Hits & Takes
John Lothian & JLN Staff
The Futures Industry Association, in recognition of International Womens’ Day, spoke with six female FCM leaders who sit on the global board of the FIA and whose firms represent more than half of all customer segregated funds reported to the CFTC. The interviews on MarketVoice ask the six leaders about their professional journeys and their advice to women seeking to advance their careers.
The leaders include Alicia Crighton of Goldman Sachs, Federica Mazzucato of UBS, Mariam Rafi of Citi, Emma Richardson of J.P. Morgan, Sharon Shi of GH Financials, and Emma West of Bank of America.
Trading Technologies today announced the acquisition of Axe Trading, a provider of fixed income trading solutions. Axe offers many solutions and let me just say this is one sweet smelling deal. I love Axe’s body wash.
Sam Gaer of Katana Financial has written a blog post titled “Market Tech: How to Spot an FTX.” He seems to be writing about things he pointed out before the collapse of FTX and why you should pay attention to gray-haired, experienced technologists who have been there, done that like him. I can’t disagree.
The Wall Street Journal is not stopping at just offering tax tips for 2023, they have also come out with “Taxes for Cryptocurrency Investors.” The Journal notes “IRS guidance on cryptocurrencies dates to 2014 when the agency said bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are property, not currencies.”
I have good news and bad news. According to a Bloomberg report, it turns out money can buy you happiness, at least up to $500,000. The bad news, the Biden administration wants to tax those who make more than $400,000 to pay for Medicare. Biden will not be having much fun though, likely because of the GOP House of Representatives majority. Alas, it is all fun and games in Washington.
It is a good thing that Tesla cars have self-driving capabilities, because the latest problem to befall certain Tesla Model Y cars is that their steering wheels are falling off, Bloomberg reported.
The Washington Carbon Allowance auction saw the state sell all 6.18 million allowances and posted a settlement price of $48.50. The WCA futures on Nodal traded 335 WCA contracts, which is the equivalent to 335,000 allowances. H/T to Jim Kharouf of IncubEx.
FleishmanHillard is looking for a summer PR intern in Chicago for a corporate reputation position.
Heidi Centola is starting a new position as senior account executive, IBM Sustainability SW Solutions – MW National Market at IBM. Heidi has been with IBM since 2021, and has previously served at DTN, Schneider Electric and CME Group.
Julie Armstrong is starting a new position as V.P. general manager North America at Convera. Julie was previously with ChartIQ and CME Group, among other career stops.
Have a great day and stay safe and treat people the same way you want to be treated: with respect, equality and justice.~JJL
Climate Bonds presents the Future of EU Taxonomy, a webinar on Wednesday March 22. The European Taxonomy has been key to driving finance of sustainable projects that address the climate crisis. This webinar offers insights into the future of the EU Taxonomy and its interoperability with other regional taxonomies. It’s free and you can register here.~SAED
Exchanges and CCPs worldwide ‘Ring the Bell for Gender Equality 2023’
World Federation of Exchanges
The World Federation of Exchanges (WFE) is pleased to announce that a record 123 exchanges and central clearing counterparties (CCPs) will be involved in events this week for the annual ‘Ring the Bell for Gender Equality’ initiative. This marks the ninth consecutive year of the initiative where exchanges and CCPs globally ring opening or closing bells to celebrate International Women’s Day 2023 (Wednesday 8 March 2023), promote gender equality, highlight the benefits of a diverse and inclusive workplace, and recognize the contribution of women in building a better future for all. This year, the theme for International Women’s Day is #EmbraceEquity.
****** There has not been this much bell ringing going on since George Foreman fought Muhammad Ali.~JJL
$17 million Lake Geneva mansion is being torn down
Dennis Rodken – Crain’s Chicago Business
Demolition is underway at a Lake Geneva mansion, built for members of the Swift meatpacking family, and sold in October for $17 million. The 20-acre site on Snake Road, with more than 500 feet of frontage on the showcase lake, had been in one family’s hands since 1997 and the three houses on the site “needed all kinds of work,” said Scott Lowell, whose Lake Geneva firm, Scott Lowell Homes, will build the three replacements.
****** Say goodbye to a classic Geneva Lake lakeside mansion and hello to a new modern family compound.~JJL
Sold-Out Girl Scout Cookie Flavor Hits the Resale Market
Christine Chung – The New York Times
Samoas, Trefoils and Thin Mints, move over. A new Girl Scout cookie flavor, Raspberry Rally, is in such high demand that, after swiftly selling out online, boxes are now being peddled for far higher prices on resale websites. Single boxes of the cookies, which have a crispy raspberry-flavored center coated in chocolate, cost from $4 to $7, but they are selling for as much as five times the usual price on the secondary market.
****** If this turns out to be a thing, I am sure I have some old classic Boy Scout popcorn lying around that I would be willing to sell for dear prices.~JJL
Here’s how tipping at Chicago restaurants compares to other U.S. cities
Jack Grieve – Crain’s Chicago Business
When it comes to tipping restaurant workers, Chicagoans tend to be more generous than the rest of the country. That’s according to fourth-quarter 2022 data from restaurant point-of-sale and management system company Toast. Chicago diners tipped an average of 19.3% during that period, slightly above the national average of 19% and noticeably more than residents in such cities as New York and Los Angeles, who left an average 18.7% and 17.5% gratuity, respectively.
****** Chicagoans are better tippers. We all knew that. Even our insider trading tips are better.~JJL
‘Goblin Mode’ Is Oxford’s 2022 Word of the Year
Jacquelyne Germain – Smithsonian Magazine
For the first time in history, Oxford Dictionaries allowed the public to vote on its 2022 word of the year. The winner: “goblin mode.” The term is defined as “a type of behavior which is unapologetically self-indulgent, lazy, slovenly or greedy, typically in a way that rejects social norms or expectations,” according to a statement from Oxford Languages. “Goblin mode” received an overwhelming majority of votes against two other contenders-“metaverse” and “#IStandWith”-selected by Oxford lexicographers.
****** I was in the metaverse the other day totally just in goblin mode and for some reason, no one would stand with me.~JJL
Tuesday’s Top Three
Our most clicked item Tuesday was FTX: the legend of Sam Bankman-Fried, a 29-minute film from the Financial Times. Second was Trees Across the U.S. Are Sprouting Leaves Earlier Than Usual This Year, from The Wall Street Journal. Third was The Great British Bake Off Brings Its Cake-Filled Drama to London’s West End, from Bloomberg.
27,227 pages; 243,310 edits
Trading Technologies acquires AxeTrading, further accelerating multi-asset class expansion with major move into fixed income markets
Trading Technologies International, Inc.
Trading Technologies International, Inc. (TT), a global capital markets technology platform provider, announced that the firm has acquired London-based AxeTrading, a leading global provider of fixed income trading solutions. The acquisition marks a significant broadening of TT’s multi-asset capabilities with an expansion into full coverage of corporate, government, municipal and emerging market bonds as well as over-the-counter (OTC) interest rate swaps, strengthening TT’s leading position in fixed income derivatives and U.S. Treasuries. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
The first lesson for female financial education? Money is power; Online communities for women to learn about cash, investing and pensions are an exciting fintech development
Claer Barrett – Financial Times
International Women’s Day should be a day of celebration – but there’s nothing like the gender finance gap to kill the party. The gender pay gap has torn a depressingly large hole in women’s long-term financial prospects. The average pension pot for a 65-year-old woman in the UK is around one-fifth of the average pot of a man of the same age.
Hedge fund lawsuits pile up against LME a year on from nickel chaos; Metal exchange faces legal claims totalling more than $500mn over its controversial cancellation of trades
Harry Dempsey – Financial Times
Hedge fund lawsuits are piling up against the London Metal Exchange one year after its controversial decision to cancel nickel trades, with the venue now facing legal claims in excess of $500mn. Three further legal actions have been filed by 10 hedge funds and one small trading company in London courts this week, deepening a crisis for the world’s largest metals exchange. The LME is battling to rebuild its reputation after suspending and cancelling nickel trades when prices more than tripled in one day a year ago on Wednesday. The unprecedented move came after a bet on falling prices backfired on Tsingshan, the world’s largest nickel producer, when they skyrocketed owing to investor fears of sanctions on Russia.
ICE, Black Knight to Sell Unit in Bid for FTC Deal Approval; ICE to divest loan origination unit to Constellation Software; FTC expected to sue to block merger as soon as Thursday
Lynn Doan and Leah Nylen – Bloomberg
Intercontinental Exchange Inc. agreed to divest Black Knight Inc.’s loan origination business in a bid to persuade the Federal Trade Commission to allow its acquisition to move forward. ICE and Black Knight have agreed to the sale of Black Knight’s Empower loan origination system business to Constellation Software Inc., the companies said in a statement Tuesday.
China Revamps Bureaucracy to Boost Self-Reliance With Eye on US
President Xi Jinping overhauled China’s bureaucracy as part of a sweeping push to make the economy more self-sufficient and resilient in the face of US efforts to prevent Beijing from obtaining advanced technology. The plan released Tuesday strengthened oversight of its $60 trillion financial system, created a new agency to manage data and restructured the Ministry of Science and Technology. The objective is to “better allocate resources to overcome challenges in key and core technologies, and move faster toward greater self-reliance in science and technology,” the official Xinhua News Agency said.
What China’s Powerful Financial Regulator Means for PBOC
China’s sweeping changes to the financial regulatory system will see the central bank lose some of its functions to a new and enlarged oversight body, leaving it focused on broader economic and financial stability management. The banking and insurance watchdog will be absorbed into a new bureau – a national financial regulatory administration – to oversee all financial sectors except the securities industry, according to a plan released at the National People’s Congress on Tuesday. Under the revamp, the People’s Bank of China will no longer have oversight of financial holding companies and financial consumer protection.
Analysis-China’s financial regulatory revamp raises hope, some concern over control
Xie Yu, Selena Li and Carolina Mandl – Reuters
A new Chinese financial watchdog will help bridge regulatory gaps but analysts and investors say the agency will consolidate power at the top and could introduce more state and party intervention. In a major shake-up, China will set up the new regulatory body, the National Financial Regulatory Administration (NFRA), according to a proposal that the State Council, or cabinet, presented to parliament on Tuesday.
China warns U.S. to change attitude or risk ‘conflict’
China’s foreign minister on Tuesday said the United States had a “distorted” attitude towards China.. and unless it changed it ways “conflict and confrontation” will follow. The blunt comments came at a news conference during on the sidelines of an annual parliament meeting in Beijing.
SEC’s Gensler rejects crypto’s threat to move overseas
Sam Sutton and Declan Harty – Politico
Wall Street’s top cop on Tuesday slammed crypto businesses for refusing to get in line even after a crackdown by regulators and said he sees no risk in them pulling up stakes to head overseas. “We lose more if investors get harmed here,” SEC Chair Gary Gensler said in an interview at the agency’s headquarters in Washington. “It’s a basic bargain in finance: If you want to raise money from the public, disclose certain facts and figures.”
City of London Hopes for EU Thaw After Northern Ireland Deal
Katherine Griffiths – Bloomberg
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s deal to solve the bitter dispute with the European Union over Northern Ireland’s trading arrangements has sparked hope in the City of London that the two sides could finally formalize a pledge to work together on setting rules for banks and financial markets. The so-called memorandum of understanding on financial rules may seem like a fairly low bar for such economically-tied neighbors. But in the recent history of post-Brexit relations, it would count for progress.
Vanguard Passes $2 Trillion in U.S. ETF Assets
Todd Rosenbluth – VettaFi
Vanguard crossed the $2 trillion mark in U.S.-listed ETF assets under management this week, aided by $23 billion of net inflows to start the year and positive year-to-date total returns for nearly all of its ETFs. But passing this key milestone is due to advisors and end clients buying and holding Vanguard ETFs for the long term. Vanguard is the second-largest ETF provider behind BlackRock, which manages $2.3 trillion. Indeed, in the last three years, the issuer has pulled in approximately $690 billion of new money, more than BlackRock’s $450 billion. The two leading asset managers have helped to drive ETF adoption with an array of products and education.
Binance.US Gets Judge’s Approval to Buy Voyager Digital Despite Regulator Objections
Steven Church – Bloomberg
Voyager Digital Ltd. won court approval to sell itself to Binance.US, the US arm of the world’s biggest crypto exchange, after four days of contentious bankruptcy hearings in which state and federal regulators joined a handful of investors in opposing the approximately $1 billion deal.
U.S. Shale Boom Shows Signs of Peaking as Big Oil Wells Disappear; America’s biggest oil gushers are shrinking, evidence that companies have drilled through much of their best wells
Collin Eaton and BenoÃ®t Morenne – The Wall Street Journal
The boom in oil production that over the last decade made the U.S. the world’s largest producer is waning, suggesting the era of shale growth is nearing its peak. Frackers are hitting fewer big gushers in the Permian Basin, America’s busiest oil patch, the latest sign they have drained their catalog of good wells. Shale companies’ biggest and best wells are producing less oil, according to data reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.
Actively Managed Funds Did Better Than Usual in 2022; In a down market, more mutual fund managers were able to beat cheaper passive options for investors.
Suzanne Woolley – Bloomberg
Better than usual. That sums up the performance of many actively managed mutual funds against their benchmark indexes in 2022, according to the S&P Dow Jones Indices year-end SPIVA scorecard released Tuesday. Among US large-cap active equity funds, 49% outperformed the S&P 500 last year – which doesn’t sound very good until you look at the 2021 tally, when just 15% outperformed
Trafigura Doing ‘Major’ Audit of Nickel Fraud Missteps, CEO Says; CEO Jeremy Weir makes first public comments on nickel losses; Trader has said it faces $577 million loss on alleged fraud
Jack Farchy and Alix Steel – Bloomberg
Trafigura Group is carrying out a “major internal audit” after being hit by an alleged nickel fraud, Chief Executive Officer Jeremy Weir said in his first public comments on the subject. “You’ve got to learn from experiences like this,” he said in an interview with Bloomberg TV. He emphasized that the alleged fraud was limited to a particular line of Trafigura’s business, and that the company had found no internal involvement from its own employees.
How a Billion-Dollar Invesco Fund Did a U-Turn After Hot Inflation Data; Hotter inflation data halts Invesco fund’s risk-on tilt; Global allocation fund is underweight stocks yet again
Emily Graffeo – Bloomberg
Alessio de Longis spent the last three months loading up on risk in his $1.1 billion Invesco Global Allocation Fund. Now, he’s winding down those positions and reversing course back to safety. The senior portfolio manager, whose flagship fund has beaten 80% of its peers this year, is changing tack after a flurry of hotter-than-expected economic data fueled expectations that Federal Reserve officials will keep raising rates for longer.
Adani Group Founders Prepay $902 Million Share-backed Loans; Payment comes on top of another $1.1 billion paid in February; Founders had committed to repay share-backed debt by March end
P R Sanjai – Bloomberg
Billionaire Gautam Adani and his family prepaid $902 million worth of borrowings backed by shares as the ports-to-power conglomerate seeks to pare all share-backed loans by March end to allay investor fears. The founders’ early payment comes on top of last month’s $1.1 billion prepayment and will help release 36 million shares in Adani Transmission Ltd.
Can bitcoin hedge inflation, and other questions to which the answer is no; Just another manic Amundi
Bryce Elder – Financial Times
“Confidence must be earned” is the current ad slogan of Amundi, Europe’s biggest asset manager. Keep it in mind while reading its latest thematic paper on what might follow crypto winter. Paris-based Amundi can appear a bit bipolar about crypto. Last February it was reportedly investigating how to sell NFTs to clients while warning them about the “potentially destabilising systemic risk” of stablecoins. Former chief investment officer Pascal BlanquÃ© called bitcoin a “farce”; his successor Vincent Mortier is more amenable:
Sea Founder Reaps $915 Million One-Day Gain With Surprise Profit; Chinese-born Forrest Li gained close to $1 billion overnight; Markets celebrate despite few signs of return to heady growth
Yoolim Lee and Olivia Poh – Bloomberg
Sea Ltd.’s stunning 22% pop tacked on more than $900 million to the personal wealth of founder Forrest Li, a vindication for the Chinese-born internet tycoon who presided over the worst year in his company’s history. Southeast Asia’s largest internet firm racked up its biggest single-day gain in months after reporting a surprise profit on Tuesday – energizing investors who’d hoped the gaming and e-commerce giant would pull off one of the biggest turnaround efforts the region’s fledgling tech sector has ever witnessed.
Lender SoFi Says It Lost $200 Million on Student Loan Freeze
Claire Ballentine – Bloomberg
SoFi is taking a major hit from the pause on student loan payments. The online lender, which runs a business for refinancing education debt, said in a lawsuit filed March 3 it has lost as much as $400 million in revenue and $200 million in profit as a result of a moratorium on paying student debt that started three year ago.
FMSB announces first candidates for boardroom mentoring scheme; The programme, which aims to offer candidates practical boardroom experience to assist with obtaining boardroom roles, has selected female candidates from LSEG and JP Morgan as the first participants.
Laurie McAughtry – The Trade
The Financial Markets Standards Board (FMSB) today launched its pilot mentoring programme to give members of the financial community direct boardroom experience, The TRADE can reveal.
New research finds some buy-side firms paying 26 times more than others for index data as FCA investigation continues; Disparity in pricing doubles since last Substantive Research review in October; follows FCA’s conclusion last week that competition in wholesale data markets is not working.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
Some providers are charging certain buy-side firms 26 times more than others for similar index products and services, a Substantive Research report has found. Substantive last reviewed the space in October, finding that some institutions were paying up to 13 times more than others for the same index data. But updated data following a survey of 60 asset managers from January this year has instead found it is actually double that figure.
Buy-side Trading Community launches new mentor programme for International Women’s Day; The free scheme is part of a global campaign for International Women’s Day 2023 aiming to tackle gender diversity and encourage more women to enter the trading desks of asset managers and hedge funds.
Laurie McAughtry – The Trade
The Buy-side Trading Community, a global unsponsored social initiative, today announced the launch of a new mentor/mentee network for buy-side women. The free programme for buy-side traders to join globally is part of an International Women’s Day 2023 campaign to tackle gender diversity in a push for more female traders on the trading desk of asset managers and hedge funds.
Lots of Russian soldiers want to surrender. Ukraine makes it easier with a high-tech hotline
Laura King – The Los Angeles Times
Bound for the battlefield, sounding harried and anxious, the Russian soldier placed a hasty phone call – to a Ukrainian military hotline. “They say you can help me surrender voluntarily, is that right?” asked the serviceman, explaining that he was soon to be deployed near the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson. “When Ukrainian soldiers come, do I just kneel down, or what? Do you promise not to film me while this is happening?”
Pro-Russian Groups Are Crowdfunding Weapons Buys With Crypto on Telegram, Study Finds
Lucas Ropek – Gizmodo
Since Russia invaded Ukraine last year, cryptocurrency has played a surprisingly big role. As a new fundraising tool, crypto has helped Ukraine raise millions of dollars as it seeks to supplement the already gargantuan amount of money flowing into the country from official U.S. aid and a constellation of charitable organizations. Russia, meanwhile, doesn’t appear nearly as interested in digital assets, though new research shows that pro-Russian groups have been using digital assets to raise money for separatist movements in Ukraine. While Ukraine’s crypto activities have largely been sanctioned by the government itself, those fundraising for Russia have sometimes turned to shadier tactics.
Russian Oil Gets More Pricey as Pool of Asian Buyers Expands
The price of Russian crude and fuel is rising for buyers in Asia as a pool of bigger customers from China and India expands, putting pressure on smaller refiners that have eagerly consumed the cheap oil. Offer levels for Russia’s Urals and ESPO crude, as well as fuel oil, surged over the past weeks, according to traders with knowledge of the matter. Increased interest from Chinese state-owned and large private refiners such as Sinopec, PetroChina Co. and Hengli Petrochemical Co., in addition to a jump in Indian demand, led cargoes to be snapped up at higher prices, they said.
How Russia Lost Dozens of Tanks in a Costly Battle in Eastern Ukraine; The coal-mining town of Vuhledar became a focus of Russia’s offensive in early February
The Wall Street Journal
In recent weeks, Russia launched repeated attacks on the eastern Ukrainian town of Vuhledar, where Western and Ukrainian officials say Moscow lost dozens of armored military vehicles and hundreds of troops. WSJ examines videos from the area to understand Russian tactics.
In Nord Stream Probe, German Investigators Search Boat That May Have Carried Explosives; Undersea gas pipelines were damaged in explosions in September in a suspected sabotage operation
William Boston – The Wall Street Journal
Germany’s federal prosecutor said Wednesday that investigators looking into the alleged sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines in the Baltic Sea have searched a boat they say could have been used to transport explosives for the suspected attack last fall.
Ukraine Needs Shells, and Arms Makers Want Money. Enter the E.U.; Ukraine is firing artillery shells faster than manufacturers can make them. Brussels is working on a plan to increase production by guaranteeing big advance purchases.
Steven Erlanger – The New York Times
So desperate is Ukraine for ammunition, it is firing considerably fewer artillery shells than it otherwise would, its defense minister says. But it is still going through shells faster than the West can produce or supply them, and making more shells is expensive. If arms manufacturers are to increase production and build new factories, they want large orders with guaranteed money – and those factories can take two to three years or more to come online.
Exchanges, OTC and Clearing
Cboe Updates Tick Reform Proposal
Adam Inzirillo, Senior Vice President, Head of North American Equities, Cboe Global Markets, sent the following note to clients about Cboe’s perspective on tick reform. I hope you’re doing well and are excited to be one step closer to Spring and, hopefully, warmer weather. I’m reaching out to let you know that CboeÂ® recently submitted into the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) comment file for the Proposal on Regulation NMS: Minimum Pricing Increment, Access Fees and Transparency of Better Priced Orders, a re-introduction of the tick framework we proposed last year with refreshed data from fourth-quarter 2022.
News from the Two Sessions | Cai Jianchun, Member of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and President of the Shanghai Stock Exchange, Brings Three Proposals to the Two Sessions
Shanghai Stock Exchange
Cai Jianchun, member of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and President of the Shanghai Stock Exchange, told the reporter of Shanghai Securities News that “Effectively identifying and cracking down on financial fraud is not only an inevitable requirement for promoting the high-quality development of China’s capital market, anti-fraud, and promoting development of China’s securities market in the new era, but also a necessary condition for promoting the full implementation of the stock issuance registration system and improving the quality of listed companies.”
Appendix 3Y – Change Of Director’s Interest Notice – Dr Heather Smith
Attached is an Appendix 3Y Change of Director’s Interest Notice for Dr Heather Smith. Release of market announcement authorised by: Johanna O’Rourke Group General Counsel and Company Secretary.
Spanish Stock Exchange opens the session with a Ringing of the Bell for Gender Equality
BME and the United Nations Global Compact Spain promote this initiative for the sixth consecutive year; The event, held at the Bilbao Stock Exchange, was led by Arantxa Tapia, Minister of Economic Development, Sustainability and Environment of the Basque Government. The Spanish Stock Exchange opened the session today with a Ring the Bell for Gender Equality. The event, held at the Bilbao Stock Exchange, is part of the Ring the Bell for Gender Equality initiative promoted by the World Federation of Exchanges together with the Global Compact, UN Woman, Sustainable Stock Exchanges and IFC.
Farmer sentiment dips in February
The Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer dipped 5 points to a reading of 125 in February. Farmers’ perspectives regarding both current conditions on their farms and their expectations for the future also weakened. The Index of Current Conditions fell 2 points to 134 and the Index of Future Expectations declined 6 points to 121. The Ag Economy Barometer is calculated each month from 400 U.S. agricultural producers’ responses to a telephone survey. This month’s survey was conducted between February 13-17.
EEX Group Monthly Volumes – February 2023
EEX Group reports its February 2023 volumes with the following highlights: In February 2023, the European Power Spot Market, operated by EPEX SPOT, saw a 7% increase in trading volume year-on-year, reaching a total of 53.2 TWh. Whilst Day-Ahead trading registered a 3% growth, Intraday Markets trading increased by 19%.
Liquidity Management in a volatile interest rate environment
Repo markets have proven one of the biggest success stories of moving uncleared trading to cleared markets, with a 60% increase in activity on Eurex last year and volumes already up 30% this year. But there is still a long way to travel in ensuring consistent liquidity in the market. Ahead of the Eurex Derivatives Forum in Frankfurt this March, Eurex sat down with Matthias Graulich, executive board member at Eurex Clearing, to discuss progress so far and what can be done to grow cleared repo.
HK Exchanges: Overseas Firms In Stock Connect Is Major Game Changer
Daybreak Asia – Bloomberg
Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd. Co-Chief Operating Officer Bonnie Chan discusses the Stock Connect program and the pipeline for initial public offerings. Hong Kong will on March 13 expand a program that allows investors in mainland China to trade in shares with primary listings on the city’s exchange.
Solid Performance poises JSE for future growth, 2022 financial results show
Johannesburg Stock Exchange
The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) today announced its annual financial results for the year ended 31 December 2022, posting R749 million net profit after tax (NPAT) – a 4% year-on-year (YoY) increase. Headline earnings per share (HEPS) also increased by 4% to 917.7 cents (2021: 878.9 cents) per share, and earnings before interest, tax and depreciation (EBITDA) increased by 1% to R1.07 billion (2021: R1.06 bn).
AOSEF Held the Online Top Executives Meeting
Today, the Asian and Oceanian Stock Exchanges Federation (AOSEF), at which Japan Exchange Group, Inc. (JPX) serves as the Secretariat, held the AOSEF Online Top Executives Meeting for the first time to provide the top executives of the federation’s member exchanges to share mutual insights into developments in the region. The AOSEF Online Top Executives Meeting was held in place of the annual General Assembly (GA), which is aimed at gathering the top executives of all member exchanges to facilitate information sharing and cross-border collaboration.
MIAX Announces Participation in World Federation of Exchanges’ Ring the Bell for Gender Equality 2023 Ceremony
Miami International Holdings, Inc. (MIH), owner of Miami International Securities Exchange, LLC (MIAXÂ®), MIAX PEARL, LLC (MIAX PearlÂ®), MIAX Emerald, LLC (MIAX EmeraldÂ®), Minneapolis Grain Exchange, LLC (MGEXTM), The Bermuda Stock Exchange (BSX), and Dorman Trading LLC, today announces its participation in the World Federation of Exchanges’ ninth annual “Ring the Bell for Gender Equality” Campaign for International Women’s Day on March 8, 2023.
Miami International Holdings Reports Trading Results for February 2023; Volume Reaches Record Daily Market Share of 18.13% in Multi-Listed Options and 1.57% in U.S. Equities
Miami International Holdings, Inc
Miami International Holdings, Inc. today reported February 2023 trading results for its U.S. exchange subsidiaries – MIAXÂ®, MIAX PearlÂ® and MIAX EmeraldÂ® (together, the MIAX Exchange Group), and Minneapolis Grain Exchange (MGEXâ„¢).
Taiwan Futures Exchange Supports Gender Equality among Global Exchanges
Taiwan Futures Exchange
Taiwan Futures Exchange (TAIFEX) joins the “Ring the Bell for Gender Equality” event among global exchanges in celebration of International Women’s Day. TAIFEX’s female board members and managers, along with Chairman Tzu-Hsin Wu and CEO Chien-Lung Chou, gathered together to support 2023 UN’s theme for International Women’s Day: DigitAll-Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality.
Notice on Investigation and Penalties for Violations of Relevant Rules and Regulations in February 2023
Shanghai Futures Exchange
Shanghai Futures Exchange (hereinafter referred to as “The Exchange”) has been on continuous efforts in investigating and penalizing violations of relevant rules and regulations, so as to strengthen the risk management of the futures market, regulate the futures trading activities and protect the legitimate rights and interests of futures market participants. The enforcement against such violations in February 2023 are listed as follows.
Notice on Investigation and Penalties for Violations of Relevant Rules and Regulations in February 2023
Shanghai Futures Exchange
Shanghai Futures Exchange (hereinafter referred to as “The Exchange”) has been on continuous efforts in investigating and penalizing violations of relevant rules and regulations, so as to strengthen the risk management of the futures market, regulate the futures trading activities and protect the legitimate rights and interests of futures market participants. The enforcement against such violations in February 2023 are listed as follows:
Trading Technologies acquires AxeTrading as part of major fixed income expansion; Deal will give Trading Technologies full coverage of corporate, government, municipal and emerging market bonds as well as over the counter (OTC) interest rate swaps for the first time.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
Trading Technologies has acquired London-based fixed income trading solutions provider AxeTrading. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed. Trading Technologies said the acquisition supported its multi-asset expansion, in particular into fixed income. The deal will give it access to much of the fixed income markets for the first time including coverage of corporate, government, municipal and emerging market bonds as well as over the counter (OTC) interest rate swaps. It will also boost its existing position in fixed income derivatives and US Treasuries.
Market Tech: How to Spot an FTX
Sam Gaer – Katana Financial
I called out anomalies in FTX’s technology and order handling practices over a year ago. And no one seemed to care, as long as the music kept playing. Then the music stopped. Mature, deep, liquid markets depend on a certain feature set: liquidity, competition among exchanges and a multitude of market participants (brokers, market makers, speculators, hedgers, for instance).
N26’s top executives warned co-founders over ‘dysfunctional’ leadership; German fintech’s senior management laid bare their concerns in blistering internal memo
Olaf Storbeck – Financial Times
N26’s top executives accused the co-founders of one of Europe’s most highly valued fintechs of promoting a “culture of fear” that threatened to drive the group into a “downward spiral”. In an explosive memo sent last year, N26’s six most senior employees warned Max Tayenthal and Valentin Stalf that their “relationship and ways of working” with executives at the German company were “quite dysfunctional in several dimensions”.
Whitney Stewart Russell Named a Most Influential Woman in Payments by American Banker
Whitney Stewart Russell, Senior Vice President of Digital Solutions at Fiserv, Inc.,has been named one of the Most Influential Women in Payments by American Banker. Stewart Russell was recognized for her expertise in consumer payment behavior, segment strategy, and retail banking solutions that drive engagement and growth for thousands of financial institutions and fintech clients.
3forge accredited for SOC 2 compliance
3forge LLC, the leading provider of award-winning technology for real-time and historical data visualization and complex workflows, is proud to announce that it has achieved Service Organization Control (SOC) 2 Type I compliance in accordance with American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) standards for Service Organizations, also known as SSAE 18.
Google’s Plan to Catch ChatGPT Is to Stuff AI Into Everything; A new internal directive requires “generative artificial intelligence” to be incorporated into all of its biggest products within months.
Julia Love and Davey Alba – Bloomberg
Artificial intelligence was supposed to be Google’s thing. The company has cultivated a reputation for making long-term bets on all kinds of far-off technologies, and much of the research underpinning the current wave of AI-powered chatbots took place in its labs. Yet a startup called OpenAI has emerged as an early leader in so-called generative AI-software that can produce its own text, images or videos-by launching ChatGPT in November. Its sudden success has left Google parent company Alphabet Inc. sprinting to catch up in a key subfield of the technology that Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai has said will be “more profound than fire or electricity.”
Dominance of Dollar in Crypto Market Wanes as Drawbacks Mount; End of Silvergate’s crypto payment network poses uncertainty; Stablecoins will likely become more ubiquitous, Kaiko said
Muyao Shen – Bloomberg
It is becoming a lot harder for crypto companies to access dollars to buy digital assets as the network of payment providers shrink in the US. While the greenback and stablecoins with their value pegged to dollars remain the foundation of the crypto market, its dominance has been waning since the collapse of the FTX exchange, according to a report published by blockchain analytics firm Kaiko Monday.
Cyberattacks Are Just One Part of Hybrid Warfare
Jeff Stone and Jordan Robertson – Bloomberg
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022, was immediate top news worldwide due to eyewitness accounts and images of missile strikes shared on television and social media. By contrast, a near-simultaneous cyberattack on satellite systems that Ukraine relied on to coordinate troop and drone movements – systems that also provided broadband service to more than 100,000 internet users in at least 13 countries across Europe and North Africa – was cloaked in mystery for weeks, and to this day Russia’s government denies any involvement in it.
The US Can Stop Twitter From Releasing Details in Spy Report; 9th Circuit upholds redactions for national security reasons; GOP House prepares to grill US officials over surveillance
Zoe Tillman and Chris Strohm – Bloomberg
The US can stop Twitter Inc. from releasing details about the government’s demands for user information in national security investigations, a court ruled, in the same week House Republicans are to grill national security officials over surveillance. Twitter had protested the government’s redactions to a 2014 “transparency report” that featured a numerical breakdown of national security-related data requests from the previous year.
Forget the regulatory red herring: Here’s what the National Cybersecurity Strategy is really telling us
Katherine D. Ledesma – The Hill
Last week, the Office of the National Cyber Director (ONCD) released the long-awaited National Cybersecurity Strategy – the first under the Biden administration. Countless industry listening sessions and extensive interagency coordination didn’t leave much need for guesswork. As telegraphed (and reported), the strategy explicitly calls for a shift in the regulatory landscape. It also makes the best business case for cybersecurity investment and coordination that we’ve seen yet in a comprehensive government strategy document.
FTX Wants Its Bitcoins Back From Grayscale; Also fake indications of interest, Rio Tinto bribery and Elon Musk’s bodyguards
Matt Levine – Bloomberg
The Grayscale Bitcoin Trust is a pot that contains Bitcoins. Shares of the trust – each representing a share of ownership of the Bitcoins in the pot – trade publicly on OTC Markets like shares of stock. If you have some Bitcoins and want shares of the pot, you can go to Grayscale Investments LLC – which runs the trust – and give them your Bitcoins, and they will give you back shares in the pot.
FTX’s lawyers and advisers cost $38 million for a month of work – and the bankrupt crypto exchange’s new CEO charged $305,000 for February
Phil Rosen – Business Insider
Hundreds of lawyers, consultants, accountants and others working for FTX billed a total $38 million for the month of January alone, according to court records cited by CoinDesk. Meanwhile, John Ray III, who took over as CEO in November and was previously responsible for helping clean up energy firm Enron, submitted a bill for $305,565 for the month of February, the report said.
Binance.US Can Move Ahead With Plan to Acquire Voyager Digital’s Assets, Judge Rules
Jack Schickler, Nikhilesh De – CoinDesk
Binance.US cleared a major hurdle in its effort to acquire the assets of bankrupt crypto lender Voyager Digital in a deal worth over $1 billion after Michael Wiles, a bankruptcy judge in the Southern District of New York, overruled the various objections to the proposed acquisition.
Signature Bank, Stablecoins Might Benefit From Silvergate Exchange Network’s Demise
Helene Braun – CoinDesk
It wasn’t really crypto, and it wasn’t really a network. But the program at Silvergate Bank called the “Silvergate Exchange Network,” or SEN for short, played a crucial behind-the-scenes role in facilitating off-blockchain money transfers between big investors and crypto exchanges.
Silvergate’s Collapse May Spell Regulatory Trouble for Crypto
Nikhilesh De – CoinDesk
Silvergate Bank had a really rough week, to the point where a not-insignificant number of people were waiting for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to announce the bank had entered receivership after close of business Friday.
Taxes for Cryptocurrency Investors; IRS guidance on cryptocurrencies dates to 2014 when the agency said bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are property, not currencies
Laura Saunders – The Wall Street Journal
The steep drop in cryptocurrency prices in 2022 and the bankruptcies of FTX and other exchanges have added complexity to crypto taxes. Not always-but crypto owners must answer a pointed question on the front page of the tax return, just below the taxpayer’s name and address. For 2022 returns, the wording has been revised to include digital assets such as nonfungible tokens (NFTs) or stablecoins.
Crypto Craze Insider-Trading Suit Moves Ahead Against Promoter
Robert Burnson – Bloomberg
A stock promoter failed to persuade a judge to dismiss a US Securities and Exchange Commission insider-trading lawsuit in which he’s accused of illegally profiting from a company rebranding during the 2017 crypto craze. Gannon Giguiere, owner of TheMoneyStreet.com, allegedly made a $162,500 by buying Long Island Ice Tea Corp. stock before the company changed its name to Long Blockchain Corp. Giguiere sold the stock hours after the rebranding.
Silvergate teeters as regulators circle and crypto firms cut ties
It’s often said in business that if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. This seemingly self-evident observation has garnered supporters and skeptics, perhaps in equal numbers, but if anyone thinks it doesn’t hold true for such a novel, sophisticated and data-driven field as digital assets, they’ve got another thing coming. And that thing, this week, is the Forkast 500 NFT Index.
Mt. Gox Creditors Have Until Friday to File Repayment Claims
Tim Hakki – Decrypt
Nobuaki Kobayashi, the Rehabilitation Trustee for collapsed Japanese Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox, told former customers that they have until Friday to register their claims for repayment under the rehabilitation plan, which he first announced last September. The original deadline of January 10 was extended by two months back in January.
Binance Extends Market Share for Fourth Consecutive Month
Lyllah Ledesma – CoinDesk
Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange by trading volume, has extended its spot market share across crypto exchanges for a fourth consecutive month. The exchange market share increased from 59.4% in January to 61.8% in February, according to a report from crypto market data provider CryptoCompare. Binance had a 13.7% increase in its spot volumes to $504 billion, an all-time high market share for the exchange.
No NFTs Are Securities – Yet, German Finance Officials Say
Jack Schickler – CoinDesk
No non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are yet classified as securities – a status that would require licenses and money laundering supervision, German financial regulator BaFin said Wednesday. Using the blockchain-based tokens which denotes ownership of a digital asset for pure speculation doesn’t make it an investment instrument, but some NFTs in future could fall under financial regulations – for example if a large set offer the same interest payments, the article by BaFin officials said.
Joe Biden’s ESG rule is sound risk management; Presidential veto will allow pension funds to take sustainability into account
The editorial board – Financial Times
A US presidential veto of congressional legislation is a big moment. Joe Biden is expected to issue the first veto of his presidency to preserve a White House rule allowing fiduciaries of private companies’ pension funds to include environment, social and governance considerations in their investment decisions. Cue brickbats from opponents of ESG over Biden supposedly imposing “woke capitalism”. But the rule only permits, but does not compel, managers to take ESG into account – and the president is defending sound investment principles.
Oil companies line up for billions of dollars in subsidies under US climate law; Inflation Reduction Act’s tax credits include technologies favoured by fossil fuel sector
Justin Jacobs – Financial Times
An oil industry that opposed President Joe Biden’s signature climate law is now manoeuvring to claim billions of dollars of US tax credits established by the legislation. The Inflation Reduction Act, passed in 2022, aims to slash greenhouse gas emissions by supercharging clean energy industries. Its $369bn in climate provisions has sparked new investments in renewable power generation and in manufacturing everything from electric vehicle batteries to solar panels.
Biden Eyes Tax Hike on Income Over $400,000 to Fund Medicare; Plan would give government more power to negotiate drug prices; Little chance for budget to become law with GOP running House
Justin Sink and Josh Wingrove – Bloomberg
President Joe Biden’s budget will propose hiking payroll taxes on Americans making over $400,000 per year and allowing the government new power to negotiate drug prices as part of an effort the White House says will extend the solvency of a key Medicare program for another quarter century. “The budget I am releasing this week will make the Medicare trust fund solvent beyond 2050 without cutting a penny in benefits,” Biden said Tuesday in an op-ed published in the New York Times shortly before the announcement.
Don’t Ban TikTok, Put It on Probation; On issue after issue, the US needs to start accepting “good enough” solutions to its problems with China.
Minxin Pei – Bloomberg
Before US-China relations turned completely antagonistic, few could have imagined one of their major duels would involve a social media app featuring 60-second videos of dancing pets and illusionists performing tricks. How the US ultimately deals with TikTok, though, could well determine if it can manage the rivalry with China without sacrificing its principles or sliding into conflict.
Trump’s Threat of a Third-Party Run Is Undercut by ‘Sore Loser’ Laws; Six key states have laws that would bar a third-party run; Legal experts say Trump would face extensive litigation
Ryan Teague Beckwith – Bloomberg
Donald Trump hates losing so much that he has suggested he will mount a third-party campaign if he doesn’t win the Republican presidential nomination. But he can’t win that way either, thanks to “sore loser” laws in six states he would need to return to the White House. Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas, as well as Arkansas and Alabama, have laws that bar a candidate defeated in a major-party primary from running as an independent or on a third-party ticket in the general election.
Is the UK really becoming ‘Death Valley’ for global tech? Microsoft’s $75bn Activision Blizzard deal needs to clear hurdles around the world
Helen Thomas – Financial times
It was, in fairness, a good line. The boss of Activision Blizzard, in full campaigning mode in support of the gaming group’s $75bn sale to Microsoft, last month noted UK prime minister Rishi Sunak’s ambitions to become a European tech hub and quipped: “If deals like this can’t get through, they won’t be Silicon Valley, they’ll be Death Valley.”
The EU’s future in a world of deep disorder; In adjusting to today’s crises, the bloc needs to decide whether it wishes to be an ally, a bridge or a power
Martin Wolf – Financial Times
“The Law of Nations Shall be Founded on a Federation of Free States.” Thus did the great German philosopher Immanuel Kant lay down the foundations of his plan for a “perpetual peace”. No part of the world has embraced his idealism more completely than post-second world war Europe. Yet is this great dream now dead?
China says must advance relations with Russia as world becomes more turbulent
China must advance its relations with Russia as the world becomes more turbulent, Foreign Minister Qin Gang said on Tuesday. Speaking to reporters at an annual parliamentary session in Beijing, Qin said the close interactions between both leaders – President Xi Jinping and President Vladimir Putin – provided the anchor for China-Russia relations. He did not give a definite answer when asked if Xi would visit Russia after China’s parliament session, which goes on for one more week. Asked whether it is possible that China and Russia would abandon the U.S. dollar and euro for bilateral trade, Qin said that countries should use whatever currency is efficient, safe and credible.
Russia says it is considering a challenge to US nominee to head World Bank
Andrea Shalal – Reuters
Russia is consulting with its allies about challenging the U.S. nominee to head the World Bank, Moscow’s top representative at the bank said on Tuesday, a move that could complicate what was expected to be a smooth succession process.
ISDA and AFME Response to HMT on Short Selling Regulation
International Swaps and Derivatives Association
On March 5, 2023, ISDA and the Association for Financial Markets in Europe (AFME) responded to His Majesty’s Treasury’s call for evidence on the short selling regulation review. In the response, the associations argue the current prohibition in the short selling regime for sovereign credit default swaps could be removed, as it has led to inefficiencies in the market.
India’s money laundering rules to apply to crypto trade – gov’t notification
India’s money laundering laws will apply to trade in cryptocurrencies, the federal government said in a notification dated March 7. The exchange between virtual digital assets and fiat currencies, the exchange between one or more forms of virtual digital assets and the transfer of digital assets will be covered under money laundering laws, the notification said.
Putin’s cellist friend moved millions through Swiss bank accounts -prosecutors
John Revill and Oliver Hirt – Reuters
A concert cellist linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin moved millions of francs through Swiss bank accounts without any proper checks, Swiss prosecutors said on Wednesday at the start of a trial of four bankers accused of helping him. Prosecutors alleged that Sergey Roldugin, a close friend of the Russian president, deposited millions of francs in Swiss bank accounts between 2014 and 2016.
Justice Department Appeal Seeks Independent FTX Investigation, Despite $100M Price Tag
Leo Jakobson – CoinMarketCap
The U.S. Department of Justice has appealed a decision by the FTX bankruptcy judge not to appoint an independent examiner to investigate the exchange’s collapse. On Feb. 15, Federal Judge John Dorsey turned down a request by the U.S. trustee appointed to represent the public in the case, citing estimates that the investigation could cost as much as $100 million. Once the second-largest crypto exchange, FTX collapsed in November. It was subsequently revealed that some $10 billion of FTX customers’ funds had been illegally given to a sister company, private trading firm, Alameda Research. Some $8 billion appears to have been stolen, spent or lost.
SEC shuts Miami hedge fund for alleged ties to US$100 mln crypto fraud
Valida Pau – Forkast
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) was granted emergency relief on Monday to freeze and appoint a receiver for the assets of Miami-based hedge fund BKCoin and one of its co-founders, Kevin Kang, in an alleged cryptocurrency fraud scheme.
Commissioner Pham to Speak on a GW Law AAPI Women in Law Panel
Commissioner Caroline D. Pham will speak on a GW Law Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Women in Law panel celebrating Women’s History Month, sponsored by the Asian Pacific American Law Student Association (APALSA), South Asian Law Student Association (SALSA), and Law Association of Women (LAW).
Remarks of Commissioner Christy Goldsmith Romero at ISDA’s ESG Forum on Promoting Market Resilience: A Thoughtful Approach to the Daunting Challenge of Climate Financial Risk
Thank you to the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (“ISDA”) for inviting me to speak at a forum on climate risk, environmental, social, and governance (“ESG”) issues, the role that derivatives play in these markets, and the market and regulatory environment.
SEC Updates List of Firms Using Inaccurate Information to Solicit Investors
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that it updated its list of unregistered entities that use misleading information to solicit primarily non-U.S. investors, adding 96 soliciting entities, three impersonators of genuine firms, and five bogus regulators. The SEC’s list of soliciting entities that have been the subject of investor complaints, known as the Public Alert: Unregistered Soliciting Entities (PAUSE) list, enables investors to better inform themselves and avoid being a victim of fraud.
Meeting the Challenges and Fulfilling The Promise of Global Financial Markets: Remarks before the Institute of International Bankers
Thank you, Beth [Zorc], for that introduction and thank you to the Institute of International Bankers for this opportunity to provide closing remarks to your 2023 Annual Washington Conference. For the last two days, you have been addressed by top U.S. financial regulators, including the chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the acting Comptroller of the Currency, and the chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, on issues ranging from banking regulation, the economy, and financial crimes to cybersecurity, digital assets, and taxes. It is a privilege to close out your conference with thoughts on the capital markets. My remarks reflect solely my individual views as a Commissioner and do not necessarily reflect the views of the full U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or my fellow Commissioners.
SFC issues quarterly report
Securities & Futures Commission of Hong Kong
The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) today published its latest Quarterly Report which summarises key developments from October to December 2022 amidst increasing business activity. Compared to the previous three months, a greater number and wider variety of investment products were authorised or registered by the SFC during the quarter. The SFC authorised 58 unit trusts and mutual funds, including 33 Hong Kong-domiciled funds, as well as one investment-linked assurance scheme, one mandatory provident fund pooled investment fund and 54 unlisted structured investment products for public offering in Hong Kong. Twelve new open-ended fund companies were also registered during the quarter.
FCA takes further action against unregistered crypto ATMs in East London
The FCA has used its powers to inspect several sites in East London suspected of hosting illegally operating crypto ATMs, as it continues its crackdown on the illicit sector.
Investing and Trading
The Biggest Contrarian Bet You Can Make Right Now
Nicole Samoroukova – The Reformed Broker
Join Downtown Josh Brown and Michael Batnick for another round of What Are Your Thoughts? On this week’s episode, Josh and Michael discuss the biggest topics in investing and finance, including: Powell to Congress – “Fed chief Powell is set to begin two days of congressional testimony Tuesday, where he’ll have the chance to explain the central bank’s planned response to a more resilient economy…”
Hedging Against Stock Market Dangers Could Make Losses Much Worse; Buying puts or long VIX added to pain in last year’s selloff; Roni Israelov says finding ‘panacea’ insurance is unlikely
Lu Wang – Bloomberg
Stocks are unpredictable, so people buy protection in case they crash. But the tactics Wall Street has devised to protect investors at times of crisis are just as hard to forecast, and what seems like prudent hedging may just make things worse. That’s a finding of new research by Roni Israelov, chief investment officer of Boston-based financial services firm NDVR, who made waves with prior papers arguing that cash is usually a better equity hedge than buying put options.
Indonesia Offers Tax Cuts to Lure Investors to New Capital; Minimum 10 billion rupiah investment eligible for lower rates; New rule issued on March 6 and takes effect immediately
Chandra Asmara – Bloomberg
Indonesia lowered taxes on some investments and sweetened land acquisition terms as part of efforts to attract funds for its $34 billion new capital project that’s struggling to take off. The government will provide up to 100% corporate tax holiday for companies investing at least 10 billion rupiah ($650,745) in the new capital in Borneo, according to a new rule announced March 6.
U.S. companies and their backers seize on window to sell stock
Echo Wang and Lance Tupper – Reuters
Sales of shares in publicly listed U.S. companies had their strongest showing last week in more than a year, as companies and some of their shareholders, such as private equity firms, capitalized on the risk appetite of stock market investors. Stock sales reached $4.97 billion in the United States last week, the highest tally since the second week in 2022, according to data provider Dealogic. Globally, stock sales reached $12.3 billion, the most in more than 30 weeks.
Traders Burned by Stock Losses Are Pouring Billions Into Credit
Alice Atkins – Bloomberg
As stock markets take another pummeling, more traders are hiding out in credit markets. They’re finding refuge in top-quality bonds, especially short-term securities. So far this year, global investment-grade credit funds have absorbed almost $70 billion, making it the biggest inflow for this part of the year since EPFR Global started tracking the data in 2017.
Oil executives warn of higher prices now that Opec is back ‘in charge’; Warning that the balance of supply and demand is ‘on a razor’
Myles McCormick, Derek Brower and Justin Jacobs – Financial Times
The Opec cartel is back in control of the world oil market as the shale revolution peters out, according to a number of industry executives who warned of higher prices for crude in the year ahead. Despite recent record profits, the heads of American shale producers told the Financial Times that rising costs and investor pressure to return cash to shareholders would continue to hamper US supply growth.
Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance
Women struggle to close corporate America’s gender gap; Cultural and societal barriers continue to frustrate efforts to make diversity stick in white-collar fields
Taylor Nicole Rogers and Madison Darbyshire – Financial Times
American corporations held the first diversity sessions in the late 1960s, instructing leaders who were overwhelmingly white and male on how to manage the workplace after the US made it illegal to discriminate against employees based on sex or race. “The landmark Civil Rights Act of 1965 spawned an era of training…in response to the barrage of discrimination suits,” a 2008 review of the programmes in the Academy of Management Learning and Education said. Most managers were given “a litany of do’s and don’ts and maybe a couple of case studies” during sessions that tended to last roughly four hours, the authors found.
Why Climate Change Is the Greatest Threat to Human Progress; The Human Development Index is flashing red for the first time in three decades and adding to the urgency of reducing greenhouse gases.
Akshat Rathi – Bloomberg
My grandfather in India only graduated from high school before beginning his career on a factory floor. My father studied engineering and then launched a small business. I was able to earn a doctorate in chemistry and now live in London working for a multinational. It’s a story of development and upward social mobility that’s not unusual. Millions of people around the world have experienced a close version of this story and many more have seen their families’ quality of lives improve drastically in the last few decades. Will it be true for the billions yet to be born on a warming planet? Current trends suggest the answer is likely “no.”
The Pay Gap for Women Who Have Never Been Married Is Getting Bigger
Ella Ceron – Bloomberg
Never-married women are the fastest growing cohort in the labor market. Yet, as their ranks have swelled their wage gap has, too. The group’s median weekly earnings are 92.1% of what men who have never married make, a new report from Wells Fargo released Wednesday found. That gap has increased from a decade ago, when they brought in 95.8% of what men did. Overall, women make around 83% of what men do in the US, according to the Census Bureau. But given that the motherhood penalty accounts for such a large part of the pay gap, Wells Fargo economist Sarah House was surprised by the growing wage gap among single women.
Climate Emergency Risks Stranding Women
Emmy Hawker – ESG Investor
Investors make the case for gender-inclusive climate finance on International Women’s Day. This International Women’s Day, there is evidence that we have made some progress towards achieving gender equality. The latest ‘Women on Boards Progress Report’ by US-based data and analytics provider MSCI, which assessed gender diversity across over 2,800 companies listed on the MSCI ACWI Index, noted a near-two-percentage-point increase of women on boards globally, up to 24.5% in 2022 from 22.6% in 2021.
BlackRock, Rockefeller Set ESG Priorities for Busy Proxy Season; There’s a lot of political noise out there. But in the end, Wall Street’s giants will likely hold sway.
Tim Quinson – Bloomberg
This year’s proxy season is shaping up to be a real doozy. The number of proposals will likely match or exceed last year’s record before shareholder voting officially kicks into high gear come April. Many will focus on environmental, social and governance issues such as the climate crisis, big tech disinformation and fair pay and worker rights. But there are also more “anti-ESG” resolutions, which observers say shouldn’t be surprising given how the far-right has sought to politicize sustainability strategies.
MSCI to incorporate biodiversity data through NatureAlpha partnership; Clients will be able to better identify nature risks and ensure alignment with Global Biodiversity Framework
Natalie Kenway – ESG Clarity
MSCI is set to distribute biodiversity data and analytical tools from NatureAlpha, an AI and data-driven platform providing specialist insights into nature footprints and risks. This, MSCI said, will help its clients better identify their exposure to higher-impact companies from a biodiversity risk perspective, better align companies’ activities with the Global Biodiversity Framework and provide enhanced reporting in line with the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) as it evolves.
Exxon Has a Message for Europe: Don’t Mess With Oil and Gas; CEO Woods says the continent’s ‘punitive’ measures against fossil fuels are prompting majors to reconsider – and relocate – their investments.
Kevin Crowley – Bloomberg
Today’s Take: Exxon Warns Europe
Exxon Mobil Corp. Chief Executive Officer Darren Woods used his prime-time address at the CERAWeek by S&P Global conference in Houston to criticize European energy policy, which in his view has gone too far.
European Industry Injects CO2 Below the Seabed as It Chases US in Energy, Climate Race
Will Mathis – Bloomberg
European industrial companies injected carbon dioxide below Denmark’s seabed for the first time on Wednesday as executives warned that the region risks losing a race with the US on the important emissions-cutting technology.
UK’s Largest Companies Miss FCA’s New Gender-Diversity Quotas
Irina Anghel – Bloomberg
Seven of the UK’s 10 largest listed companies have failed to comply with the FCA’s new gender-diversity quotas, a reminder of the scale of the challenge facing businesses as they look to improve diversity in their upper ranks. AstraZeneca Plc, Unilever Plc and Rio Tinto Plc are among the firms to miss the Financial Conduct Authority’s board gender-diversity requirements of at least 40% female directors, according to a Bloomberg Intelligence report. Rio Tinto also doesn’t have a woman in a senior board position.
Voting, Collateral in Focus for ESG Securities Lending Framework
Vibeka Mair – ESG Investor
Update to 2021 framework reflects growing integration between ESG investing and securities lending, but concerns remain over transparency. The Global Alliance of Securities Lending Associations (GASLA) has this week released a new version of its framework for considering ESG factors in securities lending, with further guidance on voting and collateral management.It comes as the Global Principles for Sustainable Securities Lending (Global PSSL) is working on a transparency initiative with UN reviewers.
How to be a male ally for gender equality
UN Global Compact Academy
Around the globe, women continue to have less opportunities than men, from education to the labour market and workplace. We know that businesses and societies thrive when women are given a seat at the table, but women cannot do it alone. Men have a critical role to play in fighting gender bias and discrimination, and much to gain themselves through true gender equality.
TCFD 102 Global Sessions 3rd March 2023
TCFD 102 provides an in-depth programme during which participants will peer-review each others’ TCFD reports and wider good practice.
Carbon-Emissions Data to Inform the MBS Market
Michael Ridley, Joy Zhang, Cyril Pecoraro – MSCI
U.S. real estate investors may increasingly seek data on residential emissions to help estimate the financed emissions of their holdings in mortgage-backed securities or property loans. Our estimates of carbon emissions for residential properties in each U.S. state indicate strong regional differences in absolute emissions and in the drivers of these emissions.
Goldman Sachs Doesn’t Want to Be Everyone’s Bank, but It Has to Be Someone’s
Telis Demos – The Wall Street Journal
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. has admitted defeat in its ambitious plan to be the bank for everybody. Now it has to figure out how to be a bank for somebody. Chief Executive David Solomon told analysts and shareholders this week during an in-person investor day at its headquarters that the firm is scaling back on banking consumers and their checking accounts and credit cards. Instead, he said, growth will come from managing the wealth of institutions and the rich-a business that throws off steady fees when markets are up or down.
Did interest rate guidance in emerging markets work?
Julian Caballero and Blaise Gadanecz – Bank for International Settlements
Interest rate guidance consists of central bank statements about the future path of policy interest rates. Advanced economies deployed it after the Great Financial Crisis, successfully influencing long-term interest rates, as well as expectations about the economic outlook. It thus proved useful in complementing traditional monetary policy tools during crises or following unexpected shocks.
Silvergate Is in Talks With FDIC Officials on Ways to Salvage Bank; Examiners have been on the ground since last week, people said; A decision on Silvergate’s future hasn’t yet been made
Katanga Johnson, Lydia Beyoud and Max Reyes – Bloomberg
US regulators have been sent to the headquarters of Silvergate Capital Corp., as the troubled crypto-friendly bank looks for a way to stay in business. Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. officials have been discussing with management ways to avoid a shutdown, according to people familiar with the matter.
Citadel’s Griffin Sees Setup for US Recession After ‘Traumatic’ Inflation
Amanda Albright and Felipe Marques – Bloomberg
Billionaire Ken Griffin said the setup for a US recession is unfolding, with the Federal Reserve needing to raise interest rates further after Americans were stung with “traumatic” levels of inflation. The founder of Citadel and Citadel Securities said the Fed is limited in how much it can fight inflation with interest-rate increases, likening the tool to “having surgery with a dull knife.”
Credit Suisse equities business under the microscope after revenue crash
Stefania Spezzati and Elisa Martinuzzi – Reuters
At the grandiose Fontainebleau Miami Beach hotel, Credit Suisse hosted its top clients in October amid growing doubts it was still in the securities trading game after a series of high-profile blunders.
Hedge funds build macro firepower to capitalise on volatile markets; Sector has recorded best returns since financial crisis with the return of high inflation and steep interest rate rises
Laurence Fletcher – Financial Times
Hedge funds are building their firepower in global macro trading as they seek to capitalise on the most lucrative environment since the financial crisis. Macro trading, a decades-old strategy made famous by the likes of George Soros and Louis Bacon, involves betting on moves in global bond, currency and other assets.
Work & Management
How Google Became Cautious of AI and Gave Microsoft an Opening
Miles Kruppa and Sam Schechner – The Wall Street Journal
More than two years ago, a pair of Google researchers started pushing the company to release a chatbot built on technology more powerful than anything else available at the time. The conversational computer program they had developed could confidently debate philosophy and banter about its favorite TV shows, while improvising puns about cows and horses.
Tech Layoffs Are Bad News for MBA Grads Seeking Jobs; Contraction in the industry could mean less recruiting at B-schools.
Robb Mandelbaum – Bloomberg
Up to the very end, Jose Granados held out hope that he’d get a job at Meta Platforms Inc. A 32-year-old pursuing an MBA at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business, he’d won a summer internship at the social media giant. Such 12-week stints are often steppingstones to full-time positions after graduation. Granados had heard “rumblings” among colleagues about financial uncertainty in the industry, but he kept his head down and kept working.
PayPal CFO Jorgensen to Step Down Following Leave of Absence
Sally Bakewell – Bloomberg
PayPal Holdings Inc. said Chief Financial Officer Blake Jorgensen will step down following a leave of absence for health reasons, amid a shuffle of upper management at the online-payments platform. Gabrielle Rabinovitch, who was named acting chief financial officer when Jorgensen’s leave of absence began in September, will continue in that role, PayPal said in a statement. She is also treasurer, and senior vice president of investor relations.
Citadel Negotiating Enterprise-Wide ChatGPT License, Griffin Says; Citadel billionaire says the technology ‘has real impact’; Griffin’s hedge fund and market-making firms are surging
Katherine Doherty and Felipe Marques – Bloomberg
Ken Griffin said his firms are in the process of negotiating an enterprise-wide license to use OpenAI’s ChatGPT tool. “This branch of technology has real impact on our business,” Griffin, the billionaire founder of Citadel and Citadel Securities, said in an interview Tuesday in Palm Beach, Florida. “Everything from helping our developers write better code to translating software between languages to analyze various types of information that we analyze in the ordinary course of our business.”
Amazon Beats Proposed Class Action Over Remote Work Expenses; Employees failed to show a common cause, federal judge says; Lawyer says he’ll refile lawsuit on behalf of fewer workers
Joel Rosenblatt – Bloomberg
Amazon.com Inc. defeated an attempt by employees to sue as a group as they tried to recoup internet expenses that they incurred while working from home during the pandemic. A federal judge in California Tuesday rejected the worker’s proposed class-action lawsuit, ruling that David Williams, a California-based engineer for Amazon, failed to show the nearly 7,000 employees had enough in common to sue as a group.
Xi Says Startups Are China’s Future, but Fear Lingers Among VCs
Jane Zhang and Sarah Zheng – Bloomberg
China’s technology industry has had many reasons to celebrate lately. New video game releases are getting approved again (essential for Tencent Holdings Ltd. and NetEase Inc.), Didi Global Inc.’s ride-hailing service has returned to mainland app stores and the worst of the Covid Zero restrictions are behind us. The Hang Seng Tech Index is up nearly 50% since late October, and on Monday, President Xi Jinping stressed the importance of the private sector to China’s economy.
Electric Car Charging Is the Newest Workplace Perk Comfortable seating. Free coffee. A place to plug in? Companies looking to attract talent are increasingly considering EV chargers at the office.
Olivia Rudgard – Bloomberg
Competition for teachers in the UK can be fierce, and one high school thinks it has something that gives it an edge: electric vehicle plugs. The Judd School, in Kent, southern England, last year received a Â£2,100 ($2,515) government grant for six EV chargers installed by Electric Car Chargers UK. For the EV drivers on staff, the new stations have been a welcome addition. “It changes people’s perception of us, that we are a forward-thinking school and we take the environment seriously,” says Hilary Goldsmith, the school’s business manager. “[And] we can promote ourselves as actively reducing our carbon footprint.”
Two Out of Three Banks Offer Workers Some Flexibility Despite Office Push; A survey of more than 300 financial-services firms found that just 20% require workers to be in the office all the time
Matthew Boyle – Bloomberg
Jamie Dimon and other Wall Street chiefs keep banging the drum on returning to the office, but new data shows that workers have more flexibility than once thought. More than two out of three banks are offering workers either full flexibility or some sort of hybrid-work arrangement, according to a survey of more than 300 financial services institutions by Scoop, which helps companies coordinate hybrid teams. Half of the 76 banks surveyed were hybrid, meaning they set minimum or specific times for on-site attendance, while 18% were either fully remote or let employees choose when or if they come into the office. More broadly across the financial sector – including fintech, insurance and investment firms – eight out of ten workplaces offered some flexibility.
6 Wellness Retreats That Promise High-Tech Healing
Nora Walsh – The New York Times
Travelers have long flocked to resort destinations for yoga retreats, deep tissue massages and fitness boot camps. But when the pandemic hit, wellness took on a new urgency, and people have begun to focus on their health in new ways – with many seeking high-tech preventive care. That shift in priorities has supercharged demand. According to a June 2022 report by Grand View Research, a firm that studies business trends, the global wellness tourism market is expected to exceed $1 trillion by 2030, growing at an annual rate of nearly 10 percent over the next eight years.
It Turns Out Money Does Buy Happiness, At Least Up to $500,000; Forget what you heard about there being no benefit once income reaches $75,000
Conrad Quilty-Harper – Bloomberg
Money really does buy happiness, and the correlation extends well beyond the $75,000-a-year salary threshold that had been seen as the upper limit for making an impact, according to a team of scientists including the Nobel Prize-winning psychologist who introduced the idea of a happiness plateau more than a decade ago.
Women Are Going Gray. Time to Get Over It; It’s exhausting meeting society’s demands about how a woman should look, whether you’re 20, 40 or 60.
Andreea Papuc – Bloomberg
About 10 years ago, I decided to let my hair go gray. The reason was very simple: I couldn’t be bothered spending all those hours at the hairdresser every three months or so. I had two young children, and even with help at home – I was living in Hong Kong – that time felt wasted. And ultimately, who really cared? I didn’t, my husband didn’t. It’s saved money and time, and I’ve never looked back.
High Palm Oil Prices Mean Farmers Don’t Replace Aging Trees; Slow replanting due to high costs and potential loss of income; ‘With El Nino, we can really suffer,’ planter Golden Agri says
Anuradha Raghu and Jasmine Ng – Bloomberg
Indonesia’s slow replanting of old and unproductive oil palm trees will likely keep output growth subdued in the world’s biggest supplier, according to plantation company Golden Agri-Resources Ltd. Production may only climb by 500,000 tons to 1 million tons year-on-year, Tony Kettinger, chief operating officer of the Singapore-based firm, said in an interview Tuesday. That would suggest a rise of roughly 1% from last year.
European Regulator Slams Plans for Erotic Center Near Its Amsterdam Office
April Roach and Sarah Jacob – Bloomberg
Europe’s drug regulator has warned that some proposed locations for a new erotic center in Amsterdam are near its headquarters and stand to jeopardize the safety of its staff and visitors. The Dutch capital, famed for its red light district, is consulting with the public on three possible locations for an erotic center, which is envisaged to have about 100 workplaces for sex workers as well as spaces for catering and entertainment.
French Energy System Disrupted by Strikes Over Pension Plan; Fuel deliveries from Total and Exxon’s refineries are blocked; LNG import terminals are halted, power output is disrupted
Francois De Beaupuy – Bloomberg
French energy infrastructure from natural gas import terminals to oil refineries and power plants were disrupted on Tuesday by protests against government plans to increase the retirement age. The labor protests are putting additional pressure on French energy supplies, which have been hit by prolonged outages at some nuclear reactors and reduced gas flows from Russia.
Kazakhstan Struggles to Find Enough Crude Oil to Pipe to Europe; Oil producers can get better returns on other export routes; Shipments via Russia will rely on Moscow’s continued goodwill
Nariman Gizitdinov and Julian Lee – Bloomberg
Kazakhstan is struggling to find enough crude oil to meet requests from European countries for deliveries through Russia’s Druzhba pipeline system that would allow them to reduce their dealings with Moscow. Germany is supposed to take delivery of a total of 40,000 tons of piped Kazakh oil this quarter, according to KazTransOil, the state oil pipeline operator. That’s down by almost 90% from what was originally planned.
Record fish deaths prompt call for halt to expansion of Scottish salmon farming; MSPs seek pause in aquaculture growth over environmental and welfare concerns as mortality doubles
Lukanyo Mnyanda and Emiko Terazono – Financial Times
A group of Scottish lawmakers has called for a halt to any expansion of salmon farms due to environmental and animal welfare concerns after official figures showed that fish mortality had doubled in 2022. Eight members of the Scottish parliament, including from the Greens, who govern with the Scottish National party in Holyrood, have written to Mairi Gougeon, rural affairs secretary, saying they were “alarmed” to learn that nearly 16mn fish had died prematurely. They called for any expansion of the industry to be paused.
VW prioritises North American battery plant over Europe as it seeks euro 10bn from US; Europe’s largest carmaker is ‘waiting’ for an EU response to Biden administration’s subsidies
Richard Milne, Patricia Nilsson and Peter Campbell – Financial Times
Volkswagen is putting on hold a planned battery plant in eastern Europe and prioritising a similar facility in North America after estimating it could receive euro 10bn in US incentives. The decision is the latest fallout from Joe Biden’s $369bn package of subsidies and tax incentives for green technology that is luring European companies to the US.