Trading Technologies expands into clearing technologies, services with acquisition of ATEO

Feb 12, 2024

First Read

Hits & Takes
John Lothian & JLN Staff

Did you miss some of the commercials during yesterday’s Super Bowl because you had to get new refreshment or take care of other business? Well, The New York Times has ranked all the commercials from yesterday’s big game for us, minus the religious, political, and social advocacy ones. Let’s not get into that fight on a Monday.

The Financial Times is reporting that tech companies have cut 34,000 jobs since the beginning of the year as they reallocate resources to invest in new areas like generative artificial intelligence for future growth. Major companies such as Microsoft, Snap, eBay, and PayPal have eliminated hundreds or thousands of positions since January, as reported by, a website that tracks industry layoffs. A total of 138 tech firms have conducted staff layoffs in 2024.

AI is impacting many businesses. One of them is advertising, and the Financial Times has a story about it titled “How AI is transforming the business of advertising” with the subheadline “The rapidly evolving technology is making it easier and cheaper to deliver high-quality campaigns. But where does that leave creatives?”

A helicopter crash in the California desert, outside Mojave National Preserve, claimed the lives of two prominent Nigerian financial markets figures. Herbert Wigwe, co-founder and chief executive of Access Bank, Nigeria’s largest lender, was killed, along with his wife and son. The crash also resulted in the death of Abimbola Ogunbanjo, the former president of the National Council of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, who had also served as group chairman of the Nigerian Exchange Group Plc, Bloomberg reported.

Peter Fusaro‘s Wall Street Green Summit will be occurring in New York at the Cornell Club on March 12 to 13, the last two days of the FIA Boca conference in Florida. You can register for the 2024 Wall Street Green Summit HERE.

The London Stock Exchange has an interview series called “Marketplace Matters” and in the latest one LSEG CEO Julia Hoggett speaks to Mark Austin CBE, Partner at Latham & Watkins and fellow member of the Capital Markets Industry Taskforce (“CMIT”). They discuss in depth CMIT’s reform agenda and the world’s first regulated crossover market, the Intermittent Trading Venue (now known as the Private Intermittent Securities and Capital Exchange System – PISCES).

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


Animal and insect migrations play an essential role in maintaining the world’s ecosystems, providing vital benefits by pollinating plants, transporting key nutrients, preying on pests, and helping to store carbon. A first-ever UN report on the state of these animals was released February 12 on the opening of a major UN wildlife conservation conference (CMS COP14). The Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) has found concerning trends. These include: migratory species are experiencing population declines, with over one-fifth facing extinction threats and almost all CMS-listed fish at risk. The risk of extinction is growing globally, affecting both listed and unlisted species. Key biodiversity areas crucial for migratory animals often lack protection, with many facing unsustainable human-caused pressures. Overexploitation and habitat loss remain significant threats, compounded by climate change, pollution, and invasive species. In addition, 399 threatened or near-threatened migratory species globally are not currently under CMS protection, highlighting gaps in conservation efforts. Learn more and download the report here. ~SAED

Our most read stories from our previous edition of JLN Options were:
BMLL Wins ‘Best Data Science Solution Provider’ at the Hedgeweek European Awards 2024 from BMLL Tech.
Hedge Funds to Share More on Their Strategies Under SEC Rule from Bloomberg via Yahoo Finance.
Zero margin is the real risk in zero-day options from ~JB

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


Fujitsu bosses paid £26m during Horizon contract
Fujitsu UK paid its top executives more than £26m in the 25 years since the controversial Horizon contract with the Post Office started. It also paid more than £11m to former directors for loss of office during that time, BBC analysis of accounts show. While Duncan Tait was UK boss, the highest-paid director earned £2.5m. Fujitsu has apologised to sub-postmasters, and said it will contribute to compensation. At the heart of the Post Office scandal was a flawed computer system, Horizon, which generated unexplained errors from its inception to the present day. And for more than a decade, these were unfairly blamed on sub-postmasters, of whom more than 900 were prosecuted. The system was built by a British computer company called ICL, which was renamed after its Japanese owners Fujitsu in 2002. Fujitsu’s accounts don’t list the salaries of its UK bosses. But its two European subsidiaries, Fujitsu Services Ltd (FSL) and its European holding company Fujitsu Services Holdings Ltd (FSHL) do report the “total emoluments” – jargon for pay packets including base salary, bonuses and long-term incentives – of their highest-paid director.

***** The first executive listed is Keith Todd, now CEO at Trading Technologies. Mr. Todd was an executive with ICL back in the 1980s and 1990s, which later became Fujitsu. He has cooperated with the investigation into the Horizon contract, which is tied to a scandal at the U.K. Post Office in which a flawed computer system, Horizon, generated unexplained errors. He left ICL in July of 2000. Between the late 1990s and early 2010s, numerous postmasters and postmistresses were wrongly accused of financial crimes such as theft, fraud, and false accounting due to errors in the Horizon accounting software used by the Post Office. Many innocent individuals faced wrongful convictions, bankruptcy, and even imprisonment as a result of these false accusations. The scandal has been described as one of the most significant miscarriages of justice in UK legal history.


The journalists killed in Gaza – and what they tried to show the world
Ellen Francis, Artur Galocha and Joe Snell – The Washington Post
Journalists in Gaza have been killed covering the war and sheltering from it. Some have died with their colleagues; others, with their families. They tried to report any way they could, recording scenes of carnage and rare moments of calm through photos, videos and social media posts. The images they left behind – or the words they didn’t know would be their last – allowed a glimpse into the lives of besieged Palestinians in a devastating war.

***** Journalists are trying to tell the world the stories about this conflict and they and their families are becoming casualties. As the saying goes, the first casualty of war is truth.~JJL


Friday’s Top Three
Our top story Friday was the Financial Times’ UK pension funds lost £425bn in year of bond market crisis. Second was Bloomberg’s ECB Warns Banks of Consequences for Poor Property Risk Management. Third was California’s Biggest Ports Are Deploying Air Pollution Capture for Ships, also from Bloomberg.



Lead Stories

Trading Technologies expands into clearing technologies, services with acquisition of ATEO
Trading Technologies International, Inc.
Trading Technologies International, Inc. (TT), a global capital markets technology platform provider, today announced a definitive agreement for TT to acquire ATEO SAS, a leading provider of post-trade solutions for listed derivatives, expanding TT’s reach into clearing and other middle-office technologies and services. Terms of the transaction, expected to close on Feb. 29, were not disclosed. The two firms entered into a strategic partnership in late 2022 to deliver a fully integrated, comprehensive post-trade allocation service for sell-side banks, brokers and futures commission merchants (FCMs). The acquisition brings ATEO’s full line of middle-office solutions into the TT infrastructure.

Sam Altman’s Vision to Remake the Chip Industry Needs More Than Money; OpenAI CEO’s obstacles include staffing, a cyclical market and a lack of viable chip makers
Asa Fitch and Keach Hagey – The Wall Street Journal
OpenAI Chief Executive Sam Altman’s plan to reshape the global semiconductor industry envisions pouring vast sums into a challenge that is far more complicated than money. Manufacturing chips is enormously capital intensive. It is also one of the most intricately complex industries in the world with a history of sharp cyclical swings that have made companies wary of radical expansion.

AI Is Starting to Threaten White-Collar Jobs. Few Industries Are Immune; Leaders say the fast-evolving technology means many jobs might never return
Ray A. Smith – The Wall Street Journal
Decades after automation began taking and transforming manufacturing jobs, artificial intelligence is coming for the higher-ups in the corporate office. The list of white-collar layoffs is growing almost daily and included jobs cuts at Google, Duolingo and UPS in recent weeks. While the total number of jobs directly lost to generative AI remains low, some of these companies and others have linked cuts to new productivity-boosting technologies like machine learning and other AI applications.

The Great Salt Lake Is Full of Lithium. A Startup Wants to Harvest It; Lilac has raised $145 million from Bill Gates’s Breakthrough Energy Ventures, other investors
Scott Patterson – The Wall Street Journal
America’s biggest saltwater lake may hold a key to the country’s energy future. This summer, a California startup plans to start construction on a project to suck up water from the Great Salt Lake to extract one of its many valuable minerals: lithium, a critical ingredient in the rechargeable batteries used in electric vehicles. The water will then be reinjected back into the lake, which Lilac Solutions says addresses concerns about the damaging effects of mineral extraction

Permian Rivals Reach Deal to Create $50 Billion Oil-and-Gas Behemoth; Diamondback Energy and Autry Stephens’s Endeavor announce merger as torrid dealmaking continues in the oil patch
Lauren Thomas and Laura Cooper – The Wall Street Journal
Rivals Diamondback Energy and Endeavor Energy Resources are merging to create an oil-and-gas behemoth worth more than $50 billion, as higher oil prices and a rush to grab prime acreage fuel consolidation in the energy sector. Diamondback announced the deal with the closely held Endeavor on Monday morning. The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday that a merger was likely.

Two Big Texas Oil Producers Announce $26 Billion Merger; Diamondback Energy and Endeavor Energy Resources are both major players in the booming Permian Basin.
Karen Weise – The New York Times
Two large Texas oil producers are joining forces in a deal valued at $26 billion, the latest in a wave of consolidation in the U.S. energy industry. Diamondback Energy and Endeavor Energy Resources, both major players in the booming Permian Basin oil field that straddles New Mexico and Texas, announced on Monday that they would merge in a cash-and-stock deal, with Diamondback’s shareholders owning about 60 percent of the combined company.

***** Here are the Bloomberg and Financial Times versions of this story.~JJL

Six Years After Volmageddon, Volatility Fears Resurface in US Stocks; Options-selling strategies lure billions as investors seek steady income
Sam Potter and Lu Wang – Bloomberg
Six years after a famous blowup in the volatility market shattered a lengthy calm in US stocks, the latest Bloomberg Markets Live Pulse survey reveals growing Wall Street concern over a new boom in trades that bet against equity turbulence. In this latest era of prolonged stock-market serenity, billions of dollars are pouring into strategies that seek to juice returns by selling options.

The Stock Market Is Loving Private Equity’s New Normal; The rally in buyout firms’ stocks has gained further fuel from quarterly updates. As sentiment improves, the margin for error narrows.
Chris Hughes – Bloomberg
The private equity industry has rediscovered its mojo. The latest updates from the publicly traded firms specializing in the asset class satisfied investors’ appetite for bullish vibes from the leadership teams. As shares in alternative investment managers build on an already strong recovery, the risks of disappointment can only mount. The stunning change in sentiment around private capital managers is driven by confidence that interest rates have peaked, bringing some predictability to the cost of capital. Spreads – the extra cost to reflect the risk of the borrower – have fallen. Buyout firms should find it easier to refinance existing investments and initiate new transactions that see idle client funds – “dry powder” – start earning fees.

Bitcoin’s Bounce Doesn’t Settle the Biggest Worries About Crypto; Don’t forget to count up the wealth burned by collapsed exchanges, bankrupt lending programs and pump-and-dump altcoin trading
Emily Nicolle – Bloomberg
Digital currencies are back, at least if you ask the crypto faithful. The US Securities and Exchange Commission has at last approved Bitcoin exchange-traded funds­- begrudgingly, with a hard nudge from the courts. Renewed investor enthusiasm in risky assets such as technology stocks seems to have rubbed off on tokens, too. If you bought Bitcoin in the depths of the crypto winter at the end of 2022, you’re up more than 180%. You’re entitled to brag.

Digging deeper into deep hedging; Dynamic techniques and gen-AI simulated data can push the limits of deep hedging even further, as derivatives guru John Hull and colleagues explain
Jacky Chen, Yu Fu, John Hull, Zissis Poulos, Zeyu Wang and Jun Yuan –
Traditionally, derivatives portfolios have been hedged by managing their sensitivity to changes in underlying factors such as volatility or interest rates. These sensitivities are labelled with Greek letters: delta, gamma, vega, etc. The Greeks have the advantage that they are easy to calculate and additive. (For example, if portfolio Z is the sum of portfolios X and Y, the delta of Z is the delta of X plus the delta of Y.) However, they are imperfect tools. They look at the portfolio at one

RSM and Quantuma staff alleged to have received UK insolvency agency tip-offs; At least four people fired over allegations that staff improperly shared information with private sector firms
Michael O’Dwyer – Financial Times
Staff at accounting firm RSM and corporate advisory group Quantuma allegedly received tip-offs about potential future work from employees of the UK government’s Insolvency Service in a scandal that has led to at least four people being sacked. The Insolvency Service, which often hires professional services firms to run insolvency processes on its behalf, said last week it had fired three of its own employees in 2023 over improper sharing of information with people in the private sector.

How an Unremarkable Deal Became a Big Threat to a Small Investment Bank; B. Riley is under fire for funding a buyout linked to a firm that prosecutors call a fraud
Jonathan Weil – Bloomberg
History is littered with financial companies that were undone by one bad bet. Investors are worried that B. Riley Financial will be one of them. B. Riley’s bet was on an unremarkable buyout of a company with an uninspiring name, Franchise Group. What made it toxic was the involvement of a hedge-fund manager who has links to a failed investment firm that prosecutors called a fraud.

He Grew Up in the Shadow of the ‘Wolf of Wall Street.’ Then He Got Into Debt Settlement; Ryan Sasson built a business that reaped hundreds of millions of dollars in fees for helping people negotiate down their debts. But former clients – and prosecutors – say it was exploitative.
Stacy Cowley and Emma Goldberg – The New York Times
In the early 1980s, 19-year-old Jordan Belfort – who would go on to become known as the Wolf of Wall Street, a title he bestowed on himself in a tell-all memoir – had a fortuitous encounter on Jones Beach, on Long Island, with another teenager selling ice cream named Stephen Drescher.

Global carbon markets value hit record $949 bln last year – LSEG
Susanna Twidale – Reuters
The value of traded global markets for carbon dioxide (CO2) permits reached a record 881 billion euros ($948.75 billion) in 2023, marking a 2% increase on the previous year, analysts at LSEG said on Monday. Many countries and regions have launched emissions trading systems (ETS) to put a price on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and incentivise companies to invest in low carbon technology and help meet climate targets.

One in five of world’s migratory species at risk of extinction – UN report
David Stanway – Reuters
More than a fifth of the world’s migrating species are at risk of going extinct as a result of climate change and human encroachment, according to the United Nation’s first-ever report on migrating animals published on Monday. Billions of animals make journeys across deserts, plains or oceans every year to breed and feed, and “unsustainable” pressures put on migratory species could not only see their populations dwindle, but also disrupt food supplies and threaten livelihoods, the report said.

Can royalties help Australia’s critical minerals lift off?
Clyde Russell – Reuters
A consistent contradiction in Australia’s mining sector is that while there is a pressing need for new mines to be developed to provide raw materials for the energy transition, the capital to do so is hard to find. The relatively easy part is getting an exploration permit, doing some initial drilling and proving up a resource. The hard part is then raising the finance to develop the mine from exploration to production. Despite the expected strong demand for critical minerals such as lithium, cobalt and rare earths, junior mining companies are struggling under the traditional model of raising equity and debt financing.

Ukraine Invasion

Faisal Islam: Russia’s war economy cannot last but has bought time
Faisal Islam – BBC
It was March 2022. The Russian rouble crashed, the value in London of corporate giants Gazprom and Sberbank fell 97%. Queues began to form at cash machines in Moscow. Oligarchs’ yachts, football teams, mansions and even their credit cards were seized. Russia crashed into a major recession. This was the immediate result of the most extraordinary attempt by the West at financial containment of Russia after its invasion of Ukraine. At its heart was the seizing of the Russian state’s official foreign exchange assets and, in particular, the unprecedented freezing of the central bank’s $300bn (£238bn) in reserves.

Ukraine Says Russia Uses Musk’s Starlink Terminals at Front; Kyiv says use of internet service is becoming ‘systemic’; Starlink says it’s not active in Russia, doesn’t ship to it
Aliaksandr Kudrytski – Bloomberg
Ukrainian military intelligence said Russian forces increasingly use Starlink terminals on the frontline, a new twist in Kyiv’s uneasy relationship with Elon Musk’s internet service. Intercepted conversations between Russian troops in the occupied Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine indicate they had Starlink devices installed for internet access, the Ukrainian defense ministry intelligence directorate said Sunday on its website.

Israel, Just Downgraded, Readies Bond Spree to Pay for War Against Hamas; Borrowing to reach near-record levels with budget under strain; Israel has increased its issuance of private bonds abroad
Galit Altstein – Bloomberg
Israel will have to sell a near-record amount of bonds this year to fund its war against Hamas, according to several finance ministry officials with knowledge of the matter. The task got more complicated on Friday, when Israel’s credit rating was downgraded for the first time ever. Moody’s Investors Service cut the government one level to A2. While Israel’s still well within investment grade territory – and now on a par with the likes of Iceland and Poland – the move underscored the economic toll the conflict’s taking on the nation.

The west has not gone far enough in sanctioning Russia; Victory in this grinding war of attrition now depends on whether allies can help Ukraine outproduce its opponent
Anders Fogh Rasmussen – Financial Times
It is time to refocus our approach to sanctions on Russia. It is almost two years since the country launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, in an unprecedented attack that led to an unprecedented response from the democratic world. In a matter of weeks, countries such as South Korea, Australia and Japan joined the EU, the UK and US in applying sanctions. Russia quickly surpassed Iran as the most sanctioned country and by the end of 2023 there were more than 18,000 active measures targeting Russian individuals or entities.

Israel/Palestine Conflict

Hamas Military Compound Found Beneath U.N. Agency Headquarters in Gaza; Subterranean complex had air-conditioned room with computer servers, office space
Dov Lieber and David Luhnow – The Wall Street Journal
Hidden deep below the headquarters of the United Nations’ aid agency for Palestinians here is a Hamas complex with rows of computer servers that Israel’s armed forces say served as an important communications center and intelligence hub for the Islamist militant group. Part of a warren of tunnels and subterranean chambers carved from the Gaza Strip’s sandy soil, the compound below the United Nations Relief and Works Agency buildings in Gaza City appears to have run on electricity drawn from the U.N.’s power supply, Israeli officials said.

War on Hamas unites Israelis in quest for ‘total victory’; Surveys suggest majority of population are committed to the battle to defeat militants and return hostages
James Shotter – Financial Times
Avraham Levy’s stall in Jerusalem’s Machane Yehuda Market has lost more than 40 per cent of its revenues since the start of Israel’s war with Hamas. But he would rather suffer an even bigger fall than see Israel stop fighting the Palestinian militant group.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

BNP Paribas Securities Corporation joins LCH CDSClear as its first US futures commission merchant; The bank joins as part of LCH’s expansion of its CDSClear service to US credit derivatives participants; the first US buy-side trade has been cleared using the service.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
BNP Paribas Securities Corporation has become the first US futures commission merchant to join the LCH CDSClear service as part of the clearing house’s expansion into US credit derivatives. The expansion is designed to offer participants greater choice on where to clear their CDS portfolios. BNP Paribas Securities Corporation has cleared the first US buy-side trade using the service.

NSE inaugurates Investors Service Centre in Bhopal with SEBI & BSE
National Stock Exchange of India
Investor services, awareness & protection are the key functions of stock exchanges. In order to cater to the needs of investors of securities markets in the state of Madhya Pradesh, SEBI along with stock exchanges NSE and BSE has established an “Investor Service Centre” at Bhopal. The Investors Service Centre managed by NSE was inaugurated by Shri Biranchi Narayan Sahoo, Executive Director, SEBI on February 12,2024 along with senior officials from SEBI, NSE, NSDL and BSE.

NSE Academy Limited and IIM Sambalpur inks MoU to Launch PG Program in Fintech for Working Professionals
National Stock Exchange of India
NSE Academy Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) has signed an agreement dated 31st January 2024 with Indian Institute of Management Sambalpur to offer joint certification programs, tailored for working professionals. This collaboration is strategically designed to introduce specialized certification courses addressing the dynamic needs of the Financial and Technology Sectors. During the MoU Signing Ceremony convened at the campus of IIM Sambalpur, Prof. Mahadeo Jaiswal, Director, IIM Sambalpur and Abhilash Misra, Chief Executive Officer, NSE Academy Limited signed the pact.

Nasdaq Announces End of Month Open Short Interest Positions in Nasdaq Stocks as of Settlement Date January 31, 2024
At the end of the settlement date of January 31, 2024, short interest in 3,159 Nasdaq Global MarketSM securities totaled 10,558,925,893 shares compared with 10,526,593,349 shares in 3,156 Global Market issues reported for the prior settlement date of January 12, 2024. The end of January short interest represent 2.85 days average daily Nasdaq Global Market share volume for the reporting period, compared with 3.05 days for the prior reporting period.

Product Modification Summary: Various Amendments to the LNG Japan/Korea Marker Yen Denominated Futures Contract to Decrease the Size From 10,000 MMBtu to 1,000 MMBtu and Temporary Suspension of Trading and Clearing of the Contract
CME Group
Various Amendments to the LNG Japan/Korea Marker (Platts) Yen Denominated Futures Contract to Decrease the Size From 10,000 MMBtu to 1,000 MMBtu and Temporary Suspension of Trading and Clearing of the Contract.

TMX Group Equity Financing Statistics – January 2024
TMX Group
TMX Group today announced its financing activity on Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) and TSX Venture Exchange (TSXV) for January 2024. TSX welcomed nine new issuers in January 2024, compared with three in the previous month and 15 in January 2023. The new listings were eight exchange traded funds and one mining company. Total financings raised in January 2024 decreased 92% compared to the previous month, and were down 48% compared to January 2023. The total number of financings in January 2024 was 31, compared with 39 the previous month and 38 in January 2023.

Moscow Exchange creates a Corporate Information Center
The Moscow Exchange Group has begun developing the Corporate Information Center (CIC), an information product that will provide clients with a full range of data on issuers and securities to help them make smart investment decisions and assess risks. The center will become a single place for collecting, storing, processing and distributing corporate data of the Moscow Exchange Group.


Trading Technologies acquires ATEO as part of push into post-trade; Deal builds on an existing strategic partnership between the pair announced in late 2022 to deliver a sell-side focused post-trade allocation service.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
Trading Technologies has moved to expand into clearing technologies with the acquisition of listed derivatives post-trade solutions provider ATEO SAS. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. It is expected to close at the end of February. The deal builds on an existing strategic partnership announced by the pair in late 2022 and is designed to deliver a post-trade allocation service to the sell-side.

How Elon Musk quickly destroyed the Twitter that Jack Dorsey built
Eric Spitznagel – NY Post
On Oct. 26, 2022, Elon Musk’s first official day as owner and CEO of Twitter, there were already warning signs that he might not be the savior that the social-media company had hoped for. True to his promise that “software engineering, server operations & design will rule the roost,” Musk’s first meeting was with several of Twitter’s top engineers

US judge orders Elon Musk to testify in SEC’s Twitter probe
Jody Godoy – Reuters
A federal judge ordered Elon Musk to testify again in the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s probe of his $44 billion takeover of Twitter, giving the regulator and the billionaire a week to agree on a date and location for the interview. U.S. Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler’s order, issued on Saturday night, formalized a tentative ruling she made in December that sided with the regulator.

Data centres curbed as pressure grows on electricity grids; Ireland, Germany, Singapore and China are imposing rules on building new server farms over energy usage fears
Kenza Bryan – Financial Times
Governments around the world are intensifying scrutiny on the building of data centres over fears that their huge energy usage is putting excessive pressure on national climate targets and electricity grids. Ireland, Germany, Singapore and China as well as a US county and Amsterdam in the Netherlands have introduced restrictions on new data centres in recent years to comply with more stringent environmental requirements.

Atos Shares Fall After S&P Downgrades Ratings Again
Mauro Orru – The Wall Street Journal
Atos shares fell Monday after S&P Global Ratings lowered its ratings for the French IT company for the third time in less than a year, saying the group could face challenges or delays in addressing its liquidity shortage. At 0910 GMT, Atos shares traded 1.3% lower at EUR2.45. The stock is down roughly 65% since the year began.

We Need to Know How AI Firms Fight Deepfakes; The work done by the firms selling tools to make photorealistic content needs to come out in the open.
Parmy Olson – Bloomberg

US Companies Are Discussing Cost Cuts and AI Like Never Before
Farah Elbahrawy – Bloomberg

Abu Dhabi AI Firm to Pare Back China Presence in Pivot to US; G42 doesn’t need physical presence in China, CEO Xiao says; Focus is to deploy capital in the US, other Western markets
Abeer Abu Omar – Bloomberg

Nvidia CEO Says Tech Advances Will Keep AI Cost in Check; Jensen Huang downplays reported $7 trillion fundraising for AI; He sees AI data centers doubling in scale over five years
Marissa Newman – Bloomberg

ASML Shows Off $380 Million, 165-Ton Machine Behind AI Shift
Cagan Koc – Bloomberg


CISA and other US agencies release advisory on PRC threat actor
Security Magazine
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) published a joint cybersecurity advisory alongside the National Security Agency (NSA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and other key U.S. and international government agencies. The advisory is due to malicious activity by a People’s Republic of China (PRC) state-sponsored cyber actor known as Volt Typhoon, designed to compromise critical infrastructure and associated actions that should be urgently undertaken by all organizations.

Report: AI cybersecurity market projected to exceed $133 billion
Security Magazine
A report by Techopedia has provided insights into the influence of AI on the cybersecurity industry. Key findings of the report include the projected value of the AI cybersecurity market, the expenses and savings associated with using AI to identify data breaches, and opinions on AI from cybersecurity professionals.

Japan risks losing trust of US, other allies over its ‘serious’ cybersecurity flaws, minister warns
Julian Ryall – South China Morning Post
Japan’s foreign minister has called for urgent action to bolster national cybersecurity following alerts from Washington that Tokyo’s lax defences are giving Beijing access to sensitive diplomatic communications, an issue that risks eroding trust with allies who may no longer trust the Japanese government with their secrets.

Cybercrime Security Gap Leaves People Who Aren’t Proficient in English Poorly Protected; Our research finds that language is often a barrier for people dealing with cybercrime issues and that it’s important to close this security gap
Fawn Ngo – Scientific American
In the United States, the Internet Crime Complaint Center serves as a critical component in the FBI’s efforts to combat cybercrime. The center’s website provides educational resources to help individuals and businesses protect themselves from cyberthreats and also allows them to report their victimization by submitting complaints related to internet crimes. The Internet Crime Complaint Center also publishes annual reports summarizing the current state of internet crime, trends and notable cases.


Bitcoin ETFs hit $10B milestone just one month after approval; The nine spot Bitcoin ETFs reached a significant milestone of $10 billion in assets under management on Feb. 9.
Ana Paula Pereira – Cointelegraph
The recently launched spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) completed their first 20 trading sessions, hitting the $10 billion milestone in assets under management (AUM). According to data from BitMEX Research, net flows for the nine ETFs reached $2.7 billion on Jan. 9, led by BlackRock’s iShares Bitcoin Trust, which currently holds Bitcoin worth $4 billion. The second position is claimed by Fidelity’s Wise Origin Bitcoin Fund, with over $3.4 billion in BTC under management.

The US government is about to find out just how much energy bitcoin mining uses; A new federal initiative will shed light on the opaque and rapidly growing cryptocurrency mining industry.
Akielly Hu – Popsci
In 2021, when China banned bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, crypto miners flocked to the United States in search of cheap electricity and looser regulations. In a few short years, the U.S.’s share of global crypto mining operations grew from 3.5 percent to 38 percent, forming the world’s largest crypto mining industry. The impacts of this shift have not gone unnoticed. From New York to Kentucky to Texas, crypto mining warehouses have vastly increased local electricity demand to power their 24/7 computing operations. Their power use has stressed local grids, raised electricity bills for nearby residents, and kept once-defunct fossil fuel plants running. Yet to date, no one knows exactly how much electricity the U.S. crypto mining industry uses.

As Sam Bankman-Fried awaits prison sentence, FTX customers await a surprise: Full repayment
MacKenzie Sigalos – CNBC
As Sam Bankman-Fried prepares to face sentencing next month for his criminal fraud conviction tied to the epic collapse of FTX in 2022, former customers of the crypto exchange have reasons to believe they could actually recoup their money. Bankman-Fried, who could spend the rest of his life behind bars, was found guilty in November on seven criminal counts after roughly $10 billion in customer funds from his company went missing. Some of that money went to pay for Bankman-Fried’s lavish lifestyle, but much of it went towards other investments that have, of late, appreciated dramatically in value.

New York attorney general expands crypto lawsuit, sees $3 billion fraud
Jonathan Stempel and Dietrich Knauth – Reuters
New York Attorney General Letitia James on Friday expanded her lawsuit against Digital Currency Group and other cryptocurrency defendants, tripling the size of their alleged fraud scheme to more than $3 billion. James had in October sued DCG, its Genesis Global Capital unit, and Gemini Trust, the exchange run by twin brothers Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss.

GCEX becomes latest member on Crossover Markets venue as part of new institutional spot cryptocurrency trading partnership
Annabel Smith – The Trade
Digital brokerage GCEX and digital asset technology firm Crossover Markets Group have announced a partnership designed to expand current institutional spot cryptocurrency trading capabilities. As part of the deal, GCEX has become the latest venue participant on Crossover’s execution-only crypto electronic communication network (ECN), CROXXx ECN.

Ether’s Prometheum Test; The “only U.S.-registered crypto securities platform” is listing ETH in a bold test of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s thesis that most cryptocurrencies are securities.
Ben Schiller – CoinDesk


How a liberal billionaire became America’s leading anti-DEI crusader; Bill Ackman used Wall Street tactics to oust Harvard’s first Black president. He’s part of a wave of business leaders attacking diversity initiatives spurred by George Floyd’s death.
Elizabeth Dwoskin – The Washington Post
Three years ago, Vivek Ramaswamy called up hedge fund manager Bill Ackman with an idea: an “anti-woke” asset management firm that would combat social justice and climate initiatives spreading through the business world. Though the billionaire power broker had made a career forcing management changes in businesses including Wendy’s and JCPenney, Ackman seemed an unlikely backer for his tennis buddy’s project. A longtime Democratic donor, Ackman had helped propel the career of Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), and his philanthropic efforts included paying for thousands of undocumented immigrants to attend college. Moreover, Ackman had praised the movement Ramaswamy opposed – known as environmental, social and corporate governance, or ESG – endorsing ESG practices in his 2021 shareholder letter.

A 14th Century Warning for Fans of 21st Century Demagogues; Ignore the values of the rule of law at our peril.
Max Hastings – Bloomberg
A history student told me recently that he loves researching the 20th Century but can’t see the point of the Middle Ages. I responded that it can be a big help to understanding our own times – very troubled times – to view them in the context even of the remote past. In 1978, the great American historian Barbara Tuchman published a book entitled A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century. She portrayed the experience of France and England – the US, of course, had not yet been invented – through an era that makes our own, at least in Western Europe and most of North America, seem a haven of peace, prosperity and justice.

US ban on Russian uranium would boost western industry, says Urenco; Biggest supplier of enriched uranium to American power plants says it has enough capacity to replace Russian imports
Jamie Smyth – Financial Times
The head of the largest western supplier of enriched uranium used to fuel nuclear plants in the US says it has enough capacity to replace Russian supplies if Washington bans imports from the country. Boris Schucht, chief executive of Urenco, said a US bill proposing to ban uranium imports from Russia would boost a multibillion-dollar effort by western nations to strengthen their nuclear supply chains by providing long-term certainty to market participants.

Ralph Norman is down a massive rabbit hole after his latest meme stock conspiracy
Charles Gasparino – NY Post
Ralph Norman is a bit off. Don’t take my word for it. Do as I did and interview some GOP staffers who work with the Republican congressman from South Carolina and they will walk you through some of his greatest hits. Among them: He urged former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows in a text to institute something known as “Marshall Law,” so the former president could stay in office after being defeated by Joe Biden in 2020. Spelling, among other things, isn’t Noman’s strong suit.

U.S. Senators Berate SEC’s Gensler for Agency’s ‘Unethical’ Handling of Crypto Case
Jesse Hamilton – CoinDesk
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s admission that it misrepresented evidence in a lawsuit against the blockchain project DEBT Box casts doubt on its wider enforcement practices, several Republican senators argued in a letter to Chair Gary Gensler. The commission’s lawyers had misstated information in court and subsequently failed to correct themselves in accusations against Digital Licensing Inc., known as DEBT Box, that led the court – under the SEC’s request – to freeze the company’s assets. The agency’s lawyers were rebuked by U.S. District Judge Robert Shelby of the U.S. District Court in Utah, and the lawmakers are piling on to chastise the regulator.

The Corn and Oil Lobbies Should Forget EVs, Focus on Airlines; Fossil and biofuels have lost the battle for passenger cars. Carving out a place in aviation would be smart.
David Fickling – Bloomberg

Trump’s NATO Remark Sparks Political Storm in World Capitals; Republican suggests repercussions for delinquent countries; Biden administration says GOP frontrunner endangers security
Erik Wasson – Bloomberg

German Finance Chief Warns of ‘Ruinous’ Impact of Leaving EU; FDP’s Lindner attacks proposal from anti-immigrant AfD party; Far-right group has risen to second place in national polls
Sonja Wind and Francine Lacqua – Bloomberg


FIA and ISDA respond to Australia FMI regulatory reforms consultation
FIA and ISDA have submitted a response to the Australian Treasury’s consultation on the financial market infrastructure reform package. In particular, the associations have carefully considered the proposed crisis resolution regime. While acknowledging the importance of ensuring the continuity of critical clearing functions and financial stability in Australia, the associations raise concerns about certain provisions in the draft. Key issues include the potential impact on market participants, the lack of explicit definitions and safeguards around resolution powers, and the interaction with close-out netting.

Senior executives must be held individually accountable; Corporate scandals like that at the Post Office cause public storms but rarely is action taken against those in charge
Susan Hawley – Financial Times
After every corporate scandal, there are loud calls for senior heads on sticks. The UK Post Office scandal is no exception, with demands that senior executives face charges for their role in the prosecutions of more than 700 sub-postmasters in one of the greatest miscarriages of British justice. But after the storm blows over, there is rarely any successful action taken against the executives who ran the company at the time.

Sixteen Firms to Pay More Than $81 Million Combined to Settle Charges for Widespread Recordkeeping Failures; The Huntington Investment Company self-reported and was ordered to pay lower civil penalty than other firms
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced charges against five broker-dealers, seven dually registered broker-dealers and investment advisers, and four affiliated investment advisers for widespread and longstanding failures by the firms and their employees to maintain and preserve electronic communications.

Shifting the dial on financial crime requires a collective push
Mark Francis – FCA
This week we’ve published Reducing and preventing financial crime an update on the progress we’ve made over the past 18 months, and a look at the challenge ahead, focusing on 4 areas in greater depth. I’d urge firms – as well as trade bodies, big tech companies, social media platforms, regulatory and enforcement partners – to read it, and think about the actions we can all take to help tackle financial crime.

Investing and Trading

Exxon Asks Traders in Brussels to Move to London Amid Expansion
Laura Hurst, Jack Wittels and Kevin Crowley – Bloomberg
Exxon Mobil Corp asked traders in Brussels to relocate to London, people familiar with the matter said, as the oil giant continues to reorganize its growing trading business. Brussels-based refined products traders were informed on Thursday that they have to decide whether to relocate or leave the company this year, one of the people said. Exxon’s gasoline traders are already based in London, whereas most other fuel traders are based in Brussels, the person said.

Information Overload Is Warping Our Financial Sense; Anxiety-ridden Gen Zers and millennials are inundated with money messages that don’t reflect everyday reality.
Brooke Sample – Bloomberg
‘Money Dysmorphia’ Traps Millennials and Gen Zers – Erin Lowry
Never hesitant to rebrand an existing phenomenon, millennials and their Gen Z frenemies are admitting to having “money dysmorphia” – a feeling of insecurity around their financial situation even when the true picture reveals little cause for concern. Some 43% of Gen Z and 41% of millennials say they suffer from a flawed perception of their finances, according to a recent Credit Karma study. While it might sound like just another form of TikTok-induced anxiety, money dysmorphia is a real problem that can cause someone to make poor or ill-informed decisions.

How Worried Should You Be About Commercial Real Estate? The slumping value of office buildings and other properties is causing strain at banks from New York to Tokyo. Financial advisers are taking notice.
Charlie Wells and Claire Ballentine – Bloomberg
The problems at New York Community Bancorp have reignited fears about commercial real estate across the globe. The commercial real estate market has been in turmoil since the start of the pandemic, and investors remain concerned about the fallout from the slumping value of office buildings and other properties around the world. NYCB flashed a fresh warning sign recently, rattling markets after it cut its dividend and set aside more money than expected for losses on bad real estate loans.

Private Equity Returns Plunge to Global Financial Crisis Levels; Distributions as percent of net asset value fall to 11.2%; Tough M&A, IPO markets impede PE exits, weighing on returns
Swetha Gopinath and Kat Hidalgo – Bloomberg
Private equity funds last year returned the lowest amount of cash to their investors since the financial crisis 15 years ago, according to Raymond James Financial Inc., hampering buyout firms in their efforts to launch new investment vehicles.

Glencore to sell stake in lossmaking New Caledonia nickel operations; Production suspended after sharp fall in price of metal used for stainless steel and electric car batteries
Harry Dempsey and Sarah White – Financial Times
Glencore plans to suspend production and sell its stake in the Koniambo nickel operations in New Caledonia after a sharp slump in price for the metal, a component of stainless steel and electric car batteries. The Swiss mining house said on Monday it would look for a new industrial partner for the nickel mine and processing plant in the French territory as it closes operations with plans for a quick reopening if a new financial backer is found.

The tiny Chinese tea seller whose shares trade more than Tesla’s; Retail investors drive ‘penny stock’ boom but are being hurt by fundraisings that flood market with shares
Jennifer Hughes – Financial Times

Do independent advisers help or hinder IPOs?; Placebo Advisers
Craig Coben – Financial Times

Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance

New Barclays Team Gets Guidance on How to Avoid Greenwashing; Move comes amid concerns of being accused of ‘greenwashing’; Regulators have yet to explicitly define transition finance
Alastair Marsh – Bloomberg
After assembling more than 100 bankers in a new transition finance team, Barclays Plc is now setting parameters for what they’re allowed to do if they’re to avoid accusations of greenwashing. The new team within the corporate and investment banking unit, which will arrange financial products and deals intended to help clients reduce their carbon footprint, is among the first at a major bank to be handed a definition of so-called transition finance.

Migratory Animals in Peril From Overhunting, Habitat Loss, UN Says; A first-ever global survey of migratory species finds that one in five face extinction, with fish in gravest danger.
Leslie Kaufman – Bloomberg
Every year, mammals, birds, fish and insects make epic migrations between habitats. The humpback whale, famously, can travel 5,000 miles in a trip. But because these animals cross national borders and frequently congregate at predictable way stops, they are uniquely vulnerable to human predation, pollution and habitat loss. As a result, one in five migratory species is at risk of extinction, according to a new report by the United Nations.

Water Is Now a Global Asset, and a Growing Threat; A letter from the editor of Bloomberg Green.
Aaron Rutkoff – Bloomberg
To measure all the ways humans move our dearest commodity around the planet, researchers devised two categories of water. Physical water pools in reservoirs and comes out of the faucet. It’s wet. Virtual water, on the other hand, is the invisible history of all the H2O used to make stuff: tomatoes, solar panels, wood and almost everything else. Not ­necessarily wet.

Total boss warns governments risk mis-selling energy transition; States must acknowledge shift to less-polluting system will lead to higher energy costs, says Patrick Pouyanné
Sarah White and Tom Wilson – Financial Times
The long-serving chief executive of France’s TotalEnergies has warned that governments are mis-selling the energy transition if they fail to acknowledge the shift to a less-polluting system will lead to higher energy costs. “We think that fundamentally this energy transition will mean a higher price of energy,” Patrick Pouyanne said in a wide-ranging interview, in which he defended his group’s two-pronged strategy to invest in renewable power, while still pursuing new oil and gas projects decried by climate activists, including in untapped countries such as Namibia.

Data centres curbed as pressure grows on electricity grids; Ireland, Germany, Singapore and China are imposing rules on building new server farms over energy usage fears
Kenza Bryan – Financial Times
Governments around the world are intensifying scrutiny on the building of data centres over fears that their huge energy usage is putting excessive pressure on national climate targets and electricity grids. Ireland, Germany, Singapore and China as well as a US county and Amsterdam in the Netherlands have introduced restrictions on new data centres in recent years to comply with more stringent environmental requirements.

The Planet Needs Solar Power. Can We Build It Without Harming Nature? Today’s decisions about how and where to set up new energy projects will reverberate for generations.
Catrin Einhorn – The New York Times

Premier League football clubs now required to publish ‘robust’ sustainability policies
Sidhi Mittal – edie

Calling Hurricanes a Category 6 Risks Creating Deadly Confusion; A new academic paper suggests introducing a higher number to categorize ocean-born storms, as global warming makes them gustier. Yet often times it’s not wind that kills.
Brian K Sullivan – Bloomberg

Wind Power Is Breaking Free of European Bureaucracy; Major European markets are permitting wind farms faster; Permitting delays are key barrier to green power buildout
Will Mathis – Bloomberg

Oxford under fire for increasing fossil fuel investments; University’s exposure has risen despite landmark 2020 commitment to divestment
Attracta Mooney – Financial Times


US banking profits plunged 45% in final months of 2023; Industry earnings weighed down by one-off charges to replenish federal deposit insurance after regional banking crisis
Stephen Gandel and Joshua Franklin – Financial Times
Profits in the US banking sector tumbled almost 45 per cent year on year in the final quarter of 2023, even as the squeeze on consumers eased and confidence grew that the US economy would avoid a near-term recession. The fall, to $38bn, was the biggest year-on-year drop in quarterly profits since the second quarter of 2020, according to BankRegData, a data provider that collates quarterly reports made by lenders to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. The data is not comprehensive, but covers profits from subsidiaries with FDIC-insured deposits.

Barclays to end direct financing of new oil and gas fields
Barclays has announced it will no longer provide direct funding for new oil and gas projects. The banking giant also says it will restrict lending to energy businesses that plan to expand their fossil fuel production. Barclays is a major lender to the fossil fuel industry, but has been coming under mounting pressure to curb its support for the sector.

Citi Tells Dealmakers to Control Their Drinking at Client Events
Gillian Tan and Todd Gillespie – Bloomberg
Citigroup Inc. dealmakers were told to be disciplined when consuming alcohol at client events after the bank received complaints of unruly behavior, according to people with knowledge of the matter. In calls late this week, bankers at all levels – from analysts to managing directors – were reminded to keep the firm’s reputation in mind when drinking, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing confidential information. The senior bankers leading the calls didn’t put a complete curb on consumption of alcohol, noting that drinking in business settings has wide cultural acceptance, the people said.

Focus: Real estate pain for US regional banks is piling up, say investors
Carolina Mandl, Matt Tracy and Saeed Azhar – Reuters
New York Community Bancorp’s (NYCB.N), exposure to commercial real estate has intensified investor scrutiny around regional banks, with some expecting more pain for those with office and multifamily property loans. Fears about the health of the smaller banks have escalated again a year after the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank in spring of 2023 triggered a regional banking crisis.

Morgan Stanley files for Vanguard-style ETF share class; Asset manager joins rivals such as Fidelity and Dimensional in seeking dual mutual fund/ETF share class structures
Joe Morris – Financial Times
Morgan Stanley Investment Management has filed to adopt Vanguard’s exchange traded fund multi-share class structure, becoming the fifth in line to seek approval to do so. In an exemptive relief request filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on January 29, the firm proposes extending the multi-class structure to multiple unspecified mutual funds held by a broad range of investors.

HSBC caves to investor pressure on capital markets emissions; Bank will start disclosing emissions linked to capital raises for oil and gas groups as well as lending
Kenza Bryan – Financial Times

Some Hedge Funds Keep Over Half of Their Profits Through Customer Fees; Clients got 41% of gains at funds passing on all costs; Investors signal they may allocate more to hedge funds in 2024
Nishant Kumar and Liza Tetley – Bloomberg

Work & Management

Quiet hiring: why managers are recruiting from their own ranks; In a tight labour market, employers are looking to improve the skills of their existing workforce
Bethan Staton and Emma Jacobs – Financial Times
London Business School academic Lynda Gratton spends her time advising employers about how to better organise their workforce. But she no longer thinks much about jobs: lately, she has noticed, specific roles have been replaced with lists of desired skills and character traits. “When I work with companies now the matrix they have is not jobs, it’s skills,” she says. Employers are looking not for specific roles but people who can be creative, experiment with new ideas or manage complex stakeholders. “Don’t get hung up about job titles: ask, what are the skills that are going to give you opportunities to grow?”

Where to work remote in downtown Chicago
Monica Eng, Carrie Shepherd – Axios
Office occupancy rates in Chicago continue to hover around 56% of their pre-pandemic levels, according to a recent Crain’s analysis of Kastle Systems card swipe data. Why it matters: A good chunk of former downtown regulars may no longer have a desk when they head into the city for occasional meetings and appointments. State of play: Chicago is actually pretty affordable when it comes to renting co-working space, on par with much smaller towns.

A popular economist says there’s no separation between work and play anymore because everything Gen Z does is Googleable
Sawdah Bhaimiya – Business Insider
A former finance minister of Greece said social media has removed any “separation between work and play” for Gen Z because everything they post online can be used against them by employers. 62-year-old Yanis Varoufakis, who is a well-known economist and academic, described the bleak reality for Gen Z at work in an interview with Fortune. “If you are an upper middle-class kid and you have aspirations for life, you know that every video you upload on TikTok, everything you write on Twitter, everything you put on Facebook is going to be thrown at you during a job interview,” Varoufakis said.

Wellness Exchange

The Scandals Rocking Cancer Science Matter to Your Health; There have been accusations of hyped findings, sloppiness and even fraud. Maybe AI would help peer reviewers do a better job of screening papers.
F.D. Flam – Bloomberg
The field of cancer biology is a mess. Signs of trouble emerged years before the most recent scandal, in which investigators found evidence of data manipulation in a slew of high-profile papers from the Harvard-affiliated Dana Farber Cancer Institute It’s the latest crisis in academic research, where there’s a clear need for better quality control – a tighter filter than peer review. Some researchers suggest that AI could help point out which papers need closer scrutiny.

Investors pile into psychedelic drug start-ups tackling mental health; Sovereign wealth funds Temasek and Mubadala in talks to fund biotech groups harnessing mind-altering substances
Tabby Kinder and Oliver Barnes – Financial Times
Biotechnology start-ups seeking to use psychedelic drugs to treat mental health disorders are raising hundreds of millions of dollars, as investors are tempted back to the sector by watershed clinical data and regulatory approvals expected this year. Groups seeking to harness mind-altering substances including MDMA, psilocybin mushrooms and 5-MeO-DMT, a hallucinogen found in desert toad secretions, raised at least $163mn across five deals in January, according to PitchBook and company data.


China’s market crash could be the last straw for many foreign investors who leave permanently, think tank says
Filip De Mott – Business Insider
The decline of China’s stock market may have scarred it for the long-term, as foreign investors likely aren’t coming back, the Atlantic Council wrote on Friday. On domestic and US indexes, Chinese firms have collectively suffered a $7 trillion hit since early 2021. The fallout could be the final breaking point for offshore traders, who are already hastening to exit amid souring outlooks on the country’s economy, Senior Fellow Jeremy Mark said.

It pains me to say Hong Kong is over; The stock market is likely to remain in the mire until we see convincing economic measures from Beijing
Stephen Roach – Financial Times
There is more to economic vitality than the stock market. But for Hong Kong, the market has always been emblematic of success. Imagine, a small city state with what had long been the world’s fourth largest exchange (it is now fifth, according to Bloomberg data), a global leader of new stock offerings as recently as 2019.

China’s Carbon Emissions Are Set to Decline Years Earlier Than Expected; China’s rollout of 300 gigawatts of new wind and solar power last year was for the first time enough to cover its new electricity demand
Sha Hua and Matthew Dalton – The Wall Street Journal
China’s massive rollout of renewable energy is accelerating, its investments in the sector growing so large that international climate watchdogs now expect the country’s greenhouse-gas emissions to peak years earlier than anticipated-possibly as soon as this year.

Cocoa prices soar to record high as El Nino batters West African growers; Chocolate maker Hershey says 40% price rise this year will hurt profits
Susannah Savage – Financial Times
Global cocoa prices have soared to record highs as bad weather batters harvests in the world’s main producing countries in West Africa. New York cocoa prices surged to $5,874 per ton on Thursday, a rise of more than 40 per cent since the start of the year. London cocoa futures meanwhile have more than doubled from a year ago, rising 7.3 per cent on Thursday to £4,600 per ton.

Scandal-Plagued Batista Brothers Make a Comeback at Pilgrim’s
Gerson Freitas Jr. – Bloomberg
Scandal-plagued Brazilian billionaires Joesley and Wesley Batista are making a comeback at the meat empire they control after being embroiled in a massive corruption scandal and spending some time in prison.The Batista brothers are joining the board of Pilgrim’s Pride Corp., among the largest chicken producers in the US – a move unanimously approved by the board, according to a statement on Friday. The firm is owned by Brazil’s JBS SA, the world’s largest meat company founded and controlled by the Batista family.

The $10 Billion Mistake That Will Revive Canadian Oil; After years of pain, Canada’s expensive new TMX pipeline is set to put the industry back on track.
Javier Blas – Bloomberg


How Chinese Tariffs Soured Australia’s Wine Industry; The differing fortunes of Australia’s wine and coal industries offer clues as to how future trade conflicts could unfold
Jacky Wong – The Wall Street Journal
Premium consumer brands such as Apple, LVMH and, until recently, Australian wines, have been big winners from rising commerce between China and the West. When things turn sour, however, they can be especially vulnerable too. The sorry state of Australia’s once-thriving wine-export business is a case in point-and a warning about what could happen, if tensions between China and the West spike again.

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