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Category Archives: Commentary

Commentary from the John Lothian News staff and guests editors.

How do we make American markets great again? Keep it simple, stupid. Standard

CFTC Commissioner Christopher Giancarlo detailed his plan for the agency after being nominated by President Trump as chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission on Wednesday at FIA Boca. Gene Simmons would be proud — the new initiative is called Project KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid). KISS has three key goals: fostering U.S. economic growth, enhancing markets and “rightsizing” the agency’s footprint. All of these tie into Giancarlo’s overarching point about the agency — it has lost sight of its regulatory goals.  On the topic of fostering U.S. economic growth, Giancarlo took a big picture look at the tumult of…

My Picks for CFTC and SEC Commissioners Standard

Despite repeated inquiries to knowledgeable industry players, there is little buzz about prospective new CFTC and SEC Commissioners outside of the chairmen. So if there is no buzz, then let’s create some of our own in time for the FIA Boca Raton International Conference.  I am going to give you my top ten potential candidates for each commission in alphabetical order. That they are on the list does not mean they would be willing to serve, but it does mean I believe they are eminently qualified to serve. I am also going to share with you honorable mentions. These are others…

20/20 Vision: Richard Sandor, Inventor Of Market Solutions, Releases New Book On Environmental Markets Standard

There are few who change the world in a profound way. Richard Sandor, who brought us the first interest rate futures contract, also created the Chicago Climate Exchange in 2003. CCX launched a new set of greenhouse gas contracts as an innovative step to solving the issue of global warming. In his latest book, “How I Saw It,” Sandor republishes many of the columns he wrote from 1999 to 2005 during that pivotal time in the development of environmental markets. Despite what some may think about carbon markets today – as a politically unpopular solution in Washington – it’s a…

CFTC Commissioner Bowen Outlines Disruptive Derivatives Developments at Brodsky Family Lecture Standard

The fate of financial regulations, and specifically the Dodd-Frank Act, under the Trump administration is one of the biggest questions facing the industry and investors.  CFTC Commissioner Sharon Bowen addressed that question in a speech at the Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law last night as part of the Brodsky Family JD-MBA Lecture Series. Bowen earned her law degree at Northwestern’s Law School and is a strong supporter of the school. In addition to her role at the CFTC, she was also acting head of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation, chartered by Congress to help protect U.S. investors from brokerage…

Maker or Taker? Standard

“Maker – Taker” is a market model that rewards market participants for offering liquidity – “making” – and penalizes them for “taking” market liquidity.   Many makers are also takers. It is the way of the markets, and the way of the world.   Are you a maker, or a taker? It is a good question to ask. While we all do both, it is our outlook that defines whether we are makers or takers.   For example, are you a market participant who just goes home at the end of the day, or do you find a way to…

Solidifying an American foothold: LSEG’s UnaVista and MTS platforms look to expand Standard

The London Stock Exchange Group has plenty of reasons to be in the news due to its pending merger with Deutsche Boerse, but while all of those discussions take place, parts of the LSEG family are making moves of their own. The two arms in motion are MTS, a bond trading platform, and UnaVista, a back and middle office platform for reconciliation, reporting, matching and validation. Both are in a similar situation — they have a large presence in Europe but not so much in the United States. For example, MTS is dominant in EU sovereign bond trading and UnaVista…

Eris Keeps Pace With Evolving Swaps Markets With New Hire, George Harrington Standard

As the interest rate swaps market continues to evolve, Eris Exchange is keeping pace. Eris, the U.S. futures exchange that offers interest rate swap futures as an alternative to OTC swaps, has made a new hire to help bring in more big OTC participants. George Harrington previously headed Bloomberg Markets and oversaw Bloomberg’s SEF, MTF, and Japanese ETP regulated trading platforms, so he has plenty of experience with the regulations that led to a boom in SEFs and the futurization of interest rate swaps. At Eris, he will focus on working across the execution management and order management systems to…

Brand New: Hehmeyer Moves Into Managed Futures & More Standard

Sometimes it’s time to diversify. Chris Hehmeyer formed a new firm called Hehmeyer Trading & Investments LLC that will expand into the managed futures and introducing broker space. The renamed company comes from his prior firm, HTG Capital Partners, which acquired Kottke & Associates in late 2016. The new name helps simplify things for Hehmeyer, who has integrated HTG’s proprietary trading operation along with Kottke’s commodity trading advisor and introducing broker business. Hehmeyer, who serves as CEO of the the new entity, sees plenty of opportunity in the CTA business. He said there is an appetite for non-correlated investments and…

Michael Kraines Brings 25 Years of Strategy Experience as Trading Technologies’ New CFO Standard

It’s time for some strategic thinking. Trading Technologies has announced the hiring of its first ever chief financial officer, Michael Kraines. Kraines has been in the fintech business for more than 25 years. Though he knows technology, his background is “really very externally facing,” he said in an interview with JLN. His forte is putting people and companies together, and he hopes to add more partnerships, joint ventures and alliances to TT. “I’m a strategy guy and have a background looking at competitive positioning within the fintech sector. Over the months ahead, my goal is to look at the business…