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Category Archives: Mwiki

Don’t Get the Munchees! A Lesson from the SEC Standard

The Securities & Exchange Commission (“SEC” or the “Commission”) has made good on its promise to pursue companies that engage in what it views as unregulated offerings of securities by way of initial coin offerings or “ICOs.” Specifically, the Commission recently pursued a company called “Munchee” that created an iPhone application for people to review restaurant meals. To fund the creation of its app, Munchee began an ICO seeking to raise $15 million and, in return, issue its token known as a “MUN.”  The company issued a white paper in connection with its ICO. In that document, Munchee indicated that…

Cash and Futures in Bitcoin Are a Different Story Standard

The high margins charged by the CME and Cboe for bitcoin futures, and the additional margins required by the futures commission merchants to trade the products, have turned the normal dynamics of futures trading versus cash trading upside down. With the CME charging 47 percent margins, and some firms charging double margins on bitcoin futures, the cost of trading is nearly 100 percent of the underlying contract value. Normally futures contracts allow traders to control higher notionally valued contracts for much lower margin amounts. Margins of 3 percent to 10 percent are the norm, depending on the commodity or instrument…

The Silent Screams of the Bitcoin Shorts Standard

If bitcoin were a standard commodity or securities instrument, headlines would be screaming about how the “shorts” were being squeezed. With bitcoin in a parabolic price rise, some calling it a mania, there are no shorts to scream bloody murder. Many commodities and companies have key constituents who apply political pressure when futures markets are moving so sharply that common sense tells you there is something wrong or unbalanced happening in the market. Sometimes rules are changed or obscure procedures exercised at futures exchanges in order to accommodate an orderly liquidation of positions in cases where the powers that be…

Putting on My Broker Hat About Bitcoin Standard

Everyone is asking about bitcoin. A journalist called and asked to interview me. A magazine called and asked me to write something. A brokerage firm chief risk manager called to ask me my opinion about bitcoin and bitcoin futures. Two weeks ago, a former employer I have not seen in 10 years called me out in Coindesk.com for my bitcoin qualms. At the dinner table my son Robby opened up about owning not just bitcoin, but bitcoin cash, ether and monero. This is a full-fledged mania. As I was driving home last night and thinking about bitcoin (as opposed to…

Jim Kharouf Resigns as CEO of John J. Lothian & Company, Inc.; Will Continue Work with Company in Freelance Role Standard

Jim Kharouf

Jim Kharouf is stepping down as CEO of John J. Lothian & Company, Inc. at the end of the year after having assumed the role on January 1, 2017. Kharouf is leaving the company as an employee, but will continue to work with John Lothian News and John Lothian Productions as an independent contributor. He will also be exploring his own bespoke initiatives, including in the Fintech sector. Despite accomplishing much during his tenure at the company and as CEO, Kharouf is departing after philosophical differences with Executive Chairman John Lothian over the direction of the firm and management issues….

Why ISPs Are About To Spoil Your Thanksgiving Dinners: Food For Thought on Net Neutrality Repeal Standard

Yesterday it was announced the F.C.C. plans a net neutrality repeal. This is not a particularly new story. The telecoms have been working towards this for years. But now it seems they are about to achieve their goal and that is not a good thing unless you are a major investor in telecom stocks.   It is a truism that the last thing anyone should talk about over Thanksgiving dinner is politics. We all have that crazy uncle who goes off on some tirade about how Bhutan is ruining the vegetable oil market. That said, this is a topic well…

WILD Women Make Sound Investment Decisions Standard

Women will have $22 trillion of investing wealth by 2020. Now that women actually have their own money, they – like men – need to know how to make it grow with savings and investments. Women are projected to have $22 trillion of the investing wealth by the year 2020 – they had better know what to do with it. Women in Listed Derivatives (WILD), which has become well known for its efforts in the advancement of women in the financial industry, brought together another room full of highly accomplished women on Tuesday for a panel on Women and Personal…

FANG+ Puts the UMPH Back into the Markets and Exchange Competition Standard

Hallelujah! The magical power of innovation from exchange competition in Chicago is alive and well after a noticeable absence. The NYSE FANG+ index at ICE Futures US is the most innovative and timely new contract I have seen since the Cboe introduced the VIX. Besides the FANG+ contract, we have the expectation of the CME Group and Cboe slugging it out later this year with competing bitcoin futures offerings. Earlier this year we had the CME Group resteal the Russell index complex from ICE, returning the contracts to the CME where they were  in 2007. The FANG+ sprang from this exchange…

Asia Pacific Financial News from John Lothian News – November 9, 2017 Standard

Lead Stories China approves interbank bond derivatives trade for overseas investors Reuters Staff China’s central bank said on Thursday that foreign investors would be permitted to trade in bond derivatives in the country’s interbank market. https://goo.gl/CFXzx8 2 Chinese investors drop out of bid for Chicago Stock Exchange Nereida Moreno – Chicago Tribune Two of the three China-based bidders for the Chicago Stock Exchange have withdrawn from a group trying to acquire the market, officials said Wednesday. https://goo.gl/pE3kpk Former Bitcoin King Is Bankrupt—And He Could Get Rich Again; Rise in cryptocurrency’s price means former CEO of exchange could be in for…