate Strategy, Mark Wiedman on Thursday, April 29 at 11 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. ET.

There were no new donations to the JLN MarketsWiki Education GoFundMe campaign yesterday. Remember, Trading Technologies will match the next $17,300 in donations dollar for dollar. Support our efforts to preserve industry history by giving to our GoFundMe campaign.

Look on later today for a new video from the Open Outcry Traders History Project, this one featuring Tom Ascher, the executive chairman of Quantitative Brokers.

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


According to LinkedIn, Trading Technologies’ Elise Fleischaker has been promoted to EVP Marketing from VP Marketing as of this month. Congratulations to Elise on the promotion! ~SR

Timing is everything: In a virtual press briefing on “transitioning from LIBOR” held Thursday, American Financial Exchange Chairman and CEO Richard Sandor announced AFX’s plans to publish a 90-day Ameribor reference rate by the end of April and 180-day and 360-day forward-looking term rates sometime in May. AFX introduced an Ameribor Term-30 index in March that is meant to be an alternative to the one-month LIBOR, representing 30-day funding costs for U.S. financial institutions. U.S.-regulated firms have been instructed to stop using U.S. dollar LIBOR for new trades after December 31, 2021, with a few exceptions, and on March 5, 2021, the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority confirmed that LIBOR fixings would no longer be provided by administrators or be representative after December 31 for most rates — sterling, euro, Swiss franc and Japanese yen settings, as well as 1-week and 2-month U.S. dollar settings.~SC



Institutions Build Presence In Cannabis Investments

John Lothian News talks to Nasdaq IR Intelligence analyst Saleem Daya about the evolving cannabis stock sector, including a steady pick up in institutional interest as the year 2021 unfolds.

Listen to the podcast »



Family Offices Are Targeting 800% Returns With SPAC Economics
Benjamin Stupples – Bloomberg
Under-the-radar firms are a driving force in SPAC frenzy; Pritzker, Och, Sawiris family offices among those jumping in
The Pritzkers built an empire spanning hotels to manufacturing before agreeing two decades ago to split up their fortune among 11 descendants. Karen Pritzker, one of the heirs, has parlayed that wealth into venture capital, backing firms such as Snap Inc. and Spotify Technology. Now she’s joined the wave of investors turning to blank-check firms.

*****The important thing is that this is a rational investment goal and not just unfettered greed.~JJL


There’s a single New Jersey deli doing $35,000 in sales valued at $100 million in the stock market
Jesse Pound – CNBC
Hedge fund manager David Einhorn warned of dangers for retail investors that he sees in the market, and one of his main examples was a tiny New Jersey deli with a market capitalization of more than $100 million. The Paulsboro, New Jersey-based Your Hometown Deli is the sole location for Hometown International, which has an eye-popping market value despite totaling $35,748 in sales in the last two years combined, according to securities filings.



Gnome shortage: Lockdown and Suez canal blockage blamed
The ornaments are in short supply with raw materials hard to come by and the recent blockage of the Suez Canal contributing to the national shortage.
Ian Byrne, assistant manager of Highfield Garden World in Whitminster, said there had been a “massive upswing” in the sales of garden gnomes.
“We haven’t seen a gnome in six months now unfortunately,” he said.

*****This is the ultimate short short.~JJL


Bernard Madoff, criminal financier, 1938-2021; Former Nasdaq chair who ran the world’s largest Ponzi scheme
Brooke Masters – FT
When Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme collapsed in December 2008, $65bn vanished overnight, devastating tens of thousands of small investors, charities and religious groups who continue to struggle to this day.

*****This looks like the FT’s official obituary for Bernie, which is the right name for him for where many people say he is now.~JJL


Thursday’s Top Three
The top story on Thursday was from MarketWatch, Coinbase is most valuable exchange after its first day of trading. The second most-read story was a video interview by John Lothian News, Scott Knudsen – From Open Outcry to Electronic Trading to Trading the GOAT. And third was a Bloomberg story about Jamie Miller, World’s Largest Crop Trader Cargill Names First Female CEO.


CryptoMarketsWiki Coin of the Week: Binance Coin (BNB)
BNB became one of the world’s largest cryptocurrencies this week. The utility coin, which is used by Binance to pay transaction fees on the Binance exchange, saw a price surge this week as the direct listing debut of Coinbase spurred bullish trends for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. BNB’s favor among cryptocurrency investors has been growing since September 2020, when Binance launched its Smart Chain DeFi application, a decentralized public blockchain, to compete with Ethereum. Binance also announced Friday that it had burned, or removed from circulation, $595 million worth of BNB tokens, the largest-ever burn for the digital token. Binance routinely does this to increase the value of BNB; when it launched BNB in 2017, the exchange said it was committed to burning 100 million BNB – half of its circulating supply.


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Lead Stories

This Vegan Billionaire Disrupted the Crypto Markets. Stocks May Be Next; Sam Bankman-Fried founded FTX because he was fed up with existing cryptocurrency exchanges. Now FTX is processing $10.7 billion in trades a day, and he’s pushing boundaries into tokenized stocks and other new markets.
Alexander Osipovich – WSJ
Want to trade Tesla Inc. TSLA 0.90% 24 hours a day? How about betting on how Robinhood Markets Inc. stock will fare in its initial public offering? Or on whether Donald Trump will retake the presidency in 2024? All that and more is available on FTX, one of the world’s fastest-growing cryptocurrency exchanges—but not if you’re American. In that case, the hottest and riskiest markets of this Hong Kong-based exchange are off limits, a move FTX made to keep from running afoul of U.S. regulators.

‘Dramatic’ Round of Regulation Seen Coming for Cryptocurrencies
Eric Lam and Joanna Ossinger – Bloomberg
WEF blockchain expert predicts growing oversight of tokens; PwC crypto head says Coinbase debut will spur analyst coverage
The guardians of the financial sector are poised to greatly intensify their efforts to regulate the booming cryptocurrency sector. That’s the view of the World Economic Forum’s blockchain expert, who said challenges include keeping up with the borderless nature of Bitcoin and other digital tokens, as well as ensuring that innovation isn’t stifled.

Massachusetts Seeks Revocation of Robinhood’s Registration; Filing by regulators comes as popular broker-dealer levels complaint against state
Caitlin McCabe – WSJ
Massachusetts securities regulators on Thursday asked that Robinhood Financial LLC’s registration as a broker-dealer in the state be revoked to prevent the popular online brokerage from doing business there. The regulators said Robinhood has “continued a pattern of aggressively inducing and enticing trading among its customers,” in a follow-up filing to a complaint filed by the state against the company in December.

New Investors Discover Tax Pitfalls of Robinhood and Other Trading Apps; Common tax-minimizing strategies are difficult or impossible to implement on the trading platforms that have boomed in popularity in the past year
Laura Saunders – WSJ
Last year Dayton Leong, an active trader with accounts at nine firms, made scores of trades using the Robinhood app. He liked the free stocks he got from referring more than a dozen friends and found it easy to trade on his phone.

SPAC Hot Streak Put on Ice by Regulatory Warnings; SEC steps up scrutiny of accounting and growth projections for newly public startups
Dave Michaels, Amrith Ramkumar and Alexander Osipovich – WSJ
Investors are cooling to one of the hottest bets on Wall Street as new regulatory scrutiny of special-purpose acquisition companies cuts the flood of new issues to a trickle while share prices tumble. SPACs have raised about $100 billion so far this year, more than last year’s record of $83.4 billion, which itself was more than the amount raised in the nearly 30-year history of these blank-check companies.

‘A Failure of Texas-Size Proportions’—State Struggles to Overhaul Its Power Market; February storm exposed flaws in laissez-faire electricity system; fixes promise to be complex and costly
Katherine Blunt and Russell Gold – WSJ
Two months after blackouts paralyzed Texas, most of the people who participate in the state’s 19-year-old electricity market, including producers, sellers and traders, share a similar view. The freeze wasn’t a one-off event. The state’s power market needs to change.

US Warned Libor Is Not Be Used In New Contracts After 2021
Edwin Schooling Latter, director, markets and wholesale policy at the FCA, warned at the ISDA Benchmark Strategies Forum that US dollar Libor should not be used for new contracts after this year. Scott O’Malia, chief executive of ISDA, said at the forum that the announcement from the UK ‘s Financial Conduct Authority on 5 March effectively heralded the death of Libor. He said: “We know for sure which Libor settings will end on which date, and which tenors will become non-representative.”

As Sanjeev Gupta Rose From Trader to Tycoon, Several Banks Backed Away; Four banks dropped Liberty’s commodity trading business after alleged paperwork problems in metal trades.
Jack Farchy, Mark Burton, and Gavin Finch – Bloomberg
British industrialist Sanjeev Gupta’s companies seemed to be prospering until his main lender, Greensill Capital, imploded last month. But long before Greensill collapsed, several banks had cut off the commodity trading business of Gupta’s Liberty House Group.

‘No cop on the beat’: Greenlight’s Einhorn blasts weak regulators; Hedge fund manager argues watchdogs are not doing their jobs
Robin Wigglesworth – FT
Prominent hedge fund manager David Einhorn has savaged US financial regulators for allowing “quasi-anarchy” to break out in markets due to their inaction over a range of controversial issues. The president of Greenlight Capital waded into the GameStop controversy in his latest letter to investors, arguing that the market mayhem surrounding the struggling video game retailer in late January was exacerbated at “a critical moment” by venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya and Tesla’s Elon Musk.

David Einhorn says Chamath Palihapitiya and Elon Musk were the ‘real jet fuel’ for the GameStop short squeeze – and that regulators have been defanged when it comes to policing markets
Will Daniel – Insider
GreenLight Capital’s David Einhorn believes billionaires Chamath Palihapitiya and Elon Musk were “the real jet fuel” for the GameStop short squeeze and that regulators have been defanged when it comes to policing markets.

Philosopher Slavoj Žižek says Wall Street Bets’ GameStop squeeze was revolutionary because of how it focused on deliberately creating chaos, rather than anything fundamental
Will Daniel – Insider
Slavoj Žižek joined Bloomberg’s “Odd Lots” podcast with Joe Weisenthal recently to discuss the r/wallstreetbets GameStop saga and his essay for the Spectator titled “Corruption for Everybody.”

Wall Street banks are pulling ahead of the Europeans again; By comparison, this week’s crypto-mania is almost a side show
Gillian Tett – FT
Wall Street is crypto crazed this week, and no wonder. Coinbase’s $76bn direct listing is a coming-of-age moment for digital money. It has also unleashed a flood of emails in my inbox predicting that fintech will challenge fiat money and legacy financial groups, such as Wall Street banks.

Goldman Sachs’s Top Image Maker Is Leaving; Jake Siewert led the firm’s post-financial crisis reputation makeover.
Andrew Ross Sorkin, Jason Karaian, Sarah Kessler, Michael J. de la Merced, Lauren Hirsch and Ephrat Livni – NY Times
For nearly a decade, Jake Siewert led Goldman Sachs’s post-crisis efforts to shed its image as one of Wall Street’s most mysterious, and maligned, money machines. We’re the first to report that he plans to announce his departure later today.

Covid-19 Pushes India’s Middle Class Toward Poverty; The pandemic sent 32 million people in India from the middle class last year. Now a second wave is threatening the dreams of millions more looking for a better life.
Karan Deep Singh and Hari Kumar – NY Times
Ashish Anand had dreams of becoming a fashion designer. A former flight attendant, he borrowed from relatives and poured his $5,000 life savings into opening a clothing shop on the outskirts of Delhi selling custom-designed suits, shirts and pants.

Simplicity Out Of Complexity – Bringing OTC Derivatives In From The Cold, By Daniel Ivanier, CEO, Fragmos Chain
Trading in off-exchange derivatives has long been the domain of specialist brokers – an intricate world of bespoke contracts, non-standard risk and valuation models, blighted by suboptimal settlement operations.

The Chip Shortage Is Bad. Taiwan’s Drought Threatens to Make It Worse; Island’s worst dry spell in half a century has added to the challenges facing a center of semiconductor manufacturing
Stephanie Yang – WSJ
The worst drought in half a century is hitting Taiwan, adding strain to an island that is home to two-thirds of the world semiconductor manufacturing capacity during the worst global chip shortage in recent memory.

In Conversation With…Kenneth Brandborg, co-founder and CEO of SaepioX.
The Full FX

Brevan Howard’s Hedge Fund to Start Buying Cryptocurrencies
Nishant Kumar – Bloomberg
It will initially invest up to 1.5% of fund in digital assets; Firm will buy a wide range of assets beyond just Bitcoin
Brevan Howard Asset Management is preparing to start investing in digital assets, becoming the latest money manager seeking to exploit the cryptocurrency boom.

Google Commits Millions for Vaccine Shots and Online PSAs
Mark Bergen – Bloomberg
Google announced a series of pledges on Thursday to fund and promote coronavirus vaccines across the globe, including $250 million in advertising grants for pro-vaccination groups. Through its philanthropy arm, Google will pay for 250,000 shots in “low and middle-income countries,” as classified by Google’s partner Gavi, a charity focused on vaccine distribution.

OCC Elects Executive Chairman, Member and Public Directors at 2021 Stockholder Meeting
OCC, the world’s largest equity derivatives clearing organization, announced the election of three Class II Member Directors and two Class III Public Directors to its Board of Directors. In addition, Mr. Craig S. Donohue was re-elected as Executive Chairman of the Board. The vote took place during OCC’s annual stockholder meeting on April 14.


EU Likely to Drop AstraZeneca, J&J as Future Vaccine Options
Fergal O’Brien and James Regan – Bloomberg
French minister says contracts unlikely to be resumed; EU is prioritizing mRNA vaccines, such as Pfizer/BioNTech
The European Union “most probably” won’t renew contracts for Covid-19 vaccines with AstraZeneca Plc and Johnson & Johnson as it prioritizes other types of shots, according to a French government minister. The comments follow the European Commission’s announcement this week that it’s in talks with Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech for as many as 1.8 billion additional vaccine doses through 2023. Pfizer’s shot is an mRNA vaccine, and the commission has said it will focus on that technology in its planning. The vaccines from both J&J and Astra use an adenovirus to build immunity.

J&J’s Limbo Status Crimps U.S. Vaccine Drive at a Pivotal Moment
Angelica LaVito and Fiona Rutherford – Bloomberg
One-shot vaccine was targeted for hard-to-reach populations; Pause in J&J complicates campaign as it was hitting stride
Communities across the U.S. are suddenly revamping their vaccination campaigns to adjust to an indefinite halt in Johnson & Johnson’s doses, which has required officials to reschedule tens of thousands of appointments as they seek to reassure people that Covid-19 vaccines are safe.

Japan’s Suga Reported to Seek Extra Vaccine Supply From Pfizer
Isabel Reynolds – Bloomberg
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is set to call Pfizer Inc.’s Chief Executive Officer Albert Bourla, in a move broadcaster Fuji TV said was aimed at securing extra supplies of its coronavirus vaccine Vaccine czar Taro Kono told reporters Suga is planning to make the call, but declined to comment in detail.

Sweden Working With ‘Several’ EU Nations in Sputnik Vaccine Talks
Niclas Rolander and Kati Pohjanpalo – Bloomberg
Sweden expects to get some doses of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine from June as the Nordic nation is coordinating the procurement with “several” other European Union nations.

Sir David Spiegelhalter: ‘Risk is a very loaded term’; The statistician on the government’s ‘number theatre’, the value of lockdown sceptics and the use (and misuse) of statistics
Jemima Kelly – FT
From the point of view of health risks, the raw oyster that Sir David Spiegelhalter is in the process of releasing from its shell and preparing to slide into his mouth probably wasn’t the safest bet. But from the perspective of sheer pleasure, after a year of restrictions and restraint, it feels like the perfect choice. He chews it a few times — the correct way to eat an oyster — and slurps it down, beaming. “Oh, lovely!”

Concerns rise about spread of coronavirus variant in London; Several people infected by strain first identified in South Africa had received at least one vaccine shot
Anna Gross – FT
Surge testing has been expanded to four London boroughs as concern grows that the test and trace programme cannot contain a coronavirus variant that has shown increasing signs of vaccine resistance. A total of 56 cases of the variant first identified in South Africa were found in the week to April 14, according to data released on Thursday, taking the total confirmed cases since it was first detected in December to 600.

J&J Privately Asked Rival Covid-19 Vaccine Makers to Probe Clotting Risks; AstraZeneca was interested in joining forces to investigate the safety issue and communicate vaccine benefits and risks, but Pfizer and Moderna didn’t see the need for group action
Jenny Strasburg, Jared S. Hopkins and Peter Loftus – WSJ
Johnson & Johnson privately reached out to Covid-19 vaccine rivals to ask them to join an effort to study the risks of blood clots and speak with one voice about safety, but Pfizer Inc. PFE 1.16% and Moderna Inc. MRNA -0.10% declined.

Lilly asks FDA to not allow lone use of COVID-19 drug bamlanivimab
Eli Lilly and Co (LLY.N) said it had requested for cancellation of the U.S. authorization granted to its COVID-19 antibody, bamlanivimab, which will now be used in combination with another to achieve greater efficacy against emerging virus variants.

Australia reports first death from blood clots ‘likely’ linked to AstraZeneca vaccine
Australia on Friday reported its first death from blood clots linked to the AstraZeneca (AZN.L) COVID-19 vaccine after the country’s regulator said a 48-year-old woman’s fatality was “likely” linked to the shot.

India to boost monthly output of homegrown vaccine to 100 mln doses by September
India said on Friday monthly production capacity of its homegrown COVID-19 shot will be raised to nearly 100 million doses by September, as it tries to overcome a shortage amid a record surge in cases.

Tokyo Olympics must be ‘reconsidered’ due to Japan’s failure to contain pandemic – report
Rocky Swift – Reuters
Japan’s inability to contain the COVID-19 pandemic means that plans to hold the Olympics in Tokyo should be reconsidered, health experts wrote in a commentary.

The Pandemic Has Affected Your Employees’ Long-Term Mental Health. Here’s What You Need to Know
The growing recognition of the pandemic’s impact on mental health is just the tip of the iceberg.
Oliver Harrison – Inc
It’s incredible to think that we’ve been living with Covid-19 for more than a year. For many, the quiet streets, silent offices and shuttered shops which have come to typify the past 12 months have resulted in one of the slowest moving years on record. For others, time in lockdown has seemed to slip away much quicker than usual.

Vaccines Won’t Protect Millions of Patients With Weakened Immune Systems; Many cannot produce enough infection-fighting cells to fend off the coronavirus. But researchers are testing one therapy that may help: monoclonal antibodies.
Apoorva Mandavilli – NY Times
For more than a year, Dr. Andrew Wollowitz has mostly been cloistered inside his home in Mamaroneck, N.Y.

There’s No App To Beat Covid in Latin America; Tech wizardry can’t overcome the underlying political and social problems that have hampered the continent’s pandemic fight.
Mac Margolis – Bloomberg
Whether it’s standing up to corporate tobacco, pioneering the rainbow agenda, or branding Big Marijuana, Uruguay’s public policy chutzpah stands out in the Americas. So it was little surprise when this nation of 3.4 million joined the world’s pacesetters in vaccine rollout. Some 28 of every 100 Uruguayans have had at least one anti Covid-19 shot, the best record in the continent after Chile’s, and nearly triple the jabs per capita of its richer neighbors Brazil and Argentina.

Covid Is Deadlier in Brazil Than India and No One Knows Why
Chris Kay and Andre Romani Pinto – Bloomberg
Case-fatality ratio in Brazil is twice that of India; Inoculation in both countries has picked up after a slow start
Facing a sudden surge in coronavirus infections, India is once again home to the world’s second-largest outbreak, overtaking Brazil after the latter moved ahead in March. But behind the bleak statistical jockeying is an epidemiological enigma over why the Latin American country has been far more devastated by the pathogen.

Unused Vaccines Are Piling Up Across U.S. as Some Regions Resist; Even in states where inoculation campaigns have been mostly successful, vaccine gaps remain
Anna Edney and Drew Armstrong – Bloomberg
Many U.S. states and cities have a growing surplus of Covid-19 vaccines, a sign that in some places demand is slowing before a large percentage of the population has been inoculated, according to an analysis by Bloomberg News.

CDC says just 5,800 people who were fully vaccinated against COVID got infected: CNN
Ciara Linnane – MarketWatch
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified about 5,800 cases of people who were fully vaccinated against the coronavirus-borne illness COVID-19 but got infected anyway, CNN reported. That’s just a tiny sliver of the roughly 124 million people who have received a first dose. Some became seriously ill and 74 people died, the CDC told CNN by email. ”

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

BNP Paribas goes live on LSEG futures exchange CurveGlobal Markets; Short term interest rate traders at BNP Paribas can now access futures listed on the CurveGlobal Markets exchange.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
French investment bank BNP Paribas has gone live as a market maker on the London Stock Exchange Group’s (LSEG) listed futures exchange, CurveGlobal Markets. The launch gives traders at BNP Paribas access to short term interest rate futures cleared at the LSEG’s central counterparty, LCH.

Hynion lists on Euronext Growth; Nok 60 Million Raised – Market Capitalisation Of Nok 140 Million
Euronext today congratulates Hynion on its listing on Euronext Growth Oslo (ticker code: HYN). Hynion is a hydrogen fuel company mainly dealing in the business of selling hydrogen fuel through company-owned hydrogen stations.

Trend towards sustainable investing strengthening derivatives inflows – ESG products hit new trading record in Q1 2021
With 562,714 contracts traded, Eurex’s ESG products broke a new record in the first quarter of 2021 and continues to be a collective success story.

Forfeiture of Unclaimed Final Dividend for 2014
As provided in the Articles of Association of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (“HKEX”), any dividend unclaimed after a period of six years from the date for payment of such dividend shall be forfeited and shall revert to HKEX. Accordingly, HKEX’s final dividend for 2014 of HK$2.15 per share, payable on 5 June 2015 and remaining unclaimed on
5 June 2021, will be forfeited and will revert to HKEX.

ICE Mortgage Technology Sets Records with Experience 2021; Experience 2022 Scheduled to Take Place March 14-16, 2022 at the Wynn Las Vegas
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc.
ICE Mortgage TechnologyTM, part of Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE: ICE), a leading global provider of data, technology and market infrastructure, today shared that its annual Experience conference, which was conducted virtually this year, concluded as the company’s most successful event to-date.

London Stock Exchange Group: Admission Of Converted Ordinary Shares
Further to the announcement by London Stock Exchange Group plc (“LSEG” or the “Company”) on 15 April 2021, LSEG now confirms that a total of 16,231,149 limited-voting ordinary shares of 679/86 pence each of the Company held by York Holdings II Limited have been converted into voting ordinary shares of 679/86 pence each (the “Converted Ordinary Shares”) on a one-for-one basis.

Supervisory Boards Of EEX And ECC Extend Management Board Mandates Of Jens Rick And Goetz Dittrich
The Supervisory Board of the European Energy Exchange AG (EEX) confirmed Jens Rick as a member of the Management Board in its meeting on 14th April and extended his mandate for another five years until 31st January 2027. Jens Rick has been active as Chief Information Officer of EEX since 1st February 2019. In this role he is responsible for the operation and development of EEX’s IT infrastructure.

Join A Live Broadcast Of GPW’s 30-Year Anniversary
The official celebrations open at 9 a.m. on 16 April, when President of Poland Andrzej Duda will ring the bell to open the trading session. The event will be attended by representatives of public authorities, institutions and companies engaged in the development of the Polish capital market. The event will take place online due to the pandemic restrictions. The first part of the event will feature addresses by President of the Warsaw Stock Exchange Marek Dietl and President of Poland Andrzej Duda.

AIX Announces Change In Leadership
The Board of Directors of the Astana International Exchange’s (‘AIX’, ‘the Exchange’) is pleased to announce changes in the leadership structure of the AIX effective May 23rd, subject to shareholder and regulatory approval.


Confluence Reaches Agreement in Principle to Acquire Fundpeak, Global Provider of Fund Portals and Factsheets; Acquisition will add secure fund portals and fund marketing tools
Confluence Technologies
Confluence Technologies, a global technology solutions provider helping the investment management industry solve complex investment data challenges, today announced that it has reached an agreement in principle to acquire Fundpeak, a highly respected global provider of secure fund portals and marketing tools such as fund factsheets and websites.

Wirecard administrator agrees sale of chunk of Asia operations; Deal ushers in final stage in the dismantling of the collapsed German payments group
Stefania Palma and Olaf Storbeck – FT
Wirecard’s administrator has reached an agreement to sell a large chunk of the defunct business’ operations in Asia, in a deal that ushers in the final stage of the dismantling of the collapsed German payments group.

Fintech Wise in talks with regulators over direct UK listing; Move to go public would be a boost after Deliveroo IPO flop
Daniel Thomas and Nicholas Megaw – FT
Wise, the fintech formerly known as TransferWise, is in discussions with British financial regulators about going public via a direct listing, in what would be a landmark deal for the UK market.

Widely used UK fund comparison tool adds ETFs for first time; Investment Association’s framework will measure fees and performance of 530 ETFs against active products
Chris Flood – FT
UK investors are set to be able to compare the performance of index-tracking exchange traded funds with that of actively managed products for the first time in a move that is expected to boost the popularity of passive ETFs in the country.

Buy-side bond traders in Asia look to rules-based trading to free up time; Nearly a third of buy-side traders are prioritising the implementation of a rules-based trading automation in 2021, study from Bloomberg and WBR reveals.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
Just under a third of buy-side fixed income traders in Asia Pacific are looking to implement more rules-based trading automation in their electronic trading this year, a study by Bloomberg and WBR has found.

Lombard Odier bolsters FX trading with smartTrade; The end-to-end liquidity solution by smartTrade will connect Lombard Odier with 130 liquidity providers across FX spot, forwards, swaps, NDFs, options, and precious metals.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
Swiss bank Lombard Odier has teamed up with from smartTrade Technologies to deploy its liquidity platform to boost its FX trading capabilities for clients. Lombard Odier has integrated LiquidityFX, the liquidity aggregation and smart order routing system from smartTrade that will connect the bank with 130 liquidity providers for sourcing liquidity.

These 6 fintechs are betting consumers want to earn crypto rewards from their spending in lieu of points and miles
Shannen Balogh – Insider
With Bitcoin soaring to record highs, Coinbase going public, and players like PayPal offering crypto trading, digital assets are becoming more mainstream.

Coinbase’s direct listing alters the landscape for fintech and crypto startups
Alex Wilhelm, Anna Heim – Tech Crunch
Coinbase’s direct listing was a massive finance, startup and cryptocurrency event that impacted a host of public and private investors, early employees, and crypto-enthusiasts. Regardless of where one sits in the broader tech and venture world, Coinbase storming north of a $100 billion valuation during its first day of trading was the biggest startup happening of the year. The transaction’s effects will be felt for some time in the public market, but also among the startups and capital that comprise the private market.

O’Melveny boosts Fintech practice with ex-CFPB attorney
Jody Godoy – Reuters
O’Melveny & Myers has added an attorney who helped set the fintech enforcement agenda at the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as counsel in its Washington, D.C. office. Melissa Baal Guidorizzi comes to the firm from her role as senior counsel for policy and strategy at the CFPB’s enforcement division. She had worked for the agency since 2013 on regulation and enforcement related to cryptocurrency, payment cards and financial technology and more. She joins the firm’s fintech, financial services and payments practices.


Turkey Bans Cryptocurrency Payments, Says Risks Are Too Big
Tugce Ozsoy – Bloomberg
Central bank says tokens can cause ‘non-recoverable’ losses; Complaints related to cryptocurrencies have soared among Turks
The Turkish central bank banned the use of cryptocurrencies as a form of payment from April 30, saying the level of anonymity behind the digital tokens brings the risk of “non-recoverable” losses. The curbs also prohibit companies that handle payments and electronic fund transfers from processing transactions involving cryptocurrency platforms, according to a decree published in the official government gazette on Friday.

*****Here is the WSJ version of this story.~JJL

South Africa’s Spats With J&J, Pfizer Mask Patent Concerns
Janice Kew – Bloomberg
Country’s supplies slowed by contract demands from J&J, Pfizer; South Africa, India have sought waivers on WTO rules
Pharmaceutical companies supplying South Africa with Covid-19 vaccines are pressing the country to stop trying to loosen patent protections related to the inoculations, a person familiar with the situation said. South Africa and India are calling for a broad waiver of World Trade Organization rules on the production and export of vaccines and other medical goods needed to combat the coronavirus, a move that could increase access to treatment for developing nations.

Coinbase adds sheen to cryptocurrencies but does not eliminate the risks; US crypto exchange listed with the hope of dragging sector away from shadows
Elaine Moore – FT
Cryptocurrencies invite paranoia. Maybe that is why Brad Garlinghouse of crypto company Ripple is the only tech boss to have brought a bodyguard with him for an interview at the FT’s San Francisco office. He may not be the last. The direct listing of cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase this week has created a new batch of wealthy crypto investors likely to beef up their security.

Bitcoin Firm Galaxy Digital Names Ex-Goldman Executive Michael Daffey as Chairman; Appointment is firm’s latest maneuver as it prepares for U.S. IPO later this year
Paul Vigna – WSJ
Galaxy Digital Holdings Ltd. GLXY -11.14% , a bitcoin-focused firm offering banking and institutional services, named former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. executive Michael Daffey as its chairman ahead of a planned U.S. stock offering later this year. Mr. Daffey, 54 years old, replaces founder Michael Novogratz who will remain chief executive. Mr. Daffey was most recently the chairman of Goldman’s global markets division, which generated more than 40% of the firm’s overall revenue in the first quarter. His last day was March 31.

Robinhood Resolves Issues With Crypto Trading Amid Dogecoin Rally; The company’s Twitter post cited “unprecedented demand” leading to traders being unable to complete orders.
Jamie Crawley – Coindesk
Online brokerage app Robinhood said it has resolved an outage which prevented users completing trades as they attempted to get in on the recent dogecoin (DOGE, +100.97%) rally.

‘Coinbase is Coinbase for crypto’: Crypto exchange’s CFO weighs in on its market debut
Frank Chaparro – The Block
Coinbase is officially trading on Nasdaq under the ticker COIN and its chief financial officer has a message for Wall Street: its business can’t be pigeonholed into one category. “Coinbase is Coinbase for crypto,” Alesia Haas said in a message to The Block. The crypto exchange, which has seen its share price whipsaw throughout Wednesday’s trading session—has been referred to as the Google of the crypto world and the Goldman Sachs of the market, illustrating its central position in the blockchain world. Coinbase traded above $420 shortly after its public debut but fell as low as $310 before the close at $328.28. At the time of writing, the exchange’s share price is trading hands at about $330 in post-market trading.

China’s Digital Yuan Won’t Topple Dollar, BOJ Official Says
Toru Fujioka and Sumio Ito – Bloomberg
Dollar likely to stay main reserve currency, Kamiyama says; BOJ last week started experiments on a digital currency
A senior Bank of Japan official played down the potential for China’s digital yuan to threaten the dollar’s position as the world’s main reserve currency. “The dollar’s status as the key global currency won’t change so easily,” said Kazushige Kamiyama, head of the BOJ’s payment systems department and the person in charge of looking into a virtual Japanese currency. “In fact, the dollar’s advantage may strengthen further if the U.S. goes with digitalization.”

Galaxy Digital Appoints Ex-Goldman Sachs Executive as Chairman
Jamie Crawley – Coindesk
Galaxy Digital has announced the appointment of former Goldman Sachs executive Michael Daffey as its chairman. The appointment, announced Friday, is in preparation for the firm’s U.S. public stock offering. The investment management firm currently trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Mike Novogratz, who will remain as CEO, said in March that the company will list in the U.S. in the second half of the year.

Binance destroys $595 million worth of BNB tokens in its largest-ever burn
Yogita Khatri – The Block
Crypto exchange Binance announced Friday that it has burned over 1 million BNB tokens, worth about $595 million, in its latest quarterly burn. This 15th quarterly BNB burn is the highest one ever carried out by the exchange in dollar terms. This is because the price of BNB jumped more than 16 times during the quarter, from around $35 to around $600. “Burning” refers to the process of permanently removing a crypto token from circulation. When Binance launched BNB in 2017, it committed to burning a total of 100 million BNB, which is half of its supply.

Ether Breaks $2,500 for the First Time in Wake of Berlin Fork
Muyao Shen – Coindesk
Ether continued its rally on Thursday after the Berlin hard fork on the Ethereum blockchain went live earlier the day, surpassing $2,500 for the first time in history. The No. 2 cryptocurrency by market capitalization was traded around $2,498.91 at press time, just slightly down after it briefly went as high as $2,503.92. Ether’s price has been outperforming bitcoin’s on Thursday, as the Ethereum blockchain’s much anticipated Berlin hard fork went live early the day. The upgrade, which sets up the network for the much bigger London hard fork in July, incorporates four Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs).

Sweden’s Central Bank May Have a Digital Currency in 5 Years
Niclas Rolander and Rafaela Lindeberg – Bloomberg
Riksbank Governor Stefan Ingves said Sweden could have a digital central-bank currency within five years, as the concept of money looks set to enter a new post-cash era.


Energy Traders Urge Johnson to Link U.K. Carbon Market to EU
Will Mathis – Bloomberg
Companies say linked carbon markets would benefit the climate; Carbon pricing is central to both EU and U.K. climate goals
Groups representing traders and the biggest industrial and energy companies in the U.K. and Europe called on British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to establish a link between the country’s nascent emissions trading program and that run by Brussels.

Why the Biden Administration Should Propose Carbon Tariffs; Assessing tariffs based on the carbon content of goods is complicated, but will lead to stronger climate policy and better economic outcomes.
Gernot Wagner – Bloomberg
Trade is good, tariffs costly. Few economic beliefs are quite as strongly held. That makes the discussions around carbon tariffs the latest clash of “economics versus the climate.” Critics might think it’s fine to price carbon and otherwise support clean alternatives domestically and abroad, but to assess tariffs based on the carbon content of traded goods is complex, costly, and a step too far.

With Pot Taxes, It’s Bad to Get Too High; New York’s 13% levy on legal cannabis sales should help it avoid the mistakes of states like California, whose hefty taxes help underground dealers
Carol Ryan – WSJ
This year will be the first that New Yorkers can legally light up a joint on April 20, the unofficial marijuana holiday known as 4/20. It will still take time to persuade them to buy supplies from a licensed seller rather than an illegal dealer, but a reasonable cannabis tax rate should help.

U.S. Says Russian Cyber Firm Provided Venue for Recruiting Spies; The Treasury Department sanctions tech companies in response to the SolarWinds hack and election interference
David Uberti and James Rundle – WSJ
The U.S. government said that conferences operated by a well-known cybersecurity vendor serve as recruitment grounds for Russian intelligence, and accused the company of supporting the Kremlin’s spy agencies. The Treasury Department said Thursday that Moscow-based Pozitiv Teknolodzhiz AO, known as Positive Technologies, along with five other Russian research centers and companies, aided the country’s intelligence services in honing their cyber capabilities for operations such as the breach of SolarWinds Corp. software discovered…

Testimony of Brian Smith, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Federal Finance, to the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Investor Protection, Entrepreneurship, and Capital Markets
U.S. Department Of The Treasury
Thank you to Chair Sherman and Ranking Member Huizenga for calling a hearing on this important issue. As Treasury’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Federal Finance, I oversee the Department’s work on the LIBOR transition.

Sanctions on Russian Debt Are Called a ‘First Salvo’ That Sends a Message; The curbs on U.S. banks’ purchases of some bonds apply to a small portion of the market but could signal a sharper aim at Russia’s access to global capital.
Peter S. Goodman, Jack Ewing and Matt Phillips – NY Times
The Biden administration on Thursday barred American banks from purchasing newly issued Russian government debt, signaling the deployment of a key weapon in Washington’s intensifying conflict with Moscow — threatening Russia’s access to international finance.

White House Considers Methane-Busting Vow Before Climate Summit
Jennifer A Dlouhy – Bloomberg
Environmentalists want methane in next Paris Agreement pledge; Methane targeted as an especially potent greenhouse gas
The Biden administration is considering singling out methane for significant reductions as part of a pledge to cut greenhouse gases in advance of a climate summit next week, according to two people familiar with the matter.

JPMorgan says it’s time for US corporate taxes to catch back up with the rest of the world
Ayelet Sheffey – Insider
President Joe Biden kicked off a major debate in early April when he proposed raising the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28% to fund his $4 trillion infrastructure plan. Now JPMorgan has weighed in on the matter and it finds corporate tax revenue is lower in the US than elsewhere, even if the rate is now close to the international average.


ASIC enforcement update July to December 2020
ASIC has today released its enforcement update report for the period 1 July to 30 December 2020. A copy of the report – outlining key actions taken during the period to enforce the law and support ASIC’s enforcement objectives – can be found here.

SEC Awards Over $50 Million to Joint Whistleblowers; Awards This Fiscal Year Exceed Quarter of a Billion Dollars
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced an award of over $50 million to joint whistleblowers whose information alerted SEC staff to violations that involved highly complex transactions and would have been difficult to detect without their information.

The First Registration Case Using the Financial Market Entry Office
FSA – Japan
In order to expand Japan’s role as an international financial center, the Japanese Government is committed to making its capital markets more attractive with strategic initiatives and to creating an environment that attracts foreign businesses and highly-skilled foreign professionals. As a part of the initiatives, the Financial Services Agency (“FSA”) and Local Finance Bureaus (“LFBs”) established the “Financial Market Entry Office” (the “Office”) on January 12, 2021, to handle all the regulatory processes from pre-application consultation and registration to supervision after the registration for newly entering asset management firms as a single point of contact with all the communications available in English.

The Council of Experts Concerning the Follow-up of Japan’s Stewardship Code and Japan’s Corporate Governance Code
FSA – Japan

ESMA highlights need for increased efforts on EMIR and SFTR data quality
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the EU’s securities markets regulator, today published its final report on the European Markets Infrastructure Regulations (EMIR) and Securitised Financing Transactions Regulation (SFTR) data quality. The report covers the progress made to date in improving EMIR data quality for regulatory and supervisory use and concludes that, while good progress has been made, additional efforts are needed by national competent authorities (NCAs) and ESMA to further improve EMIR data quality.

FCA stops FXVC offering CFDs to UK customers
The FCA has acted to stop a Cypriot based firm, Finteractive Limited (trading as FXVC), from offering high risk contracts for difference (CFDs) to UK investors.

Business Loan Network Limited enters administration
On 15 April 2021, the Directors of Business Loan Network Limited, a regulated Peer-to Peer (P2P) firm, received court approval to place the firm into administration and appoint Geoffrey Bouchier and Robert Armstrong of Kroll (a trading name of Duff & Phelps Ltd) as Joint Administrators.

Bank of England tells firms to promote own ‘RegTech’ products
Huw Jones – Reuters
Britain’s financial regulator called on Friday for the regulatory technology industry to press their own case for the greater adoption of cost-saving ways to automate compliance and spot money laundering, rather than expecting it to do so.

Canadian Securities Regulators On Track To Publish Final Amendments To Enhance Protection Of Older And Vulnerable Clients
The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) is on track to publish the final amendments that will enhance the protection of older and vulnerable clients across Canada, in early summer 2021.

Richness Forex
We believe this firm may be providing financial services or products in the UK without our authorisation. Find out why you should be wary of dealing with this unauthorised firm and how to protect yourself.

Investing and Trading

Old-School Quant Investor Is Taking a Value Victory Lap
Joanna Ossinger – Bloomberg
Veteran is celebrating market rotation after years of pain; Dimensional founder has come round to ETFs but not yet Bitcoin
For the first time in years, David Booth’s old-school views on investing are back in fashion. The co-founder of quant giant Dimensional Fund Advisors LP is finding a receptive audience for his belief that value investing will win out in the long haul — just like the academics said it would.

Western investors brush off US bond sanctions on Russia; New US restrictions unlikely to stymie Russian debt market, analysts and investors say
Max Seddon and Joshua Oliver – FT
The Biden administration’s sanctions against Moscow sparked a brief wobble in Russia’s financial markets on Thursday, but foreign analysts and investors expect the country to dodge more lasting damage.

Day Trader Fever Ticking Back Up in Latest Show of Retail Pluck
Lu Wang and Vildana Hajric – Bloomberg
Stock buying sits at high end of one-year range: JPMorgan; Options trading has bounced back following a dip in March
They’re back. Or rather, they never went away. In a market where stock indexes hit record highs almost every other day, a new report from JPMorgan Chase & Co. finds that do-it-yourself investors are jumping back in. Strategists including Peng Cheng studied recent equity and option transactions from retail investors and concluded these prominent players in the yearlong bull market are once again ratcheting up their wagers.

Biggest Banks Can’t Keep Up With U.S. Money Printing; Bank of America, Citigroup and other retail-facing banks are all experiencing declining loan growth as deposits surge.
Brian Chappatta – Bloomberg
Bank of America Corp. is struggling to compete with the money-printing presses of America. The bank’s first-quarter results on Thursday showed a 47% increase in net income from the previous three months to $8.1 billion. Much like Citigroup Inc., which just a few hours later posted a record profit thanks in part to a $3.9 billion release from credit reserves, Bank of America benefited from a similar boost to its bottom line as fiscal and monetary support from U.S. policy makers helped to stave off the worst-case scenario for many individuals and businesses across the country. “Credit costs improved and we believe that progress in the health crisis and the economy point to an accelerating recovery,” Bank of America Chief Executive Officer Brian Moynihan said.

Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance

Shell, Harbour Team Up in U.K. Carbon Capture, Hydrogen Project
Elena Mazneva – Bloomberg
Oil producers join developer Storegga in its Acorn venture; Acorn could be one of U.K’s first CCS, hydrogen hubs in 2020s
Royal Dutch Shell Plc is joining a project to build what could be one of the U.K.’s first large-scale carbon capture and hydrogen hubs as the oil major refocuses toward cleaner energy and slims down its traditional business.

Barclays criticised for underwriting US private prison deal; Bank said two years ago it would not finance the controversial sector
Aziza Kasumov and Colby Smith – FT
Barclays has attracted criticism for underwriting a bond offering by the US company CoreCivic to fund the building of two new private prisons, in a new dispute over Wall Street’s relationship with the controversial sector.

Clean crude? Oil firms use offsets to claim green barrels
Rod Nickel, Timothy Gardner, Nerijus Adomaitis – Reuters
In January, Occidental Petroleum announced it had accomplished something no oil company had done before: It sold a shipload of crude that it said was 100% carbon-neutral.

Apple creates fund for ‘working forests’ as part of carbon-removal efforts
Stephen Nellis – Reuters
Apple Inc (AAPL.O) has created a $200 million fund to invest in timber-producing forest properties that will be managed to help remove carbon from the atmosphere while also generating a profit, it said on Thursday.

Hedge Fund Adviser Sees ‘Potential’ for Exposing ESG Fakes
Love Liman – Bloomberg
Companies draw greater scrutiny about what sustainable means; ESG label is being used for vast array of financial products
Hedge fund managers will play a crucial role in figuring out who’s not living up to their environmental, social and governance promises, according to an adviser to the industry.

JPMorgan, Citi Pledge Trillions Toward Climate, Sustainability
Hannah Levitt and Jennifer Surane – Bloomberg
Goal for JPMorgan includes $1 trillion for green solutions; U.S. banks boost efforts to fight climate change amid pressure
JPMorgan Chase & Co. set a goal to finance $2.5 trillion in initiatives that combat climate change and advance sustainable development over the next 10 years, while Citigroup Inc. said it would back $1 trillion of similar efforts by 2030.

Citi Vows to Back $1 Trillion in Sustainable Activities by 2030
Jennifer Surane – Bloomberg
Citigroup Inc. said it will provide $1 trillion for financing sustainability efforts over the next nine years. Half will go toward environmental projects, including renewable energy, water conservation and sustainable agriculture, Chief Executive Officer Jane Fraser said Thursday in a conference call with analysts. Much of the rest is aimed at education, affordable housing, gender equality, and racial and ethnic diversity.


Citi to Exit Retail Banking in 13 Markets Across Asia, Europe
Jennifer Surane and Nabila Ahmed – Bloomberg
Australia, China, India among markets on the chopping block; Bank to focus on wealth management, institutional business
Citigroup Inc. plans to exit retail banking in 13 markets across Asia and the Europe, Middle East and Africa region. The bank will instead operate its consumer-banking franchise in both regions from four wealth centers in Singapore, Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates and London, it said Thursday in a statement. The move is part of an ongoing review of the company’s strategy by Chief Executive Officer Jane Fraser, who took over last month.

Ark Funds Buy $352 Million Worth of Coinbase in Two Days
Abhishek Vishnoi – Bloomberg
Cathie Wood’s funds now own more than 1 million shares; ETFs sold shares of Intercontinental Exchange for a second day
Cathie Wood’s funds have snapped up about $352 million worth of shares in the biggest U.S. cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase Global Inc. over two days, as the stock’s turbulent start continues. Wood’s funds, including her flagship Ark Innovation ETF, bought 341,186 shares in total on Thursday, according to data released by the funds in an email. That takes Ark Investment Management LLC.’s Coinbase purchase past 1 million shares. The stock closed 1.7% lower on Thursday, valuing the exchange operator about 43% lower than the $112 billion it hit in debut.

Hedge Funds Nailed Treasuries Rout With $100 Billion in Sales
Stephen Spratt and John Ainger – Bloomberg
Funds in Cayman Islands responsible for biggest bond offloads; Hedge funds ‘not alone’ in Thursday’s rally: TD Bank’s Kelly
Hedge funds have been a major player in this year’s Treasury selloff, offloading more than $100 billion of the securities since the start of January, according to holdings data. The world’s biggest net sales of U.S. government debt so far in 2021 has been in the financial center of the Cayman Islands, well known as a domicile for leveraged accounts. Investors there dumped $62 billion of US. sovereign bonds in February, after selling $49 billion the previous month, Treasury Department data show.

Morgan Stanley First-Quarter Profit Soars; Bank rounded out an all-time great first quarter from the nation’s big banks
Peter Rudegeair – WSJ
Morgan Stanley MS 0.04% said Friday that first-quarter profit more than doubled from a year earlier, another Wall Street firm that reaped big gains from the euphoric market conditions of early 2021.

SoftBank Infusion Meant to Pay Back Credit Suisse Investors Went to Greensill Bank; That $440 million took a detour, complicating Credit Suisse’s efforts to recover money owed to investors after Greensill collapsed into bankruptcy
Julie Steinberg and Duncan Mavin – WSJ
When SoftBank Group Corp. 9984 -0.69% made a last ditch-infusion of $440 million into Greensill Capital last November, the money was earmarked to pay off investors in Credit Suisse CS 1.13% Group AG investment funds, according to people familiar with the deal.

Merrill Lynch’s advisor force is shrinking and junior hiring has slowed. Now the firm is looking to make changes to its key training program.
Rebecca Ungarino – Insider
Merrill Lynch Wealth Management’s overall advisor headcount dipped in the first quarter relative to a year ago largely as a result of slowed hiring into its financial advisor development program, a senior company executive said.

JPMorgan Sells $13 Billion of Bonds in Largest Bank Deal Ever
Jack Pitcher and Molly Smith – Bloomberg
Five-part offering comes a day after strong earnings report; Investor demand strong as order books swelled to $26 billion
JPMorgan Chase & Co. sold $13 billion of bonds Thursday, the largest deal ever by a bank, taking advantage of some of the cheapest borrowing costs in years to boost its capital after the Federal Reserve let pandemic relief measures lapse.


Berlin’s Rent Controls Are Unconstitutional and Worse; Germany’s highest court has nixed one of the world’s most draconian rent caps. That’ll only fire up the controversy more.
Andreas Kluth – Bloomberg
As the late Swedish economist Assar Lindbeck memorably put it, “In many cases rent control appears to be the most efficient technique presently known to destroy a city — except for bombing.” And yet that’s never kept economic populists from passing new rent curbs.

India’s Brutal Covid Wave Hammers Fuel Sales as Lockdowns Spread
Debjit Chakraborty – Bloomberg
All fuel sales in first half of April drop from month earlier; Virus resurgence has strained hospitals as infections rise
Indian fuel sales declined in the first half of April as a deadly second wave of Covid-19 led to renewed lockdowns and crippled demand. Sales of everything from diesel to cooking fuels dropped during April 1-15 from a month earlier, according to people familiar with preliminary data from the country’s three biggest retailers. Even gasoline fell by about 5% — a product that recovered strongly during the pandemic as people favored their own cars over public transport to avoid being infected by the coronavirus.

Northern Trust to launch FX trading engine in Singapore; As part of a scheme by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, Northern Trust is the latest major bank to launch an eFX trading and pricing engine in the region.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Northern Trust has become the latest major institution to confirm plans to launch an electronic FX pricing and trading engine in Singapore. The plans are part of a major scheme from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to develop the region as a global FX trading hub. It will be the first eFX trading engine launched by Northern Trust in Asia Pacific.


Brexit: UK-EU talks on Northern Ireland ‘to intensify’
John Campbell – BBC
The UK Brexit Minister Lord Frost and EU Commission Vice-President Maros Sefcovic held discussions in Brussels on Thursday night.
Mr Sefcovic said that a EU legal action over the UK’s alleged breach of the Northern Ireland deal would continue “as long as necessary”.
Last month the UK delayed some Irish Sea border checks without EU agreement.

Brexit pain for UK financial hub is just beginning: Study
Al Jazeera
More than 400 financial firms in the United Kingdom have shifted activities, staff and a combined trillion pounds ($1.4 trillion) in assets to hubs in the European Union due to Brexit, with more pain to come, according to a new study by the New Financial think-tank.
“We think it is an underestimate and we expect the numbers to increase over time: we are only at the end of the beginning of Brexit,” the study published on Friday said.

City of London Brexit hit worse than expected, says study
Huw Jones – Reuters
Over 400 financial firms in Britain have shifted activities, staff and a combined trillion pounds ($1.4 trillion) in assets to hubs in the European Union due to Brexit, with more pain to come, a study from New Financial think tank said on Friday.

Brexit Myth Busters
Since the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020 and with the free trade deal between the UK and the EU coming into force on 1 January 2020, there have been many Brexit myths and misconceptions that we have tried to clear up in this myth buster article. The legal implications of Brexit can be complicated so we hope that the below myth busters can provide some clarity to those businesses which are most affected.


Reuters Introduces Online Paywall in Digital-Subscriber Push
Gerry Smith – Bloomberg
News outlet also plans events and subscriber-only newsletters; Publishers hope subscribers can offset online ad challenges
Reuters is putting its website behind a paywall, becoming the latest business publication trying to attract a large number of digital subscribers.

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