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 price of my home jumped 19.2% in the last 30 days, according to Zillow. The demand for housing in my price range is jumping due to a lack of available supply, real estate professionals have said. My home is not for sale, yet. And the WSJ reports household net worth has hit an all-time high, so this makes sense.
Acuiti is running an independent LIBOR Transition survey, polling the market on readiness. You can click here to start the survey.
COVID-19 is now the fourth largest mass casualty event in US history, topped only by the Civil War, WWII, and the 1918 flu pandemic.
On Monday, September 21, 2020 the NYSE observed a one-minute moment of silence at 9:20 a.m. Eastern Time (ET) in honor of Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
From October 1, 2020, CurveGlobal Markets will extend the existing Principal Trading Programme to enable Principal Traders to receive a monthly cash award, subject to certain conditions. The monthly cash award will be available until September 2021. To join the Programme, qualifying firms must sign the Principal Trading Agreement which is available in the CurveGlobal Markets document library.
Numerix CEO Steven O’Hanlon, in partnership with FINTECH Circle CEO Susanne Chishti, has published FinTech for Dummies.
Last week we mentioned some promotions at ErisX. We excluded one by mistake: Matt Trudeau was promoted to chief operating officer. Congratulations Matt!
Bad news for cheap steak eaters. The fast casual steakhouse Sizzler has declared bankruptcy.
If you are in the CBOT Building and want a free coffee and donut, stop by Big Shoulders any time today and tomorrow for your complimentary fall treat. Make sure you mention it’s on the Glenstar Connect tab. Where: Big Shoulders Coffee. When: Tuesday (9/22) & Wednesday (9/23) between 6am-2pm
Have a great day and stay safe and treat people the same way you want to be treated: with respect, equality and justice.~JJL
Update on USA v Vorley and Chanu. Monday was the fifth day of witnesses called by the prosecution in this ten-year old spoofing case that in fact predates the statutory use of the term spoofing. The government’s uninspiring case hit a couple of rough patches. The defense attorneys got the witnesses (one each) from Quantlab and Citadel to agree that several of the graphs of the government’s cherry-picked spoof-proving episodes omitted trades the witnesses’ firms executed with Deutsche Bank during those seconds-long episodes. These witnesses were supposed to be talking about the damages they suffered. In fact neither witness provided an estimate of how much their firms had lost to Deutsche Bank’s spoofers. Neither witness had any memory of the episodes in question. The last witness of the day, Special Agent Jonathan Luca from the FBI, also failed to convince with his reading of chat transcripts that did not point to any smoking gun of spoofing. ~Thom Thompson
On Friday Vela won the Inside Market Data award for Best Low-Latency Data/Technology Provider at a virtual award ceremony hosted by Waters Technology. This category honors the trading technology firm that delivers trading advantages through the provision, facilitation, and transportation of low-latency market data.~SR
Cboe Global Markets on Monday began offering options on the S&P 500 ESG Index, a benchmark constructed by S&P Dow Jones Indices using proprietary environmental, social and governance (ESG) scores. While offering a risk-return profile similar to the S&P 500, the ESG index excludes tobacco, controversial weapons, as well as companies with low ESG scores versus industry peers, the exchange said. The S&P 500 ESG Index had a total return of 12.8 percent over the past year, outperforming the S&P 500 Index by nearly 2.4 percent. Find more information on the options here.~SC
The FIA is hosting an “FIA Legal Opinions Primer” webinar on Tuesday, October 13 from 14:00 PM – 15:00 PM BST in which experts from Clifford Chance LLP and FIA will explain the types of legal opinions that FIA maintains, their structure and purpose in the context of regulatory capital requirements. This webinar will focus on the FIA legal opinions procured out of Europe and will not cover the US FCM netting opinions. You can go here for more information and here to register.~SR
New Research: Two FINRA Foundation Studies Explore Links among Financial Knowledge, Cognitive Health, and Financial Decision Making in Older Americans
The FINRA Investor Education Foundation, in collaboration with researchers from Rush University Medical Center, released two studies today examining links among financial and health knowledge, cognitive health and financial and health decision making among older persons. The research, released in recognition of World Alzheimer’s Day, demonstrates the importance of maintaining financial and health literacy as people age.
*****An important subject for those of us getting older, and with older parents.~JJL
Grand Chicago Hotel in Foreclosure, a Symbol of Covid-19’s Toll on Hospitality Industry; Thor Equities, owner of the Palmer House Hilton, is in default on its $333.2 million first mortgage, court papers say
Peter Grant – WSJ
The Palmer House Hilton has been one of Chicago’s grandest hotels for more than a century. Charles Dickens and Oscar Wilde were guests. Frank Sinatra serenaded diners at its supper club. Over the past 15 years, the owner spent $173 million to overhaul the hotel, modernizing most of the 1,641 rooms. But today, the property faces a bank foreclosure and has become one of the most potent symbols of the troubled hospitality industry during Covid-19.
*****It was rebuilt after the Great Chicago Fire. Can it be reborn yet again?~JJL
Working on the Front Lines of Investor Protection – Red Flags to Detect Excessive Trading
Laura is a single mother who earns less than $40,000 per year. In 2016, Laura, who had little investing experience, decided to invest in the stock market. She met with a broker and, at his suggestion, opened a brokerage account and deposited approximately $13,500—which constituted almost all of her savings. Less than a year later, Laura’s account had lost more than $9,000. Yet, Laura’s broker had made more than $11,000 in commissions. How did this happen? Laura was a victim of excessive trading by her broker.
******Watch your commissions to equity ratio. Oops, that does not work anymore.~JJL
Colleges Become Reservoirs of Covid Ready to Spill Over
Janet Lorin, Emma Court, and Keshia Clukey – Bloomberg
Schools struggle to contain virus before Thanksgiving break; ‘It has been a debacle, a national catastrophe,’ expert says
College administrators and government officials summoned students back to campus. Now, they are presiding over viral reservoirs poised to release a flood of infected undergraduates at Thanksgiving — if they make it that far.
******As predicted and not happy about it.~JJL
Hedge fund Bridgewater set up tent offices in the woods to beat COVID-19
Thornton McEnery – NY Post
Falling stocks … falling trees — it’s all part of a day’s work at Bridgewater. Ray Dalio’s $138 billion hedge fund has set up tents in the woods across from its Westport, Conn., headquarters so that its traders and other staffers can continue to work from their desks during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new report.
******Sounds like Bridgewater could use a good Scoutmaster. I am available for the right price.~JJL
Zoom heralds digital judgment day for religion; Covid means empty houses of worship, online services and little income
Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson – FT
The Book of Leviticus used to be every rabbi’s nightmare, Joshua Stanton remarks, as he tries to find a bright side to a year in which he has conducted too many funeral services from his bedroom. Teaching biblical passages about leprosy had been a challenge in the 21st century, but “now all of a sudden it resonates different
*****This pandemic is having a great impact on houses of worship. But the buildings are not the church, temple or synagogue. The people are.~JJL
Sen. Kelly Loeffler Roasted For Ad Saying She’s ‘More Conservative Than Attila The Hun’
Josephine Harvey – HuffPost
Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) left critics baffled on Monday with a new ad that claims she’s more conservative than Attila the Hun ? a brutal 5th century warlord. The spot begins with a man and woman seated on a couch watching television. The woman asks: “Did you know that Kelly Loeffler was ranked the most conservative senator in America?”
****** How did an industry miss how conservative Kelly Loeffler is? I surely did not detect this conservatism while she was working at ICE. I have heard others are asking the same question.~JJL
Monday’s Top Three
Our top story Monday was The worst coronavirus outbreaks are happening in these 15 cities, about the rise of new cases in college towns, from BGR. Second was a “paid program” from TD Ameritrade and CME Group about futures trading called “A Taste of the Futures.” Third was Why Cboe is seeking growth abroad, from Crain’s Chicago Business.