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
The JLN team wishes you happy holidays. For those of you who celebrate Christmas, we wish you Merry Christmas. We hope the spirit of the season of hope, peace, love and joy surround you and your loved ones for now and the coming new year.
We will be publishing JLN tomorrow, but not on Friday, Christmas Day. We will publish JLN every day between the holidays, but not on New Year’s Day. We will not be publishing JLN Options between the holidays.
I don’t like to write about politics, but I felt compelled to do so as I felt our industry was being unduly misrepresented by the criticism of Sen. Kelly Loeffler’s trading history. So I wrote about it. See the link above for my commentary.
The new bill passed by Congress gives a second draw of PPP loans/grants to firms that can show a quarter in 2020 that was down 25% or more than 2019. Firms also must have 300 or less employees. The Wall Street Journal has written a nice Q&A about the bill and the PPP program elements it includes.
My family would generally go to a late-night Christmas Eve church service at our home church. When we were younger, sometimes we would go back to the church in Glenview, where Cheryl and I met and we both sang in the choir. This year is unique because of the pandemic. Not only will be watching the virtual service for our church, St. Peter’s in Elmhurst, Illinois, but we will also be able to watch the other services in town or our old home church as the services will all be available online and will be recorded for replay at any time. It is a very unique opportunity to hear the Christmas message from a variety of ministers and churches.
Have a great day and stay safe and treat people the same way you want to be treated: with respect, equality and justice.~JJL
Ripple is being sued by the SEC for selling XRP without registering it as a security. The company has been around for a long time, so it’s interesting the SEC chose now to file the suit. Perhaps it’s because Ripple has been making a big push to sell lots of XRP this year. Despite remaining one of the top cryptocurrency companies by market cap for years, XRP has been struggling to maintain its price point and market cap.~MR
It’s almost time to turn that calendar to 2021! January is starting to fill up. At the end of next month, on January 27, the FIA is hosting its 2020 Annual Trends in Futures and Options Trading webinar presentation. Registration information is here. ~SC
In the Georgia Senate Elections There Is No Winning With Your Reputation Intact
John Lothian – John Lothian News
In the Georgia Senate Elections There Is No Winning With Your Reputation Intact
John Lothian News
Kelly Loeffler began 2020 by becoming Sen. Kelly Loeffler. When she aspired to be a Georgia U.S. Senator, I am sure she never imagined she would be in the midst of a national fight for political control of the U.S. Senate. But that is where she has found herself.
Because of the high stakes for Senate control, she is in the eye of a storm turning over Georgia. Amidst the twirling, swirling of the campaign, there is mud flying everywhere. Some of this mud sticks, some of it washes right off with a little rain and some sunlight.
Sometimes it seems like there are two twisters over Georgia, one is her fight with Rev. Raphael Warnock and the other is the fight of incumbent Sen. David Perdue with challenger Jon Ossoff.
To read the rest of this commentary, go here.
Hemp’s Future Twists and Turns Go Beyond Current CBD Marketplace
Thom Thompson – John Lothian News
Our friends at PanXchange have included, along with their usual invaluable market insights, a year’s-end forecast to get us started thinking about 2021 in their December Hemp: Benchmarks & Analysis report.
A quick spin around the report’s data and graphs shows that the CBD markets still seem glutted, that is, if we look at the prices for CBD biomass, distillates and isolate that PanXchange reports are stuck in the basement.
Retail prices for products in which CBD is the key ingredient have yet to respond much to the fall in the ingredient’s price. Since legalization, most hemp has been grown to produce CBD and CBD is hemp’s biggest conundrum.
Read more of this analysis here.
In Coronavirus Relief Bill, Congress Also Curbs Surprise Medical Bills : Shots
Julie Appleby – NPR
Most Americans tell pollsters they’re worried about being able to afford an unexpected medical bill.
Late Monday, Congress passed a bill to allay some of those fears. The measure is included in a nearly 5,600-page package providing coronavirus economic relief and government funding for the rest of the fiscal year.
Specifically, the legislation addresses those charges that result from a long-running practice in which out-of-network medical providers — from doctors to air ambulance companies — send insured Americans “surprise bills,” sometimes for tens of thousands of dollars.
******5,000 pages long. There is a lot of fat and pork no doubt, too.~JJL
The ‘Darkest Days’ Are Ahead Of Us, Biden Warns About COVID-19 Pandemic
Domenico Montanaro – NPR
President-elect Joe Biden warned Tuesday that the coronavirus pandemic will get worse before it gets better. “Our darkest days in the battle against COVID are ahead of us, not behind us,” Biden told reporters during a year-end news conference in Wilmington, Del. He said that Americans, when united, could overcome the crisis, and he called the first vaccines being administered a good thing. But he noted that distribution of the vaccines is one of the biggest operational challenges the country has ever faced.
*****The winter solstice was earlier this week. I hope that is what he was talking about.~JJL
IOSCO publishes report on education of retail investors regarding risks of
The Board of the International Organization of Securities Commissions today published a report that seeks to help regulators inform retail investors about the risks and characteristics of crypto-assets. Crypto-assets carry risks that retail investors may not fully understand, increasing the chance of losses on investments in these assets. The IOSCO report titled Investor Education on CryptoAssets identifies an array of possible risks to investors, including such things as lack of market liquidity, volatility, partial or total loss of the invested amount, insufficient information disclosure and fraud.
******It is crypto’s day at IOSCO.~JJL
Restoring trust: 5 steps to reduce congressional conflicts of interest
Ty Gellasch – Brookings
It’s past time for Congress to limit trading and outside business activities for its members and staff. Our Democracy is undermined when the public questions whether government officials are personally profiting off of their government positions. Unfortunately, we have seen members of Congress trading extensively in stocks while also holding hearings, writing laws, and funding regulators that directly impact those stocks’ prices. And we have seen outside business interests of Democrats and Republicans benefit from federal programs and activities. Both financial trading and outside business activities present clear conflicts of interest that undermine trust in those officials and in government overall. Both should be limited far more than they are today.
*****Timely piece from Brookings.~JJL
The 12 days of Christmas for canny investors; From partridge to drummers, a seasonal guide to plum funds
Moira O’Neill – FT
It might be tempting to splurge on Christmas gifts and treats, especially if this particularly bleak midwinter sees you far from loved ones or feeling lonely, and you have surplus funds sitting in the bank.
*****A different look at the 12 days of Xmas gifts.~JJL
Tuesday’s Top Three
The top story on Tuesday was The New York Times’ feature profile of a now-familiar subject, Kelly Loeffler, a Wall Street Senator With a Hardscrabble Pitch. The number two story was more industry specific, CFTC Grants OneChicago LLC Request to Vacate DCM Designation. Number three was the most unusual, a photo of MaterialsXchange staff in the middle of LaSalle Street in Chicago.