TMX Group and Clearstream Process First Live Tri-Party Transactions on Canadian Collateral Management Service

Apr 30, 2024

First Read

Hits & Takes
John Lothian & JLN Staff

The website is back up and this newsletter is back to its normal template. Yesterday we published the video of an FIA Boca interview with SGX’s Pol de Win on the site once it was back up. We also published our FIA Boca interview with ICE’s Trabue Bland, which is included in today’s JLN, along with Mr. de Win again.

Today kicks off our coverage of the Options Conference. At the opening reception, The Most Interesting Man in the World, CQG’s Pat Kenny, showed up, marking his first Options Conference participation. He will be joined at the conference by his CQG colleague Kevin Darby, who we will be interviewing later today for the OIC version of the JLN Industry Leaders video series. We now have 18 interviews scheduled over the two days of the conference.

The Trade reporter Wesley Bray, marking the 20th anniversary of The TRADE, reflected on two decades of financial regulation, emphasizing the profound impact these regulations have had on global financial markets, particularly post-2008 financial crisis. He details key legislations like the Dodd-Frank Act, which introduced significant reforms to increase transparency and oversight in financial institutions. Basel III, another pivotal regulation, enhanced banking stability with increased capital requirements and introduced liquidity measures. MiFID and its successor, MiFID II, aimed at harmonizing European financial markets, increased market transparency and investor protection. EMIR targeted derivatives markets, mandating central clearing to reduce systemic risks. These regulations, among others, reshaped financial markets, aiming to bolster stability and confidence, though often at the cost of increased operational complexities and ongoing debates about the balance between regulatory burdens and market efficiency. Bray’s review of these regulations is a good primer on the 20 most impactful regulations.

In a video from The Wall Street Journal today titled “The Man in Charge of the World’s Most Important Bond Market,” Josh Frost is spotlighted as the U.S. Treasury’s key figure in monitoring financial markets. WSJ’s lead markets writer, Gunjan Banerji, dives into how Frost’s previously understated role has suddenly captured the attention of Wall Street.

ICE shared on LinkedIn that its newly listed EUA Mini futures, designed to support the shipping industry in managing emissions price risk, saw the first trades taking place with Abatement Capital, Belektron d.o.o., Clarksons, Nova Marine Carriers SA, Vertis Environmental Finance and Vitol.

Women in Financial Markets (WIFM) announced the newest addition to its board of directors, Marta Poleszczuk, managing director, US fixed income trading, Wellington Management.

CME members, it is one week until the annual CME board election, so make sure you vote your B Shares.

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


Our most read stories from our previous edition of JLN Options were:
Jane Street is big. Like, really, really big from the Financial Times.
Indian Bourse’s Shares Tank as $20 Million Sought in Option Fees from Bloomberg.
MicroStrategy’s Saylor Reaps a Stock Windfall During Bitcoin’s Record Run from Bloomberg. ~JB

Subscribe to the JLN Options Newsletter HERE (it’s free).


ICE Senior VP Trabue Bland Discusses Global Market Shifts and New Futures Strategies at FIA Conference

There is a renewed focus on pricing carbon and hedging environmental risk, said Trabue Bland, senior vice president of futures exchanges at Intercontinental Exchange, during an interview with John Lothian News at the FIA International Futures Industry Conference in Boca Raton, Florida, in March. He was featured as part of the JLN Industry Leader video series sponsored by Wedbush.

Watch the video »


SGX Simplifies Access to Asian Markets, Launches New Futures Amid Growing U.S. and European Interest

The theme for SGX at this year’s FIA Boca conference was ‘Asia Simplified.’ Pol de Win, SGX’s Senior Managing Director of Global Sales & Origination, said the group is “providing access to markets that are not easily accessible in a simplified and trusted manner, and in US dollars.” He was interviewed by John Lothian News at the FIA International Futures Conference in Boca Raton, FL in March for the JLN Industry Leader video series, sponsored by Wedbush.

Watch the video »


‘Fearless Girl’ Lawsuit by State Street Settles on Eve of Trial; Bank sued artist, claiming contract and trademark violations; Bronze figure became symbol of gender equality on Wall Street
Chris Dolmetsch – Bloomberg
State Street Corp. and the artist it commissioned to create Wall Street’s Fearless Girl sculpture have settled a 2019 lawsuit on the eve of trial. The bank, which commissioned the artwork, was set to square off against the sculptor, Kristen Visbal, in a trial starting Monday in lower Manhattan over replicas she sold that it claimed violated rights agreements between them. The two sides offered no details of the settlement in a court filing over the weekend. In its suit, filed two years after the bronze suddenly appeared in 2017 across from the financial district’s landmark Charging Bull, State Street alleged breach of contract and trademark infringement against Visbal, who denied the allegations and filed claims of her own. The suit thrust the piece back into the spotlight after the bank installed it just before International Women’s Day in March 2017.

*****Success has many fathers.~JJL


Monday’s Top Three
Our top clicked story Monday was Rooting for Trump to fail has made his stock shorters millions, from AP via Yahoo!Finance. Second was Futures Exchanges Are for Traders, an opinion piece from Bloomberg’s Matt Levine. Third was – for the second time in the top three – 30 Unique Gifts for the Mom Who Doesn’t Want Anything from The Wall Street Journal.



Lead Stories

TMX Group and Clearstream Process First Live Tri-Party Transactions on Canadian Collateral Management Service; BMO, CIBC, RBC, Scotiabank and TD participated in the first live transactions; Marks the first domestic tri-party repo capability within the Canadian market
TMX Group Limited
TMX Group Limited (TMX Group), which operates Toronto Stock Exchange and key Canadian post-trade infrastructure including the Canadian Depository for Securities (CDS), and Clearstream Banking S.A. (Clearstream), the international central securities depository of Deutsche Borse Group, today launched the new Canadian Collateral Management Service (CCMS). Developed by TMX Group and Clearstream, CCMS facilitates the optimization and collateralization of securities finance activities throughout the Canadian market and provides exclusive domestic tri-party repo capabilities to increase liquidity and minimize exposure risk.

Hong Kong joins global crypto ETF race; Rollout of spot bitcoin and ether exchange traded funds follows launch of similar products in US
William Langley and Chan Ho-him – Financial Times
Hong Kong’s first spot cryptocurrency exchange traded funds started trading on Tuesday, as the Asian financial hub takes on the US in the race to dominate the growing market. The rollout follows the launch of similar products in the US by groups including BlackRock and Fidelity Investments in January, which have drawn billions of dollars of investment and helped push the price of bitcoin to a record high of more than $73,000 in March.

HSBC’s CEO Steps Down After More Than Four Years; Noel Quinn steered the banking heavyweight through a tumultuous period, and sharpened its focus on Asia
Elaine Yu and Josh Mitchell – The Wall Street Journal
HSBC Chief Executive Noel Quinn unexpectedly said he would retire, leaving one of the world’s largest banks without a clear successor as it navigates geopolitical tensions between the West and China. Quinn told HSBC’s board earlier this month he planned to leave after more than four years as CEO and decades with the bank. He said he wanted to devote more time to his personal life. He will remain in post until the board designates a successor.

***** Here is the Financial Times version of this story.~JJL

Jane Street is big. Like, really, really big; FT Alphaville’s main takeaways from the secretive trading firm’s bond prospectus
Robin Wigglesworth – Financial Times
As Jane Street’s lawsuit against Millennium and two former employees shows, Wall Street’s most profitable trading machine isn’t keen on letting its secrets slip out. However, it has begun in recent years to supplement its capital with some debt, and lenders expect at least some disclosure. Thanks to MainFT’s Eric Platt, Alphaville has now got its mitts on the prospectus for its latest bond sale.

The Evolving Landscape Of Proprietary Trading
Blake Olson – Forbes
Proprietary trading, also known as prop trading, is the financial practice in which a firm trades using its own capital rather than client funds. Whether this means stocks, bonds, commodities or derivatives, prop trading depends on the firm’s internal resources, rather than those of clients. Prop trading doesn’t tend to be more successful if the market is going up versus down, as long as it’s going somewhere. Volatility is the key, regardless of direction.

Chinese regulators warn against Silicon Valley Bank-style meltdown; Regional banks have been piling into long-dated sovereign bonds since January
Cheng Leng – Financial Times
A rally in Chinese government debt has sparked alarm among regulators in Beijing, who warn that regional banks’ appetite for the bonds risks a crisis similar to the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank last year. The People’s Bank of China, which regulates the financial sector, has signalled its discomfort over the scale of the banks’ move into long-dated sovereign bonds, which are vulnerable to moves in interest rates – as was SVB’s portfolio of US Treasuries.

Hong Kong Vies With US in Bitcoin ETF Market After Crypto’s Revival; Spot-Bitcoin, Ether funds began trading in the city Tuesday; China’s Harvest argues Hong Kong crypto AUM can top US
Bloomberg News
A batch of exchange-traded funds investing directly in crypto debuted in Hong Kong on Tuesday, heralding potential competition for US Bitcoin products whose popularity stoked a record rally in the digital asset. Harvest Global Investments Ltd., the local unit of China Asset Management, and a partnership between HashKey Capital Ltd. and Bosera Asset Management (International) Co. each listed Bitcoin and Ether ETFs in the city.

Hong Kong Exchange Open to Levered, Inverse Crypto ETF Products
Annabelle Droulers – Bloomberg
Hong Kong’s stock exchange indicated the bourse is open to an expanded roster of crypto exchange-traded funds, as the city’s first spot-Bitcoin and Ether products go live. “We can continue to go into the physical spot asset, maybe composite types of products, eventually getting into maybe levered and inverse types of strategies,” Brian Roberts, head of equities product development at Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd., said in a Bloomberg Television interview. A batch of ETFs investing directly in Bitcoin and Ether are debuting in Hong Kong on Tuesday. The level of demand for the funds will provide clues on whether the city’s push for a tightly regulated digital-asset hub is gaining traction.

SGX FX releases updated AI offering to help bolster FX decision-making; New tool gathers FX and digital assets price and trade data before automatically generating actionable insights to a stakeholder for better informed decision-making.
Wesley Bray – The Trade
SGX FX has unveiled the latest version of its artificial intelligence (AI) tool, giving financial institutions improved access to faster and more informed foreign exchange (FX) trading decisions. Released through its eFX and digital assets trading solutions provider, MaxxTrader, the tool curates FX and digital assets price and trade data before automatically generating actionable insights to a stakeholder – providing quicker and easier decision-making abilities.

SocGen Traders in Asia Exited After Options Bets Went Undetected; Delta One traders in Hong Kong left the French lender; Risk systems had failed to register complex stock trades
Ambereen Choudhury, Donal Griffin, and Alexandre Rajbhandari – Bloomberg
A pair of traders in Hong Kong have left Societe Generale SA after the French bank discovered a batch of risky bets that went undetected by the firm’s risk-management systems, according to people familiar with the matter. Kavish Kataria, a trader on the bank’s Delta One desk, departed last year along with team head Ken Ng after an internal review of the transactions, said the people, asking not to be identified as the details are not public While SocGen didn’t lose any money from the transactions, the trades could have cost the Paris-based lender hundreds of millions of dollars had an intense market downturn occurred, the people said. The lapse raised questions about risk management at one of Europe’s biggest banks.

China’s US Treasury Holdings Becoming ‘Hostages,’ Academic Warns
Jacob Gu – Bloomberg
China needs to further reduce its Treasuries holdings, in part to lessen the potential leverage of Washington over its Asian rival, according to a paper published by a Chinese state think tank. The vast American assets that China’s authorities hold are “increasingly becoming hostages – hindering us from safeguarding our national sovereignty,” Di Dongsheng, vice-dean of Renmin University’s School of International Studies, wrote in a piece published by a China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations journal. Di also referenced President Xi Jinping’s emphasis on preserving “territorial integrity amid changes unseen in 100 years” in the global backdrop.

French capital markets union plan gets backing from European funds body; Efama president says small group of states could forge ahead and warns delay hands ‘ever-increasing advantages’ to US
Nikou Asgari – Financial Times
Europe’s funds industry body has thrown its weight behind a French proposal for a small group of countries to forge ahead with a capital markets union, in a sign that investors are growing increasingly frustrated with the EU’s lack of progress on the long-standing ambition. Sandro Pierri, president of the European Fund and Asset Management Association, which represents the region’s EUR28.5tn investment management sector, told the Financial Times that further delays and disagreement on reform increased the risk of losing even more companies and investment to the US, and that policymakers needed to act now.

Ericsson chief says overregulation ‘driving Europe to irrelevance’; Continent ‘at risk of falling behind’ on digital infrastructure, undermining its competitiveness
Yasemin Craggs Mersinoglu and Javier Espinoza – Financial Times
The chief executive of Ericsson said a focus on regulation was “driving Europe to irrelevance” as he warned that the region’s competitiveness was being undermined and called for changes to antitrust policy. Börje Ekholm, head of the Swedish telecoms equipment maker, said in an interview with the Financial Times that the continent was “falling behind in a number of parameters” with digital infrastructure at risk.

As famine looms in Sudan, the hungry eat soil and leaves
Maggie Michael – Reuters Special Report
Nearly five million people are close to famine as the country’s civil war passes the one-year mark. Aid officials say the warring parties – the army and the Rapid Support Forces – are looting aid or blocking it from reaching areas where starvation is taking hold. But ‘the world’s largest hunger crisis’ is drawing little global attention. There is so little food in some areas of Sudan that people are taking extreme measures to survive. In the Al Lait refugee camp, they are eating dirt.The impoverished camp, located in North Darfur, has seen a new influx of displaced people as Sudan’s year-old civil war has brought fighting to large swathes of the country and a campaign of ethnic cleansing to Darfur.

Ukraine Invasion

Behind enemy lines, Ukraine is busy setting Russia ablaze
Robert Clark – The Telegraph
Sometimes the metaphors write themselves. As Putin purportedly seeks to showcase the illusion of Russian strength by parading a captured British Saxon armoured personnel carrier from the 1970s in Red Square – donated to Ukraine in 2015 from mothballed British stocks – Ukrainian saboteurs are deep behind Russian lines actually doing the business. Whereas Russia is desperate to display ‘destroyed’ western kit, Ukraine is hard at work eroding Russian capacity and, crucially, hitting Moscow where it hurts – inside its own borders. The news today that two railway lines in Russia have been destroyed is a clear example of an evolving strategy designed to hurt a security-obsessed Putin and degrade Moscow’s ability to wage war.

Thirty men have died trying to leave Ukraine to avoid fighting since war started
Oleksandr Kozhukhar – Reuters
About 30 Ukrainian men have died trying to illegally cross Ukraine’s borders and avoid fighting in the war against Russia which started in 2022, the spokesman for Ukraine’s border service told Ukrinform news agency. “Some lost their lives while attempting to cross a mountain river or traverse mountains,” said Andriy Demchenko, according to a Ukrinform report late on Monday.

Ukraine is defying the US over strikes on Russian oil refineries. Experts say it’s a necessary risk.
Mia Jankowicz – Business Insider
Four days after the US voted to sign off a long-awaited $61 billion in aid, Ukraine did the one thing that the White House has reportedly been asking it not to do: It struck another oil facility on Russian soil. Ukraine says that Wednesday’s drone attack took out about 900,000 cubic feet of Russian fuel. This was followed on Friday by 10 drones slamming into an oil refinery in Krasnodar, shutting the plant down, The Telegraph reported.

Ukraine is building underground stores and bunkers to protect F-16s as the jets’ arrival moves closer
Sinéad Baker – Business Insider
Ukraine’s air force said it is preparing for the arrival of F-16s by building underground stores and bunkers at its bases. Major Ilya Yevlash, a spokesperson for the Air Force of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, said that Ukraine’s plans for how to keep the much-sought-after aircraft safe while at base are being carefully developed.

NATO Prepares to Face Russia-and Problems of Its Own; Troops from member countries train for shoulder-to-shoulder fighting, while disputes over spending plague the alliance
Daniel Michaels – The Wall Street Journal
NATO troops from 14 nations amassed last month in a wooded area here to take part in the alliance’s biggest military exercise since the Cold War. Once again, the focus was Russia. The drill began in the early morning darkness with a warning: Enemy forces had crossed Latvia’s border with Russia and were closing on the capital. Communicating in various languages over different kinds of radios, the troops raced to push the mock invaders toward wetlands that would bog down their tanks.

‘Russian fertiliser is the new gas’ for Europe, top producer warns; Imports of urea into the EU doubled in the wake of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine
Susannah Savage – Financial Times
Europe is “sleep walking” into becoming dependent on Russian fertiliser, just as it did with gas, says one of the largest producers of crop nutrients. Nitrogen fertilisers, which are important to plant growth, are made using natural gas and Russia is exporting more of it to Europe, replacing some of the gas banned by the EU, said Svein Tore Holsether, chief executive of Yara International, one of the world’s largest producers of nitrogen-based mineral fertilisers.

Ukraine energy chief calls on EU to help protect gas storage from Russia; Naftogaz chief executives highlights air strikes targeting natural gas tanks used by European countries
Shotaro Tani – Financial Times

Israel/Palestine Conflict

Dear Columbia Students, Divestment From Israel Won’t Work; Even if the university surrenders, it will be making a statement, not doing anything financially meaningful
James Mackintosh – The Wall Street Journal
Student protesters who have brought Columbia University to a halt want the institution to sell its investments in companies linked to Israel. Their demands appear to be about finance, but to the extent the money makes a difference-not much-it would leave them worse off and Israel’s friends better off. The divestment campaign, along with the student demand to break academic ties to Israeli universities, can only succeed by isolating Israel culturally. It can’t work financially, so its only chance is that Israelis fed up with being treated as the bad guys will push their government to change direction.

Hezbollah Stumbles Into a War of Attrition; The Lebanese group isn’t ready for a larger conflict. Israel shouldn’t let that opportunity go to waste.
David Daoud – The Wall Street Journal
Hezbollah, Iran’s most formidable proxy, barely lifted a finger when its patron fired more than 300 missiles and drones at Israel in the early hours of April 14. The Lebanese group fired a few dozen rockets but claimed it was in retaliation not for Israel’s killing Iranian Brig. Gen. Mohammad Reza Zahedi on April 1-Tehran’s point man in Lebanon and Syria-but for other airstrikes in southern Lebanon. The relative inaction was deliberate.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

NYSE Announces the Launch of the NYSE Pillar Depth Real-Time Market Data Feed
New York Stock Exchange
NYSE Group is pleased to announce the launch of the new NYSE Pillar Depth real-time market data feed, available beginning May 13, 2024.* The NYSE Pillar Depth feed provides a comprehensive view of liquidity across the NYSE Group of exchanges, including the aggregated ten best bid and ten best offer price levels across all five NYSE Group equity exchanges, as well as auction imbalance data for NYSE Group listing markets.

Euronext upgraded to ‘BBB+, Positive Outlook’ by S&P
Euronext, the leading pan-European market infrastructure, today welcomes the decision of S&P to upgrade Euronext from ‘BBB+, Stable Outlook’ to ‘BBB+, Positive Outlook’. S&P decision reflects the approaching completion of the integration of the Borsa Italiana Group, the successful expansion of Euronext Clearing and the continued deleveraging thanks to the group’s strong cash flow generation.

Clear Street Adds Futures Clearing and Execution Services
Shanny Basar – MarketsMedia
Clear Street has expanded into futures clearing and execution services, after launching clearing for registered market makers in listed U.S. equities and options this month. The US financial services firm said marked the first successful entry into the professional clearing market in close to a decade. Andy Volz, chief operating officer of Clear Street, told Markets Media that when the company began building proprietary technology about five years ago, the long-term goal was to clear every product in every market globally. Clear Street decided to first tackle US equities, and then added US options.

HKEX Welcomes Asia’s First Spot Virtual Asset Etfs
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) is pleased to welcome today (Tuesday) the listing of Asia’s first Spot Virtual Asset (VA) ETFs, adding to the diversity of products in Hong Kong’s markets and further supporting the city’s position as the region’s leading ETF marketplace by offering investors even more choice.

Derivatives Holiday Trading Volume Exceeds 1 Million Units for First Time
Japan Exchange Group
On April 29, 2024 (Showa Day), total trading volume in the JPX derivatives market reached 1,531,971 units, setting a new record for holiday trading and exceeding 1 million units for the first time. (The previous record was 902,105 units on March 20, 2024.)

Request For Comments: Amendments To The Rules Of The Bourse De Montreal To Define Riskless Transactions On Options
Bourse de Montreal
On APRIL 22, 2024, the Rules and Policies Committee of Bourse de Montreal Inc. (the “Bourse”) approved amendments to the Rules of the Bourse De Montréal to define Riskless Transactions on Options. Comments on the proposed amendments must be submitted at the latest on MAY 29, 2024.

Options Industry Conference to Cover Industry Growth, Innovation, and Regulation
Anna Lyudvig – Traders Magazine
The Options Industry Conference (OIC) in Asheville, North Carolina will be an invaluable opportunity for the industry to come together, exchange insights, and explore many of the emerging trends and developments in the options market, according to Ed Modla, Executive Director, Investor Education at the Options Clearing Corporation (OCC). The 42nd annual conference will take place on April 30 – May 2 at the Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville.


FINBOURNE Technology and Droit set to partner on end-to-end position reporting solution; The joint, full-stack solution enables both the buy- and sell-side to manage shareholder disclosure obligations for long, short and takeover panel reporting, The TRADE understands.
Claudia Preece – The Trade
FINBOURNE Technology and Droit are set to launch an end-to-end position reporting solution which will allow users to meet their regulatory obligations more efficiently and effectively, The TRADE can reveal. The joint, full-stack solution enables both the buy- and sell-side to manage shareholder disclosure obligations for long, short and takeover panel reporting.

Department of Commerce Announces New Actions to Implement President Biden’s Executive Order on AI; Announcements include draft guidance documents, a draft plan for international standards, and a new measurement program opening for public comment
U.S. Department of Commerce
The U.S. Department of Commerce announced today, following the 180 mark since President Biden’s Executive Order (EO) on the Safe, Secure and Trustworthy Development of AI, several new announcements related to the EO. The Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has released four draft publications intended to help improve the safety, security and trustworthiness of artificial intelligence (AI) systems. NIST has also launched a challenge series that will support development of methods to distinguish between content produced by humans and content produced by AI. In addition to NIST’s publications, Commerce’s U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is publishing a request for public comment (RFC) seeking feedback on how AI could affect evaluations of how the level of ordinary skills in the arts are made to determine if an invention is patentable under U.S. law, and earlier this year released guidance on the patentability of AI-assisted inventions.

Elon Musk says any company that isn’t spending $10 billion on AI this year like Tesla won’t be able to compete
Christiaan Hetzner – Fortune
Elon Musk has a message for America’s business leaders-either prepare yourself for the AI revolution or start writing your corporate obituary. At a juncture in time when Tesla’s CEO is cutting back on investments into new vehicle capacity, he is spending $10 billion this year alone to bulk up on AI training and inference, and position Tesla at the forefront of the industry for real-life applications outside of generative AI.

Natural gas prices are falling – why these analysts are bullish
Ines Ferre – Yahoo Finance
Natural gas prices (NG=F) are down nearly 40% year to date amid a glut in supply and a milder-than-expected winter. But analysts see an upside for the commodity going into the end of the year – in part due to growing AI electricity demand. JPMorgan’s Natasha Kaneva writes natural gas is poised to be the No. 1 performer among commodities this year, ahead of gold (CL=G).

Military is the missing word in AI safety discussions; Government attempts to regulate the technology must look at its use on the battlefield
Marietje Schaake – Financial Times
Western governments are racing each other to set up AI Safety Institutes. The UK, US, Japan and Canada have all announced such initiatives, while the US Department of Homeland Security added an AI Safety and Security Board to the mix only last week. Given this heavy emphasis on safety, it is remarkable that none of these bodies govern the military use of AI. Meanwhile, the modern-day battlefield is already demonstrating the potential for clear AI safety risks.

Apple targets Google staff to build artificial intelligence team; iPhone maker has also created a secretive Zurich lab as it prepares fightback against rivals
Michael Acton – Financial Times
Apple has poached dozens of artificial intelligence experts from Google and has created a secretive European laboratory in Zurich, as the tech giant builds a team to battle rivals in developing new AI models and products. According to a Financial Times analysis of hundreds of LinkedIn profiles as well as public job postings and research papers, the $2.7tn company has undertaken a hiring spree over recent years to expand its global AI and machine learning team.

Satellite group SES to acquire Intelsat in $3.1bn deal; Merger marks last major consolidation in industry as operators look to compete with Elon Musk’s Starlink
Yasemin Craggs Mersinoglu and Peggy Hollinger – Financial Times


Now corporate boards have responsibility for cybersecurity, too; Boards of directors are on the hook for management, governance, and disclosure reporting.
MIT News
Caption:The Board Level Balanced Scorecard for Cyber Resilience is designed to help boards and management have more productive discussions and understand the organization’s biggest risks to cyber resilience. A new ruling from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), known as the Cybersecurity Risk Management, Strategy, Governance, and Incident Disclosure, went into effect last fall. The ruling requires public companies to disclose whether their boards of directors have members with cybersecurity expertise. Specifically, registrants are required to disclose whether the entire board, a specific board member, or a board committee is responsible for the oversight of cyber risks; the processes by which the board is informed about cyber risks, and the frequency of its discussions on this topic; and whether and how the board or specified board committee considers cyber risks as part of its business strategy, risk management, and financial oversight.

95% of Organizations Revamped Their Cybersecurity Strategies in the Last Year; Security strategies are evolving; driven by regulatory requirements, customer expectations around data privacy and AI-driven threats and solutions
Business Wire
As the digital landscape continues to evolve at an unprecedented speed, organizations are racing to keep pace with revamped cybersecurity strategies. Today, LogRhythm, the company helping security teams stop breaches by turning disconnected data and signals into trustworthy insights, announced the release of its report, “2024 State of the Security Team: Navigating Constant Change” based on research conducted by Dimensional Research. The report dives deep into the evolving digital landscape, unveiling 95% of companies reported they’ve altered their cybersecurity strategies within the last twelve months. As businesses worldwide grapple with ever-changing cyberthreats and regulatory mandates, this report stands as a testament to the resilience of security teams, providing insights into the challenging terrain of modern cybersecurity.

Microsoft ‘Doubles Down’ on Cybersecurity to Safeguard Connected Economy
The cyberattack on UnitedHealth Group, resulting in a $872 million loss to the health insurer, is just one example of the evolving cyberthreat landscape in today’s connected economy. Beyond mere operational disruptions, such incidents reveal the profound financial ramifications of cybersecurity breaches. In response to these escalating threats, organizations are reevaluating their strategies, recognizing the imperative to adopt proactive defenses mechanisms.


Bitcoin Miner Boosting Memecoins Allure Already Begins to Wane; Transaction fees from Runes peaked just after halving; Runes envisioned as a utility token for Bitcoin-based DeFi
Muyao Shen and María Paula Mijares Torres – Bloomberg
The respite provided by the debut of memecoins on the Bitcoin blockchain that helped to soften the financial blow of a recent software update to crypto miners already appears to be fading. Just as the April 19 “halving” reduced the amount of tokens awarded to miners for validating transactions, network transaction fees jumped as users rushed to mint the speculative coins on Bitcoin for the first time. The process is enabled by the Rune protocol, through which people can create their own fungible tokens. Dune Analytics’ data shows that the total transactions in Runes dropped to around 45,700 on Monday from its peak at above 750,000 on April 23.

Prometheum Selects Broadridge to Strengthen Post-Trade Lifecycle and Back-Office Operations; Traditional finance and evolving US digital securities market structure converge
Prometheum Capital LLC (“Prometheum”), a subsidiary of Prometheum Inc., today announced it has selected Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: BR) for back-office solutions as the firm prepares to launch its full-suite of custody, clearing, and settlement services for digital asset securities. Prometheum will deploy Broadridge’s Shadow Post Trade Processing Solution and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) solutions. Prometheum will use Broadridge’s robust capabilities that include bookkeeping, trade capture, reconciliations, regulatory reporting, and more.

Even as He Faces Prison Time, Binance’s Founder Plans a Comeback; Since pleading guilty to violating money-laundering rules, Changpeng Zhao, who ran the giant crypto exchange Binance, has networked across the United States to set up his next act.
David Yaffe-Bellany and Cade Metz – The New York Times
He enjoyed a home-cooked dinner in Montana with a former U.S. senator. He visited Telluride, Colo., and Moab, Utah, a vacation spot known for its national parks. And he chatted about start-ups with Sam Altman, the chief executive of OpenAI.

Bitcoin Set to Become More Dominant Even as BTC Stares at First Monthly Loss Since August
Omkar Godbole – CoinDesk
As of the time of writing, bitcoin changed hands at $63,200, representing an 11% monthly loss, the first since August 2023, according to data source CoinDesk and TradingView. The CoinDesk 20 Index, a measure of the most liquid digital assets, traded nearly 20% lower for the month at 2,185 points. A bevy of factors like the dwindling probability of the Fed rate cuts, reduced demand for the U.S.-based spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and broad-based risk aversion in financial markets have taken the wind out of the bitcoin bull run this month. Meanwhile, a continued expansion of prominent stablecoins has been a supportive factor.

Hong Kong debuts Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs
CryptoSlam – Forkast News
Hong Kong launched its first six spot Bitcoin and Ethereum exchange-traded funds (ETFs) on Tuesday. The three, spot bitcoin ETFs by China AMC, Harvest and Bosera all closed the day in green, with Bosera leading with 1.8%.


Robert Kennedy Jr taps nostalgia in maverick White House run; Vaccine-sceptic scion of US political dynasty says Americans must not vote out of ‘fear’
Joshua Chaffin – Financial Times
It is standard fare for a politician to invoke family on the campaign trail. But it lands differently when the candidate is Robert F Kennedy Jr. When he talks about “my father” – and how no one thought he had a chance to win his bid for the presidency – he is talking about the late Robert F Kennedy, the tragic hope of a younger generation in the 1968 election. When he mentions “my uncle” in discussing the need for negotiations with Russia, that would be the 35th US president who averted disaster during the Cuban missile crisis. Kennedy summoned these ghosts repeatedly during a campaign stop on Sunday in Holbrook, a town smack in the middle of suburban Long Island. The venue was a capacious wedding hall, and he filled it with an overwhelmingly white and middle-aged crowd. They revelled in an independent campaign that gives off libertarian vibes and is draped in suspicion of corporations and Big Pharma but is also steeped in nostalgia.

China, US to hold climate meetings in Washington in May
Valerie Volcovici – Reuters
U.S. climate change diplomat John Podesta said on Tuesday he will meet his Chinese counterpart Liu Zhenmin in Washington in early May, resuming bilateral talks on climate cooperation amid simmering tensions over trade and security. This is Liu’s first visit to Washington in his new role after replacing veteran climate envoy Xie Zhenhua, who stepped down due to health reasons in January.

How the High Cost of Borrowing May Skew the Presidential Race; In the battleground state of Georgia, some Black entrepreneurs are frustrated over the impact of higher interest rates, a source of economic anxiety.
Peter S. Goodman – The New York Times
Kimberly Jolasun, a 32-year-old entrepreneur in Atlanta, has never voted for the Republican candidate for the presidency. That may be about to change. Her company, Villie, is an online platform that lets new parents share photos and updates about their babies with friends and relatives and register for gifts like strollers and playpens. Not yet profitable, her company needs financing to grow. But venture capitalists struggle with her untraditional profile, she said. Technology is dominated by white men in places like Silicon Valley and Austin, Texas. She is a Black woman in Georgia.

How to resolve the debanking debate; Tighter rules tend to mean louder protests when those affected feel hard done by
Patrick Jenkins – Financial Times
Love him or loathe him, Nigel Farage has an indisputable knack of channelling ill feeling into a consequential campaign. Brexit happened in large part because he tapped into popular resentment about immigration; now the UK – and much of the world – is up in arms about “debanking”, after his own self-publicised removal as a client of Coutts pushed the topic of banks’ closing customers’ accounts up the news agenda.

China hints at retaliation after Biden signs Taiwan, TikTok legislation
China hinted on Monday that it could retaliate after U.S. President Joe Biden signed into law legislation to boost Taiwan’s defences and seeks to get TikTok’s Chinese owner to divest from the social media platform. Biden signed the legislation on a military aid package on Wednesday, with most of the money going to Ukraine to help it fend off Russia’s invasion and to Israel. He also signed a separate bill tied to the aid legislation that bans TikTok in the United States if its Chinese owner ByteDance fails to divest the app over the next nine months to a year.

China’s $170bn gold rush triggers Taiwan invasion fears
Melissa Lawford – The Telegraph
China has built up a $170bn (£135bn) stockpile of gold after a record buying spree, in a move that has raised fears Beijing is preparing its economy for a possible conflict over Taiwan. The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) bought 27 tonnes of gold in the first three months of the year, taking its reserves to a record high of 2,262 tonnes, according to data from the World Gold Council.

US Pacific commander says China is pursuing ‘boiling frog’ strategy; Retiring Admiral John Aquilino accuses Beijing of gradually raising pressure in South China Sea
Demetri Sevastopulo – Financial Times
The commander of US forces in the Indo-Pacific region has accused China of pursuing a “boiling frog” strategy, raising tensions in the region with increasingly dangerous military activity. Admiral John “Lung” Aquilino said that during his three years as US Indo-Pacific commander, China has increased its pace of military development and matched its growing capabilities with more destabilising behaviour.

Japan Govt to Respond Firmly to Excessive FX Movements, Top Currency Official Says; Kanda declined to comment on whether the government intervened.
Chieko Tsuneoka – The Wall Street Journal
Japan’s top currency official said the weak yen was hurting vulnerable people by raising the price of imported goods such as food, adding that the government would respond firmly to excessive movements in the currency market. Masato Kanda, vice minister of finance, spoke Tuesday after the yen weakened to a multidecade low of around 160 to the dollar on Monday. Japan intervened Monday to prop up the yen, people familiar with the matter said.


TD Ameritrade Hit With $600K FINRA Fine Over Options Trading Approvals
Melanie Waddell – Think Advisor
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has censured and fined TD Ameritrade $600,000 for failing to exercise reasonable due diligence before approving certain customers to trade options. From November 2019 to October 2022, the firm relied primarily on an automated, electronic approval system to approve or disapprove customers for options trading, FINRA’s order states.

Binance founder faces possible three-year jail term over ‘wild west’ business model; Changpeng Zhao pleaded guilty to money laundering charges
Dan Milmo – The Guardian
Changpeng Zhao, the founder of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, will be sentenced on Tuesday after pleading guilty to money laundering charges, with US prosecutors seeking three years in prison for the tech tycoon. Zhao, 47, stepped down as chief executive of Binance in November after admitting to breaking US anti-money laundering laws. Last month, another fallen cryptocurrency mogul, Sam Bankman-Fried, whose FTX exchange collapsed in 2022, received a 25-year sentence for committing fraud and conspiracy to launder money.

The Fugitive of an FX Pool Trading Fraud to Pay Over $11 Million
Arnab Shome – Finance Magnates
The former resident of Florida and his Wyoming-based firm have to jointly pay more than $5.9 million in restitution and another over $5.9 million as civil penalties for running a fraudulent forex scheme. The judgment last week came with the actions of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) against the fraudsters.

SEC has been investigating Ether’s security status since 2018: report
CryptoSlam – Forkast
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) under current chair Gary Gensler has been investigating Ethereum’s status as a security since at least 2018, Fox Business reported. A lawsuit, initiated by the blockchain software company Consensys, has brought to public attention the SEC’s Division of Enforcement’s formal investigation into “Ethereum 2.0” that began on March 28, 2023.

New court filings show SEC, Chair Gensler believed ethereum was a security for at least a year; Documents filed by ethereum software firm reveal SEC thinking on second largest cryptocurrency
Eleanor Terrett – FOX Business
The Securities and Exchange Commission and its chairman, Gary Gensler, appear to have believed for at least a year that the second largest cryptocurrency, ethereum, may be an unregistered security trading out of compliance with current federal regulations, FOX Business has learned. The revelation comes following the filing of an unredacted complaint against the agency by ethereum software company Consensys. The company filed the redacted version of the lawsuit in a Texas federal court last Thursday in response to a so-called Wells notice it received detailing the SEC’s plans to sue the firm for failing to comply with federal securities laws.

SEC Charges Alleged Convertible Note Dealer for Failure to Register
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged John Francis Forsythe, III, a resident of New Jersey, and an entity he owns and controls, Tri-Bridge Ventures, LLC (“Tri-Bridge”), with failing to register with the SEC as securities dealers. As part of their business, Forsythe and Tri-Bridge allegedly engaged in convertible note financing and sold billions of shares of penny stock converted from such notes, generating millions of dollars in gross sales.

SEC Obtains Final Judgment Against Former Broker Engaged in Fraud
On April 26, 2024, the U.S. District Court for New Jersey entered a final judgment against Mario E. Rivero, a former registered representative at a broker-dealer, who misappropriated more than $480,000 from his advisory clients and brokerage customers.

ASIC sues Magnis and Frank Poullas over disclosure failures
ASIC has launched civil penalty proceedings in the Federal Court against Magnis Energy Technologies Limited, alleging the company failed to disclose material information about its self-described “flagship” lithium-ion battery manufacturing facility. ASIC is also suing Magnis executive chairman Frank Poullas for his involvement in Magnis’ alleged disclosure failures and for alleged breaches of his director’s duties, arguing that he failed to ensure Magnis met its disclosure obligations.

Parliamentary Joint Committee Opening Statement, 30 April 2024; Opening statement by ASIC Chair Joe Longo at the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services, Oversight of ASIC, the Takeovers Panel and the Corporations Legislation, 30 April 2024.
I am pleased to appear before the Committee today. I am joined by Commissioners Kate O’Rourke, Alan Kirkland and Simone Constant. Deputy Chair Sarah Court is unable to be present today as she is on leave, as we notified the Committee Chair on 21 March 2024. Tim Mullaly, Executive Director of Enforcement and Compliance and Melissa Smith, Senior Executive Leader Enforcement and Compliance are here to assist me to address your questions about our enforcement work. We thank the Committee for giving us the opportunity to prepare and speak about our enforcement work. Also present today are Chief Executive Officer Warren Day; our General Counsel, Chris Savundra; Executive Director of Regulation and Supervision, Greg Yanco; Executive Director of Markets, Calissa Aldridge (joining us by video today); and Senior Executive Leader, Market Infrastructure, Ben Cohn-Urbach.

Beware of unexpected calls about your funeral plans, warns FCA
Take care if you get an unexpected call about your funeral plan, we’re warning consumers. It may be a scam. Don’t engage if you get any unexpected calls from your funeral plan provider asking you to transfer money to top up your funeral plan due to the recent issue at Legacy Independent Funeral Directors. This may be a scam.

MAS Will Not Extend Six-Month Pause on DBS Bank’s Non-Essential Activities
Monetary Authority of Singapore
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) today announced that it will not be extending the pause imposed on DBS Bank Ltd (“DBS Bank”) that was effective from 1 November 2023 to 30 April 2024, while the multiplier of 1.8 times to DBS Bank’s risk weighted assets for operational risk will be retained.

New speech by Christina Choi: Speech at the listing ceremony of first bitcoin and ether spot ETFs
A speech (Chinese version only) delivered by Ms Christina Choi at the listing ceremony of first bitcoin and ether spot ETFs was posted on the SFC website today.

SEBI Board Meeting

Investing and Trading

Chocoholics in Japan Set for Sticker Shock After Cocoa Surge; Impact on retail prices will probably be seen in September; Importers could buy more from Ivory Coast, less from Ghana
Akemi Terukina and Alfred Cang – Bloomberg
Chocolate fans in Japan, among Asia’s biggest cocoa buyers, are heading for a sticker shock later this year as an unprecedented surge in cocoa prices finally filters through to stores.

Office-Loan Defaults Near Historic Levels With Billions on the Line; Over $38 billion of U.S. office buildings face loan defaults, foreclosures or other forms of distress, the highest amount since 2012
Peter Grant – The Wall Street Journal
Defaults are reaching historic levels in the office market, as a growing number of owners capitulate to persistently high interest rates and weak demand. More than $38 billion of U.S. office buildings are threatened by defaults, foreclosures or other forms of distress, according to data firm MSCI. That is the highest amount since the fourth quarter of 2012 in the aftermath of the 2008-2009 financial crisis.

‘Empty Chair Feeling’ to Pervade Berkshire Meeting Without Munger; Warren Buffett’s longtime friend and business partner died in November at age 99
Karen Langley – The Wall Street Journal
Shareholders and onlookers agree: Without Charlie Munger, the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting on Saturday won’t be the same. For decades, attendees of the yearly gathering in Omaha, Neb., relished listening as Warren Buffett and Munger, his longtime friend and partner, spoke for hours about investing, business and life. Munger was 99 when he took the stage for his final annual meeting last May. He died in November, just shy of his 100th birthday.

Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance

At plastics treaty talks in Canada, sharp disagreements on whether to limit plastic production
Jennifer Mcdermott – Associated Press
Nations made progress on a treaty to end plastic pollution, finishing the latest round of negotiations in Canada early Tuesday amid sharp disagreements about whether to put global limits on plastic production. For the first time in the process, negotiators discussed the text of what is supposed to become a global treaty. Delegates and observers at the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee on Plastic Pollution called it a welcome sign that talk shifted from ideas to treaty language at this fourth of five scheduled meetings.

US reforms environmental law to speed up clean energy, infrastructure approval
Timothy Gardner – Reuters
The White House on Tuesday reformed the U.S. environmental review process for major projects which officials said would speed up approval of everything from transmission of power from wind and solar farms to semiconductor manufacturing. The reforms are the second and final phase of the administration of President Joe Biden’s adjustments to the National Environmental Policy Act, or NEPA, after former President Donald Trump overhauled the bedrock environmental law in 2021 for the first time in decades.

Germany’s struggle to clean up its supply chains has lessons for Europe
Maria Martinez and Riham Alkousaa – Reuters
Germany’s Supply Chain Act came into force in 2023. Some firms say new law makes unreasonable demands. Businesses complain bureaucratic burden harms competitiveness. Supporters say it fosters responsibility, boosts human rights. New EU Supply Chain directive takes effect from 2028. German engineering company BAUCH makes machines and engine components out of materials mined in China, Africa or South America that pass through multiple hands and processes before they reach its factories in southern Germany and China. To comply with Germany’s new Supply Chain Act, BAUCH, like other firms with more than 1,000 staff, must take due diligence procedures to monitor suppliers’ human rights and environmental protection standards – a task which CEO Manfred Bauch says is almost impossible and threatens to rip apart his supply chain.

Australia’s Major Emitters May Spew Twice More Methane Than Reported: Study
Aaron Clark – Bloomberg
Major polluters in Australia may be spewing more than double the methane estimated in its national inventory data, according to a report from the Melbourne-based nonprofit The Superpower Institute, which suggests the government should invest in new monitoring and verification technology.

G7 countries agree to end use of coal power by 2035, says UK minister; Turin meeting puts timeline on deal made at COP28 summit, with allowance for fossil-fuel-reliant nations like Japan
Kenza Bryan and Attracta Mooney – Financial Times
Energy and climate ministers from the G7 group of industrialised nations have agreed to phase out by 2035 the use of coal power where the emissions have not been captured, a UK minister said, giving the group a timeline for meeting the deal struck at last year’s UN climate summit in Dubai. The COP28 summit ended with a pledge to transition away from fossil fuels, and accelerate efforts towards the phase-down of so-called unabated coal power.

UK’s Second Biggest Mortgage Lender Pulls Offers Over Flood Risk; Nationwide uses mapping technology to avoid vulnerable homes; Average mortgage lasts longer than government’s flood backstop
Jess Shankleman – Bloomberg
The UK’s second biggest mortgage provider has stopped making loans on homes at risk of flooding, over fears they may become uninsurable – and therefore, unsellable – over the coming years. Nationwide Building Society uses mapping technology to identify which individual homes are vulnerable to flooding, Nationwide Head of Property Risk Rob Stevens said in an interview. The company will decline to make a loan to purchase a property it deems to be at high risk.

G7 to target sixfold expansion of electricity storage; Batteries and other solutions aim to store wind, solar and hydropower to make up for intermittent supply
Attracta Mooney, Kenza Bryan and Alice Hancock – Financial Times

Half of All Copper Mining Is at Drought Risk With Climate Change
James Attwood – Bloomberg

COP29 host Azerbaijan defends role of oil and gas in climate change talks; Baku still ‘working on’ its own climate plan as president argues fossil fuels will be needed for ‘years to come’
Attracta Mooney – Financial Times

Climate Change Has Infiltrated Game Night-and That’s a Good Thing, Experts Say
A growing number of developers and designers are introducing climate change elements into games to teach users about climate solutions.
Kiley Price – Inside Climate News

How technology can improve your company’s DEI strategy; Enhancing data collection and streamlining recruitment helps to build more creative and innovative teams
Lucy Colback – Financial Times


Barclays Says It’s Winning Asia Banking Business From US Firms; Barclays hires 11 senior sales and traders for Asia markets; Asia clients want to deal with non-US banks to diversify risk
Cathy Chan – Bloomberg
Barclays Plc says it’s gaining market share in Asia from some US rivals after it hired almost a dozen senior sales and trading staff in the past year to accelerate the buildout of various business lines. The additions include six directors for its macro unit trading currencies and rates who were hired from rivals including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Citigroup Inc. The UK bank also added two managing directors for its equity derivatives, private credit and distressed debt operations, Hossein Zaimi said in an interview from Hong Kong.

Weiss Multi-Strategy Hedge Fund Files Bankruptcy After Shutdown
Steven Church – Bloomberg
Weiss Multi-Strategy Advisers LLC filed for bankruptcy about two months after the New York-based investment management firm announced it was winding down operations. The firm has between $10 million and $50 million in assets but owes creditors as much as $500 million, according to its Chapter 11 petition, filed in federal court in Manhattan. George Weiss founded the firm in 1978 and it managed $3.1 billion as of mid-2023, according to With Intelligence. The company chose to file bankruptcy after examining all of its short and long-term options, Weiss said in the bankruptcy filing.

European investors pour money into defence ETFs; Jump in flows that began in February suggests region has overcome its traditional reluctance to invest in arms
Emma Boyde – Financial Times
European investors appear to have overcome a traditional reluctance to invest in the defence sector and are pumping money into locally domiciled defence exchange traded funds. Net flows into the three available ETFs since the beginning of this month had already amounted to $189mn by April 22, according to data from ETFbook, which puts it on track to echo the record haul of 321mn that the three funds pulled in in March.

Exclusive-China firms go ‘underground’ on Russia payments as banks pull back

Goldman in Talks to Unload GM Credit-Card Partnership to Barclays; Deal including roughly $2 billion of card balances could be struck by summer
AnnaMaria Andriotis – The Wall Street Journal

Work & Management

New Job Scams Targeting Young Professionals Are Flourishing; Fake recruiters using sophisticated techniques lure in college students and new graduates
Ray A. Smith – The Wall Street Journal
New college graduates eager to get their first professional job are becoming targets of a bolder and more personalized type of fraud. Scammers are using information available online to claim a school dean or professor the student knows has recommended them for a job opening. In some cases, the scammers hack into a professor’s emails or create similar addresses to pose as a faculty member urging the student to apply.

Fintechs lead way on smashing the glass ceiling; Data shows women typically get stuck in middle ranking positions
Amy Borrett and Ella Hollowood – Financial Times
Do women in financial services have the same chance of getting ahead as men? A Financial Times analysis finds little improvement in recent years – women have similar rates of progression as men to middle management positions, but data shows limited progress further up the leadership ladder.

Wellness Exchange

AstraZeneca admits its Covid vaccine can cause rare side effect in court documents for first time
Investigations team – The Telegraph
AstraZeneca has admitted for the first time in court documents that its Covid vaccine can cause a rare side effect, in an apparent about-turn that could pave the way for a multi-million pound legal payout. The pharmaceutical giant is being sued in a class action over claims that its vaccine, developed with the University of Oxford, caused death and serious injury in dozens of cases. Lawyers argue the vaccine produced a side effect which has had a devastating effect on a small number of families.

Walmart Closes Health Centers, Telehealth Unit Over Rising Costs; Decision affects all 51 centers that had opened in five states; Retailer will keep network of pharmacies and vision centers
Fiona Rutherford, Jaewon Kang, and John Tozzi – Bloomberg
Walmart Inc. is abandoning its plan to build out a network of low-cost health clinics due to escalating costs and reimbursement challenges. The retailer announced Tuesday that it will close all 51 health centers that it had opened in five states and shutter its telehealth business. The clinics, conveniently located next to a Walmart Supercenter, were designed to give customers easier access to care by providing a range of health services all under one roof.


China’s problem is excess savings, not too much capacity; Policymakers on either side of bitter trade dispute seem to confuse two issues
Michael Pettis – Financial Times
While China and its trade partners continue to clash bitterly over manufacturing overcapacity and global trade, much of the discussion seems to be occurring at cross purposes. Excess Chinese capacity in targeted industrial sectors is one area of contention. Excess Chinese savings driven by the suppression of domestic demand is another issue. These two points of contention are very different but analysts and policymakers on either side seem to confuse the two.

Singapore’s Burnout Rate Shows the Price of Success; It’s time for one of the most stressed places on the planet to recognize that accomplishments can mean different things.
Karishma Vaswani – Bloomberg Opinion
The search for success can be elusive, and possibly nowhere more so than in Singapore, one of the most competitive and overworked places on the planet. Long hours are the norm, a reputation it has built since the island-state gained independence from Malaysia almost 60 years ago, and had to carve an identity for itself in an uncertain and scary world. Today, Singaporeans enjoy some of the highest living standards in Asia. But all of this has come at a price. It is also one of the most stressed-out societies.

When light floods Europe’s bond market; Tape, measured
Robin Wigglesworth – Financial Times
In the beginning Europe created the union and the currency. But the bond market was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. So the Commission said: ‘Let there be light: and there was light.’ And Europe saw the light, and it was good; and Europe divided the oddlots from the block trades. Apologies to Genesis 1:1-4, but this was the first thing that leapt to mind when FT Alphaville read an interesting report by Barclays credit strategists on the introduction of a consolidated tape for Europe’s financial market.

Argentina’s Soybean Crushers Strike Just as Harvest Gathers Pace
Jonathan Gilbert – Bloomberg
Workers in Argentine soy-processing plants have gone on strike just as farmers are collecting the crop. The job action that began Monday threatens to paralyze output from Argentina, the world’s biggest supplier of soy meal for livestock feed and soy oil used in food and biofuels. The strike is a protest against proposed income-tax and work-rule changes included in President Javier Milei’s signature reform legislation, which lawmakers are debating. The walkout adds to woes for soy crushers such as Cargill Inc. and Glencore’s Viterra Inc., who’ve seen slow bean deliveries on the Parana River as heavy rains delayed harvesting.


FTX Survivor Pays $1.5 Million for Gold Watch Recovered From Titanic; Former executive Patrick Gruhn bought the timepiece, which was found on the body of the Titanic’s richest passenger
Angus Berwick – The Wall Street Journal
A gold pocket watch that survived the sinking of the Titanic has a new owner: a survivor of crypto’s own biggest wreck. Patrick Gruhn, a German fintech entrepreneur and former executive at cryptocurrency exchange FTX, paid £1.175 million, equivalent to almost $1.5 million, last Saturday for the timepiece, the largest sum ever spent at auction on a piece of Titanic memorabilia. The 14-karat watch belonged to American property magnate John Jacob Astor IV, who stayed aboard the doomed ship after placing his wife in a lifeboat.

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The Stock Market Has Rarely Been This Sleepy

Lead Stories The Stock Market Has Rarely Been This Sleepy Gunjan Banerji - The Wall Street Journal It's eerily calm out there in the stock market. The Cboe Volatility Index, or VIX, dropped below 12 last week, a nearly five-year low. The gauge, based on options prices...

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