Top Headlines

2019: City Executives Predict What Lies Ahead for Finance – Financial News

Executives share their views on Brexit as well as other topics of critical importance that have lately been starved of oxygen.

Traders See Little Solace for Pound in Orderly No-Deal Brexit – Bloomberg

For foreign exchange traders, a no-deal Brexit is bound to sink the pound no matter what protections are put in place to mitigate immediate financial risks.

Tough Month for Hedge Funds in November – Profit & Loss

Hedge Funds slid 0.28% in November according to the Barclay Hedge Fund Index compiled by BarclayHedge, which is now owned by Backstop Solutions.

How French Banks are Using AI to Help Salespeople and Regulators – eFinancialCareers

Historically quants have been focused mostly on areas related to trading. This has ranged from areas such as pricing derivatives to risk management, and more recently, in electronic trading. However, there has been one area, where they have been conspicuous by their absence, namely in sales. 

Regulatory News

New York Fines Barclays $15m over CEO’s Whistleblowing Error – Financial News (subscription)

Barclays has been fined $15m by the US state of New York over its chief executive Jes Staley’s attempts to unmask a whistleblower in 2016.

Change Is Afoot in the Money Markets – Or Not – Tabb Forum

It’s no secret that everything is changing in the world of short-term rates. While IBOR replacements, Fed tightening, the impact of Brexit, and repo reporting requirements have received most of the coverage, there are other developments that may be more transformative. Tabb Group examines the future for money market rates and whether fed funds will ever become a viable market indicator and monetary policy tool again.

Banks Should Recognise the Risks of Climate Change – Financial Times

Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, has suggested the risks arising from climate change should form part of its annual stress tests for banks from 2019.

Crypto News

America Could Lead the Transition to a Digital Currency Reserve – The New York Times

The United States should not fight against the forces of globalization that challenge the dollar’s reserve-currency status. Instead, it must seize the opportunity to incubate technologies that will enable future digital currencies, which could go on to power a transnational currency – perhaps the best next option for a future global reserve.

Pros Are Ditching the Bitcoin Market, JP Morgan Says – Bloomberg

The prolonged digital-asset slump is scaring off institutional players, according to JP Morgan, suggesting a fulcrum for cryptocurrency markets is giving way.

You Know Things Are Bad When Tether is in the Crypto Top 5 – Financial Times

Bitcoin might have been a popular gift in 2017, but this year, the crypto Christmas isn’t looking good. The Santa rally has been even more elusive than it has in other markets. Bitcoin dropped below $3,200 over the weekend for the first time since August 2017, while Ethereum slumped to its lowest in more than 18 months.

Crypto Miners Fight for Survival as Market Turmoil Continues – Financial Times

Bladetech, a team of entrepreneurs who have worked on specialist IT projects for the likes of Nato and BAE Systems, announced in March that they were building an industrial facility for the creation of the then-pricey digital currency.  But the start-up now says their proposals have now been put “on hold” due to “turmoil in crypto markets”.

Company News

Blythe Masters Quits Blockchain Startup Digital Asset – Financial News (subscription)

Blythe Masters, a former banker who was one of the most high-profile executives to jump to the blockchain industry, is stepping down as chief executive of Digital Asset Holdings. Masters, who ran the blockchain startup for more than 3½ years, is leaving due to personal reasons, the company said.

Madgavkar Exits Citi as Bank Relocates FXPB Business – Profit & Loss

Citi is relocating its FX prime brokerage business from the global FX franchise to sit within the prime services business. As part of the changes,  Citi veteran and global head of FXPB Sanjay Madgavkar will leave the firm and Chris Perkins, head of the bank’s clearing business, will take over.

JP Morgan Tries to Streamline Spending in Tech Arms Race – Financial Times

JP Morgan Chase says it is raising the bar for investment bankers and traders looking for a slice of the firm’s $10.8bn technology budget, and will be knocking back more pitches for projects that are “not scalable” or strategic.

Edgewater Expands in London, Singapore – Profit & Loss

Edgewater Markets has hired Phil Muldoon and David Fowler in its London office, and Ananda Ariesta and Marvin Ng in its Singapore office.

Market Takes New Sterling Tick Size in its Stride: ICE – Global Investor (subscription)

ICE Futures Europe saw back-to-back open interest records in short sterling futures after reducing the tick size.

MiFID II Prompts Bloomberg to Partner with ETF Providers to Launch Volume Feed – Investment Week

Bloomberg has joined forces with ETF providers including Invesco and BlackRock to launch an ETF volume feed that will allow investors to view data for over-the-counter trades.

Market Savvy

To Hike or Pause: Fed Faces Tough Call as Trump Warns of Mistake – Bloomberg

The Federal Reserve begins a two-day policy meeting Tuesday, perhaps its most scrutinized session in years as it takes direct fire from President Donald Trump. He has blasted the central bank for two days running, calling for officials to cease raising interest rates, a level of public pressure no president has put on the Fed in decades. Against that thorny political backdrop, here are the main arguments for hiking and for holding.

Sterling Rises for Third Day Before Price Data – Reuters

Sterling rose for a third consecutive day on Wednesday on hopes that Prime Minister Theresa May can avoid a no-deal Brexit though gains were capped before inflation data which might whittle down the probability of an interest rate hike next year.

China Watchers Split on Yuan Outlook; It Comes Down to Trade – Bloomberg

After missing this year’s slump in the yuan, forecasters for the Chinese currency are split on the outlook in 2019, thanks largely to the sharply divergent outcomes from US-China trade talks.