As of 3:24 pm AST, foreign exchange rate movement in a wait and see pandemic relief environment of the US Senate

PairsFederal Reserve as of 23 December 2020OANDA as of 23 December 2020OANDA as of 29 December 2020
GBP/USD1.35101.34491.35070
USD/CAD1.28411.28721.28431
USD/CNH6.54006.53236.52721
USD/DKK6.09896.10316.08792
EUR/USD1.21941.21851.22140
USD/INR73.770073.731673.4425
USD/MXN20.080020.087819.9413
USD/JPY103.5200103.50103.64
USD/NOK8.63078.68868.63352
USD/SEK8.28418.30368.26356
USD/CHF.8882.8886.88947
Source: OANDA

Legal/Political Events Impacting Foreign Exchange

US Senate ponder Covid relief bill during rare holiday time in Washington

As of this writing, the U.S. Senate is in session debating the COVID-19 pandemic relief bill. One core issue: whether $600 in taxpayer aid should be increased to $2,000. Speaking on the Senate floor, Senator Dick Durbin, Democrat of Illinois, reiterated that the additional aid is needed immediately and that these funds won’t be put away for a rainy day but will be injected immediately into jump starting the economy. As of 3:30 pm AST, the Senate was still making its quorum call and waiting for additional senators to speak. President Donald Trump threw a wrench into the relief discussions when he expressed support for $2,000 per eligible taxpayer.

Two Republicans in the Senate, brought additional attention to themselves by joining the President in support of increasing monetary support. Senator Kelly Loeffler and Senator David Perdue, both of Georgia, are facing tough run-off elections scheduled for 5 January 2021.

As of 5:51 pm AST, foreign exchange rates as Congress ponders additional relief …

Pairs Federal Reserve as of 23 December 2020 OANDA as of 23 December 2020 OANDA as of 28 December 2020 
GBP/USD 1.3510 1.3449 1.35603 
USD/CAD 1.2841 1.2872 1.28619 
USD/CNH 6.5400 6.5323 6.51546 
USD/DKK 6.0989 6.1031 6.10186 
EUR/USD 1.2194 1.2185 1.21836 
USD/INR 73.7700 73.7316 73.4122 
USD/MXN 20.0800 20.0878 19.8603 
USD/JPY 103.5200 103.50 103.63 
USD/NOK 8.6307 8.6886 8.62746 
USD/SEK 8.2841 8.3036 8.24517 
USD/CHF .8882 .8886 .89037 

Source: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, OANDA

Legal/Political Events Impacting Foreign Exchange Rates

U.S. House considers increasing dollar amount of pandemic relief payments to taxpayers

The U.S. House of Representatives is, at the time of this writing, considering a vote to increase the amount of pandemic relief to individual taxpayers from the current $600 to $2,000. President Trump and House Democrats are aligned on this issue, but the increase is expected to face considerable push back in the Republican controlled U.S. Senate. Mr Trump argued yesterday that the pandemic relief passed by Congress over the weekend contained unnecessary spending and argued that these funds be reallocated to American taxpayers.

Source: U.S. House of Representatives

As of 1:12 pm AST, foreign exchange rates in reaction to Trump signing pandemic relief bill …

Pairs Federal Reserve as of 18 December 2020 OANDA as of 18 December 2020 OANDA as of 28 December 2020 
GBP/USD 1.3497 1.3520 1.35603 
USD/CAD 1.2776 1.2760 1.28619 
USD/CNH 6.5395 6.5197 6.51546 
USD/DKK 6.0798 6.0731 6.10186 
EUR/USD 1.2236 1.2248 1.21836 
USD/INR 73.5300 73.4139 73.4122 
USD/MXN 19.9813 19.8978 19.8603 
USD/JPY 103.3500 103.35 103.63 
USD/NOK 8.5959 8.5878 8.62746 
USD/SEK 8.2786 8.2747 8.24517 
USD/CHF .8850 .8844 .89037 

Legal/Political Event Impacting Foreign Exchange Rates

Trump signs pandemic relief package

Yesterday, President Donald J Trump reluctantly signed into law a $900 billion pandemic relief package with a core provision of a $600 payment to eligible taxpayers. Mr Trump advocated for increasing the payout from $600 to $2,000 for eligible taxpayer. In his statement Mr Trump promised to continue his fight for the increase as the Democratic-controlled House is expected to vote today on increasing the amount. Resistance to an increase is expected in the Republican-controlled Senate.

10:37 am 13 November 2020, Foreign exchange rates between U.S. and select countries in East Africa, West Africa, the Caribbean, and Asia

As of 10:37 am EST, 13 November 2020:

How to read the chart:

CAD/USD: If you come to the United States with one Canadian dollar (CAD)and wish to sell it for a US dollar (USD), the market price is .76327 USD.

USD/CAD: If you take a US dollar (USD) to Canada and wish to sell it for a Canadian dollar (CAD), the market price is 1.30996 CAD

CAD/USD=0.76327   USD/CAD=1.30996

CNH/USD= 0.15112   USD/CNH=6.61616

EUR/USD= 1.17938   USD/EUR=0.84780

DKK/USD =0.15838     USD/DKK=6.31214

NGN/USD= 0.00262    USD/NGN=380.053

JPY/USD=0.00950      USD/JPY=105.23

INR/USD=0.01340       USD/INR=74.4783

JMD/USD=0.00671     USD/JMD=145.880

GYD/USD=0.00469       USD/GYD= 204.829

GHS/USD=0.17098     USD/GHS= 5.81812

XCD/USD=0.37037        USD/XCD= 2.70

KES/USD = 0.00909       USD/KES= 108.088

Source: OANDA

Major political/legal event in the United States

Yesterday in attempt to address attacks on American national security, President Donald J. Trump issued an executive order prohibiting transactions in publicly traded securities of Chinese military companies.  President Trump argues that capital raised via transactions in the securities of these companies is eventually channeled into financing improvements in Chinese military intelligence gathering.

Source:  Executive Office of the President

Update: Dollar continues depreciation against a number of currencies in face of more elections legal action by President Trump

As of 8:21 pm EST, 5 November 2020:

How to read the chart:

CAD/USD: If you come to the United States with one Canadian dollar (CAD)and wish to sell it for a US dollar (USD), the market price is .76351 USD.

USD/CAD: If you take a US dollar (USD) to Canada and wish to sell it for a Canadian dollar (CAD), the market price is 1.30955 CAD

CAD/USD=0.76351   USD/CAD=1.30955

CNH/USD= 0.15097   USD/CNH=6.62248

EUR/USD= 1.17863    USD/EUR=0.84834

DKK/USD =0.15827     USD/DKK=6.31674

NGN/USD= 0.00260    USD/NGN=382.756

JPY/USD=0.00962       USD/JPY=103.98

INR/USD=0.01349       USD/INR=73.9934

JMD/USD=0.00678      USD/JMD=144.450

GYD/USD=0.00478       USD/GYD= 209.187

GHC/USD=0.00002       USD/GHC= 58,277.2

XCD/USD=0.37037        USD/XCD= 2.70

Source: Bankrate

Major political/legal event in the United States:  Ballot counting is continuing in the U.S. presidential elections. Democratic presidential candidate Joseph R. Biden reportedly has 264 unofficial Electoral College votes while Republican candidate Donald J. Trump has 214 unofficial Electoral College votes.

The official declaration of President-Elect is scheduled for 14 December 2020.

Today, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System decided to maintain its target range for its inter-bank rate between 0 and .25%.

Also, today, President Donald J. Trump held a press conference expressing concern about how ballots were being counted in a number of states.  He indicated that he was prepared to pursue legal action to ensure that ballot counts were conducted in a fair and transparent manner.

Source: Bloomberg, Federal Reserve

Foreign exchange rates: Joe Biden holds on to projected Electoral College lead …

As of 2:32 pm EST, 4 November 2020:

How to read the chart:

CAD/USD: If you come to the United States with one Canadian dollar (CAD)and wish to sell it for a US dollar (USD), the market price is .75909 USD.

USD/CAD: If you take a US dollar (USD) to Canada and wish to sell it for a Canadian dollar (CAD), the market price is 1.31720 CAD

Major event in the United States:  Ballot counting is continuing in the U.S. presidential elections. Democratic presidential candidate Joseph R. Biden is projected to win 227 Electoral College votes while Republican candidate Donald J. Trump is projected to garner 214 Electoral College votes.

CAD/USD=0.75909   USD/CAD=1.31720

CNH/USD= 0.14962   USD/CNH=6.68236

EUR/USD= 1.16900    USD/EUR=0.85533

DKK/USD =0.15697     USD/DKK=6.36901

NGN/USD= 0.00260    USD/NGN=383.455

JPY/USD=0.00956       USD/JPY=104.64

INR/USD=0.01342       USD/INR=74.3949

JMD/USD=0.00679      USD/JMD=144.248

Source: Bankrate

Are currency traders willing to pay more for the US dollar in face of US election? ….

Capital abhors a vacuum and even with the U.S. general election three days away, capital will try to cut through the campaign noise and seek out a return. From a political and legal event perspective, traders should assess the strength of legal challenges to voting, especially challenges raised by the Republican Party.

Republicans and Democrats have been building their legal teams for over a year and both will be on the lookout for voting irregularities including evidence of voter suppression or voter fraud. Republicans are expected to challenge authenticity of mail-in ballots and the deadlines for when these ballots are expected to be received. Traders should be particularly mindful of the intensity of Republican challenges given that incumbent president Donald J. Trump is running behind Democratic nominee Joseph R. Biden in national polls.

Real Clear Politics has Mr Biden polling at 51.3% versus Mr Trumps 43.5% during the period 21 October to 30 October 2020. PredictIt is pricing a .65 probability of a Democratic takeover of the White House versus a probability of .40 that the Republican Party maintains control of the Oval Office.

But the foreign exchange markets appear to see the value of the US dollar priced in various currencies increasing as we get closer to the election.

Country/Currency24 October25 October26 October27 October28 October29 October30 October31 October
Mexico (MXN)20.921020.840820.847620.966720.927121.169421.310121.2962
Canada (CAD)1.313611.311911.312201.318291.317761.325551.332211.33172
Japan (Yen)104.72104.66104.67104.87104.61104.30104.44104.49
China (Yuan)6.677336.676806.676806.699166.705156.716726.711576.68746
Euro.84496.84274.84288.84578.84622.85056.85398.85694
Eastern Caribbean Dollar2.702.702.702.702.702.702.702.70
Brazil (BRL)5.601805.618405.618185.621155.644745.722425.758215.76506
Price of US Dollar in selected exchange rates 24 October to 31 October 2020

With the exception of Japan and the Eastern Caribbean, the prices in foreign currency offered for a US Dollar have been inching up over the last week. Traders in the above nations reflect a number of major US trading partners and the increase in the amount traders in these countries are willing to offer a seller of the US dollar tells me that at a minimum, they have positive expectation in the potential for growth in the US and that public policies offered by Mr Biden might not deter expected growth or value of the dollar.

Again, traders should be on the lookout for any legal, legislative, or regulatory actions that thwart the ability of Mr Biden to garner enough votes to win the Electoral College.

Additional source: OANDA.com

Forty years after Reagan, Black hate of a Republican president has still yielded no freedom dividends…

The hate for Donald Trump expressed on social media by blacks is disturbing. It takes me back to 30 March 1981 when I was a freshman at Florida A&M University and we learned about the assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan. A number of students in the dorm actually made up a dance called “The Ronald Reagan” where you would waive your arm in the air and when someone yelled out “Bang!” you would immediately drop the arm and double over. None of us were Reagan fans, to say the least. Any president advocating the replacement of the Basic Educational Opportunity Grant with loans was getting no love from poor young students who were the first in their families to get a college education. The dislike of his policies, however, did not justify joy in an assassination attempt.

Fast forward to November 2000. I worked in Washington, DC during this time. Black colleagues at my job would express to me in hushed tones their fear of an uncaring newly elected Republican president who they expected would attempt to eliminate their civil rights and suspected stole the election from a Democratic candidate who, ironically, lost his home state and 11 Electoral College votes that may have swung the election his way.

With all the fear generated by the White Left regarding Donald Trump, I have yet to hear any stories of The Orange One sending goose-stepping troops into homes and pulling Ann Frank wannabes out of their attics. And while Mr Trump has talked tough about opening Chinese markets to more American goods, he has not expressed any interest in starting hot wars that disproportionately impact Black American lives given their historic overrepresentation in the United States Armed Services.

I am not offering a defense of Mr Trump. I am exposing the ongoing problem of how pushing the fear button is used to operationalize a collective of people whose only significant tie to one another is a high level of melanin and a pain and suffering narrative that originated on slave ships leaving West Africa and slave plantations in the deep American south. This pain and suffering narrative has been passed down for generations and is as virulent as a strain of Covid. In the immediate term, for any Black person that is aware of the toxicity brought on from the virulent spread of the pain and suffering narrative, political distancing may be in order.

As a good friend of mine shared with me a couple weeks ago, it may be time to stop “repping for race.” Blacks can maintain cultural affiliation without falling in lockstep with White Left social and political goals as repeated by the White Left’s paid agents in Black media. Individualism is in order for members of the Black community. This starts by comparing your household needs with the goody bags that Republicans or Democrats offer. More than likely you will find that their agendas offer you nothing that you couldn’t go out there and negotiate for yourself. Listen very closely and you will hear them reiterate why you should be afraid of the world around you versus how they plan to maintain a platform where you can create your own world or reality.

An individual who faces the world on a secure platform will not exhibit the fear that is easily manipulated by partisan politics, especially from the White Left. Instead of shuddering at the prospect of a Republican president, Blacks should respond with a “meh.”

It’s time for the silly season of campaigning …

Article II, Section I of the US Constitution as amended by Amendment XII of the Constitution describes the design and function of the Electoral College. With the exception of Maine and Nebraska, the popular vote in each state determines the number of electors awarded to a presidential candidate. Given all the hub bub over election interference and voter fraud, why not get rid of the Electoral College and consequently the popular vote and return the selection of president and vice-president to the Senate and the House of Representatives where the ticket winning the majority of the quorum becomes the next president and vice-president? Americans feigning concern about their non-participation in the presidential election would find solace in voting out any senator or congressman who voted for the ticket not of their liking.

There are advantages to this approach. First, the transparency of the vote eliminates charges of voter fraud. A public vote by each senator and congressman puts him or her on the hook. Second, the ‘silly season” of election campaigning is reduced since candidates will not need to invest much time or money trying to persuade 535 senators and congressmen versus 150 million potential voters.Third, the citizen has to spend some time learning about their incumbent congressmen’s philosophy and policy stances as their views will help determine who they select for president and vice-president. Congressmen and senators will have to be transparent with citizens as their seats become increasingly vulnerable with their added responsibility of voting for president and vice-president.

Citizens will see an increase in their electoral power because every two years depending on who their congressmen and senators choose for president and vice-president citizens are in a position to clean out incumbents.

Question is, are citizens prepared for that kind of increase in electoral power or would they rather the comedy and status quo of the silly season?

Rather than clearly promoting telehealth, Trump’s messaging yesterday was aimed at elderly voter fear.

President Donald Trump yesterday held a press briefing on the status of the United States’ efforts to control spread of COVID-19.  What gave me pause was the President’s cloudy description of advanced communications and the lost opportunity to promote broadband.  The President said this about technology and connecting people:

“Nursing homes in higher-risk areas will be receiving more funding.  This money can be used to address critical needs, including the hiring of additional staff, increasing testing, and providing technology support so residents can connect their families and they can connect to their families.  They are having a tremendous time.  They want to be with their loved ones.  They can’t do it, so what we’re doing is we’re working it so that we can connect — have them connect with their families if they’re not able to visit.”

According to the President, $5 billion would be allocated to nursing homes from the Department of Heath and Human Services provider relief fund.  Mr Trump’s statement implied that some of this funding would go toward connecting nursing home patients and their families.  But a review of HHS allocation targets did not identify any amounts going toward nursing homes for additional communications facilities.  The Administration’s signaling of this intent does not appear to be included in the actual allocation program.

Mr Trump may have had an eye on applying political messaging to secure votes from the elder population in general and the nursing home population in particular given controversy around a directive by Governor Andrew Cuomo, Democrat of New York, to not prohibit the placement of patients in nursing homes based solely on the possibility of having COVID-19.  Critics of the Governor’s actions have been quick to point out the risk to elderly non-infected nursing home residents.  Hours after Mr Trump’s remarks on the elderly and COVID-19, Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, referred to Governor Cuomo’s decision to locate infected patients in nursing homes as a “disastrous decision” that amounted to an impeachable offense.

That an opportunity for promoting public policy, in this case broadband for telehealth, may have been lost due to prioritizing political messaging is unfortunate.  The loss could have been mitigated by using specific terminology and definitions in one or two sentences rather than using a broad term such as technology. It is another lesson to readers of and listeners to political messaging to remain aware of as much of the existing political environment when assessing the value of political statements.