Unsung Heroes: Nasdaq’s Brenda Hoffman
By Sarah Rudolph – John Lothian News
In the third installment of JLN’s Unsung Heroes series, Brenda Hoffman, Nasdaq SVP and head of Global Technology U.S. Markets Systems and Global Information Services, talks about the tools she and her colleagues at Nasdaq use to communicate during the time of the coronavirus and how the technology teams have kept things running smoothly amid high volatility and volumes.
SR: What is different about the environment you are working in now, in this time of self-quarantine? Who is working from home and who is coming into the office?
BH: Our teams all started working from home in mid-March. We have 53 offices globally and each location has a specific, unique approach to reopening and allowing employees to return to the office. This process of re-opening is very carefully and thoughtfully being managed in conjunction with giving the local environment full consideration. In the US, we have begun the reopening process starting this month with our Denver, Colorado office.
To read the rest of this interview go here.
Hits & Takes
By John Lothian & JLN Staff
FIA today issued the following statement in response to the news that Philippe Buhannic, one of the pioneers of electronic trading in the futures industry, has passed away. The statement was issued by FIA’s president and chief executive officer, Walt Lukken, and the chairman of FIA’s board of directors, Jerome Kemp, the global head of futures, clearing and collateral at Citigroup Global Markets.
“We are saddened by the news that Philippe Buhannic has passed away. Philippe was one of the pioneers of electronic trading in the futures industry while serving in leadership positions at Fimat, Credit Suisse, and the firm he co-founded, TradingScreen. He also served on the board of FIA from 1999 to 2013, promoting modernization and innovative developments within the futures industry during his tenure. Philippe was a hugely influential person in our industry and one of the visionaries who helped drive the technology innovations that transformed the global listed derivatives markets during the 1990s and 2000s. We honor him for his contributions to the industry and express our condolences to his family and friends.”
The Securities Traders Association’s 2020 Market Structure Conference will be presented 100% virtually this year. Recently it has been held in Washington, DC and well attended by industry and DC.
Here is something for your Friday. The New York Times has published an article titled “12 Summer Sparkling Wines, Because Who Needs a Reason.” You are welcome!
The reason I eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch every day is so that when I get the cognitive test that asks what did you have for lunch yesterday, I know the answer.
My wife Cheryl had applied to be a Census worker before the pandemic. She finally was called in, sworn in and given some training. She will start to collect information soon. I did this when I was in my 20s as a part-time job when I was first married. It was good money, but now the risks are higher. I know she will do everything she can to stay safe, but I may make her live in the basement for a while. Don’t tell her I said that.
The best New York Post headline of the day is “Anthony Fauci flattens curve straight into ground on Opening Day first pitch.” Dr. Fauci threw the first pitch in the Nationals-Yankees game last night that was 10 feet wide of the catcher and hit 5 feet in front of home plate.
Have a great weekend and stay safe and treat people the same way you want to be treated: with respect, equality and justice.~JJL
Ticket giveaway! John Lothian News is one of the sponsors of this weekend’s “Sparklist Summit,” a virtual cannabis resource fair hosted by the consultancy Supercritical on July 25 and 26, and we have a limited number of tickets to give away. The event focuses on education for Illinois cannabis license applicants, prospective applicants and related cannabis businesses. To get your free tickets, contact Thom Thompson (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Suzanne Cosgrove (email@example.com) today. For more information on the event, go here.~SC
The American Financial Exchange announced Wednesday that AFX Chairman and CEO Dr. Richard L. Sandor will serve on a Commodity Futures Trading Commission subcommittee on interest rate benchmark reform. The subcommittee is under the umbrella of the CFTC’s Market Risk Advisory Committee and comprises representatives from across the financial services industry. The press release is here.~SC
Tribute to Philippe Buhannic
Louis-Armand de Rougé via Linkedin
It is with extreme sadness that following the day of his birthday I would like to remember Philippe who passed away two days ago following a fierce battle against ALS.
AOC’s Powerful and Historic Floor Speech; A House freshman just took a vulgar colleague to school.
Francis Wilkinson – Bloomberg
Representative Ted Yoho of Florida, an ineffective Tea Party howler scheduled for retirement in January, was on the express to oblivion. But this week he decided to verbally attack Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on the steps of the Capitol, then called her a vulgar, sexist expletive in front of a reporter as he walked away. Now he’ll be remembered as the doormat on which a rising young star wiped her shoes.
*****She delivered an eloquent speech and lesson on decency. It was epic.~JJL
The new rules on what you can say in the office; How wary should companies be of employees’ comments on sensitive issues?
Henry Mance – FT
Almost exactly four years ago, a facilities manager called Angela Gibbins saw a photo of Prince George on Facebook, accompanied by an unpublishable epithet. Gibbins added her own opinion about the three-year-old prince. “White privilege,” she began. “That cheeky grin is the (already locked-in) innate knowledge that he is Royal, rich, advantaged and will never know *any* difficulties or hardships in life
*****Thank goodness I work at home now. My dog just wags her tail no matter what I say to her.~JJL
Amazon Met With Startups About Investing, Then Launched Competing Products; Some companies regret sharing information with tech giant and its Alexa Fund; ‘we may have been naive’
Dana Mattioli and Cara Lombardo – WSJ
When Amazon.com Inc.’s AMZN -3.66% venture-capital fund invested in DefinedCrowd Corp., it gained access to the technology startup’s finances and other confidential information. Nearly four years later, in April, Amazon’s cloud-computing unit launched an artificial-intelligence product that does almost exactly what DefinedCrowd does, said DefinedCrowd founder and Chief Executive Daniela Braga.
*****I hate to see this kind of corporate behavior. It makes me want to go long pitchforks.~JJL
CryptoMarketsWiki Coin of the Week: Tether (USDT)
Tether (USDT)’s aggregate daily transactional dollar value – the amount of U.S. dollars’ worth of USDT traded per day – surpassed that of bitcoin for the first time this week, according to Coinmetrics. Ryan Watkins, a research analyst at Messari, told Bloomberg reporter Olga Kharif that most users on cryptocurrency exchanges “do not want to transact in volatile cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ether, preferring to hold them instead, so stablecoins are a great complement.” Tether has faced increasing scrutiny for its lack of transparency over the past few years, which includes an ongoing lawsuit by the New York State Attorney General, Letitia James.
Thursday’s Top Three
Our top story Thursday was Sen. Kelly Loeffler Mocked For Claiming She’s Been ‘Canceled’, from Yahoo News. Second was JLN’s Thom Thompson’s report on the first presentation of our virtual MarketsWiki Education WOO event, Jen Just Tells Financial Industry Interns: “There Must Be A Better Way”. Third was an opinion piece from the Financial Times, A new age of financial repression may soon be upon us, about the move to supply government guarantees on bank lending.
pages viewed; 24,345 pages; 225,415 edits
CryptoMarketsWiki, our archive of the cryptocurrency and blockchain world, is going strong and keeping pace as this area of finance grows and evolves.Recently Updated Pages
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US derivatives regulator pares back international oversight; CFTC passes two important rules, including one limiting its authority over cross-border trades
Kadhim Shubber – FT
The US derivatives regulator has passed two important rules that clip its international oversight authority and impose capital requirements at a lower level than Wall Street had previously feared. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission on Thursday voted to approve a regulation on cross-border derivatives trades that generally limited its oversight to US-based entities.
Risks of failure in $6.6tn forex market at record high, study shows; Dominant settlement service has not kept pace with market evolution, says its CEO
Eva Szalay – FT
The risk of failed trades in the vast global foreign-exchange market has never been higher, according to the chief executive of CLS, the central bank-backed settlement service, which admits that it has struggled to keep pace with rapid growth in the industry.
China Orders U.S. to Close Chengdu Consulate in Retaliation Move
Mission serves as key listening post for Tibet developments; Comes after Trump administration shut consulate in Houston
China ordered the U.S. to close its consulate in the southwestern city of Chengdu, following through on retaliation threats after the Trump administration’s unprecedented decision to shut down the Chinese mission in Houston.
CFTC Scales Back Oversight of Cross-Border Swaps Trading; Measure defers to overseas regulators to supervise U.S. banks trading through foreign affiliates
Dave Michaels – WSJ
The U.S. derivatives regulator on Thursday voted to abandon its effort to regulate trading that happens overseas, where it had worried that interconnections between big banks in the global market could transmit risk to the U.S. economy.
A Hedge Fund Bailout Highlights How Regulators Ignored Big Risks; The Dodd-Frank financial law succeeded at making banks safer, but empowered shadowy corners of finance that nearly wrecked the system in March.
Jeanna Smialek and Deborah B. Solomon – NY Times
As the coronavirus began shuttering the global economy in March, critical parts of U.S. financial markets edged toward collapse. The shock was huge and unexpected, but the vulnerabilities were well known, the legacy of risk-taking outside of regulatory reach.
China Fortifies Hong Kong’s Role as Financial Powerhouse; Beijing wagers that its crackdown on former British colony won’t undermine foreign-investment flows, as business with mainland flourishes
Jing Yang, Quentin Webb and Frances Yoon – WSJ
China’s tightening grip on Hong Kong has some in the West predicting the city’s days as a global financial center are numbered. Beijing, however, is betting the former British colony will grow into a bigger and more lucrative capital-raising hub for Chinese businesses.
Fed regulator is fed up with hedge funds’ behaviour; Recent letter from Randal Quarles points to heavier regulation for asset managers
John Dizard – FT
The note sent on July 14 by the Federal Reserve’s vice-chair Randal Quarles to other central bank governors and finance ministers reads like one of those anodyne diplomatic demarches that trade hands just before a major war.
Goldman Sachs settles 1MDB case with Malaysia for $3.9bn; Investment bank to make cash payment of $2.5bn as part of landmark deal
Stefania Palma – FT
The Malaysian government has agreed to a $3.9bn settlement with Goldman Sachs over losses suffered from a multibillion-dollar scandal at the country’s 1MDB investment fund.
Panic Selling Grips Chinese Stocks After U.S. Tensions Worsen
Equities fall after Beijing tells Washington to shut consulate; Diplomatic spat is the worst between the countries in years
China’s traders, company insiders and overseas investors are all fleeing the country’s stock market. Sentiment is quickly souring amid the biggest threat to Beijing’s diplomatic ties with Washington in years. Traders based beyond mainland China sold more than $2.3 billion worth of Chinese stocks Friday, one of the largest ever outflows via Hong Kong’s exchange links. Some of China’s controlling tech shareholders are getting out as soon as they can.
That Flour You Bought Could Be the Future of the U.S. Economy; Keep baking bread. Small grain companies may suggest a better path for American business.
Tim Wu – NY Times
the established logic of the business world, Maine Grains, a small miller of flour in a rural part of the state, should not exist. With some 20 employees, it mills about 2,000 tons of flour a year in an industry where larger companies can mill more than 20,000 tons a day. Grain has long been a commodity business, and milling is driven by size and scale. Yet tiny mills like Maine Grains and small brands like King Arthur Baking Company and Bob’s Red Mill are thriving. They raise a bold question: Could flour, of all products, suggest a better path for more of the U.S. economy?
U.S. banks given regulatory green light to safekeep cryptocurrencies
Pete Schroeder – Reuters
A leading U.S. banking regulator said on Wednesday that national banks may provide custody services for cryptocurrencies.
Moscow Exchange completes acquisition of stake in e-FX trading platform
On 23 July 2020, Moscow Exchange completed the acquisition of a 17% stake in BierbaumPro AG, which holds a 100% ownership stake in NTProgress, the company behind the development of the proprietary OTC FX platform NTPro. NTProgress is BierbaumPro’s main asset.
Germany to beef up financial regulation after Wirecard scandal; BaFin will be given ‘sovereign powers’ to intervene directly in public companies
Guy Chazan and Olaf Storbeck – FT
The German finance ministry has unveiled a sweeping reform of financial regulation in the country in the wake of the Wirecard scandal, as pressure mounts on the authorities over their failure to properly police the disgraced payments company.
Brokers lose clients to direct deals amid product shortage
Chloe Cheung – FT Adviser
Mortgage brokers have reported losing clients as a result of scarce lending at 90 per cent LTV. Rachel Dixon, mortgage adviser at RH Dixon said the “exceptionally limited” supply of products at 90 per cent LTV meant she had reluctantly recommended clients to apply for a mortgage directly.
New FCA chief warns financial industry must address diversity
Alex Rolandi – Funds Europe
Diversity is an ongoing issue that the financial services industry must deal with, the new chief executive of the FCA has told MPs.
Tech Executive Charged With PPP Fraud Deposited in Robinhood
Michael Tobin – Bloomberg
A technology executive in the Seattle area was charged with fraudulently applying for more than $5.5 million in U.S. small-business loans and laundering some of the money into his personal Robinhood brokerage account.
Credit Suisse Faces New Suit in Singapore Over Rogue Trader
Hugo Miller – Bloomberg
Singapore’s top court ruled Ivanishvili can sue CS trust there; Georgian billionaire was victim of ex-Credit Suisse fraudster
Bidzina Ivanishvili, the biggest victim of a rogue trader at Credit Suisse Group AG, is suing one of the bank’s trusts in Singapore for at least $300 million, opening a fresh front in the long-running dispute.
What Markouts Are and Why They Don’t Always Matter; Lots of traders talk about markouts when they’re measuring execution performance and fill quality. But what exactly are they, and just how important are they for traders?
Phil Mackintosh – Nasdaq
Lots of traders talk about markouts when they’re measuring execution performance and fill quality. That is one reason we recently highlighted that our Midpoint Extended Life Order (M-ELO), has very high quality fills.
UK will be past coronavirus by mid-2021, says Boris Johnson; PM warns of second spike and ‘tough times ahead’ for the economy as country emerges from pandemic
Laura Hughes – FT
Boris Johnson has said the UK will “be well on the way past” the coronavirus crisis by next summer as he warned there was still the threat of a second spike.
Johnson Warns of ‘Tough Times’ With Pandemic Over U.K. Winter
Alex Morales – Bloomberg
Boris Johnson warned the U.K. will still be dealing with the coronavirus pandemic in mid-2021 and said his government is preparing for a second wave of infections over the winter months.
Homemade Face Masks Work Best With Multiple Layers, Study Finds
Jason Gale – Bloomberg
Scientists use high-speed camera to show droplet dispersion; At least two layers of cloth recommended for thwarting virus
Homemade face masks should ideally be made from multiple layers of fabric to trap the viral-laden droplets from the nose and mouth associated with the spread of Covid-19, a study found. Scientists in Australia compared the effectiveness of single and double-layer cloth face coverings with a surgical mask. Using a tailored LED lighting system and high-speed video camera, they showed a single layer reduced the spread of droplets from speaking, but less than a double layer.
Hong Kong Reports Over 100 Local Virus Cases for Third Day
Jinshan Hong – Bloomberg
City sees 115 new local cases on Friday, 53 are unlinked; Hospital, quarantine facilities are reaching limits: official
Hong Kong saw a record 115 new local virus cases on Friday — the third day of infections breaching a hundred — as the city’s outbreak continues to worsen despite tightened restrictions.
Americans Spread Virus Fear in One EU Country They Can Visit
Dara Doyle – Bloomberg
Ireland is open for tourists from the world’s worst outbreak; ‘It’s an American,’ said one spooked barkeeper in Kerry
A barman in Kerry, southwest Ireland, rushed to find his boss earlier this month. We have trouble, Gerard Kennedy was told. “He said ‘it’s an American’,” according to Kennedy, who runs the Moorings guest house and Bridge Bar. “It was like he had seen a crocodile. Normally, we love overseas visitors. But right now, people here are just nervous.”
Coronavirus Live Updates: Virus Rebounds in Places Thought to Have Tamed It
Hong Kong, Spain, and Melbourne, Australia, are seeing resurgences. The U.S. recorded nearly 70,000 new cases, and President Trump canceled part of the Republican National Convention.
Meet the New C.D.C. Director: Walmart; Why are big corporations requiring masks when many states still do not?
Bill Saporito – NY Times
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention opened branch offices in Bentonville, Ark., and Seattle this month. Not officially. But with the president trying to distance himself from responsibility for the coronavirus crisis, and Southern governors amplifying the damage with their flawed reopening strategies, the nation’s retailers have become the first line of defense against the pandemic.
‘It’s Emotional Whiplash’: California Is Once Again at the Center of the Virus Crisis; The state was the first to issue a stay-at-home order, helping to control an early outbreak. It has now surpassed New York for the most known cases of the virus.
Tim Arango and Sarah Mervosh – NY Times
When everything shut down in March as the coronavirus took off in California, Canter’s Deli, a mainstay in the Fairfax District of Los Angeles, laid off dozens of employees.
Exchanges, OTC and Clearing
Marex Spectron Expands Global Clearing Business; Hires R.J. O’Brien’s Thomas Texier To Head Up Division
Marex Spectron, the global commodities specialist, has today announced the appointment of Thomas Texier as Head of Clearing Services as it accelerates the expansion of its clearing business. Thomas, who joined Marex Spectron on 20 July, is based in London and tasked with expanding and overseeing the day-to-day operations of Marex Clearing Services globally.
Performance Bond Requirements: Agriculture, Energy, and Metals Margins – July 24, 2020
As per the normal review of market volatility to ensure adequate collateral coverage, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc., Clearing House Risk Management staff approved the performance bond requirements for the following products listed in the advisory at the link below.
Performance Bond Requirements: Agriculture, Energy, Equity, Interest Rate & Metal Margins – Effective July 24, 2020
As per the normal review of market volatility to ensure adequate collateral coverage, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc., Clearing House Risk Management staff approved the performance bond requirements for the following products listed in the advisory at the link below. Please email any questions to Clearing.RiskManagement@cmegroup.com
Delisting of Gold (Enhanced Delivery) Brands
Effective immediately, the Commodity Exchange, Inc. (“COMEX or Exchange”) will no longer deem the following brands as eligible Gold (Enhanced Delivery) brands deliverable against the COMEX Gold (Enhanced Delivery) (4GC) Futures contract:
Product Modification Summary: Amendments to Final Settlement Minimum Price Increment for the Options on Bitcoin Futures Contract – Effective: August 17, 2020; Final Settlement Minimum Price Increment Change – Options on Bitcoin Futures
Effective Sunday, August 16, 2020 for trade date Monday, August 17, 2020 Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. (“CME” or “Exchange”) will amend the final settlement minimum price increment for the Options on Bitcoin futures contract. The final settle tick is changing from 1 to 0.01 and the DPL is changing from 0 to 2.
New Product Summary: Initial Listing of two (2) Singapore Gasoil vs. Marine Fuel (Platts) Spread Futures Contracts – Effective: August 17, 2020
Initial Listing of two (2) Singapore Gasoil vs. Marine Fuel (Platts) Spread Futures Contracts
CME STP Notices: July 23, 2020
Effective this Sunday, July 26 (trade date Monday, July 27). With this change, the x-cme-token sent in the HTTPS header and FIXML messages for subscriptions and queries (where applicable) will increase in size. CME Group recommends that customer systems have the ability to handle a token length of up to 1500 bytes.
CME Globex Notices: July 20, 2020
Mandatory iLink 3 Binary Order Entry Protocol for MSGW
This Sunday, July 26 (trade date Monday, July 27), CME Group will implement the final launch of iLink 3, a new order entry protocol for trading futures and options markets on CME Globex. All customers connected via Market Segment Gateway (MSGW) will need to migrate to the iLink 3 by Q4 2020.
SGX RegCo requires Best World to address independent reviewer’s findings;
Singapore Exchange Regulation (SGX RegCo) refers to the Notice of Compliance issued to Best World International Ltd (Company) on 13 May 2019, the Company’s interim update of 22 March 2020 on the independent review by PricewaterhouseCoopers Advisory Services Pte Ltd (PwC) and the Company’s announcement of 23 July 2020 on PwC’s final report. PwC completed its review and reported its findings solely to SGX RegCo.
Transfer of products from Tokyo Commodity Exchange to Osaka Exchange -Product transfer will take place on July 27, as scheduled-
As a result of the production rehearsal test today, product transfer from Tokyo Commodity Exchange to Osaka Exchange will be implemented on July 27 as scheduled, and trading of transferred products will commence on the same day at Osaka Exchange.
HKEX: Exchange Invites Feedback On Proposals To Introduce A Paperless Listing & Subscription Regime, Online Display Of Documents And Reduction Of The Types Of Documents On Display
The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (the Exchange), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX), today (Friday) published (i) a consultation paper seeking public feedback on proposals to introduce a paperless listing and subscription regime, online display of documents and a reduction of the types of documents on display (Consultation); and (ii) updated Guidance Letter HKEX-GL86-16 for IPO applicants (IPO Guidance).
SET Ranks In World’s Top 10 Stock Exchanges On Sustainability Disclosure Of Listed Firms, Topping Asian Markets
The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) makes a mark as the only Asian bourse placed in top 10 of the world’s stock exchange ranking on corporate sustainability disclosure out of 49 bourses, according to “Measuring Sustainability Disclosure 2019” report by Corporate Knights and AVIVA, reflecting Thai listed companies’ commitment in sustainable business operation and transparent information disclosure, while elevating the Thai capital market to be widely recognized in the international arena.
NSE Academy, TCS iON collaborates to launch Industry Honour Certification courses for BCom students; NSE Academy and TCS iON collaborated to launch Industry honour certification courses for BCom students
The NSE Academy Limited (NAL), a wholly owned subsidiary of National Stock Exchange of India Limited (NSE) NSE has partnered with TCS iON, a strategic unit of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), a leading global IT services, consulting and business solutions organisation to launch Industry Honour Certification (IHC) courses for BCom students.
Swiss Stock Exchange: Driving The Transformation Of Trading
The Swiss Stock Exchange has successfully enhanced and broadened its offering in two trading segments: Equities and Structured Products.
Slack now has to prove Microsoft is behaving badly; It may be harder than it looks for messaging app to take on $1.6tn software giant
Richard Waters – FT
When the heads of the biggest US tech companies appear at a landmark antitrust hearing in Washington next Monday, there will be a notable absence: Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, will not be among them.
Jim Chanos pockets $100m from Wirecard short; Hedge fund manager who predicted collapse of energy giant Enron bet against once high-flying German fintech
Harriet Agnew – FT
Renowned short seller Jim Chanos made almost $100m betting against fraudulent German payments company Wirecard. Kynikos Associates, the New York-based firm that Mr Chanos has run for more than three decades, executed the trade across several of its funds, according to people familiar with the matter.
Growing FinTech Demand Spotlights Trademark Protection
As the economy adapts against the backdrop of Covid-19, market actors will be focused on capitalizing on the heightened demand for FinTech solutions, which customers are eager to adopt, making trademark policing and prosecution all the more important, says Alissa Del Riego, an attorney at Podhurst Orseck and assistant professor at the University of Miami.
CEO Brad Paterson Of Fintech Upstart Splitit On The Future Of E-commerce, Payments, Fintech, And BNPL (By Now, Pay Later)
Micah Solomon – Forbes
Splitit is a Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) solution that allows shoppers to split payments into installments without incurring interest charges or fees, while still being able to use their existing credit card. For example, if a consumer purchased an item for $300, they could pay $100 today, $100 in a month, and $100 a month after that. Splitit currently works with MasterCard and Visa and adheres to all PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards) requirements.
U.S. says son of ex-Nissan boss Ghosn made cryptocurrency payments for escape from Japan
Nate Raymond – Reuters
The son of former Nissan Motor Co chairman Carlos Ghosn made about $500,000 in cryptocurrency payments to one of the two Massachusetts men who helped him escape from Japan, U.S. prosecutors said in a court filing. Federal prosecutors in filing late on Wednesday said the payments went to Peter Taylor after he and his father, U.S. Army Special Forces veteran Michael Taylor, helped Ghosn flee in a box and private jet to avoid facing financial charges.
Avanti expects to open its crypto-centric bank in October, details digital asset for payments
Michael McSweeney – The Block
Avanti, the startup seeking to launch a crypto-centric bank in Wyoming, is inching closer to its official launch. The company said Thursday that its application for a bank charter “was accepted as complete on July 15, and that its application timeline has been accelerated,” according to a blog post. Avanti, led by Wall Street vet and crypto advocate Caitlin Long, was first unveiled in February and pitched itself as a new banking institution wholly dedicated to crypto-related activities.
Twitter Cryptocurrency Scam Echoes Previous Schemes on YouTube
William Turton – Bloomberg
The Bitcoin scam that hackers deployed while breaking into the Twitter Inc. accounts of political leaders and business titans last week closely resembles similar schemes used previously on YouTube. In the July 15 Twitter attack, hackers hijacked accounts belonging to Barack Obama, Elon Musk, Joe Biden and Jeff Bezos and asked their followers to send Bitcoins to their crypto wallet with a promise to double the amount. In a matter of hours, the hackers had accrued more than $100,000. But before compromising those accounts, the hackers targeted the Twitter accounts of popular cryptocurrency exchanges, such as Coinbase Inc., Gemini Trust Company LLC and Binance Holdings Ltd.
Binance’s Fiat-Gateway Partner Banxa Expanding to US
Sebastian Sinclair – Coindesk
Digital banking infrastructure provider Banxa is making a move into North American markets. In a strategic partnership announced Thursday, Australia-based Banxa plans to leverage custody and settlement infrastructure from exchange platform Zero Hash to provide the regulatory and technology means for its expansion. The partnership will see Banxa expand its fiat gateway API solutions for exchanges, wallets and other crypto-related businesses across North America.
Binance teams up with German financial firm CM-Equity to expand in Europe
Yogita Khatri – The Block
Crypto exchange Binance has partnered with 18-year-old German financial services firm CM-Equity to expand in Europe. CM-Equity provides asset management and brokerage services for financial products, including cryptocurrency. Through the partnership, Binance users will be able to trade crypto compliantly. “By joining forces with CM-Equity, Binance will be able to broaden our services in Europe while ensuring compliance with local regulations,” said Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao. CM-Equity CEO Michael Kott said his firm is a “fully licensed digital assets platform” and will benefit from Binance’s liquidity and other services.
4 Experts Agree: Craig Wright’s Latest Cryptography Claims Are ‘Nonsense’
Alyssa Hertig – Coindesk
Over the past four years, nChain chief scientist Craig S. Wright’s layers of attempts to prove that he created Bitcoin have grown more complex. But according to cryptography experts consulted by CoinDesk, assessing Wright’s recent claim about how Bitcoin message signing works is straightforward – it’s just wrong.
YouTube asks court to dismiss crypto giveaway scam lawsuit filed by Ripple
Michael McSweeney – The Block
Video platform giant YouTube has asked a U.S. federal court to dismiss a lawsuit filed against it by distributed ledger startup Ripple. Ripple and its CEO, Brad Garlinghouse, sued YouTube in April and alleged that the Google-owned platform failed to stop scammers from posting fraudulent crypto giveaway videos that used Garlinghouse’s likeness. At the time, the company asserted that “Ripple and Mr. Garlinghouse have suffered—and continue to suffer—irreparable harm to their public image, brand, and reputation as a direct consequence of YouTube’s deliberate and inexplicable failure to address a pervasive and injurious fraud occurring on its platform.”
No One Has Traded Bitcoin Options on Bakkt for Over a Month: Deribit Continues to Dominate
Zack Voell – Coindesk
Bitcoin options traders have completely deserted Bakkt, with its volume and open interest flatlining at $0 since June 15. The Intercontinental Exchange’s subsidiary launched its bitcoin options market in December 2019. Open interest for the exchange’s options market has suffered complete inactivity before, but the current 38-day streak dwarfs other periods. Bakkt’s options volume has also dropped to $0 since April 23, according to Skew. Bakkt declined to comment when contacted by CoinDesk.
Don’t Expect Banks to Jump on the OCC Crypto Custody News
Alex Mascioli – Coindesk
Alex Mascioli is head of institutional services for Bequant, a digital asset prime broker. He spent nearly a decade in traditional financial markets before making the jump to crypto markets three years ago. Banks can now offer cryptocurrency and digital asset custody to their clients, but what does this really mean?
Cryptocurrency market gets $7 billion boost overnight
Daniel Phillips – Decrypt
The last 24 hours have seen the cryptocurrency market burst to life, with almost all major cryptocurrencies now strongly in the green today. The total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies swelled from $277.3 billion to $284.5 billion overnight after a sudden increase in demand sent the market soaring.
Opera browser expands its crypto buying feature in the UK
Yogita Khatri – The Block
Web browser Opera has expanded its feature, which lets users buy cryptocurrency directly via its in-built wallet, in the U.K. Opera has teamed up with crypto on-ramp provider Ramp Network for the initiative. Ramp supports fiat transfers from bank accounts as well as digital banking app Revolut. The U.K. expansion comes four months after Opera extended the feature to the entire EU and Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, and Switzerland. For that initiative, Opera partnered with payments firm Wyre.
Trump Cancels GOP Convention Events in Jacksonville, Fla.; President says official events in Charlotte, N.C., will continue, cites safety for decision as coronavirus cases rise
Trump Cancels GOP Convention Events in Florida
Andrew Restuccia and Catherine Lucey – WSJ
President Trump said he was canceling the Jacksonville, Fla., portion of the Republican National Convention, citing increasing coronavirus cases in the state, as health worries continue to upend traditional election-year events.
Trump Scraps Big Republican Convention in Florida as Virus Rages
Misyrlena Egkolfopoulou and Gregory Korte – Bloomberg
Decision follows host state posting record deaths from virus; Democrats offering nearly all-virtual convention in Milwaukee
President Donald Trump relented Thursday to worries about the coronavirus and canceled his Florida nominating convention, the biggest event of his re-election campaign, as the host state posted record deaths from the pandemic.
Trump administration drops ban on Global Entry for New Yorkers; Airport fast-track programme was closed to people from the state in row over immigration
Aime Williams – FT
The Department of Homeland Security said it would once again allow New York state residents to sign up for the popular fast-track Global Entry programme, after expelling the state from the scheme in February as part of a row about undocumented migrants.
Is Trump’s Paramilitary Crackdown Legal? It’s Certainly Wrong; Immigration special ops teams have no business locking up Americans.
Noah Feldman – Bloomberg
If there really is a law enforcement problem in American cities, why hasn’t President Donald Trump sent the FBI to fight crime in Portland, Oregon? Or the DEA to fight violence connected to drug trafficking in Chicago? Why is he sending in special, paramilitary units from the Department of Homeland Security whose job is to enforce immigration laws?
Trump Says China Trade Deal Means ‘Much Less to Me’ After Virus
Jordan Fabian and Misyrlena Egkolfopoulou – Bloomberg
He again blames China for spread of disease, economic fallout; China vows to retaliate over shutdown of consulate in Houston
President Donald Trump said that the trade accord with China means “much less to me” because of what he called that country’s role in the spread of the coronavirus. The president, at a White House coronavirus briefing on Thursday evening, again complained that the U.S. had to shut down its economy to protect against the virus.
What Trump’s Campaign Against ‘Abolish the Suburbs’ Was Actually About; A new fair housing rule winds back desegregation requirements by several decades — and flouts the review process, setting up a legal challenge.
Kriston Capps – Bloomberg
Since January, the Trump administration has been laying the groundwork for a new national policy on fair housing. First, U.S. Housing Secretary Ben Carson pushed back a compliance deadline for communities under an Obama-era law. Then he introduced a new draft rule on Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing, or AFFH, that’s come under fire from cities as it winds its way through the federal machine.
Social Media Braces for a Deluge of Voter Misinformation; Civil rights groups say tech companies aren’t keeping up with increasingly sophisticated false messages.
Naomi Nix, Kurt Wagner – Bloomberg
Three days before the Nov. 6, 2018, midterm elections, conservative pundit Ann Coulter sent a tweet to her 2.1 million followers. “CONSERVATIVES! Remember to vote Nov 6!” she wrote. “Liberals: Your polling day is Nov 7.”
Homeland Security Dept. Admits Making False Statements in Fight With N.Y.; The surprise admission came as the Trump administration unexpectedly reversed its decision to bar New Yorkers from programs that allow travelers to speed through airports.
Ed Shanahan and Zolan Kanno-Youngs – NY Times
Homeland Security officials made false statements in a bid to justify expelling New York residents from programs that let United States travelers speed through borders and airport lines, federal lawyers admitted on Thursday.
SEC disclosure change would allow activists to ‘go dark’, lawyers warn; Only largest hedge funds would have to detail equity stakes under proposed rules
Ortenca Aliaj – FT
Activist investors in the US stand to be big beneficiaries of a new rule from Wall Street’s top regulator that would allow most hedge funds to keep their equity stakes secret.
ASIC releases minor updates to RG 97
ASIC today released minor amendments to the fees and cost disclosure regime for issuers of superannuation and managed investment products. A major update of Regulatory Guide 97 Disclosing Fees and Costs in PDSs and Periodic Statements (RG 97) and the associated legislative instrument were released in November 2019. ASIC has slightly amended RG 97 and the instrument to adjust the transitional timeframes in response to COVID-19 and to provide greater clarity on the obligations following additional feedback from industry.
ESMA publishes the MiFID/MiFIR Annual Review Report
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the EU’s securities markets regulator, has published today the MiFID/MiFIR Annual Review Report under Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2017/583 (RTS 2). This report lays down the thresholds for the liquidity criterion ‘average daily number of trades’ for bonds, as well as the trade percentiles.
New Research: FINRA Foundation Examines Financial Capability of Women Behind Bars; Study Highlights Grim Financial Challenges and Gender Disparities
WASHINGTON, D.C. – New research from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation offers insights into the financial knowledge and habits of incarcerated women across multiple measures of financial capability and literacy, exposing the deep financial challenges facing women in prisons.
CFTC Withdraws “ANE” Staff Advisory and Issues New Cross-Border No-Action Relief
In conjunction with the Commission’s approval of the final cross-border rule today, the Divisions of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight (DSIO), Clearing and Risk (DCR), and Market Oversight (DMO) today withdrew a staff advisory and no-action relief regarding certain cross-border situations and issued new no-action relief.
CFTC Approves Final Cross-Border Swaps Rule and an Exempt SEF Amendment Order at July 23 Open Meeting
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission at its open meeting today approved a final rule on the cross-border application of certain swap provisions under the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA). This completes another principal rulemaking implementing the Dodd-Frank Act, which was enacted 10 years ago this week. Just yesterday, the Commission approved a final rule on capital requirements for swap dealers and major swap participants, closing out all required rulemakings under Section 731 of the Act. [See CFTC Press Release No. 8210-20] The Commission today also approved an Amendment Order regarding European Union trading facilities.
Statement of Chairman Heath P. Tarbert in Support of Final Cross-Border Swap Rule
President John Adams once warned: “Great is the guilt of unnecessary war.” While he was obviously referring to military conflicts, his admonition applies to conflicts among nations more generally. Financial regulation has not been exempt from international discord. And in recent years, the CFTC’s own cross-border guidance on swaps has caused concerns about a regulatory arms race and the balkanization of global financial markets. Consider the following entreaties by our overseas allies and regulatory counterparts:
Supporting Statement of Commissioner Brian Quintenz Regarding the Cross-Border Application of the Registration Thresholds and Certain Requirements Applicable to SDs and MSPs – Final Rule
I am very pleased to support today’s final rule interpreting Congress’ statutory directive that the Commission may only regulate those foreign activities that “have a direct and significant connection with activities in, or effect on commerce, of the United States.” As I noted when I supported the proposal last December, Congress deliberately placed a clear and strong limitation on the CFTC’s extraterritorial reach, recognizing the need for international comity and deference in a global swaps market.
Dissenting Statement of Commissioner Rostin Behnam Regarding the Cross-Border Application of the Registration Thresholds and Certain Requirements Applicable to SDs and MSPs – Final Rule
Today, by approving a final rule addressing the cross-border application of the registration thresholds and certain requirements applicable to swap dealers (“SDs”) and major swap participants (“MSPs”) (the “Final Rule”), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC” or “Commission”) overlooks Dodd-Frank Act purposes, Congressional mandates thereunder, an opinion of the D.C. District Court, and multiple comments raising significant concerns. The Commission instead relies on broad deference that opens a gaping hole in the federal regulatory structure. I cannot support a decision to jettison a cross-border regime that has not proven unreasonable, inflexible, or ineffective in favor of an approach that fails to address the most critical concerns that the Dodd-Frank Act directed the CFTC to address in favor of “more workable” solutions.
Statement of Commissioner Dawn D. Stump Regarding Final Rule: Cross-Border Application of the Registration Thresholds and Certain Requirements Applicable to Swap Dealers and Major Swap Participants
When we met together in person late last year to consider proposing cross-border rules with respect to registration thresholds and regulatory requirements applicable to swap dealers and major swap participants (the “Proposal”), I stressed that because we were proposing to replace the Commission’s 2013 cross-border guidance (the “Guidance”) with binding and enforceable rules, those rules must be clear, sensible, and workable. In supporting the Proposal at the time, I concluded that the proposed rules met those standards. And I have not seen anything in the many thoughtful comment letters we received that causes me to doubt that conclusion.
Dissenting Statement of Commissioner Dan M. Berkovitz on the Final Rule for Cross-Border Swap Activity of Swap Dealers and Major Swap Participants
I dissent from today’s final cross-border swap rulemaking (the “Final Rule”). As described by the Chairman, this Final Rule will “pare back our extraterritorial application of our swap dealer regime.” Over the past seven years, the current cross-border regime has helped protect the U.S. financial system from risky overseas swap activity. The Commission should not be paring back these protections for the American financial system, particularly now, during a global pandemic.
Statement of Chairman Heath P. Tarbert in Support of Amendment to CFTC’s 5h(g) Order for the European Union
I am pleased to support this amendment, which will make two important changes to our Commission’s previously issued 5h(g) Order for the European Union. First, it will add 16 multilateral trading facilities (“MTFs”) and organized trading facilities (“OTFs”) to the list of European Union entities exempted from SEF registration under Section 5h(g) of the Commodity Exchange Act (“CEA”). Second, it will make clear that during the remainder of the transition period relating to the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, i.e., Brexit, the 5h(g) Order will continue to apply to UK-based MTFs and OTFs.
Supporting Statement of Commissioner Brian Quintenz Regarding the Amendment to the Commission’s Order Exempting EU Swap Trading Facilities from SEF Registration
I support today’s action by the Commission to amend the order that exempts two types of trading facilities authorized within the European Union (EU) from registration with the CFTC as swap execution facilities (SEFs). As amended, the order will authorize an additional 16 trading facilities to access US eligible contract participants (ECPs) without complying with the CFTC’s regulations or being subject to the Commission’s oversight. These trading facilities, located in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, and the UK, include the first EU-authorized trading facilities located outside of the UK to benefit from the order.
Statement on updated guidance for insurance and premium finance firms
The FCA has today announced proposals to extend a series of temporary measures to help customers who hold insurance and premium finance products and who may be in temporary financial difficulties because of coronavirus (Covid-19).
Investing and Trading
What are your rights if your bank account is frozen? Rising reports of fraud under lockdown mean banks are on red alert for signs of suspicious transactions
Lindsay Cook – FT
Do you look like a criminal to your bank? Thousands of people a year now fit this description, judging by the number of complaints to the Financial Ombudsman about frozen bank accounts. The greater your bank balance and your international connections, the more likely you are to match the profile.
US real yields tumble in an indication of prolonged Fed support; Investors pushed into riskier assets as market eyes long economic recovery
Colby Smith – FT
Real yields on US Treasuries fell to the lowest level since 2012 this week in a move that reflects a belief that a weak economy will need very loose monetary policy for a long time.
What soaring auction prices say about the Covid-19 economy; Fine art and famous sneakers are flying out the door as the rich get richer
Gillian Tett – FT
A global pandemic might not seem the best moment to try to sell ultra-pricey trainers, least of all when the global economy is predicted to shrink 5 per cent this year.
Surge in Cash-for-Gold Lender Opens Path to MSCI India Gauge
Abhishek Vishnoi – Bloomberg
An astounding rally in the shares of Muthoot Finance Ltd. has made the lender big enough to be added to the MSCI India Index, analysts say. Shares of India’s largest cash-for-gold lender have surged 71% this year, the third-biggest gain on a gauge of the nation’s top 200 firms. The company is now valued at $7 billion, a size that may spur MSCI Inc. to include the stock in its gauge at the quarterly review due in August, according to Edelweiss Financial Services Ltd. and Target Investing.
Dollar Is Losing Its Luster as Investors Line Up to Go Short
Carter Johnson, Stephen Spratt, and Ruth Carson – Bloomberg
American real money managers turn bearish: Standard Chartered; Greenback is sliding as U.S. exceptionalism wanes: QIC
After rocketing higher in March as the ultimate haven currency, the dollar is now headed for its worst month since the beginning of 2018, and many strategists see the sell-off continuing.
Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance
New York’s Sweltering Heat Is the New Normal for Climate Change; Odds are high 2020 will wind up among top five warmest years ever.
Brian K Sullivan – Bloomberg
New Yorkers sweating through this month’s heat wave can blame the oceans—a cool patch of water off the Pacific coast of Peru, more than 3,500 miles away (5,632 kilometers), and near-record warmth offshore in the Atlantic. The cause and effect is a reminder that climate change’s toll is coming due.
Russia’s Permafrost Is Melting and Its Farmers Are Cashing In; Researchers are taking soybeans to the next frontier as farmers embrace the in-demand crop.
Anatoly Medetsky – Bloomberg
Just below the Arctic tundra, in the vast plains that blanket much of northern Russia, a once-unthinkable business is taking hold: soybean farming. It’s the result of years of rising global temperatures, which are thawing the permafrost and turning the land into fertile soil, and now Agronomist Gennady Bochkovsky is helping to take the crop to the next frontier, testing whether the beans can handle the upper areas of the Moscow region. So far, he says, the results are promising.
American Express Reports Over $1 Billion in Provisions for Credit Losses; The company says spending volumes in the quarter fell to their lowest in April, then gradually improved in May and June
Allison Prang – WSJ
American Express Co. AXP 0.13% reported a large drop in profit from a year earlier as the credit-card company logged provisions of $1.6 billion to cover potential losses. That provision rose from $861 million a year earlier and the increase “primarily reflected the deterioration of the global macroeconomic outlook,” American Express said. The company said the Covid-19 pandemic significantly affected results in the quarter.
Carlyle Co-CEO’s Abrupt Exit Caps a Long, Awkward Power Struggle
Heather Perlberg – Bloomberg
Glenn Youngkin said Tuesday he’s leaving for public service; Move leaves control with Kewsong Lee, whose clout was growing
Carlyle Group’s co-leaders were meant to be complementary: a swaggering dealmaker and an operations guru who would carry the torch for its founders. But inside the firm, Kewsong Lee started small talk with a jab to Glenn Youngkin. “How’s the infrastructure group?” Lee asked in front of others. That was Youngkin’s domain — and it wasn’t going well.
Goldman touts trading gains in pitch for capital relief; Bank argues real-life stress test suggests its trading operations are ‘countercyclical’
Laura Noonan – FT
Goldman Sachs is pointing to blowout second-quarter trading results as part of its bid to convince the Federal Reserve it has demanded the bank hold too much capital for an economic downturn.
Goldman, Malaysia Reach $3.9 Billion Settlement Over 1MDB
Elffie Chew, Yantoultra Ngui, and Cathy Chan – Bloomberg
The bank reached a deal with Malaysia to drop all 1MDB charges; The agreement will include a $2.5 billion cash component
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. has reached a deal that would see Malaysia drop all criminal charges against the bank in exchange for $3.9 billion of reparations for its role in raising money for the troubled sovereign wealth fund 1MDB.
UK Treasury draws up plans for infrastructure bank; Lender would provide billions for capital projects and partly fill gap left by European Investment Bank
Jim Pickard, Daniel Thomas and Gill Plimmer – FT
UK chancellor Rishi Sunak is drawing up plans for a new infrastructure bank to provide billions of pounds of new funding for capital projects across the country, as ministers seek to kickstart Britain’s economic recovery in the wake of the pandemic.
India’s Banks Play a Risky Game as Loan Truce Ends; The Covid-19 grace period on repayments is becoming an opaque round of hide and seek. Markets will find the duds, eventually.
Andy Mukherjee – Bloomberg
India’s lenders and their shareholders are playing a dangerous game of hide and seek. Financial firms need to raise a record amount of capital, something they would like to do before the central bank’s Covid-19 moratorium on repayment ends next month and they have to disclose a big jump in bad loans. So they have an incentive to pretend that their borrowers have become miraculously stress-free. Investors know this and are trying to ferret out bad news. Valuations are sliding, and if policy makers have a plan for rescuing this vital industry, they’re keeping it close to their chests.
London Needs the Tube and the Tube Needs Londoners; What the fate of a fabled transport system says about Britain’s future.
Therese Raphael – Bloomberg
Recently, I caught myself waxing nostalgic about the daily journeys on the London Underground that I abandoned just before lockdown. Only a few months ago, I was that middle-aged woman inching onto an indecently crowded commuter carriage, stuck for what seemed like an eternity under some tall person’s sweaty armpit, gripping a germ-covered pole as the car rumbled and jerked through a dark tunnel. Overcrowding and ear-splitting noise levels on the Tube made some journeys torture. There are laws against animals crammed so tightly into an enclosure.
India Bad-Loan Ratio Set to Worsen to 12.5%, Central Bank Warns
Suvashree Ghosh – Bloomberg
Bad loans at Indian banks are expected to swell to 12.5% of outstanding credit by March 2021, according to the Reserve Bank of India, after a prolonged lockdown hurt businesses and left millions jobless. The ratio was already one of the highest among major economies at 8.5% at the end of March, as a two-year shadow banking crisis in India soured debt. If the macroeconomic environment worsens further, the ratio may escalate to 14.7% under the very severely stressed scenario, the RBI said in its semiannual financial stability report on Friday.
Johnson turns to shadowboxing in tussle over EU deal; UK squared up for a fight but then spent three weeks prancing round the ring
Peter Foster – FT
What a difference a few weeks makes. Only last month, UK officials were briefing that Downing Street wanted a headline UK-EU trade deal sewn up by the end of July or early August at the absolute latest.
Brexit negotiators will miss July target for outline deal
Both sides say big differences remain at the end
Emilio Casalicchio and Giorgio Leali – Politico
The Brexit drama’s second season is following a familiar script.
As the fifth round of talks came to a close Thursday, both sides admitted they were still a long way apart — and each blamed the other. Negotiators will now miss the July target to agree an outline of a deal, as discussed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, European Council President Charles Michel and European Parliament President David Sassoli in June.
Post-Brexit deal: What’s happening in the UK-EU talks?
Chris Morris – BBC
Negotiations on the post-Brexit relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union are looking a lot like the negotiations on the Brexit withdrawal agreement last year. Each side says the other needs to make a move. And if there is to be a deal, it will probably come at the eleventh hour. That means compromises will have to emerge in September before a deal is agreed in October – leaving both sides just enough time to ratify an agreement before the end of the year.
U.K. Says Benefits of Post-Brexit Trade Deals Underestimated
Joe Mayes – Bloomberg
The U.K. is reviewing the potential benefits of trade agreements with countries such as the U.S. and Japan after Brexit because it believes previous analysis underestimated the possible gains. Speaking to a House of Lords committee on Thursday, International Trade Secretary Liz Truss said prior economic assessments conducted by the British government — such as an estimate that a U.S. deal would add at most 0.16% to U.K. GDP — are likely outdated and inaccurate. “We don’t feel they fully reflect the benefits,” Truss said. “The base numbers are from 2011, and we need a revised analysis based on the post-Covid economy.”
U.K. Plans Truck Stop by the White Cliffs of Dover After Brexit
Joe Mayes – Bloomberg
A field inland from the White Cliffs of Dover, a totem of English identity, is one of four sites the U.K. has earmarked for conversion into lorry parks for customs checks after Brexit, according to a person familiar with the plans. The site next to the White Cliffs Business Park, less than a 10-minute drive from the coast, will have capacity for 1,200 trucks, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the plans aren’t complete.
Hiking the Land of Enchantment Is the Cure to Covid-19 Blues; Even for an ocean lover, the arid state of New Mexico has a powerful pull, especially in these trying times.
Philip Brian Tabuas – Bloomberg
In December 2015, my partner and I found ourselves on a plane heading to the American Southwest to visit her family in the rural country outside Santa Fe, N.M., some 800 miles from the nearest coast.