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

The JLN GoFundMe campaign to support MarketsWiki Education and our general operations had additional contributions yesterday, including another donation by the famous “anonymous” donor. Or who knows. Also giving were Arthur Gary Flagler, Anna Watson, and George Stein. Gary Flagler is a longtime JLN friend who is bringing the message of the MexDer market to the U.S. after a long career at JP Morgan. Anna Watson is a former head of communications for the World Federation of Exchanges who now has her own communications shop called Watson Wordsmith. And George Stein is a trade surveillance professional at HSBC. Thank you to all of them, all who have given and all who will yet give.

Bank of America has consistently supported the SGX’s Bull Charge charity effort over the years and is a Gold Bull Sponsor this year. They are to be lauded for their consistent support for this charitable effort.

The Harvard Business Review has an article titled “Finding Virtue in the Finance Industry” by JC de Swaan. I find lots of virtue in the industry every day. It is full of amazing people filled with virtue, integrity and grace.

As part of the OCC’s ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion, OCC is a sponsor of Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement (HACE), an organization that supports the professional development of Latinx people.

If you have not watched the Chris Hehmeyer, Open Outcry Traders History Project video yet, you should. It is full of stories from the earliest days of financial futures trading at the CBOT and Hehmeyer tells the stories well.

Today, we have another Open Outcry Traders History Project video, this one of David Johnson, formerly of Morgan Stanley. Like Bill Brodsky, Johnson was attracted to Chicago’s options market, and once he came to Chicago he never left. Johnson saw the tremendous growth of the options markets and the need for electronics to help manage all the risk. He was also on the original Globex committee.

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 FIA on Tuesday announced a new board chair, vice chair and new board members.
The board of directors elected Nicholas Rustad of J.P. Morgan Securities as chair and Alicia Crighton of Goldman Sachs as vice chair of the FIA Board of Directors. Rustad had been serving as the board’s vice chair and served as interim chair following the retirement of Citi’s Jerome Kemp earlier this year. Crighton has served on the board since 2018 and has been active in the board’s diversity initiative. You can go here for the complete list of the FIA’s board of directors.~SR


First Read

Joe Sullivan’s Influence and Success
By John Lothian – John Lothian News

Joseph Sullivan’s life impacted so many others, including many or even most reading this newsletter, because of the successful launch he led of the first new securities exchange since the enactment of the 1934 act that created the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission.

His work paved the way for the U.S. options industry by doing the heavy lifting of creating a new exchange, working with the SEC, which was unsure of the process for how to approve an exchange and somewhat skeptical of the guys from Chicago who were doing it.

One of the lives former Wall Street Journal reporter Sullivan influenced was that of William Brodsky, who would later become the chairman and CEO of the Chicago Board Options Exchange. Sullivan’s marketing of CBOE memberships for $10,000 a piece led the New York brokerage firm where Brodsky worked to buy one and Brodsky to become their approved compliance person.

During a slowdown in trading that was going to negatively impact his bonus at the time, Brodsky was encouraged to “do something” by his wife, he said. What he did helped determine his future career course, and it started with Joe Sullivan.

To read the rest of this commentary, go here.


Latest Cannabis License Lawsuit Pits Craft Growers v. the State of Illinois
By Suzanne Cosgrove – John Lothian News

Lawsuits related to stalled cannabis licenses are piling up in Illinois, with the latest suit filed Monday by the Illinois Craft Cannabis Association v. Gov. J.B. Pritzker, the State of Illinois and the Illinois Department of Agriculture. It is an attempt to force the state to issue overdue craft licenses and provide relief to craft cannabis grower, infuser and transporter applicants.

In a statement released Tuesday, the nonprofit ICCA said it met with state officials last week before filing the lawsuit, but the group was unable to determine when the state planned to issue licenses or if it would provide relief to applicants.

The craft licenses were expected to be issued July 1, 2020 by the Illinois Department of Agriculture, but on June 29 Gov. Pritzker issued an executive order that indefinitely suspended the deadline for awarding craft licenses, citing emergency actions related to the outbreak of COVID-19 and subsequent measures taken to address the outbreak of the virus.

To read the rest of this story, go here.


David Johnson – Open Outcry Traders History Project

David Johnson was trading OTC stocks and options for Pershing in 1970. He was in the right place at the right time when the CBOT decided to launch an options exchange. He came to Chicago in 1974 from New York and never left. He saw the immense growth of the CBOE and the options business, but dealt with the tough times, including the stock markets crash of 1987. He experienced the growth that ultimately demanded technology to manage the risk. He was always a proponent of technology. He joined Morgan Stanley in 1982. He served on the original Globex Committee at the CME with Leo Melamed and John Geldermann.

Watch the video »



FIA Announces New Board Chair, Vice Chair And New Board Members
FIA today announced that the Board of Directors have elected Nicholas Rustad of J.P. Morgan Securities as Chair and Alicia Crighton of Goldman Sachs as Vice Chair of the FIA Board of Directors. Rustad had been serving as the Board’s Vice Chair and served as interim Chair following the retirement of Citi’s Jerome Kemp earlier this year. Crighton has served on the Board of Directors since 2018 and has been active in the Board’s diversity initiative. In addition, the board of directors elected Christopher Perkins of Citi and Gary Saunders of Barclays to FIA’s governing board.

****Thank you to Jerome Kemp for his service.~JJL


Joseph Sullivan, CBOE founder who ‘changed the face of American finance,’ dies at 82
Robert Channick – Chicago Tribune
When Joseph Sullivan joined the Chicago Board of Trade in the late 1960s, he was a finance industry novice put in charge of a moonshot project to create the first marketplace for trading listed stock options.

*****Good to see the Chicago Tribune cover the industry.~JJL


Countries Start Hoarding Food as Prices Rise and Covid Worsens
Isis Almeida and Dan Murtaugh – Bloomberg
Jordan, Pakistan and Egypt among countries to boost purchases; Pandemic stokes fears of supply disruption, empty shelves
Agricultural commodity buyers from Cairo to Islamabad have been on a shopping spree since the Covid-19 pandemic upended supply chains. Jordan has built up record wheat reserves while Egypt, the world’s top buyer of the grain, took the unusual step of tapping international markets during its local harvest and has boosted purchases by more than 50% since April. Taiwan said it will boost strategic food stockpiles and China has been buying to feed its growing hog herd.

*****Anyone see someone with a colorful cloak around lately?~JJL


People with poor numerical literacy ‘more susceptible’ to Covid-19 ‘fake news’
Natalie Grover – The Guardian
People with poor numerical literacy are more likely to believe Covid-19 misinformation, according to a survey conducted in five countries.
Researchers at Cambridge University said the findings suggested improving people’s analytical skills could help turn the tide against an epidemic of “fake news” surrounding the health crisis.

****This is for all of those people who sat in math class and told themselves, “I’ll never need to use this.” ~JB


Goldman Sachs’s ‘Womenomics’ Stocks Outperform
Ksenia Galouchko – Bloomberg
Gender pay gap in Europe’s major nations smaller than in U.S.; Goldman’s basket of European stocks includes LVMH, Nestle
Companies with a higher presence of female executives have historically rewarded their equity investors with better performance, said Goldman Sachs Group Inc. strategists as they unveiled a basket of European firms that employ an elevated number of women.

*****When will the world wake up? We need to give all people the chance to realize their potential to help the world.~JJL


Tuesday’s Top Three
Our top story Tuesday was A Dose of Optimism, as the Pandemic Rages On, from The New York Times. Second was the Financial Times’s Winning bid: how auction theory took the Nobel memorial prize in economics. Third was The Trade’s Cboe mourns the death of first president and founder, about Joseph Sullivan, who was also the MarketsWiki Page of the Day yesterday.

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