I don’t believe the words and phrases, “in lunch”, “barrelled”, and “done your boots” are used often enough in today’s foreign exchange industry, however the advent of December allows me to use all three in today’s column, which announces – to the ringing of triumphant bells, widespread disbelief (on your part) and a shaking of the head from my colleagues – the return of my annual accolades – The Irrationals. The first will be unveiled in the midweek issue, but you can join in…
And so, after a long and tortuous journey through December – at a time when the dollar has risen something like 5% in just a couple of weeks (and a lot of traders missed the move because they pulled stumps until January) – we come to the final Accolade of the year; my 2016 Person of the Year.
Last year I focused on the reform process because, undoubtedly and as turned out, 2016 was very much that type of year. This year, with a nod to the ongoing reform process around the impending launch of the ‘final’ Global Code of Conduct in May, I thought this award should very much reflect the business side of the industry – for the success, or otherwise, of FX will be driven by firms, both collectively and individually.
The penultimate Accolade is upon us and again, when seeking to select the Analysis of the Year, there were plenty of contenders. Before we go through them I need to stress that all should be viewed through the prism of my trade of the year in the Crystal Ball feature in the January 2015 issue of Profit & Loss which managed to lose just the 10%!
If that sounds bad, at one stage it was actually almost 20% up – reason enough to reiterate the old adage of foreign exchange traders everywhere, “NEVER trade the Scandies”!
In such a historic year – for it has been that – it feels appropriate to have an Accolade dedicated to the shock of the year. I should point out this is a market shock – not the kind felt by much of the world as the US presidential election results unfolded.
In a year that had flash crashes, very large movements in specific currency pairs and plenty of “blink and you’ll miss it” moments, competition for the “What the…? Moment of the Year” is fierce.
With thanks to those of you who appreciated the irony of Boaty McBoatface being a financial markets signal, we move onto the second of this year’s awards – this time an Accolade.
Had it not been for the need to highlight the Subversives of the Year, we would have kicked off – as we did last year – with the Central Banker of the Year.
At the irrational end of the scale (as opposed to the accolade end) I feel an honourable mention has to go to Haruhiko Kuroda, governor of the Bank of Japan and Thomas Jordan of the Swiss National Bank.
As December strikes, for the second year your correspondent has decided that rather than shut down until January he will award another set of “Accolades” or “Irrationals”. This year, to make things more interesting, themes from my Twitter account are included, which if nothing else opens the door to much more sarcasm.
We will get into the main body of the awards from Monday but I want to start the year by awarding an Irrational to the “Subversives of the Year” (or the “how did we miss that? award).