My commentary about the NFA CTA/CPO election on Friday elicited different responses from the candidates I did not endorse; John Roe and James Koutoulas. Roe sent a respectful note, asked for a public clarification of some points and the opportunity to respond in this newsletter. Koutoulas took a different tack and decided to threaten me with a lawsuit for libel if I did not retract my commentary.

John Roe is a classy guy and it showed in his response to me. He noted that he successfully petitioned to get on the ballot, he was not a “write-in” candidate, and asked me to clarify this. Done. I told him to publish his response on the Commodity Customer Coalition website, and let me know, and I would include it in the newsletter.

James Koutoulas’ response in emails and texts to me were not so classy. Threats never are. He did not like that I wrote that he was “incapable of being trustworthy” and wanted a public retraction or he would sue me for libeI. I told him he should review the U.S. Supreme Court decision NY Times v. Sullivan. As he is a public figure in the context of this election, as an elected representative, I suggested libel was unlikely to have occurred as there is no “actual malice” and I have direct interactions with him and details to support my opinion. He asked me to retract my commentary. He suggested I have a “shill contract” with the NFA, which seems like another conspiracy theory on his part. 

In Koutoulas’ email to me he told me my commentary was a violation of “journalistic standards” because my commentary did not include disclosure that the NFA is a sponsor of MarketsWiki, MarketsReformWiki or a customer of John Lothian Productions. I am still trying to figure out how this is a conflict with supporting Doug Bry and Ernest Jaffarian for election. It must be part of the conspiracy in his mind. Of course, I did disclose this information when in December I called on Mr. Koutoulas to “come forth with some convincing smoking gun, proving the conspiracy and cover up he is accusing NFA staff and fellow Executive Committee members of, or resign from the board.” Of course, he did not resign and is now up for re-election.

I want to thank Mr. Roe for his respectful reply. I thank Mr. Koutoulas for reminding me of several really funny lawyer jokes.

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