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

Thank you to Brian Mehta, the chief marketing officer of Trading Technologies for his donation to the JLN MarketsWiki Education GoFundMe Campaign. Brian is a fellow resident of Elmhurst, IL and one of the thought leaders in our industry around marketing. Thank you to Brian, all who have given and all those who have yet to give. Please support our campaign and help us preserve industry history.

Right now is an excellent time to bone up on trading and investing opportunities. Some of our sponsors and friends are offering webinars looking at different markets, their role in your portfolio and other nuances. For example, I give you the FTSE Russell webinar for tomorrow. The webinar panel will look at “what factors may be driving its outperformance between US large- and small-cap stocks and suggest ways investors can use trading and product strategies to manage risk and tap into market opportunity.”

The panel of speakers will cover: drivers of US equity indexes outperformance, the weight of technology companies and other sector weighted contributions to returns, historical performance of US equities leading into and coming out of US general elections, and stock-level concentration performance effect.

The line-up of speakers is outstanding. It includes Kristy Akullian, CFA, director, iShares Americas markets coverage, BlackRock; Tim McCourt, MD, global head of equity products, CME Group; and Mark Barnes, Ph.D., head of investment research, Americas, FTSE Russell. The moderator is the brilliant Catherine Yoshimoto, director of product management at FTSE Russell.

So, don’t forget to register and attend the FTSE Russell webinar on Thursday, October 22 at 12 PM ET about “What’s been driving US equity markets outperformance?” You can register HERE.

Also, Greenwich Analytics is offering an opportunity to look at the equity markets from another angle. They are hosting a webinar on “Options Growth, Volatility & Outlook Following U.S. Elections” on Wednesday, October 28 starting at 4:30PM EDT. Ken Monahan, Senior Analyst, Market Structure & Technology, is moderating the event. Panelists include Stino Milito, Co-Chief Operating Officer at DASH Financial Technologies, Danny Kirsch, Head of Options Trading and Strategy at Cornerstone Macro, and Will Bartlett, Managing Member at Parallax Volatility Advisers. Register HERE.

Another event, on a subject for exchange professionals, is being offered by the Association of Futures Markets. The event will look at how to achieve innovation in commodity derivative product development. The panel includes moderator Chris Sturgess of South Africa, Brian Browne of Euronext, France, Clive Furness of Contango Markets, UK,, Rinjai Chakornpipat of Thailand and Mauricio Eduardo Perez Y Sosa of Mexico. Registration is by email via

Today we have a video in our The Path to Electronic Trading series featuring Ralph Moses. Ralph was a pioneer in developing electronic trading systems and the one he built for Lind Waldock eventually became Ran Order, which I used in the early 2000s as the head of electronic trading at The Price Futures Group. I owe a debt of gratitude to Ralph for his work, as I used his system and grew my electronic trading business.

Were you an open outcry trader? Are you willing to tell your story to a camera? We can interview you over Zoom from the comfort of your home. Contact me at

Do you have a story to tell about adapting to the world of electronic trading? We would like to talk to you about participating in our The Path to Electronic Trading video series. Contact me at the email above.

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 has a webinar on October 27 at 10 to 11 AM ET on “Margin processing: the clearing firm perspective.” The moderator is Don Byron, Head of Global Industry Operations & Execution, FIA and the presenters are Alistair Sayers, Head of Funding & Optimisation, Collateral Management, UBS, Diane Sherman, Director Head of Global Collateral Management, Bank of America Securities and Jon Schlamp, Sr. Vice President, Macquarie Futures USA.~SR

First Read

Regulation and Enforcement Continue Apace Despite COVID’s Onslaught, Regulators Say
Suzanne Cosgrove and Sarah Rudolph – John Lothian News

Fresh from his exit from the CFTC several weeks ago, James McDonald, former director of the agency’s Enforcement Division, Tuesday addressed several “big picture” themes advanced by the CFTC during his tenure.

The goal was to “redouble our focus on what we view as the core violations of the (Commodity Exchange) Act,” including manipulation and fraud, McDonald said. “You saw that actually play out in a few different ways,” he said. “You saw it in terms of the number and the depth of our commitment in trying to root out manipulative trading in markets,” whether it was spoofing or something else.

During fiscal year 2020 (which ended September 30), the CFTC filed 113 enforcement actions, more than any other year in the agency’s history, and imposed the largest monetary relief in the agency’s history. In that case, JPMorgan Chase and Co. agreed to pay the U.S. government $920 million in fines and disgorgement to settle spoofing charges, the largest payment ever agreed to by a defendant to settle a futures market manipulation charge.

To read the rest of this story, go HERE.


Ralph Moses – The Path to Electronic Trading

Ralph Moses started in futures with Geldermann, helping them use a new IBM mainframe. He later started developing a system called Order Express for Lind Waldock, one of the first electronic trading front ends. He used an IBM System One mini computer with 2 MB of memory. He built a risk management system that could tell if an account was at risk depending on how markets were moving. This helped Lind Waldock avoid significant risk during the stock market crash of 1987.

Watch the video »


Two top Morgan Stanley commodities traders lose jobs over use of WhatsApp; Wall Street continues clampdown on communications channels it cannot monitor
Laura Noonan – FT
Morgan Stanley’s two most senior commodities traders have lost their jobs for using WhatsApp and other unauthorised messaging platforms, reflecting Wall Street’s continued clampdown on communications channels that it cannot monitor. Nancy King, Morgan Stanley’s global head of commodities, and Jay Rubenstein, the bank’s head of commodities trading, are both leaving the bank after a probe into their use of unauthorised communications systems, according to a person familiar with the situation.

*****A strong case for Symphony or other platforms that meet regulatory requirements. WhatsApp is a favorite of some criminals, some government officials and certain sons-in-laws.~JJL


‘It Has Hit Us With a Vengeance’: Virus Surges Again Across the United States; Unlike earlier outbreaks concentrated in the Northeast and South, the virus is simmering at a worrisome level in most regions.
Sarah Mervosh and Lucy Tompkins – NY Times
As the coronavirus races across the country, it has reached every corner of a nursing home in Kansas, infecting all 62 residents inside. There are so few hospital beds available in North Dakota that patients sick with the virus are being ferried by ambulance to facilities 100 miles away. And in Ohio, more people are hospitalized with the virus than at any other time during the pandemic.

****At first we were unaware, naive or stupid, now we are just tired and wanting this to be over. But that is the wrong attitude. The right attitude is we need to persevere and stay safe. This is life until further notice – deal with it.~JJL


How to Break the Hold of Conspiracy Theories; The big lesson of 2020 is that everything keeps getting more dishonest.
Farhad Manjoo – NY Times
Lately, I have been putting an embarrassing amount of thought into notions like jinxes and knocking on wood. The polls for Joe Biden look good, but in 2020, any hint of optimism feels dangerously naïve, and my brain has been working overtime in search of potential doom.

*****An important read.~JJL


Tuesday’s Top Three
Our top story Tuesday was Bloomberg’s The Post-Covid Trading Floor Is Here — With Buffet Lunches, No Masks, about China in the wake of COVID-19. Second was Citadel Securities transformed US hotel into ‘Noah’s Ark’ for traders at height of pandemic, from The Trade. Third was, once again in the top three, Chicago is the ‘rattiest city’ in America for the sixth year in a row, from CNN. Yay Chicago.

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  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 StaffJohn Lothian News is going to start a...

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