Connect with us

Uncategorized

Mideast tensions send the Swiss franc, oil and gold sharply higher

Univ of Mich: Short- and longer-run inflation expectations surge (1-year rises to 3.8% and 5-10 year rise to 3.0%) Consumer  sentiment plunges from 68.1…

Published

on

  • Univ of Mich: Short- and longer-run inflation expectations surge (1-year rises to 3.8% and 5-10 year rise to 3.0%)
  • Consumer  sentiment plunges from 68.1 to 63.0, worst slide since June 2022
  • Bank stocks initial rally faded

It has been a very busy Friday on Wall Street. Stocks traded mostly lower as investors digested an impressive start to earnings, surging inflation expectations and rising tensions with the conflict between Israel and Hamas.  The latest potential escalation in the Israel- Hamas war triggered a wave of buying of oil and gold.  The Swiss franc remained on firm footing as safe-haven flows continued to come to Treasuries. 

Despite a challenging macro backdrop, US banks delivered upbeat earnings and a cautiously optimistic outlook. Investors expecting a more downbeat outlook for the consumer were surprised today.   

The bond market will remain volatile as the Fed speak will no longer be one sided and over uncertainty as to how the geopolitical risks may escalate in the short-term. Unless the bond market rally extends, this should still be a difficult environment for risky assets.     

Bank Earnings

JPMorgan, Wells Fargo, and Citigroup got this earnings season off to a surprisingly strong start.  JPMorgan posted another record-setting net interest income quarter and boosted their forecasts.  Wells Fargo delivered strong top and bottom beats and raised their guidance for full-year costs.  Citigroup had robust FICC sales trading results, while equities sales and trading revenue came in soft. 

JPMorgan CEO Dimon noted, “Currently, U.S. consumers and businesses generally remain healthy, although, consumers are spending down their excess cash buffer.”

Wells Fargo CEO Scharf said, “While the economy has continued to be resilient, we are seeing the impact of the slowing economy with loan balances declining and charge-offs continuing to deteriorate modestly.”

Cleary an economic slowdown is not quite here for the US economy and that could support the case that the Fed will keep rates higher for even longer.

USD/CHF Weekly Chart

If risk aversion remains the dominant theme next week, USD/CHF could see accelerated selling momentum if the bullish trendline that started in the middle of summer is breached.  To the upside, 0.9275 level provides critical resistance.

Read More

Continue Reading

Uncategorized

Caroline Ellison wanted to step down but feared a bank run on FTX

Former Alameda CEO Caroline Ellison recognized she wasn’t doing a good job months before the company filed for bankruptcy, but Sam Bankman-Fried persuaded…

Published

on

Former Alameda CEO Caroline Ellison recognized she wasn’t doing a good job months before the company filed for bankruptcy, but Sam Bankman-Fried persuaded her to stay.

Caroline Ellison wasn’t doing a good job leading Alameda Research in 2022, and she did not hide it. Excerpts from her personal notes shared as evidence by prosecutors in Sam Bankman-Fried’s trial revealed details about the trading firm’s struggles and its CEO’s desire to resign weeks and months before FTX collapsed.

Ellison spent over 10 hours testifying during Bankman-Fried’s trial this past week, notably entering through the front doors of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York in Manhattan, joined by her attorneys. Ellison said she had not seen Bankman-Fried since the crypto empire failed in November 2022, but their communication had eroded months before.

In April 2022, their romantic relationship ended, and Caroline started avoiding meetings with Bankman-Fried even though they still lived in the same luxurious apartment in the Bahamas. Alameda’s growing liabilities with FTX and the breakup with Bankman-Fried made her consider leaving the company altogether.

“I feel like neither [Sam] Trabucco nor I have been doing a great job of pushing on stuff,” she wrote in the document to Bankman-Fried, which was shared as evidence during her cross-examination by the former FTX CEO’s defense counsel.

Bankman-Fried asked her to stay on, saying that her departure could create rumors about Alameda’s financial health, thus harming FTX’s credibility, so Ellison remained CEO.

Ellison joined Alameda as a trader in 2018. By 2020, she handled most of the company’s operations, while Bankman-Fried focused on his newly launched crypto exchange, FTX. In August 2021, she became co-CEO alongside Sam Trabucco, who stepped down a few months later, leaving her in charge of the company. In August 2022, Trabucco officially resigned as co-CEO.

Ellison was against creating FTX, she revealed. “I didn’t think of myself as ambitious before I started at Alameda, but I believe I became more ambitious” under Bankman-Fried’s incentive, she said.

As CEO, Ellison was in charge of handling Alameda’s crypto lenders. In mid-2022, after the Terra ecosystem failed, the company’s open-term loans stood at $1.3 billion. The market downturn drained liquidity from crypto assets, prompting Alameda’s lenders to demand loan repayments.

According to Ellison, Bankman-Fried instructed her to keep repaying creditors via Alameda’s line of credit with FTX. In other words, Alameda would use FTX’s customer assets to repay crypto lenders. At the time, its line of credit with the exchange stood at $13 billion.

As lenders demanded loan repayments and Alameda’s balance sheets, Bankman-Fried suggested Ellison use “alternative means” for presenting the company’s financials. In the following months, Ellison would create many additional versions of a balance sheet to deceive creditors.

Early in November 2022, an alternative version of Alameda’s balance sheet was leaked. Ellison was on vacation in Japan at the time, but she had to travel to FTX Hong Kong’s office to deal with the company’s crisis.

While the balance sheet data didn’t reflect the company’s reality, it was enough to spread rumors and trigger a bank run on FTX a few days later, exposing an $8 billion gap between the companies.

Having cooperated with the U.S. Department of Justice since December 2022, Ellison will soon receive her sentence regarding the seven counts of fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud she was charged with.

Magazine: Blockchain detectives — Mt. Gox collapse saw birth of Chainalysis

Read More

Continue Reading

Uncategorized

ProShares prepares to launch unique Short Ether Strategy ETF

ProShares’ SETH ETF will start trading soon, following the first Ethereum futures ETFs by about two weeks.
ProShares introduced a trio…

Published

on

ProShares' SETH ETF will start trading soon, following the first Ethereum futures ETFs by about two weeks.

ProShares introduced a trio of Ethereum futures ETFs in the recent weeks. Presently, the company is gearing up to provide a distinctive offering.

ProShares' Short Ether Strategy ETF (SETH) from the fund group is poised to commence trading shortly, following the debut of the initial Ethereum futures ETFs by about two weeks.

SETH, scheduled for listing on the NYSE Arca exchange, aims to achieve daily investment outcomes that mirror the inverse of the daily S&P CME Ether Futures Index performance, as indicated in a filing made on Friday, Oct. 13.

The fund does not engage in direct shorting of ether (ETH); rather, it seeks to capitalize on potential declines in the asset's value, as stated in the prospectus. On Friday, the price of ETH stood at approximately $1,540, reflecting a decrease of approximately 6% over the past week.

Screenshot of the ProShares SETH filing     Source: SEC

ProShares anticipates that the registration statement for SETH will become effective on Oct. 15 and plans to introduce the fund in early November, as reported by Blockworks.

However, the three existing ProShares ether futures funds — including two that invest in both ether and bitcoin futures contracts — debuted on Oct. 2 alongside similar products by VanEck and Bitwise.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission approved ether futures ETFs two years following the introduction of the initial bitcoin futures ETF, the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITO), which entered the market in Oct. 2021.

Related: SEC reportedly won’t appeal court decision on Grayscale Bitcoin ETF

ProShares continued its release of bitcoin futures ETFs with the Short Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITI) in June 2022. As of now, BITO has accumulated around $850 million in assets, while BITI has approximately $75 million.

In August, Cointelegraph reported that Ether futures ETFs may be approved in October, causing an 11% spike in ETH prices at the time.

Magazine: Bitcoin ETF optimist and Worldcoin skeptic Gracy Chen: Hall of Flame

Read More

Continue Reading

Uncategorized

SEC reportedly won’t appeal court decision on Grayscale Bitcoin ETF

If true, the SEC will need to review and decide on Grayscale’s spot Bitcoin ETF application. If denied, Grayscale could appeal the decision.

Published

on

If true, the SEC will need to review and decide on Grayscale’s spot Bitcoin ETF application. If denied, Grayscale could appeal the decision.

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission reportedly has no plans to appeal the recent court decision that favored Grayscale Investments. The ruling requires the SEC to review the firm’s spot Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF) application.

The SEC’s supposed decision not to appeal the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeal’s ruling was highlighted in an Oct. 13 report from Reuters, which cited “a source familiar with the matter.”

Bloomberg analysts also expect the SEC not to appeal to the Supreme Court but emphasized that this doesn’t necessarily mean Grayscale’s application is set to be approved.

If the reports are true, the SEC will need to follow the court’s August order and review Grayscale’s application to change its Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) into a spot Bitcoin ETF.

According to Reuters, the appeals court is expected to issue a mandate specifically outlining how its ruling should be “executed” by the SEC.

Commenting on the developments, Bloomberg ETF analyst James Seyffart noted via X that:

“I do not think they will appeal to the Supreme Court either. Dialogue between Grayscale and SEC should begin next week. Hoping for more info on next steps sometime next week or week after?”

Moving forward, Seyffart suggested that it is likely that “we will find out in the next week (or two)” what the deadline is for the SEC to approve or deny Grayscale’s spot BTC ETF application.

If the SEC were to deny the application, Grayscale could then appeal that decision, dragging the process out even longer.

Related: Bitcoin price gets new $25K target as SEC decision day boosts GBTC

As it stands, around seven spot Bitcoin ETF applications have been put before the SEC that are awaiting a decision from the regulator.

In a separate preceding X post on Oct. 13, Seyffart reiterated his view that there is a 90% chance that a spot Bitcoin ETF application will get approved in January 2024, specifically the application from Cathie Wood’s ARK Invest.

Seyffart and Bloomberg’s senior ETF analyst Eric Balchunas, also previously suggested that there is a 75% chance that an application will get approved in 2023.

Magazine: Hall of Flame: Crypto lawyer Irina Heaver on death threats, lawsuit predictions

Read More

Continue Reading

Trending