Top Headlines

Calm Currency Markets at Odds with Conventional Wisdom – Financial Times

Things are calm in currency markets. But it is not the reassuring kind of calm. Conventional wisdom suggests that macroeconomic uncertainty should be generating swings in prices.

For Wall Street Banks in London, It’s Moving Time – The New York Times

One thing is clear about the legacy of Brexit: Financial services will be spread across Europe, with no one city again dominating the financial arena as London has.

“Directors are Being Thrown to the Wolves in this Bonus Round” – eFinancialCareers

US banks have now announced their bonuses for 2018 and Europeans are following in their wake. UBS is understood to have divulged its numbers last week; Credit Suisse is thought to be doing so this week. Some banks have paid better than others, but there is a point of commonality across the lot – directors are being squeezed.

Regulatory News

EU Derivatives Traders to Get Hard-Brexit Reprieve – Financial Times

European companies and investors will still be able to rely on London to complete derivatives trades in the region’s €660tn market if the UK leaves the EU abruptly next month, as regulators try to contain the potential fallout from a hard Brexit.

London Bankers Will Need ‘Chaperones’ for EU Clients under No-Deal Brexit: Sources – Reuters

Investment banks have warned M&A teams in Britain they cannot pitch business to clients in the European Union if there is a no-deal Brexit without an EU “chaperone” sitting in on their meeting.

The New Way to Deregulate – Bloomberg

Sandboxes are the hot trend in financial regulation. Or rather, deregulation. China, Singapore, Australia, Canada, and more than 20 other countries have them. US regulatory agencies are starting them. Arizona has one, and other states may follow suit.

Larger Buy-Side Firms Cut Research Budgets as MiFID II Beds In – The Trade

Research budgets at asset management firms across Europe have fallen since the introduction of MiFID II, with larger buy-side firms making the biggest reductions after taking on the costs of research under the new rules.

Trump, Xi Hail Progress in Trade Talks as Tariff Deadline Nears – Bloomberg

President Donald Trump hailed progress made in trade talks with China this week, saying he may extend a tariff truce and take steps to sell a potential deal with opposition lawmakers.

Crypto News

Wall Street Analysts Throw Cold Water on JP Morgan’s ‘Cryptocurrency’ – The Block

JP Morgan sent ripples through the blockchain world when it announced the launch of its own “cryptocurrency,” dubbed JPMCoin.

NYSE Arca Filing Kicks Off Countdown for New Bitcoin ETF – CoinDesk

The US Securities and Exchange Commission announced it was beginning its review of a bitcoin ETF rule change proposal filed by NYSE Arca and Bitwise Asset Management on Feb. 11, and the proposal itself was published in the Federal Register on Feb. 15, meaning the regulator has 45 days to make its initial decision on whether to approve, reject or extend the proposal.

The Real Lessons from the QuadrigaCX Fiasco – Tabb Forum

While the QuadrigaCX fiasco makes for interesting stories, it highlights more important deficiencies within the crypto markets than poor estate management. Lost among the tales of lost keys, a suspicious death, and questions of the coins’ existence is the fact that QuadrigaCX routinely violated principles of best execution.

Craig Wright Claims to Be Satoshi in Critical Response to CFTC on Ethereum – CoinDesk

NChain chief scientist Craig Wright has criticized ethereum to a top U.S. regulator, while again claiming to be bitcoin’s pseudonymous inventor, Satoshi Nakamoto.

Company News

Eurex Clearing Connects to Bloomberg for Swaps – Global Investor (subscription)

This marks another important step in expanding OTC clearing services, Eurex Clearing’s Danny Chart says.

The World Federation of Exchanges Agrees 2019 Priorities – World Federation of Exchanges

Business priorities will focus on the following areas: regulatory coherence or market fragmentation; technology-related policy work on topics including initial coin offerings, crypto assets and cyber resilience; environmental, social and governance issues in market structure; clarifying the nature of market data; and CCP-related capital matters. 

Citigroup CEO on the Risks Facing the Banking Industry – Financial Times

Mike Corbat says the industry is ‘safer and better’ 10 years after the financial crisis.

More Job Cuts Loom as French Banks Pull in their Horns – Financial News (subscription

As SocGen and BNP Paribas scale back trading units and focus on core strengths, hopes of consolidation within European banking fade.

Market Savvy

Sterling Holds Above $1.29 after Wages Data, Focus Back on Brexit – Reuters

The British pound held above $1.29 on Tuesday after labour market data showed workers’ pay growth held at its fastest pace in a decade in late 2018, with investors’ focus quickly shifting back to Brexit talks between London and Brussels.

Warning Signs Flash for HSBC, Merrill in Emerging Market Rally – Bloomberg

The backlash to the world’s most-popular trade is underway – the emerging market rally has now gone too far, according to HSBC Holdings Plc and Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Swedish Crown Hits Lowest Level Since 2016 – Reuters

The Swedish crown plummeted on Tuesday after weak inflation data prompted investors to sell the currency and scale back bets on an interest rate hike this year.