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

Virtu founder, former NYMEX chairman and serial entrepreneur Vincent Viola has placed his New York mansion for sale at a modest price of just about $60 Million. Business Insider says Viola’s Manhattan mansion has a panic room, a pool, and a Versailles-inspired dining room. No word on if the panic room also housed his trading desk.

Phillip Capital is looking for a futures compliance manager. You can find the details HERE.

Why have I not received an invitation to the exclusive, invite only Clubhouse app? I guess I am just not cool enough… far. How about you? Are you a Clubhouse member?

Yesterday was National Proofreading Day. You read that right.

There were no new donations to the JLN MarketsWiki Education GoFundMe campaign yesterday. Do you have a story to tell? There is more than one way to give to the campaign. Telling your story and experience about the development of electronic trading, or your experience on the trading floors, can be an even greater gift. Contact me if you are interested.

Thank you again to Ajay Jain for his donation to the GoFundMe campaign. Ajay left the CME in February. Our apologies for the error.

Have a great day and stay safe and treat people the same way you want to be treated: with respect, equality and justice.~JJL


Mark your calendar: The Security Traders Association announced that its Washington, D.C. update will take place on Wednesday, April 21. STA said the one-day virtual conference will address legal and regulatory issues that may be affected by the change of administration, including what it described as “new priorities” at the SEC and CFTC. Confirmed speakers include Joe Mecane, head of execution services at Citadel Securities, Hope Jarkowski, head of equities at NYSE, and Jonathan Kellner, CEO of MEMX. ~SC


First Read



CME Group Foundation Awards Over $2.2 Million in Grants to Support College and Career Success for Illinois Students
CME Group
CME Group Foundation today announced that it has awarded over $2.2 million in grants to further support higher education and career initiatives across Chicago and Illinois. “Every stage of the pipeline from classroom to career has been impacted by the ongoing pandemic,” said Kassie Davis, Executive Director of the CME Group Foundation. “It is more important than ever to support organizations that help low-income students get to college or post-secondary training, graduate and get a strong first job.”

*****Good work by the CME Group is timely and needed. Their own version of the CARES Act.~JJL


CME Group Announces New Micro E-mini Equity Index Futures Trading Volume Records
CME Group
CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, today announced that Micro E-mini Equity Index futures reached record trading volume of 5.1 million contracts on March 4 across all four indexes – the S&P 500, Nasdaq-100, Russell 2000 and Dow Jones Industrial Average Indexes. These new highs surpassed the prior record of 4.4 million contracts set on February 26, 2021.

*****There are so many Micro E-Mini records occurring, they are starting to make Antman look small.~JJL


A Deeper Dive into the NYSE Group Retail Liquidity Programs
We recently discussed the ways in which exchanges can compete for retail order flow, including price improvement opportunities via their Retail Price Improvement (RLP) programs . Below we share additional details of RLP activity, using the last week in January as a case study for RLP activity in active stocks with substantial off-exchange trading interest. We also highlight the overall depth of the NYSE Group RLP program.

*****This looks like a forward dive in the pike position with a twist and spin before a perfect splash of liquidity.~JJL


BNP Paribas Appoints Gustavo Arruda Head of LatAm Research
BNP Paribas
BNP Paribas Markets 360 today announces the following appointment; Gustavo Arruda, Head of LATAM Research, Markets 360, BNP Paribas
Gustavo joined the BNP Paribas Economics team in Brazil in 2011. In his new expanded role, Gustavo will lead the Latin America Markets 360 team, both in strategy and economics, while continuing to cover the Brazilian economy.
*****I like the name Gustavo, it means “staff of the gods.”~JJL


Maybe Mom’s job is cool after all; Derivatives get a bad rap, but they help keep hamburgers affordable
Dawn D. Stump –
Explaining what I do for a living to their teachers, classmates and friends is a struggle for my kids. If I was a YouTube star or a TikTok influencer, they could impress their friends. But alas, I am a commissioner at a regulatory agency with a really long (and confusing) name — the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. To my kids, my job is unrelatable, which loosely translates to “boring.”

*****CFTC Commissioner Dawn Stump, stumping for burgers and derivatives is something to relish.~JJL


Bitcoin Has Zero Intrinsic Value. Some People Are OK With That; But not Willem Buiter, former chief economist of Citigroup, who likens it to Schrodinger’s cat.
Peter Coy – Bloomberg
Critics of Bitcoin say it has no intrinsic value, but defenders … well, actually … a lot of its defenders agree. Which might make you nervous if you’re sitting on a big investment in Bitcoin or considering wading in for the first time. Johns Hopkins University economist Steven Hanke tweeted Feb. 20, “Just remember—Bitcoin is no more than a highly speculative asset with a fundamental value of ZERO!” This is a common criticism. On March 8, American Enterprise Institute visiting fellow Jim Harper responded to Hanke with a blog post that essentially said, yeah, that’s true, but no other asset has any fundamental value, either.

*****Bitcoin is priced over $50,000 currently. What is its value? Another question.~JJL


Monday’s Top Three
Our top story Monday was Bloomberg’s A Hack Like This Could Start the Next World War, about Chinese-backed operatives exploiting vulnerabilities in Microsoft’s Exchange Server. Second was our MarketsWiki page for Bryan Durkin, who is one of eight new members inducted by the FIA into the 2021 Futures Hall of Fame. (Other new members showed up further down in our list of top stories.) Third was Bloomberg’s Citi Sees the Days of Traders Slamming Phones Coming to an End, which is about Citigroup’s efforts to include more women in executive roles.

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