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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.

Paying off the Debt Standard

John Lothian

One of the sound bites that I hear, including from people like the caustic ex-patriot Jim Rogers, is that the US will never be able to pay off its debt. They never should pay it all off. It would be nice for them to be able to get back to the place where they are not creating more or as much debt, but first things first. The debt of the United States, backed by the taxing powers of the strongest economy in the world, is something that has been around since the start of the republic. It is something that…

Rolling Over Debt Standard

John Lothian

Alexander Hamilton must have rolled over in his grave on Friday when Standard & Poor’s downgraded the credit rating of the U.S., the very thing Hamilton worked to turn from below junk to AAA before there were bond ratings. As the first U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, Hamilton was involved in the first grand deal surrounding U.S. debt and the assumption of debt from the states, creating the U.S. Treasury market that became the international standard it still is today. In order to get that deal done, Hamilton had to agree to move the capitol of the U.S. from New York…

John Lothian News Exclusive: The Five Most Pressing Questions to Deutsche Boerse about their merger with NYSE Euronext Standard

John Lothian recently spoke with Dr. Frank Herkenhoff, Executive Director, Head of Media Relations at Deutsche Boerse AG about five pressing questions in the news about Deutsche Boerse AG’s merger with NYSE Euronext. These are the exclusive responses provided to John Lothian News by Deutsche Boerse on the record about the merger. We have all […]

Too Big To Fail Standard

John Lothian

The debate in Washington, DC about raising the debt limit has the potential to change the way the world looks at risk.  While there are all kinds of risk, one bedrock of an assumption has been that US government T-Bills are a risk free investment.  You will always get your money back, even if as a last resort the government has to print it to give it to you.  The US government will never default on its debt, is the belief and promise. Most importantly, US T-Bills and other US government debt are backed by the full faith and credit…

Response to 12 U.S. Senators Letter to CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler Suggesting Higher Margins Standard

John Lothian

(Recently 12 Senators wrote to CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler urging him to apply higher margins to the energy markets to “restore integrity.” Here is my response:) Dear Senators: I applaud your concern about the impact of rising oil prices on American consumers.  No one likes paying more for something than they think it is worth. Your letter to CFTC Chairman Gensler suggests you have the answer for the higher prices we are currently experiencing.  Your answer seems to be to facilitate less buying by speculators through imposing higher margin requirements for speculative trades.  While that could have the short-term effect you desire…

Patently Different World Standard

John Lothian

Back in 2004 before I first broke the Trading Technologies (TT) MD Trader patent story in this newsletter, I tried to give the story away to a larger news organization with the depth and reputation I thought could handle it. I thought it was too big of a story for a one-man newsletter writer operation. I was unsuccessful in pitching this story to one of Chicago’s newspapers whose lacking coverage of the industry continues today. So I decided to take the story on and sat down with TT’s CEO Harris Brumfield. TT was so happy with the response they were…

Walk Bike Transit Standard

John Lothian

My trip to Amsterdam gave me a unique perspective on the way Amsterdam residents use bicycles for transportation in the city.  I have never seen so many people on bicycles before in my life.  It was like there were flocks of them, all pedaling themselves to work and the markets. Despite the high numbers of cyclists, and their mingling on the streets and sidewalks with trams, buses, cars, taxis and pedestrians, very few if any at all of them wore bike helmets.  I don’t go anywhere on a bike without a helmet protecting this big melon of mine. On the…

Needing a Bigger Boat Standard

John Lothian

NYSE Euronext and Deutsche Boerse decided they needed a bigger boat.  NASDAQ OMX decided they needed a bigger boat.  ICE is building a bigger ICE boat one deal at a time.  Lots of firms every day decide  they need to get bigger in order to meet the challenges in front of them. On Friday, as I was returning from Brussels from a day of meetings introducing MarketsReformWiki, the line from the movie Jaws popped into my head.  “We need a bigger boat.”  I had seen the shark, the European market regulatory reform shark jump out of the water and it…

Picture This: Futures Trading Has an Economic Purpose Standard

John Lothian

Futures trading is “legalized gambling.”  That is the message coming from the powers that be in the movie industry who don’t want two new futures exchanges to be approved by the CFTC to trade exchange traded listed derivative contracts on movie box office receipts.  These movie interests seek to delay approval of the exchanges licenses, which could effectively kill both efforts.  They have enlisted elected representatives from both the Republican and Democratic party to voice concern over the approval of both exchanges, including both Senators from the state of California. Rumblings in the futures industry indicate there is displeasure with…