US Presidential Election and Senate: Impact on Financial Markets #17

Market Meditations | September 21, 2020

We cover US presidential election, the latest moves in crypto and highlight all key events to be on the lookout for this week

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Today’s Meditations:

  1. Scan of the Week

  2. US Presidential Election and Senate: Impact on Financial Markets

  3. Deutsche and JPMorgan Top Banks Flagged in Fraud Report

  4. Game Changer: Microsoft Buys Elder Scrolls Company ZeniMax for $7.5bn

  5. Trump Says He Will Reveal Supreme Court Nominee by the End of the Week

  6. Over 140,000 Addresses Have Claimed Their 400 Uni Token Airdrops 

  7. Stablecoin Dex Curve Kicks off a Dividend on Its CRV Token

  8. New EU Crypto Assets Rules to Be Released by 2024

  9. Becoming a Better Thinker

Scan of the Week 

Crypto News

  • Sept 22. ARDR: Hardfork

  • Sept 22. DUSK: Provisioner staking goes live

  • Sept 24. Zcoin (XZC): End of Founder’s Rewards

  • Sept 28. LISK: Halving

Global News

  • Sept 22. BoE Governor Bailey Speaks on BBC Webinar and Fed Chair Powell Testifies to House Financial Services Panel

  • Sept 23. UK Manufacturing and Services PMI

  • Sept 24. BoE Governor Bailey Speaks at Chamber of Commerce Event and Fed Chair Powell And Munchin Testify Before Senate Banking Committee

US Presidential Election and Senate: Impact on Financial Markets

  • Deutsche and JPMorgan Top Banks Flagged in Fraud Report. The global financial industry is under the spotlight (again) after a series of leaked documents show years of transactions handled by the world’s largest banks linked to money laundering, corruption and fraud. The report dubbed the FinCEN files, released by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and based on leaked documents obtained by BuzzFeed News, said that in some cases the banks kept moving illicit funds after receiving warnings from U.S. officials. Banks moved more than $2 trillion in transfers that their own compliance officers flagged as suspicious in around 2,100 filings. The documents mainly cover payments from 2011 to 2017. The filings analyzed represent just 0.02% of more than 12 million suspicious activity filed over that time. Market impact: HSBC shares reached a 25 year low on Monday, Standard Chartered fell 5% in London trading, while Barclays and Deutsche Bank shares declined more than 8% as investors digested the report and also worried about tighter virus restrictions. Read more.

  • Game Changer: Microsoft Buys Elder Scrolls Company ZeniMax for $7.5bn. Microsoft will buy ZeniMax Media for $7.5 billion in its biggest video game deal. ZeniMax owns Bethesda, the publisher of popular games such as The Elder Scrolls and Fallout. The company owns several other studies, giving Microsoft’s Xbox business an infusion of major titles. Bethesda has agreed to debut two of its upcoming games on Sony’s PS5 rather than Xbox and it’s unclear how the acquisition will affect that deal. Xbox chief Phil Spencer said: “Like us, Bethesda are passionate believers in building a diverse array of creative experiences, in exploring new game franchises, and in telling stories in bold ways. All of their great work will continue and grow, and we look forward to empowering them with the resources and support of Microsoft to scale their creative visions to more players in new ways for you.Read more.

  • Trump Says He Will Reveal Supreme Court Nominee by the End of the Week. Donald Trump on Monday said he would push to install a successor to Ruth Bader Ginsburg before the November election and plans to announce his Supreme Court nominee later this week. The US president said in a ‘Fox & Friends’ interview that he was considering a short list of five candidates for the Supreme Court vacancy left by Ginsburg’s death on Friday. Mr Trump has said he will select a woman. The appointee would be Mr Trump’s third to the Supreme Court and could cement conservative control of the high court with a 6-3 majority, providing an enduring victory for Republicans even if they lose the White House at this election. Read more.


One Day



Three Day


  • Over 140,000 Addresses Have Claimed Their 400 Uni Token Airdrops. After Uniswap’s successful token launch on Friday, around 75% of the claimable UNI tokens (150 million) have been obtained so far. Most claims were made on Friday in the first hours after the launch, congesting the Ethereum blockchain once again and causing transaction fees to rise towards new all-time highs. Price quickly doubled on Saturday after absorbing most of the initial sell-pressure,, and is now trading around $5. The market cap of the UNI token currently sits at ~$590 million with a fully diluted valuation of almost $5 billion. Read more.

  • Stablecoin Dex Curve Kicks off a Dividend on Its CRV Token. Decentralized exchange (DEX) for stablecoins Curve has introduced a new dividend program for holders of its governance token, CRV. In order to participate in governance, users have to stake their CRV to a special contract and receive special escrow tokens (veCRV) in return. Those tokens started receiving half of all the staking fees on Curve on Saturday, a ‘result of a community-lead proposal to align incentives between liquidity providers and governance participants (veCRV holders).’ Read more.

  • New EU Crypto Assets Rules to Be Released by 2024. In times of a pandemic that has driven more people to go cashless, the European Union’s approach is part of a broader effort to encourage a shift towards digital finance, according to a Reuters article. The EU will introduce new rules before 2024 to make cross-border payments quicker and cheaper by utilizing blockchain and crypto assets like stablecoins. The EU executive is working on a draft to clarify how existing rules apply to crypto assets and will introduce new rules where there are gaps. With this strategy, Europe continues to look for alternatives to the likes of Mastercard and Visa, the U.S. payments firms heavily used in Europe. Read more

Becoming a Better Thinker

Entrepreneurship is difficult to teach because original thinking is so hard to teach. Learning how to become a better and independent thinker is not an easy thing to do. As social creatures, we as humans tend to hang out with people who share our opinions and avoid the ones who think differently. We mimic the opinions of those around us instead of reasoning on our own. As Elon Musk so often says, most humans reason by analogy instead of reasoning from first principles. To get better we should start with fundamental truths and reason up from there.

Shane Parrish, founder of Farnam Street, recently shared a snippet where he expands on how we can improve our thinking:

  • Although uncomfortable, hang out with people who are better thinkers who can challenge your beliefs.

  • Expose your thought process to open it up to evaluation and feedback.

There is nothing wrong with being right together with the crowd, but there won’t be a big payoff because everyone else is expecting it too. The best thinking is not often the most popular kind of thinking because looking for an edge, whether that is in markets, business or your personal life, requires you to be right and go against the crowd.  One way to do this is by learning in public. Sharing your thoughts and ideas online can be so advantageous because you open your ideas to criticism and valuable feedback. Continuously iterating through feedback is how startups become successful businesses. At some level, we can do the same for our thinking.

The good news is that there has never been a better time to hang around people who think differently than you. Social media platforms like Twitter allow us to follow almost anybody in the entire world. Instead of only following people that you tend to agree with, look for people who you respect but disagree with. Look for people who surprise you and present their ideas in ways you haven’t thought about before. Go out and stress-test your beliefs. It’s the proven way to get better at anything you do.