Article: What’s Behind The Massive Fluctuation In Natural Gas Prices?

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What’s Behind The Massive Fluctuation In Natural Gas Prices?

Irina Slav, 30 June 2021

The Texas Freeze was one of those unprecedented events that have the potential to upend the way things are done, in this case, in power utilities. The crisis, which saw natural gas prices rise from two-figure to four-figure numbers, prompted an in-depth look at Texas’s grid and electricity market, and measures to ensure it never happened again. Now, gas prices are on the rise again, and many of the February bills have not been paid yet. Disgruntlement is building up across the swathe of states affected by the freezing cold spell in February. In California, people are being warned their bills are going to rise higher.

“I cannot for the life of me understand how we saw it go from $2 to $1,200 and back down to $2 in the span of the week; that’s not real,” Garry Mize, the Republican chairman of the utilities committee in Oklahoma’s House of Representatives, said recently, as quoted by the Wall Street Journal. Continue reading “Article: What’s Behind The Massive Fluctuation In Natural Gas Prices?”

Article: Why Crime Could Kill Crypto

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Why Crime Could Kill Crypto

Justin Lahart and Telis Demos, 18 June 2021

The strongest argument against cryptocurrencies used to be that they had yet to show they were much good for anything. Now the strongest argument against them may be that they have become far too good at one thing: enabling crime.

Not long after the first of the private digital currencies, bitcoin, launched in 2009, crooks recognized its appeal. While law enforcement is proving increasingly adept at tracking bitcoin transactions and at times seizing ill-gotten money, the ability to make digital payments without financial intermediaries has facilitated activities such as the selling of illegal goods and services online and money laundering. In a 2019 paper, researchers Sean Foley, Jonathan Karlsen and Tālis Putniņš estimated that 46% of bitcoin transactions conducted between January 2009 and April 2017 were for illegal activity. Continue reading “Article: Why Crime Could Kill Crypto”

Article: SEC plans to go after market manipulation on social media, executive insider trading, Gensler says

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SEC plans to go after market manipulation on social media, executive insider trading, Gensler says

Chris Matthews, 07 June 2021

Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler said Monday that his agency is focused on adopting new rules to guard against company executives using private information to opportunistically sell shares of companies they oversee, while acknowledging that the SEC must come up with new strategies to guard against market manipulation on social media.

The SEC adopted regulations about 20 years ago, called 10b5-1 plans, that enable company insiders to buy and sell securities in their own company if those transactions are made by a third party who is not aware of material, non-public information.

“In my view, these plans have led to real cracks in our insider trading regime,” Gensler said at the Wall Street Journal’s CFO Network Summit Monday.

One concern Gensler has is that there is no “cooling off period” mandated by the SEC for when a 10b5-1 plan is adopted and when it can start trading, though research shows that 40% of such plans begin trading within just two months after they are opened, while 14% start trading within a month.

Futhermore, there is no limitation as to how many 10b5-1 plans insiders can open, making it easier for an insider to shut down one or many plans if he has public information that suggests that it would be profitable to do so.

“Insiders can cancel a plan when they do have material non-public information. This seems upside-down to me. It also may undermine investor confidence,” Gensler said. “In my view, canceling a plan may be as economically significant as carrying out an actual transaction,” he added. “Thus, I’ve asked staff to consider limitations on when and how plans can be canceled.”

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Article: Elon Musk is still facing SEC acting as Twitter police over his Tesla (TSLA) tweets

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Elon Musk is still facing SEC acting as Twitter police over his Tesla (TSLA) tweets

Fred Lambert, 01 June 2021

ew information is revealing that Elon Musk still has the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on his behind acting like Twitter police over his tweets about Tesla.

Tesla, Elon Musk, and the SEC
Musk and the SEC have had a few run-ins with each other, and it was rarely with a good outcome. Most famously, the SEC filed a lawsuit against Musk over his infamous “funding secured” comment regarding his failed attempt to take Tesla private back in 2018. The Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) judged that Musk exaggerated when saying that the funding was “secured”: Continue reading “Article: Elon Musk is still facing SEC acting as Twitter police over his Tesla (TSLA) tweets”

Article: Credit Suisse Prime Brokerage Heads Fired Over Archegos Blowup

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Gary Gensler is now head of the SEC. What comes next?

TYLER DURDEN, 19 April 2021

Apparently, firing half a dozen executives including its head of risk management (Lara Warner, also one of the most high-ranking women in the global financial services industry) hasn’t done enough to quiet shareholders’ demands for change atop Credit Suisse, the Swiss banking giant that reported a $4.7 billion loss from the collapse of Archegos Capital Management, with billions of losses likely to follow from the collapse for Greensill.

As CEO Thomas Gottstein clings to his position, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday that John Dabbs and Ryan Nelson will immediately step down as co-heads of prime services, the prime-brokerage unit responsible for extending all that credit to Archegos (as a reminder, for an explainer on how Archegos built its $100 billion massively leveraged position. Continue reading “Article: Credit Suisse Prime Brokerage Heads Fired Over Archegos Blowup”

Article: Guebert: ‘Price fixing’ settlements need big fix

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Guebert: ‘Price fixing’ settlements need big fix

Alan Guebert, 04 April 2021

In a too-common story in American agriculture, Archer Daniels Midland last month agreed to pay farmers $45 million to settle what the March 13 Wall Street Journal described as “price-fixing allegations leveled at its peanut processing division.”

While $45 million is, indeed, peanuts to ADM, this isn’t the first time the Chicago-based company has faced market manipulation charges. In the late 1990s, ADM spent years and millions on criminal and civil price-fixing settlements. But ADM isn’t the only ag master of the universe to settle recent civil lawsuits over alleged market irregularities. Continue reading “Article: Guebert: ‘Price fixing’ settlements need big fix”

Article: Federal agencies launch probe into possible manipulation after GameStop trading frenzy: WSJ

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Federal agencies launch probe into possible manipulation after GameStop trading frenzy: WSJ

Noor Zainab Hussain, 11 February 2021

(Reuters) – Federal prosecutors and regulators are investigating whether “market manipulation or other types of misconduct” led to a meteoric rise in shares of companies such as GameStop and AMC, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

The Justice Department’s fraud section and the San Francisco U.S. attorney’s office have sought information about the trading from brokers and social-media companies that were hubs for the trading, the WSJ reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Prosecutors have subpoenaed information from brokers such as Robinhood, according to the report.

Additionally, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission has opened a preliminary investigation into whether misconduct occurred as some Reddit traders targeted silver futures, the WSJ report.

A Justice Department spokesperson did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

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