US beef prices hit record high as drought threatens cattle herds

Nov 8, 2023

First Read

Hits & Takes
John Lothian & JLN Staff

This is what leadership looks like, in this case the leadership is in the U.S. Treasury market. It involves the Securities and Exchange Commission’s proposed rules from March 28, 2022 to ‘Include Certain Significant Market Participants as “Dealers” or “Government Securities Dealers.”‘ DRW’s Don Wilson has written a commentary for titled “Off target: SEC dealer rule will hurt those it aims to protect.” The subheading is “Regulator’s plan could harm US Treasury markets and make it costlier for Americans to borrow, says Don Wilson.”

Wilson makes a great argument about the rules being put in place to protect customers, but in this case, DRW not only does not have customers, they ARE the customer. So why should they have to register? Instead, Wilson points the SEC in the direction they should go, which includes “increased reporting requirements for market participants.” He writes, “The creation of a public post-trade reporting regime is long overdue. Transparency is fundamental to a well-functioning market, and it is nonsensical that the most liquid and important market in the world is one of the most opaque. Creating a unique counterparty ID database, such as exists in derivatives markets, would improve the official sector’s view into the activity of every market participant. The benefits of both these efforts would exceed those derived from the current proposal without presenting the same liquidity risks.”

Below in the First Read box is a story from the site titled “CFTC Union Files Harassment Grievance Against Commissioner.” The commissioner is Carolyn Pham and in the article she is accused of an “instance of extreme intimidation, harassment and abuse of an Enforcement attorney.” The story rightly points out “This is only an initial filing and Commissioner Pham has yet to provide her side of the events.” The union asked for recordings of the meetings in question, so it will be interesting to see how this plays out.

Katten’s Gary DeWaal, Stephen Morris, Dan Davis and Carl Kennedy broke the rule against using the title “Back to the Future” in a commentary titled “Back to the Future: CFTC Proposes to Amend Customer Funds Investment Rule Including to Again Permit Investments in Certain Non-US Sovereign Debt.” The cliche-headline-writing lawyers explained, “The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has proposed to lessen a blanket restriction on the investment of customer funds in all non-United States sovereign debt instruments that was imposed on future commission merchants (FCMs) and derivative clearing organizations (DCOs) following the dramatic collapse of MF Global in October 2011, in a newly issued Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM).”

Chicago is increasingly a bicycle friendly city. However, cycling in the city is not without its risks. A new website for cycling in London aims to help cyclists identify London’s most dangerous junctions. The site is Bloomberg has a story about the site and says, “At the top of the list is part of Upper Tooting Road in south London, where it is met with the side streets of Ansell Road, Derinton Road.” Each week, 38 cyclists or pedestrians are killed or seriously injured on average across London, the site says.

The legendary Simon Rostron of the public relations firm Rostron Parry Limited has written a letter to the Financial Times that was published with the title “ESG critique and The Boss’s onstage patter.”

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


Our most read stories yesterday on JLN Options were:
Treasury Yields Are in the Spotlight. Don’t Forget About the U.S. Debt Behind Them from Barron’s.
Investors dump crude oil and distillates as Mideast risk recedes from Reuters.
Banking chiefs say market vulnerable to ‘geopolitical escalation’, regulatory push from Reuters. ~JB

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The Russell 2000 Index provides live index tracking data, with historical performance dating back to January 1984. Academic and practitioner research confirms that large-cap stocks behave differently to small-cap stocks and performance is variable. There are sub-periods during which the Russell 1000 outperforms the Russell 2000 and vice versa. Quarterly performance assessments provide valuable datapoints for understanding market sentiment and US economic activity. View the report: Russell 2000 Index Quarterly Chartbook – October 2023 | LSEG”


Connamara Systems Co-founder & CEO Jim Downs Discusses Company Evolution, 25th Anniversary at FIA Expo 2023

Jim Downs, the co-founder and CEO of Connamara Systems, was a trader who knew a lot about the markets and had a little bit of self-taught coding talent. So 25 years ago he moved from the trading floor to launching Connamara Systems to build trading applications for clients. John Lothian News interviewed Downs at the FIA EXPO 2023 in October about the evolution of the firm and how it was celebrating 25 years in business.

Watch the video »


CFTC Union Files Harassment Grievance Against Commissioner; Allegations include haranguing attorneys and questioning the competence of staff.
Joe Patrice –
NTEU, the National Treasury Employees Union, filed a complaint last week against CFTC Commissioner Caroline Pham alleging “intimidation, harassment, and abuse” in both public and private workplace settings. This is only an initial filing and Commissioner Pham has yet to provide her side of the events. But the recitation of facts in the letter revisits well-worn battlelines between the legal profession’s culture of rough-and-tumble intellectual pugilism and tacitly fostering a bullying culture.

****** Let’s go to the replay tapes on this one.~JJL


How to Know When It’s Time to Retire; Ask yourself the right questions to tell whether you’re ready to close the chapter on your career
Rachel Feintzeig – The Wall Street Journal
At 67, Kathie Davis liked her financial-services job. But the demands were getting heavier, and life outside work was moving on. “When do you call it a career?” she wondered. Her finances were in order, and with friends passing away-including one just into retirement-she decided it was time. Still, when her last Friday arrived in June, she sat in front of her computer well into the evening, trying to convince herself to log off. “It just felt like a part of my life was being cut,” she said.

****** What if age is just a number and there are still goals to accomplish?~JJL


Athlete FTX Endorsers Face Uphill Battle After Bankman-Fried Conviction
Doug Greenberg – Front Office Sports
Last year, a consortium of investors sued Bankman-Fried, as well as big-name athletes like Tom Brady, Shaquille O’Neal, and Steph Curry in a class-action lawsuit; A trial has not been set for the lawsuit that is seeking an unspecified amount in damages, but it could be over $5 billion.
Now that FTX founder and former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried has been convicted on charges of fraud and conspiracy, the ire of the legal world turns to the celebrities – including several high-profile athletes – who endorsed the notorious bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange. Last November, a consortium of investors sued Bankman-Fried, as well as big-name athletes Tom Brady, Shaquille O’Neal, and Stephen Curry, among others, in a class-action lawsuit alleging that the celebrities duped “unsophisticated investors” by endorsing FTX.

****** Taking the stock for compensation in FTX is not looking so good right now.~JJL


Tuesday’s Top Three
Our top story Tuesday was The New York Times’ Warring Billionaires, a Rogue Employee, a Divorce: One Hedge Fund’s Tale of Woe, about the troubles at Two Sigma. Second was the Financial Times’ Taylor Swift may hand out bigger bonuses than many banks this year. Third was TMX Group Launches New Canadian Trading Platform, a press release from TMX Group.



Lead Stories

US beef prices hit record high as drought threatens cattle herds; Lowest rainfall in 1,200 years and rising hay costs prompt many ranchers to cut herd sizes
Susannah Savage – Financial Times
Beef prices in the US have climbed to record highs as droughts in the south and west fuel higher feed costs and force ranchers to cut the national cattle herd size to a 61-year low. Average prices of beef sold in US shops and supermarkets have risen to about $8 per pound, topping their previous high of $7.90 reached during the pandemic, according to data from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). Live cattle prices in Chicago are also close to a record, at $1.79 per pound, compared with $1.50 this time last year.

How a Banking Capital of the World Botched Its Own Banking Rules; Switzerland tried to make its banks safer. Instead, regulators missed opportunities to ensure Credit Suisse’s health.
Margot Patrick – The Wall Street Journal
Switzerland wanted its big banks to be fortresses. In practice, the country’s “too big to fail” banking laws made a sand castle of Credit Suisse. The Swiss rules in question have become an object lesson in the difficulties of designing financial regulation. Created to prevent a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis bailouts, Switzerland’s customized version of international capital requirements laid the groundwork for the biggest bank rescue since.

Scila Appoints Mikko Andersson as CEO to Drive Growth and Innovation of its Market-Leading Surveillance, Risk, and AML Technology
Scila today announced that Mikko Andersson has been named as its Chief Executive Officer, following an extensive search process. Mr Andersson has more than 15 years experience as a CEO in growth focused companies active in financial and regulated industries. Andersson joined Scila in February 2023 as Chief Information Officer with a particular focus on business development and on extending the reach and scalability of the Scila product portfolio. Scila Chairman Lars-Ivar Sellberg said : “We are very pleased with welcoming Andersson as our new Chief Executive Officer, after a comprehensive search process. Andersson is a proven leader with broad experience across companies active in multi-asset class trading and risk management, software development, and growth focused e-commerce – all within regulated industries.

Former NYSE President in Talks to Reboot FTX Exchange; Tom Farley’s new firm joins two other suitors in auction for bankrupt crypto exchange founded by Sam Bankman-Fried
Peter Rudegeair, Alexander Saeedy and Vicky Ge Huang – The Wall Street Journal
A company run by former New York Stock Exchange President Tom Farley is among three suitors vying to buy the remnants of FTX, as the auction for the collapsed cryptocurrency exchange founded by Sam Bankman-Fried reaches its final stages. Bullish, the crypto exchange run by Farley, fintech startup Figure Technologies and crypto venture-capital firm Proof Group are competing to buy FTX, according to people familiar with the matter. The winner could restart the exchange after its planned exit from bankruptcy next year.

Sam Bankman-Fried and the People Who Gave Up Their Money for Nothing
Molly White – The New York Times
Speaking at his criminal trial, looking visibly uncomfortable in an ill-fitting gray suit, Sam Bankman-Fried recounted a “screw-up” in which he was outwitted by a trader who had gotten around $800 million out of his company FTX. Mr. Bankman-Fried had Alameda Research, his ostensibly separate trading arm, take over the hugely negative account, thus – according to at least one witness – hiding the loss from FTX’s investors.

Cboe’s Natan Tiefenbrun takes on newly expanded role as president of North American and European equities; Tiefenbrun has previously held senior positions at: Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Turquoise, the London Stock Exchange, and Instinet.
Claudia Preece – The Trade
Cboe Global Markets has appointed leading industry figure Natan Tiefenbrun president of North American and European equities as part of the leadership changes announced last month, The TRADE can reveal. This new role expands on his previous position as president of Cboe Europe, now also overseeing North American cash equities. This took effect as part of broader leadership changes announced by Cboe in October, which included Adam Inzirillo, previous head of North American equities being appointed the new global head of data and access solutions.

A new market in unsecured interbank funding steps up
Peter Lee – Euromoney
In the US, a venture-owned fintech company is building a marketplace where something quite revolutionary is happening. Whisper it, but it seems that banks that find themselves with an excess of deposits might lend them out overnight to other well-capitalized banks that find themselves temporarily short of funds.

China’s Latest Meme Stock Craze Involves the Dragon Zodiac; Ningbo Shenglong, Ningbo Tianlong rallied 200% in a month; It is a risky bet to buy a stock because of the name: BI
Bloomberg News
It’s still three months away from the Year of the Dragon, but Chinese investors are already jumping into stocks carrying the name of the auspicious mythical creature. Henan Taloph Pharmaceutical Stock Co. and Fujian Longxi Bearing Group Co. both closed up by the daily limit of 10% on Wednesday, among the best performers on the Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index. In the past month, six of the top 10 gainers have the Chinese character for “dragon” in their names, Bloomberg-compiled data showed.

London Quant Rivals Trade Accusations Over Star Trader and Strategies; Jump seeks a ruling to protect it from future poaching attacks; Jump’s non-compete clause is too broad, Damien Couture says
Upmanyu Trivedi – Bloomberg
Two rival quant funds traded accusations of poaching, harassment and dishonesty at the start of an acrimonious London trial over a “highly paid” star trader and confidential trading information. Jump Trading Group accused its ex-employee, Damien Couture, of dishonesty and misleading the firm by working for Verition Fund Management while he was on gardening leave. Jump asked a judge at the High Court to enforce a two year non-compete clause on Couture, including 12-months before he can work again, to “protect its business from any future similar attack,” its lawyers argued.

Trader Loses Last Fight to Kick Out $1.8 Billion UK Dividend Tax Fraud Case; Sanjay Shah’s London trial will now go ahead in April; Shah is currently awaiting extradition to Denmark from Dubai
Katharine Gemmell – Bloomberg
Hedge fund founder Sanjay Shah lost his last-ditch attempt at the UK’s top court to stop a £1.44 billion ($1.8 billion) trial over Cum-Ex tax dividend trades. The Supreme Court rejected Shah’s lawyers’ claims that London isn’t the proper place for Danish tax agency Skatteforvaltningen to bring its claim over the trading strategy that siphoned off billions of government revenue.

Big hedge funds pay ‘silly’ money, says founder of Europe’s largest manager; Paul Marshall of Marshall Wace complains new platforms offer hires ‘the same as Cristiano Ronaldo’
Kaye Wiggins and Harriet Agnew – Financial Times
The rise of multi-manager hedge funds has led to a “merry-go-round” of portfolio managers being offered “silly” amounts of money, according to the co-founder of Europe’s largest hedge fund. Sir Paul Marshall, co-founder of Marshall Wace, told an investment conference in Hong Kong on Wednesday the dominance of multi-manager platforms had reshaped the industry because they were “paying incredible amounts of money to target people”.

HSBC To Launch Digital Assets Custody for Tokenized Securities; The bank will work with Swiss-based Metaco on new service; Latest blockchain offering is expected to go live in 2024
Anna Irrera – Bloomberg
HSBC Holdings Plc plans to offer institutional clients a custody service for digital assets such as tokenized securities, the bank’s latest move in the new area of finance. HSBC will work with Ripple Labs Inc.-owned technology firm Metaco on the safekeeping services, which it expects to go live in 2024, it said in a statement on Wednesday. The offering will complement HSBC’s platform for digital assets issuance, called HSBC Orion, and the bank’s system to issue tokenized gold which it launched last week. The latter uses distributed ledger technology to represent ownership of physical gold held in its London vault through digital tokens.

Crypto’s Bromance With U.S. CFTC May Be One-Sided;The industry’s open preference for the CFTC over the SEC has been answered with record enforcement actions showing the CFTC’s enthusiasm for punishing crypto wrongdoing.
Jesse Hamilton – CoinDesk
Half of the 2023 sanctions from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) targeted digital assets companies and individuals, according to the agency’s annual enforcement snapshot released on Tuesday. The opening section of the report boasted that “the CFTC cemented its reputation as a premier enforcement agency in the digital asset space.” The U.S. derivatives regulator, which has authority over fraud and manipulation in the crypto markets, filed 47 actions in fiscal year 2023 against the crypto industry that represents a tiny fraction of the trading the regulator oversees.

After Sam Bankman-Fried’s conviction, investors target celebrity endorsers of FTX
Malathi Nayak – Bloomberg
Sam Bankman-Fried’s criminal fraud conviction came just as the FTX implosion was approaching its first anniversary. But for others who helped promote the cryptocurrency exchange, the legal fallout will continue for years. Attention now turns to a sweeping class-action suit in Miami federal court by investors who claim they lost billions in the collapse of FTX and seek to pin blame not just on Bankman-Fried and his inner circle, but also on celebrities who were paid to endorse it to the masses, as well as bankers, accountants and lawyers who propped up the empire’s legitimacy.

Planned Fossil Fuel Production Vastly Exceeds the World’s Climate Goals, ‘Throwing Humanity’s Future Into Question’; Among the 20 top fossil fuel-producing countries, the U.S., Brazil and Saudi Arabia foresee significant increases in domestic oil production, while Russia, India and Indonesia all project substantial increases in coal.
Nicholas Kusnetz – Inside Climate News
The world’s top fossil-fuel producing nations are still planning to increase their output of oil, gas and coal far beyond what the world’s climate targets would allow, according to a new United Nations report. The findings reveal a widening gap between the emissions-cutting pledges these nations have made and their continued policies to promote mining and drilling within their borders. Even as the vast majority of countries have adopted net-zero pledges to slash their climate emissions, their own plans and projections put them on track to extract more than twice the level of fossil fuels by 2030 than would be consistent with limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, and nearly 70 percent more than would be consistent with 2 degrees Celsius of warming, according to a report released Wednesday by the U.N. Environment Program.

Private Equity Showers Junior Staff With Rewards to Retain Talent; More mid- and junior-level workers see pay rise: Preqin report; Salary increases may be muted next year, data provider says
Loukia Gyftopoulou – Bloomberg
Higher base salaries, more paid time-offs, gym discounts, travel insurance – private equity is doing all it can to retain talent as the industry weathers a prolonged slump in deals. With rising borrowing costs making fundraising and stake exits more challenging, buyout firms have become more selective in their hiring and are focusing more on keeping their existing staff happy, a Preqin report showed. The data provider surveyed 84 private capital firms globally for its findings.

More Than 20 Report Burning Eyes After NFT Festival in Hong Kong; Bored Ape Yacht Club, the collective that hosted the three-day event, said it was investigating possible causes, including UV lights used at a party on Saturday night.
Callie Holtermann – The New York Times
More than 20 people have reported burning eye pain and vision problems after attending a party for NFT owners in Hong Kong last weekend, the organizers said on Tuesday. The gathering was part of ApeFest, a three-day event hosted by Bored Ape Yacht Club, a group of cryptocurrency enthusiasts who own unique digital images of primates that cost tens of thousands of dollars apiece.

Tonight’s the night… Leaders in Trading 2023; The TRADE is delighted to welcome nominees and guests to our annual Leaders in Trading glittering awards night at The Savoy Hotel in London; Full agenda listed below.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
The wait is finally over. Tonight is the night. Later this evening, Leaders in Trading will return to the ballroom of London’s Savoy Hotel for another evening of celebration and jubilation. As you read this, your crystals are being laid out, the silverware is being polished, and The TRADE team are brushing up on their speeches. The TRADE is delighted to welcome our guests and shortlisted nominees for the long-awaited Leaders in Trading awards night 2023.

Ukraine Invasion

Russia to Keep Grain Export Quota High After Another Bumper Crop; Quota may be set at 24 million tons for second half of season; Kremlin is emulating the sizable cap it introduced for 2022
Celia Bergin and Aine Quinn – Bloomberg
Russia is looking to keep its seasonal grain export quota at an elevated level that’s unlikely to curb shipments, following another bumper wheat harvest. It will likely set a grain-export quota of 24 million tons for the second half of the season, from Feb. 15 to the end of June, Interfax reported, citing First Deputy Agriculture Minister Oksana Lut. The amount of the quota designated for wheat wasn’t specified.

How Nestle Factories Keep Running in a Country Torn by Putin’s War; Companies are contending with power cuts, declining demand and staffing shortages as workers join the fight or flee the country.
Dasha Afanasieva – Bloomberg
Each time an air raid siren sounds over the western Ukrainian region of Lviv, Nestle’s production lines come to a halt. While staff decamp to the bomb shelter, often for two hours or more, rows of chocolate-covered Nesquik wafers sit out in the open. By the time it’s safe to come out, the candy bars are no longer fresh, and will need to be crushed and recycled as wafer filling. Further up the production line, unused wafer dough will have started to ferment, and must simply be tossed.

Zelensky says safety rules ‘violated’ in Ukrainian military ceremony hit by deadly Russian strike
Christian Edwards, Daria Tarasova, Maria Kostenko and Mariya Knight – CNN
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said safety rules had been “violated,” leaving soldiers and civilians exposed to a deadly Russian missile strike on a village in the Zaporizhzhia region, which he described as “a tragedy that could have been avoided.” A Ukrainian military brigade said Monday that 19 of its soldiers had been killed last week in an air strike during an award ceremony near the frontlines in Zaporizhzhia.

U.S., NATO to Suspend Participation in Landmark Cold War Arms Treaty; Move follows Russia’s withdrawal from the Conventional Forces in Europe pact
Michael R. Gordon – The Wall Street Journal
The U.S. and its NATO allies served notice Tuesday that they will formally suspend their participation in a 1990 treaty limiting conventional forces in Europe, marking the demise of another landmark arms control agreement. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s move follows Russia’s formal withdrawal from the accord on Tuesday and longstanding Western complaints that Moscow wasn’t honoring the terms of the treaty.

Ukraine cities take worst beating from Russia yet while world watches Gaza: Live updates
John Bacon, Jorge L. Ortiz – USA TODAY
A strike that ripped through the Ukrainian port cities of Odesa and Kherson included an unprecedented number of bombs that wounded at least eight people and damaged high-rise apartment buildings crucial to Ukrainians as winter nears. The Ukraine Ministry of Internal Affairs said 20 apartment buildings, an art museum and infrastructure were damaged in Odesa, and several more high-rises in Kherson were battered in Monday’s strike.

Israel/Palestine Conflict

Israel Says Troops Have Entered ‘Heart’ of Gaza’s Main City; Soldiers are now in ‘heart of Gaza City,’ says Israel minister; Blinken talks of ‘transition period’ for Gaza once war ends
Paul Wallace and Henry Meyer – Bloomberg
Israel said its troops have entered the middle of Gaza’s main city as they continue their offensive against Hamas, while the top US diplomat signaled there will probably be a post-conflict “transition period” before it’s clear who takes control of the territory.

US Army says it needs $3 billion for 155 mm artillery rounds and production
Mike Stone – Reuters
The U.S. Army needs Congress to approve $3.1 billion to buy 155 millimeter artillery rounds and expand production to quickly replace stocks depleted by shipments to Ukraine and now Israel, an Army official said on Tuesday. The U.S. and allies have sent more than 2 million rounds of 155 ammunition to Ukraine in support of its effort to repel Russia’s invasion more than 600 days ago. The U.S. has also sent the artillery to Israel as it fights Hamas.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

CME Bitcoin Futures Open Interest Surge Indicates Interim BTC Price Top
Open interest in Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME)’s bitcoin (BTC) futures has surged 35% in four weeks, which could suggest a turning point for bitcoin prices. CoinDesk Markets Team co-managing editor Omkar Godbole joins “First Mover” to discuss, as part of CoinDesk’s Trading Week 2023, presented by CME Group.

BME sponsors the SME Awards and hosts the annual Conference of the Federation of European Stock Exchanges (FESE) in Bilbao
Spanish companies Arteche, Axon Partners and Sngular are nominated for awards promoted by the European Commission, European Issuers and FESE. FESE conference to address issues such as Capital Markets Union and retail investment in financial markets Bilbao will be the European capital of financial markets next week. The city will host SME Week 2023, a meeting promoted by the European Commission in the framework of Spain’s rotating presidency of the European Council.BME is joining this initiative and the Bilbao Stock Exchange will host the Small and Mid-Cap Awards (SME Awards) on Tuesday, November 14 and the FESE Annual Conference on Wednesday, November 15. BME will sponsor the awards ceremony and host the conference, which each year addresses the current issues in the European markets.

DTCC Launches OTC Direct Connect, Leveraging Cloud Technology And Streamlining Otc Derivatives Data Access; New service offers systematic access to comprehensive OTC derivatives data.
DTCC, the premier market infrastructure for the global financial services industry, today announced the launch of DTCC’s OTC Direct Connect, a service providing seamless access to OTC derivatives transactions data that are reportable in the U.S. and Canada. With OTC Direct Connect, investment professionals, data vendors, and business support teams who are active in the derivatives markets gain access to a fast and frictionless data delivery solution helping subscribers manage market risks and trading risk factors in near real-time. OTC Direct Connect eliminates manual data collection methods, providing scalability and automated access to DTCC Data Repository (U.S.) LLC’s (DDR) Public Price Dissemination Dashboard (PPD Dashboard) published data.

ICE and Databricks to Provide Climate Risk Data Insights for Municipal Bond Markets
Intercontinental Exchange
Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE:ICE), a leading global provider of data, technology and market infrastructure, and Databricks today announced a strategic collaboration that unlocks the full potential of ICE’s municipal bond evaluations, reference data and climate risk data in the Databricks Marketplace, powered by Delta Sharing, Databricks’ open-source data sharing protocol. ICE’s municipal bond climate risk data, paired with ICE’s municipal bond evaluations and reference data, provides metrics to help investors include the potential effects of climate change into their decision-making processes relating to municipal bonds. These combined insights can help analysts to better manage municipal bond portfolios and evaluate potential risks.

ICE Reports Record Open Interest Across Global Commodity and Energy Markets with Record Traded Volumes in Options During October
Intercontinental Exchange
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE:ICE), a leading global provider of data, technology, and market infrastructure, today announced record open interest (OI) across its global commodity and energy futures and options markets, as well as record volume across commodity and energy options. On October 25, 2023, ICE hit record OI of 56.3 million contracts across commodities futures and options, including record OI of 51.5 million contracts in energy futures and options. Meanwhile, ICE reached record volume in commodity and energy options during October with approximately 16 million commodity options traded, including a record 14.3 million energy options.

LME Group Fees And Charges 2024
London Metal Exchange
Summary. 1. This Notice sets out the fees and charges for the LME and LME Clear (together “LME Group”) that will take effect from 1 January 2024. Defined Terms. 2. Capitalised terms not otherwise defined in this Notice shall have the meaning ascribed to them in the LME Rulebook or LME Clear Rulebook, as applicable. Fees and charges summary 3. From 1 January 2024, LME Group will introduce a number of fee increases as the Group adjusts to the recent inflationary environment, invests for the future, and continues to operate a liquid, fair and transparent market. In 2024, LME Group will continue to invest in its core technology and in its ongoing programme to strengthen and enhance its markets.

List Of Deliverable Canadian Government Bond Issues For The LGB, CGB, CGF AND CGZ Futures Contracts
Montreal Exchange
For your information, please find enclosed the list of deliverable Canadian Government Bond issues with respect to the LGB, CGB, CGF and CGZ futures contracts delivery months. This list is produced in accordance with the Rules of Bourse de Montreal Inc. and Canadian Derivatives Clearing Corporation (CDCC) relating to delivery standards. This list replaces the one that was distributed on October 25, 2023 (circular no. 128-23).

Moscow Exchange takes part in the Finopolis 2023 forum
On November 8-10, 2023, the largest Russian forum of innovative financial technologies, Finopolis 2023, organized by the Bank of Russia, will be held at the Crocus Expo International Exhibition Center. The Moscow Exchange is the general partner of the event. As part of the forum, on November 8 at 13:00, the Moscow Exchange will hold a round table on the topic “Financial information on the Russian market. Technologies and clients” (Hall No. 6) . The speakers from the exchange will be Managing Director for Data Management and Monetization Andrzej Arshavsky and Managing Director for Compliance and Business Ethics Irina Grekova.


Ant Receives Chinese Government Nod to Roll Out AI Services; Bailing will be applied to Ant’s various services, firm said; Alibaba, Tencent are competing to build large language models
Jane Zhang – Bloomberg
Ant Group Co., the fintech affiliate of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., received approval from the Chinese government to roll out products powered by its large language model Bailing to the public. Bailing will be applied to Ant’s various services and help with innovation, Xu Peng, vice president of Ant Group said in a statement on Monday.

Meta to Require Disclosure for Political Ads Using AI
Aisha Counts – Bloomberg
Meta Platforms Inc. will soon require advertisers to disclose when political or social issue ads have been created or altered by artificial intelligence, aiming to prevent users from being fooled by misinformation. The rules, which go into effect in 2024, will require advertisers to disclose when AI or other digital tools are used in Facebook or Instagram ads on social issues, elections or politics, Nick Clegg, the company’s vice president of global affairs, announced Wednesday in a blog post. Advertisers will need to say when AI is used to depict real people doing or saying something they didn’t actually do or when a digitally created person or event is made to look realistic, among other cases.

TS Imagine and Kayenta partner to offer hedge fund clients treasury management services; Partnership will allow treasury management teams to automate key data and reporting processes to optimise operational efficiencies.
Wesley Bray – The Trade
TS Imagine has entered a strategic partnership with hedge fund treasury management system provider, Kayenta, enabling hedge fund clients to control their financing relationships across their portfolios through TS Imagine’s multi-asset trading and risk management solution, TS One. Kayenta’s technology offers participants enhanced transparency to ensure treasury management teams are able to manage their financing costs and relationships, particularly during periods of high interest rates.


Microsoft says Russia is ‘huge’ cyber, disinformation threat
Margi Murphy – Bloomberg
Microsoft Corp. is offering US politicians and campaign groups a tool aimed at helping fight the rise of deepfakes ahead of the 2024 presidential election. The new tool will allow parties to authenticate their videos and photos with so-called watermark credentials, Microsoft President Brad Smith said on the company’s blog early Wednesday. Using cryptography, the service would create a permanent record of an image or video, allowing anyone on the web to see whether it has been digitally altered or generated using artificial intelligence over time, Smith said.

How to get young people (and everybody else) to care about cybersecurity; It turns out Gen Z ate but left some online crumbs.
Billy Hurley – IT Brew
Gen Z does not stan cybersecurity, at least according to recent findings from the National Cybersecurity Alliance (NCA), which noted both compromises among the demographic, along with a level of ah, who cares… “There’s maybe some breach apathy, breach fatigue, learned helplessness: ‘The horse is already out of the barn; my data’s already out there. There’s nothing I can do about this,'” said Lisa Plaggemier, executive director of the NCA.


Robinhood to Expand Crypto Trading Into EU, Plans to Start UK Brokerage; The crypto trading platform for EU will open in “coming weeks,” said the company.
Aoyon Ashraf – CoinDesk
Robinhood (HOOD), the popular trading platform, plans to start EU crypto trading and U.K. brokerage operations in the coming weeks. “With an experienced team in place, we will soon launch brokerage operations in the U.K.,” Robinhood said in its third-quarter earnings statement on Tuesday. “As another step in global expansion, we are also planning to launch crypto trading in the EU following our U.K. launch,” the firm added.

Robinhood Stock Falls After Revenue Misses Wall Street Expectations
Hannah Miao – The Wall Street Journal
Shares of Robinhood dipped about 9% postmarket Tuesday after the company reported revenue that missed Wall Street estimates. The company posted a net loss of $85 million, or loss of 9 cents per share, on revenue of $467 million. Analysts were expecting a loss of 10 cents per share on revenue of $480 million, according to FactSet consensus estimates. Robinhood spent $104 million in the third quarter resolving regulatory issues, which it disclosed in September.

How Sam Bankman-Fried Mastered the Art of Crypto Marketing; The “most generous billionaire” weaponized altruism to built an almost mythical brand, Web3 marketing expert Tim Haldorsson writes.
Tim Haldorsson – CoinDesk
Sam Bankman-Fried’s story is a rollercoaster journey of a crypto marketing savvy. He was entrepreneur who founded the FTX crypto exchange and gained widespread admiration before falling from grace. How did someone who had won the hearts of the masses and the mindshare of major institutions end up on a bullet train to prison for committing fraud? His fall from the dizzying heights as CEO of a $32 billion crypto exchange to the sobering depths of multiple criminal convictions is one for the ages.

In Newly-Released Audio, SBF Admits He’s “Done Net Harm to the World”
Victor Tangermann – Futurism
Last week, FTX cofounder Sam Bankman-Fried was found guilty on all seven counts, concluding a tumultuous trial. The disgraced crypto baron is now facing a “very long sentence” for defrauding investors out of a whopping $8 billion, per judge Lewis Kaplan, and is now facing a maximum of 110 years behind bars.

Bitcoin Miners Sold More Tokens Than They Minted During October’s Crypto Rally; Public Bitcoin miners increased sales of new tokens last month; Top crypto miners sold 5,492 Bitcoin for about $164 million
David Pan – Bloomberg
The top 13 public crypto-mining companies sold the equivalent of all the Bitcoin they minted in October, plus a little more, while the digital asset posted one of its biggest rallies since token prices crashed last year. The liquidation-to-production ratio was about 105% for companies including Marathon Digital Holdings and Core Scientific Inc., according to data compiled by industry trade publication TheMinerMag, meaning they sold Bitcoin from their holdings in addition to what was produced. That is significantly higher than the previous three months, when the ratio was 64%, 77% and 77% in July, August and September respectively. The ratio peaked at 390% last June amid the crypto market crash and surging power costs.

The crypto ATM business is somehow still booming; In the anarcho-capitalist, ungovernable, legally murky world of hash-for-cash machines, the good times have never ended
Nikou Asgari – Financial Times

New crypto lending service launches in partnership with Anchorage Digital
Anna Baydakova – The Block
A new player has entered the field left deserted after the crash of crypto lenders such as BlockFi, Celsius and Genesis, with Digital Prime Technologies unveiling an institutional digital asset lending platform called Tokenet that will allow users to interact with trusted counterparties, post borrow needs and lending availability, and manage collateral.


A Trump win would change the world; Were he to return to the White House, the implications for the US, its allies and the global economy are sure to be profound
Martin Wolf – Financial Times
On November 19 1919, the US Senate repudiated the Versailles Treaty. With that decision, the US withdrew its might from maintaining what had been agreed in the aftermath of the first world war, leaving this task to the British and French, who lacked both the will and the means to do so. The second world war followed. After that conflict, the US played a far more productive role. Today, the world is still in many ways the one the US made. But for how much longer will that be the case? And what might follow it? The outcome of the next presidential election might answer these questions, not just decisively, but, alas, very badly.

Congress Must Aid Fight Against Illicit Use of Crypto, Treasury Official Says; Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo calls on crypto industry to self-regulate to avoid furthering ‘heinous acts’ such as Hamas’s attack on Israel
Richard Vanderford – The Wall Street Journal
A senior Treasury Department official said the Biden administration wants new powers from Congress to aid in a crackdown on the illicit use of cryptocurrencies, citing digital asset flows allegedly connected to Palestinian militant group Hamas. Treasury has been in communication with Democrats and Republicans about actions that they could take, Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo said Tuesday in Washington at the annual meeting of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, a trade group.

WSJ Reporter Evan Gershkovich and Press Freedom in Focus at ‘Reporters at Risk’ Event; Atlantic Council panel highlights journalists in danger around the world
Talal Ansari – The Wall Street Journal
An event about the risks facing foreign correspondents and global press freedom was held in honor of jailed Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich on Tuesday in Washington, D.C. The Atlantic Council event “Reporters at Risk: In Honor of Evan Gershkovich” brought together a panel of journalists and press advocates, including reporters who had been held by foreign governments.

Elon Musk Is Overexposed and Under-Explained
Sarah Frier – Bloomberg
A tangled web. By the time Elon Musk purchased Twitter in 2022, he was already its top celebrity, firing off tweets at all hours to about 140 million followers and directing a global news cycle through his stream of consciousness. Musk, mogul of electric vehicles and space travel, wanted more: He now weighs in regularly on politics, interest rates, memes, wars, “woke”-ness, artificial intelligence and human consciousness.

Biden’s AI Order Is Government’s Bid for Dominance; His executive action will help the giants but slow down innovation.
The Editorial Board – The Wall Street Journal
President Biden rightly says the U.S. is in a technological arms race with China. Then why is he ordering an across-the-board government intrusion into artificial intelligence (AI) that will slow American innovation?

UK set to unveil regulatory regime for ESG ratings industry; Ministers intend to unveil formal proposals as early as January against backdrop of global crackdown
Lucy Fisher and Kenza Bryan – Financial Times

China makes ‘opening play’ on methane policy ahead of UN climate summit; The gas is responsible for an estimated one-third of the rise in global temperatures during the industrial era
Attracta Mooney – Financial Times


‘Premier’ crypto cop CFTC reveals record-setting digital asset enforcement in 2023; The statement released by the CFTC shows that about 50% of the cases brought to its attention in 2023 involved crypto.
Amaka Nwaokocha – Cointelegraph
The United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has unveiled its enforcement outcomes for fiscal year (FY) 2023. It highlights a historic surge in digital asset cases, actions to enforce regulatory obligations for registrants, manipulation and spoofing cases and groundbreaking court decisions in intricate legal disputes.

EU banking watchdog proposes liquidity rules for stablecoin issuers; The proposed guidelines are currently in the public consultation phase for the next three months and, if approved, will come into effect starting in June 2024.
Prashant Jha – Cointelegraph
The European Banking Authority (EBA) – the European Union’s banking watchdog – has proposed a new set of guidelines for stablecoin issuers that will set minimum capital and liquidity requirements. The new liquidity guidelines aim to ensure the stablecoin can be quickly redeemed even during turbulent market conditions to avoid the risk of bank runs and contagion in a crisis.

Swiss crypto bank SEBA gets Hong Kong SFC license; SEBA Bank began its quest for Hong Kong expansion in late 2022, setting up an office in November, with the firm obtaining an in-principle approval to offer virtual asset trading services by August 2023.
Prashant Jha – Cointelegraph
Switzerland-based crypto bank SEBA Bank has become the latest crypto-centered firm to obtain a license from the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC). SEBA’s Hong Kong subsidiary, SEBA Hong Kong, received the regulatory nod to offer a range of crypto-related services in the region. According to the data available on the SFC website, SEBA received the license on Nov. 3.

UK Sanctions Gold Trader and Miners in New Russian Clampdown; UK restricts gold trader Paloma and Howard Jon Baker; UAE has emerged as top destination for Russian gold since war
Jonathan Browning – Bloomberg
The UK government targeted Russian gold miners, the largest refiner and a Dubai-based trader involved in routing funds to Moscow as part of a package of fresh sanctions tied to the country’s gold and oil sectors.

US finds no major trade partners manipulated currencies
David Lawder – Reuters
The U.S. Treasury on Tuesday said no major trading partners appeared to be manipulating their currencies, but it put Vietnam back onto a foreign exchange “monitoring list,” while removing Switzerland and South Korea from the same scrutiny. The Treasury’s semi-annual currency report for the four quarters ended June 2023 showed that Vietnam, China, Germany, Malaysia, Singapore, and Taiwan were included on its monitoring list.

CFTC Releases FY 2023 Enforcement Results
Washington, D.C. – The Commodity Futures Trading Commission today released its enforcement results for Fiscal Year 2023 that include a record setting number of digital asset cases, actions to hold registrants to their regulatory obligations, manipulation and spoofing actions, and precedent-setting court decisions in complex litigations. The 2023 annual enforcement actions demonstrate the CFTC’s unwavering commitment to promote the integrity, resilience, and vibrancy of the United States derivatives markets. In FY 2023, the CFTC’s Division of Enforcement (DOE) filed 96 enforcement actions charging fraud, manipulation, and other significant violations in diverse markets, including digital assets and swaps markets, resulting in over $4.3 billion in penalties, restitution and disgorgement.

Fall Feelings: Treasury Markets’ Efficiency and Resiliency” Remarks before SIFMA
Chair Gary Gensler – SEC
It’s good to be with the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association. Fall is in the air. Halloween is behind us. Football is on TV. The Texas Rangers won the World Series for the first time. Thus, Ken’s home state won two years in a row, though I’m assuming you were more excited by the Houston win. It’s also the time of year many of us from the official sector, academia, and the markets gather to talk about the Treasury markets at the New York Federal Reserve conference. Given a scheduling conflict this year, I’m giving my speech on this topic here with you.

Remarks at the Practising Law Institute’s 55th Annual Institute on Securities Regulation
Commissioner Mark T. Uyeda – SEC
Thank you, Keir [Gumbs], for that kind introduction. It is nice to see you, Meredith [Cross] and Joan [McKown], all of whom I have known for most, if not all, of my time at the Commission. Congratulations to each of you for chairing what is one of the premier securities regulation conferences in the country. Yesterday at this conference, leading practitioners and members of the Commission staff discussed a variety of issues affecting public companies. Today, I will add my thoughts. As you might expect, my remarks today reflect my individual views as a Commissioner of the SEC and do not necessarily reflect the views of the full Commission or my fellow Commissioners.

Investing and Trading

Zero-Coupon Treasuries Flew Off Shelves During October Yield Surge; More than $10 billion of Strips were created, second most ever; Zero-coupon Treasuries remain a small share of total debt
Elizabeth Stanton – Bloomberg
Investors flocked to zero-coupon bonds during October’s Treasury rout in a bet that yields would decline from multiyear highs. About $10.3 billion of zero-coupon Treasuries were created in October, the second-highest monthly total on record, data released by the Treasury Department late Monday show. The $12.2 billion generated in October 2018 – also following a surge in yields – was the most on record.

Endangered FX Funds Double Their Returns Thanks to Carry Trades
Alice Atkins – Bloomberg
For more than a decade, running a foreign exchange fund meant having to defend lackluster returns and worrying about the imminent threat of closure. But this year, long-suffering currency investors are getting a lifeline from global central banks pursuing policies that are aggressive, disjointed – and perfect for those who make money from exploiting gaps in interest rates from one nation to another.

Traders Move Coffee Around to Hide Aging Beans for the Last Time
Ilena Peng – Bloomberg
Stockpiles of premium coffee beans on the world’s biggest arabica exchange have plummeted to their lowest levels since 1999 as some sellers race to take advantage of a closing loophole one last time. Although dropping inventories held in global warehouses monitored by Intercontinental Exchange Inc. would normally signal soaring demand or a crimp in supplies, the more than 20% plunge seen in the past month appears to be a strategic move ahead of a crucial Dec. 1 rule change.

FTSE Exodus as Finance Chiefs Retire or Move to Private Equity; A quarter of CFOs have left so far in 2023, a five-year high; Bonuses have failed to rebound after Covid, says advisory firm
Sabah Meddings – Bloomberg
More than a quarter of FTSE 100 finance chiefs have left their jobs so far in 2023, the highest rate in five years and almost double the same period in 2022. Depressed bonuses, the broadening role of chief financial officers and the temptation of working in a private equity owned business were all cited as reasons for the churn by executive search firm Russell Reynolds Associates.

Investment trusts: understanding discounts – friend or foe? Select a strongly performing manager with skin in the game
Simon Edelsten – Financial Times
Over the past 40 years I have been an investment trust analyst, stockbroker and fund manager, helping manage RIT Capital, the Electric & General Trust and, until recently, the Mid Wynd Trust. Rarely have I seen the sector on such high discounts. An investment trust, like a unit trust, is a vehicle that invests in a portfolio of assets – the older trusts invest in shares in quoted companies. Unlike a unit trust, an investment trust has a company structure and is quoted on the London Stock Exchange.

Investment trusts: the search for reliable income; Trusts can keep back reserves to cover dividends in difficult years
Faith Glasgow – Financial Times

Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance

How shipping more US natural gas to Europe helped fuel CO2 pollution
Tim Mclaughlin – Reuters
Carbon dioxide emissions from U.S. liquefied natural gas facilities have jumped to 18 million tons per year, up 81% since 2019, adding a volume of greenhouse gas to the atmosphere equivalent to that produced by several big coal plants, according to United States government data. They could more than double to 45 million tons per year by the end of the decade as new facilities, encouraged by soaring overseas demand for the super-cooled fuel, come online, according to company projections provided to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission tallied by Reuters.

BlackRock set to invest $550mn in Occidental direct air capture project; Move is a sign of support for the world’s largest venture deploying nascent climate technology
Myles McCormick and Brooke Masters – Financial Times
BlackRock is set to invest $550mn into the world’s biggest direct air capture project, which is being developed by Occidental Petroleum, in a sign of growing investor confidence in the nascent technology. The companies said on Tuesday they would form a joint venture to develop Stratos, a project under construction in west Texas that aims to extract carbon emissions from the atmosphere.

The Fuel of the Future May Rely on Developing Oilier Soybeans; Modified beans that produce more oil could satisfy the need for renewable diesel without having to dedicate as much land to growing them.
Gerson Freitas Jr and Michael Hirtzer – Bloomberg
To reduce the carbon emissions from passenger jets and long-haul trucks, a vast volume of soy-based renewable fuel will be needed. To produce it, American farmers could rip up existing cornfields to clear space, plant millions of additional acres of soybeans and halt all soybean exports. Or someone could make a better bean. Researchers at startups and biotech giants alike are exploring ways to formulate a new kind of legume through selective breeding or genetic modification that generates more oil per bushel.

‘ESG’ Is Too Important to Ax, Investors Say; BI survey shows vast majority of C-suites, investors back ESG; Survey findings come as ESG fund flows show a mixed picture
Tim Quinson – Bloomberg
As Republican legislators in the US try to wipe ESG off the map, most global investors and executives are acting as though those efforts will ultimately fail. Using environmental, social and governance metrics is now mainstream, according to 89% of investors who responded to a survey published Wednesday by Bloomberg Intelligence. And 57% said the “ESG” label shouldn’t be replaced by something less incendiary, despite the backlash.

Gensler talks climate with the Chamber
JD Supra
In his introduction to a conversation late last week with SEC Chair Gary Gensler on “Climate Disclosure Developments: The SEC, California, and EU Extraterritoriality,” the President and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Center for Capital Markets, observed that, although companies have voluntarily responded to investors by increasingly disclosing information on climate, now policymakers in different states and across the globe are working to impose a plethora of mandatory reporting requirements for climate disclosure. The thing is, they’re not consistent. While the Chamber supported disclosure of material climate information, he cautioned that the actions by these policymakers have created a real risk that companies will face duplicate, differing, overlapping and even conflicting requirements. The SEC’s proposal to enhance standardization of climate disclosure might offer some real relief on that score, and that makes it all the more important, he said, for the SEC to act within its authority.

Shell to boost US green aviation fuel output: executive
Sabrina Valle – Reuters

UK fund managers are bracing for ‘anti-greenwashing’ rules; FCA likely to set a higher bar for funds than the EU and the US
Michaela Walker – Financial Times

Why Those Bank Emissions Numbers Are So Rosy; Read the footnotes and you’ll discover many claimed reductions are due to factors outside of their control.
Alastair Marsh – Bloomberg

2023 set to be hottest year on record, EU scientists say. 2023 ‘virtually certain’ to be warmest year on record; Would rank as world’s hottest year in 125,000 years; Climate change and El Nino fuel temperature extremes.
Kate Abnett and Gloria Dickie – Reuters

Ford’s Chicago plant UAW workers vote to ratify deal with automaker

Global fashion factories in Bangladesh resigned to slimmer margins ahead of wage hike
Ruma Paul and Krishna N. Das – Reuters


SimCorp to merge with Axioma, combining best-in-class risk analytics and portfolio construction with its industry-leading investment management platform
Today, SimCorp is announcing that it will merge with Axioma, a leading global provider of factor risk models, portfolio construction tools, and multi-asset class enterprise risk solutions.

UBS Sees Huge Demand for First AT1s Since Credit Suisse’s Demise
Tasos Vossos and Ronan Martin – Bloomberg
UBS Group AG has received huge investor demand for its hotly-anticipated sale of additional tier 1 bonds, its first issuance of the securities since Credit Suisse’s writedown of about $17 billion of the debt.

UBS Made a Fast Start in Butchering Credit Suisse; Sergio Ermotti cut costs quickly after the merger.
Paul J. Davies – Bloomberg
Sergio Ermotti promised ruthlessness in reshaping Credit Suisse Group AG, and the chief executive officer of UBS Group AG has been true to his word. His team cut costs and offloaded assets from its one-time rival faster than planned, as revealed in UBS’s in third-quarter results on Tuesday. Investors took this as a sign that UBS could restart stock buybacks sooner. The shares rose as much as 5% in early trade.

Ex-Carlyle Partner Sues UBS Over $2 Million Account Liquidation; Bob Mancini says Carlyle co-investments were improperly sold; UBS allegedly marked portfolio to March 2020 pandemic value
Chris Dolmetsch – Bloomberg
A former Carlyle Group Inc. partner sued UBS AG for liquidating his private equity co-investment portfolio at a March 2020 market value, locking in the sharp losses brought on by the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. Robert “Bob” Mancini, who previously co-headed Carlyle’s power unit, sued the Swiss bank Monday in federal court in Manhattan, alleging it breached a contract by failing to liquidate his account in a “commercially reasonable” manner. He claims he suffered $1 million in damages as a result.

ABN Amro Slumps as Net Interest Income Misses Estimates; ABN Amro shares dropped as much as 9.3% in Amsterdam; Clients’ search for high yield led to miss on interest income
Sarah Jacob – Bloomberg
ABN Amro Bank NV slumped after third-quarter net interest income missed estimates as clients moved their savings to higher-yielding products. The Dutch lender said the difference between what it earns from loans and pays on deposits rose to EUR1.53 billion ($1.6 billion) in the period, falling short of average analyst expectations of EUR1.65 billion.

JPMorgan plans active ETF expansion in Europe; With $10bn in active ETFs in Europe the lender is already the continent’s largest provider of the products
Anna Devine – Financial Times

Work & Management

More Laid-Off Workers Got Severance During the Pandemic, But That’s Over Now; Almost two out of three organizations offered severance to departing employees in 2021, but that figure is now less than half.
Matthew Boyle – Bloomberg
Some workplace trends that became more popular during the pandemic have endured, like remote work. More generous severance benefits are not among them. Just 42% of global employers offered severance to all laid-off employees this year, a survey from Dutch recruitment firm Randstad NV found, down from 64% that did so in 2021. The current figure is also below the 44% of firms that extended severance back in 2019. US employers were the least likely to offer severance for all employees, with just one in four doing so. In the UK and Germany, about half of firms did so. It’s not a trivial matter, as more than 90% of the 430 firms surveyed said they plan some sort of workforce reduction in the next 12 months.

Fika, four-week-holidays – and zero overtime: Sweden’s stunningly healthy work culture; From wellbeing allowances to generous parental leave to a bonus in your pay packet when you take a break, the Scandinavian country has a lot to teach the rest of the world
Leah Harper – The Guardian
Gym classes, massages, mood boosting hobbies; it’s no secret that staying “well” can be prohibitively expensive. But not necessarily in Sweden, where many employers offer their workers a so-called “wellness allowance”: up to 5,000 SEK (approximately £372) tax-free a year to spend on pre-approved wellbeing-based activities. First introduced in 1988, the allowance can be used for endeavours ranging from horseback riding to smoking cessation programmes, and Swedish employers have stuck with it, with many increasing their offering over the years. But the allowance, it turns out, is just the tip of Sweden’s workplace wellbeing iceberg. In fact, when it comes to ideal countries to be employed in, Sweden sets the pace.

President Biden, Illinois and Chicago officials launching a one-stop work permit program for migrants
Rick Pearson and Dan Petrella – Chicago Tribune
President Joe Biden’s administration, in a joint effort with state and Chicago officials and The Resurrection Project, will launch a pilot program Thursday aimed at expediting work permits to some of the city’s burgeoning migrant population. The program consists of a one-stop work authorization clinic aimed at serving approximately 150 migrants per day. It will be open to eligible noncitizens. The White House said the program with The Resurrection Project, a housing and immigrant assistance agency, will be scaled up in the coming days.

Wellness Exchange

Same Drug, Two Prices: Why The Higher Price Prevails; Patients are paying hundreds of dollars more for a prescription than they would if their health plan chose to cover a lower-priced twin
Peter Loftus and Jared S. Hopkins – The Wall Street Journal
The way medicines are paid for in the U.S. has become so convoluted that some drugmakers are setting two prices for the same drug-and many health plans are choosing to cover the more expensive version. The decisions mean some patients are paying hundreds of dollars more in out-of-pocket charges to fill a prescription for an identical medicine made by the same company.

You Have a Right to Know Why a Health Insurer Denied Your Claim. Some Insurers Still Won’t Tell You. Federal regulations require insurers to promptly hand over records to patients facing claim denials. Some insurers only turned over their files after ProPublica reached out.
Maya Miller, with additional reporting by Ash Ngu – ProPublica
Just outside public view, the American health insurance industry’s algorithms, employees and executives process tens of millions of claims for people seeking medical care. Sometimes, as ProPublica has reported, insurers base decisions on what’s good for the company’s bottom line rather than what’s good for the patient’s health. Sometimes, insurers make mistakes. In one case we learned about, a company denied a child’s treatment because it based its judgment on adult guidelines instead of pediatric ones. In another, an internal reviewer misread what type of surgery the patient sought and denied coverage based on that error.


A World Made of BRICS
Ziad Daoud and Scott Johnson – Bloomberg
In 2001, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa-the emerging-markets group known as the BRICS-accounted for 19% of global gross domestic product in purchasing power parity terms. Today, including countries set to join the bloc, the share is 36%. We see this rising to 45% by 2040, more than double the weight of the Group of Seven major advanced economies.

China Is Having a Hard Time Wooing Foreign Investors Back
Bloomberg News
China is struggling in its attempt to lure foreigners back as data shows more direct investment flowing out of the country than coming in, suggesting companies may be diversifying their supply chains to reduce risks.

Korea ADR Premium Over Local Shares Starts Vanishing on Nation’s Shorting Ban; Stocks like KB Financial, LG Display among those seeing change; Short interest on Korean ADRs in New York jumped on Monday
Abhishek Vishnoi – Bloomberg
The premium that American depositary receipts of South Korean stocks have over their local counterparts is disappearing as the country’s short-selling ban forces bearish investors to seek alternatives. Most of the Korean ADRs on the New York Stock Exchange, such as those of KB Financial Group Inc. and LG Display Co., are now available either at a discount to, or a similar price as, their local shares.

India’s Richest Civic Body Razes Gold Melting Units on Pollution
Swansy Afonso – Bloomberg
Mumbai’s civic body, the country’s richest, is closing some gold and silver melting units in the city to clear up air pollution ahead of the biggest Hindu festival Diwali this weekend. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corp. has demolished the chimneys of four units in some areas of South Mumbai, it said in a post on X, formerly Twitter. The area includes Zaveri Bazaar, the country’s biggest gold jewelry market buzzing with customers during the festival and wedding seasons.

Egypt’s Dollar Shortages Hit Profits for a Top US Grain Handler
Michael Hirtzer – Bloomberg
Egypt’s shortage of US dollars has hit profits for one of America’s biggest crop handlers. The Andersons Inc. reported third-quarter earnings Tuesday that fell below analyst expectations, in part due to a currency squeeze in Egypt, the top wheat importer. The Ohio-based company said it was forced to accept a lower exchange rate, resulting in a pretax loss of $19 million in Egypt.

Namibia embarks on Africa’s first carbon neutral iron plant
Adekunle Agbetiloye – Business Insider

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The Stock Market Has Rarely Been This Sleepy

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

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