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

Joseph Sullivan, one of the founders of the Chicago Board Options Exchange and its first president, has passed away at the age of 82. He was such an influential figure in the establishment of the CBOE, and the U.S. options industry that followed, that the Options Industry Council named an award after him, given to recognize individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the growth and integrity of the U.S. options market.

Cboe Global Markets will honor Sullivan with a moment of silence today before the markets open.

JLN was lucky enough to work with Sullivan on the CBOE’s 40th anniversary video. He was an extraordinary man, who went from being a reporter for the Wall Street Journal covering Congress to an assistant to the president of the Chicago Board of Trade.

Here is the statement from the CBOE on Sullivan’s passing.

Here is the statement from the OCC on the passing of Joe Sullivan:

“OCC’s Board of Directors, management and colleagues join Cboe Global Markets and the U.S. exchange-listed options industry in honoring the life of Joseph Sullivan III. It was Joe’s vision and astute understanding of U.S. derivatives markets that helped lead the way to the creation of the Chicago Board Options Exchange, the trading of the first listed options contract, and ultimately the formation of the Options Clearing Corporation. Joe’s leadership, along with other knowledgeable industry experts, not only resulted in a strong and vibrant marketplace that provided a powerful risk management tool for investors, it also created economic opportunity for many in Chicago and the U.S., and enhanced the City of Chicago’s position as the financial derivatives capital of the world. We send our condolences to the Sullivan family.”

The FIA has a new podcast out, the title of which is “FIA Speaks Episode 14: CFTC Commissioner Russ Behnam on Climate Change.”

Does anyone have a copy of Leo Melamed’s book, The Tenth Planet, that I can borrow? I would like to read it. It is available on Amazon for $224.93.

The JLN GoFundMe campaign saw more progress yesterday with contributions from SuperCritical LLC, the Jay Cauuwe consulting firm. Also, rock and roll stars and former CME Groupers Steve Staszak and Raymond McKenzie gave. So did former CME Grouper Kelly Brown. Staszak is now retired and was the focus of a JLN video last year. Ray McKenzie, an all-around good guy, is now with Apple. And Kelly Brown recently left ErisX and has his own firm, Derivatives Advisor, LLC. Thank you to all of them, those who have given before and all who are yet to give.

MarketsWiki passed the 190 million page view mark. The next stop is 200 million.

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


Just in time for the November U.S. elections and beyond: Cboe Options Institute plans to host a 60-minute webinar on Wednesday, October 14, at 12 p.m. EST on “Shielding Against Drawdowns Using VIX Tradeable Products.” Registration information is here.~SC

First Read

Chris Hehmeyer: Open Outcry Traders History Project

Chris Hehmeyer started out as a runner in the CBOT grain pits, but he really wanted to get into the financial room – which many of the grain traders sneered at. He did it, trading bonds and eventually becoming a phone clerk. From there, he moved up to starting his own clearing firm with Ralph Goldenberg, growing the business over 20 years, and eventually becoming the CEO of Hehmeyer, a prop firm and futures broker. Hehmeyer spoke with John Lothian about the amazing energy of the trading floors and the burgeoning of electronic trading, telling some stories of highlights and lowlights from the open outcry pits.

Watch the video »


Stuart Connolly of CloudMargin on bringing efficiencies to post trade derivative processing

There has been an advancement in efficiency in derivatives that has stopped before getting to the back end, and CloudMargin is working to change that. The company’s CEO Stuart Connolly wants to bring efficiencies to collateral management and take operational risk out of the process. He spoke to John Lothian about the solutions to these problems as well as the $15 million financing round CloudMargin just closed on, working with partners like DeutscheBank, Deutsche Boerse and Citi, and how the pandemic has actually accelerated people’s mindsets around transforming their technology stack.

Watch the video »



San Francisco Apartment Rents Crater Up to 31%, Most in U.S.
Noah Buhayar – Bloomberg
San Francisco’s sky-high apartment rents are falling fast. The median monthly rate for a studio in the city tumbled 31% in September from a year earlier to $2,285, compared with a 0.5% decline nationally, according to data released Tuesday by One-bedroom rents in San Francisco fell 24% and two-bedrooms were down 21%, to $2,873 and $3,931 a month, respectively.

*****If there was a market ready for a correction, this one was it. Work from anywhere could change the dynamics of a lot of real estate markets. Need to get to work, forget taking BART, just Zoom to work.~JJL


Cabin fever: tickets for meal onboard Singapore parked plane sell out
Gwyn Topham – The Guardian
Diners have rushed to pay up to £360 per head to eat a meal on a stationary plane, in the latest sign of public appetite to recreate the onboard experience without travelling.
Singapore Airlines launched a waiting list after tickets rapidly sold out for two weekends of sittings onboard two stationary A380 superjumbos, with meals at seats and the chance to watch a movie, albeit no longer in-flight.

****Why? ~JB


Fraud and Ineptitude Are Undermining Covid Relief; Before any more stimulus money gets handed out, Congress and the White House have to clean up some messes.
Timothy L. O’Brien – Bloomberg
How easy is it to steal federal funds meant for jobless Americans struggling to survive the Covid-19 economy? It’s this easy: “Using huge databases of stolen personal information, cybercriminals based everywhere from Nigeria to London have pocketed an estimated $8 billion meant for people forced out of work due to the coronavirus so far,” Katy Murphy and Rebecca Rainey wrote in Politico on Monday.

*****With that much money being distributed, it was inevitable some would be fraudulently acquired.~JJL


A Dose of Optimism, as the Pandemic Rages On; The months ahead will be difficult. But the medical cavalry is coming, and the rest of us know what we need to do.
Donald G. McNeil Jr. – NY Times
On March 16, back when White House news conferences were still deemed safe to attend, President Trump stood before reporters and announced that drastic nationwide restrictions — in schools, work places, our social lives — were needed to halt the coronavirus.

*****I need a daily dose of optimism. It is nice to see one on the pandemic.~JJL


Monday’s Top Three
Our top story Monday was John Lothian News’ Help John Lothian News Capture Industry History with GoFundMe Campaign. Second was The New York Times’ When Your Last $166 Vanishes: ‘Fast Fraud’ Surges on Payment Apps. Third was the Intercontinental Exchange’s Intercontinental Exchange Provides Update on Plans to Launch ICE Futures Abu Dhabi and World’s First Murban Crude Futures Contracts.

John Lothian Newsletter

Today’s Newsletter

Crop Trading Giants Start Blockchain Platform With Brazil Deals

Crop Trading Giants Start Blockchain Platform With Brazil Deals

First Read $29,776/$300,000 (9.9%) ++++ ++++ Hits & Takes John Lothian & JLN Staff Here is the LINK for the DTCC press release about the proposal to shorten the U.S. settlement cycle to T+1 within two years. Former CFTC Chairman J Christopher Giancarlo has an...

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