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 artist who deposited an illegal charging bull sculpture in lower Manhattan has died at the age of 80. Arturo Di Modica, the Sicilian-born sculptor of the ‘Charging Bull’, installed the artwork in Lower Manhattan without permission, but an outpouring of public support persuaded the city to keep it. What would the Wall Street area be without the Charging Bull?
Former Montreal Exchange executive Brian Gelfand is now a senior advisor at EY. Congratulations to Brian on the new job.
In two years there is another Senate race in Georgia. In what is perhaps a subtle hint of former Senator Kelly Loeffler‘s future electoral intentions, the http://kellyforsenate.com/ website is available for sale. The @SenatorLoeffler Twitter account is still online, but the last post was the day before she left office, January 19, 2021. The last post to her Instagram account, kloefflerga, was on January 7, the day after the election.
Bloomberg has a story titled, “Billionaire Peterffy Says N.Y. Rich in Florida Are There to Stay.” Wait until hurricane season and we will see how they feel.
Ford is now asking its dealers in Texas to lend out the new 2021 Ford F-150 trucks equipped with power generators. This is one of those moments to gain good will and create future demand for its F-150 pickups and Ford recognizes it.
BGC Partner’s Pat Troy and IFAC’s Gabriella Kusz are the latest to give to the JLN MarketsWiki Education GoFundMe campaign. Pat is a longtime executive with Cantor Fitzgerald and then its offshoot, BGC Partners. He spent four years with Nasdaq after Espeed was sold to Nasdaq, but then returned to BGC Partners. He has some incredible electronic trading stories to tell, as Cantor was a leader in the development of OTC electronic trading of bonds, which allowed the pit traders in the Chicago markets to play the arbitrage between cash and futures. The success of Cantor’s electronic trading efforts after Troy moved to Chicago and established an office there for Cantor led to a reduction in the headcount of phone brokers in New York at the time of the attack on the World Trade Center in 2001. The success of electronic trading helped save lives. Gabriella is a longtime executive with the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) and a contributor to the Global Digital Asset & Cryptocurrency Association, and she is a former World Bank and FDIC executive. She has also worked for Grant Thornton, among other firms. Thank you to Pat and Gabriella for this gift and thank you to all who have given and all those who have yet to give. Support our efforts to preserve industry history by donating to our GoFundMe campaign.
Who is going to be the donor to put us over the $30,000, or 10% level of our goal, on the GoFundMe app?
Have a great day and stay safe and treat people the same way you want to be treated: with respect, equality and justice.~JJL
After a long freeze, it appears there is some movement in the processing of Illinois’ social equity licenses for cannabis dispensaries, but it’s complicated. The state finally sent out deficiency notices late last week, giving applicants 10 days to reply with a corrected application, according to Jon Loevy, an attorney who has represented many of the applicants. That’s a quick turnaround deadline, but Loevy said Justice Grown, a multi-state cannabis company operator, has teamed up with the Denver-based cannabis consultancy Harvest 360 to provide assistance to the social equity teams. The service will be provided without charge in conjunction with Illinois Rep. La Shawn Ford’s office, Loevy said. Loevy is co-owner of Justice Grown. More information here. ~SC
The Spread: Can’t Stop GameStop
A number of people appeared before Congress on Thursday to discuss the GameStop trading phenomenon, including Vlad Tenev, CEO of Robinhood. Tenev, who apparently donned his best John Wick costume for the hearing, defended his company’s innocence while apologizing to customers.
Hemp In ‘Year of Transition,’ PanXchange CEO Says
Julie Lerner, CEO of PanXchange, recently sat down with JLN’s Thom Thompson for an in-depth discussion of the industrial hemp market. Her view of current supply vs. demand may surprise you.
Wind power is not to blame for Texas blackout; Outage shows perils of underestimating the impact of extreme weather
The editorial board – FT
It would be a relief if the critics who blamed frozen wind turbines for last week’s crippling Texas power outage were correct. If they had been, it would be easy to understand why people in the second most populous US state had to sleep in their cars and burn belongings to stay warm after icy winter weather sent temperatures plunging to -18C. Unfortunately, early indications suggest the reasons are far more complicated.
*****I had an older conservative gentleman at the dog park on Saturday try to blame Texas’ problems on windmills. I politely explained to him why that was not the case.~JJL
You’re Waiting Too Long to Change Your Business Plans; Treat work more like an experiment, and find people in your life who will challenge your assumptions, a new book says.
Arianne Cohen – Bloomberg
Too often, we stubbornly hitch our futures to bad ideas, University of Pennsylvania organizational psychologist Adam Grant says. In his new book, Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know, he writes that many people fail to reassess their careers and investments quickly enough and don’t make changes until it’s too late. Here’s his cheat sheet on how to make timely pivots—and what to do when you’re not the one who needs to adjust.
*****Managers and bosses just love having their assumptions challenged.~JB
Citi Executive Pulls James Bond Stunts to Woo China’s Rich
Citi among few global banks offering credit cards in China; Digital acquisition of clients helps foreign banks narrow gap
A man in a tuxedo sits at a mountaintop bar. His phone buzzes and he springs into action, stepping into ski boots and racing down the slopes. He is Buckley, Darren Buckley, head of consumer banking for Citigroup China, and also the star of the bank’s James Bond-inspired marketing campaign. In a dozen short videos posted on CitibankChina’s official account on Douyin, the Chinese iteration of TikTok, Buckley’s 007-style character rides motorcycles, masters kung fu and pulls fire out of thin air. He’s often in pursuit of a glamorous, dark-haired woman, played by Buckley’s real-life wife, Aphitchaya Boonkhong.
*****Who wouldn’t do this if they could?~JB
Friday’s Top Three
Our top story Friday was The New York Times’ ‘Something Very Wrong Happened Here’ about the House committee hearing on Robinhood and GameStop. Second was JLN’s Thom Thompson’s No, Virginia, There Is No Santa Claus; He Was Demutualized, about Acuiti’s newest report on market data. (Those two stories were actually tied for first place, with the exact same number of clicks.) Third was Yahoo!Finance’s We were ‘dangerously close’ to collapse of ‘entire system,’ says Interactive Brokers founder ahead of GameStop hearing, about Thomas Peterffy.