Why Everyone Cares About This Italian Exchange; Winklevoss Twins Hire Eventus to Detect Crypto Cheats on Gemini

Aug 20, 2020

First Read


DOJ Settles Criminal Spoofing Charge Against Scotiabank for $60.4 Million;
CFTC Sanctions Bank of Nova Scotia $17 Million for False Statements Re: Spoofing
By Thom Thompson – John Lothian News

The Department of Justice announced on Wednesday that it was settling its criminal spoofing case against the Bank of Nova Scotia for its role in a “. . . massive price manipulation scheme aimed at falsely manufacturing the prices of precious metals futures contracts . . .”

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission ordered the Bank of Nova Scotia to pay $77.4 million for spoofing and making false statements. $60.4 million of the amount announced by the CFTC is to be split with the Department of Justice. $17 million is the penalty for making false statements to investigators.

In a separate action, the commission ordered Scotiabank to pay $50 million for swap dealer compliance and supervision failures and false statements.

The charges against Scotiabank for spoofing and making false statements with regard to the CFTC’s spoofing case come as something of a surprise, since the commission had settled spoofing charges against the bank less than two years ago. In a slap on the wrist on October 1, 2018 the CFTC ordered Scotiabank to pay $800,000 to settle charges of spoofing the gold and silver futures contracts on CME’s Commodity Exchange (COMEX) from June 2013 through June 2016 “by and through traders on its precious metals trading desk.”

To read the rest of this story, go here.


Hits & Takes
By John Lothian and JLN Staff

JLN has a new feature at the top of the newsletter. It is a request from us to give us an endorsement we can use on our website. So far we have received a handful of replies, nearly all positive. However, there was one negative. I want to share it with you.

Joseph only left his first name, which means he did not really want to participate in the endorsement, but rather offer his criticism in the form of an insult. Here is what he said:

“overrated, all he does is post links to others work and make ultra-left proclamations. act like his IQ is over 100 but clearly it isn’t”

Let me break this down a bit. Aggregating news is the idea, so posting others’ works is a core concept of JLN and of blogging from its earliest days. Newspapers aggregate stories from different sources and so does this newsletter. Joseph claims I made ultra-left proclamations. I acknowledge that I support concepts like “Freedom of the Press,” “Freedom to Assemble,” and Freedom of Religion.” For some, those are ultra-left ideas today. Never have I tried to make a reader believe what I believe, but rather I have tried to make them think about a subject. Lastly, I am not smart enough to know how to act like my IQ is over 100. The only claim I have consistently made about myself is that I have a shiny forehead. What is in that forehead is for you to judge, not me.

We encourage you to offer your own endorsement of JLN and the work of the entire JLN team. We appreciate the loyalty of our readership and this is one way you can show your love for our work and help us promote JLN and expand the reach of the work we do.

Nasdaq is looking for a director of corporate communications, head of U.S. listings.

Bryan on Scouting reports: “Stephen King references Scouting in more than half of his novels.” That is scary!

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


Exberry, the matching engine development company that appeared on Episode 13 of the CryptoMarketsWiki Podcast, shared this news with JLN: “Exberry, the exchange technology pioneer, and Digital Asset, the creators of the open source DAML smart contract language, today launched an end-to-end exchange infrastructure. With the new partnership, any business developing a new digital asset marketplace can launch in a matter of days with a fully-compliant, end-to-end exchange platform and a near risk-free post trade settlement registry.” Digital Asset, formerly known as Digital Asset Holdings, created its own Digital Asset Markup Language (DAML), a type of software language designed to create smart contracts, later making it open source, or free for anyone to use without a license.~MR

Sina Nader, the former head of the cryptocurrency department of Robinhood, has become the COO of FTX, a cryptocurrency derivatives platform that launched in 2019.~MR


The CryptoMarketsWiki Podcast Episode 14: The 80/20 Split

DrawBridge Lending LLC sees itself as the “bridge” between the cryptocurrency world and the world of institutional trading. Jason Urban, the company’s founder and CEO, had over 20 years of experience working in the financial markets before starting DrawBridge with his partners, working at firms like Goldman Sachs and DRW. In this episode, Urban discusses the finer points of running a business based around lending against cryptocurrency, the state of institutional demand for digital asset products, how to work with regulators, and more.

Listen to this podcast »


FTSE Russell Forms Strategic Partnership With SGX
Partnership between FTSE Russell and Singapore Exchange (SGX) to develop a comprehensive Asian and Emerging Markets focused multi-asset index derivatives offering; Collaboration also extends the focus to ETF market development locally and opportunities across index, data and analytics businesses; Partnership supports growing demand across Asia for index-based listed derivatives, including in sustainable investment
FTSE Russell, a leading global index, data and analytics provider, today announces that it has entered into a long-term strategic partnership with Singapore Exchange (SGX). The partnership will initially focus on developing a broad index derivatives offering on Asian and Emerging Markets single country and regional equity derivatives in addition to Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) and Listed Real Estate index derivatives.

*****A good partnership for ESG.~JJL


Getting “Unstuck”: A Five-Step Process for Generating New Concepts
Julie Winkler – Chief Commercial Officer at CME Group via LinkedIn
In movies and TV shows, innovation is often portrayed as a “lightbulb moment” in which a character is suddenly struck by a brilliant idea, seemingly out of nowhere. In reality, a great idea is more often the product of an intentional process than a bolt from the blue.

*****I need to get unstuck a lot. The world needs to get unstuck.~JJL


Commentary – Progress on diversity issues demands ‘honest, intentional, and sometimes uncomfortable conversations’; Industry must work together to defeat deep-rooted but sometimes subtle racism, says DTCC’s Keisha Bell
Keisha Bell, Managing Director and Head of Diverse Talent Management, DTCC
George Floyd was a breaking point for many black and brown people who had become accustomed to compartmentalizing their lives following the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, and countless others. In order to manage the impacts we suffer from systemic racism and the violence affecting our communities, we have gotten used to maintaining a sturdy wall between our work lives, home lives and life experiences. However, as the now-infamous video of George Floyd’s murder spread around the globe, I – like many of my friends and colleagues – found myself no longer able to successfully compartmentalize and maintain my “wall” at work. While previously I’d tuck away my emotions as I shifted into work mode every day, the haunting image of a man pinned to the ground as life was literally choked out of him proved to be too much to bear in silence.

*****More from the FIA about diversity. Nicely timed.~JJL



Wednesday’s Top Three
Our top story Wednesday was Bloomberg’s E*Trade Hit With Lawsuit After Investors Burned by Subzero Oil. The class action suit alleges that “traders were ‘trapped’ as E*Trade’s system failed to give accurate prices and locked out users attempting to enter orders.” Second was Life after the coronavirus: Thousands flock to Wuhan pool party, from NBC News. The photo alone is terrifying. Third was a repeat from Tuesday’s top three, Jessica McCaskill stuns Cecilia Brækhus for undisputed title in massive upset, from The Guardian.


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Lead Stories

Why Everyone Cares About This Italian Exchange; A sale of the MTS bond-trading platform has broa consequences for Europe’s capital markets.
Chris Hughes – Bloomberg
At first glance, it’s a tiny deal — a mere formality in unlocking a much bigger transaction to transform the strategy of the London Stock Exchange Group Plc. But there’s a lot at stake in the U.K. bourse’s attempt to sell its holding in Italy’s MTS SpA bond-trading platform. The disposal has consequences not just for the LSE’s rival exchanges, but also for Italy and for Europe’s capital markets. MTS is a critical piece of European bond-market infrastructure with average daily volumes exceeding 100 billion euros ($119 billion). Its importance is reinforced by the fact that it’s the key venue for trading Italian government debt.

Winklevoss Twins Hire Eventus to Detect Crypto Cheats on Gemini
Matthew Leising – Bloomberg
Gemini Trust Co., the cryptocurrency exchange founded by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, chose Eventus Systems Inc. to provide surveillance and anti-market manipulation tools for an asset class that is often rife with illegal trading. Austin-based Eventus provides similar services for large U.S. crypto exchanges Coinbase and ErisX. While the rules around illegal practices like front-running and wash trades are well-established in traditional markets, crypto so far has been less-regulated. Manipulation is one reason the Securities and Exchange Commission has repeatedly blocked a Bitcoin ETF, and a 2019 study alleged that Bitcoin’s rise above $20,000 in 2017 could have been caused by a lone trader.

Confetti. Free Stocks. Does Robinhood’s Design Make Trading Too Easy? Some behavioral researchers say the app’s simplicity encourages novice investors to take bigger risks
Michael Wursthorn and Euirim Choi – WSJ
Few brokerage apps have captured people’s attention like Robinhood Markets Inc. The Silicon Valley company has turned the complex process of trading stocks into a simple, free swipe across a screen. But some behavioral researchers contend that that simplicity is turning investing into a game, and nudging inexperienced investors to take bigger risks.

CFTC Orders The Bank of Nova Scotia to Pay $127.4 Million for Spoofing, False Statements, Compliance and Supervision Violations; Record Civil Monetary Penalties Levied for Spoofing, False Statements, and Swap Dealer Compliance and Supervision Violations
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission today issued three orders filing and settling charges against The Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS), a provisionally registered swap dealer, resolving two separate enforcement actions. The combined orders require BNS to pay $127.4 million for spoofing and making false statements [See CFTC Press Release No. 8221-20], as well as for swap dealer compliance and supervision violations and additional false statements. [See CFTC Press Release No. 8222-20]

ErisX Selected to Participate in Hawaii’s Digital Currency Innovation Lab Pilot Program
ErisX Insights via Medium
ErisX today announced participation in a pilot program by the State of Hawaii’s Digital Currency Innovation Lab (DCIL) to provide residents of Hawaii immediate access to a U.S. based spot and regulated futures market on cryptocurrencies. Under the two-year pilot program, ErisX is one of 12 digital currency issuers allowed to do business in Hawaii without obtaining a state money transmitter license.

Risks of Commodity ETFs Highlighted in U.S. Oil Fund’s Travails; Securities regulators are zeroing in on fund’s overhaul after oil crashed earlier this year
Amrith Ramkumar – WSJ
Securities regulators have warned the largest U.S. crude-oil exchange-traded fund that it could face enforcement action related to its overhaul after oil crashed earlier this year, the latest development illustrating the dangers of trading complex commodity products.

Traders Accused of Market Manipulation Allege Misconduct by Prosecutors; Traders asked court to order prosecutor to search Justice Department files for evidence that could be exculpatory.
Dave Michaels – WSJ
Lawyers for Bank of America Corp. BAC -0.12% wrote last year that prosecutors had warned the bank against doing its own analysis of potentially manipulative trading out of concern the findings could contradict the government’s investigation.

Slack Has Made Remote Office Communication Easier. It Can Also Be Less Civil; Chat applications have become a major way employees stay connected, but some see an uptick in agitation and bullying
Chip Cutter and Aaron Tilley – WSJ
Soon after employees at the online invitation site Evite began working from home in March, the company sent staffer s guidelines for navigating remote-office life.

Stock Market’s Big Winners: It’s All About the Cloud; As the Covid-19 disruptions show, prosperity depends on dealing with customers, suppliers and just about everyone online.
Matthew A. Winkler – Bloomberg
Various measures of the stock market are flirting with record highs during the worst economy since the Great Depression. This anomaly shows no signs of fading because the coronavirus pandemic is nourishing the roots of remotely engaged commerce. Since the end of March, when Covid-19 proved that prosperity depends on dealing with customers, suppliers and just about everyone online, the market’s best performers are changing how business gets done and the way people work.

Postal Delivery Delays Trouble E-Commerce Sellers; Marketplace eBay says it is looking at ‘more reliable delivery options’ for its small merchants
Jennifer Smith – WSJ
U.S. Postal Service package-delivery delays are causing headaches for e-commerce sellers and prompting digital marketplace eBay Inc. to look for alternatives as heavy online demand taxes domestic parcel networks.

Intellectual-Property Assets Are Getting More Valuable; Covid-19 highlights importance of intellectual-property assets, particularly what happens with licensing contracts if a company goes out of business
Aisha Al-Muslim – WSJ
Intellectual-property assets such as brand names, customer data and trademarks are gaining value as the Covid-19 pandemic upends traditional models for retailers, restaurants and other struggling businesses. The recent wave of corporate bankruptcies shows intellectual property, or IP, is one of the most valuable assets a struggling business holds, financial experts, lawyers and contract analysts say. The sale of intellectual property out of bankruptcy has become an important source of cash for distressed companies looking to unlock value that could be used to pay off creditors.

Airbnb Files Confidentially for IPO With SEC; Home-sharing giant’s plans to go public are a surprise turnaround after pandemic hurt bookings
Preetika Rana – WSJ
Airbnb Inc. said Wednesday it confidentially filed paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering, marking a surprising turnaround for a company whose business was initially ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic. The Wall Street Journal reported last week that the company was close to such a filing.

Why Work From Home When You Can Work From Barbados, Bermuda or … Estonia? Several countries with fragile tourist economies have started to offer visas that allow foreign nationals to live and work for a period of at least six months.
Charu Suri – NY Times
When Lamin Ngobeh, a high-school teacher at the Freire Charter School in Wilmington, Del., saw a social media post last month about working remotely in Barbados for 12 months, his interest was piqued.

The ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ to teach US punters how to trade; Jordan Belfort signs up as coach on training platform RagingBull
Richard Henderson – FT
The “Wolf of Wall Street” has signed up as a coach on RagingBull, a US stock-trading training platform that has drawn fire for its high-pressure sales tactics.

Investors in stricken Woodford fund to share £183m capital return;Total repaid reaches £2.45bn but there is still no timescale to sell remaining £290m of assets
Peter Smith – FT
More than 300,000 investors still stuck in Neil Woodford’s equity income fund are to share in a £183m capital distribution in the coming days, according to Link Fund Solutions, the fund’s administrator.

Bank of Nova Scotia to pay $127 million in record spoofing settlement; US derivatives regulator said the settlement with Bank of Nova Scotia for spoofing and making false allegations is a record penalty.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
The Bank of Nova Scotia will pay a record $127.4 million penalty to settle charges issued by the US derivatives watchdog for metals market manipulation and making false statements.


As U.S. Schools Move to Reopen Despite Covid-19, Teachers Threaten to Strike
NY Times
Barack Obama and other Democrats denounced President Trump’s handling of the coronavirus crisis. North Korea said that floods, sanctions and the virus had hurt its economy.

Fires and Pandemic Converge on California in Multiplying Crises
Sophie Alexander and Brian Eckhouse – Bloomberg
Gatherings due to fire, blackouts may increase spread of Covid; Combination of events is ‘unprecedented’ for the state
Californians are in their sixth month of sheltering in place because of a pandemic that’s killed more than 11,000 residents. Now a new crisis — hundreds of wildfires — is forcing people to prepare to flee their homes at a moment’s notice.

Wearable Tech Enters the Fight Against Covid-19; Health trackers like Fitbits and smartwatches can help detect the coronavirus before symptoms appear. But data gaps and privacy fears remain.
Laura Bliss – Bloomberg
The prospect of suddenly falling gravely ill with no early symptoms is one of the coronavirus’s many frightening aspects, one that Monica Valencia understands all too well. In July, a family member died of Covid-19 after an extremely short illness that seemed to come out of nowhere. Only one symptom, shortness of breath, ever manifested. Within days, the relative was dead.

The COVID-19 Shock and New Investment Paradigm
The COVID-19 crisis has created a significant impact on people’s lives. For investors, it has also accelerated the transition into a new paradigm of zero interest rates and coordinated monetary and fiscal policy. Explore our research on how we got here and how to navigate this new environment.

A New Study Shows Children Are Silent Spreaders Of Covid-19
Misha Gajewski – Forbes
New research shows that children may play a larger role in the community spread of Covid-19 than previously thought. According to the study, published in the Journal of Pediatrics, children who had Covid-19 were shown to have a significantly higher level of virus in their airways than adults who were hospitalized for Covid-19 treatment.

Covid-19 Appeared to Be Under Control in Europe. Now It’s Surging Again; Authorities want to avoid broad lockdowns and economic damage with narrower curbs
Matthew Dalton in Paris, Ruth Bender in Berlin and Margherita Stancati in Rome – WSJ
Coronavirus infections are surging again across much of Europe and governments are racing to prevent a full-fledged second wave of the pandemic —without resorting to the kind of broad lockdowns that devastated their economies in the spring. The seven-day moving average of reported new daily cases has more than doubled since the end of July in the five largest European countries, nearing 11,000. That is the biggest sustained rise on the continent since it beat back the virus’s initial spike in March and April.

Company Write-Downs Surge as Business Slows During Covid-19; U.S. companies booked roughly $261 billion in impairment charges in the first half, more than the total in all of 2019
Mark Maurer – WSJ
U.S. companies are writing down more of their assets during the coronavirus pandemic than they have in years. Finance chiefs are reducing the value of company assets such as airplanes, cruise ships and movie theaters in response to changes in consumer behavior that threaten the viability of their business models.

Alabama’s program to reopen universities is a high stakes experiment.
Natasha Singer – NY Times
Gov. Kay Ivey of Alabama made a daring educational decision in June: She would fund a statewide student testing and technology program to help public universities and colleges reopen for in-person classes.

Europe’s Surge Speeds Up; CureVac in Vaccine Talks: Virus Update
Bloomberg News
Infections continued to flare in Europe, where Germany recorded more than 1,000 new cases for a third consecutive day and Spain reported its highest number of daily infections since April.

The Coronavirus Testing News We’ve Been Salivating For; A newly approved spit test could be a huge step in America’s Covid-19 fight.
Mark Gongloff – Bloomberg
Ever since this horrible stupid pandemic began, it’s been clear testing was the key to stopping it. Way back in March, the WHO’s director-general said fighting the disease without testing was like trying to “fight a fire blindfolded.” Unlike some other countries that tested aggressively from the start, the U.S. has been wearing blinders for months. Finally, there’s some hope they may come off soon.

Georgia, Texas and Florida lead the country in coronavirus cases per capita
Christina Maxouris, Eric Levenson and Nicole Chavez, CNN
(CNN)After adjusting for population, US states in the South and West continue to report the most daily coronavirus cases even after declines over the past few weeks. Per capita, Georgia has reported the most cases per day over a seven-day average of any state, followed by Texas and Florida. The states are led by governors who pushed to reopen during the spring, saw major summer surges of cases and are currently pushing to reopen schools.

PwC UK delays annual results to take in cost of Covid-19; Big Four auditor says it needs more time to assess the damage before signing off on pay and bonuses
Tabby Kinder – FT
PwC UK will delay publishing its annual results until next year as it assesses the impact of the pandemic on pay and bonuses for its staff and partners.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

Stock Exchanges Dealt Blow as SEC Curbs Power to Raise Some Fees
The New York Stock Exchange, Nasdaq and their peers will have to seek public comment and get U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission approval to change how much they charge for widely-used, basic price data under rules adopted Wednesday.
The move to finalize a measure proposed in October continues an SEC effort to rein in exchanges’ ability to raise fees by rescinding an exemption the companies had used for years to make adjustments collectively without approval through so-called national market system plans.

HKEX Launches New Products and Microstructure Enhancements to its MSCI Index Derivatives Suite
HKEX to launch new futures products on broad-based MSCI Taiwan 25/50 Index; Confirms early Opening Hours and 100% trading fee waiver for MSCI Taiwan Index Futures; Programme to support open interest migration and deliver optimized latency to customers
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) is pleased to announce today (Thursday) new products and microstructure enhancements to its MSCI index derivatives suite, further supporting global investors in managing risk and optimising their portfolios, as well as facilitating open interest migration to HKEX.

ASX Reports
Annual Report and Appendix 4E
ASX Notification of Dividend
ASX Full-Year Results Media Release
ASX Full-Year Results Presentation
ASX Full-Year Results Presentation and Speaking Notes
ASX Annual General Meeting and Voting Form
Tax Transparency 2020
Appendix 4G

Unscheduled changes in DAX selection indices; Wirecard AG leaves the DAX index under the new insolvency rule / successor is Delivery Hero SE
Deutsche Börse Group
(Zug, August 19) – STOXX Ltd., Qontigo’s global index provider, announced unscheduled changes in the DAX selection indices on Wednesday.

Euro-Fixed-Income Futures: Adjustment of the obligations for performance for the delivery of Euro-Fixed Income futures contracts on debt securities of the Republic of Italy
The Management Board of Eurex Deutschland took the following decision with effect from 11 September 2020:

Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements
For the six months ended 30 June 2020Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements

2020 1H Results; Media Conference Call
Charles Li Chief Executive, HKEX Group
Vanessa Lau Group Chief Financial Officer, HKEX Group

Shenzhen Stock Exchange And Huaxia Bank Sign A Strategic Cooperation Agreement To Jointly Improve The Financial Capability To Serve The Real Economy
On August 13, Shenzhen Stock Exchange (“SZSE”) and Huaxia Bank Co., Ltd. (“Huaxia Bank”) signed a strategic cooperation agreement and had an in-depth discussion on how to promote deep integration of commercial banks with capital market, further reduce enterprises’ financing cost, do well in supporting pandemic prevention and control and economic and social development as a whole, fulfill the task of ensuring stability on six fronts and maintaining security in six areas, etc. SZSE Party Secretary and Chairman Wang Jianjun, SZSE Deputy Party Secretary and General Manager Sha Yan, Huaxia Bank Deputy Party Secretary and President Zhang Jianhua, etc. attended relevant activities.

Bahamas International Securities Exchange Q2 Statistical Report 2020
BISX is pleased to announce its BISX All-Share Index and trading statistics for the six-month period ending June 30, 2020 with comparison to the same period of 2019.

CME STP Notices: August 20, 2020
CME Group
Update – Enhancement to CME STP Transaction Type – Postponed UPDATE
New – BrokerTec Stream on CME STP – December 7 NEW
CME STP Support of BrokerTec Markets – Q4

CME Globex Notices: August 17, 2020
CME Group
Critical System Updates
iLink 3 MSGW Session Migration
Update on Order Routing and Front-End Audit Trail Requirements for iLink 3
CME Globex Market Segment Gateway Enhancements – August 30
Options on Micro E-mini Equity Index Futures – August 30
Harmonization of Enable/Disable Implied Behavior for ICS – September 20

CME Globex Notices: August 17, 2020
CME Group
Critical System Updates
iLink 3 MSGW Session Migration
Update on Order Routing and Front-End Audit Trail Requirements for iLink 3
CME Globex Market Segment Gateway Enhancements – August 30
Options on Micro E-mini Equity Index Futures – August 30
Harmonization of Enable/Disable Implied Behavior for ICS – September 20

Additional Deliverable Shape for Aluminum Brand
CME Group
The Commodity Exchange, Inc. (“COMEX or Exchange”) has added a deliverable shape to the following Aluminum Brand for delivery against the Exchange’s Aluminum futures contract:

OTC IRS New Release – SOFR Discounting and Price Alignment: Phase 1 Testing
CME Group
Please be advised that CME will begin New Release testing of the SOFR Discounting and Price Alignment Transition on August 26, 2020. Testing will be broken into two phases to test both the Transition Date, and post-Transition Date processing. Between these two phases, CME will hold a Dress Rehearsal to simulate the end-to-end discounting transition processing.

Goldman Sachs offers client clearing via LCH ForexClear; Investment bank Goldman Sachs will provide client clearing through LCH ForexClear’s FCM and international clearing broker model.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
Goldman Sachs has launched client clearing via LCH ForexClear under the central counterparty’s futures commission merchant (FCM) and international clearing broker model.


Early Stage Fintech Hit Hardest From Pandemic
Scarlett Sieber – Forbes
The coronavirus epidemic that began in March has had lasting economic consequences whose full ramifications are still far from clear. While the markets were down by 35% early in the crisis have bounced back, the financial services space has seen mixed results.

SteelEye Pioneers Groundbreaking Auto-Trade Reconstruction Technology – Paving The Way For Compliance Automation And Reducing Trade Reconstructions From Days To Seconds
SteelEye, the compliance technology and data analytics firm, has today announced the general release of its pioneering Auto-Trade Reconstruction technology, which reduces the time it takes for a firm to reconstruct a trade from days to seconds.

AmEx Buys Leading Small Business Lending Fintech
Banker and Tradesman
American Express is buying much of leading fintech Kabbage, which specializes in small-business lending, but will not buy the Atlanta-based firm’s book of loans.

Colorado Issues Safe Harbor for Bank/Fintech Lending Programs
The National Law Review
The Administrator of the Colorado Uniform Consumer Credit Code (an officer within the Colorado Attorney General’s office) (the “Colorado Administrator”) has announced a settlement with Avant LLC and Avant of Colorado LLC (together, “Avant”) and Marlette Funding LLC (“Marlette”)1 in its suit challenging the “bank partnership model” for providing consumer credit services. The settlement has far-reaching implications for bank/fintech lending programs.

FIS Chairman, President & CEO Gary Norcross on Advancing Business Roundtable’s Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion
Business Roundtable via Medium
As I look back at the past year, I am most proud of the way our more than 55,000 employees around the world have risen to the challenge of supporting our clients and the global economy, especially during the pandemic. This reflects the central idea of redefining the purpose of a corporation — being held accountable to success for all stakeholders.


Digital Asset And Exberry Partner To Create End-To-End Exchange Infrastructure-As-A Service For Modern Markets To Launch At Speed – Jointly Developed Scalable Infrastructure Now Available For Launching Traditional, Alternative And Digital Asset Markets Around The World
Mondovisione (press release)
Exberry, the exchange technology pioneer, and Digital Asset, the creators of the open source DAML smart contract language, today launched an end-to-end exchange infrastructure. With the new partnership, any business developing a new digital asset marketplace can launch in a matter of days with a fully-compliant, end-to-end exchange platform and a near risk-free post trade settlement registry.

A Global Look at Central Bank Digital Currencies | Full Research Report
The Block Research
Modern digital financial innovations – namely the rise of electronic money (e-money) – have brought to light deficiencies in existing money and payment systems. Furthermore, the emergence of crypto assets and private stablecoins, particularly Bitcoin in 2008 and Libra in 2019, have sparked intense debate around the role and authority of central banks; some are even speculating on a coming financial paradigm shift worldwide.

Ripple exec says 20% of RippleNet transactions occur using XRP
Yogita Khatri – The Block
Asheesh Birla, SVP of product and corporate development at Ripple, has said that 20% of RippleNet transactions occur using XRP digital asset.

Tether retakes top 3 cryptocurrency spot over XRP
Liam Frost – Decrypt
Tether (USDT) has become the third-largest crypto?currency by market capitalization today, pushing Ripple’s XRP down to the fourth place, according to crypto analytics platforms Messari and Coin Metrics. If you multiple the number of coins in a cryptocurrency by its current price, you get its market capitalization. It’s a way of comparing assets that have wildly different supplies. Since Tether is a stablecoin and its price doesn’t really move—the price of a single USDT is designed to be mostly equal to $1—the only way to increase its market cap is to mint new coins.

Tether is moving 1 billion USDT coins from TRON to Ethereum blockchain
Yogita Khatri – The Block
Stablecoin issuer Tether is today moving 1 billion USDT coins, or 8% of its total supply, from TRON to Ethereum blockchain. Tether CTO Paolo Ardoino told The Block that “a cryptocurrency exchange is willing to swap part of its Tethers from TRC20 to ERC20.” Ardoino declined to name the exchange, but The Block has learned that it is most likely Binance. Binance did not respond to a query by press time.

High Ethereum Fees Push Tether to Its Eighth Blockchain, OMG Network
William Foxley – Coindesk
Tether has adopted Ethereum scaling solution OMG Network amidst record demand for settlement space on the “world computer.” “The integration [between Tether and OMG Network] will result in a reduction of confirmation times delivering faster payments while fees will be reduced without compromising on-chain security,” Tether Inc. said in a blog Wednesday. OMG Network can handle thousands of transactions at a third of the cost of Ethereum as a Layer 2 solution for Ethereum that batches transactions before settlement, OMG Network CEO Vansa Chatikavanij said in a statement.

Cryptocurrencies Tumble Most in Two Months as Dollar Jumps
Vildana Hajric – Bloomberg
Cryptocurrencies sold off on Wednesday, with the Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index dropping the most in more than two months. The gauge, which tracks some of the largest cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ether, XRP and Bitcoin Cash, fell as much as 6.5%, the biggest drop since June 11. Bitcoin and Ether together make up more than half of the index, while XRP constitutes about 20%.

BlockFi Raises $50M From Universities, NBA Star, Others as Crypto Lending Soars
Nathan DiCamillo – Coindesk
After $50 million in fresh capital, crypto lender BlockFi has now raised nearly $100 million in the past 12 months. Announced Thursday, the latest round, a Series C, was led by Anthony Pompliano’s Morgan Creek Digital. (It’s the second-largest round to be led by the VC firm, with Figure’s $103 million Series C topping the list.) At the moment, BlockFi has $1.5 billion in crypto assets on its lending platform and is producing a little less than $10 million a month in revenue, CEO Zac Prince said in an interview. He said BlockFi is still trying to add personnel and keep equity capital stable in order to quickly expand geographically.

Hawaii Welcomes Crypto Exchanges Back With New Regulatory Sandbox
Sandali Handagama – Coindesk
U.S. exchanges ErisX and bitFlyer are among 12 crypto firms selected to pilot Hawaii’s digital currency regulatory sandbox that will allow virtual asset service providers to do business in the state without obtaining a money transmitter license for a two-year period, the companies announced Wednesday.

A Japanese Court Just Ordered the Nation’s First Cryptocurrency Seizure
Felipe Erazo – Cointelegraph
The Tokyo District Court has issued Japan’s first ever crypto seizure. $46,000 worth of Bitcoin (BTC) was expropriated in relation to a hack suffered by the Coincheck exchange in 2018. Kyodo reported that police have already seized the BTC, which was held by a doctor from Hokkaido and an executive from the Osaka Prefecture. The two men were arrested in connection with the hack. They are accused of knowingly purchasing the stolen NEM (XEM) through a dark web market, violating organized crime laws in the country.

Binance Launches DeFi Staking With Cryptos Kava and Dai
Sebastian Sinclair – Coindesk
Users of crypto exchange Binance can now stake Dai and Kava as the exchange’s decentralized finance (DeFi) staking platform goes live. Binance’s DeFi staking program was first announced Wednesday with Dai, the stablecoin generated by loans on MakerDAO. The Binance initiative aims to tap into this year’s booming DeFi market by offering the ability for users earn staking rewards (akin to interest) on select digital assets.


Trump praises baseless QAnon conspiracy theory, says he appreciates support of its followers
Colby Itkowitz, Isaac Stanley-Becker, Lori Rozsa and Rachael Bade – Washington Post
President Trump gave a major boost to the baseless QAnon conspiracy theory, saying Wednesday that he appreciated the support of its followers, calling them “people that love our country.”

Facebook Removes Hundreds of QAnon Groups, Limits Thousands More
Kurt Wagner and Sarah Frier – Bloomberg
Facebook bans 790 groups, 100 pages linked to conspiracy group; More accounts and pages with ties to Antifa also removed
Facebook Inc. has removed or restricted hundreds of Pages, accounts and Groups from its main social network and Instagram that are linked to the far-right conspiracy group QAnon, saying the accounts violate a newly expanded version of its policy regarding “dangerous individuals and organizations.”

How Paul Manafort promoted Russian disinformation that has been embraced by Trump; Then-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort tours the floor of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July 2016.
Rosalind S. Helderman and Tom Hamburger – Washington Post
The effort began only days after Paul Manafort resigned as chairman of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in August 2016. Manafort faced scrutiny for accepting millions in off-book payments from pro-Russian Ukrainian officials — an uncomfortable situation for the longtime lobbyist, since accusations were then emerging that Russia was interfering in the White House race to help Trump defeat Hillary Clinton.

Trump Phone Calls Add to Lingering Questions About Russian Interference; A Senate committee went further than the Mueller report on key points about Russia’s election sabotage operations and the Trump campaign.
Julian E. Barnes – NY Times
More than 200 pages into a sprawling, 1,000-page report on Russian election interference, the Senate Intelligence Committee made a startling conclusion endorsed by both Republicans and Democrats: Donald J. Trump knew of and discussed stolen Democratic emails at critical points late in his 2016 presidential campaign.

The Trump Campaign Accepted Russian Help to Win in 2016. Case Closed; “Cooperation” or “collusion” or whatever. It was a plot against American democracy.
The Editorial Board – NY Times
From the start, the Trump-Russia story has been both eye-glazingly complex and extraordinarily simple. Who is Oleg Deripaska? What’s the G.R.U. again? Who owed what to whom? The sheer number of crisscrossing characters and interlocking pieces of evidence — the phone calls, the emails, the texts, the clandestine international meet-ups — has bamboozled even those who spend their days teasing it all apart. It’s no wonder average Americans tuned out long ago.

Trump Calls for Goodyear Boycott Over Ban on Campaign Attire; President discourages purchasing from tire maker in latest incident posing challenge for business leaders’ efforts to regulate workplace political speech
Ben Foldy – WSJ
President Trump called for a boycott of Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. GT -2.36% in response to reports that the company showed a slide to workers prohibiting the wearing of politically affiliated slogans, such as “Make America Great Again” apparel.

Goodyear Responds to ‘Misconceptions’ After Trump Urges Boycott
Nathan Crooks – Bloomberg
Goodyear responded to a social media firestorm on Wednesday after President Donald Trump called for a boycott of the company. An image circulating on social media appeared to show the company deemed Trump campaign apparel and clothing with certain slogans “unacceptable” for the workplace.

Trump’s Goodyear Rant Is a Sign of Desperation; Even if voters don’t punish him for it, the president’s bombast has steadily weakened his ability to get anything done.
Jonathan Bernstein – Bloomberg
Perhaps it’s because I’ve been watching normal politicians this week. The ones who stretch the truth from time to time but try to remain anchored in something they can defend as accurate — and who usually appear to be thinking about the consequences of what they say. So I just can’t get over what the U.S. president tweeted today:

Fed Officials Said the Economy Needed More Help From Congress; Minutes from the Federal Reserve’s July meeting show that some officials fretted as expanded unemployment insurance ran out.
Jeanna Smialek – NY Times
Federal Reserve officials emphasized the need for ongoing economic support in late July as the coronavirus pandemic dragged on, keeping millions of workers at home and threatening U.S. growth.


Hong Kong Securities And Futures Commission Issues Quarterly Report
The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) today published its latest Quarterly Report which summarises key developments from April to June 2020.

Ontario Securities Commission Study Explores Retail Investor Responses To The COVID-19 Pandemicpilot
Investors have been confronted with unprecedented uncertainty during the COVID-19 pandemic. Understanding how the pandemic is affecting retail investor experiences and behaviours is key to protecting investors.

EBA Supports The EU Commission’s Call For A More Efficient And Effective Framework To Tackle Money Laundering And Terrorism Financing
The European Banking Authority (EBA) published today its response to the European Commission’s Action Plan for a comprehensive Union policy on preventing money laundering and terrorism financing (ML/TF). In its response, the EBA sets out technical points that policy-makers should consider when deciding on the scope and powers of an EU-level supervisor for Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT).

ESMA provides updated XML schema and reporting instructions for securitisation reporting
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the EU’s securities markets’ regulator, has today published updated reporting instructions and XML schema (version 1.2.0) for the templates set out in the technical standards on disclosure requirements. The updates address technical issues identified by stakeholders since December 2019.

ESMA recommends priority topics in AIFMD review
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the EU’s securities markets regulator, has written to the European Commission (Commission) highlighting areas to consider during the forthcoming review of the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD).

Liquidity Provision in the Secondary Markets for Equity Securities – Final Report
Board of the International Organization of Securities Commissions

SEC Names Marc P. Berger as Deputy Director of Enforcement
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Marc P. Berger, currently Director of the SEC’s New York Regional Office, has been named Deputy Director of the Division of Enforcement.

Richard R. Best Named Director of SEC’s New York Regional Office
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Richard R. Best has been named Director of the New York Regional Office. Mr. Best will succeed Marc P. Berger, who has been named Deputy Director of the Division of Enforcement.

SEC Adopts Requirements to Ensure Public Notice, Comment, and Approval Prior to Effectiveness of NMS Plan Fees
The Securities and Exchange Commission today voted to rescind a rule exception that allowed a proposed national market system (NMS) plan fee amendment to become effective upon filing, prior to review and comment by investors and other market participants. The new procedures require public notice of any proposed NMS plan fee amendment, an opportunity for public comment, and Commission approval by order before a new or changed fee can be charged. The Commission also modified the procedures for review of all proposed NMS plans and plan amendments, including fee amendments, to specify timelines for Commission action for each step of the process, adding certainty to the process for NMS plan participants.

IOSCO To Launch 2020 World Investor Week To Promote Investor Education
The International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) is preparing to launch its fourth annual World Investor Week (WIW) from 5 to 11 October 2020, as initially planned before the outbreak of COVID 19. The dedicated campaign website for the 2020 edition of the WIW (www.worldinvestorweek.org) is now available for participants and other interested parties.

Investing and Trading

Nvidia Posts Record Sales as Pandemic Sustains Demand for Gaming, Data-Center Chips; Chip maker’s shares have surged during health crisis, making it best performing stock in the S&P 500
Maria Armental -WSJ
Graphic-chip maker Nvidia Corp. NVDA -1.00% continued its run of strong financial performance during the coronavirus pandemic, posting record sales in the latest quarter propelled by strong demand for online gaming and remote computing services.

Rising stock market would be in the red without a handful of familiar names; Tech titans are flying high, but the companies face mounting pushback from lawmakers, regulators.
David J. Lynch – Washington Post
Five hundred companies make up Wall Street’s most widely used measure of the stock market’s performance: the Standard & Poor’s 500 index. If it were not for just six of them, the benchmark would be down this year.

How to Get Your Finances in Order Before Returning to Work; Your emergency fund, health accounts and coverage, estate planning and budgeting should all be considered
Veronica Dagher – WSJ
The pandemic has shed fresh light on the need for workers to make sure their budgets, wills and insurance coverage are in good shape no matter what their age. As some businesses and schools reopen this fall, and employees head back to public spaces, many might want to make sure their finances are in order in case they become sick with the coronavirus.

Market Jitters Show How Much Fed Medicine Matters; For investors, yield curve control is a big deal, so a hint that it isn’t going to happen didn’t go down well.
John Authers – Bloomberg
The world hasn’t changed that much. What the Federal Reserve says still matters, a lot. For evidence, look at the market reaction on a quiet Wednesday in August when the minutes to the latest Federal Open Market Committee meeting were published. We had already heard the chairman’s gloss on the discussion that the committee had, and there are ideal moments to unveil a new policy direction straight ahead, in next week’s annual gathering of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming (which, unfortunately for the bankers, will be virtual this year, denying them the chance for some fresh air in the great outdoors), and in next month’s FOMC meeting.

Apple’s Next Trillion Won’t Come So Easily; The iPhone maker’s ascent to a record-breaking $2 trillion in market value is impressive. It faces a more uncertain road ahead.
Tae Kim – Bloomberg
Apple Inc. has done it again. On Wednesday, just two years after becoming the first U.S. company to boast a trillion-dollar market valuation, it became the first to top $2 trillion. Getting to the next trillion may not be such a breeze.

Wall Street Rethinks Stock Strategy as Dollar Risks Rise
Ruth Carson and Moxy Ying – Bloomberg
Investors are bracing for a further slide in U.S. currency; EM stocks seen benefiting, Japanese shares could lag
Six months ago, exchange rates would have mattered less in a global investor’s stock-picking process. Now with the dollar facing what some warn is an existential threat, currencies are in the limelight.

Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance

Offshore Drilling Contractor Valaris Files for Bankruptcy in the U.S.; London-based offshore drilling contractor said it has a proposed $6.5 billion deal to turn over ownership mostly to lenders and bondholders
Becky Yerak – WSJ
Valaris PLC, a London-based offshore drilling contractor, filed for bankruptcy Wednesday in the U.S. with a proposed $6.5 billion debt-for-equity swap that hands over ownership of most of the company to creditors.

Brief Remarks, Federal Reserve Governor Michelle W. Bowman, At The Outstanding Women Of Kansas Awards Ceremony, Topeka, Kansas
Thank you to the 19th Amendment Centennial Celebration Committee for the honor of being included among these distinguished awardees, whose achievements have done so much for our state and our nation.

Citi CEO Says Banks Must Walk If Clients Won’t Reduce Emissions
Jennifer Surane – Bloomberg
Corbat still pledged to support the fossil-fuel industry; ‘We must be willing to have frank conversations,’ Corbat says
Citigroup Inc. Chief Executive Officer Michael Corbat said banks should start walking away from clients who don’t acknowledge the need to reduce their carbon emissions — even as he pledged support for the fossil-fuel industry.

California Blazes Are Burning Hot Enough to Spur Fire Tornadoes
Catherine Traywick – Bloomberg
Updrafts can draw in wind and create a billowing pyrocumulus; The dense clouds can resemble an erupting volcano’s plume
As if California wildfires weren’t bad enough, their smoke has started to form self-contained weather systems capable of spinning out lightning and so-called firenadoes.


Are global macro hedge funds enjoying renaissance – or a final hurrah?
Robin Wigglesworth via LinkedIn
Volatility is back with a vengeance as the coronavirus crisis has engulfed the global economy. This has nurtured a renaissance for many macro hedge funds, with some notching up gains not seen since their 1990s heyday.

Temasek buys $4.8 billion stake in investment giant BlackRock
Temasek Holdings has become one of the largest shareholders of BlackRock after it added a 3.9 per cent stake that’s worth about US$3.5 billion (S$4.8 billion).

For Firms That Got Citi’s $900 Million, It’s a Shot at Payback
Lisa Lee, Sally Bakewell, Katherine Doherty, and Jennifer Surane – Bloomberg
Lenders increasingly accuse loan agents of favoring borrowers; Banks being dragged into intensifying credit-market brawls
If Citigroup Inc. was looking to create a drama big enough to compete with the pandemic and U.S. elections for Wall Street’s attention, it couldn’t have written a better script.

UBS Revamps Wealth Structure to Free Up Billions for Loans
Marion Halftermeyer, Patrick Winters, and Steven Arons – Bloomberg
Bank is overhauling legal structure at wealth management unit; Changes add to structural changes at private banking business
UBS Group AG is overhauling the legal structure at its key wealth management unit in a move that will cut costs and free up billions of dollars for lending in higher-growth markets.

Jack Ma’s Ant Financial Posts $1.3 Billion in Profit
Lulu Yilun Chen – Bloomberg
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba owns 33% of Ant Group; Ant is planning dual listings in Hong Kong and Shanghai
Billionaire Jack Ma’s Ant Group generated about 9.2 billion yuan ($1.3 billion) of profit in the March quarter, offering investors a glimpse of its earnings power in the run up to its mega initial public offering.


North Korea’s Leader Had Big Economic Plans. He Admits They’ve Failed; Kim Jong-un’s blunt assessment led his country to plan a rare Workers’ Party congress for January to chart a new course after the country was hammered by sanctions, floods and the pandemic.
Choe Sang-Hun – NY Times
Back in 2016, North Korea’s freshly minted leader, Kim Jong-un, held the country’s first ruling Workers’ Party’s congress in three decades and laid out an ambitious five-year economic plan to build what he called a “great socialist country” by 2020.

China vows all necessary measures to protect its firms following U.S. curbs on Huawei
China will take “all necessary measures” to protect its firms’ legitimate interests, the Commerce Ministry said on Thursday, in response to the U.S. move this week to further tighten restrictions on Huawei Technologies Co.


Britain’s Meandering Track to Trade After Brexit; The U.K. is running out of time to strike new deals with its trading partners.
Editorial Board – Bloomberg
You might think U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson — coping unimpressively with the Covid-19 pandemic and related disasters, including this week’s embarrassing U-turn on school examination results — had enough to worry about. But there’s also the small matter of Brexit. To remind, this involves the complete upheaval of Britain’s trading arrangements a little over four months from now.

EU rejects British plan for post-Brexit return of asylum seekers
Jennifer Rankin – The Guardian
EU negotiators have rejected a British request for a migration pact that would allow the government to return asylum seekers to other European countries. When the Brexit transition period expires on 31 December, the government will lose the right to transfer refugees and migrants to the EU country in which they arrived, a cornerstone of the European asylum system known as the Dublin regulation.

London to maintain grip on EU financial market plumbing post Brexit
Huw Jones – Reuters
London will remain a big part of Europe’s financial market plumbing well beyond Brexit as the coronavirus pandemic has thwarted Frankfurt’s ambitions to grab billions of euros worth of derivatives clearing business from Britain.

Liz Truss meetings with hard-Brexit group deleted from public register
Reuters via The Guardian
Recent meetings between Liz Truss, the UK trade secretary, and a pro-hard Brexit thinktank have been reclassified as personal discussions, removing them from the public record and sparking Labour allegations that she wants to conceal the group’s influence on public policy.

EU Seeks Tighter Asset-Manager Rules as Brexit Date Looms
Silla Brush – Bloomberg
The European Union’s top markets regulator is asking for rule changes that could limit London’s role as a hub for asset management. It comes as the deadline for Brexit trade talks approaches, threatening to heighten tension at a fraught moment in the negotiations. The EU has previously warned that it’s not planning to grant easy cross-border access to markets in the short-term, and that banks and other financial firms must prepare to do more business from their offices in the bloc.


Barstool’s Portnoy Rattles Investors Saying He’s Sick
Bailey Lipschultz and Sophie Alexander – Bloomberg
Barstool Sports founder and cult retail investing figure Dave Portnoy posted a bedridden video saying he was sick — possibly with coronavirus — sending shares of backer Penn National Gaming Inc. sliding on Wednesday. Portnoy said he hasn’t left his bed in 40 hours. “Do I have Covid? Maybe,” he said in the video, which was posted to social media. “I’m just going to get better, so I can come back and do what I do, which is to entertain you.”

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