Sterling Derivative Markets Flash Red as British Election Gets Underway – Reuters

Traders rushed to the foreign exchange derivative markets on Thursday to protect their exposure to the British pound in case of a surprise election outcome.

Berlin Says a ‘Standard’ EU-UK Trade Deal Can be Done in 2020 – Politico

Germany is optimistic that the EU and U.K. can negotiate a limited free-trade agreement by the end of 2020, as long as both sides stick to a standard template, a senior government official said today.

What to Watch for as the House Judiciary Committee Marks Up the Articles of Impeachment – The New York Times

The House Judiciary Committee will convene Thursday morning to debate two articles of impeachment against President Trump, the final step before Democrats bring them to the House floor for an expected vote next week to charge the president with high crimes and misdemeanors.

Designing a Prudential Treatment for Crypto-Assets – BIS

Today the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision is publishing a discussion paper on the design of a prudential treatment for crypto-assets.

Banks Face Fresh Collective Action Over Forex Manipulation – Financial Times

One of the law firms that secured a $2bn settlement in the US over allegations of foreign exchange price manipulation filed a collective action in the UK on Wednesday, alleging that six banks participated in “unlawful” forex cartels.

Investors Tear Up Playbook as Currency Market Lull Drags On – Bloomberg

The unprecedented level of calm pervading global currencies is pushing investors to rethink their approach to the $6.6 trillion-a-day market.

Choppy Markets Leave US Bank Bonus Decisions in Limbo – Reuters

December is always a month of suspense on Wall Street, as dealmakers, traders and money managers at big U.S. banks wait to find out how much they will receive in bonuses.

BlackRock Says Days of ‘Extraordinary’ Market Returns Are Over – Bloomberg

BlackRock Inc. is pouring cold water on equity bulls, saying this year’s double-digit returns will be tough to match in 2020 as central banks pause monetary easing.

Regulatory News

Germany Scrambles to Shut the Door on Mifid Open Access – Risk

The scene is set for a scrap over so-called ‘open access’ rules – one of the most politically charged provisions within European market rules for listed derivatives. 

Benchmark Admins are Ready for Senior Managers Regime – Practice Insight

Firms that administer financial benchmarks have welcomed expansion of the UK Financial Conduct Authority’s Senior Managers and Certification Regime, which makes individuals accountable for actions.

Opening Statement of Commissioner Rostin Behnam Before the Market Risk Advisory Committee

Crypto News

Blockchain Adds to Swiss Money Laundering Risks, Finma Warns – Bloomberg

Switzerland’s financial regulator warned the nation is “particularly exposed” to money laundering risks given its traditional role as a magnet for the world’s wealthy as well as emerging threats from blockchain and banks’ lower profit margins.

New York State Regulator Proposes New Framework for Crypto Coin Listings – Reuters

New York State’s financial regulator on Wednesday proposed a plan that would allow licensed virtual currency firms that have already received approval for coin listings to introduce new coins without additional permission.

Asia’s Grayscale? Two New Bitcoin Trust Products Get Launched, with Coinbase as Custodian – Bloomberg

Asset management firm IDEG Investment has launched two new bitcoin trust products – Asia Bitcoin Trust I and Atlas Mining Trust I – claiming to have a total size of $200 million for both the products.

A Blockchain Firm Advised by Nobel Laureate Myron Scholes Just Launched a Rival to Facebook’s Libra – CNBC

One blockchain company thinks it has an alternative to Facebook’s digital currency proposal.

Digital Asset Raises $35m Series C as it Looks to Continue Focus on Smart Contract Offering – The Block

Digital Asset, creator of the open source DAML smart contract language, has secured $35 million in Series C funding, bringing the company’s total raised to $150 million.

Company News

GAM Fixed Income and FX Trading Head to Exit – Financial News

GAM, the Swiss asset manager reportedly considering hundreds of job cuts under its recently appointed chief executive, is about to lose another high profile employee from its ranks.

Deutsche Bank Cites Progress in Turnaround – The Wall Street Journal

Deutsche Bank AG said it is making progress cutting costs and stabilizing businesses weakened from revenue declines in its effort to convince investors that an ambitious five-month-old reorganization is on track.

Oanda Names Niebank as Global Head of Product – FXWeek

Greg Niebank took on the new role of global head of product development at foreign exchange broker Oanda last month.

Market Savvy

Traders Rush to Protect Against a Sharp Fall in the Pound – Financial Times

Investors have scrambled to protect against a fall in the pound following the UK general election on Thursday as polls suggest the race is tightening.

Fed Holds Rates Steady with No Change Through 2020 – Financial Times

The Federal Reserve left its policy rate unchanged at 1.5-1.75 per cent and indicated without dissent that it had no plans to make any more changes in 2020.

Latin American Producers Boosted by Weaker Domestic Currencies – Financial Times

Latin American exporters are having their day in the sun as the fall in their currencies lifts the price of their commodities.