Top Headlines 

Brexit Is Ripping the World’s Financial Plumbing Apart – Bloomberg

With Brexit inflaming rhetoric between the UK, US and Europe, banks and exchanges are doing their best to prepare for the worst. The risk of the world’s financial plumbing breaking down along national lines, triggering extra cost and disruption, is becoming real.

FX Cartel Defence Seeks Mistrial After Gardiner’s Testimony – FX Week (subscription)

Counsels claim “highly prejudicial” line of questioning from US has created “irreparable prejudice”. 

The Benefits of Adversarial AI in FX – Profit & Loss

Adversarial AI is already used by security systems in other walks of life, so financial markets participants need to investigate bringing it into the market environment to help them spot when they are being spoofed.  

In the FICC of It (podcast) – Profit & Loss

Under discussion are: the relationship between FX and equities; Fidelity stepping into the crypto space in a big way; and the challenge facing Refinitiv as it rebrands.

Mnuchin Open to Change in Currency Test as US Spars With China – Bloomberg

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is open to changing how the US determines which nations are gaming their currencies, a move that could give President Donald Trump the chance to officially brand China a foreign exchange rate manipulator as he seeks leverage to redefine trade terms between the world’s largest economies.

Regulatory News 

Esma Slammed as Whistleblowing Hotline Runs Cold – Financial News (subscription)

Europe’s main securities regulator has fielded just five claims from whistleblowers since it set up a dedicated hotline nearly two years ago, prompting calls from a prominent German MEP for the system to be overhauled.

EU Seeks US-Style Freedom to Delay Rules – (subscription)

Power to grant “no-action relief” appears in proposals from the EU Council and Parliament.

Sef Reforms Could Distort New, Sounder Benchmark Rates – (subscription)

Tradition’s Fitzpatrick warns that more ways of trading swaps could dent progress made on fixings.

Swaps Reform Must Not Be a Step Backwards – Global Investor (subscription)

Competitive execution on SEFs must not slide back to what is happening on MTFs in Europe, a panellist at FIA Expo said.

Crypto News

Gibraltar Rolling Out the Red Carpet for Crypto and Distributed Ledger Technology – The Trade Crypto

Gibraltar’s Finance Minister, Albert Isola, talks regulation, Brexit and what hurdles might be holding back institutional crypto trading. 

Crypto Hedge Fund Quantreq Expands Staff with Wall Street Hires – Finance Magnates

Quantreq, the blockchain spin-off from the US-based fund administrator North Street Global, has poached David Goldstein, a 20-year veteran of HSBC to serve as Chief Operating Officer. Another new addition is Josh Gibson, who worked for Citibank’s institutional FX desk in New York, as the company’s new Head of Capital Markets.

Most Cryptocurrency Offerings Trading Below Listing Price: Report – Reuters

Almost a third of all cryptocurrencies that were financed through online fundraisers last year have lost “substantially all value,” while the vast majority are trading below their listing price, according to an Ernst & Young report.

Mapping Out Crypto Investors – The Block

Cryptoassets, with their parabolic growth rates and 24/7 trading periods, have attracted a slew of new institutions looking to invest in the space.  

Company News 

State Street’s Bond: BestX Audit Will Guarantee Independence – FX Week (subscription)

TCA provider BestX will retain independence and be subject to annual audits focused on data. 

Changes at NEX Markets – Profit & Loss

Laurence Timmons, head of sales for Asia Pacific at NEX Markets in Hong Kong, is returning to London. It is unclear if he is remaining with NEX and if so, to what role he will be appointed. Serge Marston, regional head of sales for EMEA at NEX Markets, is believed to be taking on additional responsibility for Asia Pacific.

Integral is Not Up for Sale, Says Sandhu – FX Week (subscription)

Silicon Valley firms are never for sale; they get acquired, says technology firm’s chief executive.

Tradeweb IPO Being Considered, Says Owner – Financial News (subscription)

The chief executive of Blackstone-owned Refinitiv has given the clearest indication yet that a multi-billion-dollar initial public offering of one of the world’s largest bond trading platforms is under consideration.

Yann Couellan: The Path of the Curious – The Trade

Curiosity is the key to survival in the world of FICC (Fixed Income, Currency and Commodities) trading, and Yann Couellan, head of FICC trading at BNP Paribas Asset Management, knows this better than most.

Barclays Strengthens London FX Sales Team with Two New Hires – Finance Magnates

Mark Rossi joins the bank from Nomura and Ross Sellwood formerly worked at Goldman Sachs in hedge fund sales.

To Beat Bloomberg, Symphony is Letting Banks’ Bots Talk with Each Other – Quartz

Four years after its founding, Symphony CEO David Gurle now describes the company’s goal as not to replace Bloomberg, but to surround it.

Market Savvy

Market Strategists Reassure Investors Worried by the Recent Sell-Offs – Euromoney
Rates are only rising because economies are doing so well and there is no need to panic, even if risk assets do sell off, at least according to the sell side.

Sterling Slips as Brexit Worries Rise Before May Speech – Reuters

Sterling slipped on Monday, as the prickly Irish border issue and disagreements within the UK ruling party over Brexit overshadowed signs that Britain and the European Union had settled most of their differences over a divorce deal.

Euro Rallies as Italian Borrowing Costs Enjoy Big Drop – Reuters

The euro rallied on Monday as a fall in Italian government borrowing costs after their recent surge introduced some calm into the market, while the promise of more Chinese stimulus helped offset broader political worries.

Argentina’s Central Banker Warns on Market Outlook – Financial Times (subscription)

Argentina’s new central bank governor said it was “definitely too soon” to declare that stability has returned to the country’s battered currency, whose dramatic slide earlier this year forced Buenos Aires to seek a bailout from the International Monetary Fund.