Back to the Futures: FIA Expo 2021 Live and In-Person!

Games from the CFTC and Fireworks from the Exchange Leaders

Following a rousing introduction from FIA President and CEO Walt Lukken, CFTC Commissioner Dawn Stump got things off to a fun start with a game show themed speech that borrowed from both Family Feud and Jeopardy. In the first instance, the top three answers to the question “In 2021, what topic is a CFTC Commissioner most often asked to address when invited to speak?” were, not surprisingly, were Crypto/Digital Assets, Climate Change/Carbon Markets, and ESG. The second Family Feud question was a bit more obscure but still illuminating: “During the first half of 2021, what topic most often dominated my conversations with former Commissioner (Dan) Berkovitz?” The answers? Event Contracts, Retail Interest in Derivatives Markets, and Interesting Podcasts or Non-Fiction Books.

FIA’s Jackie Mesa with (l to r) CME’s Terry Duffy, Jeff Sprecher from ICE and Ed Tilly of Cboe.

Pinch Me: Operations is More Interesting Than Fintech Innovators!

I never thought that I would say it, but the operations panel was more interesting this year than the panel of fintech disruptors that followed it. This anomaly is largely attributable to a recently published report from the FIA in the first case and my having to duck out early in the second.

The roundtable on Operational Efficiency featured (l to r) Louis Rosato from BlackRock, Brian Sayers of the CME, ICE’s Chris Edmonds, Scott Anderson of Societe Generale, Russell Abrahamson from Bank of America and was moderated by Clair Unterseher of JP Morgan.

Thoughts from Crypto Dad and Innovator Pitches

The one-on-one discussion between former CFTC chairman Chris Giancarlo and Walt Lukken was filled to overflowing and far too short at only 30 minutes in length. Dubbed “Crypto Dad ‘’ by the Twitterati, Giancarlo is promoting his book of the same name and his clear headed and insightful approach to the emerging world of cryptoassets is a breath of fresh air. He vigorously counters the myopic perspective emanating from the SEC, stressing that the SEC’s primary focus on investor protection needs to be balanced with the CFTC’s ability to support innovation. The stakes are high as the world in general and China in particular will be adopting digital currencies and other cryptoassets whether the SEC moves to quash them or not. In fact, Giancarlo speculated that there may be a method to the madness that found SEC Chairman Gary Gensler breezily confirmed while the CFTC is hobbled by having only two sitting commissioners. Stranger things have happened but this, if true, could spell trouble for crypto innovation in the months and years ahead. In any case, “Crypto Dad: The Fight for the Future of Money” should be on the nightstand of all market practitioners.

Chris Giancarlo (l) and Walt Lukken

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Chuck Mackie

Chuck Mackie

Chuck is a student of markets and frequently writes on topics ranging from emerging technology to current events in financial services and beyond.