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Potential CAT Delay; Whistleblowers Blow Whistle on SEC Watchdog; EU ICO Warning

First Read

Hits & Takes
By JLN Staff

CME Group’s October Options Review included the fact that a record 57% of Natural Gas options (LN) traded electronically last month, with record electronic ADV of 64K contracts/day.

Other highlights included record open interest in Treasury options, E-mini Russell 2000 Index options are gaining significant traction, relationship-based trading is expanding to all Ag options effective January 8, 2018, copper options continue to reach new records of open interest and Wednesday Weekly FX options are now trading!~JJL

Asia Pacific Financial News for November 10, 2017.~JJL

@JohnLothian has not tweeted more than 70,000 times.~JJL

Jim Kharouf is in Florida at the CME Group’s Global Financial Leadership Conference conducting video interviews.~JJL

Eric Sinclair today officially joins TP ICAP as CEO, Information Services, succeeding Frank Desmond, who left the company after 12 years of service.~SR


NFA announces nominations made by the 2017 Nominating Committee
In accordance with NFA Bylaw 406, the Office of the Secretary has received from the 2017 Nominating Committee a list of its nominees for positions on NFA’s Board of Directors and 2018 Nominating Committee. The list of nominees included with this notice shall serve as notification to NFA Members of the candidates proposed by the 2017 Nominating Committee.

***** No surprises in the nominations I can see.~JJL


Mysterious Gold Trades of 4 Million Ounces Spur Price Plunge
Luzi-Ann Javier – Bloomberg
Bullion jolted after volatility seen near lowest since 2001; Prices poised for biggest loss in more than three weeks
Trades that moved about 4 million ounces of gold in a matter of minutes awakened the precious metal from its slumber. After 11:10 a.m. on the Comex in New York almost 40,000 contracts, each representing 100 ounces of the metal, traded in a span of 10 minutes. That triggered a sell-off, sending prices down as much as 1.1 percent.

***** Volumes increased, prices moved, news at 11!~JJL


Machines Will Do Shady Things in the Markets Too; And they’ll have fewer pangs of guilt than people.
Matt Levine – Bloomberg
A useful way to think about modern electronic market structure is that in the olden days humans traded stocks and options, making markets based on gut instinct, and then those humans were replaced by computers that used algorithms that largely replicated the humans’ gut instincts but more efficiently. But also, in the olden days, those humans did various shady things, and over time the computers have started to replicate the humans’ shady-thing-doing abilities, because, you know, the shady-thing-doing tradition runs deep.

***** I bet humans show more imagination though?~JJL


Bridging The Week – October 30 – November 10 and November 13, 2017 (Initial Coin Offerings; Price Disclosure; Wash Sales; Audit Trails)
Gary DeWaal – Bridging The Week
A private lawsuit alleging the illegal sale of unlicensed securities and securities fraud was recently filed against the promoters of a highly successful initial coin offering, as well as other persons, in a state court in California. This legal action comes shortly after the Securities and Exchange Commission warned that ICOs could involve the offer and sale of securities subject to registration requirements that are not appropriately registered or exempt. Separately, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission filed and settled charges against a swap dealer, alleging that the firm failed to disclose certain price information in a manner precisely required by regulation prior to swap entry and afterwards.


Friday’s Top Three
The top story from Friday was Dealbreaker’s cheeky Gary Cohn Tacitly Reveals That He Slept Through Years Of Goldman Sachs Media Training. In second was FCM Rankings and Concentration Q3 2017. Third went to the Financial Times’ Regulators plan eleventh-hour change to Mifid share-trading rules.


MarketsWiki Page of the Day: Virtu
After acquiring its rival KCG in July, Virtu announced its first joint results last week and the stock jumped about 18%. Virtu has cut its headcount from 1,250 between the two firms to 648.


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Lead Stories

U.S. Exchanges Said to Be Seeking Last-Minute Delay of Trading Database Project; Request to delay launch of Consolidated Audit Trail could come as soon as Monday, sources say
Dave Michaels – WSJ
U.S. exchanges plan to seek a last-minute delay in the launch of a vast database project designed to detect manipulation in the stock and options markets and decipher the cause of wild trading sessions, according to people familiar with the matter.

At the SEC, Whistleblowers Blow Whistle on Watchdog; Officials working for the SEC inspector general have filed complaints alleging retaliation for calling out misconduct in the office
Jean Eaglesham – Bloomberg
The watchdog for the Securities and Exchange Commission, who encourages staff at the top securities regulator to blow the whistle on misconduct and fraud, is himself the subject of complaints by several whistleblowers.

EU watchdog warns over riskiness of ICOs; Guidance issued for companies using initial coin offerings as a fundraising tool
Hannah Murphy – FT
Europe’s financial watchdog has become the latest global regulator to warn investors about initial coin offerings, describing the market as “very risky and highly speculative”.

SEC Says Companies Can Expect New Guidelines on Reporting Cybersecurity Breaches; Agency will probably update directions that it gave to companies over six years ago
Ezequiel Minaya – WSJ
A senior Securities and Exchange Commission regulator said Thursday that public companies will soon face new guidelines for how they report cybersecurity breaches to investors.

MiFID’s Dark-Trading ‘Loophole’ Has New Stock Exchange Opponent
Will Hadfield and Nejra Cehic – Bloomberg
Deutsche Boerse supports regulator plan to alter tick-size law; Systematic internalizers are industry’s ‘greatest challenge’
Deutsche Boerse AG has joined those criticizing a new type of trading venue being ushered in by Europe’s MiFID II rules.

How a West Coast Trading Network Spawned a New York Pension Fund Scandal; Broker ties Navnoor Kang made while working for investment firms in California played a key role
Justin Baer – WSJ
When Guggenheim Partners’ investment chief Scott Minerd was asked about Navnoor Kang at a 2015 event, he praised his former trader as a good guy who had “made a mistake.”

The 20 percent club: hedge fund stars of an industry rebound
Lawrence Delevingne – Reuters
A group of prominent hedge funds have roared back with market-trouncing returns in 2017, helping the industry score its best performance in at least four years in a surprise rebound for an often maligned pocket of Wall Street.

Wall Street trading giant Virtu cut staff by half and laid into a $1.4 billion acquisition ó now it can’t wait for market chaos
Frank Chaparro and Matt Turner – Business Insider
During an earnings call, Virtu CEO Doug Cifu said the firm brought its headcount down from a combined 1,250 between the two firms to 648. He also suggested that KCG had been poorly run.

Wall Street Titans Poised to Grow in China After Frustrating Era
Hugh Son and Dakin Campbell – Bloomberg
Some firms have edge as officials end limits on local ventures; The banks stood by China ventures as some withdrew, stayed out
Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Citigroup Inc. are finding patience pays off in China. The trio now have an advantage over some of their largest Wall Street rivals after officials in charge of the world’s No. 2 economy promised on Friday to let foreigners take majority stakes in securities firms there — raising limits that had long frustrated U.S. and European bankers. JPMorgan Chase & Co. pulled out of a joint venture in China in 2016, and Bank of America Corp. also doesn’t have one.

Deutsche Bank chief questions EU’s clearing quest; Cryan says he cannot understand why industry has become such a battleground
Olaf Storbeck in Frankfurt and Laura Noonan in London – FT
The chief executive of Deutsche Bank has questioned European efforts to grab a bigger share of the business of clearing interest rate derivatives, one of the biggest flashpoints for EU policymakers since the UK voted to leave the bloc.

These Bank Executives Say They’ll Be Hiring When Doomsday Comes
Hanna Hoikkala and Niklas Magnusson – Bloomberg
SEB CEO says productivity is key to ensuring banks grow; Nordea CEO predicts half of bank jobs to vanish in 10 years
Will every second banker lose his or her job in the next decade? The answer to that question is probably “yes,” according to the chief executive officer of Nordea Bank AB, Casper von Koskull. Others in the industry have made similar predictions, including former Citigroup Inc. CEO Vikram Pandit. But not all bank executives take the same view.

Trump Administration to Bankers: You’re Not the Villain Anymore; Financial regulators, some of them longtime bankers, now sound friendlier tone
Ryan Tracy and Christina Rexrode – WSJ
The Trump administration has a strong message for the country’s bankers: You’re not the villain anymore.

Getting New MiFID II Reports Wrong Could Cost Millions
Eman Galea, JWG Group Limited via TABB Forum
Getting data right is never easy and, with MiFID II’s drive for transparency kicking into high gear, the risks of getting reporting wrong are greater than ever. But there are ways to make compliance easier.

Big Banks Need to Know What They’re Doing; Almost 10 years after the crash, information systems still aren’t good enough.
The Editors – Bloomberg
“Know thyself,” goes the Delphic maxim. You might think it superfluous advice for the world’s biggest banks — that the executives responsible for global finance would insist on a complete picture of the risks they’re running. Yet the crash almost a decade ago showed they didn’t know enough. And even now, their investment in self-awareness falls short.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

Stock exchange crisis ?deepens as board rallies behind chairman; Some directors believe their positions will be untenable if Donald Brydon is ousted as the LSE owner’s chairman, Sky News learns.
Mark Kleinman, City Editor – SKY
The boardroom crisis ?engulfing the owner of the London Stock Exchange (LSE) threatened to deepen this weekend amid concerns that a string of directors will resign if an investor succeeds in ousting its chairman.

LSE to Call Vote on Future of CEO Amid Pressure From Activist; Activist shareholder TCI wants the London Stock Exchange to stick with Chief Executive Xavier Rolet
Ian Walker – WSJ
London Stock Exchange Group LSE -0.91% PLC said Friday it would hold a shareholder vote on whether to end the board’s search for a new chief executive and keep Xavier Rolet in the role until 2021 as requested by activist investor TCI Fund Management Ltd.

Swiss bourse SIX eyes sale of majority stake in card payments unit: chairman
Oliver Hirt – Reuters
Swiss stock exchange operator SIX Group is open to selling a majority stake in its card payments unit with the aim of growing the business, Chairman Romeo Lacher told Reuters.

Cboe Welcomes Eight New OppenheimerFunds ETFs to ETF Marketplace
Cboe Global Markets, Inc., one of the world’s largest exchange holding companies, today welcomed eight new OppenheimerFunds ETFs to the Cboe ETF Marketplace.

Broker TP ICAP wins partial victory in EU courts; Luxembourg strikes down one charge against broker over cartels in interbank markets
Philip Stafford in London and Rochelle Toplensky – FT
TP ICAP, the world’s largest interdealer broker, has won a partial victory in the European courts against a EUR14.9m fine imposed by Brussels for its involvement in manipulating market benchmarks.

ICAP wins fight against EU yen Libor cartel ruling, fine annulled
Foo Yun Chee – Reuters
The world’s biggest interdealer broker TP ICAP (TCAPI.L) on Friday won its fight against a 14.9 million euro ($17.3 million) fine related to the Libor scandal, as a European court dismissed part of the regulatory ruling and threw out the fine.

DGCX Adds 44 Blue-chip Indian Single Stock Futures to its Equities Portfolio
Encouraged by strong investor appetite and robust trading performance on its existing Indian Single Stock Futures (SSF), the Dubai Gold & Commodities Exchange (DGCX), having received regulatory approval, today announced the launch of an additional 44 blue-chip Indian SSFs, further expanding its Equities asset class vertical. With the listing of additional Indian SSFs, local and regional traders can now participate in the price performance of numerous stocks that fall within the major indices in India. Additional SSFs will be listed for trading on the Exchange from December 8th, 2017.

Redesign of the Order-to-Trade Ratio (OTR) in the context of MiFID II
As of January 2018, the Order-to-Trade Ratio (OTR) concept in place at Eurex Deutschland and Eurex Z¸rich AG (collectively: the Eurex Exchanges) will be redesigned. The following changes are planned:

T7 Release 6.0: Introduction timeline for partition-specific gateways
Shortly after the launch of T7 Release 6.0, Deutsche Bˆrse will start the migration to partition-specific (PS) gateways. PS gateways will replace the existing high frequency gateways and will only allow transaction routing to a specific partition. Sessions may login to only one PS gateway at a time and have to specify the partition ID in their initial connection request to the connection gateway. Low frequency gateways will remain in place and allow routing to all partitions.

HKEX’s First Ferrous Metal Product, Iron Ore Futures, Debuts
Day session volume of 1,022 contracts; 11 Exchange Participants traded product in day session; Good debut for HKEX’s first ferrous metals product
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited’s (HKEX) first ferrous metal product, cash-settled TSI Iron Ore Fines 62% FE CFR China Futures (Iron Ore Futures) started trading today, with total volume of 1,022 contracts, equivalent to 102,200 tonnes of iron ore, during the day trading session.

LSEG’s UnaVista and MTS collaborate on SFTR reporting solution
London Stock Exchange Group
London Stock Exchange Group today announces that MTS and UnaVista are collaborating to offer a regulatory reporting solution for firms who execute Securities Financing Transactions (SFTs), such as repo trades. Market participants with a connection to UnaVista Trade Repository and who trade repo contracts on the new Global Collateral Management (GCM) segment of MTS BondVision will be able to match initial trade data fields, creating an entry in the UnaVista portal which can be populated and enriched with additional data.

LSEG statement regarding notice of requisition of general meeting
London Stock Exchange Group
London Stock Exchange Group plc (“LSEG” or the “Company”) confirms that, on 9 November 2017, it received a letter of requisition from the legal custodian of The Children’s Investment Master Fund requiring the Board to convene a general meeting of the shareholders of LSEG to consider the resolutions set out below.

SGX leads with new derivatives on MSCI Emerging Markets indices
The first multi-country, multi-currency EM derivatives in Asia, matching the growing sophistication of strategic asset allocation into the region; Home time zone edge to lead EM price formation during Asian stock and currency market hours; Collaborating with MSCI for 25 years, SGX is the main source of MSCI price formation and liquidity in Asia for global institutional investors.
Singapore Exchange (SGX) today announced that it has launched net total return and price return futures on the MSCI Emerging Markets (EM) and MSCI EM Asia indices, making it the first and only exchange in Asia to offer investors exposure to these fast-growing market segments.


New Tech Incubators Put Financials First; A new generation of accelerator programs is emphasizing finances to help entrepreneurs launch successful businesses
Kimberly S. Johnson – WSJ
When Kristen Langenfeld and her co-founder began a white glove service for selling preowned children’s gear, they used Excel spreadsheets and QuickBooks to keep track of sales and expenses.

Bitcoin Plunges More Than 25% in Four Days; Fall follows record high as concerns weigh on the cryptocurrency
Steven Russolillo and Paul Vigna – WSJ
The booming bull market for bitcoin has hit another speed bump. Bitcoin slumped more than 25% in recent days, falling below $6,000 after touching a record high just shy of $7,900 last week. A canceled software upgrade, concerns about the coming launch of bitcoin futures and fears of an asset bubble weighed on the cryptocurrency, which is known for sharp swings.

EU markets agency warns new crypto coins could prove worthless
John O’Donnell – Reuters
Europe’s top markets regulator has warned investors about the pitfalls of buying newly issued crypto coins, an experimental and unregulated form of online crowd funding particularly used by start-up businesses.

Bitcoin Tumble Erases as Much as $38 Billion While Rivals Gain
Justina Lee, Yuji Nakamura and Sid Verma – Bloomberg
Offshoot called bitcoin cash is luring users amid tech debate; Bitcoin’s jump this year has attracted Wall Street’s interest
CBA Europe’s Peter Kinsella and Bloomberg’s Ed Robinson examine the issues behind the sudden decline in bitcoin.
Bitcoin extended a two-day slump as the cancellation of a technology upgrade prompted some users to switch out of the cryptocurrency, spooking speculators in an asset that’s surged more than 500 percent this year.

Bitcoin Plunge Exposes a Fundamental Flaw; It’s not the environmental cost of crypto that should worry investors. It’s the politics.
Lionel Laurent – Bloomberg
Virtual currency’s threat to the human environment has been hitting the headlines recently. The race to mine new Bitcoins, exacerbated by rules that make the process use more computer power as time goes on, threatens one day to consume as much power as the whole of Japan, according to Citi. Already, Bitcoin mines stacked high with customized machines whir away in Inner Mongolia, hinting at the crypto-currency’s “Mad Max” problem, as ING’s Teunis Brosens puts it.

What Keynes Knew About Bitcoin; They always said the celebrated British economist was ahead of his time.
Andy Mukherjee – Bloomberg
While preparing antidotes for the widespread unemployment of his time and imagining a future age of leisure and abundance, John Maynard Keynes also worked out the interest rate on bitcoin.


Trump, Brexit and Echoes of World War I; A Q&A with the historian Sir Max Hastings on worrisome parallels with the Great War.
Tobin Harshaw – Bloomberg
Of all the famous things Mark Twain never actually said, perhaps none is repeated more often and with less justification than “history doesn’t repeat, but it rhymes.” And since the election of Donald Trump as president, history as verse has become a farce: He is Hitler, he is Stalin, he is Mao, he is Caligula, he is Cyrus the Great, he is Pharaoh, he is Joe McCarthy, he is Charles Lindbergh, he is King George III (both the sane and insane versions), he is Julius Caesar, he is Hamlet, he is the Know-Nothing Party, he is Charles Manson, he is Jimmy Carter, he is Andrew Jackson, he is Herbert Hoover, he is Woodrow Wilson, he is — wait, what: Woodrow Wilson? Seriously?

Trump Is Ceding Global Leadership to China
Antony J. Blinken – NY Times
Amid the pomp that President Xi Jinping of China is bestowing upon his visiting American counterpart, President Trump, it’s hard not to see two leaders ó and two countries ó heading in very different directions.

Too Rich for Conflicts? Trump Appointees May Have Many, Seen and Unseen
Nicholas Confessore – NY Times
As President Trump faced a barrage of criticism last summer over the former Wall Street executives and other ultra-wealthy people serving in his administration, he offered a characteristic rationale: The appointees, he suggested, were too rich to have financial conflicts of interest.

Fake News `Nearly Overwhelming,’ EU Says as It Weighs Fightback
Aoife White – Bloomberg
Views sought on actions taken by internet firms, future role; EU strategy on fake news to be finalized early next year
The European Commission is seeking views on how to stem an “almost overwhelming” tide of online misinformation in a move that may assess how far Facebook Inc. and Google have managed to fight back on fake news.

Trump backs US intelligence agencies but keeps faith in Putin; American president insists Russian leader’s denials of election meddling are sincere
Demetri Sevastopulo in Da Nang, Vietnam – FT
Donald Trump has come to Vladimir Putin’s defence in the war of words over last year’s US election, describing the Russian president’s denials of meddling as sincere.


FIA Reaction To Planned Phase Out Of Chinese Ownership Restrictions
FIA today released a statement from Walt Lukken, president and chief executive officer of FIA, regarding an announcement by the China State Council that the ownership restrictions on certain segments of the financial services industry will be phased out over the next several years.

JPMorgan Says Family Awarded $8 Billion Deserves Nothing
Tom Korosec and Margaret Cronin Fisk – Bloomberg
Bank says law and evidence don’t support Dallas jury’s verdict; Lender was found to have mismanaged airline executive’s estate
JPMorgan Chase & Co. urged a judge to throw out a stunning $8 billion jury verdict over a mismanaged inheritance, saying the family deserves nothing.

TIAA Receives New York Subpoena on Sales Practices
Gretchen Morgenson – NY Times
New York’s attorney general has subpoenaed TIAA, the giant insurance company and investment firm, seeking documents and information relating to its sales practices, according to people briefed on the inquiry.

SEC Chairman Jay Clayton’s quest to forge a fiduciary standard
Mark Schoeff Jr. – InvestmentNews
The new SEC chairman is confident he can come up with a rule better than that of the Department of Labor ó one that satisfies brokers, investment advisers and investor advocates alike

Exclusive: Global regulators to ditch ‘too big to fail’ gauge for insurers
Pete Schroeder, Michelle Price – Reuters
Global financial regulators have decided to ditch a “too big to fail” gauge for assessing the riskiness of global insurers, according to a source briefed on the matter, in a big win for companies such as American International Group (AIG.N) and Prudential Financial Inc (PRU.N).

German prosecutors raid Commerzbank in tax evasion probe
Tom Sims, Hans Seidenstuecker – Reuters
Germany’s Commerzbank (CBKG.DE) has become the target of a tax evasion probe in which several current and former managers are suspected of evading 40 million euros ($47 million) in taxes via so-called dividend stripping.

U.S. begins $4.05 billion Madoff fund payout, thousands to recoup losses
Jonathan Stempel – Reuters
The U.S. government said it has begun distributing $772.5 million from a $4.05 billion fund to compensate victims of Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, ending a nearly nine-year wait for thousands of people to start recouping their losses.

MiFID Raises Surprisingly Basic Questions for Danish Regulator
Frances Schwartzkopff – Bloomberg
Denmark is struggling to define marketing under new rules; Unknowns are too many to count as deadline approaches fast
The countdown to the January adoption of a new set of regulations for Europe’s financial markets has started. But in Denmark, it’s still raising some fundamental questions.

ESMA registers Kroll Bond Rating Agency Europe Limited as a credit rating agency
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the EU’s direct supervisor of credit rating agencies (CRAs), has registered Kroll Bond Rating Agency Europe Limited as a CRA under Regulation (EC) No 1060/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 September 2009 on credit rating agencies (CRA Regulation), with effect from 13 November 2017. Kroll Bond Rating Agency Europe Limited is based in Ireland, issuing sovereign and public finance ratings, structured finance ratings and corporate ratings.

ESMA highlights ICO risks for investors and firms
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has today issued two Statements on Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), one on risks of ICOs for investors and one on the rules applicable to firms involved in ICOs.

Order Routing Conflicts
The Trading & Financial Compliance Examinations (TFCE) section of the Market Regulation Department (Market Regulation) at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (FINRA) is conducting a review of [FIRM] concerning the impact the receipt of order routing inducements, such as payment for order flow and maker-taker rebates, has on the Firm’s [equities and options] order routing practices and decisions. As part of this review, TFCE requests that the Firm provide complete and detailed responses to the following:

ISDA CEO Scott O’Malia’s Welcoming remarks ISDA Regulators and Industry Forum

SEC Announces the Formation and First Members of Fixed Income Market Structure Advisory Committee
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced the formation and first members of its Fixed Income Market Structure Advisory Committee.

CFTC Talks EP015: Why a Government Podcast and Why It Matters
CFTC Talks is a new podcast for the agency. We’re going to cover all topics…

Investing and Trading

Gold Futures’ 4 Million Ounce Trade Triggers Sell-Off
Luzi-Ann Javier – Bloomberg
Gold appears to be vulnerable to the whims of traders. After 11:10 a.m. in New York almost 40,000 contracts, each representing 100 ounces of the metal, traded in a span of 10 minutes, spurring a sell-off that sent prices down almost 1 percent.

The Junk-Bond Rout Snowballed After Wall Street Called Late Cycle
Sid Verma – Bloomberg
Mounting warnings from Wall Street about the aging business cycle in recent weeks are unanimous: downgrade high-yield bonds.

Lee: 94% of bitcoin’s price movement can be explained by one equation
Sara Silverstein – Business Insider
The FundStrat cofounder Tom Lee says: “If you build a very simple model valuing bitcoin as the square function number of users times the average transaction value, 94% of the bitcoin movement over the past four years is explained by that equation.”

The Rot That Lies Beneath Some Index Funds
Jason Zweig – WSJ
Index funds are supposed to meet expectations almost exactly ó but once in awhile they can hand investors an unpleasant surprise.
These mutual funds and exchange-traded funds passively track the performance of a basket of stocks, bonds or other assets. They seek to match the market, not to beat it. After costs and taxes, they should provide returns almost identical to those of the underlying investments they hold.
Then there is PNC S&P 500 Index Fund.

Why investors shouldn’t rely on sentiment indicators for market-timing; ‘Sentiment is a tricky thing’, says Bespoke’s macrostrategist Pearkes
Anora M. Gaudiano – MarketWatch
Several measures of Wall Street sentiment peaked this year and rolled over without a corresponding pullback in the stock market, underlining the faultiness of metrics used for timing the market that have so far consistently betrayed Wall Street investors.

Bitcoin slides by over $1,000 in less than 48 hours
Jemima Kelly – Reuters
Bitcoin dropped below $7,000 on Friday to trade more than $1,000 down from an all-time high hit on Wednesday, as some traders dumped it for a clone called Bitcoin Cash, sending its value up around a third.

Bill Miller is staging one of Wall Street’s most closely watched comebacks
Washington Post
For more than 30 years, giving your money to Bill Miller at Legg Mason was one of the most reliable ways to turn a profit. He beat the returns on the benchmark Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index for 15 years running, a feat unmatched among the legends of Wall Street.

Forget Vanguard, Insurers Now Have Their Own ETFs to Sell You
Rachel Evans and Katherine Chiglinsky – Bloomberg
Investing in the funds is no longer enough for some insurers; Insurers now oversee $25 billion in ETFs they’ve set up
Caution is in their DNA, but that hasn’t stopped insurers from jumping into the craze for exchange-traded funds with both feet.

IPOs Roar Back World-Wide, With Asia Driving the Boom; This year is on track to be busiest in a decade for new listings
Steven Russolillo and Corrie Driebusch – WSJ
A flood of Chinese companies is driving the biggest world-wide surge of initial public offerings in a decade.

Feel-good investing is the new trend on Wall Street
Gregory Bresiger – NY Post
Feel-good investing is becoming all the rage with Wall Street as small investors want to see some societal good come with their profits, say supporters of this new investing style.


Louis Dreyfus oilseed head leaves company; new US wheat trading boss named
Louis Dreyfus Corp’s manager of North American oilseeds, Sean Doyle, has left the company, sources said on Friday.

Activist fund pushes Credit Suisse chief on cost-cuts; RBR Capital cools on demands for Swiss bank to break-up in talks on slashing overheads
Patrick Jenkins in London and Laura Noonan in Zurich
The activist hedge fund that called for a break-up of Credit Suisse has stepped up demands for more aggressive cost-cutting at the bank, potentially backed by another round of capital raising, after meeting its chief executive.

HSBC Accounts Used for Transactions Linked to Suspected South Africa Kickbacks; Transfers detailed in documents shine light on the role of global banks in a scandal that has consumed South African business and politics
Gabriele Steinhauser and Margot Patrick – WSJ
South Africa’s Gupta family used HSBC Holdings HSBC 0.08% PLC bank accounts in Dubai to transfer millions of dollars through companies that have been linked to suspected kickbacks for the sale of Chinese locomotives, according to documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

Bank Bonuses May Turn Higher This Year; Bankers’ incentive pay is expected to rise by 5% to 10%, survey finds
Telis Demos – WSJ
Banker bonuses may follow stock prices higher this year. For the first time in four years, year-end bonuses for bankers in 2017 are set to grow over the prior year, according to consulting firm Johnson Associates Inc. Over all, incentive pay is expected to rise by 5% to 10%, Johnson’s survey found.

Goldman’s Dealmakers Pack Suitcases to Chase Down Smaller Game
Dakin Campbell – Bloomberg
Investment bankers call on neglected ‘middle market’ companies; Strategy is similar to 1970s initiative that helped grow firm
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. investment bankers may be coming to an airport near you.


How to Make Money on Japanese Stocks; Though there are reasons to be skeptical, this still looks like an investing opportunity
James Mackintosh – WSJ
Investors who bought Japanese stocks at the peak of Japan fever in December 1989 are the closest they have been in 27 years to making their money back, at least assuming they reinvested dividends. If shares in large Japanese companies keep rallying the way they did as the ’80s were ending, investors might be back in the black in January.

Singapore Traders Are About to Get Their First Lunch Break in Six Years
Andrea Tan – Bloomberg
Imagine not having a lunch break for 6 1/2 years. For stock brokers in Singapore, that’s about to end.

Hong Kong Picks a Fight With Singapore Over Iron Ore
Jasmine Ng and Krystal Chia – Bloomberg
HKEX introduces contract on Monday, competing with SGX product; Commodity has seen big price swings on China outlook, supplies
Call it the iron ore wars. Two of Asia’s financial heavyweights are going head-to-head as Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd. starts futures for a commodity that’s seen extraordinary volatility and been a popular way to bet on China, challenging Singapore Exchange Ltd.’s leading position.

Backing Big Brother: Chinese facial recognition firms appeal to funds
Sijia Jiang – Reuters
Buoyed by China’s plans to build a ubiquitous CCTV surveillance network, Chinese and some foreign investors are pouring money into start-up technology firms that specialize in facial recognition software.

Think bitcoin’s getting expensive? Try Zimbabwe
MacDonald Dzirutwe – Reuters
For most investors around the world, bitcoin is a volatile and highly speculative bet. For Zimbabweans, however, the cryptocurrency seems to offer rare protection from the onset of hyperinflation and financial implosion.

Euro Economy Is Heading Towards a Golden Period
Jana Randow – Bloomberg
European Commission lifts 2017 GDP forecast to 2.2 percent; Low inflation and interest rates mean recovery to last long
Europe is no longer the sick man of the world economy. The 19-nation euro-zone bloc is already enjoying the strongest growth in a decade and now economists at Credit Suisse Group AG and Oxford Economics are declaring that it’s heading toward a golden period of low-inflationary expansion.

China recovery pushes greenhouse emissions to global record; Paris targets under threat as forecast 2% rise follows three years of zero growth
Tobias Buck in Berlin and Lucy Hornby – FT
Stronger Chinese economic growth will push global greenhouse gas emissions to a record high in 2017 after remaining flat for three years, dashing tentative hopes of a turning point in the world’s efforts to curb climate change.


US banks’ ‘stop-gap’ Brexit plans set to retain hundreds of London financial jobs; Citigroup among those looking to ‘branch-back’ by using EU offices to remain in City
Emma Dunkley, Caroline Binham, Martin Arnold and Laura Noonan – FT
Big US banks are drawing up “stop gap” Brexit plans in an attempt to avoid moving hundreds of jobs out of London once the UK leaves the EU and before they have had time to recruit specialist staff in the European bloc.

U.K. Environment Secretary Promises Green Brexit With Watchdog
Charlotte Ryan – Bloomberg
Consultation on new independent body to start early next year; Gove pledges to enhance environmental standards under plans
The U.K. government plans to create an independent environmental standards watchdog for England after Brexit, according to Environment Secretary Michael Gove.

Businesses issue Theresa May with Brexit ultimatum, warning they’re “extremely concerned” about progress so far
Catherine Neilan – City AM
Business groups have told Theresa May progress must be made in Brexit talks ahead of the critical European Council meeting next month, saying they are “extremely concerned” about what’s been achieved so far.


200 universities just launched 600 free online courses. Here’s the full list.
Dhawal Shah – Quartz
If you haven’t heard, universities around the world are offering their courses online for free (or at least partially free). These courses are collectively called MOOCs or Massive Open Online Courses.

New Enrollments by Foreign Students at U.S. Campuses on the Decline; Fall 2016 marked the first decrease in a decade; early reports show a further drop this year
Melissa Korn – WSJ
The surge in foreign student enrollment that has bolstered diversity and finances at U.S. colleges for the past decade is starting to slowóand concern that the Trump administration is tightening its borders is only one factor in the turning tide.

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Graduate of University of Minnesota School of Journalism and Mass Communication