Breaking News

Kraken Bitcoin Exchange Reopens After Two Anxious Days; Scores injured as Indonesia stock exchange building lobby floor collapses; One corner of the stock market sees even crazier trading than bitcoin

First Read

Hits & Takes
JLN Staff

Welcome to Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in the United States, a holiday honoring the life of the slain civil rights leader, minister and peace-maker. ~JJL

The most recent article found on a Google search for black executives on Wall Street was a Bloomberg story from July 27, 2017 that said the percentage of senior black executives and managers fell over the past five years. Black executives at JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs accounted for no more than 2.6 percent of top positions at the three banks. ~JK

From Business Insider’s piece on Don Ross and his dark pool CODA Markets, there are more than 4,800 small cap stocks with price variances higher than Bitcoin. ~JK

It came out that the World Bank Unfairly Influenced Its Own Competitiveness Rankings. Sometimes, the jokes write themselves. ~SD

MGEX’s CEO Mark Bagan can’t stop smiling. ~JJL

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The Stock Market Never Goes Down Anymore
Elena Popina – Bloomberg
S&P is at widest level to its 200-day moving average since ’13; S&P trades at 3.4 times its book value, the most since 2002
The New Year’s rally has pushed the S&P 500 Index to its best start since the administration of George W. Bush. Now it’s bumping against speed barriers that marked the upper limits of bull markets for decades.
/goo.gl/78BU2C

**** Also, spinning wheels do not go round and round anymore and I can’t find a painted pony anywhere. ~JJL

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Everyone Is Getting Hilariously Rich and You’re Not
Nellie Bowles – NY Times
Recently the founder of something called Ripple briefly became richer than Mark Zuckerberg. Another day an anonymous donor set up an $86 million Bitcoin-fortune charity called the Pineapple Fund. A Tesla was spotted with a BLOCKHN license plate. There’s a surge in people looking to buy Bitcoin on their credit cards. After the Long Island Iced Tea company announced it would pivot to blockchain, its stock rose 500 percent in a day.
/goo.gl/KbZEsc

****The above story features some characters all right – for more info on the crypto rapper “CoinDaddy” see this Business Insider piece.

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Self-Certification; NY BitLicenses; Texas C&D; Trading Adverse to Employer
Gary DeWaal – Bridging the Week
Cryptocurrencies continued to be the focus of legal and regulatory developments in the financial services industry at the end of 2017 and the beginning of 2018. Last week, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission issued a “Backgrounder” again providing its perspective on the self-certification by three exchanges of cash-settled derivatives contracts based on Bitcoin on December 1, 2017. Moreover, in the last few weeks two lawsuits were dismissed—one challenging the authority of the New York Department of Financial Services to require a so-called “BitLicense” for a person engaged in a virtual currency business, and another that attacked the possible issuance by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency of so-called “fintech charters.”
jlne.ws/2mxLRLN

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Friday’s Top Three
Our top read story on Friday came from Bloomberg, in This Is Where People Are Buying Bitcoin All Over the World. Second was the World Economic Forum’s piece, These are the best-run cities in the world. And third went to the New York Times for its piece on Harold Ford Jr., A Wall St. Executive’s Downfall Seemed Sudden. It Was Years in the Making

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Lead Stories

Kraken Bitcoin Exchange Reopens After Two Anxious Days
David Z. Morris – Fortune
Kraken, a major North American cryptocurrency exchange and the fifth-largest globally, came back online Saturday after an exceptionally long maintenance outage that fueled anxiety among users. It’s a happy ending to what some feared could become yet another in a line of ignominious cryptocurrency exchange collapses.
/goo.gl/cnne5C

Scores injured as Indonesia stock exchange building lobby floor collapses
Fergus Jensen, Agustinus Beo Da Costa – Reuters
A mezzanine floor overlooking the main lobby of the Indonesian Stock Exchange building collapsed on Monday, injuring scores of people, many of them students, under slabs of concrete and other debris.
/goo.gl/tc49Md

One corner of the stock market sees even crazier trading than bitcoin
Business Insider
But there’s one area of the stock market where trading is even crazier than bitcoin, where big trades can have a sizeable impact on the price of a stock, according to Don Ross, CEO of PDQ Enterprises, operator of CODA Markets, a Chicago-based dark pool. That’s US small caps.
“As a major hedge fund chief investment officer put it recently,” Ross said in a blog post. “Trading small caps can be like ‘sticking your hand in a fan to see if it’s running.’ You may get your trade done, but you’re likely to be bloodied.”
jlne.ws/2EAoHf6

Socially responsible investment is growing at a fast clip
Tim Fright – London School of Economics and Political Science
The Paris Agreement on climate change took place in December 2015 with signatories agreeing to keep the rise in global temperatures below 2 degrees Celsius (above pre-industrial levels). The most recent follow-up meeting took place in Bonn, Germany in November. Politicians, NGOs and regulators have taken the lead, but they need the financial services industry to put its money where their mouths are. Fortunately this is more than just an opportunity for philanthropy. Investment opportunities abound from investing in greener technologies like wind and solar, through to investing in greener companies.
/goo.gl/YX4zpc

Supreme Court to Review Whether Hiring of SEC Judges Violated Constitution
Brent Kendall and Dave Michaels – WSJ
The Supreme Court on Friday said it would review the Securities and Exchange Commission’s in-house judicial system, agreeing to decide whether the commission’s judges were selected in a way that violates the Constitution.
/goo.gl/EDwqM8

The Mysterious Twitter User Drawing a Swarm of Japan Traders
Shoko Oda – Bloomberg
Tweets by the anonymous Okasanman are ‘crucial’ for traders; Prolific tweeter has more followers than the Bank of Japan
On a day when billions in profits and losses would be determined by split-second trades, the salaried professionals of Japan’s financial markets were glued to their news terminals. Another group was staring at the feed of an anonymous Twitter account.
/goo.gl/Eg4Pjh

Goodbye to Bond-Trading on the Telephone; Electronic platforms are taking over and suddenly the SEC is very interested.
Matt Levine – Bloomberg
The “market structure” in corporate bonds was the telephone. Of course there was a market structure, but it was tacit and sociological, made up of customs and relationships rather than rulebooks and exchanges. It wasn’t as legible as equity market structure, so no one paid attention to it. Former SEC Commissioner Dan Gallagher liked to remark that the SEC had over 100 employees devoted to the equity markets, and just 0.5 employees — half of one person’s time — focused on corporate bonds.
/goo.gl/Wy2Kkf

Nordic Bond Deals Soar as Nasdaq Reveals Record Debt Listings
Frances Schwartzkopff and Hanna Hoikkala – Bloomberg
Nasdaq says 2017 set a new record in volume of corporate bonds; Green securities saw the biggest surge, with issuance doubling
In Europe’s northern tip, corporate bond issuance is heating up. The volume of securities listed on Nasdaq’s Nordic bond platform climbed 10 percent to hit a record 74 billion euros ($90 billion) last year, according to the exchange. Bond managers say this year may well be better.
/goo.gl/96BgmJ

Fired Barclays FX Trader Gives Court First Look at Last Look
Kaye Wiggins – Bloomberg
David Fotheringhame says currency-trading tool was widespread; He’s suing the bank in a London court for unfair dismissal
A fired Barclays Plc trader says there was nothing wrong with the way he applied a tool that blocked some unprofitable currency trades to all clients, rather than just “toxic” ones.
/goo.gl/7pZcKv

Big storms steal the headlines in the U.S., but flooding puts far more people at risk. And it’s going to get worse.
Nathaniel Bullard – Bloomberg
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration this week released its list of climate events that have had the greatest economic impact on the U.S. from 1980 to 2017. At $306 billion, last year’s sustained costs due to weather disasters was 43 percent higher than in 2005, which had hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma. Hurricane Harvey alone caused $125 billion in damage, only $1 billion less than all of 2012 (which included Hurricane Sandy).
/goo.gl/b8wecx

China Escalates Crackdown on Cryptocurrency Trading
Bloomberg News
Focus on exchange-like platforms follows uptick in activity; Regulators around the world are scrutinizing cryptocurrencies
China is escalating its clampdown on cryptocurrency trading, targeting online platforms and mobile apps that offer exchange-like services, according to people familiar with the matter.
/goo.gl/tRrmvb

Britain’s fund managers have gone ‘backwards’ on gender diversity, says GSK boss; City grandee Sir Philip Hampton said the asset management sector is “overwhelmingly male”
Lucy Burton – Telegraph
Britain’s £7?trillion fund industry has gone “backwards” on gender diversity and must make a bigger effort to hire female talent, City grandee Sir Philip Hampton has warned.
/goo.gl/cafAcW

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

Bitcoin Exchange Kraken Goes Down for 40 Hours, Drawing Mt. Gox Comparisons
Lucinda Shen – Fortune
What was meant to be two to three hours of late-night down time for cryptocurrency exchange Kraken has stretched into a day and a half—fanning worries during an already high-strung day for Bitcoin and Ripple owners.
/goo.gl/XMPhwV

Indonesia Bourse’s Building Floor Collapse Injures 72 People
Fathiya Dahrul and Harry Suhartono – Bloomberg
Afternoon trading started at 1:30pm in Jakarta, as usual; Police say no explosive devices were found after search
It was a few minutes before Indonesia Stock Exchange’s midday trading break when Issa Almawadi heard a noise so loud it sent him running out of the building as dust was filling the air.
/goo.gl/eWdgUw

Balcony Collapses at Indonesia Stock Exchange, Injuring at Least 75; A mezzanine walkway crumbled during lunch hour in the building’s busy lobby, wounding office workers and university students on a tour
Anita Rachman and I Made Sentana – WSJ
Ambulance sirens rang out in the crowded business district of the south-central part of Indonesia’s capital city. There were no reports of fatalities.
/goo.gl/otvJeA

Turquoise Plato sets new record as MiFID II sees LIS activity surge; Block trading volumes have seen considerable growth since MiFID II came into force on 3 January.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Turquoise Plato Block Discovery has set a new record as large in scale (LIS) trading activity continues to gain significant ground over dark pool trading in the wake of MiFID II.
/goo.gl/2i4rVd

Moscow Exchange Launches New GCC Repo indicator
MondoVisione
From 15 January 2018, Moscow Exchange will calculate and publish a new gauge of Money Market performance, the MOEXREPO GCC indicator, based on CCP-cleared repo transactions in general collateral certificates (GCC).
/goo.gl/XySnNg

Fintech

Bono Still Hasn’t Found the Robo-Adviser That He’s Looking For
Lionel Laurent – Bloomberg
The idea that U2 frontman Bono is the very antithesis of rock’n’roll is well worn. He’s a fan of tax optimization; a keen private-equity investor; his real name is Paul.
/goo.gl/XvVozT

Cryptocurrencies investor: ‘My neurons are fried … I’ll lose a million dollars in a day’; Early buyers of bitcoin and Ethereum describe their worlds in a New York Times article
Victor Reklaitis – MarketWatch
So what’s it like being one of the bitcoin millionaires? A New York Times article published over the weekend aims to give a sense of what it’s like for the long-time believers in cryptocurrencies who have become the “crypto-wealthy.”
/goo.gl/ErJc2a

These Digital Coins Soar (or Fall) With Bitcoin
Olga Kharif – Bloomberg
It was astounding enough when bitcoin soared more than 14-fold over the course of 2017 to reach a peak of more than $19,000 on Dec. 16, giving it a total market cap of $329 billion — greater than the gross domestic product of South Africa or Ireland. Equally astounding, perhaps, is that bitcoin’s value has now been eclipsed by the combined market caps of the next biggest four cryptocurrencies, which have largely moved in lockstep with bitcoin’s (many) ups and (occasional jarring) downs. To believers in digital money, the emergence of competing coins, many with specialized uses, is a sign of the field’s maturation. To skeptics, it’s another sign that bitcoin is in a bubble.
/goo.gl/i5AsAf

The bitcoin drugs trade is highly centralised
Kadhim Shubber – FT
All millennials know that the smart way to buy drugs is with bitcoin. You can do it from the comfort of your own home, you might get a boatload of unearned capital appreciation along the way, and you’re less likely to leave a paper trail that leaves you in jail.
/goo.gl/vQy6iW

Politics

Murdoch’s News Corp. Warns Facebook to Avoid ‘Political’ Changes
Gerry Smith – Bloomberg
Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., publisher of the Wall Street Journal and New York Post, will keep an eye on Facebook Inc.’s news-feed changes “for any signs that the weighting of news sites is politically motivated.”
/goo.gl/CPmrvs

Anti-Trump demonstrators march in Swiss capital
Reuters Staff
Anti-globalisation demonstrators took to the streets of the Swiss capital on Saturday to protest against a planned visit by U.S. President Donald Trump to the World Economic Forum this month.
/goo.gl/nF7Wbu

Donald Trump Flushes Away America’s Reputation
The Editorial Board – NY Times
For a fleeting moment Tuesday, President Trump seemed to signal he would do the right thing on immigration. At a 90-minute meeting with congressional Republicans and Democrats, much of it televised, he said he’d be willing to “take the heat” for a broad immigration deal of the sort urgently needed by the country and despised by his hard-core base.
/goo.gl/HkZhtE

Don’t be fooled. Wall Street, not Main Street, is the big tax winner
Matt Egan and Danielle Wiener-Bronner – CNNMoney
Main Street vs. Wall Street: President Trump has promised that the tax overhaul will be “fantastic for the middle-income people” of America.
/goo.gl/mBgRNa

Trump Says WSJ Misquoted Him on Kim, Paper Stands Its Ground
Mark Niquette – Bloomberg
Debate hinges on whether president may have spoken to N. Korea; Paper, White House press secretary each post audio of comment
Washington’s latest scandal might be nicknamed “I’d-Gate.”
/goo.gl/CGFxkN

Flake Says Trump’s Fake News Claims as Damaging as Stalin’s Were
Chris Strohm – Bloomberg
President ‘reflexively’ brands press as enemy, lawmaker says; GOP Arizona senator plans to deliver floor speech this week
Arizona Republican Senator Jeff Flake plans to compare President Donald Trump’s repeated attacks on the media to those made by Joseph Stalin, the infamous dictator of the former Soviet Union, in a speech this week.
/goo.gl/vSn2ub

A German coalition deal to radically reshape Europe; The preliminary agreement signals a shift to more agenda-driven EU politics
Wolfgang Münchau – FT
Germany’s two main parties finally reached a preliminary agreement for a grand coalition. Whether it holds is anyone’s guess. There are plenty of obstacles still in the way between the deal reached in the early hours of Friday morning and Germany getting a new government.
/goo.gl/TsxcXw

Regulation

Mnuchin Warns Against Bitcoin Becoming Next ‘Swiss Bank Account’
Bloomberg
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin discusses concerns regarding cryptocurrencies. Mnuchin explains that he spoke to the Federal Reserve and set up a working group on the matter with the Financial Stability Oversight Council. He speaks with David Rubenstein at the Economic Club of Washington.
/goo.gl/JqpdqA

Federal Reserve fines five banks to wrap up mortgage servicing charges
Pete Schroeder – Reuters
The Federal Reserve fined five large U.S. banks a combined $35.1 million to settle cases of mortgage servicing flaws dating back to 2011.
/goo.gl/M9yZL4

A Blockchain ETF by Any Other Name Smells Sweeter to the SEC
Rachel Evans – Bloomberg
Regulators want proposed funds to remove blockchain from names; Reality Shares, Amplify listings on Jan. 17 may be in jeopardy
You can call a blockchain ETF whatever you want — just don’t call it “blockchain.”
/goo.gl/jcEeAk

Proposed Rule Change Relating to the New Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) Examination
FINRA
Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (“FINRA”) is filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or “Commission”) the content outline and selection specifications for the new Securities Industry Essentials™ (SIE™) examination. FINRA is not proposing any textual changes to the By-Laws, Schedules to the By-Laws or Rules of FINRA.
/goo.gl/5HGafX

CFTC Charges Illinois Traders Richard D. Carter and Mark R. Slobodnik and their Company, Blue Guru Trading, LLC, with Fraud; Alleged Ongoing Commodity Pool Fraud Took in at Least $750,000 from at Least 18 Pool Participants
CFTC
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced the filing of a civil enforcement action on January 12, 2018, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, charging Defendants Richard D. Carter of Mundelein, Illinois, Mark R. Slobodnik of Libertyville, Illinois, and their company Blue Guru Trading, LLC (Blue Guru), a Delaware limited liability company, with fraudulent solicitation, issuing false statements, and misappropriation in connection with investments in their Blue Guru commodity pool. The CFTC Complaint also charges the Defendants with registration violations.
/goo.gl/t8FKoZ

Gina Miller locks horns with FCA over MiFID II
By Saloni Sardana – Verdict.co.uk
Gina Miller, the woman who successfully challenged the government on Brexit, is threatening to sue the UK’s financial regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority over its dealing of MiFID II, it has been reported
/goo.gl/r5GeD5

Investing and Trading

Opinion: To make money on bitcoin and blockchain, learn how to trade; Don’t think about it as investing
Nigam Arora – MarketWatch
Some investors have figured out that they can make a killing trading blockchain-related news.
/goo.gl/vQBF4C

An infamous mystery trader refuses to give up on a bet that the stock market will go nuts
Joe Ciolli – Business Insider
The stock market may be grinding out new high after new high, but one trader is remaining steadfast on the view that turbulence is right around the corner.
/goo.gl/7geruA

Spotify Disrupted the Music World, Now It’s Doing the Same to Wall Street; When the streaming service goes public, banks will collect a fraction of the fees underwriters make in a big IPO
Maureen Farrell – WSJ
Spotify AB upended the world of music with its popular streaming service. Now it is threatening to do the same to Wall Street.
/goo.gl/FPmBSk

Institutions

Goldman thwarts fraud class action tied to Abacus CDO: U.S. appeals court
Jonathan Stempel – Reuters
A U.S. appeals court said a shareholder lawsuit accusing Goldman Sachs Group Inc of fraudulently claiming to put client interests before its own when creating risky subprime securities before the financial crisis, including a collateralized debt obligation known as Abacus, cannot proceed as a class action.
/goo.gl/LLMk3b

JPMorgan and Wells Fargo promise to share US tax cut spoils; Big banks predict boosts to investment and pay and say prices will come down
Ben McLannahan and Alistair Gray in New York – FT
Two of the biggest US banks have vowed to share the spoils of a big cut in the corporate tax rate, holding out the prospect of higher investment, better pay and cheaper prices for their services.
/goo.gl/2kxAvE

Bridgewater billionaire Ray Dalio: ‘I have an affinity for mistakes’; The hedge fund financier on rising income inequality and why politics trumps economics in 2018
Gillian Tett – FT
It is high noon in the saloon of the Jackson Hole burger bar in midtown Manhattan and I am butting heads with Ray Dalio, head of the world’s largest hedge fund. A few minutes earlier, the famed financier had turned up for lunch, trailing a spokesman who asked to join our meal and “check” any quotes.
/goo.gl/YbRFRo

Hedge Fund Urges Power Producer to Join Cryptocurrency Craze
Jim Polson – Bloomberg
The biggest investor in electricity generator Atlantic Power Corp. called on the company to explore using surplus output for cryptocurrency mining.
/goo.gl/LVVnnA

Bitcoin Just Got a Huge Vote of Confidence From Wall Street Giant Goldman Sachs
Bloomberg
Bitcoin may seem like a solution in search of a problem in the U.S., where transaction costs are already low and the dollar stable. But in developing countries, digital currencies could succeed as a real form of money, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. says.
/goo.gl/Ld4WJ3

Wells Fargo Can’t Quite Seem to Fix Its Wagon
Gillian Tan – Bloomberg
Waiting for another sign that Wells Fargo & Co. has turned a corner? Its fourth-quarter earnings, released Friday, provided differing levels of validation for investors who had sent the stock flying to a record earlier this week.
/goo.gl/SV2nTC

Wells Fargo plans to close 900 branches despite $3.4bn tax boost; US bank takes a $3.25bn pre-tax hit to earnings from litigation accruals
Alistair Gray in New York – FT
Wells Fargo plans to close about 900 branches as part of efforts to cut costs in the wake of its mis-selling scandal even though the bank’s profits received an immediate $3.4bn boost from the US corporate tax cut.
/goo.gl/R4kq7h

JPMorgan beats profit expectations for 12th straight quarter; Bank said to be ‘cruising’ despite $2.4bn tax charge and fixed income revenue fall
Ben McLannahan and Alistair Gray in New York – FT
JPMorgan Chase got the big banks’ fourth-quarter earnings season off to a brisk start on Friday morning, beating analysts’ expectations for profits despite a jump in provisions, a particularly sluggish period for trading, and a $143m loss relating to hobbled South African retailer Steinhoff.
/goo.gl/x6xjqw

Hedge Funds Are Making Money From Exotic Bets
Nishant Kumar – Bloomberg
AHL Evolution, Systematica’s fund beat other trend followers; Florin Court up after switching focus; Aspect, GAM join fray
Cheese, sunflower seeds and rough rice sounds like an unappetizing mix — unless you happen to be a hedge-fund manager.
/goo.gl/93Wny3

Credit Suisse’s Role in Focus as Rogue Banker Trial Opens
Hugo Miller – Bloomberg
Victim’s lawyers urge judge to rethink if probe is complete; One lawyer asks for Lescaudron’s indictment to be amended
Credit Suisse Group AG was put on the defensive on the first day of the criminal trial of a former banker accused of taking millions from customer accounts as his victims demanded more information on what the lender did and didn’t do to rein in unauthorized trades.
/goo.gl/E7532A

Three years on from currency shock, Swiss central bank can’t get back to normal
John Revill, Angelika Gruber – Reuters
Three years after the Swiss National Bank shocked currency markets by scrapping the franc’s peg to the euro, it faces the toughest task of any major central bank in normalising ultra-loose monetary policy.
/goo.gl/2NWioF

Ex-UBS Banker Wins $306,500 in Lawsuit Over Who Harassed Whom
Gaspard Sebag – Bloomberg
Michel Delouya says he was sidelined after complaint over boss; UBS says ex-employee was let go amid a group reorganization
A former UBS Group AG executive in Paris labeled as “aggressive” by his ex-boss won 250,000 euros ($306,500) in an unfair-dismissal fight where both sides accused the other of harassment.
/goo.gl/2XKz2D

Banks try to lure MBA graduates away from Big Tech; Finance puts emphasis on opportunities and quality of life to arrest the talent drain
Jonathan Moules – FT
Going to business school enabled Alessandro Scauzillo to achieve his ambition of moving from a job in tech into banking. He is now a product manager in the online trading division of UniCredit Group.
/goo.gl/bsKKvE

Swiss bank Vontobel adds ‘exciting’ to job description; One of Zurich’s largest banks wants to overhaul characteristics traditionally associated with industry
Ralph Atkins — Zurich – FT
Uncontroversial, conservative, even dull: one of Zurich’s largest banks wants to overhaul the characteristics traditionally associated with Switzerland’s financial services industry.
/goo.gl/5z2aYd

Nomura shuffles fixed income leaders after Mifid II; Japanese bank recalibrates business in response to new European Union trading rules, which came into effect this month
By Samuel Agini – Financial News
Nomura has named new heads of key fixed income sales and trading desks, as the Japanese investment bank recalibrates its business in response to the European Union’s revised trading rulebook.
/goo.gl/YUG4AT

Regions

Who Will Lead the Bank of England After Mark Carney?
David Goodman and Lucy Meakin – Bloomberg
Hunt to replace Governor Mark Carney likely to start soon; New chief will take over three months after Britain leaves EU
There’s at least one looming job vacancy that Prime Minister Theresa May’s government can’t afford to get wrong.
/goo.gl/bVRaDJ

Berlin Bitcoin Bust Brings $940,000 Budget Boost
Karin Matussek and Boris Groendahl – Bloomberg
Crime may not always pay for criminals, but fighting it does sometimes. Berlin prosecutors are about to make 774,000 euros ($940,000) on 64 bitcoins they seized in drug deal in April of last year.
/goo.gl/H1v8qv

Indonesia central bank warns over cryptocurrencies
Reuters Staff
Indonesia’s central bank has issued a fresh warning about trading in cryptocurrencies like bitcoin because of the risk of losses to the public and even a potential threat to the stability of the financial system.
/goo.gl/7TuSNK

China to step up banking oversight in ‘arduous’ fight on financial risks
Reuters Staff
China will step up oversight in the banking sector this year to reduce financial risks, the country’s banking regulator said, stressing that long-term efforts would be needed to control banking sector chaos.
/goo.gl/jsZ5bz

London’s Vanishing Jobs
Stefania Spezzati – Bloomberg
Job vacancies in London’s finance industry slumped 52 percent in December, the most in three years. While part of the decline is seasonal, according to recruitment firm Morgan McKinley, it also reflects frustration at the lack of progress in carving out a Brexit divorce agreement. “Such a seismic drop is alarming,” Hakan Enver, the company’s operations director, said in the report.
/goo.gl/5T3eQC

India Now Second Most Preferred Banking Market For Morgan Stanley. Here’s Why.
Darshan Mehta – Bloomberg
India became the second most preferred banking market for Morgan Stanley, after it added ICICI Bank Ltd. into its Asia Banks Model Portfolio. It assigned the country’s largest private sector lender a weightage of 7.5 percent, which is the highest weight it has given to any of the Indian banks in its portfolio so far.
/goo.gl/KDkzBy

Noble Group nets less than expected from oil unit sale to Vitol
Julia Payne – Reuters
Struggling commodities trader Noble Group has completed the sale of its U.S.-focused oil business to the world’s largest oil trader Vitol, but net proceeds from the deal are lower than a previously announced estimate, the company said on Monday.
/goo.gl/WCmf3R

Singapore central bank head hopes cryptocurrency tech will survive ‘crash’
Reuters Staff
The head of Singapore’s central bank said on Monday he hoped the technologies underpinning cryptocurrencies such as blockchain would not be undermined by an eventual crash in the digital money.
/goo.gl/cJjvid

Lloyd’s of London to open Brussels unit in early 2019: CEO
Sumeet Chatterjee – Reuters
Insurance market Lloyd’s of London [SOLYD.UL], an integral part of the British business scene since the 17th century, is on track to start operations at its Brussels unit next January, its chief executive said on Monday.
/goo.gl/WKbx5x

South Korea is walking back threats to ban cryptocurrency trading
Josh Horwitz – Quartz
South Korea’s Office for Government Policy Coordination issued a statement today (Jan. 15) suggesting that a cryptoasset crackdown in the country will not necessarily come imminently. That would come as relief to the bitcoin-mad country.
/goo.gl/KG9mpN

Bundesbank to include renminbi in its currency reserves; China’s currency rises after decision Germany’s central bank
Emma Dunkley and Alice Woodhouse in Hong Kong and Claire Jones in Frankfurt – FT
The renminbi rose after Germany’s central bank said it would include the currency in its reserves, a move seen as boosting the internationalisation of China’s currency.
/goo.gl/MTgFjS

Ukraine steps up effort to regulate cryptocurrencies; Kiev says unchecked use by criminals and geopolitical enemies risks national security
Roman Olearchyk and Hannah Murphy – FT
Ukraine is intensifying the search for ways to regulate cryptocurrencies as concerns mount in Kiev that exploitation of the digital assets by criminals and geopolitical adversaries presents a growing national security risk.
/goo.gl/ifMBVy

Bank of Japan’s $50 Billion Question: When to Stop Buying Stocks; The Nikkei is near a 26-year high, and critics say the BOJ’s buying distorts the market
Megumi Fujikawa and Suryatapa Bhattacharya – WSJ
The Bank of Japan, after goosing Japanese share prices with a $50-billion-a-year program of stock purchases, now confronts a decision facing many other developed country central banks: when to stop.
/goo.gl/g5MnpZ

Brexit

Brexit vote may be reversed, says British campaigner Farage
Reuters Staff
Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage said on Sunday he was increasingly concerned that a vote for Britain to leave the European Union could be overturned by a powerful group of the bloc’s supporters.
/goo.gl/upFyEz

Deutsche Bank CEO sees far fewer than 4,000 Brexit-related moves: paper
Reuters Staff
Deutsche Bank’s (DBKGn.DE) chief executive expects to move far fewer than 4,000 jobs to Frankfurt following Britain’s departure from the European Union, he told Swiss daily Neue Zuercher Zeitung.
/goo.gl/dvqtZP

Jeremy Corbyn says Labour doesn’t support a second Brexit vote
Lynsey Barber – City AM
Jeremy Corbyn has said Labour does not support calls for a second Brexit vote amid talk of another referendum spurred by Ukip’s former leader Nigel Farage.
/goo.gl/VrgXS2

There’s Still Hope for U.K. Financial Services in Brexit Deal
Stephanie Bodoni and Ian Wishart – Bloomberg
Luxembourg’s Bettel demands end to ‘binary thinking’; Unity of EU is priority for most governments, survey shows
The U.K. shouldn’t give up hope of getting financial services included in a final trade agreement with the European Union, with a Bloomberg survey of the EU’s 27 remaining governments revealing divergences of opinion.
/goo.gl/8KKM2z

BNP Paribas seizes Brexit opportunity to boost UK operation; Ambition to advise more British companies comes amid hiring spree at French bank
Martin Arnold in London – FT
BNP Paribas aims to capitalise on the disruption of Brexit to gain market share in UK corporate and investment banking and has drawn up aggressive plans to attract business from mid-sized British companies.
/goo.gl/xs6Cou

Second Most Powerful U.K. Woman Lays Bare May’s Brexit Problem
Dara Doyle – Bloomberg
How to solve a problem like the Irish border? In a deal agreed to last month, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May guaranteed no hard border will re-emerge on the island of Ireland after Brexit, with Northern Ireland playing by the same rules as those in the south if all else fails. At the same time, May gave an assurance that no barriers between Northern Ireland and the rest of the U.K. will come into play.
/goo.gl/ZUskHi

Miscellaneous

Facebook plans sweeping changes to newsfeed; Social network seeks to encourage ‘personal sharing’ while separating publisher content
Hannah Kuchler, Matthew Garrahan, Tim Bradshaw and Shannon Bond in New York – FT
Facebook is planning sweeping changes to its newsfeed, as Mark Zuckerberg pledges to help users have more meaningful social interactions on the platform by prioritising posts from friends and family at the expense of those from publishers.
/goo.gl/JGyqcG

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