Embattled FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried has been slapped with 8 charges by federal prosecutors, including conspiracy and wire fraud. The ex-CEO was arrested in the Bahamas on Monday – the first move by the authorities to hold those involved in the FTX meltdown and the subsequent loss of billions in client funds accountable. In addition, the SEC has filed a civil complaint against Bankman-Fried with accusations of his involvement in a “scheme to default equity investors”. Industry players and market watchers have called this a positive development for the cryptocurrency ecosystem, citing increasing accountability, and much-needed oversight for the historically poorly-regulated industry.
Microsoft to Buy 4% of the London Stock Exchange Group
Tech giant Microsoft has announced that it plans to acquire 4% of the LSEG from the Blackstone/Thomas Reuters Consortium. for US$1.4 billion. This will come with a 10-year partnership where Microsoft will work to overhaul LSEG’s tech infrastructure, including threading its cloud service Azure and AI architecture into the exchange’s analytics framework; as well as integrating Microsoft Teams into LSEG’s messaging services. The partnership will also include profit-sharing with the LSEG. This follow’s Google’s $1 billion deal with the CME Group last November, and Amazon’s partnership with NASDAQ.
China to Roll Out $143 billion Semiconductor Support Package
The Chinese government is working on a 1 trillion yuan ($134 bn) support package for its semiconductor industry to counter the many restrictions the U.S. has placed against the export of advanced chips to china. With demand for chips soaring worldwide and geopolitical tensions at the fore thanks to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Beijing is planning for one of its largest fiscal packages yet. The plan could take effect as early as 2023, sources say. Despite its vast production capabilities, China lags the rest of the world in advanced chip production, a field dominated by the U.S and Netherlands.