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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.

Dear Mr. Chilton Standard

John Lothian

Commissioner Bart Chilton says, in defense of position limits that: While I’d have an even tougher rule in many respects if I were the only author, this is nonetheless a very strong, needed and imperative rule to ensure more efficient and effective markets devoid of fraud, abuse and importantly, manipulation. This rule balances the needs of consumers and market participants alike. Dear Mr. Chilton: While you think that the position limits rule will ensure more efficient and effective markets “devoid of fraud, abuse and importantly, manipulation,” you are DEAD WRONG.  We have long had laws outlawing murder (see the Ten…

Occupy Movement is a Viral Social Media Phenomenon Standard

John Lothian

Last week I gave a speech at the Chicago Federal Reserve to the publications groups from the various Reserve Banks around the country. The speech was held in the LaSalle Room on the 3rd floor of the Chicago Fed Conference Center. The room faced LaSalle Street and I could hear the Occupy Chicago protestors behind me as I spoke. In my opening remarks I noted that the Occupy Chicago movement was using some of the oldest communications techniques around, including banging drums, playing horns and marching up and down.  I also noted that a quick look on the web showed…

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…