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Policymakers Saved the Financial System; CME-Nex deal filed with UK regulators

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First Read

Hits & Takes
JLN Staff

Dawn D. Stump was sworn in to serve as a Commissioner of the CFTC yesterday at the Fearless Girl Statue in New York City; former CFTC Commissioner Jill E. Sommers administered the oath of office.~JJL

CME Group’s market cap stands at $58.4 billion, up from $54 billion in March.~JK

CTA Expo is holding the second day of its 2-day event today in Chicago for the managed futures space.~JK

Gate39 Media has published two pieces in a series on managed futures marketing and business development by Jim Kharouf for Gate39. Part one is on What makes a fund unique and part two issued Tuesday On the art of pitch books and communication

Interactive Brokers will become its first listed company on IEX.~JJL

The EU’s top banks decided to adopt Ester – the ECB’s euro short-term rate – as a replacement for Eonia.~SD

The Price Futures Group, my former brokerage firm employer, is moving out of the CBOT Building when its lease is up, according to sources.~JJL




FIA Announces Amazon Web Services as Sponsor of Innovators Pavilion
FIA is pleased to announce that Amazon Web Services (AWS) has agreed to sponsor FIA’s fourth annual Innovators Pavilion, a showcase for fintech startups that are offering forward-thinking solutions for the global derivatives markets.

***** Amazon will be giving away free clouds at the EXPO, which are also available at Whole Foods.~JJL


Forward Thinking – University Program
RCM Alternatives
Here’s the Chicago Board of Trade’s trading floor sometime in the 1990s. Down there in that mass of humanity and paper and colored coats were dozens of clerks. These were (mostly) young people getting a foothold in the industry. Learning the ropes from the bottom rung. Interns, if you will, who weren’t just leaning how the markets worked, but also getting as good a look at pure speculation and capitalism as most will see – being offered $1,000 to eat a small tub of sport peppers one day or traders making a market on whether they could throw a football across the Chicago river the next.

***** RCM mentions the MarketsWiki Education program in this commentary and our efforts to help recruit young people to the markets.~JJL


Voyager to Launch Institutional Crypto Brokerage, Names Barber Chief Institutional Officer
John D’Antona Jr. – Traders Magazine
There’s about to be a new crypto-brokerage in town. And it’s designed specifically for the institutional trader.
CryptoTrading Technologies is a subsidiary of Voyager Digital Holdings Inc., a new and licensed crypto-asset broker that provides investors with a turnkey solution to trade crypto-assets, today announced that Glenn Barber has joined as Chief Institutional Officer of Voyager Institutional. Voyager Institutional is a newly formed business line that will focus solely on delivering its best-in-class crypto trading solution to traditional buy-side firms, hedge funds, brokerages and market makers, among other professional investors.


Wednesday’s Top Three
Wednesday’s top three stories were led by the New York Times piece The Recovery Threw the Middle-Class Dream Under a Benz. Second was another story about the financial crisis and where we are today with The Wall Street Power Lunch Is Back, With Martinis and Impunity. Third was the CME Group’s announcement CME Group Announces Special Meeting of Shareholders about elimination of “some or all of the election rights held by Class B shareholders.”


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Lead Stories

The Policymakers Saved the Financial System. And America Never Forgave Them.
Neil Irwin – Bloomberg
A decade ago this week, Wall Street imploded. Read our special coverage. It’s hard to overstate how deeply Americans despised their government’s response to the global financial crisis. It has helped shape the last decade of American politics, fueling distrust of powerful institutions and speeding a drift toward ideological extremes. But for all that anger, the engineers of the American crisis response got the economics mostly correct, and more right than most of those ó including leading economic thinkers and prominent politicians ó who were second-guessing them.

CME-Nex deal filed with UK antitrust regulators
Philip Stafford – FT
CME Group, the world’s largest futures exchange, has formally lodged its deal to buy Michael Spencer’s Nex Group with UK antitrust regulators.

Former US regulators defend financial crisis actions; Bernanke, Geithner and Paulson admit case for bank bailouts failed to sway the public
Robert Armstrong in New York – FT
The three pre-eminent US regulators of the financial crisis have offered a unified defence of their actions a decade ago, saying that Europe’s relatively weak recovery shows the costs of delaying decisive action.

Arista Acquires Metamako; Expands Low-latency solutions
Arista Networks (NYSE:ANET), an industry leader in software driven cloud networking solutions for large datacenter and campus environments, today announced that it has acquired Metamako, a leader in low-latency, FPGA-enabled network solutions.

Why ‘stable coins’ are no answer to bitcoin’s instability
Barry Eichengreen – The Guardian
While the mania for cryptocurrencies may have peaked, new units continue to be announced, seemingly by the day. Prominent among the new arrivals are so-called “stable coins.” Bearing names such as Tether, Basis, and Saga, their value is rigidly tied to the dollar, the euro, or a basket of national currencies.

They see it the same way they see the VIX and gold:’ the 25-year-old cofounder of a crypto trading platform explains why billion-dollar hedge funds are getting interested in the market
Frank Chaparro – Business Insider
Seed CX, a crypto trading firm in Chicago, has hedge funds knocking on the door to use its platform, according to cofounder Edward Woodford. The firm, which announced Wednesday a $15 million series B fundraising round, is currently in the process of onboarding clients to trade on its spot and derivative trading platform. Woodford, 25, who co-founded the firm in 2015, told Business Insider that most of the cash will be used to double its staff to 40 people. The funding round was led by Bain Capital and OKCoin.

Ben Bernanke pins blame for Great Recession on bank panic; Wall Street meltdown was a bigger factor than US housing bust, ex-Fed chairman says
Sam Fleming in Washington – FT
America’s real estate bust was only a secondary driver behind the precipitous plunge in the country’s economic fortunes during the financial crisis, according to Ben Bernanke, who steered the US Federal Reserve during the debacle.

Bernanke Admits Fed Made Mistakes Combating Crisis 10 Years Ago
Rich Miller – Bloomberg
Former Fed chief says no one saw how damaging crisis would be; Ex-vice chairman Kohn also acknowledges central bank errors
Former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke acknowledged that policy makers made two critical errors fighting the financial crisis a decade ago: They failed to see it coming with such force then underestimated how much economic damage it would cause later.

Hank Paulson Still Remembers the ‘Terror-Filled Nights’ of the Financial Crisis
William D. Cohan – Barron’s
If Hollywood decides to produce a movie about a government official who finds himself mired in the middle of a once-in-a-lifetime crisis, Hank Paulson could easily be cast in the lead role. He’s tall, bespectacled, ruggedly handsome, and still has pretty much the same athletic physique he had when he started 50 years ago on the varsity football team at Dartmouth. (His nickname was “Hank the Hammer.”)

Ray Dalio Says the Next Financial Crisis Could Be Even Worse Than the Last One
Randall W. Forsyth – Barron’s
Long before Ray Dalio became a billionaire, manager of a behemoth hedge fund, and a best-selling author, he was sending his Bridgewater Daily Observations out by telex and chatting with Barron’s. Over the intervening decades, he enjoyed enormous investment success, using rigorous analysis to bet on commodities, currencies, bonds, and equities.

Why Bush’s Quiet Role in Financial Crisis Deserves Attention Now; Political polarization, populism and protectionism suggest the next threat will be met with far less political will than the last
Greg Ip – WSJ
The day after Lehman Brothers failed, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke went to President George W. Bush with bad news. Insurer American International Group Inc. needed $85 billion or it, too, would collapse.

Ray Dalio Spells Out America’s Worst Nightmare; The hedge fund titan warns the U.S. not to take its reserve currency for granted.
By Brian Chappatta – Bloomberg
Ray Dalio, the billionaire hedge fund manager who founded Bridgewater Associates, effectively spelled out what doomsday looks like for the U.S. on live television.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

‘Flash Boys’ exchange IEX wins first listing; Interactive Brokers will transfer from Nasdaq in October
Philip Stafford and Nicole Bullock – FT
Interactive Brokers, headed by one of the pioneers of computerised trading, has become the first company to list on IEX, the small stock exchange trying to break the US listing duopoly of the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq.

Cboe to launch second US corporate bond index futures in Oct
James Thursfield – FOW
Cboe will launch its second US corporate bond index future, based on investment graded debt, in October

Hedge fund founder who bought TASE stake says exchanges are ‘good businesses’
Shoshanna Solomon – Times of Israel
Shane Finemore, whose Manikay fund now owns some 20% of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, says he ‘could have sold it 50 times over’

August volume for the Japanese commodity markets

Abu Dhabi stock exchange to launch futures trading in 2019; Regional exchanges are seeking to lure more investors
Gulf Business
Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) is planning to allow futures trading from next year, according to reports. Bloomberg cited ADX chief executive Rashed Al Blooshi as confirming the plans, which come after the bourse introduced technical short selling last October and new tick sizes for stocks earlier this month.

Quarterly review of the BEL 20Æ, BEL MIDÆ and BEL SMALLÆ
Euronext today announced the results of the quarterly review for the BEL 20Æ, BEL MidÆ, and BEL SmallÆ. The changes due to the review will be effective from 24 September 2018.

Euronext announces quarterly review results for the PSI20Æ
Euronext today announced the results of the quarterly review for the PSI20Æ. The changes due to the review will be effective from Monday 24th September 2018.

PGGM: Eurex Clearing is securities lending’s ‘most important innovation’
In a recent interview, PGGM sees Eurex Clearing as the “most important innovation” in securities lending in the past few years, according to Roelof van der Struik, investment manager at PGGM.

London Stock Exchange Group expands Real Time Data service in Asia
London Stock Exchange Group
UnaVista expands Partner Programme to include new pillar for consultants; SEDOL Masterfile expands its data offering with US fixed income additions; Real Time Data on European securities to be available to a broad Asian investor base; Data to be offered to retail investors via 8 distributors across Asia
Data to be made available free of charge for an initial 12-month period
London Stock Exchange Group today announced that it is expanding its Real Time Data service in Asia. From 1 October 2018, retail investors across Asia will be able to access LSEG’s market data via eight licensed distributors across the region. The move comes as a result of growing demand from Asian investors to access European capital markets data.


‘Fintech Charter’ Has No Early Takers as Lawsuit Looms
Lalita Clozel – WSJ
A national banking regulator is offering cutting-edge financial firms a new pathway into the traditional banking system. So far, few of them are biting.
The lack of immediate interest from the likes of LendingClub Corp., Square Inc., and others comes in large part from uncertainty about what activities the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s so-called fintech charter will allow, what regulatory requirements it will carry, and whether it will hold up in court.

NEX Launches OTC Derivatives Trading Solution for ASIC Reporting
Finance Magnates
NEX Launches OTC Derivatives Trading Solution for ASIC Reporting
The solution helps firms based or trading in Australia to meet ASIC’s OTC derivatives trade reporting requirements.

Fintech investment powerhouse Ribbit Capital aims for $420 million with its latest fund
Jonathan Shieber – TechCrunch
Ribbit Capital, the financial technology investment firm whose portfolio includes hits like the no-fee mobile investment platform Robinhood; cryptocurrency wallet and marketplace provider Coinbase; and Root Insurance, the automotive insurance platform that just joined the billion-dollar startup club; is raising $420 million for its latest fund, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Itiviti Talks – Why infrastructure testing is critical to your trading business
End-to-end testing of trading infrastructure is critical in today’s increasingly heavily regulated environment – but compliance comes at a price. So why should financial firms pay it, and what happens if they don’t?

Ignore the hype and focus on machine learning objectives, say buy-side tech experts
By John Brazier – The Trade
Advancements in machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) may be improving trading strategies, but at the cost of transparency and interpretability, according to panellists at this TradeTech FX Europe.

Blockchain takes a back seat as banks focus on AI and data; Research from AFME and PwC found that blockchain has little or no current technology investment focus for the majority of banks.
By Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Investment banks are side-lining blockchain projects and prioritising investment in technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), data and cloud computing, according to research.

ICE Data Services partners with OneMarketData for tick data; Partnership will see OneMarketData’s real-time tick data hosted by ICE Data Services for an on-demand data platform.
By Hayley McDowell – The Trade
ICE Data Services will begin offering on-demand tick data and analytics as part of a partnership with OneMarketData.


Morgan Stanley Plans to Offer Bitcoin Swap Trading for Clients
Alastair Marsh – Bloomberg
Morgan Stanley plans to offer trading in complex derivatives tied to the largest cryptocurrency, according to a person familiar with the matter, joining other Wall Street firms in creating ways for clients to play the digital currency market.

****Business Insider here

FIA Crypto: The Futures Influence on the Crypto Markets
Blue Trading Systems
The Futures Industry Association (FIA) held a panel discussion on September 11 at the Union League Club covering the basics of cryptocurrencies, what impact the futures industry has had on the space and how regulators have responded to the new asset class.

Malta is Eying the Waves Cryptocurrency to Tokenize Financial Assets
It looks like Malta’s reputation as “Blockchain Island” is continuing to gain impressive traction, with a new development that could potentially see the state begin to adopt a cryptocurrency- and blockchain-based mechanism for its services and operations.

Walmart is now selling bitcoins for $1
Kirsten Korosec – TechCrunch
Walmart is now selling bitcoin for $1. But in a new spin on the volatile and ever-changing world of cryptocurrency, this digital currency is made of chocolate.

US Authorities Ask India to Seize Property of Bitconnect Promoters
Kevin Helms – Bitcoin News
The authorities of two U.S. states have reportedly asked Indian officials to seize the property of the promoters of Bitconnect. One promoter has already been arrested and the investigators are tracking down another who supposedly handled the worldwide operations of the company and may have a large amount of BTC belonging to investors.

Vitalik Buterin Clarifies ‘1000x’ Market Growth Comment, Mocks Backlash and Justin Sun
Vitalik Buterin’s comments that the days of seeing 1000x growth in the crypto space were met with a significant amount of community backlash, no doubt much of it from those who invested heavily at the wrong time and are eager to see the market take off once again.

India Approves MOU on Joint Blockchain Research with BRICS Members
Ana Alexandre – Cointelegraph
The Union Cabinet of India has approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the collaborative research of distributed ledger technology (DLT), local news outlet ANI reported September 12. The Union Cabinet is the supreme decision-making body in India consisting of cabinet ministers and led by the prime minister, Narendra Modi.

China’s Central Bank-Backed Blockchain Trade Finance Platform Pilot Kicks Off in Shenzhen
Marie Huillet – Cointelegraph
A new trade and finance blockchain platform, backed by the People’s Bank of China (PBoC), has started official pilot operations in Shenzhen, local news outlet 21jingi reports September 12.

At top schools like Wharton, students are flocking to classes on bitcoin and blockchain
Ali Montag – CNBC
Last spring, Associate Professor of Computer Science Emin G¸n Sirer was scheduled to teach a 600-level course on blockchain technology at Cornell University, an advanced class intended for PhD students.

When Cryptocurrencies Fluctuate, He Uses These Tech Tools to Keep Track
Nathaniel Popper – NY Times
How do New York Times journalists use technology in their jobs and in their personal lives? Nathaniel Popper, who covers cryptocurrencies and financial technology for The Times from San Francisco, discussed the tech he’s using.


Jamie Dimon claims he could beat Donald Trump in election; JPMorgan chief taunts president but later clarifies he is not declaring candidacy
Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson in New York – FT
Jamie Dimon claimed on Wednesday that he could beat Donald Trump in an election, taunting the US president by saying that the wealth he had made as chairman and chief executive of JPMorgan Chase “wasn’t a gift from daddy”.

Jamie Dimon Quickly Backtracks on Bragging He Could Beat Trump
Michelle Davis and Max Abelson – Bloomberg
‘I’m as tough as he is, I’m smarter than he is,’ Dimon said; JPMorgan’s CEO then backtracked: ‘I should not have said it’ JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s Jamie Dimon picked a fight with President Donald Trump — and immediately regretted it.

How ‘Hyphenated Americans’ Won World War I; Nearly a quarter of the men sent to fight in Europe in 1918 were foreign-born.
Geoffrey Wawro – NY Times
A hundred years ago this week, on a bend of the Meuse River in northern France, Gen. John Pershing launched the final major Allied offensive against Germany, an assault that would bring an end to World War I two months later.

Sonny’s roadshow: How Trump’s Ag chief sells a trade war to farmers
Mark Weinraub – Reuters
Breaking off from a tour of dairy operations on a farm in upstate New York, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue tramps across a muddy path to take a sample of sweet corn from an adjacent field.

A Series Of Suspicious Money Transfers Followed The Trump Tower Meeting; Investigators are focused on two bursts of banking activity – one shortly after the June 2016 meeting, the other immediately after the presidential election.
Anthony Cormier, Jason Leopold – Buzzfeed
The June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower has become one of the most famous gatherings in American political history: a flashpoint for allegations of collusion, the subject of shifting explanations by the president and his son, countless hair-on-fire tweets, and boundless speculation by the press.

Trump told Gary Cohn to ‘print money’ to lower the national debt, according to Bob Woodward’s book; “Just run the presses – print money,” Trump said, according to Woodward, during a discussion on the national debt with Gary Cohn, former director of the White House National Economic Council.
John W. Schoen – CNBC
As a candidate, Donald Trump pledged to balance the federal budget and lower the national debt, promises that are proving difficult to keep.


Dawn D. Stump Sworn in to Serve as a Commissioner of the CFTC; Ceremonial swearing in at Fearless Girl Statue in NYC
Dawn D. Stump was ceremoniously sworn in today to serve as a Commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Former CFTC Commissioner Jill E. Sommers administered the oath of office to Stump at the Fearless Girl Statue in New York City.

Remarks by Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo at the ISDA Industry and Regulators Forum, Singapore
Good morning. Thank you for that kind welcome. It is a pleasure to be back in Singapore and to be here at ISDA’s Industry and Regulators Forum. I want to thank Scott O’ Malia and his team at ISDA for organizing this event. I am looking forward to the fireside chat with my colleagues from Australia, Cathie Armour, and from Singapore, Lee Boon Ngiap, to discuss the next steps in the development and implementation of our global regulatory agenda.

Tesla investor says SEC asked it about ‘funding secured’ tweet
Simon Jessop – Reuters
Inc’s (TSLA.O) biggest institutional investor said on Wednesday it was questioned by U.S. securities regulators about Elon Musk’s now-abandoned plans to take the electric carmaker private and that the chief executive needed help running the company.

NFA Compliance Rule 2-30(b) requires Members and Associates who are registered as brokers or dealers under Section 15(b)(11) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 to provide a disclosure statement for security futures products to a customer at or before the time the Member approves the account to trade security futures products.1

Narrow Odds for Narrow Banks; The Fed’s disparate treatment of TNB hurts depositors.
The Editorial Board
Can a regulator deny key services to a bank merely because it doesn’t like its novel business model? That’s the question in a lawsuit filed in federal court recently by TNB bank, which claims the Federal Reserve Bank of New York is shunning it out of existence.

FINRA Reminds Firms of Their Obligations When Effecting OTC Trades in Equity Securities on a Net Basis
FINRA is issuing this Notice to remind firms of their obligations under the FINRA trade reporting rules and other applicable FINRA and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rules when effecting over-the-counter (OTC) trades in equity securities on a “net” basis.

CFTC and Singapore central bank sign fintech pact
Monetary Authority of Singapore
The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) today signed an arrangement to foster greater cooperation in FinTech.

Investing and Trading

JPMorgan Predicts the Next Financial Crisis Will Strike in 2020
Chris Anstey – Bloomberg
Model sees 20% U.S. stock slump, credit spreads 115bps wider; Loss of liquidity in financial markets could worsen results
How bad will the next crisis be? JPMorgan Chase & Co. has an idea.

Market Drift Vs. Market Impact
Quantitative Brokers
One of the perennial problems with measuring execution slippage is how to break it into components and attribute between the market impact of the order itself and market drift. It’s very difficult to do – the two are deeply intertwined and not easily or reliably unraveled to give a clear answer. For any individual order, unless one has a very high participation rate, market drift is probably a lot more than you think, perhaps 80% of the slippage vs. 20% attributed to market impact.

Wall Street’s Alarm on Trade Spreads With Goldman’s Bear Warning
Lu Wang – Bloomberg
JPMorgan, UBS have also highlighted potential hit from dispute; Wall Street’s cautious comments come as U.S. stocks outperform
While U.S. equity investors have kept their cool during this year’s escalation of trade tensions, the warnings from Wall Street are only getting louder.

Ten Years After Lehman Bankruptcy, New Books Point Finger at Two Men; Which financial crisis book should you read?
Arianne Cohen – Bloomberg
The Fed and Lehman Brothers: Setting the Record Straight on a Financial Disaster
In 2008, Federal Reserve officials gave many reasons why they were unable to save Lehman Brothersóthe bank’s collateral was inadequate, they lacked legal ≠authorityóbut the result wiped out an institution with $619 billion in assets, the largest bankruptcy filing in U.S. history. In this book, Laurence M. Ball, an economist at Johns Hopkins University, seeks to discover why it was singled out to fail.

Blackstone’s Thomson Reuters Payday May Come at Cost to Lenders; Huge debt package for information-services joint venture works the ratchet of loosening lender protections
Pau J. Davies – WSJ
Blackstone BX 0.45% is raising one of the biggest buyout debt packages and in a frothy market for risky credit it is further pushing boundaries.


Citigroup pledges cost cuts to close gap with Wall St peers; Bank increases forecasts for return on equity as it struggles to match rivals
Robert Armstrong – FT
Citigroup promised to bring its expense structure and returns closer to Wall Street rivals, announcing raised targets for cost savings and returns on equity.

U.S. Cities Will Be Able to Compete for Funding From JPMorgan; A $500 million initiative called ‘AdvancingCities’ aims to juice economic growth in up to 30 locations
Emily Glazer and Mengqi Sun – WSJ
JPMorgan Chase & Co. plans to unveil a $500 million project Wednesday geared toward boosting economic growth in as many as 30 cities across the U.S.

Bill Gross’s Losses Mounted in First Half After Loading Up on Futures
Miles Weiss – Bloomberg
Janus fund had a 3% one-day loss on bet spreads would converge; Gross boosted leverage this year amid fund’s poor performance
Bill Gross leveraged up his bond fund through the use of futures during the first half of this year, only to suffer big losses on those tied to interest rates.


China stalls on licenses for U.S. financial companies amid Trump tariff battle
Amid a worsening tariff battle, China is putting off accepting license applications from American companies in financial services and other industries until Washington makes progress toward a settlement, a business group official said Tuesday.

BOJ Policy Makers Clash Over Banks’ Complaints; Debate over low rates’ effect on bank profits is likely to be at the center of policy meetings, including next week’s
Megumi Fujikawa – WSJ
Divisions are rising within the Bank of Japan over banks’ complaints about low interest rates. Debate on whether to take them seriously is likely to be at the center of BOJ policy meetings, including one next week, according to people familiar with the deliberations. It reflects how the central bank’s five-year-old radical-easing program, credited by supporters with having helped lift Japan’s economy, continues to generate concern.

How Goldman Sachs facilitated the heist of the century
“Billion Dollar Whale,” the gripping new book from the WSJ’s Bradley Hope and Tom Wright, details the way that Jho Low, grifter and social climber extraordinaire, managed to steal billions of dollars from the people of Malaysia.

Turkey central bank hikes rates sharply, boosts lira
Daren Butler, Ece Toksabay – Reuters
Turkey’s central bank raised its benchmark rate by 625 basis points on Thursday in a move that boosted the lira and may ease investor concern about President Tayyip Erdogan’s influence on monetary policy.

Rich Asians See Crazy Big Losses Amid Longest Market Sell-Off
Venus Feng and Devon Pendleton – Bloomberg
More than two-thirds of the toll is from China and Hong Kong; Combined wealth of billionaires from other regions rose 2.7%
Asia may be minting the most billionaires these days, but the fortunes held by the very richest are shrinking.


UK travellers face Europe ban without Brexit deal; Government papers set out potential disruption for passport holders
James Blitz and George Parker – FT
Many British holidaymakers could be stopped from travelling to Europe if the UK leaves the EU next March without a Brexit deal, according to government papers due to be released on Thursday.

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