As of 2:06 am AST, a week that may see impeachment so far has no impact on currencies …

PairsFederal Reserve as of 8 January 2021OANDA as of 11 January 2021OANDA as of 13 January 2021 2:06 am AST
Sources: Federal Reserve, OANDA

House votes resolution asking Pence to use 25th amendment to remove Trump

Last night the U.S. House of Representatives passed the following House resolution in its attempts to remove President Donald Trump prior to the end of his term. House Res 21 reads as following:

This resolution calls upon Vice President Michael R. Pence (1) to immediately use his powers under section 4 of the Twenty-fifth Amendment to convene and mobilize the principal officers of the executive departments to declare that the President is unable to successfully discharge the duties and powers of his office, and (2) to transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of thHouse notice that he will be immediately assuming the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.

Vice-President Pence has reportedly said that he does not intend to invoke the 25th Amendment. This means that the House will likely move to the next stage of its strategy which is to vote articles of impeachment against Mr Trump. Given the Democrats majority in the House, passage is expected.

The articles of impeachment would then move to the Senate for a trial. Indications are that, unlike last year’s attempt to remove the President from office via impeachment where a Republican-controlled Senate voted not to remove the President, there may be enough support on the part of Senate Republicans to find Mr Trump liable for “high crimes and misdemeanors”, the standard under the U.S. Constitution for removal. Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell has signaled that Mr Trump’s behavior, where allegedly encouraged supporters to march last week on the Capitol, amounted to an impeachable offense.

The establishment wing of the Republican Party, now in damage control as a result of the storming of the Capitol by Trump supporters and the resulting deaths of five people, would like nothing more than to move on from the Trump era and start laying the groundwork for the 2022 mid-term elections.

I don’t expect impeachment actions to have any bearing on pending policy actions designed to impact the economy. With only seven days left until the change in government, attempts to remove Mr Trump are designed to score political points with an electorate, a significant amount of whom believe the actions of individuals storming the Capitol amounted to an insurrection attacking the country’s representative institutions of democracy.

As of 10:00 pm AST, the dollar strengthens against the rupee, peso, yen, Swedish krona, and Swiss franc …

PairsFederal Reserve as of 4 January 2021OANDA as of 4 January 2021OANDA as of 10 January 2021 10:00 pm AST
Source: Federal Reserve, OANDA

Legal/Political/Economic/ Events Impacting US Dollar

Pressure mounts on US president to leave office before 20 January

At the time of this writing, no public statement surrounding the issue of leaving office has been issued by President Trump. Bloomberg reports mounting pressure on Vice President Mike Pence to gather the President’s cabinet and bring about Mr Trump’s removal from office by invoking the 25th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is expected to move on a House resolution that gives Vice President Pence 24-hours to invoke the 25th Amendment. If Mr Pence does not meet the 24-hour deadline, the House will then move to impeach the President.

Section 4 of the 25th Amendment allows the Vice-President and “a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such body as Congress may by law provide” to transmit a written declaration to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House that the President is no longer fit to serve.

As of 10:18 am AST, the dollar continues its weakening ways in light of job losses …

PairsFederal Reserve as of 4 January 2021OANDA as of 4 January 2021OANDA as of 8 January 2021 10:20 am AST
Sources: Federal Reserve, OANDA
RatesFederal Reserve as of 4 January 2021Bloomberg as of 8 January 2021 10:51 am AST
Federal Funds Rate0.090.08
Prime Rate3.253.25
3-month Treasury0.090.08
2-year Treasury0.110.14
10-year Treasury0.931.10
30-year Treasury1.661.87
Source: Bloomberg

Legal/Regulatory/Political Events Impacting Foreign Exchange Markets

An expected dire jobs report

The U.S. Department of Labor today reported that non-farm payroll employment fell by 140,000 jobs in December 2020. The unemployment rate remained at 6.7%, the same rate as reported in December 2020. Significant losses were in the retail and hospitality sectors, according to the Labor Department. Approximately 10.7 million people are out of work.

The Africa Play …

This morning I decided to take a look at how the U.S. dollar is faring this week against the Ghanaian, Nigerian, and Kenyan currencies in comparison to the Swiss franc, Chinese yuan (offshore), and the British pound. In my opinion the United States hasn’t demonstrated that it wants to be a significant trading partner with the African continent, but with a new administration and China’s well documented economic forays on the Continent, that may change.

Pairs4 January 20215 January 20216 January 20217 January 2021Notes
CNH/KES16.787916.840516.837316.8373.3% increase in exchange rate
USD/KES108.391108.461108.500108.500.1% increase in exchange rate
CHF/KES122.931123.285123.497123.497.5% increase in exchange rate
Source: OANDA
Pairs4 January 20215 January 20216 January 20217 January 2021Notes
CNH/NGN59.620659.264058.808258.80821.3% decrease in exchange rate
USD/NGN384.938381.690378.964378.9641.5% decrease in exchange rate
GBP/NGN524.784518.974515.960515.9601.7% decrease in exchange rate
CHF/NGN436.578433.856431.344431.3441.2% decrease in exchange rate
Source: OANDA
Pairs4 January 20215 January 20216 January 20217 January 2021Notes
GBP/GHS7.97857.96357.96127.96118.2% decrease in exchange rate
CHF/GHS6.63756.65746.65566.65558.3% increase in exchange rate
Source: OANDA