John Lothian

John Lothian

Executive Chairman and CEO



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Sol Waksman


Hits & Takes
John Lothian & JLN Staff

Do you know the internet domain of the National Futures Association? Their domain is, but their website uses the sub-domain NFA.Futures.Org as their home page. The reason this is important is that there are some phishing emails going around that include the names of some NFA staff, including Kathleen Clapper and Joe Hawrysz. Other staff names may be used too. The domain the emails are coming from is “” We always want to read emails from our regulators, but in this case it is an imposter. The NFA has sent out a notice about this. So let’s be careful out there. — NFA

I interviewed the CME Group’s Global Head of Research, Owain Johnson, a week ago and wrote a feature piece about Johnson. One of the things I learned is that he wrote a book I was unaware of before, “The Price Reporters: A Guide to PRAs and Commodity Benchmarks.”

The book is described on Amazon this way:

“The Price Reporters: A Guide to PRAs and Commodity Benchmarks” brings the mysterious world of price reporting out of the shadows for the first time, providing a comprehensive guide to the agencies that set the world’s commodity prices. This book explains the importance of PRAs to the global commodities industry, highlighting why PRAs affect every consumer around the world. It introduces the individual PRAs, their history and the current state of play in the industry, and also presents the challenges that the PRA industry is facing now and in the future, in particular how regulation might impact on the PRAs, their relationships with commodity exchanges, and their likely direction.”

For the record, I had to look up the acronym PRA, which stands for “price reporting agency.” Look for my feature piece later this week. — Amazon

CME Group’s May 2021 volume numbers are out and there are some doozies. Their interest rate average daily volume, or ADV, was 10.2 million contracts, equity index ADV was 5.6 million and options ADV was 3.3 million contracts. Energy ADV was 2.0 million contracts and agricultural ADV was 1.5 million. Finally, FX ADV was 701,000 and metals ADV was 649,000.

Highlights included overall volume up 15% and interest rate ADV up 24% year over year (y/o/y). SOFR futures were the stars, up 257% compared to May 2020. Agricultural ADV was up 45% over May 2020 and ag options volumes increased 114% year over year. Overall, options ADV was up 30% over May 2020.

Metals ADV at the CME grew 25% y/o/y, and metals options ADV up 14% y/o/y. The Micro futures were 11% of the total metals ADV in May 2021.

Equity index ADV rose by 7% y/o/y, while Bitcoin futures monthly ADV of 11.6K was up 36% y/o/y. The newly launched Micro Bitcoin futures reached an ADV of 30.3K in May, 2021, while Ether futures ADV of 6K was an increase of 146% over last month.

To show the importance of micros in the equity complex, Micro E-Mini futures were 40.2% of the overall equity index ADV during May 2021. — CME Group

OCC recorded its highest May volume on record, with total volume up 32.7% from a year ago. It was also the 5th highest volume month at the OCC. — OCC

On the smaller exchange size, MGEX also had its best May ever. — Mondovisione

Eurex is holding a webinar on “Tick size reduction of EURO STOXX® Index Futures and its impact,” on June 10 at 10:00 to 10:45 AM (New York). Eurex and Quantitative Brokers will outline their research paper that studied the microstructure changes of STOXX® Banks futures (FESB) in December 2020. That analysis serves as a case study for the potential impact of the FESX tick size change. You can register HERE.

Sutat Chew had this to say on LinkedIn after the announcement of his retirement from SGX and his replacement by Pol de Win:

“It has been an exhilarating journey for me working with a fantastic team of colleagues and friends through SGX’s transformation under Hsieh Fu Hua, the late Magnus Bocker, and Loh Boon Chye. I am equally grateful for all the support partners and clients have generously given over the years. Having led SGX CSR & Bull Charge for the last decade, I was and continue to be inspired by community work. I therefore look forward to devoting more time to social sector pursuits and cheering on Team SGX and our capital markets. Please extend the congratulations to Pol de Win who will carry the baton on to new heights at SGX. — LinkedIn

The great Sol Waksman of BarclayHedge is the latest to give to the JLN MarketsWiki Education GoFundMe campaign. Waksman is the founder and president of BarclayHedge, a division of Backstop Solutions. BarclayHedge is a firm that provides institutional clients and high-net-worth investors in the hedge fund and managed futures sectors with performance measurement and portfolio management products, niche publications, database and software programs and consulting services. BarclayHedge/Backstop Solutions are the partners of the CME Group in the Managed Futures Pinnacle Awards. Thank you to Sol 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.

Today we have an interesting video in our The Path to Electronic Trading series featuring Robin Trott. This is the first of two parts about the experiences of Trott, who worked under Richard Berliand at JP Morgan and helped bring JP Morgan Futures into the electronic trading era.

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


The Cboe Options Institute is offering a 60-minute webinar with Catherine Yoshimoto and Scott Maidel on Wednesday, June 9, that will look at options for overwriting and strategies for mid-year index reconstitutions. The discussion will include a comparison of the performance, volatility and composition of the Russell 1000 and Russell 2000 indexes. Registration information is here.~SC


Robin Trott – The Path to Electronic Trading Part 1

Robin Trott started out as an undergrad studying philosophy and politics, but it was the peak of the dotcom bust and he realized that wasn’t very practical. So he got a Master’s degree and got on the technology and operations graduate scheme at JP Morgan.

Watch the video »


HKEX Supports Global Vaccine Drive, and Offers Employees Holiday Incentive
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) fully supports the global vaccine drive in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. HKEX today (Wednesday) confirms that it will offer eligible Hong Kong-based HKEX employees who have received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, two additional days of annual leave, recognising their commitment to community health and HKEX’s support of the Hong Kong Government’s ongoing vaccination programme.

*****If you don’t want to get the vaccine, I encourage you to go visit a COVID ward at the hospital so you can see the potential alternatives. ~JJL


CCP12, EACH, FIA and ISDA publish paper to address CPMI-IOSCO category 1 topics
In the report “Central counterparty default management auctions – Issues for consideration”, the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI) and the Board of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), described issues for further industry work to consider the design and conduct of default management auctions. These issues were structured into three categories of work where the Policy Standing Group of CPMI-IOSCO sought industry action:

*****This headline qualifies for the most unreadable by use of acronyms for 2021 so far.~JJL


New guidance says businesses can require employees to get vaccinated and bar unvaccinated employees from returning
Max Jungreis and Jennifer Ortakales Dawkins – Insider
The federal government on Friday updated its guidance for employers, saying companies may require their workers to get vaccinated for COVID-19. Additionally, it said employers may offer incentives such as bonuses or paid time off for employees who voluntarily receive vaccinations, as long as they are not coercive. In April, the Biden administration announced it would grant tax incentives to small businesses that offered employees paid time off to get vaccinated. Companies small and large have used incentives and flexible policies to increase employee vaccination rates.

*****There are always exceptions and nuances; read the fine print.~JJL


Tuesday’s Top Three
Our top story Tuesday was the New York Times’ How the World Ran Out of Everything. (No, don’t start hoarding toilet paper again, please.) Second was the obituary for William R. Power II, former CBOE trader and board representative as well as MGEX board member and adviser to the NYSE. Third was US regulation on cryptocurrencies could be coming, a podcast from the Financial Times.

John Lothian Newsletter

Today’s Newsletter

Market Narratives Have Pushed Aside Fundamentals

Market Narratives Have Pushed Aside Fundamentals

First Read $46,041/$300,000 (15.3%) ++++ Hits & Takes John Lothian & JLN Staff We have a new and improved version of The Spread today. We have overhauled our approach to this video series and have the whole JLN team contributing to it. Suzanne Cosgrove has...

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