U.K.’s Johnson Seeks Suspension of Parliament Ahead of Brexit; Hyannis Port Research’s Little Black Box

Aug 28, 2019

First Read

Hits & Takes
JLN Staff

Reminder, the NIBA September Chicago Conference is September 12, 2019 at The Illinois Institute of Technology Stuart School of Business, with the theme of “The Future of Brokerage.” ~JJL

The Libra Association, the Swiss organization established by Facebook to oversee its proposed Libra cryptocurrency, said it will offer security researchers up to $10,000 to find and report critical bugs before the launch.~SR

Forbes is reporting that CME bitcoin futures now average $370 million In trading per day.~JJL

There were some fines recently assessed by CME: Credit Suisse Securities, while neither admitting nor denying the rule violations, was fined $150,000 for performance bond infractions. The remaining fines were small: $2,000 assessed to Goldman for position infractions; JP Morgan was fined $1,000 by both CBOT and COMEX for block trade violations; and Citibank was fined $1,000 by NYMEX for block trade infractions.~SD

Were you involved in the early days of financial futures? We would like to talk to you. We are working on a documentary series about the history of financial futures. Did you help launch a new product, or were you an early trader of one? Reach out to me and let’s talk.~JJL

Also, do you have a friend or colleague who was an open outcry trader? Tell them to contact us about our Open Outcry Traders History Project. We want to interview them.~JJL

This weekend I am headed to the Walworth County fair to check out the bunnies, cows, goats and other animal competitions. I might even eat an elephant ear.~JJL


The Human Element
MarketsWiki Education
In this video from MarketsWiki Education’s World of Opportunity event in Chicago, Jason Manumaleuna, the CEO of the RCG division of Marex Spectron, talks about some of the false starts in his life and advises students to focus on soft skills such as public speaking and business writing in addition to academics, and to “be the most impactful person in the room” rather than the smartest.
Watch the video »


Tax Fraud Searches at Deutsche Boerse’s Clearstream Unit Continue
Karin Matussek – Bloomberg
Cologne prosecutors investigating staff and customers; Deutsche Boerse says it’s cooperating with the authorities
Deutsche Boerse AG, the operator of the Frankfurt stock exchange, said that searches at the company’s offices are continuing for a second day in a tax probe related to controversial Cum-Ex trades.

**** Here is a more complete story about the Deutsche Boerse raid.~JJL


Recent Strides in OCC’s Transformation
Craig Donohue – FOW
There have been significant transformation efforts undertaken at OCC by our colleagues during the last several years. OCC’s transformation is a broad, multi-year undertaking covering every aspect of our organisation: our financial resiliency, our people, our processes, and our technology. While our colleagues have overcome many challenges and accomplished a great deal, we still have more to do. We would like to share their progress with you.

*****If you are making progress, does that make you a ”Progressive?”~JJL


10 Lessons Learned from England’s Cricketing Escape Act
Andy Ross – LinkedIn
As a Yorkshire-man and cricket fan (is there a difference?), I can’t help but see the events of a few days ago as a great learning experience. Hats off to England’s cricket team for an almost miraculous win against Australia. While Ben Stokes rightly will not be up for canonization, I’m sure he will be up for something more modest, perhaps a knighthood. So what did we learn that can be applied to our business lives?

***** All good lessons, for cricket or life. For US readers, mostly for life.~JJL


Fluid Milk: A Better Hedge
Matthew Gould and Marin Bozic – CME Group
Most of the packaged milk manufactured in the USA is under the jurisdiction of federally regulated milk marketing orders which dictate minimum prices paid by fluid milk manufacturers each month for raw milk including the minimum price of milkfat and skim milk. There are 11 Federal Milk Market Orders in the USA which cover approximately 92% of total fluid milk sales.1

***** I read the whole thing, but I only understand 2%.~JJL


The Benefits of Transcribing Your Financial Podcast
Sarah McNabb – LinkedIn
Audio transcription can make your financial podcast immediately more visible and attractive. Unfortunately, many financial podcasts miss out on the opportunity to extend their show’s influence using transcription — whether they are unaware of its benefits, can’t find the tools, or have a lack of time and resources.

***** I have more podcasts coming from former commentaries I wrote pre-2004. And they are transcribed, too.~JJL


Tuesday’s Top Three
Our top read piece was the Chicago Tribune’s Column: Are the Fake News Media trying to crash Trump’s economy? Oh, yes. We certainly are. Second was The Atlantic’s The Next Recession Will Destroy Millennials. Third was Bloomberg’s piece Maybe Warren Buffett Is Quietly Warning Us About Stocks


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CryptoMarketsWiki, our archive of the cryptocurrency and blockchain world, is going strong and keeping pace as this area of finance grows and evolves.

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Lead Stories

U.K.’s Boris Johnson Seeks Suspension of Parliament Ahead of Brexit
Robert Hutton – Bloomberg
Parliament could be prorogued Sept. 11 to Oct. 14 under plan; Suspension of Parliament could trigger constitutional crisis
Prime Minister Boris Johnson asked Queen Elizabeth II to suspend the U.K. Parliament from mid-September to mid-October — a move that could hamper lawmakers’ efforts to block a no-deal Brexit and even trigger a constitutional crisis. The pound dropped.

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

This Little Black Box Does Heavy Lifting for Wall Street
Telis Demos and Alexander Osipovich – WSJ
Every day, about 10% of all orders sent to the U.S. stock market first pass through black boxes created by a 50-person technology company, Hyannis Port Research Inc. in Needham, Mass.
HPR, whose boxes do risk checks on the trade orders, is little known outside Wall Street technology departments. But it is at the center of a high-stakes contest among big banks to keep their trading arms relevant and profitable.

Deutsche Bank reveals it has Trump’s tax returns sought by House Democrats
President Donald Trump’s longtime bank revealed Tuesday that it has tax records Congress is seeking in its investigation of the president’s finances.
Deutsche Bank DB, said in court papers it has tax returns responsive to a subpoena sent this year, in which Congress asked the bank for a host of documents related to Trump and his family.

***** Here is the FT version of this story and the New York Times version here.~JJL

Would-Be Bitcoin Creator Craig Wright Must Give $4B to Ex-Partner
Olga Kharif and Jonathan Levin – Bloomberg
The man who claims to have invented Bitcoin a decade ago submitted false documents and lied in a legal dispute with the estate of his former partner, a judge ruled, adding that Craig Wright has to surrender more than $4 billion of the cryptocurrency.

****Also from Bloomberg – Investors Downplay Self-Proclaimed Bitcoin Inventor’s Liquidation Warning.

Federal Judge enters potentially case-ending order against Craig Wright, finding fraud, obstruction, and perjury
Stephen Palley – The Block Crypto
There’s a principle in tort law called res ipsa loquitor. It means literally “the thing speaks for itself.” Reading the Court’s order finding against Craig Wright, that term comes to mind. In more than two decades of practice in front of courts in civil litigation I’ve rarely seen as brutal an analysis of a litigant, particularly in a high-stakes and high-dollar case like this.

Cboe Was a Winner From Recent Market Turmoil
Gunjan Banerji – WSJ
It is a good time to be in the business of trading volatility.
Cboe Global Markets Inc. shares have rallied 23% this year, outperforming the S&P 500 and reversing a punishing 2018 slump that made it one of the worst-performing exchange operators.

Alibaba, Tencent, Five Others To Receive First Chinese Government Cryptocurrency
Michael del Castillo – Forbes
China’s central bank will launch a state-backed cryptocurrency and issue it to seven institutions in the coming months, according to a former employee of one of the institutions who is now an independent researcher. Paul Schulte, who worked as global head of financial strategy for China Construction Bank until 2012, says the largest bank in the world, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the second largest bank in the world, his former employer, the Bank of China, the Agricultural Bank of China; two of China’s largest financial technology companies, Alibaba and Tencent; and Union Pay, an association of Chinese banks, will receive the cryptocurrency.

Here’s how market shares for fixed income and equities trading changed, by bank, since 2017
Sarah Butcher – eFinancialCareers
If you want to work for a market leading bank in fixed income or equities trading, the lesson of the past two years is this: don’t count on the leader today being the leader tomorrow. There are a few consistencies in both markets – Morgan Stanley is almost always top in equities, and Citi and JPMorgan are always at the top in fixed income, but there are big variations too. Today’s winner is tomorrow’s loser and yesterday’s loser might make a comeback.

VoLo Foundation uses data to fight climate change
Jeff Reeves – MarketVoice
When David S. Vogel founded Voloridge Investment Management in 2009, he was focused on using his expertise in predictive modeling to identify winning investment strategies. The fund’s strategy applied sophisticated mathematical techniques to identify patterns in market data to try to predict which way stocks and futures would move next.

****From the piece: “David’s quant fund Voloridge Investment Management has crunched the numbers to show that it is taking less and less time for average global temperatures to increase by 1 degree — a key factor in his fund’s investment thesis, but also in driving VoLo Foundation’s work.”~SD

Jeffrey Epstein’s Road Through Wall Street Was a Bumpy One; Financier’s business relationships with investment banks sometimes turned sour, ending in lawsuits
Gregory Zuckerman and Inti Pacheco – WSJ
Jeffrey Epstein worked closely with some of the world’s largest investment banks to build a fortune of more than $500 million. But he cut a course through Wall Street that was marked by disagreements, lawsuits and acrimony.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

The World Federation Of Exchanges Publishes Letter Regarding Market Fragmentation Arising From EMIR 2.2
In today’s letter, the WFE sets out its concerns that ESMA proposals on the implementation of EMIR 2.2 risk unduly fragmenting global markets, increasing costs for end users, and exacerbating tensions in international relations

Peloton to Pursue Nasdaq Listing, Dual-Class Stock Structure in IPO; Closely held maker of high-end stationary bikes and treadmills shows surging revenue and losses in new filing
Stephen Nakrosis and Bowdeya Tweh – WSJ
Peloton Interactive Inc. is moving ahead with an initial public offering, a test of investors’ appetite for the high-end fitness category as the company’s efforts to grow equipment and subscription sales has resulted in steep losses.

Moscow Exchange To Introduce Zero Fee For FX Market”s Big Liquidity Demanders
From 2 September, an asymmetric maker/taker fee structure will apply to USD/RUB trading with same day settlement and a speed bump mechanism (USDRUB_TDB instrument). This move is in line with recommendations from the Moscow Exchange FX Market Committee.

Citi claims over a quarter share of cleared swaps market; Citi’s client cleared swaps margin stood at over $28 billion in the second quarter of the year, representing 27% of the total amount of margin posted for the US swaps market.
Joe Parsons – The Trade
Citi asserted its dominance in cleared swaps market during the second quarter the year, in a space where activity remains is heavily concentrated with the top five clearing banks.

Launch of Inter-Product Spread Strategies in Fixed Income Futures – Information regarding production launch
Eurex Deutschland has decided to launch an initial set of Inter-Product Spreads (IPS) for Fixed Income Futures as a standardised futures inter-product spread strategy (e.g. Bund-Buxl spread), effective on 16 September 2019.

Appointment of HKEX Risk Management Committee (Statutory) Member
Hong Kong Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) welcomes Rico Leung, the new Executive Director (Supervision of Markets) of the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), to its Risk Management Committee (Statutory) (RMC). The appointment was in accordance with the Securities and Futures Ordinance. Rico Leung replaced Keith Lui, the SFC’s former Executive Director (Supervision of Markets), on the RMC.

Toronto Stock Exchange, TSX Venture Exchange, TSX Alpha Exchange and MontrÈal Exchange Closed for Labour Day
Toronto Stock Exchange, TSX Venture Exchange, TSX Alpha Exchange and MontrÈal Exchange will be closed on Monday, September 2, 2019 for the Labour Day holiday.

Dalian Commodity Exchange to launch trading of new futures products
The Dalian Commodity Exchange (DCE) announced Tuesday that they are working to speed up the listing of styrene, liquefied petroleum gas, live pig and dry chili futures as well as iron ore options.


Morgan Stanley also has its very own proprietary programming language
Sarah Butcher – eFinancialCareers
Investment banks are nothing if not innovative. Decades ago, long before the likes of Java or Python were used widely, banks spotted gaps in the market and stepped in with their own programming languages devised to suit their particular needs. Goldman Sachs famously concocted ‘Slang’. Less famously, Morgan Stanley concocted A+. – And, like Slang, it’s still in use.

China Industrial Securities adopts buy-side tools from Bloomberg; CISI has implemented Bloomberg’s OMS, TCA, liquidity assessment and trade surveillance technology to manage ongoing regulatory developments.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
China Industrial Securities International Financial Group (CISI) has adopted a range of buy-side solutions from Bloomberg as it tackles ongoing regulatory developments in Hong Kong.


Judge recommends bitcoin ‘creator’ turn over earnings in lawsuit; Craig Wright may have to hand over half of his pre-2014 bitcoin earnings.
Christine Fisher – Engadget
The self-proclaimed creator of bitcoin, Craig Wright, has been ordered to hand over half of his bitcoin earnings and intellectual property (IP) — earned before 2014. They’ll go to the estate of David Kleiman, who may or may not have co-created the cryptocurrency. The ruling, reported by CoinDesk, is the latest development in a $10 billion lawsuit. In 2018, Kleiman’s brother accused Wright of fraudulently claiming that Kleiman signed over ownership and control of W&K, a company Kleiman ran. Wright was allegedly after Kleiman’s Bitcoin earnings.

Drug Dealers Who Used Crypto Sentenced to Prison
Daniel Kuhn – Coindesk
Five drug dealers were sentenced Monday to prison terms ranging from 5-20 years for their roles in distributing various illegal drugs, at least in part using cryptocurrencies.

Political Group Launches ‘ICO’ to Support US House Candidate
Nikhilesh De – Coindesk
A political action committee (PAC) wants to conduct an initial coin offering (ICO) to support candidates for public office.

Carney’s Dollar Question Has an Obvious Answer to Bitcoin Fans
Alastair Marsh – Bloomberg
Bank of England Governor Mark Carney’s radical pitch to put a digital currency at the heart of the global monetary system instead of the dollar may still be behind the curve.

The Winklevoss Twins Made A Serious Wall Street Bitcoin Warning
Billy Bambrough – Forbes
The Winklevoss twins of Facebook-founding fame have long been strong advocates for bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, buying up huge amounts of bitcoin and founding the U.S. Gemini crypto exchange.

After Switzerland, crypto firm Sygnum now seeks banking license in Singapore
The Block Crypto
After winning a banking license in Switzerland, cryptocurrency firm Sygnum is now seeking such a license in Singapore as well.

Crypto exchange Gemini joins Silvergate Bank’s 24/7 payments network
The Block Crypto
Cryptocurrency exchange Gemini, founded by Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, has just joined Silvergate Bank’s payments network, which provides 24/7 access to nearly instantaneous money transfers.

Kraken OTC serves institutional clients managing billions despite slow growth among Wall Street counterparties
The Block Crypto
Kraken over-the-counter trading head Nelson Minier said the desk is engaging with more mature financial firms, but not as quickly as he had anticipated.

Kingdom Trust sues competitor BitGo and Bitcoin IRA for allegedly using its trade secrets to steal clients
Celia Wan – The Block Crypto
Bitcoin IRA allegedly conspired with cryptocurrency custodian BitGo to obtain its competitor Kingdom Trust’s trade secrets and use them to deceive Kingdom Trust clients, according to a lawsuit filed recently.

Telegram plans to release its Gram tokens ahead of Oct. 31 deadline – Report
The Block Crypto
Messaging giant Telegram is reportedly planning to get its native tokens Gram out in the market ahead of its scheduled date of Oct. 31.

A Crypto Firm Hopes to Get a Banking License From Singapore
Chanyaporn Chanjaroen – Bloomberg
Cryptocurrency-related financial services are hard to find in Singapore, as digital assets are a market traditional lenders have tended to avoid. Sygnum, one of the first crypto companies to obtain a conditional banking and securities dealer license from Swiss regulators, is hoping to fill that gap.

Facebook’s Libra documents are ‘very vague’, says Switzerland central bank official
The Block Crypto
Fritz Zurbruegg, vice chairman of Swiss National Bank, the country’s central bank, has said that documents of Facebook’s proposed cryptocurrency, Libra, are “very vague.”


Ex-Fed Official Dudley’s Call to Block Trump Draws Criticism
Steve Matthews – Bloomberg
A former top Federal Reserve official suggested the central bank reject interest-rate cuts that would help Donald Trump’s 2020 reelection prospects, drawing swift criticism that such an approach would jeopardize the independence of a Fed already under fierce attack from the U.S. president.

Deutsche Bank Tells Court It Has Trump-Related Tax Returns Sought by Congress; House Intelligence and Financial Services committees in April subpoenaed bank for documents and financial records
Rebecca Ballhaus and Corinne Ramey – WSJ
Deutsche Bank AG, for decades President Trump’s primary lender, has copies of tax returns sought under a congressional subpoena for the president and his family’s financial information, the bank told a federal appeals court on Tuesday.

Deutsche Bank says records sought in Trump congressional probe include tax returns
Brendan Pierson – Reuters
Financial records related to U.S. President Donald Trump and three of his children that congressional Democrats have requested from Deutsche Bank AG include tax returns, the bank disclosed in a court filing on Tuesday.

The Federal Reserve’s Job Isn’t to Help Trump – or to Hurt Him
Randall W. Forsyth – Barron’s
The policy objectives of the Federal Reserve are to promote maximum employment and stable prices. That is what Congress has mandated, period. This bears repeating, because the former president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York thinks it’s actually the job of the central bank to oppose Executive Branch policies with which it takes issue.

China Prepares for the Worst on Trade War After Trump’s Flip-Flops
Bloomberg News
Trump’s tactics further deepen the distrust, analyst says; Xi lacks wiggle room as hardliners around him feel emboldened
Perhaps nobody was more surprised to hear that China had called President Donald Trump’s administration to restart trade talks than the government in Beijing itself.

Facebook tightens rules for U.S. political advertisers ahead of 2020 election
Elizabeth Culliford – Reuters
Facebook Inc is tightening its political ad rules in the United States, it said on Wednesday, requiring new disclosures for its site and photo-sharing platform Instagram ahead of the U.S. presidential election in November 2020.


FIA Supports CFTC and SEC Update on Foreign Futures and Options Transactions
FIA today submitted a comment letter in support of the CFTC and SEC’s effort to update, harmonize and simplify decades-old rules with respect to the minimum required margin to be collected by security futures intermediaries.

Former Merrill Lynch adviser charged by SEC
The SEC’s action follows on federal criminal charges, filed last week, that landed the alleged swindler in jail.
Lynne Marek – Crain’s Chicago Business
The Securities and Exchange Commission filed charges against a former Merrill Lynch adviser in Chicago, following on criminal charges filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office that landed the alleged swindler in jail last week.

This is a dangerous time to deregulate banks; These days, examiners are much less inclined to put lenders in a ‘penalty box’ to prevent them from growing
Brooke Masters – FT
Since US regulators loosened the Volcker rule that bans banks from engaging in proprietary trading, reactions have been starkly different.

Keynote address – Financial Services Council Summit 2019
A keynote address by ASIC Chair, James Shipton at the Financial Services Council Summit ‘Shape your industry’, Sydney, Wednesday 28 August 2019

Director pleads guilty to fraudulently removing company assets
Mr Oussama Taleb, of Craigieburn, Victoria, has pleaded guilty to fraudulently removing and redirecting assets belonging to Marcel Plastering Group Pty Ltd, ACN 611 332 891 (Marcel Plastering) (in liquidation).

ASIC’s Corporate Plan 2019-2023
ASIC’s Corporate Plan 2019-20 to 2022-23 sets out our change agenda and regulatory priorities. It explains how we will act strategically to address misconduct in the financial system and improve consumer outcomes.

OSE Imposes Disciplinary Action against Citigroup Global Markets Japan Inc.
Osaka Exchange, Inc. (hereinafter “OSE”) has taken disciplinary action against Citigroup Global Markets Japan Inc. (hereinafter “the Company”) pursuant to the provisions of Rule 42, Paragraph 1 of its Trading Participant Regulations and has requested that the Company submit a business improvement report pursuant to the provisions of Rule 17, Paragraph 1 of the same Regulations.

TSE Imposes Disciplinary Action against Nomura Securities Co.,Ltd.
Tokyo Stock Exchange, Inc. (hereinafter “TSE”) has taken disciplinary action against Nomura Securities Co.,Ltd. (hereinafter the “Company”) pursuant to the provisions of Rule 34, Paragraph 1 of the Trading Participant Regulations and has requested that the Company submit a business improvement report pursuant to the provisions of Rule 19, Paragraph 1 of the same Regulations.

ESMA issues opinions on product intervention measures by Slovenia
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has today issued two positive opinions on product intervention measures taken by the National Competent Authority (NCA) of Slovenia. ESMA’s opinion finds that the proposed measures are justified and proportionate and that it is necessary for NCAs of other Member States to take product intervention measures that are at least as stringent as ESMA’s measures.

FINRA EVP of Office of Fraud Detection and Market Intelligence Cameron Funkhouser Announces Retirement
FINRA today announced the retirement of Executive Vice President Cam Funkhouser after more than 35 years of service at the organization. Funkhouser has led FINRA’s Office of Fraud Detection and Market Intelligence (OFDMI) – including the Insider Trading and Fraud Surveillance units, FINRA’s Complaint Center and FINRA’s Whistleblower program – since its creation 10 years ago. He will remain in his position until the end of the year.

SEC Obtains Emergency Asset Freeze, Charges Pennsylvania Investment Adviser with $100 Million Fraud
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged a Pennsylvania investment adviser with operating an investment advisory fraud involving over $100 million in investments. The SEC also obtained an emergency asset freeze.

RSM US LLP Charged With Violating Auditor Independence Rules
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged public accounting firm RSM US LLP with violations of the agency’s auditor independence rules in connection with more than 100 audit reports involving at least 15 audit clients.

Just one day left to act: PPI complaints deadline is tomorrow; The FCA issues final reminder to UK consumers – PPI won’t be back
With just one day to go until the 29 August 2019 PPI complaints deadline, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is urging consumers to act now before they lose their chance to decide whether or not to claim back money for PPI.

Investing and Trading

The Changing Composition of the Corporate Bond Market
George Bollenbacher and Colby Jenkins – TABB Forum
For as long as most bond people can remember, there have been three main segments of the taxable bond market: governments (which included Treasuries and agencies); investment grade, or IG (which included ratings down to BBB); and high yield, or HY (with ratings below BBB). For years, bond research, (including TABB Group’s), statistics, and regulations assumed that those three main segments were immutable. But evolution is afoot in the corporate bond market, so things may be changing before our eyes.

Thomas Cook Finally Gets Its Rescue. Here’s What Analysts Say
Joe Easton – Bloomberg
Stock falls on fear existing equity may be worthless: AJ Bell; China’s Fosun to hold 75% of main tour business after rescue
Thomas Cook Group Plc shares tumbled as details of a 900 million-pound ($1.1 billion) rescue led by Chinese investor Fosun Tourism Group confirmed that holders of the British tour operator’s stock face being virtually wiped out.

Exclusive: Fake-branded bars slip dirty gold into world markets
Peter Hobson – Reuters
A forgery crisis is quietly roiling the world’s gold industry. Gold bars fraudulently stamped with the logos of major refineries are being inserted into the global market to launder smuggled or illegal gold, refining and banking executives tell Reuters. The fakes are hard to detect, making them an ideal fund-runner for narcotics dealers or warlords.

U.S. yield curve inverts further, 30-year yields hit new record low
A key part of the U.S. yield curve, a closely-followed recession indicator, inverted further on Wednesday while 30-year Treasury yields fell to a few record low on growing concern about the fallout from a bitter global trade conflict.

Why US energy investors are experiencing a crisis of faith; Shale glut, growth fears and tougher ESG standards weigh on crude producers
Harry Dempsey – FT
It is a tough time to be an investor in oil and gas stocks. Oil prices might be more than double the levels of 2016, when they sank below $30 a barrel, but the US exploration and production (E&P) sector, as measured by an index tracked by S&P Dow Jones, is trading at a 15-year low.

There Are Few Places to Hide When Markets All Move Together; As lockstep movements occur more regularly, some investors fear greater turbulenceóand fewer havensóahead
Amrith Ramkumar – WSJ
Seemingly unrelated areas of the market are trading in the same direction more frequently than normal, a trend that some investors say is contributing to recent volatility and could drive more gyrations in the future.


The other banks that could ‘do a Deutsche Bank’ and cut costs urgently
Sarah Butcher – eFinancialCareers
If 2019 has imparted any lessons, it’s that it’s a good idea to do some deep research before plunging into a new job. After all, anyone who joined Deutsche Bank’s equities division in 2018 is probably regretting it now.

The Currency Soros Couldn’t Break Is Tempting Hedge Funds Again
Nishant Kumar and Bei Hu – Bloomberg
Bearish bets against the Hong Kong dollar are picking up; Odey and other skeptics say the trade is likely to disappoint
Crispin Odey has some advice for the traders ramping up wagers against Hong Kong’s currency: try something else.

Former HSBC Banker Beats Charges in $1.8 Billion French Tax Case
Gaspard Sebag – Bloomberg
Investigators drop case into Judah Elmaleh on lack of evidence; His boss plead guilty and HSBC paid $333 million in same probe
A former executive at HSBC Holdings Plc’s Swiss private bank was cleared in a probe where his boss pleaded guilty to helping wealthy clients hide assets worth at least 1.6 billion euros ($1.8 billion).

Citi claims over a quarter share of cleared swaps market
Joe Parsons – The Trade
Citi asserted its dominance in cleared swaps market during the second quarter the year, in a space where activity remains is heavily concentrated with the top five clearing banks.
Citi’s client cleared swaps margin stood at over $28 billion in the second quarter of the year, representing 27% of the total amount of margin posted for the US swaps market.

Citi Adopts $15 Minimum Wage After Prod From Maxine Waters
Jennifer Surane and Austin Weinstein – Bloomberg
Firm discloses raise to lawmaker, saying it began in June; She asked CEO Michael Corbat about pay after April hearing
Citigroup Inc. quietly boosted its minimum wage to $15 an hour, joining competitors in awarding raises to rank-and-file staff, after House Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters prodded the firm.

Berenberg taps Jason Rand to lead electronic trading expansion; Former Mirabaud Securities head of trading to lead expansion of Berenberg electronic trading capabilities.
John Brazier – The Trade
German private and institutional bank Berenberg has appointed Jason Rand as its new global head of electronic trading and distribution.


Stop terrorizing flight crews, Hong Kong protesters tell Cathay
Jessie Pang, Felix Tam – Reuters
Hundreds of protesters took to the streets of Hong Kong on Wednesday to denounce Cathay Pacific Airways (0293.HK) for dismissing crew taking part in or supporting anti-government rallies that have swept the Chinese-ruled city for weeks.

Amazon Gold and Army Suspicion Fuel Bolsonaro’s Rainforest Rage
Simone Preissler Iglesias and Bruce Douglas – Bloomberg
President’s views on region shaped by career in armed forces; Bolsonaro’s father worked as a miner in Amazon goldmine
Among the tens of thousands of Brazilians who descended on the Amazonian goldmine of Serra Pelada in the 1980s was Percy Geraldo Bolsonaro, father of the current president, Jair Bolsonaro.

Japan Inc wakes up to investor activism in its own backyard; Recent hostile battles show how woefully unprepared companies are for insurgent shareholders
Kana Inagaki – FT
A spate of hostile takeover battles has raised hope among investors that corporate Japan is finally embracing shareholder activism.

Yahoo Japan bans trading in ivory; Internet auction site was a crucial conduit for sale of elephant tusks in the country
Robin Harding – FT
Japan’s biggest internet auction site has banned trading in ivory, marking an important victory for campaigners against the poaching of elephants in Africa.


U.K. Parliament Speaker Bercow ‘Outraged’ By Johnson’s Move
The leader of Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party has welcomed the British government’s move to suspend Parliament as the Brexit deadline looms ever closer.

Brexit: Ireland says UK proposals don’t come close to replacing backstop
Measures proposed by Britain to replace the “backstop” in its European Union Withdrawal Agreement do not yet come close to what is needed and it is possible that no solution exists, Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said on Tuesday.

Johnson to restrict parliament time before Brexit
William James, Kate Holton – Reuters
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will limit parliament’s opportunity to derail his Brexit plans by cutting the amount of time it sits between now and EU exit day on Oct. 31, infuriating opponents who accused him of a constitutional outrage.

Sky Views: Both Brexit tribes believe the other is plotting a parliamentary coup
Lewis Goodall – Sky News
There have been too many occasions over the last years where I’ve felt disturbed at the flow of British politics. Yesterday was one of them.


Book Review – Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don’t Have All the Facts
RCM Alternatives Blog
Man, were we excited to pick up Annie Duke’s book on game theory and how she approaches life (and poker) by thinking in bets. After all, that’s what a good alternative investment strategy does. It “thinks” in terms of an asymmetric payoff, where the reward is more than the risk. That sounds like just the sort of thing we were likely to read about in ‘Thinking in Bets’, where the reader could learn how to identify and get value out of different life situations by viewing them as so called bets and acting on them. But… we’re sorry to say that the overall impression of the book was just sort of… meh.

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