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

New donations to the JLN MarketsWiki Education GoFundMe campaign came from Barchart and Kevin Darby. Thank you to Barchart and their CEO Mark Haraburda. My roots with Barchart go back to the days of Barchart founder Dave Lowden in the 1990s. Kevin Darby is with CQG after the recent deal for Blue Trading Systems to be acquired by CQG. Thank you to both, all who have given and all how have yet to give. Support our efforts to preserve industry history by supporting our GoFundMe campaign.

The latest edition of FIA’s MarketVoice is now available. You can find it HERE.

Today is the virtual RocktoberFest for A Leg to Stand On. The fundraising event features videos of industry bands who have helped raise funds for the charity. You can see the event at at 7 PM EST.

With the retirement of Nasdaq Chief Financial Officer Michael Ptasznik and the ascension of Controller and Chief Accounting Officer Ann Dennison to the position, Nasdaq will be one of just five other companies in the S&P 500 with both a female CEO and female CFO. The other companies are Oracle, Tapestry, Kohl’s Corporation, Gap Inc. and Arista Networks, Inc. Dennison takes over the CFO role in March.

Another webinar to check out is from ErisX, presenting on “Crypto for FCM Customer Accounts.” Did you ever want to deposit virtual currencies to margin transactions in virtual currencies? Well, this is the webinar to learn about that. The webinar is on October 29 at 11 AM ET and includes a Washington insider (Scott Parsons), a guy in a fishing vest with lots of thoughts on cryptocurrencies (Gary DeWaal), one cool accountant (Todd Briggs), another hip accountant from the same firm (Jay Shulman) and the man with a chip on his shoulder about cryptocurrency and the CEO of ErisX (Thomas Chippas). You can register HERE or learn more HERE.

OSTC CEO Lee Hodgkinson announced on LinkedIn that OSTC is hiring traders. He says that thanks to OSTC’s substantial investment in AI and digital learning solutions, the company now offers a full suite of onboarding, training, and mentoring activities remotely.

The London Stock Exchange Group commissioned a special report with Acuiti Management Intelligence on LIBOR transition: current challenges on the long road to resolution. You can Download the paper HERE and watch the replay of the webinar HERE.

Clive Furness says Contango Markets has developed an innovative hedging methodology for physical commodity markets participants who are exposed to the mismatch of cash flows between a physical and futures trade. He claims the ‘Contango Hedge’ is significantly cheaper than a traditional hedge funded by margin finance and is designed for companies who value the relationships that they have built up over the years in the physical markets. This works for any major commodity or energy asset class. Contact him if you want to learn more.

Maggie Sklar of the Financial Markets Group of the Chicago Federal Reserve has published her first working paper on CCPs about the financial systemic implications of access and non-access to Federal Reserve deposit accounts. The title of the paper is “What Are the Financial Systemic Implications of Access and Non-Access to Federal Reserve Deposit Accounts for Central Counterparties?”

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority in New York is offering a real-time map with train locations and delays. The digital map also includes updates on elevators and escalators that are out of service.

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


Nasdaq’s Q3 earnings were up 13 percent from a year ago, thanks in part to record options trading volumes. Nasdaq’s U.S.-traded equity options volumes were up 52 percent on last year, hitting a record 660 million contracts traded. Profits from Nasdaq’s index products were also a significant factor.~MR


First Read

Harris Kay Joins Murphy & McGonigle
John Lothian – JLN

The law firm of Murphy & McGonigle has opened a Chicago office staffed by industry veteran Harris Kay. Kay worked with the principals of M&M at a previous firm, so this is a coming home of sorts.

It is also an expansion of Murphy & McGonigle’s footprint, as the firm also recently opened an office in San Francisco, CA.

Before joining Murphy & McGonigle, Kay was with Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale, P.C. He has also practiced with Greenberg Traurig, LLP, Henderson Law LLP, LeClair Ryan and Hunton & Williams.

It was at LeClair Ryan that James Murphy, the co-founder who put the Murphy in Murphy & McGonigle, took Kay under his wing 10 years ago and mentored him, Kay told JLN.

To read the rest of this story, go HERE.


Mike Unetich: The Path to Electronic Trading

Mike Unetich always liked trading and investing classes in college and in fact started trading options from his dorm room. He saw newspaper ads for option floor clerks and through some friends who worked at Spear, Leeds & Kellogg in New York was referred to DRW in Chicago, where he was hired.
He started in the Eurodollar pit, then at the age of 24 transferred to the 10-Year Note options pit at the Chicago Board of Trade. He would also trade on the CBOE for DRW before breaking off for himself and trading Eurodollars.

Watch the video »


CFTC Staff Issues Advisory on Virtual Currency for Futures Commission Merchants
The Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight (DSIO) of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission today issued an advisory to futures commission merchants (FCMs) regarding the holding of virtual currency in segregated accounts. The advisory provides guidance to FCMs on how to hold and report certain deposited virtual currency from customers in connection with physically-delivered futures contracts or swaps. The advisory also provides guidance that FCMs should follow when designing and maintaining risk management programs concerning the acceptance of virtual currencies as customer funds.

*****Attend the ErisX webinar on this subject and learn more. See above.~JJL


The Pandemic’s Real Toll? 300,000 Deaths, and It’s Not Just From the Coronavirus; A C.D.C. analysis finds that overall death rates have risen, particularly among young adults and people of color.
Roni Caryn Rabin – NY Times
The coronavirus pandemic caused nearly 300,000 deaths in the United States through early October, federal researchers said on Tuesday. The new tally includes not only deaths known to have been directly caused by the coronavirus, but also roughly 100,000 fatalities that are indirectly related and would not have occurred if not for the virus. The study, published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is an attempt to measure “excess deaths” — deaths from all causes that statistically exceed those normally occurring in a certain time period. The total included deaths from Covid-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, that were misclassified or missed altogether.

*****COVID-19 has now killed more Americans than World War I, the Vietnam War, and the Korean War combined.~MR


When Milton Friedman, prophet of profit, met a pandemic; Coronavirus sheds fresh light on the economist’s narrow definition of social responsibility
Andrew Hill – FT
Among the many things Milton Friedman could not have predicted in 1970 was that the 50th anniversary of his famous New York Times essay, headlined “The social responsibility of business is to increase its profits”, would fall in the middle of a global pandemic.

*****I would ask Leo Melamed what Friedman would say. Leo was a close friend of the late influential economist.~JJL


Norwegian official apologizes for making 2020 an hour longer
Ben Hooper – UPI
The Norwegian official responsible for Daylight Saving Time in the country apologized for adding an additional hour to what “has already been a very demanding year.”

***** I’m kinda ready to be done with 2020 too. ~JB


Wednesday’s Top Three
Our top story Tuesday was Bloomberg’s Commodities King ADM Pivots to Pet Food, Veggie Burgers, and Probiotics. Second was the Financial Times’ Two top Morgan Stanley commodities traders lose jobs over use of WhatsApp. Third was I Spoke to a Scholar of Conspiracy Theories and I’m Scared for Us, from the New York Times.

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