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In Defense of Defense

December 6, 2016


Jon Najarian of CNBC’s ‘Fast Money’ is in-studio talking Trump economic policies, tech stocks and much more. Joel Elconin of Benzinga predicts the College Football Playoff results before taking a look at the markets. Kenny Polcari, Director of NYSE Floor Operations at O’Neil Securities and a contributor to CNBC, shares his thoughts on interest rate hikes and impending deregulation. Finally, Jonathan T. Gilliam, CNN contributor & former FBI Agent, jumps on to talk military policy, counter-terrorism, the life of a U.S. Air Marshall and much more. 

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Guests & Co-Hosts

Jon Najarian

Co-founder, optionMONSTER

Jon “DRJ” Najarian is a professional investor, noted media analyst and speaker, and cofounder of optionMONSTER.com, a leading site for options and equity traders. Following a brief stint as a Chicago Bears linebacker, Jon launched his financial career at the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) in 1981, trading in the pits for some 25 years. In 1989 he founded Mercury Trading, running the company for 15 years until 2004, when he sold his floor-trading operations to Citadel. Jon has developed and patented trading applications used to identify unusual activity in stock, options, and futures markets, notably the Heat Seeker® program, which scans up to 10 million quotes per second. Jon’s research and analysis is widely cited by leading financial media as he appears daily on CNBC as well as articles published in Barrons, the Wall Street Journal and other leading financial periodicals. OptionMONSTER has been described by Securities Industry News as “content king of the options business,” and enjoys syndication agreements with CNBC, TheStreet.com, the Chicago Board Options Exchange, and NASDAQ. Jon & his brother Pete also run a private equity fund and are consultants for Najarian Family Office, a wealth management firm based in Chicago & Minneapolis. Read more.

Joel Elconin

Joel’s introduction to trading was in the Standard and Poor’s 500 Index futures pit at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Also, during his time at the CME, he was involved in Index Arbitrage as well as trading foreign currency futures and options. From 1994-1999 he was a proprietary trader for Olde Discount Corporation. Following his tenure at Olde Discount, he founded the Detroit office of Bright Trading, LLC. His responsibilities included trader recruitment, orientation and education as well as the day to day management of the office. He held this position office until 2003. Since 2003, Joel has been an independent trader researching and developing proprietary indicators and trading systems for the equities and futures markets. In 2007, Joel joined JC Trading Group as a Market Consultant and trading supervisor. He provides daily market commentary at www.premarketinfo.com. Joel obtained his Bachelor of Art in Political Science from the University of Michigan in 1985. Also, he is a graduate of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Continuing Education Program. He also holds his Series 7 and 63 licenses and is a licensed real estate broker.

Kenny Polcari

In the realm of institutional financial services, Kenneth Polcari stands out as a go-to expert in starting up, turning around, and growing investment operations to consistent profitability and world-class service. His background in managing institutional relationships and directing trading strategies has given him the steely drive, inventiveness, and perseverance to prevail in the most volatile economic climates.

Currently Mr. Polcari is Director of NYSE Floor Operations at O’Neil Securities, Inc – the B/D division of Wm. O’Neil & Company out of Los Angeles, CA and represents the interests of global institutional asset managers that need to access the world’s equity markets. He is a Board Advisor/Markets Expert for The Integral Board Group and a speaker on behalf of The American College. Prior to this he was a Managing Director for 15 yrs at Icap Corps, LLC- a British based Inter-dealer Broker. Earlier in his career, Mr. Polcari served as Senior Vice President, member New York Stock Exchange and division manager with Salomon Brothers directing their NYSE Division during the heady bull market of the 1990’s. In addition to managing the division, he helped design an equity technology platform that automated and enhanced trading functions and significantly improved productivity. Mr. Polcari gained a reputation for superior management skills, client service and relationship building, as well as a savvy insight in risk mitigation.

Mr. Polcari has leveraged his superior communication and presentation skills and is a “CNBC Exclusive Contributor/Market Analyst”. You can find him giving market commentary from the floor of the NYSE across a range of their US programming including “The Half-Time Report”, “Power Lunch” and “Closing Bell” in addition to giving US market commentary to CNBC Asia and CNBC/Italy. In addition he is oft quoted in major print media outlets that include the WSJ, FT, Reuters and regional local and International publications.

He is an engaging public speaker that seeks to help the industry and the public understand current market structure and trends as well as institutional investment styles.  Topics include the Evolution of the U.S. Equity Markets & the Role of Technology, Rules And Regulations, Policy Initiatives as well as

The Impact of 9/11 on the U.S. Financial Markets.

Mr. Polcari received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, with a major in Finance, from Boston University. He holds FINRA Licenses in Series 7, 24, 27, 55, and 63.

Active in the financial community, he is as a member of the Security Traders Association (STA) and has served on its Trading Rules Committee. In addition he is a board member of the National Organization of Investment Professionals (NOIP), the Security Traders Association of NY (STANY) and the National Security Traders Association. Leadership roles include past president of the Independent Floor Brokers, former governor of the NYSE, former member of the Market Performance Committee, the Technology Committee, and the FACTS Program. He is also a supporter of a variety of charitable causes including the Members Handicapped Children’s Fund, The Headstrong Project, the Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Society, American Cancer Society, and The Spaulding Traumatic Brain Injury Rehabilitation Hospital. He lives in Westchester County, NY with his wife – also a former member of the NYSE – and is the father of two daughters.

Mr. Kenny Polcari is a member and Director of NYSE Floor Operations on behalf of O’Neil Securities, Inc. representing the interests of institutional asset managers needing access to global equity markets. In addition to his role as an Adjunct Professor at the Boston Graduate School he is also a Markets Expert at Integral Board Group, LLC. His decades long experience in the equity markets and his position on the floor of the exchange gives him and his clients a unique view of the daily market action.  Mr. Polcari is a veteran equities trader, a CNBC exclusive contributor / market commentator appearing across a range of CNBC Global programming, an engaging speaker and champion of the U.S. capital markets and can be found working with the financial media, industry conferences and investor events helping public audiences understand the markets.  In addition to CNBC – media highlights have included Bloomberg, CNN (domestic and international), ABC, Fox, Reuters, AP, BBC, WSJ, Financial Times, Yahoo Finance.  Additional international credits include Der Spiegal, China Business and RAI.  He is well known for his daily boots-on-the-ground market analysis.  Every morning, Mr. Polcari publishes a large-audience newsletter starting with insights on the day’s market action and ends with a recipe to serve the mood of the markets.  Earlier in his career, he served as Managing Director at ICAP Corps, LLC and was Senior Vice President, member New York Stock Exchange and division manager with Salomon Brothers directing their NYSE Division.  Mr. Polcari graduated from Boston University School of Management with a BS/BA degree with a concentration in Finance.  He is a frequent lecturer on topics such as the Evolution of the U.S. Equity Markets & the Role of Technology, Rules And Regulations, Policy Initiatives as well as The Impact of 9/11 on the U.S. Financial Markets.

Jonathan Gilliam

Jonathan T. Gilliam grew up in the Ozarks mountains of north Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock with a BA double major in Political Science and Psychology with an emphasis on the Executive Branch of Government and World Religions. Gilliam began his career in service as a Police Officer just outside of Little Rock, Arkansas before he received his commission in the United States Navy at Officer Candidate School (OCS), Pensacola, Florida. After graduating OCS, Gilliam attended Basic Underwater Demolition / SEAL (BUD/S) training in Coronado, California and graduated BUD/S Class 218, subsequently serving in the Special Operations Community in the US and overseas in the late 1990s and early 2000s as a Navy SEAL Officer. During his military service, Gilliam graduated from US Army RANGER School before being forward deployed as Officer in Charge (OIC) of several Joint Chiefs of Staff directed Joint Combined Exchange for training (JCET) missions, Foreign Internal Defense (FID) missions, and Counter-Narcotics missions in Central and South America.

In 2002, Gilliam stepped out of military service and directly into federal law enforcement where he served in an undercover role as a Federal Air Marshal. On September 11, 2002 amongst threats and whispers of anniversary attacks from the Islamic Jihadist group Al Qaeda, Gilliam was flying. Later that year, Gilliam continued his service as a Security Contractor for the US Department of Homeland Security with the highly respected company AMTI where Gilliam was responsible for researching, developing, and delivering terrorism-related analysis for soft targets within the US. While working as a Security Contractor Gilliam also provided valuable assistance to DHS, Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO), and other agencies supporting the protection of all sectors of the infrastructure/key resources as defined by Homeland Security Presidential Directive 7 and Presidential Policy Directives.

During his time at AMTI as a Security Contractor for DHS, Gilliam created and taught the DHS Soft Target Awareness Training (STAT) course which became known as an effective yet controversial course that instructed soft target sectors how they could target themselves from an attacker’s perspective, then flip their mental switch in order to plan defenses against those attacks. Many successful changes in awareness and security practices around the US occurred as a result of the STAT course. Gilliam also served as an assaulter on the DHS Site Assist Visit (SAV) teams made up of Special Forces Operators from all branches of the US Military, conducting threat assessments on soft targets nationwide.

From 2005-2013, Gilliam served with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as a Special Agent in New York on Criminal and Counterterrorism squads. On the Criminal Division, Gilliam conducted 1000s of hours on surveillance, served as co-case and case agent, lead arrest teams and attended the NYPD Homicide Investigator course. As a Special Agent on the FBI’s New York Joint Terrorism Task Force, Gilliam served as the Special Events Management Unit (SEMU) Coordinator. Gilliam was charged with developing threat assessments on targets in the New York area of operations while functioning as the on scene coordinator at high threat events and large scale incidents.

During his time in the New York Office of the FBI, Gilliam was one of the first agents on scene for the failed Times Square terrorist attack carried out by Faisal Shahzad where Gilliam coordinated the responding Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) assets, and assisted in the initial investigation.  Gilliam was also the first agent on scene for two aircraft crashes including US Airways Flight 1549 emergency water landing in the Hudson River on January 15, 2009. Gilliam and NYPD LT Sean Conner (Ret) pulled the first two passengers from the frigid Hudson River, confirming the incident was not a terrorist attack, and located and isolated the Captain and crew. One of Gilliam’s proudest moments in the FBI was being able to tell Captain Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger and First Officer Jeffrey Skiles, that all 155 passengers were alive and accounted for.

Gilliam’s background as a Navy SEAL, Federal Air Marshal, DHS advisor, and Special Agent with the FBI, speaks volumes and has provided a firm foundation for spot on analysis as Gilliam now serves as a CNN Law Enforcement and Military Contributor, Sirius XM radio host, and IJ Review contributor with thousands of appearances analyzing major breaking news. Gilliam is the only analyst in today’s media that possesses operational experience in military Special Forces combined with experience in multiple local and federal law enforcement agencies displaying a breadth and depth of knowledge in operations and leadership that is unmatched.

Gilliam’s unique perspective and experienced opinions span from politics to terrorism, and include insight into ideologies, tactics, techniques, and procedures, providing invaluable resources and information to the public as he continues his service in the media.

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