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
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) congratulated on LinkedIn the Guangzhou Futures Exchange #GFEX on its official launch. “HKEX, as a founding shareholder, will fully support GFEX to become an innovative, market-oriented and international futures exchange. We look forward to working with GFEX to promote the development of mutual market access and of the #green and low-carbon markets in the region.” — LinkedIn
The New York Times has a fascinating graphic display of how air circulates on airplanes. If you are interested in flying, it is worth a look. The story is titled “How Safe Are You From Covid When You Fly? It is by Mika Gröndahl, Tariro Mzezewa, Or Fleisher and Jeremy White. — NY Times
A good pandemic indicator is Coca-Cola. It has been hit hard by the COVID-19 outbreak as have many venues that serve Coke, like restaurants and sporting venues. Coke is issuing an alarm, the WSJ reports. — WSJ
The vice president of the United States during my later teenage years, Walter Mondale, died at the age of 93 yesterday. He was the 42nd vice president of the U.S. and the first to work in the White House on a daily basis. — WSJ, FT, NY Times
Down in the Miscellaneous section at the bottom of the newsletter we have several stories about the Super League that JPMorgan is supporting in European football. Lots of emotion and some anti-competitive aspects to this move.
For the fourth year in a row Finland has been named the happiest country in the world. What is it that they are doing right? — NY Times
We have had three new donations to the JLN MarketsWiki Education GoFundMe campaign yesterday. The first was by an anonymous source and the other from TP ICAP Senior Managing Director Mike du Plessis. Mike has had a long career working for major investment banks, including UBS, Deutsche Bank and Lehman Brothers. He was a floor broker for NatWest Markets. He says this about his floor experience in his LinkedIn profile: “NatWest Markets Graduate Trainee. After the grad boot camps and credit training I took the opportunity to move to the burgeoning LIFFE floor. It was an immense privilege to have experienced physical markets close up – an unparalleled learning experience.” The last donation was from Trading Technologies, matching another $1,200.
Thank you to Anonymous, Mike du Plessis and Trading Technologies and all who have given and all who have yet to give. 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
On the lighter side: Today’s date of 420 is widely viewed as a holiday in cannabis culture and it’s not new. An article in the Chicago Tribune published Monday dates the start of its significance back 50 years, to 1971, when 4:20 p.m. was said to be the weekly meeting time for a group of California high school students nicknamed the Waldos to smoke pot. JLN began to look at the cannabis sector much more recently, through a business and legislative lens. On that note, the Cannabis Business Association of Illinois today is hosting a free virtual 420 resource fair for current and aspiring industry professionals from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. CT. You can register here. ~SC
Tom Ascher – Open Outcry Traders History Project – Part Two
In Part Two of the JLN interview with Tom Ascher for the Open Outcry Traders History Project, Ascher talks about getting involved in exchange politics. He joined CBOE’s board and later became its vice chairman. At one point, his non-trading activities became his main focus.
Oil Marks Anniversary of Crash Below Zero With Rally Above $64
Sharon Cho and Alex Longley – Bloomberg
Demand prospects gain, while Libyan output falls amid dispute; WTI crude futures advance 1.3%; Brent’s prompt spread rallies
Oil jumped above $64 a barrel, a year to the day after futures for the U.S. benchmark collapsed below zero, with the world’s most important commodity extending a powerful rally on bets for better demand.
*****A year ago WTI traded below zero and opened new risks for derivatives traders to consider. One thing JLN likes to do is create pages in MarketsWiki for significant market days, like WTI going under zero or a stock market crash. I asked JLN editor Thom Thompson, a trained economist, to create a page in MarketsWiki for the WTI under zero day. The result is this page: NYMEX WTI futures trade below zero. He has more to add, but he has made a significant start. Thank you, Thom.~JJL
MIAX expands futures division with new hires from Cboe and Citi; Matt McFarland and Thomas Jarck join Miami International Holdings as part of the expansion of its futures division, MIAX Futures.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
MIAX Futures, the subsidiary of Miami International Holdings (MIH), has hired two executives from Cboe Global Markets and Citigroup as part of its futures division expansion. Matt McFarland joins MIAX as vice president after spending the last 13 years at rival US exchange Cboe Global Markets, most recently as vice president and head of futures for the last two years.
*****Matt McFarland made a superhero landing.~JJL
New micro futures from Eurex – a cost-efficient way to access European markets
In response to increasing interests from market participants for smaller-sized futures contracts, Eurex has launched a new micro product suite – Micro-DAX, Micro-EURO STOXX 50 and Micro-SMI Futures. The new micro futures have low daily margin rates and are a cost-efficient way for global investors to access the European equity index futures markets. The Eurex micro contracts have a multiplier value of 1 which makes the contract value calculation simpler as it equates to the respective product index price. In comparison to the regular futures contracts, Eurex micro contract values are significantly smaller, further reducing potential portfolio tracking errors and providing investors with precise hedging opportunities.
*****It is big news for a very small launch.~JJL
Monday’s Top Three
The top story on Monday was a pandemic-related feature from The New York Times, There’s a Name for the Blah You’re Feeling: It’s Called Languishing. Next-up was a timely look at Ameribor by the Wall Street Journal, Libor-Replacement Competitor Gains Strength From New Offerings. And the third most read item was a listing from DRW for a Compliance Officer.