William Donaldson, Investment Banker Who Led SEC, Dies at 93

Jun 17, 2024

First Read

Hits & Takes
John Lothian & JLN Staff

The FIA today announced, rather early, that nominations for the FIA Hall of Fame Class of 2025 are open and you can submit them via this online form. This is a grand idea for the FIA to announce it during IDX and should spark more dynamic discussions about those individuals who have significantly contributed to the industry during their careers, or as the FIA states:

“They are selected based on lifetime contributions to our industry with a focus on demonstrated leadership, innovative and impactful achievement, break-through accomplishment, and industry collaboration, volunteerism and dedication. Inductees come from both the private and public sectors.”

After the newsletter went out on Friday, I realized I had made an error in my comments about this being my first trip overseas since the pandemic. Somehow I overlooked my trip two years ago to IDX after my successful prostate cancer radiation treatment in the months before. I am not sure if I should attribute this slip to a lack of sleep, old age or just a case of CRS. In any case, my apologies for my errant commentary. CRS stands for “Can’t Remember Stuff,” or something similar, but less family friendly.

I arrived in London on Sunday later than expected after my plane was late to leave Chicago on Saturday night. I understand I was not alone in this, as some FIA people were also impacted by flight cancellations and delays out of Washington, DC.

I have been receiving several phone calls out of the blue from holders of CME Group memberships who have read the story I wrote in December of 2023, “Opinion: Class-Action Lawsuit Against CME Group Holds Disruptive Potential to Membership Prices, Future Deals and CME Leadership.” They have noted the price of the CME and CBOT minority memberships going up and the price of the CME A shares going down in recent weeks. They have also noted some selling by CME insiders and they are trying to make sense of it. My article, written in 2023, is the most popular story on the JohnLothianNews.com site so far in 2024. The 10th most popular page on the site in 2024 is the landing page for Futures Discovery, the video series hosted by Corties Draper

Cboe Europe Derivatives welcomed IMC as a new trading participant, CEDX announced in a press release. The exchange recently expanded its range of equity options and now offers contracts on over 300 European companies.

BlackEdge Capital, LLC was fined $50,000 and ordered to disgorge $171,653 for violating CME Rule 432.B.2 by engaging in conduct inconsistent with just and equitable principles of trade. Ryan Dofflemeyer was fined $15,000 and suspended for five business days from June 17-21, 2024 for violating CME Rule 534 prohibiting wash trades where orders are placed with no intent to take a bona fide market position. Marex IPG Group was fined $45,000 for violating NYMEX Rule 526 related to block trade requirements.

The Financial Times today published a Special Report providing an in-depth analysis of the latest trends and developments in masters in finance programs worldwide. Key highlights include:

The FT’s 2024 ranking of the top masters in finance programs, with French institutions like ESCP, HEC Paris, Skema, and Essec dominating the pre-experience category, while London Business School led the post-experience programs.

Salaries for finance masters graduates continue to rise, with those working in the financial sector earning an average of $98,000 three years after graduation, 12% higher than in 2023 and significantly more than their peers in non-financial sectors ($78,000). The pay gap between finance and non-finance roles has widened to $20,000.

Business schools are increasingly emphasizing “soft skills” like communication, teamwork, and critical thinking alongside technical finance knowledge. Initiatives include dedicated seminars, international study trips, personalized career coaching, and project-based experiential learning.

The report examines the growing focus on embedding climate risk and sustainability concepts into finance curricula. It also explores the potential impact of AI on finance jobs and curricula, with some skills becoming redundant while creating demand for new value-added capabilities. The ranking methodology considers factors like salaries, gender balance, value for money, and a school’s approach to sustainability and carbon emissions reporting.

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


Our most read stories from our previous edition of JLN Options were:
3 Options Strategies for Equity Investing from ETFdb.com.
Expiration from Cboe.
Roaring Kitty becomes the 4th largest GameStop shareholder after nearly doubling his position to 9 million shares from Markets Insider. ~JB

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


Regulatory Uncertainty Clouds Options Market Innovation

David Dooman, head of options at Dash Financial, a subsidiary of ION Group, expressed concerns about the impact of regulatory uncertainty on the options markets during an interview at the Options Conference in Asheville, NC. Dooman highlighted several key issues stifling innovation and offered recommendations to address the industry’s challenges.

Watch the video »


Coming to a City Near You: A Cricket Stadium? Backers of the sport are negotiating leases and approvals for venues across the United States.
Patrick Sisson – The New York Times
Four years ago, after officials in Grand Prairie, Texas, were pitched an idea to turn the city’s underused minor league ballpark into a stadium for cricket, the city’s manager, Bill Hills, thumbed through a copy of “Cricket for Dummies.” Like most Americans, Mr. Hills was oblivious to cricket, although that is starting to change. Last year, the 7,200-seat stadium in Grand Prairie became the new home of the Texas Super Kings, one of six teams that played in the inaugural season of Major League Cricket. And last week, the venue hosted the U.S. national team’s biggest-ever win, a stunning upset of Pakistan in the Men’s T20 World Cup, which this year is being jointly hosted by the United States and several Caribbean nations, and concludes on June 29.

**** I am going to be a fish out of water at my first cricket game on Friday. I start plans on my new cricket stadium next week.~JJL


The Stormtrooper Scandal TV review – the dark side of NFT art exposed; A new BBC documentary about an auction of dubious digital artworks reveals the flimsiness of the crypto fad
Dan Einav – Financial Times
Remember NFTs? The crypto assets known as non-fungible tokens were all the rage at the start of the decade, but they now seem like relics from a strange, distant time. A new BBC documentary takes us back to the NFT gold rush of late 2021 to tell the story of an apparent scam that took the fun out of non-fungible and exposed the flimsiness of the fad. The Stormtrooper Scandal revolves around an online auction of NFTs based on Star Wars stormtrooper headgear designed by artists such as Damien Hirst and Anish Kapoor. The sale, organised by Ben Moore – a curator who had originally commissioned the customised helmets for a 2013 charity project – generated millions in seconds. It quickly transpired, however, that Moore had not asked all of the artists for their consent, nor in some cases did he own copyright allowing him to do so.

***** There is nothing like a good Star Wars scam, from the Dark Side.~JJL


Friday’s Top Three
Our top clicked item on Friday was Nominations Sent to the Senate, the announcement from the White House that included Christy Goldsmith Romero’s nomination as chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Second was an opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal from former U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan titled, “Crypto Could Stave Off a U.S. Debt Crisis.” Third was White House Expected to Nominate CFTC Commissioners to FDIC, Treasury Roles: Reports, from CoinDesk.



Lead Stories

William Donaldson, Investment Banker Who Led SEC, Dies at 93; Financial industry leader also served as NYSE chairman; He was the founding dean at the Yale School of Management
Laurence Arnold – Bloomberg
William Donaldson, a founder of Wall Street investment bank Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette who presided over a divided US Securities and Exchange Commission during its crackdown on corporate misdeeds from 2003 to 2005, has died. He was 93. He died on June 12, according to Yale University’s School of Management, of which he was the founding dean. No cause was given. In a career that spanned a half-century, Donaldson was co-founder and chairman of DLJ, the first New York Stock Exchange member to go public; an undersecretary of state under President Richard Nixon; and head of the New York Stock Exchange.

***** Donaldson was a true leader in the securities world. We are better for having him and will miss him. ~JJL

Hedge Funds’ Secret Weapon to Fight the SEC Lives in Texas; The strategic address of the National Association of Private Fund Managers gives it a huge advantage as it pushes back against federal regulations.
Lydia Beyoud and Madlin Mekelburg – Bloomberg
The most powerful weapon that hedge funds have against regulators like Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler is no longer white-shoe lawyers or silver-tongued lobbyists. It’s an address in Texas. The National Association of Private Fund Managers, a little-known group whose main focus appears to be challenging SEC rules, has sat tucked in a Fort Worth law office since its founding in 2022. Its home is 1,500 miles from many hedge fund campuses in leafy Connecticut, and even further from London or Singapore, where its impact is being felt.

Global Traders Flood American Markets in Search for Safety; Money flooding stocks and company notes shows faith in US; Diversification in doubt amid decade-long S&P 500 dominance
Lu Wang and Denitsa Tsekova – Bloomberg
Stung at home by fraught politics and flat economies, international investors are squeezing themselves further into the crowded trade that is American markets. Over the last month, about $30 billion of fresh money has flooded into stock funds, with 94% of the allocations lavishing US assets – tech shares in particular – according to EPFR Global data compiled by TD Securities. The buy-America trade keeps working for now: The S&P 500 outpaced the rest of the world this week by the widest margin in 15 months, while long-dated Treasuries rallied 3.5% for the best run of 2024.

Cboe Global Markets to Launch New U.S. Treasury Market Volatility Index (VIXTLT)
Cboe Global Markets, Inc. (Cboe: CBOE), the world’s leading derivatives and securities exchange network, today announced plans to launch the Cboe 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF Volatility Basis Point Index (“VIXTLT Index”). Using an adaptation of Cboe’s proprietary VIX Index methodology, the VIXTLT Index will be calculated using listed options on the iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT) and provide market participants with the ability to track future (30-day) expected volatility in the U.S. Treasury market, the deepest and most liquid government securities market in the world. The VIXTLT Index is expected to launch in the third quarter of 2024.

Crypto Exchange Gemini to Pay $50 Million in NY Fraud Suit; Attorney General Letitia James sued Gemini Trust in October; The settlement follows similar action brought against Genesis
Erik Larson and Ava Benny-Morrison – Bloomberg
A crypto exchange that was accused of lying to hundreds of thousands of customers about the risks tied to a failed investment program agreed to return $50 million of digital assets to resolve a suit by New York Attorney General Letitia James. Gemini Trust Co. struck the deal Friday with James, who sued in October over the company’s handling of the program, Gemini Earn. It’s the latest deal in a series of crypto investigations that included a probe into Barry Silbert’s Digital Currency Group. Under the Gemini settlement, digital assets will be returned to investors who were locked out of their accounts when the program collapsed. Gemini will also be banned from operating a crypto lending program in New York, James said.

Paris Loses Crown as Europe’s Biggest Stock Market to London
Sagarika Jaisinghani – Bloomberg
France’s political upheaval has led Paris to lose its spot as Europe’s biggest equity market to London, less than two years after winning that title from the UK. President Emmanuel Macron’s shock announcement of a snap election sparked a rout that wiped off about $258 billion from the market capitalization of French firms last week. Shares of banks Societe Generale SA, BNP Paribas SA and Credit Agricole SA – all big holders of government debt – lost more than 10% each. Stocks in the country are now collectively worth about $3.13 trillion, narrowly losing out to the UK at $3.18 trillion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The CAC 40 Index has erased all its gains for 2024 – a sharp reversal from scaling record highs a month ago.

London’s Race to the Bottom Is a Big Gamble; Looser rules designed to generate more business for the City risk undermining shareholder protection.
Matthew Brooker – Bloomberg
“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently,” legendary investor Warren Buffett once observed. That’s advice worth hearing, for global financial centers as well as individuals and businesses. Is London listening? Regulators are poised to enact the biggest changes to the UK’s listing rules in more than three decades, in an effort to reverse a dearth of initial public offerings and make the City a more attractive place to raise equity capital. Among other things, less stringent rules would relax restrictions on dual-class shares, drop the requirement for companies to show a three-year financial track record and dispense with shareholder votes on significant and related-party transactions.

Liquidity risk hits five-year high at LCH; Higher settlement obligations at Paris-based RepoClear blamed for euro 9bn spike
Joshua Walker – Risk.net
Liquidity risk surged 41.4% at LCH’s Paris-based clearing house in the first quarter, reaching a level not seen in almost five years. The largest potential loss the central counterparty (CCP) could face in the event of a single clearing member and its affiliates defaulting was euro 29.6 billion ($31.9 billion), up from euro 21 billion the previous quarter, and the highest since the euro 32.2 billion recorded in Q2 2019.

The threat of a Europe-China trade war looms as Beijing launches an anti-dumping probe on pork
Lionel Lim – Fortune
Beijing’s response to steep European tariffs on China-made EVs did not take long to materialize. On Monday, officials announced an anti-dumping probe on European pork imports, the first retaliatory measure since the European Union imposed tariffs as high as 38% on electric vehicle imports from China last week.

Extreme Heat, Smoke Should Get US Disaster Label, Groups Say; Labor, health groups seek FEMA ‘major disaster’ classification; Move could help fund efforts to protect workers from heat
Jennifer A Dlouhy – Bloomberg
Activists are petitioning the US government to formally classify extreme heat and wildfire smoke as major disasters, as soaring temperatures threaten to set records across much of the country. In a petition filed with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, they seek to unlock new funding to help communities address such events before they strike, with money for air filters that strip out smoke and rooftop solar systems that can supply electricity when demand overwhelms power grids.

IMF warns of ‘profound concerns’ over rising inequality from AI; Fund says governments should do more to protect their economies in face of massive potential labour disruptions
Valentina Romei – Financial Times
The IMF said it had “profound concerns” about massive labour disruptions and rising inequality as societies move towards generative AI, and it urged governments to do more to protect their economies. In a report published on Monday, the fund said countries should take action such as improving unemployment insurance, warning that, unlike past disruptive technologies, AI could lead to job losses in higher-skilled occupations.

Ukraine Invasion

The number of powerful Russian glide bombs hitting Ukraine’s Dnipro salient falls from 80 a day to 4 thanks to US aid, officer says
Cameron Manley – Insider
An officer fighting to defend the strip of land Ukraine has occupied on the left bank of the Dnipro River said that US aid has helped reduce the number of successful Russian glide bomb attacks on his squad’s position Speaking to The Times of London, Major Serhiy Pedenko, the deputy commander of 503 Battalion of Ukraine’s 38th Marine Brigade, said that the number of glide bombs hitting their position on the banks of the river had fallen from 80 a day to four.

How Ukraine’s surplus Western missiles humbled Putin’s billion dollar Crimea defences
Verity Bowman – The Telegraph
The night sky over Crimea flashed with explosions and tracer fire as the barrage of American-made missiles arrived and found their targets. In a matter of minutes, three Russian surface-to-air missile systems that were supposed to be protecting the peninsula had been knocked out in the latest humiliation for Vladimir Putin. The strikes were part of a meticulously planned and systematic campaign designed to break apart Russia’s air defence network and render Crimea untenable as a staging ground for Moscow’s forces.

New US weapons narrow gap between Ukraine and Russian forces
Harriet Barber – The Telegraph
US military artillery shells have reached frontline Ukrainian units and have started to break Russian battlefield momentum. Lt Gen Ivan Havrylyuk, Ukraine’s first deputy defence minister, said that the ammunition resupply had been critical but that most of the equipment pledged by the US in April was still in transit. “It takes time to load ships that must then cross the Atlantic,” he said. “But we are already seeing the results.”

Maimed Ukrainian Power System May Get More European Bank Support; EBRD already earmarked Euro 300 million for energy sector repairs Businesses need more diversified supplies, Renaud-Basso says
Daryna Krasnolutska and Olesia Safronova – Bloomberg
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is studying increased support to help Ukraine overcome a critical shortage of electricity as a third winter in wartime approaches. Russian attacks have destroyed 80% of coal-fired power output and a third of hydro generation, forcing Ukraine to impose sweeping blackouts for households and businesses. The central bank has cut borrowing costs three times and lowered the growth outlook in part because of attacks on energy plants.

Israel/Palestine Conflict

US Sanctions Israeli Extremist Group for Destroying Gaza Aid
Courtney McBride – Bloomberg
The State Department imposed sanctions on an Israeli extremist group accused of blocking and destroying aid to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, the latest in a broader US push to ease what the United Nations says is a looming famine in the enclave. The sanctions targeted Tzav 9, a group that “repeatedly sought to thwart the delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza, including by blockading roads, sometimes violently, along their route from Jordan to Gaza, including in the West Bank,” State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said in a statement.

Netanyahu Dissolves War Cabinet After 2 Key Members Quit; Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel has disbanded the small war cabinet that made key decisions about the war in Gaza.
Patrick Kingsley and Cassandra Vinograd – The New York Times
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel has dissolved his war cabinet, an Israeli official said Monday, after the departures of two key members prompted demands from far-right politicians for representation in the influential group. The two members, Benny Gantz and Gadi Eisenkot, quit Mr. Netanyahu’s small war cabinet last week amid disagreements over the direction of the war in Gaza. The men, both former military chiefs, had been seen as voices of moderation in the five-member body, which was formed in October after the Hamas-led assault on Israel.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

Marex to provide client clearing of interest rate swaps through LCH’s SwapClear; Development will make Marex the first non-bank FCM clearing member to offer client clearing services for interest rate swaps on LCH’s SwapClear service.
Wesley Bray – The Trade
Marex has revealed plans to offer client clearing of interest rate swaps. As part of the move, Marex will become a member of LCH’s SwapClear service on 15 July 2024, subject to final approval. Marex will become the first non-bank futures commission merchant (FCM) clearing member to offer client clearing of interest rate swaps via the LCH SwapClear service, aiming to meet client demand for greater counterparty risk diversification, clearing capacity and enhanced market connectivity. Client clearing of interest rate swaps expands Marex’s existing clearing memberships spanning across energy, commodity and financial markets. Marex’s non-bank clearing solution is broker agnostic and will complement existing bank relationships.

Market maker IMC latest to join Cboe Europe Derivatives as trading participant; News follows Cboe Europe Derivatives’ expansion into single stock options in November last year.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
Cross asset market maker IMC has become the latest trading participant to join Cboe Europe Derivatives (CEDX). “We are very excited to become a direct trading participant on CEDX and provide liquidity across the exchange’s range of pan-European equity derivatives contracts,” said Koen Langemeijer, IMC Europe market making lead. “We are strongly aligned with CEDX’s ambitions to enhance and grow Europe’s derivatives markets and look forward to providing its participants with access to our exceptional levels of liquidity.”

Cboe Europe Derivatives Welcomes IMC as New Trading Participant
IMC joins Cboe Europe Derivatives as direct trading participant, gaining access to the exchange’s suite of pan-European equity derivatives. CEDX recently expanded its range of equity options and now offers contracts on over 300 European companies. Cboe Europe Derivatives (CEDX), Cboe’s pan-European equity derivatives marketplace, today announces that IMC has become a new direct trading participant, gaining access to the exchange’s range of pan-European index derivatives and equity options.

Dennis Winter becomes Chief Technology Officer of Boerse Stuttgart Digital
Boerse Stuttgart Digital
Dennis Winter (45) will join Boerse Stuttgart Digital as Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Managing Director on June 17, 2024. He will be responsible for Software Development, IT Operations, and IT Security. With his new team of 70 talented international individuals in Stuttgart, Berlin, and Ljubljana, he will strengthen the position of Boerse Stuttgart Digital as the regulated and reliable infrastructure partner for European financial institutions. Dennis Winter joins from the international fintech bank Solaris, where he has worked since 2016 and most recently served as CTO, responsible for developing robust processes and securing the technical infrastructure. Before his time at Solaris, Dennis Winter worked at Neofonie GmbH, among other companies.

Deployable Margin Software Production Release – Equities in SPAN 2 Margin Framework – Effective June 14, 2024
CME Group
CME Clearing (“CME”) has announced the multi-year rollout schedule of its SPAN 2 framework for calculating performance bond requirements for CME-cleared futures and options on futures. According to the planned Equities in SPAN 2 framework release schedule, CME has delivered a production-candidate build of the deployable margin software, version 3.1.9, which supports Equities in the SPAN 2 framework. Users are encouraged to deploy this version in their production environment on or before the mandatory production cutover date for Equities contracts. Starting on the mandatory cutover date, prior versions of the deployable margin software will no longer be supported.

Indonesia Stock Exchange Partners with Nasdaq to Upgrade Market Infrastructure
Technology partnership will further enhance overall resilience and integrity of the exchange, while supporting the rapid deployment of new products and services. Scalable trading platform will quadruple transaction capacity and support development of Indonesian economy. Nasdaq (Nasdaq: NDAQ) and the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) today announced an expansion of their technology partnership which will see IDX upgrade its core trading platform to Nasdaq’s most advanced matching engine. The deal also includes an extension of Nasdaq’s market surveillance partnership with IDX, and an agreement to enhance IDX’s Index business to help foster a deeper and sophisticated global capital markets ecosystem.

Euronext announces June 2024 quarterly review results of the CAC SBT 1.5
Euronext today announced the results of the quarterly review for the CAC SBT 1.5 index, which will take place after markets close on Friday 21 June 2024 and be effective from Monday 24 June 2024.

Trader Alert 24-32: MEMX Options Version 1.7A of its MEMO SBE and Risk Specifications Will be Available in Production July 8, 2024
As previously announced here, MEMX Options released version 1.7A of its MEMO SBE and Risk specifications. This update will be available in Production starting Monday, July 8, 2024. All previous versions of MEMO SBE and Risk version 1.7 will be deprecated.

Regulations for trading on the markets of the Moscow Exchange from June 14
From June 14, 2024, trading on the Moscow Exchange markets will be conducted according to the following regulations: Trading on the stock and money markets is carried out according to a standard schedule. On the foreign exchange market and the precious metals market, as well as on the derivatives market, trading is held from 9:50 Moscow time: 9:50-10:00 – opening auction. from 10:00 – main session. In the foreign exchange market and the precious metals market, trading is carried out on all instruments, with the exception of currency pairs with the US dollar, euro and Hong Kong dollar.

On the progress of trading on the markets of the Moscow Exchange
On June 13, 2024, trading on all markets of the Moscow Exchange started in accordance with the previously announced regulations and is carried out as usual. NCC carried out all the necessary procedures to resolve the consequences of the imposed restrictions in accordance with the clearing rules. As a result of the implemented measures, funds in foreign currency on the client settlement codes of trading participants were not affected.


SDC Jordan and KDPW SA Poland elected to the Board of The Association of National Numbering Agencies as full membership reaches 103; Confirmed at ANNA’s General Meeting, Madrid, 13th & 14th June 2024
National Numbering Agencies via Mondovisione
The Association of National Numbering Agencies, ANNA, a global association dedicated to the support of efficient capital markets through the use of widely embraced International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) standards, announced today that it has elected a new Board Director, the Securities Depository Center (SDC) Jordan, represented by Sarah Tarawneh. It has also confirmed the re-election of KDPW SA, Poland, represented by Slawomir Zajac, to the board. These appointments were confirmed at ANNA’s General Meeting in Madrid, 13th & 14th June 2024.

IBM and Japan institute team up to develop next-gen quantum computer; New unit is expected to perform at a level 75 times higher than current models
Rico Nagao – Nikkei
Japan’s government-backed technology institute will partner with IBM to develop next-generation quantum computers, Nikkei has learned. The National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology and IBM aim to develop a quantum computer with 10,000 quantum bits, or qubits, which would be 75 times more than current quantum computers have. In quantum computing, a qubit is the basic unit of information — just like a binary bit in conventional computers — and gives a rough idea of performance.

Meta Delays AI Chatbot Launch in Europe After Regulator Pushback
Kurt Wagner – Bloomberg
Facebook parent company Meta Platforms Inc. will delay its launch of the Meta AI chatbot in Europe after regulators on the continent requested the company pause its plan to train its large language models with posts from users there.On Monday, Meta announced its intention to start training its LLM, called Llama, using public posts generated by European users. On Friday, it updated that statement to say those plans have been delayed indefinitely after the Irish Data Protection Commission pushed back on the decision.

AI startup Perplexity wants to upend search business. News outlet Forbes says it’s ripping them off
Matt O’Brien And Sarah Parvini – Associated Press
The artificial intelligence startup Perplexity AI has raised tens of millions of dollars from the likes of Jeff Bezos and other prominent tech investors for its mission to rival Google in the business of searching for information. But its AI-driven search chatbot is already facing challenges as some news media companies object to its business practices. It is also competing against t ech giants Google, and now Apple, which are increasingly fusing similar AI features into their core products.

‘I’m in hell. I’ll haunt you’: AI is bringing people back from the dead – with devastating results; The rise of ‘death capitalism’ promises to reunite you with the dearly departed – but is it a comfort or a curse?
Chris Harvey – The Telegraph
“The impulse is old,” says Sherry Turkle, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who has been studying human inter­actions with tech since the 1980s. She points out that our desire to talk to the dead, especially our loved ones, through seances, mediums and Ouija boards, reflects a deep ­human urge that extends to the ­latest ­innovations across succeeding generations. Even Thomas ­Edison is said to have entertained the idea of building a “spirit phone”.But a new age is upon us: last week, Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, announced the advent of Apple Intelligence, which, he said, needs to know “your routine, your relationships, your communications and more”. Turkle believes that AI will become completely integrated into our lives quicker even than social media was.

Apple Has $230 Billion Week on Bet AI IPhones Are Must-Haves; Artificial intelligence features seen triggering upgrade cycle; Apple shares on track for best weekly gain since May
Ryan Vlastelica and Carmen Reinicke – Bloomberg


EU cybersecurity label should not discriminate against Big Tech, European groups say
Foo Yun Chee – Reuters
A proposed cybersecurity certification scheme (EUCS) for cloud services should not discriminate against Amazon, Alphabet’s Google and Microsoft, 26 industry groups across Europe warned on Monday. The European Commission, EU cybersecurity agency ENISA and EU countries will meet on Tuesday to discuss the scheme which has undergone several changes since ENISA unveiled a draft in 2020.

Cisco to establish cybersecurity centre in Taiwan
U.S. networking equipment maker Cisco said on Monday it would set up a cybersecurity centre in Taiwan and work with the government to train more people to work in the sector. Democratically governed Taiwan, which Beijing views as its own territory, has repeatedly complained of cyberattacks coming from China, targeting government officials and departments as well as tech firms as part of a broader pressure campaign.

ERP, AI, And The Evolving Cybersecurity Landscape
Lalit Patil – Forbes
Cloud ERP, Business AI, and even emerging technologies like generative AI (GenAI) have changed the way we do business. However, they have also introduced new cybersecurity challenges. In 2023 alone, data breaches inflicted an average cost of $4.45 million on businesses, with the average time to detect a breach is 207 days. This evolving threat landscape demands more sophisticated security measures.


SEC’s Head of Crypto Asset and Cyber Unit departs after nearly nine years
Adam James – The Block
The head of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission’s Crypto Asset and Cyber Unit in the Division of Enforcement has left the agency after nearly nine years. “This past Friday was my last day with the SEC after almost 9 years,” David Hirsch wrote on LinkedIn. “During that time I had the opportunity to work on more complex, challenging investigations and issues than I ever imagined when I joined the agency as a staff attorney in the Fort Worth Regional Office.”

The State of Crypto: The Fortune 500 Moving Onchain
Carlos Guzman – The Block
Coinbase’s Q2 2024 State of Crypto: The Fortune 500 Moving Onchain report, the result of a research collaboration with The Block, provides an updated view of blockchain adoption among America’s top public companies. On top of analyzing adoption among Fortune 500 companies, the report further delves into adoption trends in tokenization and stablecoins – two areas that have exhibited notable recent growth – and surveys perspectives from small businesses regarding blockchain technology adoption.

First Bitcoin ETF to List on Australia’s Bourse in Global Wave; VanEck Bitcoin ETF to trade on main stock market from Thursday; Bitcoin ETFs in the US have grown to $58 billion this year
Swati Pandey and Sunil Jagtiani – Bloomberg
An exchange-traded fund investing directly in Bitcoin will list on Australia’s main stock market for the first time, kicking off another wave of such listings after similar products began trading in the US and Hong Kong. Exchange operator ASX Ltd., which handles the bulk of the country’s stock trading, has approved the VanEck Bitcoin ETF which will be listed on Thursday, VanEck said in a press release on Saturday. “We recognize Bitcoin is an emerging asset class that many advisers and investors want to access,” Arian Neiron, chief executive officer for VanEck in the Asia-Pacific region, said in the statement. The ETF offers exposure to Bitcoin “using a regulated, transparent and familiar investment vehicle,” he said.

Mining stocks outperformed bitcoin in the first half of the month as investors reacted positively to news of Core Scientific’s AI deal with CoreWeave, the report said.
Will Canny – CoinDesk
The total market cap of the 14 U.S.-listed bitcoin (BTC) miners followed by JPMorgan hit a record high of $22.8 billion on June 15, the Wall Street bank said in a research report on Monday. The bank noted that almost all the companies outperformed bitcoin in the first two weeks of June, with Core Scientific (CORZ) the best performer, adding 117%, and Argo Blockchain (ARBK) the worst, dropping 7%. The world’s largest cryptocurrency fell 3% in the same period.


Ukraine Bid for Global South Support Falters at Swiss Summit; India, Brazil, Indonesia, South Africa among non-signatories; Two-day summit in Switzerland aimed to cement global backing
Bastian Benrath and Andrea Palasciano – Bloomberg
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy failed to win over a number of key nations from the Global South at a two-day summit in Switzerland, casting a shadow over his bid to broaden support in the war against Russia’s invasion. India, Indonesia, South Africa and Saudi Arabia were among nations that didn’t sign on to a final statement drawn up at the June 15-16 meeting. Of more than 100 countries and organizations that participated, only 83 signed the final communique, according to the Swiss hosts. A previous list contained 84 signatories.

Why markets like to see new political faces; Amid the confusion of recent elections, here is one factor with real economic impact
Ruchir Sharma – Financial Times
It has long been clear that 2024 would be a historic year for democracy, with more than 30 national elections worldwide. But only in the last few days have commentators started to focus on the economic impact of these battles. Sharp market reactions to the results in India, Mexico and South Africa have raised some basic questions. Do economies perform better under a strong majority government or a broad coalition? Under a party of the left or the right? Under an incumbent leader or a fresh face?

‘A frustrating outcome’: Little new on climate in G7 leaders’ agreement
Sarah George – edie
The G7 leaders met in Fasano, Italy, between Thursday (13 June) and Saturday (15 June) this week. The tone, observers have stated, has been markedly different this year with an election on the horizon for G7 members France, the UK and the US – plus the recent EU elections front-of-mind. Nonetheless, the leaders sought to put up a united front on the global stage. Russia is mentioned 61 times in the agreed communique, with world leaders agreeing to “build on the comprehensive package of sanctions and economic measures already in place” which penalize Russia. A pledge to unlock $50bn for Ukraine, from interests earned on immobilized Russian sovereign assets, was also made.

How the Saudis won back Biden; The president came to office threatening to make the kingdom a pariah state. But in a volatile Middle East, their ties have become stronger than ever
Felicia Schwartz and Andrew England – Financial Times
“There will be consequences”. It was the warning a fuming Joe Biden hurled at Saudi Arabia during a CNN interview in the autumn of 2022, a week after the kingdom announced deep cuts to its oil production. The US president feared the move risked pushing up crude prices amid the turmoil triggered by Russia’s war in Ukraine. American officials, blindsided by the Saudi decision, considered it a slap in the face to an administration concerned about domestic gasoline prices in the run-up to midterm elections.

Danes Asked to Keep Supplies, Iodine Pills to Prepare for Crises; Government asks citizens to store food, water for three days; Denmark threatened by hybrid war, defense minister says
Sanne Wass – Bloomberg
Denmark’s government is asking citizens to prepare for an attack or other potential crisis by stockpiling supplies of water, food and medicine, and keeping iodine tablets at home. A rising threat from Russia has prompted Danish authorities to increase their preparedness and issue recommendations to Danes to do the same.

Russia Leads Adversaries Looking to Sway 2024 Election, US Warns; Malign operatives focus on generative artificial intelligence; China is taking a more cautious approach, officials say
Peter Martin – Bloomberg

Ukraine urges bondholders to accept markdown on more than $20bn of debt
Investors rejected government proposal this month to reduce bonds’ value by up to 60% ahead of deadline
Joseph Cotterill – Financial Times


Reconsidering the “Complex Product” Designation
Chapman and Cutler LLP
Despite recent regulatory efforts from FINRA and the SEC, industry participants continue to have no clear understanding of what qualifies a product as either “complex” or “risky.” In this article, Chapman attorneys provide insight and context for a path forward for definitive guidance regarding complex products, but also for a more rational regulatory scheme that considers a wide variety of factors. This article proposes an objective framework for broker-dealers and investment advisers to consider Defined Outcome ETFs, regardless of whether they are deemed complex under the current regulatory environment, by utilizing a well-established measure of risk to assess whether an investment in those vehicles is in a client’s best interest.

Federal Reserve Board issues an enforcement action against Evolve Bancorp, Inc. and Evolve Bank & Trust for deficiencies in the bank’s anti-money laundering, risk management, and consumer compliance programs
Federal Reserve Board
The Federal Reserve Board on Friday issued an enforcement action against Evolve Bancorp, Inc. and Evolve Bank & Trust, both of West Memphis, Arkansas, for deficiencies in the bank’s anti-money laundering, risk management, and consumer compliance programs. Evolve partners with various financial technology companies that, in turn, provide access to banking products and services to their end customers. Examinations conducted in 2023 found that Evolve engaged in unsafe and unsound banking practices by failing to have in place an effective risk management framework for those partnerships. In addition, Evolve did not maintain an effective risk management program or controls sufficient to comply with anti-money laundering laws and laws protecting consumers.

SEC Now Demands $102.6 Million Penalty From Ripple in XRP Case
Kevin Helms – Bitcoin News
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is now pursuing a $102.6 million penalty from Ripple, a substantial reduction from the nearly $2 billion originally sought. Ripple recently proposed a penalty of no more than $10 million, citing the Terraform Labs settlement as justification. However, the SEC countered that such a low penalty “would not satisfy the purposes of the civil penalty statutes.”

Commission Statement on the Passing of Former Chairman William Donaldson
Chair Gary Gensler, Commissioner Hester M. Peirce, Commissioner Caroline A. Crenshaw, Commissioner Mark T. Uyeda and Commissioner Jaime Lizarraga – SEC
We mourn the passing of William Donaldson, the 27th Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Bill had a remarkable career in public service, business, and academia-a life well lived. He served his country first as a Marine and later as Undersecretary of International Security Affairs at the State Department followed by becoming an adviser to Vice President Rockefeller. In 2002, President George W. Bush selected Bill to be SEC Chairman. He also served as a member of the Economic Recovery Advisory Board under President Barack Obama. In business, he was a founding partner of investment bank, Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette and later went on to be the CEO of the New York Stock Exchange and subsequently Chairman, President, and CEO of Aetna. In academia he was the founding dean of the Yale School of Management. He oversaw the Commission from 2003 to 2005. He was a man known for his integrity and dignity. Our hearts are with Jane, his children, and all of Bill’s family.

Remarks at the 30th Annual International Institute for Securities Market Growth and Development
Commissioner Mark T. Uyeda – SEC
For capital markets to succeed, there should be a respect for the rule of law and the upholding of contracts. These objectives are rooted in the goals of protecting investors and promoting capital formation. While there are honest firms that seek to raise capital in the market, there are also bad actors that lie, cheat, and steal. Regulators should strive to root out bad actors and promote transparency of disclosures. Otherwise, investors may not trust the markets and will not invest due to fears that they will be defrauded.

SEC Obtains Final Judgment Against Synchronoss CFO for Role in Accounting Misconduct
On June 14, 2024, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York entered a final judgment against Karen Rosenberger, imposing an injunction and officer and director bar, and also ordering her to pay civil monetary penalties and reimburse Synchronoss Technologies, Inc. (“Synchronoss”) for certain compensation.

SEC Charges JAG Capital Advisors and its Founder Joshua Goltry with Defrauding Investors
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged Joshua Goltry and his investment management firm, JAG Capital Advisors LLC (JAG Advisors), in connection with a three-year scheme to defraud investors of at least $3 million.

Notice of Voluntary Dismissal Filed as to Defunct Entity and Deceased CEO
On June 14, 2024, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed a Notice of Voluntary Dismissal as to all claims against PixarBio Corporation and its former CEO, Frank M. Reynolds, the two remaining defendants in the case. PixarBio is defunct, and Reynolds is deceased.

Market manipulation case adjourned for sentencing
The Court of First Instance today adjourned the sentencing of three individuals convicted of conspiracy to carry out false trading in the shares of Ching Lee Holdings Limited to 22 July 2024 after hearing submissions by all parties (Note 1).

SFC bans Ha Po Kwan for 12 months
The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has banned Mr Ha Po Kwan, a former licensed representative of Primas Asset Management Limited (PAML), from re-entering the industry for 12 months from 14 June 2024 to 13 June 2025 (Note 1).

Investing and Trading

Bond traders worry liquidity will worsen as US market size grows
Davide Barbuscia and Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss – Reuters
U.S. bond market participants are worried market liquidity will keep deteriorating as the U.S. Treasury continues to issue large amounts of debt to back deficit spending while dealers struggle to keep up with the ballooning size of the market. Liquidity – or the ability to trade an asset without significantly moving its price – has worsened over the past few years. U.S. government bond prices have fluctuated sharply since the Federal Reserve started hiking interest rates to tame inflation and the issue was discussed during several panels at the Fixed Income Leaders Summit event in Boston on June 13-14.

Currency Traders Readying for a ‘Vol Killer’ Summer After Fed; Global volatility index falls from one-month high post Fed; Dollar implied volatility had been rising back toward average
David Finnerty – Bloomberg
Investors hoping the coming months would bring an explosion of currency volatility on the back of multiple central bank interest rate moves are in for disappointment, according to option traders. There were signs currency markets were getting more turbulent when the Australian dollar, euro and yen rallied around 1% after the US reported weak inflation data on June 12. However, those moves fizzled out after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s projection for one rate cut this year proved to be a dampener and JPMorgan’s Global FX Volatility Index fell for a second day Thursday – though election angst in France pushed the gauge higher Friday.

Roaring Kitty’s $262 Million Stirs Skeptics in Meme Stock Era; Retail trader Keith Gill has a paper fortune in GameStop mania; Short sellers have wised up, but manipulation questions swirl
Annie Massa and Bailey Lipschultz – Bloomberg
As a renewed bout of GameStop Corp. fever gripped the meme-stock faithful, fans of trading influencer Keith Gill waited for one moment: The day their hero, aka “Roaring Kitty,” aka “Deep F–ing Value,” would become a billionaire. The notion was hardly far-fetched. Over the course of two weeks, Gill had been posting images of a massive stake in GameStop and its call options in a portfolio that peaked at more than $550 million on June 6. Though he’s added even more stock since then, the dollar value of his holdings has dropped along with the company’s shares.

Consolidating copper miners could boost much-needed output, says industry boss; Small number of big groups could lift supplies of metal vital for clean energy transition, according to Freeport CEO
Harry Dempsey – Financial Times
Consolidation of the copper mining industry into a handful of supermajors similar to the oil and gas sector has the potential to lift output of the supply-constrained metal vital for the clean energy transition, according to the new boss of the world’s third-largest producer. Despite concerns over deal costs, Kathleen Quirk, who took charge as chief executive of US-based Freeport-McMoRan last Tuesday, said reducing the sector from scores of groups into a small number of giants could be an effective way to buoy supplies needed to cut emissions in the decades ahead.

Big Jump in Insurance Costs Strikes Condos; Higher premiums are raising the price of homeownership and making it harder to sell some units
Nicole Friedman – The Wall Street Journal
Board members of the Highland Park Community Association in Mission Viejo, Calif., braced last year for a rise in insurance costs. Yet they were still shocked to receive a quote for over $170,000, which was more than four times what the association paid in 2022. Another 12 insurers declined to offer quotes, because wildfire risk has made insurers less willing to do business in California.

Investors Fear Long Stretch of Calm in Markets Can’t Last; With stock indexes at record highs, market volatility has been exceptionally low
Jack Pitcher – The Wall Street Journal

Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance

Less meat on menus and fewer new venues: how the Olympics is trying to go green; Paris event organisers pledge to halve greenhouse gas emissions from London and Rio levels
Attracta Mooney, Jana Tauschinski and Leila Abboud – Financial Times
No more diesel generators to power live broadcasts, less meat on the athletes’ menus, and very little construction of new venues – the organisers of the Paris Olympics Games want to prove that the world’s biggest sporting event can go green. It will be a test not just of the French capital’s eco-credentials, but also the International Olympic Committee’s ambition to host sustainable mega-events in an era of climate change. For the Games, which start on July 26, Paris has pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions by half compared with the levels at London in 2012 and Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

More than 800 coal plants worldwide could be profitably decommissioned, research group says
More than 800 coal-fired power plants in emerging countries could be decommissioned and profitably replaced by cleaner solar energy starting from the end of the decade, research on Monday showed. Though only a tenth of existing coal plants are scheduled to shut down by 2030, more could close if efforts are made to identify opportunities, the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) said.

Northeastern US to Swelter in First Heat Wave of the Season; High temperatures will boost electric demand across the region; Daily temperature records may shatter as the heat bears down
Brian K Sullivan – Bloomberg
The season’s first potent heat wave stretching from the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean is set to raise electricity demand and slow transportation networks while threatening health risks. Manhattan is set to reach 91F (33C) on Tuesday and steadily get hotter through the week with humidity making it feel closer to 100F, the National Weather Service said. Residents will find little relief at night because temperatures won’t fall that far, Allison Santorelli, a forecaster with the US Weather Prediction Center, said Sunday.

How the Fed Is Helping Make the Case for a Carbon Tax; The end of the era of low interest rates makes it all the more necessary to put a price on carbon.
Matthew Yglesias – Bloomberg
The longer interest rates stay higher, the stronger the case grows for … a carbon tax. Hear me out. The one great legislative push for carbon pricing, in 2010, came at a time of sky-high unemployment and low interest rates. It fell apart, but US emissions decreased anyway as newly plentiful natural gas started to crowd out more emissions-intensive coal. Over the next decade, the world’s entrepreneurs and engineers – assisted by modest government programs in the US and elsewhere – made considerable progress on bringing down the cost of manufacturing photovoltaic panels and batteries, helping to accelerate global investment in clean energy.

Will recent developments in voluntary carbon markets restore trust and integrity?
Natalie Runyon – Thomson Reuters Institute
Amid controversies and greenwashing accusations, the voluntary carbon markets could be witnessing a shift towards credibility and transparency, driven by new guidelines, changing corporate expectations, and emerging regulatory measures. Using the term Wild West to describe voluntary carbon markets has persisted for a while; yet, in the somewhat near future, it may no longer be accurate because of recent developments in efforts to restore much-needed credibility to the market and address changing expectations in how carbon credits are used by companies.

The growing case to embed climate risk in finance teaching; Four leading finance professors discuss best practice, successful innovations, and important concepts and themes
Marcin Kacperczyk, Andrew Karolyi, Lin Peng and Johannes Stroebel – Financial Times
Chief financial officers, chief ­investment officers and their teams are in a prime position to help embed ­sustainability in their organisations – from strategy and operations to financing and reporting. Yet the change required for many finance teams is ­substantial. A recent survey of senior finance professionals by the charity Accounting for Sustainability suggests that the profession is responding: 88 per cent agree that it is “very important” or “essential” to transform financial decision making to address the opportunities and risks posed by environmental and social issues.

Bill Gates Says He’s Ready to Put Billions Into Nuclear Power
Caleb Mutua – Bloomberg
Bill Gates said he’s prepared to plow billions of dollars into a next-generation nuclear power plant project in Wyoming to meet growing US electricity needs. TerraPower LLC, a startup founded by Gates, broke ground for construction of its first commercial reactor last week in Wyoming, where a coal plant is shutting down, the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft Corp. said on CBS’s Face the Nation. TerraPower has explored simpler, cheaper reactors since 2008 and expects to complete the new reactor in 2030.

Renewables chief says Joe Biden’s China tariffs risk slowing green transition; NextEra’s Rebecca Kujawa warns clean energy duties are raising costs for US consumers
Amanda Chu – Financial Times

Serbia May Let Rio Tinto Resume Lithium Project, FT Reports
Misha Savic – Bloomberg

Climate graphic of the week: Record rainfall in UK and France batters wheat crops; Heavy downpours since last autumn curb planting and push milling-wheat futures to year-high on Euronext
Susannah Savage and Steven Bernard – Financial Times

When Will America Get Its $25,000 Electric Car? Here’s what we know about the ultra-affordable EVs in development from Tesla, General Motors, Ford and Stellantis.
Tom Randall – Bloomberg

‘The time is right’ for US to catch up on high-speed rail, says British Amtrak exec
Oliver Milman – The Guardian
With half a dozen US rail projects in the works, Andy Byford thinks Americans will soon clamor for 200mph train lines.

Converting cow manure to fuel is growing climate solution, but critics say communities put at risk
Dorany Pineda and Terry Chea – Associated Press


UBS Offers to Redeem Funds Linked to 2021 Greensill Collapse; Bank says it will book provision of $900 million in Q2; UBS inherited Greensill issues when it bought Credit Suisse
Jeff Black and Nicholas Comfort – Bloomberg
UBS Group AG said it would give investors in Credit Suisse funds linked to the collapse of Greensill Capital a significant proportion of their money back, as the Swiss bank looks to clear through the legacy issues of its former rival. Investors in the Credit Suisse Supply Chain Finance Funds will be offered a redemption at 90% of the net asset value on Feb. 25, 2021, UBS said in a statement Monday. The offer commenced Monday and runs until July 31. UBS inherited the file when it bought Credit Suisse last year.

Deutsche Bank counting on investment bank hiring spree to pay off; German lender has aggressively expanded parts of its investment bank over past 18 months
Owen Walker and Olaf Storbeck – Financial Times
Deutsche Bank is counting on an aggressive hiring spree that has added more than 100 investment bankers in the past 18 months to start powering revenues and cut its reliance on bond trading. Since the start of 2023, Germany’s largest lender has recruited 125 investment bankers, including from Credit Suisse, with 75 joining at managing director or director level. Deutsche’s purchase of UK broker Numis, completed in October, brought in a further 300 staff.

UBS offers to repay 90% to clients hit by Greensill implosion; Swiss lender seeks to resolve dispute linked to Credit Suisse and its supply chain funds
Owen Walker – Financial Times
UBS has offered to pay former Credit Suisse clients 90 per cent of the funds they invested with Greensill Capital, as the Swiss lender attempts to draw a line under a scandal it inherited after rescuing its rival. Hundreds of Credit Suisse’s most prized clients were hit by the collapse in 2021 of Greensill, a firm the Swiss bank teamed up with to set up $10bn of supply chain finance funds that promised low risks and high returns.

Work & Management

Making sense of Gen Z: employers seek answers on managing younger workers; Advisers from social media influencers to big consultants offer guidance on how to recruit and retain 20-somethings
Anjli Raval – Financial Times
Two years ago Jackie Cooper, chief brand officer at public relations firm Edelman, asked a panel of top marketing executives to name their biggest challenge. The answer took her by surprise. “Every single one of the six said ‘Gen Z’,” she recalls. “I was knocked over by this.” The executives from a range of big companies, including a drinks group, media conglomerate and luxury goods maker faced the same issue – how to better understand the next generation of consumers and the youngest cohort of their workforce.

Why tackling accent bias matters at work; Wall Street banks and big City law firms among employers addressing potential discrimination
Pilita Clark – Financial Times
If the polls are to be believed, the UK parliament is going to look quite different after the July 4 general election. But there might also be a big change in the way it sounds. The last election in 2019 produced a parliament dominated by Conservative party MPs and 69 per cent of them spoke RP, Received Pronunciation, or BBC English, the accent long deemed the most prestigious in the UK.

Wellness Exchange

Yes, Everyone Really Is Sick a Lot More Often After Covid; It’s not your imagination: Around the world, people really are getting sick more often than before the pandemic
Jinshan Hong and Bhuma Shrivastava – Bloomberg
Since February, Kathy Xiang and her entire family has been under siege. Her 12-year-old daughter has had whooping cough, rhinovirus and parainfluenza: She’s missed more than five weeks of school in total. Xiang, a software developer in Shanghai, caught all three too. Her elderly parents, who were helping care for her 10-month-old, tested positive for Covid-19 in early March, and her father got shingles.

A Bird-Flu Pandemic in People? Here’s What It Might Look Like; There is no guarantee that a person-to-person virus would be benign, scientists say, and vaccines and treatments at hand may not be sufficient.
Apoorva Mandavilli – The New York Times
The bird flu outbreak in dairy cattle has so far spilled over to just three farmworkers in the United States, as far as public health authorities know. All of them have had mostly mild symptoms. But that does not guarantee that the virus, called H5N1, will remain benign if it begins to spread among people. Accumulating evidence from the animal world and data from other parts of the globe, in fact, suggest the opposite. Some dairy cows never recovered from H5N1, and died or were slaughtered because of it. Infected terns seemed disoriented and unable to fly. Elephant seal pups had trouble breathing and developed tremors after catching the virus. Infected cats went blind, walking in circles; two-thirds of them died.


Chinese Firm Says It’s Probing Case of Missing Russian Copper
The Chinese state-owned firm whose shipment of copper from Russia went missing said it’s investigating the matter which involves a monetary value of about 110 million yuan ($15 million). Wuchan Zhongda Group Co. bought 2,000 tons of refined copper from a Russian company that should have been delivered last month but never arrived, Bloomberg News reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Pakistan rice exports hit record following Indian sales ban; Windfall is a boon to country hit by double-digit inflation and anaemic economic growth
Susannah Savage and Humza Jilani – Financial Ti=mes
Pakistan is selling record amounts of rice to global markets as it profits from trade restrictions introduced last year by India, the world’s biggest exporter. Rice exports from Pakistan, the fourth-largest exporter, surged to almost 5.6mn tonnes in the 11 months to the end of May, up nearly 60 per cent on the same period a year earlier, according to official statistics.

Naver’s Webtoon Entertainment aims up to $2.67 bln valuation in US IPO
Online comics platform Webtoon Entertainment said on Monday it is targeting a valuation of up to $2.67 billion in its initial public offering in the United States. The company, majority-owned by South Korean tech giant Naver, is aiming to raise as much as $315 million by offering 15 million shares at a price range of $18 to $21 each.

Australia’s trade with China surges to record level after tariffs lifted; Premier Li Qiang visits miners and winemakers as Canberra and Beijing put trade dispute behind them
Nic Fildes – Financial Times
Australia’s trade with China has jumped in the past year to record levels, as relations between the two countries recovered from a damaging dispute sparked by the Covid-19 pandemic despite wider security tensions in the region. Total trade with China reached A$219bn (US$145bn) in 2023, the highest-ever level and up from A$168bn in 2019, the last year before the outbreak of the pandemic and imposition of Chinese tariffs and sanctions, according to official data from the Australian government.

French Markets Could Do With More Sangfroid; Investors have been spooked by populism, but the European Central Bank is ultimately in charge of the bond market
Jon Sindreu – The Wall Street Journal
French politics are full of twists and turns right now, but they probably aren’t leading investors down a cul-de-sac. The country’s benchmark stock-market index, the CAC 40, is down about 6% since the success of Marine Le Pen’s euroskeptic and far-right National Rally party in this month’s European Union elections. Shares in Credit Agricole, BNP Paribas and Societe Generale have dropped 12%, 12% and 15%, respectively. Banks are big holders of France’s sovereign debt, which has been dumped by investors-an echo of the dreaded “doom loop” of the 2011-2012 euro crisis.

ECB’s Lane sees no need for any French bond rescue
Balazs Koranyi and Francesco Canepa – Reuters
The European Central Bank’s chief economist said on Monday there was no need for the ECB to come to France’s rescue by buying bonds because recent market turmoil fuelled by political uncertainty was “not disorderly”. In a Reuters NEXT Newsmaker interview, Philip Lane said he remained confident inflation will fall back to the ECB’s 2% target in 2025 after four years of unusually brisk price growth following the COVID pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

How the US Mopped Up a Third of Global Capital Flows Since Covid; De-dollarization narrative swept aside by overseas investors; Key question is whether policies shift, upending the dynamic
Enda Curran and Saleha Mohsin – Bloomberg
In the face of calls around the world to diversify out of the dollar in recent years, the US has nabbed almost one-third of all the investment that flowed across borders since Covid struck.An International Monetary Fund analysis sent by request to Bloomberg News shows that the share of global flows has climbed – not fallen – since a shortage of dollars in 2020 spooked global investors and the 2022 freezing of Russian assets stoked questions about respect for free movement of capital. The pre-pandemic US average share was just 18%, according to the IMF.

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The Spread

Traders Betting on China Easing Boost Bearish Options on Banks

Observations & Insight Miami International Holdings, Inc. (MIH) announced that the SEC has approved MIAX Sapphire LLC's application to become a national securities exchange. MIAX Sapphire, MIH's fourth national securities exchange for U.S. multi-listed options,...

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