It was 10 years ago yesterday that one of the more higher profile ventures of recent years in the FX space shut its doors in that October 17 2008 was the last day of trading for FXMarketSpace.
There have been times in the past five years when people in the industry – and I have to stress they did not work for FXMS at any time – have told me they thought the centrally-cleared, anonymous model would have been ideal for the current environment.
Information leakage is the new “issue” in foreign exchange markets for many players (actually its just signalling risk renamed surely), and for several participants it is a question of their past catching up with them in how the LPs are not willing to help them anymore. For others, however, it is a genuine issue, but I am not sure how easy it is to solve given how everything we do online leaves a digital signature – and trading in no different.
More than a few people have told me in recent weeks that they see the trial (which is now at the appeal stage) of Mark Johnson, and that of the Cartel threesome – which started this week in New York – as being inextricably linked. You all know what’s coming…I don't agree. In fact I would argue there are some fundamental differences that mean this week’s trial – complex as it is – cannot be seen through the same lens.
I guess we’ll get this out of the way early – I am pretty sure I have dealt on a fake price at more than one stage in my career. I don't think I did it that much in the ...
There are so many lawsuits aimed at financial markets participants that it is hard to keep up these days, and while most are aimed at historic actions, there is definitely a culture building in which the first instinct of someone who feels they have been wronged is to head to the courts. This has to stop somewhere, for if it doesn't there will be repercussions for the market structure. If you have a problem with a market, tell the operator and then tell the regulators - only after then do you hit the lawyers.
I quite like reading academic papers on the FX market structure – often they state the obvious, but just as often they get the hamster back on the wheel in my head.
An interesting paper on spoofing and pinging in OTC FX markets was released recently, which does a great job of highlighting why platforms need to be on top of behaviour; how some LPs are nothing of the sort and how others’ behaviour could be confused with spoofing but shouldn’t be. The paper also provides support for my argument that Mark Johnson’s conviction should be over-turned.
Regular readers will know I am unsurprised to read reports of Blackstone pondering the sale of FXall once it completes its takeover of a majority stake in Thomson Reuters F&R, because (for once, I know, before you all message me) I predicted such a thing in this column in June.
What I find interesting in the latest production from the rumour mill is how it is only the sale of FXall – Matching and the other channels are not mentioned.
I want to follow up on last week’s column about the lack of risk takers in FX.
Firstly, several of you reached out to me to share your thoughts and clearly there are some concerned people out there who believe the foreign exchange industry is vulnerable to more flash type events because of the lack of skilled people able to take risk. Secondly, i had an interesting conversation with a friend about the lack of diversity in the FX risk/trading role.
Has trend following had its day as a trading strategy? The Profit & Loss editors go head-to-head on this debate, with managing editor, Colin Lambert arguing that trend following is dead and editor, Galen Stops, arguing the opposite. Which side do you find more persuasive?
Why Trend Following is Dead
The changing nature of markets tells Colin Lambert that trend following as a strategy has had its day…and then there’s the data.
When Galen and I decided to argue our cases over the relative merits of trend following, I immediately thought of amassing mountains of data around moving averages and breakout points. I then reminded myself this is not the way I do things and as such, decided to go the bluster route.
In this week’s In the FICC of It podcast I mention how I like my hedge funds to be a bit “crazy” and my colleague and fellow podcaster, Galen Stops, suggests if I want to live on the edge then I should look at crypto funds. He’s right. If ever there was a crazy world, it’s crypto-land and this week highlighted this with some fantastic instances of “dolly out of the pram” tantrums! Generally speaking, when regulators talk, markets listen - not in crypto apparently, there they poke the bear!