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 New York restaurant “21” Club is closing indefinitely and may close for good in March, according to a report in the New York Post. The restaurant has been a New York City hot spot through the years with an unending list of celebrities who have graced its dining room. I was introduced to this fine venue by Guy Taylor, now head of media relations for BNP Paribas and have eaten there three times, including once courtesy of the World Gold Council at their annual dinner.

We added remembrances of George Gero from former CFTC official Andrea Corcoran, NFA’s Karen Wuertz, and former NYMEX member Anthony Grisanti, GRZ on

The CME Group has added new hemp pricing data to CME DataMine, its self-service online data platform.

The SEC announced that Brett Redfearn, director of the SEC’s Division of Trading and Markets, will end his tenure as director by the end of the year after leading the division for over three years. Thank you to Mr. Redfearn for his service.

The SPIKES Volatility Index on MGEX is now available for trading. Yesterday was the first day of trading on the relaunched product.

(Borrowed from Kellie Mejdrich of Politico on Twitter) I was told the future held snow. It is just FLAKE news.

We had no new donations to the JLN MarketsWiki Education GoFundMe campaign yesterday. Help us preserve industry history by donating to 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


CoinRoutes is one of the latest pages on CryptoMarketsWiki to be transferred over to MarketsWiki. Speaking of which, Cboe and CoinRoutes have entered into a partnership agreement allowing Cboe to make use of CoinRoutes’ proprietary RealPrice data feed to create digital asset index products, as well as other, similar products and services.~MR

According to Bank of America and BofA Securities’s monthly Global Fund Manager Survey, the most crowded trade by far between November and December 2020 has been “long tech.” The second and third-most crowded trades, according to the participants of the survey, were “short U.S. dollar” and “long bitcoin.”~MR


First Read

What a Year: Pandemic Spurs ‘Beauty Contest In Growth Expectations’ Among Nations
Suzanne Cosgrove – John Lothian News

While the pandemic sent chills around the globe, a close look at equity performance in 2020 shows a striking dispersion of portfolio returns that makes a case for more selective investment in international markets going forward, said analysts in a FTSE Russell webinar held Tuesday.

In addition, the expected arrival of vaccines to fight the virus “changed the market narrative in November,” said Phillip Lawler, managing director of global investment research for FTSE Russell. Most equity markets posted double-digit percentage gains, fueled by a shift into what had been some of the year’s worst-performing cyclical sectors.

A major rotation in investments from leaders to laggards on a country level was also evident in November, Lawler said, with Taiwan a stand-out example of a country that rebounded toward the end of the year. Taiwan is expected to end 2020 with positive GDP growth despite the global pandemic, benefiting from ties to the U.S. and advances in its tech prowess, analysts said.

To read the rest of this report, go here.


Eurex’s Randolf Roth Talks MSCI with JLN

John Lothian News interviewed Randolf Roth, Eurex’s head of equity & index derivatives and head of client services for trading & clearing, over Zoom about Eurex’s MSCI offering. The MSCI has been in the news recently as MSCI awarded HKEX a license for the complex in Asia instead of SGX, where it had been for decades. The move to HKEX opened new doors for Eurex to compete for Asian MSCI business.

Watch the video »


Massachusetts Regulators to File Complaint Against Robinhood; The wildly popular trading platform exposed Massachusetts investors to ‘unnecessary trading risks,’ according to the complaint
Caitlin McCabe – WSJ
Massachusetts securities regulators are expected to file a complaint Wednesday against the wildly popular trading platform operated by Robinhood Financial LLC, alleging the company aggressively marketed to inexperienced investors and failed to implement controls to protect them. In a final draft of a more than 20-page administrative complaint reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, the enforcement arm of the Massachusetts Securities Division said Robinhood failed to protect its customers and their assets, violating state laws and regulations. Robinhood exposed Massachusetts investors to “unnecessary trading risks” by “falling far short of the fiduciary standard” adopted this year that requires broker-dealers to act in their clients’ best interest, the state said.

****My first question as a customer would be “What risk?”~JJL


Brett W. Redfearn to Conclude Transformative Tenure as SEC Trading and Markets Director
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Brett Redfearn, Director of the SEC’s Division of Trading and Markets, will conclude his tenure as Director by the end of the year after leading the Division for over three years. Since joining the SEC in October 2017, Mr. Redfearn led the Division’s 255 professional staff, including 168 attorneys, on a wide range of initiatives critical to the efficient and fair functioning of our trading markets and the protection of Main Street investors. Notably, Director Redfearn played a leading and essential role in coordinating the public and private sector efforts to maintaining fair, orderly, and efficient markets in March and April of 2020 when our markets faced unprecedented volatility and liquidity stresses.

*****Keep an eye on Mr. Redfearn’s future.~JJL


Futures Now Trading on the SPIKES Volatility Index
Miami International Securities
Exchange, LLC (MIAX) and the Minneapolis Grain Exchange (MGEX) today announce that a successful first day of futures trading on the SPIKES® Volatility Index (SPIKES) took place yesterday on December 14. “SPIKES Futures are a significant step forward for the volatility marketplace, adding necessary competition, choice and innovation,” said Thomas P. Gallagher, Chairman and CEO of MIAX. “With SPIKES Futures, investors have access to an advanced, competitively priced volatility trading product that further rounds out the SPIKES Volatility Products portfolio. We are excited that SPIKES Futures liquidity providers successfully began actively quoting yesterday, providing a tight market for SPIKES Futures right out of the gate.”

******Ready for trading.~JJL


Bitcoin tops $20,000, breakthrough price milestone for the largest digital asset
Daniel Roberts – Yahoo Finance
The price of bitcoin passed the $20,000 mark on Wednesday morning, a new all-time-high and the latest milestone in a huge 2020 surge that accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic.

*****Bitcoin exceeds $20K the day after the Cboe gets back into the game. Will Tilly take his bonus in Bitcoin is a relevant question again.~JJL


LME Moves Ahead With Sustainability Strategy And LMEpassport Roll-Out
London Metal Exchange
The London Metal Exchange (LME) today announces plans to move forward with its sustainability strategy following supportive feedback from its discussion paper process.

*****Was the sustainability paper edible? ~JJL


Tuesday’s Top Three
Our top story Tuesday was The Wall Street Journal’s High-Frequency Traders Push Closer to Light Speed With Cutting-Edge Cables. Cutting edge indeed: “Made of glass, such cables carry data encoded as beams of light.” Second was JLN’s George Gero Remembrances from a number of industry execs and traders, which includes JLN’s video interview of Gero. Third was How Kelly Loeffler’s Firm Facilitated an Enron-Like Scandal, from Mother Jones, a repeat from yesterday’s top three.

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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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