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
It is Deutsche Boerse’s turn to buy (a majority interest) in one of our sponsors, this time Quantitative Brokers. I think the lesson here is that if you want to sell your firm, become a sponsor of JLN. Hint hint. Ask for our special sell-your-firm sponsorship deal.
According to Tom Ascher, QB, as they are known for short, was having a town hall to explain the deal to their employees this morning. This is an opportunity for QB to accelerate its growth, leveraging assets from Deutsche Boerse Group while maintaining QB as a separate company. The founders of the company will continue to run it. Tom Ascher continues as executive chairman. QB is continuing to add new exchanges and venues and supporting more multi-EMS/OMS. They will continue to be an FCM broker neutral value proposition.
The NFA’s quarterly board update is out. This is the second time we have had no video of people, but rather words and images, with powerful music to tell the story.
Rosenblatt is holding its 13th Annual Global Exchange Leader Conference virtually this year, as is the way of the world. The event is “invitation only,” but you can register at this URL and ask for an invitation. The event includes no press, so the speakers are pretty relaxed about what they share. There was a time, though, when this journalist would attend the in person version of the conferences and even moderate a panel.
Former CFTC Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo had a commentary published in the USA Today Network titled “New Jersey can’t justify financial transaction tax.”
You can now register to become a member of the Materials Exchange. Here is the link to register. With the lumber market hot, this would be a good time to look at the Materials Exchange.
Have a great day and stay safe and treat people the same way you want to be treated: with respect, equality and justice.~JJL
Exchange behemoth CME Group offered few surprises but several highlights in a Wednesday presentation to Barclays Global Financial Services Conference. Notable points included a 12 percent increase in its metals complex’s year-over-year growth through September 11, 2020, a growth rate second only to CME equities products, which saw average daily volume rise 66 percent in the same period. Total exchange ADV was up 2 percent versus 2019 year to date, with agricultural commodities and interest rate products the lagging asset classes, down 10 percent and 19 percent, respectively. A flat interest rate environment continued to weigh on rate product volatility and volume, but Sean Tully, CME global head of financial and OTC products, said record Treasury issuance projected throughout 2020 (the result of high U.S. budget deficits) should increase demand for related hedging and risk management vehicles. ~SC
A status hearing in Southshore Restore v. Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation; Brett Bender, deputy director, originally scheduled for today, September 17, has been moved to Tuesday, September 22. As JLN reported previously, the case is related to the state’s awarding of social equity licenses for 75 new cannabis dispensaries.~SC
Fed’s Star Witness in Spoofing Trial Gets Tarnished Under Cross-Examination
Thom Thompson – John Lothian News
Another day of methodical testimony unfolded in Judge John Tharp’s federal courtroom on Wednesday, the second day of testimony in the case of the Department of Justice versus James Vorley and Cedric Chancu. The defendants in the criminal case, who worked together trading precious metals at Deutsche Bank, are charged with wire fraud. They allegedly spoofed the gold and silver futures markets on COMEX.
Vorley and Chanu were not charged with spoofing per se because some of the charges stem from activities before the Dodd-Frank Act came fully into force in 2011. Otherwise, the proceedings, which first got underway with jury selection on Monday, look and sound like a spoofing trial.
The trial is being held in the Dirksen Federal Building with COVID-19 precautions. The trial takes up the entire courtroom to accommodate social distancing, everyone wears masks, and the press and public in a nearby courtroom watch the proceedings on screens.
On Wednesday, David Liew, another Deutsche Bank alumnus and the most junior of the three DB traders who were charged with spoofing, spent the whole day in the witness stand. Liew, who worked for DB in Singapore, is a witness for the prosecution.
To read the rest of this commentary, go HERE.
Citigroup Employee Who Operated QAnon Website on Leave
William Turton and Jennifer Surane – Bloomberg
Popular aggregator site shut down after Jason Gelinas outed; QMap promoted the conspiracy, had millions of visitors
Jason Gelinas, an employee at Citigroup Inc., has been placed on paid leave pending an internal investigation after he was identified as the operator of the most prominent website dedicated to the QAnon conspiracy theory, according to three people familiar with the matter. Gelinas, who lives in New Jersey, was identified Sept. 10 as the operator of the website QMap.pub and its associated mobile apps by the fact-checking site Logically.ai. Since then, the website has shut down and now simply provides links to alternative websites offering information on the QAnon conspiracy.
***** I get the feeling Mr. Gelinas is regretting some of his decisions.~JJL
U.S. Is No Longer Land of Opportunity for Foreign MBA Students; The pandemic and visa insecurity make U.S. programs less desirable.
Clare Roth – Bloomberg
A deadly virus and tight visa rules have foreign business students second-guessing their choice of the U.S., leery of paying full tuition only to miss out on the networking opportunities—and jobs—that have made America the ultimate destination for an MBA. Foreign students have been a boon to business schools. The vast majority pay full freight, which can be more than $80,000 annually for a two-year program. International students account for almost half of Columbia’s entering class this year.
*****If this is the case, then the opposite will come true, as there will be a shortage of such foreign MBA students.~JJL
Snowflake Stock: What You Need to Know About Tech’s Hottest IPO; Data-managing firm’s strong revenue growth and well-known backers have helped make it biggest tech IPO of the year
Aaron Tilley – WSJ
Snowflake Inc. SNOW 111.61% has become Silicon Valley’s hottest new public company. Here’s what you need to know about it. What is Snowflake? San Mateo, Calif.-based Snowflake was founded in 2012 to help companies manage data they store on the cloud—the remote servers and software services provided by the likes of Amazon.com Inc. and Microsoft Corp. that firms use to store and process vast amounts of information. Snowflake works with companies such as Capital One Financial Corp. and videogame maker Electronic Arts Inc. to help them manage and analyze their data. Snowflake, in its filing to go public, said it was vying for a market valued at north of $80 billion.
***** Hot snowflakes just does not seem to make sense.~JJL
Deutsche Bank Tells U.S. Staff They Can Wait Until Mid-2021 to Return to Office; Lender’s plans contrast with JPMorgan, which recently told many staff that they need to return to the office next week
Julia-Ambra Verlaine – WSJ
Deutsche Bank AG DB 2.09% told U.S. employees they don’t have to return to the office until July 2021. In a town hall Wednesday, Americas chief of staff Matthias Krause outlined the bank’s plans around bringing employees back to work. Many employees had asked for a clear policy as they deal with unknowns about school reopenings and the path of the coronavirus.
***** That is my expectation for the time being too.~JJL
Almost 60 percent of business closures are now permanent, new Yelp data shows
Anjali Sundaram – NBC News
Yelp on Wednesday released its latest Economic Average Report, revealing business closures across the U.S. are increasing as a result of the coronavirus pandemic’s economic toll.
As of Aug. 31, 163,735 businesses have indicated on Yelp that they have closed, a 23 percent increase since mid-July.
Yelp also measures businesses whose closures have become permanent. That number has steadily increased over the past six months, now reaching 97,966, representing 60 percent of closed businesses that won’t be reopening.
NFA Board Update—August 2020 Meeting
News & Notices, NFA’s Diversity & Inclusion Webpage, Rule Submission Letter: Proposed Amendments to Code of Arbitration and Member Arbitration Rules, Rule Submission Letter: Proposed Amendments to NFA Interpretive Notice 9053: Forex Transactions, Notice to Members: Effective Date for Updated Interpretive Notice Regarding the Supervision of Branch Offices and Guaranteed IBs, COVID-19 Webpage
***** I know we produce this, but this update is a WOW!~JJL
Wednesday’s Top Three
Our top story Wednesday was Bloomberg’s My Trip Down the Crypto Rabbit Hole in Search of the DAO Hacker, an excerpt from a new book by Bloomberg reporter Matthew Leising. Second was What JPMorgan Has To Say About Young Employees Working From Home, from Yahoo Finance. (Turns out it’s “You whippersnappers! Get off my lawn!”) Third was a repeat from Tuesday’s top three, These 5 Habits Will Help You Stay Focused All Day. A Psychologist Explains Why, from Inc.com.