John Lothian

John Lothian

Executive Chairman and CEO


The John Lothian Daily Update is a podcast turning the daily JLN hits and takes comments, our original content and the stories and quips in the top box of First Read into a daily podcast.


Hits & Takes

JLN Staff

President Donald Trump finally conceded his presidential election defeat to Joe Biden, kind of. He did not mention Biden. Kelly Loeffler has conceded her senatorial election defeat to Rev. Raphael Warnock. Loeffler also announced she would not be voting for the objection to Joe Biden’s Electoral College tallying. Those two moves were the proper ones for Ms. Loeffler to make, which is very encouraging.

The editorial board of the Wall Street Journal is calling for President Trump to resign. This would be the best thing for the U.S. and President Trump, otherwise he will be impeached a second time, it all but appears.

Meanwhile, the U.S. set another record for the number of deaths related to COVID-19 with 4112, which exceeds the previous day’s record that was inflated because of the weekend. And bitcoin set a new record, exceeding $40,000 for the first time.

The Washington, DC police made a total of 68 arrests during the Capitol breach and 56 officers were injured during the pro-Trump insurrection at the US Capitol. Additionally, one police officer has died as result of his injuries, though there were reports this was not the case.

The president’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, during the gathering of the protestors at the National Mall, called for “Trial by Combat,” as if the U.S. election were part of the Game of Thrones, Business Insider reported. Now that is just crazy.

Bloomberg’s Sarah Ponczek reported on Twitter that “when the U.S. capitol was being attacked, more than 29 million call options traded — the fourth most in history.”

FIA’s Walt Lukken penned a commentary titled “CEO Insight China’s evolution is a trend to watch in 2021.” He writes, “Increased international participation is good for all derivatives market participants.”

The Cboe’s David Howon was interviewed by Bloomberg MarketsTV about “Plenty of Opportunity to Grow U.K. and EU Platform.” He talked about “the shifting of EU-listed shares from London to Amsterdam, equivalence, and the future of London as a financial hub.” He speaks with Bloomberg’s Anna Edwards and Matt Miller.

It turns out that 2020 was the hottest year on record, Reuters reported the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service said on Friday.

So much for traveling to Amsterdam. Bloomberg reported that “Amsterdam Wants to Restrict Tourists From Its Marijuana Shops.”

Today we published the second part of our interview with Bill Brodsky, formerly of Cboe Global Markets. Thank you to Mr. Brodsky for participating and doing such a great job explaining the way electronic trading threatened the CBOE and changed the industry and how the CBOE responded.

We had no new donations to the JLN MarketsWiki Education GoFundMe campaign yesterday. So far we have had 104 donors and raised over $23K of our $300K goal. Thank you to all who have given and all who have yet to give. Support our efforts to preserve industry history by donating to our GoFundMe campaign.

Have a great day and stay safe and treat people the same way you want to be treated: with respect, equality and justice.~JJL


Markets Media has a “2021 Outlook Q&A” with Eric Einfalt, Eventus Systems’ chief strategy officer. You can read the interview here. ~SR

Although 2021 has been unique in many ways so far, certain market trends are expected to continue from 2020, says Phil Mackintosh, Nasdaq’s chief economist. Mackintosh, who is known for his ETF research, says one place to expect continued growth is in ETFs. He notes $507.4 billion was invested in U.S.-listed ETFs in 2020, citing data reported by, a record that topped a prior high of $476.1 billion set in 2017. For more insights from Mackintosh, see his weekly blog post on “What to Expect In 2021.”~SC


First Read

Bill Brodsky – The Path to Electronic Trading, Part 2

Former Cboe Global Markets Chairman and CEO Bill Brodsky’s career in the financial industry spanned multiple decades and took him on a path from Wall Street to LaSalle Street. In a wide-ranging, two-part interview, he gave JLN an eyewitness view of the evolution of the options business, the exchanges and trading technology. Here is Part 2.

Watch the video »


Live Updates: U.S. Deaths Set New Record as Cases Surge
Adam Martin – WSJ
The U.S. set a new single-day record for reported deaths associated with Covid-19, and newly reported infections hit their second-highest day on record, surpassed only by a day on which data backlogs artificially inflated the figure. The nation reported more than 4,000 deaths on Thursday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. It was the third record-high day in a row, and the first time the daily figure has surpassed 4,000.

*****This was just as predicted and no crystal ball was even required.~JJL


Wall Street Journal Editorial Urges Trump to Resign to Avoid Impeachment; With the headline “Donald Trump’s Final Days,” The Journal excoriated the president for “an assault on the constitutional process of transferring power after an election.”
Michael M. Grynbaum – NY Times
The editorial board of The Wall Street Journal, the American flagship of Rupert Murdoch’s newspaper empire, denounced President Trump on Thursday for inciting a mob of his supporters to storm the U.S. Capitol and encouraged Mr. Trump to resign from office to prevent a second impeachment by the Democratic-controlled House.

*****This is an incredible thing for the Journal to do and the right thing. I am glad to see their clear headed editorial.~JJL


Hong Kong exchange overtakes CME Group as world’s most valuable bourse; CME Group loses position of most valuable exchange group to HKEX as the Hong Kong venue’s long-serving CEO steps away.
Kiays Khalil – The Trade
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing’s (HKEX) shares rose in the final weeks of 2020, establishing it as the world’s largest bourse by market value. The news – first reported by the South China Morning Post – comes following tensions between Beijing and Washington which could lead to secondary listings of US-listed Chinese tech firms. Meanwhile Stock-Connect activity has risen in light of quota restrictions as China looks to open its market up further to foreign investors.

*****Imagine what HKEX could do if they had a CEO?~JJL


‘Hold the Line, Patriots’: New Scenes From the Capitol Riot
Sabrina Tavernise and Matthew Rosenberg – NY Times
WASHINGTON — There were infamous white nationalists and noted conspiracy theorists who have spread dark visions of pedophile Satanists running the country. Others were more anonymous, people who had journeyed from Indiana and South Carolina to heed President Trump’s call to show their support. One person, a West Virginia lawmaker, had only been elected to office in November.

*****It was a Who’s Who of Trump supporters. Not antifa as some would like to blame.~JJL


BBC Has Staff Wear Electronic Buzzers to Curb Virus
Thomas Seal – Bloomberg
State-backed media company has bolstered safety measures; U.K. has seen surge in coronavirus cases thanks to new variant
British Broadcasting Corp. staff will wear electronic devices to enforce social distancing in a sign of how workplaces are scurrying to contain a new, more-infectious variant of the coronavirus.

*****I know how these things work. It starts with a beep, then you get shocked. Just ask any dog.~JJL


Thursday’s Top Three
Our top story Thursday was JLN’s video interview, Bill Brodsky – The Path to Electronic Trading Part 1. Part 2 appears today, above. Brodsky, the former CEO of Cboe Global Markets, knows how to tell a good story – or rather several. Second was Bloomberg’s Trump Era Ends on a Sour Note for a Wall Street Power Couple, about guess who, Jeff Sprecher and Kelly Loeffler. Third was Members of Trump Cabinet discussing invoking 25th Amendment: Sources, from ABC News.


CryptoMarketsWiki Coin of the Week: XRP
XRP, the digital asset developed by Ripple, has taken a pummeling this week amid its ongoing legal battle with the SEC. Last week, Coinbase and Bittrex announced they would de-list XRP from their trading platforms; this week, Binance.US, Voyager Digital, and Genesis Trading made similar announcements. Grayscale investments announced that the company would remove XRP from its large-cap cryptocurrency indexes. According to data from CoinMetrics, the number of XRP “whales” has decreased significantly, falling by 8 percent over the past two weeks, as wallet holders with significant holdings of XRP sold off their shares.

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