Interbank Market News Scan: I bet on the AUD-USD last night…

Last night, I bet on an increase in the AUD-USD exchange rate after reading analysis that the currency pair was seeing resistance around 0.7500 USD with lows between .7440-.7480 USD. While inflation in Australia is lower than in the United States (3.8% vs 5.4%), what helped tip me to the buy side was the higher yield on Australian 10-year government bonds (1.76%) versus the United States 10-year (1.63%).

Bank rates in Australia are slightly lower which tells me that their banks have a little more incentive to lend, which they may need given an expected slow retraction in inflation with expectations at 3.1%.

Meanwhile in the United States, Treasury secretary Janet Yellen and Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell expect inflation concerns to dissipate next year.

Personally, I suspect that if there is any inflation it will be in certain areas of the labor market. I believe businesses with any vision will put in place labor work arounds where they will not require people to come into offices. Professional, “creative” type employees will be able to demand higher salaries while low wage earners will drive down earnings as they compete with more low-wage, unskilled workers.

Back to Australia, again, expect the inflation print tonight. I will be listening to how other central banks react. The news may temper the level of rate hikes they put in place. Just a thought …

Alton Drew

26.10.2021

Toward Public Policy Support for High-value Trade

21 August 2021

I prefer a society that is biased toward trader/merchants; where one lives on the spread and retains the majority of her earnings.  Wage earning is a fancy term for slavery where many in the labor market are subjugated to selling a precious commodity over which they have illusionary control: time.

The irony is that what one earns for their time is inversely related to the wealth of knowledge they have amassed over time.  Unfortunately for the wage earner, the valuation of their labor is made not by the ultimate end user of their product but by the middle man corporation that employs them.  Rather than selling time to the corporation, time should be another input that labor uses to create and sell their product.

Today’s technology makes such a self-ownership approach increasingly feasible depending on the wage earner’s vocation.  Some of us can transition from wage earner to merchant due to digitalization and that sector of the information/knowledge/problem solving industry that we sit in.  So used are we to selling time that we must now start to think of the utilities, database subscriptions, and equipment costs incurred in producing an information product and sell that product at a sufficient margin; to live via the “carry trade.”

The trader wants a profitable balance sheet, one where she has a healthy surplus.  Bankers that provide liquidity to traders also want traders to enjoy a profitable balance sheet because it assures repayment of leverage.

But bankers also want to fund activities generating high returns and I think to ensure that traders are disciplined enough to seek out information on high return activity, banks will want to assess higher interest rates and other margin requirements in order to weed out low-return low value activity.  The Federal Reserve could encourage high-value search behavior by increasing the fed funds and discount window rates.  The Federal Reserve could also start driving up rates by unwinding its monthly purchases of $120 billion in US Treasury and agency-backed mortgage securities.

Higher rates will encourage living on the spread and the seeking of higher returns.

For a consultation on any regulatory or legislative discussions or announcements, please reach out to us at altondrew@altondrew.com for information on consultation rates and to reserve an appointment.

Interbank Market News Scan: Banks as currency agents, foreign exchange, Federal Reserve

The Publisher’s Note: Banks as currency agents …

Banks should think of themselves as the private sector currency agents of the State.  The currency encapsulates the economic, commercial, and social value of a political economy.  A State-issued currency ties the State’s citizens to a particular value system while providing a mechanism that accounts for a citizen’s wealth and serves the citizen as a medium of exchange for goods and services, including the payment of taxes to the State.

Banks help distribute State-issued currency primarily through the creation of credit.  Banks are a “port of call” for currency; receiving deposits from its customers, capital from its investors, and placing State-issued Treasurys, underwritten by the central bank, into its investment portfolio.  Banks issue loans to their customers creating money in the process.  This money can be deposited at other banks or used by consumers or businesses for purchases.  The fees for financial services provided to consumers and the interest earned from lending to end users and producers provide the banks with income that, along with the income generated by businesses financed by banks, can be taxed by the State.

The fallout from the 2007-2008 financial meltdown has created a narrative that banks are entities separate from the State; private sector “bad boys” whose reckless behavior from creating financial instruments doomed to perform poorly caused people to lose jobs and credit to freeze.  The narrative had citizens questioning why these misbehaving banks received bailouts from the U.S. government while ordinary citizens had to bear the brunt of the rippling effects throughout the economy. 

The answer is simple.  Selling debt instruments and earning fees for placing these instruments into the hands of investors part of the implicit agreement between the State and the banks as currency agents.  Even as elected officials such as Senator Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts and Senator Bernie Sanders, Independent of Vermont, argue for increased regulation of America’s larger banks, the truth of the matter is that dismantling the mechanisms of banking would be too costly to the State’s currency distribution system.  The State would have to re-write its laws to support an alternative system and for all the noise against the current system, seems to be in no rush to replace it.    

Links to follow …

Interbank. Orum, which aims to speed up the amount of time it takes to transfer money between banks, announced today it has raised $56 million in a Series B round of funding. https://techcrunch.com/2021/06/29/orum-raises-56m/

Interbank. The overnight Shanghai Interbank Offered Rate (Shibor), which measures the borrowing cost of China’s interbank market, increased 38.2 basis points to 2.177 percent Wednesday. http://www.china.org.cn/china/Off_the_Wire/2021-06/30/content_77597450.htm

Foreign exchange. The Central Bank of The Bahamas says the restrictions placed on foreign exchange outflows at the onset of the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic will end this week. https://www.nycaribnews.com/articles/foreign-exchange-restrictions-eased-in-bahamas/

Central banks. Investment decisions over the next three months will be influenced by forward guidance from central banks, according to global fund managers in Reuters polls who recommended increasing equity exposure and lowering bond holdings in June. https://finance.yahoo.com/news/funds-eye-central-banks-guidance-124802638.html

Central banks, Federal Reserve. “[D]eveloping a CBDC could, I believe, pose considerable risks.”—Randal Quarles. https://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/speech/quarles20210628a.htm

Banks as currency agents …

Banks should think of themselves as the private sector currency agents of the State.  The currency encapsulates the economic, commercial, and social value of a political economy.  A State-issued currency ties the State’s citizens to a particular value system while providing a mechanism that accounts for a citizen’s wealth and serves the citizen as a medium of exchange for goods and services, including the payment of taxes to the State.

Banks help distribute State-issued currency primarily through the creation of credit.  Banks are a “port of call” for currency; receiving deposits from its customers, capital from its investors, and placing State-issued Treasurys, underwritten by the central bank, into its investment portfolio.  Banks issue loans to their customers creating money in the process.  This money can be deposited at other banks or used by consumers or businesses for purchases.  The fees for financial services provided to consumers and the interest earned from lending to end users and producers provide the banks with income that, along with the income generated by businesses financed by banks, can be taxed by the State.

The fallout from the 2007-2008 financial meltdown has created a narrative that banks are entities separate from the State; private sector “bad boys” whose reckless behavior from creating financial instruments doomed to perform poorly caused people to lose jobs and credit to freeze.  The narrative had citizens questioning why these misbehaving banks received bailouts from the U.S. government while ordinary citizens had to bear the brunt of the rippling effects throughout the economy. 

The answer is simple.  Selling debt instruments and earning fees for placing these instruments into the hands of investors part of the implicit agreement between the State and the banks as currency agents.  Even as elected officials such as Senator Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts and Senator Bernie Sanders, Independent of Vermont, argue for increased regulation of America’s larger banks, the truth of the matter is that dismantling the mechanisms of banking would be too costly to the State’s currency distribution system.  The State would have to re-write its laws to support an alternative system and for all the noise against the current system, seems to be in no rush to replace it.     

Interbank Market News Scan: Eastern Caribbean; foreign exchange, Caribbean development …

18 June 2021

Links to follow …

Eastern Caribbean Central Bank. The ECCB two-month and three-month fixed deposit rates remained at 0%.  The ECCB discount rate remained at 2%.

Eastern Caribbean Securities Exchange. No securities trades or bond issues to report.

Interbank. The pound’s popularity in cross-border payments tumbled to its lowest level in more than a decade as the U.K. navigates the post-Brexit landscape, while the euro edged out the dollar for the top spot last month. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-06-17/pound-falters-in-global-payments-while-euro-climbs-to-top-spot?sref=oriheOus

Banks. The European Central Bank said it will grant lenders about 70 billion euros ($83 billion) of capital relief by extending a measure designed to help them keep supplying credit to the pandemic-struck economy. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-06-18/ecb-to-extend-leverage-ratio-relief-for-banks-by-nine-months?sref=oriheOus

Banks. Most major banks will remain open Friday despite Juneteenth becoming a new federal holiday signed into law by President Joe Biden. Many remain open as they await direction and grapple with how to proceed after the law was quickly passed this week. https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2021/06/18/juneteenth-2021-banks-open-federal-holiday/7740103002/

Foreign exchange. The pound dropped to the lowest level against the dollar in more than a month as a surge in coronavirus cases dented mounting confidence in the U.K.’s recovery. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-06-18/pound-tumbles-as-virus-resurgence-clouds-hope-for-u-k-recovery?sref=oriheOus

Caribbean development. The findings of the 2020 Annual Economic and Financial Review reveal that the economies of the ECCU countries suffered significant setback in 2020, mainly because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. https://www.eccb-centralbank.org/news/view/2020-annual-economic-and-financial-review-highlights-setback-in-eccu-economies

Caribbean development. A new cooperation is emerging between the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Diaspora and their home countries! https://pressroom.oecs.org/strengthening-ties-with-the-oecs-diaspora

Caribbean development.  Highlighting the importance of restructuring Caribbean economies, the Director of Economics at the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), Ian Durant says increasing competitiveness has to be the top priority for inducing strong and inclusive growth and overcome the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. https://www.caribank.org/newsroom/news-and-events/cdb-calls-improving-competitiveness-strong-inclusive-growth-after-covid-19

Foreign exchange rates of interest

Currency PairsRates as of 9:18 am AST 18 June 2021
XCD/EUR0.3100
XCD/GBP0.2654
XCD/USD0.3704
XCD/CAD0.4562
XCD/NGN151.6950
XCD/CNY2.3822
XCD/PLN1.4076
XCD/PEN1.4377
Source: OANDA

Interbank Market News Scan: Eastern Caribbean; Dominica issues 91-day T-bill …

Eastern Caribbean Securities Exchange

Yesterday, on the Regional Government Securities Market, the Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica issued a 91-day Treasury bill raising $20 million.  The pricing methodology used in the issue resulted in a discount rate of 3.96050%.

Today, the Government of Antigua and Barbuda is expected to auction a 180-day Treasury bill at EC$10 million at a maximum rate of 4%.

There were no trades yesterday on the Eastern Caribbean Securities Exchange.

Links to follow …

Banks. “US macro policy and, indeed, the very role of government in the economy, is undergoing its biggest shift in direction in 40 years. In turn we are concerned that it will bring about uncomfortable levels of inflation.” — Deutsche Bank. https://thehill.com/opinion/finance/557743-deutsche-bank-issues-dire-economic-warning-for-america

Banks. Overdraft fees remain a money-making machine for banks and a devastating financial gotcha for poor families and communities of color. https://www.freep.com/story/money/personal-finance/susan-tompor/2021/06/11/ally-bank-pnc-huntington-launch-overdraft-ideas-industry-criticized/7581786002/

Banks. Today the Swiss National Bank announced it’s participating in a wholesale central bank digital currency (CBDC) trial with the Banque de France, and the BIS Innovation Hub. The solution aims to use the digital Swiss Franc and digital Euro to settle cross border trades for financial instruments such as stock or bonds on a blockchain. The central banks don’t want the tests to be interpreted as a decision to launch a CBDC. https://www.ledgerinsights.com/central-banks-of-switzerland-france-in-wholesale-cbdc-trial/

Currency PairsRates as of 11:30 am AST 11 June 2021Rates as of 11 June 2020Change in rates
XCD/EUR0.30430.3259(6.6%)
XCD/GBP0.26200.2904(9.8%)
XCD/USD0.37040.3704flat
XCD/CAD0.44830.4961(9.6%)
XCD/NGN152.3700142.94006.6%
XCD/CNY2.36572.6164(9.6%)
XCD/PLN1.36081.4502(6.2%)
XCD/PEN1.429131.262313.2%

Source: OANDA

Interbank Market News Scan: Eastern Caribbean, foreign exchange, remittances …

9 June 2021

Links you should follow …

Eastern Caribbean Securities Exchange.  No trades were made by the end of the trading day, 8 June 2021. https://www.ecseonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/ECSE-DAILY-TRADE-REPORT-8Jun21.pdf

Eastern Caribbean Securities Exchange. S.L. Horsford & Company Limited to hold 30th annual general meeting. https://www.ecseonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/SLH_NoticeofAGM_2021.pdf

Banks.  The St.Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla National Bank Limited to hold its 50th annual general meeting. https://www.ecseonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/3-6-21_SKNANB_Notice-of-Meeting.pdf

Remittances. Dominicans living abroad have not only sent more remittances to the country between January and April of this year when compared to the same period in 2020, with a growth of 64.8%, but they have also increased the amount by transactions. https://dominicantoday.com/dr/uncategorized/2021/06/08/dominican-republic-remittances-jump-64-8-to-april/

Foreign exchange. UK businesses which make regular overseas payments are losing out on hundreds of pounds per transaction thanks to inferior foreign exchange rates charged by Britain’s biggest banks.  https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/smallbusiness/article-9625805/Is-bank-ripping-business-costly-foreign-exchange-mark-ups.html

Interbank. LIBOR offered interbank rates. https://www.brecorder.com/news/40098690/libor-interbank-offered-rates

Eastern Caribbean Central Bank. DCash, the digital version of the EC dollar, is set to go live in Saint Vincent and The Grenadines by the end of June. https://www.eccb-centralbank.org/news/view/eccb-to-launch-dcash-in-saint-vincent-and-the-grenadines-in-june

Foreign exchange rates of interest…. 

Source: OANDA

Currency PairsRates as of 11:30 am AST 9 June 2021Rates as of 9 June 2020Change in rates
XCD/EUR0.30410.3279(7.3%)
XCD/GBP0.26170.2916(10.3%)
XCD/USD0.37040.3704flat
XCD/CAD0.44790.4962(9.7%)
XCD/NGN152.3500143.11806.4%
XCD/CNY2.36872.6201(9.6%)
XCD/PLN1.35781.4524(6.5%)
XCD/PEN1.44431.261714.4%

Interbank Market News Scan: Payments, remittances; Banks increasing hiring in Hong Kong

Links you should follow ….

Interbank. China Development Bank has issued US$2bn of domestic US dollar bonds in China’s interbank market, its first such issuance in six years, according to a statement on its website. https://www.nasdaq.com/articles/cdb-prints-first-domestic-usd-bonds-in-six-years-2021-06-04

Interbank. The People’s Bank of China, the central bank, has urged commercial banks to abandon the London Interbank Offered Rate for dollar-denominated loans having a floating-rate benchmark. http://global.chinadaily.com.cn/a/202106/03/WS60b82ddca31024ad0bac34a6.html Remittances. Moroccans residing abroad (MREs) have sent back nearly $3.3 billion (MAD 28.8 billion) in remittances in the first four months of the year.  https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2021/06/342716/morocco-sees-45-3-increase-in-remittances-in-first-quarter-of-2021

Banks. The pace of interest rate hikes by emerging market central banks slowed in May as policy makers in developing nations face uneven economic recoveries from the COVID-19 pandemic.  https://www.reuters.com/article/emerging-rates/graphic-grinding-higher-emerging-market-central-banks-raise-rates-in-may-idUSL5N2NM29S

Banks. If you’ve looked at your savings account statement recently, you may have noticed a lower interest rate than you were expecting. Perhaps as low as 0.06%. This is not a typo. https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesfinancecouncil/2021/06/04/why-digital-banks-offer-higher-interest-rates-on-savings-accounts/?sh=325769ed6ccc

Banks. Some global banks, funds and other financial services providers say they are stepping up hiring in Hong Kong, in a sign the city’s unique position as a financial gateway to China is outweighing concerns about Beijing’s tightening grip over it. https://www.reuters.com/business/finance/banks-bulk-up-hong-kong-china-business-overshadows-politics-2021-06-03/

Payment systems. The United States’ restaurant delivery marketplace seems like a complex tangle of emerging and incumbent delivery services, technological platforms and payment methods, but it has nothing on Europe’s. https://www.pymnts.com/restaurant-innovation/2021/limonetik-on-how-payment-methods-can-make-or-break-food-marketplaces-international-expansion/

Payment systems. Russia’s central bank governor, Elvira Nabiullina, has said for CNBC that digital currencies will be the future of financial systems, as the economy moves online. https://thepaypers.com/payments-general/the-digital-rouble-could-help-russia-bypass-the-swift-banking-payment-system–1249437

Foreign exchange rates of interest, 30-day trading range; 5 May 2021 to 4 June 2021

Source: OANDA

Currency PairsRates as of 11:20 am AST 4 June 2021Rates as of 10:30 am AST 5 May 2021Percentage Change
XCD/EUR0.30340.3085-1.7%
XCD/GBP0.26190.2664-1.7%
XCD/USD0.37040.3704flat
XCD/CAD0.44730.4548-1.6%
TTD/EUR0.11910.1206-1.2%
TTD/GBP0.10230.1041-1.7%
TTD/USD0.14490.1448flat
TTD/CAD0.17500.1778-1.6%
GYD/EUR0.00380.0038flat
GYD/GBP0.00330.0033flat
GYD/USD0.00460.0046flat
GYD/CAD0.00560.0056flat

For the period 5 May 2021 to 4 June 2021, the Eastern Caribbean saw a continued fall in exchange rates between the European Union (-1.7%); Great Britain (-1.7%); and Canada (-1.6%).  The XCD is pegged to the U.S. dollar and for that reason remained flat.

The Trinidad and Tobago dollar saw its price fall over the same period in terms of the euro (-1.2%); the pound (-1.7%); and the Canadian dollar (-1.6%).  The U.S. dollar price for the TTD remained flat over that period.

The euro, dollar, pound, and loonie rate of the Guyanese dollar remained flat during the 5 May 2021-4 June 2021 period.

Interbank Market News Scan: American bank CEOs squaring off with Senate banking committee at 10:00 am EST

Links you should follow …

Banks.  Chief executives of the six largest U.S. banks will testify in Congress Wednesday on oversight topics that include their response to the COVID-19 pandemic, diversity efforts and cryptocurrencies. CEOs of 6 biggest U.S. banks to testify in Senate about COVID-19 moves, culture – UPI.com

Central banks. New Zealand followed in the footsteps of Canada to flag a potential interest-rate increase next year as central banks begin to tip toe away from their emergency monetary settings. Slowly But Surely, Central Banks Are Signaling Policy Shifts – Bloomberg

Banks. Wells Fargo & Co. has invested in The Harbor Bank of Maryland and a Washington, D.C., institution as part of a 2020 plan to commit $50 million to Black-owned banks around the country. Wells Fargo & Co. invests in The Harbor Bank of Maryland in commitment to Black-owned banks – Baltimore Sun

Central banks. Regional Federal Reserve Banks are taking an increasingly “alarming” stance on politically charged issues like racial justice, according to Sen. Pat Toomey, a Republican from Pennsylvania who is the ranking member of the Senate Banking Committee. Wokeness at Fed’s regional banks puts central bank independence at risk | Fox Business 

Banks. Bitcoin’s price has continued to fluctuate, falling by $3,000 in a matter of hours, with big banks divided on how to approach the cryptocurrency. Bitcoin Price Rollercoaster Continues as Banks Unsure How to Approach the Crypto (msn.com)

Central banks. Eric Robertsen of Standard Chartered Bank sees some upside for commodity currencies with inflation rising. He doesn’t expect the Fed to have any “concrete announcement” on tapering before September. A few G10 central banks will ‘dial back’ bond purchasing programs later this year: Standard Chartered (msn.com) Payment systems. Commercial and central banks across the world are now using blockchain technology for payment processing and issuing of their digital currencies. The technology enables cross-border payments that are less expensive and faster as compared to traditional systems. Rapid Demand for Digital Payment Systems Being Fueled by Increasing Market Growth In Blockchain – MarketWatch

Foreign exchange rates of interest …

Currency PairsRates as of 10:45 am AST 26 May 2021
EUR/XCD3.3055
USD/XCD2.7000
CAD/XCD2.2402
EUR/JMD181.2040
USD/JMD148.0130
CAD/JMD122.8050
USD/DOP56.4454
USD/HTG88.6591
Source: OANDA

Interbank Market News Scan: Remittances, payment systems; Technology facilitates improvements in how we send money home ….

Currency PairsRates as of 1:43 pm GMT 21 May 2021Rates as of 2:00 pm GMT 20 May 2021
GHS/EUR0.14170.1418
GMD/EUR0.01590.0161
NGN/EUR0.00200.0020
SLL/EUR0.00010.0001
KES/EUR0.00750.0075
RWF/EUR0.00080.0008
ZAR/EUR0.05840.0583
MZN/EUR0.01360.0137
XCD/EUR0.30350.3033
USVI/USD0.00010.0001
AfAM/USD0.10000.1000
Source: OANDA, Alton Drew

Links you should follow …

Remittances. Flutterwave has partnered with Amole to facilitate money transfers into Ethiopia. Through this agreement, Amole Wallet users will be able to send money to bank accounts and cash pickup locations at over 2,500 locations across the country. Flutterwave Partners with Amole to Expand Remittances in Ethiopia – IT News Africa – Up to date technology news, IT news, Digital news, Telecom news, Mobile news, Gadgets news, Analysis and Reports

Remittances, payment systems. A forecast of $22 billion inflow from diaspora remittances into Nigeria this year by an African rating agency, Agusto & Co, amid the global meltdown, illuminates the immense benefits that, with creative policies, the country can tap from this revenue stream. Maximising the benefits of diaspora remittances – Punch Newspapers (punchng.com)

Remittances. Wealthier countries can help poorer countries by welcoming immigrants that send money home.  Resilience of remittances proves a lifeline for developing economies | Financial Times (ft.com)

Banks. Very broadly speaking, a big problem that banks have right now is too much money. Banks Don’t Want to Be Paid Back Yet – Bloomberg Banks, payment systems. The shift toward instant payments will undoubtedly provide benefits for consumers, but it is the benefits for institutions and corporates that are likely to revolutionise financial services. However, to reap these benefits financial institutions must navigate the maze of deadlines and coinciding schemes in a proactive manner. EBAday 2021: Driving correspondent banking success through wider adoption of instant payments (finextra.com)