Young Talent Isn’t Following the Money to Wall Street

Jul 22, 2021

First Read

$51,906/$300,000 (17.3%)


Hits & Takes
John Lothian & JLN Staff

The World of Opportunity was all about opportunity yesterday as Small Exchange CEO Donnie Roberts and Get Real’s Ed Haravon spoke to a virtual audience at the MarketsWiki Education online event. We have also shared the videos from Cboe’s Ed Tillly, NFA’s Robin Wood and OCC’s Andre Buckles with the registrants and with you.

Thank you to Donnie and Ed, Ed, Robin and Andre for partaking in this year’s program. We will have additional videos to share in coming weeks.

Tomorrow JLN says goodbye to editor Thom Thompson, who has accepted a full-time position as chief compliance officer of a start-up exchange in New York. Thom joined us over three years ago and has made a substantial impact on the organization through his enterprising writing and his unparalleled snark.

When I hired Thom it was with the stated objective to raise his profile, give him an opportunity to do some interesting work here and for someone to hire him away. The plan worked, though it took a little longer than expected. Congratulations to Thom on his great work at JLN and on his new job, which will take him to New York.

We celebrated Thom’s tenure with a staff gathering last Friday for drinks. I told Thom he made an impact with his work, especially on his courthouse reporting, his contributions to CryptoMarketsWiki and his work on MarketsWiki as well. Just take a look at the MarketsWiki page on the price of oil going negative as an example.

I told him his work on the Jitesh Thakkar case focused my attention on the injustice of the prosecution and ensues!ouraged me to step out with the petition campaign and continued pressure on the CFTC to drop the case. He made an impact on me, on Jitesh’s case and life, and on our industry.

All in all his work here was a success. We will all miss him, but PanXchange’s Julie Lerner will undoubtedly miss him the most for his great work analyzing the PanXchange’s monthly hemp report. Good luck, Thom, and God bless you and your future endeavors.

Don’t forget to register for IDX on September 27 and 28 in London at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge, which I hope is a hotel and not a bridge. ~ FIA

BSO today announced that it has upgraded its main routes between Shanghai and key financial hubs in London, Hong Kong and Tokyo. The upgrade delivers the fastest connectivity to Shanghai equities and futures markets of any provider and bolsters BSO’s position as the reputed market leader in low-latency connectivity, BSO said. — Institutional Asset Manager

The rats are back! The New York Times reported that âEURœOn Wednesday, the National Labor Relations Board ruled that unions can position large synthetic props like rats, often used to communicate displeasure over employment practices, near a work site even when the targeted company is not directly involved in a labor dispute.âEUR — NY Times

There were no new donations to the JLN MarketsWiki Education GoFundMe campaign. Support our efforts to preserve industry history and educate the next generation of industry professionals and market participants.

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 Cboe Options Institute will host a 75-minute webinar on Wednesday, July 28, at 12 p.m. ET, to discuss 35 years of options index performance with Stacey Gilbert, portfolio manager, Glenmede Investment Management; Jon Cherry, global head of options at Northern Trust Securities; Mike Oyster, chief investment officer at Options Solutions; and Gaurav Sinha, managing director at S&P Dow Jones Indices. Planned topics include strategies for enhanced risk-adjusted returns and generating monthly income with options strategies. More details here.~SC

FOW Asia returns 8-9 September 2021 in a virtual format. Topics include: Moving past the pandemic: trading and investing while keeping risk in check; China access: progress of two-way capital market opening-up; Commodities: an inflation hedge amid decarbonization?; ESG Integration: adapting to the Asian market; Equity and derivatives for APAC investors; and Digital assets, blockchain and marketplace: what’s next in play?
Complimentary places are available to banks, brokers, funds, asset management firms, prop. traders and CTAs. You can go here to register.~SR


Ed Tilly: Opportunities at Cboe Global Markets âEUR” MWE World of Opportunity

Cboe Global Markets Executive Chairman & CEO Ed Tilly sat down with John Lothian News over Zoom for the MarketsWiki Education World of Opportunity series to discuss current opportunities at the Cboe as the exchange operator continues to expand globally. He also talked about how Cboe is responding to increased retail investor demand. He noted opportunities are still available on the trading floor and he mused about what he would do if he were starting his career today.

Watch the video »


Robin Wood âEUR” From Greenwood Project and University of Illinois to the NFA âEUR” World of Opportunity

Robin Wood found the Greenwood Project via a group chat while a student at the University of Illinois and that connection led to an internship and full-time position with the National Futures Association. Wood was interviewed by NFA communications specialist Joseph McCarthy in the offices of John Lothian News for the MarketsWiki Education World of Opportunity video series. She talks about the Greenwood Project and her experiences at NFA, including joining the futures regulator during a pandemic.

Watch the video »


Andre Buckles: Working From Home âEUR” MWE World of Opportunity

Andre Buckles is the executive director of talent recruitment at the OCC. He spoke to John Lothian News for the MarketsWiki Education World of Opportunity video series about the work from home environment and how to make it work. He offered insights as an engaged worker in a remote working world. He spoke about six different ways to be engaged in a virtual environment.

Watch the video »



LCH appoints Rohit Verma as Head of Asia Pacific
Responsible for LCH’s operations and growth in Asia Pacific; Brings 20 years’ experience in derivatives markets to the role; LCH, a leading global clearing house, today announced that it has appointed Rohit Verma as Head of Asia Pacific, effective 26 July 2021. Based in Singapore, Rohit will report to Isabelle Girolami, CEO, LCH Ltd.
Rohit will be responsible for LCH’s business in Asia Pacific, including the clearing house’s operations in Singapore, Sydney and Tokyo. He will also be responsible for sales in the region and will sit on LCH’s sales leadership team. Rohit’s appointment follows Kate Birchall’s move to London earlier this year, to assume the role of Head of Sales, LCH.

*****If you are head of Asia Pacific, that is a big job. Good luck to Mr. Verma.~JJL


FIA Tech Extends Platform To US Listed Options; Atlantis brokerage service launches support for US listed options
FIA Tech
FIA Tech, the leading technology provider to the exchange traded derivative industry, announced today that it has added US listed options support to its Atlantis service, and gone live with brokerage processing for two major banks. The functionality was developed with the assistance of OCC (Options Clearing Corporation) and is now available for all existing and future FIA Tech customers.

****** Listed options are hot and FIA Tech is on the job.~JJL


Gold Trader’s Chat Bragged About âEUR˜How Easy’ It Is to Manipulate Prices
Bre Bradham – Bloomberg
Chat logs introduced as evidence by prosecutors at the Chicago spoofing trial of two former precious-metals traders for Bank of America Corp.’s Merrill Lynch unit shows one of them, Edward Bases, bragging about how easy it is to manipulate prices.

*****This was reported because a regulator was bragging to a reporter about how easy it was to find market manipulators on chat rooms.~JJL


Companies that make people return to the office will lose employees
Rani Molla – Vox
After a year-and-a-half hiatus, many offices will open back up in September. Most companies are asking that employees return on a hybrid basis, meaning they come into the office at least some of the time. But what exactly that will look like is uncertain. What is certain is that more people will work from home than ever before, and this shift has the potential to disrupt everything from physical office space to the way people feel about work. And as US companies face a hiring crisis, companies that don’t offer remote work could find themselves at a significant disadvantage when it comes to recruiting new talent.

*****The breaking down of borders creates more jobs, which is why Brexit was such a bad idea. With work from home, you can work for anyone in the world.~JJL


Wednesday’s Top Three
Our top story Wednesday was Bloomberg’s NatWest Chairman Says London Office Life Will Never Return. Second was A âEUR˜Cafe’ Is Opening In The Middle Of LaSalle Street In The Loop âEUR” And You Can Grab Lunch There Tuesdays, from Block Club Chicago. Third was the ICE press release S&P Global Platts and ICE Issue Joint Paper and Open Market Consultations on the Evolution of the Brent Complex.


MarketsWiki Stats
26,489 pages; 234,690 edits
MarketsWiki Statistics


Lead Stories

Young Talent Isn’t Following the Money to Wall Street; Long hours, the pandemic and the lure of startups are taking their toll on recruitment for the traditional investment banks.
Marcus Ashworth – Bloomberg
Deutsche Bank AG is the latest investment bank dangling a juicier carrot at prospective first-year analysts. An extra $10,000 sounds nice but, unfortunately, Wall Street is just appealing to individuals focused on short-term compensation âEUR” the kind who won’t hang around long anyway. The banks are going to have to up their game to attract and retain talent. And it’s not all about money. “There is no substitute for hard workâEUR has long been the industry mantra. But those first few years are brutal. There is now a number for how much toil is required to reach “base-level mastery” at an investment bank: The golden ticket to elite level is 10,000 hours or roughly three years worth of 72-hour weeks, according to Mary Erdoes, chief executive officer of JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s asset and wealth management business.

Robinhood’s Guinea Pig for Upending Public Offerings: Itself; The stock trading app is opening its initial public offering and investor presentations to everyday investors. The risks are significant.
Erin Griffith and Lauren Hirsch – NY Times
When Vlad Tenev and Baiju Bhatt created the stock trading app Robinhood in 2013, the entrepreneurs declared that their mission was to democratize Wall Street and make finance accessible to all. Now as they prepare to make their company public, they are taking that ethos to a new extreme.

SEC’s Gensler Issues Warning as Fake Stocks Bloom on Blockchains
Jesse Westbrook – Bloomberg
Trading such tokens could violate securities laws, he says; SEC chief pledges to bring enforcement actions if necessary
Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler has a warning about the synthetic stocks popping up on blockchains: Firms selling the tokens to U.S. investors are likely to end up in trouble with regulators. In a Wednesday speech, Gensler made clear that tokens that mirror the performance of Inc., Tesla Inc. and other well-known companies are probably still covered by U.S. securities laws. He also pledged to use all the resources in the SEC’s âEURœenforcement toolkitâEUR to go after those who might be offering such assets without registering them.

Nasdaq Sees $1.5 Billion of Demand for New Trading Platform
Katherine Doherty – Bloomberg
Nasdaq Inc.’s new trading venue for closely held companies has plans to grow quickly and go global, Chief Executive Officer Adena Friedman said Wednesday. The platform could capture $500 million to $1.5 billion of market demand, Friedman said in a Bloomberg Television interview Wednesday. Nasdaq announced the joint venture with SVB Financial Group, Citigroup Inc., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley on Tuesday.

SEC Chair Hints Some Stablecoins Are Securities
Nikhilesh De – Coindesk
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair Gary Gensler said cryptocurrencies whose prices depend on more traditional securities might fall under securities laws. Speaking to the American Bar Association on Tuesday, Gensler said some platforms are offering crypto tokens âEURœthat are priced offâEUR securities and resemble derivatives products. In his view, any security-based products will have to comply with trade reporting rules and other laws, he said.

The inexorable rise of exchange traded funds; Structures have saved investors millions in fees but crisis often follows innovation
The editorial board – FT
Exchange traded funds are heading for yet another record year. The low cost, mostly index-tracking, funds attracted $659bn of inflows in the first six months of 2021 compared with the record-breaking $767bn in 2020 as a whole. By now, that record is already likely to have been shattered. The figures provide more evidence that ETFs have been one of the most successful financial innovations of the past few decades. It is success enjoyed not only by ETF managers, helping Vanguard, State Street and BlackRock to become financial behemoths, but also by their clients. Investors have saved in aggregate millions of dollars in fees compared with more expensive structures.

Bitcoin Is Failing Its First Inflation Test as Selloff Deepens; Original cryptocurrency has lost about half of its value since mid-April
Paul Vigna – WSJ
Bitcoin’s steep selloff is undercutting the argument made by the digital currency’s proponents that it’s an inflation hedge. The original cryptocurrency has lost about half of its value since mid-April, fizzling after a spectacular rally that saw it surge above $60,000 from around $7,000 at the start of 2020. It traded Wednesday afternoon at $31,864, and got a small boost after Tesla Inc. boss Elon Musk said he has personal holdings of the cryptocurrency, as does his space company SpaceX. The timing is ironic.

JPMorgan Awards Jamie Dimon Surprise Retention Bonus; The one-time grant of stock options reflects the board’s desire to keep the CEO at the helm for several more years
David Benoit and Simon Clark – WSJ
JPMorgan Chase JPM 2.10% & Co. is giving Chief Executive Jamie Dimon 1.5 million reasons to stay at the bank for five more years. The bank’s board of directors granted Mr. Dimon, 65 years old, a retention bonus in the form of 1.5 million options that he can exercise in 2026, according to a regulatory filing Tuesday. The award requires Mr. Dimon to stay at the bank the whole time and hit certain performance targets to receive the full amount.

Robinhood Rewrites the Rules for Going Public; It’s giving retail investors much more of its I.P.O. than is the norm.
Andrew Ross Sorkin, Jason Karaian, Sarah Kessler, Stephen Gandel, Michael J. de la Merced, Lauren Hirsch and Ephrat Livni – NY Times
Big risks, big rewards?
Robinhood, which touts its mission as âEURœdemocratizing finance,âEUR is trying out a new kind of I.P.O.: The online brokerage plans to sell as much as a third of its offering to customers through its app. What could go wrong?

The Noncompete Clause Gets a Closer Look; Biden’s executive order asks FTC to limit the use of agreements that keep workers from changing jobs; âEUR˜I didn’t know any trade secrets,’ former security guard says
Lauren Weber – WSJ
The noncompete clause is under review. This month, as part of a broad executive order aimed at bolstering competition in business and the labor market, President Biden called on the Federal Trade Commission to ban or limit clauses in employment contracts that restrict workers’ freedom to change jobs.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk Says He Personally Owns BitcoinâEUR”and So Does SpaceX; Executive says he wants to ensure bitcoin mining uses more renewable energy before the electric-vehicle maker resumes accepting the cryptocurrency
Rebecca Elliott – WSJ
Tesla Inc. TSLA -0.79% Chief Executive Elon Musk said Wednesday that he and his rocket company, SpaceX, hold bitcoin, a cryptocurrency he generally supports despite having concerns about its environmental impacts.

Archegos Blowup Spurs House Democrats’ Demands for Tougher Rules
Robert Schmidt – Bloomberg
A push by Democrats to tighten market rules in response to the implosion of Archegos Capital Management and this year’s meme-stock mania is gaining traction in the U.S. House. The Financial Services Committee, led by Representative Maxine Waters of California, may hold votes as soon as next week on legislation that could have broad consequences for hedge funds, online brokers and powerful trading firms, said people familiar with her plans.


Delta variant deepens crisis for Tunisia’s fragile democracy; Military takes command of pandemic response as medical chaos adds to country’s political and economic woes
Heba Saleh – FT
A fast-deteriorating health situation has added to Tunisia’s political and economic woes as the aggressive Delta variant of coronavirus takes hold in a country with low vaccinations and the Arab world’s highest Covid-19 death rate.

UK fights scepticism over assessment of Beta variant threat in France; Scientists contest interpretation of data that prompted Britain to keep quarantine rule for travellers
Anna Gross and Leila Abboud – FT
The UK has stood by its assessment of the threat posed by the Beta variant of coronavirus in France despite mounting criticism from scientific experts from both sides of the Channel.

Australian PM apologises for slow Covid vaccine rollout as cases rise; Scott Morrison’s approval rating drops as outbreak forces 14m people into lockdown
Jamie Smyth – FT
Australian prime minister Scott Morrison has apologised for his government’s bungling of its Covid-19 vaccine rollout, amid a worsening outbreak that has forced authorities to put 14m people under lockdown.

Biden Predicts F.D.A. Will Give Final Vaccine Approval by the Fall; The president also defended his opposition to eliminating the Senate filibuster, even though it is being used to block voting rights legislation he has championed.
Jim Tankersley – NY Times
President Biden said on Wednesday that he expected the Food and Drug Administration would give final approval quickly for coronavirus vaccines, as he pressed for skeptical Americans to get vaccinated and stop another surge of the pandemic.

White House officials debate masking push as covid infections spike
Annie Linskey – Washington Post
Top White House aides and Biden administration officials are debating whether they should urge vaccinated Americans to wear masks in more settings as the delta variant causes spikes in coronavirus infections across the country, according to six people familiar with the discussions.

Covid May Have Claimed as Many as 5 Million Lives in India; Multiple studies show the nation’s virus carnage is vastly underestimated, drawing repeated denials from Modi’s government.
Bibhudatta Pradhan, Archana Chaudhary – Bloomberg
India’s actual death toll from Covid-19 could range between 1.3 million to a staggering 5 million, with even the most conservative estimate putting its tally at more than double the U.S., the highest recorded in the world so far.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

Clearing and prime brokerage APAC head at Citi joins LCH; New head of Asia Pacific at LCH joins the clearinghouse after nearly ten years at Citi most recently as head of OTC clearing and FX prime brokerage.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
London-based clearinghouse LCH has appointed the former head of over the counter (OTC) clearing and prime brokerage for Asia Pacific at Citi to head up its business in the region. Rohit Verma will join LCH on 26 July after nearly 10 years at Citi, originally joining the investment bank in 2012 as a director for futures and OTC clearing in business risk.

DTCC enhances ETF solution with automated collateral management process; New solution at DTCC includes fixed income ETF capabilities and a no-touch process which provides increased operational efficiency and balance sheet relief.
Wesley Bray – The Trade
The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation’s (DTCC) US clearing subsidiary has launched an automated ETF solution that simplifies the collateral management process and adds new fixed-income ETF capabilities. The National Securities Clearing Corporation’s (NSCC) move is aimed at freeing up capital and increasing operational efficiency during market uncertainty and volatility.

EBS Market Integration onto CME Globex
Subject to applicable regulatory approvals, EBS Market’s Central Limit Order Book and eFix Matching Service will launch on CME Globex. You will receive subsequent notices with additional details and actions required to support the EBS Market integration onto CME Globex.
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Production Connectivity Options and Order Forms Available Now
Client Testing for EBS Market and eFix Matching Service on CME Globex Available Now
EBS Ai on CME Globex – Q3 2021
iLink 3 Cancel/Replace Request with In-Flight Mitigation
EBS Credit on CME Globex – Q4 2021
iLink 3 EBS Maximum Order Size – Q4 2021
AutoCert+ Available Now
iLink 3 FIXP Messaging Enhancements
iLink 3 EBS Optional Tag 9537-Location

Nasdaq, Inc. Announces $475 Million Accelerated Stock Repurchase Program
Nasdaq, Inc. (the âEURœCompanyâEUR) (Nasdaq: NDAQ) today announced that it has entered into an accelerated stock repurchase agreement (âEURœASRâEUR) with Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC (âEURœGoldman SachsâEUR) to repurchase $475 million of the Company’s common stock. The ASR was entered into pursuant to the Company’s share repurchase program, under which $1.46 billion remained available as of July 21, 2021.


Cash Will Soon Be Obsolete. Will America Be Ready?
Eswar Prasad – NY Times
When was the last time you made a payment with dollar bills? Some people still prefer to use cash, perhaps because they like the tactile nature of physical currency or because it provides confidentiality in transactions. But digital payments, made with the swipe of a card or a few taps on a cellphone, are fast becoming the norm.

BSO enhances Chinese markets connectivity speed; The enhancement included the upgrade of routes between Shanghai and London, Hong Kong and Tokyo.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
Infrastructure and connectivity provider BSO has upgraded the connectivity of the Chinese capital market with improved routes between Shanghai and various financial hubs. As part of the enhancement, routes between Shanghai and London, Hong Kong and Tokyo have been upgraded.

CLS completes major technology change initiative with revamped settlement platform; The project, named Convergence, includes the migration of CLSSettlement onto its Unified Services Platform.
Wesley Bray – The Trade
FX market infrastructure CLS has completed a significant replatforming of its post-trade settlement technology infrastructure, a crucial phase of its multi-year technology investment programme. The project, named Convergence, is the largest technology change initiative that CLS has undertaken since the launch of CLSSettlement in 2002.

Hedge fund Dark Forest Technologies installs FlexTrade OEMS; Systematic hedge fund Dark Forest will use the OEMS from FlexTrade to consolidate its trading capabilities onto a single platform.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
US systematic hedge fund Dark Forest Technologies has gone live with the order and execution management system (OEMS) from FlexTrade. The trading systems provider said Dark Forest will use its FlexONE system to consolidate all quantitative and systematic trading capabilities onto a single platform and use its real-time trading APIs to automate orders.

Visa acquires Currencycloud, which makes APIs for remittances and currency transfers, in a $963M deal
Ingrid Lunden – Techcrunch
A year and a half after Currencycloud raised $80 million in a round that included Visa, the London-based developer of APIs that powered remittance and currency exchange services is getting even closer to the financial services giant. Today, Visa announced that it would acquire CurrencyCloud in a deal valued at $963 million (£700 million).

Salesforce closes $27.7 billion acquisition of Slack
Julia La Roche – Yahoo Finance
Software giant Salesforce (CRM) officially closed on its $27.7 billion record acquisition of messaging app Slack Technologies (WORK) on Wednesday, as the company bets big on a digital work-from-anywhere future. “Together we’ll define the future of enterprise software, creating the digital HQ that enables every organization to deliver customer and employee success from anywhere,” Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff said in a statement.


Wall Street banks redirect China IPOs to Hong Kong after Didi shock; Beijing’s new cyber security rules sever lucrative flow of listings to New York stock market
Hudson Lockett and Tabby Kinder – FT
Global investment banks are racing to redirect Chinese groups’ initial public offerings towards Hong Kong after new cyber security rules instituted by Beijing halted lucrative tech listings previously heading for New York.

Saudi Aramco confirms data leak after $50m cyber ransom demand; World’s largest oil producer says some company files were compromised
Hannah Murphy and David Sheppard – FT
Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest oil producer, confirmed on Wednesday that some of its company files had been leaked via a contractor, after a cyber extortionist claimed to have seized troves of its data last month and demanded a $50m ransom from the company.

Biden to convene private sector leaders for cybersecurity talks in August
Andrea Shalal and Robert Birsel – Reuters
President Joe Biden and senior U.S. officials will meet private sector leaders on Aug. 25 to discuss ways to beef up cybersecurity, a White House spokesperson said on Wednesday, underscoring the need for collective action. Members of Biden’s national security team and officials from across the administration will meet business executives to “discuss how we can work together to collectively improve the nation’s cybersecurity,” the spokesperson for the White House National Security Council said.

France weighs cybersecurity moves after spyware reports
Associated Press – The Washington Post
French President Emmanuel Macron held an emergency cybersecurity meeting Thursday to weigh possible government action after reports that his cellphone and those of government ministers may have been targeted by spyware.

The Cybersecurity 202: The Pegasus Project raised the curtain on a vast spyware network. Here are four takeaways.
Joseph Marks and Aaron Schaffer – The Washington Post
For at least half a decade, the smartphone hacking tools created by a controversial Israeli firm have allowed governments to silence critics and journalists, threaten opponents and extend oppression and intimidation outside their borders. That’s the clear conclusion from an extensive investigation by The Washington Post and 16 media partners into NSO Group, a leader in the growing industry of private companies selling military-grade hacking tools to government law enforcement and intelligence agencies, often with little insight into how they’re ultimately used.

A roadmap for secure digital healthcare
Jenn Markey – Security Boulevard
Healthcare has been undergoing a steady evolution for decades, but for many this was greatly accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the level of progress varies across countries and regions, there are several common factors and trends we can see globally. Heightened patient expectations, the adoption of technologies like mobile and IoT, and complex compliance mandates are all forces fuelling healthcare’s digital transformation. However, going digital introduces new security challenges and risks. Healthcare is already vulnerable, as the industry tops the list of the most expensive data breaches, with a $7.13 million average data breach cost, 84% more than the global average.


The Ultra-Rich Are Turning to Crypto After Driving the SPAC Boom; A Goldman Sachs survey found that nearly half the family offices the bank does business with want to add digital currencies to their stable of investments.
Mary Biekert – Bloomberg
Firms that manage the wealth and personal affairs of rich people are increasingly looking to make bets on crypto. That’s according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc., which found that nearly half the family offices it does business with want to add digital currencies to their stable of investments.

Your Privacy May Be at Stake as Central Banks Develop Digital Currencies; In the not-too-distant future, every time you buy a cup of coffee, someone somewhere might know about it.
Stephanie Flanders and Michael Sasso – Bloomberg
In the not-too-distant future, every time you buy a cup of coffee, someone somewhere might know about it. That’s an unnerving prospect as private companies and central banks experiment with digital currencies. On this week’s podcast, host Stephanie Flanders explores the promising and disconcerting future of Bitcoin and its brethren with Cornell University Senior Professor of Trade Policy Eswar Prasad, author of the forthcoming book âEURœThe Future of Money: How the Digital Revolution is Transforming Currencies and Finance.âEUR

Musk says SpaceX holds bitcoin, Tesla âEUR˜likely’ to resume accepting it; Cryptocurrency comments made on panel with Twitter’s Jack Dorsey and Ark chief Cathie Wood
Hannah Murphy – FT
Cryptocurrencies edged higher on Wednesday after Elon Musk disclosed for the first time that his private rocket company SpaceX holds bitcoin and that Tesla would âEURœmost likelyâEUR resume accepting it as payment for its electric cars.

BNY Mellon joins State Street in crypto trading push; Two custody giants join four other banks in backing new digital token trading venue
Eva Szalay – FT
Two of the world’s largest custody banks have publicly backed cryptocurrency trading platform Pure Digital, in a move that points to growing demand from traditional asset managers for bitcoin and other digital tokens.

US regulator fines UBS $8m over volatility ETP; Hundreds of clients held the product for longer than it was designed with some investors losing 75% of their assets
David Isenberg – FT
UBS Financial Services will pay $8.1m to settle allegations that it had faulty policies and procedures that led to clients holding a short-term, volatility-linked exchange traded product for longer than they should have, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced earlier this week.

Bitstamp Names Kraken Veteran Zagotta as New US Chief Executive
James Rubin – Coindesk
Cryptocurrency exchange Bitstamp has hired Robert âEURœBobbyâEUR Zagotta to become its first U.S. chief executive officer, the company said Wednesday. Zagotta, who was Kraken’s chief commercial officer for over three years, will oversee Luxembourg-based Bitstamp’s daily U.S. operations and help the company achieve the goal of growing its U.S. business.

Sam Bankman-Fried Is Changing The Game After FTX Raises A Record $900 Million
Hassan Maishera – FX Empire
Sam Bankman-Fried is making waves in the cryptocurrency space after his FTX exchange raised a record-breaking $900 million in a private equity round.

Global X Joins Firms Filing Bitcoin ETF Application With SEC
Jamie Crawley – Coindesk
New York-based fund manager Global X Digital Assets has joined the list of firms applying to file a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) in the U.S.

Bank of Russia Tells Stock Exchanges to Avoid Crypto-Related Funds
Anna Baydakova – Coindesk
Stock exchanges in Russia should not list investment products related to cryptocurrency prices, the country’s central bank, which regulates the industry, said in an announcement on Thursday.


Tom Barrack Wore Many Hats. Now an Indictment Hangs Over His Head; It didn’t pay to be a friend to everyone in a presidency that excelled at controversy.
Caleb Melby – Bloomberg
Leading up to and during the presidency of Donald Trump, Tom Barrack, founder of investment firm Colony Capital Inc., sold Trump to skeptical Wall Street titans, lauded him at the Republican National Convention, helped lead his transition team, and raised $107 million as chairman of the inaugural committee that organized the celebrations marking Trump’s ascendance. He was also, according to federal prosecutors, an unregistered agent for the United Arab Emirates.

Germany and US reach truce over Nord Stream 2 pipeline; Ukrainian officials furious over agreement on Russian gas because of energy security fears
Aime Williams and Roman Olearchyk – FT
The US and Germany have reached a deal to resolve their longstanding dispute over the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, including a promise from Berlin to impose sanctions on Russia if Moscow threatens its neighbours’ energy security.

China rejects next stage of WHO Covid origins probe; Beijing âEUR˜shocked’ by latest phase of investigation for treating idea of Wuhan lab leak seriously
Christian Shepherd – FT
China has rejected the next stage of a World Health Organization-led probe into the origins of Covid-19 because investigators intend to treat the theory that it may have leaked from a Wuhan lab as plausible.

Boris Johnson has made a Brexit offer the EU can only refuse; The UK’s latest proposals for the Northern Ireland protocol are an attempt to tear up an international treaty
Philip Stephens – FT
Boris Johnson’s government has new proposals for post-Brexit trade with Northern Ireland. The message to the EU is plain enough. The prime minister has no intention of honouring the solemn commitments made in the Irish protocol.

Where China Rules and the U.S. Dollar Reigns; Hong Kong is the focus of antagonism between Beijing and Washington but is most of the rhetoric simply diplomatic theater?
Matthew Brooker – Bloomberg
The Biden administration’s business advisory on Hong Kong has generated more heat and light than appears justified by its contents. The fireworks may be a sign that the U.S. and China are content to let hostilities play out as diplomatic theater, and are reluctant to raise confrontation to a level that would meaningfully challenge the functioning of a key global financial center.

Kerry Weighs Tax on Polluter Nations as He Scolds China on Coal
Jennifer A Dlouhy, Francine Lacqua, and John Follain – Bloomberg
China must hit peak emissions before end of decade, Kerry says; Administration still mulling tariff on carbon-heavy imports
The Biden administration hasn’t decided whether to impose a tariff on carbon-intensive imports from China and other countries as a way to fight climate change, U.S. envoy John Kerry said, even as he urged Beijing to slash greenhouse gas emissions and shut down coal plants.

Biden Says Pandemic Only Among Unvaccinated as He Urges Shots
Jordan Fabian and Jennifer Epstein – Bloomberg
President says those who are vaccinated aren’t going to die; He says he expects approval soon for shots for those under 12
President Joe Biden urged more Americans to get vaccinated, saying that the coronavirus is only raging among those who have not received their shots and that those under 12 years old will be able to get inoculated âEURœsoon.âEUR

Chips’ Biggest Political Pawn Still Has a Strong Game; ASML’s major expansion looks like a solid bet, as subsidies for domestic production could offset limits to sales in China
Dan Gallagher – WSJ
The extremely expensive nature of chip manufacturing makes efficiency paramount. But for some producers of chip manufacturing equipment, inefficiency could become a saving grace. Consider ASML. The Dutch company’s extreme ultraviolet lithography, or EUV, tools are so key to advanced chipmaking that semiconductor manufacturers looking to produce cutting-edge processors for products such as personal computers, smartphones, data centers and network gear simply can’t get by without them. That also has made ASML into a key weapon in the global semiconductor Cold War that keeps warming up. The U.S. has leaned on the Dutch government to prevent those EUV tools from being shipped to Chinese chip makers.

A Treasury official says an international tax deal would help make globalization work.
NY Times
The Biden administration made its case on Wednesday for why multinational corporations should support an international tax agreement aimed at cracking down on tax shelters, with a top official arguing that the deal would restore order to globalization and blunt the forces of protectionism and populism that have posed a threat to business in recent years.


China Weighs Unprecedented Penalty for Didi After U.S. IPO
Bloomberg News
Chinese regulators are considering serious, perhaps unprecedented, penalties for Didi Global Inc. after its controversial initial public offering last month, according to people familiar with the matter.

SEC Awards Nearly $3 Million to Whistleblower
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced an award of nearly $3 million to a whistleblower whose information and assistance led to a successful SEC enforcement action.

Web Application Firewall Information
fileX is in the process of introducing Web Application Firewall (WAF) to the fileX APIs. Below are the key dates related to the WAF changes.
CT on 7/27
PROD on 7/30
There will be no outage or change to the fileX API functionality during or after the change.

July 2021 Board Meeting
This week, the FINRA Board of Governors will hold its third meeting of 2021. As is often the case for our mid-year Board meeting, this meeting will revolve around a series of strategic discussions in lieu of a full schedule of committee meetings and a review of rule proposals. Select high-level discussions for this meeting will include how our industry is evolving, retail self-directed trading, digital assets, arbitration, and diversity and inclusion.

FCA charges Simon Day with one offence of money laundering
Following a joint investigation by the Financial Conduct Authority and City of London Police, the FCA has charged Simon Day with one offence of money laundering, contrary to Section 327(1) of the Proceeds of Crime Act.

SEC Charges Retailer and Former CEO for Accounting, Reporting, and Control Failures
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Fort Worth, Texas, specialty retailer Tandy Leather Factory Inc. and its former chief executive officer Shannon Greene have agreed to settle charges for accounting, reporting, and control failures that led to a multi-year restatement of the company’s financial statements.

The FCA and the Bank of England encourage market participants in a switch to RFRs in the LIBOR cross-currency swaps market from 21 September
Following close engagement with authorities across LIBOR jurisdictions and with market participants, the FCA and Bank of England support and encourage liquidity providers in the LIBOR cross-currency swaps market to adopt new quoting conventions for interdealer trading based on risk-free rates (RFRs) instead of LIBOR from 21 September this year. This is to facilitate a further shift in market liquidity toward RFRs, bringing benefits for a wide range of users as they move away from LIBOR.

Information for firms who use certain exemptions to the Financial Promotions Order
Following onshoring changes made to The Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Financial Promotion) Order 2005 (the FPO), the definition of Relevant Market inadvertently no longer includes relevant UK markets.

Ontario Securities Commission Seeks Applications For Investment Funds Technical Advisory Committee
The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) is seeking applications for membership on its Investment Funds Technical Advisory Committee (IFTAC). The IFTAC advises staff on technical compliance challenges in the investment funds product regulatory regime and highlights opportunities for improving alignment between investor, industry and regulatory goals.

Investing and Trading

For the Luxury Crowd, SPACs and Suits Are So This Season; LVMH and Zegna are striking deals to reposition themselves for a post-pandemic world. They offer a window into the changing business of bling.
Andrea Felsted – Bloomberg
Luxury deals are so this season. On Tuesday, LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE, the world’s biggest luxury company, said it would buy 60% of Off-White, the streetwear label founded by Virgil Abloh, the creative director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear line.

British Gas profits more than double after colder first half; Sharp increase in earnings comes despite UK’s biggest energy supplier losing customers
Nathalie Thomas – FT
Profits at Britain’s biggest energy supplier British Gas more than doubled in the first half of the year as colder weather prompted homeowners to reach for their heating controls, but customer numbers fell 2 per cent as households balked at higher prices.

How to teach your bored teenager about investing; One-minute TikTok videos are an unreliable source of financial advice for young people. How can parents do better?
Moira O’Neill – FT
âEURœMy skin is dead good. I think it must be a combination of being in love and Lucozade,âEUR said the fictional socially awkward teenager Adrian Mole back in 1981.

China Offers Oil Reserves in Unprecedented Move to Cool Rally
Alfred Cang – Bloomberg
Major refiners offered millions of barrels from state reserve; Move is part of wider effort to quell commodity price surge
China offered millions of barrels of oil from its strategic state reserves this month in an unprecedented move to try and quell inflation brought on by rising costs of everything from food to fuel.

âEUR˜Forceful for longer’: Investors bet ECB bond buying is here to stay; Central bank’s new inflation target sets stage for lengthier period of loose monetary policy
Martin Arnold and Tommy Stubbington – FT
Investors are betting the European Central Bank’s new strategy means it will keep buying bonds for longer, driving yields in the eurozone lower. But the central bank still has its work cut out to convince markets it can hit its revised inflation target.

Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance

Heat, Floods, Fires: Jet Stream Is Key Link in Climate Disasters; Deadly weather as far apart as China, Germany and the U.S. reveal the devastating impact of a swinging jet stream.
Laura Millan Lombrana, Hayley Warren, Brian K Sullivan – Bloomberg
Devastating floods destroyed towns in Germany and Belgium. A ruthless heat wave broiled the Western U.S. and Canada. Heavy rains paralyzed a Chinese industrial hub home to 10 million people. These recent weather phenomena are being intensified by the changing climate.

The World’s Biggest Governments Are Still Propping up Fossil Fuels; Subsidies are falling, but polluters are still getting plenty of public support.
Nathaniel Bullard – Bloomberg
The International Energy Agency published a hopeful finding last month on global subsidies for fossil fuel consumption, showing a fall of more than 40% in 2020 âEUR” following a drop of more than 30% in 2019.

US and Italy aim to increase financial contributions to fight climate change; Rome and Washington seek to bridge gap between rich and poor at G20 environment meeting
Miles Johnson and Leslie Hook – FT
The US and Italy plan to increase their financial contributions to help developing countries fight climate change, officials told the Financial Times on the eve of the G20 environment ministers in Naples.

Soy Oil Traders Jostle to Decipher Argentine Export Potential
Jonathan Gilbert and Kim Chipman – Bloomberg
Biodiesel tweak may boost shipments from world’s top supplier; Move could ease concerns about global vegetable oil shortages
Traders dealing in vegetable oil are scurrying to get a read on expectations that the world’s biggest supplier of soybean oil could ramp up exports by almost 10%.


Bank of Ireland Agrees to Buy Scandal-Hit Irish Broker Davy
Peter Flanagan – Bloomberg
Lender to buy Davy for enterprise value of $518 million; IQ-EQ agrees to buy Davy’s global fund management unit
Bank of Ireland Group Plc agreed to buy Dublin-based securities firm Davy, four months after the scandal-hit firm put itself up for sale. The Irish bank will acquire Davy for an enterprise value of 440 million euros ($518 million), Bank of Ireland said Thursday. Three quarters will be paid upon completion — expected in 2022 — and the balance will be paid two years after completion subject to Davy shareholders meeting a number of criteria, it said.

UK government to cut size of £12bn stake in NatWest; Morgan Stanley to manage 12-month sale process
Nicholas Megaw and Sarah Provan – FT
The UK government will accelerate the sell-off of its £12bn stake in NatWest over the next year through a âEURœtrading planâEUR that will return the group to majority private hands for the first time since its bailout during the financial crisis.

Citi reshuffles equities leadership for the Americas amid team merger; Sales teams across prime finance and the futures, clearing and FX prime brokerage will be merged alongside the new appointment, The TRADE can reveal.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
Citi has made several leadership changes to its equities business after merging its sales teams in the futures, clearing and prime brokerage (FCX) division and prime finance business, according to an internal memo.

A $3.5 Billion Hedge Fund Builds Unit to Rival Asset Management Giants
Nishant Kumar – Bloomberg
Greg Coffey, one of the hedge-fund industry’s most famous macro traders, is starting a long-only business and tapped JPMorgan Asset Management’s Diana Amoa to lead it. Amoa, who spent six years at JPMorgan focused on currency and rates trading, will join Coffey’s Kirkoswald Capital Partners as the chief investment officer of long-biased strategies, according to an investor update seen by Bloomberg. Her first fund will focus on emerging markets, her long-time specialty.

Citigroup Traders, Bankers Vie to Do Stints at Black-Owned Banks
Jennifer Surane – Bloomberg
Company’s program is part of its mentorship of Black banks; Fewer than two dozen Black-owned banks remain in the U.S.
A group of Citigroup Inc. bankers and traders are seeking to join a new program that would allow them to spend time working at a Black-owned bank. As part of the Wall Street giant’s efforts to mentor the country’s dwindling minority deposit institutions, Citigroup will debut a program on Thursday in which it lets senior executives help such firms shore up operations or establish new lines of business.


The Saudi Prince of Oil Prices Vows to Drill âEUR˜Every Last Molecule’; Abdulaziz bin Salman, the most powerful man in petroleum, navigates unruly OPEC+ nations, huge swings in price and productionâEUR”and the end of fossil fuels.
Javier Blas – Bloomberg
The Boeing 767 banked over the Red Sea, turning east into Saudi Arabia. A commercial version of the plane can carry about 260 passengers. Inside this one, Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman and a dozen or so aides were heading home from a tumultuous meeting at OPEC’s headquarters in Vienna the day before.

Singapore’s Grip on $30 Billion Market Challenged by China
Bloomberg News
More ships using Chinese ports to refuel as facilities expand; Singapore still has geographic superiority on key trade route
Singapore is facing the greatest competition yet to its status as the dominant marine fuel supplier in Asia, with China luring more ships to its shores following a rapid expansion of its port and refining facilities.

Record U.S. Coal Shipment to China Highlights Australia’s Pain
James Thornhill – Bloomberg
Coronado says it sent biggest coking coal shipment to China; China has shunned Australian coal amid a diplomatic spat
China’s import ban on Australian coal is proving a boon to U.S. producers. On June 28, the Frontier Unity bulk vessel left the port of Newport News, Virginia with a 136,400-ton cargo bound for steelmakers in China. It was the biggest shipment of its kind from a U.S. east coast port, according to miner Coronado Global Resources Inc.

Tesla signs nickel deal with BHP to secure non-Chinese supply; Carmaker inks third such agreement for the metal used in its batteries from groups that produce âEUR˜sustainable’ metal
Henry Sanderson – FT
Tesla has agreed to buy nickel for its batteries from BHP, the world’s largest miner, as it looks to lock up supplies of the metal not controlled by China.


Tumblr Introduces Paid Subscription Tool to Woo Younger Bloggers; Social platform is the latest to let users earn money from posting
Katie Deighton – WSJ
Microblogging stalwart Tumblr on Wednesday began a test letting some users charge their followers a monthly fee in exchange for access to exclusive content. The blogging site, which Verizon Communications Inc. sold to owner Automattic Inc. in 2019 for far less than the $1.1 billion it paid for it, said it hopes to make the option to charge for posts widely available this fall.

John Lothian Newsletter

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Past JLN Newsletters

The Spread – July 30, 2021

The Spread – July 30, 2021

Earnings season in full bloom; Options lead year-to-date derivatives volume; Robinhood’s IPO; John gets real with Get Real VR: Conflicting factors underpin volatility; Cboe cleared for fall European competition; and the Cboe Options Institute’s Kevin Davitt talks about vega in this week’s “Term of the Week.”

The Four Biggest Ways That Robinhood Changed Investing

The Four Biggest Ways That Robinhood Changed Investing

First Read $51,906/$300,000 (17.3%) ++++ Options Continue to Lead Derivatives Volume Uptrend, but Q2 Lags, FIA Data Show Suzanne Cosgrove - John Lothian News Global futures and options volumes continued to trend higher in the first half of 2021 compared to both 2020...

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