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
We would like to secure some additional responses to our demographic survey so we are adding to the benefits for filling it out. We had offered three $100 donations to a charity of your choice. We are now adding a $250 Amazon gift card to one person who fills out the survey and shares their contact information. So now we will draw for one person to get the $250 Amazon gift card and then pull three more names for the $100 donations to a charity of their choice.
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President Donald Trump has been impeached for a second time by the U.S. House of Representatives in the most non-partisan vote in presidential impeachment history.
The New York Times reported “More than 10 percent of the U.S. Congress has tested positive” for COVID-19. It did not help that members were all trapped in a closed room during the insurrection of last week with other members of Congress who had the virus.
My apologies for not asking Nasdaq about their political giving plans, but they have issued a statement saying “the PAC will pause political donations for the next several months as the 117th Congress begins its work for the American people.”
Charles Schwab has taken the political giving issue a step further by announcing they would shut down their PAC, the New York Times reported.
Any other organizations have a statement about their political giving?
Harold N. Bornstein, Donald Trump’s former personal physician, has died at the age of 74. He was the doctor who called Trump the ‘healthiest president ever,’
We did not have any new donations to the JLN MarketsWiki Education GoFundMe campaign yesterday. We have had 110 donations, including a couple of larger ones that were done outside of the GoFundMe platform. I wanted to add something too about Larry Arnowitz, my former colleague and competitor. He was truly an early successful electronic trading pioneer, developing GNI into a firm I looked up to when I was running the Electronic Trading Division of The Price Futures Group. His time in London in the late 1980s and early 1990s for GNI was pivotal to bringing the successes of Europe to the U.S. And then he helped sell the operation to Man Financial, ringing the register for GNI’s owners. Thank you to Larry and to all who have given and all who have yet to give. Support our efforts to preserve industry history by donating you 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
A more perfect union; FIA President and CEO Walt Lukken shares a personal perspective on Washington riots
Walt Lukken – FIA
Normally, this column offers opinions on the global policies and trends of our industry, but last week’s insurrection at the US Capitol compels me to reflect in a more personal way about what I and many others are feeling in the wake of these events. While my viewpoint is American, I believe the lessons we learn are universal to the human condition.
The January after a US Presidential election is normally a time of celebration in our nation’s Capital. Every four years, Americans gather in Washington with pride to recognize and honor the peaceful transition of power from one administration to the next. This is a time when citizens from all fifty states of various beliefs and backgrounds come to celebrate the idea of America.
In my twenty-five years in Washington, I have participated in six inaugurations and the festivities that accompany them. This is always a bipartisan affair with Democrats and Republicans celebrating—not only the new administration—but more importantly, our Constitution and the noble institutions that embody this profound document. We honor our belief in the rule of law that has enabled such a peaceful transition to occur for the last 250 years.
As next week’s inauguration approaches, I am not feeling pride. I am not feeling hopeful. I am feeling ashamed and saddened. The tragic events of last week at the US Capitol and the ensuing loss of life have laid bare the deep divide in our country and the fragility of our democracy.
Capitol Hill is not just the seat of our government, but it is my home—where my kids go to school, where we go to church and where we socialize with our neighbors. I can see the Capitol rotunda from my home, and I have many friends that work there—from Hill staffers to Capitol Police to Members of Congress.
For the rest of this commentary, click HERE.
Ray Carmichael – The History of Financial Futures Part I
Carmichael Led Communications at the Chicago Board of Trade During a Decade of Incredible Growth in Financial Futures
Ray Carmichael joined the Chicago Board of Trade in 1980, hired by then-CBOT president Thomas Donovan to lead communications for the exchange. Carmichael had come from the nonprofit world, so he understood how committees work in organizations.
Ray Carmichael – The History of Financial Futures – Part 2
Carmichael Led Communications at the Chicago Board of Trade During a Decade of Incredible Growth in Financial Futures.
Ray Carmichael was in the thick of the new markets, the early days of electronic trading and huge change in the futures industry globally as the head of corporate communications for the Chicago Board of Trade. He was there when financial futures grew dramatically at the CBOT, making it “the most exciting time in the world to be at the Board of Trade; it was the glory days.”
JLN Exclusive: TransAct Futures Bought By Owner of NinjaTrader Brokerage, an Introducing Broker
John Lothian – John Lothian News
NinjaTrader Group, LLC purchased futures commission merchant TransAct Futures on the last tick of the clock on December 31, 2020, giving the owner of the fast growing technology and brokerage firm their own FCM to modernize their business. NinjaTrader’s goal with this deal and their growth plan is to become nothing short of the “number one destination for active futures traders.”
This deal represents a well worn path in the futures industry, following firms like TradeStation and Interactive Brokers, who transitioned from technology providers to brokers. NinjaTrader was founded in 2002-03 by Raymond Deux, a futures trader who wanted better tools to trade. His solution became a company when suddenly he had hundreds of fellow traders using his software.
To read the rest of this story, go here.
BNPP Asset Management Looks Forward to Continued Stock Price Appreciation
Thom Thompson – John Lothian News
Despite the current raging pandemic and Congress debating whether to impeach the same president twice, the portfolio managers that BNPP Asset Management’s new U.S. CEO, Johanna Lasker, assembled to talk to the press on Wednesday morning said they believe all of that will fade away gradually. They provided a rosy outlook for equity markets, exchange rates, and the U.S. economy over the next year. They said a strong consensus had formed among them that by the end of 2021 the major economies will have been vaccinated against the effects of the pandemic provided, of course, that the global vaccine program rolls out as well as is hoped.
It was very comforting.
To read the rest of this commentary, go here.
By impeaching Donald Trump, Congress upholds the law; Action against the US president should not stop at a symbolic censure
The Editorial Board – FT
To impeach a US president once is a grave enough business. To do it twice is unique in all history. And still the House of Representatives had no other choice on Wednesday. Donald Trump had neither resigned over the siege of Congress that he incited last week, nor unreservedly deplored it. His vice-president Mike Pence had not used the 25th amendment to oust him. A legislature that let him serve out his last week or so for the sake of convenience would have been derelict in its duty to the law.
***** It was the most non-partisan impeachment vote against a U.S. President ever.~JJL
F.B.I. Urges Police Chiefs Across U.S. to Be on High Alert for Threats; A joint intelligence bulletin warned that the deadly breach at the Capitol would be a “significant driver of violence” ahead of the inauguration of President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.
John Eligon, Frances Robles, Zolan Kanno-Youngs and Helene Cooper – WSJ
The F.B.I. on Wednesday urged police chiefs across the country to be on high alert for extremist activity and to share intelligence on any threats they encounter, as the U.S. government issued a dire intelligence bulletin warning of potential violence ahead of the inauguration.
***** ‘Stay away from mass gatherings’ is a redundant message. But be alert!~JJL
The First Step Toward Unity Is Honesty; More Republicans need to be honest that the election wasn’t stolen. Law enforcement needs to be transparent about the threats facing the nation.
The Editorial Board – NY Times
It has come to this: Lawmakers are telling journalists that they were casting their impeachment votes in a climate of threats where they feared for their own and their families’ safety. “After freshman G.O.P. Rep. Nancy Mace announced she would be opposing President Donald Trump’s bid to overturn the election, the single mother of two feared so much for her life that she applied for a concealed carry permit and sent her kids hundreds of miles from D.C.,” Politico reported this week.
*****We need a lot of honesty. Too many have lost their compass about what is what.~JJL
Nasdaq Issues Statement on Political Action Committee Donations
The Board of Nasdaq’s Political Action Committee announces changes to its PAC program following the violent attack at the U.S. Capitol on January 6. The PAC will pause political donations for the next several months as the 117th Congress begins its work for the American people. The PAC Board will also halt for the foreseeable future any contributions to elected officials who voted to object to the Electoral College certification.
*****Thank you, Nasdaq.~JJL
NFA permanently bars Orland Park, Ill. introducing broker LTG Trading LLC and bars its former principal Gary Fullett from membership for five years
NFA has permanently barred LTG Trading LLC (LTG), a former NFA Member and current CFTC registered introducing broker located in Orland Park, Ill., from membership and from acting as a principal of an NFA Member. NFA also barred Gary Fullett, LTG’s former sole principal and associated person, from NFA membership and from acting as a principal of an NFA Member for five years.
*****I will have a column on this long overdue action later.~JJL
Legalizing marijuana boosts junk food sales
Theo Wayt – Academic Times
Legalizing recreational marijuana leads to increased sales of ice cream, cookies and chips, according to a first-of-its-kind study establishing a causal relationship between legal cannabis and junk food consumption.
“You think marijuana does no harm — that’s pretty much the consensus today,” said Georgia State University economist Alberto Chong in an interview with The Academic Times. “But there are unintended consequences, and one of them is the fact that you really get very hungry and you start eating crap.”
***** Surprising absolutely no one.~JB
Wednesday’s Top Three
Our top story Wednesday was the investor presentation filed with the SEC regarding Bakkt Holding going to market as a result of the merger of ICE’s bitcoin warehouse and VPC Impact Acquisition Holdings. The link was in a H&T from JLN’s Thom Thompson. Second was The Guardian’s Programmer has two guesses left to access £175m bitcoin wallet. Third was the CME Group’s CME Group Statement on the CME Group Political Action Committee, in which the company announced that it “will suspend all political contributions through CME Group’s Political Action Committee (PAC) for the foreseeable future.”