US waits for Senate election results from Georgia; strength of US dollar against European, African currencies a mixed bag …

PairsOANDA as of 4 January 2021OANDA as of 6 January 2021Notes
USD/KES108.391108.461Dollar flat
USD/NGN384.938381.690Dollar weakening
USD/GHS5.85245.85693Dollar flat
USD/CDF1950.611950.01Dollar flat
USD/AOA648.310649.149Dollar flat
USD/ZAR14.630914.8552Dollar strengthening
Source: OANDA

Meanwhile, as the count in Georgia comes to a close, yields on longer term notes begin to increase as the Senate gets closer to a 50-50 split and the likelihood of more spending under a Biden administration ….

RatesFederal Reserve as of 4 January 2021Bloomberg as of 6 January 2021 10:30 am AST
Federal Funds Rate0.090.08
Prime Rate3.253.25
3-month Treasury0.090.08
2-year Treasury0.110.13
10-year Treasury0.931.02
30-year Treasury1.661.78
Source: Federal Reserve, OANDA

And the buzz phrase again mid-week is dollar weakening as exchange rates for a number of foreign exchange pairs continues to fall. This in light of disappointing jobs numbers from ADP where the payroll company determined that 123,000 jobs were lost in December 2020.

PairsFederal Reserve as of 4 January 2021OANDA as of 4 January 2021OANDA as of 6 January 2021 10:45 am AST
GBP/USD1.36621.36331.35967
USD/CAD1.27531.27261.27269
USD/CNH6.52506.45526.43929
USD/DKK6.08396.06576.05823
EUR/USD1.22301.22641.22774
USD/INR73.010072.936773.0696
USD/MXN19.892019.838219.9091
USD/JPY103.1900103.02102.36
USD/NOK8.57578.53008.50760
USD/SEK8.20958.20918.20299
USD/CHF0.88410.88150.87959
Source: OANDA

As of 10:44 AST, Fed Funds and Treasury rates

RatesFederal Reserve as of 4 January 2021Bloomberg as of 5 January 2021 10:44 AST
Federal Funds Rate0.090.08
Prime Rate3.253.25
3-month Treasury0.090.07
2-year Treasury0.130.11
10-year Treasury0.930.93
30-year Treasury1.651.67
Source: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, Bloomberg

Legal/Political/Regulatory News Impacting Rates

None at this time.

As Africa embarks on a new trade bloc, time to take closer look at its currencies …

PairsOANDA as of 4 January 2021OANDA as of 5 January 2021Notes
USD/KES108.391108.391Dollar weakening
USD/NGN384.938384.938Dollar strengthening
USD/GHS5.85245.85238Dollar weakening
USD/CDF1950.611950.61Dollar flat
USD/AOA648.310648.310Dollar weakening
USD/ZAR14.630914.6309Dollar flat
Source: OANDA

Political/Regulatory/Legal News Impacting US-Africa Foreign Exchange Pairs

No information to share at this time

As of 9:59 an AST, foreign exchange in holding pattern as the United States watches the U.S. senate run-offs in Georgia

PairsFederal Reserve as of 4 January 2021OANDA as of 4 January 2021OANDA as of 5 January 2021
GBP/USD1.36621.36331.36329
USD/CAD1.27531.27261.27260
USD/CNH6.52506.45526.45524
USD/DKK6.08396.06576.06566
EUR/USD1.22301.22641.22636
USD/INR73.010072.936772.9367
USD/MXN19.892019.838219.8382
USD/JPY103.1900103.02103.02
USD/NOK8.57578.53008.53002
USD/SEK8.20958.20918.20912
USD/CHF0.88410.88150.88150
Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, OANDA

Regulatory news impacting foreign exchange

None at this time…

A quick thought: Quieted by a 50-50 Senate split …

“A 50-50 split in the Senate with a reduced Democratic majority in the House not only puts the GOP back into their familiar position as “obstructionist”, but gives Biden-Harris some cover to not present as progressive an agenda as the Far Left would like to see. Centrist and center-right senators like Angus King, Susan Collins, Rand Paul, and Joe Manchin will take more of the spotlight.

Mitch McConnell will still play the “parliamentarian” role, using Senate rules to delay floor debates, filibuster, or, if he is lucky, table certain items.

The last thing Kamala Harris will want, as president of the Senate, is the optics of having to do a yay or nay on any progressive legislation. She’d rather Collins, Paul, and Company head off any controversial bills before they hit the floor for a vote. She can’t afford to enter the 2024 presidential race inaccurately labeled a progressive.

Commodity, currency, and energy traders may get over their initial nervousness about the volatility a liberal Congress may introduce when they realize that the “adults” are finally in charge … 

Opinion: Black Americans and Bitcoin. Playing it Wrong from the Beginning and How to Play it Right Now

A few years ago, I saw a number of Black Americans on Facebook touting bitcoin as the path to wealth. What bothered me that in all the hype being expressed that there was nary a discussion on what currency actual meant. No discussion as to the economics. No discussion as to the political-economic philosophy that undergirds a currency. 2017 saw the bitcoin bubble burst and the chit chat by those same Black Americans faded away like the unrealized gains they promoted.

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have been touted by some proponents as the way to introduce underbanked or unbanked minorities into the credit system. Some Black Americans may have bought into this although the leading Black advocate organizations i.e. National Urban League, NAACP, Color of Change, Multicultural Media, Telecom, and Internet Council, to name a few, have been relatively silent on the benefits of crypto as a banking and payment system. No surprise their since when it comes to technology, Blacks have consistently taken a consumer position versus a producer position. And given that these legacy organizations are lead by the older generation, leadership’s inability to wrap its head around the true underlying economic benefits of cryptocurrency is a direct result of leadership being out of step with technology overall and how technology lies at the core of America’s economic exceptionalism.

In addition to consumerism, Black Americans still emphasize allegiance to the American political economy instead of a more skeptic, independent view of it. Again, its current leadership emphasizes inclusion and diversity as benefits without discussing its costs: that not everyone will benefit from such an approach. A truly inclusive approach to the political economy would be one where Black Americans view themselves not as a community, but as a nation within an American confederation. The advantage of that approach, a national approach, would require that Black Americans re-evaluate the meaning of economic value and the technology or mechanisms for capturing, storing, expressing, and transporting that economic value, particularly in a digital age. Cryptocurrency can be a vehicle for capturing, storing, expressing, and transporting Black economic value.

The upfront work will be the hardest, that being to identify and “mine” that value and quantifying it into a digital asset like cryptocurrency. But by doing so, by tying it to a Black economic engine, Black Americans can provide a blueprint for moving cryptocurrency from merely a speculative commodity to a true currency that can be used in the mainstream to buy and sell any and all goods. Unless crypto can demonstrate its utility in trade, then Nouriel Roubini’s description of cryptocurrency as shit coins will take hold as truly appropriate by most observers. Creating that value means taking a “nationhood” approach. It means connecting all productive assets within Black America to its current banking assets, identifying the economic value within Black America, issuing coin based on that value, ane getting members of its community to buy off on that value.

There are legal and regulatory hurdles, but the biggest hurdle will be cultural and societal. Black Americans will have to take a more courageous approach to Black economic viability and sustainability. The current political-economic structure has failed them and it will be up to Blacks on their own to reimagine the production and distribution of economic value within their communities.

As of 10:27 am AST, cryptocurrency prices hours before the New Year ….

PairsBTCETH
 BTC/USD=28124.40ETH/USD=733.872
 BTC/EUR=22,895.20ETH/EUR=597.422
 BTC/JPY=2,903,660ETH/JPY=75,767.30
 BTC/CNH=183,043ETH/CNH=4,776.27
 BTC/DKK=170,321ETH/DKK=4444.31
 BTC/CHF=24,829.20ETH/CHF=647.888
 BTC/GBP=20,711.40ETH/GBP=540.437
Source: OANDA

Legal Events Impacting Trade in Cryptocurrency/Digital Assets

None to report.

As of 9:57 am AST, foreign exchange rates show dollar weakness for certain currencies over last eight days.

PairsFederal Reserve as of 23 December 2020OANDA as of 23 December 2020OANDA as of 31 December 2020
GBP/USD1.35101.34491.35772
USD/CAD1.28411.28721.27812
USD/CNH6.54006.53236.50832
USD/DKK6.09896.10316.05598
EUR/USD1.21941.21851.22824
USD/INR73.770073.731673.1525
USD/MXN20.080020.087819.8843
USD/JPY103.5200103.50103.24
USD/NOK8.63078.68868.56439
USD/SEK8.28418.30368.18564
USD/CHF.8882.8886.88284
Source: OANDA, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve

Legal Events Impacting Pricing of or Ability to Enter Foreign Exchange Markets

No events to report

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 12:07 pm AST, Bitcoin and Ethereum exchange rates as US Senate ponders $2000 checks for hurting households …

BTC/USD=26,950.30ETH=719.429 
BTC/EUR=22,062.30ETH/EUR=588.96 
BTC/JPY=2,792,990.00ETH/JPY=74,558.10 
BTC/CNH=175,910.00ETH/CNH=4,695.87 
BTC/DKK=164,071.00ETH/DKK=4,379.82 
BTC/CHF=23,971.50ETH/CHF=639.912 
BTC/GBP=19,949.70ETH/GBP=532.551 
   
Source: OANDA

Legal/Political Events Impacting Cryptocurrency

No events of significance at this time.