Wildfires rage in Canada’s oil hub

May 17, 2024

First Read

Hits & Takes
John Lothian & JLN Staff

Trading Technologies (TT) celebrated its 30th anniversary yesterday, marking three decades of pioneering advancements in electronic futures trading. Founded in 1994, TT initially revolutionized the industry with its X_TRADER platform, which became the standard for global trading operations, including nearly all major banks. TT CEO Keith Todd sent a message to the staff of TT yesterday and it was posted to LinkedIn. I have summarized it below.

A decade ago, TT further advanced the market by launching its TT platform, embracing SaaS and cloud technologies. Despite initial skepticism, the company now processes billions of transactions annually through its platform.

Currently, TT is evolving into a multi-asset platform designed to manage the full trade life cycle. Through a combination of organic growth and strategic acquisitions, the company is close to achieving this goal.

As TT celebrates this milestone, the company reflects on its journey from its early days of overcoming obstacles to becoming a global technology innovator in the financial markets. CEO Keith Todd expressed gratitude to employees for their contributions and emphasized the company’s continued commitment to innovation.

“Let’s take a moment to pause and celebrate these achievements today as we cross into the next decade,” Todd said. “Congratulations and happy anniversary, TT.”

Today JLN published part two of our Open Outcry Traders History Project interview with veteran trader George Hanley, whose family roots at the Chicago Board of Trade go back more than a century. We have also republished part one. Additionally, we have an exclusive interview with the new CEO of the Greenwood Project, Kwesi Smith

In part two of Hanley’s video, he tells the story of moving to the soybean options pit when it opened on Halloween in 1984 and after learning options trading from some former CBOE traders, quickly becoming the largest trader in the pit. He actually became too big and repeatedly exceeded the position limits and was called before an exchange committee as a result. After his ninth time in front of the committee for violating position limits, which Hanley thinks is still an exchange record, committee Chair John Ruth told him if he saw him in front of the committee again he would be suspended for six months. That was a big problem for a trader with positions that ran out 15 months.

In order to solve his issues, Hanley realized he needed to clone himself and scale his trading. This was the beginning of the Hanley Group, which became the largest agricultural options trading firm in the world for about 10 to 15 years, Hanley said.

Another amazing thing about Hanley’s story is that he was an innovator, moving from city to city, exchange to exchange and trading pit to trading pit, as new markets opened up and needed liquidity providers. He was there at the beginning of many markets in the late 1970s and early 1980s, including CDs, T-Bills, Eurollars, Bonds, Rice (in New Orleans) and soybean options. His firm, the Hanley Group, also created another company, Blink Trading, that created the first electronic trading cross exchange spread engine. He would sell Blink Trading to GETCO four years after founding the company in a deal for $2.5 million and make one of the biggest investing mistakes of his career when he took cash rather than stock in GETCO.

As I interviewed Hanley and learned more about his story, it sounded like a story that belonged in the FIA Hall of Fame. Maybe next year I will nominate George.

Join WilmerHale for a webinar titled “CFTC 101: The Most Important Agency You’ve Never Heard Of” on June 4, 2024. Special counsels Matthew Beville and Megan O’Flynn, senior counsel Tanya Navar Stern, senior associate Alexandrea Rahill, and associate Ayana Dow will provide an overview of the Commodity Exchange Act and CFTC regulation, moderated by Matthew Kulkin, partner and chair of the Futures and Derivatives Practice. The panel will discuss the history and creation of the CFTC, CFTC rules, derivatives market structure, and the agency’s enforcement and regulatory authorities. Hot topics such as digital assets and AI will also be covered. This webinar is geared towards in-house legal, compliance, and regulatory affairs professionals at financial institutions, market participants, and end users. Participants can contribute questions online, and CLE credit will be provided.

Today’s Financial Times Special Report titled “Asia-Pacific Innovative Lawyers” highlights how generative AI and global tensions are shaping the legal landscape in the Asia-Pacific region. Lawyers are adapting to political and economic uncertainties, climate change, and increased workloads while implementing AI with necessary safeguards. Heightened geopolitical tensions are influencing law firm priorities, with conflict-driven risks becoming more prominent. The report celebrates winners of the Asia-Pacific Innovative Lawyers Awards, recognizing achievements in digital tools, deal-making, and overall innovation. Japanese firms are increasingly sought for policy advice on AI, trade, and cryptocurrency, and the sector is bracing for potential unsolicited takeovers. Lawyers are also advising clients on ESG issues as Southeast Asian nations seek to decarbonize. In-house legal teams are testing AI technologies, and standout practitioners are challenging traditional ideas with unique approaches. Law firm leaders are fostering innovation among young lawyers, while reassessing staff welfare policies to address burnout. Australian firms are promoting skill development through competitive training programs.

We missed a story back from April 27 in The New York Times that should have been in our Wellness section that I expect would be a top three story. The title of the story is “5 Exercises for a Better Sex Life” and the subheadline is “Any physical activity can improve your sexual health. But a few exercises are especially beneficial.”

The New York Times today has a story about building strength titled “If You Want to Get Stronger, Routine Is the Enemy” with the subheadline “To get the most out of your strength training, try progressive overload.” I am not sure how those two stories are related, but it could be an interesting discussion over a glass of wine.

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


The “Global Critical Minerals Outlook 2024” from the International Energy Agency (IEA) is now available on the IEA website. The report found that sharp declines in critical mineral prices mask risks of future supply strains as energy transitions advance. Although prices for key minerals used in clean energy technologies dropped in 2023, the new IEA analysis shows need for greater and more diversified investment to support efforts to reach energy and climate goals. The interactive website examines the outlook for copper, lithium, nickel, cobalt, graphite, and rare earth elements through targeted click-throughs. It includes a data explorer for global demand projections of 37 critical minerals essential for clean energy transitions, covering three main IEA scenarios and 11 technology-specific cases. View the tools and download the report HERE.~SAED

Our most read stories from our previous edition of JLN Options were:
Cboe’s Adam Inzirillo talks about Cboe’s data offerings and growth at FIA Boca from John Lothian News.
GameStop and AMC Extend Slump as Meme-Fueled Rally Unravels from Bloomberg.
GameStop and AMC shares were halted 38 times on Tuesday. This expert has been arguing for decades that halts don’t work. from MarketWatch. ~JB

Subscribe to the JLN Options Newsletter HERE (it’s free).


Veteran Trader George Hanley Shares Family’s Legacy in Trading at CBOT in Open Outcry Traders History Project Interview

In an interview for the Open Outcry Traders History Project, veteran trader George Hanley recounted the rich history of his family’s involvement with the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT). The interview, part one of three parts conducted by John Lothian News for the MarketsWiki Education video series, explored the Hanley family’s deep-rooted connections to the trading world, dating back to the early 20th century.

Watch the video »


George Hanley Reflects on Trading Career in Second Interview Segment of Open Outcry Traders History Project Interview

In the second part of the Open Outcry Traders History Project interview with veteran trader George Hanley for the MarketsWiki Education series, Hanley shares insights into his dynamic trading journey.

Watch the video »


Greenwood Project CEO Aims to Grow Minority Talent Pipeline for Finance

Smith, who has two decades of experience as a research analyst and investor, took over leadership of the Chicago-based organization in 2023. He aims to transform Greenwood into the premier talent pipeline for Black and Latino students nationwide seeking high-trajectory finance careers, Smith told John Lothian News in a recent video interview.

Watch the video »


Futures & Derivatives Alert; Divided CFTC Releases “Gaming” Event Contract Rule Proposal
Matthew B. Kulkin, Megan O’Flynn and Ayana Dow – WilmerHale
On May 10, 2024, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)’s proposed amendments to CFTC Regulation 40.11 to further define “gaming” contracts considered “contrary to the public interest” under the Commodity Exchange Act (the Proposed Rule). This is the latest development in the Commission’s longstanding effort to address event contracts that are based on political and economic indicators, and other event contracts considered “gaming.” The Proposed Rule, if adopted, will limit the types of event contracts that can be listed for trading on CFTC-registered trading platforms. Depending on its implementation timeline, the Proposed Rule would also negatively impact the permissibility of certain currently outstanding event contracts with open interests-forcing them to be wound down and open interests to be liquidated. Finally, and importantly, the Proposed Rule would allow the Commission to establish a categorical ban on certain types of contracts in one fell swoop that would otherwise be evaluated by the Commission on a contract-by-contract basis.

***** This is an issue that is not going to go away, you can make odds on it.~JJL


Google’s AI-powered search engine could be ‘catastrophic’ for news publishers, critics warn
Thomas Barrabi – NY Post
Google’s controversial move to introduce AI-generated summaries to its search engine could cause “catastrophic” damage to cash-strapped publishers and content creators who rely on the traffic to generate crucial revenue, prominent advocates have warned. The “AI Overviews” feature – unveiled at Google’s annual I/O conference earlier this week – will automatically generate answers to complex user queries such as “how to fix my toilet,” with search results effectively demoting links to other web sites.

***** It has been nice knowing you folks.~JJL


Thursday’s Top Three
Our top story Thursday was MIT students stole $25M in seconds by exploiting ETH blockchain bug, DOJ says, from Ars Technica. Second was Special Report Europe’s Climate Leaders, from the Financial Times. And third was EU faces pressure on Green Deal as elections loom, also from the Financial Times.



Lead Stories

Wildfires rage in Canada’s oil hub; Blazes put more than 2mn barrels a day of supply at risk amid geopolitical tensions in Middle East and Russia
Amanda Chu – Financial Times
Wildfires are again burning forests in Canada’s oil sands region, with blazes on the outskirts of its main city putting petroleum production at risk. Nearly 20,000 hectares (49,000 acres) were classified as out of control by Alberta Wildfire on Thursday, burning several kilometres from the oil sands capital of Fort McMurray. The fires are in a region of Alberta province where energy companies mine thick bitumen deposits to be upgraded into synthetic crude oil. The growth of the oil sands industry has enabled Canada to become the world’s fourth-largest oil producer, producing 6 per cent of global supply.

Investors Are Striking Gold All Over; Investors have rarely had it this good, with prices of everything from homes to stocks and cryptocurrencies soaring
Gregory Zuckerman and Gunjan Banerji – The Wall Street Journal
Investors are striking gold in most every market. The Dow Jones Industrial Average crossed the 40000 mark for the first time Thursday amid an almost picture-perfect investing environment featuring resilient corporate profits, low unemployment and easing inflation. Most everything is going up-established Dow stocks, faster-growing tech shares, bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, and even gold and other precious metals. Risk-averse investors have a bounty of options, too, including certificates of deposit offering yields of about 5% and rising junk bonds and other fixed-income investments, adding to the glow.

Buying back some Treasury market liquidity; A handy bit of sleight of hand
Melissa Davies – Financial Times
Earlier this month the Federal Reserve decided to scale back its quantitative tightening programme. At the same time, the US Treasury quietly announced that it would buy back bonds for the first time since 2002. Both are a great relief. After all, concerns about Treasury market liquidity and the possibility of a liquidity-related market upset have been running high for some time, and keep mounting as government debt issuance soars.

What I Got Wrong in a Decade of Predicting the Future of Tech; Over nearly 500 articles, I’ve made plenty of mistakes. Here are five big lessons those blown calls and boneheaded pronouncements have taught me along the way.
Christopher Mims – Bloomberg
In 10 years of writing this column, I’ve interviewed thousands of people, tried hundreds of gadgets and services, and, let’s be real, made more than my share of boneheaded pronouncements and predictions. A decade ago, the S&P 500 was less than half what it is today. Of the 10 most valuable publicly traded companies in the world, only three of them-Apple, Microsoft and Google-were in tech. Today, the situation is inverted-only three of the 10 most valuable companies in the world aren’t tech companies. One of them, Berkshire Hathaway, is so valuable in part because until quite recently, nearly half its stock portfolio consisted of Apple shares.

CME Looks to Take On Binance and Coinbase, Could Launch Spot Bitcoin Trading: Report
Shaurya Malwa, Omkar Godbole – CoinDesk
Futures powerhouse Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) plans to offer spot bitcoin trading to clients as demand for the product mounts among market participants, the Financial Times reported on Thursday. CME is already the top bitcoin futures exchange by open interest, while offshore, non-regulated Binance dominates the spot market. The exchange has held discussions with traders who want to trade bitcoin on a regulated marketplace, the FT reported, citing people with direct knowledge of the talks.

Coinbase Shares Sink 9% on Report CME to Consider Listing Spot Bitcoin
Helene Braun – CoinDesk
Shares of Coinbase dropped nearly 8% to $202.49 during U.S. morning hours on Thursday after a Financial Times report that the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) might soon offer spot bitcoin trading amid strong interest from clients. Cryptocurrencies were up on the day. The CoinDesk 20 Index, which tracks 20 of the largest digital tokens by market capitalization, is 0.91% higher over the past 24 hours. Bitcoin {{BTC}} was up by half a percent as it continued to profit from Wednesday’s better-than-expected inflation report. COIN is up 29% year-to-date as crypto prices have rallied since the beginning of the year.

Copper Short Squeeze in New York Is Rocking Metals Markets
A massive dislocation between the prices for copper traded in New York and other commodity exchanges has rocked the global market for the metal and prompted a frantic dash for supplies to ship to the US. The source of the disruption is a short squeeze that has driven up prices on the Comex exchange in recent days. The premium fetched by New York copper futures above the London Metal Exchange price has rocketed to an unprecedented level of over $1,200 per ton, compared with a typical differential of just a few dollars.

Marex eyes more acquisitions as revenue jumps 75%; Trade services firm passes $1bn mark in its first results since going public
Jeremy Chan – Financial News
Marex is on the hunt for more deals after revenue spiked 75% in 2023. Revenue from clearing climbed 87% to $374m last year, while broking was up 135% to $542m.

China Enacts Rules to Tighten Scrutiny of Programmed Trading; Rules followed draft in April, set to take effect in October; High-frequency trading comes under stricter monitoring
Bloomberg News
China’s securities regulator published new rules to tighten scrutiny on programmed trading, paving the way for stricter supervision of institutional investors including the 1.6 trillion yuan ($222 billion) quantitative hedge fund industry. Investors that use computer programs to generate automated trades should report to exchanges before starting such transactions, and their trading will be subject to real-time monitoring, the China Securities Regulatory Commission said Wednesday on its website. The new rules, set to take effect Oct. 8, also list requirements on risk control and technology systems, and allow tighter scrutiny of high-frequency trading.

Farmers Are Breeding Hybrid Dairy Cattle to Sell for Meat; The additional income stream is a welcome boost for US dairy producers, who’ve had a tough couple of years selling milk.
Ilena Peng – Bloomberg
With America’s supply of beef cattle the lowest since 1961, dairy farmers are finding another way to make money: breed more calves destined for the slaughterhouse. Dairy farmers, who traditionally produce new milking cows to replace their outgoing ones, are increasingly churning out meatier offspring that they can sell to ranchers to raise for human consumption. Those hybrid calves – created by artificially inseminating a dairy cow with semen from a beef bull – are beefier than a pure dairy animal and can fetch the seller hundreds or even thousands of dollars apiece. That’s a big payday in an industry that last summer faced such a pronounced milk glut that farmers were forced to dump it down the drain.

Law firms probe best ways to win a head start on using AI; Legal innovators in the Asia-Pacific region are racing to show how they will adapt to the latest tech
Reena SenGupta – Financial Times
Danny Gilbert, veteran corporate lawyer and founder of Australia’s Gilbert + Tobin, notes that profound changes are looming for the legal sector – and he is keen to spell out why. “Generative AI is coming at us; it will gather and analyse all the data you need in major corporate deals,” he says. “It will predict what will happen in court, examine the submissions of opposing counsel and even produce a good first draft of a judgment.”

Investor and ‘Dragon’ Deborah Meaden: ‘I am not mean. What I am is … tough’
Claer Barrett – Financial Times
Having lunch with a Dragon sounds like it should be a bloodthirsty affair, but here we run into a problem. Deborah Meaden is a vegan. The 65-year-old British entrepreneur, investor and star of Dragons’ Den is equally famed for her fiery outbursts at hapless business owners pitching for financial backing on the cult BBC TV show as she is for favouring greener, eco-friendly business ideas. In recent years, her diet has followed suit. We meet at The Newt, a Georgian country estate reborn as a boutique hotel set in the Somerset hills. Ushered in by a waistcoated flunkey, I find her sitting in the window seat of its Botanical Rooms restaurant perusing the vegan menu.

Duncan Wanblad: the ‘used mine salesman’ blowing up Anglo American; South African group’s chief executive must win over investors to fend off BHP’s unsolicited takeover bid
Harry Dempsey and Tom Wilson and Rob Rose – Financial Times
Duncan Wanblad, Anglo American’s chief executive, wanted to be a doctor but instead followed his father into the mining industry. Now he needs to perform emergency surgery on the 107-year-old company for it to survive. This week the South African executive unveiled a drastic set of sales and demergers, which could raise up to $25bn by some estimates, to head off an unsolicited £34bn takeover approach from Australian rival BHP.

Ukraine Invasion

Ukraine’s getting more longe-range missiles that leave the Russians with ‘nowhere to hide’
Jake Epstein – Insider
NATO countries are outfitting Ukraine with additional long-range precision missiles that have already been used by the country to strike Russian airfields, naval headquarters, bridges, and other high-value targets. These Western-provided missiles give Ukraine’s deep-strike capability a major firepower boost. Former US military officers told Business Insider that the munitions could help Kyiv go after locations that are essential to Russia’s operations, and leave its combat and support forces with “nowhere to hide.”

Ukraine launches its biggest drone attack on Russian oil facilities
Joe Barnes – The Telegraph
Ukraine appears to have conducted its largest-ever drone strike against Russia, causing a massive fire to break out at an oil refinery hundreds of miles behind the front line. The Russian defence ministry claimed early on Friday that its forces had downed 102 aerial drones and destroyed six more unmanned naval vessels in the massive Ukrainian bombardment against Black Sea targets. There were no casualties or any damage reported, according to Moscow’s statement.

Putin Probes for Weaknesses While Zelenskiy Plugs the Gaps in His Defenses
Henry Meyer and Natalia Drozdiak – Bloomberg
Russia’s weeklong offensive in northeastern Ukraine is setting alarm bells ringing in Kyiv as President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and his generals rush to shore up their defenses. Zelenskiy has canceled foreign travel plans for the next few days and on Thursday met with his key commanders in Kharkiv, the border city that’s become the focus of Moscow’s attacks. Russian forces penetrated as far as 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) inside Ukraine before being halted by Kyiv’s first line of defense, Zelenskiy told reporters in a late night briefing.

Israel/Palestine Conflict

Israeli cabinet rifts over Gaza break out into the open
James Mackenzie – Reuters
Israeli government splits over the war in Gaza broke open this week, after the Defence Minister publicly demanded a clear strategy from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as troops returned to battle Hamas fighters in areas thought to have been cleared months ago.

Hezbollah introduces new weapons and tactics against Israel as war in Gaza drags on
Bassem More – Associated Press
The Lebanese militant group Hezbollah this week struck a military post in northern Israel using a drone that fired two missiles. The attack wounded three soldiers, one of them seriously, according to the Israeli military. Hezbollah has regularly fired missiles across the border with Israel over the past seven months, but the one on Thursday appears to have been the first successful missile airstrike it has launched from within Israeli airspace.

Pier opens for Gaza aid as US warns of ‘imminent famine’; Humanitarian groups say US maritime initiative is insufficient amid acute food shortages
Neri Zilber – Financial Times
The first humanitarian aid arrived in Gaza by sea via a US-built floating pier on Friday as shipments over land have frequently been impeded by Israeli restrictions and protests by members of the country’s far right. The new aid route has drawn criticism from aid groups, however, that say it is costly and limited in capacity to help Gazans facing acute food shortages, compared with far more efficient land routes.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

Nodal Exchange named Commodity Exchange of the Year by Energy Risk
Nodal Exchange
Nodal Exchange has been named Commodity Exchange of the Year for the second year in a row by Energy Risk magazine. The Energy Risk Awards recognize excellence in financial risk management across the global commodities markets. Energy Risk presented the Commodity Exchange of the Year award at a ceremony in Houston yesterday. Nodal Exchange is a leader in innovation, having introduced the largest set of electric power locational (nodal) futures and options contracts and the largest set of environmental futures and options contracts in the world. In addition, Nodal Exchange lists natural gas contracts. Nodal Exchange is the market leader in North American power futures achieving 55% share of open interest at the end of April 2024. Nodal posted a record quarter in Q1 2024 with 892 million MWh traded power futures volume, surpassing Q1 2022’s record of 850 million MWh.

Cboe Global Markets Declares Second-Quarter 2024 Dividend
Cboe Global Markets, Inc. (Cboe: CBOE), the world’s leading derivatives and securities exchange network, today announced its Board of Directors has declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.55 per share of common stock for the second quarter of 2024. The second-quarter 2024 dividend is payable on June 14, 2024, to stockholders of record as of May 31, 2024.

Cboe Global Markets Announces 2024 Annual Meeting Results
Cboe Global Markets, Inc. (Cboe: CBOE), the world’s leading derivatives and securities exchange network, today announced the preliminary shareholder voting results from its 2024 Annual Meeting held today. All 12 board of director nominees served during the 2023-2024 board term and received a majority of votes cast. The board members re-elected to serve one-year terms expiring in 2025 are:

Euronext Launches new ‘Invest in France’ index family
Euronext today announced the upcoming launch of the “Invest in France” index family. The new “Invest in France” indices aim to highlight international companies that are at the forefront of economic advancements in France, supporting the country’s economic attractiveness. For five consecutive years, France has maintained its position as the leading European country for foreign investments, driven by a continued focus on structural reforms and job creation, as well as facilitating and attracting international investments. The new index family aims to provide investors with exposure to listed international companies that have been identified with the support of Business France as contributing to the French employment landscape by fostering job opportunities.

Lebohang Kganye wins the Deutsche Boerse Photography Foundation Prize 2024
Deutsche Boerse
Lebohang Kganye was announced as the winner of the Deutsche Boerse Photography Prize 2024 at an awards ceremony at the Photographers’ Gallery, London on Thursday 16 May 2024. The prestigious prize is endowed with 30,000 British pounds. The major award, presented by the Deutsche Boerse Photography Foundation in partnership with the Photographers’ Gallery, recognizes artists and their projects who have made a significant contribution to international contemporary photography over the past 12 months. This year’s award ceremony also celebrates the 20th anniversary of the partnership between the Photographers’ Gallery and Deutsche Boerse.

ICE Midland WTI (HOU) Futures Reach All-Time Daily Volume Record
Intercontinental Exchange
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE: ICE), a leading global provider of technology and data, today announced that its ICE Midland WTI (ICE:HOU) crude futures contract hit its highest volume day on May 13, 2024, with over 100,000 contracts traded. The volume activity follows records set in the HOU futures contract in 2024, including record average daily volume of 16,700 contracts during April, rising to over 29,000 contracts during May 2024, based on month-to-date trading activity. Alongside this, HOU open interest (OI) is up over 190% year-over-year (y/y).

Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. Announces Early Tender Results of Previously Announced Private Exchange Offer for Black Knight InfoServ, LLC’s Outstanding 3.625% Senior Notes due 2028
Intercontinental Exchange
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE: ICE) (“ICE”) announced today that as of 5:00 p.m., New York City time, on May 16, 2024 (the “Early Tender Deadline”), $997.4 million in aggregate principal amount of outstanding 3.625% Senior Notes due 2028 (CUSIP: 092174AA9 / U0921BAA6) (the “BK Notes”) issued by Black Knight InfoServ, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of ICE (“BK”), representing approximately 99.74% of the $1 billion total outstanding principal amount of the BK Notes, were validly tendered and not validly withdrawn in connection with the previously announced private exchange offer (the “Exchange Offer”) made by ICE with respect to the BK Notes.

ION-owned LIST connects FastTrade electronic trading system to the Luxembourg Stock Exchange
LIST, an ION company, today announces that it has successfully completed the certification process to connect its FastTrade electronic trading system to the Luxembourg Stock Exchange (LuxSE). This follows the successful migration of LIST’s Borsa Italiana clients onto Euronext’s Optiq technology earlier this year.

Nasdaq Enhances Global Market Surveillance with GenAI
Nasdaq Press Release via Traders Magazine
Nasdaq announced the new AI powered feature within its Market Surveillance technology solution that will significantly enhance the quality, speed, and efficiency of market abuse investigations performed by our clients. The solution leverages generative AI to streamline the triage and examination process involved in investigating suspected market manipulation and insider dealing, empowering regulator and marketplace clients to more effectively monitor and detect potential market abuse.

OCC Publishes 2023 Annual Report: Celebrating 50 Years
On behalf of our colleagues, Management Committee and Board of Directors, we are pleased to share our 2023 Annual Report. Inside you’ll revisit key milestones from OCC’s first 50 years and see our values driven culture that enables us to fulfill our duties as a Systemically Important Financial Market Utility. Inside Our Culture is a new section this year that explains our four refreshed values and the intentionality behind them. OCC cleared a record 11.1 billion options contracts in 2023 while continuing to develop our new platform Ovation, which will help address today’s market needs while laying the groundwork for innovation. Delivering innovative solutions to meet industry needs is a staple of OCC’s history and continues to be demonstrated through our ongoing technology transformation, Renaissance. This new technology will create an expedited onboarding process and enriched data access that will enhance the user experience.

SGX FX partners with Rand Merchant Bank to enhance opportunities for South African Rand trading
Claudia Preece – The Trade
SGX FX has confirmed African corporate and investment bank Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) as its newest liquidity provider, set to expand opportunities for traders trading the South African Rand. Specifically, the partnership is through SGX FX’s eFX trading solutions platform for global buy-side institutions. Roger Lee, SGX FX’s global head of sales, said: “This collaboration is emblematic of a shared vision to support and advance the global FX trading environment, pairing SGX FX’s cutting-edge EMS solutions with RMB’s market expertise and liquidity.”

Performance Bond Requirements: Agriculture, Energy and FX – Effective May 17, 2024
CME Group
As per the normal review of market volatility to ensure adequate collateral coverage, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc., Clearing House Risk Management staff approved the performance bond requirements for the following products listed in the advisory at the link below. The rates will be effective after the close of business on May 17, 2024.

The Taiwan Futures Exchange announcement
Taiwan Futures Exchange
The Taiwan Futures Exchange (TAIFEX) has announced the temporarily increased margin levels of DAF due to its underlying being subject to disposition measures imposed by securities market. The margins will be effective after the close of the regular trading session on 2024/05/20 and will be restored to the current levels after the close of the regular trading session on 2024/05/30. (Margin levels will be increased from 2024/05/20 to 2024/05/30 and will be extended accordingly if the securities market is closed on any of the days.)

A new issue of DFA is listed on the Moscow Exchange
On May 17, 2024, the placement of the issue of digital financial assets (DFAs) of Wildberries took place. The issuance of DFAs is structured in the form of cash claims. The issue volume was 3 billion rubles, the circulation period was 60 days. The interest rate is set at the level of the key rate of the Bank of Russia plus 1% per annum. The issue was sold on the platform of the Moscow Exchange, the DFA exchange operator.


OpenAI, Reddit Sign Partnership on ChatGPT, AI Products, Ads
Aisha Counts and Shirin Ghaffary – Bloomberg
OpenAI unveiled a partnership with Reddit Inc. that will bring the social network’s content to chatbot ChatGPT and other products, and allow Reddit to add new artificial intelligence features to its online communities. Reddit shares jumped 11% in late trading following the announcement. The agreement “will enable OpenAI’s AI tools to better understand and showcase Reddit content, especially on recent topics,” the companies said Thursday in a joint statement. Reddit will also offer its users new AI-based tools built on OpenAI’s models, and OpenAI will become a Reddit advertising partner. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

BlackRock CEO sees ‘giant issue’ for Europe due to AI power needs
The enormous power supply required by data centres to support artificial intelligence (AI) technologies will create competitive issues among countries and put Europe at a disadvantage, the CEO of BlackRock said on Friday. “It will be a giant issue for Europe,” Larry Fink told a business conference in Rome.


Arup lost $25mn in Hong Kong deepfake video conference scam; UK-based engineering group identified as target of fraud that used digitally cloned CFO to trick staff
Cheng Leng and Chan Ho-him – Financial Times
UK engineering group Arup lost HK$200mn ($25mn) after fraudsters used a digitally cloned version of a senior manager to order financial transfers during a video conference, the Financial Times has learned. Hong Kong police previously revealed what is one of the world’s biggest known deepfake scams, but did not identify the company involved. The FT has confirmed it was Arup, which employs about 18,000 people globally and has annual revenues of more than £2bn.

FCC to vote on $200 million cybersecurity program for schools, libraries; The FCC announced that it will vote next month on the $200 million pilot Schools and Libraries Cybersecurity Program.
Skylar Ripens – StateScoop
Federal Communications Commission Chair Jessica Rosenworcel on Wednesday announced that the agency’s June meeting will feature a slew of agenda items that seek to combat security challenges, including potential funding to support cybersecurity efforts for schools and libraries.

Addressing the Cybersecurity Vendor Ecosystem Disconnect; How security teams can bridge the gap between short-term profits and long-term business needs.
Andrew Morris – DarkReading
If you are a member of the security team in charge of defending a network, you are probably accustomed to working with a technology stack composed of hardware (computers, servers, appliances, and network gear), software (applications and services), and data (logs and packet captures) from dozens of different sources. All of these tools generate a wealth of information that needs to be merged and then combined with your own internal systems and data to triage and defend against attacks.


Coinbase Stock Is Down. A New Crypto-Trading Rival May Be About to Emerge.
Jack Denton – Barron’s
Coinbase Global stock fell on Thursday in the face of recent gains in Bitcoin prices, which tend to lead shares of the cryptocurrency broker higher. Investors may be eyeing the prospect of tough new competition in U.S. crypto trading. CME Group, the Chicago-based trading firm, plans to launch spot Bitcoin trading amid interest from Wall Street money managers, the Financial Times reported on Thursday, citing anonymous sources. CME declined to comment when reached by Barron’s. Coinbase stock fell 9.4% on Thursday. Coinbase is “excited to see yet another of the world’s most regulated players seeking to accelerate institutional adoption of crypto,” said Brett Tejpaul, head of Coinbase Institutional, in a statement. “As we saw with the Bitcoin ETFs, this will benefit the entire ecosystem and we look forward to putting our hat in the ring to support CME with Coinbase’s world-class custody and Prime services.”

JPM Coin to act as settlement mechanism for Broadridge’s Distributed Ledger Repo platform
MK Manoylov – The Block
Onyx, the blockchain business arm of JP Morgan, is partnering with fintech company Broadridge to bring the web3 payment system JPM Coin onto one of Broadridge’s repo platforms. As part of the deal, Onyx’s JPM Coin will act as the settlement mechanism for Broadridge’s Distributed Ledger Repo platform, which offers intra-day, overnight and term repo services using blockchain technology, according to a release shared with The Block. Broadridge users can expect JPM Coin settlement to become available by June of this year.

Over 600 Financial Institutions Reveal Billions Invested in US Spot Bitcoin ETFs
Hope C – CoinMarketCap
More than 600 firms have unveiled substantial investments in spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in their 13F filings submitted to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over the past week. According to the disclosed data, professional investment firms have declared ownership of Bitcoin ETFs amounting to a staggering $3.5 billion.


JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon defies Biden: ‘China is not a natural enemy’
Marco Quiroz-Gutierrez – Fortune
The U.S. needs to engage with China and view it as a competitor rather than a hostile power, said JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon. “China is not a natural enemy of the United States,” he told Bloomberg Television in an interview Thursday. China has a different view of the world than the U.S., Dimon added, but it has the right to protect its interests and national security just as the U.S. does. Ostracizing China is not the way forward.


US Supreme Court rejects challenge to top consumer finance agency; Case had questioned the constitutionality of financing for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Stefania Palma – Financial Times
The US Supreme Court has turned away a legal challenge to the country’s top consumer finance watchdog, ruling that funding for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is constitutional. The 7-2 decision on Thursday reversed a lower court decision that found the CFPB’s funding mechanism violated the constitution’s appropriations clause, which governs money held in the US Treasury. Had the decision gone the other way, it would have raised existential questions around the agency.

Tina Diamantopoulos Named Regional Director of Chicago Office
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Tina Diamantopoulos has been named Director of the Chicago Regional Office, the Commission’s second-largest regional office. Ms. Diamantopoulos is a 30-year veteran of the SEC and has held leadership roles in both the Division of Enforcement and the Division of Examinations. Since April 2022, she has served as the Associate Director for the regional broker-dealer examination program supervising teams that examine broker-dealers, exchanges, transfer agents, municipal advisors, funding portals and security-based swap dealers.

SEC Adopts Rule Amendments to Regulation S-P to Enhance Protection of Customer Information
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced the adoption of amendments to Regulation S-P to modernize and enhance the rules that govern the treatment of consumers’ nonpublic personal information by certain financial institutions. The amendments update the rules’ requirements for broker-dealers (including funding portals), investment companies, registered investment advisers, and transfer agents (collectively, “covered institutions”) to address the expanded use of technology and corresponding risks that have emerged since the Commission originally adopted Regulation S-P in 2000.

Statement on Amendments to Regulation S-P
Chair Gary Gensler – SEC
Today, the Commission is considering amendments to Regulation S-P that will require covered firms to notify their customers of data breaches. I support these amendments because, through making critical updates to a rule first adopted in 2000, these amendments will help protect the privacy of customers’ financial data. In 1999, Congress passed a provision to help ensure that financial firms protect customers’ nonpublic personal information. As a member of the U.S. Department of Treasury team at the time, I was proud to work with then-Congressman Ed Markey on this important legislation. The provision mandated that federal financial regulators adopt rules to advance consumers’ privacy. The SEC did so in 2000, through Regulation S-P, which requires covered firms to notify customers about how they use their nonpublic personal information.

“Jack Bogle, Haystacks, and Putting the Interest of the Clients First”, Prepared Remarks Before the 2024 Conference on Emerging Trends in Asset Management
Chair Gary Gensler – SEC
Jack Bogle, the father of index funds, once said: “Don’t look for the needle in the haystack. Just buy the haystack.” Of course, he was talking about collective investment vehicles-when well-regulated, one of the great financial innovations. They provide everyday investors with diversification and lower costs than investing in individual stocks or bonds.

Protecting Investors with More Timely Disclosure of Cyber Breaches
Commissioner Jaime Lizarraga – SEC
I am pleased to support the adoption of reforms to Regulation S-P, an existing Commission rule requiring firms to adopt policies and procedures that include safeguards to protect customer records and information. These reforms will strengthen privacy protections for hundreds of millions of retail investors in our country.

Remarks Before the Conference on Emerging Trends in Asset Management
Natasha Vij Greiner – SEC
As many of you may know, the Division of Investment Management is responsible for developing regulatory policy affecting investment companies and investment advisers and for administering the Investment Company Act of 1940 and the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. The Division comprises over 200 public servants across five offices: the Rulemaking Office; the Chief Counsel’s Office; the Disclosure Review and Accounting Office; the Analytics Office; and the Managing Executive’s Office-many of whom have assisted or are participating in today’s conference. Staff within each office play a critical role in fulfilling the Division’s responsibility for making and administering policy that impacts so many stakeholders in the asset management industry. I can’t say enough about how impressed I am with the staff since joining the Division. Their expertise, professionalism, and collegiality have been a daily inspiration and vital to me hitting the ground running.

Please Mr. Postman – Statement on Regulation S-P
Commissioner Hester M. Peirce – SEC
I write in support of today’s amendments to Regulation S-P, albeit with some reservations. Protecting customers’ information and notifying them when it is compromised are important-even more important than when the Commission adopted the original version of Regulation S-P in 2000. All of us have given our personal information to a business with a tinge of fear that our information is at risk because even companies that work hard to protect this information are under constant attack by cybercriminals.[1] And many of us have received a letter notifying us of a breach involving our information.[2] Today’s Regulation S-P modernization will help covered institutions appropriately prioritize safeguarding customer information. Customers will be notified promptly when their information has been compromised so they can take steps to protect themselves, like changing passwords or keeping a closer eye on credit scores. My reservations stem from the breadth of the rule and the likelihood that it will spawn more consumer notices than are helpful.

Statement on the Amendments to Regulation S-P: Privacy of Consumer Financial Information and Safeguarding Customer Information
Commissioner Mark T. Uyeda – SEC
Today, the Commission adopted amendments to Regulation S-P, which were proposed last year.[1] Regulation S-P was initially adopted in 2000 pursuant to the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, or the GLBA.[2] Congress subsequently amended the applicable privacy provisions of the GLBA in 2015.[3] Regulation S-P is intended to provide customers and consumers with protections against threat actors who commit identity theft and other harms using personally identifiable information such as social security numbers, names, phone numbers, and addresses. In the years since Regulation S-P’s initial adoption, the world has changed in how customers and financial institutions interact – from a paper-based world to a digital one. For some context, consider that in 2000, the country had just survived Y2K, pagers were still in vogue, and smartphones in their current incarnation did not yet exist. Even the idea of conducting financial transactions on the Internet – much less on mobile devices – was novel. Perhaps the closest forerunner to the modern smartphone was the Blackberry, where rather than looking at social media, a person could whittle away idle time with Brickbreaker.

Report From FINRA Board of Governors Meeting – May 2024
Board Approves 2023 Annual Financial Report, Adds New Members to Advisory Committees and Hears Latest on FINRA’s Advanced Analytics Strategic Initiative

Former BitConnect promoter John Bigatton pleads guilty
John Louis Anthony Bigatton of Carss Park, New South Wales, has pleaded guilty to one criminal charge relating to his role as national promoter of BitConnect. Mr Bigatton appeared before the Sydney District Court on 16 May 2024 and pleaded guilty to providing unlicensed financial services on behalf of another person contrary to section 911B(1) of the Corporations Act.

Vojtech Belling reappointed Vice Chair of ESMA – Press Release

New AML/CFT regulations – joint statement by AML/CFT Supervisors on supervisory approach
The Department of Internal Affairs, the Financial Markets Authority and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (‘the Supervisors’) welcome the changes to AML/CFT requirements as a result of the various Amendment Regulations coming into force on 1 June 2024. These changes will ensure New Zealand is meeting global AML/CFT standards. The Amendment Regulations introduce new requirements to the existing regulations relating to the cross-border transportation of cash, definitions, exemptions, requirements and compliance and prescribed transaction reporting.

Power brokers: how to transform into the lynchpins of the ecosystem
Speech by Emily Shepperd, FCA Chief Operating Officer delivered at the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) conference.

Former CEO of Eagle Hospitality Trust charged for failure to disclose material information under the Securities and Futures Act
Monetary Authority of Singapore
Singapore, 17 May 2024… Mr Salvatore Gregory Takoushian (Mr Takoushian) was charged today for disclosure-related offences under the Securities and Futures Act (SFA).

Two former brokers jailed for three months each for false trading
The Eastern Magistrates’ Court has sentenced two former licensees, Mr Yip Chi Wing and Mr Tsoi Chiu Kwan, to three months of imprisonment each following their convictions for false trading in the shares of Forebase International Holdings Limited (Forebase) (Note 1). In sentencing, Magistrate Mr Jeffrey Sze Cho Yiu said that Yip and Tsoi played important roles in the false trading of Forebase shares in their capacity as licensed brokers. The offence, which took place over a period of 10 months during 2015 and 2016, created false or misleading appearance of active trading in Forebase shares. Having taken into account the serious nature of their offence and the need to protect the investing public, Mr Sze concluded that immediate custodial sentence was appropriate in the circumstances of the case.

SFC welcomes industry-led public consultation on voluntary code of conduct for ESG ratings and data products providers
The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) welcomes the launch of a public consultation today by an industry-led working group on a voluntary code of conduct (VCoC) for environmental, social and governance (ESG) ratings and data products providers providing products and services in Hong Kong. The initiative to develop the proposed VCoC is supported and sponsored by the SFC (Note 1). Led by the International Capital Market Association (ICMA), the Hong Kong ESG Ratings and Data Products Providers VCoC Working Group (VCWG) modelled the draft VCoC on international best practices recommended by the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) (Note 2).

Investing and Trading

Hot Commodity Silver Outpaces Gold as Buying Gains Momentum; Ratio to gold suggests cheaper metal has scope to extend climb; Global market on course for fourth straight year of shortages
Sybilla Gross – Bloomberg
Gold’s record-setting rally may have captured the headlines this year, but it’s silver that’s running harder and faster as the less glamorous metal benefits from robust financial and industrial demand. Silver has soared by almost a quarter this year, outpacing gold and making it one of the year’s best-performing major commodities. Yet in relative terms, silver is still cheap. It currently takes about 80 ounces of silver to buy 1 ounce of gold, compared with the 20-year average of 68.

Cocoa Climbs on Concern More Rains Needed in Key Growing Areas
Pratik Parija – Bloomberg
Cocoa futures rose in New York on concerns more rain is needed to boost soil moisture in the main growing areas of West Africa amid ongoing global shortages. Futures gained as much as 4% after falling 5.7% on Thursday. Cocoa has become more volatile in recent weeks after it surged to a record high in April fueled by poor harvests in the world’s biggest producing region.

The Dow just crossed 40,000 for the first time. The number is big but means little for your 401(k)
Associated Press Finance
The Dow Jones Industrial Average just topped 40,000 for the first time, the latest pop in what’s been a surprisingly good year for Wall Street. But just like New Year’s represents an arbitrary point in time in the Earth’s revolution around the sun, such milestones for the Dow don’t mean that much inherently.

More Ultra-Rich Are Worth Over $100 Billion Than Ever Before
Diana Li and Jack Witzig – Bloomberg
The world’s super-rich club now has 15 members with fortunes over $100 billion, the most on record, as they ride the waves of artificial intelligence, luxury goods and geopolitical shifts. The combined net worth for these people is up 13% this year to $2.2 trillion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, beating the pace of inflation and the broader stock market. Between them, they hold nearly a quarter of the wealth of the world’s 500 richest people.

The Only Investing Benchmark That Matters; In this week’s Merryn Talks Money podcast we talk real returns and the UK bull market.
John Stepek – Bloomberg
How careless benchmarking drives bad incentives
It has happened again. Another new high for the FTSE 100. I’d love to talk about something else, but John just can’t. So we started out this week’s podcast with it again. Something has really changed now – or so we think. There’s a note most days from another analyst telling us that the UK is no longer the worst place in the world to invest but maybe – just maybe – one of the best. Here’s our take on it, and a few of the other things we chatted about.

What We Learned From the Meme Stock Sequel
Bailey Lipschultz – Bloomberg

Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance

Europe’s Giant Bet on Green Hydrogen Is Full of Holes; Governments and companies want the clean fuel to play a big role in fueling the continent. If they’re wrong, the planet will be worse off than before.
Rachel Morison and Petra Sorge – Bloomberg
The tree-lined street in Leipzig may seem an incongruous beachhead for the future of German energy. But the government has billions riding on its success. Today, the bright yellow power plant tucked behind a graffiti-covered fence burns planet-warming gas to produce electricity. But if all goes to plan, it will one day switch to emissions-free hydrogen. It’s the first, tiny part of a dream energy system being sketched out by policymakers across Europe, who are banking on the green fuel to meet some of the world’s most aggressive climate targets. That dream rests on converting newly built polluting infrastructure to burn hydrogen, a fuel that’ll be many times more expensive than natural gas and that no one has figured out how to move safely and cheaply in bulk.

Free Solar for Farmers: Climate Law Gives Rich Incentives; President Biden’s clean-energy subsidies are covering entire project costs and then some
Amrith Ramkumar and Patrick Thomas – The Wall Street Journal
Jerry Howle was skeptical about installing a $300,000 solar-panel system on his South Carolina chicken farm. Then he found out he could get it free of charge. Solar panels now sit on his two chicken houses, powering giant fans that keep as many as 60,000 birds inside cool. The panels are being paid for entirely by subsidies from President Biden’s climate law and will virtually eliminate the farm’s $10,000 annual utility bill.

Texas Storms Leave 800,000 Without Power While Flights Grounded; At least four people killed as wind storm rips Houston; City cancels school, asks non-essential workers to stay home
Dan Murtaugh and Brian K Sullivan – Bloomberg
A line of dangerous storms and flooding rains rolled over the US Gulf Coast, killing at least four people and leaving more than 800,000 customers in Texas – about 6% of the total – without power while grounding hundreds of flights. Houston Mayor John Whitmire called on businesses in the energy hub to tell non-essential workers to stay home as recovery work continues. Schools were closed. More than a third of Harris County – the worst-hit area – was still without power early today, according to utility data.

This Week’s Landmark Transmission Rule Forces Utilities to Take the Long View; Federal regulators made a big move to require regional planning for interstate power lines, provoking an almost-certain court challenge.
Dan Gearino – Inside Climate News
A new rule requires U.S. utilities and grid operators to work together on long-term planning for transmission lines-the large power lines that deliver electricity across regions. The rule is part of an order issued Monday from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that is trying to drag the nation’s power system into a new era in which the grid is prepared to handle an increase in electricity demand, in energy storage and in the use of energy generated from wind and solar.

Clean Energy Is Driving ‘a New Era in American Manufacturing’ Across the Midwest; Midwestern states have received nearly $30 billion in capital investments from the private sector since the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act in 2022.
Kristoffer Tigue – Inside Climate News
The Midwest is emerging as a major manufacturing hub for the clean energy transition as federal incentives and falling prices for renewables spur companies to invest tens of billions of dollars into new factory operations across the country. In August 2022, Congress passed the Inflation Reduction Act, which provides generous tax credits for projects and purchases related to clean energy. Since then, Midwestern states have received nearly $30 billion dollars in private investments to boost domestic production of electric vehicles, batteries and equipment for solar and wind farms, according to a monthly tally of funding announcements kept by energy think tank E2.

Norway’s wealth fund asks Shell for more climate policy details

Oil, gas groups sue to block US rule raising drilling fees on public lands
Clark Mindock – Reuters

Wildfires rage in Canada’s oil hub; Blazes put more than 2mn barrels a day of supply at risk amid geopolitical tensions in Middle East and Russia
Amanda Chu – Financial Times

Green Transition Set to Face Critical Minerals Shortfall, IEA Says; Long-term investment seen as vital to avoid projected demand outpacing supply
Joseph Hoppe – Bloomberg

Brookfield Plans to Invest $500 Million in Leap Green; Brookfield may have majority stake in Indian firm after deal; Investment could accelerate Leap Green’s wind power expansion
Baiju Kalesh – Bloomberg

Endeavor’s $13 billion deal highlights push to sidestep minority shareholders
Anirban Sen and Tom Hals – Reuters

Decline in critical mineral prices risks stalling clean energy transition, IEA warns
Sidhi Mittal – Reuters

Gas Driller Canacol Buys Time to Tackle Main Issues Haunting Bond Investors
Vinicius Andrade and Nicolle Yapur – Bloomberg


Citadel Securities Revenue Reaches $2.3 Billion in First Quarter; That’s up 68% year-over-year as firm expands in new markets; Revenue hit about $6.3 billion in 2023, down from record 2022
Paula Seligson and Katherine Doherty – Bloomberg
Citadel Securities generated $2.3 billion of net trading revenue in the first three months of 2024, setting the market-making firm up for a potentially record year as it expands in new assets classes and geographies. The trading haul is among a litany of financial markers recently disclosed to debt investors. The first quarter result, which was up 68% from the prior year, sets the firm on a trajectory to reach unprecedented revenue in 2024, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The firm posted about $6.3 billion in net trading revenue last year, down from a record of around $7.5 billion in 2022, said the people, asking not to be identified disclosing private information.

Ex-RBC head of US credit sales joins MarketAxess as North American head of client sales; New appointment previously served at RBC for six years and also spent more than a decade at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
Wesley Bray – The Trade
MarketAxess has appointed John Maggiacomo as head of client sales in North America, a newly created position at the firm. Maggiacomo joins from Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), where he most recently served as head of US credit sales. During his tenure at RBC, he helped grow the bank’s secondary credit businesses with a focus on leveraged finance.

Goldman Sachs looks to expand private equity credit lines as dealmaking picks up
Saeed Azhar – Reuters
U.S. investment bank Goldman Sachs is muscling into the lending market for private equity and asset managers, planning an overseas expansion as it helps fill a void left by turmoil at regional banks and the sale of Credit Suisse. The Wall Street bank and rivals JPMorgan Chase and PNC Financial Services are stepping up in this $800 billion to $1 trillion market as private equity deal activity is expected to pick up due to record-high fund-raising. Such loans are asset-based and short-term, lowering their risk.Goldman last year bought a portfolio of loan facilities valued at $15 billion from the failed Signature Bank during an auction by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp (FDIC). “The focus is to lend to large alternate asset managers, private equity sponsors,” Maheshwar Saireddy, Goldman Sachs’ global head of mortgage and structured products, told Reuters.

JPMorgan Asset Revives Government-Focused Money Market Fund
Alice Gledhill – Bloomberg
JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s asset management arm has created a new European money market fund focused on public debt, a kind of investment that largely disappeared when interest rates were negative. The fund, which opened this week with EUR500 million ($544 million) in assets, will buy only government or sovereign-backed securities. Clients have asked for this because they can now get good yields from safe public sector assets without needing bank bonds, which are typically used in the region’s money-market funds, said Jim Fuell, who heads liquidity sales across Europe and Asia for J.P. Morgan Asset Management.

JPMorgan Joins Goldman, Point72 at West Palm Beach Office Tower; Bank signs a lease for a spot at Related’s 360 Rosemary; Northwell Health, Clear Sky take spots at other buildings
Natalie Wong – Bloomberg
JPMorgan Chase & Co. signed a lease at 360 Rosemary, Related Cos.’ newly developed office tower in West Palm Beach, Florida, that’s become popular with finance firms. The bank joins a wave of other finance firms such as Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Point72 Asset Management that have taken spots at the tower, which opened in 2021, according to a statement from Related. The developer, founded by billionaire Stephen Ross, has also signed tenants for nearby buildings, including Northwell Health and venture capital firm Clear Sky.

With a BlackRock CEO, $9 Trillion Vanguard Braces for Turbulence
Loukia Gyftopoulou and Silla Brush – Bloomberg

Jefferies Risk Manager Balked at Archegos Cash Plea: ‘What’s the Emergency?’
Bob Van Voris and Chris Dolmetsch – Bloomberg

Fireside Friday with… Groupama Asset Management’s Eric Heleine; The TRADE sits down with Eric Heleine, head of the buy-side trading desk at Groupama Asset Management, to discuss the dynamic of his trading desks, how traders’ skillsets are evolving and what’s front of mind across the buy-side for 2024 and beyond.
Claudia Preece – The Trade

Work & Management

Thousands of North Koreans stole Americans’ identities and took remote-work tech jobs at Fortune 500 companies, DOJ says
Eric Tucker and the Associated Press
The Justice Department on Thursday announced the arrests of three people in a complex stolen identity scheme that officials say generates enormous proceeds for the North Korean government, including for its weapons program.

Chicago sees spike in Black teens out of school and work, study shows; Experts say the pandemic disrupted the pathways that helped teens get a job or an education after high school.
Anna Savchenko, WBEZ – Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago’s youth unemployment rate is higher than the rest of Illinois and the nation at large, according to a new study, demonstrating a sign of the uneven recovery since the COVID-19 pandemic. Though the U.S. unemployment rate has largely recovered since the pandemic, many teens and young adults – particularly people of color – still struggle to find consistent work. Researchers from the University of Illinois Chicago’s Great Cities Institute looked at employment and school-going rates for youth between the ages of 16 and 24 in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois and the U.S between 2019 and 2022, the most recent data available.

Wellness Exchange

Big rise in diseases linked to ageing and lifestyle increases healthcare burden; Findings on ‘metabolic risk factors’ reflect shift in biggest threats since start of 21st century
Sarah Neville – Financial Times
The number of people becoming seriously ill or dying prematurely from conditions such as high blood pressure and obesity has risen 50 per cent since 2000, underlining the huge challenge diseases linked to ageing and lifestyle pose to overstretched health services. The findings point to a big shift from an era in which infectious diseases and poor maternal and child health were among the biggest threats, to one where health systems must cope with “metabolism-related risk factors”, including high blood sugar and fat levels, that have led to a surge in “non-communicable” diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

If You Want to Get Stronger, Routine Is the Enemy; To get the most out of your strength training, try progressive overload.
Hilary Achauer – The New York Times
When Bryan Mann talks about weight lifting, he often tells the story of Milo of Croton, a Greek wrestler who lived 2,500 years ago. Legend has it that Milo started his yearly training by buying a newborn calf. Every day, he hoisted the calf onto his shoulders and carried it up the stadium steps. As the calf grew, Milo became stronger, until he was carrying around a full-size ox. While most people can’t carry livestock around their cul-de-sac, the formula for getting stronger today hasn’t changed, said Dr. Mann, a clinical associate professor of kinesiology at Texas A&M University. The core of every strength training program is a concept called progressive overload, in which you gradually increase either the weight, repetitions, difficulty, intensity or some combination.

The Medicare Bubble Has Burst; Government health-insurance program had been a gold mine for private insurers until recently
David Wainer – The Wall Street Journal
For years, the privately run Medicare Advantage business generated outsize profit growth for health-insurance giants. With hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars flowing to insurers in a fast-growing market buoyed by aging baby boomers, there was little not to like as far as Wall Street was concerned. Companies like UnitedHealth Group and Humana bet big on the program, and investors generally rewarded them for it. Medicare Advantage, in which the government pays insurers a set amount to manage the care of seniors, recently surpassed traditional Medicare’s share of beneficiaries. It was 30% a decade ago.

5 Exercises for a Better Sex Life; Any physical activity can improve your sexual health. But a few exercises are especially beneficial.
Danielle Friedman – The New York Times
As far as your muscles are concerned, sex is just another workout. And like most workouts, the more conditioned you are, the more enjoyable it can be. Yes, you can train for sex. “It’s important to remember that sex is movement, and it’s exercise,” said Debby Herbenick, director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at the Indiana University School of Public Health. If you want to have satisfying sex, she said, you’ll likely benefit from moving your body outside of the bedroom.


China’s Aluminum Smelters Boost Output to Record on High Demand
China’s aluminum output climbed to a record to feed robust demand as manufacturing and exports power the country’s increasingly unbalanced economic recovery this year. The world’s biggest supplier of the metal increased production by 7% from a year earlier to an average of 119,333 tons a day in April, according to data released Friday. The daily run-rate surpassed an all-time high set in September and follows months of robust output.

Israel to abolish free trade deal with Turkey in retaliation
Steven Scheer – Reuters
Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich on Thursday said Israel would abolish its free trade agreement with Turkey and also impose a 100% tariff on other imports from Turkey in retaliation for Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s decision to halt exports to Israel. The plan, he said, would be submitted to the cabinet for approval.

China is a ‘critical’ global supplier, full decoupling may be impossible, survey shows
Charmaine Jacob – CNBC
China remains a “critical supplier” to the world and efforts for a full decoupling remain “difficult, if not impossible,” a trade report by Allianz Trade said. Despite talk of decoupling and derisking from China, European companies remain bullish about prospects in the country – with nearly 40% of companies in Germany and Spain and more than 30% of firms in France expecting their supply chain footprint n the country to increase.

Taiwan is selling more to the US than China in major shift away from Beijing
Didi Tang – AP
Whether it’s tapioca balls or computer chips, Taiwan is stretching toward the United States and away from China – the world’s No. 2 economy that threatens to take the democratically ruled island by force if necessary. That has translated to the world’s biggest maker of computer chips – which power everything from medical equipment to cellphones – announcing bigger investments in the U.S. last month after a boost from the Biden administration. Soon afterward, a Taiwanese semiconductor company said it was ending its two-decade-long run in mainland China amid a global race to gain the edge in the high-tech industry.

Vietnam forfeits billions of dollars in foreign aid amid anti-graft freeze
Francesco Guarascio and Khanh Vu – Reuters
Vietnam forfeited at least $2.5 billion in foreign aid over the last three years and may lose another $1 billion because of administrative paralysis, the United Nations, the World Bank and Western donors told the government in a letter seen by Reuters. The previously unreported figures from the unpublished document, dated March 6, highlight frustration among foreign investors over regulatory hurdles and lengthy approval procedures that have caused prolonged deadlock as the Communist-ruled country is gripped by an escalating anti-corruption campaign and political turbulence.

Foreigners sell Vietnam securities amid political turbulence, data show
Francesco Guarascio and Phuong Nguyen – Reuters
Foreign investors have reduced by nearly $2 billion their securities holdings in Vietnam’s main stock market since early 2023 despite the bourse’s positive performance, with the largest outflows recorded during weeks of political upheaval, data show. The Communist-ruled country has been in the grip of unprecedented political turbulence over the last two years, with thousands of officials and business executives prosecuted under a sweeping anti-corruption campaign, which led also to the resignation of two state presidents and the chairman of the parliament.

What’s next for India’s regulators?
Ganesh Rao – CNBC
Bureaucrats, stereotypically but perhaps unfairly, are often seen as moving too slowly. Instead, there’s been a flurry of activity this month at a number of regulators across India’s financial system. As the South Asian country’s financial markets evolve and expand, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) have been actively implementing new rules.

Abu Dhabi’s $302 Billion Fund Deepens AI and Private Credit Push
Adveith Nair and Matthew Martin – Bloomberg
Mubadala Investment Co. deployed 89 billion dirhams ($24.2 billion) last year into a range of sectors including private credit and artificial intelligence, an area where Abu Dhabi is seeking to make greater inroads. The wealth fund, which ranks as the emirate’s second-largest sovereign investor, reported a five-year rate of return of 10.3%, according to a statement. Performance was better than the 8.5% for the period to 2022, though the latest figure included 99 billion dirhams of divestments.

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The Stock Market Has Rarely Been This Sleepy

Lead Stories The Stock Market Has Rarely Been This Sleepy Gunjan Banerji - The Wall Street Journal It's eerily calm out there in the stock market. The Cboe Volatility Index, or VIX, dropped below 12 last week, a nearly five-year low. The gauge, based on options prices...

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