Tag Archives: short selling

In South Africa they are entering the final week of the group matches.  Around the globe fans are rooting for their home teams and complaining about the officiating.  Even if you are not watching closely you can appreciate the fact that the matches are being decided on the field (or the pitch) and not in some corner office, through a popularity vote or dictated by the media.

As the World Cup begins the round of 16 matches, governmental leaders from around the globe will be meeting to discuss the global economy.  The G-20 meeting this time around takes place in Toronto before heading back to Seoul in November.

Per usual, many countries offer preliminary comments and China was the first to have their say.  They repeated what they had said earlier last week which is they are not interested in hearing complaints from the US or any other country regarding their Yuan policy. The central bank has since stated that they will allow for more flexibility in the CNY but have not offered a timeframe for the change.  It didn’t take long for Obama to form a rebuttal and state that he was looking forward to discussing how to fix the global imbalances (which means more flexibility in the CNY from an American political point of view).

Let’s journey back as to why the G-20 meetings were constructed in the first place.  In 1997 fears grew that Thailand would not be able to repay its debts and months later the Asian crisis was in full swing.  The crisis spread throughout the Pacific Rim region.  China did not contribute to the crisis, in fact in retrospect by not revaluing the CNY China was one of the reasons why the markets would eventually settle.  By 2000 it was evident that the G7/8 was too small to cope with the global economic issues and the G-20 has gained in stature ever since.

Now post the 2001/2 recession, the 2007/8 credit crisis and the 2010 European crisis our political leaders are still pressing China on their currency!  Hmmm, China’s rebuttal should be very easy to form indeed.  For one they could point to growth rates in the old G7 countries.  All of which are being downgraded by the second as discussion on the potential for double-dip recessions increase.  They could also point to inflation levels as from Japan to Germany inflation is not a threat and core levels of inflation are in negative territory in many cases right now.  They could also point to confidence levels as consumers in China are very confident right now while surveys such as the US Consumer Confidence survey or the ZEW survey in Germany point to a lack of confidence at the consumer and business level.  Of course China could also ask the G7 countries what would happen if they stopped investing in our bond markets, where would the next crisis be!

Currency traders also know not to listen to the old G7 leaders but pay more attention to the emerging leaders.  Currensee.com shows that (and I hope that I do not jinx these traders) that currency traders are profitably short USD/HKD, short NZD/JPY and half the positions in USD/MXN have been short for quite a while.

In the World Cup emerging countries have been outplaying the developed nations.  During the G-20 meetings expect the developed nations to have their say in the press but when it comes time to trade the markets listen to what the emerging countries are doing.

This report is for your information only and does not constitute investment or business advice or an offer to buy or sell securities.

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Be sure to read the full risk disclosure before trading Forex. Please note that Forex trading involves significant risk of loss. It is not suitable for all investors and you should make sure you understand the risks involved before trading. Performance, strategies and charts shown are not necessarily predictive of any particular result. And, as always, past performance is no indication of future results.

Reminiscent of when China used to announce their monetary policy decisions during the North American trading session Germany indicated on Tuesday afternoon that they are looking into banning short-selling on certain securities. Yet another reason to trade foreign exchange. If you want to short the Euro then just find your preferred FX broker and short the Euro against any currency that you want. If you want to discuss which currency that you should have shorted the Euro against then hop on Currensee and discuss it with the community or your team members.

Why is Germany making such a decision in the first place? Debt. It has been all about debt since the credit crisis began in 2007 and right now the worry is over European debt and one can only guess when it will end. At the moment countries with large fiscal deficits and debt to GDP ratios are being punished or should I say that these countries are hampering the global markets right now. This begs the question on why the US Dollar is doing so well when we all know that the US is laden with debt itself. Furthermore why is it so important for these countries to rectify their debt problems now and not leave this pile of debt for the generation behind them?

Lets first take a look at the US population. The reason will be evident later. In 2001 the UN projected that the US would have 321m people at the end of 2015. Per the US Census the US already has 309m thus it is well ahead of the forecasted pace. In 2050 the US is projected to have 397m, so a 28% growth rate from current day. The fact that the US has doubled its population since 1950 I’d guess that the forecast of 397m is well on the conservative side. More likely to be 425m - 450m by then for many well known reasons.

Compare that population growth to the well known European countries that are having trouble with their debts right now. Greece currently has just over 10m people living there. That is expected to decline by 16% in 2050. Italy has close to 60m people and that is expected to fall to nearly 40m. Talk about needing tourism. Portugal and Spain have similar UN forecasts in terms of declining population although they should each receive a bit of assistance from those that that bought 2nd dwellings in their countries over the past decade and with the proliferation of cheap airfares to these locals. Ireland is the only country where growth is expected and that is at a whopping 39% for the tiny country of 4m.

How about the country that seems to be paying for Greece’s miscues, Germany? Their population growth is expected to decline in the future. These are forecasts so they are doomed for error but unless the current trends change the respective tax bases in Europe will be declining. The US has a chronically high debt to GDP level as well but as mentioned its tax base is expected to grow quite substantially. As long as these trends remain in place and markets are worrying about debt then the US will remain a safe-haven and parts of Europe will be in need of assistance.

This report is for your information only and does not constitute investment or business advice or an offer to buy or sell securities.

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Be sure to read the full risk disclosure before trading Forex. Please note that Forex trading involves significant risk of loss. It is not suitable for all investors and you should make sure you understand the risks involved before trading. Performance, strategies and charts shown are not necessarily predictive of any particular result. And, as always, past performance is no indication of future results.

This week Germany has announced a variety of measures to combat what it regards as unfair manipulation of markets by those in a position to short sell a variety of instruments. Once again this typifies the attitude that it is the market that is at fault and not Central Banks and Governments. I find it somewhat incredulous that this has extended to the sales of certain financial stocks, when a glance at the market shows that the Dax is still up on the year. It begs the question what would happen if the market actually did turn negative. The history of intervention is awash with failure down the years and whilst they often create temporary respite, the dominant theme and therefore trend that the market dictates usually quickly re-asserts itself. When the Sec banned short selling on Sept 19 2008 a 450 point one day rally in the Dow to 11,500, saw the market then collapse to 7900 just 3 weeks later. Obviously those naked short sellers couldn’t have been the reason. Neither for that matter, was the panic and huge falls of May 6 this year the result of a fat finger as was muted at the time. Thus far they cannot find a reason. I can give them one. Panic and a complete lack of faith in the ability of Governments and regulators to get there act together.

Once again the powers that be fail to see the folly of there own policies. The faults in the Euro zone are obvious to all apart from those who hang onto a flawed dogma. The market was led to believe that the Greece bailout was to the tune of 30 billion, but it didn’t believe this and punished Greece and the Credit Default Swap market. Then, low and behold the bailout suddenly becomes 100 billion, with another 450 billion plucked out of thin air in case there was any other countries being economic with the truth about there attitude to debt. Is it any wonder that the currency fell?

The reality is that the markets are there to provide the reality check and expertise in understanding the fault lines and weaknesses in the Global economic system, and whilst markets overshoot when panic sets in, prompting cries of the evil forces that would destroy, the regulators and politicians are happy to see markets overshoot equally when the outlook is viewed through rose colored glasses.
Therefore whilst some measure such as providing circuit breakers to excessive short term falls makes sense and moves to take certain OTC markets into the exchange traded world can also be viewed as a positive, more blanket measures to curb what is regarded as rampant speculation are counter productive. The irony of the latest Hedge Fund directive from the European Union, when viewed against the move to Mifid which has caused large scale market fragmentation in exchange traded instruments and the creation of dark pools is obviously lost on them. All politicians and regulators would be best served to be reminded of the law of unintended consequences before looking for someone other than themselves to blame.

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Be sure to read the full risk disclosure before trading Forex. Please note that Forex trading involves significant risk of loss. It is not suitable for all investors and you should make sure you understand the risks involved before trading. Performance, strategies and charts shown are not necessarily predictive of any particular result. And, as always, past performance is no indication of future results.