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
Vice President Mike Pence rebuffed the U.S. House of Representatives’ call for implementing the 25th amendment of the U.S. Constitution, so the House is poised to impeach President Donald Trump today. More must-watch TV during the Trump Reality Presidency Show. The FBI has opened 160 cases against people involved in attempting to overthrow the government and is considering charging some with sedition. One theory on why authorities have been slow to charge those involved with more serious charges is the fear President Trump will step in and pardon them before he leaves office on January 20.
The CME Group issued a press release yesterday that they “suspend all political contributions through CME Group’s Political Action Committee (PAC) for the foreseeable future.” The move was made “in response to the violent attack at the U.S. Capitol last week.” Thank you to the CME Group for doing the right thing.
I have not heard or seen anything from Intercontinental Exchange Inc. on this issue yet.
President-Elect Joe Biden is expected to appoint Gary Gensler as the chairman of the SEC, Bloomberg reported. Mr. Gensler formerly headed the CFTC during the four years of the Obama administration and was responsible for implementing the mandates of the Dodd-Frank Act. Welcome back, Gary!
The NFA has a notice on their website that says “If you engaged in business with Gregory L. Gramalegui or Emini Trading School between 2010 and 2015, you may be eligible for restitution.” Visit NFA’s restitution page to learn if you qualify.
Barchart has appointed Keith Petersen as their chief strategy officer and Mark Wator to head of financial & media sales. Congratulations to both.
Larry Arnowitz and Mark Spanbroek are the latest to give to the JLN MarketsWiki Education GoFundMe campaign. Larry is a friend and former electronic trading competitor, from when he ran GNI. He is also a former colleague, from when I helped him get hired by The Price Group to run a discount operation that ultimately did not succeed. Larry is currently selling health insurance for HealthMarkets Inc. Mark is the chairman of the FIA European Principal Traders Association. He is also the former chairman of the board of CME Europe. Mark is also formerly of GETCO and spoke at one of our MarketsWiki Education World of Opportunity events in London. Thank you to Larry and all who have given and all who have yet to give. Support our efforts to preserve industry history by donating to our GoFundMe campaign.
Correction. I did my math wrong yesterday in calculating the incentive fee the Fed should have earned on the $88.5 billion they gave back to the U.S. Treasury. I used the balance sheet of $7 trillion rather than the $88.5 billion for this calculation. Thus, they should have earned $17.7 billion if they were a hedge fund getting the standard 2 and 20 management and incentive fees. My apologies for the error.
In food news, the Wall Street Journal reports that “Australia Is Awash in Lobster.” In related news, Bloomberg is reporting that the “EU Food Watchdog Approves Bugs for Human Consumption.” If you wonder what comedian Jim Gaffigan has to say about lobsters and bugs, here is a video where he talks about lobsters being the bugs of the ocean. He says, “A spoonful of butter makes the bug meat go down.”
Have a great day and stay safe and treat people the same way you want to be treated: with respect, equality and justice.~JJL
Bakkt Holding is going to market as the result of a merger of ICE’s bitcoin warehouse and a special purpose acquisition company, VPC Impact Acquisition Holdings, which is listed on Nasdaq. The investor presentation filed with the SEC is available here. Slide 22 in the deck describes the “powerful flywheel effect” that characterizes the enterprise’s prospects. You can read about what a flywheel effect is over on management consultant Jim Collins’s website. ~Thom Thompson
House Set for Impeachment Vote as Republicans Break From Trump
Mike Dorning, Erik Wasson, and Billy House – Bloomberg
President’s actions in stoking mob cause rift in his party; Trump would become only U.S. president to be impeached twice
The U.S. House prepared to vote on a history-making second impeachment of Donald Trump as lawmakers seethed over his role inciting last week’s mob attack on the Capitol and the president’s once-firm control over the Republican party began to break down.
*****Must see TV!~JJL
Biden Poised to Pick Wall Street Critic Gary Gensler to Lead SEC
Saleha Mohsin, Jennifer Epstein, Robert Schmidt, and Benjamin Bain – Bloomberg
Ex-CFTC chairman would be securities industry’s top regulator; Gensler often sparred with financial firms while running CFTC
Gary Gensler is President-elect Joe Biden’s likely pick to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to two people familiar with the matter, a move that would put a former regulator who is known for sparring with financial executives atop Wall Street’s main overseer. Gensler, 63, ran the Commodity Futures Trading Commission during the Obama administration, a post where he was the driving force behind the government’s new oversight regime of the massive over-the-counter swaps market. The role put him in frequent combat with banks, which resisted his push to bring transparency and guardrails to a corner of finance that helped ignite the 2008 credit crunch.
*****Chairman Gensler will be the second former CFTC head to later become SEC chairman, if my recollection is right. Mary Shapiro was the other.~JJL
CME Group Statement on the CME Group Political Action Committee
CME Group today announced the company will suspend all political contributions through CME Group’s Political Action Committee (PAC) for the foreseeable future. This decision was made in response to the violent attack at the U.S. Capitol last week. In light of this appalling event, the company believes it is critical to reexamine its contribution policies to ensure anyone who receives PAC support shares the values of CME Group.
*****Thank you to the CME Group for doing what I believe is the right thing to do.~JJL
Programmer has two guesses left to access £175m bitcoin wallet
Rupert Neate – The Guardian
Stefan Thomas has just two chances left to get his hands on his $240m (£175m) fortune.
Thomas is a San Francisco-based computer programmer, and a decade ago he was given 7,002 bitcoins as a reward for making a video explaining how the cryptocurrency works.
At the time he was paid, they were worth $2-$6 each. He stashed them away in his “digital wallet” and forgot about them.
Barchart Appoints Keith Petersen to Chief Strategy Officer and Mark Wator to Head of Financial & Media Sales
Today, Barchart, a leading provider of market data and technology services to the financial, media and commodity industries, announced that Keith Petersen has been named Chief Strategy Officer, and Mark Wator has been named Head of Financial & Media Sales.
*****Congratulations to both on their new positions.~JJL
Tuesday’s Top Three
Our top story Tuesday was Bloomberg’s Wall Street Visionaries Provide Chilling Views on Next Big Risk. Second was CME Group’s CME Group and IHS Markit to Form Leading Post-Trade Services Joint Venture for OTC Markets. Third was a repeat in the top 3, Yahoo News’s Trump reportedly told Kelly Loeffler he’d ‘do a number on her’ if she didn’t back Electoral College challenge.