Hong Kong Democracy Backers Win Big as Voters Flock to Polls – New York Times

A surge in voting, especially by young people, allowed democracy advocates to win many more seats on local councils.

Michael Bloomberg Launches 2020 US Presidential Campaign – Financial Times

Billionaire ex-mayor of New York is a well-funded centrist in a crowded Democratic field.

Still Hope for US-China Deal this Year: US Official – Reuters

United States national security adviser Robert O’Brien said that an initial trade agreement with China is still possible by the end of the year, but warned Washington would not turn a blind eye to what happens in Hong Kong.

UK’s Johnson on Track for Majority of Almost 50 Lawmakers: Analysis – Reuters

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is on track to secure a decisive majority of almost 50 lawmakers ahead of Britain’s Dec. 12 national election, according to an analysis of thousands of interviews from opinion polls.

Japan-South Korea Bickering Drags On After Intel Pact Rescue – Bloomberg

Japan and South Korea took fresh swipes at one another, raising questions about whether relations between the US allies would improve after they reached a last-minute deal on Friday to rescue an expiring intelligence-sharing pact.

ECB’s Lagarde Urges Governments to Boost Public Investment – Financial Times

Christine Lagarde has called on European governments to boost public investment and increase harmonisation in services, banking and capital markets to rebalance the region’s economy away from exports to domestic demand.

Japan Panel Warns Against Fiscal Complacency Amid Low Rates – Reuters

A top advisory panel to Finance Minister Taro Aso urged the government on Monday to keep its grip on fiscal reform, warning against any complacency about low borrowing costs thanks to years of the Bank of Japan’s monetary stimulus.

In the FICC of It – Profit & Loss

In this week’s podcast; does the latest round of investment in FX businesses give lie to the talk of it being an industry in decline? Also up, the role of data in modernising the FX swaps market and why two legal cases are very different.

Regulatory News

US Banks Cram for Fed Risk Test, with Ripple Effects in Repo – Reuters

New quarterly data from the biggest US banks suggest that some will need to back away from short-term lending markets by year-end to avoid triggering requirements that they hold more capital.

CFTC Hits BGC Financial – Profit & Loss

The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission has issued an order filing and simultaneously settling charges against BGC Financial a futures industry voice broker and registered futures commission merchant, for numerous supervision, reporting, and recordkeeping violations spanning over five years. 

Odey Claims Trading Houses are ‘Gaming’ Iron Ore Market – Financial Times

Odey Asset Management has called for closer oversight of the iron ore market in Asia and greater involvement from the world’s big producers to prevent benchmark prices being “gamed” by trading houses.

Thai Central Bank to Ease FX Rules Due to Limited Scope on Rates – Reuters

Thailand’s central bank said it would ease rules governing the foreign exchange market and international reserves, giving it more scope to tackle the baht’s strength following a series of rate cuts.

Hong Kong is Testing Whether Finance Needs the Rule of Law – Financial Times

The world has three leading international financial centres. Two, New York and London, are serving as controls, while the third, Hong Kong, has started chipping away at its independent judiciary, which is the ultimate guarantor of civil liberties including a free press, freedom of expression and an open internet.

FCA Steps Up Call for Libor ‘Pre-Death’ Trigger in Swaps – Risk

Failure to insert pre-cessation trigger could disrupt hedging of cleared swaps, warns regulator.

Crypto News

From Bitcoin to No Coin, Crypto World Under Pressure as Governments React – Forbes

Things are stirring in the cryptocurrency world. There is a burgeoning debate about central bank issued digital currencies, and in the past month bitcoin has fallen by over 20%.

Russia’s Largest Bitcoin Mine Turns Water into Cash – Bloomberg

Power-hungry crypto mining has found an ideal home in the city of Bratsk, where the weather is cold and the electricity is cheap.

The Case for a Bitcoin ETF – CoinDesk

Issuers have submitted proposal after proposal for a bitcoin-based exchange-traded fund (ETF), and the SEC has delayed or rejected each one. It’s time, however, to ask why and if the SEC’s frustration over not having jurisdiction over cryptocurrencies is clouding their judgment.

Bitcoin Miners Unfazed by Price Drop – Coin Telegraph

Bitcoin is not seeing capitulation among miners despite its price dipping over 15% in the past week, new data suggests.

Bitcoin Price Plummets Under $6,700: Is Below $6ks Unavoidable Now? – NewsBTC

Bitcoin has just plunged to a new six month low under $6,700 which opens up a new range of lows in the short term. The chances of a ‘santa rally’ are dwindling as crypto markets continue to crash back towards the deep chills of winter 2018 levels.

Company News

The Role of the FX Market in the Decline of the Global Macro Hedge Fund – Profit & Loss

Liquidity providers are getting much better at analysing flow – and the result may be a very different look to the FX market structure.

Novartis to Buy Medicines Co. – Wall Street Journal

Switzerland’s Novartis AG agreed to buy cholesterol-drugmaker Medicines Co. for nearly $10 billion, in a pricey bid to expand its reach in the lucrative market for heart treatments.

Deutsche Bank CEO’s Last-Ditch Plan to Save Best of His Business – Bloomberg

As CEO Christian Sewing cuts back the global megabank, revenue growth remains elusive.

Absolute Return Funds Suffer £15bn of Outflows – Financial Times

Once popular products are now UK’s worst selling funds group after chronic underperformance. 

Fed, Trade War Make $488 Billion Japan Fund a Treasuries Bull – Bloomberg

Japan’s Asset Management One Co. has a bullish call on Treasuries. One for the long, long run.

Market Savvy

China Plans Record Sale of Dollar Bonds with Possible $6 Billion Offering – Bloomberg

China is planning a record sale of sovereign bonds in dollars, with a potential $6 billion offering, according to people familiar with the discussions.

Gold is Looking More and More Attractive – Financial Times

Rising US liabilities for entitlements could undermine the dollar.

Negative Rates Can Do a Lot More Damage Yet: a Nordic Warning – Bloomberg

After half a decade of negative interest rates, one of the biggest Nordic pension funds is wondering whether this is just the beginning.

Complacency Could Yet Threaten the Eurozone – Financial Times

If the populists gain power in France and Italy, the future of the euro will be in their hands.

For Asia’s Only Losing EM Currency, the Future Looks Even Bleaker – Bloomberg

India’s rupee is the only emerging Asian currency to weaken this quarter and its losses may gather pace as a report this week is forecast to show economic growth slid to a six-year low.