We Will Be Living With the Coronavirus Pandemic Well Into 2021

Jun 19, 2020

First Read

Can a New American* CCO Save Germany’s Darling Fintech Company?
By Thom Thompson – John Lothian News

James Freis, who joined German fintech and crypto darling Wirecard in May this year, was abruptly elevated to its executive management board yesterday, weeks ahead of schedule. His ascension was precipitated by Wirecard having to get serious about the shortfall of $2 billion that its auditor Ernst & Young won’t certify as being under the company’s control. Wirecard is a payments processing firm located near Munich.

The company was forced to delay publication of its 2019 financial results again. If Wirecard does not publish its audited consolidated financials by the close of business on June 19, it violates a covenant in a loan facility from a European banking consortium which could lead to their withdrawing a 1.75 billion euro loan facility.

Wirecard management board member Jan Marsalek was also suspended Thursday. Marsalek is the chief operating officer, according to the 2018 annual report. He was slated to become chief business development officer.

To read the rest of this story, go HERE.


Hits & Takes
By John Lothian & JLN Staff

I have to confess, I had never heard of Juneteenth before this year. Call it my white ignorance. And I am not sure how to respond to the holiday without appearing to be a bandwagon jumper or opportunist. But I am supportive of efforts to end inequality and racism. In fact, last year I helped start a social justice ministry team at my church to deal with issues just like this, which we are doing.

There is a NFA Business Conduct Committee complaint against a firm named LTG and one Garry Fullett. Fullett was a broker I came across on the web back in the 1990s. He had a partner who I sparred with on a newsgroup because he was so ill-informed and inept. In fact, those conflicts helped me focus on how I wanted to communicate with the public, which indirectly led to the creation of this newsletter. It appears Fullett learned the wrong lessons from those days and used the worst techniques to solicit customers. And he appears to be a bad broker in too many ways, as alleged by the complaint.

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


Nasdaq’s Chief Economist Phil Mackintosh posted his latest column yesterday afternoon titled, “A Record Russell Recon Is Coming.” It is about the annual Russell index reconstitutions, which take place next Friday, June 26th.~SR


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Nasdaq Pledges Continued Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion
Makes Donations to the Equal Justice Initiative and NAACP; Debuts ‘Amplifying Black Voices’ Artist Series on Nasdaq MarketSite Tower; Launches Bell Ceremony Series to Acknowledge Frontline Heroes
Nasdaq, Inc. announced today additional steps in its continued commitment to diversity and inclusion. Actions from the company will include cash donations to organizations fighting racial injustice and increased investment in the company’s internal programs, including professional advancement and talent acquisition, to foster a diverse and inclusive corporate culture.

*****Who is next? Nice work, Nasdaq!~JJL


NFA Case #: 20BCC00009
Respondent: LTG TRADING LLC (NFA ID: 0445789)
Effective Date: Pending
Respondent: FULLETT, GARY (NFA ID: 0245066)
Effective Date: Pending

*****It’s worth reading this case to see how brokers can abuse clients today, using techniques learned in the 1990s on the web.~JJL


The Road to Racial Justice Runs Through Tulsa; America needs to reckon with its racism through concrete action on this Juneteenth.
Michael R. Bloomberg – Bloomberg
One of the big problems with President Donald Trump’s nostalgic view of the country’s history — “Make America Great Again” — is that it has always winked at the ghost of Jim Crow. Nowhere does that ghost haunt the promise of the American Dream more vividly than the city where Trump will hold his re-election campaign rally on Saturday night: Tulsa, Oklahoma.

*****Michael Bloomberg, great leader, bad presidential candidate. But I appreciate his leadership.~JJL


The Uighurs
Karen Leigh – Bloomberg
Inside the Vast Police State at the Heart of China’s Belt and Road
In its far western region of Xinjiang, China says it’s fighting separatism and religious extremism among Uighurs, a Muslim ethnic group. To some outsiders, it’s building a 21st-century gulag, combining police-state repression backed by high-tech facial recognition systems with old-fashioned internment camps and re-education techniques culled from the Cultural Revolution. A United Nations assessment said anywhere from tens of thousands to “upwards of 1 million” Uighurs have been detained. As the scale of China’s crackdown has become clearer, the international outcry has grown, including in the U.S.

*****A subject that has been ignored for too long.~JJL


Black Lives Matter’s Years of Pressure Paved Way for Sudden Police Overhaul; When mass protests broke out after George Floyd’s killing in police custody, the movement was ready
Arian Campo-Flores and Joshua Jamerson – WSJ
After the killing of George Floyd in police custody a little over three weeks ago, police and governments moved quickly to enact major changes: Minneapolis voted to disband its police department. Los Angeles is redirecting up to $150 million from its police budget to social programs. Houston further restricted police use of force. New York state repealed a law keeping officers’ disciplinary records confidential.

*****Success does not come easily. It is hard work. Luck is where preparation meets opportunity.~JJL



CryptoMarketsWiki Coin of the Week: Cardano (ADA)
Cardano, an upstart project seeking to compete directly with Ethereum (ETH), is gearing up for its mainnet launch. Though Cardano does not currently feature smart contract capabilities like Ethereum, it seeks to create a similar distributed computer network and its community has maintained enough hype to carry the project for years. The native digital token of the so-called “Ethereum of Japan,” ADA (named for Ada Lovelace), has seen significant price movement – increasing in price by 120% since the beginning of 2020 – leading up to its mainnet launch, which is planned for the latter half of June 2020, though its co-founder Charles Hoskinson recently said the launch may happen in early July.


Thursday’s Top Three
The most read story yesterday was The New York Post’s Suicide of young Robinhood trader exposes dark side of small-investing boom, the tragic story of a 20-year old options trader’s death. Second was the Wall Street Journal’s Having Stolen the Spotlight, Now Robinhood Has to Dance. Third was Bloomberg’s Companies Pitch Shortwave Radio to Shave Milliseconds Off Trades.


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Lead Stories

We Will Be Living With the Coronavirus Pandemic Well Into 2021; Most experts believe a vaccine won’t be ready until next year. It’s time to reset our expectations and change our behavior.
Michelle Fay Cortez – Bloomberg
The virus is winning. That much is certain more than six months into a shape-shifting pandemic that’s killed more than 454,000 people worldwide, is gaining ground globally and has disrupted lives from Wuhan to Sao Paulo. While promising, fast-moving vaccine projects are underway in China, Europe and the U.S., only the most optimistic expect an effective shot to be ready for global distribution this year.

Deutsche Bank to pay $10 million over spoofing charges, reporting failures: CFTC
Deutsche Bank AG (DBKGn.DE) will pay more than $10 million to settle federal court charges of market manipulation and of alleged violations of data reporting obligations, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission said on Thursday. Deutsche agreed to pay a $1.25 million penalty to settle the allegations that two of the bank’s traders engaged in numerous instances of a type of market manipulation called “spoofing” in Treasury futures and Eurodollar futures contracts on CME, the bank said in a statement.

Juneteenth celebrations spread to corporate America; A holiday commemorating the end of slavery has found new resonance amid antiracism protests
Mamta Badkar and Oluwakemi Aladesuyi- FT
A growing list of US companies across finance, technology, retail and other industries are giving employees Friday off to commemorate Juneteenth. While the holiday has been celebrated by African-American communities in the past, this year it has taken on a special significance as Americans demonstrate against racism and call for an end to inequality.

Juneteenth observance arrives amid U.S. reckoning with racism
Brad Brooks, Steve Gorman – Reuters
Many Juneteenth observances celebrating the emancipation of African American slaves more than a century and a half ago were shifted to the internet on Friday due to the coronavirus, though street marches and “car caravans” were planned in several major U.S. cities.

UBS Tells Rich Clients to Leave Stock Bubbles to Day Traders
Ksenia Galouchko – Bloomberg
Retail traders are fueling a rally in lesser known companies; Charles Day recommends clients hold large-cap growth stocks
The world’s largest wealth manager has a message for any clients tempted to follow day traders into some of the equity market’s more exotic stocks in search of a fast buck: don’t even go there. With little-known companies from Fangdd Network Group Inc. to Nikola Corp. having seen their stock prices surge manyfold — sometimes in a matter of just days or hours — during the recent market rally, UBS Global Wealth Management’s Charles Day says rich clients should stick to safer names.

Running on ‘hopium’: Explaining the market rally in Wall Street’s terms
April Joyner, Kate Duguid – Reuters
Risk assets such as stocks and high-yield corporate bonds have climbed over the past two-and-a-half months despite a dire global economic outlook in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Main Street investors bank profits on rally that Wall Street doubted
Tom Westbrook, Cynthia Kim – Reuters
Main Street investors who have reaped windfall gains from the steepest stock market rebound on record now seem to be making for safety, brokers say, just as Wall Street experts are advising clients to dip their toes into riskier assets again.

Trump to nominate lawyer Crenshaw to fill SEC Democratic commissioner slot
Katanga Johnson – Reuters
The White House announced on Thursday that President Donald Trump intends to nominate Caroline Crenshaw to fill a Democratic vacancy at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Don’t Return to the Office Until You Read This; An eight-point plan for reopening.
Arianne Cohen – Bloomberg
You have a lot to think about at the moment if you run a company. One of the biggest questions is whether to have employees return to the office, assuming your area allows it. How do you let people do their jobs and keep them safe? We asked scientists, interior designers, public-health and building experts, and others for their thoughts on what to do right now—and what to think about for the future.

This Is How We Juneteenth; This year, amid protests against police brutality and structural racism toward black Americans, some lean into the joy of tradition as resistance. Others say recognition is not enough.
Gina Cherelus – NY Times
Kenneth Timmons, who works for a federal government agency in Houston, said the first thing he usually does before every Juneteenth is take the day off work. Mr. Timmons usually invites friends over to cook and eat together.

Time is money: the armchair traders of lockdown
Colm Fulton – Reuters
At 7am on Friday morning, Dean d’Arco, 31, a phone shop manager from Belfast, Northern Ireland, logged on for his last day as a round-the-clock armchair stock market trader.

What It Means to Buy Stock in a Bankrupt Company Like Hertz; Creditors have to be paid before shareholders claim any leftover assets.
David Welch, Steven Church – Bloomberg
It’s one of the wildest tales in 2020’s wild-enough market. Rental car giant Hertz Global Holdings Inc. declared bankruptcy, and its stock quickly fell to 56¢ a share. Then hordes of investors—apparently looking for a cheap way to buy the dip—piled into the stock, driving the price up tenfold at one point. That gave Hertz a bright idea: Raise some cash by selling even more shares. A judge approved the sale.

Recent defaults lead to record credit derivatives payouts; CDS auctions have yielded historically low recovery rates this year, meaning swap sellers have had to pay more than normal Fallout from the coronavirus pandemic has heaped pressure on already distressed firms
Ben St. Clair – Risk.net
Auctions to settle credit default swaps this year have led to the lowest average recovery rates since records began in 2005, as Covid-19 bears down on distressed companies and leaves swap sellers on the hook for larger payouts.

The Coming Urban Exodus; Failing progressive governance is making daily life too chaotic and stressful in many U.S. cities.
Daniel Henninger – WSJ
Wonder Land: After months of the pandemic, protests and failing progressive leadership, many are going to move out of U.S. centers. Images: Getty Images Composite: Mark Kelly
In his speech last weekend to the graduates of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, President Trump said something with which, in normal times, few would disagree: “What has historically made America unique is the durability of its institutions against the passions and prejudices of the moment.” Until now.

This Is Not the End of Cities; Both the coronavirus pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement create opportunities to reshape cities in more equitable ways.
Richard Florida – Bloomberg
As the coronavirus crisis and its economic, social and political fallout swept across America, it seemed the death of cities was imminent. Story after story charted a “great urban exodus,” as the affluent and advantaged from New York City fled to the suburbs, summer cottages in the Hamptons and Hudson Valley, or their winter getaways in Palm Beach and Miami. This gloomy thesis was reinforced by a rapid succession of calamities that struck at cities in the wake of the pandemic — the most severe economic collapse and job loss since the Great Depression; the metastasizing crisis for small businesses, retail, and arts and culture; and looming fiscal deficits for cities.

This might just be the end of the office as we know it
Kathryn Vasel, CNN Business
In March, Mike Iacobucci was just days away from signing a 12-year lease for a 53,000-square-foot office space for his company when he decided to pull out at the last minute. “I woke up one day, and I called the CFO and said: ‘pull the plug,'” said Iacobucci, CEO of Interactions, an artificial intelligence company. “That was just before everyone started working from home.”

One of Europe’s Most Ambitious Climate Plans Runs on Three Dollars a Day; Austria is drafting laws to reboot its economy and meet EU climate goals a decade early.
Jonathan Tirone and Boris Groendahl – Bloomberg
Life in the green heart of a nation with one of Europe’s most ambitious climate targets is about to get even greener, according to the woman responsible for making it happen.

Oil Trader Gunvor Expands Sustainability Loans Despite Virus
Andy Hoffman and Jacqueline Poh – Bloomberg
Gunvor’s ESG loan portfolio tops $1 billion with new deal; Global ESG loans reached $51 billion in the first half
Energy trader Gunvor Group Ltd. is expanding its sustainability-linked debt portfolio even as the coronavirus pandemic saps demand for oil products.

JPMorgan gets China’s nod for first fully foreign-owned futures business
China on Thursday approved JPMorgan’s (JPM.N) application to operate the first fully foreign-owned futures business, as the world’s second-largest economy pushes ahead with opening its multi-trillion-dollar financial market.

Sharp learning curve for bosses as WFH goes global
Mark John – Reuters
Two weeks into the coronavirus lockdown and Sergei Holmeckis, a boss at Deutsche Telekom’s Czech operations in the city of Brno, was frustrated with staff video calls. His team didn’t like turning on their cameras and the discussion was stilted.

How the Federal Reserve came to focus on racial justice; US central bank’s heightened sensitivity reinforces dovish tilt of monetary policy
James Politi – FT
When Jay Powell convened the most recent meeting of Federal Reserve policymakers, his agenda included an unusual item for a central bank — the mass protests against racial injustice that followed the police killing last month of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Coronavirus will hasten ‘peak oil’ by three years, says research firm; Rystad Energy says its estimate of recoverable barrels of crude has dropped by 282bn
Myles McCormick – FT
An influential research firm has cut its estimate of potential oil production by an amount that exceeds the reserves of Saudi Arabia, as the coronavirus crisis accelerates longer-term structural changes to the market.

Former ‘Black Wall Street’ Aims to Rebuild as Tulsa Comes Into National Spotlight; Historic and entrepreneurial efforts seek to transform Greenwood district nearly 100 years after race massacre
Elizabeth Findell and Alejandro Lazo – WSJ
“Black Wall Street” T-shirts were on display alongside local art and images of Angela Davis, Spike Lee and Toni Morrison at Ricco Wright’s art gallery Thursday, as jazz music played on a set of turntables.


Kroger says demand easing after coronavirus stockpiling
Praveen Paramasivam – Reuters
U.S. supermarket chain Kroger Co (KR.N) stopped short of raising its annual forecasts on Thursday, saying a coronavirus-driven surge in demand for essential goods was fading as American households reconsider what they have on their shelves.

The British must learn from coronavirus mistakes; Scale of the forecast economic decline reflects the failure to manage the pandemic effectively
Martin Wolf – FT
For the UK, Covid-19 has been a “teachable moment”. We have learnt that our political leaders are incompetent, our bureaucracy ineffective and our economy fragile. This is not true in all respects: the Treasury and Bank of England have performed rather well. But it is true enough not to be funny.

Brits Don’t Want to Go Back to Working Pre-Covid-19 Office Hours
Jess Shankleman – Bloomberg
As offices and shops in Britain start to reopen, most business executives and their workers would rather not return to work in the way did before the pandemic, a poll shows.

Deutsche insists Covid-19 won’t derail ‘bad bank’ wind-down; Lender actively seeking buyers for remaining derivatives portfolios ahead of 2022 target, says CRO
Costas Mourselas – Risk.net
The uncertainty hanging over global markets should not affect Deutsche Bank’s efforts to sell off the remaining parts of its non-core business ahead of a self-imposed 2022 deadline, according to Stuart Lewis, the lender’s chief risk officer.

Isolate With the Whole Family at This $10.4 Million Mountaintop Compound; An Aussie aerie comes with a pair of homes, ocean views, and a hike down to the beach.
James Tarmy – Bloomberg
In 1999, John Howard-Smith set out to find a plot of land for a compound in North Queensland, Australia, that would house himself, his wife Jade, and his parents. At that time, Howard-Smith was a commercial helicopter pilot for a mining company, so he fired up a chopper and made passes up and down the coast, photographing areas that struck his fancy.

Coronavirus Has Revealed ‘Holes Within Traditional Financial Systems’—And Demand For Bitcoin Is Suddenly ‘Surging’
Billy Bambrough – Forbes
The coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdowns to contain the disease have created an unprecedented economic scenario. Central banks around the world, led by the U.S. Federal Reserve, have pumped unprecedented stimulus measures into the system in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, far outpacing the response to the 2008 global financial crisis and adding trillions of dollars to central bank balance sheets.

UK Says China and Russia Trying to Exploit Coronavirus Crisis
THE United Kingdom said on Thursday that China, Russia and Iran were looking to exploit weaknesses shown by the coronavirus outbreak, amid suggestions Beijing had used the crisis to push through new security legislation for Hong Kong.

Italy Had Coronavirus in Sewage as Early as December, Study Says
Flavia Rotondi – Bloomberg
The coronavirus was present in Milan and Turin’s sewage systems as early as December, two months before the first Covid-19 cases were detected in Italy, a new study shows.

How Safe Is Flying in the Age of Coronavirus?
Charlotte Ryan and Naomi Kresge – Bloomberg
With many governments loosening travel restrictions to restart economies, airlines have begun restoring flights that were put on hold as the coronavirus pandemic spread. Business is slow, as would-be passengers worry about being stuck in a cabin for an extended time with possibly infectious strangers. The record shows the risks aren’t negligible.

The Columbus Convention Center Is Now a Pandemic Housing Court; As eviction hearings resume, the Ohio city has turned its empty convention hall into a one-stop shop for tenants in trouble. There are plenty to go around.
Kriston Capps – Bloomberg
Since September, Jamanda Colbert has lived with her wife and two-year-old daughter in a small apartment complex on Columbus, Ohio’s East Side. The building has its downsides: The apartment is prone to flooding, she says, and the landlord is hard to pin down. Still, the Colberts were settled, with another child on the way. So when Jamanda’s wife, Tera, who is the sole breadwinner for the family, lost her job in February over coronavirus fears, the couple sought to communicate their situation to the landlord right away. The goal was to be conscientious tenants as they coped with what was already taking shape as an unprecedented national crisis.

China Agrees With Experts Salmon Unlikely Cause of Beijing Outbreak
Bloomberg News
Food trade has little risk of spreading virus: customs dept.; Samples of imported food tested negative for Covid-19 so far
China agreed with global experts that it’s unlikely food trade is responsible for causing a fresh outbreak of the coronavirus in Beijing, indicating it’ll no longer consider imposing restrictions.

Virus Hit on Indonesia Worse Than Financial Crisis, Jokowi Says
Arys Aditya – Bloomberg
The coronavirus pandemic has hit Indonesia harder than the Asian financial crisis more than two decades ago, as the outbreak has spared no sectors of the economy, according to President Joko Widodo.

Fearing Germs on Steering Wheels, Japanese Shun Car-Sharing
Nao Sano and Gearoid Reidy – Bloomberg
Car-sharing demand plummets during coronavirus pandemic; Largest car-sharing operator posts its first quarterly loss
The coronavirus pandemic may have permanently damaged Japanese drivers’ willingness to share a steering wheel.

Japan’s Fujitsu brings hand washing AI to COVID-19 fight
Three months after the World Health Organization recommended singing “Happy Birthday” twice during hand washing to fight the coronavirus, Japan’s Fujitsu Ltd has developed an artificial intelligence monitor it says will ensure healthcare, hotel and food industry workers scrub properly.

Exclusive: EU in advanced talks with Johnson & Johnson on COVID-19 vaccine deal – sources
Elvira Pollina, Francesco Guarascio – Reuters
The European Commission is in advanced talks with pharmaceuticals giant Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) to reserve or make an up-front purchase of its COVID-19 vaccine under development, two officials familiar with the talks told Reuters.

Americans face new coronavirus challenge: a shortage of coins
Ann Saphir – Reuters
Banks across the United States are facing a shortage of coins during coronavirus crisis, prompting the U.S. Federal Reserve to ration distribution and work with the U.S. Mint to boost supply. With the partial closure of the economy due to the coronavirus crisis, “the flow of coins through the economy has kind of stopped,” Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell told the House Financial Services Committee.

What Minnesota’s Protests Are Revealing About Covid-19 Spread; After George Floyd’s killing, experts warned that demonstrations could set off new waves of infections. But early testing in Minneapolis tells another story.
people protesting
In the weeks since George Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police officers outside a grocery store at 38th Street and Chicago Avenue, the intersection has remained closed to traffic—filled instead with flowers, memorial murals, and thousands of daily visitors who come to pay their respects. Except for the masks when you’re inside that now-sacred space, it’s hard to remember there’s a pandemic going on. But in the shadow of the Sabathani Community Center a few blocks to the west, where a transformation of another kind has been underway, it’s impossible to forget.

China says coronaviruses behind Beijing outbreak ‘came from Europe’; Chinese government and independent researchers using new genetic data suggest virus has been spreading for weeks
Yuan Yang – FT
The coronaviruses that sparked a new outbreak in Beijing probably originated from Europe, according to the Chinese government and independent researchers using newly released genetic sequences.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

Eurex’s risk chief on the need for boring models; Banks need stability and predictability of VAR-based margin when volatility spikes, says clearing house CRO Dmitrij Senko, Eurex Clearing
Costas Mourselas – Risk.net
For banks and investors, March’s explosion in volatility across asset classes was an abject lesson in markets’ inability to defy gravity forever. For Dmitrij Senko, chief risk officer of Eurex Clearing, the meltdown was a valuable stress test of the margin framework he began working on almost a decade ago – one he argues they achieved a passing grade on, despite a few wrinkles.

ICE Clear Europe appoints permanent president; Hester Serafini has led ICE Clear Europe as president on an interim basis since February, and will now take on the role permanently.
Kiays Khalil – The Trade
US exchange group ICE has confirmed that Hester Serafini will take on the role as president of ICE Clear Europe permanently, after leading the clearing house on an interim basis since February.

Derivatives Forum also a success digitally
Originally planned as a live conference in beautiful Amsterdam, the forum was – like many other plans this year – disrupted by Covid-19. But that didn’t stop Eurex from holding its Derivatives Forum anyway, but rather digitally. Jointly held with our partners ABN AMRO Clearing, Acuiti and DerivSource, this was a very entertaining and informative event, putting the focus on the effects of the Corona crisis on the derivatives industry.

Update on recording of telephone calls at Derivatives Trading Operations
This circular replaces the previous Eurex circular 265/07: “Eurex Exchanges Hotlines / Telephone Numbers of Market Supervision: Call Recording”, dated 21 December 2007
Eurex Deutschland would like to remind the respective recipients by means of this circular that incoming and outgoing telephone calls: from and to the below specified Derivatives Trading Operations (hereafter: DTO) hotlines or from and to personal telephone extension numbers of the DTO staff
are recorded by Eurex Deutschland to perform its task of monitoring the orderly conduct of exchange trading and the settlement of trades (§ 23 paragraph 1 clause 1 of the Exchange Rules of Eurex Deutschland).

Prof. Dr. Joachim Nagel will leave the Supervisory Board of Deutsche Börse AG at the end of June; Dr. Andreas Gottschling is to be appointed as his successor in early July
Deutsche Börse AG
Prof. Dr. Joachim Nagel will leave the Supervisory Board of Deutsche Börse AG on June 30. He has been a member of the committee since May 2018 and is currently the chairman of the risk committee. On November 1st, Prof. Dr. Nagel also from the board of the KfW banking group to the Bank for International Settlements in Basel (BIS).

HKEX Launches University Scholarship Programme
New scholarships to be awarded each year to support talent in business, finance, biotech, and innovation; Funding for scholarships to be from new HKEX Foundation
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) is today (Friday) pleased to announce the launch of its first university scholarship programme in Hong Kong, which will develop home-grown talent in the fields of business, finance, biotech, and innovation.


Facebook acquires crowdsourced mapping company Mapillary
Katie Paul – Reuters
Facebook Inc on Thursday acquired Swedish mapping technology company Mapillary, which collects images from tens of thousands of contributors to build immersive and up-to-date maps, the companies said.

Massive spying on users of Google’s Chrome shows new security weakness
Joseph Menn – Reuters
A newly discovered spyware effort attacked users through 32 million downloads of extensions to Google’s market-leading Chrome web browser, researchers at Awake Security told Reuters, highlighting the tech industry’s failure to protect browsers as they are used more for email, payroll and other sensitive functions.

Meritsoft and Taskize launch combined CSDR solution; The combined solution will deliver a real-time platform for clients to manage the settlement fail and buy-in process.
Joe Parsons – The Trade
Technology vendors Meritsoft and Taskize have launched a joint solution enabling firms to monitor their trade settlement fails ahead and enhance their compliance with the Central Securities Depository Regulation (CSDR).

Fintech’s savings and investing boom isn’t just a domestic affair
Nigel Sussman – TechCrunch
The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted consumer and corporate behavior across the board. Some changes were obvious and quick, like cuts to business travel leading to layoffs at companies that served that space. Other changes have been more surprising.
One such new trend has been rising interest in savings and investing applications, the type of service fintech startups offer consumers. TechCrunch has covered this trend, noting a number of American fintech and finservices seeing hugely rising user activity and revenue.


Ripple launches PayID allowing users to send digital payments across different platforms
Jeff John Roberts – Fortune
Email is a popular technology in part because it doesn’t matter which service you use. A Gmail user can send a message to someone with a Yahoo account and vice versa. Yet when it comes to sending cash on the Internet, services are fractured. A Venmo user can’t send money to someone using Cash App or Zelle, and nor can you can use a bank’s website to send money to those apps.

FTX Releases COMP Derivatives to Keep Up With DeFi Frenzy
Brady Dale – Coindesk
Derivatives market and crypto exchange FTX is moving into the storm created by Compound’s new governance token, COMP. Traders will soon be able to place their bets on which way decentralized finance (DeFi) will go, CoinDesk has learned. Later Thursday, FTX and FTX US will both list COMP as well as cUSDT, the Compound version of tether. On the global site, FTX will also open its suite of crypto derivatives, allowing users to take leveraged bets on the token’s prices looking down the road.

Nomura-Backed Crypto Custody Venture Launches After 2 Years in the Works
Jaspreet Kalra – Coindesk
After two years of development, one of Japan’s largest investment banks has finally entered the digital asset custody business through a joint venture with two cryptocurrency startups. Komainu, a venture between Nomura Holdings, CoinShares and Ledger, officially launched Wednesday. Based in the U.K.’s Jersey Channel Islands, the new business serves as a custodian and provides regulatory compliance and insurance services to institutional investors for their digital asset holdings.

Banks-owned blockchain trade finance startup We.trade cuts 50% of its staff
Yogita Khatri – The Block
We.trade, the blockchain-based trade finance startup jointly owned by 12 European banks, has reportedly laid off around 50% of its staff, representing more than 12 employees. Global Trade Review (GTR) reported the news on Wednesday, citing “several sources familiar with the situation.” David McLoughlin, head of commercialization at We.trade, confirmed layoffs, without disclosing a specific number.

Crypto.com Tech Upgrade Paves Way for Derivatives Trading
Sandali Handagama – Coindesk
Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency platform Crypto.com has revamped its digital exchange. The new upgrades are expected to increase the performance and throughput of the exchange tenfold, the company announced Thursday. Changes include improvements to speed, scalability and security. The Crypto.com exchange launched in beta at the end of last year. The exchange is one of many services offered on the platform alongside currency accounts, debit cards and a mobile app. Company co-founder and CEO Kris Marszalek told CoinDesk the firm is planning to end the trial phase by the end of the year, and the infrastructure upgrades are expected to pave the way for new features including margin trading and derivatives trading.

EY launches crypto app that helps with tax filings
Yogita Khatri – The Block
“Big Four” professional consulting firm Ernst & Young (EY) has launched a web-based cryptocurrency application that helps its U.S. users with tax filings. Called CryptoPrep, the app allows users to aggregate their crypto transactions and calculate capital gains or losses for Form 8949 of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Bitcoin SV President Hits Out at Binance as Former Critic Becomes Top Miner
Paddy Baker – Coindesk
Another day, another spat in the crypto space… The president of the Bitcoin Association, the entity behind Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (BSV), has accused Binance of cherry picking its relationships with the cryptocurrency project after news came out earlier this week that the exchange’s new mining pool was now the single biggest verifier on the BSV protocol. In a statement to CoinDesk, Jimmy Nguyen said it was a “little too ironic” that Binance, which delisted BSV from its main exchange in April 2019 and has been critical of the cryptocurrency, still considered BSV economically worthwhile to mine.

There Are Now More Than 8,000 Bitcoin ATMs Worldwide
Turner Wright – Cointelegraph
The total number of Bitcoin ATMs has now passed 8,000 worldwide. According to monitoring resource CoinATMRadar, there are currently 8,208 ATMs in 73 countries allowing users to buy and sell Bitcoin (BTC) and altcoins for cash. More than 6,000 of them are in the United States. Depending on the ATM, crypto holders can purchase and withdraw Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ether (ETH), Dash (DASH), Litecoin (LTC), Zcash (ZEC), Monero (XMR), Dogecoin (DOGE), Tether (USDT) and XRP.

Delta Exchange Launches Crypto Interest Rate Swaps
Omkar Godbole – Coindesk
It was only a matter of time before crypto adapted elements of the $341 trillion interest rate swap market to its own. Traders may now be able to hedge the risks they face from interest rate payment fluctuations in perpetual contracts. And it could also help those lending and borrowing in the decentralized finance (DeFi) space.

Monex Group Reveals Suite of Changes to Senior Management
Celeste Skinner – Finance Magnates
The Monex Group, a financial services provider based in Japan, announced this Friday a number of personnel changes among its subsidiaries, including retail broker Monex Inc, and its cryptocurrency exchange, Coincheck. According to the statement published today, a number of top senior executives will have some changes to their roles and responsibilities, effective from the 20th of June 2020. Namely, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Monex Group, Oki Matsumoto, is now responsible for Japan Catalyst, Inc., an investment advisory firm.

A cryptocurrency bug put $545,000 of DeFi funds at risk
Daniel Phillips – Decrypt
The Bancor team, and a few helpers, just hacked its own protocol to rescue $545,000 from being stolen. But it could have been another major DeFi exploit. Bancor just detected and fixed a flaw in the latest version of its Bancor Network smart contract. The flaw could have allowed anybody to drain the wallet of anybody else that invoked the contract. Warnings about this particular exploit have been floating around for almost three months now.

Novogratz: Galaxy Digital Will ‘Suck’ if Bitcoin Fails to Become an Institutional Asset
Paddy Baker – Coindesk
With Galaxy Digital now working on an educational course for financial advisers, founder Mike Novogratz told CoinDesk he hopes it will help finally kick-start the institutional use of bitcoin, and turn around the asset manager’s fortunes. Novogratz, a Wall Street veteran, loves a compelling narrative. “Bitcoin specifically is a story about adoption,” he said a few minutes into our call. “And the next big group that’s going to adopt bitcoin as a store of value, as a digital gold, are the financial advisers.”

The Truth About Bitcoin and Hezbollah in Lebanon
Leigh Cuen – Coindesk
Cryptocurrency does not appear to be a significant trend in terror financing in the Middle East, but a new round of U.S. sanctions aimed at Syria may tip the scales in favor of experimentation.

Trump Told Treasury Secretary to ‘Go After’ Bitcoin, Bolton Book Reportedly Claims
Paddy Baker -CoinDesk
Trump Told Treasury Secretary to ‘Go After’ Bitcoin, Bolton Book Reportedly Claims
President Donald Trump ordered Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to focus on a clampdown on bitcoin over negotiating a trade with China, former national security adviser John Bolton reportedly claims.


Bolton Book Shows Trump Eager to Help Autocrats in U.S. Courts
Nick Wadhams and Jennifer Jacobs – Bloomberg
President pushed to ease penalties on Halkbank, ZTE: Bolton; White House has sought to delay book’s sale next week
President Donald Trump repeatedly sought to interfere in the U.S. judicial system to curry favor with leaders from Turkey to China, according to a new book by former National Security Advisor John Bolton.

Trump Rally Hands Scientists a Test Case for Superspreader Event; Thousands of the president’s supporters are about to pack into an arena in Tulsa, where Covid-19 cases are skyrocketing.
Michelle Fay Cortez and Robert Langreth – Bloomberg
The street protests that spread around the globe following George Floyd’s death while detained by Minneapolis police in late May haven’t sparked the surge in coronavirus infections that public health officials first feared. Now, they have something new to fret about on the eve of President Donald Trump’s indoor political rally to kick off his re-election bid.

Moves to limit Big Tech still only half-formed; US and European regulators will have to work harder to formulate an answer to digital dominance
Richard Waters – FT
The Summer of Techlash has officially arrived. The days leading up to the solstice have reverberated with a drumbeat of investigations and proposals aimed at limiting the power of Big Tech. They promise a fiery autumn — though it is hard to discern the outlines of any effective legislative or regulatory actions that will result.

White House weighs tougher visa restrictions for foreign workers; Trump administration officials met this week to discuss a possible executive order
Aime Williams and Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson – FT
The Trump administration is weighing a significant expansion of current visa restrictions for foreign workers, widening the scope to include the highly skilled workers relied on by industries ranging from tech to tourism.

Klobuchar Bows Out of Consideration to Be Biden’s Running Mate; ‘This is a moment to put a woman of color on that ticket,’ says Minnesota senator
Ken Thomas – WSJ
Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar said Thursday that she was taking herself out of consideration to become Joe Biden’s running mate and urged him to choose a woman of color for the job. The senator said in an interview with MSNBC that she told Mr. Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, of her decision in a phone call Wednesday.

More Republicans Back Biden in Unprecedented Rebuke of a Sitting President
Adrian Carrasquillo – Newsweek
A growing number of Republicans are abandoning their own party to publicly back Democrat Joe Biden for president in an unprecedented rebuke of a sitting president.

Boris Johnson’s Day of Mishaps Is Unlikely to Calm Tory Nerves
Robert Hutton – Bloomberg
On back foot over virus response, policy U-turn added to gloom; A gaffe in Commons, tempest over paint job and a fender bender
Just after 12:15 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon, Boris Johnson could briefly tell himself that something was finally going well — he was holding his own against his Labour opponent Keir Starmer in a debate in Parliament. But it didn’t last.

Private Equity Donors Favor Biden Over Trump on Bet to End Chaos
Bill Allison and Misyrlena Egkolfopoulou – Bloomberg
Industries given millions more to back the ex vice president; Trump’s style, trade policies are unpopular with finance pros
Joe Biden, who says he wants to tax capital gains at the same rate as ordinary income and pushes left-of-center economic policies, seems an unlikely favorite of private equity firms and hedge fund managers. But supporters linked to those industries have poured more than $21 million into his campaign and outside groups backing him, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a rate much higher than the support they gave Hillary Clinton in 2016. By contrast, they’ve given President Donald Trump and his allied super-PACs just $3.6 million.

John Roberts Is Done Trusting Donald Trump; The Supreme Court’s DACA ruling shows that the chief justice is no longer buying what the president is selling.
Noah Feldman – Bloomberg
Chief Justice John Roberts has come to liberals’ rescue again, this time providing the decisive fifth Supreme Court vote to strike down the Trump administration’s rescission of DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

Trump Says ‘Complete Decoupling’ From China Remains an Option
Josh Wingrove – Bloomberg
President breaks from his trade chief in tweet Thursday; Trump’s view of China has soured since the pandemic erupted
President Donald Trump said the U.S. could pursue a “complete decoupling from China” in response to unspecified conditions, his most forceful statement yet on the souring ties with Beijing. In a tweet Thursday, Trump refuted comments a day earlier by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, who said a full decoupling of the world’s two biggest economies was not “a reasonable policy option.”

Merkel Tells Leaders EU Facing Very, Very Difficult Times
Viktoria Dendrinou and Milda Seputyte – Bloomberg News
German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned her fellow leaders that the European Union is facing its deepest recession since World War II and that will lead to very, very difficult times indeed, according to officials familiar with her comments. She wondered whether people have understood exactly what this means and cautioned that the EU has every interest in having a recovery plan in place by the end of the summer ahead of events like the U.S. election in the fall, one of the officials said.

Putin Can’t Play Trump Like a Fiddle, Kremlin Says
Ilya Arkhipov – Bloomberg
Kremlin rejects claim by former U.S. security adviser Bolton; Putin doesn’t think he can manipulate U.S. leader, Peskov says
The Kremlin rejected former U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton’s claim that Russian President Vladimir Putin can play Donald Trump “like a fiddle.” “No, Putin can’t play Trump like a fiddle,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters Friday on a conference call. The U.S. president can’t be manipulated in this way, Peskov added.

Trump Shrugs Off Backlash, Virus Fears Ahead of Mass Tulsa Rally
Mario Parker – Bloomberg
Donald Trump’s decision to pack thousands of people into an arena for his first campaign rally in three months, intended to reinvigorate both his re-election effort and the candidate himself, has instead kept the president on the defensive.

Evercore CEO Sees Higher Taxes on Wealthy to Close Equality Gap
Sonali Basak – Bloomberg
Evercore Inc. Chief Executive Officer Ralph Schlosstein said wealthy people in America should expect to pay higher taxes to close the income gap getting exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Lagarde Warns EU Leaders of Market Risks if No Stimulus Deal
Viktoria Dendrinou, Boris Groendahl, and John Follain – Bloomberg
European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde warned national leaders that the recent calm in financial markets is in part because investors have priced in action from governments.

China says arbitrary decoupling by U.S. not realistic or wise
China said on Friday that any decision by the United States to arbitrarily decouple from China would not be realistic or wise, responding to renewed threats by U.S. President Donald Trump to cut ties with Beijing.

Trump administration’s ‘sloppy’ work has led to Supreme Court losses
Lawrence Hurley – Reuters
The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling stopping President Donald Trump from rescinding protections for “Dreamers” immigrants marked the second time in a year that he lost a major case because Chief Justice John Roberts faulted his administration for sloppiness in the policymaking process.

Congressional Watchdog Asks If Fed Should Stop Bond Buying
Laura Davison and Saleha Mohsin – Bloomberg
U.S. taps just $6.7 billion of $500 billion rescue package; Oversight panel to meet with Fed, Treasury this month
Pandemic relief efforts by the Treasury and the Federal Reserve boosted the corporate bond market, but may be falling short in helping small business and state and local governments get access to loans, according to a report from a bipartisan congressional watchdog.


Commerzbank to pay £38m in fines for AML failures
Verdict Staff
Germany’s Commerzbank has agreed to pay £38m ($47.5m) in fines for anti-money laundering (AML) failures over a period of five years. The bank was fined by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which warned the bank thrice to put money-laundering controls in place.

U.S. slaps sanctions on Mexican firms, individuals linked to Venezuelan oil trade
Daphne Psaledakis, Marianna Parraga – Reuters
The United States on Thursday blacklisted Mexico’s Libre Abordo and a related company, accusing them of helping Caracas evade U.S. sanctions in the first formal action by the U.S. Treasury Department against Mexican firms involved in trading Venezuelan oil.

CFTC to Hold an Open Commission Meeting on June 25
Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Heath P. Tarbert today announced the CFTC will hold an open meeting on Thursday, June 25, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. (EDT). The meeting will be held via conference call in accordance with the agency’s implementation of social distancing due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

Deutsche Bank to Pay Over $10 Million to Settle Two CFTC Cases
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission today announced the settlement of two enforcement matters involving Deutsche Bank. In the first matter, Deutsche Bank AG (Deutsche Bank) resolved federal court charges stemming from alleged violations of various swap data reporting and other regulatory violations. In the second matter, the CFTC issued an administrative order against Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. (DBSI), filing and settling charges that two of DBSI’s traders engaged in spoofing. According to the order, DBSI manually placed bids or offers on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) with the intent to cancel those bids or offers before execution, an illegal practice known as spoofing.

ESMA integrates the 2020 IFRS taxonomy into ESEF RTS
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the EU securities markets regulator, today publishes a draft amendment to the Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS) on the European Single Electronic Format (ESEF).

ISDA Create Extends Online Negotiation to New Documents
ISDA and Linklaters have announced they will make three new documentation modules available on ISDA Create during 2020. This expansion will allow users to agree additional documents online, bringing further automation and efficiency to the negotiation of derivatives agreements.

SEC targets fuel company in bailout aid investigation; Connecticut-based FuelCell Energy discloses request for information over PPP loan
Patrick Temple-West and Kadhim Shubber – FT
The US Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating a fuel cell company over its use of government rescue funds, according to the first public company disclosure of such a probe, which comes amid growing regulatory interest in the recipients of government bailouts.

Investing and Trading

Dalio’s Bridgewater Warns of Possible ‘Lost Decade’ for Stocks
William Canny – Bloomberg
Profit margins for U.S. companies may be at risk in long term; Level of corporate debt set to rise because of the pandemic
A reversal of the strong growth seen over the years in U.S. corporate profit margins could lead to a “lost decade” for equity investors, Ray Dalio’s Bridgewater Associates warns. The margins, which have provided a big chunk of the excess return of equities over cash, could face a shift that would go beyond the current cyclical downturn in earnings, Bridgewater analysts wrote in a note to clients dated June 16.

Students Face $10 Trillion in Lost Earnings Due to Pandemic
Eric Martin – Bloomberg
Virus left 1.6 billion students out of school at peak in April; Close to 7 million primary and secondary students may drop out
The current generation of students is at risk of losing $10 trillion in earnings over time due to pandemic-related school closures, the World Bank said. The estimate is based on a five-month school closure, the World Bank said in a report published on Thursday. The virus left 1.6 billion students out of school at the peak of the shutdowns in April. Close to 7 million students may drop out of primary and secondary school as a result of the income shock of the pandemic, the development institution said.

Fear trades and the liquidity show
Michael Mackenzie – FT
A rising count of Covid-19 infections is chipping away at the resilience among investors. Flat equities are accompanied by a firmer US dollar and modest gains for sovereign bonds.

Central Banks Pump More Cash Into Economy to Fight Recession; BOE ramps up stimulus program, while eurozone banks borrow a record amount from the ECB
Jason Douglas and Tom Fairless – WSJ
The Bank of England launched another burst of stimulus and the European Central Bank said lenders across the region had tapped its loan program for a record EUR1.3 trillion ($1.5 trillion), signs that central banks’ efforts to fuel a recovery aren’t yet done.

One Government Bond Market the Rally Didn’t Reach; There are a number of good reasons to expect the Chinese government bond market to provide returns in the long term and diversification in the short term
Mike Bird – WSJ
Even as relations between the U.S. and China deteriorate, threatening economic ties, there is still a long-term opportunity for American investors in the country’s government bond market. Most sovereign bonds, including U.S. Treasurys, have rallied this year as interest rates and growth expectations have plunged. Chinese government bonds have been a notable exception: they have behaved more like their quiescent German or Japanese counterparts.

This Cheap Hedge Could Save Investors Some Grief; The world is in a deflationary chill. It won’t last that long.
John Authers – Bloomberg News
Lead Us Not Into Inflation
The world is in a deflationary dive. There is no chance of a significant resurgence in inflation this year. But there is every chance that we will see it return not long thereafter. Inflation is one of the very few things that it is still cheap to hedge in financial markets. Therefore, this might be a good idea.

IMF says deeper-than-expected contraction in U.S. economy likely in second quarter
A defacto lockdown in the United States has lasted longer than expected despite a rollback in some restrictions on mobility, pointing to a deeper-than-expected contraction in gross domestic product in the second quarter, the IMF said on Thursday.

Opinion: A warning to muni bond investors: Coronavirus recession will decimate state finances
Howard Gold – MarketWatch
The effects of the coronavirus pandemic have spread widely, causing over 100,000 deaths in the U.S., massive disruptions to the global economy and the loss, however briefly, of some 40 million jobs.


Robinhood says experiencing major trading outage
Robinhood Markets Inc, the fintech startup credited with helping popularize trading with millennials, said on Thursday it was experiencing a “major outage” in equities and options trading, as well as “degraded performance” in cryptocurrency trading.

Startup led by ex-Goldman Sachs HR chief launches diversity and inclusion index
Anna Irrera, Imani Moise – Reuters
Eskalera, a technology startup led by Goldman Sachs former human resources head Dane Holmes, has launched an index to measure corporate diversity and inclusiveness, the firm said on Thursday.

Goldman Sachs Announces Fund for Racial Equity Grant Recipients; To Deploy Funds to Organizations Across Four Key Themes
Goldman Sachs
Goldman Sachs today announced grant recipients of the Goldman Sachs Fund for Racial Equity, which was created to support the vital work of leading organizations addressing racial injustice, structural inequity and economic disparity.

Bankers hunt for NY-listed Chinese companies to bring ‘home’ to HK; JD.com’s $4bn secondary offering this week could lead to many more, say advisers
Hudson Lockett and Primrose Riordan, Mercedes Ruehl and Eric Platt – FT
Bankers are pitching “homecoming” offerings to dozens of Chinese companies listed on Wall Street, as tensions between Beijing and Washington threaten the future of shares worth an estimated $1tn.

ING Names Insider Van Rijswijk as CEO to Drive Online Push
Ruben Munsterman – Bloomberg
Dutch bank chooses veteran risk officer to replace Hamers; CEO’s investment bank experience may signal strategy shift
ING Groep NV appointed risk head and ex-investment banker Steven van Rijswijk chief executive officer, electing an insider to steer the Dutch bank through the recession and boost profitability from its push into digital banking.

‘What We Do Not Do’: New Goldman Credit Fund Swears Off Hardball
Erik Schatzker – Bloomberg
Seeks to capitalize on disruptions without ‘vulture’ tactics; Aiming for $10 billion to deploy and 20% gross returns
The scrappy world of distressed-debt investing has become even more adversarial in the pandemic era, with borrowers battling creditors and creditors battling one another. It’s no place for Goldman Sachs Group Inc. The bank spells this out clearly in marketing materials for its new opportunistic credit fund under the heading, “What We Do/What We Do Not Do.” While determined to capitalize on the distortions created by Covid-19 with a war chest of $5 billion to $10 billion, Goldman says it won’t “act as vulture investors.”

Deutsche Bank in $10 million settlement for reporting violations and spoofing; The US derivatives watchdog said Deutsche Bank will settle two cases related to a technical outage of its swap reporting platform and alleged spoofing.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Deutsche Bank will pay $10 million to settle two enforcement actions from the US derivatives watchdog for allegedly engaging in spoofing and violating swap data reporting requirements.


Another German Financial Giant Falls From Grace; First Deutsche Bank had to rein in its global ambitions; now Wirecard can’t find more than $2 billion in cash
Stephen Wilmot – WSJ
Germany hasn’t had much luck with its would-be financial giants. Deutsche Bank has had to massively rein in its global ambitions. Now Wirecard WDI -34.12% can’t find more than $2 billion of cash.

He Was a Debt Collector at Age 12. Now He Chases $20 Billion
Suvashree Ghosh and Anto Antony – Bloomberg
Setty got back money owed to his father, who ran grocery store; SBI managing director heads recovery of India bank’s bad loans
From the age of 12, Challa Sreenivasulu Setty spent his school vacations collecting debts for his father’s grocery store in the small south Indian village of Potlapadu. It was harvest season, and Setty would go around the village’s 150 households, recovering money owed by farmers from earlier in the year. He and his brother each had a list of people who owed cash, and would visit them one by one.

U.S. Meat Plants Are Deadly as Ever, With No Incentive to Change; The industry has long been functionally unregulated. With OSHA asleep on the job, the pandemic has put workers at even higher risk.
Polly Mosendz, Peter Waldman, Lydia Mulvany – Bloomberg
Stephanie Morales was weighing her coronavirus symptoms against an 8-pound hunk of fancy steak. That Saturday in April, her bosses at the JBS meatpacking plant in Cactus, Texas, had promised their 3,000 employees that anyone who worked that day would receive half of an Angus rib-eye. At the typical $9 a pound or more, this bonus equaled at least half a day’s wages for her and many other workers at the plant, where the pay starts at $16.20 an hour. She decided she couldn’t pass up the deal. Morales, 25, had had a fever the previous weekend, and that Thursday she’d vomited at the plant during her break. But when she went to see the nurses, they took her vitals, said she was fine, and sent her back to work. Morales planned to tough it out.

Killing Bank Profits Is a Pretty Desperate Move; Asking lenders to pass on their earnings to support small businesses shows China’s financial system was failing in the first place.
Anjani Trivedi – Bloomberg
China’s banks are once again being asked to martyr themselves to the economy, forgoing profits to redirect funds toward capital-starved businesses. This won’t resolve the web of problems the financial system is caught up in. The State Council has urged banks to return 1.5 trillion yuan ($211 billion) to the real economy in the form of low-cost loans to small and medium companies. That’s a big ask, amounting to about 75% of net profit, almost a quarter of revenue and 9% of capital buffers, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. In theory, it will save billions of dollars of interest expense for companies by pushing down implied lending rates. In reality, Beijing is acknowledging the deep dysfunction in its financial system and smacks of desperation.

Nordic co-operation crumbles at the Norway-Sweden border; Shopping centre built to attract cross-trade suffers plummeting sales during crisis
Richard Milne – FT
Sweden never entered into coronavirus-induced lockdown, but for the country’s biggest shopping centre it has made little difference: sales have plummeted 95 per cent.

Hop industry risks collapse as pub shutdowns hit demand; Brewers left with a surplus because of Covid-19 are unwilling to sign up for 2021 crop
Judith Evans and Alice Hancock – FT
The centuries-old UK hop growing industry is at risk of collapse after the months-long closure of pubs during the lockdown left brewers unwilling to buy next year’s crop.

India rethinks strategic ties following border clashes with China
Amy Kazmin in New Delhi, Tom Mitchell in Singapore and Katrina Manson in Washington DC – The Financial Times
Over the past few years, Indian prime minister Narendra Modi has assiduously courted China’s President Xi Jinping, setting aside a long-simmering boundary dispute to pursue deeper economic ties. Chinese firms — including Alibaba, Tencent, and Huawei — have gained a strong foothold in India’s burgeoning market.
But following a vicious brawl in the Himalayan mountains that killed at least 20 Indian soldiers on the remote Sino-Indian border this week, senior Indian government officials say New Delhi will steadily pare back its economic ties with China.

Hong Kong Bankruptcy Filings Surge to 17-Year High
Bloomberg News
Petitions for bankruptcy in the city jumped to 2,079 in May; Recent easing of pandemic restrictions has helped some sectors
Hong Kong bankruptcy filings surged to a 17-year high after the coronavirus pandemic pushed an economy already reeling from months of protests deeper into recession. Petitions for bankruptcy jumped to 2,079 last month, the most since May 2003, according to statistics posted on the Official Receiver’s Office website.


UK Tells EU on Brexit: We Won’t Hang Around Too Much Longer
THE European Union must intensify Brexit free trade talks as the United Kingdom will not hang around and wait for talks to be dragged out to the end of the year, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said on Thursday.

Wall Street Banks Prepping Brexit Moves Get ECB Relief For Virus
Silla Brush – Bloomberg
Wall Street banks are getting a bit of Brexit relief from the European Central Bank as they step up preparations to move business from London.
The ECB said it’s taking into account the challenges of relocating during the coronavirus to offices in Frankfurt, Paris and across the European Union. With a year-end deadline for a Brexit trade deal looming, U.S. banks are reactivating plans to expand offices within the EU.


Google attacked by publishers for refusing to pay for news that helps it draw traffic, fuel advertising business
Alphabet’s Google has used its dominance to strong-arm news organisations into giving up their content without adequate compensation, a trade group for publishers said in a report to the Justice Department, which is investigating the internet giant for potential antitrust violations.

U.S. Ranked Worst for Workers’ Rights Among Major Economies
Fergal O’Brien and Zoe Schneeweiss – Bloomberg
The U.S. has the worst record among major developed countries when it comes to workers’ rights, according to a survey of labor unions.
The world’s largest economy is ranked a 4 in a scale by the International Trade Union Congress, meaning there are “systematic violations of rights.” Every other Group of Seven country ranks 3 or better.

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