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UK must wake up to risks of LSE/Deutsche Börse exchange deal; Drop the Volcker rule and keep what works; America’s Biggest Creditors Dump Treasuries in Warning to Trump

First Read

Maker or Taker?
By John J. Lothian

“Maker – Taker” is a market model that rewards market participants for offering liquidity – “making” – and penalizes them for “taking” market liquidity.

Many makers are also takers. It is the way of the markets, and the way of the world.

Are you a maker, or a taker? It is a good question to ask. While we all do both, it is our outlook that defines whether we are makers or takers.

For example, are you a market participant who just goes home at the end of the day, or do you find a way to give back to the industry that has blessed you so. Do you help mentor new colleagues? Do you participate in industry charitable endeavors? Do you teach a class somewhere about the markets? There are lots of ways to give back and to be a maker.

My experience has been the happiest people I know are “makers.” It is those who give.

The history of the markets of Chicago is one of great men and women giving in many ways. Leaders of the Chicago Board of Trade would become elected officials at the city, state or federal level. They would run school boards. It was civic leaders (examples: Thomas Dyer, Julian S. Rumsey, Charles L. Hutchinson), members of the Chamber of Commerce, in fact, that founded the CBOT.

Take Bill Brodsky for example. Today, the outgoing executive chairman of the CBOE is the chairman of the Northwestern Hospital board of directors. Brodsky is also the chairman of the organization that runs Navy Pier on behalf of the city of Chicago.

Brodsky came to Chicago, like many others, attracted to its markets and the opportunity in them. He helped the CME develop stock index futures and helped bring options trading to the CME. He also ran the CBOE and saw it through its IPO.

Brodsky was the first leader of a derivatives exchange to be named as chairman of the World Federation of Exchanges and was also the chairman of the International Options Markets Association (IOMA).

He represents the finest of the historic market figures of Chicago who gave their time and talents to make Chicago into the great city it is today, and the world a better place.

This evening at the Brodsky Family JD-MBA Lecture Series will be held at the Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law. CFTC Commissioner Sharon Y. Bowen will speak. It is just another way that Bill Brodsky, and his family, have found a way to give back to Chicago and the markets. It is a way for them to try to “make” the world a better place.

Bill Brodsky is a maker. How about you?


Grammy Awards: Adele’s ’25’ wins top honors, Chance the Rapper makes history
Chicago Tribune
Though he was denied album of the year, which went to Adele for “25,” Chance the Rapper made Grammy history Sunday.
The 23-year-old South Side artist beat out his primary inspiration, Kanye West, and Drake for best best rap album for “Coloring Book,” and also won best new artist. He praised his parents, Chicago and his keyboardist-producer Peter Cottontale and manager Patrick Corcoran, the core of his homegrown musical mini-empire.

**JK: Patrick Corcoran is the son of RJ O’Brien’s CEO and chairman, Gerry Corcoran. A proud moment for the Corcoran family. Does this mean we’re getting new entertainment for Boca?


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S&P Sells QuantHouse Back to Founder
Max Bowie – Waters Technology
The deal marks another about-face on real-time data for S&P, which sold Comstock in 2003, then re-entered the space by buying QuantHouse in 2012.
S&P Global has closed a deal to divest its QuantHouse low-latency data and trading infrastructure provider to a company owned by QuantHouse co-founder Pierre Feligioni, less than five years after it acquired the business.

**JK: The O’Brien family bought back RJO and that worked out for them. Good luck Pierre.


Trump’s Twitter Outbursts Can’t Drown Out the Law, Denmark Says
by Peter Levring – WSJ
Denmark says U.S. diplomatic backchannels show NATO to survive; Danish foreign minister slams travel ban as “NOT fair”
From across the Atlantic, a small Scandinavian nation often mentioned during the U.S. election campaign is now trying to make sense of the signals coming from the former reality TV star who unexpectedly made it into the White House.

***** Make Danes Great Again. Great Danes!!!


This jazz pianist bagged a top post at a Wall Street hedge fund
Just three years after taking an online course on equity derivatives, Richards set up his own company in 2013 to develop trading software for individual investors and small funds. At the end of 2016, the 53-year-old sold the firm to Wall Street hedge fund Gammon Capital, becoming that company’s chief technology officer.
“They say one in 10 startups succeeds,” Richards, who co-founded Iota Technologies Pte with two others, said by phone from his home in Fukushima, Japan, near the site of the 2011 nuclear disaster. “To be among the 10 percent is such a relief.”

**JK: Singing all the way to the bank.


Forget ‘Fake News.’ For Markets, It’s Never Been More Real
Sid Verma – Bloomberg
Buy the news and sell the soft data.
That’s the conclusion drawn from a paper by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, which suggests that financial news holds predictive power when it comes to a slew of economic data. Stories about the U.S. economy can even outperform more traditional measures such as surveys of consumer sentiment when it comes to gauging ”animal spirits” and forecasting future activity, it found.

**JK: Financial news rules!


Washington Protects Wall Street at Ordinary Citizens’ Expense; From the fiduciary standard to Dodd-Frank, Trump belies his populist campaign.
President Trump seems to be looking for places to direct his ire. Among his recent targets were consumers of financial services. That includes anyone with an individual retirement account, a bank account or a credit card.

**JK: Buyer beware bumper stickers making a comeback.


Retail FX Dealer to Close; Top Five IA Compliance Topics; Disaggregation; CPO Delegation
Gary DeWaal – Bridging the Week
A renowned retail foreign exchange dealer agreed to shut its doors as a result of enforcement actions taken by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the National Futures Association, while the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations provided a top five list of issues it has seen during investment adviser inspections. Although some of OCIE’s identified topics are likely of interest only to investment advisers, most of its observations regarding compliance procedures are relevant to all SEC and CFTC registrants and supporting practitioners. As a result, the following matters are covered in this week’s edition of Bridging the Week


Friday’s Top Three
Our top 3 stories from Friday were big, with a lot of readership on each. The top read piece was about Navinder Sarao in Bloomberg’s How the Flash Crash Trader’s $50 Million Fortune Vanished. Second went to Crain’s Why CME’s Duffy isn’t worried about Trump. And third was Bloomberg’s piece about Thomas Hargrove, a former reporter who developed an algo to solve murders in Serial Killers Should Fear This Algorithm


MarketsWiki Stats
93,711,106 pages viewed; 22,341 pages; 203,612 edits
MarketsWiki Statistics


Lead Stories

UK must wake up to risks of LSE/Deutsche Börse exchange deal; Brexit makes tie-up as much of a threat to the City as an opportunity
Inside Business
by: Jonathan Ford – FT
In the 19th century fable, Rip van Winkle nods off just before the American Revolution and wakes some years later to an unfamiliar and disorienting world in which the system of government has changed and the local tavern is no longer decorated with pictures of King George III, but an obscure Virginian gentleman named George Washington.

Drop the Volcker rule and keep what works; Proprietary trading is hard to identify and did not cause the crisis
The Long View John Authers – FT
It is no mark against a law that it requires judgments about intent. The distinction between manslaughter and murder works well enough. Some intentions are tricker to read than others, though. Those that divide proprietary trading and market-making are often all but impossible to track. This had made the Volcker rule — which forbids banks from prop trading while allowing them to make markets — a cumbersome regulation of questionable effectiveness.

America’s Biggest Creditors Dump Treasuries in Warning to Trump
by Brian Chappatta – Bloomberg
Japanese investors cull U.S. government debt by most since ’13
Currency-hedged returns were worst on record last quarter
In the age of Trump, America’s biggest foreign creditors are suddenly having second thoughts about financing the U.S. government.

AI and Bitcoin Are Driving the Next Big Hedge Fund Wave
JEFFREY TARRANT IS a Wall Street guy. He spent the last thirty years investing in new hedge funds. As the founder and CEO of a firm called Protege Partners, he compares himself to Sam Altman, the president of Y Combinator. What Altman does for Silicon Valley tech startups, Tarrant does for hedge funds. “I help seed them and incubate them,” he says.

German Bonds Said to Be a Focus of LSE, Deutsche Boerse Deal
by John Detrixhe – Bloomberg
Competitors have until Feb. 14 to respond to survey on merger; LSE agreed to sell French unit to appease European regulators
European regulators scrutinizing Deutsche Boerse AG’s takeover of London Stock Exchange Group Plc are focusing in part on the German bond market, according to a person familiar with the matter, as the companies enter a decisive phase in their effort to create a dominant exchange operator.

Wall Street’s top regulator is resigning from the Fed
Akin Oyedele – Business Insider
Daniel Tarullo will resign from the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors on or around April 5, according to a statement on Friday.

Hedge funds gamble on Mt Gox bitcoin payout; Account holders’ claims bought up with ruling on digital heist at least a year away
by: Leo Lewis in Tokyo – FT
Hedge funds in the US and Japan have devised a daring wager on the future price of bitcoin as the Tokyo courts continue to wade through the aftermath of the Mt Gox exchange collapse and one of the biggest digital heists in history.

SEC Says Trader Made $29 Million Illegally From DreamWorks Deal
Matt Robinson – Bloomberg
U.S. regulators froze brokerage accounts holding more than $29 million in what they say are illegal profits reaped by a Chinese national accused of insider trading ahead of Comcast Corp.’s April 2016 announcement that it planned to take over DreamWorks Animation.

Why Financial Services Brands Need Content Marketing Now More than Ever
Krystal Overmyer – Skyword
Millennials are at a financial turning point, and the financial services industry is sorely lacking an effective content marketing strategy to engage them.

Derivatives market is short of a $3.7tn lifeboat
John Dizard – FT
For institutions that use derivatives, collateral put up by their counterparties provides the same reassurance lifeboats do on a ship. Unfortunately, for all the post-crisis reforms, it would appear that we are a couple of trillion dollars short of the collateral lifeboats we would need as we head into the iceberg.

‘Significant uncertainty’ about fiscal policy under Trump: Fed’s Fischer
Helen Reid and Abhinav Ramnarayan – Reuters
U.S. Federal Reserve Vice Chair Stanley Fischer said there was significant uncertainty about U.S. fiscal policy under the Trump administration, but the Fed would be strict in meeting targets of creating full employment and getting inflation to 2 percent.

Oil Companies’ Hottest Market Is Low on Fuel; Energy firms are investing billions in refineries across Asia, but their plans are butting up against a glut in refined fuels that could last for years
Oil companies’ big bet on demand in their fastest-growing market is getting less lucrative.

A carbon border tax is the best answer on climate change; The aim should be both to reduce emissions from Europe’s production and consumption
by: Lakshmi Mittal – FT
The European Parliament will vote on Wednesday on the EU’s latest proposals to significantly reduce carbon emissions. The next stage of the emissions trading system (ETS), the most ambitious since the scheme began in 2005, will bring a steep cut in the number of emissions allowances granted to industries.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

Deutsche Börse CEO talked to Merkel adviser about LSE tie up before share purchase, Spiegel reports
by: James Shotter, Philip Stafford – FT
Deutsche Börse’s chief executive discussed a possible merger with the London Stock Exchange Group, with one of Angela Merkel’s top advisers in November 2015, just weeks before he bo

CME Targets Data for Growth
Rob Daly – Traders
Expanding its market data business and continuing to rein in costs are the CME Group’s top two themes for 2017, according to Chairman and CEO Terry Duffy.

Deutsche Börse: Statement On Current Media Reports
Deutsche Börse AG had already published its view about the legal prosecution.

More than 150 tonnes in stock: Investors continue to cover Xetra gold; Increase of 94 tonnes in the last twelve months / capped gold has a total value of nearly six billion euros
Deutsche Boerse
The gold holdings of the Xetra Gold bearer bond rose 157.9 tonnes to another all-time high. This is an increase of around 94 tonnes in the last twelve months. At year-end 2017, the figure was still at 117.6 tonnes. Investments are increased whenever investors buy Xetra-Gold shares via the exchange. For each share certificate, exactly one gram of gold is deposited in the central office for German securities in Frankfurt.


Fidessa says global revenue spread provides stability
British trading software provider Fidessa Group Plc said its international revenue spread provided stability amid uncertainty following Britain’s vote to leave the European Union and the U.S. election.
Fidessa, which provides trading and investment technology, reported a 25 percent rise in it full-year profit to 48.8 million pounds ($61.0 million) for the year ended Dec. 31.

Dash, LiquidPoint Merge to Form Dash Financial Technologies; Peter Maragos, current CEO of Dash, will serve as CEO of new entity.
Dan DeFrancesco – Waters Technology
Dash Financial and Convergex have inked a deal that will merge Dash and LiquidPoint, Convergex’s options trading and technology business, to create Dash Financial Technologies.

Hong Kong Government dedicated to fintech promotion
In OpenGov’s summary report of public sector initiatives relating to blockchain in 2016, it was mentioned that the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) set up a Fintech Facilitation Office (FFO) in March last year. FFO commissioned the Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI) to conduct a research project on the subject of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT).

Fintech Tracker: Can BookMyForex Make Money By Selling Money?
Alex Mathew – Bloomberg
If you’re planning a trip abroad, you’re almost certain to buy your air tickets online. You will also, in all probability, book your hotel and arrange for local transportation online. So why not buy your foreign currency online too? Especially if you can get a better deal than what you get through the money changer at the airport or your bank.

Report: Funding for Bitcoin, Blockchain Startups Grows to $550 Million in 2016
Rebecca Campbell – Cryptocoinnews
A new report from CB Insights has shown that funding investments in bitcoin and blockchain technology startups amounted to $550 million compared to almost no investment in 2012.

Colt adds Microsoft Azure to On Demand platform
James Pearce – Capacity Media
Colt Technology Services has named Microsoft Azure as the first cloud provider available on its software-defined network (SDN)-enabled “On Demand” platform. Microsoft is the first cloud service provider (CSP) to be added to the network, which is now offering Dedicated Cloud Access (DCA) to allow secure connectivity to the public cloud, bypassing the internet.

Banks stumbling over hurdles as they race to embrace cloud technology
Hayley Kirton – City AM
Worries about overseeing risk and concerns over security breaches are among the hurdles preventing banks from taking up cloud technology as quickly as other firms, according to a study released today.


Senators question Goldman Sachs on its role in Trump banking policy
Sruthi Shankar – Reuters
Two U.S. senators are seeking details from Goldman Sachs Group Inc’s (GS.N) chief executive on the extent to which the bank’s employees were involved in drafting of the recent executive orders on banking and fiduciary regulations.

Gary Cohn Has Emerged as an Economic-Policy Powerhouse in Trump Administration
Nick Timiraos, Michael C. Bender and Damian Paletta – WSJ
At Donald Trump’s first meeting with Gary Cohn in late November, he appeared so impressed with the then-president of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. that he joked about offering him the post of Treasury secretary, said a person who recalled the moment. Sitting nearby was the odds-on favorite for the job, Steven Mnuchin, who got the nod.

Steven Mnuchin Poised to Secure Confirmation as Treasury Secretary; The former banker would shape a tax-code overhaul and regulation revamp
The Senate is expected to confirm Steven Mnuchin as the 77th Treasury secretary as soon as Monday night, which would end one of the most protracted confirmation battles for the position and place the 54-year-old financier in a leading position to advance President Donald Trump’s promises to refashion the U.S. tax code and financial regulation.

Abe, Trump avoid forex issues but BOJ still fears future attacks on monetary policy
Tomoyuki Tachikawa – Japan Times
Japan’s foreign-exchange policy did not become a sticking point at Friday’s U.S.-Japan summit, and an encouraged Bank of Japan might keep its aggressive monetary easing program in place as it tries to stoke 2 percent inflation.

Germany’s New Trump-Critic President Sees Stormy U.S. Ties Ahead
by Patrick Donahue – Bloomberg
Frank-Walter Steinmeier, a vocal critic of Donald Trump elected as Germany’s 12th postwar president on Sunday, predicted “difficulties” in relations with the U.S. as the global order is upended by the new administration in Washington.

Turmoil at the National Security Council, From the Top Down
These are chaotic and anxious days inside the National Security Council, the traditional center of management for a president’s dealings with an uncertain world.

Trump undertakes most ambitious regulatory rollback since Reagan
By Juliet Eilperin – Washington Post
President Trump has embarked on the most aggressive campaign against government regulation in a generation, joining with Republican lawmakers to roll back rules already on the books and limit the ability of federal regulators to impose new ones.

Investing and Trading

Oil and gas discoveries dry up to lowest total for 60 years; Companies are putting a brake on exploration and large fields are harder to find
by: Ed Crooks in New York and Andrew Ward in London – FT
Discoveries of new oil and gasfields have dropped to a fresh 60-year low, as companies put a brake on exploration and large fields have become harder to find.

Asset managers named in list of potential closet trackers; Schroders, Fidelity, JPMorgan, Henderson and Amundi highlighted by campaign group
by: Chris Newlands and Madison Marriage – FT
Schroders, Fidelity International, JPMorgan, Henderson and Amundi have been named in a list of 80 investment companies that have potentially sold funds that charge high fees for active management but closely mimic their benchmark

Is Bitcoin Growing Up?
By Christopher Langner – Bloomberg
Bitcoin is showing signs of becoming a serious asset class. Last week’s price swings hardly back up that assertion. The cryptocurrency dropped 7.8 percent on Thursday after news that the People’s Bank of China threatened to shut exchanges that violate money-laundering rules. The announcement also prompted some of the biggest websites operating bitcoin in the country to halt withdrawals, limiting them to converting the digital coin to yuan and depositing it in local banks.

Border Tax Could Upend Global Markets, but Investors Shy Away From Any Bets; Dollar could rise by 25% and oil to $65, economists say, under President Trump’s proposed policy
A Republican tax plan has analysts predicting seismic shifts in global markets, from a double-digit surge in U.S. oil prices to the strongest dollar since the 1980s. But so far, few investors are willing to bet on it.


Bank Investors Cheer Tarullo Resignation
Liz Hoffman – WSJ
Bank stocks jumped on news that Daniel Tarullo, the Federal Reserve’s regulatory point person, will resign this spring.

RBS Said to Plan More Than $1 Billion of Cost Cuts as Jobs Pared
Richard Partington – Bloomberg
Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc is preparing to cut more than 1 billion pounds ($1.25 billion) of annual operating costs by eliminating jobs and closing branches as it seeks to bolster profitability, said a person with knowledge of the plans.

Vanguard Reaches $4 Trillion for First Time
Sarah Krouse – WSJ
Indexing pioneer Vanguard Group has climbed to $4 trillion in assets for the first time, accentuating a loss of faith among investors in traditional money managers who handpick stocks.

A Look Back at Abby Joseph Cohen’s Calls at Goldman
Paul Vigna – WSJ
One of the best known bulls on Wall Street is retiring. Abby Joseph Cohen, the long-time Goldman Sachs Group strategist, is retiring after nearly 30 years at the firm. Ms. Cohen started working on the Street in the 1970s, but became famous in the dot-com boom of the 1990s for her famously prescient – and bullish – calls on the market as the tech bubble was taking off. She missed later downturns, which somewhat dimmed her star.

Hedge fund success dependent on people, infrastructure and investor relationships
Asia Asset Management
Investments in people, business infrastructure and investor relationships are crucial factors determining the success of a hedge fund, says a new survey from Ernst & Young (EY) and the Alternative Investment Management Association (AIMA). The survey, which interviewed 40 highly-experienced senior individuals at hedge fund management firms across the US, the UK and Asia Pacific, with a collective AUM of over US$100 billion, sought to identify the common characteristics of successful hedge fund managers over time.

Deutsche Bank Under Scrutiny in Russia Over Tax Practices
by Steven Arons and Anna Baraulina – Bloomberg
Lender says working with Russian tax authorities on matter; Bank said to use foreign-exchange swaps to lower corporate tax
Deutsche Bank AG, which last month settled charges that it helped investors launder money through its business in Moscow, remains under scrutiny in Russia over its tax practices.


Greenberg Says ‘Disgraceful’ Legal Case Destroyed Great Firm
Sonali Basak – Bloomberg
Maurice “Hank” Greenberg, the former American International Group Inc. chief executive officer, lambasted the New York State attorney general’s office after admitting that he approved two reinsurance deals that regulators have called fraudulent.

Ex-AIG CEO Greenberg admits to accounting fraud, settles lawsuit
Former American International Group Inc Chief Executive Maurice “Hank” Greenberg admitted to his involvement in two fraudulent reinsurance deals as part of a settlement of an accounting fraud lawsuit, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said on Friday.

Hank Greenberg in $9m settlement over AIG claims; End to former chief’s 12-year legal fight over allegations of accounting fraud
by: Alistair Gray and Jessica Dye in New York – FT
Hank Greenberg on Friday reached a settlement with New York authorities over allegations of accounting fraud at insurer AIG after a legal battle that dragged on for 12 years.

Sebi says norms for stock exchanges poised for an overhaul
Jayshree P. Upadhyay – LiveMint
Mumbai: The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) on Saturday announced that it is going to undertake a comprehensive review of the Stock Exchange and Clearing Corporation (SECC) regulations to increase its oversight of stock exchanges and their boards.

Regulator considers derivatives reforms
Business Standard
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), monitor for commodity derivatives, is mulling changes in the regulations on these.

FINRA Requests Comment on Proposed Amendments to Rules Governing Communications with the Public
As part of FINRA’s retrospective review of its rules governing communications with the public, FINRA is soliciting comment on proposed amendments to FINRA Rule 2210 (Communications with the Public). The proposed amendments would create an exception to the rule’s prohibition on projecting performance to permit a firm to distribute a customized hypothetical investment planning illustration that includes the projected performance of an asset allocation or other investment strategy, but not an individual security, subject to specified conditions.

SEBI To Review Governance, Ownership And Executive Pay Norms For Market Institutions
Sajeet Manghat – Bloomberg
The board of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has decided to review the rules that govern stock exchanges, clearing corporations and depositories, the regulator said in a statement on Saturday.

SEC Charges Chinese Citizens Who Reaped Massive Profits From Insider Trading on Comcast-Dreamworks Acquisition
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that it obtained an emergency court order freezing brokerage accounts holding more than $29 million in illegal profits from insider trading in advance of the April 2016 acquisition of DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc. by Comcast Corp.

Sebi says actions underway to address NSE co-location case concerns
Business Standard
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) on Saturday said the work is underway to address the concerns related to systems and processes at the National Stock Exchange (NSE), arising out of a probe into alleged lapses involving the co-location facility of the country’s biggest stock exchange.

U.S. trial set over bitcoin exchange linked to JPMorgan hack probe
By Nate Raymond – Reuters
A Florida software engineer and a New Jersey pastor are expected on Monday to face trial in a case stemming from an investigation into a bitcoin exchange and a data breach at JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N).


A $200 Billion Danish Investor Sorts Bad Hedge Funds From Good
Peter Levring – Bloomberg
The hedge fund business isn’t what it used to be. For starters, a lot of funds in the industry forgot to hedge at crucial moments over the past decade, according to the men now running the $200 billion wealth management unit of Denmark’s biggest lender, Danske Bank A/S.

Euphoria Sweeps China Stocks as Momentum Gauge Reaches 2015 High
by Richard Frost – Bloomberg
Chinese stocks are hot again. The MSCI China Index has surged 13 percent from its December low, sending a momentum indicator to its highest level since April 2015, while the percentage of members trading above their 200-day moving average has climbed above 85 percent for the first time since the bubble burst almost two years ago.

Donald Trump’s anger at Asian currency manipulators misses target; Evidence suggests Taiwan and South Korea, not China and Japan, are the worst offenders
by: Robin Harding in Tokyo – FT
When Donald Trump attacked China and Japan for currency manipulation, just ten days before this weekend’s summit with prime minister Shinzo Abe, it prompted immediate, vehement and largely accurate denials by East Asia’s economic giants.


How a post-Brexit redesign can save the capital markets union; Pan-European oversight would stave off regulatory splintering
by: Reza Moghadam – FT
Back in 2015, when Brexit seemed only a remote possibility, the EU embarked on one of its most ambitious initiatives: capital markets union. With European firms, even large ones, heavily reliant on a moribund banking system, the project aimed to increase access to capital markets. From harmonising bankruptcy laws to simplifying procedures for prospectuses, capital markets union sought to allow more European firms to tap a ready capital market at their doorstep: the City of London.

Bank of France Warns Voters on Cost of Euro Exit, Rising Spread
by Mark Deen – Bloomberg
French-German bond spread is at highest level since 2012; Villeroy de Galhau sees higher borrowing costs outside euro
Bank of France Governor Francois Villeroy de Galhau cautioned French voters about the costs of withdrawing from the euro, noting that local interest rates are already rising on concerns about this year’s presidential election.


Ford to Invest $1 Billion in Artificial Intelligence Start-Up
Mike Isaac and Neal E. Boudette – NY Times
One of the oldest automakers in the United States is making a billion-dollar bet that one day, owning a car may not be a necessity of American life. Ford Motor announced on Friday its plans to invest $1 billion over the next five years in Argo AI, an artificial intelligence start-up formed in December that is focused on developing autonomous vehicle technology.

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About Author

Bergstrom is chief information officer of John J. Lothian & Co. He edits MarketsWiki and JLN Options.