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
Maureen Downs has been re-elected as the chair of the NFA Board of Directors. Also, Don Thompson of JP Morgan is to serve as vice chair. Also, elected to two-year terms as public directors were: Michael C. Dawley, BlueFin Partners LLC; Douglas E. Harris, Promontory Financial Group LLC; Ronald S. Oppenheimer; Todd E. Petzel, Offit Capital Advisors LLC; and Michael R. Schaefer.
There is a difference of opinion in London over SPACs, with the FT editorial board telling its readers “Why London should resist the Spac craze” and former London Stock Exchange CEO Xavier Rolet and Matthew Elliott, Vote Leave co-founder, saying “London should be centre of ‘Spac revolution’”.
It is amazing how little publicity “Beans in the Teens” is getting. Prices at the CBOT/CME soybean futures are roaring, with March 2021 beans rallying over $2 since the beginning of December 2020.
Symphony’s David Gurle has been trapped in Hong Kong by the travel restrictions since October of 2020. He said he hopes to be able to get back to his family and France in April if things open up. He uses video conferencing to have every lunch and dinner with his family back in France. I will have more about David in an upcoming story.
There were no new donations to the JLN MarketsWiki Education GoFundMe campaign yesterday. Support our efforts to preserve industry history and support 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
Boy, Square really seems to be going all-in on bitcoin. Square, the payments platform created by Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, has reportedly bought 3,318 bitcoin (BTC), or $170 million worth. Square also recently reported that its Cash App sold $1.76 billion worth of bitcoin to its customers in the last quarter of 2020, and sold a total of $4.57 billion over the course of last 2020, generating about $97 million in gross profits from bitcoin alone, $41 million of which came from Q4 of 2020.~MR
Peter Fredriksson – The Path to Electronic Trading
Peter Fredriksson was with OM in Sweden when they offered the first electronic trading platform. He later worked for Cinnober, which was one of many firms to be spun out of OM over the years, along with TriOptima and Orc (now Itiviti).
NFA’s Board of Directors re-elects Maureen C. Downs to serve as Chair
At its February meeting, NFA’s Board of Directors re-elected Maureen C. Downs, Phillip Capital, Inc., to serve a one-year term as Chair. The Board also re-elected Don Thompson, JPMorgan Chase & Co., to serve as Vice-Chair.
*****The brilliant Maureen Downs gets another term. Good choice.~JJL
France’s Latest Plan to Save Businesses Has Europe Intrigued; The country is resurrecting a financial instrument introduced in 1978. Other governments on the Continent are watching.
William Horobin – Bloomberg
Emmanuel Macron’s government is digging deep into its policy toolbox to find ways to transition the economy back to normality and fulfill the president’s pledge to support businesses and workers, “whatever the cost.” A plan being prepared in Paris would deploy state guarantees to back EUR20 billion ($24 billion) of so-called participative loans.
****I like innovation. What is this?~JJL
Isolated, Bored Employees Could Use a Little TLC These Days; There are things bosses can do to make workers feel valued and connected.
Arianne Cohen – Bloomberg
When people say they’ve hit a “pandemic wall,” they’re sometimes talking about all the dishes they’re doing, the “hard pants” they haven’t worn in months, and the same, stupid walk they take every day. But the conversation is mostly about work. It’s critical that companies help meet employees’ baseline psychological needs. Our stability, experts say, depends on having control over our days, as well as a sense of belonging, purpose, and growth. In normal times we meet those needs through interactions with co-workers, neighbors, romantic partners, family members, friends, and exercise buddies. Our current dependency on roommates and Zoommates means our minds, which are constantly monitoring for these external inputs, can feel starved, says organizational psychologist Lydia Woodyatt, an associate professor at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia, who runs a popular corporate workshop on psychological needs and the workplace.
*****It’s important in times like these to take care of yourself. Do little things to make your day a little easier, even if it’s as simple as adding a little extra scoop of sugar in your coffee one morning.~MR
Tuesday’s Top Three
Our top story Tuesday was The Beach Bum Who Beat Wall Street and Made Millions on GameStop, from The Ringer. Note: this story is filed under “gambling.” Second was the Wall Street Journal’s As Wall Street Migrates to Florida, Hedge-Funders Move to Offload Manhattan Homes. Quote from a real estate agent: “What’s there to do in Florida? It’s great if you’re a golfer or you want to play tennis, but it’s a cultural wasteland.” Third was CNBC’s ‘Flat out false’ — Ken Griffin says Citadel doesn’t use personal information from retail investors.