Women In Listed Derivatives Tackle Sexual Harassment at Work
Sarah Rudolph – John Lothian News
Women In Listed Derivatives, aka WILD, held a workshop on “Sexual Harassment at Work in the #MeToo Era” on Thursday at Chicago’s Union League Club. The good news is that it was well attended and very participatory; the audience listened avidly to Jennifer Gilbert, an attorney with the employment discrimination firm Stowell & Friedman, and asked a great many questions and follow up questions.
The bad news is that even though the raucous, anything goes atmosphere of the old trading floors is all but gone, sexual harassment is not. The types of sexual harassment Gilbert outlined were familiar to the women in the audience in one way or another from both long past and recent events, including the Brett Kavanaugh hearing that was then taking place (the WILD event was scheduled well before the hearing).
Title VII prohibits sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that is “unwelcome and intolerable,” Gilbert said.
But proving harassment is problematic partly because it’s on a case by case basis, requiring a fact-specific analysis, and rarely is there a witness or “smoking gun” evidence.
To read the rest of this story, go here.
Blockchain tokenization: a simplified explanation
By Matt Raebel – John Lothian News
436 & 442 East 13th Street, Manhattan, New York: that’s the address of Manhattan’s first tokenized real estate asset, a 12-unit luxury condo building valued at $30 million. Forbes posted a story last week about the building, which turned its shares into tokenized securities in order to “remove the unruly pressure of traditional bank financing.”
The blockchain space is full of both technical jargon and empty, flashy buzzwords. It is sometimes hard to tell which is which – this can make trying to learn anything about the space a vexing task.
One of the most important terms to know is “tokenization.” If you’ve given blockchain literature or news articles even a cursory glance, you’ve probably come across this phrase at some point.
To read the rest of this commentary, go here
Hits & Takes
LabCFTC is hitting the road with office hours in Chicago at 525 West Monroe, Suite 1100 on October 16 and in Austin, TX at the McCombs School of Business, Robert B. Rowling Hall, Board Room 1.350 on October 23 & 24. FinTech innovators are welcome to engage the CFTC in general conversation, discuss a specific question or give a presentation. For more information, email email@example.com.~JJL
The Tokyo Commodity Exchange, Inc. (TOCOM) announced the first trades for Technically Specified Rubber (TSR) futures, launched today. A total of 2,088 contracts were traded the first day.~SR
On November 1, Georgetown University is holding its annual Financial Markets Quality Conference in Washington, DC. SEC Chair Jay Clayton and NYSE President Stacey Cunningham and CME Group’s Julie Winkler are some of the speakers.~JJL
Jessica Darmoni has hired a communications associate at The Title Connection. Her name is Melissa Souto and she is the first employee at the firm besides Jessica.~JJL
Nasdaq: Q&A with Oliver Albers – Data Is Revolutionizing Markets; Three Changes to Enhance Fairness, Transparency and Competition
Editor’s note: Nasdaq shared with John Lothian News an internally produced question and answer interview with Oliver Albers, SVP and Head of Strategic Partnerships for Nasdaq’s Global Information Services.
Note from Nasdaq: Here at Nasdaq, we often say, “information is the lifeblood of markets.” That’s especially true in today’s digital era, and it’s not hyperbole. Market data is far more than simply a collection of buy and sell orders communicated on stock-trading platforms. It’s the collection and curation of billions of individual data points that are the essential fuel for the entire market in real time. Competition and innovation have given individual investors access to state-of-the-art analytical tools and market data at little to no cost.
As technology revolutionizes market dataóhow it’s collected, how it’s consumed, the value it generates and how much it costsóthe Securities and Exchange Commission is convening a two-day conference to consider the impact on equity market access and market data. To advance shared goals, Nasdaq recently proposed three reforms. Oliver Albers, Global Head of Strategic Partnerships for Nasdaq’s Global Information Services, discusses enhancements for making the U.S. equity markets fairer, more transparent and more competitive.
For the Q&A click HERE
Google Exposed User Data, Feared Repercussions of Disclosing to Public
Douglas MacMillan and Robert McMillan – WSJ
Google exposed the private data of hundreds of thousands of users of the Google+ social network and then opted not to disclose the issue this past spring, in part because of fears that doing so would draw regulatory scrutiny and cause reputational damage, according to people briefed on the incident and documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.
***** Google+ never quite lived up to its potential.~JJL
Monday’s Top Three
Our top read stories were led by two pieces talking about exchanges and their customers. Our top read piece of the day was the FT’s Exchanges go on offensive in dispute over cost of market data. Second was Jim Kharouf’s JLN column POV: Are Publicly Traded Exchanges Sticking It To You?. Third was Theblockcrypto.com’s piece ‘Bitfinex is not insolvent:’ Crypto exchange giant Bitfinex responds to recent rumors in new blog post
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|CryptoMarketsWiki, our archive of the cryptocurrency and blockchain world, is going strong and keeping pace as this area of finance grows and evolves.
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BoE warns EU that £41tn of derivatives at risk after Brexit; UK central bank predicts Europe will bear cost of disruption to clearing if no action taken
Caroline Binham in London – FT
The Bank of England has issued its starkest warning to date that as much as £41tn of derivatives contracts maturing after Brexit are at risk unless European officials address regulatory uncertainty.
**This follows last week’s JLN story Brexit Has Industry Participants Prepping For “Worst Case Scenario”
European banks worry about clearing in no-deal Brexit; Lenders are putting pressure on regulators to work out a transition period
Philip Stafford in London – FT
European banks are growing fearful of losing access to clearing for critical derivatives markets such as Brent oil futures and commodities in a no-deal Brexit, putting pressure on regulators to work out a transition period.
IMF Issues Stark Warning Over Bitcoin And Crypto ‘Rapid’ Growth
Billy Bambrough – Forbes
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned the “rapid growth” of bitcoin and cryptocurrency assets could create “new vulnerabilities in the international financial system,” as the world’s banks adjust to the recent bitcoin and blockchain boom.
Crypto ICO Funding Dropped in September to Lowest in 17 Months
Olga Kharif – Bloomberg
Autonomous Research says less than $300 million was raised; Monthly ICO activity is down 90 percent since January peak
The initial coin offering boom is slowing to a whimper. Startups raised less than $300 million in September, the smallest amount since May 2017, according to data compiled by Autonomous Research. That’s down 90 percent from the peak amount of about $3 billion accumulated through digital-token sales in January.
Fifth Bond Sale Pulled as Cracks Grow in Europe’s Primary Market
Tasos Vossos and Emma Haslett – Bloomberg
Van Lanschot Kempen scraps sale of riskiest form of bank debt; Italy and Brexit have undermined demand for high-yield notes
Europe’s primary bond market suffered another blow as Dutch lender Van Lanschot Kempen NV became the fifth issuer to pull a euro-note sale in little more than a week.
The Next Financial Crisis Is Staring Us in the Face; All it takes to see it is a long look in the mirror.
Barry Ritholtz – Bloomberg
The financial crisis ripped through Wall Street 10 years ago, pushing the global economy to the edge of the abyss. One might think those searing experiences would have created a learning opportunity ó for managing risk better, understanding structural imbalances in the financial markets, even learning a bit about how our own cognitive processes malfunction.
Exchanges, OTC and Clearing
Tokyo Stock Exchange hit by system malfunction
Leo Lewis in Tokyo – FT
The Tokyo Stock Exchange on Monday said that from 7:30am it had encountered a technical problem with one of the four gateways that brokerages use to access equity trading through the TSE, with several companies reporting transaction delays.
HKEX implements Nasdaq’s risk management tech for cash and derivatives; Latest technology deal extends partnership between HKEX and Nasdaq with addition of real-time risk management.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEX) will implement real-time risk management technology from Nasdaq across all of its cash and derivatives markets.
ITG rolls out conditionals for POSIT Alert block trading in Asia; POSIT Alert conditional orders are already available in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and the US.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
Equities broker ITG is set to launch conditional order functionality for its POSIT Alert block trading platform in Asia-Pacific, the first of its kind in the region.
Netanyahu Looks Into Exempting Investments on the Stock Exchange From Tax
Meirav Arlosoroff – Haaretz
Wealthy Israelis and an Aussie fund that owns 20% of TASE would gain the most from a proposed exemption
LME proposes requirements for the responsible sourcing of metal in listed brands
London Metal Exchange
The London Metal Exchange (LME) today published a position paper detailing new proposed requirements for listed brands regarding the responsible sourcing of metals, which align with the principles set out by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) “Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas” (Guidance).
London Stock Exchange continues expansion in Bucharest
London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG), which operates the London Stock Exchange, has become the most active recruiter in Bucharest in recent months.
RIP Google+. We Hardly Knew Ye; End of Google+ for consumers formalizes the failure of Google’s efforts to compete in social media
Georgia Wells – WSJ
Few tears were shed Monday over the death of Google+, the search giant’s oft-derided effort at challenging Facebook Inc. in social media. It is easy to forget now that there was a time when Google+ represented an exclusive club, with millions of internet users clamoring to get in. At its ballyhooed launch in 2011, Google doled out private invitations, leaving the masses eager to gain accessóa strategy that worked to great success with the company’s rollout of Gmail.
AccessFintech’s exception pairing network drives activity across all major segments of the financial sector
AccessFintech, the financial technology firm that solves operational problems in financial services, announced today that its global exception pairing network has now achieved live participation across all major market segments – tier one banks, buyside institutions, custodians, fund administrators and outsourcers.
China’s Tencent invests $180 million in Brazil fintech Nubank
Carolina Mandl – Reuters
Chinese gaming and social media firm Tencent Holdings Ltd (0700.HK) paid $180 million for an undisclosed minority stake in Brazilian financial technology company Nu Pagamentos SA, both companies said on Monday.
Gore’s Generation, Caisse Buy FNZ in $2.2 Billion Fintech Deal
Aaron Kirchfeld and Alastair Marsh – Bloomberg
Al Gore’s Generation Investment Management LLP and Canadian pension fund Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec teamed up to acquire control of wealth-management services provider FNZ in one of the year’s largest fintech deals.
The acquisition of a two-thirds stake held by the private equity firms General Atlantic and HIG Capital values FNZ at about 1.65 billion pounds ($2.2 billion), according to a statement from the companies Tuesday that confirmed an earlier report by Bloomberg News.
Schroders makes investment in FinTech programme member Qwil Messenger; Asset manager takes minority stake in first start-up to join Cobalt in-residence programme.
John Brazier – The Trade
Schroders has taken a minority stake in Qwil Messenger, the first start-up to join its FinTech in-residence programme, Cobalt.
Duco Delivers Global Enterprise Reconciliation and Control Solution to Societe Generale; Innovative Duco platform to help support Societe Generale’s focus on reinventing its operations functions to provide better insights, enhance customer service and improve data governance.
Duco, the enterprise software as a service (SaaS) company today announced an agreement with Societe Generale, the French bank and global provider of financial services to deploy Duco’s platform across the group as one of its primary reconciliation and data control systems.
4 Female Leaders Pioneering Fintech And Crypto
Kitty Knowles – Forbes
Women have secured some of the top European posts in traditional banking: Christine Lagarde heads the International monetary fund, Ana Botin is Executive Chair of Santander Group. Now Europe’s leading women in tech are pioneering startups focused on the future of finance too.
Itiviti Introduces Packaged FX Trading Solution
Itiviti, the leading global provider of multi-asset trading technology and financial infrastructure, today introduced Itiviti FX, a comprehensive foreign exchange trading solution built for today’s dynamic FX market landscape and designed for compliance with the latest regulatory requirements including MiFID II.
China: Man Gets 3.5 Years in Jail for Stealing Train Power to Mine Bitcoin, Local Media
Marie Huillet – Cointelegraph
A man in China has been been sentenced to three and a half years in jail for stealing power from a train station to fuel his Bitcoin (BTC) mining operations, local media outlet The Paper reports October 8.
How Binance Conquered The Cryptocurrency World With Help Of A Utility Token
Darryn Pollock – Forbes
Cryptocurrency exchanges have become key points of access to the entire ecosystem. They are the initial point of entry for most investors and users of these digital assets, and as such, they are big business, and also fiercely competitive.
UK Telecoms Regulator Receives Grant to Deploy Blockchain for Telephone Number Management
Ana Alexandre – Cointelegraph
The United Kingdom (U.K.) Office of Communications (Ofcom) has received a £700,000 ($916,00) grant from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to explore blockchain technology, according to an announcement published Oct. 8.
IBM’s Food Blockchain Is Going Live With a Supermarket Giant on Board
Ian Allison – Coindesk
IBM is taking its food-tracking blockchain into production, making it one of the largest enterprise projects to achieve that milestone, and has signed European supermarket giant Carrefour to use it. Announced Monday, the commercial launch of IBM Food Trust means that large players, as well as small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) in the food industry supply chain, can now join the network for a subscription fee ranging from $100 to $10,000 a month.
Dubai to Launch Blockchain Payments with State Digital Currency ’emCash’
Dubai residents will soon have the means to make payments for school fees, bills and other retail purchases with emCash, a state-developed blockchain-based digital currency. The UAE’s first official credit bureau – emCredit – under the Dubai Department of Economic Development is pushing its official blockchain-encrypted state digital currency emCash for wider adoption by rolling out point-of-sale (PoS) devices at government storefronts across Dubai.
Hosting a blockchain conference is now a “major coup”
Jemima Kelly – FT
We thought Ireland might be a bit sick of the idea of the blockchain, following Chancellor Philip Hammond’s fantastical suggestion last week that the amorphous hype-nology might be an answer to one of the most complex problems in the Brexit mess: the Irish border.
Ex-Bitmain Chip Designer Takes on Crypto’s Mining Goliath
Blake Schmidt – Bloomberg
Yang Zuoxing left Bitmain to start his own mining gear company; MicroBT wants to join an IPO rush that includes Canaan, Ebang
At Yang Zuoxing’s modest office a short drive from the prestigious Tsinghua University in Beijing, desks are strewn with cryptocurrency mining equipment and cots stand ready for engineers too exhausted to go home after marathon days at work.
Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence Not Ready For Primetime, Financial Leaders Told
Ted Knutson – Forbes
Blockchain and artificial intelligence aren’t ready for primetime, financial leaders were told in Washington last week. At conferences for SIFMA, the securities industry trade group, and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, speakers were pretty much in agreement that fintech’s promises will take years to become everyday realities.
Switzerland Embraces Crypto With Fund License for Startup Firm
Jan-Henrik Foerster – Bloomberg
Crypto Finance gets same licence as professional fund managers; Regulator earlier this year issued guidelines on digital coins
Crypto Finance AG has obtained the same license as professional fund managers from Switzerland’s financial regulator as the country pushes to become a leader in the growing virtual-currency industry.
The US republic’s moment of acute danger; Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation will test constitutional guardrails
Editorial Board – FT
Sceptics who feared last week’s FBI investigation would be a hollow exercise to secure the votes of two or three wavering Republicans will now feel vindicated. Agents did not talk to Brett Kavanaugh, the Supreme Court nominee who was alleged by three women to have committed acts of sexual misconduct, or to Christine Blasey Ford, his main accuser. Donald Trump, the US president, said the agents could talk to whomever they wished. That assurance turned out to be false.
Trump Moves to Allow More Ethanol in Gasoline; President trying to balance a promise to agriculture interests with oil-industry opposition
Alex Leary – WSJ
President Trump is moving to allow year-round sale of gasoline containing a higher percentage of ethanol, satisfying campaign promises he made to the Farm Belt, while likely provoking a battle with the oil industry.
Coal Is Killing the Planet. Trump Loves It; Scientists issued a new alarm on the devastating impacts of continued burning of fossil fuels. But the Trump E.P.A. keeps propping up coal.
The Editorial Board – NY Times
If we keep burning coal and petroleum to power our society, we’re cooked ó and a lot faster than we thought. The United Nations scientific panel on climate change issued a terrifying new warning on Monday that continued emissions of greenhouse gases from power plants and vehicles will bring dire and irreversible changes by 2040, years earlier than previously forecast. The cost will be measured in trillions of dollars and in sweeping societal and environmental damage, including mass die-off of coral reefs and animal species, flooded coastlines, intensified droughts, food shortages, mass migrations and deeper poverty.
Competition and Markets Authority launches investigation into audit sector; UK regulator responds to widespread concerns over conflicts of interest
Barney Thompson – FT
The Competition and Markets Authority has launched an investigation into the UK’s audit market in response to widespread concerns over conflict of interest and calls for a sweeping review of the sector.
Goldman Sachs, Liquidnet and Bloomberg called out in first MiFID II data indicators from ESMA; First data completeness indicators for double volume caps from ESMA reveal Goldman Sachs, Liquidnet and Bloomberg had highest amount of incomplete data submissions.
Hayley McDowell – The Trade
The EU markets watchdog has published its first MiFID II data performance indicators, with Goldman Sachs, Liquidnet and Bloomberg among those firms called out for a high number of incomplete data submissions.
Initial Coin Offerings and Cryptocurrencies
Digital assets like cryptocurrencies and ICOs continue to evolve and spark interest from Main Street investors. With billions of dollars raised in ICO financings and over a thousand different cryptocurrencies currently available, these rapidly changing markets are tempting for investors. It is also difficult for most individual investors to make sense of these complex investment products and to determine the risk levels associated with them.
The importance of international co-operation
Speech by Megan Butler, Executive Director of Supervision – Investment, Wholesale and Specialists at the FCA, delivered at The Pan Asian Regulatory Summit 2018, Hong Kong.
Sebi allows foreign entities in commodity derivatives segment, with a rider; Minimum networth for such entities has been fixed at $0.5 million; these will not be allowed in sensitive commodities
Dilip Kumar Jha – Business Standard
Nearly five months after issuing a consultation paper on this, market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) on Tuesday allowed eligible foreign entities (EFEs) to trade in commodity futures.
Investing and Trading
Lawyers set to work on the laws of nature; Green bonds and loans are opening a new and fulfilling avenue for the profession
Madison Darbyshire – FT
The first thing a lawyer will tell you about their work in sustainable finance is that it is not so different from the conventional financial ser≠vices work they did before. Yes, there may be contracts about the productivity of natural forests, training sessions on erosion or establishing what the return on investment of a forest root system will be over the next 10 years. But, fundamentally, it is the same.
What a Trade War With China Means for Gold
Scott Bauer – CME Group OpenMarkets
A trade war has been the looming specter in the marketplace for months now. The United States has flirted with trade disputes with just about every one of our trade partners; Mexico, Canada and even the European Union.
Traders Bet on Return of $100 Oil; Narrowing supplies from Iran and robust global growth drive market’s bullish sentiment
Gunjan Banerji – WSJ
A hot streak in the oil market is setting off a wave of bets on how high prices can go.With crude prices rallying for four straight weeks, trading of oil optionsócontracts that give the right but not the obligation to buy or sellóhas surged.
That Hedge Fund Manager’s Fancy Car Might Be a Red Flag for Your Money
Mary Childs – Barron’s
Sugata Ray conducts the most fun research. From his post teaching and researching at the University of Alabama, he studies disparate influences on asset management and market microstructure. He has looked at the effect of personal real estate transactions and “marital events” on the productivity and risk tolerance of hedge fund managers.
Bond Market Freaking You Out? It May Spark a Healthy Rotation; The market overall might be fine, but trouble lies with the FANGs and other acronym stocks that have been leading the market higher
James Mackintosh – WSJ
Rising bond yields sound like a stock-market killer. The good news for shareholders is that the market overall might be fine. The trouble lies with the FANGs and other acronym stocks that have been leading indexes higher.
Bonds in $916 Billion Wipeout Spark Fear of Worst Run Since 1976
Sid Verma – Bloomberg
Rate lift-off clobbers global index in echo of Trump election; Duration risk hits high-grade debt; ETF investors flee junk
BofA Sees `Modest’ Equities Pullback Until Bond Yields Stop Rising
Global bonds are hitting fresh milestones of misery. Strong U.S. data, a tighter-than-expected monetary trajectory, rising commodity prices and brewing wage pressures are conspiring to push Treasury yields to cycle-highs, hitting money managers of all stripes.
The Lack Of Institutional Trading In Tesla Bonds Is Curious
Peter Tchir – Forbes
On Monday, October 1, Tesla shares soared from $265 to $311 after it was announced that Tesla, Elon Musk and the SEC had reached a settlement.
Is the Reign of Glencore’s Billionaire Copper King Near Its End?; Aristotelis Mistakidis, the head of copper trading, is under the spotlight for Glencore’s dealings in Congo.
Jack Farchy – Bloomberg
Aristotelis Mistakidis is one of the world’s most powerful commodity traders. For nearly 20 years, the brash, hyperactive Greek known to everyone simply as “Telis” has ruled over the global copper market, buying and selling enough of the red metal to supply every factory in the U.S. twice over.
Natural gas here to stay beyond energy transition, Big Oil says
Ron Bousso, Shadia Nasralla – Reuters
Energy companies are betting demand for natural gas will rise at break-neck pace for decades, undermining warnings that tackling climate change would require a rapid switch to renewable energy.
RBS could change name to repair battered image; Corporate identity under review, reveals chairman
Katherine Griffiths, Banking Editor – The Times
Royal Bank of Scotland is considering ditching its corporate name after suffering severe reputational damage from the financial crisis and ten years of painful restructuring, according to the bank’s chairman.
Jason Karp to shut hedge fund Tourbillon, focus on health and wellness
Svea Herbst-Bayliss – Reuters
Hedge fund Tourbillon Capital Partners is shutting down after several years of poor returns, making it the third well-known fund to announce plans to close its doors within a week.
Will New Technologies Help or Harm Developing Countries? by Dani Rodrik
Dani Rodrik – Project Syndicate
New technologies reduce the prices of goods and services to which they are applied. They also lead to the creation of new products. Consumers benefit from these improvements, regardless of whether they live in rich or poor countries.
Trafigura sells 50% stake in Impala unit
Neil Hume, Henry Sanderson and David Sheppard – FT
Trafigura, one of the world’s biggest commodity houses, has struck a deal to sell a 50 per cent in stake in the majority of its oil ports, warehouses and bulk terminals to an Australian infrastructure group.
Investors Flee China Stocks as Foreigners Dump $1.4 Billion
Sofia Horta e Costa and Jeanny Yu – Bloomberg
CSI 300 has worst day following October holiday since 2008; Yuan nears lowest since 2017 as support level fails to hold
Chinese stocks’ worst October start in a decade is scaring off the last remaining bulls.
In Search of Contagion: Spotting Italian Stress as Markets Boil
Samuel Potter, Sid Verma and Todd White – Bloomberg
Itraxx CDS indexes, bund yields and euro moves hint at alarm; Pressure from Italian woes cloaked by global bond selloff
Italian populists are playing chicken with the European Union over government spending just as a global bond selloff forces up borrowing costs. That’s handed investors a problem: Seeing through the market maelstrom to gauge Rome’s mounting political risk.
Rock star of French finance struggles to stay in tune; …douard Carmignac needs all his charisma after investors pull out of his funds
Harriet Agnew – FT
In January this year, …douard Carmignac hosted one of his legendary annual concerts in Paris. The fund manager’s clients, friends and employees enjoyed a private performance by rock star Eric Clapton.
German Industry Warns of `Massive Crisis’ From No-Deal Brexit
Iain Rogers – Bloomberg
Exports to U.K. could tumble 57% in ‘horror scenario’: IW; Firms have spent 100 million euros on preparing for Brexit
German industry warned that Europe risks sinking into chaos and trade will collapse if U.K. and European Union leaders fail to resolve their differences on the future of Britain’s relationship with the bloc, stepping up pressure amid a final push for a deal.