Interbank Market News Scan: If currency reflects value, Europe buys Africa on the cheap ….

My morning takeaway …

The value of a currency is determined by changes in supply and demand; the demand for Treasury notes denominated in the base currency; and the amount of the base currency held in reserve by foreign central banks.  The greater the amount of base currency held by foreign central banks, the lower the supply of the term currency, thus the higher the term currency’s price.

In the table below, the base currencies are on the left of the slash mark, the African currencies. The term currency, in the case the euro, is on the right of the slash.  So, today one Ghanaian cedi (GHS) is priced at 0.1419 euros.

At first blush it is tempting to consider the low euro price as a bad thing.  Yes, currency represents a country’s economic value and given these low absolute euro values a reader may feel despondent that Europe looks apparently with low favor on the African continent.  They would not be wrong.  The African continent has long been Europe’s supplier of resources with a well-documented imbalance in the relationship.

Coming terms with the imbalance should include African central banks and national governments taking fiscal and monetary actions to drive up their currency values.  The continent has taken small but important steps toward doing so with the creation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) which went into effect last January.  The 54 signatories to the agreement hope that removing non-tariff barriers to trade, elimination of 90% of tariffs on internal trade, and the facilitation of the movement of human capital between nations will go far in stemming its move from the current colonial model and, in the words of Wamkele Mene, the AfCFTA secretariat, move Africa away from being a provider of commodities with final goods being processed elsewhere.

With a little resilience and focus, the Continent will get there and Europe will have to take another look at how she evaluates Africa’s value…

19 May 2021

Currency PairsRates as of 12:44 pm GMT 19 May 2021Rates as of 19 April 2021
GHS/EUR0.14190.1437
GMD/EUR0.01590.0162
NGN/EUR0.00200.0022
SLL/EUR0.00010.0001
KES/EUR0.00760.0077
RWF/EUR0.00080.0008
ZAR/EUR0.05840.0584
MZN/EUR0.01370.0135
Source: OANDA

Interbank Market News Scan: Remittances, foreign exchange; Africa sees average cost of remittances at 8.2% …

Foreign exchange rates of interest…

Currency PairsRates as of 8:13 am EST 17 May 2021
USD/AOA652.8280
USD/GMD50.9478
USD/GHS5.7535
USD/NGN379.9410
USD/KES108.0900
USD/SLL10134.0000
USD/RWF979.3480
USD/ZAR14.1119
USD/MZN58.3200
Source: OANDA

Links to follow …

Remittances. According to the bank’s latest Migration and Development Brief, officially recorded remittance flows to low- and middle-income countries reached US$540 billion in 2020, 1.6 per cent below the 2019 total of US$548 billion. Remittance flows remained strong during COVID-19 in 2020, says World Bank (jamaicaobserver.com)

Remittances, Philippines. Remittances continued to grow in March as more countries eased travel restrictions and reopened borders to foreign workers, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reported Monday. Remittances up 4.9% in March (msn.com)

Remittances, Ghana. Remittances from Ghanaians grew by five per cent from $3.39 billion in 2019 to $5.57 billion in 2020, a World Bank report has said.
This was in spite of the grim economic outlook presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, which affected people’s earnings and the economies of nations worldwide last year. Remittances From Ghanaians Abroad Increase | Social | Peacefmonline.com

Remittances, Nigeria. Pan-African credit rating agency, Agusto & Co has projected that Nigeria’s diaspora remittances will reach $22 billion by 2021, representing a year-on-year (y-o-y) rise of five per cent. Agusto & Co Forecasts $22bn Diaspora Remittances for Nigeria in 2021 | THISDAYLIVE

Remittances, Kenya. Kenya is targetting to collect at least Sh700 billion from over four million Kenyans working abroad, Labour Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui has said. Kenya targets Sh700 billion in diaspora remittances annually (the-star.co.ke)

Interbank Market News Scan: Prime brokers, banks, foreign exchange …

News links of interest …

Prime broker. Equiti Capital, a subsidiary of Equiti Group, announced today that its FX Desk has onboarded NatWest Markets as another Prime Broker. Equiti Capital Appoints Another Prime Broker In NatWest Markets (fxempire.com)

Banks. Two regional banks in Japan’s northern prefecture of Aomori said they were considering consolidating, joining a flurry of lenders seeking to survive amid narrowing margins from a rapidly ageing population and ultra-low interest rates. Two Japanese regional banks eye tie-up to fight margin pressures | Nasdaq

Foreign exchange. In criticisms of Federal Reserve actions, legendary investor Stanley Druckenmiller highlighted the case for bitcoin to replace the dollar. Legendary Investor Stanley Druckenmiller: USD Will Lose World Reserve Currency Status | Nasdaq

Foreign exchange rates of interest …

Currency PairsRates as of 8:32 pm EST 11 May 2021
EUR/USD1.2146
GBP/USD1.4137
AUD/USD0.7838
USD/CAD1.2095
USD/JPY108.6300
USD/NOK8.2568
USD/CHF0.9034
USD/SEK8.3206
USD/MEX19.9520
Source: Reuters
Selected Rates 
Fed Funds.05
Bank prime rate3.25
Fed Funds target rate.25
2-yr Treasury.16
10-yr Treasury1.63
30-yr2.35
Source: Bloomberg

Interbank Market News Scan: A vote that can bring the question of Scottish independence a little closer…

Links you should be following today …

Trading desks. A week that could set in motion the eventual collapse of the 314-year union between England and Scotland is concentrating City trading desks on market disasters ahead. ‘Worse Than Brexit’: Scottish Independence Weighs on U.K. Assets – Bloomberg

Banks. Kate Kelly, The New York Times business reporter, joins ‘Squawk on the Street’ to discuss her story on Goldman Sachs’ plan to end remote work for most of its workers and bring them back to the office by mid-to-late June. Goldman Sachs to end remote work for most employees — What that could mean for other banks (msn.com)

Banks. Larger banks ask corporate clients to reduce their cash deposits. Cash-rich US banks move to reduce corporate deposits | Financial Times (ft.com)

Banks. Long ago central banks secured a monopoly over the issuance of paper money. Now physical cash in the form of bank notes and coins is in terminal decline. But the monetary authorities don’t intend to allow cryptocurrencies to fill the void without a fight. Instead, they’re responding with their own version of a so-called “stablecoin”. These central bank digital currencies, or CBDCs, could turn out to be the most revolutionary financial innovation since, well, the inception of paper money. Chancellor: Central bank coin will crush the banks | Nasdaq

Banks. Loan officers at U.S. banks reported easing standards on most business and household loans in the first three months of the year as more of the country reopened amid accelerating vaccination rates. Banks eased standards for business, household loans in first quarter, Fed survey shows (msn.com)

Foreign exchange rates of interest …

Currency PairsRates as of 9:29 pm EST 4 May 2021Rates as of 11:05 pm EST 3 May 2021Change in pips
EUR/USD1.20171.2047-30
GBP/USD1.38911.3879+12
AUD/USD0.77110.7742-31
USD/CAD1.22901.2293-3
USD/JPY109.3000109.1900+1,100
USD/NOK8.32768.2964+312
USD/CHF0.91330.9124+9
USD/SEK8.48378.4250+587
USD/MEX20.183720.2220-383
Source: Reuters

FedWatch: Fed chair Jerome Powell delivers remarks on the Community Reinvestment Act and the importance of community development …

“We see our robust supervisory approach as critical to addressing racial discrimination, which can limit consumers’ ability to improve their economic circumstances, including through access to homeownership and education.” — Jerome Powell

“Good afternoon. It is a pleasure to be with you today.

Together, over the past year, we have been making our way through a very difficult time. We are not out of the woods yet, but I am glad to say that we are now making real progress. While some countries are still suffering terribly in the grip of COVID-19, the economic outlook here in the United States has clearly brightened. Vaccination levels are rising. Fiscal and monetary policy are providing strong support. The economy is reopening, bringing stronger economic activity and job creation.

That is the high-level perspective—let’s call it the 30,000 foot view—and from that vantage point, we see improvement. But we should also take a look at what is happening at street level. Lives and livelihoods have been affected in ways that vary from person to person, family to family, and community to community. The economic downturn has not fallen evenly on all Americans, and those least able to bear the burden have been the hardest hit.

The pain is all the greater in light of the gains we had seen in the years prior to the pandemic. COVID swept in as the United States was experiencing the longest expansion on record. Unemployment was at 50-year lows, and inflation remained under control. Wages were moving up, particularly for the lowest-paid workers. Long-standing racial disparities in unemployment were narrowing, and many who had struggled for years were finding jobs. It was not until the later years of that expansion that its benefits had started to reach those on the margins. During our Fed Listens events, we met with people around the country and heard repeatedly about the life-changing gains of the strong labor market, particularly at the lower end of the income spectrum. Just a few months later, those stories changed to ones of job losses, overextended support services, and businesses built over generations closing their doors for good.

While the recovery is gathering strength, it has been slower for those in lower-paid jobs: Almost 20 percent of workers who were in the lowest earnings quartile in February of 2020 were not employed a year later, compared to 6 percent for workers in the highest quartile.1

The Fed’s latest Survey of Household Economics and Decisionmaking—or SHED report—which will be published later this month, will show that, for prime-age adults without a bachelor’s degree, 20 percent saw layoffs in 2020 versus 12 percent for college-educated workers. And more than 20 percent of Black and Hispanic prime-age workers were laid off compared to 14 percent of white workers over the same period.

Small businesses have also faced immense difficulties. Fed research found that 80 percent of those surveyed reported a decline in revenue, with two-thirds of those businesses experiencing losses of at least 25 percent.2 A recent Federal Reserve special report looked specifically at the impact on businesses owned by people of color, who reported greater challenges. For example, 67 percent of both Asian- and Black-owned firms and 63 percent of Hispanic-owned firms had to reduce their operations compared to 54 percent for their white counterparts.3

Our upcoming SHED report notes that 22 percent of parents were either not working or working less because of disruptions to childcare or in-person schooling. Black and Hispanic mothers—36 percent and 30 percent, respectively—were disproportionately affected. In a similar vein, labor force participation declined around 4 percentage points for Black and Hispanic women compared to 1.6 percentage points for white women and about 2 percentage points for men overall.4 The Fed is focused on these long-standing disparities because they weigh on the productive capacity of our economy. We will only reach our full potential when everyone can contribute to, and share in, the benefits of prosperity.

Achieving broadly shared prosperity will take action from across society, from fiscal and other government policy to private-sector initiatives to the work everyone here does. The Fed can contribute as well. Using our monetary policy tools, the Fed promotes maximum employment and price stability—two foundations of a strong, stable economy that can improve economic outcomes for all Americans. We view maximum employment as a broad and inclusive goal. Those who have historically been left behind stand the best chance of prospering in a strong economy with plentiful job opportunities. Our recent history highlights both the benefits of a strong economy and the severe costs of a weak one.

Supervisory tools also have a role to play. As part of our policy responsibilities, the Board of Governors enforces both the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the federal fair lending laws that prohibit discrimination in lending. Violations of the fair lending laws, along with other illegal credit practices, are taken into account during bank evaluations under the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). We see our robust supervisory approach as critical to addressing racial discrimination, which can limit consumers’ ability to improve their economic circumstances, including through access to homeownership and education.

The Fed’s community development function plays a role as well, studying what works, convening stakeholders on both the national and District level, and helping financial institutions find opportunities to invest and expand credit opportunities in low- and moderate-income communities.

The economic landscape has changed, and efforts to provide access and credit to communities must change with it. Last year, the Fed issued a proposal for a strengthened, modernized CRA framework, with the objective of building broad support among both external stakeholders and participating agencies. Our goal is to strengthen the core purpose of meeting the credit needs of low- and moderate-income communities. We especially appreciated NCRC’s feedback on the proposal.

We will continue to do our part, and we appreciate the ways our work and that of NCRC members have intersected. Last April, for instance, the Fed expanded the Paycheck Protection Program Liquidity Facility in order to broaden its reach to include some nondepository lenders. That included CDFI (community development financial institution) loan funds, which many of the people here represent. Your work provided small businesses with invaluable technical assistance to help them weather the downturn, and you have helped them get the funds they need to support their businesses.

NCRC member groups have contributed in so many ways. You helped workers who lost their jobs get retrained. You supported working parents. You helped homeowners struggling with payments and connected renters to federal assistance programs. You brought more people into the banking system, helped strengthen financial literacy and capabilities, and worked to address digital divides in areas of need—particularly in rural communities—at a time when connectivity is essential.

I would like to close by saying thank you. You have been working hard through this crisis, and an enormous amount of work still lies ahead. But what you do is essential. You provide an invaluable service: You make people’s lives better. There is no higher calling.

Thank you.” — Jerome Powell, 3 May 2021

Interbank Market News Scan: Yellen appoints a new Comptroller of the Currency chief …

Links of interest to follow …

Trading desks, investment banks. Barclay’s CEO Staley on trading revenue, compensation costs, and return to office. Barclays CEO Jes Staley Staley on Trading Revenue, Compensation Costs, Return to Office: Video – Bloomberg

Trading desks, banks. Citigroup, Nuveen accused of mishandling evidence in muni brawl. Citigroup, Nuveen Accused of Mishandling Evidence in Muni Brawl – Bloomberg.

Trading desks, banks, blockchain. European debt pioneer trumpets revolution coming from blockchain. EIB’s Richard Teichmeister Says Revolution to Come From Blockchain – Bloomberg

Banks.  U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen plans to make her mark by naming a new supervisor for a major U.S. banking regulator that Democrats say was too friendly to large banks under the Trump administration, according to two people familiar with the matter. Yellen to Shake up U.S. Bank Regulator With New Appointment – Sources | Investing News | US News

Banks, central banks. The U.S. nonprofit Digital Dollar Project said on Monday it will launch five pilot programs over the next 12 months to test the potential uses of a U.S. central bank digital currency, the first effort of its kind in the United States. Digital Dollar Project to launch five U.S. central bank digital currency pilots | Reuters

Foreign exchange rates of interest …

Currency PairsRates as of 11:05 pm EST 3 May 2021
EUR/USD1.2047
GBP/USD1.3879
AUD/USD0.7742
USD/CAD1.2293
USD/JPY109.1900
USD/NOK8.2964
USD/CHF0.9124
USD/SEK8.4250
USD/MEX20.2220
Source: Reuters

Interbank Market News Scan: Bank of Jamaica on eve of independence from the finance ministry …

Currency PairsRates as of 8:33 am EST 26 April 2021Rates as of 4:46 pm EST 26 April 2021Change in pips
EUR/USD1.18951.1890-5
GBP/USD1.37821.3869+87
USD/CAD1.25681.2568No change
AUD/USD0.76250.7602-23 pips
USD/JPY110.6250110.5960-290 pips
USD/NOK8.52458.5245No change
USD/CHF0.94210.9417-4 pips
USD/SEK8.72748.7177-97 pips
USD/MEX20.295320.2844-109 pips
USD/XCD2.70002.7000No change
USD/JMD144.3720144.9940+6,220 pips
USD/DOP56.600056.3164-2,836 pips
USD/HTG79.090379.0859-44 pips
USD/BSD1.00001.0000No change
Source: OANDA

News links to follow today …

Bank of Jamaica, repos. Applications were opened on Monday, 26 April 2021 by Bank of Jamaica, for the provision of Jamaica Dollar liquidity, in the amount of
JMD5 000 000 000.00 through repurchases to deposit-taking financial institutions for settlement on Tuesday, 27 April 2021. These repurchases
will mature on Tuesday, 11 May 2021. bank_of_jamaica_14-day_auction_result_26_april_2021.pdf (boj.org.jm)

Federal Reserve. The Federal Open Market Committee begins its two-day meeting tomorrow Wednesday 27 April 2021. No changes are expected in the federal funds target rate which ranges between 0 and .25%. The Fed – Meeting calendars and information (federalreserve.gov)

Dominican Republic. President Luis Abinader optimistically evaluated the current state of the Dominican economy, ensuring that its takeoff is already a reality despite the difficulties of the pandemic. Abinader assures that the economy, job creation and investments do not stop growing (dominicantoday.com)

Payment systems. In an interview with PYMNTS, Tranglo CEO Jacky Lee explored why the correspondent banking system remains so sticky, and what third-party FinTechs can do to ease businesses’ biggest international money-moving pain points. Tranglo Talks Correspondent Banking Alternative | PYMNTS.com

Interbank market news scan: Facebook’s Diem can help the dollar remain the global reserve currency …

Links to follow today ….

Central banks, ECB. Global stocks held steady on Thursday ahead of the European Central Bank’s monetary policy update and despite COVID-19 lockdown restrictions in Europe being extended and cases rising globally. Global stocks stabilize ahead of European Central Bank meeting despite steep rise in COVID-19 cases in Asia | Markets Insider (businessinsider.com)

Central banks, Norway. Norway’s central bank will test various technical solutions for a central bank digital currency (CBDC) over the next two years, it said on Thursday. Norway to test solutions for digital central bank currency | Nasdaq

Central banks, Canada. The Federal Reserve and the Bank of Canada will use drastically different playbooks for the remainder of their nations’ respective economic recoveries. The US central bank has indicated it will leave rates near zero for the foreseeable future, and that it isn’t even considering reining in its emergency asset purchases. Canada’s central bank is taking surprising steps to cool the nation’s red-hot virus recovery – and the approach directly conflicts with the Fed’s ultra-easy stance, even with the US further along (msn.com)

Central banks, remittances, Kenya. Remittance inflows into Kenya in March were up 27% year on year to $290.8 million, the central bank said on Wednesday. Kenya’s remittance inflows in March up 27% yr/yr -central bank | Reuters

Central banks, United Kingdom, ECB. Sterling slipped on Thursday, holding below $1.40 before a European Central Bank meeting, as investors weighed up the outlook for an economic recovery from COVID-19 in the UK. Sterling slips versus euro; currency markets quiet ahead of ECB meeting | Nasdaq

Central banks, Facebook, cryptocurrency. Now known as diem, the Facebook-backed digital coin is expected to launch later this year, albeit in a much more limited form. When it finally arrives, diem won’t come with the same fanfare and controversy of the original idea envisioned by the social media giant nearly two years ago. Facebook-backed Diem aims to launch digital currency pilot in 2021 (cnbc.com)

Central banks, ECB, digital currency. Only a few years ago, central bank digital currency (CBDC) was seen as something exotic. Sweden’s Riksbank was alone among high-income countries in exploring it, a fact attributed to its population’s uniquely low use of cash. Now official e-currencies have gone mainstream. www.ft.com

The market opening. The rates to start your day ….

As of 8:10 am EST, Bloomberg reports that the yield on the three-month Treasury note is at 0.01%, down from yesterday’s 0.03% while the two-year note remained at yesterday’s 0.15% rate. The ten-year and thirty-year Treasurys are trading at 1.57% and 2.27%, respectively and relatively unchanged from yesterday.

The Federal Funds rate, the rate at which banks lend to each other overnight in support of their reserve requirements, is at .07%, while the Fed Funds target rate is still at .25%. The prime lending rate is 3.25%. All three rates unchanged from yesterday.

Exchange rates of interest as of 8:45 am EST….

Currency PairsRates as of 8:45 am EST 22 April 2021Rates as of 9:55 am EST 21 April 2021Percentage change in rates
EUR/USD1.17931.2024-1.9%
GBP/USD1.37851.3891-.0076%
USD/CAD1.25721.2629-.0045%
CAD/XCD2.14622.1462unchanged
USD/XCD2.70002.7000unchanged
USD/TTD6.66916.6721-.0004%
USD/BBD2.00002.0000unchanged
CAD/TTD5.30125.3050unchanged
CAD/BBD1.58991.5874unchanged
Source: OANDA

The Opening Takeaway: Could Facebook’s cryptocurrency be the longer term digital play?

Facebook appears to be leveraging the experience it has garnered on America’s Capitol Hill. When the Facebook-backed digital coin Libra found itself targeted by backlash from members of Congress, the company and its stable coin project partners had to go back to the drawing board which included a rebrand of the coin (from Libra to Diem); a little reorganizing of the stable coin project’s membership; and pursuing a payment services license from Switzerland’s financial regulators. See Facebook-backed Diem aims to launch digital currency pilot in 2021 (cnbc.com).

By going the stable coin route, where a cryptocurrency pegs its value to the value of a country’s currency, in this case, the United States, Facebook and its Diem partners, knowingly or not, have made baby steps to pacifying government critics in the US who are concerned about Diem’s threat to the stability of the US political-economic system. This is simply code for “We have to stop Facebook from disrupting our tax and customs regime.” The claims of concern over privacy also seem a bit bogus given that Congress has passed up a number of times over the last decade and a half to promulgate any comprehensive laws that would not only have codified network neutrality but also privacy over America’s digital networks. Besides, as the US slowly gets to testing its own central bank issued digital coin, it too will have to address why taxpayers should be less concerned about government intrusion into privacy as opposed to Facebook.

Facebook is in a position to leverage its network effect generated by over 2 billion daily users and its e-commerce and advertising platform. Its subscribers can enjoy some sort of “dual nation” status where they exchange goods and services on Facebook’s platform using Diem, thus creating a sense of exclusivity. Sort of like an Amazon Prime membership on steroids where only members i.e. Diem-using subscribers, can come and play. And knowing that Diem can be exchanged for US dollars will put Facebook subscribers’ minds at ease. If the Facebook subscriber is not concerned about convertibility, then the US government should have less of a consumer protection argument to throw around.

Another potential benefit may carry over to the Federal Reserve. As it hems and haws over the development of a central bank issued digital currency, it could study the Facebook template, observing in real time how a digital nation-state operates. Also, there is the potential for a test case for conducting digital foreign currency exchange made easier due to Diem being a stable coin.

Lastly, from a foreign policy perspective, the US should look favorably on more of the world’s economies having indirect access to the dollar via Facebook’s stable coin. Using, buying, and selling Diem amounts to using, buying, and selling US dollars. This indirect use of the greenback would keep the dollar out front as the world’s reserve currency.

Alton Drew

Interbank market news scan: Cryptocurrency advocates moving to bolster their advocacy prowess in DC …

Digital currency. Atlas Organization founder Dr. Jonathan Ward, an expert on Chinese global strategy, discussed how the Biden administration can create competitive policies against China and argued that creating its own digital currency that is controlled by its central bank will “offset” U.S. sanctions, during an interview on FOX Business’ “Mornings with Maria.” China creating own digital currency will ‘offset’ US sanctions: Jonathan Ward | Fox Business

Foreign exchange, digital yuan. The United States’ reliance on economic sanctions to coerce other countries is gradually losing its effectiveness and slowly degrading one of Washington’s most influential tools in international affairs, the power of the U.S. dollar, experts told Newsweek. Sanctions Are Destroying U.S. Dollar’s Status as World’s Top Currency (newsweek.com)

Cryptocurrency. Even as cryptocurrencies steadily gain support on Wall Street, they’re still regarded by regulators as a tool for criminals to conceal shady transactions — posing a challenge to the nascent industry as it seeks to win wider respect. Bitcoin (BTC USD) Cryptocurrency Price News: Industry Forms Lobby to Shed Image – Bloomberg

Digital currency. A cyber yuan gives Beijing power to track spending in real time. Importantly, it’s money that isn’t linked to the dollar-dominated global financial system. Anxiety in the US as China Creates the First Major Digital Currency (thestreet.com)

Foreign exchange, India. Currency exchange rates can turn out to be a real dealbreaker and can cause a dent in an individual’s pocket who is traveling overseas. Even a difference of a few paise while doing currency conversion can make a huge difference in the budget for the trip. It becomes crucial to be aware of the various options while doing currency exchange. Currency Exchange and the related details (msn.com)

Cryptocurrency, Ethereum. Blockchain technology Ethereum has seen its price reach a new all-time high of $2,150 following Visa’s decision to allow cryptocurrency for transactions on its platform. World’s second-biggest cryptocurrency Ethereum hits new high of $2,150 after Visa agrees to allow crypto-payments on its network (msn.com)

Digital currency, Bank of Japan. Japan’s central bank has started trials of a new digital currency in an effort to experiment with how it might be used, the Bank of Japan announced on Monday. The announcement comes after the Chinese government revealed it was doing something very similar with a digital yuan in early March. Japan’s Central Bank Launches One-Year Test of Digital Currency (gizmodo.com)

Currency PairsRates as of 2:30 pm 6 April 2021
EUR/USD1.1853
AUD/USD0.7661
GBP/USD1.3809
USD/JPY109.8700
NZD/USD0.7044
USD/CHF0.9322
USD/NOK8.5005
USD/SEK8.6312
USD/CAD1.2553
  
Selected Rates 
Fed Funds.07
Bank prime rate3.25
Discount window.25
2-yr Treasury.16
10-yr Treasury1.65
30-yr2.31
Source: Bloomberg, Reuters

Interbank market news scan: Five thousand dollars in suspicious activity results in $200K fine for OANDA …

Regulatory news. NFA has ordered OANDA Corporation (OANDA), an NFA Member retail foreign exchange dealer and futures commission merchant headquartered in Toronto, Canada, to pay a $200,000 fine. The Decision, issued by NFA’s Business Conduct Committee (BCC), is based on a Complaint issued by the BCC and a settlement offer submitted by OANDA. The BCC found that OANDA failed to submit accurate daily forex reports to NFA and failed to supervise. News & Notices | NFA (futures.org)

Strategic takeaway. The National Futures Association’s complaint illustrates the necessity of defining and maintaining your regulatory strategic position. Although the foreign exchange market is near unregulated in terms of price setting, market entry and maintenance of entry are regulated where the goal is a balancing act between ensuring that investors/traders are availed a high degree of market transparency regarding pricing, broker qualifications and integrity, and the integrity of a brokerage platform and the dealer’s need to seek out and maintain data on best currency prices, disseminating that information to investor/traders, while controlling costs and increasing profits.

A main component of maintaining a regulatory strategic position is consistency in not only implementing your own compliance program, but in auditing its performance. For example, failure to detect suspicious activity, respond in a consistent and timely manner to customer complaints, notice red flags from wire activity, adopt written protocols for protecting against technology threats, and file required reports to the U.S. Department of the Treasury or the Commodity Futures Trading Commission are indicative of consistent auditing within an organization.

OANDA’s problem started out with a customer complaint involving an unauthorized transfer of $5,000 out of a customer’s account. The resulting $200,000 fine may have been avoided.

Interbank market news scan: Dollar expected to gain as markets open in Europe and the US on Monday ….

Payment systems. You still can’t deposit or withdraw digital assets from PayPal, which undercuts the technology’s appeal as a way to put individuals back in control of their money in a world of unchecked asset seizures and involuntary bank bail-ins. But now you can at least use the service to buy stuff. Opinion: Crypto as a Payment System? Here We Go Again – CoinDesk

Payment systems. Despite its mass acceptance and large user base, one such institution brought into the spotlight of legal debate is Google India’s payments operation, Google Pay. This article explains the legal debate behind it and what it means for India’s payments ecosystem. Can Third-Party Applications Be Classified As Payment System Operators? (inc42.com)

Payment systems. A patient payments technology venture that counts local players Nashville Capital Network and i3 Verticals among its owners has been bought by Bank of America. BofA buys health care payments player | Nashville Post

Foreign exchange: speculation. EUR/USD begins the week not correlated to its cross pairs and explains why EUR/USD traded lower into deeply oversold. Currency Market: FX weekly and EM (fxstreet.com)

Foreign exchange: interbank. The dollar was poised to extend gains against major currencies on Monday after the U.S. jobs report at the end of last week showed the nation’s labour market is recovering from the impact of the coronavirus shock. Dollar holds advantage as economic data point to more gains | Reuters

Currency PairsRates as of 10 pm 4 April 2021
EUR/USD1.1764
AUD/USD0.7619
GBP/USD1.3826
USD/JPY110.5700
NZD/USD0.7024
USD/CHF0.9415
USD/NOK8.5303
USD/SEK8.7252
USD/CAD1.2564
  
Selected Rates 
Fed Funds.07
Bank prime rate3.25
Discount window.25
2-yr Treasury.18
10-yr Treasury1.71
30-yr2.35
Sources: Bloomberg, Reuters