Tag Archive | "Currency"

Currency markets – Spanish property 20 July 2006

Currency markets – Spanish property 20 July 2006

Summary of Overnight News:
• The FTSE-100 will open sharply higher this morning following last night’s strong gains in New York, as dovish comments by Fed chairman Ben Bernanke and sliding oil prices allowed investors to put the crisis in the Middle East to one side and put a bit of blue on our screens to match the skies outside.

• US stocks surged higher on Wall Street last night after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke reassured the market with his view that economic growth seems to be moderating and inflation remains contained, traders noted.

• ‘Clearly we don’t want to tighten too much to cause our economy to grow more slowly than its potential,’ Bernanke said during questioning before the Senate Banking Committee.
• Investors interpreted Bernanke’s testimony as a sign the Fed is close to ending its streak of interest rate hikes, dealers added.
• The DJIA closed 212.19 points higher at 11,011.42, its best performance of 2006, while the Nasdaq ended up 37.49 points at 2,080.71.

USA

Figures out Today:
13:30 US jobless claims (w/e 15/7) k Prev 332
13:30 CA wholesale sales (May) %m/m Prev 0.1
15:00 US leading indicators (Jun) % Prev -0.6
17:00 US Philadelphia Fed (Jul) Prev 13.1
19:00 US Minutes of 29 Jun FOMC Meeting

• Yesterday’s 0.3% rise in the US June core CPI tipped the balance to another 25bp rate hike on 8 August. But a less hawkish than expected and fairly noncommittal testimony from Chairman Bernanke added a fraction more ambiguity to the chance of an imminent rate hike, with the focus seemingly more on the longer term impact on inflation from moderating growth. His testimony, which gave strong boost to US and European share prices and Treasury bonds, came as the Fed released forecasts suggesting that it is prepared to bring US inflation down gradually, to minimise the damage to the real economy.

UK

Figures out Today:
09:30 Retail sales (Jun) %m/m Exp 0.2 Prev 0.5
09:30 Retail sales (Jun) %y/y Exp 2.7 Prev 4.0
09:30 PSNB (Jun) £m Exp 7000 Prev 6583
09:30 PSNCR (Jun) £m Exp 13000 Prev 16246
• UK retail sales (09:30) are forecast to have edged up during June, by around 0.2%. Overall, the quarterly performance of the retail sector should have improved considerably in Q2 which should underpin tomorrow’s release for GDP, expected to have grown 0.7% in Q2, inline with the MPC’s central projection.

Japan

Figures out Today:
06:00 JN BoJ Monetary Policy Minutes
EURUSD @ 1.2590 GBPUSD @ 1.8435 GBPEUR @ 1.4640 USDJPY @ 116.85

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Currency markets – Spanish property

Currency markets – Spanish property

Summary of Overnight News:
• The FTSE-100 will open sharply higher this morning, pushed by a strong performance in New York last night.
• Elsewhere, IBM’s second-quarter profit rose nearly 11 percent, slightly exceeding analysts’ forecasts despite another period of lacklustre revenue growth. Executives acknowledged weakness in IBM’s two biggest divisions, services and hardware.
• From April through June, IBM earned 2.02 bln Usd, 1.30 Usd per share, on revenue of 21.9 bln, the company said.
• In Asia, share prices rebounded in the morning session, after the Nikkei slumped over 400 points yesterday, as bargain hunters stepped back into the market supported by Wall Street’s overnight rise.
• However, while the broad picture was brighter, there was a reluctance to push the upside too aggressively ahead of US June CPI data, Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke’s testimony to Congress starting later today, and a string of earnings reports from US high-tech firms such as Intel Corp, Apple Computer and Microsoft, due out this week.
• The Hang Seng ended the early session up 99.77 points at 16,143.71 while the Nikkei finished the morning better by 184.11 points at 14,621.35.
• Meanwhile, oil prices rebounded this morning in Asia as continued concern about Iran’s nuclear program and Israel’s attacks on Lebanon kept the market volatile, dealers said.
• New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in August, was at 73.91 Usd a barrel, up 0.37 Usd from 73.54 Usd in late US trading overnight. Brent North Sea crude for September delivery was up 0.58 Usd at 74.94 Usd.

USA

Figures out:
13:30 US CPI (Jun) %m/m Prev 0.4
13:30 US CPIX (Jun) %m/m Prev 0.3
13:30 US housing starts (Jun) k Prev 1957
13:30 US building permits (Jun) k Prev 1932
13:30 CA leading indicators (Jun) %m/m Prev 0.3
15:00 US Bernanke Report on Economy & Fed Policy

• A major London-based investment bank believes that, as was the case for June, the core CPI reading (13:30) will be the most important determinant of the FOMC’s decision on 8 August. Given their relatively benign forecast for the June core CPI, they look for the Fed to (finally) pause in August, though it is a close call. Clearly, a 0.3% rise in the June core index would fundamentally alter the inflation picture and would, in their view, dictate another tightening next month. A more complete treatment of the monetary policy outlook is included in the discussion of Bernanke’s Congressional testimony (15:00) where he will have a perfect opportunity to do two critical things:
a) shape market expectations for the 8 August meeting and
b) explain the Fed’s thinking and give markets, Congress, and the public a roadmap for how the FOMC might respond to various scenarios over the next six months.

UK

Figures out: 09:30 BoE MPC Minutes Exp 7-0 Prev 7-1
EURUSD @ 1.2495 GBPUSD @ 1.8280 GBPEUR @ 1.4630 USDJPY @ 117.45

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Online Forex Currency Trading – How To Boost Confidence And Discipline

Online Forex Currency Trading – How To Boost Confidence And Discipline

The Challenge

Consistently profitable online currency trading requires both confidence and discipline to first achieve and then maintain a reasonable level of success. For virtually all traders, these two aspects of trading are responsible for their success or lack of it: having confidence as a trader, plus the discipline to stick to their orrex currency trading system.

Most traders that struggle with their discipline do so for a very simple reason and this is something that can be very easily addressed and rather quickly.

Ask any frustrated or struggling trader what their biggest problem is and it will boil down to a lack of confidence and / or discipline in one form or another. Traders who have both are the ones the that are doing fine and enjoying their trading.

Even the veteran traders will tell you that the primary reason for any rough spells they have occasionally experienced were from when they had a lapse or breakdown in their confidence or their discipline, but once they got it back all was well.

So how do you go about building these two emotional pillars for successful currency online trading? Or regaining them if they’ve waned?

The 80/20 Solution

One of the fastest and most effective ways to give yourself that boost is to intentionally create a disruption in the UNsuccessful pattern that has been established. Now this applies whether you’ve known success and temporarily lost it or if you haven’t found it yet.

The most powerful way to disrupt the pattern is through stepping back and making an assessment of your current day online trading. Now, this doesn’t have to be a lengthy or monumental task. There are two parts to this process and it generally follows the 80/20 rule with which you’re already familiar.

Good news for you is that the first part is the 20% of your effort that will yield 80% of the results. Even better is the fact that you can do this within the next hour or two and see results that fast. Here’s what you do:

Step 1. Effort = 20%, Yield = 80%

Step 1, part 1 is to take your recent trading results and run your metrics on your current trading. So which metrics are going to give you confidence and discipline-building information?

• Your real winning percentage
• Your actual profit-to-loss ratio
• The true size of your average winner
• The true size of your average losing trades
• Your actual number of winning trades
• Your actual number of losing trades
• Your REAL ROI from your trading efforts in both time and $
• Your projected annual income from your trading – based on real numbers from your current trading

So how does this help with your confidence if the numbers don’t look so great? Especially if you haven’t yet experienced a level of success that you desire?

Well, very specifically these numbers give you a very clear reference point to work with regarding the factors in your trading that make the bottom line what it is. Rather than going on hope and wishful thinking, you now know the particular aspects of your trading on which to focus your efforts – a realize results. It brings a great deal of clarity to the exact direction for you to take.

Just this simple step alone with give you a substantial boost, and part 2 will really bring about a transformation.

Step 1 Part 2.

In this part, you simply backtest your system (whatever it is) very specifically according to the rules of the system using recent historical market data for the markets you trade.

You then run the metrics and compare the two. This information is incredibly powerful in two ways for building both your confidence and your discipline to stick with your system. Here’s how this works for you.

By backtesting your system with historical data, this can give you a very clear measure of what your forex currency trading system is capable of delivering for you. If your current trading is not delivering the profits that you want, you need to knowif the problem is with the system or if it in your execution of the system.

If your current trading results are comparable to the backtesting results, then you know immediately that you need to take a closer look at the system you’re using.

If your backtest results are good, but your current results with your system are not, then you know that you need to focus on your execution.

Most importantly, if your system doesn’t backtest well, then you know straightaway that you need to consider changes to the system you’re using, either a new system altogether or changes to the one you’ve got.

Directly for confidence and discipline, if your system tests well, then your confidence in it should go way up, along with your discipline to stick to it – because you are providing PROOF to yourself of its capabilities and limitations and with real numbers.

Plus you can see its limitations and more easily get through short losing streaks and drawdowns while maintaining confidence in your system, thus making the discipline part of sticking with it much easier.

Step 2. The More Intensive Process

If you have gone through the process in Step 1 and find that your system is good but your execution is where you need to focus and you need assistance working through other possible emotional management issues, then you need to seek out resources specifically for finding the core issues to address. Go to Inside Out Trading for resources specifically created to help you with these.

In conclusion, confidence comes from thorough understanding and successful experience. Once you have a system in which you can have confidence, then the discipline to stick to it gets much much easier.

Analyzing your current trading then backtesting your system can provide a great deal of confidence and thus make sticking to your system considerably easier by knowing the particulars of how it makes your bottom line what it is and what your system is capable of delivering.

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The History of Previous Currency Unions

The History of Previous Currency Unions

I. The History of Monetary Unions

“Before long, all Europe, save England, will have one money”. This was written by William Bagehot, the Editor of “The Economist”, the renowned British magazine, 120 years ago when Britain, even then, was heatedly debating whether to adopt a single European Currency or not.

A century later, the euro is finally here (though without British participation). Having braved numerous doomsayers and Cassandras, the currency – though much depreciated against the dollar and reviled in certain quarters (especially in Britain) – is now in use in both the eurozone and in eastern and southeastern Europe (the Balkan). In most countries in transition, it has already replaced its much sought-after predecessor, the Deutschmark. The euro still feels like a novelty – but it is not. It was preceded by quite a few monetary unions in both Europe and outside it.

What lessons does history teach us? What pitfalls should we avoid and what features should we embrace?

People felt the need to create a uniform medium of exchange as early as in Ancient Greece and Medieval Europe. Those proto-unions did not have a central monetary authority or monetary policy, yet they functioned surprisingly well in the uncomplicated economies of the time.

The first truly modern example would be the monetary union of Colonial New England.

The four kinds of paper money printed by the New England colonies (Connecticut, Massachusetts Bay, New Hampshire and Rhode Island) were legal tender in all four until 1750. The governments of the colonies even accepted them for tax payments. Massachusetts – by far the dominant economy of the quartet – sustained this arrangement for almost a century. The other colonies became so envious that they began to print additional notes outside the union. Massachusetts – facing a threat of devaluation and inflation – redeemed for silver its share of the paper money in 1751. It then retired from the union, instituted its own, silver-standard (mono-metallic), currency and never looked back.

A far more important attempt was the Latin Monetary Union (LMU). It was dreamt up by the French, obsessed, as usual, by their declining geopolitical fortunes and monetary prowess. Belgium already adopted the French franc when it became independent in 1830. The LMU was a natural extension of this franc zone and, as the two teamed up with Switzerland in 1848, they encouraged others to join them. Italy followed suit in 1861. When Greece and Bulgaria acceded in 1867, the members established a currency union based on a bimetallic (silver and gold) standard.

The LMU was considered sufficiently serious to be able to flirt with Austria and Spain when its Foundation Treaty was officially signed in 1865 in Paris. This despite the fact that its French-inspired rules seemed often to sacrifice the economic to the politically expedient, or to the grandiose.

The LMU was an official subset of an unofficial “franc area” (monetary union based on the French franc). This is similar to the use of the US dollar or the euro in many countries today. At its peak, eighteen countries adopted the Gold franc as their legal tender (or peg). Four of them (the founding members of the LMU: France, Belgium, Italy and Switzerland) agreed on a gold to silver conversion rate and minted gold and silver coins which were legal tender in all of them. They voluntarily limited their money supply by adopting a rule which forbade them to print more than 6 franc coins per capita.

Europe (especially Germany and the United Kingdom) was gradually switching at the time to the gold standard. But the members of the Latin Monetary Union paid no attention to its emergence. They printed ever increasing quantities of gold and silver coins, which constituted legal tender across the Union. Smaller denomination (token) silver coins, minted in limited quantity, were legal tender only in the issuing country (because they had a lower silver content than the Union coins).

The LMU had no single currency (akin to the euro). The national currencies of its member countries were at parity with each other. The cost of conversion was limited to an exchange commission of 1.25%.

Government offices and municipalities were obliged to accept up to 100 Francs of non-convertible and low intrinsic value tokens per transaction. People lined to convert low metal content silver coins (100 Francs per transaction each time) to buy higher metal content ones.

With the exception of the above-mentioned per capita coinage restriction, the LMU had no uniform money supply policies or management. The amount of money in circulation was determined by the markets. The central banks of the member countries pledged to freely convert gold and silver to coins and, thus, were forced to maintain a fixed exchange rate between the two metals (15 to 1) ignoring fluctuating market prices.

Even at its apex, the LMU was unable to move the world prices of these metals. When silver became overvalued, it was exported (at times smuggled) within the Union, in violation of its rules. The Union had to suspend silver convertibility and thus accept a humiliating de facto gold standard. Silver coins and tokens remained legal tender, though. The unprecedented financing needs of the Union members – a result of the First World War – delivered the coup de grace. The LMU was officially dismantled in 1926 – but expired long before that.

The LMU had a common currency but this did not guarantee its survival. It lacked a common monetary policy monitored and enforced by a common Central Bank – and these deficiencies proved fatal.

In 1867, twenty countries debated the introduction of a global currency in the International Monetary Conference. They decided to adopt the gold standard (already used by Britain and the USA) following a period of transition. They came up with an ingenious scheme. They selected three “hard” currencies, with equal gold content so as to render them interchangeable, as their legal tender. Regrettably for students of the dismal science, the plan came to naught.

Another failed experiment was the Scandinavian Monetary Union (SMU), formed by Sweden (1873), Denmark (1873) and Norway (1875). It was a by-now familiar scheme. All three recognized each others’ gold coinage as well as token coins as legal tender. The daring innovation was to accept the members’ banknotes (1900) as well.

As Scandinavian schemes go, this one worked too perfectly. No one wanted to convert one currency to another. Between 1905 and 1924, no exchange rates among the three currencies were available. When Norway became independent, the irate Swedes dismantled the moribund Union in an act of monetary tit-for-tat.

The SMU had an unofficial central bank with pooled reserves. It extended credit lines to each of the three member countries. As long as gold supply was limited, the Scandinavian Kronor held its ground. Then governments started to finance their deficits by dumping gold during World War I (and thus erode their debts by fostering inflation through a string of inane devaluations). In an unparalleled act of arbitrage, central banks then turned around and used the depreciated currencies to scoop up gold at official (cheap) rates.

When Sweden refused to continue to sell its gold at the officially fixed price – the other members declared effective economic war. They forced Sweden to purchase enormous quantities of their token coins. The proceeds were used to buy the much stronger Swedish currency at an ever cheaper price (as the price of gold collapsed). Sweden found itself subsidizing an arbitrage against its own economy. It inevitably reacted by ending the import of other members’ tokens. The Union thus ended. The price of gold was no longer fixed and token coins were no more convertible.

The East African Currency Area is a fairly recent debacle. An equivalent experiment, involving the CFA franc, is still going on in the Francophile part of Africa.

The parts of East Africa ruled by the British (Kenya, Uganda and Tanganyika and, in 1936, Zanzibar) adopted in 1922 a single common currency, the East African shilling. The newly independent countries of East Africa remained part of the Sterling Area (i.e., the local currencies were fully and freely convertible into British Pounds). Misplaced imperial pride coupled with outmoded strategic thinking led the British to infuse these emerging economies with inordinate amounts of money. Despite all this, the resulting monetary union was surprisingly resilient. It easily absorbed the new currencies of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania in 1966, making them legal tender in all three and convertible to Pounds.

Ironically, it was the Pound which gave way. Its relentless depreciation in the late 60s and early 70s, led to the disintegration of the Sterling Area in 1972. The strict monetary discipline which characterized the union – evaporated. The currencies diverged – a result of a divergence of inflation targets and interest rates. The East African Currency Area was formally ended in 1977.

Not all monetary unions ended so tragically. Arguably, the most famous of the successful ones is the Zollverein (German Customs Union).

The nascent German Federation was composed, at the beginning of the 19th century, of 39 independent political units. They all busily minted coins (gold, silver) and had their own – distinct – standard weights and measures. The decisions of the much lauded Congress of Vienna (1815) did wonders for labour mobility in Europe but not so for trade. The baffling number of (mostly non-convertible) different currencies did not help.

The German principalities formed a customs union as early as 1818. The three regional groupings (the Northern, Central and Southern) were united in 1833. In 1828, Prussia harmonized its customs tariffs with the other members of the Federation, making it possible to pay duties in gold or silver. Some members hesitantly experimented with new fixed exchange rate convertible currencies. But, in practice, the union already had a single currency: the Vereinsmunze.

The Zollverein (Customs Union) was established in 1834 to facilitate trade by reducing its costs. This was done by compelling most of the members to choose between two monetary standards (the Thaler and the Gulden) in 1838. Much as the Bundesbank was to Europe in the second half of the twentieth century, the Prussian central bank became the effective Central Bank of the Federation from 1847 on. Prussia was by far the dominant member of the union, as it comprised 70% of the population and land mass of the future Germany.

The North German Thaler was fixed at 1.75 to the South German Gulden and, in 1856 (when Austria became informally associated with the Union), at 1.5 Austrian Florins. This last collaboration was to be a short lived affair, Prussia and Austria having declared war on each other in 1866.

Bismarck (Prussia) united Germany (Bavarian objections notwithstanding) in 1871. He founded the Reichsbank in 1875 and charged it with issuing the crisp new Reichsmark. Bismarck forced the Germans to accept the new currency as the only legal tender throughout the first German Reich. Germany’s new single currency was in effect a monetary union. It survived two World Wars, a devastating bout of inflation in 1923, and a monetary meltdown after the Second World War. The stolid and trustworthy Bundesbank succeeded the Reichsmark and the Union was finally vanquished only by the bureaucracy in Brussels and its euro.

This is the only case in history of a successful monetary union not preceded by a political one. But it is hardly representative. Prussia was the regional bully and never shied away from enforcing strict compliance on the other members of the Federation. It understood the paramount importance of a stable currency and sought to preserve it by introducing various consistent metallic standards. Politically motivated inflation and devaluation were ruled out, for the first time. Modern monetary management was born.

Another, perhaps equally successful, and still on-going union – is the CFA franc Zone.

The CFA (stands for French African Community in French) franc has been in use in the French colonies of West and Central Africa (and, curiously, in one formerly Spanish colony) since 1945. It is pegged to the French franc. The French Treasury explicitly guarantees its conversion to the French franc (65% of the reserves of the member states are kept in the safes of the French Central Bank). France often openly imposes monetary discipline (that it sometimes lacks at home!) directly and through its generous financial assistance. Foreign reserves must always equal 20% of short term deposits in commercial banks. All this made the CFA an attractive option in the colonies even after they attained independence.

The CFA franc zone is remarkably diverse ethnically, lingually, culturally, politically, and economically. The currency survived devaluations (as large as 100% vis a vis the French Franc), changes of regimes (from colonial to independent), the existence of two groups of members, each with its own central bank (the West African Economic and Monetary Union and the Central African Economic and Monetary Community), controls of trade and capital flows – not to mention a host of natural and man made catastrophes.

The euro has indirectly affected the CFA as well. “The Economist” reported recently a shortage of small denomination CFA franc notes. “Recently the printer (of CFA francs) has been too busy producing euros for the market back home” – complained the West African central bank in Dakar. But this is the minor problem. The CFA franc is at risk due to internal imbalances among the economies of the zone. Their growth rates differ markedly. There are mounting pressures by some members to devalue the common currency. Others sternly resist it.

“The Economist” reports that the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) – eight CFA countries plus Nigeria, Ghana, Guinea, the Gambia, Cape Verde, Sierra Leone, and Liberia – is considering its own monetary union. Many of the prospective members of this union fancy the CFA franc even less than the EU fancies their capricious and graft-ridden economies. But an ECOWAS monetary union could constitute a serious – and more economically coherent – alternative to the CFA franc zone.

A neglected monetary union is the one between Belgium and Luxembourg. Both maintain their idiosyncratic currencies – but these are at parity and serve as legal tender in both countries since 1921. The monetary policy of both countries is dictated by the Belgian Central Bank and exchange regulations are overseen by a joint agency. The two were close to dismantling the union at least twice (in 1982 and 1993) – but relented.

II. The Lessons

Europe has had more than its share of botched and of successful currency unions. The Snake, the EMS, the ERM, on the one hand – and the British Pound, the Deutschmark, and the ECU, on the other.

The currency unions which made it have all survived because they relied on a single monetary authority for managing the currency.

Counter-intuitively, single currencies are often associated with complex political entities which occupy vast swathes of land and incorporate previously distinct -and often politically, socially, and economically disparate – units. The USA is a monetary union, as was the late USSR.

All single currencies encountered opposition on both ideological and pragmatic grounds when they were first introduced.

The American constitution, for instance, did not provide for a central bank. Many of the Founding Fathers (e.g., Madison and Jefferson) refused to countenance one. It took the nascent USA two decades to come up with a semblance of a central monetary institution in 1791. It was modeled after the successful Bank of England. When Madison became President, he purposefully let its concession expire in 1811. In the forthcoming half century, it revived (for instance, in 1816) and expired a few times.

The United States became a monetary union only following its traumatic Civil War. Similarly, Europe’s monetary union is a belated outcome of two European civil wars (the two World Wars). America instituted bank regulation and supervision only in 1863 and, for the first time, banks were classified as either national or state-level.

This classification was necessary because by the end of the Civil War, notes – legal and illegal tender – were being issued by no less than 1562 private banks – up from only 25 in 1800. A similar process occurred in the principalities which were later to constitute Germany. In the decade between 1847 and 1857, twenty five private banks were established there for the express purpose of printing banknotes to circulate as legal tender. Seventy (!) different types of currency (mostly foreign) were being used in the Rhineland alone in 1816.

The Federal Reserve System was founded only following a tidal wave of banking crises in 1908. Not until 1960 did it gain a full monopoly of nation-wide money printing. The monetary union in the USA – the US dollar as a single legal tender printed exclusively by a central monetary authority – is, therefore, a fairly recent thing, not much older than the euro.

It is common to confuse the logistics of a monetary union with its underpinnings. European bigwigs gloated over the smooth introduction of the physical notes and coins of their new currency. But having a single currency with free and guaranteed convertibility is only the manifestation of a monetary union – not one of its economic pillars.

History teaches us that for a monetary union to succeed, the exchange rate of the single currency must be realistic (for instance, reflect the purchasing power parity) and, thus, not susceptible to speculative attacks. Additionally, the members of the union must adhere to one monetary policy.

Surprisingly, history demonstrates that a monetary union is not necessarily predicated on the existence of a single currency. A monetary union could incorporate “several currencies, fully and permanently convertible into one another at irrevocably fixed exchange rates”. This would be like having a single currency with various denominations, each printed by another member of the Union.

What really matters are the economic inter-relationships and power plays among union members and between the union and other currency zones and currencies (as expressed through the exchange rate).

Usually the single currency of the Union is convertible at given (though floating) exchange rates subject to a uniform exchange rate policy. This applies to all the territory of the single currency. It is intended to prevent arbitrage (buying the single currency in one place and selling it in another). Rampant arbitrage – ask anyone in Asia – often leads to the need to impose exchange controls, thus eliminating convertibility and inducing panic.

Monetary unions in the past failed because they allowed variable exchange rates, (often depending on where – in which part of the monetary union – the conversion took place).

A uniform exchange rate policy is only one of the concessions members of a monetary union must make. Joining always means giving up independent monetary policy and, with it, a sizeable slice of national sovereignty. Members relegate the regulation of their money supply, inflation, interest rates, and foreign exchange rates to a central monetary authority (e.g., the European Central Bank in the eurozone).

The need for central monetary management arises because, in economic theory, a currency is never just a currency. It is thought of as a transmission mechanism of economic signals (information) and expectations (often through monetary policy and its outcomes).

It is often argued that a single fiscal policy is not only unnecessary, but potentially harmful. A monetary union means the surrender of sovereign monetary policy instruments. It may be advisable to let the members of the union apply fiscal policy instruments autonomously in order to counter the business cycle, or cope with asymmetric shocks, goes the argument. As long as there is no implicit or explicit guarantee of the whole union for the indebtedness of its members – profligate individual states are likely to be punished by the market, discriminately.

But, in a monetary union with mutual guarantees among the members (even if it is only implicit as is the case in the eurozone), fiscal profligacy, even of one or two large players, may force the central monetary authority to raise interest rates in order to pre-empt inflationary pressures.

Interest rates have to be raised because the effects of one member’s fiscal decisions are communicated to other members through the common currency. The currency is the medium of exchange of information regarding the present and future health of the economies involved. Hence the notorious “EU Stability Pact”, recently so flagrantly abandoned in the face of German budget deficits.

Monetary unions which did not follow the path of fiscal rectitude are no longer with us.

In an article I published in 1997 (“The History of Previous European Currency Unions”), I identified five paramount lessons from the short and brutish life of previous – now invariably defunct – monetary unions:

To prevail, a monetary union must be founded by one or two economically dominant countries (“economic locomotives”). Such driving forces must be geopolitically important, maintain political solidarity with other members, be willing to exercise their clout, and be economically involved in (or even dependent on) the economies of the other members.
Central institutions must be set up to monitor and enforce monetary, fiscal, and other economic policies, to coordinate activities of the member states, to implement political and technical decisions, to control the money aggregates and seigniorage (i.e., rents accruing due to money printing), to determine the legal tender and the rules governing the issuance of money.
It is better if a monetary union is preceded by a political one (consider the examples of the USA, the USSR, the UK, and Germany).
Wage and price flexibility are sine qua non. Their absence is a threat to the continued existence of any union. Unilateral transfers from rich areas to poor are a partial and short-lived remedy. Transfers also call for a clear and consistent fiscal policy regarding taxation and expenditures. Problems like unemployment and collapses in demand often plague rigid monetary unions. The works of Mundell and McKinnon (optimal currency areas) prove it decisively (and separately).
Clear convergence criteria and monetary convergence targets.
The current European Monetary Union is far from heeding the lessons of its ill fated predecessors. Europe’s labour and capital markets, though recently marginally liberalized, are still more rigid than 150 years ago. The euro was not preceded by an “ever closer (political or constitutional) union”. It relies too heavily on fiscal redistribution without the benefit of either a coherent monetary or a consistent fiscal area-wide policy. The euro is not built to cope either with asymmetrical economic shocks (affecting only some members, but not others), or with the vicissitudes of the business cycle.

This does not bode well. This union might well become yet another footnote in the annals of economic history.

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One Good Way To Avoid Bad Days In Online Forex Currency Trading

One Good Way To Avoid Bad Days In Online Forex Currency Trading

In online Forex currency trading, even just one bad day can make the difference between a profitable month and a losing month.

Every day, you have to be at the top of your game because everything depends on you as the one in control of all you do. Even more important than the markets you trade or the Forex currency trading system you use, execution is the key determinant in whether or not you’ll make money.

If you’re feeling lousy, in a pessimistic mood, or just not up to par, this will likely affect your decisions, including whether you stick to your online forex trading system or if you deviate from it – and wind up making bad decisions that result in losses or money left on the table.

Here’s an example to illustrate.

A good friend of mine has been in trading for a number of years. He does very well and has his Forex currency trading fine-tuned to the point that he has that feel for the markets that only comes with long-term experience as a trader.

I don’t want to embarrass him with this, because he was rather down when he shared this with me, so I’ll refer to him as Kevin, but that’s not his real name.

Week before last, Kevin and I were talking on the phone and catching up since our last visit.

He told me how the day before, he might as well have have stayed home and stayed in bed. He’d been sneezing and coughing and generally feeling like lousy. The night before, he hadn’t slept well and so he was pretty tired too.

I asked him how the day had gone in his trading, and that was really the big issue. He said that he’d been rather pessimistic because he was tired and just feeling ragged.

Of course this affected everything, especially his decision-making regarding his trades.

Because he’s been in a mediocre mood, twice he got out of trades too early because he was just ‘sure’ that they would stop short and turn against him, even though he picked them right and they ran.

Throughout the middle portion of the day, he missed out on four winners, because didn’t even bother to enter the trades. He felt that they’d just turn out to be losers like other times when the market turned on him right after getting in. His system had done its job of signaling him to get in and at the right time. Each time, he just was in too bad of a mood to accept he had a winner.

After the last one of those, he got mad and decided it was time for some payback, so he again ignored his system and hastily entered another trade, even though there was no entry signal. Another bad move – and quick loss of 0.

By the end of the day, he’d cut his profits short by ,100 in profits by getting out too early, then missed out on another ,800 by not entering the trades when he should have, and then just plain lost another 0 with a bad decision.

He really would have been better of home in bed.

Now the point here really isn’t to stay away from trading. You do it to make money and in order to profit you do have to show up.

Just like any other activity that really matters, you want preventive measures in place. You want to have problems averted, just plain not come up at all if possible.

You see, Kevin’s problem is that he neglects his health and general state. Not badly, though. Quite like many people.

His diet is marginal.

He stays up late and shorts himself sleep.

He never gets any exercise.

He doesn’t even take any vitamins to help make up for the rest.

Now, I love sweets and other marginally healthy foods too. I always have been a night person, NOT a morning person, and I certainly don’t exercise as much as I should for my age. I do however take my vitamins every day, along with additional antioxidants.

Whether your general health is just okay, or maybe you are physically stressed, the main thing is to stay ahead of the game, to do the right things BEFORE a problem arises.

The frequency that I get sick is pretty low, plus I do enjoy pretty reasonable health and good spirits the great majority of the time.

As a result of taking antioxidants, I rarely have bad days like Kevin did.

When it comes to health, the best defense is a good offense. Besides, powerful antioxidants help your body do what it is built to do: fight-off germs, heal and be healthy.

The main thing I like about taking my vitamins and the extra antioxidants is that I don’t have to make any major changes in my lifestyle to stay rather healthy and feeling good.

I don’t have to go to the gym.

I don’t have to try to become a morning person.

I can still eat what I like, knowing that I’m giving my body what it needs.

I feel good and function well when I need to be at my best.

Besides, I plan on being around for many years to come.

I want those years to be fun and enjoyable, not sitting around waiting to die. I’ve read in quite a number of places over the years that antioxidants fight what makes you age and makes your body robust against disease and degeneration.

A few of my favorites, in addition to my regular once-a-day vitamins, I take:

Extra Vitamin C, of course

Grape seed extract

Bilberry extract

Acai berry extract

I hadn’t heard of the last one until recently.

I’ve got this one neighbor who has alway been a bit of a hypochondriac. Not too long ago, I noticed that she didn’t have her usual list of complaints, plus she didn’t look as miserable as she used to either.

This was weird, and it got my attention.

She told me about this blend of berry juices that she’d run across, so I checked it out, and it was pretty pricey, but I did research the product to see what was in it that made it work so well.

According to the manufacturer, this juice blend has juices from 19 or 20 berries and other fruit, but the main benefits are from one primary berry in the blend: the Acai berry.

It’s reported to be an even more powerful antioxidant than grape seed, and has other health benefits as well, so I decided to give it a try.

Now the juice blend costs a hefty price, so the Acai berry extract in capsule form is much more cost-effective, plus has a long shelf-life and less risk of food allergy than the 20-berry juice blend.

It is always advisable to look at what a month’s supply is going to be, and there are alternatives that cost up to 89% less, plus have a higher concentration.

As a trader, this small investment in yourself a very good one. Vitamins and antioxidants are a whole lot cheaper than bad days in Forex currency trading.

Now, no matter how old you are, how well you eat or how much exercise you get, take good care of yourself.

Online Forex currency trading is challenging, and at times can be very stressful as you know. Make sure that you give yourself the advantage of good health so that you stay at the top of your game and make the most of it.

Your account balance will thank you for it!

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Hints For Currency Traders, Stay Informed To Stay Ahead! (2)

Hints For Currency Traders, Stay Informed To Stay Ahead!

If you want to start making some extra money then forex is the place for you, but sometimes you may not know where to start when it comes to forex. If you are feeling like you need to learn more information on forex then look through as many tips as you can, tips like the ones in this article.

As a forex trader you should ensure that you’re never risking more than two or three percent of your total account on a single trade. It will take you far fewer trades to make that money back then it would if you wagered a larger percentage of your capital, so trade low many times and ride the averages to profits.

A fake out on the market can cause you to jump onto a trade that you think is going to be profitable and it ends up being just the opposite. These moves have cost many traders a good bit of money over the years, and once you get to recognize the signs you should be able to recognize them for what they are.

Minimize your losses in Forex trading. Everybody loses some money when trading. In fact, some of the most experienced traders may lose more often than they win. However, they keep their losses small by setting a loss limit and stopping when they hit it. The key is to try a trade but stop and move on when you see it isn’t going to be successful.

When you are trading in the Forex market, it is always a good idea for you to do whatever is the trend at the current time. That means to sell when trends look like they are going down and to buy when things look like they are going up.

A good Forex trading tip is to stick to your plan once you have a plan in place. It’s not uncommon to be enticed by new and miraculous trading methods. If you were to forget about your plan and chase every new method under the sun, you’ll end up making poor decisions.

To be successful at foreign exchange trading it is instrumental to have a trading plan. It is important to have a set of rules that would govern the way you trade. With that said, do not trade impulsively as this kind of action could make you lose lots of money.

Never risk more than five percent of your account on a single trade. If you have multiple trades going at once, you need to make sure you have enough available to cover each one. Keeping each at a five percent maximum will allow you to freely trade without worrying about stretching yourself too thin.

Hopefully this article served as a good resource for you in your forex endeavors. The thing about forex is that you always want to keep on the lookout for new information to learn and apply. The only way you’re going to see any type of success is if you do these two things.

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Forex Currency Day Trading for beginners.

Forex Currency Day Trading for beginners.

You sell your money to the bank (or other) and it allocates some interest payments to your savings account from its profits. Have you seen a Bank’s profits?

What do Banks do with your money? Well, they accumulate many small savers’ money to lend to a borrower. The borrower buys his loan and repays it with added interest. The difference between interest rates is used by the institutions to pay salaries, pensions buy buildings and the usual business expenses.

THE WORLD PRESS occasionally reveals. “INSIDER DEALINGS” where an individual is accused of amassing huge profits from a fast book financial transaction that proves to be illegal.

Sandwiched between “INSIDER TRADING” and interest are a range of products on sale by banks. Mortgages, shares bonds and so on . Very rich individuals and organizations do not leave all their wealth in savings accounts. They trade in art. gold, diamonds, huge properties huge film productions, rare cars and such. Some buy and sell consumer items such as coffee, tea etc.

So can individuals with a few hundreds of their own currency hope to buy and sell something for a smiling profit? There’s eBay. Antiques. Some gamble on a wide variety of events such as roulette, horse racing etc. On-line poker (5m PC users play every day)

Now revealed. There is a legal ethical place where you take profits and not interest. You buy and sell without taking delivery. It’s far from the bottom layer of the sandwich, situated above shares. It’s Foreign Currency.

Forex attracts about 2 trillion dollars a day in transactions. Someone may tell you that this makes dealings in shares small fry. Forex used to be the exclusive realm of the world banks, but computerization replaced old style traders. Banks fund Forex Trading rooms, worldwide.

Immediately, the reader identifies with a PC. Your machine may be capable of earning you a tiny, tiny part of the 2 trillion dollars. You may start with just a few hundred dollars of your own currency, but you essentially need some education, Powerful information to enable you to trade like a professional. You, buy and sell money?

How can there be a risk if you buy something and don’t sell it, until there’s a higher price? Forex systems eke out patterns of transactions, perhaps following the big loaves, expecting a crumb. Stories of 0 becoming ,000 within a year: have you heard them? Banks make profits because they trade from especially designed rooms.

You do not need a degree in maths, experience or qualifications to make money 24/7 from anywhere in the world. Forex Day Trading is legal, ethical, exciting and profitable long term. A simple technique at the roulette wheel explains – the pattern is red, black, red, black – what would you choose next? That the pattern continues or is likely to finish? Make a decision and wait for that pattern to appear on any table’s display, then act.

Whilst you may take the banks interest in one hand, the staff are elsewhere making huge profits.

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Make Money with No Stop Currency Trading

Make Money with No Stop Currency Trading

Hedged, No Stop, Forex Grid system trading (“the No Stop system”) is one of the most misunderstood techniques in forex trading. I am going to describe the No Stop system as best I can in the limited space available. There is a series of 7 other articles describing the elements below in greater detail.

There are many hedged systems around and the No Stop system below is one that is being traded profitably.
The No Stop system is an investment technique which creates favourable dollar cost averaging on all transactions entered into. For this reason the technique is too much of a paradigm shift for most conventional traders who like charts, support and resistance and indicators.

It is strictly speaking, it is not a trading technique. It has however become very popular as a trading technique because of the short term gains that can be made.
The No Stop system trades without stops. No stop loss orders are used at all except for when a group of transactions have a positive result and we want to liquidate the entire group of transactions at a net gain. Because the No Stop system cashes in its transactions regularly it becomes a trend following No Stop system too. There is no need for charts when using this No Stop system as we use predetermined price levels to cash in transactions positively (The No Stop system loves price spikes).

Transactions can or should be slow at a rate of about 3 to 4 a week. As price levels are determined well in advance orders can be placed well in advance so the No Stop system takes very little supervision. The technique is highly systematic and can easy be converted into an automatic trading system or expert advisor very easily.

The No Stop system is always in a sell and a buy at the same time and therefore can cash in on any move the market makes. Being in a sell and a buy at the same time also created a hedge. Predetermined cash in levels create a grid of price levels there positive transactions will be cashed in continuously until the group of transactions are profitable.

In simple terms you will enter the market at a particular level with an active bay and a sell. You would have predetermined levels at which you would cash in positive transactions. For instance one could decide to cash in on every 100pip (grid gap) move made in the market. When the price moves 100 pips you would cash in your positive transaction and then enter into another buy and sell transaction at that point. This process will continue until the total for the group of transaction is positive and then you would liquidate. You would then start again – as simple as that. No need for charts. Patience is the biggest virtue required.

Money is made when the price revisits some of the cash in levels over and over and over again (which it does).

In the above example should the price return to the starting level (after moving 100 pips) the group of 4 transactions in total will be positive and you would then cash in the unwanted transactions, bank your profits and start again.

The big danger of this No Stop system is strong trends with no or very few retracements. You will lose money in trends. There are however specific techniques to manage and contain these losses.

The biggest one is to start with a big grid gap. What is a trend on a 5 minute chart could be a small spike on a daily or weekly chart. Grid gaps of between 150 pips and 300 pips have been found to work well.

One could also vary the grid sizes relative to the trend to reduce the number of unhedged transaction. For example have grid gaps of 100, 200, 300 etc.

The other way is to vary the number of lots used when entering into the buy and sell transactions at a particular cash in point to ensure balanced hedging.

Trends tend to scare people away from this technique but if one views this as an investment technique and not a trading technique the trends could have a reduced impact on the annual return on investment. The market only trends 20% of the time any way. Talking about return on investment some current trading groups are showing returns of between 200% p.a. and 1000% p.a. on current investment levels. There are many trading records are available to back this up. The longer you trade this No Stop system the lower your risk and the better your return. That said, you can lose more than just your boots (your whole trading account) if you treat this No Stop system with disrespect.

Success factors for this No Stop system are: – Selecting appropriate grid sizes, currency pairs, lot sizes, cash in times and an investment mentality. All very easy, if you have done it for a few years.

This No Stop system is not for everybody however, and is not the best Forex system since sliced bread, but is does very nicely for some traders, thank you very much. It is important to know about this system as using its principles could help your conventional trading. For freely available information on this No Stop system search the net for “no stop forex trading”

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Currency Trading Is Simple If You Follow These Tips

Currency Trading Is Simple If You Follow These Tips

Foreign exchange is an easy and relatively safe way to make a ton of money. These great tips will teach you where to go, what to do, and how best to maximize your investment and its safety. Learn more here about the wonderful world of Forex and make money fast!

A great forex trading tip is to pay close attention to world news. There’s no set time when big opportunities pop up. Opportunities can arise at all times of the day so it’s important to be vigilant in following world news and what’s going on in the market.

When entering the forex market it is important to choose the right sort of account. Forex brokers offer accounts tailored to all sorts of traders, from neophytes to complete professionals. The leverage ratio and risks associated with different accounts determine their suitability to particular traders. Getting the right account is vital to ensuring a profitable forex experience.

Start small when you enter the forex market. Big accounts do not necessarily bring you big profits. It is better to make conservative, small trades with a modest account than to risk large sums with an expensive high-dollar account. Like any professional skill, forex trading has a definite learning curve. It is better to get your initial experience with small stakes than to bet big and risk big losses.

Read articles online or newspapers that relate to foreign markets. This will help you to gauge exactly what is going on in the world that will impact your investments. Understanding exactly what you are up against will help you to make logical decisions that can earn you a lot of extra money.

Be extremely careful when using margin. Margin can really boost your profits or it can cause you to lose your shirt in a single trade. Margin is debt, and it can work to your benefit or it can be quite the hindrance. Use margin carefully and wisely, and you may find that it will help you make a killing.

When trading, begin small and grow your account as you’re seeing gains. Investing too heavily in the beginning, can only lead to financial misfortune and long term dissatisfaction. Remain cautious, especially early on and never continue to pour money into an account if all you’re finding is a losing game.

The best way to increase the amount of money you have in Forex trading is to earn it. Start with a small amount of money and then put your earnings back into it, building it into a sizable sum. That is the best way to start earning a real income to be proud of. It’s far better than borrowing money to invest – you really should avoid that.

As you can see, foreign exchange is not as intimidating as it might initially seem. In fact, it’s a relatively quick way to earn your way to a new fortune. Maximize your returns on investment by applying these tips to your investment portfolio today, and reap the rewards as soon as tomorrow.

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Change Is Good: How To Make More From Your Currency Trades

Change Is Good: How To Make More From Your Currency Trades

Trading in the foreign-currency exchange markets seems to be growing ever more popular. Forex trading is not a field you want to leap into blind, though! Forex success calls for a great deal of self-education. Whether you are just starting out or already have some Forex experience, you may benefit from handy tips like these:

The day that you trade is important. You want to avoid days when trading volume is low and days that high numbers of positions are closed. Mondays and Fridays are not ideal trading days. Mondays have been historically inconsistent and Fridays have been too volatile due to the end of the trading week.

Expect to lose money. Every trader who has ever traded forex has lost some money; you’re not immune. Losing money is not something to be regretted, as it’s a normal part of trading and can teach you lessons about the market. Losing can also teach you lessons about yourself.

You may feel very frustrated by a forex loss and make revenge investments. This is one of the worst strategies ever. Never trade when you feel swept with emotion. Remain calm; one setback is never the end. Collect yourself, relax, and when you are in your zen moment, resume trading.

Learn about technical analysis. Technical analysis helps you determine how long you have to wait until a trend change, or for how long it will last. If you have a solid grasp on technical analysis, you should be able to determine how long you should wait before you should sell.

With discipline, consistency and self-restraint, you can move ahead consistently in Forex trading. Take your time with your demo account. Try several different strategies until you find one that really works well for you. Learn everything you can about that strategy so that you can apply it effectively and quickly for successful Forex trading.

Don’t ever trade money in the forex markets that you need to meet your basic financial needs every month. If you are working on a deadline to pay your mortgage or your utilities bills, you will trade emotionally, not rationally. Forex trading shouldn’t be done as your only source of income, and should only be done with money you can afford to lose.

Trends are your friends in the Forex market. On occasion you can play a short term trade against the trend and make out on top, but be extra cautious when working a trade this way when it goes against a definite trend. These temporary reversals are usually manipulated by traders taking profit, so be sure you have a quick exit strategy.

When a particular investment field gets popular, you can be sure the markets fill up with neophyte traders. A lot of these newcomers will soon leave if they fail to grasp the market; the complexities of Forex are particularly unforgiving this way. You can avoid this fate by learning all you can about Forex. The tips above are merely the beginning of your educational process.

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Forex Strategies

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