Wall Street Wants to Sell a Special Index, Just for You

Dec 6, 2021

First Read

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Suzanne Cosgrove Accepts New Role, Leaves JLN for PR Agency; Will Become JLN Consultant and Advisory Committee Member
Alex Perry Promoted from Intern to Associate Editor

By John J. Lothian – John Lothian News

JLN Deputy Managing Editor Suzanne Cosgrove gave her notice to John Lothian News and accepted a position with Purpose Brand, a woman-run, Chicago-based PR, brand, and digital marketing company that’s all about diversity and inclusion and seeks to expand its coverage of financial firms. She leaves JLN at the end of the year and starts her new position on January 3, 2022.

Suzanne joined JLN after having been part of the communications team at Cboe for the previous five years. She also spent 10 years at the Chicago Tribune, and it was a former colleague at the paper that recommended her for the new job, for which she was recruited.

To read the rest of this announcement, go here.


Hits & Takes
John Lothian & JLN Staff

ICE is mixing things up and has announced several senior leadership changes, with Stacey Cunningham exiting as president of NYSE and becoming a board member of NYSE. Sharon Bowen, the former CFTC commissioner, will become the new chairman of NYSE and Lynn Martin will become its new president.

Hope Jarkowski, formerly the co-head of government relations at ICE and currently the NYSE’s head of equities, will become its general counsel, replacing Elizabeth King. King takes on additional responsibilities for ICE ESG and will also oversee the NYSE’s Board Advisory Council.

Amanda Hindlian, currently the global head of capital markets at the NYSE, becomes the new president of ICE Fixed Income and Data Services, replacing Martin.

Mark Wassersug, ICE’s chief operating officer, will transition to a new role as the company’s chief information officer. Stuart Williams will succeed Wassersug as chief operating officer of ICE.

ICE Futures U.S. President Trabue Bland will oversee all of ICE’s futures exchanges.

Chris Edmonds, who leads ICE’s clearing businesses, will see his role expanding as chief development officer for ICE, adding oversight of ICE’s marketing and communications, in addition to his other duties.

NYSE’s Farrell Kramer has published a column titled “New NYSE President Lynn Martin Brings Tech Background to the Big Board.”

The group of CME and CBOT members who are suing the CME Group – Sheldon Langer, Ronald M. Yermack, Lance R. Goldberg, Robert Prosi, and Gerald Petrow – had their case certified for class action status on December 2. Here is the order from the judge. More on this later.

Alexander Osipovich of the Wall Street Journal reported that Nasdaq is on track to beat NYSE during a record year for IPOs. Nasdaq’s focus on ESG helped it attract many of the firms. If this Nasdaq win happens, it would be the third year in a row for Nasdaq to win the IPO competition.

The CME today announced the launch of Micro Ether Futures and so far they have traded 56 contracts.

Paris wants to clean up the Seine to make it swimmable by the time of the 2024 Paris Summer Olympics, Bloomberg reported. No word on whether the aquatics competitions will be held in the river.

The New York Times reports the supply chain problems have caused a cream cheese shortage for New York bagel shops. The shops are responding with just a schmr, no schmear.

The New York Times has a story on how the supply chain crisis unfolded.

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


Cboe Options Institute is planning a live 60-minute webinar on the so-called January effect and year-end options strategies on December 15 at 12 p.m. ET with Steven Sears, president and COO of Options Solutions, and Catherine Yoshimoto, director of product management for FTSE Russell. Cboe’s Matt Moran will moderate. Registration information is here. ~SC


JLN Video Interview: Step by Step, HKEx’s Kevin Rideout Builds Interest in China A 50

China’s new economy — and markets — appear to have found a new hedging tool.

In an interview with John Lothian News, Kevin Rideout, managing director, global client development at Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEx), talked about the launch and reception for MSCI China A 50 Connect Index Futures, launched on October 18.

Watch the video »


Oil Bounces After Omicron-Triggered Flash Crash; VIX Options Trade Surges; OCC Options Volumes Reach Record Highs – The Spread – December 3, 2021

— Stock market volatility gets renewed boost as new Covid-19 variant gains foothold; VIX trading, benchmark index up, options totals surge;
— John’s Take: This week’s Nasdaq, AWS deal sends more exchanges into the Cloud;
— Jermal Chandler breaks down the formula for put/call parity in the latest ‘Term’

Watch the video »


ICE Announces Senior Leadership Changes
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc.
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE: ICE), a leading global provider of data, technology and market infrastructure, today announced a series of senior leadership changes across the company under Chief Executive Officer Jeff Sprecher that reflect the firm’s expansion in recent years and position it for continued growth in its third decade. The leadership changes, designed to continue delivering value for ICE customers, shareholders, and other stakeholders, draw entirely from deep and diverse talent within the organization, providing these leaders an opportunity to help grow the business in new ways and expand their management roles.

***** Read this for the complete list of ICE senior management changes and Jeff Sprecher’s comments about them.~JJL


FTX Issues Key Principles for Market Regulation of Crypto-Trading Platforms
FTX (“the Company”), a leading global cryptocurrency exchange, today released a document entitled, FTX’s Key Principles for Market Regulation of Crypto-Trading Platforms. The set of 10 principles details a regulatory environment that, if enacted, will allow policymakers to effectively regulate the digital asset ecosystem while maximizing the potential growth and innovation. These principles will be part of Sam Bankman-Fried’s written commentary to accompany his in-person testimony to the House Committee on Financial Services during its hearing on Wednesday, December 8, 2021, entitled: “Digital Assets and the Future of Finance: Understanding the Challenges and Benefits of Financial Innovation in the United States”.

*****Nice to see some thought leadership from FTX on this.~JJL


Even in the Metaverse, Not All Identities Are Created Equal; Price differences based on race and gender are emerging among the CryptoPunk NFTs. What do the disparities mean?
Misyrlena Egkolfopoulou, Akayla Gardner – Bloomberg
The complexities of the real world are starting to bleed into the Metaverse — the virtual arena where identity functions as both a reflection on and determinant of social capital. Differences in prices for digital avatars based on race, gender and skin color are emerging among a popular collection of NFTs known as CryptoPunks, belying the utopian and egalitarian ideals touted by the closely connected world of crypto, decentralized finance, blockchain and non-fungible tokens.

*****I knew we were in trouble with the CryptoPunks.~JJL


More Than Half of Bitcoin Investors Got In Just This Year
Vildana Hajric – Bloomberg
Grayscale survey shows 55% of polled started investing in 202; Crypto firm says it’s increasingly difficult to ignore Bitcoin
Interest and demand in Bitcoin rose a lot in 2021 despite the digital asset’s turbulence. More than half of current investors got in over the last 12 months, according to crypto-firm Grayscale Investments LLC. In a survey of 1,000 people, about a quarter said they already owned Bitcoin and of that 55% said they started investing this year.

*****New HODLRS does not make sense.~JJL


Friday’s Top Three
Our top story Friday was Enron’s Cast of Characters: Where They Are 20 Years After the Fall, from Bloomberg via Yahoo Finance. Second was the list of winners of the FOW International Awards 2021, from Global Investor Group. Third was Up all night with a Twitch millionaire: The loneliness and rage of the Internet’s new rock stars, from The Washington Post.


MarketsWiki Stats
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MarketsWiki Statistics


Lead Stories

Wall Street Wants to Sell a Special Index, Just for You; The biggest asset managers see customization—a blend of passive and active—as the future of investing. Or maybe it’s just the latest way to make a buck.
Justina Lee – Bloomberg
It’s the existential challenge faced by asset managers all over Wall Street: Surrender to the fee-killing exchange-traded fund boom—or keep bleeding assets and risk extinction. Now they’ve hit on a way to fight back. Investment giants are lavishing billions of dollars in a bet that they can bring the personal touch back to an investing world dominated by mass-market index funds. They include Morgan Stanley and even dominant ETF and index players BlackRock and Vanguard Group. They’re all racing to offer software that can create a unique index for every investor and then let them buy all the shares in it directly. The result? A mashup of active and passive investing that’s supposed to offer the best features of both.

??IMF Chief Warns of ‘Digital Berlin Wall’ That Would Hurt Growth
Bryce Baschuk – Bloomberg
U.S., EU, China all adopting different technology standards; A balkanized digital economy could knock global GDP by 6%
International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva urged policy makers to avoid the balkanization of the digital economy or risk as much as a 6% hit to global economic output over the next decade. The world may soon face a “digital Berlin Wall” whereby the U.S., European Union and China all adopt discordant technology standards, Georgieva said in prepared remarks Monday to the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

LSEG to acquire Quantile Group Limited
London Stock Exchange Group plc
London Stock Exchange Group plc (“LSEG” or the “Company”) today announces that it has agreed to acquire Quantile Group Limited (“Quantile”) (the “Transaction”). Quantile is a leading provider of portfolio, margin and capital optimisation and compression services for the global financial services market. Quantile’s powerful optimisation engine provides advanced trade compression and risk rebalancing services to banks, hedge funds and other financial institutions trading OTC derivatives. Quantile was founded in 2015 and is led by a team of industry experts with significant experience in risk management, quantitative analysis and trading technology.

Financial watchdog calls for stricter rules in bond and DeFi markets; BIS challenges ‘decentralisation illusion’ and suggests changes to bond fund redemptions
Chris Flood and Eva Szalay – FT
The Bank for International Settlements has called for tougher rules to stop bond funds from amplifying risks to financial market stability and has thrown its weight behind calls for tighter supervision of blockchain-based decentralised finance.

The $57bn+ hedge fund at the nexus of the war for talent; Plus, Abrdn’s acquisition of Interactive Investor, US retail traders pile in, and a trio of ‘Perdita’ portraits
Harriet Agnew – FT
The pandemic battle for top traders
Hedge fund winners from the coronavirus pandemic do not come much bigger than Millennium Management. Izzy Englander’s New York-based fund made 25.6 per cent last year, its best performance in two decades, and is up more than 10 per cent through to the end of October this year. The firm’s assets have grown by $20bn since the start of 2020 and, such is its position of strength, that it’s even seeking to lock in investors’ money for longer.

Stablecoin risks spur case for central bank digital currency; Explosive growth in tokens raises concerns over broader stability of financial system
Bruce Mizrach – FT
One of the great misnomers in the crypto world is stablecoins. These digital assets are meant to provide a safer exposure to crypto, with coins pegged to stores of value such as the dollar or gold to limit price fluctuations and facilitate transactions.

Half of All Global Financial Assets Need Tighter Rules, BIS Says
Jeff Black – Bloomberg
Non-bank financial intermediaries may need bigger buffers: BIS; Pandemic money-market turmoil underlined system weaknesses
Investment activity that takes place outside the banking system requires a new, broad-based set of global regulations to tackle inherent instability, the Bank for International Settlements said. Covering about half of all global financial assets after a rapid expansion over the past decade, non-bank financial intermediaries such as asset managers, hedge funds and other investment vehicles are still not adequately protected against bank-run-like withdrawals of liquidity, according to Claudio Borio, chief economist at the Basel, Switzerland-based BIS.

Bond Funds Pose a Systemic Risk in Times of Crisis, BIS Says
Alice Gledhill – Bloomberg
Last year’s rout revived worries over fire sales, liquidity; Possible steps include new regulation, updating current tools
Regulators should bolster lines of defense for open-ended bond funds to cut systemic risk in periods of market turmoil, according to a report by the Bank for International Settlements. As the coronavirus roiled markets last year, bond funds dumped assets in droves to keep up with investor redemptions, exacerbating already-poor liquidity and pricing pressure. Conditions were tense until authorities moved to backstop bond markets, raising questions over the efficacy of existing safeguards, said BIS, a Swiss oversight body for the world’s central banks.

China will encourage listing of leading futures firms, to issue futures law
China will help leading futures companies to speed up their development and encourage qualified firms to be listed, the China Futures Association said in a statement, citing an official from the securities regulator. Authorities would support futures companies to widen and diversify their financing channels and allow them to compete with overseas players, Fang Xinghai, vice chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, told an industry conference on Sunday, according to the statement.

SIFMA, ICI and DTCC Lay Out Path To Shorten U.s. Securities Settlement Cycle To T+1; New report details changes market participants need to consider and implement to move to T+1
The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), the Investment Company Institute (ICI), and The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) today published a report targeting the first half of 2024 to shorten the U.S. securities settlement cycle from trade date plus 2 days (T+2) to trade date plus one day (T+1).

Citadel Securities, NYSE See ‘Extreme Events’ Becoming Routine for Markets
Katherine Doherty – Bloomberg
Even typically slow days regularly upended by market shocks; Exchanges, market makers say systems can handle the volatility
It will take more than omicron to knock U.S. stock exchanges and market makers off their game. Michael Blaugrund, the New York Stock Exchange’s chief operating officer, said he awoke on the day after Thanksgiving to signs that the new Covid-19 variant was roiling U.S. markets. Still, he was confident the NYSE could handle the crunch, having spent the previous 18 months watching markets whipsawed by the pandemic.

A new case against payment for order flow
Felix Salmon – Axios
SEC chair Gary Gensler is looking at the controversial practice of payment for order flow, or PFOF, to determine whether it should be banned. Fresh data from retail brokerage Public, shared first with Axios, adds weight to the case that it should be stopped. Why it matters: PFOF, a formerly obscure market-structure backwater, got a bad reputation during the meme-stock craziness earlier this year, causing a lot of pointed questions to be asked of the SEC by members of Congress. Now the regulator is considering whether it makes sense, or should be outlawed on the grounds that it represents a conflict of interest for brokers.

‘We are now conducting a thorough security review’: Hackers steal at least $150 million in assets from crypto platform BitMart; Blockchain-security company says losses closer to $200 million
Mike Murphy – MarketWatch
Crypto trading platform BitMart confirmed a “large-scale security breach” over the weekend, saying hackers stole about $150 million in assets. “The affected ETH hot wallet and BSC hot wallet carry a small percentage of assets on BitMart and all of our other wallets are secure and unharmed,” BitMart said in a statement Saturday night. “We are now conducting a thorough security review and we will post updates as we progress.”

A Bitcoin Boom Fueled by Cheap Power, Empty Plants and Few Rules; Cryptocurrency miners are flocking to New York’s faded industrial towns, prompting concern over the environmental impact of huge computer farms.
Corey Kilgannon – NY Times
A bitcoin mining operation is opening northeast of Niagara Falls this month on the site of the last working coal plant in New York State. Across the state, a former aluminum plant in Massena, already one of the biggest cryptocurrency sites in the United States, is expanding.


Omicron means it’s time to switch to N95 masks
Annalisa Merelli – Quartz
The omicron variant is spreading fast. According to the World Health Organization, at least 38 countries, on six continents, have confirmed cases of the new variant. There is still quite a bit we don’t know about omicron—including whether it is more contagious than delta, and if it is more likely to escape vaccine protection.

A man who tested positive for Omicron variant says 15 of his friends who joined him at a New York anime convention also have COVID-19
Michelle Mark – Business Insider
A Minnesota man who attended an anime convention in New York last month — and later tested positive for the Omicron coronavirus variant — has reportedly told health officials that 15 of his friends have also contracted COVID-19.

Omicron’s Rapid Spread Shreds Budding Recovery in Air Travel
Angus Whitley – Bloomberg
Rapid and still-evolving border restrictions in response to the omicron variant have submerged air-travel demand yet again, throwing a long-awaited recovery into uncertainty. The emerging coronavirus wave has put airlines under even more pressure as they navigate rules that vary by country and are being revised daily as more information about the strain comes to light.

South Africa Fuels Omicron Hope by Dodging Hospitalization Surge
Michael Cohen and Janice Kew – Bloomberg
Anthony Fauci says early readings may point to lower severity; Scientists are still decoding strain to evaluate global impact
South Africa’s surge in Covid-19 cases following the emergence of the omicron variant hasn’t overwhelmed hospitals so far, prompting some cautious optimism that the new strain may cause mostly mild illness.

The U.K. Presses Ahead With Omicron Christmas; With each new Covid variant, will we shut down or soldier on? Britain is testing one approach.
Therese Raphael – Bloomberg
At the start of this year, the U.K. government set out a “route back to normality” based around vaccines, treatments and testing. Omicron is the first “variant of concern” to appear after we have relatively high levels of vaccination, a range of Covid-19 treatments and accessible rapid antigen tests. We’re about to find out how much normality these feats of science have bought us. With each new super-variant, will we shut down, soldier on or contend with a yo-yo of restrictions and liberations?

A Single Case Gets You on H.K.’s 21-Day Quarantine List Now
Jinshan Hong – Bloomberg
Over 30 nations labeled high-risk in past 10 days for omicron; Cook Islands, Luxembourg removed from that group by Hong Kong
Hong Kong has moved more than 30 countries into its high-risk category in the past 10 days due to omicron, making travelers from these places spend 21 days in mandatory quarantine. Getting a reprieve is a tiny tropical island that saw its first-ever Covid-19 case just two days ago. Cook Islands detected its first infection on Saturday, and Hong Kong moved the locale to the high-risk category a day later. But the city on Monday reversed course for Cook Islands and Luxembourg, citing updated information from relevant authorities that neither have yet seen an omicron case.

Omicron Mutations May Provide Clues About Origin, Analysis Shows
Antony Sguazzin – Bloomberg
Variant may be due to lack of surveillance, long-term host; Mutations appear to work together to make strain ‘fitter’
Omicron’s unusually large number of mutations on the gene that helps the coronavirus spread may provide clues as to how it developed, according to a computational analysis of the variant. The co-existence of mutations on the so-called S-gene that would normally inhibit the ability of the virus to thrive suggests the changes are instead working to make the variant more effective at spreading, according to a blog post by researchers led by Associate Professor Darren Martin at the University of Cape Town’s Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine.

Brazil emerges from Covid ‘nightmare’ through vaccination blitz; Brazilians largely welcome inoculations despite scepticism of leader Jair Bolsonaro
Michael Pooler – FT
After suffering one of the world’s worst Covid-19 disasters, Brazil is staging a turnround with a steep drop in deaths and a mass inoculation campaign as it beefs up its ability to manufacture coronavirus shots.

Covid has given UK biotech a lesson — and a legacy; Good venture capitalism should build companies up, developing medicines that deliver public good and profit
Kate Bingham – FT
The emergence of a new coronavirus variant, Omicron, is an advent gift no one wants. But we are not facing it unarmed. Unlike last Christmas, we now have a well-advanced vaccine and booster programme in the UK. A recent study published in The Lancet shows that the third vaccine gives a substantial immunity boost, hugely increasing antibody levels. If everyone comes forward, then even if Omicron proves highly transmissible, people should be protected against severe disease.

Covid-19 Breakthrough Can Happen After Booster in Rare Cases; Doctors say no vaccine is 100% effective, but add that the extra shot still offers crucial protection
Sumathi Reddy – WSJ
A small number of Covid-19 breakthrough cases are beginning to show up among people who got both a full round of vaccinations and a booster shot. Heather Green received her Covid-19 booster, a third injection of the Pfizer vaccine, at the end of September. A month later, the 47-year-old was surprised to discover during a routine test that her mild allergy-like symptoms were actually from Covid-19.

Pfizer and Merck Covid-19 Pills Are Coming Soon in the U.S., But Other Countries Will Have to Wait; Drugmakers licensed pill formulas for low- and middle-income countries to generic drugmakers, who are now ramping up
Jared S. Hopkins and Gabriele Steinhauser – WSJ
Promising Covid-19 treatment pills are likely to take longer to reach patients in low- and middle-income countries than in rich ones because of manufacturing and pricing obstacles, despite efforts by drugmakers to make them more available, drug-access advocates and public-health experts say.

The Variant Hunters: Inside South Africa’s Effort to Stanch Dangerous Mutations; Scientists in a cutting-edge laboratory do part of the work. Local health workers on foot do the rest.
Stephanie Nolen – NY Times
A few months ago, Sizakele Mathe, a community health worker in this sprawling hillside township on the edge of the city of Durban, was notified by a clinic that a neighbor had stopped picking up her medication. It was a warning sign that she had likely stopped taking the antiretroviral tablet that suppresses her H.I.V. infection.

In Its War on Covid-19, China Calls on ‘Little Inoculated Warriors’; The country regards children as crucial in its quest for herd immunity, but some parents, worried about the vaccines’ safety, are pushing back.
Alexandra Stevenson and Cao Li – NY Times
As the rest of the world struggles to vaccinate adults in the face of a threat from a new coronavirus variant, China has embarked on an ambitious campaign that it says will give the country better protection against Covid-19: full inoculation of 160 million of its youngest citizens by the end of the year.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

Cboe Global Markets Reports November 2021 Trading Volume
Cboe Global Markets, Inc. (Cboe: CBOE), a leading provider of global market infrastructure and tradable products, today reported November monthly trading volume statistics across its global business lines.
The data sheet “Cboe Global Markets Monthly Volume & RPC/Net Revenue Capture Report” contains an overview of certain November and year-to-date trading statistics and market share by business segment, volume in select index products, and RPC/net capture, which is reported on a one-month lag, across business lines.

MGEX Concludes Third-Best Month in Its History
MGEX, a Designated Contract Market (DCM) and Derivatives Clearing Organization (DCO), reports a total of 420,826 contracts from November 2021, making it the third-best month in the history of the Exchange. Compared to last November, MGEX saw a 61% increase in total volume. This past month was also the best November in MGEX history, beating the previous record November 2015 by nearly 150,000 contracts. This is the 9th month of 2021 to enter the top-25 record book for total monthly volume.

Nasdaq Is On Track to Beat NYSE in Record Year for IPOs; Focusing on environmental, social and governance criteria has helped Nasdaq draw listings of $191 billion
Alexander Osipovich – WSJ
Nasdaq Inc. NDAQ -0.55% is poised to beat the New York Stock Exchange in initial public offerings this year, far outpacing its crosstown rival during a record year for capital raised in U.S. public markets. IPOs at Nasdaq have raised $191 billion this year through Friday, compared with $109 billion for new listings at the NYSE, according to Dealogic. Nasdaq’s commanding lead with only a few weeks left in 2021 means it is likely to beat the Big Board for the third year in a row.

London Stock Exchange to bolster post-trade solutions with Quantile acquisition; As part of the acquisition, Quantile will be able to accelerate product development, launch new services and expand its network to better serve its clients.
Wesley Bray – The Trade
Portfolio optimisation services provider Quantile Group will be acquired by London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG), with the transaction expected to close in 2022, subject to anti-trust and other regulatory approvals. The acquisition will allow Quantile to accelerate product development, launch new services and expand its network to better serve its clients.

EPIC Acquisition Corp lists on Euronext Amsterdam
Successfully raising EUR150 million; 20th SPAC listing on Euronext markets in 2021
Euronext today congratulates EPIC Acquisition Corp, a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC), on its listing on Euronext Amsterdam (ticker code: EPIC). It is the 20th SPAC-listing on Euronext markets this year.

ASX Group Monthly Activity Report – November 2021

CORRECTING and REPLACING Garmin Completes Listing Transfer to the New York Stock Exchange
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc.
First paragraph of release should read: “…has completed its listing transfer and will begin trading tomorrow as an NYSE-listed company.” (instead of will begin trading today). The updated release reads; GARMIN COMPLETES LISTING TRANSFER TO THE NEW YORK STOCK EXCHANGE
The New York Stock Exchange, part of Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE: ICE), a leading global provider of data, technology and market infrastructure, announced that Garmin Ltd. (NYSE: GRMN) has completed its listing transfer and will begin trading tomorrow as an NYSE-listed company.

Nasdaq Survey Uncovers Portfolio Managers’ Top Data Infrastructure Challenges; Quantitative managers cite inadequate manpower as source of dissatisfaction; fundamental managers cite inability to quickly onboard and deploy data
Nasdaq, Inc. (Nasdaq: NDAQ) today released results from a survey of portfolio managers across the U.S., revealing the top challenges they face in operating a scalable and efficient data infrastructure. Only 46% of respondents report being very or completely satisfied with their organization’s data infrastructure, and only 2% state that nothing limits their implementation of new datasets. The survey also explored different issues encountered by different types of portfolio managers – quantitative, fundamental and quantamental.

CME Group Announces Launch of Micro Ether Futures
CME Group
CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, today launched Micro Ether futures, further expanding its suite of cryptocurrency derivatives offerings, and marking its second micro cryptocurrency product this year.

SGX welcomes Digital Core REIT to Mainboard
Singapore Exchange (SGX) is pleased to welcome Digital Core REIT to its Mainboard under the stock code “DCRU”. Digital Core REIT is a Singapore real estate investment trust (S-REIT) sponsored by Digital Realty, the biggest owner, operator, developer and acquirer of data centres globally and one of the largest listed US REITs. The REIT’s initial portfolio comprises ten institutional quality, freehold data centres, strategically positioned within top-tier markets in the United States and Canada.

Designation as Shareholder Services Agent Approved by TSE
On December 6, 2021, SMBC Trust Bank Ltd. has been designated as a shareholder services agent approved by Tokyo Stock Exchange, Inc.

Tradeweb Reports Trading Volume For November 2021
Total trading volume for November 2021 was $24.2 trillion (tn), and average daily volume (ADV) for the month was $1.18tn, an increase of 22.6 percent (%) year-over-year (YoY). Average daily trades for the month totaled 88,309.

— Delisting of Four (4) Commodity Index Forward Swap Contracts — CME


Volante Technologies Recognized as Market Leader in Omdia Universe: Selecting a Payment Hub, 2021-22 Report; Cloud payments company scores highest mark for solution innovation capabilities and strategy
Volante Technologies
Volante Technologies, the global leader in cloud payments and financial messaging, has been recognized as a Leader in the Omdia Universe: Selecting a Payment Hub, 2021-22 global survey.

Plaid salaries revealed: Here’s how much the $13.4 billion fintech startup pays its employees
April Joyner and Alex Nicoll – Insider
A failed acquisition turned out to be a blessing in disguise for Plaid. After Visa ended its bid to buy the fintech startup following an antitrust suit from the US Department of Justice, Plaid went on to command a much larger valuation than what the credit-card company offered.

R.J. O’Brien Rolls Out Next Generation of Hrvyst Ag Tech Platform for Commercial Grain Industry
R.J. O’Brien & Associates
Chicago-based R.J. O’Brien & Associates (RJO), the oldest and largest independent futures brokerage and clearing firm in the United States, today announced that it has rolled out the next-generation version of its Hrvyst agricultural technology (ag tech) platform, following the successful pilot of its original platform since 2019. The cloud-based, scalable platform enables users in the commercial grain industry to digitally streamline grain origination, merchandising and automated hedging.

Zimbabwe Central Bank Mulls Digital Currency, Spurns Crypto
Ray Ndlovu and Godfrey Marawanyika – Bloomberg
Work on e-Zimbabwe dollar underway, says central bank governor; State paid U.S. dollar bonuses to workers to save local unit
Zimbabwe’s central bank is exploring the use of a digital currency rather than allowing cryptocurrencies as legal tender, according to the nation’s central bank Governor John Mangudya.

Fixed income automation: gearing up for the primary markets; Competition in the new issuance technology space is increasing and the first steps to re-stitch the primary landscape will be to focus on automating a manual process and providing transparency, says Charlotte Decuyper.
Charlotte Decuyper – The Trade
Reliance on more manual and voice processes for trading bonds during Covid-19 exposed the constraints of the traditional fixed income markets, particularly in relation to secondary market trading. As volatility rose, a lack of risk capital and scaled-back balance sheets on the sell-side left many asset managers struggling to exit positions in a timely manner. This created a sense of urgency on the buy-side to be ready for any future episodes of volatility and led to wholesale reviews, upgrades and automation of current workflows wherever possible.


The story behind the FBI’s fake encrypted messaging platform ANOM is looking more complicated.
Josephine Wolff – Slate
In one of the more unusual cybersecurity policing stories of the past year, the FBI announced in June that it had created its own company, called ANOM, to sell devices with a pre-installed encrypted messaging app to criminals. The ANOM app was marketed as providing end-to-end encrypted messaging, comparable to the security protections offered by services like Signal, WhatsApp, and iMessage, but in fact the messages could be intercepted by law enforcement, which had designed the app for precisely that purpose.

Hacks, ransomware and data privacy dominated cybersecurity in 2021
Bree Fowler – C|net
Cyberattacks grabbed headlines throughout 2021 as massive disruptions affected government agencies, major companies and even supply chains for essential goods like gasoline and meat.
The year started off on a sour security note. In January, the FBI, the National Security Agency and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency jointly suggested that Russia was responsible for an attack against SolarWinds, a Texas-based company whose software was used by everyone from the federal government to railroads, hospitals and major tech companies.

Ill cyber winds: Companies and agencies must try harder to protect information
James C. Allen – TheHill
China’s decision to classify online data based on its importance to national security and public interest is an implicit nod to both the growing threat posed by malicious hackers and Beijing’s continued push to centralize control of cyber operations. Here in the United States, we have seen sophisticated cyber attacks targeting everything from small, private investment pools to regional energy pipelines to the highest reaches of the U.S. government.

Why top business book of 2021 is about hackers, cybersecurity, data
Tom Huddleston Jr. – CNBC
You might think cybersecurity is too complicated or boring to worry about. This year’s best business book wants to convince you otherwise.
The Financial Times and consulting firm McKinsey & Company recently announced their Business Book of the Year for 2021: “This Is How They Tell Me the World Ends,” by journalist Nicole Perlroth, published in February by Bloomsbury. The book delves into the frightening world of cyber attacks, and the increasingly sophisticated hackers who perpetrate them.

Federal Court Rejects Efforts to Derail Cybersecurity Litigation Settlement
Kristin L. Bryan – The National Law Review
Following a widespread data event and subsequent cybersecurity litigation, last month a group of individuals (“Proposed Intervenors”) moved to intervene and oppose preliminary approval of a negotiated proposed settlement. Cochran v. Accellion, Inc., 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 214686 (N.D. Cal. Nov. 5, 2021). Ultimately, the Court denied the motion. Read on to learn more and what it may mean for other similar cases going forward.

Companies Linked to Russian Ransomware Hide in Plain Sight; Cybersecurity experts tracing money paid by American businesses to Russian ransomware gangs found it led to one of Moscow’s most prestigious addresses.
Andrew E. Kramer – NY Times
When cybersleuths traced the millions of dollars American companies, hospitals and city governments have paid to online extortionists in ransom money, they made a telling discovery: At least some of it passed through one of the most prestigious business addresses in Moscow.


ConstitutionDAO Tokens Find New Life in Latest Meme Coin Frenzy
Crystal Kim – Bloomberg
The saga of the ConstitutionDAO is taking a not-so-unlikely pivot in the topsy-turvy world of cryptocurrencies as speculators seek to turn tokens from the failed crowdfunding entity into the latest meme coin. The DAO, or decentralized autonomous organization, which effectively exists on the blockchain, minted billions of People tokens with the aim of buying a rare copy of the U.S. Constitution. But the group came up short at a Sotheby’s auction and lost to hedge fund billionaire Ken Griffin. In the days following, ConstitutionDAO decided to disband, refund the more than $40 million raised to those who donated to the effort and set up the automatic destruction, or burning, of the tokens.

Crypto Exchange Bitmart Hacked With Losses Estimated at $196M
Andrew Thurman – Coindesk
The latest centralized exchange hack may be among the most devastating to date as Bitmart has lost $196 million in various cryptocurrencies. A tweet from security analysis firm Peckshield first called attention to the alleged hack Saturday night. One of Bitmart’s addresses currently shows steady outflows of entire token balances, some worth tens of millions of dollars, to an address currently labeled by Etherscan as the “Bitmart Hacker.”

DigiShares Releases Industry Report on Security Token Regulation in the EU
DigiShares, a leading provider of tokenization solutions, has released a detailed report outlining the current state of security token regulation in the European Union. The report provides in-depth definitions and analysis of security token classification, as well as regulation of various forms of trading facilities. The report presented by DigiShares provides an overview of relevant legislation on the EU level, including current regulations and planned future regulations, and how this could potentially influence the security token and tokenization industries.

Blockchain Coinvestors Unveils Most Comprehensive List of Global Blockchain Unicorns
Blockchain Coinvestors
The blockchain sector has seen an acceleration of value creation in 2021 with a doubling of unicorns in the second half of the year; There are now 62 blockchain enterprise unicorns and 133 crypto projects worth more than $1bn each; These figures exclude recent public listings. There are now 13 pureplay public blockchain companies worth more than $1bn; Blockchain Coinvestors is an investor in 55% of blockchain enterprise unicorns and 38% of crypto project unicorns
Blockchain Coinvestors, a leading blockchain venture fund-of-funds and coinvestment program with a combined portfolio of more than 400 blockchain enterprises and crypto projects, including 30+ blockchain unicorns, today announced its year end 2021 list of blockchain unicorns – private blockchain enterprises and crypto projects with valuations exceeding $1 billion.

Goldman Sachs Sees Crypto Options Markets as ‘Next Big Step’ for Institutional Adoption; While CME Group’s bitcoin futures contracts initially lured in Wall Street firms, Goldman’s head of crypto trading says options are “more versatile.”
Tracy Wang – Coindesk
Goldman Sachs, the Wall Street heavyweight, says the next major development for cryptocurrencies will be more liquid options markets as more traditional financial firms pile into the rapidly growing asset class.

Binance Working to Set Up U.K. Arm After FCA Setback: Telegraph
Will Mathis – Bloomberg
Exchange aims to become a registered crypto asset firm; Effort follows financial watchdog’s rebuke over advertising
Cryptocurrency exchange Binance is working to build its U.K. business after the country’s regulator told it to halt operations earlier this year, the company’s chief executive officer told the Sunday Telegraph newspaper. Binance aims to become a registered crypto asset firm in the country in six to 18 months, CEO Changpeng Zhao told the newspaper. The move would allow the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange to offer a wider array of products if it can overcome British anti-money laundering standards that have stymied the industry.

FTSE Russell Plans to Develop Crypto Index With Over 40 Digital Assets: Report
The index will “sit alongside” the FTSE 100 and Russell 2000.
Jamie Crawley – Coindesk
FTSE Russell, the company behind the benchmark index of the U.K. stock market, is planning the development of a crypto index containing 43 digital assets, according to a report from London-based business newspaper City AM, published on Monday.
The index will “sit alongside” the FTSE 100 and Russell 2000, said Kristien Mierzwa, the head of ETF strategy and business development for the FTSE Russell.


Bridgewater CEO Clashes With Dalio Over China Before Senate Race
Sridhar Natarajan and Katherine Burton – Bloomberg
Bridgewater Associates Chief Executive Officer David McCormick, who is considering a U.S. Senate run, made it clear he disagrees with Ray Dalio’s politically unpopular defenses of China. On a company call, McCormick addressed controversial remarks that Dalio had made this week on television, in which the hedge fund’s legendary founder compared China to a “strict parent” when asked about the disappearance of its citizens who get in trouble.

Ray Dalio Says Comments on China Human Rights Were Misunderstood
Sebastian Tong – Bloomberg
Ray Dalio took to social media on Sunday to say that his views on China had been misunderstood after he had “sloppily answered” a question about his investments in China during an interview on CNBC last week. The billionaire founder of Bridgewater Associates, who had compared China to a “strict parent” when asked about the disappearance of dissidents, said he didn’t mean to downplay the importance of human rights issues but was “attempting to explain” the Chinese approach to governing as an extension of Confucian ideas about family.

Biden unveils first-ever U.S. government strategy for countering corruption
Zachary Basu – Axios
The Biden administration on Monday released the first-ever U.S. government strategy for countering corruption, kicking off a week of policy initiatives pegged to the inaugural “Summit for Democracy” on Dec. 9-10.

Biden Eyes Tighter Rules for Shell-Company Real Estate Purchases
Justin Sink – Bloomberg
Treasury to seek expanded reporting for all-cash transactions; Would help global anti-corruption efforts, U.S. officials say
The U.S. Treasury Department will begin developing regulations that could expand reporting requirements for all-cash real estate purchases as part of the Biden administration’s efforts to cut down on global corruption, according to two senior administration officials.

German Greens’ Internal Debate Shows Decarbonization Challenge; The Green Party’s left wing isn’t happy about compromises to its climate agenda made with the rest of the ruling coalition.
Vanessa Dezem and Arne Delfs – Bloomberg
A hard-won agreement reached by Germany’s new coalition government puts climate change at the center of policy making — an outcome made possible by unprecedented support for the Greens. But divisions within the party underscore the challenge of turning that momentum into action.


Treasury wants more oversight of all-cash real estate deals
Aamer Madhani – AP
The Biden administration is looking to expand reporting requirements on all-cash real estate deals to help crack down on bad actors’ use of the U.S. market to launder money made through illicit activity. The Treasury Department was posting notice Monday seeking public comment for a potential regulation that would address what it says is a vulnerability in the real estate market.

Singapore suspends crypto exchange over spat with K-pop group BTS; Bitget was threatened with legal action by Korean boy band’s agency for promoting digital currency Army Coin
Mercedes Ruehl and Christian Davies – FT
Singapore’s financial regulator has suspended a prominent digital currency exchange at the centre of a row involving a crypto pension scheme claiming links to South Korea’s biggest boy band BTS.

Lucid Is Subpoenaed by SEC Related to SPAC Deal, Shares Fall; Electric-vehicle company says regulators are requesting certain documents in a probe that appears to concern projections and statements
Robert Barba – WSJ
Lucid Inc. LCID -2.35% said it received a subpoena from the Securities and Exchange Commission related to the deal that took the electric vehicle company public this summer. The company said in a regulatory filing Monday that the SEC is requesting certain documents and that the investigation appears to concern certain projections and statements. Lucid said it is fully cooperating with the agency.

MiFID II scale back by FCA presents both risks and opportunities; Scrapping of MiFID II research requirements for small caps and best ex by FCA could pose risk to UK businesses also operating in the EU, says RegTech expert.
Anita Hawser – The Trade
Industry reaction to the UK regulator scrapping payments for research on small caps and best ex reporting in MiFID II scale back, has been mixed, with some saying it will help drive out hidden costs, while others expressed caution about the UK’s divergence away from RTS 27 and 28.

The CFO agenda – a regulator’s perspective; Speech by Commissioner Cathie Armour at the Financial Review CFO Live summit, Monday 6 December 2021.
Check against delivery
Good morning everyone and welcome. I’d like to thank the AFR for inviting me to speak to you today. It is certainly a foreign, yet welcome change, to be speaking to you from behind a lectern, instead of in front of a camera. After many months of lockdowns, it’s fantastic to finally engage in person.

Ernesto A. Lanza Named Acting Director of SEC Office of Municipal Securities
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Ernesto A. Lanza will serve as Acting Director of the Office of Municipal Securities (OMS). Mr. Lanza, who has served as Senior Counsel to the OMS Director since 2019, replaces Rebecca J. Olsen, who was named Deputy Chief for the Division of Enforcement’s Public Finance Abuse (PFA) Unit. Mark R. Zehner, who held the PFA role since July 2010, is retiring from the agency after 25 years of service.

Where Do Stocks Trade?
When you enter an order to buy or sell a stock, what happens next? Simply put, your broker must make a decision on where to go to find someone who wants to sell their stock (if you want to buy) or buy your stock (if you want to sell). This decision is referred to as “routing” your order, and where the trade actually takes place is called the “execution venue.”

FCA, TPR and MoneyHelper joint statement on Old British Steel Pension Scheme
We are aware the Old BSPS scheme has exited the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) assessment period. Today, the trustees of the Old BSPS scheme have published the letter they are sending to scheme members. The FCA are working with the trustees of the scheme to monitor requests to transfer out and the firms who are advising members on their options.

FCA announces changes to its Executive Committee
The FCA has appointed Stephen Braviner Roman as General Counsel and as a member of its Executive Committee following an open competition. Stephen is expected to join the FCA in February next year.

Investing and Trading

Canceling Investors Won’t Fix the London Market; A proposal to phase out income funds so companies feel free to invest is both radical and insufficient at the same time.
Chris Hughes – Bloomberg
A prominent hedge fund manager has a provocative idea to fix the U.K. stock market’s addiction to dividends — abolish income funds. Paul Marshall, co-founder of Marshall Wace LLP, blames them for starving the biggest London-listed companies of the investment needed to fuel growth. It’s a novel solution to a longstanding problem. Shares in the FTSE 250 index of mid-sized companies have delivered strong total returns through capital growth and dividends this century. But once these stocks graduate to the FTSE 100 index, they start to die. The blue-chip benchmark has gone nowhere; almost its entire return is from dividends. Individual stock prices get punished or rewarded according to whether cash goes out to shareholders or stays in the firm for capital expenditure.

Riksbank Hawks Zero In on Next Year’s Asset Purchases
Niclas Rolander – Bloomberg
Half of governors backed faster QE tapering at Nov. meeting; Swedish central bank is among the most dovish globally
The Riksbank’s plan to keep its asset portfolio intact next year is being chipped away at by more hawkish board members who are concerned about accelerating inflation and the impact of bond purchases.

UK accounting bosses say flexible work does not affect audit quality; Comments from Deloitte and BDO execs come after KPMG announced four-day-a-week attendance policy
Michael O’Dwyer – FT
Bosses at two of the UK’s biggest accounting firms have said that having auditors in the office more regularly would not necessarily improve audit quality. The comments from senior executives at Deloitte and BDO come after KPMG told UK audit staff they would be expected back in offices and at client sites up to four days a week in the longer term.

European investors use ETFs to pile into US equities; US equity ETFs attract EUR27bn in the 10 months to end of October, compared with only EUR5bn for European rivals
Elena Losavio – FT
Exchange traded funds have enabled the flow of billions of dollars from Europe into US equities as investors piled into ETFs exposed to this year’s huge US stock market rally, data from Refinitiv show.

BuzzFeed puts brave face on investor exodus ahead of trading debut; Founder Jonah Peretti says withdrawals from Spac fund will not derail expansion plans
Anna Nicolaou and Nikou Asgari – FT
BuzzFeed will press on with ambitious plans to build an online media giant despite the exodus of nearly all investors from its Spac fund as it prepares to go public. Investors in the Spac taking BuzzFeed public have pulled 94 per cent of their money out, signalling scepticism over the media group’s prospects and underlining how far Spacs have fallen from favour.

BuzzFeed Goes Public in Rocky Start for Digital Media
Gerry Smith – Bloomberg
Company is in talks to make Michael Del Nin its new president; Raising less cash than planned won’t hurt strategy, CEO says
When Jonah Peretti rings the opening bell on the floor of the Nasdaq Monday, it will mark a major milestone for BuzzFeed, the online media company he co-founded 15 years ago. It will also be a test of how digital media performs on the public market. Among today’s crop of large online publishers, BuzzFeed is the first to have its shares trade.

High-Income Business Owners Escape $10,000 Tax Deduction Cap Using Path Built by States, Trump Administration; More than 20 states created workarounds to the limit, and New York’s law firms and private-equity firms are signing up
Richard Rubin – WSJ
Congressional Democrats are debating whether increasing the $10,000 cap on the state and local tax deduction would benefit the rich too much, but some of America’s top earners—including private-equity managers and law firm partners—are already legally circumventing the cap on much of their income.

Should Investors Ride Tech Founders to the Moon? Jack Dorsey suggested last week that founders can limit companies, but many can maintain success far longer than he did at Twitter
Laura Forman – WSJ
Twitter TWTR -1.36% co-founder Jack Dorsey’s resignation letter included some parting words of caution: Being “founder-led,” he wrote, can be “severely limiting and a single point of failure” for a business. The advice probably fell on deaf ears. As Mr. Dorsey wrote: “There aren’t many founders who choose their company over their own ego.” And, in another sign that irony is dead, he remains chief executive of payments company Square Inc., SQ -5.64% soon to be known as Block, which he co-founded in 2009. But investors aren’t bound by the same hubris. Should they be cautious about buying into companies where a founder might have stayed too long at the party?

Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance

Wall Street Holds Fast to Fossil Fuels as Climate Pressure Grows
Nicholas Comfort and Steven Arons – Bloomberg
JPMorgan and peers are keeping pace on oil, gas & coal funding; Banks argue they need to finance polluters’ green transition
With the ink hardly dry on a landmark pledge by the finance industry to fight climate change, the world’s biggest banks are making clear they plan to stand by their fossil-fuel clients.

Business schools lag corporate demand on ESG; Programmes must put purposeful profit at their core, argues a prominent former dean
Colin Mayer – FT
Business is undergoing profound change. Urged on by regulatory reforms proposed by the European Commission, the continent’s executives are at the forefront of promoting purposeful, responsible and sustainable business. European business schools should be at the vanguard but risk being left behind.

Omicron Casts Pall Over Texas Oil-and-Gas Meeting; World Petroleum Congress was set to celebrate higher prices and growing demand, but a new Covid-19 variant is changing the mood
Collin Eaton and Christopher M. Matthews – WSJ
It was supposed to be a reunion party for the leaders of the oil industry. Instead the World Petroleum Congress taking place in Houston this week is serving as a reminder that the business remains mired in uncertainty because of the pandemic. The Omicron variant has lopped about 14% off oil prices in recent weeks and created headaches in international travel. Fears that Covid-19 will once again stall the global economy are undermining the mood ahead of the important industry event, which had been set to include the chief executives of Exxon Mobil Corp. , Chevron Corp. and BP PLC as well as the secretary-general of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries


Billionaire Chris Rokos Hedge Fund Breaks Five-Month Losing Streak
Nishant Kumar – Bloomberg
Rates market volatility has hurt some macro hedge funds The fund is set for its biggest annual decline since launch
Chris Rokos’s hedge fund gained about 1.5% last month, ending five months of losses for the billionaire macro trader. The hedge fund, which manages about $12 billion, is still down 25% this year, according to a person with knowledge of the matter who asked not to be identified because the information is private.

Bank Executive Bonuses Feed a Bull Market in Bragging Rights; Bosses want some pay inflation, but it’s luck more than skill behind the boom in profits.
Paul J. Davies – Bloomberg
When was the last time the chief executive officer of a major bank was poached for a more lucrative job elsewhere? Go ahead, I’ll wait… There was Boris Collardi quitting as CEO of Switzerland’s Julius Baer Group AG in 2017 for more money at an unlisted rival private bank, Pictet & Cie. But someone of the prominence of Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s David Solomon?

Commerzbank Unit Moves to Fix Swiss Franc Loan Fiasco in Poland
Maciej Onoszko – Bloomberg
MBank starts pilot program to settle Swiss franc mortgages; Most-sued Polish bank follows other lenders with similar plans
MBank SA is testing the waters for out-of-court settlements with holders of Swiss-franc mortgages in a bid to end protracted legal disputes that hurt its profits and played a big role in the decision of its parent Commerzbank AG to abandon plans to sell the Polish unit. A three-month pilot program called “Let’s meet halfway” will offer 1,300 clients an opportunity to switch Swiss franc mortgages into zloty. It could be expanded at a later date depending on the feedback from clients.

Lloyds Bank to shift to growth mode under new chief; Charlie Nunn will raise budget for private rental business as lender targets wealth, commercial and investment banking
Siddharth Venkataramakrishnan and Stephen Morris – FT
The chief executive of Lloyds Banking Group is preparing a new strategy that will expand its ambitions in property, wealth, commercial and investment banking as he seeks to shift the lender into growth mode after years of retrenchment.

China Moves to Boost Slowing Economy; People’s Bank of China reduces the amount of money banks must hold in reserve, signaling concerns amid a property market slump
Stella Yifan Xie – WSJ
China’s central bank said it would reduce the amount of money banks are required to set aside as it moved to stimulate a slowing economy that has been weighed down by a slump in the property market.

Goldman CEO defends DJ’ing habit, admits Barry Manilow a ‘guilty pleasure’
Lydia Moynihan – NY Post
Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon defended his side gigs as a dance-club DJ and revealed his worship of Bruce Springsteen — even as he copped to “guilty pleasures” when it comes to music that include the Bee Gees and Barry Manilow.

Deutsche Bank gears securities industry up for new settlement regime with updated CSDR client toolkit; The bank calls on industry to dig deep, clean up aged fails and improve operational processes to ensure the new settlement regime is a success.
Wesley Bray – The Trade
Deutsche Bank has released an updated version of its CSDR settlement discipline regime toolkit, which aims to give clients information on how to prepare ahead of the Central Securities Depositories Regulation’s (CSDR) Settlement Discipline Regime (SDR) on 1 February 2022. The bank originally published its first client toolkit in September 2019, however, the road to CSDR has been met with several challenges.


China regulator says govt policies not necessarily linked to overseas IPOs
China’s securities regulator said on Sunday that Beijing’s recent policy moves were not aimed at specific industries or private firms, and were not necessarily linked to companies seeking to list in overseas markets. China has implemented a sweeping regulatory crackdown https://www.reuters.com/business/china-wall-street-regulatory-crackdown-not-aimed-restricting-private-firms-2021-09-20 in recent months on internet companies, for-profit education, and real estate developers, among others.

China Stock Losses in U.S. Top $1 Trillion on Delisting Fear
Matt Turner – Bloomberg
A brutal 2021 selloff for Chinese stocks trading in the U.S. has now erased more than $1 trillion in value since February and shows no signs of easing as regulators on both sides of the globe continue to put pressure on the firms.

Iceland’s Gigantic Pension Fund Is Creating a Headache at Home
Ragnhildur Sigurdardottir – Bloomberg
50% overseas limit governs Iceland’s retirement savings; Government is going to consider loosening that regime
Iceland is confronting the trouble that comes with having a pension system so successful in amassing savings for future retirees that it was recently rated the best in the world. With assets now at about double the size of the north Atlantic island’s economy, the government is considering allowing investment managers to diversify by buying up more securities abroad, prompting the central bank to urge caution. The rules currently limit the share of overseas holdings in pension assets at 50%.

Top China Covid Expert Hints at How Sealed Off Country May Return to ‘Normality’
Bloomberg News
Fatalities from virus would need to fall to 0.1% rate: Zhong; Reproduction rate also needs to fall, Zhong says: GT
China’s top health expert identified two conditions for the country to return to “normality,” and maintained that authorities should stick to their Covid Zero policy in battling the omicron variant.

Longer Trading for Philippine Stocks, FX Begin as Covid Eases
Ditas B Lopez – Bloomberg
Philippine stocks and currency trading started their lengthened schedules on Monday in what market participants consider as the latest sign that the nation is returning to business-as-usual amid a drop in coronavirus cases. Currency dealers will have their midday breaks halved into an hour from Monday before implementing an uninterrupted 7-hour trading beginning Jan. 3, 2022 while stocks trading will return to its pre-pandemic session of five hours from Dec. 6 although with a shorter 30-minute lunch break.


Return-to-Office Chaos Is the Best Thing to Happen to Consultants Since Y2K; A new breed of “experts” is here to help desperate employers navigate these uncharted waters. Too bad no one knows anything.
Matthew Boyle – Bloomberg
There are 17,000 online courses at LinkedIn Learning, the professional development arm of the career site, all taught by what LinkedIn Corp. deems “credible industry experts.” A search for courses on returning to the office amid the seemingly never-ending pandemic—the most complex challenge corporate America has collectively faced, perhaps, ever—surfaces wisdom from every type of guru imaginable.

Life at the top gets harder for chief executives; Rising numbers of corporate leaders are leaving their jobs as pressure intensifies from multiple directions
Rana Foroohar – FT
Succession is quite the topic these days, and not only because the unmissable HBO series of that name is nearing its finale. While the Murdoch — oops, I mean Roy — siblings duke it out for dad’s media throne, in the real world Zara heiress Marta Ortega has taken the helm at Inditex, the Spanish fashion conglomerate. Meanwhile, quirky tech titan Jack Dorsey is stepping down as chief executive of Twitter to focus on leading Square, his fintech firm, as Parag Agrawal, chief technology officer, takes his place at the social media giant.

Work-Life Balance Finally Happened. Then They Were Called Back to the Office; Giving up remote work can feel like a loss. Here are ways to bring some of the flexibility of working from home back with you.
Rachel Feintzeig – WSJ
Ashlee Shoup had been craving a better balance between her work and her life. And for six months, she actually got it. The 25-year-old in Virginia Beach, Va., switched from an in-person job as a manager for a financial-services company to a remote role with a life-insurance firm in January 2021, taking a $20,000 pay cut for the privilege of flexibility. Instead of a two-hour long commute to drop off her infant son with family before heading to work, she went on a morning walk with him. Instead of scrolling her phone during her lunch break, she prepped dinner. She felt relieved, efficient at everything, as if she finally had a life outside of work.

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China commodity trader woe a setback for Glencore

China commodity trader woe a setback for Glencore

First Read Hits & Takes John Lothian & JLN Staff Congratulations to Larry Tabb. STA announced Larry as the 2022 Dictum Meum Pactum (DMP) Award recipient. Here is a success story for you. The Greenwood Project placed four interns at Goldman Sachs this summer...

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