Currency comment Jan 2021

·        The last few days have demonstrated the fickle nature of the markets currently.

·        On Monday morning you would have been forgiven for thinking that mini Armageddon was upon us, until Nirvana arrived mid-afternoon.

·        And for the ZAR it’s been a particularly interesting period. From 15.35 to sub 15.00 in a few sessions, and now everyone is talking 14.50 again.

·        The reason for all the optimism?

·         Today is the day that the Donald exits the white house. I’ll admit, I never thought he would last 2 years, however, I underestimated the man’s appeal to a great many people.

·        Anyway, the upshot of all of this is, we have a Democrat in the White House, a Democratic majority in Congress, and a Democratic controlled Senate. And investors are seeing stimulus messages wherever they look. That means cash in the system, and that means yield seeking investors.

·        And so the USD has weakened, EM was prescribed  some anti-depressant medication and here we are.

·        And it feels like punters may want to take this market even stronger until the anti-depressant runs out.

·        But that’s the nature of markets, boom or bust, long or short.

·        Things must have been super interesting in the White House over the last few days. I read that a big cleaning team will be active today.

·         I wonder if they will be searching for fish (or worse) hidden behind Lincoln's portrait.

·        I’m not sure what to think about Biden/Harris?

·         What I do know is that they inherit a U.S that is more fractured than ever before. They also have a fair degree of economic challenges to address, not least of which a budget deficit that is almost comedic in size. Twenty seven trillion USD and growing. Three trillion+ of that racked up only in the last 12 months. I’ve said before and I’ll say it again – this is a risk worth watching. Especially if rates start rising, which means that the debt servicing costs go up, and because the USD is the global reserve currency (for now) it’s a global risk. Did I hear someone whisper Bitcoin……

·        So this administration has its work cut out – I do know that Biden knows that he won’t solve all these problems by tweeting endlessly.

·         Cheers Don, you were mildly entertaining whilst you were there. It takes a special kind of gumption to lie publically almost 30 000 times. (that’s not made up), most of it on Twitter, probably whilst busy with your daily constitutional (not the legal kind).

·        And then lastly- I have been receiving some flak from my Man United supporting colleagues (or as I like to call them – acquaintances), as to why I’m so quiet about their team. I’m not sure why? It’s not as if I gloated unnecessarily when Liverpool was winning everything.

·         Anyhoo! I was going to write and congratulate them on being top of the league, but now I don’t have to, because Leicester owns that position. And in any case, Man City will probably win the competition this year.