This is John Lothian: March 20 Hits and Takes

John Lothian

John Lothian

Executive Chairman and CEO

The number of cases of coronavirus doubled in the US in two days. And worldwide cases doubled in the last twelve days, from 100,000 to 200,000. In the US, they are spiking and in New York City alone there are now 4000 cases. The number of unemployment claims is growing even faster c, though the White House does not want states to reveal their numbers. And the calls for Sen. Richard Burr from North Carolina to resign are growing even more. He might be the least popular Burr since his relative Aaron, who as we know had a run in with treason himself.

Major hospitals are reported to be running short of supplies]], medical professionals are starting to improvise and more car companies are saying, “Heck yes, we can make ventilators.” That great big sucking sound you hear should be new ventilators being made, but it is instead the sound of a cratering economy.

In California, the Governor said normal unemployment claims are 2000 a day; then three days ago there were 40,000 and the next day 80,000. I have two offspring whose jobs are on hold as their schools closed. I have another son coming home from college as it moved online and he is being kicked out of the dorms.

And how bad is it in California? The Governor says he expects half of the state to get the virus in the next eight weeks. And he is shutting down the state and telling everyone to stay at home.

Cboe Global Markets, Inc. launched a webpage with their business continuity plans amid the developing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. It is a popular thing to do, as everything right now is centered around flattening the curve and surviving the impact of the virus.

The CTAExpo/Emerging Manager Forum New York to be held on April 22-23, 2020 at the Stewart Hotel has been cancelled. Many hotels across the country are closing, which is impacting events (duh!) and even necessary travel for those trying to get back home (Hi Mom!). Even the G7 meeting scheduled for April was cancelled when Camp David put out the “Closed for the Virus” sign.

Richard Burr, the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, is accused of telling a gathering of big wig business leaders from North Carolina the dire predictions about the impact of the virus and selling $1.7 million in stock while downplaying the virus to the public. ProPublica, a non-profit newsroom broke the story. The sales of stock came on February 13, at a time when he was receiving briefings on the virus. Monday would be a good time for him to resign.

I leave you with a quote from Ronald Reagan, courtesy of OCC’s David Prosperi: “No crisis is beyond the capacity of our people to solve, no challenge too great.”

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I am a bull. I like to buy. I like to be long. I long to see the market go up and my profits roll in. Marked to the markets, my gut churns up and down with the market. Rising markets and Tums make my stomach feel better. I like being right. I like when the market goes...

Lunch with the New CME Chairman Terrence Duffy

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Before the CME went public in 2002, there was a change in leadership at the top. Terry Duffy ran for the job of chairman of the board against the incumbent, Scott Gordon. I was a fan of Gordon’s and then CME  CEO Jim McNulty. McNulty was one of the reasons I started the John Lothian Newsletter. He had helped me find a job when I first graduated from Purdue University. He was for a short time one of my mentors. But then I started my career and he started traveling the world as an investment banker and I lost track of him.

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