Interbank Market News Scan: On the horizon is the opportunity for bank customers to buy and sell crypto through their accounts …

Links to follow ….

Banks. For the first time, customers of some U.S. banks will soon be able to buy, hold and sell bitcoin through their existing accounts, according to crypto custody firm NYDIG. Bitcoin is coming to hundreds of US banks, says crypto firm NYDIG (cnbc.com)

Banks. Archegos Capital Management, the family office run by former Tiger Asia manager Bill Hwang, is preparing for insolvency as banks involved in financing its trades seek to recoup some of their losses, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday. Archegos Prepares for Insolvency as Banks Seek Compensation: Financial Times | Investing News | US News

Cryptocurrency, Dogecoin. Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban tweeted about Dogecoin again over the weekend, saying the form of cryptocurrency could become a useful currency if things fall the right way. Can Dogecoin become a useful currency? (msn.com)

Federal Reserve System. The Federal Reserve Board on Wednesday invited public comment on proposed guidelines to evaluate requests for accounts and payment services at Federal Reserve Banks (“Account Access Guidelines”). Federal Reserve Board – Federal Reserve Board invites public comment on proposed guidelines to evaluate requests for accounts and payment services at Federal Reserve Banks

Foreign exchange rates of interest ….

Currency PairsRates as of 8:27 pm EST 5 May 2021Rates as of 9:29 pm EST 4 May 2021Change in pips
EUR/USD1.20071.2017-10
GBP/USD1.39041.3891+13
AUD/USD0.77460.7711+35
USD/CAD1.22691.2290-21
USD/JPY109.2500109.3000-500
USD/NOK8.35048.3276+228
USD/CHF0.91270.9133-6
USD/SEK8.48308.4837-7
USD/MEX20.256020.1837+723
Source: Reuters

From the lips of the Federal Reserve …

Federal Reserve Board Governor Michelle Bowman shares her 2021 economic outlook

“I believe that the economy has gained momentum in the past several months and is well positioned to grow strongly in 2021. Nevertheless, we have further to go to recover from the economic damage inflicted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and risks remain.” — Michelle W. Bowman

“Thank you for this opportunity to address the members of the Colorado Forum, which has been an arena for thoughtful discussion and debate for more than 40 years. Today I would like to discuss a subject that I expect is of great interest to Coloradans and others: the outlook for the U.S. economy in 2021. I believe that the economy has gained momentum in the past several months and is well positioned to grow strongly in 2021. Nevertheless, we have further to go to recover from the economic damage inflicted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and risks remain.

As we all know, starting in late February or March of last year, widespread economic and social lockdowns and other effects of the pandemic caused the swiftest and deepest contraction in employment and economic activity since the Great Depression. Money markets, the Treasury market, and other parts of the financial system seized up, and there were fears of another severe financial crisis. The Federal Reserve stepped in quickly to assist, reviving several lending facilities used in the previous crisis and creating several new facilities. We also cut short-term interest rates to near zero and began purchasing large quantities of Treasury and agency securities to help sustain the flow of credit to households and businesses. Congress and the Administration also worked together to provide effective and timely support. Calm was restored in financial markets, and employment and output began growing in May, but it was a very deep hole to fill. Since that time, progress in controlling the pandemic has been a dominant force driving the economic recovery. Rapid progress last summer gave way to slower economic growth over the turn of the year, as infection rates once again surged. But after a substantial pickup in vaccinations and steep declines in virus-related hospitalizations and deaths, the economic outlook has brightened. Job creation had stalled over the winter months but improved again starting in February. Over the past year, we’ve seen a return of nearly 14 million jobs.

Another significant factor contributing to the recovery is the resilience of private-sector businesses. Our economic recovery has been more rapid and stronger than many forecasters expected, partly due to the ability of businesses to adapt to conditions that none of them had planned for, and few even imagined could be possible. Initially, government assistance was important, but millions of businesses were at risk of closure. Instead, many are open and growing today due to the resourcefulness and determination of entrepreneurs and workers and their ability to adjust business plans and operations to deal with the effects of social-distancing and operating restrictions. Of course, technology helped a great deal, but businesses were able to find many other ways to maintain operations and sustain their connections to customers. In writing the history of these eventful times, I hope that the efforts of these businesses and the strength of America’s market-based economy get the considerable credit they deserve.

Recently, the incoming data indicate that economic activity is on an upswing, and the risks of more negative outcomes—especially those from COVID-19—appear to be easing. Vaccinations and the easing of operating and social-distancing restrictions are boosting consumer and business confidence, with the results clear to see in the data on spending. Retail sales surged nearly 10 percent in March and are actually above the trendline that was interrupted by the pandemic a year ago. One particularly encouraging signal in that report was a sharp expansion in spending on food services. I hope this is an indication that consumers are finally returning to in-person dining as spring arrives and local authorities allow restaurants to accommodate more diners. If so, and my fingers are crossed, it is a very good sign of further progress in one of the sectors hardest hit by the pandemic.

In the job market, job gains rebounded to 916,000 in March. At our March meeting, my view was broadly in line with the median of projections of other members of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), which anticipated the economy would grow between 5.8 percent and 6.6 percent in 2021. But the outlook has improved since then, and it now appears that real gross domestic product may increase close to or even above the higher end of that range. This annual increase would be the largest in 36 years.

Likewise, the FOMC median in March was for unemployment to fall to 4.5 percent at the end of 2021, and now it seems possible that it may fall even further. With the economy continuing to reopen, I expect the pace of job creation to remain unusually strong over the spring and summer. Over the past few months many schools have resumed some form of in-person learning, which should translate into a rebound in labor force participation as more parents overseeing virtual education and child care are able to increase hours or return to the workforce.

The biggest risk to the outlook continues to be the course of the pandemic. I see good reasons to be optimistic. Vaccinations are proceeding at a rapid pace, and this progress is supporting decisions by state and local leaders to relax economic restrictions. Most importantly, deaths related to the virus have continued to fall steadily and are at roughly the rate as in early October of last year. I remain hopeful that progress in the economic recovery can stay ahead of new challenges that might emerge, like the spread of new virus variants. That would allow states and localities to continue easing economic and social distancing restrictions and encourage consumers and businesses to return to normal activities. I understand that in Colorado, for example, officials are considering lifting social-distancing restrictions on individuals and businesses. I would be interested to hear from this group about how businesses in Colorado have been faring and whether they have seen an improvement in demand as the pandemic conditions are easing.

While I am optimistic about the ongoing recovery, one lesson of the past year is the significant degree of uncertainty about the course of the virus and its effect on the economy. We experienced periods of considerable progress last year, but we saw some of that progress overtaken by waves of the infection late in the year. Likewise, economic growth rebounded much more quickly than many had expected, but then slowed late in 2020 before regaining speed following the availability of the vaccine. Even with recent encouraging reports on food services, activity in the travel, leisure, and hospitality sectors is still severely compromised, but is showing glimmers of activity. It may be some time before we know whether old habits will resume or new habits have developed that may define a post-pandemic new normal. As I noted in a recent speech, I am particularly concerned about the longer-term effect on small businesses, many of which have held on with government aid and loan forbearance programs that will soon expire.1 It will be several months before we know the final count of permanent small business closures from 2020, but it could be more than we expect.

I will now turn to how the Federal Reserve is proceeding in light of the strong signals of momentum building in the economy. The economic recovery is not yet complete, and the uncertain course of the pandemic still presents risks in the near term, which is why my colleagues and I on the FOMC decided last week to maintain our highly accommodative stance of monetary policy. Despite the progress to date and the signs of acceleration in the recovery, employment is still considerably short of where it was when the pandemic disrupted the economy and it is well below where it should be, considering the pre-pandemic trend. In particular, our maximum employment mandate is intended as a broad and inclusive goal increasing employment and opportunity, but I remain concerned that employment gains for some minority groups have lagged behind those of others. While job creation has been and is expected to remain strong, the pace will eventually slow as the share of those who have been unemployed for the longer-term increases among those who are looking for work. We are making good progress toward our full employment goal, but we still have a long way to go, and risks remain.

This brings me to the other side of our policy mandate. Over the next several months, I expect that headline inflation measures will move above our long-run target of 2 percent. A main reason I expect this outcome is simply the fact that the very low inflation readings during last spring’s deep economic contraction will drop from the usual calculation of 12-month price changes. But in addition, the unusually rapid rebound in economic activity that we’ve seen, along with the pandemic-driven shift towards goods purchases, has led to supply-chain bottlenecks in a number of areas, which in turn have pushed up prices for many goods. One prominent example is with semiconductor producers and their need to dramatically alter the mix of production to meet demands of the high-tech and automotive industries. Although I expect these upward price pressures to ease after the temporary supply bottlenecks are resolved, the exact timing of that dynamic is uncertain. If the supply bottlenecks prove to be more long-lasting than currently expected, I will adjust my views on the inflation outlook accordingly. At this point, the risk that inflation remains persistently above our long-run target of 2 percent still appears small.

In summary, let me say that I am encouraged by the recent pace of the economic recovery, and I remain optimistic that this strength will continue in the coming months. One reason for my optimism is that businesses have been effective in responding to the challenges posed by the pandemic and by economic restrictions implemented in efforts to contain it. We really can’t know how the pandemic will proceed and how that will affect the U.S. economy, but I think we are currently on a good path, and our policy is in a good place. Thank you again for inviting me to speak to you today, and I would be happy to respond to your questions.” — Michelle W. Bowman, 5 May 2021

Source: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

Interbank Market News Scan: A vote that can bring the question of Scottish independence a little closer…

Links you should be following today …

Trading desks. A week that could set in motion the eventual collapse of the 314-year union between England and Scotland is concentrating City trading desks on market disasters ahead. ‘Worse Than Brexit’: Scottish Independence Weighs on U.K. Assets – Bloomberg

Banks. Kate Kelly, The New York Times business reporter, joins ‘Squawk on the Street’ to discuss her story on Goldman Sachs’ plan to end remote work for most of its workers and bring them back to the office by mid-to-late June. Goldman Sachs to end remote work for most employees — What that could mean for other banks (msn.com)

Banks. Larger banks ask corporate clients to reduce their cash deposits. Cash-rich US banks move to reduce corporate deposits | Financial Times (ft.com)

Banks. Long ago central banks secured a monopoly over the issuance of paper money. Now physical cash in the form of bank notes and coins is in terminal decline. But the monetary authorities don’t intend to allow cryptocurrencies to fill the void without a fight. Instead, they’re responding with their own version of a so-called “stablecoin”. These central bank digital currencies, or CBDCs, could turn out to be the most revolutionary financial innovation since, well, the inception of paper money. Chancellor: Central bank coin will crush the banks | Nasdaq

Banks. Loan officers at U.S. banks reported easing standards on most business and household loans in the first three months of the year as more of the country reopened amid accelerating vaccination rates. Banks eased standards for business, household loans in first quarter, Fed survey shows (msn.com)

Foreign exchange rates of interest …

Currency PairsRates as of 9:29 pm EST 4 May 2021Rates as of 11:05 pm EST 3 May 2021Change in pips
EUR/USD1.20171.2047-30
GBP/USD1.38911.3879+12
AUD/USD0.77110.7742-31
USD/CAD1.22901.2293-3
USD/JPY109.3000109.1900+1,100
USD/NOK8.32768.2964+312
USD/CHF0.91330.9124+9
USD/SEK8.48378.4250+587
USD/MEX20.183720.2220-383
Source: Reuters

FedWatch: Fed chair Jerome Powell delivers remarks on the Community Reinvestment Act and the importance of community development …

“We see our robust supervisory approach as critical to addressing racial discrimination, which can limit consumers’ ability to improve their economic circumstances, including through access to homeownership and education.” — Jerome Powell

“Good afternoon. It is a pleasure to be with you today.

Together, over the past year, we have been making our way through a very difficult time. We are not out of the woods yet, but I am glad to say that we are now making real progress. While some countries are still suffering terribly in the grip of COVID-19, the economic outlook here in the United States has clearly brightened. Vaccination levels are rising. Fiscal and monetary policy are providing strong support. The economy is reopening, bringing stronger economic activity and job creation.

That is the high-level perspective—let’s call it the 30,000 foot view—and from that vantage point, we see improvement. But we should also take a look at what is happening at street level. Lives and livelihoods have been affected in ways that vary from person to person, family to family, and community to community. The economic downturn has not fallen evenly on all Americans, and those least able to bear the burden have been the hardest hit.

The pain is all the greater in light of the gains we had seen in the years prior to the pandemic. COVID swept in as the United States was experiencing the longest expansion on record. Unemployment was at 50-year lows, and inflation remained under control. Wages were moving up, particularly for the lowest-paid workers. Long-standing racial disparities in unemployment were narrowing, and many who had struggled for years were finding jobs. It was not until the later years of that expansion that its benefits had started to reach those on the margins. During our Fed Listens events, we met with people around the country and heard repeatedly about the life-changing gains of the strong labor market, particularly at the lower end of the income spectrum. Just a few months later, those stories changed to ones of job losses, overextended support services, and businesses built over generations closing their doors for good.

While the recovery is gathering strength, it has been slower for those in lower-paid jobs: Almost 20 percent of workers who were in the lowest earnings quartile in February of 2020 were not employed a year later, compared to 6 percent for workers in the highest quartile.1

The Fed’s latest Survey of Household Economics and Decisionmaking—or SHED report—which will be published later this month, will show that, for prime-age adults without a bachelor’s degree, 20 percent saw layoffs in 2020 versus 12 percent for college-educated workers. And more than 20 percent of Black and Hispanic prime-age workers were laid off compared to 14 percent of white workers over the same period.

Small businesses have also faced immense difficulties. Fed research found that 80 percent of those surveyed reported a decline in revenue, with two-thirds of those businesses experiencing losses of at least 25 percent.2 A recent Federal Reserve special report looked specifically at the impact on businesses owned by people of color, who reported greater challenges. For example, 67 percent of both Asian- and Black-owned firms and 63 percent of Hispanic-owned firms had to reduce their operations compared to 54 percent for their white counterparts.3

Our upcoming SHED report notes that 22 percent of parents were either not working or working less because of disruptions to childcare or in-person schooling. Black and Hispanic mothers—36 percent and 30 percent, respectively—were disproportionately affected. In a similar vein, labor force participation declined around 4 percentage points for Black and Hispanic women compared to 1.6 percentage points for white women and about 2 percentage points for men overall.4 The Fed is focused on these long-standing disparities because they weigh on the productive capacity of our economy. We will only reach our full potential when everyone can contribute to, and share in, the benefits of prosperity.

Achieving broadly shared prosperity will take action from across society, from fiscal and other government policy to private-sector initiatives to the work everyone here does. The Fed can contribute as well. Using our monetary policy tools, the Fed promotes maximum employment and price stability—two foundations of a strong, stable economy that can improve economic outcomes for all Americans. We view maximum employment as a broad and inclusive goal. Those who have historically been left behind stand the best chance of prospering in a strong economy with plentiful job opportunities. Our recent history highlights both the benefits of a strong economy and the severe costs of a weak one.

Supervisory tools also have a role to play. As part of our policy responsibilities, the Board of Governors enforces both the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the federal fair lending laws that prohibit discrimination in lending. Violations of the fair lending laws, along with other illegal credit practices, are taken into account during bank evaluations under the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). We see our robust supervisory approach as critical to addressing racial discrimination, which can limit consumers’ ability to improve their economic circumstances, including through access to homeownership and education.

The Fed’s community development function plays a role as well, studying what works, convening stakeholders on both the national and District level, and helping financial institutions find opportunities to invest and expand credit opportunities in low- and moderate-income communities.

The economic landscape has changed, and efforts to provide access and credit to communities must change with it. Last year, the Fed issued a proposal for a strengthened, modernized CRA framework, with the objective of building broad support among both external stakeholders and participating agencies. Our goal is to strengthen the core purpose of meeting the credit needs of low- and moderate-income communities. We especially appreciated NCRC’s feedback on the proposal.

We will continue to do our part, and we appreciate the ways our work and that of NCRC members have intersected. Last April, for instance, the Fed expanded the Paycheck Protection Program Liquidity Facility in order to broaden its reach to include some nondepository lenders. That included CDFI (community development financial institution) loan funds, which many of the people here represent. Your work provided small businesses with invaluable technical assistance to help them weather the downturn, and you have helped them get the funds they need to support their businesses.

NCRC member groups have contributed in so many ways. You helped workers who lost their jobs get retrained. You supported working parents. You helped homeowners struggling with payments and connected renters to federal assistance programs. You brought more people into the banking system, helped strengthen financial literacy and capabilities, and worked to address digital divides in areas of need—particularly in rural communities—at a time when connectivity is essential.

I would like to close by saying thank you. You have been working hard through this crisis, and an enormous amount of work still lies ahead. But what you do is essential. You provide an invaluable service: You make people’s lives better. There is no higher calling.

Thank you.” — Jerome Powell, 3 May 2021

Interbank Market News Scan: Yellen appoints a new Comptroller of the Currency chief …

Links of interest to follow …

Trading desks, investment banks. Barclay’s CEO Staley on trading revenue, compensation costs, and return to office. Barclays CEO Jes Staley Staley on Trading Revenue, Compensation Costs, Return to Office: Video – Bloomberg

Trading desks, banks. Citigroup, Nuveen accused of mishandling evidence in muni brawl. Citigroup, Nuveen Accused of Mishandling Evidence in Muni Brawl – Bloomberg.

Trading desks, banks, blockchain. European debt pioneer trumpets revolution coming from blockchain. EIB’s Richard Teichmeister Says Revolution to Come From Blockchain – Bloomberg

Banks.  U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen plans to make her mark by naming a new supervisor for a major U.S. banking regulator that Democrats say was too friendly to large banks under the Trump administration, according to two people familiar with the matter. Yellen to Shake up U.S. Bank Regulator With New Appointment – Sources | Investing News | US News

Banks, central banks. The U.S. nonprofit Digital Dollar Project said on Monday it will launch five pilot programs over the next 12 months to test the potential uses of a U.S. central bank digital currency, the first effort of its kind in the United States. Digital Dollar Project to launch five U.S. central bank digital currency pilots | Reuters

Foreign exchange rates of interest …

Currency PairsRates as of 11:05 pm EST 3 May 2021
EUR/USD1.2047
GBP/USD1.3879
AUD/USD0.7742
USD/CAD1.2293
USD/JPY109.1900
USD/NOK8.2964
USD/CHF0.9124
USD/SEK8.4250
USD/MEX20.2220
Source: Reuters

National Futures Association announcements of interest …

For Immediate Release
April 28, 2021

For more information contact:

Christie Hillsman, 312-781-1490, chillsman@nfa.futures.org
Karen Wuertz, 312-781-1335, kwuertz@nfa.futures.org

NFA orders former associated person Jeremy Ruth never to reapply for NFA membership

April 28, Chicago—NFA has ordered Jeremy Ruth, a former associated person of Postrock Brokerage LLC (Postrock), never to reapply for NFA membership status in any capacity or act as a principal of an NFA Member. Postrock is a former NFA Member introducing broker located in Chicago, Illinois.

The Decision, issued by an NFA Hearing Panel, is based on a Complaint issued by NFA’s Business Conduct Committee and a settlement offer submitted by Ruth, in which he neither admitted nor denied the allegations. The Complaint alleges that he failed to disclose the impact of commissions on customers’ profit potential and placed trades for customers which offered no economic benefit to them and only generated additional commissions. The Complaint also alleges that Ruth made misleading statements to customers and failed to disclose that all of Ruth’s other customers had lost money. Finally, the Complaint alleges that Ruth made unauthorized trades for customers or exercised discretion over customer accounts without obtaining written authority.

For more information, read the Complaint and Decision.

Source: National Futures Association

Interbank Market News Scan: France takes a closer look at Apple, Google as payment systems, platforms …

Foreign currency exchange rates of interest …

Currency PairsRates as of 10:28 am EST 28 April 2021Rates as of 9:13 am EST 29 April 2021Increase/decrease in pips
EUR/USD1.18771.1877No change
GBP/USD1.38961.3831-65
USD/CAD1.25461.2551+5
AUD/USD0.76130.7625+12
USD/JPY110.6250110.0830-5,420
USD/NOK8.51948.5035-159
USD/CHF0.92950.9135-160
USD/SEK8.71668.7177+11
USD/MEX20.257120.2571No change
USD/XCD2.70002.7000No change
USD/JMD147.1020145.180-19,220
USD/DOP56.157556.1575No change
USD/HTG79.338283.8141+44,759
USD/BSD1.00001.0000No change
Source: OANDA

News links you should be following …

Payment systems. The Bank of Thailand (BoT) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) today launched the linkage of Thailand’s PromptPay and Singapore’s PayNow real-time retail payment systems. In a joint statement, the BoT and MAS said the linkage, the first of its kind globally, will enable customers of participating banks in Thailand and Singapore to transfer funds of up to S$1,000 or 25,000 baht daily across the two countries, using just a mobile number. Thailand, Singapore launch world’s first linkage of real-time payment systems | The Edge Markets

Payment systems. The launch of Saudi Arabia’s first instant payments system is another step towards the kingdom’s ambitious proposals to have a 70 percent cashless society as part of the Saudi’s Vision 2030, according to Takreem El-Tohamy, general manager, IBM Middle East and Africa. Saudi launches instant payment system in drive towards cashless society – Arabianbusiness

Payment systems. Embracing new payment rails, and enhancing the value of existing ones, remains a key part of promoting overall payment innovation. But as real-time payment networks proliferate, a new challenge is on the rise: enabling interoperability between these rails on both a domestic and international scale. Real-Time Payments Seek Interoperability | PYMNTS.com

Payment systems. Digital payment services developed by U.S. tech giants such as Apple and Alphabet’s Google risk reinforcing their market power by giving them greater sway over consumers’ data, France’s antitrust authority said on Thursday. French watchdog warns of big tech’s sway over payment services (yahoo.com)

Payment systems. The government is committed to implementing the electronic wages or “e-wages” system as soon as possible to ensure employees get paid in “real-time”, following the wake of the apparent suicide of a foreign worker several weeks ago over allegations of unpaid wages. HR minister vows e-wages system to ensure ’real-time’ payment, after employee’s death (msn.com)

Central banks. Cryptocurrencies aren’t going anywhere in the coming years, but their usage will probably decline when central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) are eventually rolled out, according to Deutsche Bank International Private Bank. Cryptocurrencies will survive the rise of central bank-backed digital coins, but their use will likely decline, Deutsche Bank says | Currency News | Financial and Business News | Markets Insider (businessinsider.com)

Central banks. Central bank digital cash could give new types of businesses access to ultra-cheap central bank funding and lessen the role of big banks in settling large transfers, a senior Bank of France official said on Thursday. Central bank e-cash could ‘challenge’ role of big banks, Bank of France says | Reuters

Cryptocurrency, ether, bitcoin. Ether hit an all-time high Thursday as bitcoin’s dominance of the cryptocurrency market declined. The world’s second-largest digital currency by market value surged to a fresh record of $2,774 Thursday morning, according to data from Coin Metrics. Bitcoin, the top digital coin, was slightly lower at a price of $54,471. Digital currency ether hits a record high, stealing bitcoin’s limelight (msn.com)

Interbank Market News Scan: Awaiting the Fed; Central banks consider or start their asset purchase taper as they increase interest in central bank digital currencies …

Foreign currency exchange rates of interest …

Currency PairsRates as of 6:20 am EST 27 April 2021Rates as of 10:28 am EST 28 April 2021Increase/decrease in pips
EUR/USD1.18971.1877-20
GBP/USD1.38551.3896+41
USD/CAD1.25681.2546-22
AUD/USD0.76130.7613No change
USD/JPY110.6250110.6250No change
USD/NOK8.51868.5194+8
USD/CHF0.94210.9295-126
USD/SEK8.71668.7166No change
USD/MEX20.295320.2571-382
USD/XCD2.70002.7000No change
USD/JMD145.1800147.1020+19,220
USD/DOP56.316456.1575-1,589
USD/HTG79.085979.3382+2,523
USD/BSD1.00001.0000No change
Source: OANDA

News links you should be following …

Payment systems. SIBS actively pursues its contribution to payments digitization on a global scale with the development and operationalization of a new payments platform in the African continent, supporting the national payment system of São Tomé and Príncipe. Sibs to launch payments system in São Tomé and Príncipe (finextra.com)

Payment systems. Jim Aramanda, president and CEO of The Clearing House, explains why the RTP (Real-Time Payments) network is the payments system built for the 21st-century digital economy. In this excerpt from The Connected Economy’s Power Source – CEO Edition, Aramanda shares his insights on the growing need for financial inclusion and greater payments control for consumers. 21st-Century Payments System For Digital Economy | PYMNTS.com

Central banks. The Bank of Canada set the taper ball rolling last week, becoming the first major central bank to cut back on pandemic-era money-printing stimulus programmes. So who’s next? The Great Exit: Central Banks Line up to Taper Emergency Stimulus | Investing News | US News

Central banks. The world’s biggest central banks are revving up work on issuing digital cash, aiming to fend off emerging threats to traditional money and to make payments systems smoother. Explainer: an E-Yuan, Euro or Dollar? Central Banks Get to Grips With Digital Cash | Technology News | US News

Central banks. JPMorgan has created a new company to tackle cross-border payments using blockchain technology with Singapore state-backed fund Temasek and DBS. JPMorgan launches blockchain venture with Temasek for central bank digital currencies – Financial News (fnlondon.com)

Central banks. Egypt’s central bank kept its key interest rates on hold on Wednesday, the bank said in a statement. Egypt’s central bank keeps key interest rates on hold – statement | Reuters

Interbank Market News Scan: Iran finds an end around on US sanctions by providing crypto an underlying economy…

Foreign exchange rates of interest ….

Currency PairsRates as of 4:46 pm EST 26 April 2021Rates as of 6:20 am EST 27 April 2021Increase/decrease in pips
EUR/USD1.18901.1897+7
GBP/USD1.38691.3855-14
USD/CAD1.25681.2568No change
AUD/USD0.76020.7613+11
USD/JPY110.5960110.6250+290
USD/NOK8.52458.5186-59
USD/CHF0.94170.9421+4
USD/SEK8.71778.7166-7
USD/MEX20.284420.2953+109
USD/XCD2.70002.7000No change
USD/JMD144.9940145.1800+1,860
USD/DOP56.316456.3164No change
USD/HTG79.085979.0859No change
USD/BSD1.00001.0000No change
Source: OANDA

News links you should be following …

Payment systems. The share of Russian exports settled in US dollars has dropped below 50%. The decline, recorded in the fourth quarter of 2020, reflects Moscow’s policy of cutting the Russian economy’s reliance on the greenback. Most Russian exports have now kicked reliance on US dollar as payment currency — RT Business News

Payment systems. Amazon is expanding its palm-scanning payment system to a Whole Foods store in Seattle, the company announced Wednesday, the first of many planned rollouts at other locations. Amazon will initially roll out Amazon One at the Whole Foods in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, not far from the company’s headquarters, before launching the system at seven Seattle-area Whole Foods in coming months. Amazon is bringing palm-scanning payment system to Whole Foods stores (msn.com)

Payment systems. Business technology company Deluxe (DLX) has agreed to acquire First American Payment Systems for $960 million in cash, the company said in a statement. Deluxe believes that this deal will accelerate the company’s transformation into a leading payments technology company as part of its “One Deluxe” strategy. Deluxe To Buy First American Payment Systems For $960 Mln Cash | Nasdaq

Central banks, Riksbank. Sweden’s central bank kept monetary policy unchanged on Tuesday as expected, vowing to support the economy as long as needed amid uncertainty over the speed of recovery from the effects of the pandemic. Swedish central bank leaves policy unchanged amid COVID uncertainty | Nasdaq

Central banks, Central Bank of Iran. A developing strategy to mitigate the crippling effect of economic sanctions could see cryptocurrencies being used by Iranian firms to pay for imports such as raw materials and electronics. Iran is continuing to explore the potential use of cryptocurrency as a tool for mitigating the devastating impact of economic sanctions imposed by the United States.  Iran’s central bank says officially mined crypto can be used to pay for imports (cointelegraph.com)

Central banks, Riksbank. A period with inflation over the 2% target of the Swedish central bank would not be a big problem, Governor Stefan Ingves said on Tuesday after the central bank kept policy unchanged. Swedish c.bank’s Ingves says not big worry if inflation overshoots (msn.com)

Interbank Market News Scan: Bank of Jamaica on eve of independence from the finance ministry …

Currency PairsRates as of 8:33 am EST 26 April 2021Rates as of 4:46 pm EST 26 April 2021Change in pips
EUR/USD1.18951.1890-5
GBP/USD1.37821.3869+87
USD/CAD1.25681.2568No change
AUD/USD0.76250.7602-23 pips
USD/JPY110.6250110.5960-290 pips
USD/NOK8.52458.5245No change
USD/CHF0.94210.9417-4 pips
USD/SEK8.72748.7177-97 pips
USD/MEX20.295320.2844-109 pips
USD/XCD2.70002.7000No change
USD/JMD144.3720144.9940+6,220 pips
USD/DOP56.600056.3164-2,836 pips
USD/HTG79.090379.0859-44 pips
USD/BSD1.00001.0000No change
Source: OANDA

News links to follow today …

Bank of Jamaica, repos. Applications were opened on Monday, 26 April 2021 by Bank of Jamaica, for the provision of Jamaica Dollar liquidity, in the amount of
JMD5 000 000 000.00 through repurchases to deposit-taking financial institutions for settlement on Tuesday, 27 April 2021. These repurchases
will mature on Tuesday, 11 May 2021. bank_of_jamaica_14-day_auction_result_26_april_2021.pdf (boj.org.jm)

Federal Reserve. The Federal Open Market Committee begins its two-day meeting tomorrow Wednesday 27 April 2021. No changes are expected in the federal funds target rate which ranges between 0 and .25%. The Fed – Meeting calendars and information (federalreserve.gov)

Dominican Republic. President Luis Abinader optimistically evaluated the current state of the Dominican economy, ensuring that its takeoff is already a reality despite the difficulties of the pandemic. Abinader assures that the economy, job creation and investments do not stop growing (dominicantoday.com)

Payment systems. In an interview with PYMNTS, Tranglo CEO Jacky Lee explored why the correspondent banking system remains so sticky, and what third-party FinTechs can do to ease businesses’ biggest international money-moving pain points. Tranglo Talks Correspondent Banking Alternative | PYMNTS.com

Interbank Market News Scan: China is graying and will need to revamp its demographic policies ….

Links to follow today ….

Central banks, China. A pension deficit and looming debt crisis driven by a rapidly greying population. That’s the nightmare scenario for Chinese authorities, including the nation’s central bank, who are increasingly worried about the financial implications of the country’s demographic challenges. China population: what’s driving central bank concern about the nation’s ageing workforce? | South China Morning Post (scmp.com)

Central banks, CBDCs. The proposed authoritarian evolution of centrally issued digital currencies takes the world closer to dystopia. Central Bank Digital Currencies And The Orwellian New World Order | Nasdaq

Central banks, bitcoin. Billionaire investor Mike Novogratz said Thursday the surge in cryptocurrencies is serving as a referendum on the perceived ability of the Federal Reserve to manage risks facing the world’s largest economy and suggested people continue to buy into bitcoin. Billionaire investor Mike Novogratz says the record-breaking rally in crypto shows a lack of faith in the Fed – and cites central-bank uncertainty as a reason for bitcoin’s latest surge (msn.com)

Central banks, Bank of Canada. The Bank of Canada sent out a warning to investors this week that inflation still matters. In a surprise move, it accelerated the timetable for a possible interest-rate increase and began paring back its bond purchases on Wednesday. That made Canada the first major economy to signal its intent to reduce emergency levels of monetary stimulus. Inflation Forces the Bank of Canada’s Hand Ahead of Fed and ECB (msn.com)

As we enter a new week, the rates to start your day ….

As of 11:30 am EST, Bloomberg reports that the yield on the three-month Treasury note closed at 0.02% last Friday while the two-year note closed at 0.16%. The ten-year and thirty-year Treasurys closed Friday at 1.56% and 2.23%, respectively.

The Federal Funds rate, the rate at which banks lend to each other overnight in support of their reserve requirements, is at .07%, while the Fed Funds target rate is still at .25%. The prime lending rate is 3.25%.

Exchange rates of interest as of 5:30 pm EST….

Currency PairsRates as of 5:30 pm EST 25 April 2021
EUR/USD1.1890
GBP/USD1.3718
USD/CAD1.2568
AUD/USD0.7625
USD/JPY108.0210
USD/NOK8.5402
USD/CHF0.9417
USD/SEK8.7274
USD/MEX20.5078
Source: OANDA