Breaking News

U.S. pension funds sue big banks over stock lending; Henry Hub Emerges as Natural Gas Benchmark; SEC officials’ potential conflicts

Chris Potter -

First Read

Hits & Takes
By JLN Staff

The CBOE has informed us the speaker for the MarketsWiki Education Recruiting event for the CBOE will be Ed Tilly and/or Chris Concannon. So there you go.~JJL

Our post yesterday on Asia Pacific Financial News is available HERE.~JJL

It was a action packed week for the Trading Tech 300 program with NEX Group, Nuveen and Enova International offering merit badges to Chicago area Boy Scouts. The feedback from Scouts, parents and Scouting professionals has been terrific. One Scout said the NEX Group session was the “best of the best” of Trading Tech 300 programs he had attended.

Hats off to Nuveen for a well run Citizenship in the Nation Trading Tech 300 merit badge session this week.~JJL

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As part of the NEX Group Geocaching Trading Tech merit badge day, the Scouts found an envelope with Tom Scanlan’s card (in case they got lost) and $1 to do with as they like. Six of the boys gave the money to a sick homeless person they came across in the Loop.

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Enova International and Jeff Miller used 11 employees with Scouting backgrounds to teach the digital technologies merit badge as part of Trading Tech 300. The teamwork displayed greatly added to the success of the day. Nice work Enova!~JJL

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Another shout out to A Leg To Stand On (ALTSO), the charity that supports children with limb disabilities in the developing world: The organization is holding a sponsorship and NYC finance luncheon Sept. 28 at the renowned sushi restaurant Zuma in Manhattan. More than 20 companies have already signed up to sponsor, but there is still room for more. Packages are available by emailing ALTSO’s Executive Director, Gabriella Mueller, at More info is here. ~SR

I noticed a little bit more activity in the office space that will hold the new BOX trading floor. There are now more monitors installed. ~SD


Thesys vs. Goliath: That’s One Big CAT
Spencer Doar – JLN

FINRA, FIS, Cinnober, Thomson Reuters ó what do they have in common? They are just a few of the 30 bidders who lost out on developing the Consolidated Audit Trail (CAT) to Thesys Technologies LLC, a subsidiary of the proprietary trading firm Tradeworx, founded in 2009. To develop and implement the CAT, Thesys partnered with IBM (which was a bidder on its own, too), as well Rosenblatt Securities and law firm Latham & Watkins.

“You had some big tech companies that really understand tech but maybe don’t understand the markets that well,” Thesys Technologies CEO Mike Beller said. “You’ve got financial technology companies but most of them kind of live in a sort of old world. They understand the milieu but can they really build the tech?”

The CAT project stems from the fallout of 2010’s flash crash when regulators realized the need to comprehensively track trading activity. The Securities Exchange Commission adopted Rule 613 in summer 2012 which, per the SEC’s website, required the creation of an audit trail “that would allow regulators to efficiently and accurately track all activity throughout the U.S. markets in National Market System (NMS) securities.” (That means equities and options but not futures.) It was then left to the self-regulatory organizations (SROs), which are simply the relevant equity and options exchanges, to come up with a blueprint for the CAT, which they did by the end of 2014.

Read the rest HERE.


No, Not the VIX – the VSTOXX
Sarah Rudolph – JLN
Even your dog has heard of the VIX, the Chicago Board Options Exchange’s benchmark volatility index, but the VSTOXX, the benchmark for volatility in European stocks, is less of a household name in the U.S. Eurex has been trying to change that by adding more and more functionality to their VSTOXX products, starting out with spot prices and futures contracts on the index and then more recently moving into options on futures and ETNs.

***** We have added some slides from Mark Shore’s presentation to the story posted on the website.~JJL


Amazon Web Services and Nasdaq to sponsor FIA Innovators Pavilion
FIA is pleased to announce that Amazon Web Services and Nasdaq have signed on as sponsors of FIA’s third annual Innovators Pavilion, a showcase for fintech startups that are offering forward-thinking solutions for the global derivatives markets.

***** The very profitable Amazon Web Services stepping up for EXPO.~JJL


Five Steps to Creating Wealth – Terry Savage

“Don’t bet against America. America will survive and prosper and so will you if you plan, save and invest.”

In this video from MarketsWiki Education’s World of Opportunity event in Chicago, personal finance expert Terry Savage spoke about wealth creation. Savage said everyone has a money personality, but whether you’re a saver or a spender you can set up systems to negate the angst your money can cause. To Savage, the keys to successful wealth creation are self-discipline and self-awareness.

Read the rest and watch the video »


Thursday’s Top Three
Yesterday’s top story was the Financial Times’ Deutsche Bˆrse probe widens to all of top management. Second was the WSJ’s story about DRW buying RGM,
Sale of Once Hot High-Frequency Trading Firm Reflects Industry Troubles. Third place went to The Untold Story of How Gary Cohn Fell For Donald Trump.


MarketsWiki Stats
106,245,487 pages viewed; 22,678 pages; 207,845 edits
MarketsWiki Statistics


Lead Stories

U.S. pension funds sue Goldman, JPMorgan, others over stock lending market
Daniel Weissner – Reuters
Three U.S. pension funds sued six of the world’s largest banks on Thursday, including Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) and JP Morgan Chase & Co (JPM.N), accusing them of conspiring to stifle competition in the more than $1 trillion stock lending market.
In the lawsuit filed in a Manhattan federal court, the funds accused the banks of boycotting start-up lending platforms by threatening and intimidating their potential clients. The defendants include Bank of America Corp (BAC.N), Credit Suisse AG CSAG.UL, Morgan Stanley (MS.N), UBS AG (UBSG.S), Goldman and JP Morgan.

****SD: WSJ with the story here.

Henry Hub Emerges as Global Natural Gas Benchmark; Henry Hub is helping to set prices around the world as wave of U.S. natural gas reaches Europe, South America, Asia
Alison Sider and Christopher M. Matthews – WSJ
An unassuming confluence of pipelines here in the heart of Cajun Country is becoming the most important place in the world for natural gas prices.

Exclusive: SEC officials’ holdings, legal work, pose potential conflicts
Pete Schroeder – Reuters
Two lawyers appointed to senior jobs at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission have ties to major companies including financial firms Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) and Wells Fargo & Co (WFC.N) that could complicate efforts to regulate them, according to government documents viewed by Reuters.

Make the Treasuries Market Safe at Any Speed; New oversight is needed in an era of high-frequency trading.
Antonio Weiss – Bloomberg
One of the greatest responsibilities of U.S. financial regulators is to preserve confidence in the market for our federal debt, the world’s deepest and most liquid financial market. There are $19.8 trillion dollars of federal debt outstanding today, of which the public holds $14.4 trillion. This debt finances the federal government, and it plays an irreplaceable role in financial markets — facilitating the transmission of monetary policy, providing the world’s risk-free benchmark, helping businesses to manage their risks, and providing a reliable store of value to savers around the world, from sovereigns to retirees. In short, everyone you know relies on well-functioning Treasury markets.

Deutsche Bank, Bank of America settle agency bond rigging lawsuits
Jonathan Stempel – Reuters
Deutsche Bank AG and Bank of America Corp agreed to pay a combined $65.5 million to settle investor litigation accusing large banks of rigging the roughly $9 trillion government agency bond market over a decade.

FDIC sues Barclays, RBS and other banks over Libor
Caroline Binham and Barney Thompson – Financial Times
The US has taken the unusual step of suing European banks in a London court over the Libor-rigging scandal after parts of a similar New York lawsuit failed.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which is in charge of winding down failing banks, is suing Barclays, Deutsche Bank, Lloyds Banking Group, Royal Bank of Scotland, Rabobank and UBS, as well as the British Bankers’ Association, the trade group that oversaw the Libor-setting process, for fraudulent misrepresentation. It claims the banks submitted artificially low estimates to the Libor rate-setting process between 2007 and 2009 ó known as “lowballing” ó making them seem more creditworthy than they really were.

This 19-Year-Old Is Trump’s Latest Market Whisperer
By Katherine Burton – Bloomberg
Loyal ‘Trumpenomics expert’ earns retweet even as CEOs bail; Money manager barred by futures association, probed by SEC
No sooner had President Donald Trump lost the backing of Jamie Dimon and Larry Fink than he was heralding support from a somewhat lesser financial figure: Jacob Wohl.

Quest: Are America’s CEOs the new moral compass?
Richard Quest – CNN
Welcome to Quest’s Profitable Moment — a brand new newsletter from the team that brought you Quest Means Business

Jeff Gundlach Has Been Bashing the WSJ for a Story It’s Still Working On
John Gittelsohn – Bloomberg
DoubleLine Capital is engaged in an unusual media relations campaign against the Wall Street Journal, attacking reporters on Twitter and in emails to rival news organizations for a story that has yet to be published.

Where was KPMG, Wells Fargo’s auditor, while the funny business was going on? KPMG wrote senators that it knew about the illegal activities for a while, but didn’t think they were that big of a deal
Francine McKenna and Andrea Riquier – MarketWatch
As calls for the replacement of Wells Fargo’s board mount, experts say attention ó and blame ó for a continuing pattern of misbehavior should also be focused on the company’s external auditor, KPMG LLP.

There’s a Sugar Shock Ahead, in a World That’s Eating Smarter; Analysts say sugar avoidance isn’t a fad anymore but a trend.
Deena Shanker – Bloomberg
The change can be attributed to several factors, according to a new report from Rabobank, including warnings about rising obesity rates, government initiatives like soda taxes, and manufacturers’ commitments to reformulating processed foods to lower their sugar content.

The 2008 Financial Crisis: How It All Began; A video explaining how developments at an obscure French bank in August 2007 sowed the seeds of the financial crisis.
In August 2007, the first blow was struck that shattered everything American investors thought they knew about markets.

Instinet makes second liquidity streaming agreement with Sun Trading; Liquidity streaming agreement follows similar partnership with Virtu Financial earlier this year.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Instinet has made its second bilateral liquidity streaming agreement with Sun Trading ahead of MiFID II’s systematic internaliser regime.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

TMX Group Statement Regarding Regulatory Engagement
TMX Group, owner and operator of CDS, Canada’s equities and fixed income clearing house, is engaged with the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA), an umbrella organization of Canada’s provincial and territorial securities regulators, regarding the clearing of securities of issuers with marijuana-related activities in the U.S. This is a complex matter which touches multiple aspects across our capital market system, and as such requires close examination and careful consideration.

Register Now for MX’s 10th Annual Options Education Days!
MontrÈal Exchange (MX) today announced the fall schedule for their 2017 Options Education Days. Bringing together individual investors with varying levels of experience, these full-day training sessions are designed to equip investors with the knowledge and insights necessary to successfully navigate the options market.

Nasdaq’s Boardvantage to Expand Presence in Canada
Nasdaq Corporate Solutions, a business of Nasdaq Inc. (Nasdaq:NDAQ), announced plans for the expansion of its Boardvantage board portal and leadership collaboration software into Canada through access to two data centers in Ontario. When the regional data centers open in mid-September, Nasdaq Corporate Solutions will be able to offer Boardvantage clients the same benefit of a local Canadian presence that its Directors Desk clients already receive. The new data centers will be more effective in serving Nasdaq’s growing, Boardvantage client base in Canada. The Canadian data centers are audited against CSAE 3416 Type 2 standards, equivalent to SSAE 16 level II standards in the U.S.


Data center provider Equinix bets big on Bloom Energy fuel cells
Network World
Data center provider Equinix is making a big bet on fuel cells to power its facilities by installing natural gas-powered fuel cells at 12 of its U.S. data centers. It’s part of a push for the firm to be 100% reliant on renewable fuels, and it could set an example for other data centers in power management.

CBOE Vest Technologies And The Options Industry Council (OIC) Offer Options Strategy Builders Tool On OIC Website
CBOE Vest Technologies, a software company enabling users to work with target outcome investment strategies, and the Options Industry Council (OIC), a provider of unbiased options education, are working together to educate investors and broaden the appeal of options with a new online tool, The Options Strategy Builders.

A Look Inside One of the World’s Biggest Bitcoin Mines
Bitcoin’s record rally is proving a boon for China, a country that is at the heart of the crypto-currency economy. It hosts some of the biggest exchanges and dominates the mining of new bitcoins. Bloomberg’s Tom Mackenzie was granted rare access to one of the largest digital currency mines in the world.

Jumping on the Blockchain Train; The blockchain boom promises that online transactions will become more secure, more efficient and more accountable and German businesses are embracing its potential.
Stefan Hajek – Handelsblatt
When Thilo Knoop goes shopping, it’s not unusual for him to spend more than EUR100 ($112) on a cup holder. It’s not that he’s buying collector’s items or luxury goods, but as an employee of Lufthansa Technik’s research and development department, nearly everything he buys online is for the Germany’s flagship carrier to test for the aerospace industry.

New Quant Algorithm Tools Let Students Compete with Hedge Funds
Users on Platforms like Quantiacs Can Now Develop and Test Algorithmic Trading Strategies with only a few Clicks of the mouse.
Quantiacs, the first marketplace for quantitative trading algorithms and a registered CTA (Commodity Trading Advisor), has published an algorithm development tool so easy to use that even high school and college students are building sophisticated trading algorithms on par with those run by the largest multi-billion dollar hedge funds. The new tool dubbed ‘Quantinator’ ( is capable of piecing together complex sections of computer code that enable it to trade both commodities futures and S&P 500 stocks based on predefined rules ranging from simple indicators to advanced machine learning techniques.

Synechron signs a Calypso implementation deal with SIX Group, the financial services provider and Swiss Stock Exchange infrastructure operator
Synechron, a global financial services consulting and technology services provider, has signed a Calypso implementation agreement with the SIX Group Ltd., a financial services provider and Swiss Stock Exchange operator. Synechron was selected as systems integrator for the implementation of Calypso v15, the SFR (Securities Finance Renewal) Program, in collaboration with Calypso. The objective of the program is to update SIX’s post-trade services where it acts as a contractual Triparty agent for its clients to enhance its Triparty collateral management services.

YJT Solutions Achieves First Ranking on 2017 Inc. 5000 List
PR Web
Inc. magazine has ranked YJT Solutions No. 3781 on its 36th annual Inc. 5000, the most prestigious ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. The list represents a unique look at the most successful companies within the American economy’s most dynamic segmentó its independent small and midsized businesses. Companies such as Microsoft, Dell, Domino’s Pizza, Pandora, Timberland, LinkedIn, Yelp, Zillow, and many other well-known names gained their first national exposure as honorees of the Inc. 5000.


This 19-Year-Old Is Trump’s Latest Market Whisperer
Katherine Burton – Bloomberg
No sooner had President Donald Trump lost the backing of Jamie Dimon and Larry Fink than he was heralding support from a somewhat lesser financial figure: Jacob Wohl.
Jacob Who?
That would be the fellow from Corona, California, who calls himself the world’s youngest hedge-fund manager. It’s possible. He’s only 19 and has already been investigated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Trump Abandons Plan for Council on Infrastructure
Mark Niquette – Bloomberg
President Donald Trump will not move forward with a planned Advisory Council on Infrastructure, a person familiar with the matter said Thursday.
The council, which was still being formed, would have advised Trump on his plan to spend as much as $1 trillion upgrading roads, bridges and other public works.

White House says Cohn will stay as resignation rumors shake Wall Street
Sylvan Lane – The Hill
The White House shot down rumors Thursday that National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn had resigned over President Trump’s blame of “both sides” for deadly clashes in Charlottesville, Va., between white supremacists and counterprotesters.

Trump’s attacks could leave him friendless if impeachment comes
Richard Cowan – Reuters
President Donald Trump has stepped up his attacks on Republican senators, an approach he may regret if he is someday impeached and the Senate has to weigh charges against him stemming from an investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election.

Trump’s Tangle of Rhetorical Inadequacy; A gifted leader might make the case for building more statues rather than tearing down the ones we have.
Peggy Noonan – WSJ
The political aspect of the president’s failures this week is to reveal him as increasingly isolated. He is not without supporters, but it’s down to roughly a third of the country and one senses soft around the edges. That is not a base, it’s a core. A core can have an impact, but a president cannot govern if that’s all he has. You need something bigger behind you to scare your foes and stiffen your friends. The nation’s CEOs, feeling personal dismay and external pressure, ran for the exits. The president has further embarrassed and frustrated his party on Capitol Hill. That puts in further doubt needed legislation on such popular issues as tax reform and infrastructure, which might fare better if he were not associated with them.

Hate in America: 3 devastating magazine covers on Charlottesville’s aftermath; Artists push back against white supremacist rally, Trump’s response
Mike Murphy
Last weekend’s deadly violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., and President Donald Trump’s disturbing response to it were the subjects of a trio of jarring national magazine covers unveiled Thursday. The New Yorker cover features an illustration called “Blowhard” by artist David Plunkert, showing Trump blowing a sailboat ó but the sail is a Ku Klux Klan hood.

Steve Bannon and Gary Cohn in White House power struggle; Defenders of Trump’s stance on nationalism square up to moderates over policy
Courtney Weaver, Shawn Donnan and Katrina Manson – FT
Longstanding divisions in President Donald Trump’s White House burst into the open on Thursday, with defenders of his response to white nationalists facing off against the administration’s moderates.

Trump Doesn’t Need Dimon, Fink, Or Schwarzman If He’s Got Teen Hedge Fund Manager Jacob Wohl, Says Jacob Wohl
Thornton McEnery – Dealbreaker
We can sit here debating who did or didn’t disband the White House Economic Policy Forum [it was the CEOs, not the president] all day, but all that really matters at this point is that some of the biggest names in American business are no longer pretending to play along with the terrifyingly chaotic and politically inert Trump administration.


Deutsche Bank, Bank of America settle agency bond rigging lawsuits
Jonathan Stempel – Reuters
Deutsche Bank AG (DBKGn.DE) and Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) agreed to pay a combined $65.5 million to settle investor litigation accusing large banks of rigging the roughly $9 trillion government agency bond market over a decade.

Fidelity Owes No Damages to Wine Mogul but Gets Finra Scolding
Neil Weinberg – Bloomberg
Deutsch’s China stock play was doomed anyway, panel finds; Brokerage criticized for putting its own interests first
Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC won a muted victory in an arbitration against one of its wealthiest clients, wine mogul Peter Deutsch.

ASIC permanently bans former Tasmanian financial adviser
ASIC has permanently banned Daniel Joseph Noonan, a former financial adviser based in Hobart, from the credit and financial services industries.

FCA selects Cognizant to enhance market surveillance
Consulting firm Cognizant will support the development of more efficient market surveillance techniques on behalf of the Financial Conduct Authority. The FCA hopes Cognizant’s Financial Services practice can help the watchdog boost its responsiveness.

Prudential Is Plotting Its Escape From Fed’s Tough Oversight
Jesse Hamilton – Bloomberg
Prudential Financial Inc. is laying the groundwork to escape the government’s label that it’s too big to fail, a move that would dramatically reduce federal oversight of the largest U.S. life insurer.

Federal Court Orders Jeffrey Slemmer, Christian Dorrian, Adam Roth, And Their Florida-Based Companies To Pay Over $5.4 Million In Restitution And A Penalty In CFTC Precious Metals And Diamonds Anti-Fraud Action
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced that Judge William P. Dimitrouleas of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida entered a Consent Order against Defendants Jeffrey Slemmer of Acton, Massachusetts, Christian Dorrian of Boynton Beach, Florida, Adam Roth of Boca Raton, Florida, and their former respective Florida companies Slemmer Enterprises LLC, Dorrian Enterprises, LLC, and Roth Investment Group LLC, finding that the defendants fraudulently solicited customers in connection with precious metals and diamonds transactions, misappropriated customer funds, and concealed their fraud with false account statements. The defendants executed the scheme using the business names Berkley Hard Asset Group, Berkley Hard Assets, and Berkley Rare Diamonds (the Berkley Enterprise).

Investing and Trading

Dow Tumble Ends Calmest Stretch in 22 Years
Ben Eisen – WSJ
Look at those Dow industrials go. The blue-chip average dropped 274 points, or 1.2%, on Thursday, ending a 63-day streak of sessions without moves of 1% or more in either direction. The stretch was the longest since a 69-day period in 1995. The Dow has often been moving up and down less than the broader S&P 500 on any given day, due partly to the smaller weighting of tech stocks in the price-weighted index.

Computer error? Top trend following hedge funds lose out in 2017
Maiya Keidan – Reuters
Big computer-driven hedge funds such as AQR Capital Management, Aspect Capital and Two Sigma lost money in the first seven months of 2017, with human stock-pickers making better returns.

Initial public offerings: Is there still a pulse?
Sviatoslav Rosov – City AM
The decline in the number of public companies across developed markets is well-documented with, for example, the number of public companies in the United States declining by nearly half since 1996. The picture is qualitatively similar in Europe.

Former Harvard Money Manager Is Launching a Digital-Currency Hedge Fund
Michael McDonald and Justina Lee – Bloomberg
Lewis Fellas, a former portfolio manager at Harvard University’s $35.7 billion endowment, is planning a hedge fund that invests in digital currencies such as bitcoin.

A Snapshot of SNAP’s Borrowing Costs
A recent article noted that, “It’s gotten so expensive to bet against shares of Snap Inc. (SNAP 13.35 +0.23 +1.75%) that the stock would have to keep dropping at least 5% every month just to recover the cost of financing those short positions.”

Interest in Cattle Futures has Never Been Higher
Bruce Blythe via the NIBA
Massive herd expansion helps fuel surge in trading
Analyst: Feedlots are in as good a position as they’ve been in years
Beef producers are building the U.S. cattle herd at one of the fastest paces on record, as higher cattle prices and stronger exports fuel healthy profit margins. The expansion comes just a few years after the U.S. herd shrank to a six-decade low amid severe drought in the Southern U.S. Plains and near-record corn prices.

Operational Risk Management: The High Art of Coordinated Chaos
Rob Shapiro, Independent Consultant via TABB Forum
Countless investment managers and global broker-dealers regard operational risk management as either a ‘nice to have’ discipline or a ‘necessary evil’ that thwarts innovation and growth. These views of operational risk management undermine their clients’ best interests and place the capital markets ecosystem at risk. Business owners stationed at risk ambivalent financial entities don’t know the difference between a light switch and kill switch.

Zinc’s Supply Surge Is Coming
David Fickling – Bloomberg
Zinc is on a tear.After aluminum, the metal used in galvanizing steel and sunscreens has been the best performing of the London Metal Exchange’s six main contracts so far this year. Over the past week, the price chart has gone vertical — busting through the $3,000 a metric ton level for the first time in a decade with a 5.4 percent jump Wednesday.

Seven Strategies for Investing at Market Peaks; One of these peaks will be the peak, but predicting that ahead of time is not easy.
Ben Carlson – Bloomberg
The S&P 500 Index has recorded more than 150 new all-time highs since eclipsing its previous peak in late March of 2013. In 2017 alone, there have been 30 new record highs through the end of last week. To put this into perspective, there were only 13 new highs for the entire decade of the 2000s.

Brady Bonds and the Rise of a New Asset Class; Emerging economies have issued more than $20 trillion in debt at the end of last year
Carolyn Cui – WSJ
Emerging-market debt began to take off in the late 1980s, when then-U.S. Treasury Secretary Nicholas Brady proposed that debt-plagued Mexico restructure its defaulted commercial bank loans into tradeable bonds.


Dimon’s Remarks on Trump, Charlottesville Provoke Discussion Inside J.P. Morgan
Ben Eisen and Emily Glazer – WSJ
J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Jamie Dimon’s public stance against the events in Charlottesville and President Trump’s reaction provoked a small number of critical comments among the company’s employees.

Wrong-Way Gas Bet Fueled Goldman’s Second-Quarter Swoon; A $100 million loss from gas-price wager contributes to worst-ever quarter for commodities unit
Liz Hoffman – WSJ
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. lost more than $100 million in a wrong-way bet on regional natural-gas prices this spring, a setback that played a large role in the New York bank’s subpar second-quarter trading performance.

Goldman’s sketchy case to buy (and then sell) bitcoin; Technical note about the cryptocurrency says plenty about modern financial markets
Dan McCrum – FT
Attracting attention in parts of the web this week were headlines that captured the strange place on the fringes of modern banking where astrology, finance and computer games intersect. A Goldman Sachs analyst had predicted the price of bitcoin ó currently above $4,000 ó would surge in a frenzy of speculation, before going on to halve.

Investors sue Brussels over Banco Popular sale; EU authorities relied on ‘incomplete information’ in EUR1 deal, say bondholders
Thomas Hale in London – FT
International investors have launched legal action against the European authorities that oversaw the failure of Banco Popular, in the latest attempt to overturn the decisions that led to the bank’s sale to Santander in June for EUR1.


After Alibaba Bonanza, Manager Said to Plan New Asia Hedge Fund
Bei Hu – Bloomberg
Hari Ravisankar, who helped Janchor Partners make an eight-fold return on an investment in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., is starting his own Asia-focused stock hedge fund, said people with knowledge of the matter.

Why China Can’t Free the Yuan;Capital controls have brought stability. But they haven’t fixed anything.
Christopher Balding – Bloomberg
By some measures, China has braved the storms buffeting its currency. The yuan is up 4 percent so far this year, and foreign-exchange reserves are up by $70 billion. State media has even called for relaxing capital and exchange-rate controls. But that would be like a sick person who stops taking his medicine when he feels better: The underlying conditions haven’t really changed.

In a Good Year for Asia Currencies, Philippine Peso Is Unloved
Eric Lam, Ditas B Lopez and David Finnerty – Bloomberg
Central bank declines to act over 3% fall against dollar; Current account deficit, war on drugs weighing on sentiment
Asian emerging market currencies have been having their best year since before the 2013 taper tantrum, bolstered by pace-setting growth rates and attractive yields.

Ukraine central bank warns of new cyber-attack risk
Natalia Zinets – Reuters
The Ukrainian central bank said on Friday it had warned state-owned and private lenders of the appearance of new malware as security services said Ukraine faced cyber attacks like those that knocked out global systems in June.


Frankfurt and Dublin make bankers feel wanted in battle for Brexit jobs
Anjuli Davies and Padraic Halpin – Reuters
“I’m here to send you the regards of the Federal Chancellor. I am entitled to tell you we want you in Germany.” This private message from Angela Merkel, delivered by a regional politician to Wall Street bankers last year, is having the desired effect.

Dublin’s Missing Brexit Bankers Trigger Political Blame Game
Peter Flanagan – Bloomberg
Regulator coming under political pressure to attract business; EU cities competing to attract firms from London after Brexit
On the banks of Dublin’s River Liffey, a row over the destination of London bankers fleeing Brexit is brewing.

Sheep Farmers Most at Risk From Brexit, Those With Cows May Gain
Helen Chandler-Wilde – Bloomberg
No-deal exit may cut U.K. sheep output values by 38%: study; Dairy, beef and pig farms may benefit from import tariffs
Brexit may split Britain’s farmers down the middle. While the U.K. government’s favored option of a free-trade agreement with the European Union would limit the effect on British agriculture, a no-deal Brexit could see sheep farmers lose about 38 percent of the value of their production, according to a study.

‘No Deal’ With EU No Disaster for Post-Brexit U.K., Says Report
Charlotte Ryan – Bloomberg
Britain should pursue trade regardless of EU ‘threats’: IEA; EU’s other 27 members make up U.K.’s biggest trade partner
A U.K. trade deal with the European Union after Brexit is desirable but not essential, the Institute of Economic Affairs said, in support of Prime Minister Theresa May’s repeated assertion that no deal is better than a bad deal.

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