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

Rand Financial is closing down at the end of 2020, according to a trusted industry source close to the company. Employees were notified in an all-employee meeting on Monday that the firm would wind down by December 31, 2020. Employees were reportedly given three months severance. Requests for comment from Rand executives went unanswered.

The SGX Bull Charge saw the participants clock 150,000 km in the virtual charity run, raising $3.63 million for beneficiaries.

FIA is holding a holiday auction to benefit Futures For Kids. Prizes range from experiences, dinners, gift vouchers, signed sports memorabilia, jewelry and more. You can register and join the event on December 8 HERE.

Sam Mehta has been named chief operating officer of Chicago-based PEAK6 Capital Management.

The University of Chicago Law School, AFX and the Becker Friedman Institute are holding a webinar on December 3 at 12 PM CT. There will be a keynote address from Acting Comptroller of the Currency Brian Brooks and FDIC Chair Jelena McWilliams. It also features Kathy Kraninger, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Director Kraninger will be speaking on “CFPB’s Response in the Age of Covid-19”. She will be introduced by Tom Miles, Dean of the University of Chicago Law School. Following introductions, the Hon. J. Chris Giancarlo, former chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and AFX’s independent director, will moderate a “fireside chat” with Director Kraninger followed by Q&A.

Vela’s direct market access platform now includes Eurex FX.

I can remember when a super-spreader was just a really good trader.

New Orleans has banned Mardi Gras parades for 2021, but not all celebrations.

According to NBC data, the coronavirus is on the rise in all 50 U.S. states. Stay safe. Be smart!

I borrowed this from Twitter, but it is very true. A Zoom Thanksgiving is better than an ICU Christmas.

We had a new donor to the JLN MarketsWiki Education GoFundMe campaign, Brian Rice. Brian is the owner of, a comprehensive ag risk management company. Thank you to Brian and all those who have given and all those who have yet to give. Support our efforts to preserve industry history by supporting our GoFundMe campaign.

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


Well, it happened – bitcoin is now worth almost as much as it was at its peak in 2017. Back then, the bitcoin derivatives market wasn’t like what we have today, and this time, Bitcoin derivatives volumes and open interest are reaching new all-time highs. The CME Group’s bitcoin futures hit $975.5 billion in open interest Monday, and OI for bitcoin options across all exchanges, regulated or not, is currently sitting at $3.8 billion. The lion’s share of that comes from Deribit, with $3 billion in open interest on bitcoin options.~MR

The Chicago Mercantile Exchange has begun publishing eight volatility indexes based on its 10-year Treasury note futures — measures that would have been particularly interesting to see during the COVID-infused Treasury volatility spikes of March and April — and G5 FX currency pair futures. The benchmark indexes use what the CME calls its CVOL methodology to measure the 30-day implied volatility of the underlying futures contracts, based on the prices of their options (using all strike prices, not just the at-the-money options prices). In a release, CME said it plans to publish additional volatility indexes spanning its asset classes in first-half 2021. More details are here. ~SC

The Cboe Options Institute hosts a 60-minute webinar today, November 18, at 11 a.m. CT on options for managing environmental, social and governance (ESG) exposure. Continuing education (CE) credit is available. Register here. ~SC

Eurex has promoted Vassilis Vergotis to head of strategy. He will work with Michael Peters, Eurex’s new CEO. You can read about this and other moves at the FIA’s October/November People News page here. ~SR


First Read

Coronavirus cases at ‘worst explosion’ means it’s time to consider canceling Thanksgiving: doctor
Zack Guzman – Yahoo Finance
As the nation continues to set record daily totals of new coronavirus cases ahead of Thanksgiving, doctors are warning that it might be time to cancel traditional Thanksgiving plans.

*****See my comment above. A Zoom Thanksgiving is better than an ICU Christmas.~JJL


Central Bankers Are Too Strong. And Too Weak; Yellen, Rajan, King, and Summers explore the paradox in a Bloomberg forum
Peter Coy – Bloomberg
Are central bankers too strong or too weak? Unfortunately for the global economy, the answer is both: Their control of money is a blunt instrument that’s good for achieving some objectives, but worthless for others. Never has the disparity been clearer than now, with financial markets soaring on the back of easy monetary policy even as many lives are wrecked by the Covid-19 pandemic.

***** Our weakness is our strength~JJL


SGX Bull Charge community clocks 150,000 km in Virtual Charity Run, raising $3.63 million for beneficiaries
Participants across different cities surpass collective target of 100,000 km amid challenging year for charitable fundraising; President Halimah Yacob witnesses presentation of cheque for $3.63 million to SGX Bull Charge beneficiaries
The SGX Bull Charge community has gone the extra mile for beneficiaries in the Virtual Charity Run, clocking over 150,000 km to surpass its collective target of 100,000 km. With the support of corporate sponsors and individual donors, the flagship charity initiative of Singapore Exchange (SGX) raised $3.63 million amid a challenging year for charitable fundraising.

***** Many thanks to the SGX people and community for their great work.~JJL


Tuesday’s Top Three
Our top story Tuesday was It’s a great time to be an options trader, from Crain’s Chicago Business. Second was – third time in the top three – the Wall Street Journal opinion piece, This is a massive failure of character among Republicans — with evangelicals out in front. (That’s white evangelicals, by the way.) Third was The Trade’s Nasdaq software failure causes market blackout at ASX.

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Now Read This

Mike Cavanaugh – Open Outcry Traders History Project

Mike Cavanaugh – Open Outcry Traders History Project

Mike Cavanaugh found his way to the trading industry despite his degree in political science because he had a brother-in-law in the wheat pit at the CBOT. He did a summer internship working for “one of the more prolific wheat traders” and soon fell in love with the place. 

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