Breaking News

Bastion of Financial Stability Is Now Home to Marijuana Startups and Bitcoin Miners; Watch Out VIX: Nasdaq Amps Up Volatility Game

First Read

Hits & Takes
JLN Staff

Spencer Doar is getting better and better with his “The Spread” weekly video riff on options trading news. This week is his BEST yet. ~JJL

According to the CDC’s report on mortality in the United States, male life expectancy decreased from 76.3 years to 76.1 years in 2016 compared to 2015. Meanwhile, female life expectancy remained the same at 81.1 years. ~SD

Seismic Foundry, a fintech fund run by Bill Templer, Cathryn Lyall, David Feltes, Jeff Gale and Brendan Bradley, made its first investment in fintech start-up Kite Edge. ~JJL

Yesterday’s JLN Options newsletter had lead stories about a big options wager on the price of bitcoin, Hanweck’s recap of 2017 and the VIX of tech stocks. ~SD

Asia Pacific Financial News from John Lothian News – December 21, 2017 ~JJL

 

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The Spread – Week of 12/18

JohnLothianNews.com

The Spread is a brief recap of some of the notable activity in the options world. This is Episode 3 and an improvement on “Revenge of the Sith.”

The following are stories referenced in this week’s episode of The Spread:

 

 

 

 

Watch the video here »

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Bitcoin: Birth of the World’s First “Teal” Equity?
Erik Norland – CME Group
Our earlier articles on bitcoin discuss the crypto asset as a currency and a commodity. Both papers focused on the consequences of bitcoin’s defining feature: the asymptotic supply limit of 21 million coins. This paper explores bitcoin as an equity, and more specifically as the first equity ever launched by a non-hierarchical “teal” organization, a self-driving entity with an independent force and purpose, its role in promoting blockchain and the potential consequences of bitcoin and blockchain for the economy.
jlne.ws/2BgZ9m6

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Goldman Is Setting Up a Cryptocurrency Trading Desk
By Hugh Son, Dakin Campbell, and Sonali Basak – Bloomberg
The business may be running by the end of June, two people say; CEO Blankfein has said the firm is mulling a bitcoin strategy
At least one of Wall Street’s biggest firms is growing more comfortable with cryptocurrencies.
/goo.gl/2oq9WX

***** Enjoy this top trigger with a nice glass of iced tea. ~JJL

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Long Island Iced Tea Soars After Changing Its Name to Long Blockchain
By Arie Shapira and Kailey Leinz – Bloomberg
There’s a new leader in the sweepstakes for the zaniest name change in the crypto craze.
/goo.gl/DDPWRX

****** This story courtesy of “Blockchain John Lothian News.” ~JJL

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Bitcoin And Friends Offer 1,000 Ways to Lose Your Money
By Lionel Laurent – Bloomberg
There are 1,036 virtual currencies out there, from Bitcoin to — no joke — BigBoobsCoin. The price of almost every single one was down Friday morning. Bitcoin, the one that kicked off the whole shebang with its rigid algorithm to cap supply, hit its lowest point in two weeks before climbing back to about $14,000.
/goo.gl/RQA8eU

***** There must have been a surplus of “thin air.” ~JJL

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Thursday’s Top Three
Thursday’s top story was Spencer Doar‘s piece from JLN, Seed CX Swaps Hemp For Cryptocurrencies. Second went to the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Atlanta’s Intercontinental Exchange seeks to trade bitcoin funds on NYSE. Third was CNBC’s Gary Cohn: We ‘tried 25 times’ to cut hedge fund loophole in tax reform bill, but failed. An interesting way to end the week before Christmas. And what, no Santa Rally stories?

 

 

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Lead Stories

Bastion of Financial Stability Is Now Home to Marijuana Startups and Bitcoin Miners
Natalie Obiko Pearson , Kristine Owram , and Danielle Bochove – Bloomberg
Canada attracting latest manias with easy listings, takeovers; Low bar lends itself to stock promotion, murky disclosure
When Hive Blockchain Technologies Ltd. was looking to tap into the cryptocurrency fervor by going public, Canada’s junior stock exchange was the obvious choice. The bar for listing was low. Retail investors, used to the rise and fall of penny stocks, were eager for the next hot thing. To help ensure a spectacular debut, Hive paid online promoters more than $750,000 plus options to sing the stock’s praises.
/goo.gl/grnbaJ

Watch Out VIX: Nasdaq Amps Up Volatility Game; Nasdaq is working on an alternative to Cboe’s market fear gauge
Gunjan Banerji – WSJ
The VIX is getting a rival. Nasdaq Inc. is working on launching futures and options linked to an index that uses a different way to track volatility in the S&P 500, the benchmark gauge for the U.S. stock market, said people familiar with the matter. The launch is subject to regulatory approval and would compete against the market’s so-called fear gauge from Cboe Global Markets Inc.
/goo.gl/dbx61F

Bitcoin Plunges 25% in 24 Hours in a Cryptocurrency Market Rout; Digital currency has lost $121 billion of its total market value in less than a week
Steven Russolillo and Gregor Stuart Hunter – WSJ
The price of bitcoin tumbled sharply Friday in Asia, wiping one-fourth of its market value in the past 24 hours alone, as a wave of selling hit the broader cryptocurrency market just before the Christmas holiday weekend.
/goo.gl/YuYah1

Seismic Foundry makes first investment in Kite Edge
Cathryn Lyall
A fintech fund founded by a group of derivatives experts including Bill Templer, Cathryn Lyall and Brendan Bradley has completed its first investment, taking a stake in London-based research technology firm.
/goo.gl/aTdwA7

Banks are selling private discussions with corporate executives that could violate SEC rules
John Detrixhe – Quartz
All US investors are supposed to get information about publicly-traded stocks at the same time. If that’s so, then why do some hedge funds spend so much time and money on private meetings with executive management? The obvious reason is that they find it valuable. New research from Harvard Business School shows they’re asking for information that could indeed violate securities rules.
/goo.gl/CTbfTw

Europe’s largest exchange fumes over new Spanish data fees; Cboe says a new ‘special fee’ introduced by the BME is ‘truly excessive and anti-competitive’
Samuel Agini – Financial News
Changes to data fees at the Bolsas y Mercados Españoles, Spain’s national stock market, have sparked a fierce backlash from Europe’s largest exchange group and other trading venues.
/goo.gl/FKHJve

Iced tea maker soars 500% after pivot to blockchain; Surging stocks prompt US regulator alert over potential cryptocurrency ‘scams’
Miles Johnson, Adam Samson and Nicholas Megaw in London – FT
A US securities regulator has warned investors against “potential scams” following a surge in stock prices of hitherto obscure companies that announce a sudden switch of strategy into cryptocurrencies.
/goo.gl/ZRq5dt

Bitcoin Fights Back From $13,000 as Selloff Enters Fourth Day
Richard Frost, Eddie van der Walt and Samuel Potter – Bloomberg
Biggest cryptocurrency fell as much as 21 percent earlier; Frenzy for digital tokens has been luring established players
Bitcoin plunged by as much as a fifth on Friday before regaining its footing amid one of the biggest tests yet for the frenzy surrounding digital currencies.
/goo.gl/DjDWLa

How Blockchain Could Revolutionize Commodity Markets; The technology has already been adopted for gold trading, but could be extended to other sectors in the asset class.
Shelley Goldberg – Bloomberg
It glitters, and you can change it for gold. Photographer: Dan Kitwood/getty Images
Blockchain technology, which has already been adopted by gold traders, is starting to show the potential to transform other sectors of the global physical commodities markets.
/goo.gl/3VsK1s

Data Points Blog: 2017 Year in Review: Top Trading Tech & Market Structure Themes
Tradeweb
After a wild and volatile 2016, this year was all about the business of adjusting to the new normal. Market participants have been deeply focused on getting their houses in order, with new legislative and regulatory regimes in place and the impending MiFID II and MiFIR deadline next year. Compliance loomed large in that effort, as the industry began preparing for new pre- and post-trade transparency requirements that will come into force next month. FinTech also played a major role, and electronic trading continued to transform workflows with greater operational efficiency. From new and evolving market structure, to the adoption of more automated, intelligent execution, here’s a look back at the eight major milestones we saw this year.
jlne.ws/2DpnGH3

Cryptocurrencies could be ‘just mining the public,’ gold producer CEO says
Elizabeth Gurdus – CNBC
Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin may be all the rage, but when it comes to storing your money, Agnico Eagle Mines CEO Sean Boyd told CNBC that they still pose some unaddressed risks.
“Mad Money” host Jim Cramer spoke to Agnico Eagle Mines Vice Chairman and CEO Sean Boyd to hear about the state of gold in the era of bitcoin; Boyd said that cryptocurrencies may be popular, but gold has “proven itself” as a liquid and efficient way to store money; While people can own bitcoin, “now’s the time” to get into gold, the CEO said.
/goo.gl/U8Mgsv

The SEC’s crackdown on cryptocurrencies is about to get serious, former chairman says
Michael Sheetz – CNBC
The Securities and Exchange Commission is cracking down on suspicious cryptocurrencies and that will only continue, according to a former chairman of the regulatory body.
/goo.gl/iDcXYg

SEC Charges Operators of $1.2 Billion Ponzi Scheme Targeting Main Street Investors
SEC.gov
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced charges and an asset freeze against a group of unregistered funds and their owner who allegedly bilked thousands of retail investors, many of them seniors, in a $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme.
SEC investigators filed this action to prevent further dissipation of investor assets after obtaining court orders in September and November in subpoena enforcement actions that forced the unregistered companies to open their books.
jlne.ws/2DpjhUn

Bitcoin Billionaires May Have Found a Way to Cash Out; Major holders, most of whom have held for years and never sold, have expressed interest in doing similar trades.
Aaron Brown – Bloomberg
Bitcoin did a lot of growing up in 2017, but there was one trade this week that could go a long way toward stabilizing the market for the cryptocurrency and further establish its credibility in mainstream finance.
/goo.gl/xK194A

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

Cboe Global Markets Recognized as Designated Listing Exchange in Japan for U.S. Equities; – Japanese Financial Services Authority’s approval of Cboe, including Cboe BZX U.S. Equities Exchange, expected to expand Japanese investors’ access to all U.S.-listed securities
Cboe Global Markets, Inc.
Cboe Global Markets, Inc. (Cboe: CBOE | Nasdaq: CBOE) today announced the Japanese Financial Services Authority (JFSA) has added Cboe Global Markets – U.S. Equities to the regulator’s list of Designated Foreign Financial Instrument Exchanges.
/goo.gl/1fB475

Index On Bitcoin Futures (XBT) Launched By Solactive As Part Of Exclusive Worldwide Agreement With Cboe Global Markets Available For Licensing For ETFs And Structured Products
MondoVisione
Three weeks after the approval of bitcoin futures by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission in the United States, Solactive is launching the Solactive Bitcoin Front Month Rolling Futures 5D Index, an index tracking the performance of XBT futures listed on Cboe Global Markets (Cboe).
/goo.gl/rfZL7q

SIX Swiss Exchange announces joint venture with 12Horizons Pte Ltd, a specialized provider of radio-frequency solutions.
SIX
Today, SIX Swiss Exchange and 12Horizons Pte Ltd have announced a joint venture. It will operate under the name of 12H AG (“12H”) and provide low-latency access for Swiss securities trading via radio-frequency technology. Compared to e.g. fibre technology, radio-frequency technology facilitates a significant faster transmission of data. This joint venture underlines the commitment of SIX Swiss Exchange to cater to the needs of its clients looking for low-latency solutions. Furthermore, it represents each organization’s strong commitment to provide customers with a single source for the best low-latency services from and to Zurich.
/goo.gl/1xycBh

Moscow Exchange: Risk Parameters Change On Securities market
Mondovisione
CCP NCC is changing IM rates on Securities market starting from January 10, 2018 for the following shares:
/goo.gl/KQkbg1

Moscow Exchange trading schedule for 2018 public holidays
MOEX
On 3, 4 and 5 January, 9 March, 30 April, 2 May and 11 June — public holidays in Russia — Moscow Exchange’s trading schedule will be as follows:
/goo.gl/H2ajD9

6th Shanghai Stock Exchange Forum On Rule Of Law Held In Shanghai
Mondovisione
On December 15, sponsored by the Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) and co-sponsored by Peking University, Renmin University of China and East China University of Political Science and Law (ECUPL), the 6th SSE Forum on Rule of Law was held in Shanghai with the theme of the legal construction on the capital market in the new era. Huang Wei, Assistant to Chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC), and SSE Chairman Wu Qing attended and made addresses at the forum. Also present at the forum were more than 100 attendees including the representatives, experts and scholars from legislative, judicial and regulatory authorities, universities and research institutes and the market participants.
/goo.gl/zWsoSm

Montréal Exchange Interest Rate Derivative Trading Ceases At 1:30 P.M. Today
MondoVisione
Interest rate derivative trading will cease at 1:30 p.m. today, December 22, 2017.
/goo.gl/PxHrsm

Fintech

Want to Spend Bitcoin at Amazon? Talk to Chuck (Norris)
Mark Gilbert – Bloomberg
Chuck Norris didn’t dial the wrong number; you answered the wrong phone. So the old joke goes about the paragon of omnipotence in the “Walker, Texas Ranger” television show. As the year draws to a close, it’s time to check in and see what Chuck might make of the current world of business and finance. Here goes:
/goo.gl/q3tHiq

Charles River incorporates ICE Data Services pricing tech; The solution will help track and store key data and trade lifecycle decision points needed to comply with the new rules.
Joe Parsons – The Trade
Charles River has implemented ICE Data Services’ Continuous Evaluated Pricing (CEP) into its investment management solution (IMS) in order to capture key MiFID II data.
/goo.gl/ZKZ9TY

The Tokenization of Research
Joel Steinmetz – UAT via Tabb Forum
MiFID II requirements do not align with U.S. practices governing the exchange of commissions for execution and research, as permitted by Section 28(e) of the Securities Act of 1934. But there is an opportunity to optimize operations and the benefits from both MiFID II and Section 28(e) using a token, smart contract and blockchain-based research platform that, in turn, satisfies the requirements and enables the desirable benefits of both regulatory regimes.
/goo.gl/U9Txj6

Politics

The Real Coup Plot Is Trump’s
Yascha Mounk – NY Times
When Donald Trump’s campaign was accused of spreading “fake news,” he quickly appropriated the term for himself. The true purveyors of fake news, he claimed, were television networks like CNN and newspapers like this one.
/goo.gl/ZJi6Ny

Journalist Charged With Rioting at Inauguration Day Protest Goes Free
Jaclyn Peiser – NY Times
Alexei Wood, a journalist who was arrested while covering a protest of Donald J. Trump’s inauguration, was found not guilty at the Superior Court of the District of Columbia on Thursday of all seven counts against him, including conspiracy to riot and several counts of destruction of property. Mr. Wood had originally faced up to 61 years in prison.
/goo.gl/CdeU2w

Wall Street Burns Midnight Oil as Trump Celebrates Big Tax Win
Matthew Townsend, Yalman Onaran, and Jennifer Surane – Bloomberg
Analysts are rushing to update 2018 estimates before year-end; Tax code impact depends on how companies spend windfalls
Normally right about now, many on Wall Street would be packing their bags for the Caribbean or the slopes. Not this year.
/goo.gl/Yemzyj

How the Carried Interest Break Survived the Tax Bill
Sahil Kapur, Jennifer Jacobs, and Saleha Mohsin – Bloomberg
Treasury chief sought to keep break for private equity funds; Congress imposed three-year holding requirement in legislation
A split inside the White House helped preserve a loophole that benefits investment fund managers in the tax bill that’s headed for President Donald Trump’s desk — despite Trump’s campaign promise to abolish it.
/goo.gl/KWqQ1g

UN votes 128-9 to condemn US Embassy move to Jerusalem even after Haley’s warning
Meghan Keneally and Ely Brown – ABC News
The United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly defied U.S. warnings and voted Thursday to condemn President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the U.S. Embassy there from Tel Aviv.
/goo.gl/u6YfMQ

Regulation

SEC Wins Asset Freeze in Suit Alleging $1.2 Billion Ponzi Scheme
Matt Robinson – Bloomberg
Woodbridge Group lured retail investors, seniors, agency says; Agency says scam promised big returns from short-term loans
U.S. regulators sued a California man over claims that he raised more than $1.2 billion in a Ponzi scheme that targeted retail investors by touting big returns from short-term loans to commercial property owners.
/goo.gl/uKQgbk

SEC Nominees Off “Hold” And Awaiting Senate Confirmation
Cooley LLP via JD Supra
As has been widely reported, there are currently two nominees to fill the two empty slots at the SEC—from the Democratic side, Robert Jackson, a professor at Columbia Law School, and from the Republican side, Hester Peirce, a fellow at George Mason University. However, Senator Tammy Baldwin had put a “hold” on the nominees back in November, as reported in the WSJ, until they provided “their views on whether regulators should rein in activist investors, stock buybacks and executive pay.” Now that they have both responded to her questions, Baldwin has lifted her hold on the nominees, according to Law360, “clearing a hurdle for confirmation.” Their responses, although not exactly surprising, provide some insight into their views on these key issues.
/goo.gl/1P3y9b

Exclusive: Bank of America Merrill Lynch to pay $26 million for allegedly failing to report suspicious transactions
Reuters Staff
Wall Street regulators later Thursday or early next week are expected to fine Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAC.N) a total of $26 million over alleged failures to report suspicious transactions, two sources familiar with the matter said.
/goo.gl/fkNyDV

SEC sues bankrupt Woodbridge Group over $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme
Tracy Rucinski – Reuters
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said on Thursday it had sued luxury real estate developer Robert Shapiro and his Woodbridge Group of Companies for allegedly operating a $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme targeting thousands of investors.
/goo.gl/ri9rqa

Real Estate Developer Woodbridge Is Being Sued Over a $1.2 Billion Ponzi Scheme that Defrauded the Elderly
Reuters
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said on Thursday it had sued luxury real estate developer Robert Shapiro and his Woodbridge Group of Companies for allegedly operating a $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme targeting thousands of investors.
/goo.gl/XVD5De

JPMorgan ‘Seriously Breached’ Money-Laundering Rules, Swiss Regulator Says
Emily Flitter – NY Times
Switzerland’s financial regulator said JPMorgan Chase’s Swiss subsidiary “seriously breached” anti-money laundering rules by completing transactions with a Malaysian government investment fund that is under investigation in at least six countries.
/goo.gl/5Rp1um

Court orders penalty against former managing director of Banksia Securities Limited
ASIC
The Federal Court of Australia today ordered that Patrick John Godfrey, the former managing director of Banksia Securities Limited (In Liquidation) (Receivers and Managers Appointed) (Banksia), pay a pecuniary penalty of $25,000 and be disqualified from managing corporations for a period of five years.
/goo.gl/fbd4yd

ESMA publishes updated key transparency calculations for MiFIDII/MiFIR
ESMA
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published an updated version of the MiFID II/MiFIR transitional transparency calculations (TTC) for equity and bond instruments. This updated version mainly reflects changes in the classification of the instruments and the related parameters and resubmission of data by some trading venues. This new version is the one to be used by market participants, infrastructures and authorities under the new regulatory framework from 3 January 2018.
/goo.gl/NGXujZ

Testing of TRACE for Treasuries Reporting Changes
FINRA
As previously announced, on Monday, January 22, 2018, FINRA will implement changes to the TRACE for Treasuries (U.S. Treasuries) trade reporting retention period to increase the transactions retention period to T-2. Starting January 22, firms will be able to perform TRACE for Treasuries trade cancellations and corrections on transactions during the T-2 retention period.
/goo.gl/PxzAGj

Don’t Fall for Cryptocurrency-Related Stock Scams
FINRA
Cryptocurrencies (such as Bitcoin) are in the news daily. FINRA is issuing this Alert to warn investors to be cautious when considering the purchase of shares of companies that tout the potential of high returns associated with cryptocurrency-related activities without the business fundamentals and transparent financial reporting to back up such claims.
/goo.gl/8bXtaj

2018 Holiday Trade Date, Settlement Date and Margin Extensions Schedule
FINRA
FINRA is providing the following schedule to assist firms and reduce the number of requests for Federal Reserve Board Regulation T, SEA Rule 15c3-3 and FINRA Rule 4210 extensions of time that may be denied around holidays due to incorrect due dates specified when such requests are made. Requests of extensions of time on the business days prior to and after a holiday when the exchanges are closed will be subject to the schedule noted below.
/goo.gl/97hP3m

Japan’s Financial Services Agency: Exchange Of Letters On Cooperation In The Area Of Audit Oversight With The Ministry Of Finance Of People’s Republic Of China
Mondovisione
Today, State Minister of Cabinet Office, Takao Ochi, and Vice Minister of MOF of PRC, Shi Yaobin, had meeting in Beijing, and exchanged the Letters on ooperation in the area of audit oversight between Japan and China.
/goo.gl/VdV9AC

Podcast: CFTC Talks EP023: CFTC Commissioner Brian Quintenz
CFTC
This week on CFTC Talks, we bring on CFTC Commissioner Brian Quintenz to discuss his vision and priorities for the…
/goo.gl/GqRE4w

Investing and Trading

Hundreds of People Made Gifts of Stock With Great Timing; Michael Milken is among investors who gave shares near peak prices or before drops, a WSJ analysis shows
Andrea Fuller – WSJ
When Michael Milken donated $27 million of stock to charity in September 2013, the former junk-bond financier’s timing scarcely could have been better, for tax purposes.
/goo.gl/rPDn92

How the Journal Assessed Timing of Gifts of Stock
Andrea Fuller – WSJ
The Wall Street Journal’s analysis of stock gifts began with a question: Do some philanthropists have unusually well-timed charitable stock donations, in terms of the potential tax deduction they generate?
/goo.gl/RptDYV

U.S.-based equity funds post $22 billion of outflows, largest withdrawals in 2017
Jennifer Ablan – Reuters
U.S.-based equity funds posted $22.2 billion of outflows in the week ended Dec. 20, the largest cash withdrawals for 2017, according to Lipper data on Thursday.
/goo.gl/hif115

Online Gambling Operator Bets on U.K. Bookmaker Ladbrokes
Thomas Mulier – Bloomberg
Investors to receive as much as 207.2 pence a Ladbrokes share; Acquisition comes after a year of speculation of such a deal
GVC Holdings Plc agreed to buy U.K. bookmaker Ladbrokes Coral Group Plc for as much as 4 billion pounds ($5.4 billion) as gambling companies seek greater scale in a business that’s shifting online.
/goo.gl/TXS1pW

Why the S&P 500 has looked Sharpe this year; US benchmark has been a risk-adjusted performance rock star over the past 12 months
Robin Wigglesworth – FT
Perhaps the world’s best-performing stock picker this year is a little-known New Yorker fond of colourful bow ties. He has made money every single month this year, notching up a total return of more than 22 per cent even as many hedge fund titans stumbled once again.
/goo.gl/rFWkTB

Is online trading suitable for digital nomads?
City AM
Travelling abroad is a great way to learn about different cultures and explore the world. But while many people love travelling, very few are actually able to do it – let alone explore the world or relocate to dream destinations.
/goo.gl/pdWGrv

Institutions

Goldman Is Setting Up a Cryptocurrency Trading Desk
Hugh Son, Dakin Campbell and Sonali Basak – Bloomberg
The business may be running by the end of June, two people say; CEO Blankfein has said the firm is mulling a bitcoin strategy
At least one of Wall Street’s biggest firms is growing more comfortable with cryptocurrencies.
jlne.ws/2DpwoFi

Are There Any Stock Bears Left in America?
Lu Wang and Elena Popina – Bloomberg
Something’s missing from Craig Callahan’s long-short fund. The shorts, namely.
“Morningstar kicked us out of their category,” said Callahan, who helps oversee $2 billion as president at Icon Advisers Inc. in Greenwood Village, Colorado, and hasn’t bet against a stock in two years. “We’re in a great bull market. This market is going higher. Why short now?”
jlne.ws/2Ds4cSa

UBS Told to Pay $903,000 After Losing Retaliation Verdict
By Erik Larson and Chris Dolmetsch – Bloomberg
Murray accused the Swiss bank of retaliating against him; Manhattan federal jury returns verdict after two days
UBS Group AG owes $903,300 to a former senior strategist who claimed he was fired for refusing to sugarcoat his reports for clients.
/goo.gl/BJxZVf

Jefferies Lets Employees Choose When to Receive Their Bonuses
By Laura J Keller – Bloomberg
Investment bank’s offer is in response to Republican tax plan; Workers can take their pay this month or wait until January
Jefferies Group is allowing employees to decide when they’ll receive their bonus payment for work performed this year as U.S. companies and workers try to determine how Republicans’ tax changes will affect their wallets.
/goo.gl/SJ45fF

Regions

U.K.’s Boris Johnson Will Warn Russia to Halt ‘Destabilizing Activities’
Alex Morales – Bloomberg
Johnson to meet Lavrov in first ministerial visit to Moscow; Russia, U.K. to discuss Iran, North Korea, Soccer World Cup
Boris Johnson will warn Russia to stop “destabilizing activities” which threaten the national security of Britain and its allies, as he makes his first visit to Moscow as foreign secretary.
/goo.gl/DY5aii

Lawmakers Want to Probe Who Owns HNA Group, the Chinese Giant Taking Over U.S. Companies
Keshia Hannam – Fortune
Lawmakers are calling for a deeper look into of HNA Group’s pending and past takeovers of American companies, which could result in repealing the approval of earlier deals.

Europe’s Last Dictator Wants to Create a Global Hub for Cryptocurrencies
Aliaksandr Kudrytski – Bloomberg
Belarus leader creates tax-free hub for blockchain projects; Authoritarian ex-Soviet state supports thriving tech industry
Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko, who’s labored for years under the title of Europe’s last dictator, is making a bid for a shiny new image as the continent’s freewheeling cryptocurrency king.
/goo.gl/N3ee7J

What Investors Want to Know as Steinhoff Stares Into the Abyss
Luca Casiraghi and Jacqueline Poh – Bloomberg
Steinhoff International Holdings NV’s attempts to regain investor and creditor trust have fallen flat. More than two weeks after disclosing accounting irregularities, delaying its results and announcing the departure of its chief executive officer, the South African furniture and clothing retailer remains locked in a downward spiral.
/goo.gl/Ra6jDf

Switzerland accuses of EU of bias in finance dispute; Bern under pressure to accept bloc regulations in quarrel with Brexit implications
Mehreen Khan in Brussels and Ralph Atkins in Zurich – FT
Switzerland’s president on Thursday accused Brussels of “unacceptable” discrimination intended to undermine the country’s role as a financial centre, in a dispute that has implications for Britain’s relationship with the bloc after Brexit.
/goo.gl/2e9FQs

Brexit

City of London Should Be Optimistic About Brexit, May Says
Thomas Penny – Bloomberg
Britain seeking EU trade deal that includes financial services; May cites support of Morawiecki, Gentiloni for special deal
Prime Minister Theresa May said U.K. financial services should be optimistic about Britain’s trade talks with the European Union, despite EU Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier ruling out a special deal for the sector.
/goo.gl/HLakZp

Miscellaneous

Russian hackers targeted hundreds of journalists around the world
Associated Press via NY Post
Russian television anchor Pavel Lobkov was in the studio getting ready for his show when jarring news flashed across his phone: Some of his most intimate messages had just been published to the web.
/goo.gl/hHhUhm

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About Author

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