What the Future May Hold for the Coronavirus and Us

Oct 12, 2021

First Read

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Hits & Takes
John Lothian & JLN Staff

The Becker Friedman Institute at the University of Chicago is holding a virtual seminar titled “Capital Market Development: China and Asia Seminar Series – Understanding Retail Investors: Evidence from China.” The seminar is on October 13, 2021 from 9 p.m. to p.m. CDT. Find more information HERE.

CME Group is also holding an online event on Wednesday, October 13, this one titled “The Benefits of Micro Futures in Portfolio Management.” The event will be at 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. CT. More details are available HERE.

Rosenblatt continues to invest in their research-driven platform and has several positions open for senior analyst roles in the tech space. You can see these jobs, and more, at www.rblt.com/jobs.

John McKinlay has moved to the OCC as executive principal and associate general counsel. Previously he was director and assistant general counsel at the CME Group.

There were no new donations to the JLN MarketsWiki Education GoFundMe campaign yesterday.

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


Morningstar has reviewed U.S. equity market performance by sector during the rocky month of September with some interesting results. According to Morningstar’s index calculations, U.S. Large-Mid Broad Growth Index fell 5.9% in September, although growth stocks led value stocks for the first three quarters of the year. Small-cap value is the best performing corner of the market in 2021 so far, the company found, with the Morningstar U.S. Small Cap Broad Value Extended Index up 23% year-to-date through September 30. High-tech, large-cap companies, which hold top weightings in Morningstar’s broad growth index, led the market lower in September, with Microsoft, Facebook and Alphabet all posting losses for the month. Additional analysis can be found here. ~SC


Past Pandemics Remind Us Covid Will Be an Era, Not a Crisis That Fades
Gina Kolata – NY Times
The skeletons move across a barren landscape toward the few helpless and terrified people still living. The scene, imagined in a mid-16th-century painting, “The Triumph of Death” by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, illuminated the psychic impact of the bubonic plague. It was a terror that lingered even as the disease receded, historians say.

***** I have lived through many eras, including the bell bottom era and the Earth Shoe era. The latter was very difficult as I grew 10 inches in 18 months during that era. I survived the previous eras and plan on surviving this one too.~JJL


Everything you need to know about DeFi
John Detrixhe – Quartz
The term decentralized finance, or DeFi, goes back to a Telegram chat in 2018. That’s when a group of software developers and entrepreneurs were trying to decide what to call their movement of new-breed financial services that would be automated, built on a blockchain, and capable of stripping out traditional banks.

***** I learned everything I needed to know about defying from a 3-year-old.~JJL


Avocado Glut Swamps Australia and Prices Are Plunging
Sybilla Gross – Bloomberg
Drop in demand comes amid record avocado crop in Australia; Markets like Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore soak up some supply
Australia is swimming in avocados thanks to bumper harvests and months of stay-at-home orders that have kept people away from cafe brunches. Once considered a symbol of lavishness on the brunch menu, avocado prices in Australia more than halved from around A$3 ($2.21) a piece to around A$1 this year — a trend that looks set to stay.

****If there were avocado futures, they would trade in a pit in Chicago and would be a great spread market.~JJL


Monday’s Top Three
Our top story Monday was Traders at banks fear missing out on the crypto party, from The Financial Times. Second was Five Traders Tell Us How to Survive a World of Disrupted Markets from Bloomberg News. Third was Rohit Chopra is going to rock the financial world, from The Financial Times. (Rohit Chopra was also our MarketsWiki Page of the Day on Monday.)


MarketsWiki Stats
26,633 pages; 235,999 edits
MarketsWiki Statistics


Lead Stories

What the Future May Hold for the Coronavirus and Us; Viral evolution is a long game. Here’s where scientists think we could be headed.
Emily Anthes – NY Times
On Jan. 9, 2020, about a week after the world first learned of a mysterious cluster of pneumonia cases in central China, authorities announced that scientists had found the culprit: a novel coronavirus. It was a sobering announcement, and an unnervingly familiar one. Nearly two decades earlier, a different coronavirus had hurdled over the species barrier and sped around the world, causing a lethal new disease called severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS. The virus, which became known as SARS-CoV, killed 774 people before health officials contained it.

Record number of women opening retail investing accounts
Ines Ferré – Yahoo Finance
More women than ever are taking part in retail investing, with a participation spike during the pandemic. A Fidelity study shows unprecedented growth in women opening retail investment accounts ,with a record 43% year-over-year increase since last summer. Millennials are the ones driving the upward trend.

Hohn vs Odey: the hedge fund battle for the planet; Heavyweight investors clash over approach on climate change and companies
Patrick Jenkins – FT
It’s not exactly Tyson Fury vs Anthony Joshua. But in a hedge fund heavyweight contest, with stakes that don’t get much higher, Mayfair investment giants Chris Hohn and Crispin Odey are scrapping over the survival of the planet.

EU rushes to avert new rules on failed trades; Banks and investors have warned over impact of ‘buy-in’ regime for trade slip-ups
Philip Stafford and Laura Noonan – FT
Brussels is racing to delay the introduction of new rules on trades that fail to settle, with banks and asset managers uncertain if they need to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on compliance with standards likely to be rewritten. EU country representatives will meet this week to discuss a route through the Brussels legislative process to halt the arrival of the contentious rules, which market participants have warned would harm the region’s capital markets, and hit investors around the world.

Bond platform Trumid raises $208m as Wall St bets on electronic trading; Backers for start-up include Point Break Capital Management, BlackRock and TPG
Joe Rennison – FT
Start-up trading platform Trumid has announced a $208m capital boost from several Wall Street investors, hoping to benefit from a pandemic-driven surge in electronic bond trading as it seeks to use technology to change the way corporate debt is bought and sold. Point Break Capital Management led the equity fundraising, with significant investment also provided by tech-focused private equity firm Motive Partners, which recently sold a 24.9 per cent stake in itself to Apollo Global Management.

London Bankers Hit a Coffee High as Offices Fill Up
Thomas Buckley and Jeremy Scott Diamond – Bloomberg
More bankers in London’s financial districts are buying lattes and returning to their desks every week. The city’s main cinema, theatre and shopping district also shows ever-increasing signs of normality, with Pret A Manger Ltd.’s sales in the West End now even higher than they were before Covid-19. The same buoyancy hasn’t yet returned to New York, where cappuccino sales near Wall Street actually fell last week despite plans at several financial firms to restaff offices, according to Bloomberg’s Pret Index.

Return of Office Workers Reaches Pandemic High as Employees Trickle In; More businesses plan fall reopenings with Covid-19 caseloads in decline
Peter Grant – WSJ
A widely anticipated surge in employees returning to the office after Labor Day never materialized. But as Covid-19 infection rates fall again, workers are trickling back to the office at the highest rate since the pandemic began. Office-building use has been slowly rising after a number of businesses required employees to return at least part of the week. In other cases, workers are returning voluntarily with summer vacations over and their children back in school.

FSB publishes final report with policy proposals to enhance money market fund resilience
The Financial Stability Board (FSB) today published its final report with policy proposals to enhance money market fund (MMF) resilience. The report, which was delivered to the G20, is a key deliverable for 2021 of the FSB’s work programme on non-bank financial intermediation. The policy proposals in the report aim to address systemic risks and minimise the need for future extraordinary central bank interventions to support the sector.

Pandemics, people power and ‘pitchforks’ on an executive MBA; An FT director set out to hone financial skills but an EMBA brought home the centrality of human connections
James Lamont – FT
Five months after graduation in Providence, Rhode Island, my executive MBA classmates are still hard at it: being a positive force in each others’ lives. Look no further than the chirruping on the WhatsApp group. At first, I found it millennial. Then it dawned on me that I was part of a highly diverse, life-affirming community that was changing me for the better.

Dimon Sees Crypto Headed Toward U.S. Regulation: IIF Update
Stefania Spezzati and Hannah Levitt – Bloomberg
War for tech talent ‘off the charts,’ Barclays CEO Staley says; Santander staff could work in office 70% of time, Botin says
JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon said that cryptocurrencies are going to be regulated as anxiety around stablecoins and the asset class more broadly has been growing in Washington. “Blockchain can be real, stablecoins can be real,” Dimon said at the Institute of International Finance annual membership meeting, held virtually again this year. “No matter what anyone in the room thinks, nor what any libertarian thinks, nor what anyone thinks about it, government’s going to regulate it.”

Ministers plan to overhaul capital raising rules to boost London market; Review will seek to include more retail investors in secondary placings
Daniel Thomas – FT
Ministers are planning to make it easier for UK-listed companies to raise capital as part of a wide-ranging strategy to boost London’s stock market after Brexit. Officials want to give companies more options to tap into deeper pools of money when raising funds through so-called secondary transactions such as selling new shares in a rights issue. They are also seeking to help companies access a more diverse range of investors.

The kids are alright: finance’s old guard sees generational change
John Mccrank – Reuters
When Wall Street veterans gathered this week for one of their first in-person conferences since the pandemic began, the focus, on emerging issues from “meme stocks,” to cryptocurrencies and free trading apps, signaled a new era for the world of finance.

Major coffee buyers face losses as Colombia farmers fail to deliver
Maytaal Angel – Reuters
Coffee farmers in Colombia, the world’s No. 2 arabica producer, have failed to deliver up to 1 million bags of beans this year or nearly 10% of the country’s crop, leaving exporters, traders and roasters facing steep losses, industry sources told Reuters.

Money laundering more prevalent in real estate than anywhere else
Lew Sichelman – Miami Herald
Money laundering finds many avenues. Money gained from illicit activities by terrorists, drug lords, arms dealers and other criminals is washed through car sales, yacht purchases, jewelry and art acquisitions, and deposits in banks that — wink, wink — look the other way, even in sports betting.


European Leveraged Finance Association Partners with Rise Well on Mental Health Initiative
European Leveraged Finance Association
The European Leveraged Finance Association (ELFA) has partnered with Rise Well, a Wellbeing & Happiness Consultancy, to create a programme aimed at supporting and educating its members on mental health and wellbeing. The ELFA Wellbeing & Mental Health Initiative, overseen by the Diversity & Inclusion Committee, will provide members with additional support to complement their employer’s existing wellbeing programme. Key elements of the programme have been specifically designed to help members adjust to the new hybrid working format following the pandemic and to cope with any challenges this might create.

UK’s early herd immunity strategy was ‘public health failure’, Covid report finds; MPs accuse ministers and scientific advisers of ‘group think’ and ignoring effective action in other countries
Clive Cookson and Laura Hughes – FT
The British government and scientists made a fatalistic decision by backing a strategy that amounted to “herd immunity” in the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic, costing many thousands of lives in “one of the most important public health failures the United Kingdom has ever experienced”, a parliamentary inquiry has concluded.

Lessons for all from the UK’s Covid mishandling; Politicians and scientists succumbed to a flawed, fatalistic groupthink
The editorial board – FT
Even as the world grappled with how to respond to coronavirus early last year, the UK’s bungled efforts held a grim fascination for many other countries. A nation that is one of the world’s most mature democracies and prided itself on the quality of its governance ended up with one of the highest death tolls per capita of any big economy, its fumbling equalled perhaps only by the US. The first official report into what went wrong, a joint inquiry by two MPs’ committees, sheds valuable, if damning, light. It holds lessons not just for Britain but for others on how better to confront future health emergencies.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

SIX Launches Tax on Instrument Service to Streamline Wealth Advisory Decisions
SIX today launches its “SIX Tax on Instrument” service to provide client advisors and portfolio managers in the Wealth Advisory industry with tax classifications on individual securities. The service allows users to analyse the tax consequences of financial products, to anticipate the tax-related costs of an investment on that security and to find better investment options.

New interim CEO at Nord Pool
Nord Pool
Nord Pool announced today that Fredrik Bomstad, currently CFO of Nord Pool, is appointed interim CEO, following the resignation of CEO Kari Ekelund Thørud. The Board of Directors will now start the recruitment process to get a permanent CEO in place. Chris Topple, CEO Euronext London, Global Head of Sales Euronext, and Chairman of the Board at Nord Pool, said: “I wish to thank Kari for her significant contribution to the development of Nord Pool and for her commitment to the integration of Nord Pool within Euronext since the completion of the acquisition of Nord Pool by Euronext in January 2020. Having led the company through transitional times, Kari made Nord Pool consistently deliver excellent economic results, creating significant value for all its stakeholders. The Board of Nord Pool wishes her warm thanks for her hard work and commitment, and all the best for her future career steps”.

ICE’s ESG Reference Data service integrates with GoldenSource ESG Impact; New integration will allow clients to quickly access critical ESG metrics.
Wesley Bray – The Trade
ICE has partnered with GoldenSource to integrate its ESG Reference Data service with GoldenSource ESG Impact, which provides ESG data for buy-side and sell-side investors. Detailed ESG information and analytics are offered through ICE’s ESG Reference Data service, which can be essential for investment decisions, risk management, regulatory reporting, and meeting sustainability goals.

Notification of Issue, Conversion or Payment up of Unquoted Equity Securities

SGX reports market statistics for September 2021
SGX remains go-to venue for managing China portfolio investments;Securities market turnover value rises to four-month high
Singapore Exchange (SGX) today released its market statistics for September 2021. Concern over heightened regulatory risks in China spurred volume gains in SGX’s suite of China-access products, while supply-chain bottlenecks in commodity markets fueled derivative hedging in both cargo and freight.

New MOC To Bring TSX In Line With Global Standards
Anna Lyudvig – Traders Magazine
The upcoming change in the TMX closing auction mechanism will mean smoother execution of inter-listed securities and will potentially make it more attractive for listings, according to Carrie Freeborough, SVP, Head of Trading at Mackenzie Investments.

— Delisting of Two (2) Natural Gas (Platts IFERC) Futures Contracts — CME
— Performance Bond Requirements: FX Futures Spot Charge Rates – Effective Wednesday, October 13, 2021 — CME
— OTC IRS Production Advisory – EUR EURSTR Curve Change — CME
— NProduct Modification Summary: Delisting of Two (2) Natural Gas (Platts IFERC) Futures Contracts — CME


The Federation of Euro-Asian Stock Exchanges (FEAS) in Cooperation with KRM22 published a Whitepaper on Risk-Based Performance Management Methodology
The Federation of Euro-Asian Stock Exchanges (FEAS) in Cooperation with KRM22 today published a Whitepaper on Risk-Based Performance Management Methodology. The purpose of this paper is to introduce Risk-Based Performance Management (RBPM), a strategic management methodology that integrates strategy and risk management via risk appetite.

Over 1,800 Firms Agree To Leverage U.S. Institutional Trade Matching Capabilities In DTCC’s CTM
Mondovisione – DTCC
The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC), the premier post-trade market infrastructure for the global financial services industry, today announced that the community leveraging DTCC’s Central Trade Manager (CTM) service for U.S. domestic trade matching has grown to over 1,800 firms, as organizations further consolidate global post-trade flows on a single platform. With this adoption, 99% of U.S. trade flow volumes on the legacy DTCC OASYS service have migrated or are in the process of migrating to CTM.
CTM, DTCC’s platform for the central matching of cross-border and domestic transactions, automates the trade confirmation process across multiple asset classes, including equities, fixed income, repurchase agreements (repos) and listed options.

CSG Acquires DGIT Systems, Enhances Ease of Delivery and Monetization of Digital Ecosystems; Enhanced quote and order capabilities enable communication service providers to quickly bring dynamic content ecosystems to market, boosting customer acquisition, loyalty and satisfaction
CSG® (NASDAQ: CSGS) is transforming the way companies engage with their customers by arming today’s leading brands with future-ready, innovative solutions that drive extraordinary customer experiences. Today the company announced the acquisition of DGIT Systems, a provider of configure, price and quote (CPQ) and order management solutions for the telecoms industry. The acquisition brings together industry leading solutions specifically designed to streamline the complexities of commercializing the next era of multi-party digital offerings that will drive business growth for communications service providers (CSPs).

ProMEX selects Exberry as core matching engine for its digital marketplace for physical commodities; Exberry provides scalable infrastructure at the heart of ProMEX’ groundbreaking trading platform
Exberry, the exchange technology pioneer, is providing its “Marketplace as a Service” technology at the heart of ProMEX, the digital marketplace for physical commodities. The new technology partnership will enable ProMEX to create new products and markets at speed, and securely offer trading in a wide variety of commodities in new ways.

TP ICAP’s Parameta Solutions launches post-trade analytics platform; New platform offers trading cost analysis and best execution in corporate, agency, government and supranational bonds to both the buy- and sell-side.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
TP ICAP’s data and analytics division, Parameta Solutions, has launched a post-trade analytics platform aimed at improving execution across the street. Named Trading Analytics, the new platform allows the buy- and sell-side to monitor and improve execution prices in the bonds market.


A Pentagon official said he resigned because US cybersecurity is no match for China, calling it ‘kindergarten level’
Bill Bostock – Business Insider
A senior cybersecurity official at the Pentagon said he quit because he thought it was impossible for the US to compete with China on AI.
Nicolas Chaillan joined the US Air Force as its first chief software officer in August 2018. He worked to equip it and the Pentagon with the most secure and advanced software available.

The Best Cybersecurity Strategy: Comprehensive Asset Management
It’s not a sexy, cutting-edge algorithm, but research shows comprehensive asset management is your best tool to mitigate the most commonly exploited vulnerabilities.
A Joint Cybersecurity Advisory, authored by the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC), the United Kingdom’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), and the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), presented the top 30 vulnerabilities routinely exploited in 2020. The importance of keeping software assets patched and compliant becomes abundantly clear.

Cybersecurity Is A Journey, Not A Destination
Mathieu Gorge – Forbes
An organization’s security training program is their first line of defense when it comes to fending off a cyber-attack. In the 2021, Data Breach Investigations Report from Verizon, 85% of breaches involved the human element. Furthermore, there was an increase of 11% of breaches including phishing campaigns. It’s been talked about time and again that people are the weakest link in the security chain, hence why companies rely heavily on security training. These training engagements showcase to employees the dangers, risks, and consequences of accidentally clicking an unknown link or divulging sensitive information over email. I’ve always said, security is a journey and not a destination, and when it comes to security awareness training, this is the mindset organizations must have moving forward.

Google creates cybersecurity team to respond to increased hacks
Maggie Miller – The Hill
Google on Tuesday announced the creation of a new cybersecurity team to help respond to attacks against governments and other critical groups, along with a new program to help strengthen the cybersecurity of businesses.
The Google Cybersecurity Action Team will be made up of company cybersecurity experts, and will provide customers with incident response services, advisory services for security plans, and ways to deploy Google Cloud in a secure way that will make it more difficult for these customers to be successfully targeted by hackers.

“Safe Harbor” Ports in a Cybersecurity Litigation Storm
Hannah Oswald and Molly McGinnis Stine – JDSupra
Every organization with an online presence needs to continuously think about its cybersecurity. The number of cyberattacks spiked significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic with an estimated global loss of nearly $1 trillion.[1] These assaults are expected to keep increasing and some reports estimate that cybercrime will cost the world $10.5 trillion annually by 2025.[2] Cyberattacks are very costly for companies not only in terms of monetary losses, but also in terms of reputational damage, lost time, and exposure to potential lawsuits.


JPMorgan’s Dimon blasts bitcoin as ‘worthless’, due for regulation
Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan Chase & Co chief executive, said on Monday at a conference that cryptocurrencies will be regulated by governments and that he personally thinks bitcoin is “worthless.”

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon says ‘bitcoin is worthless’ amid crypto bull run; ‘Our clients are adults. They disagree. That’s what makes markets,’ Dimon said.
Frances Yue – MarketWatch
“I personally think that bitcoin is worthless,” Jamie Dimon, chief executive officer of JPMorgan Chase (JPM) said Monday, reiterating a past remark. “So, if they want to have access to buy yourself bitcoin, we can’t custody it, but we could give them legitimate, as clean as possible, access.” JPMorgan started giving its wealth-management clients access to crypto funds in July.

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon questions 21 million bitcoin cap
Brian Cheung – Yahoo Finance
Jamie Dimon, the CEO of the largest U.S. bank, took another jab at bitcoin bulls on Monday, alleging that the cryptocurrency may not be limited in quantity. “I’ll just challenge the group to one other thing: how do you know it ends at 21 million? You all read the algorithms? You guys all believe that? I don’t know, I’ve always been a skeptic of stuff like that,” said the JPMorgan Chase (JPM) CEO at an Institute for International Finance event on Oct. 11.

FTX US Launches FTX NFTs; New NFT marketplace allows for Solana tokens to be minted, held, authenticated and traded on a US-regulated platform
West Realm Shires Services Inc. (“FTX US” or “the Company”), a leading US-regulated cryptocurrency exchange, today announced the launch of FTX NFTs (“the Marketplace”). The Marketplace will allow FTX US users to mint NFTs, transfer existing NFTs to the Marketplace and provide project creators with full control over the NFT’s life cycle. The platform will initially support NFTs on the Solana blockchain, and plans to roll out support for Ethereum NFTs in the near future.

Crypto lender Celsius Network raises $400m as regulatory pressure grows; Management hopes investment will open doors in mainstream financial markets
Kadhim Shubber and Joshua Oliver – FT
Cryptocurrency lending platform Celsius Network has raised $400m in new equity funding from investors as it grapples with mounting scrutiny from US regulators towards crypto businesses.

Coinbase and UnitedMasters have partnered to pay artists in cryptocurrencies for their music
Natasha Dailey – Business Insider
Coinbase and music distributor UnitedMasters have partnered to pay artists in cryptocurrency for their music, the companies said Tuesday. Artists can choose to be paid in US dollars in full, partly in US dollars, or in the cryptocurrency of their choosing, through Coinbase’s payroll product, UnitedMasters said in its press release, adding that artists “can now take part in a more equitable, decentralized and transparent economic system.”

Coinbase users slam new customer service phone support: ‘It was a joke’
Scott Zamost – CNBC
After thousands of customer service complaints, Coinbase started a new live phone support line. But numerous customers remain frustrated with the company after its latest effort to address their concerns.

Crypto trading thrives in Nigeria despite official disapproval
Chijioke Ohuocha, Libby George – Reuters
Nigerian art dealer Ebuka Joseph started using cryptocurrencies last year when business ground to a halt due to COVID-19. Now he is hooked even though the financial authorities disapprove.


Brexit Is Back With a Vengeance
Joe Mayes, Jorge Valero Galarreta and Alberto Nardelli – Bloomberg
Tensions rising over threats to suspend N. Ireland protocol; EU may retaliate with tariffs if U.K. rows back on Brexit deal
The U.K. and the European Union are preparing for a fresh clash over Brexit this week, with both sides set to unveil major policy proposals related to Northern Ireland. When Britain’s Brexit minister David Frost delivers a speech in Lisbon on Tuesday, he’ll call for “a significant change” to the Northern Ireland Protocol, the agreement reached by the EU and U.K. last year as part of the divorce deal. The protocol requires custom checks between Northern Ireland and the British mainland, allowing the U.K. to shed EU regulations while avoiding a hard customs border on the island of Ireland.

Sunak considers rescue plan for UK sectors hit by energy crisis; Kwarteng submits formal proposal to Treasury on loans and other support after Johnson calls end to dispute
George Parker, Sylvia Pfeifer, Harry Dempsey, Emiko Terazono and Peggy Hollinger – FT
Chancellor Rishi Sunak is considering a rescue plan to help the steel industry and other energy-intensive sectors through a winter of soaring gas prices, a day after Treasury insiders said no such proposal was being discussed.

Embattled IMF Chief to Stay Following Investigation Into World Bank Data Rigging; Kristalina Georgieva will remain at the helm of the International Monetary Fund, which has been damaged by scrutiny
Josh Zumbrun – WSJ
The executive board of the International Monetary Fund said it has full confidence in Kristalina Georgieva as its managing director, putting an end to weeks of uncertainty while the board investigated her role in a data-manipulation scandal at the World Bank, where she had been chief executive. The investigation centered on whether Ms. Georgieva had tried to boost China’s standing in a high-profile World Bank report.


Facebook Claims Test SEC’s Reach; Whistleblower allegations don’t resemble a typical securities-fraud case, but the pressure to investigate is strong
Dave Michaels – WSJ
The controversy over what Facebook Inc. has said about social and emotional hazards stemming from its products could become a test of regulators’ growing interest in policing corporate risks that hurt reputations more than profits. The Securities and Exchange Commission has been communicating with attorneys for Frances Haugen, the former Facebook product manager who blew the whistle on the company’s efforts to grapple with problems it played down in public, according to John Napier Tye, a lawyer representing her. Facebook didn’t respond to a request for comment and the SEC declined to confirm whether it is probing Ms. Haugen’s allegations.

ASIC cancels AFS licence of Vanda Russell Gould
ASIC has cancelled the Australian financial service (AFS) licence of Vanda Russell Gould. ASIC cancelled the licence because the licensee failed to maintain external dispute resolution membership with the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA), and had failed to lodge profit and loss statements and balance sheets for financial years ended 30 June 2019 and 30 June 2020.

Notification to parties regarding Jane Rosemary Flegg
On 20 July 2016, the Federal Court made Asset Preservations Orders against Jane Rosemary Flegg, former company secretary of Continental Coal Ltd (in liquidation). ASIC wishes to notify the public that the Asset Preservation Orders against Ms Flegg may be discharged.

ESMA Publishes Final Report For STS Synthetic Securitisation Notifications
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the EU’s securities markets regulator, has submitted its Final Report on technical standards specifying content and format of the STS notification for on-balance sheet securitisations (synthetic securitisations) to the European Commission.

Investing and Trading

Currency Traders Are Betting the Bank of England Is About to Make a Mistake
William Shaw and Greg Ritchie – Bloomberg
Wagers on sterling’s drop grew at fastest pace since 2019; RBC sees pound down at $1.30 by year-end on incomes squeeze
Bets against the pound are intensifying amid speculation that any Bank of England efforts to curb inflation would darken the outlook for growth and consumer sentiment.

Cyclone Closes One of World’s Busiest Ports, Creating Ship Traffic Jam
Aaron Clark and Kevin Varley – Bloomberg
Shenzhen’s Yantian Port suspends container pick-up, drop-off; Tropical Cyclone Kompasu approaches southern China coastline
The number of vessels waiting to enter one of the world’s busiest ports jumped to the most since August, threatening to further snarl global supply chains strained by a surge in consumer demand for everything from cars to computers.

Diversifying your portfolio in a changing world; Short-term cash and exposure to foodstuffs and oil could help, but betting on gold looks risky
Maike Currie – FT
Every investor worth their salt knows that diversification is the key to giving your portfolio some protection against the inevitable ups and downs of markets. It’s a simple but important point about eggs and baskets.

Some Investors Find Stability in SPACs; Mania for blank-check companies and subsequent selloff has created what some see as an alternative to short-term bonds
Sam Goldfarb – WSJ
Shares of special-purpose acquisition companies have lost their luster for those who recently saw them as a ticket to fast riches. That is good news for a different group of investors, who treat them as an alternative to bonds. Known on Wall Street as SPAC arbitrage, the trade has become turbocharged of late—thanks in equal parts to the day-trader-fueled craze for special-purpose acquisition companies that materialized late last year and the more-recent slump in SPAC demand.

Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance

Why Some Surprising Countries Are Setting Net-Zero Goals; Turkey and UAE have pledged to end their contribution to climate change, and even Russia is said to be considering it
Akshat Rathi – Bloomberg
Russia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, three of the world’s most fossil-fuel reliant countries, signaled last week that they could be net-zero within decades.

COP26 President Says G-20 Summit Is ‘Make or Break’ for Climate
Bess Shankleman – Bloomberg
Alok Sharma wants COP26 talks to consign coal to history; Energy crisis shows need for green-power transition: Sharma
COP26 President Alok Sharma told Group of 20 leaders they must act to curb coal consumption at a summit in Rome this month to keep alive the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Pimco Kickstarts UN-Backed African Green Energy Drive
Paul Burkhardt – Bloomberg
UN program designed to develop renewable power in Africa; The transaction is first deal to close in the program
Pacific Investment Management Co. has agreed to lend a South African state development bank 3-billion rand ($210 million), the first deal in a United Nations program to fund green energy in Africa.

Rise of the ‘carbon neutral’ hydrocarbons; Trend of pairing fossil fuel cargoes with offsets draws ‘greenwashing’ claims from environment groups
Camilla Hodgson – FT
Energy buyers are shelling out for natural gas cargoes paired with offsets and branded as “carbon neutral”, in a growing trend that market participants hope will burnish their green credentials but critics say is a false solution.

US and EU-led pledge to slash methane emissions gathers support; Number of backers for the move grows to 34 but major polluters including China, India and Brazil remain absent
Camilla Hodgson – FT
Political support for a global agreement on methane emissions at the UN climate summit is building, as another 25 countries joined the US and EU-led pledge to cut pollution from the potent greenhouse gas.


SocGen to Cut 3,700 Jobs as Part of Domestic Retail Merger
Alexandre Rajbhandari – Bloomberg
Job reductions will not involve compulsory dismissals; Societe Generale, Credit du Nord will legally merge in 2023
Societe Generale SA expects to cut as many as 3,700 jobs as part of a plan announced last year to merge its domestic retail operations and boost profitability.

Hedge fund manager Hohn steps up campaign over banks’ fossil-fuel loans; Billionaire activist lobbies central banks and regulators to address financial risks posed by climate change
Camilla Hodgson – FT
Billionaire hedge fund manager Chris Hohn has stepped up a campaign against the banking industry over its financing of fossil-fuel projects and criticised regulators for “allowing” systemic risk to build as a result.

Wall Street Firm Makes Wager on Carbon-Offset Forests; Oak Hill Advisors is teaming up with Bluesource to buy $500 million worth of woodlands to generate carbon offsets
Ryan Dezember – WSJ
A big player in high finance is hunting for $500 million worth of forestland with the aim of harvesting carbon offsets instead of timber. Oak Hill Advisors LP, which manages $52 billion and is best known as a big debt investor, is teaming up on the venture with Bluesource, a firm that creates and sells carbon credits. The companies said they expect to buy roughly one million acres of North American woodlands and manage the properties to generate so-called forest offsets.

London Office Space Goes Green, Helping Developers Get in the Black; To lure back employees, companies are opting for state-of-the-art buildings with low- or zero-carbon emissions
Ruth Bloomfield – WSJ
Londoners are returning to the office again, and a new wave of green buildings is enabling landlords to charge their tenants a rent premium. To lure back employees, companies are opting for state-of-the-art buildings featuring wellness and leisure facilities with low- or zero-carbon emissions, which younger workers in particular consider vital. Many major U.K. firms also have their own environmental targets to meet.

Industry expert joins BCS Global Markets as new chief risk officer; Incoming chief brings over 20 years’ experience in financial risk management.
Wesley Bray – The Trade
Russian brokerage BCS Global Markets (BCS GM) has appointed a new chief risk officer at BCS UK, as it looks to enhance its risk management framework. Julien Mareschal, who will take on the role, will be based in London, reporting directly to Maxim Safonov, co-CEO of BCS GM, and Martina Atavadzhieva, global head of risk, BCS


Xi Jinping inspects ties between Chinese financial companies and private firms – WSJ
Chinese President Xi Jinping is scrutinizing the ties that the country’s state banks and other financial institutions have developed with big private companies, the Wall Street Journal reported https://www.wsj.com/articles/xi-jinping-scrutinizes-chinese-financial-institutions-ties-with-private-firms-11633972484?mod=djemalertNEWS on Monday, citing people with knowledge of the plan.

China to Expand Anti-Monopoly Bureau as Crackdown Widens, Sources Say
Pei Li and Coco Liu – Bloomberg
SAMR plans to more than double antitrust staff to 100 people; Alibaba, Meituan were targeted during 1-year-old crackdown
China’s competition watchdog is planning to hire more people in its Beijing head office and creating departments to better oversee deals and probes, keeping up the pressure after a yearlong crackdown on monopolies.

Money for sale: Lebanese depositors sell cheques at half price; New government faces huge challenge to reform broken banking sector amid crisis of trust in system
Chloe Cornish – FT
So desperate was Jamal, a businessman, to get his cash out of his bank account in Lebanon that he agreed to a transaction that would make no sense anywhere else in the world. He sold a cheque for half of its face value. “Someone took 50 per cent of my money, yes. But I was so happy” to get it out of the bank, said Jamal, who did not want his real name to be published. The cheque sale was part of an arrangement to buy property in Dubai. And, as far as Jamal is concerned, he got a great deal.


Why quitting your job is good for the economy; Workers who move to new positions tend to get paid more and contribute to wider productivity
Sarah O’Connor – FT
They call it the Big Quit. Americans are quitting their jobs in higher numbers than at any point since the turn of the millennium. Much has been written about the reasons, from burnout during the pandemic to a “great re-evaluation” of what people want from their jobs.

Adrian Lester Finally Arrives on Broadway, via Wall Street; The characters he plays are “a departure from how people perceive” them. He’s testing perceptions again as one of the famous banking brothers in “The Lehman Trilogy.”
Elisabeth Vincentelli – NY Times
A few years ago, Adrian Lester saw “The Lehman Trilogy” in London. Not only did he love it, but he was also impressed on a purely technical level. He knew how demanding it was for just three actors to portray several different characters and to carry the intricately devised epic, which follows the rise of the Lehman brothers in the 19th century, then the fall of their company in the 2008 financial crisis.


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China commodity trader woe a setback for Glencore

China commodity trader woe a setback for Glencore

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

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