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
The JLN MarketsWiki Education GoFundMe campaign had some additional contributions on Friday and over the weekend. Thank you to Russell Levens, Tony Pettipiece, Cliff Histed, Joanna Mallers, and Third Street Ag Investments for their support. Third Ag Investments includes Robert Otter, whom we profiled sometime back. Also, Joanna Mallers was formerly one of the owners of First American Discount, for whom I worked. Cliff Histed is a former deputy chief of the securities & commodities fraud section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Illinois and a former chief trial attorney at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. He is now a partner with K&L Gates. Tony Pettipience is a crypto-focused consultant and board member for the Chicago crypto start-up association and chair of policy & regulation committee for the Global Digital Asset & Cryptocurrency Association Part-time. Russell Levens is the managing partner of Oxford Global Derivatives.
Please help support our MarketsWiki Education program, and our general operations, by contributing to our GoFundMe campaign.
Don’t forget to sign up for DC Fintech Week 2020, a virtual event.
CME Group veteran Jim Moran and Carey McDonald have joined Leslie Sutphen at Financial Markets Consulting LLC.
Our family camping trip went well, except for the part where my wife, Cheryl, slipped on a step while hiking with our three kids and fell on her backside and braced herself with her left arm, which is now broken. We were at a state park in Missouri, Ha Ha Tonka State Park, and she received some good care from two EMT’s in training who were happening by. And the EMS and State Ranger who arrived also provided quality care. I was stationed in a picnic area at the time because I knew the trail was too difficult for me.
Also on the bad news side, my son Tim’s roommate and co-worker came down with some symptoms associated with COVID-19 and their Montessori school has been closed for a cleaning. Tim will be tested. More than likely, this is not COVID-19, as Tim’s roommate works with one to three-year olds at the school and this is probably just another kid-related bug.
The committee for the LaSalle Street Tech Awards of the Pathway to Adventure Council of the Boy Scouts of American have set December 3 as the date of the event. This is the 50th year of the event, which will be virtual this year. Pat Kenny of CQG, as previously announced, is the chairman of the event. Also, we received word Friday that the Chicago Board of Trade Clearing Corporation Foundation would be making a contribution this year, courtesy of trustee David Johnson. Thank you to Dave and the foundation and all the trustees for their loyal support over the years.
Have a great day and stay safe and treat people the same way you want to be treated: with respect, equality and justice.~JJL
The Annual Chicago Conference on Futures And Derivatives, hosted by Marc Nagel and sponsored by Thompson Coburn and Exchange Analytics, is taking place on October 20 as a virtual program. Fresh off a record year for enforcement actions, the former director of the CFTC’s Division of Enforcement, James McDonald, will join this year’s panel on enforcement. Maybe someone will ask him if a record year for enforcement actions signifies a) investigations and prosecutions have improved, b) regulators’ tools have become more sophisticated, c) enforcement actions are keeping pace with trading volume growth, or d) the deterrent aspect of rule enforcement is deteriorating and there are more violations? More information about the conference is available here. ~Thom Thompson
The Hedge Fund Association is holding a webinar Wednesday, October 28 from 12:00 noon to 1:00pm ET on “Perspectives on Fraud, Money Laundering & Cybersecurity.” The event is complimentary for all HFA members and future members. You can go here for more information and to register. ~SR
The Spread: Is 2020 Over Yet?
This week on The Spread: the CME launches futures trading on the VOLQ, Eurex launches futures and options trading on two ESG indices, and more.
Capital markets and video games – close cousins
On the surface, capital markets and the video games industry have little in common, with the exception of the fact that they are both extremely large. Banking is about trading, risk management and finance and video games are about great graphics, interactive experiences and ensuring users have a good time. In fact, the challenges faced by software teams in both industries are not as far apart as it might first appear. In many cases, the problems for which they need to solve in order to achieve success are very similar, even if the outcomes look, feel and act very different.
*****The object is not to get killed. Pretty simple.~JJL
Robinhood Users Say Accounts Were Looted, No One to Call
Sophie Alexander and Annie Massa – Bloomberg
Brokerage says systems not breached, criminals targeted emails; The SEC has reached out to customers in response to complaints
It took Soraya Bagheri a day to learn that 450 shares of Moderna Inc. had been liquidated in her Robinhood account and that $10,000 in withdrawals were pending. But after alerting the online brokerage to what she believed was a theft in progress, she received a frustrating email. The firm wrote it would investigate and respond within “a few weeks.” Now her money is gone.
*****I’ve noticed that a lot of these big tech platforms seem to go out of their way to avoid giving customers access to customer service. I once found AirBnB’s customer service number after digging around on the internet for a spell. When the person on the other end of the call answered, it sounded like I had called their cell phone. I said it had been hard to find the number, and the guy said the company makes it hard on purpose. This was in 2017, so I don’t know if their practices have improved.~MR
Why it’s so important to hope
Alia E. Dastagir – USA TODAY
Most people hope for something. The big things: An end to the pandemic. Their candidate to w?in the presidential election. A better future for their children. They hope for tangible things: a bigger paycheck, a safe home, good health. And the more amorphous ones: love, respect, to feel seen. Recent polls show that while most Americans remain at least somewhat hopeful about the future, hope is being tested. Suffering and division are ever-present, and there doesn’t seem a clear path forward. But psychologists say hope is not a luxury. For mental health, it’s a necessity.
*****Hope, faith and love. These are the essentials.~JJL
Friday’s Top Three
Our top story Friday was the Financial Times’ Bubble warning: even college kids are touting Spacs, about the proliferation of special purpose acquisition companies. Second was the Wall Street Journal’s How Citadel CEO Ken Griffin Built a $1 Billion Private Property Portfolio. Third was JLN’s Suzanne Cosgrove’s STA 2020: New Exchanges Taking Seats At The Sips Table, a conversation about the new MIAX and MEMX equities exchanges.