Water futures meet cool reception

Oct 15, 2020

First Read

$5,291/$300,000 (1.8%)
Thank you today’s backers:
Les Male, Ananda Radhakrishnan, Julie Bauer and a donation in honor of TJC.


Hits & Takes
JLN Staff

It is with sadness I report to you the death of longtime SG/Newedge technology executive Ed Netter. Here is the message I received from Leslie Sutphen, a longtime colleague of Netter’s.

Ed was a pioneer in the support of electronic trading and an amazing and tenacious problem solver. He also learned all the intricacies of trader identification, trade reporting, and owner and control identification. He was also a Board Member of the FIA Market Technology Board. He was a very kind and supportive human being and a wonderful colleague. Many of us will miss him! May his memory be a blessing.

The JLN GoFundMe campaign to support MarketsWiki Education and our general operations continues to attract new donations. We are now up to $5,291 of the $300,000 goal. The latest donations were from Les Male, Ananda Radhakrishnan, Julie Bauer and in honor of TJC.

Les Male is the chief executive officer at Dubai Gold & Commodities. Julie Bauer is an executive vice president, government relations and investor education at OCC. Ananda Radhakrishnan is a former CFTC director, Division of Clearing and Risk who is now a vice president of bank derivatives policy and general counsel at ABA Securities Association. The “in honor of TJC” I can only guess is in honor of Thomas J. Cashman, my good friend, former employer and mentor. Thank you to all of them, all who have given and those who have yet to give.

There is a new episode of the STA’s podcast series, STA Trading Views. In the podcast, STA sat down with U.S. Rep. Bill Huizenga of Michigan, Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Investor Protection, Entrepreneurship and Capital Markets. They cover the coronavirus pandemic, the state of discourse around U.S. politics, Jay Clayton’s priorities at the SEC, entrepreneurship and much more.

Eurex has an hour long webinar on October 20 in partnership with Phillip Capital at 11 AM CDT. The title of the webinar is “Eurex: the gateway to Europe.” Sign up HERE.

The NFA has a new video on their website titled “Who We Are.” In the video you can learn about the NFA and their role in the derivatives markets.

From AFX: The American Financial Exchange (AFX), an electronic exchange for direct lending and borrowing for American banks and financial institutions, announced today that the AFX’s American Interbank Offering Rate (AMERIBOR) has been independently reviewed as of June 30, 2020 and has been reaffirmed to meet all nineteen (19) principles set forth by the International Organization of Securities Commission (IOSCO) for Financial Benchmarks.

Rob Merrilees and Ed Haravon have emerged from the entrepreneurial COVID-19 bunkers and launched a new endeavor, Get Real, which help clients imagine and leverage virtual reality and augmented reality technology to improve the way they work. Merrilees and Haravon are former SPOT Trading executives.

PanXchange Blog has a transcript of a conversation between PanXchange’s CEO, Julie Lerner, and Moharram Ventures Founder & President, Tarek Moharram titled “Between Two Hemp Stalks.”

My son Tim’s roommate tested negative for Covid-19. My wife, daughter and I had seen Tim over last weekend, so there was concern we might have been exposed through him. But NO is the answer.

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


The FIA released its September 2020 volume highlights, which include: Worldwide volume of exchange-traded derivatives was 4.24 billion contracts in the month of September, up 13.9% from the previous month and up 41.2% from September 2019; On a year-to-date basis, volume in the first nine months of the year was 33.68 billion contracts, up 30.3% from the first nine months of 2019. Total open interest at the end of September was 964.8 million contracts, down 1.6% from the previous month but up 5.4% from a year ago.~SR



When spoofers are sidelined, we all win; Sure, some complain that prosecutors are going too far. But without a foundation of integrity, markets sink into corruption, becoming swindlers’ havens to be avoided by anybody unwilling to play the patsy.
Joe Cahill – Crain’s Chicago Business
Recent victories for federal prosecutors battling illegal trading practices in derivatives markets are important wins for all of us. As my colleague Lynne Marek reported in Crain’s this week, the feds are finally gaining the upper hand in their fight to stamp out “spoofing,” a deceptive tactic that has infected markets over the past decade or so. Spoofers seek to trick honest traders by entering orders they have no intention of fulfilling, quickly removing them when somebody bites, and then capitalizing on the resulting market action.

*****October is spoofing month. We try to trick and treat our way past the dead.~JJL


Free face masks: Hormel Foods giving away Breathable Bacon masks
Kelly Tyko – USA Today
Bacon lovers, there’s a new face mask for you.
Hormel Foods, known for its Black Label Bacon, announced the launch of “Breathable Bacon,” what it calls “a revolutionary face mask featuring the latest in pork-scented technology.”

*****That’s one way to get people to want to wear masks, I guess.~MR


As Virus Spread, Reports of Trump Administration’s Private Briefings Fueled Sell-Off; A hedge fund consultant’s summary of private presentations by White House economic advisers fanned investor worries.
Kate Kelly and Mark Mazzetti – NY Times
On the afternoon of Feb. 24, President Trump declared on Twitter that the coronavirus was “very much under control” in the United States, one of numerous rosy statements that he and his advisers made at the time about the worsening epidemic. He even added an observation for investors: “Stock market starting to look very good to me!”

*****Maybe the definition of insider trading needs to be expanded.~JJL


Get Real Launches New Advisory Firm To Help Clients Imagine And Leverage Virtual Reality And Augmented Reality Technology To Improve The Way They Work; Get Real works with clients to establish scalable and successful VR/AR strategies and programs to enable companies and organizations to more effectively train, collaborate, market, visualize data, gather, educate, and raise money
Get Real
Get Real, a Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality (VR/AR) advisory firm, publicly launched today to help businesses and not for profits implement VR and AR technologies that dramatically improve and scale their organizations. Clients will benefit from Get Real’s team of professionals that combine several decades of experience in leveraging emerging technology and integrated platforms to solve real-world business challenges and create sustainable competitive advantages.

****We will be looking into this new reality.~JJL


Wednesday’s Top Three
Our top story Wednesday was Crain’s Chicago’s One of Chicago’s biggest high-speed trading firms makes a surprising move, about DRW Execution Services applying to become a clearing member at CME Group. Second was Jefferies puts maximum exposure to loss due to involvement with FXCM at $136.8m from fxnewsgroup. Third was John Lothian’s Joe Sullivan’s Influence and Success, from JLN.


MarketsWiki Stats
190,149,149 pages viewed; 24,460 pages; 226,319 edits
MarketsWiki Statistics


CryptoMarketsWiki Website»
CryptoMarketsWiki, our archive of the cryptocurrency and blockchain world, is going strong and keeping pace as this area of finance grows and evolves.Recently Updated Pages

Recently updated pages include
Ethereum (ETH)

CryptoMarketsWiki Stats

1,462 pages; 12,913 edits
CryptoMarketsWiki Statistics

Lead Stories

Water futures meet cool reception; Academics and investors suggest market will be too localised to provide an effective hedge
Camilla Hodgson – FT
Water futures are about to hit financial markets for the first time, with the launch of contracts tied to prices in California. But academics and investors fear the derivatives will offer a poor hedge for water users and may end up distorting prices for the vital resource. Developers CME Group and Nasdaq say the contracts will help farmers, municipalities and other big water users to hedge their water costs as the world warms up and droughts become more common. Senior US regulators have welcomed the contracts as a risk-management tool.

London faces tighter Covid curbs from midnight on Friday; Essex, York and Chesterfield also moved to tier 2, which prohibits mixing of households in any indoor setting
Jim Pickard and Robert Wright and Andy Bounds – FT
Londoners are to be banned from socialising with other households indoors from midnight on Friday evening in a bid to contain the spread of coronavirus in the capital, health secretary Matt Hancock announced on Thursday.

Banks Not Ready for Negative Rates, NatWest Chairman Davies Says
Tom Metcalf, Anna Edwards, and Matthew Miller – Bloomberg
Many contractual and technical issues with sub-zero rates; Brexit talks paid little attention to finance, Davies says
British lenders aren’t in a position to implement negative interest rates, according to the chairman of NatWest Group Plc. “We’re not completely ready for it,” Howard Davies said in a Bloomberg Radio interview Thursday. “There would be technical issues and many contractual issues.”

Private White House briefings led investors to short market and stock up on toilet paper, report says
Steve Goldstein – MarketWatch
Private briefings from two senior White House aides to a conservative institution at the outset of the coronavirus outbreak led investors to short the stock market and even load up on toilet paper, according to a published report.

Pilgrim’s Pride Reaches Plea Deal With Justice Department on Chicken Price-Fixing Allegations; Second-largest U.S. chicken processor to pay $110.5 million fine
Jacob Bunge and Brent Kendall – WSJ
Chicken processor Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. said it has agreed to a plea deal with the U.S. Justice Department to resolve price-fixing charges, and will pay a fine of $110.5 million. A guilty plea by Pilgrim’s, the second-largest U.S. chicken processor by sales, will make it the first company to admit in court to what prosecutors have alleged was a roughly seven-year effort across much of the U.S. chicken industry to inflate prices. That coordination pushed up poultry prices paid by fast-food chains and other chicken buyers, prosecutors alleged.

Robinhood Considers Making Customer Trading Data Public Again
Sarah Ponczek and Sonali Basak – Bloomberg
‘We’re looking into it,’ says firm co-founder Vladimir Tenev; Brokerage cut data feed this year after attracting followers
Robinhood Markets is weighing whether to restore public access to data on its customers’ trading activity after pulling it about two months ago. “We’re looking into it,” Robinhood co-founder Vladimir Tenev said in an interview with Bloomberg reporters and editors.

Wells Fargo fires over 100 staffers for COVID-19 relief abuse
Thornton McEnery – NY Post
Wells Fargo has reportedly fired more than 100 staffers after an internal investigation found they had fraudulently applied for and received coronavirus relief funding for themselves.

Tax Burden Equal to 70% Rate Crushes Americans Unable to Pay It
Steve Matthews – Bloomberg
Even small pay raises can wipe out income-based public aid; Policy creates a ‘perverse incentive’ to try to exit poverty
Millions of low-income Americans are locked into poverty thanks to U.S. tax policy, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta researchers say. About a quarter of lower-income workers effectively face marginal tax rates of more than 70% when adjusted for the loss of government benefits, a study led by Atlanta Fed Research Director David Altig found. That means for every $1,000 gained in income, $700 goes to the government in taxes or reduced spending. In some cases, there are no gains at all.

London Households Banned from Mixing as Virus Rules Tightened
Thomas Penny and Kitty Donaldson – Bloomberg
Ministers brief MPs on changes taking effect from Saturday; Boris Johnson also wants tougher restrictions in Manchester
Londoners will be banned from mixing with other households indoors from this weekend as tighter coronavirus restrictions are imposed in an attempt to curb a rise in cases in the U.K. capital. The change in the rules, which will come into force at 00:01 a.m. on Saturday, was announced by Health Secretary Matt Hancock in Parliament on Thursday.

‘Korean Beatles’ Can’t Buy Stock Market’s Love Alone; The management firm behind BTS will need more than one K-pop sensation to justify its rich IPO valuation.
Clara Ferreira Marques – Bloomberg
Shares of Big Hit Entertainment Co., the company behind South Korean boy band BTS, begin trading this week. A top-of-the-range IPO valuation of $4.2 billion 1 implies rock-star earnings multiples. Institutional investors have piled in anyway, displaying impressive confidence in the staying power of ultra-groomed youths and their obsessive followers.

BTS Frenzy Drives Hit K-Pop IPO; Stock in management company Big Hit Entertainment roughly doubles from IPO price by early afternoon
Frances Yoon – WSJ
The world’s biggest boy band has unleashed a hit IPO. Big Hit Entertainment Co., the management company behind South Korean pop sensation BTS, made its market debut Thursday, capitalizing on the global buzz about South Korean pop culture and a local fervor for investing.

Goldman Sachs Adds Polish to Trading
By Telis Demos – WSJ
When it comes to Wall Street trading, Goldman Sachs GS 0.20% Group is doing more with less. Another big quarter for trading desks across Wall Street was good at Goldman Sachs, too, with trading revenue up 29% from a year earlier. Often though, investors discount this kind of outperformance. Not only can trading results vary greatly quarter to quarter, but successful trades can be built on a surge in risky assets and balance-sheet consumption that depresses a bank’s ultimate return on equity.


Hong Kong must embrace herd immunity to revive coronavirus-hit economy
Richard Harris – South China Morning Post
The cure of severe lockdowns and needlessly extended quarantine has been worse than the disease, and the priority is to get back to normal or we never will; Life is all about probabilities and we all play the odds, so let’s use the right ones and make Hong Kong’s economy great again
I chose the geotag for my left hand because I am right-handed. I isolated myself for a few days and submitted my saliva sample upon arrival at the Hong Kong airport. I waited 14 hours for the result. It was negative.

Why Covid-19 Is Spreading Again: Fatigue, Colder Weather, Eased Restrictions; Cases have ebbed in Sunbelt states like Arizona but have gone up throughout parts of U.S.
Jennifer Calfas – WSJ
Seven months into the pandemic, David Aronoff has found himself often thinking of Sisyphus, the Greek mythological figure known for his eternal plight. “Every day since March, I come to work, and I push up against this boulder of Covid-19, and at the end of the day I feel like I may have accomplished something,” said the director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville,Tenn. “Then I come back in the morning, and I see the boulder at the bottom of the mountain again.”

Coronavirus latest: Europe bows under second wave as Germany and France tighten rules
Jonathan Eley – FT
Same-store sales at Boots fell by 29 per cent during the three months to end-August as the pandemic continued to deter shoppers from venturing out, its US parent company Walgreens Boots Alliance said on Thursday. The Nottingham-based chain, which has over 2,000 stores on UK high streets, shopping centres and travel locations, said footfall had improved in the quarter and there was a 155 per cent increase in online revenue.

‘Long Covid’ symptoms can last for months; Disorders in brain, lungs, heart, gut, liver and skin often persist, researchers say
Clive Cookson – FT
Covid-19 has left many patients with debilitating, varied symptoms months after the initial infection has cleared, raising fears about the long-term health costs of the pandemic. Patients infected in the first wave of the virus have continued to suffer disorders in the brain, lungs, heart, gut, liver, skin and other parts of the body, according to a new review of the disease conducted by the UK National Institute for Health Research.

Indonesia Now Has the Worst Virus Outbreak in Southeast Asia
Arys Aditya – Bloomberg
Indonesia’s confirmed coronavirus cases overtook Philippines’; Jakarta let people return to offices, restaurants this week
Indonesia overtook the Philippines in its number of coronavirus cases, becoming the country with the largest outbreak in Southeast Asia. Indonesia added 4,411 confirmed cases in the 24 hours through midday on Oct. 15, bringing its total to 349,160. The Philippines added just 2,261 cases with its total at 348,698.

Flu vs. Covid: Ways to Identify Symptoms and Differences; Flu and other seasonal ailments share symptoms with Covid. But there are some ways to help determine what’s wrong.
Alina Dizik – WSJ
As the autumn flu season approaches while the Covid-19 pandemic continues, cold-weather sniffles are likely to provoke even more anxiety than usual. Some symptoms of flu—as well as colds and other autumn ailments—are similar to Covid’s, making it harder to know what’s wrong. Fever, dry cough, fatigue and body aches are common with both the flu and Covid.

More than 100 University of Chicago MBA students are in quarantine after COVID-19 cases tied to off-campus gathering, classes move online
Elyssa Cherney – Chicago Tribune
The University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business is temporarily shifting to online classes and more than 100 of its students are under quarantine after a COVID-19 outbreak was connected to a large, off-campus gathering where some didn’t wear masks.

Ahead of Covid-19 Vaccine, Half of Americans Indicate Reluctance, WSJ/NBC Poll Finds; While 70% of those surveyed expressed willingness to get vaccinated, about half preferred to wait to make sure the shots are safe and 27% said they wouldn’t want to get vaccinated
Jared S. Hopkins – WSJ
About 70% of registered voters surveyed said they would take a Covid-19 vaccine, although many want to wait until it has been available for a while to see if there are major problems or side effects, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll shows. The survey found that 20% of respondents said they would take a vaccine as soon as one becomes available, while about half the respondents wanted to wait until they learned more information about the shot.

Covid-19 Outbreaks Led to Dangerous Delay in Cancer Diagnoses; ‘Cancer doesn’t take a pause’ but amid the pandemic, many Americans avoided oncology screenings and other potentially lifesaving procedures
Anna Wilde Mathews and Mike Cherney – WSJ
A decline in mammograms and other screening procedures after the coronavirus pandemic struck is leading to missed and delayed cancer diagnoses, according to data from insurance claims, lab orders, Medicare billings and oncology-practice records, an emerging pattern that is alarming oncologists.

New Students at U.S. Colleges Decline, Worsening Campus Crisis
Janet Lorin – Bloomberg
First-year undergraduate enrollment fell 16% this semester; Higher education is taking a financial hit from the pandemic
U.S. colleges are seeing sharp declines in enrollment of new students this semester in another sign of the economic toll that Covid-19 is having on higher education. The number of first-year undergraduate students enrolled fell 16%, the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center said in a report Thursday. Total undergraduate enrollment slid 4% from last year at this time, led by international students.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

Notice of Disciplinary Action
CME Group
All orders must be entered for the purpose of executing bona fide transactions. Additionally, all non-actionable messages must be entered in good faith for legitimate purposes. A. No person shall enter or cause to be entered an order with the intent, at the time of order entry, to cancel the order before execution or to modify the order to avoid execution.
PENALTY: Based on the record and the Panel’s findings and conclusions, the Panel ordered Liu to pay a fine in the amount of $75,000 and be permanently barred from access to any trading floor owned or controlled by CME Group and from direct and indirect access to any designated contract market, derivatives clearing organization or swap execution facility owned or controlled by CME Group.

Notice of Disciplinary Action
CME Group
All orders must be entered for the purpose of executing bona fide transactions. Additionally, all non-actionable messages must be entered in good faith for legitimate purposes. A. No person shall enter or cause to be entered an order with the intent, at the time of order entry, to cancel the order before execution or to modify the order to avoid execution.
PENALTY: Based on the record and the Panel’s findings and conclusions, the Panel ordered Peng to pay a fine in the amount of $40,000 and serve a five year suspension from access to any trading floor owned or controlled by CME Group and from direct and indirect access to any designated contract market, derivatives clearing organization or swap execution facility owned or controlled by CME Group.

Notice of Disciplinary Action
CME Group
All orders must be entered for the purpose of executing bona fide transactions. Additionally, all non-actionable messages must be entered in good faith for legitimate purposes. A. No person shall enter or cause to be entered an order with the intent, at the time of order entry, to cancel the order before execution or to modify the order to avoid execution.
PENALTY: Based on the record and the Panel’s findings and conclusions, the Panel ordered Wang to pay a fine in the amount of $30,000 and serve a five year suspension from access to any trading floor owned or controlled by CME Group and from direct and indirect access to any designated contract market, derivatives clearing organization or swap execution facility owned or controlled by CME Group.

Notice of Disciplinary Action
CME Group
It shall be an offense: W. for any party to fail to diligently supervise its employees and agents in the conduct of their business relating to the Exchange.
PENALTY: Based on the record and the Panel’s findings and conclusions, the Panel ordered EC Prop to pay a fine in the amount of $100,000 and serve a five year suspension from access to any trading floor owned or controlled by CME Group and from direct and indirect access to any designated contract market, derivatives clearing organization or swap execution facility owned or controlled by CME Group.

Notice of Disciplinary Action
CME Group
It shall be an offense to prearrange the execution of transactions in Exchange products for the purpose of transferring equity between accounts.
PENALTY: In accordance with Exchange Rule 402.B (Sanctions), the BCC Panel ordered Qiu to pay a monetary fine in the amount of $60,000 and to be permanently banned from access to any trading floor owned or controlled by CME Group and from direct and indirect access to any designated contract market, derivatives clearing organization or swap execution facility owned or controlled by CME Group.

Notice of Disciplinary Action
CME Group
It shall be an offense to prearrange the execution of transactions in Exchange products for the purpose of transferring equity between accounts.
PENALTY: In accordance with Exchange Rule 402.B (Sanctions), the BCC Panel ordered Gu to pay a monetary fine in the amount of $40,000 and to serve a 2 year suspension from access to any trading floor owned or controlled by CME Group and from direct and indirect access to any designated contract market, derivatives clearing organization or swap execution facility owned or controlled by CME Group.

Notice of Disciplinary Action
CME Group
All orders must be entered for the purpose of executing bona fide transactions. Additionally, all non-actionable messages must be entered in good faith for legitimate purposes. A. No person shall enter or cause to be entered an order with the intent, at the time of order entry, to cancel the order before execution or to modify the order to avoid execution.
PENALTY: Based on the record and the Panel’s findings and conclusions, the Panel ordered EC Prop to pay a fine in the amount of $200,000 ($100,000 of which is allocated to COMEX) and serve a five year suspension from access to any trading floor owned or controlled by CME Group and from direct and indirect access to any designated contract market, derivatives clearing organization or swap execution facility owned or controlled by CME Group.

Norcod admitted to trading
The cod farming company Norcod has today been admitted to trading on Merkur Market (ticker code: NCOD-ME). Norcod is a producer of farmed cod. “With wild fish stock under pressure and fishing quotas for cod being cut, Norcod aims to fill the gap in the market and provide sustainable fresh cod,” explains the company.

Bolsa de Valores de Colombia, Lima Stock Exchange, Santiago Stock Exchange: Regional Exchanges Integration Process
Bolsa de Valores de Colombia – bvc (ticker BVC:CB) in the context of the process carried out together with the Stock Exchanges of Lima (BVL) and Santiago (BCS), which is aimed to an eventual integration of Stock Exchanges’ infrastructures and/or services, informs that in the Board of Directors meeting held on October 14th, the report presented by the independent consultant hired by the three entities was analyzed, which purpose is the study and analysis of the technical feasibility and potential paths that would allow to move forward in the abovementioned process. The report was also presented to the Board of Directors of BVL and BCS held on 28 September 2020.

BOX Exchange: SAIL Order Entry Connectivity Modifications
On October 26, 2020, BOX Exchange LLC (“BOX”) will implement modifications to the connectivity of SAIL Order Entry components.


Singapore Exchange integrates Baton Systems to streamline workflow; SGX clients will have access to consolidated intra-day information in a single dashboard to automate and standardise its end-to-end collateral workflow.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
The Singapore Exchange (SGX) has integrated post-trade and blockchain technology provider Baton Systems to automate and standardise its workflow on one dashboard. The end-to-end workflow will give SGX clients access to consolidated intra-day information on a single dashboard that includes real-time visibility of margin requirements, a standardised process for pledging, and recalling collateral, and a clear visibility of the progress of asset movements.

Bankia Asset Management integrates Bloomberg AIM; Bloomberg’s AIM is a leading order management system (OMS) that is used by nearly 15,000 professionals at over 900 client firms to manage more than $17 trillion in assets.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
Bankia Asset Management (AM) has integrated Bloomberg’s asset and investment manager (AIM) to streamline order management for the whole investment cycle. Bloomberg said its AIM allows Bankia AM to on – board all its assets onto a single solution providing tools to support order management, portfolio analytics, performance management, and matching.

Digital Frenzy Creates Two Billionaires in U.K. Fintech IPO
Nariman Gizitdinov, Alexander Sazonov, and Swetha Gopinath – Bloomberg
Kaspi saw use of its app grow with Covid-19 lockdowns; Kazakh company’s IPO priced at top end of marketed range
A hot London IPO from a fintech provider has created two billionaires in Kazakhstan. Kaspi.kz JSC, the Goldman Sachs Group Inc.-backed owner of the central Asian country’s largest retail bank, sold $870 million of global depositary receipts at the top end of a marketed range. The offering was so popular that the company increased its size. On its debut Thursday, the stock surged as much as 32%.

Gresham Technologies Appoints FinTech Industry Pioneers To Join Board
Gresham Technologies Plc (Gresham), the leading global fintech that specialises in providing real-time solutions for data integrity and control, banking integration and payments and cash management, has appointed Jenny Knott and Dr. Ruth Wandhöfer as Non-Executive Directors.


New York Regulator Urges Oversight for Social-Media Giants
James Rundle – WSJ
New York’s top financial watchdog said a dedicated regulator should oversee large social-media platforms, which should also be designated as systemically important, following a successful cyberattack on Twitter Inc. during the summer. The New York State Department of Financial Services made the recommendations Wednesday as part of a 37-page report about the July 15 attack in which a number of prominent accounts, including those of former Vice President and Democratic Party presidential candidate Joe Biden and Tesla Inc. Chief Executive Elon Musk, were used to promote a cryptocurrency scam. Authorities have since charged three people with breaking into Twitter’s systems over a period of months by posing as employees, gaining access to accounts and selling credentials to scammers.

Crypto M&A Surges Past 2019 Total as Rest of World Eclipses U.S.
Joanna Ossinger – Bloomberg
Deal value in the cryptocurrency world surpassed the total from 2019 in the first six months of the year as tie-ups became less frequent but bigger, according to PwC. Global deal value was $597 million in the first half of 2020 compared with $481 million over the whole of last year, PwC said in a report on the crypto merger, acquisition and fund raising landscape. While 2020 includes the purchase of CoinMarketCap.com by Binance Holdings Ltd., even factoring out that deal valued at $400 million in the report, the average size has risen but not the quantity — there were 125 tie-ups in 2019 versus 60 in the first half of 2020, PwC said. Activity continues to shift away from the Americas, with 57% of volume in Asia-Pacific and Europe, the Middle East and Africa in the first half versus 51% last year.

CFTC Chairman Heath Tarbert Talks Ethereum, DeFi and the Next BitMEX
Nikhilesh De – Coindesk
After the BitMEX enforcement action, are other noncompliant exchanges on the CFTC’s radar? “Maybe,” said Chairman Heath Tarbert. In an appearance Wednesday, the regulator largely deferred to his colleagues at the SEC on the question of whether ether in a proof-of-stake version of Ethereum would be a security or a commodity. He similarly punted on DeFi. “Let me just basically say how impressed I am by Ethereum, full stop, period.” No, that’s not a Silicon Valley investor. That was Heath Tarbert, chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), who flexed a sophisticated understanding of blockchains during a live interview at CoinDesk’s invest: ethereum economy virtual conference Wednesday.

Mt. Gox rehabilitation plan submission deadline extended to December 15
Yogita Khatri – The Block
The submission deadline for the Mt. Gox rehabilitation plan has been extended yet once again. Mt. Gox’s rehabilitation trustee Nobuaki Kobayashi today announced that the rehabilitation plan of the now-defunct crypto exchange would be shared on December 15. The deadline has been pushed back several times. Kobayashi has been devising the rehabilitation plan for more than a year. Today the trustee said, “as there are matters that require closer examination with regard to the rehabilitation plan, it has become necessary to extend the submission deadline.”

Bloq Enters DeFi World With Simplified Staking Product ‘Vesper’
Jaspreet Kalra – Coindesk
Blockchain infrastructure firm Bloq is rolling out a new product to make it easier to invest in decentralized finance (DeFi) by asking users to stake their crypto, indicate a risk preference and letting the platform conduct the due diligence and actual farming for them. Announced on Wednesday, Bloq’s new platform, dubbed Vesper, is marketed as an easy-to-use platform for DeFi products. The platform will offer users the option to stake ether (ETH), wrapped bitcoin (wBTC) or USD Coin (USDC) using one of its “holding pools,” starting mid-November.

Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin Calls on Power Users to Move to Layer 2 Scaling
Ian Allison – Coindesk
In the face of Ethereum’s recent rocketing transaction fees, its founder and chief scientist, Vitalik Buterin, called on users of the second-largest blockchain to move over to scaling solutions that are “already here for many classes of applications.” Buterin took the opportunity while speaking at the opening keynote of CoinDesk’s invest: ethereum economy virtual conference, to reiterate his enthusiasm for so-called layer 2 scaling solutions such as “rollups,” which essentially means keeping transaction data on-chain while pushing the computational load off the chain.

Securitize Goes License Shopping With Acquisition of SEC-Registered Broker-Dealer
Nathan DiCamillo – Coindesk
Security token firm Securitize is trying to become a broker-dealer and alternative trading system for digital assets, the company announced Thursday. The firm signed an agreement to purchase Distributed Technology Markets (DTM), a broker-dealer and alternative trading system registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the U.S. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

Binance Card Adds Daily Cashback, Auto Top-Up and Raises Limits
Aziz Abdel-Qader – Finance Magnates
Cryptocurrency exchange Binance has added new features to its branded debit card, which allows holders to convert their cryptocurrencies into fiat and spend them at 60 million locations around the world. Card rewards programs are often confusing, and typically you have to wait a full billing cycle to receive cash back in your account. Binance is looking to change that with the new ‘Daily Cashback’ feature, which enables users to have their cash back deposited into their card wallet every day, rather than on a weekly basis.

Gemini, Kraken announce trading support for Filecoin ahead of its mainnet launch
Yogita Khatri – The Block
Crypto exchanges Gemini and Kraken have announced trading support for Filecoin (FIL), whose mainnet is yet to be launched. Gemini today said deposits and withdrawals for FIL would open October 15, when the Filecoin mainnet launches, and trading will follow shortly after that. The exchange would also support FIL for its custody offering. Kraken said on Monday that trading in FIL would begin October 15, with four pairs: FIL/USD, FIL/EUR, FIL/BTC, and FIL/ETH. Historically, listing announcements don’t come until after a given token’s mainnet has launched. It’s not clear if Gemini and Kraken — which appear to be the only major exchanges doing this — are trying to start a new trend or if they are both making an exception for Filecoin.

Isle of Man Regulator Says Bitcoin, Ether Not Considered Securities in New Guidance
Daniel Palmer – Coindesk
The financial watchdog of the Isle of Man, a self-governing British Crown dependency, has clarified how it will treat cryptocurrencies and other tokens, and which might be regulated as securities. Published late last month but announced Thursday, the island’s Financial Services Authority (FSA) said the perimeter guidance is aimed at giving companies greater clarity when setting up blockchain-related business in the jurisdiction.

Grayscale sees more than $1 billion in new investments in Q3
MK Manoylov – The Block
Grayscale Investments, the world’s largest digital currency asset manager, says it raised $1.05 billion for investment products during the third quarter of 2020 — the largest inflow of funds from investors a single quarter in Grayscale’s history. On Wednesday the firm released a comprehensive report detailing its latest investment activity. According to the report, the vast majority of its investments (81%) in the third quarter came from institutional investors.

Crypto Lender Celsius Now Offers Yields to Bitfinex Users
Aziz Abdel-Qader – Finance Magnates
Cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex has come into a new partnership with Celsius Network, a cryptocurrency lending and borrowing platform, that allows its customers to earn a return of up to 6.2% APY on Bitcoin. In a push to engage more investors, Bitfinex users can now leverage their funds to generate annual returns under the new partnership between the popular exchange and the crypto lender.

New Zealand Man Charged With Money Laundering Via Crypto and Luxury Cars
Sebastian Sinclair – Coindesk
A 40-year-old man from Auckland, New Zealand, faces a wave of charges for money laundering via allegedly shady cryptocurrency transactions and luxury car purchases.

No, Bitcoin Won’t Face A $1.6 Billion Shock This Week
Joseph Young – Forbes
Last week, there was anticipation that the now-defunct Mt. Gox, once the biggest Bitcoin exchange in 2013, may refund 150,000 BTC. However, based on previous delays in refunding lost user funds, that likely would not likely happen anytime soon.


U.S. Moves to Protect Technologies Considered Critical to National Security; Guidelines outline how to prevent advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence from falling into the hands of foreign adversaries
Katy Stech Ferek – WSJ
Artificial intelligence, quantum information science and semiconductors are on a new list of advanced technologies that the U.S. is aiming to protect under guidelines being released Thursday. The technologies on the list, which is being released by the White House’s National Security Council, are considered critical to the country’s national security position, including military, intelligence and economic interests.

Biden Has 11-Point Lead Over Trump Less Than Three Weeks to Election Day; A new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll of registered voters shows Joe Biden leading the president 53% to 42%
Eliza Collins – WSJ
Joe Biden holds a double-digit lead over President Trump less than three weeks from Election Day, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll of registered voters finds. Mr. Biden is ahead by 11 points in the national survey, 53% to 42%, following a tumultuous few weeks that included Mr. Trump’s nomination of federal Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court; the candidates’ contentious, televised debate and the president’s Covid-19 diagnosis and hospitalization.

How trolltrace became a real thing
Izabella Kaminska – FT
The disinformation space is mutating before our very eyes and the consequences are getting hairy. Every day it becomes harder to tell the difference between a conventional troll and a weaponised troll (which may or may not be human). In a case of life imitating parody, fans of the hit TV satire show might highlight that the Trolltrace subplot of South Park Season 20 in 2016 predicted much of this.

Video: Why Wall Street turned Democrat | Charts that Count

Will America tear itself apart? Inside a looming constitutional crisis; Supreme Court politics and 2020 election fears are heating up the debate over the future of the US and its founding creed
Edward Luce – FT
At the start of each academic year, Rosa Brooks asks her freshmen students what they think of the US constitution. Almost all express pride that — at 233 years of age — America has by far the world’s oldest constitution. Brooks, a professor at Georgetown Law School in Washington DC, then asks: “Presumably you think it would also be great if our surgeons worked off the oldest neurological manuals, or if our ships steered by the oldest navigational charts?” The question usually stumps her students. What, she probes, is so special about the oldness of a document as opposed to its usefulness? Clear answers are rarely forthcoming.

Trump Attacks ‘Internationalists’ in a Pitch to Fellow 1 Percenters; His tone is sometimes combative in online address to economic clubs.
Peter Coy – Bloomberg
President Donald Trump criticized the “internationalists,” lobbyists, drug industry executives, and Democrats in his online audience today as he addressed the well-to-do members of economic clubs in a speech from the White House. He expressed confidence about winning reelection and addressing the groups again next year, but added: “If I don’t win the election, you probably won’t want me.”

8 Million Have Slipped Into Poverty Since May as Federal Aid Has Dried Up; Two new studies show the effect of the emergency $2 trillion package known as the Cares Act and what happened when the money ran out.
Jason DeParle – NY Times
After an ambitious expansion of the safety net in the spring saved millions of people from poverty, the aid is now largely exhausted and poverty has returned to levels higher than before the coronavirus crisis, two new studies have found.

Opinion: White House’s new Covid-19 strategy is madness
Opinion by Jeffrey Sachs – CNN
As if Donald Trump’s irresponsibility was not already a national tragedy, the White House seems now to favor a controversial approach to Covid-19 that threatens to bring nothing less than mass suffering.


FCA fines ARCM £873,118 for breaches of short selling disclosure rules
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has fined Asia Research and Capital Management Ltd (ARCM) £873,118 over transparency failures. The firm failed to notify the FCA and disclose to the public its net short position in Premier Oil Plc built between February 2017 and July 2019.

SEC Charges Brazilian Meat Producers With FCPA Violations
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Brazilian nationals Joesley Batista and Wesley Batista and their companies J&F Investimentos S.A. and JBS S.A., a global meat and protein producer, have agreed to pay nearly $27 million to resolve charges arising out of an extensive bribery scheme that took place over multiple years.

Man arrested following suspected financial investment scam
E-Crime Squad detectives have arrested a man as part of an ongoing investigation into a number of financial investment scams. The 42-year-old Thornbury man was arrested following the execution of two search warrants at addresses in Thornbury earlier this morning.

ASIC succeeds in obtaining orders against Debt Wipeout
ASIC has obtained interim orders and injunctions from the Federal Court of Australia against Mr David Murphy, Mr Anastasios Mavroulis, Mrs Kewa Ruwhiu and Mr Mathew Ruwhiu (the defendants) and Debts Knockout Pty Ltd (Debts Knockout) in relation to unlicensed financial services.

Billionaire Robert Smith to Pay $140 Million Over Tax Probe
David Voreacos, Neil Weinberg, and Gillian Tan – Bloomberg
Smith to cooperate, admit misconduct but won’t be prosecuted; Vista Equity Partners is not involved in Smith tax settlement
Billionaire Robert Smith will pay about $140 million and acknowledge wrongdoing to end a four-year U.S. tax investigation involving assets held in offshore tax havens, people familiar with the matter said. Smith, chief executive officer of the private equity firm Vista Equity Partners, informed some executives and investors of the pending agreement on Wednesday, the people said. Smith, 57, is cooperating with related tax investigations as part of a deal in which he will admit misconduct but won’t be prosecuted, they said.

Investing and Trading

Cash Isn’t Trash Compared to Stocks and Bonds; The risks of a sharp selloff in both stocks and bonds is high at the same time, making cash an attractive haven
Justin Lahart – WSJ
Stock valuations are incredibly high, but the long-term Treasurys that investors typically use to safeguard their portfolios are shockingly expensive. Under these circumstances, the better hedge might be old-fashioned cash.

Buffett’s Disciples Should Pray for a Bond Bust; Value stocks are being victimized by a sluggish economy and low fixed-income yields. But there is reason for hope.
John Authers – Bloomberg
Our Survey Said…!
A lot of the “surveys” that come across journalists’ desks are thinly veiled pleas for attention. Similarly, academic studies can often be driven by the extreme incentive for young professors to see their work published. But some of the surveys and articles that drop into my inbox are genuinely interesting.

Goldman Sachs wallops profit estimates on stronger-than-expected bond trading
Hugh Son – CNBC
Goldman Sachs posted third-quarter results that crushed analysts’ profit estimates on stronger-than-expected results in bond trading and asset management.
The firm generated $3.62 billion in profit, or $9.68 a share, exceeding the $5.57 per share estimate of analysts surveyed by Refinitiv.
Companywide revenue of $10.78 billion topped the estimate by more than $1 billion, driven by the trading and asset management divisions.
Shares of the bank gained 0.6% after rising 2.2% earlier in premarket trading.

Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance

DOL Issues Proposed Rule for ESG Investing
On June 23, 2020, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued a proposed rule to clarify investment duties for plan fiduciaries under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) when it comes to environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing.

Tribute to Whitey Ford and the Intersection of ESG and Compliance
Thomas Fox – JDSupra
The losses on Terra Firma just keep piling up for our national treasures of great baseball players. Yesterday I wrote about one of my boyhood heroes, Joe Morgan. Today I want to honor the passing of Whitey Ford, who was a mainstay of the great New York Yankees teams from 1950 up to 1964. Ford is the sixth Hall of Famer to die in 2020 joining Al Kaline, Lou Brock, Tom Seaver, Joe Morgan and Bob Gibson. Albeit, a little before my prime baseball watching kicked in, I actually got to see Ford pitch in the second preseason game in the Astrodome in 1965. But while my memories of that day are a bit more limited, Ford’s greatness shown throughout his storied career.

The U.S. election will be the “most impactful” event for ESG investment this year
Eamon Barrett – Fortune
A win for Biden in the 2020 U.S. elections could be the best thing to happen to climate change investors this year, according to a Morgan Stanley survey of investors, released Monday.


Morgan Stanley Profit, Revenue Rise; Wall Street firm rounded out third-quarter earnings reports from nation’s big banks
Liz Hoffman – WSJ
Morgan Stanley MS 0.42% on Thursday said its quarterly profit rose 25% from a year ago, another big U.S. bank to skate unscathed through the rockiest economy in years. The firm reported profit of $2.7 billion, or $1.66 a share, on $11.7 billion in revenue. The results were higher than a year ago and beat the forecasts of analysts, who had predicted $1.28 in per-share earnings and $10.65 billion in revenue.

JPMorgan Asset Management plans ESG ETFs for Asian clients; Fresh direction for investment house that currently offers no pure ESG funds in any market
Ernest Chan – FT
JPMorgan Asset Management is looking to offer Asian institutional investors a range of environmental, social and governance exchange traded funds, as well as thematic and sector-based ETFs.

Wells Fargo Fires More Than 100 Workers for Abusing U.S. Aid
Hannah Levitt – Bloomberg
Bank says staff applied for relief meant for small businesses; JPMorgan also has dismissed workers for tapping EIDL program
Wells Fargo & Co. fired more than 100 employees suspected of improperly collecting coronavirus relief funds, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. The firm determined that the staffers defrauded the Small Business Administration “by making false representations in applying for coronavirus relief funds for themselves,” according to an internal memo reviewed by Bloomberg. The review focused on employees who tapped the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, a key part of the government’s effort to prop up businesses during the pandemic.


Beijing’s first bond offer to US investors draws record demand; China’s economic recovery proves strong lure for funds despite tensions with Washington
Hudson Lockett and Thomas Hale – FT
Beijing sold dollar debt directly to US buyers for the first time, with a $6bn offering drawing record demand on the back of China’s economic recovery from coronavirus and despite tensions with Washington.

Clock Ticks For Banks to Follow Trump’s Hong Kong Sanctions
Jonas O Bergman – Bloomberg
The countdown has begun on whether banks will be ensnared in the Trump administration’s sanctions on Chinese and Hong Kong officials, singled out for contributing to a clampdown on political freedoms in the Asian hub.

Hong Kong-Singapore Travel Bubble to Reopen Financial Hub Links
Will Davies, Katrina Nicholas, and Kyunghee Park – Bloomberg
Travelers between the cities will be tested for virus instead; Shares of Cathay Pacific, Singapore Air rally on the news
Singapore and Hong Kong will open their borders to one another for the first time in almost seven months, exempting people in both cities from compulsory quarantine in an agreement that will reinstate links between Asia’s two premier financial hubs.

Is Indonesia Selling Out to Investors? Jokowi’s business-friendly reforms cut back worker protections at a difficult economic moment. But they’re long overdue.
Daniel Moss – Bloomberg
Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo has taken a big gamble. A key component of the 905-page omnibus law passed last week chisels away at the country’s wall of labor protections, making it a win for employers and investors. In response, tens of thousands of protesters have taken to the streets. Some have turned violent. While few politicians would be bold enough to take on labor reform with the economy buckling beneath a pandemic, Jokowi should stick to his guns. These changes are sorely needed and he is running out of time.


Is it decision day on Brexit talks – and what is still to be resolved?
Daniel Boffey – The Guardian
Boris Johnson said on 7 September that if there was a lack of agreement by the time EU leaders meet in Brussels on 15 October then he could not see any hope of a deal at all, and both sides should at that stage “accept that and move on”. That day has come. There is no agreement. Johnson clearly has a decision to make, but his chief negotiator, David Frost, will not be advising him to walk away. Sources close to the negotiation say Frost believes a deal is still possible in the next few weeks. A decision from the prime minister is expected on Friday once the EU leaders have given their assessment of the negotiations.

New Brexit law will let vulnerable EU citizens apply late to stay in UK
Lisa O’Carroll – The Guardian
The government is to fast-track legislation that it believes will stop vulnerable EU citizens becoming Windrush-type victims of Brexit, it has emerged. Under the secondary legislation, vulnerable citizens already lawfully living in the country, such as children in care and homeless people, may be able to apply for settled status years after the 30 June 2021 deadline.

Four Years of Trading the Pound Suggests a Brexit Deal Gets Done
John Ainger – Bloomberg
The one thing pound traders have learned over the past four years of Brexit talks is that politicians normally find agreement, even if it’s a thin one. The problem is all the volatility before a deal is struck.

Sterling dips as EU leaders meet to discuss Brexit deal
Sterling struggled to cling on to the $1.30 level on Thursday as traders waited to see whether a meeting of European Union leaders in Brussels would signal any progress in troubled Brexit talks with Britain. The pound has risen in recent sessions, propelled by a sense that Britain and the EU will secure a trade deal before the end-2020 deadline. But sterling remains far below a 2020 high of nearly $1.35 hit in early September — many investors reckon that even if a deal is reached, it will be a limited one.

Frustrated EU to keep pressing for British trade deal
Philip Blenkinsop, Francesco Guarascio – Reuters
European Union leaders will agree on Thursday to extend talks with Britain on a trade deal in coming weeks to seek concessions on fisheries, fair competition and dispute resolution in an effort to preserve a trillion euros worth of annual commerce.


Suicide Accounts for Most Gun Deaths. A Libertarian Approach Could Help; Making it easier for individuals to opt for giving up their gun rights could greatly cut suicides—the most common type of gun fatality in the U.S.
Fredrick Vars and Ian Ayres – WSJ
On June 26, 2018, Donna Nathan killed herself in New Orleans with a gun that she had purchased earlier that morning, ending a 30-year battle with bipolar disorder and depression. Nathan fought right up until the end. In her last six months, she admitted herself three times for inpatient psychiatric treatment because she wanted to address her suicidal thoughts and prior impulsive suicide attempts. Each time, she willingly accepted the limitations on liberty that come with a psychiatric hospitalization in exchange for safety and the prospect of improvement. What she could not limit, under Louisiana law, was her ability to quickly purchase a gun.

John Lothian Newsletter

We visit more than 100 websites daily for financial news (Would YOU do that?)

“John Lothian and Company… our industry intelligence.”

Rick Lane

CEO, Trading Technologies

Past JLN Newsletters

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This Story