Breaking News

No-Deal Brexit Could Cause Finance Chaos; ADM makes takeover approach to Bunge; Louis Dreyfus turns to blockchain

First Read

Hits & Takes
JLN Staff
In case you missed it, the government shut down. The Senate has a noontime vote scheduled to reopen with three more weeks of funding. If you’re curious which states get hit the hardest by a federal shutdown, checkout the 2018 Government Shutdown Report. ~SD

The CFTC’s Technology Advisory Committee Meeting set for Tuesday has been postponed due to the government shutdown. No new date has been determined. This shutdown my plans to attend the meeting in Washington, DC.~JJL

Yes, some deals still use fax machines. The FT story today said the use of blockchain technology on a physical grain transaction took one-fifth the amount of time as the paper-based system.~JK

Yesterday I attended worship services at Trinity UCC, the southside church in Chicago that is the largest United Church of Christ congregation and the onetime church of former President Barack Obama. I was there as a chaperone and sponsor of a confirmand from my church in Elmhurst. I had never been to Trinity before and I have to say it was a moving experience. They were the friendliest people and the service was full of spiritual depth and sensory overload.~JJL

A Bloomberg story on Friday asked the question, “Would you Pay $50 for Coffee That Was Shot to the Mesosphere?” That’s $50 for one cup of coffee. As a coffee aficionado, I answer with a simple, “No.” I would love to know, though…who buys this stuff? (The cafe is in New York City, of course.)~SR

Former CFTC Commissioner Bart Chilton appears to have a gig on RT television as a host. He had Gary DeWaal on this show to discuss the ins and outs of regulating cryptocurrency. Just in case you were wondering what RT news is, this from Wikipedia: “RT America is a TV channel based in Washington, D.C., and part of the RT network, a global multilingual television news network based in Moscow, Russia. RT is a non-profit organization funded by the Russian government.”~JJL

The old American Stock Exchange building in New York is going to be made into a hotel with retail space.~SD

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Bridging the Week: January 16 to 19 and 22, 2018 – Not Feeling Groovy; Registered Investment Funds and Cryptocurrencies; Bitcoin Investment Schemes; Reg SHO
Gary DeWaal – Bridging the Week
The Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Investment Management warned sponsors of registered investment funds not to seek approval to trade cryptocurrencies because of many concerns regarding the asset class. Separately, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission publicized two enforcement actions involving alleged fraud in connection with cryptocurrency investment schemes. Various media outlets report that a third action has been filed too, but it has not yet been publicized by the Commission.
/goo.gl/narzJd

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The United States Is A New Oil Superpower
Owain Johnson – CME OpenMarkets
At a glance U.S. projected to produce more oil by 2019 than Saudi Arabia ever has; U.S. producers increasingly exposed to performance of Asian economies
The U.S. is poised to dethrone Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest oil producer as early as February as the shale oil revolution continues to reshape global energy markets.
/goo.gl/DD1apN

****They should remake “Lawrence of Arabia” – a man arrives in a foreign and hostile territory rich in resources and full of squabbling factions and tries to unite them. It’ll be called “Mohammed of America.” ~SD

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Tax-avoidance schemes are being offered up to the wealthy like vacation packages
Rosie Perper – Business Insider
Tax-avoidance schemes, that include creating offshore accounts in tax-free countries, are being offered to the wealthy like vacation packages.
A screenshot of the TMS Group’s “International Business Company Packages” page shows several plans ó called “The Indian Ocean,” “The Caribbean,” and “The Oasis” ó being offered to businesses or individuals shopping around for the best place to open up an offshore account.
/goo.gl/3MC6Jf

***** Mine is called “The Mattress.”~JJL

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Twitter to notify users exposed to Russian propaganda during U.S. elections
Reuters Staff
Twitter Inc, which is reviewing Russian interference during the 2016 U.S. elections, said on Friday it would notify some of its users whether they were exposed to content generated by a suspected Russian propaganda service.
/goo.gl/vgQvC8

***** Twitter notified me on Friday about this issue. Not sure if I read a Russian-related tweet, liked a tweet, or retweeted one, but I appeared on Twitter’s list of those impacted.~JJL

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America Needs More Gentlemen; The age of social media has worked against the ideas of decorum, dignity and self-control.
Peggy Noonan – WSJ
I used to think America needed a parent to help it behave. Now I think it needs a grandparent. Our culture has been so confused for so long on so many essentials, and has gotten so crosswise on the issue of men and women, that we need more than ever the wisdom of the aged.
/goo.gl/WR2Qw5

****** There are plenty of gentlemen around, but they don’t make the news.~JJL

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John Coleman, Co-Founder of the Weather Channel, Dies at 83
AP
John Coleman, who co-founded the Weather Channel and was the original meteorologist on ABC’s “Good Morning America” over a six-decade broadcasting career, died on Saturday at his home in Las Vegas. He was 83.
/goo.gl/KqDXEN

***** Where he is now it is just cloudy.~JJL

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Friday’s Top Three
So, who went to Costco this weekend? The http://jlne.ws/2BcJofd}Costco employee story from Refinery.com was the top read piece of the day on Friday. Second went to BuiltinChicago.org’s The 10 coolest Chicago tech offices we saw in 2017. Third was essentially a tie between actual industry news in the Wall Street Journal’s article SEC Pours Cold Water on Prospect of Bitcoin ETFs and Bloomberg’s video clip As Bitcoin Sinks, Crypto Bros Party Hard on a Blockchain Cruise

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Lead Stories

No-Deal Brexit Could Cause Finance Chaos, Industry Group Warns
Jeremy Kahn – Bloomberg
AFME highlights ‘cliff-edge’ risk on data, contract rights; Trillions of pounds in derivatives may be affected, group says
Financial markets in Britain and the European Union will face instability and significant business disruption if the U.K. exits the EU in March 2019 without a transition deal or final settlement on a number of crucial issues, a finance industry trade group warned.
/goo.gl/B1ucuc

ADM makes takeover approach to Bunge
Gregory Meyer, James Fontanella-Khan and Neil Hume – FT
Move would combine two of the largest grain merchants
US agribusiness Archer Daniels Midland has approached its rival Bunge about a potential takeover that would combine two of the world’s four largest grain trading houses, three people briefed on the matter said.
ADM’s approach comes eight months after Swiss commodities trader Glencore proposed a tie-up with Bunge, setting the scene for a potential bidding war.
/goo.gl/UYWKrV

****Reuters here and Bloomberg here.~SD

Commodities trader Louis Dreyfus turns to blockchain; Company completes first agricultural deal using the digital technology
Emiko Terazono in London – FT
Louis Dreyfus Co, a leading agricultural commodities trader, and a group of financing banks have completed the first agricultural deal using blockchain in a further sign that the digital technology is set to change the way raw materials are bought and sold.
/goo.gl/1i9XuQ

Number of stock indices at 3m dwarfs tally of quoted companies; Proliferation reflects investor focus on ‘top-down’ analysis of markets
John Authers in New York – FT
There are now more than 70 times as many stock market indices as there are quoted stocks in the world, according to a groundbreaking survey by the Index Industry Association. A census of its members found that they publish and regularly re-calculate 3.28m indices, of which 3.14m cover stock markets. According to the World Bank, there are only 43,192 public companies in existence.
/goo.gl/UWgCDn

FX Traders Do $100 Million Deals on Mobile Phones
Lananh Nguyen – Bloomberg
More investors expect to trade via an app in 2018: JPM survey; Company restrictions are still top barrier to adoption. For the modern foreign-exchange trader, it’s now possible to find a date, hail a cab and trade $100 million — all through their mobile phone.
/goo.gl/tL8zeb

SGX’s Doubly Bad Idea; This won’t fix the thing SGX needs most — liquidity.
Nisha Gopalan – Bloomberg
Singapore is racing Hong Kong to the bottom in weakening shareholder rights. The city-state’s exchange said Friday it will allow companies with dual-class share structures to list, a month after Hong Kong announced a similar proposal.
/goo.gl/GM8Rqk

How Wall Street Keeps #MeToo Claims Out of the Spotlight; Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and other major institutions act privately to handle misconduct allegations
Rob Copeland, Liz Hoffman and Rachel Louise Ensign – WSJ
Late last year, a woman at Bank of America Corp.’s hedge-fund-focused, prime-brokerage division complained to human resources about her boss. Other women soon followed suit.
/goo.gl/eGN6K4

Lightspeed Trading Forges Deal with Lime Brokerage to Merge Businesses
Aziz Abdel-Qader – Finance Magnates
Lightspeed Trading, LLC, Professional Trading Solutions, Inc., and Lime Brokerage, LLC, ?have combined their household brokerage businesses in a potentially ?big shake-up of the U.S market.
/goo.gl/TJvynG

Why Has Inflation Been So Subdued?
Bluford Putnam – CME Group
With unemployment low and inflation expectations creeping higher, the U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) may hike rates two or three times in 2018, and Treasury bond yields might drift a little higher. The big caveat is that this consensus scenario will only happen if inflation actually follows the script and starts to rise. Dr. Janet Yellen will no longer be Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Fed); however, the Jerome Powell-led Fed and bond market participants are likely to remain just as data dependent as was the Yellen-led Fed.
/goo.gl/NjfTZW

The banking industry is poised to save $30 billion this year, thanks to tax cuts
John Detrixhe – Quartz
It’s been one year since US president Donald Trump was inaugurated and, so far, bankers have a lot to be happy about: Thanks to recent US tax cuts, the industry will pay $30 billion less in taxes each year, according to estimates by Wells Fargo analysts led by Mike Mayo.
/goo.gl/yCTCkN

Deutsche Bank: Correlation between bitcoin and Wall Street’s ‘Fear Index’ is increasing ‘dramatically’
Will Martin – Business Insider
There’s a growing relationship between the price of bitcoin and the VIX, the volatility index colloquially known as Wall Street’s “Fear Index,” according to analysts at Deutsche Bank.
/goo.gl/uZT7sq

20th Annual Shorcan Charity Day Raises Over $630,000
TMX
Shorcan Brokers Limited (Shorcan), TMX Group’s fixed income interdealer broker, held its 20th Annual Charity Day on January 18, 2018 raising more than $630,000. Each year, Shorcan donates revenue from the trading day to a variety of designated charities. Proceeds generated from yesterday’s trading activity brings the total amount raised to over $9.1 million since the inaugural event in 1999.
/goo.gl/HSaFWS

World Inequality Grows Amid Glut of New Billionaires, Oxfam Says
Shelly Hagan – Bloomberg
Global economy mints a billionaire every 2 days, report shows; The charity posted its findings as Davos forum gets underway
The global economy created a record number of billionaires last year, exacerbating inequality amid a weakening of workers’ rights and a corporate push to maximize shareholder returns, charity organization Oxfam International said in a new report.
/goo.gl/tBU8mJ

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

SGX says will implement dual-class shares
Janice Lim – Channel News Asia
The Singapore Exchange (SGX) will be implementing dual-class shares, according to its CEO Loh Boon Chye. Speaking at the bourse operator’s second-quarter results briefing on Friday (Jan 19), Mr Loh said that rules relating to dual-class shares will be announced at the end of this quarter, and that the first listing will take place soon after.
/goo.gl/BfWwqT

Indian trading on London Stock Exchange registers hike
Economic Times
The trading of Indian Global Depository Receipts (GDR) on London Stock Exchange showed a marked increase in 2017 compared to 2016, which experts said reflects enhanced investors’ interest in one of the fastest growing major economies in the world.
/goo.gl/dX5fhP

The Listing Committee censures China e-Wallet Payment Group Limited and a number of its current and former directors for breaching the Exchange Listing Rules.
HKEX
/goo.gl/76m6B8

Argentina stock exchange operator ends connection with futures exchange
Reuters Staff
Argentina’s Bolsas y Mercados Argentinos SA exchange operator said on Friday it would end an agreement that connects its trading and settlements systems with the ROFEX futures exchange, a move traders said could reduce market liquidity.
/goo.gl/KTB7iT

Tel Aviv Stock Exchange shareholders to sell stakes before IPO
Reuters
Shareholders in the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange have agreed to sell back a total stake of 71.7 percent ahead of the bourse’s planned initial public offering.
/goo.gl/ktciqa

Fintech

Blockchain Name Changes Are Still Paying Off
Joe Easton – Bloomberg
Almost three months after British IT investment firm On-Line Plc saw its shares rocket after adding the word blockchain to its name, the strategy is still paying off for imitators.
/goo.gl/UmJjVN

Does Bitcoin have a future?; Some say it’s a recipe for fraud
Marshall Auerback, Alternet via Salon
Is the bitcoin craze another in a series of history’s most infamous bubbles, or is it a genuine harbinger of a new global financial architecture? In spite of recent market turbulence, its champions see bitcoin (and its cryptocurrency peers) as an ideal market-generated solution as questions arise about the future viability of paper currencies in a global economy characterized by sky-high indebtedness and bloated government/central bank balance sheets.
/goo.gl/8TgwKy

It’s Normal to Ask Questions About Bitcoin ETFs; The SEC’s response to cryptocurrency-backed exchange-traded funds isn’t a hard no.
Matt Levine – Bloomberg
“SEC Pours Cold Water on Prospect of Bitcoin ETFs” is the Wall Street Journal’s headline about this letter from the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Investment Management to the Investment Company Institute and the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, two industry groups with some interest in getting cryptocurrency-backed exchange-traded funds approved for trading in the U.S. some day. It is true that the letter is bracing, but I am not sure that it is a hard no. The SEC is really just asking questions. Questions like:
/goo.gl/RfzEud

Cryptocurrency Markets Aren’t All the Same; Different flavors of digital money reflect emerging bets on promising applications. It’s not just mindless speculation anymore.
Leonid Bershidsky – Bloomberg
Chocolate, vanilla, strawberry …
There’s a compelling reason to consider what’s going on with cryptocurrencies a purely speculative boom-and-bust roller-coaster: Over a three-month period, the prices of all the top coins and tokens are rather strongly correlated, going up and down in unison. What does that make them if not the 21st-century incarnation of tulip bulbs?
/goo.gl/VQUuJ2

Venture Capital or ICO? Startups Face Cash-Raising Dilemma
Yoolim Lee – Bloomberg
One Thai payments startup raised $25 million in coin offering; A rival is following the slow, steady route of venture money. Aung Kyaw Moe and Jun Hasegawa have a lot in common. Both are entrepreneurs. Both left home to seek their fortunes. Both are now working on digital-payment projects with operations in Southeast Asia.
/goo.gl/kXj3wS

There Is Nothing Virtual About Bitcoin’s Energy Appetite
By NATHANIEL POPPER – NY Times
The computer power needed to create each digital token consumes at least as much electricity as the average American household burns through in two years, according to figures from Morgan Stanley and Alex de Vries, an economist who tracks energy use in the industry.
/goo.gl/3zMCT4

Politics

Trump Erodes the Global Power of American Values; The scholar who coined the term “soft power” thinks the U.S. will regain its stature. But not under the current president.
Albert R. Hunt – Bloomberg
The world is voting. Photographer: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images
Donald Trump’s tirade a week ago against non-white countries may be tearing the final fiber off American soft power.
/goo.gl/uQeT3f

A Year Ago, Davos Thought Trump Would Be a Normal President
Simon Kennedy and Javier Blas – Bloomberg
If there was one message that echoed through the mountains ringing Davos a year ago, it was that the business world could ignore Donald Trump’s tweets.
/goo.gl/JZWNVd

Making America’s asset managers great again;Sweeping US tax reforms will boost the sector but there will be unforeseen effects
Owen Walker – FT
To misquote Donald Trump ó at the risk of being accused of propagating fake news ó the US president is hoping to make America’s asset managers great again.
/goo.gl/qUsosu

Senate Fails to End Government Shutdown, Plans Vote on Three-Week Spending Bill; Shutdown will stretch into a third day as negotiations over immigration continue to roil Capitol Hill
By Kristina Peterson, Natalie Andrews and Siobhan Hughes – Bloomberg
Lawmakers worked Sunday to break the impasse that extended the federal government shutdown into a second day, in an effort to prevent it from hardening into a prolonged standoff that could be increasingly difficult to resolve.
/goo.gl/bXyj48

Trump Kept One Promise. The Shutdown Is Proof; We all should have seen it coming.
By Timothy L. O’Brien – Bloomberg
He ran this like a business, too. Photograph: Bettmann/Getty Images
Over and over and over, first as a candidate and then as president, Donald Trump made a pledge to voters: He would run the White House just like he’s run his business. That’s a promise that he’s kept.
/goo.gl/ds4XFo

Trust in US institutions slumps during Trump’s first year; Collapsing confidence in Washington erodes faith in business and media
Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson and Shannon Bond in New York – FT
The US has suffered a jarring “crash” in trust in its institutions in the first year of the Trump presidency, according to a new study, with its elites now as disparaging as the wider public of government, business and media.
/goo.gl/8A9QP9

Regulation

RBS Scandal Brings U.K. FCA Review of Small Business Protections
Suzi Ring – Bloomberg
Regulator looks at giving more businesses access to ombudsman; Review comes after RBS paid $556 million in redress to SMEs
The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority is looking at increasing the protections available to small and medium-sized businesses using financial services after Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc was forced to pay 400 million pounds ($557 million) over its treatment of customers.
/goo.gl/qxFpJS

Many SEC Functions to Cease With Shutdown; Agency expects to remain open ‘a limited number of days,’ but at some point might have to stop reviewing or processing all new and pending corporate registration statements
By Alexander Davis – WSJ
A shutdown of the federal government could have far-reaching effects for the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to the procedures outlined in the agency’s contingency operation planning document.
/goo.gl/fG7jJx

New Fed regulatory chief to pare Wall Street rulebook; Randal Quarles to push for streamlining of bank capital guidelines
Sam Fleming and Barney Jopson in Washington – FT
The Federal Reserve’s new regulatory chief said on Friday he wants to push further in a bid to make regulation less burdensome for Wall Street, advocating further transparency in the stress testing regime and the streamlining of rules governing bank capital.
/goo.gl/kaJbMx

Go Slow on New Bank Regulations; The Minnesota Fed wants to make banks safer. Fine. But beware of inflicting short-term pain for uncertain gain.
By Noah Smith – Bloomberg
Ten years ago, Neel Kashkari was the Treasury department official in charge of the Troubled Asset Relief Program that bailed out the biggest U.S. banks. Now, as president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, he wants to make sure no such bailouts are ever needed again.
/goo.gl/8oRTQD

The FCA and Practitioner Panel launch joint survey for 2018
UK FCA
The FCA and Practitioner Panel (link is external) joint survey is sent annually to a sample of the firms that we regulate. It gives firms an opportunity to provide their views on how we regulate the industry.
/goo.gl/Y9ZSKp

Investing and Trading

Bond ETFs Awash in Pain May Be Warning Signal for Risk Appetite
Dani Burger and Sid Verma – Bloomberg
Cash bonds shrug off withdrawals, stumping strategists; Fund flows may signal broader selloff for risk assets
U.S. corporate debt exchange-traded funds have bled a near-historic sum of assets over the past two weeks, but holders of the underlying securities are paying little heed.
/goo.gl/9djTTu

The Global Economy Is Doing Just Fine, But the Davos Elite Is Worried
Simon Kennedy and Enda Curran – Bloomberg
China, debt, protectionsm, Trump all seen as threats to growth; International Monetary Fund to update economic outlook Monday
If things seem too good to be true in the global economy, they probably are.
/goo.gl/f8VboL

For Investors Used to Political Drama, Shutdown Is One More Sideshow
Kailey Leinz and Sarah Ponczek – Bloomberg
S&P 500 has median return of 0% in shutdowns over 42 years; Debt-ceiling debate seen more likely to roil financial markets
After a year of political spectacle, a government shutdown looks like it won’t divert investors from the economic and earnings tidings that have occupied Wall Street’s minds of late.
/goo.gl/TfmkM5

Euro, Yen Tell Two Different Tales of Negative Rates; Interest rates are expected to rise faster in the eurozone as the currencies continue to diverge
Mike Bird – WSJ
Japan and the eurozone share negative interest rates and stronger economic growth, but their currencies are heading in different directions.
/goo.gl/1CPRmY

Raises and Bonuses Are About Economics, Not Politics; The flurry of bonus and raise announcements companies have made since the tax plan passed is really just a sign of a tight job market
Justin Lahart – WSJ
The bonuses and wage increases companies have been handing out since the tax plan passed won’t weigh very heavily on profit margins. The environment that engendered them will.
/goo.gl/zM1Ckg

Bitcoin price: BTC plummets as Indian banks shut down cryptocurrency trading accounts; Bitcoin prices were sent plummeting after many of India’s leading private banks targeted and suspended cryptocurrency exchange accounts in a bid to curb digital currency trading yesterday.
Sebastian Kettley – Express
Banks across India are cracking down on bitcoin trade, months after Finance Minster Arun Jaitley publicly denounced the digital currency.
/goo.gl/9LsAzM

One of the World’s Hottest Stocks Is Now Tumbling
Heejin Kim – Bloomberg
Celltrion Inc.’s shares have gained 185% in the past year; Trading volume at one point this month was higher than Tesla
Celltrion Inc., the little-known South Korean biotech company that surged into the ranks of the world’s most-traded stocks at the start of 2018, may finally be coming down to Earth.
/goo.gl/aKKhsG

Institutions

Hedge fund makes $1bn bet on Barclays rebound; New York-based Tiger Global backs strategy of bank chief Jes Staley
Martin Arnold and Miles Johnson in London – FT
Tiger Global, the US hedge fund, has quietly invested more than $1bn in Barclays in a bet that backs chief executive Jes Staley’s plans to turn the British bank from being one of the sector’s worst stock market performers to one of its best.
/goo.gl/RDJSYz

The regular investor can now trade the stock market 24 hours a day with TD Ameritrade
Fred Imbert – CNBC
Traders on the TD Ameritrade platform are now able to buy and sell shares of ETFs like the SPDR S&P 500 (SPY) at any time of day.
“What we’re doing is creating a seamless session,” TD Ameritrade’s Steven Quirk tells CNBC.
This might also be another way to get more people trading, according to one analyst.
/goo.gl/4VKawU

Tears, ‘Fear’ and Forgeries: Key Issues From Credit Suisse Case
Hugo Miller – Bloomberg
Lescaudron’s boss could not explain bank compliance failure; Frenchman said ‘gnawing fear’ helped drive his deception
There have been thousands of words uttered in French, plenty of outrage expressed in Russian, and even a few tears shed during the first week of the Geneva trial of Patrice Lescaudron, the former Credit Suisse Group AG banker on trial for defrauding his clients from across Eastern Europe over a stretch of more than six years.
/goo.gl/TnVTX6

UBS Investors Left Wanting More After Ermotti Targets Underwhelm
Patrick Winters and Jan-Henrik Foerster – Bloomberg
Bank announces $2.1 billion buyback; first in about a decade; Analysts question ambition of UBS targets including group ROTE
Ermotti discusses the share buyback and wealth-management combination.
UBS Group AG investors were left underwhelmed by the bank’s first share buyback since the credit crisis and rejigged financial targets.
/goo.gl/jE4eWU

U.K.’s Prudential Was Mystery Victim of HSBC’s Front-Running
Tom Schoenberg and Patricia Hurtado – Bloomberg
Bankers were said to trade ahead of its 2010 bid for AIG unit; HSBC touted Prudential transaction to win Cairn’s business
HSBC Holdings Plc and the U.S. Justice Department, announcing last week that the bank would pay $100 million for front-running client currency orders, left one thing unstated — the name of a big client the bank’s traders defrauded.
/goo.gl/PJmo4L

Exclusive: Blackstone’s Hill hands hedge fund reins to McCormick
Svea Herbst-Bayliss – Reuters
After nearly two decades of growing Blackstone Group into the world’s biggest hedge fund investor with some $74 billion in assets, J. Tomilson Hill is passing the baton.
/goo.gl/arbMSQ

Morgan Stanley is jumping on the bitcoin futures bandwagon
Frank Chaparro – Business Insider
Morgan Stanley has followed the lead of its rival Goldman Sachs and is clearing bitcoin futures trades for clients.
/goo.gl/FDcThV

Egerton and TCI join top 20 performing hedge funds; Stock pickers outperform algorithms in delivering highest returns as equities rally
Lindsay Fortado – FT
Two of the largest European hedge funds that invest in stocks joined the list of the all-time top 20 best performers for the first time as stock pickers made a resounding comeback in 2017 after fears that they were being bested by computer algorithms.
/goo.gl/UxRQYg

Goldman caught between calm markets and a stormy White House; If the picture is reversed it will help Wall St but could prove unsettling for Main St
William Cohan – FT
One of the great ironies of the moment ó unlikely to last much longer ó is that we find ourselves living through a time in which a most volatile, unpredictable and seemingly unstable US president is presiding over some of the most quiescent capital markets ever.
/goo.gl/vfE4V6

Regions

Now Comes the Fight Over Europe’s Future; Economies are growing again, the flow of refugees has abated, but a potentially disruptive undercurrent remains strong.
Marc Champion
Austria built a steel canopy over the northbound lanes of the highway through the alpine Brenner Pass about a year ago, ready to re-impose border controls with Italy. The shelter has yet to be used, and Stefan Pan for one wants to keep it that way.
/goo.gl/3WHgMx

Should Germany Be the New Model for European Banks?; ‘Three-pillar’ banking system is seen as a boon to small businesses and a factor in Germany’s economic success
Patricia Kowsmann – WSJ
Ten years ago, David Zimmer quit his management job to build his own fiber-optic network company in Germany. With EUR4 million ($4.9 million) in hand, he knocked at the door of about 20 banks for a EUR4 million loan.
/goo.gl/9MQqWU

Saudi Graft Settlements May Top $100 Billion as Ritz Empties
Alaa Shahine – Bloomberg
Attorney general says 90 people have agreed to settle so far
About 95 suspects remain at the Ritz Carlton in Riyadh
Saudi Arabia is winding down a controversial anti-corruption drive that led to dozens of princes and billionaires being detained at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Riyadh.
/goo.gl/UyzpwM

Ex-China Central Banker Joins Rating Firm for Offshore Push
Carrie Hong – Bloomberg
Pengyuan Credit Rating hired 11 credit analysts since October; CEO aims to rate Chinese dollar bond issuers as first step
Pengyuan Credit Rating (Hong Kong) Co., Ltd. is building out a new team to analyse the credit worthiness of companies looking to sell offshore bonds, the latest Chinese ratings firm to expand overseas to take advantage of the booming Asian dollar bond market.
/goo.gl/X5HKhf

South Korea Reportedly Plans to Hit Bitcoin Exchanges With Massive Tax Bills; Bitcoin Plummets After South Korea Announced It May Close Its Exchanges
David Meyer – Fortune
South Korea’s government is hitting the country’s cryptocurrency exchanges with massive tax demands, in its latest attempt to rein in the booming and volatile sector.
/goo.gl/xmUuMF

South Korea’s Cryptocurrency Crackdown Isn’t Stopping This Bitcoin Exchange’s Launch; OKCoin Korea has accepted preorder registrations for more than 150,000 people since Friday
Steven Russolillo and Eun-Young Jeong – WSJ
Cryptocurrency platform OKCoin is planning to launch a bitcoin exchange in South Korea as soon as next month, a move that comes as the country’s government is considering whether to shut down cryptocurrency exchanges altogether.
/goo.gl/4zxnvU

Brexit

What will the EU look like after Brexit?; Growth and exports forecast to be stronger, but unemployment likely to be higher
Valentina Romei in London – FT
What does Brexit mean for the rest of the EU? Whether Britain’s departure is a boon or a burden for the country’s economy is a hugely contentious issue in the UK, but the effect on the rest of the bloc is simpler to analyse.
/goo.gl/JaoosQ

Miscellaneous

America Has a Foreign Tourism Problem; A new travel industry coalition is urging the Trump administration to help stem a drop in international visitors.
Justin Bachman – Bloomberg
As more international travelers decide to skip the United States, 10 business associations, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Restaurant Association, have created a travel industry group aimed at reversing the growing unpopularity of the U.S. as a vacation destination.
/goo.gl/eb2LzA

What’s a House Worth? Wall Street Turns to Drive-By ‘Appraisals’; Financial firms turn to a quick and cheap valuation processósometimes outsourced to Indiaóthat is drawing scrutiny
Ryan Dezember and Peter Rudegeair – WSJ
When Blackstone Group LP wanted to borrow hundreds of millions of dollars to buy foreclosed homes after the housing crash, it needed a quick, inexpensive way to value thousands of houses the investment firm already owned and was offering as collateral.
/goo.gl/WHvFqc

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About Author

Graduate of University of Minnesota School of Journalism and Mass Communication