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 Associated Press is reporting that Bernie Madoff of Ponzi scheme infamy has died in federal prison, apparently of natural causes. He was 82.
Today we published a video interview with Scott Knudsen, which was shot as part of The Path to Electronic Trading series, but which we decided to break out into its own video. Knudsen joined IMC, then called Holland House Trading, after graduating from the University of Illinois. We will release his video for The Path to Electronic Trading later today. This video is about his experience with cryptocurrency and his decision to build Cove Markets, a platform designed to trade multiple crypto marketplaces on one screen and get the best execution available. It is a timely video given all the attention on today’s Coinbase direct listing, but more dumb luck than brilliant planning.
Also later today we will post a video interview we did with Brendan Bradley about the new “ESG Investing for Dummies” book he just published.
The 2021 Annual Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community report is out from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Some highlights from the foreword:
- Ecological and climate changes, for example, are connected to public health risks, humanitarian concerns, social and political instability, and geopolitical rivalry.
- China increasingly is a near-peer competitor, challenging the United States in multiple arenas—especially economically, militarily and technologically—and is pushing to change global norms.
- Emerging and disruptive technologies, as well as the proliferation and permeation of technology in all aspects of our lives, pose unique challenges. Cyber capabilities, to illustrate, are demonstrably intertwined with threats to our infrastructure and to the foreign malign influence threats against our democracy.
To summarize, climate change is bad, China is a rival and disruptive technology can be used by bad guys.
Bob Pisani of CNBC reported that “the Senate is likely to confirm Gary Gensler as the new chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission either Wednesday or later this week.”
The ICAPCharityDay for 2021 is taking place on Thursday, December 9, 2021. You can visit @ICAPCharityDay on Instagram and Twitter to see success stories from some of the amazing charities they have supported.
The JLN MarketsWiki Education GoFundMe campaign had a donation from Yuriy Shterk yesterday. Yuriy is a longtime JLN reader and has worked for a couple of JLN sponsors, CQG and Fidessa. He is currently the chief product officer for Allvue Systems, formed from the merger of Black Mountain & AltaReturn. Allvue is a provider of investment management solutions for fund managers, investors and administrators in the alternative investments industry. Thank you to Yuriy and to all who have given and all who have yet to give. His donation will be matched by Trading Technologies. Support our efforts to preserve industry history by giving to 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
Scott Knudsen – The Path to Electronic Trading Led to a Best Execution Platform For Bitcoin
John Lothian News interviewed Scott Knudsen, the founder of Cove Markets and a former longtime executive with IMC, for The Path to Electronic Trading video series, but we broke off this part of the interview into a stand-alone video.
2021 Annual Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community
Office of the Director of National Intelligence
Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, in coordination with Intelligence Community leaders, released to Congress an unclassified annual report of worldwide threats to the national security of the United States. Pursuant to Section 617 of the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021, the annual assessment examines the diverse array of threats that exist against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, great power competition, and rapidly evolving technology.
*****Many of the risks they outline are risks for the market too.~JJL
How Amsterdam Recovered From a Deadly Outbreak — in 1665; Following an epidemic of bubonic plague that wiped out 10% of the population, Amsterdam’s economy quickly rebounded, a new study shows.
Feargus O’Sullivan – Bloomberg
For two years in the mid-1600s, Amsterdam experienced a shock that may now seem familiar. The city was ravaged by a deadly epidemic of bubonic plague. As graveyards in poorer districts started to fill, the wealthy scattered to their country houses, while those that remained did their best to keep healthy through social distancing. Sick people were banned from markets, inns and churches, while infected houses warned off visitors with a sign hung outside — a bunch of straw tied with three bands. These measures may have helped, but they weren’t enough to stop the plague. By the time the epidemic petered out in 1665, the disease had claimed 24,000 Amsterdammers — around 10% of the population.
*****The good news is we have been dealing with pandemics a long time and are still around. We had some ideas on what to do before we knew the science of it all.~JJL
Hungry for Investors, Some Companies Woo the Little Guy; Small investors are becoming a force in the stock market, and company executives are beginning to take notice.
Matt Phillips – NY Times
After CarParts.com reported its quarterly results last month, executives at the company, which sells replacement auto parts, did what many of their ilk do: They held a conference call with Wall Street analysts, fielding questions about inventory levels, profit margins and corporate strategy.
*****Win the hearts of the little guy, the beginning of the investment food chain.~JJL
Bank of England: Andy Haldane to Become Chief Executive of The Royal Society For Arts, Manufactures And Commerce
Andy Haldane, Chief Economist and member of the Monetary Policy Committee, is leaving the Bank of England to become Chief Executive of the Royal Society for Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA).
*****This is a loss for the markets. Haldane was a great thought leader. It is a win for the Royal Society though.~JJL
Bitcoin Power Consumption Jumped 66-Fold Since 2015, Citi Says
Josh Saul – Bloomberg
Annualized consumption likely reached 143 terawatt-hours; Bitcoin mining could soon face more regulatory scrutiny
Bitcoin mining is consuming 66 times more electricity than it did back in late 2015, and the carbon emissions associated with it will likely face increasing scrutiny, according to a Citigroup Inc. report. As of mid-April, global power demand by the Bitcoin network probably reached an annualized 143 terawatt-hours, about 4% higher than Argentina’s total electricity generation in 2019, the report said, citing numbers from the Cambridge University Center for Alternative Finance.
*****At least gold just sits there and you need to protect it. Protection prices don’t go up 66-fold.~JJL
Tuesday’s Top Three
The top-read story on Tuesday was a controversial piece published by Medium and written by John Ramsay, IEX chief market policy officer, How Do You Measure a Fill? Nasdaq Attacks with a Dull Knife. The second most-read was a Yahoo Finance piece that also was in the Top Three on Monday, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon outlines ‘serious weaknesses’ of virtual work. And third was Thom Thompson’s JLN History of Financial Futures video interview with Richard Sandor, Richard Sandor Makes History With Financial Futures – John Lothian News.