David Gracey

David Gracey

David Gracey

Head of Foreign Exchange and Fixed Income Trading

Insensitive stupidity, with a dash of economic stress

• Man Utd supporters are so insensitive. All they want to do is talk about soccer. 

• The world is full of problems like poverty and discrimination. I mean there’s a war going on, and climate change, and religious intolerance, and disease, and inflation and and and….

• But all they can do is talk about soccer – I hope the Glazers stay as owners forever. Such insensitivity should really mean they all get cancelled. Typical football privilege, not ever worrying about their fellow man. 

• Speaking of inflation…..this week's big event is the FED’s economic summit at Jackson Hole. 

• Jerome Powell will make his feelings known on Friday, and he has to walk the tightrope between maintaining the fight against rampant inflation and be careful to not kill the economy.

• So the market will be watching and listening with intense interest for clues about the FED’s future trajectory.

• In the meantime the USD is rampant with the Euro trading at its worst levels for many a year – well below parity.

• The Rand has been under pressure. Giving up its prom queen status and returning as a thug to the school playground. Moving from just above 16 to the USD to 17, in a few short trading sessions.

• The world has a few problems  - Europeans may soon know all about loadshedding. 

• And in the UK inflation is likely to get close to 20%.

• In China the economy is in a little trouble and authorities are doing everything they can to prop up an ailing property sector.

• All in all it's not looking great, and Friday's Jackson hole event is the next focus point for markets.

• Which brings me neatly to Turkey.

• The Turks have been busy with an economic experiment that is bound to end in a tsunami of tears. 

• Actually I’m being unfair. It's more accurate to say that their President has been busy with a stupid economic experiment, which has, and will continue to cost the country dearly.

• His primary belief (at least publicly) is that high interest rates cause high inflation.

• I’m not sure which school of economics he subscribes to, but the results of this belief are wreaking havoc on the Turkish economy.

• The central Bank of Turkey has had to install a well oiled revolving door to accommodate the plethora of Governors that have come and gone.

• Every time they have hinted at, or actually raised rates, they are shown the door and a new governor is installed. This has been more frequent than JZ used to change his cabinet.

• Last week the CB unexpectedly cut rates from 14 to 13%. 

• But official inflation in Turkey is at around 80%, and probably a lot higher unofficially.

• What this has meant is that the Turkish Lira has lost more than 50% of its value over the last 18 months, and the Central Bank is spending reserves to defend the currency.

• At some point they will not be able to maintain this resistance and if/when their reserves run out the Lira will fall even further leading to further inflation which means that eventually, the Central bank will have to raise rates to realistic levels to combat inflation, which will lead to further economic pain and suffering.

• Every now and again some country tries some new fangled economic policy – and the results are always the same.

• Austria, Germany, Yugoslavia, Zimbabwe ….history is littered with failed states who tried some stupid “new” theory. And the results are always the same.

• History is supposed to be the great teacher ….. ”Never Again” is a refrain that we hear often, only for the stupidity to be repeated over and over again.

• Turkey is a great lesson for those nations who want to interfere with Central Bank neutrality (cough cough).

• Economics is NOT an exact science ….but there are some universal truths. 

• Printing money is NEVER EVER a good idea. And so is having a negative real interest rate gap for a prolonged period. Turkey has taken this example to extreme levels ….and they are paying the price.

• With all this going on, you would think that Man U supporters would have something else to talk about.