Wall Street Set for New ETF Gold Rush as Single-Stock Era Begins

Jul 18, 2022

First Read

Hits & Takes
John Lothian & JLN Staff

It is going to be hot in London, Europe and China this week, so be careful out there. London will be hotter than the Caribbean and Sahara, according to a Bloomberg story. And Reuters reported that Great Britain will experience its hottest day on record, “forcing train companies to cancel services and some schools to close while ministers urged the public to stay at home,” Reuters reported.

Reuters also reported that China is expecting scorching heat to resume baking large parts of the country.

In France and Spain, wildfires are raging as the heatwave sears the continent, Reuters reported.

Today, JLN published part one of our interview with Wolfgang Eholzer for The History of Financial Futures video series. Eholzer is the chief technology officer of Eurex who joined the firm at the time of the Battle of the Bund and shared with us the history of Eurex technology since he joined the exchange.

Vinson & Elkins is offering a program on July 20 in their Dallas offices titled “Navigating Inside the SEC” that is also offered via webcast. The program features Rebecca Pike, who spent 10 years in the Division of Enforcement at the Fort Worth Regional Office of the Securities and Exchange Commission. The program includes a look at how the SEC works internally, best practices when clients learn of potential SEC concerns or receive a subpoena, and how rulemaking works within the agency. For more details, click HERE.

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


Wolfgang Eholzer: The History of Financial Futures

In 1997, Wolfgang Eholzer decided there were not enough students studying physics and mathematics in Germany to make a career in academia and that maybe finding a job would be a good thing. The question was where was there enough going on. That question led him to Deutsche Boerse, which was starting a new electronic derivatives exchange and hiring like mad. He has been there since.

Today, Eholzer is the chief technology officer of Eurex. JLN interviewed Eholzer for The History of Financial Futures video series from John Lothian News and MarketsWiki Education.

Watch the video »


Euromoney Agrees to £1.6 Billion Private Equity Takeover; Bidders will separate Fastmarkets business into own unit; Deal expected to close this year if shareholders approve
Amy Thomson – Bloomberg
Financial news and information business Euromoney Institutional Investor Plc has agreed to sell itself to a private equity consortium for about £1.6 billion ($1.9 billion) Euromoney investors will receive £14.61 per share from Luxembourg-based private equity manager Astorg Asset Management Sarl and British firm Epiris LLP, the companies said in a statement on Monday. Euromoney had announced the talks last month.

***** I am always happy to see financial media companies bought for premium prices. ~JJL


Wall Street Set for New ETF Gold Rush as Single-Stock Era Begins; New generation of funds to amplify, invert equity performance; SEC warns on risks as day traders reel from market volatility
Katherine Greifeld and Elaine Chen – Bloomberg
A new ETF-for-everything era may have just begun on Wall Street, swelling an industry that already boasts nearly 3,000 products and $6.2 trillion in assets. The booming world of exchange-traded funds is about to get even more crowded after the very first single-equity ETFs launched Thursday — despite a torrent of regulatory warnings over their risks while retail investors are still reeling from the crash in speculative trades from crypto to meme stocks.

****I am not sure I understand the purpose of this product. Is this a new single stock future in a different form?~JJL


How to Manage With Extreme Temperatures During the Heatwave
Claudia Rowan, The Press Association – Bloomberg
Health experts have shared advice on how to cope as the Met Office warns lives could be at risk during expected record-breaking hot weather. Temperatures are expected to exceed 37C in parts of the UK, with the Met Office warning of “a very serious situation” as it issued its first red warning for extreme heat. Here is everything you need to know about coping during the heatwave, from keeping your pets cool to making sure you are drinking enough water. https://jlne.ws/3IL0F3c
***** Be smart, be careful.~JJL


Putin is already at war with Europe. There is only one way to stop him
Simon Tisdall – The Guardian
Time to wake up and smell the cordite. Like shockwaves from an exploding missile, Vladimir Putin’s war on Europe’s edge is rapidly rolling westwards, blasting its way through the front doors of homes, businesses and workplaces from Berlin to Birmingham. Its fallout seeds a toxic rain of instability, hardship and fear. The idea the Ukraine conflict could be confined to Ukraine – Nato’s politically convenient grand delusion – and that western sanctions and arms supplies would stop the Russians was always a nonsense. Now, enraged by Kyiv’s stubborn resistance and hell-bent on punishing his punishers, Putin’s aim is the immiseration of Europe. By weaponising energy, food, refugees and information, Russia’s leader spreads the economic and political pain, creating wartime conditions for all. A long, cold, calamity-filled European winter of power shortages and turmoil looms. And like a coin-fed gas meter, the price of western leaders’ timidity and shortsightedness ticks upwards by the hour.

****** Mr. Tisdall makes a compelling case that Europe is already at war, whether they realize it or not.~JJL


A Goldman Legend, Crypto Star and Top Banker Warn of Next Big Risk; Abby Joseph Cohen, Sam Bankman-Fried and Ken Moelis share their views on the end of globalization, the pandemic and the fading American dream.
Sonali Basak – Bloomberg
In a year in which Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is sending shock waves through global politics and markets, inflation is soaring worldwide and supply chains are unraveling, the largest investors are assessing the long-term consequences of the events they didn’t see coming. We asked three market visionaries about the next big risk in the coming five to 10 years: Abby Joseph Cohen, the former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. strategist known for bold market calls who now teaches at Columbia University; FTX Chief Executive Officer Sam Bankman-Fried, who’s boosting his charitable and political giving while his cryptocurrency exchange is becoming a lender of last resort in his industry; and Ken Moelis, the billionaire whose investment bank advises some of the world’s largest companies.

****** Sam Bankman-Fried is going to talk about the fading American dream? Wow!~JJL


Friday’s Top Three
Our top story Friday was Bloomberg’s Wall Street Texting Habit Sticks Banks With Rare $1 Billion Bill. Second was JPMorgan Gold Trader Turned Whistle-Blower Admits to Lies, also from Bloomberg. And third was China Is Giving Off Strong Lehman Brothers Vibes, an opinion piece from…Bloomberg.


MarketsWiki Stats
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MarketsWiki Statistics


Lead Stories

Wall Street Set for New ETF Gold Rush as Single-Stock Era Begins
Katie Greifeld and Elaine Chen – Bloomberg
A new ETF-for-everything era may have just begun on Wall Street, swelling an industry that already boasts nearly 3,000 products and $6.2 trillion in assets. The booming world of exchange-traded funds is about to get even more crowded after the very first single-equity ETFs launched Thursday — despite a torrent of regulatory warnings over their risks while retail investors are still reeling from the crash in speculative trades from crypto to meme stocks.

New single-stock ETFs let investors short Tesla without shorting Tesla
Jared Blikre – Yahoo! Finance
A new, exotic ETF product hit the tape this week — single stock ETFs. The ETFs, managed by AXS Investments, are the first of their kind to be approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission — though similar products have existed for years in Europe. These new funds allow investors to short stocks like Tesla (TSLA), or make a levered long bet on a name like Nike (NKE) or Pfizer (PFE), with a regular brokerage account. Another “democratization” of some of the riskier trades available to investment professionals.

London Will Bake in 40-Degree Heat. Get Used to It; Four charts show how more frequent heat waves in Britain are putting people at risk.
Jess Shankleman and Will Mathis – Bloomberg
Temperatures in London and the south of England might hit a record-setting 40° Celsius (104° Fahrenheit) this week, hotter than the forecast in Madrid, Rome or Marseille. The English may have to get used to the sweltering heat. Record-setting temperatures in the UK join dangerous heat waves this summer across the world in places ranging from Texas to China and western Europe. Britain’s track record of extreme heat events follows the rising level of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere. As long as the world continues to burn more coal, oil and natural gas to power homes, vehicles and industry, the likelihood of more frequent heat waves only increases.

Heatflation: How sizzling temperatures drive up food prices; As heat waves strike Europe and China, crops are withering.
Kate Yoder – Grist
Vicious heat waves are sweeping parts of the globe this week, along with the dangers that come with blazing-hot temperatures: wildfires, dehydration, and even death. The hot weather could also push prices up for food, making inflation even worse.

Liquidity strains in markets need structural fixes; It might be easier to target funds but broader remedies are required to deal with times of stress
Eric Pan – FT
While high inflation is making the headlines, another potentially worrisome development for markets this year has been the deterioration of liquidity in trading. As the US Federal Reserve discussed in its latest Financial Stability Report in May, liquidity has been falling since late 2021 in US Treasuries as well as in futures contracts on the S&P 500 index and oil. Liquidity — measured in the ease with which buyers and sellers can transact — is critical to a well-functioning market for everyday investors and borrowers.

Risk, Reward, Regulation: Central Bankers Eye Crypto Cautiously
Michelle Jamrisko – Bloomberg
Central bankers are seeking to balance the opportunities offered by cryptocurrencies with the risk that slow progress on regulating them could mean more losses for consumers. Chiefs of the Reserve Bank of Australia, Swiss National Bank and Hong Kong Monetary Authority admitted broad uncertainties on the future of digital currencies and hailed the underlying technology while speaking on a panel on the sidelines of the Group of 20 finance meetings in Bali, Indonesia. “Privately backed money can work for a while but it usually ends in disaster,” said RBA Governor Philip Lowe.

A Short Seller’s Life Upended: Carson Block Questions Future; The Muddy Waters founder expresses confidence he’s done nothing wrong while under the cloud of a sweeping US inquiry examining bearish investors
Katia Porzecanski and Tom Schoenberg – Bloomberg
Carson Block was on a Delta flight to New York when he felt blood pooling on his seat. It’s a tale the famous, filter-free founder of trading firm Muddy Waters Capital launches into to make a point about misdoings among short sellers, the subject of a vast probe by the US Justice Department. It describes a trip to unveil a big trade when the whole thing goes sideways because of a suspected information leak. And it gets darker as he goes.

Chaos Is Becoming the Rational Base Case in Market Ruled by Fear; Wall Street’s highest S&P 500 target tops lowest by a rare 50%; The post-pandemic world is hard to predict for Fed, businesses
Lu Wang and Denitsa Tsekova – Bloomberg
Ask paid stock forecasters what the market will do next, and the answers aren’t reassuring. Anything from plunge 12% to jump 32%, say S&P 500 strategists tracked by Bloomberg, among the widest ranges on record. Such a breadth of outcomes is, to state the obvious, useless for anyone trying to form an investment case.

Growing use of ‘carte blanche’ keeps FCMs ‘awake at night’; Executing brokers want to speed up trade processing, but practice is deemed risky by clearers
Luke Clancy – Risk.net
For executing brokers, post-trade confirmations increasingly seem like more trouble than they’re worth. In an attempt to speed up trade processing, many are embracing a practice known as ‘carte blanche’, where give-up trades are accepted for clearing without first confirming the details with clients. Ditching the extra checks, they argue, will prevent a repeat of 2020’s Covid-driven back-office meltdown, when a huge spike in volumes led to operational chaos in the futures markets.

This Could Be the Start of a Dollar ‘Doom Loop’ Like No Other; A reverse currency war beckons
Tracy Alloway and Joe Weisenthal – Bloomberg
The dollar’s gain is the world’s pain — and based on its current trajectory, the world may be in for a whole lot more discomfort. Concerns over global growth have recently sent the Bloomberg Dollar Index to the strongest level on record, with the greenback hitting multi-decade highs against currencies like the euro and the yen. But the move risks becoming a self-reinforcing feedback loop given that the vast majority of cross-border trade is still denominated in dollars, and a stronger US currency has historically translated into a broad hit to the world economy.

Once-Hot Strategy of Holding Bitcoin Overnight Loses Luster; Buying the close, selling the open had been winning strategy; But the past few weeks have seen the strategy take a hit
Immanual John Milton – Bloomberg
Those who watch crypto charts closely might be familiar with the fact that a hypothetical strategy of buying Bitcoin at the close and selling it at the next open has historically netted big returns. Yet the past few weeks have seen it take a hit. The opposite of the so-called after-hours strategy, meaning buying the open and selling at the US market’s close, has been outperforming over the past month, according to Jake Gordon at Bespoke Investment Group.

The SPACsplosion is about to become a liquidation frenzy — and that may be for the best; Blank-check companies that have managed to find a merger target are down more than 65% after the deal, and there are hundreds of SPACs still looking to buy
Therese Poletti – MarketWatch
As the SPAC boom was beginning to rage two years ago, this column asked why in the world any company would want to be acquired by a former chief executive best known for executing one of the worst acquisitions in Silicon Valley history. The answer, it turns out, was that no company wanted to be acquired by Leo Apotheker’s Burgundy Technology Acquisition Corp., at least not at a reasonable price.

Billionaire Ken Griffin’s Colossal Palm Beach Estate Riles Up Neighbors; The hedge funder has amassed the largest swath of land in Palm Beach. Cue the drama.
Noah Kirsch – The Daily Beast
Like a sliver of Versailles transplanted in Palm Beach, billionaire Ken Griffin’s estate extends along 1,400 feet of the Florida coast. For the past decade, the hedge fund titan has gobbled up parcel after parcel of land, ultimately forming the largest residential property on the island, according to the local press. And this month, news broke that the billionaire had finally won approval for a new mansion on the estate, a 44,000-square-foot colossus for his mother. “It’s insane what he amassed,” local mega-developer Todd Michael Glaser told The Daily Beast.

Europe Can’t Shake Off Covid as Variant Fuels Summer Spike; New wave of cases is being driven by omicron subvariant BA.5
Naomi Kresge – Bloomberg
It was supposed to be a post-Covid-19 summer in Europe. Masks are gone in most places, and vacation season is in full swing as workers rush for the beaches and cities they missed in the two years marked by the pandemic. But instead, the reality confronting people is that the virus never went away. A super-transmissible subvariant of the omicron strain, known as BA.5, is fueling a fresh increase in infections, with cases climbing across the UK and the continent.

Most of U.S. Population Now in Areas With High Covid-19 Levels as BA.5 Subvariant Spreads; Los Angeles County says it will reinstate an indoor masking requirement if levels remain high for two weeks
Jon Kamp and Ginger Adams Otis – WSJ
More than half the U.S. population lives in counties where Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations are high enough that people should wear masks in indoor public settings, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data. The CDC’s latest assessment represents a significant jump from the week before, reflecting the added pressure that the easily spread Omicron BA.5 subvariant is putting on the U.S. since it became the dominant Covid-19 strain. Over a third of U.S. counties now fall into the CDC’s “high” category, up from one in five counties a week earlier. Los Angeles County—the largest in the country, with more than 10 million people—recently joined the list.

Crypto World Crosses Fingers in Hopes Contagion Has Run Course; Majority of forced selling may be over, analyst Check says; Indications of ‘more conventional market,’ UBS strategist adds
Michael P. Regan and Vildana Hajric – Bloomberg
The cryptocurrency market has been nothing short of a financial soap opera in 2022, and the drama continued this week when the lender Celsius Network filed for bankruptcy protection. Yet there is one important place where the drama has cooled off noticeably: the actual prices of the largest digital tokens themselves.

Pandemic Fiscal Support Boosted Inflation, Fed Study Finds
Jonnelle Marte – Bloomberg
Fiscal support enacted in many countries to support households during the Covid-19 pandemic helped to boost spending without increasing production, widening the mismatch between supply and demand and worsening inflation in some countries including the US, according to Federal Reserve research released on Friday.

Wall Street Dealmaking Drop Has Bankers Feeling Job-Cut Heat; Equity capital markets jobs seen most at risk after deals sink; ECM activity has plummeted since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
Myriam Balezou, Dinesh Nair, and Swetha Gopinath – Bloomberg
Wall Street and European investment banks have an acute sense of buyer’s remorse. After firms bulked up with expensive hires during the frenetic pandemic period when mergers and stock offerings took off, equity capital markets desks are bracing for a wave of job cuts amid a collapse in deal flow, according to people familiar with the matter at banks on both sides of the Atlantic.

SEC Letter Questions If Musk Was Actually Serious About Buying Twitter; The letter called into question a May Tweet where the billionaire said the prevalence of bots on the platform meant the deal “cannot move forward.”
Mack DeGeurin – GIZMODO
There are three things certain in life: death, taxes, and dumb Elon Musk tweets. The last of those are of particular concern to The Securities and Exchanges Commission. A letter revealed this week shows the SEC reportedly moved to broaden its investigation of Musk’s Twitter acquisition and squeezed the billionaire for more information, according to filings made public Thursday. In the fillings, the regulators zeroed in on a Tweet where Musk said the prevalence of bots on Twitter’s platform meant he could no longer move forward with the deal.

JPMorgan Gold Trader Turned Whistle-Blower Admits to Lies
Eddie Spence – Bloomberg
When FBI agents knocked on the door of his Brooklyn, New York, home in August 2018, trader John Edmonds told them he didn’t know anything about gold and silver price manipulation at JPMorgan Chase & Co. That was a lie, he admitted Thursday. Edmonds, who worked at JPMorgan for about a decade, eventually pleaded guilty to conspiracy and commodities fraud and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors.

Sam Bankman-Fried is positioning himself as crypto’s ‘lender of last resort’ – but even he reportedly couldn’t deal with the $2 billion hole in Celsius’ balance sheet
George Glover – Business Insider
Sam Bankman-Fried has emerged as the “lender of last resort” of the crypto world, as companies in the sector weather a major liquidity crisis. The FTX chief executive provided the struggling lending firm BlockFi with a $250 million loan last month, and also attempted to bail out the Voyager Digital exchange before it declared bankruptcy this week.

Dutch central bank fines Binance in blow to exchange’s European push; Regulators say sprawling crypto platform offered services in the Netherlands without proper permissions
Scott Chipolina and Joshua Oliver – FT
The Dutch central bank has fined Binance more than EUR3mn for offering services without proper registration in a blow to the crypto exchange’s campaign to win over European regulators.

Bank of England battle looms over plans for second ‘Big Bang’; Sunak and Zahawi back bill ditching EU rules and allowing ministers to question regulatory decisions
George Parker, Chris Giles, Ian Smith and Daniel Thomas – FT
A government plan to deregulate the City of London and foster a post-Brexit ‘Big Bang’ will trigger a battle this week with the Bank of England, which is seeking to defend high standards and its regulatory autonomy. A radical financial services bill, drawn up by former chancellor and Tory leadership contender Rishi Sunak, will be published on Wednesday. It will pave the way for ministers to be able to “call in” regulatory decisions made by the BoE that they do not like.

Ukraine Invasion

Economic War of Attrition Takes Toll on Russia, West; Costs mounting on both sides as invasion, sanctions and Moscow’s tactics drive up inflation, interest rates
Josh Mitchell – WSJ
Beyond Moscow’s military campaign is an economic war between Russia, on one side, and the U.S. and Europe on the other. That conflict is becoming a test of who can endure the most strife. So far, Russia appears to be suffering more, analysts say, with its economy set to contract sharply this year, the cost of living soaring and hundreds of businesses, from McDonald’s Corp. to French car maker Renault SA, fleeing.

Canada Tells Putin’s Technocrats They’re Liable for War Crimes; Deputy PM Chrystia Freeland slams Russia’s presence at G-20; ‘Like inviting an arsonist to a meeting of firefighters’
Natalie Obiko Pearson – Bloomberg
Canada warned a Russian delegation participating in a meeting of Group of 20 finance chiefs this week that it views President Vladimir Putin’s economic advisers as personally responsible for aiding war crimes. “Russia’s economic technocrats, who work to fund Putin’s war machine, are personally complicit in Russia’s war crimes, just as Putin’s generals are,” Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said she told the group.

Russia vows to ramp up operations as rockets pound Ukraine
Tom Balmforth and Max Hunder – Reuters
Russia said on Saturday its forces would step up military operations in Ukraine in “all operational areas” as Moscow’s rockets and missiles pounded cities in strikes that Kyiv says have killed dozens in recent days. Rockets hit the northeastern town of Chuhuiv in Kharkiv region overnight, killing three people including a 70-year-old woman and wounding three others, regional governor Oleh Synehubov said.

Russia Plans to Thwart Sale of Foreign Bank Units Amid Sanctions
Russia’s government plans to reject requests from foreign banks to sell their units in the country while sanctioned Russian banks are unable to sell their business abroad. If a foreign bank seeks to sell branches in Russia, the authorities will block the move, the Interfax news service cited Deputy Finance Minister Aleksey Moiseev as saying on Friday. A government subcommittee on foreign investments will deny such requests “until the situation has improved,” he said. Citigroup Inc. said earlier today that it’s considering a “full range of possibilities” on exiting its Russia business after President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine in February spurred sweeping financial and economic sanctions.

Riding Ukraine’s last train line out of Donbas with families fleeing for their lives
Eleanor Beardsley – NPR
Every evening a little before 8, a train pulls into the station in this central-eastern Ukrainian town, brakes squealing. It’s the last rail service out of Ukraine’s bombed-out Donbas region. Eighty-three-year-old Lidia Havrilenko steps off the train, looking frail and lost. She’s holding her most precious possessions in two plastic bags by her side. “I came with my two cats,” she says, as one of the felines fearfully pokes its head from the top of the bag.

Russia escalating attacks on civilians, says top Ukrainian official; Head of national security council says ‘more and more civilian targets’ being hit, after deadly Vinnytsia attack
Peter Beaumont and Dan Sabbagh – The Guardian
A top Ukrainian official has accused Russia of deliberately escalating its deadly attacks on civilian targets, after recent missile strikes including this week’s targeting of the crowded city centre of Vinnytsia, which killed 23 people, including three children.

Russia plans to launch a national oil trading platform to foil Western energy measures, report says
Jennifer Sor – Business Insider
Russia plans to create its own national oil benchmark in an attempt by the country to blunt Western sanctions and evade a possible price cap imposed on Russian oil. Russian officials said that the country’s oil suppliers and its central bank have begun discussions to launch a national oil trading platform in the fall of this year, Bloomberg reported.

EU Shipowners Race to Move Russian Oil Before Sanctions Kick In; Greek tankers are carrying record levels of Russian seaborne oil cargoes to China and India as the European market is drying up
Costas Paris and Benoit Faucon – Bloomberg
Tanker owners in Europe are shipping as much Russian crude as possible before energy sanctions against Moscow take effect in December. Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, Western nations have pledged to wean themselves off crude from Moscow and looming sanctions have raised fears among European processors and shipowners of being blacklisted for handling the fuel.

Russian Assets Barely Touched Across EU With $14 Billion Seized; Six nations account for the vast majority of asset sanctions; EU justice chief says it’s time for Europe to widen crime list
Stephanie Bodoni – Bloomberg
Germany, France, Ireland and three other European Union nations account for almost all of 13.9 billion euros ($14 billion) in Russian assets that have been frozen in the 27-nation EU since the invasion of Ukraine, according to the bloc’s justice chief.

Shipping Giant MSC Delivers Russian Food While Navigating Sanctions Maze; MSC ships serviced Russia 84 times after March 1 booking halt. Shipping giant says food, medicine and humanitarian aid still flow
Bryce Baschuk and Samuel Dodge – Bloomberg
A month after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Andriana III—a 700-foot container ship operated by Mediterranean Shipping Co.—changed course and began transporting goods to and from Russia’s Black Sea port of Novorossiysk.

Russia Ban Seen Tightening Coal Market That’s Already Surging
David Stringer – Bloomberg
A looming ban on Russian coal imports by the European Union will add to supply pressure that’s sent prices of the fossil fuel hurtling to a record, according to a key Australian producer.

Russia Orders Forces to Strike Ukraine’s Long-Range Weapons; Defense Minister Shoigu visits troops in occupied Ukraine
Bloomberg News
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu ordered part of his forces to focus on destroying Ukraine’s long-range missile and artillery systems during a visit to troops in occupied territory.

Coal-Rich Poland Rushes to Imports as Russian Sanctions Bite; Poland is the European Union’s most coal-reliant nation; The country is buying coal from Colombia, Australia, S. Africa
Maciej Martewicz – Bloomberg
Poland, the European Union’s top coal producer, is scrambling to fill a potential deficit of the fuel ahead of winter as a ban on Russian imports is set to hurt households and small heating plants the most.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

SEC/CFTC Sustainability-related proposals: Views from Exchanges: Webinar
Thursday, 21 Jul 2022 13:00 – 14:00
Dublin, Edinburgh, Lisbon, London
Host: The World Federation of Exchanges
Agenda, Introduction: Nandini Sukumar, CEO, The World Federation of Exchanges
Moderator: Christine Brentani, Senior Manager, Regulatory Affairs – Sustainability Lead, The World Federation of Exchanges
Panellists: Brian Matt, CFA, Head of ESG Advisory, New York Stock Exchange; Angelo Evangelou, Chief Policy Officer, Cboe Global Markets; Cesar Sanches, Head of Sustainability, B3.
Global supervisors have now ranked sustainability risk and reporting high on the regulatory agendas. Both the SEC and the CFTC are in the process of gathering information from market participants and key stakeholders on regulatory proposals that will impact the identification and assessment of climate-related risks and opportunities. Representatives from NYSE, Cboe and B3 discuss the SEC proposals for climate-related disclosures and the CFTC’s request for information on climate-related financial risk and share perspective on how exchanges are approaching these regulatory initiatives.

The Mongolian Agricultural Commodity Exchange Joins the UN SSE Derivatives Network
The UN Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative welcomes the Mongolian Agricultural Commodity Exchange (MCE) as a new member of the SSE derivatives network. The MCE has joined the SSE derivatives exchanges network to solidify its commitment to the transparency and sustainability of financial markets. The SSE’s newest member joins a network of now 14 derivative exchanges around the world that are committed to promoting sustainable development.

BSE’s Ashishkumar Chauhan likely to be next MD and CEO of NSESebi clears his appointment
PTI – The Week
Ashishkumar Chauhan is likely to take charge as the managing director and CEO of leading exchange NSE, with capital markets regulator Sebi clearing his appointment, sources said on Sunday. Chauhan, who is currently the MD and CEO of BSE, will be appointed for a period of five years, they added. He will be taking over the helm of NSE from Vikram Limaye, whose five-year term ended on Saturday. Limaye did not seek another term at the National Stock Exchange (NSE) despite being eligible.

HfG Photo Promotion Prize 2022 of the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation awarded to Marie Schwarze
Deutsche Börse Group
The Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation awarded the HfG Photo Promotion Prize 2022 to Marie Schwarze for her project “I’m here to open you”. The prize is awarded annually to students at the Offenbach am Main University of Design (HfG) who deal with the medium of photography. As part of its commitment to young contemporary artists, the Foundation has been awarding the EUR3,000 prize since 2010. The award ceremony took place as part of the traditional HfG tour on July 15 in Offenbach. This year’s jury members were the photographer Barbara Klemm, Prof. Bernd Kracke, President of the Hochschule für Gestaltung, and Anne-Marie Beckmann, Director of the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation.

SEOCH Reserve Fund Variable Contributions
Please be advised that The SEHK Options Clearing House Limited (SEOCH) has re-calculated the Reserve Fund Requirement pursuant to SEOCH Rule 407 and Clearing House Procedures. The new market total Variable Contribution (“VC”) of HK$426 million after the recalculation will be shared by all the SEOCH Participants based on their daily average total margin requirement and net premium paid during the period from 19 April 2022 to 15 July 2022 in accordance with Chapter 11 of the Operational Clearing Procedures for Options Trading Exchange Participants of SEOCH.

LME: Extension To Implementation of OTC Position Reporting and Accountability Levels for Reportable OTC Positions
This Notice informs market participants that the London Metal Exchange (“LME”) has decided to extend the implementation date of the Proposals set out in Decision Notice 22/161 to Monday 5 September 2022, on the basis of updated feedback from Members as to their implementation timelines.

The Regulatory Division Participant Scorecard
The Regulatory Division (the “Division”) is pleased to issue the Regulatory Division Participant Scorecard (the “Scorecard”) for the period of January 1 to June 30, 2022. This semi-annual Scorecard is a way for the Division to share its observations with Approved Participants and Foreign Approved Participants (collectively, the “Participants”) for informational purposes only. Some Participants will not receive a Scorecard, as it may not be customized to their business model or activities.

NSE Statement
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has approved the name of Mr. AshishkumarChauhan as the MD & CEO of NSE. His appointment is subject to acceptance of the offer made to him and fulfillment of terms and
conditions including approval from the shareholders of NSE.

SGX Group to report FY2022 results on 18 August 2022
Singapore Exchange (SGX Group) is reporting its full year results for Financial Year 2022 (FY2022) before market opens on 18 August 2022. The announcement will be posted on www.sgx.com and the details of the results briefing are as follow:

Saudi Exchange Launches TASI Islamic Index
The Saudi Exchange introduces today the TASI Islamic Index, its first Shariah Compliant Index to track the performance of the Shariah compliant companies listed on the Saudi Exchange under the supervision of an independent Shariah Advisory Committee which has been announced earlier. The Index will act as a tool for investors and wider market participants to guide and inform decisions into Shariah-compliant investments, while allowing asset managers to benchmark the performance of their Shariah compliant investment portfolios. In addition, the index can serve as a base for financial products including Derivatives and ETFs.

TAIFEX became a member of the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA)
Taiwan Futures Exchange (TAIFEX) joined the ISDA as a member on July 14, 2022, with an aim to deepen international cooperation and raise the awareness and credibility of the Taiwan financial market. Established in 1985, the ISDA has been dedicated to promoting the safety and efficiency of OTC derivatives and has become the most representative organization in the global derivatives market. Through its work in reducing counterparty credit risk, increasing transparency, and improving the industry’s operational infrastructure, ISDA has helped to facilitate the stability and robustness of financial markets and strengthen the financial regulatory framework. In addition, ISDA’s initiative in developing the ISDA Master Agreement and other related documentation materials and its commitment to communication with government agencies all over the world have fostered the robust development of derivatives markets.


Half a trillion dollars wiped from once high-flying fintechs; Digital companies that boomed during lockdowns hit by fears they cannot withstand a recession
Nicholas Megaw and Imani Moise – FT
Almost half a trillion dollars has been wiped from the valuation of once high-flying financial technology companies that took advantage of the boom in initial public offerings earlier in the pandemic.nMore than 30 fintechs have listed in the US since the start of 2020, according to CB Insights data, as investors flocked to companies they believed could benefit from a long-term shift toward digitisation accelerated by the pandemic.

Elon’s Musk-see fight for Twitter
Charles Gasparino – NY Post
As opposed to most corporate lawsuits, Twitter’s rundown of Elon Musk reneging on his deal to buy the social media giant is interesting reading. It’s more dime-store novel than mind-numbing legalese, which helped convince many journalists that Twitter has an airtight case on a somewhat complicated legal doctrine called “specific performance.” Musk is the world’s richest man, also someone who thinks he can get away with anything. Crazy Elon relishes in defying securities regulators on settlements and brazenly attacking anyone who gets in his way (often on Twitter) without recourse. Finally, he would be held accountable!

Elon Musk’s Inner Circle Rocked by Fight Over His $230 Billion Fortune
Rob Copeland – WSJ
Late last year, Jared Birchall cornered his boss, Elon Musk. Mr. Birchall, a straight-laced, 48-year-old wealth manager who rose to become Mr. Musk’s top deputy and the head of his family office, had growing concerns about a new power player in the Tesla Inc. CEO’s orbit. Mr. Musk was increasingly relying on a new adviser, a 34-year-old, Russian-born ex-professional gambler named Igor Kurganov.

Musk Seeks to Block ‘Warp Speed’ Twitter Trial Over $44 Billion Deal; Twitter seeks September trial; Musk wants February or later; Musk pulled out of acquisition citing concerns about spam bots
Jef Feeley – Bloomberg
Elon Musk’s lawyers say Twitter Inc. officials are unfairly pushing for a “warp speed” trial over claims the billionaire improperly canceled his proposed $44 billion buyout of the social media company, and asked that the case be heard next year instead.

Lessons for the Twitter board from a billionaire’s fight with Apollo; Battle over Huntsman shows costs and gains of suing a suitor that walks away
Sujeet Indap – FT
If only Jon Huntsman was tweeting in 2008. The billionaire industrialist had announced a year earlier the sale of his listed chemicals company, Huntsman Corp, to the private equity titan Apollo Global Management for $10.6bn. In June 2008, as the global financial crisis was unfolding, Apollo’s portfolio company, Hexion, ditched the acquisition, citing Huntsman’s sagging financial performance. The subsequent legal fight would be dramatic and the ruling in the Delaware Court of Chancery on the case would become a seminal precedent in busted deal litigation, of the kind that is relevant again today in the Twitter/Elon Musk battle.

UChicago Data Science Institute Announces Founding Industry Affiliates; Program connects companies with the field-defining UChicago data science ecosystem and students for research collaborations.
DSI News – The University of Chicago
The University of Chicago Data Science Institute launched its Industry Affiliates Program with four founding core members from the sectors of finance, insurance, and telecommunications: American Family Insurance, DRW Holdings LLC, Prudential Financial, and Verizon Communications. The Data Science Institute (DSI) is a UChicago effort defining the growing field of data science through research, outreach, and education. The Industry Affiliates Program lowers barriers to collaboration between companies and academic researchers and students, connecting industry partners to groundbreaking data science research, emerging technologies, and talent acquisition opportunities at UChicago.

71 Cities and Towns Are Paying Tech Workers to Abandon Silicon Valley. It’s Working.; Incentives are drawing high-paid tech workers, and challenging how we think about local economic development
Christopher Mims – WSJ
A growing number of cities and towns all over the U.S. are handing out cash grants and other perks aimed at drawing skilled employees of faraway companies to live there and work remotely. A handful of such programs have existed for years, but they have started gaining traction during the pandemic—and have really taken off in just the past year or so. Back in October there were at least 24 such programs in the U.S. Today there are 71, according to the Indianapolis-based company MakeMyMove, which is contracted by cities and towns to set up such programs.


Scrutiny of Alibaba in Cybersecurity Breach May Ensnare All China Tech Companies
Sarah Zheng and Coco Liu – Bloomberg
Questions surrounding Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s role in China’s largest known cybersecurity breach may fuel Beijing’s resolve to clamp down on domestic tech giants and accelerate a move away from their private cloud services.
Researchers studying the leaked data of close to a billion Chinese residents earlier this month have noticed hallmarks of Alibaba’s cloud service, including the domain name of the hosting service. This week, executives of the company’s cloud division, known as Aliyun, were summoned by Shanghai authorities in relation to that data dump, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.

Why Cybersecurity Frameworks Alone Won’t Stop The Next Major Breach
Gidi Cohen – Forbes
This is a critical moment in cybersecurity history. Organizations of all sizes are defending against rapidly rising cyberattacks threatening to disrupt everyday business operations. To combat the ever-expanding attack surface, private-sector companies across industries have adopted voluntary cybersecurity frameworks like NIST and MITRE ATT&CK, designed to provide best practices that help security teams better manage and reduce cybersecurity risk.

The Nigerian Prince has evolved: email scams now even fool cybersecurity experts
We all like to think we’re immune to scams. We scoff at emails from an unknown sender offering us £2 million, in exchange for our bank details. But the game has changed and con artists have developed new, chilling tactics. They are taking the personal approach and scouring the internet for all the details they can find about us.
Scammers are getting so good at it that even cybersecurity experts are taken in.


New Russian law bans crypto payments for goods and services; Yes, you can still buy crypto in Russia.
Chance Townsend – Mashable
Amidst internal conflict regarding the status of cryptocurrency in the country, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law a new bill Friday, “prohibiting the use of digital assets, such as cryptocurrency and NFTs, to pay for goods and services.” The new law, Protocol reports, also requires crypto exchanges and providers to refuse transactions in which digital payment can be interpreted as a replacement for monetary exchanges. However, there is language in the final clause of the law that makes exceptions for certain payments.

Sweden Prefers Steel Over Bitcoin Miners as Power Gets Scarce; Sweden has one of Europe’s top three Bitcoin mining sectors; Government seeking ways to track how much power miners use
Lars Paulsson and Niclas Rolander – Bloomberg
Sweden has a choice to make: Provide electricity for job-creating projects such as steel plants or devote more capacity to the Bitcoin miners that are gobbling up growing amounts of power. Energy Minister Khashayar Farmanbar says it’s no contest. “We need energy for more useful things than Bitcoin, to be honest,” Farmanbar said in an interview.

Wall Street Rapper Charged in Crypto Heist Cleared to Seek Job
Erik Larson – Bloomberg
The aspiring Wall Street rapper accused of conspiring with her husband to launder $4.5 billion worth of Bitcoin stolen from the Bitfinex currency exchange won court approval to seek a new job while her case proceeds. A judge on Friday granted Heather Morgan’s request to modify the conditions of her pre-trial release so that she “may engage in legitimate employment and receive income of greater than $10,000 per month.”

Top cryptomining companies have nearly enough electrical capacity to power Houston
Zack Budryk – The Hill
A handful of leading cryptocurrency miners have the electrical capacity equivalent to nearly every residence in Houston, Texas, according to data released by Democratic members of Congress on Friday. In a letter to Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan, members led by Sen.

Bitcoin Miner Woes Risk Getting Worse After Celsius Collapse; Lender owns over 80,000 mining rigs, bankruptcy filing shows; Bitcoin mining was “an essential driver of growth” for Celsius
David Pan – Bloomberg
An already beleaguered cryptocurrency mining sector could soon be facing some additional pressure from the Celsius Network bankruptcy filing. The troubled crypto lender’s mining subsidiary also filed for protection from creditors late Wednesday. Celsius Mining said in the filing that it owns 80,850 rigs — with 43,632 in operation — and expects to run about 120,000 rigs and generate more than 10,000 coins by the end of this year.

Crypto Crash Stalls WeWork Founder Adam Neumann’s Climate Venture; Investors rushed to startups offering cryptocurrencies backed by carbon-offset credits, then the markets tanked
Phred Dvorak and Dieter Holger – WSJ
Former WeWork Chief Executive Adam Neumann resurfaced with a new company earlier this year, in a buzzy, young industry that aims to use cryptocurrencies to fight climate change. Months later that company, Flowcarbon, and a host of similar startups, have either slowed operations or delayed product rollouts—the latest fallout of tanking markets.

Indian NFT Marketplaces Hit By TDS On Transactions, See Decline In Volume
Gargi Sarkar – Inc42
Non-fungible tokens or NFTs was one of the most prominent Web3 buzzwords in 2021, emerging as one of the most searched terms on Google. Sales of NFTs also rose dramatically to reach $40 Bn in 2021. While the momentum continued during the first few months of 2022, the NFT market has been seeing a downfall amid an overall bearish sentiment in the cryptocurrency market. Although NFT sales have already surpassed the $40 Bn mark globally until now, the sales reached a 12-month low in June.

NFT carnage threatens the Bored Ape with extinction
Danny Fortson – The Times
The world looks different to Gabe Frank than it did a year ago. The 31-year-old launched his New York start-up Arcade amid an almighty boom. He set up the company to match owners of popular NFTs (non-fungible tokens), such as Bored Apes or CryptoPunks, with lenders who would use the digital images as collateral for high-interest loans. What could go wrong?

Not All NFTs That Are Reported Stolen Are Actually Stolen; Some NFT thefts are falsely reported to abuse OpenSea’s influence on the blockchain economy, forcing an NFT buyer to sell for lower elsewhere.
Phoenix Angell – Screenrant
NFT marketplaces like OpenSea are often under pressure to crack down on stolen or counterfeit NFTs, but there are many NFTs that are reported as stolen yet were willingly sold. While the total number of stolen NFTs is unknown, there exists millions of dollars’ worth of high-value NFTs that are reported as stolen, and are thus frozen from OpenSea’s platform, even though some of them weren’t actually stolen.

New NFT Trends That Could Drive The Entertainment Industry
Josh Wilson – Forbes
NFTs quickly took the world by storm, having been applied in all sorts of industries. Building on the foundation set by blockchain and leveraging the power of pop culture, NFTs quickly became a favorite of the entertainment industry. From Stranger Things releasing NFTs ahead of the latest season to Coachella unveiling NFTs as entry passes this year, the entertainment world is exploring what NFTs can do in a big way.

Venture Capitalist Matthew Ball’s Guide to the Metaverse
Cecilia D’Anastasio – Bloomberg
Today’s internet sort of sucks. Yes, I like how fast and accessible it is. But as a place I go to work and entertain myself, the web is less like a multifarious shopping center and more like an urban sprawl where I have to drive from strip mall to strip mall to conduct depressing digital errands. For social media, where much of people’s work and personal lives intersect, the business model seems to be: Own well-trafficked properties, attract users’ content, and design infrastructure that generates compulsion, not joy.


Cryptominers defend gigawatt-scale energy usage called out by Congress
Harri Weber – TechCrunch
Citing “disturbing” levels of power used by cryptocurrency miners, a group of Democrats led by Sen. Elizabeth Warren is urging the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy to crack down on the controversial industry. The letter, signed by four senators and two representatives, calls on regulators to compel cryptominers to disclose their carbon emissions and energy use. Environmentalists have long raised concerns about Bitcoin and other power-hungry, proof-of-stake tokens — and globally, cryptocurrencies are estimated to consume more energy than entire countries, such as Venezuela and Finland. In the U.S., just seven firms have built more than 1.045 gigawatts of capacity for cryptomining purposes, the report states.

G-20 Finance Meet Ends Without a Communique But Progress on Food
Michelle Jamrisko, Yudith Ho, and Christopher Condon – Bloomberg
Division over Russia’s war in Ukraine meant a meeting of Group of 20 finance chiefs ended without the usual communique, though there was incremental progress on issues such as food and energy security. While countries agreed on most of a briefer chair summary released by host nation Indonesia, which included the need to respond to the food and fuel crisis, disagreement over the root cause prevented them for a second time this year from issuing a communique.

Chip Investment Decisions Await Congressional Action on $52 Billion Funding Bill; Political wrangling slows progress on what began as bipartisan effort to restore America’s semiconductor production prowess
Asa Fitch – WSJ
Political wrangling in Congress over government funding for the semiconductor industry is leaving tens of billions of dollars of potential factory projects hanging in limbo and could dent the ambitions of some political and industry leaders to recharge America’s chip-making prowess. Numerous companies are waiting for Congress to pass a $52 billion incentive package for chip production and research before committing to significant expansion efforts, according to company executives and funding proposal documents.

US Commits $1 Billion for Mideast, North Africa Food Security
Justin Sink – Bloomberg
President Joe Biden will announce $1 billion in US food security aid for the Middle East and North Africa at a summit of Gulf leaders in Saudi Arabia on Saturday, a US official said. Leaders of six-member Gulf Cooperation Council will also commit $3 billion over the next two years for projects that are aligned with the US-led Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment initiative, according to the official.

Biden Expects More Saudi Oil After Trip to Kingdom; Saudis committed to balancing global oil market: White House; US sees ‘further steps in the coming weeks’ on oil supply
Grant Smith, Justin Sink, and Salma El Wardany – Bloomberg
President Joe Biden said he expects further oil supply increases from Saudi Arabia to help tame fuel costs at home after a landmark meeting with the kingdom’s rulers. Biden’s trip didn’t result in an immediate pledge for a production hike, but US officials said they were confident that Riyadh would lead the OPEC+ alliance to an agreement for a gradual boost.

Chuck Grassley holds 8-point lead over Mike Franken in US Senate race, Iowa Poll finds
Stephen Gruber-Miller – Des Moines Register
Republican U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley leads Democrat Mike Franken by 8 percentage points among likely Iowa voters, according to a new Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll — a first look at what could be Grassley’s most competitive election since 1980.

Poll of Tory voters puts Rishi Sunak clear
Edward Malnick – The Telegraph
Almost half of Conservative voters believe Rishi Sunak would make a good prime minister, according to a poll that puts Penny Mordaunt behind both Liz Truss and the former chancellor. A survey of more than 4,400 people found that, of those who had heard of each candidate, 48 per cent who backed the Tories in 2019 considered Mr Sunak would be a good prime minister, compared to 39 per cent who said the same of Ms Truss and 33 per cent who backed Ms Mordaunt.

Sunak Makes Pitch to Tory Brexiteers in Bid to Be Next UK Leader; Ex-chancellor pledges to scrap and reform European Union laws; Candidates writing in Telegraph newspaper make leadership case
Todd Gillespie – Bloomberg
The leading contender to become the UK’s next prime minister said he plans to make the most of the opportunities thrown up by shaking off the “shackles” of European Union regulation. Writing in the Telegraph newspaper, former Chancellor Rishi Sunak said that, if chosen to lead the Conservative party, he will have “scrapped or reformed all of the EU law, red tape and bureaucracy that is still on our statute book and slowing economic growth” in time for the next election.

Boris Johnson’s allies step up their attacks on Rishi Sunak; Former leader’s supporters accuse ex-chancellor of going soft on Northern Ireland’s post-Brexit trade regime
George Parker and Jim Pickard – FT
Former UK chancellor Rishi Sunak has been accused by Boris Johnson’s allies of planning to take a soft line with Brussels in the row over Northern Ireland’s post-Brexit trading arrangements if he becomes prime minister.

Draghi Is Signaling That He’s Determined to Quit Government; The prime minister offered his resignation in Rome on Thursday; The president has asked Draghi to try to shore up support
Chiara Albanese and Alberto Brambilla – Bloomberg
Mario Draghi has signaled that he’s determined to resign as Italy’s prime minister next week since he doesn’t have the backing of all the parties in his splintered governing alliance, according to people familiar with the matter.


Bank of America Expected to Pay $200 Million for Personal Device Misuse
Katherine Doherty – Bloomberg
Bank of America Corp. is expected to pay a $200 million fine related to a sweeping US probe into the use of unapproved personal devices, according to people familiar with the matter.

Turkish businessman extradited to U.S. to face laundering, fraud charges
Kanishka Singh – Reuters
Turkish businessman Sezgin Baran Korkmaz was extradited from Austria and arrived on Friday in Utah to face money laundering and wire fraud charges, the U.S. Justice Department said in a statement. Korkmaz arrived in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service. He was charged earlier in Utah with laundering more than $133 million in illegal proceeds through bank accounts he controlled in Turkey and Luxembourg, the Justice Department said. The United States said last year it was seeking to extradite him. If convicted, Korkmaz faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison for each count of money laundering conspiracy, wire fraud and obstruction of an official proceeding, the department said.

CFTC labels 34 crypto and forex firms as unregistered foreign entities
Turner Wright – Coin Telegraph
The United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission, or CFTC, has added 34 unregistered foreign entities to its Registration Deficient List, including at least six providing crypto-related services. In a Thursday announcement, the CFTC said it had expanded its list of firms that it requires to register with the CFTC for providing services including trading binary options, foreign currency or other products such as cryptocurrencies.

Federal Court Imposes Over $29 Million in Restitution and Penalties Against California and Colorado Residents for Binary Options and Forex Fraud, Registration Violations, and Failure to Comply with Commodity Pool Operator Regulations
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission today announced the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California entered an order granting the CFTC’s motion for entry of default judgment against California-based John D. Black and his affiliated entities Financial Tree (d/b/a Financial Tree Trust); Financial Solution Group (d/b/a Financial Solution Group Trust); and New Money Advisors, LLC; and his associates Christopher Mancuso and Joseph Tufo; as well as Colorado-based John P. Glenn and his law firm, The Law Firm of John Glenn, P.C. The order finds they are liable for solicitation fraud in connection with binary options and retail foreign currency (forex) transactions, fraud by commodity pool operators (CPOs) and associated persons (APs), multiple CFTC registration violations, and failure to comply with CPO regulations.

Proposed Rule Change to Adopt Supplementary Material .19 (Residential Supervisory Location) under FINRA Rule 3110 (Supervision)
Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (“FINRA”) is filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or “Commission”) a proposed rule change to adopt new Supplementary Material .19 (Residential Supervisory Location) under FINRA Rule 3110 (Supervision) that would align FINRA’s definition of an office of supervisory jurisdiction (“OSJ”) and the classification of a location that supervises activities at non-branch locations with the existing residential exclusions set forth in the branch office definition to treat a private residence at which an associated person engages in specified supervisory activities as a non-branch location, subject to safeguards and limitations. In accordance with Rule 3110(c), as a non-branch location, a Residential Supervisory Location would become subject to inspections on a regular periodic schedule, which is presumed to be at least every three years, rather than an annual inspection requirement required of OSJs and other supervisory branch offices.

FINRA Amends the Code of Arbitration Procedure for Industry Disputes to Align the Code With the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act of 2021
Effective Date: Immediate
Following the enactment of the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act of 2021 (Act), FINRA amended the Code of Arbitration Procedure for Industry Disputes (Code) to align the Code with the Act.1 Among other things, the amendments permit persons with sexual assault claims and sexual harassment claims to elect not to enforce predispute arbitration agreements in cases that relate to those disputes. The amendments also make a conforming change to FINRA Rule 2263 (Arbitration Disclosure to Associated Persons Signing or Acknowledging Form U4).

Deferred Income Annuities: Plan Now for Payout Later
Longevity is generally considered a blessing. But what if you live so long that you run out of money? While Americans as a whole are living longer than in past decades, many can no longer count on the steady flow of a pension that provides lifetime income. Instead, individuals are increasingly shouldering the responsibility of crafting their own retirement income streams to supplement their Social Security benefits.

SEC Awards Whistleblowers More Than $6 Million
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced awards totaling more than $6 million to two whistleblowers who provided critical information and assistance in two separate covered actions.

Statement on Departure of Commissioner Allison Herren Lee
We want to thank Allison Herren Lee for her tireless work and commitment to the Commission and its mission. Her years of public service have been marked by her humility, thoughtfulness, and dedication to investors and our markets. We have been fortunate to have her as a colleague.

SEC Obtains Final Judgment Against Individual in ICO Promotion Scheme; Files Notice of Death as to John McAfee, Resulting in Dismissal of Claims
On July 14, 2022, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York entered a final consent judgment against Jimmy Gale Watson, Jr., for his role in John McAfee’s alleged initial coin offering promotion and scalping scheme.

SEC Charges Recidivist with Unregistered Broker Activity
The Securities and Exchange Commission charged Richard Jonathan Eden with acting as an unregistered broker and violating a previously imposed associational bar arising from his participation in multiple unregistered securities offerings.

Term of imprisonment imposed on former Sydney financial adviser
Keith James Flowers, formerly known as Nigel Flowers, of Bathurst, New South Wales, has been sentenced to three years and two months imprisonment, to be served by way of intensive correction order, and fined $9500 for acting dishonestly as a company director and stealing investor funds.

SFC bans Lam Ki Fung for three years
SFC Hong Kong
The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has banned Mr Lam Ki Fung, a former relevant individual of Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) Limited (SCB), from re-entering the industry for three years from 12 July 2022 to 11 July 2025 following the criminal convictions of Lam and his mother (Notes 1 to 2).

SEBI files FIR for Cyber Security Incident
Recently a cyber security incident has been noticed on the E-mail system of SEBI which was undergoing a system upgrade and accordingly anFIR as per the relevant provisions of law has been filed.Various mitigation measures were immediately taken in response to the said cyber security incident including, informing CERT-IN as per the standard operating procedure, strengthening the required security configuration of the system, etc.SEBI constantly monitorsits detection and prevention systemsand has taken additional measures post the incident to tighten the security procedures for the implementation and migration activities.Mumbai July16, 2022

Dutch Fine Binance as Pressure Mounts on Largest Crypto Exchange; Crypto exchange platform received a $3.6 million fine in April; Binance was fined after operating without local registration
Pablo Fernandez Cras – Bloomberg
The Dutch Central Bank said it fined Binance Holdings Ltd. 3.33 million euros ($3.6 million), as the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange operator faces increased regulatory scrutiny. The fine was imposed in April after Binance offered crypto services in the Netherlands without the required registration with the central bank, the monetary authority announced in a statement on Monday.

Investing and Trading

What to know about dollar-cost averaging, an investing strategy to consider during market volatility; Dollar-cost averaging allows you to buy into the market at different times at varying prices.
Elizabeth Gravier – CNBC
If you’re already contributing money to a 401(k) retirement account, you may not have realized it, but you’re practicing a popular investment strategy known as dollar-cost averaging. Simply put, this approach means you’re investing fixed, equal amounts on a regular basis, say monthly or bi-weekly, rather than investing one lump sum of cash all at once. With a defined 401(k) contribution plan, for example, you’re investing as you earn, regularly taking money from each paycheck throughout the year and putting it into the market. Dollar-cost averaging could also look like if you decide to invest $5,000 of your savings by splitting that cash into five parts, where $1,000 is invested each month for five months.

Many Investors Are Fleeing the Stock Market, but Some Are Doubling Down: ‘If I Lose $15,000, I’m Not Going to Die’; The market is plummeting, and some amateur investors see that as good reason to jump in
Angel Au-Yeung – WSJ
Dave Cooper and Samantha Longshore are doing whatever they can to save money, skipping summer vacations and deferring house repairs. Their extra cash will go straight into stocks. To Mr. Cooper and Ms. Longshore, a plunging market is a chance to buy shares on the cheap. If that means navigating an uneven bathroom floor for a while longer, they are OK with it.

Elon Musk reportedly wanted to entrust his fortune to a 34-year-old former pro gambler who dropped out of college to smoke weed
Erin Prater – FORTUNE
Elon Musk wanted to entrust charitable distribution of his fortune to a 30-something former pro gambler with no experience in philanthropy, according to a winding narrative published Saturday by The Wall Street Journal. Late last year, Musk increasingly relied on advice from 34-year-old Igor Kurganov, a self-described college dropout who had a multimillion-dollar career in professional gambling years before he met Musk..

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Adds to Big Oil Bet; Berkshire is a step closer to a threshold that would allow it to include Occidental Petroleum in its results
Akane Otani – WSJ
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. is plowing more money into big oil. The billionaire investor’s company has been ramping up its position in Occidental Petroleum Corp. since February and bought 12 million more shares over two days this month. The moves bring Berkshire’s total stake in Occidental to 18.7%.

Wheat Wipes Out Year’s Gain to Help Ease Food-Inflation Fears; Chicago wheat futures surged earlier in year on war in Ukraine; Crop trade remains disrupted, but demand worries hurt markets
Megan Durisin – Bloomberg
Wheat futures wiped out their gains for the year in Chicago, as prospects for weaker demand offset supply worries that were exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Crop markets have become mired in the downturn gripping commodities, as fears mount about slowing economic growth. Wheat harvests are also rolling in across the US and Europe, boosting near-term supplies.

All Jobs Businesses Cut in Pandemic Are Back, but Not Where They Were Lost; U.S. economy has more e-commerce and white-collar jobs than in early 2020, but restaurant and government employment lag behind
Sarah Chaney Cambon – WSJ
Private-sector payrolls exceeded prepandemic levels in June, taking just over two years to close a 21 million job gap that was created in the spring of 2020 and reshaping the labor market in the process. Transportation and warehousing jobs, benefiting from an e-commerce boom, have grown the fastest among major industry groups since the Covid-19 pandemic started, according to an analysis of Labor Department data.

A Warren Buffett Protégée Strikes Out on Her Own; Tracy Britt Cool spent a decade working closely with the renowned investor. She is now applying those lessons to her own firm.
Anupreeta Das – NY Times
Tracy Britt Cool always knew she wanted to work in business. So, not unlike the star of a high school musical asking Steven Spielberg for a part, she figured she should start at the top. At 24, fresh out of business school with barely any formal work experience, Ms. Britt Cool mailed a letter to Warren E. Buffett asking the Oracle of Omaha if she could work for him. Soon, his office address became hers, too.

Is This a Stock Picker’s Market? It’s Complicated; In these unsettled times, it’s just better to be on the right side of global economic forces rather than bet on the prospects for individual equities.
Aaron Brown – Bloomberg
If you read financial news long enough, you’re sure to come across that phrase “stock picker’s market,” although there’s considerable difference of opinion about what that means. Many people, including the great founder of Vanguard Group Inc. John Bogle, reject the idea out of hand. After all, they argue, money made by one stock picker is lost by another, so no market can be good for both.

Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance

This Map Will Make You Optimistic About Fighting Climate Change; A searchable map shows estimated job and public health opportunities that come with transitioning away from fossil fuels.
Zahra Hirji – Bloomberg
There’s no denying that a lot of the news about the climate crisis is bad. While the threat of water shortages looms in parts of South Africa, a brutal heat wave in China has turned deadly and Europe is suffering through its own blistering heat wave. For a lot of people, this is stressful. According to a 2019 survey by the American Psychological Association, two-thirds of participants reported suffering from climate anxiety.

Wildfires rage in France and Spain as heatwaves sear Europe
Layli Foroudi and Sergio Goncalves – Reuters
Wildfires raged in southwestern France and Spain on Saturday, forcing thousands of people to be evacuated from their homes as blistering summer temperatures put authorities on alert in parts of Europe. About 14,000 people had been evacuated from France’s Gironde region by Saturday afternoon as more than 1,200 firefighters battled to bring the flames under control, regional authorities said in a statement.

Lack of Water in Europe’s Most Important River Starts to Bite
Jack Wittels and Todd Gillespie – Bloomberg
The flow of commodities to inland Europe is starting to buckle as water levels on the Rhine river continue to fall. The lack of water is contributing to oil product supply problems in Switzerland and preventing at least two power plants in Germany from getting all the coal they need. What’s more, the continent’s sizzling summer temperatures are forecast to climb even higher in the coming week.

Climate graphic of the week: how sleep fares during climate change; Tracking of more than 7mn records across 68 countries using wristbands confirms ‘insufficient’ rest due to unusual heat
Veronika Samborska and Chris Campbell – FT
Disrupted sleep from extremes in temperature due to climate change can be added to the long list of reasons for lost nights and poor productivity. Temperature variations have long been anecdotally related to poor-quality sleep, but recent tracking of more than 7mn sleep records across 68 countries using physiological measures of sleep from fitness wristbands has confirmed the extent of the problem.

EDF’s problems pile up as full nationalisation looms; French supplier of nuclear energy is struggling with plant shutdowns, build problems and skills shortages
Sarah White – FT
At the site of France’s first new nuclear reactor in more than 20 years, robots are whirring away fixing faulty welding as developer EDF races to open the plant after a decade of delays that have damaged its reputation. Ahead of it lies a challenge of a different order of magnitude: a construction programme to build six more, just as the French government, which owns 84 per cent of the business already, plans to take full control.

We should worry about price of food more than petrol, warns BlackRock’s Fink; The destruction of arable land during the Ukraine war has dangerous global consequences
Brooke Masters and Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson – FT
The dramatic spikes in oil and mineral prices after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have distracted investors from the long-lasting and more dangerous impact of food inflation, BlackRock founder Larry Fink has warned. “The one thing I worry about that we don’t talk enough about is food,” he told the Financial Times.

1 big thing: Unprecedented heat in Europe
A deadly heat wave is underway in western Europe that is poised to topple all-time national high-temperature records in France and the United Kingdom, Andrew writes. Why it matters: This is a climate change-related public health emergency. Already, hundreds are dead from heat-related causes in Portugal and Spain and the toll is likely to climb much further. The big picture: The U.K. Met Office is forecasting the country’s first-ever occurrence of 104°F (40°C) temperatures during this event, with a forecast high of 96.8°F (36°C) in London today.

Half of banks ‘not ready’ for upcoming ESG regulatory reporting; Banks globally are lagging in their readiness for upcoming regulatory reporting in the ESG space, according to a new report by Avanade and the European Financial Management Association.
Consumers today are increasingly holding organisations, institutions, and industries accountable for better sustainability and climate risk management practices. The financial services industry is no different – banks are under pressure to go beyond including Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) goals in their mission statements. They are now expected to demonstrate transparency, create a greener portfolio, and develop a sustainability roadmap that drives lower carbon footprint.

Climate Projects Need Public Backing, Achieve Positive Returns
Michelle Jamrisko – Bloomberg
Banks need more backing from the public sector to manage risks from climate-related projects while such contracts should provide returns, said a panel of market participants. Leaders from Standard Chartered, the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation and Indonesia’s state power company spoke at a Sunday panel on the sidelines of the Group of 20 finance chiefs meeting in Bali. Here’s what they said: Bill Winters, chief executive officer of Standard Chartered: “Our shareholders expect us to take ownership on climate change, but they’re not being very specific,” with the same true of the bank’s consumers. Banks need a bit more public-sector backing to mitigate the risk of climate-related construction projects such as through bolstered insurance mechanisms, said Winters.

Over half of Korean exporters concerned by lack of ESG preparedness
Kan Hyeong-woo – The Korea Herald
Over half of Korean exporters believed that their contracts with customers could be scrapped due to the lack of preparedness for environment, social and governance management, a survey conducted by the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry showed Sunday. According to the KCCI’s survey, 52.5 percent of the 300 participating companies said they felt that there is a high chance for their contractors to back out from deals with inadequate ESG management levels in their supply chains. Asked how prepared the companies were in case of on-site ESG inspections by their contractors, 77.2 percent said their level of preparation was low. Almost 60 percent of the companies said they had drawn up no action plans in regard to different steps of on-site ESG inspections.

Chief sustainability officers prosper as ESG risks mount; CSOs are an increasingly indispensable part of the executive team — and a potentially valuable source of tip-offs
Patrick Temple-West – FT
Not so long ago, chief sustainability officers were a corporate novelty. “Is this a fad or a role that will endure?” asked a Financial Times think-piece in 2011. By now, the answer is clear. The CSO has become a crucial member of the management team, a rise reflecting sustainability’s increasing prominence on the corporate agenda.

Investors grapple with complexities of biodiversity; Businesses’ impact on nature poses risks that are both severe and hard to quantify
Sarah Murray – FT
“Irreversible consequences for the environment, humankind, and economic activity, and a permanent destruction of natural capital.” That is how the World Economic Forum characterises biodiversity loss in its 2022 Global Risks Report. No wonder investors are worried: not only is it their planet, too, but they also have portfolios to manage.


Rockefeller’s Fleming Sees Banks’ Caution Growing Over China
Josephine Walker and Devon Pendleton – Bloomberg
Greg Fleming, head of wealth adviser Rockefeller Capital Management, said he sees financial institutions becoming increasingly wary of expanding in China due to mounting geopolitical tensions and pandemic restrictions.

Raj Rajaratnam Is Out of Jail and Hunting for His Next Big Trade; Ex-hedge fund manager is hoping to stage a comeback; Rajaratnam served 7-1/2 years for insider trading
Bob Van Voris – Bloomberg
In the spartan offices of his small private investment firm, Raj Rajaratnam, former inmate 62785-054, is searching for his next big trade. All is quiet inside the townhouse in Manhattan’s East 50s — 200 miles and a world away from the federal prison where he served seven-and-a-half years for insider trading. It’s been three years since the former hedge-fund magnate was freed from FMC Devens, the medical prison west of Boston where he did time with Ponzi schemer Nicholas Cosmo, AKA, the “mini-Madoff”, among others.

Credit Suisse Loses Debt Traders as Barclays Beefs Up Its Desk; New York, London, credit-trading desks have hollowed out; Barclays expands in US as desks anticipate volatile markets
Rachel Butt, Marion Halftermeyer, and Sridhar Natarajan – Bloomberg
Credit Suisse Group AG is losing four traders from its high-yield and distressed-debt desks just as interest-rate hikes, inflation and volatile markets heighten the need for such expertise. The traders will join British lender Barclays Plc in New York as it beefs up its own credit desks, according to people with knowledge of the moves..

Goldman Sachs Declares Preferred Stock Dividends
Goldman Sachs
The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE: GS) today announced that it has declared dividends on the following series of its non-cumulative preferred stock (represented by depositary shares, each representing a 1/1,000th interest in a share of preferred stock, except for the Series Q Preferred Stock, the Series R Preferred Stock, the Series S Preferred Stock and the Series U Preferred Stock in which each depositary share represents a 1/25th interest in a share of preferred stock)

Goldman Sachs profit nearly halves in second quarter
Goldman Sachs Group Inc on Monday reported a drop in second-quarter profit as dealmaking slumped, weakening the Wall Street giant’s investment banking business.

Goldman Traders Rescue Earnings From Investment-Banking Slump
Sridhar Natarajan – Bloomberg
Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s traders countered the industry’s dealmaking slump with revenue gains that raced past analysts’ estimates.

Bank of America Profit Falls 32%;,Other big U.S. banks reported earnings declines last week
Orla McCaffrey – WSJ
Bank of America Corp. said Monday that its second-quarter profit declined 32%. The second-largest U.S. bank earned $6.2 billion, down from $9.2 billion a year earlier. Per-share earnings of 73 cents missed the 75 cents that analysts polled by FactSet had expected.

ANZ Agrees to Buy Suncorp’s Bank Operations for $3.3 Billion; Bank seeking to raise A$3.5 billion to help fund acquisition; Lender is considering deals as it aims to add customer growth
Harry Brumpton – Bloomberg
Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. agreed to buy Suncorp Group Ltd.’s banking operations for A$4.9 billion ($3.3 billion) as it seeks to gain an edge over larger rivals by expanding in the country’s fastest growing region.

Swiss investment group GAM issues profit warning; Assets under management drop 17% following market fallout from war in Ukraine
Harriet Agnew – FT
Swiss investment group GAM has issued a profit warning and blamed a volatile market environment for a hefty accounting loss in the first half of 2022. The Zurich-headquartered company said on Monday it expected to report an underlying loss before tax of about SFr275mn ($282mn) for the first six months of the year.

Time to destigmatise ‘khaki finance’; Investors and policymakers should focus more on the greening of the grey industries
Huw van Steenis – FT
A lasting consequence of the invasion of Ukraine will be the reprioritising of energy security by governments. That is also likely to drive a reappraisal of how best to invest around the energy transition, as well as how policymakers frame green finance regulation, particularly in Europe.

Massive Wall Street layoffs feared as banking profits tank
Lydia Moynihan – NY Post
Wall Street spent the past year binging on bankers. Get ready for the Big Puke. Whispers of hiring freezes and even layoffs have begun to circulate at financial firms as soaring interest rates and recession fears have tanked appetites for mergers, IPOs and other big corporate deals, sources told The Post.

Wellness Exchange

Health code system must be a precursor to ending all Covid-19 measures in Hong Kong, not a way to drag them out; For the proposed ‘traffic light’ feature on the Leave Home Safe app to be worthwhile, it must gradually replace the quarantine, testing and mask mandates. If it is simply another layer of control, forget it
Mike Rowse – South China Morning Post
In the past few days, there has been some welcome clarification of just what is and is not included in the proposed “traffic light” addition to the Leave Home Safe app for controlling the spread of Covid-19. Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu has confirmed that any change to the software will only be for public health reasons. This was an essential assurance. Ultimately, minimising the spread of the virus depends on cooperation of the community.

Covid warning over symptom of new strain that affects sufferers at night; ‘Isn’t that strange?’ scientist says as he shares different disease caused by BA.5
Zoe Tidman – Independent
An immunologist has warned the new strain of Covid could be causing different symptoms – including one that emerges during the night. Omicron BA.5 is a highly-contagious subvariant causing concern as it contributes to a fresh wave of infections around the globe, including the UK. Scientists have been finding differences with previous strains, including the ability to reinfect people within weeks of having Covid.

Africa is being left behind as wealthy nations push 4th COVID booster shots
Ashish Valentine and Ari Shapiro – NPR
Institutional racism, greed, and a broken global health system are all working against African nations to ensure that people are dying from COVID in silence, according to a scathing assessment from the co-chair of the African Union’s African Vaccine Delivery Alliance, Dr. Ayoade Alakija. More than two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, wealthy nations like the U.S. are preparing for yet another vaccination campaign. The Biden administration is examining plans to open up a fourth booster shot to all adults.

US will get an answer on second boosters for adults under 50 ‘reasonably soon,’ Fauci says
Carma Hassan and Christina Maxouris – CNN
US health officials have been in active discussions with the Food and Drug Administration on whether the agency will authorize a second booster vaccine for Americans under 50 years old, the nation’s top infectious disease expert shared Saturday.

Will We Ever Get A Break From Covid?
Kristen V Brown – Bloomberg
“Will we ever get a break?” I can’t tell you how many times I have asked myself this over the past year. Sometimes I think back to March 2020, when we all went into lockdown and groaned at the idea of having to stay in our houses for what we then thought would be just a few weeks, and am forced to laugh. It was impossible to imagine this would all still be going on years later. At this point — in our third year of the pandemic — it’s clear that the only reliable constant is that Covid is entirely unpredictable.

How to stay protected from the BA.5 Omicron subvariant of the coronavirus
Laura Ramirez-Feldman – Yahoo! News
BA.5, a new Omicron subvariant of the coronavirus, has become dominant in the U.S., accounting for 65% of infections nationwide, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Some experts have called it “the worst variant we have seen so far,” due to its high transmissibility and its ability to evade immunity conferred by vaccination or prior infection. “People with prior infection, even with BA.1 or BA.2, are likely still at risk for BA.4 and BA.5,” Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC, said on Tuesday at a virtual press briefing by the White House COVID-19 response team.

Macau Extends City-Wide Lockdown Amid Struggle to Contain Covid
Shirley Zhao – Bloomberg
Macau will extend a city-wide shutdown as the gaming hub struggles to contain its biggest ever Covid-19 outbreak, prolonging the plight of casinos which are burning through millions of dollars every day and earning no revenue. All non-essential businesses are required to remain closed through July 22, authorities said in a statement Saturday, extending measures that began July 11 and were initially due to last a week.

China Covid Cases Climb in New Risk to Economic Activity
China’s daily tally of Covid-19 cases rose to the highest level in more than seven weeks, as infections spread in some central, northwestern and southern provinces. The country reported 450 infections for Friday, the most since May 25, with more than half the cases found in Anhui and Gansu, according to the National Health Commission.

Is It Easier to Get COVID-19 Outdoors with BA.5?
Tara Law – Time
When the pandemic first began, COVID-19 seemed to lurk around every corner, so it came as a big relief when scientists established that the virus doesn’t easily spread outdoors. This summer, however, that feeling of relative safety has come into question. Now that the BA.5 subvariant is driving a new wave in the U.S., can people count on the open air to keep them safe? The truth is that being outside has never been a sure way to avoid COVID-19 transmission—especially at crowded events, like music festivals, which have been linked to outbreaks in the past.

Eating fruit frequently could stave off depression, study finds; The study, published in the British Journal of Medicine, surveyed 428 adults from across the U.K. to measure the link between certain aspects of a person’s diet and their mental health.
Adam Barnes – The Hill
Eating fruit more often could ward off symptoms of depression and improve overall mental well-being, a new study suggests. The study, published in the British Journal of Medicine, surveyed 428 adults from across the U.K. to measure the link between certain aspects of a person’s diet and their mental health. Researchers from Aston University in the U.K. found that the frequency in which people consume fruit each week is more important than the total weekly amount.

Bombshell alcohol study funded by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation finds only risks, zero benefits for young adults
Chloe Taylor – FORTUNE
People under the age of 40 start risking their health if they consume any more than two teaspoons of wine or two and a half tablespoons of beer per day, a new study suggests. The analysis—part of the wider Global Burden of Disease study—was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and published in The Lancet medical journal on Thursday. It found that for young adults between the ages of 15 and 39, there were zero health benefits—only risks—associated with drinking alcohol.

The omicron subvariant dominating U.S. COVID-19 cases is more vaccine-resistant
Ayana Archie – NPR
The BA.5 omicron subvariant, which is now the most prevalent coronavirus strain in the United States, is four times more resistant to COVID-19 vaccines, according to a new study. The strain, which is considered “hypercontagious,” according to the Mayo Clinic, is more defiant against messenger RNA vaccines, which include Pfizer and Moderna.

Shanghai Continues to Lock Down Areas Even as Cases Stabilize
Shanghai’s latest Covid-19 outbreak appears to be stabilizing, with most new cases already in government-mandated quarantine, but authorities are taking no chances, still locking down areas of the city and housing compounds as infections arise. The financial center recorded 45 infections for Thursday, down from 47 on Wednesday. While daily cases have jumped from single digits last week, they are no longer rising precipitously, and all the latest cases were already in isolation. Still, a further 30 high and mid-level risk areas were subject to lockdown from Friday, officials said. Areas can be defined as single housing compounds to a group of apartment blocks.

The BA.5 Covid variant is causing US cases to rise – should you be worried? All you need to know; The newest challenge hits the nation at a time the leadership has largely moved on from the coronavirus discourse
Melody Schreiber – The Guardian
Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations are rising in the US as BA.5 – the newest subvariant of Omicron – becomes dominant in the country, raising concerns that the immune-evasive variant will lead to another wave of illness and death.


Indonesia Waives Palm Oil Export Levy to Cut Bloated Stockpiles; Lower export levy to be valid from July 15 through August; Bloated reserves prevent companies to buy fresh palm fruit
Eko Listiyorini – Bloomberg
Indonesia will waive its palm oil export levy until the end of August in a fresh attempt to boost shipments and reduce its overflowing stockpiles. The export levy is cut to zero from $200 a ton for crude palm oil starting from July 15, according to a rule posted on finance ministry website. The waiver also applies to other palm oil products.

China Is Pariah for Global Investors as Xi’s Policies Backfire; ‘It’s just easier to put China aside,’ Ruffer’s Smith says; Citi finds ‘surprisingly low level’ of client engagement
Sofia Horta e Costa – Bloomberg
After drawing foreign capital into China’s markets for years, President Xi Jinping is now facing the risk of a nasty period of financial de-globalization. Investors point to one main reason why: Xi’s own policies. Money managers once enticed by China’s juicy yields and huge tech companies now say reasons to avoid the country outweigh incentives to buy.

The sultan, his family and a $15bn dispute over oil in Malaysia; The heirs to the last ruler of Sulu have seized state-owned energy assets in a lawsuit that dates back to colonial Britain
Oliver Telling and Leo Lewis – FT
It is an unlikely setting for a legal fight over a British colonial holdover. But at lunchtime last Monday, a bailiff walked into a serviced office building in the Avenue John F Kennedy in central Luxembourg to serve an asset seizure notice on two subsidiaries of one of the biggest energy companies in the world, Petronas.

China Tries to Jump-Start Its ETF Market With Foreign Money; Dozens of Chinese exchange-traded funds are now available in Hong Kong via a popular cross-border trading link
Rebecca Feng and Michelle Chan – WSJ
China has opened another gateway for international investors to send cash into the country’s stock market, hoping to boost its fledgling exchange-traded-funds industry. Earlier this month, securities regulators in Hong Kong and mainland China approved the inclusion of dozens of ETFs in a popular cross-border trading link called Stock Connect.

Hong Kong Talent Pool Drained Further as Graduates Join Exodus; Recruiters say they’re struggling to hire overseas students; Covid controls, China crackdown sees territory lose luster
Simran Vaswani – Bloomberg
Hong Kong recruiters are struggling to hire overseas graduates for the financial services and legal industry in another sign the Asian hub is losing its luster.

Heathrow Goes From Europe’s Gateway to UK’s Travel Nightmare; Emirates balked at demand to cap ticket sales before yielding; Across Europe, airports are struggling with travel rebound
Julian Harris and Siddharth Vikram Philip – Bloomberg
Less than a decade ago, London’s Heathrow was the undisputed hub airport for Europe, with thousands of daily passengers and an ambitious expansion plan that included a brand new runway.

A German gas crisis will cause jitters across Europe; As Russia seeks to make others pay the price for its war in Ukraine, an EU-wide energy security strategy is needed
Constanze Stelzenmüller – FT
“We just don’t know. Everything is possible.” This was German economics minister Robert Habeck’s succinct response to the question currently consuming his country’s government, industry and public: when the 10-day scheduled maintenance to the Nord Stream 1 pipeline ends on July 21, will the Russian state-controlled gas exporter Gazprom resume deliveries?

Russian gas cuts threaten to shutter Germany industry; Many industrial companies have few options, if supplies dwindle or Moscow halts all flows
Joe Miller and Guy Chazan – FT
Petr Cingr is in no doubt about the fate that awaits his chemicals company if Russia cuts off all gas supplies to Germany. “We have to stop [production] immediately, from 100 to zero,” said the chief executive of SKW Stickstoffwerke Piesteritz, the country’s largest ammonia producer and a key European supplier of fertilisers and exhaust fluids for diesel engines.

Drought in Northern Mexico Threatening Livelihoods
Fabiola Sanchez, The Associated Press – Bloomberg
Restaurant owner Leticia Rodríguez celebrated the construction late last year of a new lakeside boulevard in this northern Mexico town that she hoped would draw more people to her business. But now with La Boca reservoir nearly empty, tourists have stopped coming to boat, water ski or just eat a meal.

‘Things Are Going to Break’: Texas Power Plants Are Running Nonstop; Operators are forced to defer maintenance as aging fleet is ‘run harder than it’s ever been run.’
Will Wade, Mark Chediak, and Naureen S Malik – Bloomberg
As searing Texas heat drives power demand to record highs, the state’s grid operator is ordering plants to run at a historic pace, often forcing them to put off maintenance to keep cranking out electricity. That’s helped keep the lights on, for now, but the short-term focus is putting even more stress on a system that’s already stretched near the limit. Twice in the past week, officials have called on Texans to limit electricity use during scorching afternoons as demand inched perilously close to overwhelming supply.


How Russian poker player, 34, took over Elon Musk’s $5.7B charity fund, sparking FBI probe into ‘foreign influence’ – before billionaire’s top ‘fixer’ ousted him over fears Tesla CEO could be drawn into the investigation
Keith Griffith – DailyMail.com
The FBI probed the role of a Russian-born professional poker player in Elon Musk’s charitable foundation, investigating concerns about potential foreign influence, according to a new report. Igor Kurganov, 34, briefly became a key figure in Musk’s inner circle, overseeing vast sums in pledged donations, until the billionaire’s top fixer and money-man Jared Birchall demanded his ouster in May, according to a Wall Street Journal report on Saturday.

Why Now Is the Best Time to Ask for a Raise and Other Perks at Work; The job market is tight so it’s a good moment to seek better benefits as the risks of an economic downturn mount.
Alice Kantor – Bloomberg
Now is the time to ask for a raise. The labor market is extremely tight but recession fears are growing, making it a good moment for employees to negotiate for better pay, bonuses and benefits before it’s too late, experts say. Job openings are at an all-time high and the unemployment rate is near a 50-year low, meaning employees still have plenty of leverage, especially as high inflation eats away at their incomes.

Supermarkets, Restaurants Hire Security, Limit Hours to Combat Crime; Starbucks, Morton Williams, other food businesses say they are wrestling with more safety challenges since the pandemic
Heather Haddon and Jaewon Kang – WSJ
Restaurants and grocery stores said they are revamping operations in response to crime, with some operators limiting hours, spending more on security and closing stores entirely. Starbucks Corp. last week said that it was permanently closing 16 U.S. stores after workers reported incidents related to drug use and other disruptions, and would likely close more.

Another Pain Point in a Summer of Travel Woes: Getting a Passport; If you’re urgently in need of a new or updated passport, brace yourself: Options have narrowed — and it’s likely going to cost you.
Debra Kamin – NY Times
It’s a summer of headaches for travelers: Airfares are surging, checked bags are disappearing, and flights are being canceled in record numbers. And now there’s another pain point to add to the mix. If you’re in need of a new or updated passport, your options are limited — and it’s likely going to cost you. Like the price of gas and groceries, passport fees have gone up across the board: As of January, a first-time adult passport now costs a total of $165, including the $35 acceptance fee; a renewed adult passport costs $130 and a passport for a minor costs a total of $135. Each is an increase of $20 over 2021 prices.

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