Notes from Consensus 2018 – Day 2
Chuck Mackie – John Lothian News
As expected, Day 2 of Coindesk‘s Consensus conference lacked some of the energy and fireworks of the first day but it did manage to defy what seems to be a law of nature: fewer people in attendance at the second day of an industry event when compared to the first. In this case, Coindesk announced that total registration ticked up to over 8,500 and it was definitely harder to fight the lines for lunch on the second day compared to the first. Somehow I survived.
Beyond that, there was the expected slew of mostly underwhelming corporate enterprise announcements, some insights from other panels, and one blockbuster investment partnership to finish off the day like the cherry on top of a sundae. Read on to find out more.
Koch, IBM, Deloitte, ConsenSys, SAP. . . . . .zzzzzzzz!
Corporate America took over the morning session and it was, for the most part, exactly what you would expect at this point in the evolutionary history of blockchain: loads of marketing speak about enterprise worthy efforts to transform either this or that.
IBM made a good go of it by bringing their partners Veridium and Global Citizen to the stage to highlight the ways that they are trying to make the world a better place. Veridium intends to use blockchain to create a program to digitize carbon credits and offsets while Global Citizen announced the “Challenge Accepted: Blockchain for Good” developer challenge. It’s open to all and details can be found on the IBM website. In both cases, the efforts are aspirational and even inspirational but they are not operational.
To read the rest of the recap, go here.
Hits & Takes
The Volcker 2.0 rule is expected to include five US agencies: the Federal Reserve, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., according to the Wall Street Journal.~JK
After yesterday’s C2 transition, three of Cboe Global Markets’ four options exchanges are now running on Bats’ technology.~SD
Here is the deal. If I make you laugh at my best two kilt jokes, you have to donate to Mark Ibbotson’s kilt challenge fundraiser for Futures For Kids. Here are my two best kilt jokes, though they are a bit risque.~JJL
What is worn under a kilt? Nothing, everything is in perfect working order.~JJL
How many parakeets can you fit under a kilt? Because this is a family publication, I can’t give you the exact answer, but I can tell you it depends on the size of the perch.~JJL
Crypto Never Sleeps. Now DRW’s Big Trading Desk Doesn’t Either
Matthew Leising – Bloomberg
Firm says it’s first to offer non-stop buying and selling; Singapore expansion allowed for overnight U.S. coverage
Much like the market where it trades, the cryptocurrency desk at DRW Holdings LLC is going non-stop. Its Cumberland division will now buy and sell Bitcoin, Ether and about 30 other cryptocurrencies 24 hours a day, seven days a week, lead trader Bobby Cho said in an interview. A November expansion in Singapore allowed Chicago-based Cumberland to do business with customers non-stop on weekdays, but demand didn’t cease on Saturdays and Sundays, he said.
***** I hear with DRW’s new hyperdrive time warp crypto trading technology they are actually trading 25 hours a day.~JJL
The Options Industry Leader Series 2018 – BOX’s Ed Boyle
Brought to you by the OCC
In this video from the 36th annual Options Industry Conference (OIC) in Amelia Island, Fla., Ed Boyle, CEO of BOX, talks about constraints placed on the market making community, forward-starting daily options and the impact of the OIC.
SGX Bull Charge welcomes ONE Championship as official fitness partner; World-class martial arts athletes to pair with youths from SGX Bull Charge beneficiaries in mentoring programme
SGX Bull Charge, Singapore Exchange’s (SGX) flagship charity initiative, today welcomed ONE Championship as its official fitness partner for 2018. The highlight of the collaboration will be a mentoring programme pairing martial arts athletes with underprivileged youths.
***** I am tired just reading this. Where do I send the check?~JJL
BCause LLC Announces Engagement of ASGARD Partners & Co. as Capital Markets Advisor for $25 Million Series B Capital Raise
BCause LLC, creator of what is believed to be the world’s first full-stack cryptocurrency ecosystem, today announced that the firm has engaged ASGARD Partners & Co. as its exclusive Capital Markets Advisor for a Series B capital raise of $25 million in equity. After launching its cryptocurrency mining facility in February, BCause is in the process of establishing a spot market and, pending regulatory approval, a derivatives exchange and clearing house.
***** Was Thor the broker on this deal? I would not use Loki.~JJL
Tuesday’s Top Three
Everyone wants to know, who’s next? Crain’s Chicago Business’ Meet the 2018 20 In Their 20s was the top read story of the day yesterday. Second was Chuck Mackie’s coverage of the crypto conference, Notes from Day One at Consensus. Third was Bloomberg’s coverage of the Robin Hood charity event $15 Million in a Few Minutes at Robin Hood, But Who’s Counting?
126,042,207 pages viewed; 23,111 pages; 213,060 edits
Why Germans Are Getting Fed Up with America; It’s getting harder for Angela Merkel and the German elite to hold back growing anti-Americanism.
Leonid Bershidsky – Bloomberg
Germans have never liked U.S. President Donald Trump, and the backlash against his actions is stronger than ever after he pulled the U.S. out of the Iran nuclear deal last week. But there’s a growing gap between the German establishment and German voters: The former may be anti-Trump, but the latter are increasingly anti-American.
Deutsche Boerse to Cut as Many as 50 Management Positions
Nicholas Comfort and Geoffrey Smith – Bloomberg
Theodor Weimer’s pruning of Deutsche Boerse AG has only just begun. The German exchange group’s chief executive officer told shareholders Wednesday that he wants to cut as many as 50 management jobs as part of a plan to lower its annual running costs by 100 million euros ($118 million) by the end of 2020.
Volcker Rule Rewrite to Drop Trading Burden on Banks, Sources Say
Jesse Hamilton and Benjamin Bain – Bloomberg
Agencies may ditch crucial assumption on what’s a banned trade; Regulators expected to issue Volcker overhaul by end of May
Wall Street is poised to get a big reprieve from the Volcker Rule, as U.S. agencies prepare to scrap a restrictive presumption that most short-term trades violate the post-crisis regulation, three people with knowledge of the matter said.
Big Bitcoin Exchange Welcomes High-Speed Traders; Coinbase plans to allow trading firms to place servers directly in its data center, a practice called co-location
Alexander Osipovich – WSJ
The bitcoin market is about to get a lot faster. Coinbase Inc., which operates the largest U.S. cryptocurrency exchange, said on Tuesday that it would upgrade its systems with services that cater to ultrafast traders. The upgrade, planned for later this year, will make Coinbase one of the first bitcoin exchanges to welcome the controversial business of high-speed trading.
Crypto Exchange Kraken Says It Will Probably Register With SEC
Lily Katz and Annie Massa – Bloomberg
Move would come after firm dismissed questions from New York; CEO is also considering stock trading and going public
Kraken, the digital-currency exchange that recently refused to respond to inquiries from New York’s top lawyer, seems to be warming up to regulators — at least federal ones.
Coinbase plans revamp to lure institutional and high-speed traders
Anna Irrera, John McCrank – Reuters
Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase is planning a revamp of its trading technology and creating a new suite of services to attract more institutional investors, including hedge funds and high-frequency trading firms, it said on Tuesday.
U.S. Crypto Trading Platforms Are About to Get More Competition
Camila Russo – Bloomberg
Cryptocurrency trading platform eToro plans to open its doors to U.S. investors. U.S. users can join the waiting list for the Tel Aviv-based platform and the service will be rolled out in the second-half of this year, eToro Chief Executive Officer and co-founder Yoni Assia said in an interview Tuesday.
CME to Gauge User Interest for Ether Futures After Index Launch
Camila Russo – Bloomberg
CME Group Inc. will review client demand for Ether futures after launching an index tracking prices of the second-largest cryptocurrency.
The Final Nail in the Coffin
Jim Greco – Trading Places
The U.S. interest rates complex, centered around trading U.S. Government debt, used to be the province of primary dealers (mostly large banks). There were 46 primary dealers in 1988, at the peak of their influence. Nearly every single U.S. Treasury transaction involved a primary dealer on one or both sides of the trade.
New Stock Exchanges Could Appear If SEC Pilot Cuts Fee Revenue for Cboe, Others
Declan Harty, S&P Global Market Intelligence- TabbFORUM
The SEC’s long-awaited access fee pilot threatens a sizable revenue stream for exchange operators, which could encourage them to spin up new exchanges to hedge against lower revenue, making the structure of U.S. markets even more complicated.
5 Questions with Merritt Black of SMB Capital
Merritt Black trades for SMB Capital in New York, where he is focused on expanding the futures trading desk. As part of a new program, Merritt will be training new traders and assessing their skills. Our advanced risk administration tools, Trader Analytics and our premier trading simulation functionality are among the features that led SMB to choose the TT platform.
TMX Group Announces Election of Directors
TMX Group today announced that the nominees listed in the management proxy circular for the 2018 Annual and Special Meeting of Shareholders were elected as directors of TMX Group Limited. Detailed results of the vote for the election of directors held at the Annual and Special Meeting on Thursday, May 10, 2018 in Toronto are set out below.
Exchanges, OTC and Clearing
Cboe Announces Successful Migration of Cboe C2 Options Exchange to Proprietary Technology Platform
Cboe Global Markets, Inc. today announced the successful migration of Cboe C2 Options Exchange (C2) to its proprietary Bats technology, marking the latest step in the company’s multi-exchange, multi-year technology integration.
Cboe, IHS Markit and BlackRock Join Forces to Launch First U.S. Corporate Bond Index Futures
Cboe Global Markets, Inc. (Cboe: CBOE | Nasdaq: CBOE), one of the world’s largest exchange holding companies, today announced a collaboration with IHS Markit Ltd. (Nasdaq: INFO) and BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE: BLK), for Cboe to develop the first-ever broad-based U.S. corporate bond index futures.
ICE Futures Europe Emissions Auction Result
Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE:ICE), a leading operator of global exchanges and clearing houses and provider of data and listings services, announced that today’s auction of 4,593,500 EU Allowances (EUAs) held on behalf of the UK Government’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) was cancelled as a result of the total volume of bids falling short of the volume of the allowances being auctioned
Strategic Partnership Between Worldline And SIX Consolidating European Payments – Worldline To Acquire SIX Payment Services
SIX is entering a strategic partnership with Worldline in the cards business (merchant acceptance & acquiring and international card processing). SIX will bring the existing cards business into the partnership and will receive a 27% stake in Worldline. SIX Payment Services and Worldline complement each other very well in terms of geography and product offering. The combined company will be the leading and largest European provider in the payments industry.
FIA April 2018 SEF Tracker
Total trading volume on SEFs averaged $637 billion in notional value per day during April 2018. That was up 48.4% from April 2017 but down 23.1% percent from March 2018, which set the all-time record in terms of total volume traded. The month-over-month decrease in trading volume was driven mainly by a drop in on-SEF trading of interest rate swaps, which was down 22.2% from March 2018 but up 50.8% from April 2017. Trading of FX products in April 2018 continued at a high level; though FX trading in April was down from March, it was higher than any other month in prior years. Note: this month’s release of the SEF Tracker was delayed in order to verify the accuracy of certain SEF data.
NZX announces sale of Farmers Weekly
NZX announces the sale of rural newspaper Farmers Weekly as the exchange focuses on delivering strategic initiatives that support the growth of its core markets business.
Buy-side increases critical reception of algorithms as MiFID II comes into play; The TRADE’s 2018 Algo Trading Survey finds MiFID II has heightened critical approach to electronic trading among buy-side firms.
John Brazier – The Trade
Buy-side firms are becoming increasingly critical of the algorithms and the providers they use as the effects of MiFID II begin to bed in, according to The TRADE’s Algorithmic Trading Survey 2018 for long-only firms.
China’s WeChat weighs banker-friendly messaging; Service aimed at letting global bankers do bond trades without compliance breach
Emma Dunkley in Hong Kong and Yuan Yang in Beijing – FT
Tencent-backed WeChat is in talks about developing a messaging service aimed at allowing international bankers to discuss bond trades with China-based bankers without breaching compliance rules that were implemented in the wake of a series of high-profile rate-rigging scandals.
Fintech is now the most popular sector among high-net-worth investors
Sebastian McCarthy – City AM
Financial technology has now become the most popular sector among high-net-worth investors, according to an analysis by the direct private investment platform Capitama.
Thomson Reuters Harnesses Artificial Intelligence to Filter Media Content in Fight Against Financial Crime; World-Check One’s Media Check helps prioritise media content most relevant to Anti-Money Laundering/Know Your Customer compliance
Thomson Reuters has enhanced its World-Check One platform with the launch of Media Check, a unique media screening and processing feature powered by artificial intelligence (AI) that helps address the regulatory and reputational consequences of overlooking key data in the fight against financial crime. Media Check’s machine learning capability increases efficiency by filtering unstructured content from over 11,000 global print and web sources, giving financial institutions more accurate and relevant data faster.
Iconiq Co-Founder Starts Rival Wealth Firm, Swipes at Conflicts
Simone Foxman – Bloomberg
Boeding’s Epiq Capital will cater to ultra-wealthy clientele; He says new adviser won’t offer in-house funds as Iconiq does
One of four co-founders of Iconiq Capital has left to start a rival firm, while calling out conflicts of interest in the wealth-management industry.
Exchange Data International Launches Canadian Fixed Income Evaluated Pricing Service; The Company Expands its Current Offering by Including 5 New Fixed Income Asset Classes
Exchange Data International
Exchange Data International (EDI), a leading provider of global security corporate actions, pricing and reference data services, officially announces the launch of its Canadian Fixed Income Evaluated Pricing service.
Leading cryptocurrency trader Coinbase moving an exchange to Chicago
Lynne Marek – Crain’s Chicago Business
San Francisco-based Coinbase is making a big move into Chicago, bringing the backbone of its system to the city.
Coinbase plans to transfer its current exchange to Chicago and overhaul it using the city’s trading tech talent to upgrade the matching engine, says Paul Bauerschmidt, who was recently hired to oversee the company’s new Chicago office. The rebranded Coinbase Markets infrastructure will be rolled out over the next year.
French Finance minister: Let France be the first blockchain & crypto-active innovation in Europe Steemit.com
During a breakfast with entrepreneurs, including representatives of Blockchain Partner, the Minister of Economy and Finance Bruno Le Maire revealed his plans for French blockchain and cryptocurrencies. He assured his ” total and determined support “. Among the themes mentioned: the banking difficulties of companies in the sector, the taxation of cryptocurrencies, their accounting treatment and the legal framework of the ICO
Circle raises $110 million, plans to create dollar-pegged cryptocurrency
Anna Irrera – Reuters
Goldman Sachs-backed (GS.N) cryptocurrency startup Circle has raised $110 million in an investment round led by Chinese virtual coin mining giant Bitmain Technologies, Circle said on Tuesday.
LedgerX Debuts First Bitcoin Savings Account Licensed By CFTC
Ana Alexandre – Coin Telegraph
Trading and clearing platform LedgerX has launched a new Bitcoin (BTC) savings product that is licensed by the US Commodities Future Trading Commission (CFTC), Forbes reported May 15.
The savings product introduced by LedgerX is certified by a CFTC derivatives clearing organization (DCO) license and a swap execution facility (SEF) license.
US Regulators Say They Want to Avoid ‘Hindering’ Blockchain Innovation
Nikhilesh De – Coindesk
U.S. regulators are still looking into cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings, but don’t aim to suppress the industry, according to comments made during a panel at CoinDesk’s Consensus 2018 conference in New York.
Bitcoin Mining Equipment Maker Canaan Files for $1 Billion IPO
Crystal Tse and Blake Schmidt – Bloomberg
China’s Canaan aims to start trading as early as July; Firm seeks first Hong Kong IPO from cryptocurrency industry
Canaan Inc., the world’s second-biggest maker of bitcoin mining hardware, submitted a listing application to the Hong Kong stock exchange.
Bitcoin in Zimbabwe has been banned by Reserve bank
Tawanda Karombo – Quartz
Tech savvy Zimbabweans have long used bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to plug foreign currency and liquidity gaps plaguing the country, so much so that the southern African country has become one of Africa’s most active markets for crypto transactions. But that hedging strategy has suffered a major setback after the Zimbabwean central bank ordered finance houses to stop processing virtual currency payments and gave then a two-month ultimatum to put this into effect.
Nomura becomes first crypto custody bank; Institutional investors have held back from large-scale investing in cryptocurrencies due to lack of certainty around storage and security of digital assets.
Joe Parsons – The Trade
Nomura has become the first bank to offer custody services for digital assets such as bitcoin, a move that could unlock significant institutional investor interest.
Bitcoin May Be Down, but a Digital Currency Startup Still Soars; Circle Internet Financial Ltd., backed by Goldman Sachs, now worth about $3 billion after new fundraising round
Telis Demos – WSJ
A digital-currency startup backed by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is now worth about $3 billion after a new fundraising round.
IBM Is Helping Build a Carbon Credit Blockchain Token
Stan Higgins – Coindesk
IBM is collaborating with environmental technology firm Veridium Labs to launch a token with the goal of shaking up the carbon credits industry.
Veridium, whose plan to issue the so-called verde was revealed last year, isn’t the first token-related project to land IBM as a partner, but it could prove to be one of the most consequential.
A match made in Silicon Valley: can blockchain reinvent dating?; ‘The company hopes to make anonymised data open to researchers, who will design algorithms to match couples’
Hannah Kuchler – FT
I rolled my eyes when I first heard about Luna, described as “blockchain for dating”. In Silicon Valley, “blockchain for x” is the new “Uber for y” as start-ups embrace the idea of digital ledgers. On Wall Street, the Securities and Exchange Commission has warned companies to stop “pivoting to blockchain” to boost their stock.
Blockchain Is Being Taken Seriously by Companies, Deloitte Finds
Olga Kharif – Bloomberg
Nearly 75 percent of executives see a business case for it; Only 22 percent surveyed don’t see a compelling application
Blockchain may be one of the hottest catchphrases among global companies right now, but a survey from Deloitte LLP finds that it’s more than lip service.
Facebook deleted 583 million fake accounts in the first three months of 2018; That’s more than a quarter of Facebook’s 2.2 billion monthly active users.
Alfred Ng – CNet
Facebook is in a state of constant deletion. The social network released its Community Standards Enforcement Report for the first time on Tuesday, detailing how many spam posts it’s deleted and how many fake accounts it’s taken down in the first quarter of 2018. In a blog post on Facebook, Guy Rosen, Facebook’s vice president of product management, said the social network disabled about 583 million fake accounts during the first three months of this year — the majority of which, it said, were blocked within minutes of registration.
Facebook’s blockchain experiment raises eyebrows; Mark Zuckerberg flirts with decentralisation of his very centralised social network
Hannah Kuchler in San Francisco and Chloe Cornish in London – FT
“A lot of us got into technology because we believe it can be a decentralising force that puts more power in people’s hands,” Mark Zuckerberg wrote in his New Year message to his Facebook followers.
Investors lose their appetite for Turkey; Erdogan sends uncompromising message he is intent on taking control of monetary policy
Roger Blitz and Jonathan Wheatley in London and Laura Pitel in Istanbul – FT
When banks and investment funds sent senior representatives to dine with Recep Tayyip Erdogan, they probably expected the Turkish president to deliver a reassuring message about investing in his country.
Top ECB official calls for accelerated banking union drive; In implicit rebuke to Germany, Vítor Constâncio highlights reforms by southern countries
Claire Jones in Frankfurt – FT
The eurozone’s southern members have done enough to reform their economies and reduce risk in their financial systems for the bloc to speed up banking union, the vice-president of the European Central Bank has said, in an implicit criticism of German foot-dragging.
Italy Bonds Roiled as Populists Debate $300 Billion Write-Down
John Follain , John Ainger , and Chiara Albanese – Bloomberg
The yield on 10-year notes rose on news of debt write-off plan; Talks between parties drag on as parties struggle to find deal
Italian bonds slumped as populist parties struggling to form a government discussed a potential government debt write-down worth billions of euros.
Bharara Weighs Independent Bid for New York Attorney General
Henry Goldman – Bloomberg
He has the name recognition, resume and money to make the race; Former prosecutor plays coy about run and says ‘Stay Tuned’
When a New York jury convicted ex-Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver on bribery charges last week, the biggest winner might have been Preet Bharara, even though he was nowhere near the courtroom.
White House eliminates top cyber adviser post
Eric Geller – Politico
The Trump administration has eliminated the White House’s top cyber policy role, jettisoning a key position created during the Obama presidency to harmonize the government’s overall approach to cybersecurity policy and digital warfare.
Justice Department and F.B.I. Are Investigating Cambridge Analytica
Matthew Rosenberg and Nicholas Confessore – NY Times
The Justice Department and the F.B.I. are investigating Cambridge Analytica, the now-defunct political data firm, and have sought to question former employees and banks that handled its business, according to an American official and other people familiar with the inquiry.
Former Obama ethics chief says $500m Chinese support for Trump project ‘violates emoluments clause’
Clark Mindock – The Independent
A top ethics official in former President Barack Obama’s administration has accused President Donald Trump of violating the Constitution’s emoluments clause after it was disclosed that the Trump Organisation is involved in a project that has received up to $500 million in support from the Chinese government.
SEC Names Caryn E. Kauffman As Chief Financial Officer
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Caryn E. Kauffman has been named the agency’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Ms. Kauffman has served as Acting CFO since February 2017. The CFO plays a key role in making sure SEC resources are effectively allocated to the activities that best accomplish the agency’s mission.
SEC Names James Reese Chief Risk and Strategy Officer of the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that James Reese has been named the Chief Risk and Strategy Officer of the agency’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE). Mr. Reese has served as Acting Chief since February 2017.
PNB-Nirav Modi fraud: Allahabad Bank CEO might face the axe
Nupur Anand – Quartz
Three months after India’s biggest banking fraud was uncovered, the axe may finally fall on one of the country’s top bankers.
The FCA’s Business Plan and Priorities
It is a real pleasure to be at the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) Conference today. I want to use my time on the subject of our Business Plan for the next year, and the issues that we have picked out in the general insurance world. I want to then take one particular issue that is attracting much more attention generally, namely the subject of data and its use. I could have given this speech the sub-title ‘9 Days and Counting’. You would rightly have concluded that my counting skills had gone severely off for the royal wedding. I am not trying to match that for popular appeal when I say that it is 9 days to go until the European Union (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force.
Monthly Disciplinary Actions May 2018
Remarks of Commissioner Rostin Behnam before Energy Risk USA, Houston, Texas
Delivering a Message on Relationship Patterns
SEC Files Charges in International Manipulation Scheme
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged four individuals for their roles in a fraudulent scheme that generated nearly $34 million from unlawful stock sales and caused significant harm to retail investors.
Testing of FINRA Data Feed Test IP Addresses
As previously announced, beginning Monday, July 9, 2018, FINRA will introduce dedicated test broadcast IP multicast channels for evening format testing for its data feeds—BTDS, ATDS, 144A, SPDS, SPDS-144A, TDDS 2.0 and BBDS. FINRA will discontinue disseminating test data via the production data feed channels when the dedicated test broadcast IP multicast channels are implemented.
ASIC cancels AFS licence of Wealth & Risk Management
ASIC has cancelled the Australian financial services (AFS) licence of Wealth & Risk Management Pty Ltd (WRM).
Volcker Rewrite Only Widens Existing Loopholes; The landmark banking rule always allowed for plenty of gray areas.
Stephen Gandel – Bloomberg
The Volcker Rule — which limits banks from risking their own, and more importantly, their depositors’, money on the trading floor — was always supposed to be a regulation that was all about what feels right. Former Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker said as much when he advocated for the rule shortly after the financial crisis, equating proprietary trading to pornography with the old line that you know it when you see it.
Investing and Trading
There’s Another, Hidden Rockefeller Auction With Real Bargains; Nadeau’s auction house in Connecticut is very quietly hosting its own Rockefeller estate sale.
James Tarmy – Bloomberg
Much of the success of Christie’s $833 million estate sale of David and Peggy Rockefeller’s belongings can be attributed to the Rockefeller name. It’s hard to imagine a gold money clip selling for $75,000 without it.
Capital Spending Boom Is No Great Boost to Capital Markets; Capex spending by S&P 500 companies is expected to rise 24% in first quarter to $166 billion. But do investors want it?
Akane Otani, Ben Eisen and Chelsey Dulaney – WSJ
U.S. companies are ramping up spending on their businesses at the fastest pace in years, a long-awaited development after years of tepid growth.
U.S. grain handler Bartlett to merge with logistics firm
Tom Polansek – Reuters
U.S. crop handler Bartlett and Company, which exports American grain to Mexico, will merge with logistics provider Savage Companies, the firms said on Wednesday, in the latest round of consolidation to hit the struggling agriculture sector.
It’s a Great Time to Be a Wealthy Heir After Trump Tax Overhaul; New law doubles the estate-tax exemption to $22 million a couple, spurring interest in dynasty trusts.
Ben Steverman – Bloomberg
Many of the biggest beneficiaries of President Donald Trump’s tax overhaul haven’t even been born yet. The new law doubles the amount that can be passed to heirs without worrying about estate and gift taxes, to about $22 million for a married couple. But the thresholds are in place only until 2025, and the ultra-rich are turning to a key tool—the dynasty trust—to secure the financial futures of their grandchildren, great-grandchildren and beyond.
Barclays appoints exotics and derivatives head from Credit Suisse; Barclays names new global head of exotics and head of derivatives for equities in latest hire from Credit Suisse.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Barclays has appointed a new global head of exotics trading and head of derivatives trading for Europe and the Middle East within its equities trading business.
City demands ‘practical’ action in Mental Health Awareness Week
Becky Pritchard – Financial News
As the stigma around mental health challenges erodes, City firms aim to improve support for struggling staff
Mark Mobius says he’d invest in North Korea if he could
Steve Mollman – Quartz
North Korea should be a wealthy economy, judging by its natural resources. The mountainous country has mineral wealth worth trillions of dollars, but it lacks the infrastructure and expertise to properly tap into it.
Voting With Their Cash, Investors Lose Faith in Erdogan Economy
Tugce Ozsoy and Constantine Courcoulas – Bloomberg
Erdogan’s rule no longer seen as optimal result for markets; Turks head to polls to vote in early elections on June 24
For the first time since he came to power in Turkey 15 years ago, investors aren’t so enthusiastic about the prospect of Recep Tayyip Erdogan winning another election.
How the west should judge a rising China; Advanced countries are hobbled by their inability to manage their own affairs
Martin Wolf – FT
Today’s advanced countries, dominated by the US and Europe, have a preponderant share of the global economy. The 14 per cent of humanity that lives in advanced countries generates 60 per cent of world output at market prices and 41 per cent at purchasing power parity.
China’s crude oil futures boom amid looming Iran sanctions
Henning Gloystein and Meng Meng – Reuters
A U.S. decision to reimpose sanctions on Iran is supporting China’s newly established crude oil futures, and may spur efforts to start trading oil in yuan rather than dollars, traders and analysts said.
Britain’s Hiring Problems Are Widening as EU Workers Stay Away
Andrew Atkinson – Bloomberg
Bank of England highlights issue of fewer foreign workers; Report may fuel concern about Brexit’s impact on economy
The Bank of England cited the loss of European Union workers as it warned that British companies are facing a mounting labor shortage.
Where Graduates Move After College; Which cities have the most drawing power among college grads? Small metros lose out to big ones in gaining graduates, but some buck the trend. Our database of 445 schools shows where the alumni of each one wind up.
Danny Dougherty, Brian McGill, Dante Chinni and Aaron Zitner – WSJ
A college education is often a ticket to the best career opportunities. For most graduates, that means moving to the nation’s biggest metropolitan areas, boosting the intellectual capital that helps those cities thrive.