Which Retail Investors Does the SEC Want to Protect?

Jul 19, 2022

First Read

Hits & Takes
John Lothian & JLN Staff

FIA Hall of Fame Member Ralph Goldenberg passed away on early Monday morning at the age of 87 in Italy. He had been in good health, former CBOT Chairman Pat Arbor told JLN, until a fall a couple of months ago. Since then, he has been mostly hospitalized, but then Goldenberg’s health went into a decline a couple of weeks ago and he passed away Sunday from complications from sepsis.

Goldenberg is a longtime CBOT member and former vice chairman who was slated by the CBOT nominating committee in 1981 to become chairman over then incumbent chairman Les Rosenthal. Rosenthal would run as a rogue candidate and win the election by 105 votes over Goldenberg. Goldenberg twice served as chairman of the Chicago Board of Trade Clearing Corporation Board of Directors.

Goldenberg was the longtime business partner of Chris Hehmeyer in Goldenberg, Hehmeyer & Co., a firm founded in 1985 and then sold to Penson in 2007. Hehmeyer said Goldenberg was a brilliant art collector outside of his CBOT commitments. He moved to London in 1999 and managed the Goldenberg, Hehmeyer & Co. operations there.

Ralph Goldenberg was a mentor to many, Hehmeyer and Arbor agreed. Arbor added that Goldenberg was a “stalwart of the CBOT,” a benevolent and good man. Our condolences to the family, friends, and former colleagues of Mr. Goldenberg.

We have a new SEC commissioner. Jaime Lizárraga was sworn in by SEC Chairman Gary Gensler after Lizárraga was confirmed by the U.S. Senate over a month ago.

Former CFTC Chief Innovation Officer Daniel Gorfine and U.S. Treasury Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) Former Acting Director Michael Mosier have written an opinion piece for MarketWatch titled “Opinion: Stablecoin and other digital assets are falsely framed as a choice between personal privacy and national security. We can have both.”

Lee Hodgkinson will be leaving OSTC Ltd. at the end of this month.

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


Celebrating Today’s Female Special Agents; Fifty years after the first women entered the Training Academy, female agents are leading and shaping the FBI.
Just ten days after J. Edgar Hoover died in May 1972, the acting director changed a long-standing policy and announced the FBI would accept applications from women to be special agents. On July 17, 1972, Joanne Pierce (Misko) and Susan Roley (Malone) began their training at the FBI Academy in Quantico. By the end of that year, 11 women would be sworn in as special agents. Those first female agents forged a path that allowed thousands to follow behind them. Today, women are still underrepresented as special agents, but they are a growing and essential part of the FBI. Women serve in every one of the FBI’s 56 field offices (and are leading many of them). They have climbed into the leadership ranks and are making an undeniable impact on cases and investigations every single day. Learn more about some of them here.

***** Ten days after J. Edgar Hoover died, this door opened up.~JJL


Wild bison return to UK for first time in thousands of years; The gentle giants released in Kent should transform a commercial pine forest into a vibrant natural woodland
Damian Carrington and Nicola Davis – The Guardian
Early on Monday morning, three gentle giants wandered out of a corral in the Kent countryside to become the first wild bison to roam in Britain for thousands of years. The aim is for the animals’ natural behaviour to transform a dense commercial pine forest into a vibrant natural woodland.

***** Is there a Bison Clive of the UK?~JJL


Leading space science expert predicts a ‘direct hit’ on Earth from a solar storm; It can cause significant blackouts to GPS navigation systems.
Loukia Papadopoulos – Interesting Engineering
It has been a busy time for solar activity. Back in March of 2022, Earth was hit by separate geomagnetic storms, according to government weather agencies in the U.S. and the U.K. Though the geomagnetic storms likely didn’t cause any harm, they brought into focus the potential harm that could come from more powerful storms in the future. Then earlier this month, a G1-class geomagnetic storm hit the Earth, causing bright auroras over Canada. The only problem is that nobody saw this storm coming until it was quite late. Five days ago, a giant sunspot and filaments on the solar surface had astronomers worried about possible Earth-directed solar flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs) that could lead to blackouts. Finally, on Friday, it was reported that a massive solar flare had erupted from the Sun, which could see radio blackouts in many parts of the world.

***** Blame it on the CME(s).~JJL


Monday’s Top Three
Our top story Monday was Billionaire Ken Griffin’s Colossal Palm Beach Estate Riles Up Neighbors, from The Daily Beast. Second was A Goldman Legend, Crypto Star and Top Banker Warn of Next Big Risk from Bloomberg. Third was Wall Street Set for New ETF Gold Rush as Single-Stock Era Begins, also from Bloomberg.


MarketsWiki Stats
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MarketsWiki Statistics


Lead Stories

Which Retail Investors Does the SEC Want to Protect? Agency head Gary Gensler has floated some ambitious ideas for stock-market reform. But the marginal benefits aren’t worth the trouble.
The Editors – Bloomberg
No doubt, the US Securities and Exchange Commission faces plenty of challenges. Chair Gary Gensler recently singled out a curious one: What to do about a stock market that, in his view, isn’t serving the best interests of retail investors? The answer depends on which retail investors, and which interests, he has in mind. But here’s a more pertinent question: Is this really the best way to spend the agency’s time?

European Commission Doesn’t Expect Russia to Restart Nord Stream; Key gas pipeline to Europe has been down for maintenance work; EU is bracing for worst-case scenario; urging energy savings
Stephen Stapczynski and Ewa Krukowska – Bloomberg
The European Commission doesn’t expect Russia to restart a key natural gas pipeline this week, a senior official said, the clearest indication yet that the bloc is bracing for the worst. “We don’t expect that it comes back,” Budget Commissioner Johannes Hahn said Tuesday. “We are working on the assumption that it doesn’t return to operation. And in that case certain additional measures need to be taken.

Word of Trump Media Deal Is Said to Have Leaked Months in Advance; Federal authorities are investigating a surge in trading that preceded the announcement of a $300 million deal with the former president’s media company.
Matthew Goldstein – NY Times
Months before former President Donald J. Trump’s social media company unveiled an agreement to raise hundreds of millions of dollars last fall, word of the deal leaked to an obscure Miami investment firm, whose executives began plotting ways to make money off the imminent transaction, according to people familiar with the discussions.

Gazprom Declares Force Majeure on Some European Gas Buyers
Anna Shiryaevskaya, Stephen Stapczynski and Isis Almeida – Bloomberg
Gazprom PJSC declared force majeure on several European natural-gas buyers, a move that may signal it intends to keep supplies capped, reinforcing Russia’s grip on the region’s energy. The Russian gas giant — which had already been curbing exports to Europe and closed its main pipeline for maintenance earlier this month — said in a letter dated July 14 that the legal clause applied to supplies over the past month, according to people familiar with the matter. There’s no end date for the notice, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private.

The IRS just made it easier for families to pass on millions of dollars to their children and others; The new portability rule could save the ultrawealthy a significant amount of money in taxes
Alessandra Malito – MarketWatch
Ultrawealthy families with millions of dollars to leave behind as inheritances will save a lot on taxes thanks to the Internal Revenue Service’s latest portability rule. Individuals can give up to $12.06 million tax-free to their children and other nonspousal beneficiaries during their lifetime or upon death, under limits for 2022. Anything above that is subject to a 40% tax (either known as a gift tax or estate tax, depending on when the money was handed over). Spouses may transfer to their surviving spouse what’s left of the tax-free limit that they didn’t use, and they now have five years to do so, the IRS said in a ruling this month.

UK temperature tops 40C as Shapps warns of ‘decades’ to prepare for extreme heat; Record reading comes after passengers urged not to travel and transport secretary spells out infrastructure problems
Peter Foster, Jim Pickard and Camilla Hodgson – FT
The UK experienced its highest summertime temperature of 40.2C on Tuesday, according to the Met Office, as a heatwave gripped the country and caused widespread travel disruption. The provisional recording at London’s Heathrow airport at lunchtime eclipsed the previous all-time high of 38.7C, which was set in Cambridge in 2019. Forecasters warned that temperatures were expected to climb still further during the course of the day.

German energy rationing debate pits consumers against industry; Talks intensify over who should have priority in the event of shortages this winter
Guy Chazan – FT
Germany is embroiled in a fierce debate over who should have priority in a possible energy crunch — companies or consumers — as Europe’s biggest economy braces itself for Russia to turn off the gas tap. Under existing EU rules, private households and critical infrastructure such as hospitals and old people’s homes are protected from gas shut-offs, while industry is not.

Goldman Sachs Plans to Slow Hiring, Bring Back Annual Performance Reviews
Sridhar Natarajan – Bloomberg
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. plans to slow hiring and reinstate annual performance reviews as the Wall Street bank looks to rein in expenses. “Given the challenging operating environment, we are closely re-examining all of our forward spending and investment plans to ensure the best use of our resources,” Chief Financial Officer Denis Coleman said Monday on a conference call with analysts. “We’re taking a number of actions to improve our operating efficiency. Specifically, we have made the decision to slow hiring velocity and reduce certain professional fees going forward.”

Hundreds of crypto firms fail FCA money laundering test; Only 35 of the 273 applications to the UK watchdog under the Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive have made it through
Justin Cash and Jeremy Chan – FN London
Just 13% of crypto firms that applied for authorisation under the Financial Conduct Authority’s money laundering rules over the past two years have been successful. The regulator has received a flood of applications under the Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive — 5MLD — introduced in January 2020, bringing crypto service providers into the rules requiring additional checks on customers and dirty money risks to be monitored. But only 35 of the 273 applications to the UK watchdog under the regime have made it through.

ISDA derivatiViews: Getting Crypto Capital Requirements Right
For participants in the crypto-asset market, these have been unsettling times, with plummeting asset values, falling market capitalization and several high-profile casualties. Promoting appropriate risk management in this fledgling market has never been more important. That is why we welcome the Basel Committee’s work to develop a robust capital framework for bank exposures to crypto assets. On June 30, the Basel Committee published its latest consultation on the prudential treatment of banks’ crypto-asset exposures. The new consultation builds on proposals first published last year and retains a generally conservative approach, but it achieves this through more risk-sensitive measures, rather than simply imposing onerous capital requirements.

Remote Work Fueled US Productivity Growth During Pandemic, Study Says
Olivia Rockeman – Bloomberg
US economic productivity during the pandemic was driven entirely by firms with remote work capacity, according to a new study co-authored by Robert Gordon of Northwestern University. Productivity in work-from-home services businesses, which includes information and finance, grew 3.3% between the beginning of 2020 and early 2022. Meantime, growth in the goods sector, in jobs like construction and mining, was unchanged and services industries that required in-person contact contracted by 2.6%, according to a working paper by Gordon and Princeton University’s Hassan Sayed.

Word of Trump’s social media deal said to have leaked months in advance -NYT
Employees at a Miami investment firm had learned of a pending merger deal between former President Donald Trump’s social media company and a blank-check entity, long before it was announced, the New York Times reported on Monday, citing three people familiar with the discussions. Officials of the firm, Rocket One Capital, at the time talked about ways to profit off the soon-to-be-announced transaction with Trump Media & Technology Group by investing in the SPAC, Digital World Acquisition Corp (DWAC.O), the NYT reported, citing two of the people. Federal prosecutors and regulators are now investigating the merger, including the frenzied trading in the SPAC’s warrants, the report said, citing people familiar with the investigation and public disclosures.

Crypto lender Celsius defends bitcoin mining plans as bankruptcy kicks off
Dietrich Knauth – Reuters
Cryptocurrency lender Celsius Network said bitcoin mining is key to the company’s restructuring efforts at a U.S. bankruptcy court hearing on Monday in Manhattan. New Jersey-based Celsius received approval from U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Martin Glenn to spend $3.7 million in construction costs at a new bitcoin mining facility and $1.5 million on customs and duties on imported bitcoin mining rigs. Patrick Nash, a lawyer for Celsius, told Glenn that bitcoin mining could provide a way for the company, which halted other business operations like its cryptocurrency lending, to repay customers, whose assets its froze in the weeks leading up to its bankruptcy filing.

Crypto billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried outlines 3 practical applications of cryptocurrencies and blockchain tech in the real world
Tristan Bove – FORTUNE
In the middle of the so-called “crypto winter,” investors are reconsidering whether cryptocurrencies can actually be considered a good store of value or a useful hedge against inflation. Cryptocurrencies have been on a spiral in recent months, shedding $2 trillion in value over the past year amid a larger market downturn, and leaving the finances of thousands of crypto users stranded in frozen accounts.

The crypto crash has important lessons for asset managers; Blockchain technology can help provide the personalised portfolios that today’s investors prefer
Peter Harrison – FT
Bitcoin’s price collapse will raise satisfied smiles from sceptics. They can congratulate themselves for being right on the valuations, at least for now. They are right that over-exuberance is a danger — history has made that point several times. But the birth and growth in popularity of cryptocurrencies raise a further point to consider: is the investment industry failing to make the case for traditional investments? Are we missing a trick?

Top US energy trader Bill Perkins opens London office as gas market goes ‘crazy’; Skylar Capital founder and film producer seeks opportunities in Europe in wake of Ukraine war
Laurence Fletcher – FT
One of the hedge fund industry’s most successful energy traders is expanding into London as his firm looks to tap opportunities from the “crazy” European market in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Bill Perkins, who chalked up $1bn of trading profits at John Arnold’s hedge fund Centaurus Energy Advisors before launching Skylar Capital in Houston a decade ago, has recruited a team who worked together at Glencore to launch a UK office.

ICE Launches the ESG Geo-Analyzer for Property-Level Climate Risk and Demographic Data
Intercontinental Exchange
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE: ICE), a leading global provider of data, technology and market infrastructure, today announced the launch of the ICE ESG Geo-Analyzer, which leverages ICE’s geospatial data modelling to provide climate risk and social impact data and analytics for properties and communities throughout the U.S.

No Deals, No Problem on Wall Street; Much higher revenue in fixed-income trading is partly compensating for a lack of dealmaking
Telis Demos – WSJ
Bond traders may no longer be masters of the universe, but they could still be heroes for Wall Street. For several years following the 2008 financial crisis, the business of fixed income, currency and commodity trading was a worry for banks. It seemed to be in a long decline from its precrisis days and many wondered if it would ever rebound from changes in regulations and banks’ risk appetite. Lately, though, FICC has been the star performer for Wall Street, helping to offset a big decline in deal-making activity.

The crypto winter: Regulators must step in before digital assets become a systemic risk; Momentum is growing as regulators recognise the urgent need to bring crypto within the fold, with the Bank of England’s deputy governor for financial stability urging that “new technology does not change old risks”.
Laurie McAughtry – The Trade
Cryptocurrency has had a rough year. Since November, Bitcoin has lost 70% of its value while the high-profile, catastrophic collapse of stablecoins like Terra have resulted in a loss of faith in the settlement process. Yet Sir John Cunliffe, deputy governor for financial stability at the Bank of England, warns that “the lesson we should NOT take from this episode is that crypto is somehow ‘over’ and we do not need to be concerned about it anymore”.

Ukraine Invasion

H&M to Exit Russia, Citing ‘Impossible’ Situation; Fashion giant becomes latest Western company to leave the country
Dominic Chopping – WSJ
Fast fashion giant Hennes & Mauritz AB said it would exit Russia, citing the operational challenges and unpredictable future in the country, becoming the latest Western company to withdraw completely as the war in Ukraine continues. The Swedish company paused all sales in Russia at the beginning of March in the wake of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine and on Monday said it would now initiate a process of winding down its business in the country.

Russia once had ambitions of making Moscow an international finance hub. Putin’s war has crushed the dream.
Huileng Tan – Business Insider
It was only a decade or so ago that Russia was working towards its grand ambition of making Moscow a global financial hub. At a 2010 conference in St. Petersburg, then-President Dmitry Medvedev said the country’s interest in becoming a global financial center was “obvious,” the BBC reported at the time. Russia needs “a developed and globally competitive national financial system” to modernize the economy, Medvedev said. “The Kremlin was advancing a lot of efforts to make Moscow an international financial center,” said Hassan Malik, a senior sovereign analyst at Loomis Sayles, a Boston-based investment management consultancy. “Various Russian politicians, including Putin, talked about making Russia an international financial center for years,” Malik, who lived in Russia from 2005 to 2008, added to Insider.

Russia’s crude deliveries to China and India have plunged 30% from their wartime peak as concerns mount that Asia can’t fully absorb Moscow’s shrinking oil market
Phil Rosen – Business Insider
Russia’s crude shipments to China and India have fallen nearly 30% since they peaked after the war in Ukraine began, a Bloomberg report found, signaling that Asia may not be equipped to fully absorb Russian barrels once European sanctions fully set in.

Economics of war: Pain for Europe now, later for Russia
Across Europe, signs of distress are multiplying as Russia’s war in Ukraine drags on. Food banks in Italy are feeding more people. German officials are turning down the air conditioning as they prepare plans to ration natural gas and restart coal plants. A giant utility is asking for a taxpayer bailout, and more may be coming. Dairies wonder how they will pasteurize milk. The euro has sagged to a 20-year low against the dollar, and recession predictions are on the rise. Those pressure points are signs of how the conflict — and the Kremlin gradually choking off natural gas that keeps industry humming — provoked an energy crisis in Europe and raised the likelihood of a plunge back into recession just as the economy was rebounding from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ukraine grain deal and Syria top agenda for Putin’s Iran/Turkey talks; Russian leader keen to secure path for country’s own food exports during three-way discussions in Tehran
Max Seddon and Laura Pitel – FT
Russian president Vladimir Putin arrived in Tehran on Tuesday for a summit with his Iranian and Turkish counterparts that will have crucial implications for his military campaign in Ukraine. Putin’s trip, his second foreign visit since he launched a full invasion of Ukraine in late February, is ostensibly for three-party talks with Iran’s Ebrahim Raisi and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the Syrian conflict.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

The New York Stock Exchange Launches NYSE Institute, Championing Capital Markets and NYSE-Listed Companies
NYSE Vice Chairman John Tuttle Will Serve as President of NYSE Institute; Organization Will Work with U.S. and Global Policymakers, Generate Thought Leadership, and Support Free Enterprise around the Globe
The New York Stock Exchange, part of Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE: ICE), a leading global provider of data, technology, and market infrastructure, announced today the official launch of the NYSE Institute, which will serve as a champion for the U.S. capital markets and NYSE-listed companies. The Institute will be led by NYSE Vice Chairman John Tuttle, who will serve as its first president. Tuttle, who has worked with world leaders and other policymakers across his 15-year NYSE career, will continue to oversee the exchange’s existing listings business, which represents more than 2,400 companies located in 46 countries and accounting for more than 40 million jobs.

Cboe Expands Implied Correlation Index Suite, Adds Eight Additional Volatility-Related Indices;
Cboe Global Markets
Cboe Implied Correlation Indices are the first widely disseminated market estimates of the average correlation of the stocks that comprise the S&P 500® Index (SPX); Suite of volatility-related indices recently expanded to include additional tenors and skews; Helps allow market participants to gain a view of potential factors driving volatility in equity markets
Cboe Global Markets, Inc. (Cboe: CBOE), a leading provider of global market infrastructure and tradable products, today announced the expansion of its Cboe Implied Correlation® Index suite with the recent addition of eight new indices. Market participants can now access a full suite of volatility-related indices across a range of maturities and skews to help gain a more complete view of the potential factors driving volatility in the equity markets.

Directa to offer investment funds to Italian investors in partnership with Clearstream and CACEIS
Deutsche Börse
The Italian online broker Directa has signed an agreement with Clearstream to provide Italian investors with access to Clearstream’s global funds portfolio. Via Directa’s leading trading platform and comprehensive network of financial advisors, clients can access Clearstream’s extensive funds suite with more than 190,000 international funds in 50 jurisdictions worldwide. CACEIS Bank Italy Branch will act as Local Paying Agent (SIP, Soggetto Incaricato dei Pagamenti). Streamlining order flows, CACEIS will ensure swift and efficient communication with transfer agents via Clearstream’s Vestima platform. Clearstream will also provide Directa with fund distribution support via its Fund Centre platform.

T7 Production: Migration to new T7 GUI Download Servers and Landing Pages – Removal of all old links on 29 July 2022
As of 23 February 2022, the T7 GUI Landing Pages used to launch the T7 GUIs were migrated to new servers. Following the timeline announced in Eurex Circular 047/22, starting 4 July 2022, access to T7 Simulation GUIs is only possible via the new servers. Based on the published timeline, all links to T7 GUIs for Production und Disaster Recovery will be removed from the old servers on 29 July 2022. From this day onwards, T7 GUIs for Production und Disaster Recovery can only be started from the new servers.

HKEX Names Chief Strategy Officer And Expands Emerging Business Development Team
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) is pleased to announce today (Tuesday) it has appointed Daniel Sonder as Chief Strategy Officer and Head of Data Business, Markets. In his strategy role, Mr Sonder will lead the Group Strategy function, working closely with the HKEX Management Committee and executives across the business, to deliver on the group’s strategy and vision to build the Marketplace of the Future. In this capacity he will report to HKEX Chief Executive Officer, Nicolas Aguzin. Mr Sonder joined HKEX this year from Brazilian stock exchange, B3, where he was most recently CFO.

CFFEX: Notice On The Reporting Of Trading Information On Equity Index Options Contracts
To regulate the trading of equity index options contracts, maintain orderly market operations, and protect the legitimate rights and interests of market participants, China Financial Futures Exchange (the “Exchange”) hereby announces the following requirements on the reporting of trading information, which shall come into effect from July 22, 2022.

Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect – Final Practice Session For The Migration To New Shanghai Stock Exchange (Sse) Trading Gateway
Reference is made to the Exchange Circular (Ref No: CT/084/22) dated on 23 June 2022 on the migration to the new SSE trading gateway. China Connect Exchange Participants (CCEPs) are requested to note that the second and final practice session for the migration will be arranged on 23 July 2022 (Saturday). While participation is optional, CCEPs are strongly advised to participate in this final practice session to get themselves prepared for this important migration. Those who wish to join are required to complete the registration and return to the Exchange on or before noon of 21 July 2022 (Thursday). Detailed activity rundown and Northbound security holdings for the practice session will be sent to the registered CCEPs by 21 July 2022 (Thursday).

JPX and JPXI Launch ESG Bond Information Platform
Japan Exchange Group, Inc. (JPX) and JPX Market Innovation & Research, Inc. (JPXI) have today launched the ESG Bond Information Platform.The Sustainable Finance Platform Development Working Group, set up by JPX in October 2021, discussed practical issues around the creation of an “information platform” for ESG bonds. With “green” investment growing fast during the net zero transition, the Working Group pointed out the importance of enabling access to information which is useful for the operations of both issuing organizations and investors.

Moscow Exchange held the first repo auctions of the Federal Treasury with mortgage bonds DOM.RF
On July 18, 2022, the first repo auctions of the Federal Treasury secured by mortgage bonds guaranteed by DOM.RF were held on the Moscow Exchange with the participation of a central counterparty (CC), whose functions are performed by the National Clearing Center (NCC, part of the Moscow Exchange Group).

Housekeeping Changes to the Rules of Bourse De Montréal Inc.
On November 8, 2021, the Rules and Policies Committee of Bourse de Montréal Inc. (the “Bourse”) approved amendments to articles 6.208, 6E-4, 6.500 of the Rules of the Bourse to clarify and correct the text of such rules in order to accurately reflect the current trading environment and traded products. These amendments were self-certified in accordance with the self-certification process as established in the Derivatives Act (CQLR, Chapter I-14.01). These amendments, as attached, will become effective on July 18, 2022, after market close. Please note that the revised articles will also be available on the Bourse’s website (www.m-x.ca).

NYSE Equities – Enhancements to ALO and MPL Order Instructions
Beginning in September 2022, the NYSE will implement enhancements to the Add Liquidity Only (ALO) and Midpoint Passive Liquidity (MPL) order instructions, as well as introduce new order instructions across all Equity Markets.

Keynote Speech by Tan Boon Gin, CEO of SGX RegCo, for the “Climate Reporting in ASEAN – State of Corporate Practices” launch event
Thank you for having me. A year ago, everything seemed so straight forward. A consensus had been reached at COP26. Everybody was making net zero pledges. ESG investing was booming. Today, as we get down to the nitty-gritty of implementing these commitments, we run into questions about the trade-off between climate security and energy security, questions about the right balance between cost and benefit, inflation, as well as questions about the integrity of climate reports. It bears reminding that the long-term answers remain the same. There must be investment in new solutions, infrastructure, and technology. The estimated green investment needed in ASEAN alone is US$200B per year till 2030.

SGX Group To Report FY2022 Results On 18 August 2022
Singaopore Exxchange – Mondovisione
Singapore Exchange (SGX Group) is reporting its full year results for Financial Year 2022 (FY2022) before market opens on 18 August 2022.


Rival Systems Wins Best Market Risk Solutions Provider Award from Waters Rankings 2022
Rival Systems
Rival Systems, a leading trading and risk management software provider, has been awarded the Waters Rankings Best Market Risk Solutions Provider award for their enterprise risk management solution, Rival Risk Rival earned this year’s distinction in the Compliance, Risk Management, and Back Office category. Waters Rankings is a unique awards program featuring winners selected solely by WatersTechnology readers.

Horizon partners with Paris-Saclay University to fund financial research; The research project looks to apply the concept of stochastic control theory to address operational execution issues in financial markets using artificial intelligence.
Wesley Bray – The Trade
Electronic and algorithmic trading technology provider Horizon Software is investing in financial research by funding a research project in partnership with the university of Paris-Saclay-Ecole Doctorale de Mathématiques Hadamard. The project will primarily focus on optimal execution, measurement and control of liquidity risk.

Blockchain firm executes Russia’s first digital asset deal with palladium
Russian blockchain firm Atomyze has launched the first digital token backed by palladium produced by Nornickel, it said on Monday. Atomyze was the first Russian firm to receive approval to exchange digital assets in February, while the central bank has long voiced scepticism about cryptocurrencies. “The emergence of Russia’s first industrial token marks the entry of the Russian economy into a new period – the era of tokenisation,” businessman Vladimir Potanin said in a statement of his Interros Holding, one of Atomyze’s investors and the largest shareholder at metals producer Nornickel. “Unlike unsecured cryptocurrency, where blockchain technology is used to maximise user anonymity, industrial and other tokens are secured by physical assets, and the use of blockchain technology makes transactions with them secure,” he added.


FBI: Beware of Scam Cryptocurrency Investment Apps; Law enforcement estimates campaign has already bilked cryptocurrency investors out of $42.7 million.
Dark Reading
Would-be cryptocurrency investors are being targeted in a scam that has already stolen more than $42.7 million from 244 victims, according to the latest private industry notification from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. According to the FBI, scammers have used phishing attacks to convince victims to download fake mobile cryptocurrency investment apps impersonating legitimate investment apps. The victims then deposit cryptocurrency into wallets associated with their accounts on the app, giving the scammers control of the funds. One campaign between December and May used the name and logo of a legitimate company (unnamed in the alert) and defrauded 28 victims of $3.7 million. When victims attempted to withdraw funds from these accounts, they received messages stating that they needed to pay taxes on their investments first.

Trojanized Password Crackers Targeting Industrial Systems; Tools purporting to help organizations recover lost passwords for PLCs are really droppers for malware targeting industrial control systems, vendor says.
Jai Vijayan – Dark Reading
Threat actors are targeting systems in industrial control environments with backdoor malware hidden in fake password-cracking tools. The tools, being touted for sale on a variety of social media websites, offer to recover passwords for hardware systems used in industrial environments. Researchers from Dragos recently analyzed one such password-cracking product and found it to contain “Sality,” an old malware tool that makes infected systems part of a peer-to-peer botnet for cryptomining and password cracking.

Inglis talks cybersecurity jobs, recruitment strategy ahead of White House summit
Aaron Schaffer – The Washington Post
The Biden administration is hosting a high-profile cybersecurity workforce summit at the White House today as workers continue to battle waves of threats in cyberspace.
Cyber workforce challenges aren’t just an economic issue or national security issue, but a “national issue,” National Cyber Director Chris Inglis told The Cybersecurity 202 in an exclusive interview.

Cybersecurity firm Darktrace lifts annual profit forecast on customer growth
British cybersecurity firm Darktrace Plc (DARK.L) said on Tuesday it raised its full-year profit margin forecast to about 19.5%, buoyed by steady customer growth.
A shift to remote working during the pandemic as well as the Russia-Ukraine conflict, has fuelled a spike in cyber attacks and bolstered demand for security software.


Huobi Global joins hands with Capitual to upgrade security for Brazil-based users
Huobi Global
Huobi Global, one of the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchanges, jointly announced an account individualization plan for its Brazil-based users with Brazilian payments gateway Capitual. This move aims to upgrade Huobi Global’s security measures and provide more secure and compliant fiat-to-crypto gateway services to Huobi Global’s users in Brazil.

Coinbase secures thumbs up to operate crypto business in Italy
Abdelaziz Fathi – Finance Feeds
As required by the Italian legislation on digital assets, Coinbase is now registered as a Cryptocurrency Service Provider with the ‘Organismo Agenti e Mediatori’ (OAM). The regulatory nod enables Coinbase to offer its products as the US popular platform continues its drive to operate in compliance with local regulations. It also allows the company to strengthen its presence in Italy by opening offices and expanding the local team.

Don’t Forget, Tesla Has a Big Bitcoin Charge Coming This Week.
Al Root – Barron’s
Tesla has been buffeted by concerns over Elon Musk’s battle with Twitter , its high valuation, China’s Covid lockdowns, and the market’s recent disdain for high valuation growth stocks. Now, investors can add Bitcoin to that list of woe. Barclay’s Brian Johnson said recently that Tesla ‘s (ticker: TSLA) Bitcoin holdings could result in a $460 million hit to second quarter earnings. Tesla invested $1.5 billion in Bitcoin back in January 2021. Bitcoin was north of $30,000 back then.

The crypto winter could last for another 250 days, according to a major digital asset manager
Marco Quiroz-Gutierrez – FORTUNE
As the price of Bitcoin reaches lows not seen in a year, and crypto-related companies like Celsius file for bankruptcy, investors are looking for any sign of relief. But if history is any indication, they may not get it soon, according to digital currency asset manager Grayscale Investments. Crypto prices have increased recently, but investors could be in for another 250 days of winter in the crypto markets if history is any indication, Grayscale wrote in its July insights report.

Genesis Lent $2.4 Billion to Hedge Fund Three Arrows Capital; Crypto brokerage’s parent company, Digital Currency Group, filed claim for $1.2 billion
Justin Baer, Caitlin Ostroff and Vicky Ge Huang – Bloomberg
Digital Currency Group Inc., the cryptocurrency conglomerate that owns Genesis Global Trading Inc., is the biggest creditor of the beleaguered hedge fund Three Arrows Capital Ltd., according to court documents compiled by Three Arrows’s liquidator. DCG’s Genesis Asia Pacific Ltd. lent Three Arrows $2.4 billion, the court document said. The hedge fund put down the equivalent of $1.2 billion in crypto and other collateral as of last month.

Three Arrows Owes Biggest Creditor Digital Currency Group $1.2 Billion
Yueqi Yang and Muyao Shen – Bloomberg
A creditor list of bankrupt crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital puts the interconnected nature of the industry on display, with lenders ranging from some of the biggest digital-asset firms to the wife of co-founder Kyle Davies. At the top is Digital Currency Group Inc., the parent company of crypto brokerage Genesis, which filed a $1.2 billion claim against Three Arrows, according to people familiar with the matter who reviewed a court filing. Chen Kaili Kelly, the wife of Davies, also filed a claim of about $66 million, the filing shows.

Fund Manager Fintonia Group Receives Provisional Virtual Assets License in Dubai
Oliver Knight – Coindesk
Singapore-based crypto fund manager Fintonia Group has secured a provisional virtual asset license granted by the Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA), according to a press release.

Live Q&A: What’s next after the crypto market crash? FT markets news editor Adam Samson and digital assets correspondent Scott Chipolina will answer your questions on Wednesday July 20
Scott Chipolina and Adam Samson – FT
Crypto is in the midst of one of the worst market crashes the relatively new industry has ever witnessed. Since the peak of last year’s bull run, the most popular crypto tokens such as bitcoin and ether have plummeted by roughly 70 per cent, while the size of the industry itself has fallen from more than $3tn dollars to less than $1tn.

Investing in the Metaverse: Live interview with Matthew Ball TONIGHT
Nicole Samoroukova – The Reformed Broker
On this special episode of Live from The Compound, Matthew Ball joins Josh Brown and Ben Carlson! Matthew Ball is the Managing Partner of EpyllionCo and a Venture Partner at Makers Fund. Tune in down below! He’s got a new book coming out on the metaverse and we’re going to ask him all about it.


Chuck Schumer aims for Tuesday vote on scaled-back chipmakers’ bill; Senator majority leader hopes to pressure US lawmakers as industry confronts China’s growing power
Kiran Stacey and Demetri Sevastopulo – FT
Chuck Schumer, the Democratic leader in the Senate, will call a vote on a long-awaited $52bn package of subsidies to US chipmakers as soon as Tuesday as he tries to put pressure on other members of Congress to back it. Democratic aides have told the Financial Times that Schumer is planning the push to approve funding for the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (Chips) Act after deciding to drop a range of other measures designed to confront China’s growing technological power.

Two New York residents charged with funneling Chinese investor money to Trump campaign
Luc Cohen – Reuters
Two New York state residents were charged with illegally using funds from Chinese and Singaporean investors to donate $600,000 to then-President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign in 2017, U.S. prosecutors said on Monday. The scheme was part of an effort by Sherry Li and Lianbo Wang to showcase political connections as they sought funds to build a China-themed park in upstate New York, prosecutors said, adding that they raised $27 million in investment, but never completed the project. Li called the park “Chinese Disneyland,” according to a complaint filed in federal court in Brooklyn. Prosecutors said Li and Wang made contributions in their own names to a committee hosting a fundraiser for Trump on June 28, 2017, but that the funds came from 12 foreign donors the pair had charged $93,000 each to attend the event with them.

Brussels plans to finance joint EU weapons procurement for the first time; Proposal aims to help bloc’s armies restock and improve military hardware in response to war in Ukraine
Henry Foy – FT
The European Commission will for the first time provide financing for the joint procurement of weapons by member states to help their armies restock and improve military hardware in response to the war in Ukraine.


Cargill, Continental Grain Talk Concessions With Justice Department on Sanderson Chicken Deal; Companies discuss agreeing not to use traditional system to pay farmers to win deal approval; processing plant worker pay also discussed
Patrick Thomas – WSJ
The Justice Department is discussing with Cargill and Continental Grain Co. potential concessions that could clear the way for the companies to acquire poultry processor Sanderson Farms Inc., according to people familiar with the matter. The discussions with the government involve how farmers and plant workers are paid, the people said.

Equitable Financial To Pay $50 Million Penalty To Settle SEC Charges That It Provided Misleading Account Statements to Investors; Accounts belonged to public school teachers and staff investing for retirement
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced fraud charges against Equitable Financial Life Insurance Company for providing account statements to about 1.4 million variable annuity investors that included materially misleading statements and omissions concerning investor fees. Equitable agreed to pay $50 million to harmed investors, most of whom are public school teachers and staff members, to settle the charges. As described in the SEC’s order, since at least 2016, Equitable gave investors the false impression that their quarterly account statements listed all fees paid during the period. The SEC’s investigation found that, in reality, the statements listed only certain types of fees that investors infrequently incurred and that more often than not the statements had $0.00 listed for fees.

Trump Was Bait in New York Duo’s Alleged $27 Million Investment Fraud
Patricia Hurtado – Bloomberg
Two New York state residents were charged in a $27 million fraud in which they allegedly promised foreign nationals visas, big returns on investments and access to powerful politicians like then-President Donald Trump. Sherry Xue Li and Lianbo “Mike” Wang, of Oyster Bay, were arrested on Monday and charged with wire fraud conspiracy and money-laundering conspiracy, while Li also was charged with conspiring to defraud the US by obstructing the administration of federal campaign finance laws. US Attorney Breon Peace in Brooklyn said the two, both naturalized US citizens, enticed their victims to invest in a series of fake businesses, including a sham real estate investment, while making illegal donations to campaigns.

Federal Court Orders Texas Man to Pay Over $290,000 for Manipulative and Deceptive Digital Asset Pump-and-Dump Scheme
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission today announced the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of New York entered a consent order on July 14 for a permanent injunction, monetary sanctions, and disgorgement of ill-gotten proceeds against Jimmy Gale Watson of Dallas, Texas. The consent order resolves the claims against Watson in the CFTC action filed against Watson and John David McAfee on March 5, 2021 that alleged they engaged in a manipulative and deceptive digital asset “pump-and-dump” scheme.

Statement of Commissioner Kristin Johnson Regarding Federal Court Order Ruling Against Jimmy Gale Watson, Jr.
CFTC’s First “Pump-and-Dump” Case Involving the Digital Asset Markets
Today, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced that the Honorable John Koeltl of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York entered a Consent Order and Permanent Injunction, Civil Monetary Penalty, and Other Equitable Relief Against Defendant Jimmy Gale Watson, Jr. of Dallas, Texas. This case marks the first enforcement action by the Commission alleging use of a traditional fraud scheme known as “pump-and-dump” in digital asset markets. In a pump-and-dump scheme, fraudsters spread false information about an asset in order to “pump-up” investor interest and drive up the price. The fraudsters then liquidate or sell the targeted asset, dumping the asset at the artificially inflated price before the price inevitably declines.

CFTC Extends Public Comment Period on Request for Information on Climate-Related Financial Risk
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission is extending the deadline for the public comment period on a Request for Information on Climate-Related Financial Risk (RFI) to October 7. “It’s critical that the Commission proactively understand how climate-related financial risk may affect the commodities and derivatives markets as well as our registered entities, registrants, and other market participants as they increasingly rely on the derivatives markets to manage their climate-change induced physical and transition risk,” said Chairman Rostin Behnam. “I look forward to feedback from all corners of the derivatives markets, especially the farmers, ranchers, producers, and other end-users who will be on the front lines of the effects of climate change.”

Equitable Financial To Pay $50 Million Penalty To Settle SEC Charges That It Provided Misleading Account Statements to Investors; Accounts belonged to public school teachers and staff investing for retirement
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced fraud charges against Equitable Financial Life Insurance Company for providing account statements to about 1.4 million variable annuity investors that included materially misleading statements and omissions concerning investor fees. Equitable agreed to pay $50 million to harmed investors, most of whom are public school teachers and staff members, to settle the charges.

Jaime Lizárraga Sworn In as SEC Commissioner
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Jaime Lizárraga has been sworn into office as a Commissioner by Chair Gary Gensler. Commissioner Lizárraga was nominated by President Biden earlier this year and confirmed by the U.S. Senate on June 16. “I’m honored to welcome Jaime to the SEC as a Commissioner,” said SEC Chair Gary Gensler. “Jaime is an incredible public servant with decades of experience in economic and financial policymaking. He has a deep understanding of the intersection of policy and the public interest. I look forward to working with him on behalf of the American public.”

FMA censures derivatives issuer Western Union Business Solutions (Australia) Pty Ltd for licence breaches
The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) – Te Mana Tatai Hokohoko has censured Western Union Business Solutions (Australia) Pty Ltd for materially contravening key Standard Conditions of its derivatives issuer licence relating to net tangible assets (NTA).

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the EU’s securities markets regulator, has updated the following Questions and Answers:

ESMA Publishes Annual Peer Review Of EU CCP Supervision
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the EU’s securities markets regulator, has today published its annual peer review report on the supervision of EU Central Counterparties (CCPs) by National Competent Authorities (NCAs). The Peer Review measured the effectiveness of NCA supervisory practices in assessing CCP compliance with EMIR’s requirements on business continuity, in particular in remote access mode.

How the UK will regulate for the future; Speech by Nikhil Rathi, our Chief Executive, delivered at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.
Nikhil Rathi – FCA
“Good morning, it is fantastic to be here among peers, counterparts and friends. Let me tell you, when you’re a regulator, you’re not always at the top of the invitation list so friendships are to be cherished. Regulatory engagement as part of that friendship between the US and the UK is critical: We have two of the largest and globally interconnected financial centres in the world. The US is the single largest destination for UK financial services exports. The UK is a major hub for overseas clients, in terms of investment management second only to the US, with US clients having $1 trillion (£860bn) under UK management. Between us we are responsible for the supervision of 11 out of the 30 largest banks in the world (GSIBs)…”

Updating our website
Over the coming months you will notice some changes to the site as we review and refresh our content and design.

Remarks by Mr Ravi Menon, Managing Director, MAS at the MAS Annual Report 2021/2022 Media Conference on 19 July 2022
Good morning and thank you for joining us in person for the release of the MAS Annual Report.
This year, I will focus my remarks on inflation. It is the key macroeconomic challenge facing the global economy, affecting countries ranging from the United States to Sri Lanka, as well as Singapore. The IMF’s latest projection for global inflation in 2022 is 7.4%. This would be the fastest rate of inflation in the last 25 years. Inflation is a pervasive economic ill – it affects everyone. The lower-income groups are particularly vulnerable. Inflation is uppermost in the minds of many Singaporeans.

Investing and Trading

BofA Survey Shows Full Investor Capitulation Amid Pessimism
Sagarika Jaisinghani and Michael Msika – Bloomberg
Investors slashed their exposure to risk assets to levels not seen even during the global financial crisis in a sign of full capitulation amid a “dire” economic outlook, according to Bank of America Corp.’s monthly fund manager survey. Global growth and profit expectations sank to an all-time low, while recession expectations were at their highest since the pandemic-fueled slowdown in May 2020, strategists led by Michael Hartnett wrote in the note. Investor allocation to stocks plunged to levels last seen in October 2008 while exposure to cash surged to the highest since 2001, according to the survey. A net 58% of fund managers said they’re taking lower than normal risks, a record that surpassed the survey’s global financial crisis levels.

The Dollar Bulls Are Looking Increasingly Like a Cult; It’s hard to boil the $6.6 trillion foreign-exchange market down into a simple narrative. But that hasn’t stopped people from trying.
Jared Dillian – Bloomberg
The U.S. dollar has appreciated against every Group of 10 currency this year. It’s done even better on a longer-term basis, with the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rising as much as 16% since May 2021 — a massive move for a developed-economy currency. Naturally, betting on gains in the greenback has acquired a huge following, even among retail investors, gaining a cult-like status almost equal to the self-described “apes” that cheerlead for meme stock AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc.

Deserted Stock Market Shows It Can Swerve Any Way at Any Time; S&P 500 posts 17th separate session of 1% reversals in 2022; Violent moves deter wary investors as trading volume slows
Lu Wang
A yearlong rush to the exits by institutional investors has left the stock market’s foundation delicate and given to quick swings. More evidence came at around 1 p.m. in New York Monday, when what looked like a second straight green day for the S&P 500 fell apart in minutes. While news Apple Inc. will slow hiring was cited as a culprit in the collapse, such swings have become common in 2022 equities.

Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance

The curious incident of the gas and the turbines; How a financial market rumour takes off, and why further disruption in the US’s LNG exports could be likelier than most think
Alexandra Scaggs – FT
There’s plenty of uncertainty around natural-gas supplies at the moment. Observers worry that Russia won’t resume operations of its Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline — and the thought of a winter in Germany without Russian gas makes worrying about “crypto winter” sound a bit silly. Before winter arrives, however, there is a question in the commodity chaos involving the US: What should traders make of rumours about a regulator-imposed cut in US exports?

Chevron invests in Google-backed nuclear fusion group pursuing ‘perfect power’; Funding for TAE Technologies comes as money pours into sector promising abundant, zero-carbon energy
Tom Wilson – FT
Chevron has invested in Google-backed nuclear fusion start-up TAE Technologies in the latest sign of the fast-growing interest in the potential of the energy technology to deliver safe zero-emissions power. The US oil major invested in TAE alongside Google and Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation as it raised $250mn to fund the sixth-generation of its fusion research reactor in California, the company said on Tuesday.


Scaramucci Halts Withdrawals in a Fund After Stock, Crypto Swoon
Katherine Burton and Nishant Kumar – Bloomberg
Anthony Scaramucci’s Skybridge Capital suspended redemptions in one of its funds after sharp declines in stocks and cryptocurrencies, according to people familiar with the decision.

Credit Suisse says Greensill recovery will cost clients $291mn; Swiss bank is braced for five years of court battles and disputed insurance claims
Owen Walker – FT
Credit Suisse has warned clients that its effort to recover the money it lent via failed finance company Greensill Capital will cost $291mn, as the Swiss bank braces for five years of long court battles and contested insurance claims.

Pimco buys EUR1bn of Apollo buyout loans from banks; Barclays and BofA take losses in shifting debt backing the takeover of Worldline’s terminals business
Robert Smith – FT
Pimco has bought more than EUR1bn of loans from banks that underwrote Apollo’s takeover of a French payments business, in the latest example of the fund manager taking on a backlog of buyout loans at a deep discount.

US quant fund Fort bucks trend with steep losses in 2022; Computer-driven firm posts losses of 20-40% even as rivals benefit from market regime change
Laurence Fletcher – FT
Fort has posted steep losses in 2022, pushing the computer-driven hedge fund’s assets sharply lower and drawing a stark contrast to many of its peers in the “quant” sector. The Washington, DC-based firm has been hit by losses of 20 per cent to 40 per cent across its funds, according to investor documents. Its losses come during a year when many other quant funds have posted strong gains as their models tapped into volatility in stock, bond and commodity markets.

UK strips guarantee from £400mn of Greensill loans to Gupta-linked companies; British Business Bank that administered emergency Covid lending scheme withdraws guarantee on loans to metals tycoon
Robert Smith and Jim Pickard – FT
The UK government has withdrawn guarantees on £400mn of loans Greensill Capital made to companies linked to Sanjeev Gupta, the metals magnate whose business empire is under criminal investigation for suspected fraud and money laundering.

One Hedge Fund Is Up 223% This Year Thanks to a Big Bet Against Tech Stocks; Coltrane Asset Management reaped profits on a two-year short of tech and growth companies
Juliet Chung – WSJ
In late 2020, Mandeep Manku made a big contrarian bet. His hedge fund, Coltrane Asset Management, had already been hit hard when markets plunged because of Covid-19. He decided to swing Coltrane’s portfolio from favoring cheap European companies to betting against tech and other fast-growing companies in the U.S. Markets with so many stocks trading at more than 10 times their revenues, with fervor concentrated in a few sectors, “always end poorly for investors,” Coltrane told clients in a September 2020 presentation.

Wellness Exchange

High blood thickness ups death risk; few problems with flu-COVID shots together
Nancy Lapid – Reuters
The following is a summary of some recent studies on COVID-19. They include research that warrants further study to corroborate the findings and that has yet to be certified by peer review. Blood thickness linked with death risk in severe COVID-19. Patients hospitalized with COVID-19 whose blood flows less freely than normal are at higher risk of death from complications, a U.S. study showed.

India’s COVID vaccinations hit 2 billion, new cases at four-month high
The Indian government’s COVID-19 vaccinations hit 2 billion on Sunday, with booster doses underway for all adults, as daily infections hit four-month high, official data showed. Prime Minister Narendra Modi extolled the vaccination milestone, celebrating the world’s largest and longest-running inoculation campaign, which began last year. “India creates history again!” Modi said in a tweet. The prime minister has faced allegations from the opposition of mishandling the pandemic that experts claim killed millions.

North Korea says it is nearing end of COVID crisis as Asian neighbours fight resurgence
Soo-Hyang Choi – Reuters
North Korea is on the path to “finally defuse” a crisis stemming from its first acknowledged outbreak of COVID-19, the state news agency said on Monday, while Asian neighbours battle a fresh wave of infections driven by Omicron subvariants. The North says 99.98% of its 4.77 million fever patients since late April have fully recovered, but due to an apparent lack of testing, it has not released any figures of those that proved positive.


The Rhine Is Inches From Being Too Shallow for Shipments
Jack Wittels – Bloomberg
As Europe bakes in a heatwave, about 14 1/2 inches of water are now all that’s preventing parts of the continent from being effectively cut-off from supplies of vital commodities. That’s the gap — just under the height of a bowling pin — between the current water level at a key bottleneck on the Rhine in western Germany and the point at which barges can usefully navigate the river. A further drop is forecast for tomorrow — though it’s less than two inches.

Congo expands oil auction round after west’s crude production push; Country plans to increase number of exploration blocks out to tender from 16 to 27
Kenza Bryan and Tom Wilson – FT
The Democratic Republic of Congo has expanded a contentious oil licensing round in what the hydrocarbons minister described as a response to calls for increased crude production from western governments following the war in Ukraine. Didier Budimbu told the Financial Times that Congo had “no choice” but to increase the number of oil exploration blocks it will auction next week from 16 to 27, after US president Joe Biden travelled to Saudi Arabia to urge the kingdom to pump more oil, and the EU had reopened mothballed coal power plants.

IMF warns of sharp European economic hit from Russian gas embargo; Eastern Europe and Italy would suffer serious recessions unless countries pool resources
Chris Giles – FT
A Russian gas embargo would lead to severe recessions in eastern Europe and Italy if countries around the world hoarded their own scarce supplies, the IMF warned on Tuesday in a bid to encourage solidarity between nations.

Owners of Bust Energy Suppliers Set for Million-Pound Payouts; Every UK household pays for failures while some shareholders benefit.
Todd Gillespie and Lucca De Paoli – Bloomberg
The owners of some UK energy suppliers that collapsed within the past year are set to walk away with payouts reaching tens of millions of pounds at the same time every household in the country is footing the bill for those failures.

France Offers Big Premium in Quest for Swift EDF Nationalization; Investors are offered 12 euros a share by the government; EDF’s problems have exacerbated Europe’s energy crisis
James Herron, William Horobin, and Ania Nussbaum – Bloomberg
The French government offered a premium of more than 50% to minority investors in Electricite de France SA, seeking a swift nationalization of the troubled company that is the backbone of the country’s energy policy.

Top City of London Staff Triggered Nearly 650 Covid Misconduct Alerts
Evelyn Yu – Bloomberg
The City of London’s banks and asset managers notified the UK’s financial regulator of more than 700 incidents of non-financial misconduct by senior staff during the pandemic, including more than 600 breaches of Covid restrictions.

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The Spread

Volatility Spike Brews in Charts Signaling Test for Equity FOMO

Lead Stories Volatility Spike Brews in Charts Signaling Test for Equity FOMO Akshay Chinchalkar - Bloomberg Rising volatility may be about to test the US stock market's 13% jump from June lows. That's the picture painted by technical charts looking at the Cboe...

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