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Category Archives: Commentary

Commentary from the John Lothian News staff and guests editors.

Commentary Standard

Cantor does a carbon switch After seeing the Point Carbon story this week titled “Cantor CO2e closes UK carbon desk” I called on Josh Margolis of Cantor CO2e to find out what’s up. Turns out, quite a bit. After a strategic review of its operations, Cantor CO2e decided to move its EU emissions services to its New York and Houston offices. But in this period of retrenchment in the carbon brokerage space, CantorCO2e sees this as an opportunity and is, in fact, looking for talent. Hiring in this climate? Well, turns out that by weaving its US emissions desk with…

Shooting big Standard

I attended the Pew Center’s conference in Chicago last Tuesday (April 6, 2010) and one thing is clear amidst all the doom-and-gloom in Washington today, companies are acting and saving substantial amounts of money. Outside the Beltway, Fortune 500 companies are working on the issue of efficiency, sustainability and greenhouse gas emissions. The Pew Center’s new report called “From Shop Floor to Top Floor: Best Business Practices in Energy Efficiency,” says that “efficiency is the largest near-term greenhouse gas reduction opportunity.” And studies cited in the report say that efficiency for industrial, commercial facilities and residential buildings, and vehicles comprise…

Hearing is Believing Standard

John Lothian

Yesterday’s CFTC hearings on metals markets and position limits left me nonplussed.  Why were we there?  I heard no compelling argument for why there needed to be position limits.  Commissioner Chilton made some reference to protecting consumers.  That sounds to me a little like a conspiracy to keep metals prices low.  Forgive me, if conspiracy theories are contagious, I may have caught something yesterday. I did greatly appreciate the opportunity to testify at the hearing.  Chairman Gensler again had difficulty with my name, but was quickly prompted and got it right.  Commissioner Dunn (with 2 Ns), told the story about…

Commentary: March 16, 2010 Standard

In a story today (See top story in Leads – Senate climate bill to set utility cap-trade: senator) which featured an anonymous US Senator, Reuters reported that the current Senate bill being worked on will include carbon cap-and-trade for the utility sector only. We can narrow down the list of possible sources here to 50, of course, but the fact that this Senator did not have the gumption to be named in the short piece shows just how politically charged this issue has become in Washington. In the interest of special interests and political pandering, Washington is now angling for the…

Cap-and-trade on the rocks Standard

By Jim Kharouf Call it a wrap. The election of Scott Brown in Massachusetts this week was a major blow to carbon cap-and-trade legislation in the US this year. But let’s face it, the 60-seat Dems were not getting it done on health care or financial reforms which simply pushed energy and climate legislation down the priority ladder. One more Republican wasn’t a backbreaker for the climate legislation. It was general voter and Congressional apathy on the subject, climate confusion campaigns and a lack of a cohesive Democratic leadership on the bill was largely what has put cap-and-trade in jeapordy….

Fixing what’s broken Standard

A loyal and longtime EMN reader pointed out a poignant issue facing the US and the international community. He points out the ongoing trend of futility in Washington and at the UN level on climate change, means “The world of nations is squandering the opportunity to jump start the initial solution to climate change problems and the attending environmental impacts. At the national level in the U.S., each political party has rejected the other and is determined to sacrifice national success in order to retain or obtain majority control. At the international level, the handful of the most influential nations…

FEX finds climate friendly in China Standard

One of the things I like about this space is the ongoing efforts to innovate in a global manner. Such is the case with the Financial and Energy Exchange (FEX). Yes, the exchange, which aims to offer everything from carbon to energies on its OTC and futures trading platform to clean-tech stocks, is a sponsor of EMN. But that is not the reason FEX is being featured today. Last week, FEX signed an memorandum of understanding with the China Beijing Environmental Energy Exchange (CBEEX) to establish an international carbon trading platform , contribute to the development of markets for clean-tech…

Chinese the focus of intense debate Standard

We’ve got good news, bad news and worse news. The good news is that China has announced its target for emissions reductions. The bad news is that the 40% target is an “intensity-based” goal. The worse news is that the intensity-based approach is not a very good model at all and is a difficult model on which to build a market structure. For those who disagree, we only have to look at Canada, for an example of a government that reluctantly engaged in the carbon markets with intensity-based targets. In all actuality, it killed the budding carbon-market that was being…

Gold: Deliver Me This Standard

John Lothian

There is a problem in the gold market. The problem was outlined yesterday in a Wall Street Journal story about how HSBC was getting rid of retail clients and their small holdings of gold. Given the interest in the precious yellow metal, HSBC figures it can make more money dealing with bigger clients. The problem is actually not new, but it makes a good story. As a futures broker, I have and have had clients who want to take delivery of gold. Before gold took off on this rally, not too many brokers really wanted to deal with this kind of…