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Category Archives: Commentary

Commentary from the John Lothian News staff and guests editors.

“All We Are Saying…” Standard

A special thanks to the USDA, CFTC and Farm Foundation for the opportunity to speak at the Carbon Market Design: Issues and Opportunities Workshop on Monday in Washington. Nate Higgins and his team did a great job of putting the program together and featured a number of different speakers with a variety of viewpoints – some which embraced the markets-based approach and some which did not. A few observations from this workshop. In the words of Richard Sandor, markets take years to build. So even though Congress closed the window on carbon markets in the near-term, others are on the…

Run Terry, But Don’t Go Far Standard

John Lothian

Friday midday a story popped up in my email box with a “Terry Duffy” key word alert from Google. The story from Fox News Chicago, which identified Duffy as CME Group CEO, said Duffy was threatening to move the CME Group out of Chicago and Illinois because CME was a public company and the state of Illinois had just raised corporate taxes. No one asked him if he wanted his taxes raised, he said. Liking to stir the pot when I see a good chance, I tweeted the story and asked “what happened to Chicago as Risk Management Capitol?” It did not…

Kevin Jamali of Auctos Capital Management has it going Standard

John Lothian

Kevin Jamali has it going. Kevin is a Principal of Auctos Capital Management, a firm we first profiled in JLN Managed Futures back in February of 2010. Auctos is a Commodity Trading Advisor that is building a CTA business the right way. Of course, I am conflicted. Very conflicted. You see, Kevin has some partners that include one of my oldest friends in the business. In fact, I have known John J. Ruth just about as long as I have known what futures were. He was a partner in a CBOT member firm named Victor Grain, and I worked for…

Sustaining Sustainability Standard

By Nelson A. Switzer As we watch some of the modern day’s corporate behemoths fall like domino’s, more and more corporations are searching for an answer to the question, “What are the issues of which we must stay abreast – and how far ahead do we as a management team need to look?” The answer to this question requires a fundamental shift to the front foot, but only if corporations first acknowledge the gap that exists in their management team’s ability to successfully manage the risks and opportunities of sustainability – environmental, social and economic sustainability. A recent white paper…

True Science Standard

I’ve had some interesting, and some uninteresting debates about climate change/global warming with readers, friends and others over the years. Some are stone cold deniers. Some, like one of EMN’s subscribers, is a skeptic who says he doesn’t know exactly who or what to believe, but that he just isn’t convinced. At the end of the day, this debate is being held in the public and political courts – to convince us that it is or isn’t happening “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Just last month, Hal Lewis, a distinguished professor of physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara resigned…

Making Sense of Mid-terms Standard

With Tuesday’s U.S. mid-term elections drawing close and tight races still being duked out in several states, a New York Times tally is showing 46 solid and continuing Democratic Senate seats and 35 solid and continuing seats to the Republicans. That leaves 19 seats in play, most in coal and oil states or other pockets of the country not warming to the various incarnations of cap-and-trade legislation forwarded in the recent past. For the first time in nearly a decade, not one Republican running for the Senate supports proposals to limit carbon emissions and trade pollution rights, the Los Angeles…

Darkest before the… Standard

By Jim Kharouf One takeaway from the Carbon TradEx America Conference this week is that this market has likely hit its low point in the U.S. When we look back at things a year or two from now, market participants might say, “remember when?” Remember when we met in Chicago and experts in this industry were saying that there is not a single piece of moving legislation that will bring carbon, SO2, NOx or even renewable energy credits markets forward on a national level. Uncertainty was at its height.Remember when executives from the United Nations and European markets told the…

Brain Drain? Standard

Brain drain? One of the dangers I see with the departure of DiPerna and other carbon cap-and-trade proponents, is a knowledge-base that is essential for these markets. While it is understandable, given the political wilt in Washington, a market-based solution needs to remain a viable option. Just this week, there are stories reflecting a serious ebb among pro-market advocates in Washington. Politico quoted an unnamed lobbyist this week as saying “The era of the big bill I think is over.” The article, “Deep freeze ahead for carbon cap bills” also quoted Sierra Club’s executive director Michael Brune as saying “We…

The Evolution of Carbon Accounting Standard

By Uday Baral, principal Pioneer Solutions LLC In the past, the objective of carbon accounting has been geared towards one of two things: being eco-friendly and environmental compliance. Today, the facts are that environmental compliance is expected, and publishing a carbon footprint is meaningless without an active plan to manage and reduce that footprint. What then is the objective of carbon accounting, both now and in the future?Companies now realize that carbon accounting can be used to improve organizational efficiencies and reduce risks. That means a better and more predictable bottom line. Decision-makers realize that environmental risk is now a…