Hits & Takes
John Lothian & JLN Staff
TMX Group today announced the launch of two new order books in a new innovative Canadian trading platform. TMX says the platform was “designed to create an optimized trading environment to enhance execution quality.” The names of the order books are Alpha-X and Alpha DRK. According to TMX, “Alpha-X is a visible order book that has all of the same order types and trading functionalities currently available on TSX Alpha Exchange, and features the new Smart Limit order type.” Also, “Alpha DRK is a fully dark order book with a comprehensive suite of pegged (Primary, Market, Minimum Price Improvement, Midpoint) market and limit order types, and has the new Smart Peg order type.”
Intercontinental Exchange is finding new ways to use its data. This is a case where you mine and you go, “not mine!” The latest involves ways to link sanction programs with ICE’s fixed income and securities database, giving customers a greater ability to track affected securities and portfolios. The ICE press release today is titled “ICE Launches Service to Help Identify and Monitor Entities and Securities” with the subheading “Subject to Financial and Economic Sanctions Programs.” This new service leverages ICE’s vast data offerings, cross-referencing and linkage capabilities to identify securities, entities and groups targeted by sanctions programs.
The Financial Times finally figured out that “It’s hot to be a Scot.” The subheading of the story is “From fashion to food, Hebridean style is tastier than ever.” Of course, maybe the “haggis spiced” dark chocolate with notes of nutmeg might be too much for some.
FT Alphaville says “Taylor Swift may hand out bigger bonuses than many banks this year” and “More doughnuts than a Krispy Kreme.” Let’s just say that it has been a very good year to work for Taylor Swift and she has been very generous. The banks. Ahhh.
If you are looking for a place in Boca Raton, FL on the water, the former home of the late media-company heiress Diana King is hitting the market again after it was rehabbed by its new owners, who bought the property in 2020 for $7 million. Now the new owners are asking $24.9 million for the revitalized property, which is spectacular. The Wall Street Journal has the story, “After Major Remodel, a Florida Home Lists for More Than Three Times Its 2020 Sale Price.”
I am on the road with my wife on our way to Sarasota, Florida. We should arrive there later today after having spent last night in Lake City, FL and the night before in White House, TN. We have decided to sell the property in Florida we just bought from my brothers and inherited from my late mother. We are buying family property in Wisconsin and two homes will be enough to worry about, let alone that the jump in interest rates since this all began has made the Wisconsin deal more expensive. Thus, Florida is going. We will regularly return to Florida and Sarasota in the future, as we do enjoy it, but we will rent.
Have a great day and stay safe and treat people the same way you want to be treated: with respect, equality and justice.~JJL
Live online webinars begin today at ESG Week 2023: Energy and Mining Forum. Panelists at this Natural Resources Forum will examine ESG trends to watch, including the continued role of critical minerals and technology, the energy transition, regulation, corporate governance, supply chain and social impact in this free series of webinars from ESG Week 2023. The webinar series runs from Tue, Nov 7, 2023, 2:30 through Friday, Nov 10, 2023, 10:30 CST. Agenda and tickets are available here. ~SAED
Our most read stories yesterday on JLN Options were:
– AI Pioneer Kai-Fu Lee Builds $1 Billion Startup in Eight Months from Bloomberg.
– Call-Options Trading Surged During Recent Rally from The Wall Street Journal.
– South Korea bans short selling until 2024 from the Financial Times. ~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”
CCP Global CEO Teo Floor Talks Strategic Rebrand and Evolving Global Clearinghouse Operations in Interview With John Lothian News at FIA Expo 2023
In a video interview at FIA EXPO 2023, John Lothian News sat down with Teo Floor, the CEO of CCP Global, to explain the organization’s recent strategic rebrand and to understand the evolving landscape of global clearinghouse operations.
The world must help bring my kidnapped family home from Gaza; Rescuing the hostages held by Hamas is not just a problem for the Israeli government
Shira Havron – Financial TImes
Amid the searing losses borne by an entire country after Hamas terrorists invaded southern Israel, massacring some 1,400 Israelis and taking more than 240 hostages, my family has the unfathomable honour of being one of the families with the most members taken hostage or killed. Three of my family members were murdered on October 7, and nine were kidnapped and taken to the Gaza Strip. Two have since been released – leaving seven of my relatives hostage in Gaza.
******* There are many prayers for their return. ~JJL
Citadel’s Ken Griffin Says Global Investors Have to Invest in China
Lulu Yilun Chen – Bloomberg
Citadel founder Ken Griffin said global investors have to “be watching and investing” in China to tap into the innovation and growth in the region. “There’s much more innovation outside of the United States, relative to 50 years ago,” said Griffin, adding that China has competitive advantages in solar and electric vehicle technologies. Griffin made the remarks on Tuesday at the Global Financial Leaders’ Investment Summit in Hong Kong.
***** I humbly would suggest Mr. Griffin read “The Trade Trap: How To Stop Doing Business with Dictators” by Axel Springer SE Chairman & CEO Mathias Dopfner and reconsider his investment advice.~JJL
Warring Billionaires, a Rogue Employee, a Divorce: One Hedge Fund’s Tale of Woe; Two Sigma, the $60 billion quantitative trading firm, has been beset by troubles this year that have tarnished its image and could hurt its future.
Maureen Farrell – The New York Times
Two Sigma, one of the world’s largest hedge funds, has long prided itself on two things: the sophisticated, in-house algorithms that power its trading, and its commitment to secrecy. But recent internal troubles have forced Two Sigma to air its dirty laundry. In March, the New York firm, with $60 billion in assets, took the unusual step of telling its investors in a filing that the relationship between David M. Siegel and John A. Overdeck, the billionaire co-founders and owners who run the firm, had turned so toxic that it could hurt Two Sigma’s future. In October, it had more bad news: An employee had altered some trading models without the firm’s knowledge, affecting its returns and drawing regulatory scrutiny.
****** This is not Two Sigma kind of privacy.~JJL
Monday’s Top Three
Our top story Monday was Michael Hiltzik’s column in the Los Angeles Times, Sam Bankman-Fried’s seven guilty verdicts expose crypto as a swindle through and through. Second was 100 hilarious Thanksgiving jokes your family and friends will gobble up this year, from USA Today. Third was a three-way tie among The New York Times’ Why Banks Are Suddenly Closing Down Customer Accounts, Markets Media’s New Cboe CEO to Refocus Strategy on Less M&A, and the Chicago Sun-Times’ Alice Kelley, a pioneer in male-dominated world of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, dies at 73.
Wall Street CEOs Flocked to Hong Kong-and Kept Quiet on China; Tensions between China and the U.S. are forcing bank executives to tread carefully
Elaine Yu – The Wall Street Journal
When some of Wall Street’s most powerful executives assembled in Hong Kong this week, one topic was noticeable by its absence: China. The chief executives of U.S. banks including Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley were in the city on Tuesday for the Global Financial Leaders’ Investment Summit, where they rubbed shoulders with local government officials and senior Chinese regulators. They spoke about broad topics such as financial stability, interest rates and capital markets.
China Deal Slump Sends Bankers’ Fees to Decade Low; Selling Chinese companies to global investors is no longer a money machine for Wall Street
Dave Sebastian and Rebecca Feng – The Wall Street Journal
China has become a losing proposition for Wall Street firms, forcing a reassessment of their investment-banking prospects in Hong Kong. American and European investment banks prospered in the Asian financial hub over the past decade by helping hundreds of Chinese companies raise money from international stock and bond sales. They also profited from advising on cross-border acquisitions and investments during China’s prepandemic economic boom. The money train made Wall Street an advocate of engagement with China, even as political tensions grew between Washington and Beijing.
Wall Street Bosses in Hong Kong See Financial Dangers Everywhere
Cathy Chan and Bei Hu – Bloomberg
Fragile markets, shadow lenders, international tensions and too many wars – global bankers gathering in Hong Kong were meant to discuss how they’re adapting to the financial world’s “complexity” and ended up dwelling on the potential for big blowups instead. “My biggest fear is there’s one more geopolitical escalation and there’s a market event,” Deutsche Bank AG Chief Executive Officer Christian Sewing said at the Global Financial Leaders’ Investment Summit in Hong Kong on Tuesday.
Big Banks Cook Up New Way to Unload Risk; Banks are selling risk to hedge funds, private-equity firms through so-called synthetic risk transfers; JPMorgan Chase has been working on deals to cut capital charges on about $25 billion of its corporate and consumer loans.
Matt Wirz and Peter Rudegeair – The Wall Street Journal
U.S. banks have found a new way to unload risk as they scramble to adapt to tighter regulations and rising interest rates. U.S. Bank and others are selling complex debt instruments to private-fund managers as a way to reduce regulatory capital charges on the loans they make, people familiar with the transactions said. These so-called synthetic risk transfers are expensive for banks but less costly than taking the full capital charges on the underlying assets. They are lucrative for the investors, who can typically get returns of around 15% or more, according to the people familiar with the transactions.
Chatbots May ‘Hallucinate’ More Often Than Many Realize; When summarizing facts, ChatGPT technology makes things up about 3 percent of the time, according to research from a new start-up. A Google system’s rate was 27 percent.
Cade Metz – The New York Times
When the San Francisco start-up OpenAI unveiled its ChatGPT online chatbot late last year, millions were wowed by the humanlike way it answered questions, wrote poetry and discussed almost any topic. But most people were slow to realize that this new kind of chatbot often makes things up. When Google introduced a similar chatbot several weeks later, it spewed nonsense about the James Webb telescope. The next day, Microsoft’s new Bing chatbot offered up all sorts of bogus information about the Gap, Mexican nightlife and the singer Billie Eilish. Then, in March, ChatGPT cited a half dozen fake court cases while writing a 10-page legal brief that a lawyer submitted to a federal judge in Manhattan.
FIA speaks on capital, exchange volatility controls before CFTC committee
Jeff Reeves – FIA
FIA offered presentations before an advisory committee of the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission on 6 November, touching on best practices for exchange volatility controls and the potential impact of proposed capital reforms on derivatives clearing. The CFTC’s Global Markets Advisory Committee (GMAC), which is sponsored by Commissioner Caroline D. Pham, held a wide-ranging meeting that voted to approve eight various recommendations for submission to the Commission for consideration. CFTC advisory committees have no direct rulemaking authority, but allow a forum for public and private sector stakeholders to discuss important issues and trends.
New strategy “Horizon 2026” – continued double-digit revenue and profit growth
Deutsche Boerse AG
At today’s Investor Day, Deutsche Boerse AG will present its new “Horizon 2026” strategy. The core elements of the strategy are: continued strong organic growth of seven per cent per year until 2026; the completed acquisition of SimCorp, contributing a further three per cent per year to growth; the new Investment Management Solutions segment as a strategic cornerstone with high growth potential and recurring revenues; an expansion of the leading position in the area of digital platforms for existing and new asset classes; a refined capital management with more active use of share buy-backs, beginning in the first quarter 2024 with a volume of 300 million euro. With regards to organic growth, Deutsche Boerse can look back on a continuous successful track record. Based on structural industry trends, evolving customer needs and a normalising interest rate environment, organic growth will remain the cornerstone of the strategy in the future.
Outgoing Morgan Stanley CEO Gorman Signals He’ll Step Down as Chair in 2024; After picking next CEO, Gorman says he would like to teach; ‘It’s time for my successor to forge forth without me around’
Takashi Nakamichi – Bloomberg
Morgan Stanley’s James Gorman, preparing to step down as the firm’s leader at the end of this year, said he will also vacate his post as chairman by the end of 2024. “I’ll certainly stay most of the year, if not the whole year, but I won’t stay longer,” Gorman said Tuesday in an interview broadcast at the Global Management Dialogue forum hosted by Nikkei. He previously said he didn’t plan to stay “too long,” so that he could clear the way for chief executive officer-elect Ted Pick to make his mark on the Wall Street firm.
Rising Livestock Emissions Undermine World’s Climate Fight
Agnieszka de Sousa – Bloomberg
Greenhouse gas emissions from the world’s top meat and dairy producers increased further this year, highlighting the urgent need for the food industry to clean its practices and help prevent global warming. Disclosed emissions from the world’s 20 largest publicly-listed meat and dairy companies rose 3.3% from 2022 levels, according to a report by investor network FAIRR Initiative. Its analysis includes companies like Hormel Foods Corp. and China’s New Hope Liuhe Co., which supply household names like Walmart Inc. and McDonald’s Corp.
The SEC is struggling to hire crypto experts-partly because the agency’s employees can’t own cryptocurrency
Ben Weiss – Fortune
The Securities and Exchange Commission, one of the major federal regulators looking to rein in the crypto industry, is having trouble hiring crypto experts, according to a new report from the agency’s inspector general. Most federal agencies have an Office of Inspector General, or independent authority that reviews and oversees the operations of, say, the Federal Trade Commission or the Social Security Administration. On Thursday, the SEC’s division published a report on the financial regulator’s “management and performance challenges” in October.
UBS chair spars with private equity chiefs over risks of ‘shadow’ banking; Colm Kelleher’s comments countered by Apollo’s Marc Rowan who says asset management industry adds ‘robustness’
Kaye Wiggins and Hudson Lockett – Financial Times
The next financial crisis is likely to be in the “shadow” non-bank lending sector, UBS chair Colm Kelleher has warned, saying that the growth of lightly regulated private markets since the 2008 crisis is a “real cause for concern”. Speaking at a finance conference in Hong Kong on Tuesday, Kelleher said he was making the remarks “at the risk of upsetting half the people in the room, some of whom are clients and competitors”. However, he said, a large share of financial assets globally “are now in the non-bank financial intermediaries, the shadow sector…I think the next crisis when it happens will be in that sector, it will be a fiduciary crisis”.
UBS’s Takeover of Credit Suisse Was a Steal. Now Comes the Bumpy Part; The Swiss bank recorded its first loss in nearly six years and will take a long time to integrate its once-rival, even as gains materialize
Jon Sindreu – The Wall Street Journal
UBS’s takeover of Credit Suisse led to a surge in earnings in the second quarter, but third-quarter losses underscore that integrating its rival will be a long process. UBS’s first loss in nearly six years shouldn’t make investors take their eyes off the road. While the Swiss bank said Tuesday that third-quarter net income was a negative $785 million-almost twice as large as the median analyst forecast-its shares rose about 3% in early trading. Investors are wise to look through the fog and see that this was another set of encouraging figures.
SBF’s Former Assistant Says He Was Like a Little Boy Who Made a Huge Mistake
Maggie Harrison – Futurism
Last week, after a month-long trial, former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried was found guilty on seven counts of fraud – a verdict that could put the former crypto king behind bars for the rest of his life. During the trial, two very different versions of Bankman-Fried were presented to the jury. In the prosecution’s – ultimately winning – telling, Bankman-Fried was a conniving villain who planned and executed crimes motivated by unbridled greed; meanwhile, according to the defense, the former billionaire was a bumbling fool who never meant for anyone to get hurt.
Washington Eases Path to Scrutinize Hedge Funds
Joe Light – Barron’s
Federal regulators say they have growing concerns that some hedge funds could be making bets that put the economy at risk. Now, they have a new tool to clamp down. On Friday, the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) finalized changes that will make it easier for them to designate hedge funds, private-equity firms and other nonbank financial companies as systemically important financial institutions or SIFIs. The designation, which has most often applied to banks, subjects companies to Federal Reserve oversight and potential capital and liquidity requirements.
WeWork files for bankruptcy amid office market downturn; Desk-renting company seeks to restructure more than $13bn in lease obligations through Chapter 11 process
Sujeet Indap and Eric Platt and Joshua Oliver – Financial Times
WeWork has filed for bankruptcy, a humbling fall for the once high-flying desk-renting start-up co-founded by Adam Neumann and backed by billions of dollars from Japan’s SoftBank. The company that set out to revolutionise office real estate could not escape the combined forces of pricey leases it had signed before the Covid-19 pandemic and weak occupancy rates as hybrid working gained popularity.
America embraces Open Banking; US follows Europe and Australia in mandating easy sharing of financial data
Peter Barber – Financial Times
Are you ready to share your entire financial life online? It’s called ‘open banking’ and it just took a big step forward in the world’s biggest market. Last month, US regulators announced measures to allow consumers’ financial data to be shared easily, following similar reforms in Europe and Australia that make it simpler to switch bank accounts and sign up for a range of financial products. Banks “know every time you tap your card, they see you got the [train], and you go get your coffee, and you’re spending your money there,” points out Philip Benton, an analyst at tech research group Omdia and an expert on digital banking. “They [already] have all that data. [So] the whole point of open banking and finance is opening that up to the wider ecosystem.”
Four national security experts join the Coinbase Global Advisory Council
Today Coinbase is announcing the addition of four new distinguished members to Coinbase’s Global Advisory Council: Mark Esper, Stephanie Murphy, Frances Townsend, and David Urban. The Global Advisory Council was established with the purpose of bringing together accomplished leaders with strategic insights to advise Coinbase’s executive leadership team. In collaboration with members of the Coinbase Asset Management Academic and Regulatory Advisory Council, which comprises former regulators and industry experts, the Advisory Council actively contributes to advancing Coinbase’s vision of ushering in a new era of the internet through crypto and blockchain technologies.
It’s Not the Right Time for Elections in Ukraine, Zelenskiy Says
Aliaksandr Kudrytski – Bloomberg
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy blasted calls for elections as irresponsible amid rumblings about the prospects of war and his political future. “I believe that it’s not the right time for elections,” he said in the video address on Monday. Zelenskiy said it’s time for everyone in his nation to concentrate on its defense and battle, and called to remove space for conflict and “foreign game” against Ukraine.
Ukraine Recap: Grenade Blast Kills Aide to Kyiv’s Top Commander
John Follain – Bloomberg
Major Hennadiy Chastyakov, the aide of Ukrainian army commander-in-chief Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, was killed by an explosive device during a family birthday party in the Kyiv region, Zaluzhnyi said on Telegram. An investigation is under way into the incident.
EU Commission to recommend opening Ukraine membership talks with caveats
Henry Foy – Financial Times
The European Commission is set to recommend member states agree to open EU membership negotiations with Ukraine, though with caveats on when talks should formally begin. A start date for formal talks should only be agreed pending Ukraine adopting specific laws related to issues including political asset declarations, the regulation of political lobbying and guarantees for national minorities, according to an unpublished final draft of the commission’s conclusions.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy calls for discipline as cracks emerge in Kyiv’s unity; Ukrainian president fires head of special forces and rebukes top commander who said war with Russia was at a ‘stalemate’
Isobel Koshiw and Roman Olearchyk and Ben Hall – Financial Times
Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s video address on Monday night was blunt. “We need to pull ourselves together,” he said. “We cannot relax or allow ourselves to be divided by disputes or different priorities.” It was a message to the Ukrainian people feeling the heavy strains of 19 months of Russia’s war of aggression. It was also a message to his own team of advisers and military officers whose morale has been hammered by limited progress on the battlefield and deep concern over faltering western support for Ukraine’s war effort.
Israel plans ‘indefinite’ controls over Gaza, says Benjamin Netanyahu; Move to retain ‘overall security responsibility’ aims to ensure Palestinian territory cannot be dominated by Hamas
Mehul Srivastava – Financial Times
Israel will maintain an indefinite grip over Gaza to ensure its own security, prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, in his first explicit comments on the country’s plans for the Palestinian enclave after its war with Hamas. The Gaza Strip should be governed by “those who don’t want to continue the way of Hamas”, Netanyahu told ABC News on Monday, without clarifying whether he was referring to the Palestinian Authority, a rival to the militant group, or an international force.
“Water is being used as a weapon of war”
Reuters Sustainable Switch
Gaza residents are facing severe water shortages. One of two plants to desalinate seawater is shut down for lack of fuel with the other operating at minimum levels, the U.N. for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said. Two of three water pipelines from Israel are operating. Israel initially severed all water supply to Gaza after Oct. 7, when Hamas gunmen rampaged through southern Israel killing around 1,400 people and taking more than 200 hostage. But it says it has restored supplies in southern areas by reopening lines that provide 28.5 million liters of water a day.
No, Gazans Can’t Rise Up Against Hamas; The terror group maintains a monopoly on power over the strip and controls its economy.
Bobby Ghosh – Bloomberg
“They could have risen up, they could have fought against that evil regime which took over Gaza in a coup d’etat.” Israeli President Isaac Herzog ought to know better than to have said that. But those who don’t – those who had no call to pay attention to Palestinian politics until a month ago – might be forgiven for asking why Hamas has never faced a serious uprising from within their Gazan redoubt in the 17 years it has ruled the strip.
Exchanges, OTC and Clearing
TMX launches new platform for Canadian equities trading; Platform consists of two order books, Alpha-X and Alpha DRK, and is designed to create an “optimised trading environment to enhance execution quality”.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
Toronto-based stock exchange TMX Group has launched a new platform designed to optimise the trading of Canadian equities. Comprised of two order books – Alpha-X and Alpha DRK – the new platform is aimed at enhancing natural order flow and limiting adverse selection that occurs in the market due to “natural speed advantages” in the trading ecosystem.
TMX Group Launches New Canadian Trading Platform; Alpha-X and Alpha DRK provide democratized speed and improved performance
TMX Group today announced the launch of an innovative new Canadian trading platform consisting of two order books, Alpha-X and Alpha DRK, designed to create an optimized trading environment to enhance execution quality. These two new equities order books aim to provide high-quality execution for natural order flow, limit adverse selection resulting from natural speed advantages in the trading ecosystem, and improve the overall trading experience for all participants.
CME’s Currency Trading Drops to Two-Year Low as Volatility Fades; Spot volumes on EBS fall to the lowest since December 2021; Directionless markets mean there’s little incentive to trade
Alice Atkins – Bloomberg
Currency volumes have dried up to the lowest in two years as quiet markets give investors little reason to trade, according to data from CME Group, the largest FX venue. An average of $50.8 billion changed hands each day on CME’s spot platform, known as EBS, last month. That’s also the third-lowest reading since it started reporting activity in 2017, and compares with about $75 billion in early 2021.
Citadel Securities business development specialist departs for Nasdaq European Markets; SIX’s former head of equities Adam Matuszewski was appointed to replace departing individual at Citadel Securities last week.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
Nasdaq European Markets has selected the former head of European business development at Citadel Securities to join the venue as a senior sales director, The TRADE can reveal. Matteo Balladori has joined Nasdaq European Markets in its European equities sales team based in London after nearly six years at Citadel Securities. In his new role at Nasdaq, he will be responsible for European and London-based clients.
ICE Launches Service to Help Identify and Monitor Entities and Securities Subject to Financial and Economic Sanctions Programs; Covers programs overseen by CFSP, OFAC and UNSC, among others.
Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE:ICE), a leading global provider of data, technology and market infrastructure, today announced the launch of a sanctions service to help facilitate institutional compliance with a complex and dynamic landscape of global sanctions, including programs administered by the United Nations, European Union, U.S. and others. This new service leverages ICE’s extensive data offering, cross-referencing and linkage capabilities to identify securities, entities and groups targeted by sanctions programs.
EEX Group Monthly Volumes – October 2023
EEX Group reports its October 2023 volumes with the following highlights: Total trading volume on global power markets of EEX Group in October 2023 doubled on a Year-on-Year basis, reaching 880.7 TWh, with European power derivatives continuing the growth path and registering 570.5 TWh in the month, a 191% growth YoY. Almost all individual European power derivatives markets have seen a triple-digit growth compared to last October, with Greek Power Futures registering the highest growth rate. The EPEX power spot markets grew by 26% YoY, with new records at several intraday (GB, NL, BE) and day-ahead (GB, SE) markets. EEX Group’s natural gas markets amounted to 633.9 TWh in total, an 11% increase YoY. The EEX Natural Gas Derivatives markets volumes increased by 50%, partly driven by exceptional growth in Spanish gas futures (PVB: +184%). EEX Group’s European environmental markets expanded by 91%, including a 310% growth in EUA Futures and 515% in secondary market EUA Spot, following the implementation of a new market maker scheme, which had a positive impact on the order books.
SET Announces SET ESG Ratings For 193 Listed Companies
The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) has renamed Thailand Sustainability Investment (THSI) to “SET ESG Ratings” and announced ESG assessment results in rating scales with four levels: AAA, AA, A and BBB, aiming to provide more comprehensive information to investors. In 2023, 193 listed companies have passed the selection criteria and have been assigned SET ESG Ratings, up from 166 companies in the previous year. This reflects that listed companies have placed increasing importance on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) aspects in their business operations.
Eventus boosts security posture through successful SOC 2 Type 2 examination
Eventus, a leading global provider of state-of-the-art, at-scale trade surveillance software across all lines of defense, announced today it has successfully completed its System and Organization Controls (SOC) 2Â® Type 2 examination on controls relevant to Security, Availability and Confidentiality for trade surveillance services. Developed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the SOC 2 Type 2 examines a service provider’s internal controls and systems related to security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality and privacy of data. It provides stakeholders with reasonable assurance of the suitability of the design and operating effectiveness of a third-party provider’s controls and systems when evaluated against the relevant Trust Services Criteria for a period of time.
CobaltFX launches alternative FX messaging service to combat post-trade pain points; New offering will provide alternative choices for post-trade FX messaging in the event of cyberattacks and other forms of failure in the FX market.
Wesley Bray – The Trade
CobaltFX has launched an alternative post-trade messaging service to reduce risk in FX and combat the lack of competition in the market. According to Andy Coyne, founder of CobaltFX, a Single Point of Failure (SPoF) in FX post-trade messaging – created by market consolidation – poses a threat to the entire global financial ecosystem.
Broadridge Launches AI-Enabled Analytics for Asset Managers
In response to increased demand from asset managers to drive distribution efficiencies and optimize performance in an increasingly competitive environment, global Fintech leader Broadridge Financial Solutions announces the launch of DistributionAI and Global Demand Model.
Bloomberg Collaborates with Google Cloud
Bloomberg has announced a new offering that enables customers of Google Cloud to accelerate their data strategies through the integration of Bloomberg’s cloud-based data management solution, Data License Plus (DL+), with BigQuery, Google Cloud’s fully managed, serverless data warehouse.
OpenAI set to launch store as ChatGPT reaches 100mn users; Group aims to turn artificial intelligence interface into a digital platform
Madhumita Murgia – Financial Times
OpenAI is launching custom versions of ChatGPT that can be adapted and tailored for specific applications, turning the chatbot interface into a digital platform like iOS or Android. Known as GPTs, the tools can be built using plain English for cases such as tutoring a child in maths, creating a travel concierge or designing a website. The Microsoft-backed artificial intelligence company said it planned to launch a GPT Store in the coming weeks, to collate the best apps, and eventually split revenues with the most popular GPT creators.
French AI start-up Mistral emerges as latest target of investor frenzy; Six-month-old group is in funding talks that value it at between 1.5bn euro and 2bn euro amid high interest in its models
Tim Bradshaw and Ivan Levingston, George Hammond and Leila Abboud – Financial Times
AI company to lay off more than 500 employees – after boasting about ‘strong’ third quarter
Ariel Zilber – NY Post
ChatGPT maker OpenAI unveils customized AI bots, cheaper powerful models
Reuters via NY Post
Jack Dorsey’s payments company Block to slash headcount as much as 10%: report
Shannon Thaler – NY Post
Siemens, Ericsson warn EU cybersecurity rules may disrupt supply chains
Foo Yun Chee – Reuters
Electronics makers Siemens (SIEGn.DE), Ericsson (ERICb.ST) and Schneider Electric (SCHN.PA), along with industry group DigitalEurope warned on Monday that onerous proposed EU rules targeting cybersecurity risks of smart devices could disrupt supply chains on a scale similar to during the pandemic. Proposed by the European Commission last year, the Cyber Resilience Act requires manufacturers to assess the cybersecurity risks of their products and take measures to fix problems for a period of five years or through the expected lifetime of the products.
There are reasons to be leery of House speaker’s porn-monitoring software, experts say
Tim Starks – The Washington Post
Freshly minted House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) has said that he has used a type of porn-monitoring software that has faced questions about its security, privacy, use and abuse. A video clip resurfaced last week in which Johnson, speaking last year, touted Covenant Eyes, which monitors users’ devices for porn and provides reports between “accountability partners” about whether they’d indulged.
Private Equity CISO Fireside Chat – Cybersecurity Leadership in the Age of Generative AI
Partner and co-head of Skadden’s Cybersecurity and Data Privacy practice David Simon recently sat down with two chief information security officers (CISOs) from the private equity sector as part of the firm’s National Cyber Awareness Month series. Bethany De Lude is a managing director and CISO at the Carlyle Group, and David Stern serves as CISO at KKR. The discussion, “Cybersecurity Leadership in the Age of Generative AI,” focused on the emerging challenges surrounding generative AI, as well as the evolving hybrid role of a CISO.
Sam Bankman-Fried speaks on potential life sentence, causing ‘net harm to the world’; In exclusive audio, the disgraced FTX founder came to grips with a potential life sentence for defrauding crypto exchange customers.
After being found guilty on all seven counts in a recently-concluded fraud trial, FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried faces as much as 115 years in prison. “Sam Bankman-Fried, guilty on all seven counts of the FTX fraud trial,” Aaron Arnold of TheStreetCrypto reported in the video above. “Amazing that the jury only took about four, four-and-a-half hours to deliberate and came back unanimously: guilty on seven counts. He’s facing up to 115 years in prison, a tentative sentencing date has been set for March 28 of 2024.”
Leverage Is Ramping Up in Crypto as XRP Leads Alt-Coin Rally
Muyao Shen – Bloomberg
Decentralized finance is making a surprise comeback, as the latest cryptocurrency rally spreads to the sector that has struggled with growth since last year’s high-profile collapses and a jump in interest rates in traditional markets. Interest rates to borrow stablecoins meant to track the US dollar, such as USDC and Tether, have surged to more than 10% on Aave, the largest lender among DeFi projects that allow peer-to-peer cryptocurrency transactions without middlemen. A higher interest rate means that more traders are willing to pay up to borrow the stablecoins, a sign that they are levering up their crypto bets. For months, the rates had been depressed as DeFi’s once lofty returns were nowhere to be found amid decades-high yields in the traditional bond market.
Kraken Seeking Partners To Build Own Layer-2 Network
Hope C – CoinMarketCap
According to anonymous sources, Kraken, a renowned cryptocurrency exchange based in the United States, is considering working with major blockchain technology companies to establish its own layer 2 network. The move follows competitor Coinbase’s earlier introduction of its own layer 2 network, Base.
ProShares Launches Short Ether-Linked ETF
ProShares recently launched the ProShares Short Ether Strategy (SETH), an ETF enabling investors to take a bearish stance on ether. ProShares Global Investment Strategist Simeon Hyman discusses joins “First Mover” to discuss, as part of CoinDesk’s Trading Week 2023, presented by CME Group. Hyman also discusses the road ahead for crypto-linked ETFs and bitcoin’s (BTC) recent rise above $35,000.
Huge cyber leak offers new proof of how Maduro has turned Venezuela into a narco-state
Antonio Maria Delgado, Valentina Lares – Miami Herald
A massive leak of confidential Colombian records adds to the mounting evidence that Venezuela’s military and government elite, not content with plundering the nation’s oil wealth, are now increasingly focused on milking a different profit center: Cocaine. The role of the military in relation to the drug trade has shifted from looking the other way in exchange for taking bribes to one of active player, according to leaked documents obtained by the Herald and its reporting partners, bolstered by interviews with former members of the Caracas regime, U.S. officials and others.
US Lawmaker Proposed To Slash Gary Gensler’s Salary From Over $300K to $1
Hope C – CoinMarketCap
Rep. Tim Burchett of the United States introduced an amendment to the Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) bill that proposes to cut Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair Gary Gensler’s compensation to $1 per year. The amendment was submitted as part of a larger campaign to defund the regulatory agency and to dramatically slash government expenditure.
From the US to Ukraine, the Gaza war will change the world; Conflict in the Middle East is bad news for liberals and helpful for Putin and Trump
Gideon Rachman – Financial Times
“Things can only get better” felt like the anthem for the 1990s. Released in 1993, four years after the fall of the Berlin wall, the song was the perfect soundtrack for a decade in which apartheid ended, democracy came to eastern Europe, peace came to Northern Ireland and the Oslo accords promised an end to the Israel-Palestine conflict. In the 1990s, the spirit of the age favoured peacemakers, democrats and internationalists. Today, it is nationalists, warmongers and conspiracy theorists who have the wind in their sails.
US says reliance on Russian nuclear fuel presents national security risk; Dependence on supplies from Moscow-controlled Rosatom also threatens climate goals, official warns
Jamie Smyth – Financial Times
US reliance on Russia’s nuclear fuel poses a critical threat to national security and climate goals, said a senior Biden administration official, who urged Congress to provide funds to rebuild its domestic supply chain and restrict imports from the country. Kathryn Huff, assistant secretary for nuclear energy, told the Financial Times it was “gravely concerning” that about 20 per cent of fuel used by the US nuclear reactor fleet is supplied through enrichment contracts with Russian suppliers.
King Charles III, Climate Advocate, Delivers Speech at Odds With His Beliefs; In keeping with tradition, he outlined the priorities of the prime minister at the opening of Parliament – including, this year, more fossil fuel extraction.
Stephen Castle – The New York Times
King Charles III opened a session of Parliament on Tuesday for the first time as monarch, outlining the British government’s legislative priorities as part of a tradition-steeped ceremony that tested his skill at displaying the political neutrality for which his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, was famous.
‘A pathetic attempt to turn climate policy into a culture war’: Green economy reacts to King’s Speech
EU Set to Proceed on Ukraine Membership Bid With Conditions; The bloc will say Ukraine still needs to finish three reforms; European Commission will present enlargement report this week
Alberto Nardelli, Jorge Valero, and Jasmina Kuzmanovic – Bloomberg
China Took On the World – and Now It Faces a Reckoning; A hardening of relations between the US and its rival superpower might not be so inevitable anymore.
Timothy L. O’Brien – Bloomberg
UK sets out proposals to bring stablecoins into real economy; Bank of England and FCA criteria are latest step in Britain’s drive to position itself as key hub for digital assets
Scott Chipolina – Financial Times
The Bank of England and Financial Conduct Authority are setting out proposals that will bring stablecoins – a type of digital token designed to track the price of hard currencies – into the real economy as a payment option for goods and services.
Federal Court Orders Former New York City Resident to Pay Over $2.6 Million in Monetary Sanctions for Fraudulent Solicitation and Misappropriation in a Commodity Pool Scheme
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission today announced the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York entered an order of final judgment against Mark A. Ramkishun, a former resident of Brooklyn, New York. The order resolves the CFTC’s January 9 lawsuit against Ramkishun and finds him liable for fraudulently soliciting investments in a purported commodity pool and misappropriating pool participants’ funds. [See CFTC Press Release No. 8646-23].
Chairman Behnam to Provide Opening Remarks at the Global Financial Innovation Network Conference
Chairman Rostin Behnam will provide opening remarks at the Global Financial Innovation Network Conference.
Chairman Behnam to Participate in a Fireside Chat at SIFMA’s Annual Meeting
Inter-Agency Working Group Releases New Report on Treasury Market Resilience Efforts
The Inter-Agency Working Group on Treasury Market Surveillance (IAWG)-which is composed of staff from the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission-today issued a staff progress report to provide an additional update on a wide range of significant steps its members have taken to enhance the resilience of the U.S. Treasury market.
Red light for greenwashing
ASIC is deeply committed to protecting Australians from financial harm, acting on and deterring misconduct, and upholding the integrity of Australia’s financial system. To support this commitment, last year, I announced ASIC’s 2023 enforcement priorities. Following an influx of sustainability-related products into the market as entities launched ‘green’ products to satisfy consumer appetite, our enforcement priorities included a focus on greenwashing.
Investing and Trading
SpaceX Eyes $15 Billion in 2024 Sales on Starlink Strength
Ed Ludlow and Gillian Tan – Bloomberg
SpaceX is on track to book revenues of about $9 billion this year across its rocket launch and Starlink businesses, according to people familiar with the matter, with sales projected to rise to around $15 billion in 2024. Sales for Starlink, in particular, are expected to outpace and exceed the launch business next year as the product becomes available in more regions around the world, according to the people, who asked not to be identified as the information is private. Starlink will then represent the majority of SpaceX revenue, the people said.
Sanofi Probed for Market Manipulation by French Authorities; French drugmaker says it isn’t aware of investigation; Stock drops as prosecutors question financial communication
Jenny Che and Marthe Fourcade – Bloomberg
French financial prosecutors are investigating Sanofi for alleged market manipulation. The preliminary probe opened in March involves alleged dissemination of misleading information related to the drugmaker’s financial communication, according to a judicial source who declined to be identified.
Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance
A Record Number of Supertankers Is Headed to Collect US Oil
Bill Lehane – Bloomberg
A record number of supertankers is steaming toward the US to load oil as shipowners look to capitalize on an increase in the nation’s crude exports. Forty-eight vessels are bound for the country in the coming three months, according to data gathered Friday by Bloomberg. That’s the most in at least six years.
Houston takes top spot in FT-Nikkei rankings by moving beyond oil; The Texan city has become a hub for green energy innovation by building on its hydrocarbon past
Myles McCormick – Financial Times
Ever since crude first gushed from Spindletop Hill in 1901, Houston has been an oil town – the epicentre of America’s oil and gas industry, its fortunes rising and falling with those of the sector. Today, though, America’s fourth-largest city is rapidly expanding beyond the industry on which it was built. Not only has it become a centre for green energy innovation, but other sectors, including medical technology and aerospace, now call the Texas city home.
ESG Watch: Battered on all fronts, insurance industry struggles to rise to climate challenge
Mike Scott – Reuters
From 1980-2022, an estimated 650 billion euros in assets were lost due to weather- and climate-related incidents. 45 insurers committed to end or restrict underwriting coal, but top 25 fossil fuel insurers control 69% of market Insurers paying in excess of $100 billion a year for natural catastrophe losses, and premiums are surging. Campaigners criticise sector for saying some regions uninsurable while underwriting fossil fuel industries. PwC report highlights opportunities for insurers that adapt product offering to meet changing demand. Insurance is an essential cog in the global economy, largely unseen but vital to homeowners and giant infrastructure projects alike. Insurance contracts are like a “permission to act. When you have an insurance company on your side, you can do business,” says Francois Lanavere, head of strategic partnerships at AXA Climate.
AI Could Give Coral a Fighting Chance in Rapidly Warming Oceans; Scientists are working on a unique solution to speed up coral restoration. But it may not be enough to save reefs.
Todd Woody – Bloomberg
Robots, 3D printers and other machinery fill a building on a pier in San Francisco. It seems an unlikely place to save coral reefs from climate change. But over the past four years, an Australian coral scientist has been collaborating with technologists at the industrial design software company Autodesk Inc. to develop artificial-intelligence-powered robots that can automate coral restoration. Doing so could speed the rehabilitation of reefs as well as the transplanting of corals to places where they’d have a better chance of surviving in a rapidly warming ocean.
Feds Bet on Paying for Water Conservation to Protect the Colorado River; Arizona and other states have agreed to use considerably less water from the river through 2026, thanks in part to a wet winter.
Wyatt Myskow – Inside Climate News
Arizona’s future was at a critical juncture at the beginning of 2023.Massive cuts to the state’s Colorado River water supply were being imposed. Deadlines loomed from the federal government for the seven states that rely on Colorado River water to come up with a solution for how to cut use even further as the nation’s two largest reservoirs recorded among their lowest levels ever after decades of drought caused by overconsumption and climate change. All the while, Arizona’s growth-both in population and in business-continued to boom, prompting questions over the long-term sustainability of the state’s economy.
Coca-Cola, Nestle and Danone face legal complaint over plastics recycling claims; Environmental lawyers are supporting a legal complaint in the EU intended to force consumer goods giants to change their on-pack messaging on plastic bottle recycling.
Sarah George – edie
Michigan Poised to Join States Requiring 100 Percent Clean Electricity; A suite of bills headed to the governor’s desk will also give the state, instead of local governments, the authority to approve industrial-scale renewable energy projects.
Dan Gearino, Aydali Campa – Inside Climate News
Battery Recycler Among Winners of Prince William’s Earthshot Prize; Five companies tackling the environmental crisis will receive 1 million pounds and other support.
Siobhan Wagner – Bloomberg
Germany’s Full Gas Inventories Likely to Prevent Winter Shortage
Petra Sorge – Bloomberg
Institutional Shareholder Services Announces Creation of ISS STOXX
Institutional Shareholder Services (“ISS”), a leading provider of corporate governance and responsible investment solutions, fund intelligence, and events and editorial content for institutional investors and corporations, today announced the completion of its transaction to add Qontigo’s index business under the newly created “ISS STOXX” group of companies. The Qontigo index business will be rebranded “STOXX.”
UBS posts first quarterly loss since 2017 on costs of Credit Suisse deal; Expenses tied to takeover of Swiss rival overshadow solid quarter for wealth management arm
Owen Walker – Financial Times
UBS has posted its first quarterly loss in almost six years as the Swiss lender laid bare the costs of integrating Credit Suisse following the state-orchestrated rescue of its rival. The deal is expected to be a boon for UBS in the long run, cementing its position as a global wealth management powerhouse, but the banking industry’s most complex takeover since the 2008 financial crisis has brought risks.
UBS wins back wealthy clients as Credit Suisse takeover thrusts it in red
Noele Illien – Reuters
UBS Group took in fresh money from the globe’s rich, the bank reported on Tuesday, helping to soften the blow of a $785 million quarterly loss to cover the costs of swallowing stricken rival Credit Suisse.
UBS Seeks to Shed $5 Billion in Rich Clients’ Assets
Marion Halftermeyer and Myriam Balezou – Bloomberg
UBS Group AG has decided to exit $5 billion in assets it manages for rich customers as it sorts out the pieces of Credit Suisse it doesn’t want. The lender moved the assets from its wealth management division to its wind-down unit during the third quarter, it said in its quarterly report published Tuesday. In addition, it reclassified $30 billion worth of assets in the wealth unit as “related to non-strategic relationships.”
Credit Suisse Banker Who Created ESG Swaps Gets Senior UBS Role
Natasha White – Bloomberg
The Credit Suisse executive who built an ESG debt-swap market that’s now attracting some of the world’s biggest banks has secured a senior role within UBS Group AG, according to an internal memo seen by Bloomberg. Ramzi Issa, whose latest role was as global head of credit investor products structuring at Credit Suisse, will oversee global structured credit and sustainable credit products at UBS, following this year’s state-engineered takeover, the memo showed.
SocGen Offers AT1 Dollar Bond to Bolster Capital Amid Repayments; Offering comes after repayment of $3 billion existing AT1s; Sale comes in a busy week for deals as risk appetite returns
Tasos Vossos – Bloomberg
Work & Management
WeWork Goes Bankrupt, Signs Pact With Creditors to Cut Debt; Inks restructuring support agreement with secured note holders; The Chapter 11 filing lists nearly $19 billion of debt
Ethan M Steinberg and Amelia Pollard – Bloomberg
WeWork Inc., once the biggest office tenant in Manhattan, has filed for bankruptcy listing nearly $19 billion of debts. The former high-flying startup struggled to recover from the pandemic, which hurt the co-working company as widespread lockdowns drove professionals to work from home. Its Chapter 11 filing in New Jersey listed assets of $15 billion.
WeWork Didn’t Work But Might Work This Time; Shorn of its massive debts and lease obligations, the bankrupt flexible workspace provider might have a future.
Chris Bryant – Bloomberg
WeWork Inc. has filed for bankruptcy in a fitting coda to the free money era. But once shorn of the liabilities amassed during its go-go years, might the flexible workspace provider actually succeed this time?
WeWork Saga Cost Masayoshi Son $11.5 Billion and His Credibility; Co-working space’s bankruptcy highlights billionaire’s hubris; Few checks on SoftBank CEO as he prepares to go on offensive
Min Jeong Lee – Bloomberg
WeWork Inc.’s bankruptcy filing caps a years-long saga that revealed breathtaking flaws in the investment style of Japanese billionaire Masayoshi Son, damaging his professional reputation far beyond the money he lost.
Free Bus Rides Offer Indian Women New Option for Work, and Play; In a country with one of the world’s lowest female labor participation rates, states are trying to give women more freedom to move around.
Satviki Sanjay – Bloomberg
Chikamma travels half an hour every day from her home in a village on the outskirts of Bengaluru to work as a domestic helper in Yelahanka, close to the city’s airport. For more than a decade, 39-year-old Chikamma, who only uses her first name, has taken the bus, which eats up a chunk of her 20,000 rupee ($240.45) monthly wages. Since the Karnataka state government made the public buses free to women in June, she has been able to save about 1,500 rupees a month.
New Apple Watch to monitor blood glucose and pressure, sleep apnea signs: report
Brooke Steinberg – NY Post
The Apple Watch is always adding new features – and the 2024 version could be a game changer for your health. According to a report from Bloomberg, the newest series of the device will have three additional health sensors that can alert wearers if they are pre-diabetic, sense rising blood pressure and detect sleep disturbances that could mean hypertension or sleep apnea.
Ketamine soars as pain, depression treatment – experts fear ‘wild west’ boom
Associated Press via the NY Post
As U.S. doctors scale back their use of opioid painkillers, a new option for hard-to-treat pain is taking root: ketamine, the decades-old surgical drug that is now a trendy psychedelic therapy. Prescriptions for ketamine have soared in recent years, driven by for-profit clinics and telehealth services offering the medication as a treatment for pain, depression, anxiety and other conditions. The generic drug can be purchased cheaply and prescribed by most physicians and some nurses, regardless of their training.
US interest rates add to ‘silent debt crisis’ in developing countries; World Bank warns some high-debt, low-income nations face ‘nightmare’ rolling over their bonds
Sam Fleming and Mary McDougall – Financial Times
Many smaller emerging markets are confronting a “silent debt crisis” as they struggle with the impact of high US interest rates on their already-fragile finances, the World Bank has warned. After a sharp sell-off last year triggered by a rapid rise in global interest rates and a strong dollar, foreign currency emerging market debt has struggled to recover as investors bet that borrowing costs will have to stay higher for longer.
Falling pork prices threaten to push China back into deflation; Pig farmers have kept up production despite weak demand ahead of October consumer price data
Hudson Lockett – Financial Times
Tumbling pork prices could push China back into deflation this week, as the largest listed hog farmers flood the domestic market and complicate Beijing’s efforts to bolster confidence in the world’s second-largest economy. Live hog futures traded on China’s Dalian Commodity Exchange have dropped about 15 per cent since the start of October, reflecting a sharp deterioration in expectations for nationwide pork prices. Wholesale pork prices in China are down more than 40 per cent from a year ago.
Albemarle warns of losing lithium market share to China as prices fall; World’s biggest producer has scaled back its growth plans at a time when Chinese rivals pursue development
Harry Dempsey – Financial Times
Albemarle, the world’s largest lithium company, has warned it could lose market share to Chinese producers after a $4.2bn deal to buy an Australian rival foundered and a collapse in prices prompted a pullback on expansion plans. The US company last week revealed a review – entailing a reduction and reordering – of its capital expenditure plans in response to investor concerns over spending heavily during a market downturn.
China’s clashing priorities behind rare money market distress
China’s attempts to keep the yuan from falling contributed to last week’s chaos in money markets, sources involved say, pointing to the pressure behind the scenes as Beijing tries to guide its economy and markets through a major slowdown. Routine month-end demand for cash in China’s banking system snowballed into a scramble on Oct. 31 that pushed short-term funding rates as high as 50% in some cases, an incident that authorities are now investigating.
Saudi Aramco profits exceed expectations on back of buoyed oil price; Group surprises with quarterly net profit of $32.6bn despite production volumes falling
David Sheppard – Financial Times
Saudi Aramco’s net profits surpassed analyst expectations as it revealed the impact of deeper production cuts this summer after the kingdom moved to prop up the oil price. The state-run company, which pumps almost 10 per cent of world oil supplies, reported a net profit of $32.6bn for the three months to September 30, exceeding the median forecast of $31.8bn by analysts.