Big Week For The Once Mighty Dollar

Be warned, this is a short post.

Janet Yellen and the Fed surprised markets this week by actually doing what they said they would do. Shocking!

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If you could not tell from the tone of my first sentence, I was not in the least bit shocked, and had shorted some EURUSD. What I was not expecting, however, was that despite the Fed’s hawkish surprise, the dollar barely budged.

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The lack of a dollar move is especially concerning when we consider the context of the move. So far this year the DXY has fallen over 11% against the backdrop of consistent Fed tightening.

Meanwhile speculators haven’t been this short the dollar in over 4 years.

The lack of a dollar rally at this juncture given spec positioning and the dollar’s dramatic fall is a bit concerning here for those of us who were trying to catch a bottom in this dollar rout (guilty). Now it’s only been a few days since the Fed indicated its hawkish intentions, but if you were to ask me right now, I’d be leaning towards a continued breakdown in the dollar.

What’s interesting about this continuation of the dollar’s fall is the threat it poses to the low volatility regime we find ourselves in. Large moves in any direction for any major asset class is bound to cause ripples even if the move is initially seen to be as a positive.

The issue here is that the ECB and the BOJ have kept rates so low for so long that the savers in their respective countries have been forced into incredibly dumb trades. For example, being long USDs and long USTs…

Read that number again, and then read it again. European investors bought almost $600B of US debt last year. Perhaps these foreigners are the real speculative position we should worry about. The dollar has fallen 15% against the euro this year alone. At what point does the fall in the dollar become too painful? How many years of income must these foreigners lose to currency effects before they start to hit the sell button?


DISCLAIMER: This blog is the diary of a twenty something millennial who has never stepped foot inside a wall street bank. He has not taken an economic or business course since high school (which he is immensely proud of) and has been long gold since 2012 (which he is not so proud of). In short his opinions and experiences make him uniquely unqualified to give advice. This blog post is NOT advice to buy or sell securities. He may have positions in the aforementioned trades/securities. He may change his opinion the instant the post is published. In short, this blog post is pure fiction based loosely in the reality of the ever shifting narrative of the markets. These posts are meant for enjoyment and self reflection and nothing else. So ENJOY and REFLECT!

 

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