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 Wall Street Journal’s owner is buying Investor Business Daily for $275 million, the Wall Street Journal reported. “News Corp NWS 3.08% agreed to buy digital-first financial news and research publisher Investor’s Business Daily for $275 million, a deal that will further expand the company’s portfolio of publications catering to investors.”
Don’t forget to fill out the JLN survey. We will donate to three respondents’ favorite charities. We’ll also award a $250 Amazon gift card to one of the participants. Click on the image above to take the survey.
Lynne Marek of PaymentsDive has a new story titled “Illinois moves to create special charter for digital assets trust.” The subheadline says: “Illinois angles to get a jump on other states, and an edge in attracting new business, by creating a new special banking charter for digital asset trusts.” BTW, you can follow her on Twitter at @LynneMarek.
You might be interested in the “Trading and Best Execution Summit – APAC” an online event by Capital Markets Strategies that examines trading and best execution issues impacting institutional investors. The event will be broadcast from Hong Kong on April 20 and April 21. Check the link for local times.
From our friends at SGX about their website: “As at 26 Mar 2021 06:25 PM | Please be informed that due to website maintenance, there will be intermittent access to our site from 08:00 am 27 Mar 2021 to 08:00 pm 28 Mar 2021 (Singapore time). We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”
There were no new donations to the JLN MarketsWiki Education GoFundMe campaign yesterday. Support our efforts to preserve industry history by giving to our GoFundMe campaign.
We are a bit backed up with video stories to publish, partly because of losing a video editor and also because Patrick Lothian has been on paternity leave. He returns Monday. Look for us to start cranking out some of the recently shot videos and others we have had on the shelf for a while.
Have a great day and stay safe and treat people the same way you want to be treated: with respect, equality and justice.~JJL
Late yesterday, CFTC Commissioner Brian Quintenz dropped a long dissent to ErisX‘s last-minute withdrawal of its proposed football gambling contracts. Yep, it seems that the mere withdrawal of ErisX’s application was not going to get in the way of Quintenz railing against his own commission’s (possible) decision against ErisX because ErisX had forfeited the game. In his statement, the commissioner rails against an order that was never ordered. Along the way, he mocks the “all-pro” CFTC staff who, he confesses, worked diligently enough but did not appreciate the U.S. Constitution the way he does. Implying that the CFTC is just not willing to do the hard work, Quintenz also says it is “understandable” for the CFTC “to not want event contracts trading under its jurisdiction” as the basis for turning down ErisX’s NFL contracts. In his 8,500-word piece, Quintenz ignores the fact that the CFTC has regulated Nadex’s offering of 10,000 different event contracts since 2004. The CFTC recently licensed Kalshi to be another events contract trading venue.~Thom Thompson
A little more than a week ago, during Boca-V, CFTC Acting Chairman Rostin Behnam was telling FIA President Walt Lukken how collegial the commissioners were. Then last Friday, Commissioner Dawn Stump consented to fining Coinbase yet was impelled to skewer the commission’s allocation of its resources in an unusual published statement. Less than a week after that, CFTC Commissioner Quintenz had the agency publish his 8,500-word dissent to a commission action that in fact did not take place. If this is how collegiality works, you have to wonder what it is like when the commissioners do not get along.~Thom Thompson
Some 400 days into the global pandemic, the session at this week’s Eurex Derivatives Forum titled “The Changing Shape of Markets” dealt briefly with the havoc wreaked on European equity options and dividend futures markets when corporate payouts were thrown into doubt last year. John Keogh, chairman of the Susquehanna International Group‘s Executive Committee, said now that dividend policies are returning to normal, dividend contracts might again be used for hedging dividend risk or, as he has heard, even as an inflation hedge by those who see inflation picking up this year. Speaking with Annette Weisbach, CNBC correspondent for Germany, Keogh also said that European options markets might need to learn a lesson from the recent experience in the interest rate markets where ESMA, the EU regulator, says 60% of over-the-counter interest rate transactions are cleared. He said that a similar move for equity options, also forcing them onto exchanges, might be a welcome development. Keogh also expressed concern that retail order flow for options tends to go into structured products like warrants rather than onto exchanges.~Thom Thompson
Will Acworth, senior VP, publications, data and research at FIA, just published his take on last week’s FIA-Boca-V conference. Reviewing the highlights, he says Boca offered six lessons for the derivatives industry. The list is not surprising: 1) Brexit is poised to disrupt the clearing landscape in Europe; 2) exchange leaders are worried about political risk in relations with China; 3) the rise of retail is spilling over into derivatives; 4) ESG is the next “mega trend” for the institutional side of the business; 5) the tide is turning on digital assets; and 6) fintech is entering a golden age. More details on his observations are here.~SC
Game Stopped: Put Odd Lots on the Tape
Thomas J. Jordan, President & CEO, Jordan & Jordan
To be clear, I believe the United States has the best markets for retail investors in the world. There are approximately 6 million non-professionals who receive free real-time market data, paid for by a broker, and can receive an execution (with no commission) and a confirmation within seconds. However, as was clearly communicated during the U.S. House of Representative Committee on Financial Services meetings, there are legitimate issues that should be debated to continually improve our Capital Markets.
*****When I was a cub reporter with Commodity News Service, the author was the managing director of Americas for Knight-Ridder, the firm that owned the wire service.~JJL
Marex Spectron acquires Starsupply; Continues to expand through acquisition and organic growth
Marex Spectron, an essential tech-enabled liquidity hub connecting clients to global energy, commodities and financial markets, has today announced the acquisition of Starsupply, a leading Rotterdam-based broker of physical oil products. This is the latest in a series of acquisitions that has seen Marex expand its presence in specialist commodity markets and confirm its market leadership
*****Now I know where the “Spectron” comes from, a galaxy far far away.~JJL
Closing the DEI Gap: a Q&A with Candace Washington of Pivotal Impact (Part I)
In recognition of Black History Month last month and Women’s History Month this month, and of the reminders they bring about the work we all can do to make sure that our spaces are inclusive, 3Points’ Katie O’Shea spoke with Candace Washington, the founder and CEO of Pivotal Impact. Pivotal Impact is a talent and organizational development consulting firm that helps emerging leaders build the skills to navigate workplaces and helps organizations build and maintain diverse, equitable, and inclusive cultures. Like 3Points, Pivotal Impact has a particular focus on helping fintech organizations.
*****3Points and Pivotal Impact were made for each other.~JJL
Thursday’s Top Three
The most-clicked piece on Thursday was a video done by the Financial Times, Game Stop’s wild ride: how Redditors took on Wall Street.
Next up was the Bloomberg Opinion piece We Must Start Planning For a Permanent Pandemic, which also was among Wednesday’s top three stories. And No. 3 was the news from the Wall Street Journal that Fidelity Plans to Launch Bitcoin ETF.