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Author Archives: John Lothian

About Author

Lothian is executive chairman and CEO of John J. Lothian & Co. and editor of the John Lothian Newsletter. He publishes,,, and three industry newsletters.

The Richness of Giving Standard

John Lothian

Last week, the last thing I did before taking off for Florida on vacation was to speak at the memorial service for my friend and Assistant Scoutmaster who had passed away in February.  I told the overflowing assembly of friends and family the story about how Bill Griswold was a rich man. Bill was not rich like we often think of rich.  He did not have a big house, a fancy car or a large bank account.  Rather, Bill was rich because all he did was give and give of himself.  He gave his time and his talents generously to…

The Most Interesting Man in the World Standard

Traveling to Budapest for the Association of Futures Markets 15th annual conference was a fun experience for several reasons. On the top of the list was spending time with the most interesting man in the world. During the conference, on Thursday night, there was a gala dinner held at a notable restaurant on a plaza near the hotel where the conference was held. One of the conference attendees, knowledgeable in the ways of conference galas, called the week before and asked the conference secretariat if the gala was a black tie event. He was assured that it was. So he…

Special Report: CME Group’s Craig Donohue to Retire Standard

Craig Donohue

With the Futures Industry Association’s International Conference ready to begin in Boca Raton, Florida tomorrow, CME Group hit the wires with some big news today.  The Boca Raton bombshell came early this year as the CME announced Craig Donohue will retire at year’s end and be replaced by a combination of Phupinder Gill and Terry Duffy.  Donohue took over the CME’s CEO job on January 1, 2004, giving him an unusually long tenure for a CEO or exchange CEO.  Gill will become CME Group CEO and Duffy will add the title of president.  This will give CME Group a new…

There is No Accounting for Chaos Standard

John Lothian

Yesterday, just before 4 p.m., an email arrived at The Price Group. MF Global 1099s would be delayed, it said. The deadline to send out the 1099s to clients, February 16, would be missed and an extension had been filed. A short time later, I learned from sources close to the matter that no 1099s are likely to be issued by MF Global for 2011. One of the leading MF Global GMI technologists had been let go the day before, so were other senior employees. They said the online account interface Emidas was dead and the back office system GMI…

A Bad Trade Standard

John Lothian

Word broke yesterday that the CME Group had a buyer for the historic CBOT Building and the deal would close by June.  The price of the deal was $150 to $180 million. I just have one question.  What numbskulls would sell a building at the corner of LaSalle and Jackson in Chicago?  My apologies for name calling, but I just find this stupid.  This is the greatest location in the Chicago financial district and it’s worth more in intangibles than all the money anyone could give me for this building. The CME Group is a money machine.  It does not…

One Year Makes All the Difference Standard

John Lothian

A year ago at this time,  John J. Lothian & Company, Inc. was showing people something that we were working on behind the curtain; MarketsReformWiki. We showed people the site and what we had, what we hoped to have and what we thought we needed.  On February 28, we will celebrate the one year anniversary of the launch of this global regulatory reform online tool.  The pressing question in the office is whether we will reach 1 million page views in the first year.  We just passed 900K this week.

Self-Interest of a Customers’ Man Standard

John Lothian

“John is looking out for his self-interest,” said a reader.  “John must be out money,” said another. It is often assumed that what motivates each of us is our own self-interest.  We could not take a breath without that being true.  We have to breathe. I am not without self-interest.  However, my self-interest in the MF Global case is the best interests of my customers.  The customer comes first.  Always.  Ever. As a futures broker for the last 22 years (and some before that), I am a customers’ man.  That is what the position used to be called; Customers’ Man.

Competition is the Key Standard

John Lothian

I believe in competition. We need competition in regulation. Creating competition in the Self Regulatory Organization sector I believe should be part of the plan to restore customer confidence in our markets. I started thinking about this as reports surfaced that the CME Group could be stripped of their Self Regulatory Organization status. There are some that believe, regardless of what happened or did not happen with the MF Global situation, that for-profit companies should not be SROs.  I am not judging that belief or the CME’s performance with MF Global. But I am thinking of what the future might…

Pay Now or Pay Later Standard

John Lothian

So far the number one voted-on question on is “The Number One Priority: Make the Customers Whole.” I put that question on the site.  I have heard lots of people express this sentiment: that in order to restore customer’s confidence in the futures markets, those that are out money in the MF Global bankruptcy need to get the money back.  First that; then comes any changes in structure or industry plumbing in order to prevent future occurrences. I did not suggest any particular mechanism for the clients getting their money back.  However, there is an idea that has been floated by…