Breaking News

CFTC Faces Cash Crunch, Offers Buyouts; Markets face race to end Libor links

First Read

Hits & Takes
JLN Staff

A story of violence reported in the local newspapers about a man who stabbed his wife to death in a suburb of Chicago hit home when I read the name of the accused. Gary A. Kamen, a long time industry professional in our markets, was the accused murderer. He is charged with two counts of first-degree murder stemming from the fatal stabbing of Karyn Kamen, 53, authorities said. A judge set bail at $10 million Sunday for the 55-year-old Kamen, of Deerfield, IL. I met him first when he was working with a firm doing business with The Price Futures Group. He used to work for Futures Magazine. More recently, he formerly was chief market strategist at Trends in Futures and Truly a sad story.~JJL

The NFA has issued an Executive Representative Reminder and Board and Nominating Committee Members Whose Terms Will Expire at the Board’s 2019 Regular Annual Meeting.” Make your suggestions to the NFA for board members here.~JJL

Bloomberg hired John Authers from the Financial Times after 29 years at the FT. Authers will be a senior editor at Bloomberg.~SD

The Bank for International Settlements published its 152-page quarterly review of banking and market developments.~SD

In the latest post about the 20th anniversary of Eurex, Christopher Kalbhenn, Bˆrsen-Zeitung writes: “Eurex set our century’s standards for trading derivatives on exchange”~JJL

Due to popular demand, Women in Listed Derivatives’ workshop on Sexual Harassment at Work in the #MeToo Era has been rescheduled for October 4, 2018. This “interactive and informative workshop” will be conducted by Jennifer Schoen Gilbert of Stowell & Friedman, Ltd., a law firm dedicated to defending employees’ civil rights. The workshop is open to all and is followed by a networking reception. You can go here to register. ~SR

CryptoLex 2018, Murphy & McGonigle’s inaugural Blockchain conference is scheduled for Wed., Sept. 26 (2:00 – 8:00 pm) at Emerge212, a venue in midtown Manhattan (1185 Ave. of the Americas).~JJL

If you want to know what is going on during LME Week, you can download a map.~JJL

SGX expansion in the U.S. continues as they are opening a NYC office on October 1st and welcoming new team members.~JJL


Exchange Global Share & Segment Sizing 2018; (Key Competitors, Global Market Share 2017, Global Segment Sizing 2017, Global Market Trending 2013-17, Global Segment Trending 2013-17)
Burton-Taylor International Consulting LLC
In 2017, global Exchange industry revenue topped USD30 billion for the first time, up 8.1% on the year, as revenues in Trading, Clearing & Settlement and Information Services segments support industry growth. Burton-Taylor delivers a comprehensive analysis of current and historical exchange share, demand segmentation and demographics, globally and regionally.

***** Ready for a deep dive?~JJL


Cryptocurrency Wild West is crying out for a principled sheriff; Bitcoin’s future lies in technical and regulatory integration with mainstream finance
The editorial board – FT
Bitcoin was born nine years ago as an anarchic project ó a digital currency detached from any central bank. It promised a revolutionary alternative to the existing international payments system, where a central administrator was replaced by a multitude of decentralised digital verification points. But the future of bitcoin and the technology it uses, blockchain, are drifting towards the mainstream. Regulators have their sights set on bitcoin and other crypto assets it inspired. More than 75 of the world’s biggest banks, meanwhile, are turning to blockchain to fight the threat of new payments rivals.

***** The editorial board of the FT gives some good advice.


Three Minutes With Josie Bellini, Crypto Artist;A Financial Background but an Artist’s Heart
Jessica Darmoni – Hehmeyer Blog
“In 2008, we learned that our financial system was not as stable as we thought. Cryptocurrencies provide an alternative system,” said Josie Bellini, one of a handful of established crypto artists in the United States. “Investing in cryptocurrencies has given me financial independence.”

***** Before this year, I did not know the term crypto artist was a thing.~JJL


Monday’s Top Three
Our top read stories of the day on Monday were led by the worrisome student debt situation, now around $2 trillion, in the New York Post’s US student debt might lead to the next financial crisis. Second went to the Themis Trading blog about SEC commissioner Robert Jackson’s speech on exchanges in Action Jackson!. Third was the Crain’s Chicago Business story Chicago trading firm Geneva Trading fined $1.5 million for spoofing


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Lead Stories

Wall Street Regulator Facing Cash Crunch Offers Staff Buyouts
Benjamin Bain and Robert Schmidt – Bloomberg
CFTC seeks to shrink its headcount amid budget shortfall; Agency oversees derivatives, swaps and futures markets
The main U.S. regulator of complex derivatives that helped fuel the 2008 financial crisis is offering some of its employees buyouts after lawmakers refused years of agency requests to increase funding. Facing a cash crunch, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission began telling workers last month that it would give eligible employees as much as $25,000 to leave, according to an email sent to staff. The regulator also said it would allow early retirement, in some cases, while allowing employees to keep their full benefits.

Derivatives and debt markets face race to end links with Libor; Authorities appear to have run out of patience with uncoordinated approaches
Katie Martin and Philip Stafford – FT
UK financial authorities had a clear message for banks and insurers last week: We are not kidding about the death of Libor, and you must be ready.

Everything you need to know about the massive crisis brewing in India’s financial markets
Nupur Anand – Quartz
India’s financial markets are in the throes of a bear hug. And the core of the crisis that has shaved off Rs8.48 lakh crore ($116.33 billion) in investor wealth in the last ten days is Mumbai-based Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS).

A Power Grid and Its Customers Could Get Stuck Paying for a Failed Wall Street Bet; GreenHat Energy wagered on an electricity traffic jam that never happened. Now utilities, manufacturers, and residential customers are left to deal with the losses.
Tim Loh – Bloomberg
Two energy traders, veterans of JPMorgan Chase & Co., saw an opening. Starting in 2015, Andrew Kittell and John Bartholomew plunked down millions of dollars in bets in an obscure corner of the energy market. Their strategy depended on certain parts of America’s largest electric grid being congested, driving up power prices. But the wagers fizzled. Their portfolio, valued by some at more than $150 million, soon cratered.

It’s a Man’s World Managing Money for the World’s Richest Families
Simone Foxman – Bloomberg
Men dominate the largest financial institutions globally even as their executives say they’re trying to make Wall Street more welcoming for women.

Default Shock in India Sees Firms Pulling Most Bonds in Decade
Aashika Suresh – Bloomberg
Companies scrapped $800 million of bond sales this month; Investors seek higher yield on concern IL&FS’s woes may spread
North Eastern Electric Power Corp., an Indian state-run power generator, planned to raise 3 billion rupees ($41.3 million) selling bonds. It couldn’t manage 5 percent of that amount, prompting it to scrap the sale on Monday.

JPMorgan widens blockchain payments to more than 75 banks; SociÈtÈ GÈnÈrale and Santander sign up for plan to smooth cross-border transfers
Laura Noonan in New York – FT
More than 75 of the world’s biggest banks are turning to the blockchain to fight the threat of new payments rivals in what will be the regulated banking industry’s largest application of the distributed ledger technology underpinning cryptocurrencies.

Tokyo Whale Sells $230 Million of Bitcoin in Mt. Gox Wind-Down
Todd White – Bloomberg
Trustee is liquidating tokens for creditors in bankruptcy; Bitcoin was sold at average $8,100 versus current $6,394 price
The trustee liquidating cryptocurrencies on behalf of defunct exchange Mt. Gox has offloaded another 25.98 billion yen ($230 million) of Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash.

London’s role in Danske dirty money scandal under spotlight; Whistleblower’s report raises questions over anonymous UK companies such as LLPs
Caroline Binham in London – FT
The unassuming north-west London suburb of Harrow is known more for its nearby exclusive school than an international dirty money conspiracy.

The odd couple that will lead the world’s new number one in gold; John Thornton and Mark Bristow to run $18bn Barrick Gold and Randgold combination
Henry Sanderson and Neil Hume – FT
The $18bn combination of Canada’s Barrick Gold and London’s Randgold Resources brings together two of the biggest personalities in the mining industry: a former highflying banker from Goldman Sachs and a pugnacious South African miner and geologist.

European banks seek lighter-touch regulation in the US; Loosening of rules for US lenders brings calls for parity
Laura Noonan, Robert Armstrong and Sam Fleming – FT
European banks and US senators are warning that America’s banks face retaliation overseas if the lighter-touch regime promised to domestic lenders is not extended to foreign competitors.

Federal Reserve Unmasks $13 Billion Pension Plan Bond Buyer
Brian Chappatta – Bloomberg
The Federal Reserve officially stated the obvious: U.S. corporate pension funds have been big buyers of U.S. Treasuries.
This is only newsworthy because the central bank had been seemingly unaware of this glaring trend until late last week. In its flow of funds report released Sept. 20, the Fed showed that corporate defined-benefit pension plans purchased more than $13 billion of Treasury securities in the first quarter. To put it mildly, that’s not even close to the roughly $75 million of net selling reported in the same data back in June.

NY Court: Goldman’s Morse Can Sue Fidessa for Wrongful Termination
Chris Kentouris – FinOps Report
A New York appeals court has just sent a stern warning to Wall Street, fintech and other firms: you can’t fire any of your employees simply because of who they married to or are even romantically involved with.
The Appellate Division of New York’s First Department ruled that Christopher Morse, now vice president of electronic trading at Goldman Sachs, can proceed with his lawsuit against Fidessa for illegally firing him in July 2016 because his former wife and co-worker Lael Wakefield jumped ship to rival Ullinks. She is now president of the Americas in New York of the Paris-based firm which specializes in buy and sell-side trading applications. Ullinks recently merged with rival Swedish-based Itiviti.

CMC issues profit warning as online trading crackdown bites; Shares in platform fall after tough new European rules hit revenues
Hannah Murphy in London – FT
CMC Markets, the online trading platform, issued a profit warning on Tuesday, sending shares down as much as 18 per cent, as a recent regulatory crackdown on speculative trading products began to take its toll on the sector.

A Startup Offers a New Vision for Trading Across Different Markets
Telis Demos – WSJ
Trading has come a long way since men swapped stocks under a buttonwood tree in Manhattan in 1792. Yet one constant has been that there are different places to trade different things. Stocks are traded on a stock exchange, bonds in the bond market.

Statement from the SIP Operating Committees Adding to SEC Commissioner Jackson’s Recent Comments
Globe Newswire
The following statement is attributable to Emily Kasparov, Chair of the SIP Operating Committees: “At a recent market structure event, SEC Commissioner Jackson made several comments regarding the SIPs. We appreciate the debate and dialogue encouraged by Commissioner Jackson and, in the same vein, want to provide a few relevant facts about these feeds, which are an asset unique to U.S. market structure and help to make U.S. equities markets transparent and accessible to investors worldwide…

Louis Dreyfus rocked by sudden resignation of both CEO and CFO; Departures come after widow of company founder tightens grip on commodity trader
Neil Hume, Natural Resources Editor – FT
Louis Dreyfus Company, one of the world’s biggest traders of coffee, sugar and wheat, has been rocked by the sudden resignation of both its chief executive and chief financial officer.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

Hohn’s TCI sells down LSE stake
Philip Stafford – Financial Times
Sir Christopher Hohn’s hedge fund has sold the majority of its stake in the London Stock Exchange Group, just months after failing in its attempts to remove its chairman.

We welcome Nordea to our Partnership Program
The Scandinavian financial service provider is the second Nordic bank to join Eurex Clearing’s Partnership Program for OTC Interest Rate Derivatives clearing service. With this support from another large regional dealer from Scandinavia, the Program improves its reach and distribution capabilities to Nordic countries. In total, 32 institutions have now joined the program.

China Construction Bank lists $1bn Sustainability Bond on London Stock Exchange’s International Securities Market
London Stock Exchange Group
Enhances LSEG’s position as a strong partner for international Chinese fundraising
London Stock Exchange today welcomes the listing of China Construction Bank Hong Kong branch’s (CCB Hong Kong branch) US$1 billion bond on its International Securities Market (ISM). The bond, part of CCB’s $15 billion MTN programme, becomes the first Sustainability Bond listing on London Stock Exchange’s ISM.

London Stock Exchange Group Board Appointments
London Stock Exchange Group
London Stock Exchange Group plc (LSEG) today announces that Marshall Bailey OBE and Ruth Wandhˆfer will join the Group Board as Independent Non-Executive Directors. Marshall’s appointment is effective immediately and Ruth will join the Board from 22 October 2018.

London Stock Exchange Group launches ‘1000 Companies to Inspire Europe 2018’ report
London Stock Exchange Group
Today, London Stock Exchange Group launches the third annual edition of its ‘1000 Companies to Inspire Europe’ report, identifying and celebrating Europe’s most dynamic and fastest growing Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs).

CME Group Announces Copper Options Daily Trading Volume Record
CME Group
CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, today announced its COMEX Copper options reached an all-time daily volume record of 8,089 contracts (91,727 metric tons) traded on Friday, September 21. Friday’s volume is nearly double the previous record of 4,255 contracts (48,250 metric tons), set on July 5, 2018.

Nasdaq Stockholm Launches Two New Sustainable Debt Segments – The Expanded Offering Follows The Strong Growth Of Nasdaq’s Sustainable Bond Market
Nasdaq (Nasdaq: NDAQ) today announced the launch of two new market segments in Stockholm – Nasdaq Stockholm Sustainable Commercial Papers and Nasdaq Stockholm Sustainable Products. The new market segments will list sustainable commercial papers and structured products, respectively, and follows the strong growth of Nasdaq’s Sustainable Bond Market.


Fintech Lending Booms. Is That a Good Thing?
Ben Walsh – Barron’s
Fintech lending has grown fastest in countries with higher income, less competitive banking sectors, and loose financial regulation, the Bank of International Settlements has found in a new report.
But the biggest findings in the report are what the BIS, the bank for central banks, doesn’t know: How fintech has affected borrowers, lenders, financial stability, and the economy.

It’s a mistake to block the OCC’s fintech charter
Thomas Curry and Jason Cabral – American Banker
The Conference of State Bank Supervisors recently announced that it intends to refile a lawsuit against the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the New York State Department of Financial Services has refiled a lawsuit against the OCC, each in an effort to block the agency from offering special-purpose national bank charters to certain fintechs.
The news again raises the potential for a major missed opportunity for the creation of a “dual fintech system” ó a system which, if fostered and allowed to grow, stands to benefit all stakeholders and the public.

Thasos Group Launches Enhanced Versions of Its Market-Leading Foot Traffic Products
Globe Newswire
Thasos Group, an alternative data intelligence firm that transforms location information from mobile phones worldwide into real-time, objective and actionable insights, today announced the launch of the newest versions of its real-time foot traffic products, ConsumerStreams and MallStreams.

Singapore’s central bank calls blockchain ‘fundamental’ tech to change financial services
Zheping Huang – South China Morning Post
Singapore’s central bank is counting on blockchain, along with artificial intelligence, to serve as “fundamental” technologies that will help transform financial services, according to a senior official.

Australians are embracing fintech as they move away from traditional payment solutions: Research
Stephanie Palmer-Derrien – SmartCompany
Australian appetite for fintech services is on the up, with non-bank contactless or card-less mobile payment solutions now being used more than bank-owned payment solutions, according to recent research from market research company Roy Morgan.
The Roy Morgan Digital Payment Solutions Currency Report, which is based on more than 50,000 consumer interviews, suggests fintechs, including startups, are taking market share from incumbents, albeit slowly.

Kgi Securities Contracts With Trading Technologies To Distribute The TT Platform
KGI Securities (Singapore) Pte Lte, a leading brokerage in Asia, and Trading Technologies International, Inc. (TT), a global provider of high-performance professional trading software, today announced KGI Securities has contracted with Trading Technologies to distribute the TT trading platform. In doing so, KGI Securities’ global customer base now has access to TT’s comprehensive suite of industry-leading trading tools, including MD TraderÆ, AutospreaderÆ, ADLÆ, Spread Matrix, and charting and analytics functionality, for superior execution.

Itiviti integrates ETF data services from ULTUMUS
Itiviti, the leading global provider of multi-asset trading technology and financial infrastructure, today announced a strategic partnership with ULTUMUS, an industry leading ETF data solution provider. The partnership will provide Tbricks by Itiviti ETF clients with the ability to compare multiple sources of static data to ensure quality which is key for a competitive and profitable ETF business.

NEX TriOptima unveils initial margin compliance tool; New tool will allow firms to calculate initial margin amounts, manage margin calls and resolve disputes, as thousands of buy-side firms are expected to come in-scope next year.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
NEX Group’s post-trade derivatives technology provider TriOptima has launched a new service to help market participants meet initial margin requirements.


Humanitarian groups keep an eye on blockchain
John Reed – Financial Times
When Abed Alraheem Alomari picks up food for his family at a supermarket run by the UN World Food Programme in the refugee camp in Jordan where he lives, he does so without reaching for a wallet, an ID, or cash.

New York’s Big Cryptocurrency Mistake
Jeff John Roberts – Fortune
A long-simmering feud between crypto companies and regulators boiled over in the Empire State last week. The conflict came to a head when the New York Attorney General’s office issued a report accusing digital currency exchanges of shady trading practices and behaving like scofflaws.

Wall Street, venture capitalists and crypto companies descend on Capitol Hill to debate regulation
Kate Rooney – CNBC
Nearly 50 representatives from U.S. financial giants and cryptocurrency startups are set to meet with Washington lawmakers this week to talk through what some say is an incomplete and murky regulatory landscape.

Study: Bitcoin Investors and Speculators Maintained Their Positions Over Summer
Ana Alexandre – Cointelegraph
Bitcoin (BTC) investors and speculators held their positions over the summer, while markets seem to have become more stable overall, according to a new study by Chainalysis published September 24.

French MPs Propose Legal Framework for All ‘Digital Assets’ Providers, Sources Report
Max Yakubowski – Cointelegraph
The French government is reportedly planning to provide a legal framework for all “digital assets” providers, local news agency reported September 21. Three members of President Emmanuel Macron’s party, La RÈpublique En Marche (LREM), have proposed an amendment to French legislation for regulating all service providers in the crypto industry, sources told

Walmart is going to use blockchain to stop the spread of E. coli and other diseases in lettuce
Kate Rooney – CNBC
Grocery giants Walmart and Sam’s Club are requiring their lettuce suppliers to get on the blockchain bandwagon. Those providing leafy green vegetables to the grocery chains will need to upload data about their foods to blockchain within a year, the companies said in letters to suppliers Monday.

From ticketing to salaries, football explores power of blockchain
Channel NewsAsia
MADRID: Football clubs are starting to tap the potential of blockchain technology as an innovative way to deal with longstanding issues such as ticket scalping, fan engagement and the payment of players’ salaries.

ConsenSys Has Begun Using Ethereum to Supply Electricity to Texas
Grid+, a blockchain startup operated by ConsenSys, the largest blockchain software company in the world operated by Ethereum co-creator Joseph Lubin, has successfully started to supply electricity to its clients in Texas.

75 banks have joined JPMorgan’s blockchain payments ‘party’
Oscar Williams-Grut – Business Insider
A blockchain-based payment project led by JPMorgan has now signed up 75 banks to help testing, according to the Financial Times.

The ICO behind the tragic Everest stunt is now “airdropping” tokens from rockets
Jemima Kelly – FT
Remember ASKfm, the Ukraine-based social network that was encouraging people to climb Mount Everest in search of crypto tokens, while not telling them that a man who was guiding the climb, Lam Babu Sherpa, had died on the descent?


There’s a bear market in Kavanaugh confirmation odds; PredictIt odds down 35% ó beyond the 20% decline that signals a bear market ó in wake of New Yorker story introducing new Kavanaugh accuser
Steve Goldstein – MarketWatch
The market for the likelihood that Brett Kavanaugh will be confirmed to the Supreme Court entered technical bear territory on Monday, following a report that the under-fire judge exposed himself during college.

EU, China, Russia Defy Trump With Plan to Keep Trading With Iran
Viktoria Dendrinou and Nikos Chrysoloras – Bloomberg
Technical work on the mechanism to continue in coming days; New vehicle to facilitate legitimate transactions with Iran
The European Union, China and Russia backed a mechanism to allow “legitimate” business to continue with Iran, a plan aimed at sidestepping American sanctions and allowing international trade to continue unimpeded as President Donald Trump pursues his “America First” agenda.


Court allows US Govt to use bank guilty pleas during trial of “FX Cartel”
Maria Nikolova – FinanceFeeds
Further to a request by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to be able to refer to the guilty pleas of some of the world’s top banks during trial of former FX traders known as the FX Cartel or FX Mafia, Judge Richard M. Berman of the New York Southern District Court has earlier today sided with the US Government.

Deutsche Bank’s German Regulators Show Impatience With Money-Laundering Controls; Financial watchdog orders internal monitor at lender as Europe deepens crime-fighting focus
Germany’s financial watchdog ordered Deutsche Bank AG to bolster its controls to prevent money laundering in a public reprimand Monday that comes amid a growing focus on European lenders’ progress policing financial crime.

Deutsche Bank ordered to tighten controls on money laundering
Olaf Storbeck – Financial Times
German financial regulator BaFin has ordered Deutsche Bank to take action to prevent money laundering and terrorism financing, appointing an independent auditor to check the lender’s progress for the next three years.

ASIC review finds unacceptable delays by financial institutions in reporting, addressing and remediating significant breaches
In a report released today, ASIC has identified serious, unacceptable delays in the time taken to identify, report and correct significant breaches of the law among Australia’s most important financial institutions.

Danske Bank Faces More Penalties From Regulator, Government Says
Peter Levring – Bloomberg
Danske Bank A/S faces more penalties from the financial regulator as multiple probes into one of Europe’s biggest money laundering scandals get under way, according to Denmark’s government.

ESMA is seeking economic advisors in renewal of consultative group
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has today launched the process to review its Group of Economic Advisors (GEA), an expert stakeholder group which assists ESMA’s Committee for Economic and Markets Analysis (CEMA).

Update – TDDS 2.0 Bandwidth Modification
FINRA has amended the schedule for the TDDS 2.0 data feed bandwidth increase. Beginning Monday, December 3, 2018, FINRA will increase the bandwidth rate for the Trade Data Dissemination Service 2.0 (TDDS 2.0) vendor feed from 800 kilobits per second (kbps) to 2,500 kilobits per second (kbps). This bandwidth adjustment was previously scheduled to take place on October 22, 2018.

Update – MPP Startup Delayed
On Monday, September 24, 2018, FINRA’s Multi Product Platform (MPP), which houses its TRACE, ORF, and ADF products, was delayed in starting up for the day. Trade reports attempted prior to the startup were being rejected.

FINRA Reminds Firms of Their Obligations Regarding Transactions in OTC Equity Securities Quoted Pursuant to a Submitted Form 211
In consultation with SEC staff, FINRA is reminding members of legal obligations that apply when initiating a quote in an OTC security in addition to filing a Form 211.

SEC Staff to Host Roundtable on Market Data and Market Access
The Securities and Exchange Commission announced today that its Division of Trading and Markets will host a two-day roundtable on October 25 and 26 on market data and market access. The roundtable agenda is below.

Investing and Trading

Liquid Alternatives: Alternative Enough?
Nicolas Rabener – CFA Institute Enterprising Investor
Liquid alternatives have been heralded as hedge funds for Main Street as these investment vehicles offer typical hedge fund strategies in mutual fund format with daily liquidity. While they have higher management fees than plain vanilla mutual funds, liquid alternatives charge less than hedge funds and don’t charge performance fees.

Whistleblower tipped off GAM to director’s behavior
GAM Holding said its decision to suspend a director in charge of absolute return bond funds in July, which triggered an investor exodus and a sharp fall in the company’s shares at the time, was prompted by a tip from an internal whistleblower.

Ex-Analyst in Insider-Trading Case Faced Sexual Misconduct Allegations at Harvard; Former Goldman employee and ex-“Simpsons” writer Damilare Sonoiki, who pleaded guilty in the insider-trading case, denied the misconduct allegations
Andrew Beaton – WSJ
Damilare Sonoiki’s meteoric rise from impoverished immigrant to a trio of prominent American institutionsóHarvard University, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and “The Simpsons”ócrashed last week when he pleaded guilty to an insider-trading scheme involving an NFL player.

Ultra-Rich Families Ride Surging Stocks to Double Annual Returns
Benjamin Stupples – Bloomberg
Family offices returned 15.5 percent on average last year; UBS and Campden Wealth Surveyed 311 family offices globally
These are heady times for the world’s richest clans. Family offices scored average returns of 15.5 percent last year, up from 7 percent in 2016 and 0.3 percent the prior year, according to UBS Group AG and Campden Wealth. Those in Asia led the way with a 16.4 percent return in 2017, fueled by soaring stock markets and private equity.


The Curious Case of Citigroup’s Highly Recommended Lagging Stock
Jennifer Surane – Bloomberg
The shares are a favorite among analysts who see new era ahead; Bank is shuffling leaders and has gained an activist investor
Investors haven’t exactly embraced Citigroup Inc. in 2018, leaving its stock behind competitors. But analysts have been falling in love.

Credit Suisse expands credit algo trading platform
Credit Suisse announced today the expansion of its credit algorithmic trading platform, CSLiveEx, into high yield corporate bonds. In addition to offering clients access to 6,500 USD investment grade corporate bonds, CSLiveEx now makes markets in over 1,000 USD high yield corporate bonds, providing clients with fully automated, firm pricing.

Deutsche Bank CEO Opens Door to Deals After Profit Gain
Birgit Jennen and Steven Arons – Bloomberg
Germany’s biggest bank needs 18 months to improve earnings; Lender can consider ‘other things’ after doing its homework
Deutsche Bank AG is open to a merger once the lender has boosted its profitability over the next 18 months, Chief Executive Officer Christian Sewing said.


Startup Nation? Entrepreneurs Still Toil in Macron’s France
Marie Mawad, Angelina Rascouet and Helene Fouquet – Bloomberg
France spawns a ‘forest of bonsai trees’ but no real giants; Scaling up is still a problem, although progress is being made
For all President Emmanuel Macron’s talk of making France a “startup nation,” technology entrepreneur Christophe Sapet says he still has to deal with some of the same hurdles he faced starting out 35 years ago.

Indian Hotel-Booking Startup Oyo Raises $1 Billion to Fund Overseas Push
Saritha Rai – Bloomberg
Oyo Hotels, an Indian startup for booking reliable rooms in the country’s chaotic lodging market, is raising $1 billion to fund expansion into China and other global regions.

China Is Open to U.S. Talks, But Not With a Knife at Its Throat
Bloomberg News
China said it’s open to talking on the trade dispute, but it needs the U.S. to show sincerity and not put a knife at Beijing’s throat.

The Face of Latvia’s Scandal-Ridden Financial System Is Caught in a Corruption Case; Ilmars Rimöevics is now shunned by the elites who courted him for decades.
Henry Meyer, Aaron Eglitis, Irina Reznik – Bloomberg
Ilmars Rimöevics, the governor of the Latvian central bank, had been enjoying the start of his vacation in Spain when a buzzing phone interrupted his dinner. The call on that February evening brought bad news. Back in Riga, police were searching his home and his office at the bank. Rimöevics, who along with heading the Bank of Latvia for almost two decades sits on the Governing Council of the European Central Bank, flew home in ignominy. When he landed, police detained him and questioned him for 48 hours on suspicion of bribery and corruption.

Hibor’s advance on Libor reduces Hong Kong carry trade appeal; With the US poised to raise interest rates, lenders are likely to follow suit
Emma Dunkley in Hong Kong – FT
Defending Hong Kong’s currency peg is top of the agenda for the city’s de facto central bank. But the task became more challenging earlier this year when the divergence between Hong Kong and US interbank lending rates hit its widest level in a decade.


Labour Raises Prospect of a Second Referendum on Brexit
Thomas Penny and Alex Morales – Bloomberg
Opposition will vote against the deal that May signs with EU; Starmer sets out party’s strategy for high-wire months ahead
The U.K. opposition Labour Party plans to vote down Theresa May’s divorce agreement with the European Union, and sees a second referendum as a way of avoiding a chaotic no-deal Brexit.

Brexit Prompts JPMorgan, Deutsche Bank to Use Paris for Trades
Will Hadfield and Katie Linsell – Bloomberg
Banks to send clients’ CDS trades to French clearinghouse; No-deal Brexit would stop European clients accessing ICE
London Stock Exchange Group Plc’s clearinghouse in the U.K. capital has much to lose from a no-deal Brexit, but its Paris division has much to gain.


Commodities Giant Louis Dreyfus Revamps Its LeadershipóAgain; CEO, CFO appointments mark the latest in a series of changes atop the storied commodities trader
David Hodari – Bloomberg
Louis Dreyfus Co. said Tuesday it has appointed a new chief executive and chief financial officer, marking a return of change at the top for one of the world’s largest commodities traders. The closely held company has had five CEOs since 2011.

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