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

The OCC reported that March 2021 total volume was up 34.8 percent from a year ago and that it was the highest total volume month on record for U.S. equity options. March also marked the end of the highest quarter by contract volume in OCC’s history.

CME Group issued its March 2021 monthly and quarterly volume report and it is also a dazzler. Highlights for Q1 2021 compared with Q1 2020 included: The average daily volume (ADV) of Ultra 10-Year Treasury Note futures was up 26%. The ADV of the fast-growing Micro E-Mini Nasdaq 100 futures was up 100%. And the ADV of the Micro E-Mini Russell 2000 futures was up 138%. The CME traded a record of 112K ADV for SOFR and a record ADV of 13,500 Bitcoin futures. Ag options ADV was up 27% from a year ago and corn options ADV was up 67%. Soybean options ADV was up 64% and soybean oil options ADV up 46%.

Some March monthly volume product highlights included: SOFR futures ADV was up 82% year over year (YoY). Bitcoin futures ADV was up 35% YoY. The Micro E-Mini index options ADV of 2.9 million contracts was up 23% YoY. Record Micro E-mini Nasdaq 100 futures ADV was 1.3 million contracts and record Micro E-mini S&P 500 futures ADV was 1.2 million contracts. Soybean options ADV rose 97% YoY and the monthly ADV for BrokerTec EU Repo was EUR299 billion.

Amazingly, Micro E-mini futures and options represented 41% of overall Equity Index ADV during March 2021 at the CME Group. Micros rock!

Former U.S. Attorney, Southern District of New York Preet Bharara, the host of Stay Tuned with Preet, will be a keynote speaker at the FIA’s L&C-V Conference held from April 28 to 30.

Doug Ashburn, director of strategy and business development for T3 Custom and a former JLN team member, has a content marketing commentary on TD Ameritrade’s “The Ticker Tape” titled “Where Does My Order Get Filled?” Alas, there is no specific answer given.

However, Jonathan Macey, the Sam Harris Professor of Corporate Law, Corporate Finance and Securities Law at Yale Law School and Professor in the Yale School of Management, has a very different perspective. It is not where your order is being filled that matters; that is pretty simple these days – at one of the internalizers. The question is, what price is your order being filled against? In a commentary on Insider titled “Robinhood and other ‘low cost’ brokers are still quietly screwing over their users,” Macey says that “The NBBO benchmark Citadel and Virtu use is widely understood to be outdated and incomplete.”

Nasdaq is looking for an account manager for governance solutions in Stockholm, Sweden. The position is within their corporate platforms division.

There were no new donations to the JLN MarketsWiki Education GoFundMe campaign over the weekend. 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


First Read


Investors should buy real assets – from wine to art – as inflation reaches a ‘secular turning point,’ Bank of America says
Emily Graffeo – Insider
Since the election of President Joe Biden, inflation and its potential comeback have been hot economic topics. Pumping trillions of dollars into the economy could overheat it, critics say, while others see few signs of runaway inflation, either now or in the near future.

******I was ahead of my time buying the shadow box of “Game of Thrones” books with a signature from the author George R.R. Martin.~JJL


Robinhood and other ‘low cost’ brokers are still quietly screwing over their users
Jonathan Macey – Insider
The ongoing fiasco that grew out of online broker Robinhood’s decision to limit customers’ ability to buy “meme stocks” like GameStop in January has produced a lot of noise, but also a silver lining. Robinhood’s move, which angered customers and some online commentators, also brought attention to how retail brokers like E*Trade, Charles Schwab, TD Ameritrade and Robinhood handle orders on behalf of their retail customers.

*****Jonathan Macey is the Sam Harris Professor of Corporate Law, Corporate Finance and Securities Law at Yale Law School and Professor in the Yale School of Management.


Friday’s Top Three
On Friday, the top-read story was from the Financial Times concerning Heath Tarbert’s new position, Ex-CFTC chair joins Citadel Securities 27 days after leaving regulator. The second most-read was the Wall Street Journal’s High-Frequency Traders Eye Satellites for the Ultimate Speed Boost. And third was a DRW “Insights” piece, What to expect when interviewing and onboarding 100% remotely.

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