Hedge Funds Eavesdrop on Vital Bank of England Briefings – The Times

Following inquiries by The Times, the Bank has discovered that one of its suppliers has been sending an audio feed of its press conferences to high-speed traders who hope to profit by acting on the governor’s comments before the rest of the world.

The Underlying – and Continuing – Problem with FX Liquidity – Profit & Loss

The numbers look good and it can be dressed up several ways, but the fact remains that earlier this year a bunch of FX traders backed by billion-dollars-a-year revenue streams shied away from engaging with a group of uninformed retail traders exiting a position and that highlights the liquidity problem FX has.

Trump is Impeached by the House, Creating an Indelible Mark on his Presidency – Washington Post

The House of Representatives has voted to impeach President Trump on charges that he abused his office and obstructed Congress, with Democrats declaring him a threat to the nation and branding an indelible mark on the most turbulent presidency of modern times.

Queen to Outline PM’s Brexit and NHS Agenda – BBC

The Queen is to set out the Conservative government’s agenda for the year ahead following last week’s decisive election win.

Did Xi Surrender to Trump? China Struggles to Silence Chatter – Nikkei Asian Review

When the US and China reached a “phase one” trade deal late last week, neither Saturday’s prime time news program on state-run China Central Television nor the Sunday edition of the People’s Daily spoke a word of it, despite the media fanfare that hit much of the rest of the globe.

US Economy on Good Path with Rates on Hold, Fed Policymakers Say – Reuters

The US economy is in good shape after three interest-rate cuts this year, two U.S. central bankers said, underscoring the consensus at the Federal Reserve for keeping borrowing costs where they are for the time being.

Muller Says ECB Review Should Start with Inflation Deep Dive – Bloomberg

The European Central Bank should kick off its strategy review by looking into the causes of low inflation before tweaking the target, according to Estonia’s Madis Muller.

BOJ Keeps Policy Steady, Offers Gloomier View on Output – Reuters

The Bank of Japan kept monetary settings steady on Thursday and maintained its upbeat view on the economy, suggesting policymakers are in no hurry to boost stimulus even as global risks threaten a fragile recovery.

Regulatory News

Mifid II: Expect Enforcement in 2020 – Practice Insight

Market participants believe there will be a renewed focus on data quality that will see regulatory enforcement in the new year.

Markets Must Speed Up Efforts to Ditch Libor, Warns Watchdog – Financial Times

Banks and large asset managers should expect greater oversight of their efforts to move away from the tainted Libor lending benchmarks, a shift that threatens market stability, one of the most powerful global rulemakers has warned.

CFTC Approves One Final Rule and Two Proposed Rules – CFTC  

At an open meeting, the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission approved one final rule and two proposed rules.

BOJ to Begin Lending ETFs to Investors, Unveils Details – Reuters

The Bank of Japan on Thursday announced details of a new scheme to lend exchange-traded funds (ETF) to investors by up to one year, as part of moves to enhance market liquidity for the instrument.

Repo Risks Still Hang Over Upbeat End to Year in Markets – Financial Times

Many key threats to investors have been contained, but wrinkles in short-term lending remain.

Crypto News

Bitcoin Bounces Back Above $7,000 Despite Crypto Sentiment Making Sudden Shift – Forbes

Bitcoin staged a remarkable recovery today after a heavy sell-off earlier in the week, climbing back above the psychological $7,000 per bitcoin mark.

Fed’s Brainard Raises Red Flags Over Facebook’s Libra Project – Bloomberg

Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard warned of dangers that a digital currency proposed by social networking giant Facebook Inc. could pose to consumers and financial stability while offering a potentially valuable tool to criminals.

Crypto Scam Offers Modern Twist on Classic Pyramid Fraud – Financial Times

It was billed as an exciting new cryptocurrency that would one day become more popular than bitcoin and turn myriad small investors into multimillionaires, but OneCoin, launched by a Bulgarian entrepreneur in 2014, was exposed this year as a traditional pyramid scheme operated by an international gang of scammers.

10 Things to Watch for in Crypto in 2020 – Coin Desk

Things change fast in crypto. The only prediction that seems safe is that the narratives and metrics that seem important today will be eclipsed by new ideas, in a matter of months.

Four Big Acquisitions Shows Crypto Market Isn’t That Bad After All – NewsBTC

Crypto markets are in the doldrums at the moment, just as they were this time last year. A $10 billion dump on the week looks bad in the short term but things may not be that negative overall. One of the largest players in the industry has been on a shopping spree this year.

The European Central Bank’s Found a Way to Keep the Digital Euro Private – Decrypt

While the prospect of sending money around the world cheaply and instantly is tantalizing, do we really want to trust central banks with all of our financial information once digital cash becomes part of the mainstream economy? 

Company News

A New Approach to FX Liquidity – Profit & Loss

In a new video interview, Fred Allatt, managing director – FX sales at INTL FCStone Markets, details how his firm has adapted its model for accessing FX liquidity. 

CME Optimistic for FX Futures Despite Low Volatility – Profit & Loss

CME Group sees cause for optimism as it reached a new single-day volume record for its FX futures of 2.7 million contracts on December 11, amid what has otherwise been a broadly subdued year of trading in the currency markets.

Banker Bot Can’t Figure Out Why Everyone Expects a Riksbank Hike – Bloomberg

There’s a robot that’s been trying to predict central bank moves since May. But when it comes to Sweden, the humans setting policy at the Riksbank are proving way too inscrutable.

The UK is Stress Testing Banks for Climate Risk, Others Must Follow – Financial Times

The transition to net zero carbon emissions is both a physical necessity to stabilise the global rise in temperatures and the law of the land in the UK. To achieve net zero, companies must put a transition plan in place, creating enormous opportunities and major risks.

Market Savvy

PBOC Ex-Official Says China to Hit at Least 6% Growth in 2020 – Bloomberg

China’s economy will likely grow at 6.1% this year, and it won’t drop below 6% in 2020, according to a former central bank adviser.

Jobs Surge Slashes RBA Rate Cut Bets – Australian Financial Review

A sharp surge in jobs added to the economy in November has triggered a plunge in expectations of a rate cut in February.

China Adds Most Cash in Open Market Operations Since January – Bloomberg

China’s central bank injected the most liquidity via open-market operations since January, in a push to ensure ample cash supply ahead of seasonal tightness at year-end.

BOE to Hold Fire as Bets on 2020 Cut Grow – Bloomberg

The Bank of England looks set to keep interest rates on hold on Thursday amid mounting speculation policy makers will ease policy in 2020.