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Author Archives: John Lothian

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

LaSalle Street Dinner – A Tradition of the Chicago Financial Community Supporting the Boy Scouts Standard

By John J. Lothian The annual LaSalle Street dinner supporting the Chicago Council of Boy Scouts of America is to be held on November 3, 2011 from 5 to 8 PM at 311 South Wacker. Traditionally the dinner was held on LaSalle Street, with tents stacked into the asphault street.  More recently the event has […]

MarketsWiki Questions Event a Real First Standard

Yesterday afternoon we held the culminating event for our MarketsWiki Questions:Exploring Financial Technology interactive video series.  We had a great turnout of industry participants and several dozen graduate students from the Illinois Institute of Technology’s Stuart School of Business. This style of event, featuring seven speakers and live music was a first for us, and […]

Top Ten Captions for Gary Gensler SEFCON II Picture Standard

 By John J. Lothian Top Ten Captions for Gary Gensler SEFCON II Picture: Make my day Bang! Don’t make me us this. You want to see me make a rabbit on the screen? You there, Doug Ashburn, what is a MarketsReformWiki anyway. I thought this was the Women’s Masters of Business Administration conference. Can I […]

Setting Things Straight Standard

John Lothian

I was amused by Senator Bernie Sanders disclosing confidential information about market participants of the 2008 energy market. Even though this information was confidential and restricted by criminal law from being disclosed by anyone at the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, there were no rules against Congressional disclosure. Right or wrong, Senator Sanders found a legal loophole and used it. If you underestimated your political risk, that is your fault. We are in a time of increased political risk. In this newsletter, we have long focused on non-price oriented risks. That includes political risk. Headline grabbing political risk is the…

The Chicago Way Standard

John Lothian

In Chicago we don’t believe in short selling bans.  If you want to go short, you just walk into the trading pit and put your hands up in the air facing out and yell “SELL 4 at 6,” or something like that.  If you want to sell some futures electronically, you just hit sell on your screen, or lean on the keyboard in the right way.  Or is it the wrong way? We believe short selling is an important part of the market price discovery process.  As I repeat all too often, futures are abut two things: price discovery and risk transfer. …

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…