My Background

April 8, 2008

Allow me to introduce myself. I have 33 years of fairly unique experience as an international economist and currency market analyst. The big bang in currency trading occurred in March 1973. From the end of the Second World War until then, governments had defended fixed parities between the dollar and the currencies of other major industrial economies. Those ties were severed at the big bang. The New York Federal Reserve Bank has a program of sending down Research Department economists to the foreign currency trading desk in rotating six-month tours to observe and document currency market conditions and the policy responses of governments to those conditions.

From April to October 1975, I became the fifth participant in the so-called visiting economist program after the big bang. I witnessed the infancy of floating dollar rates from an insider’s perspective, sitting in on conference calls between officers of the Foreign Desk and key decision-makers at the Federal Reserve Board and Treasury in the critical formative period when avenues of communication with other central banks were being ramped up to handle the brave new world of a floating dollar. Upon my return to Economic Research, I channelled my work into the currency markets, preparing analytical reports on market conditions and evaluating currency position data among other things. I returned to the Foreign Department 2-1/2 years later to witness close up one of the dollar’s direst periods that culminated in the November 1978 massive package of measures to rescue a free-falling dollar that was fanning U.S. inflation.

I joined the esteemed Foreign Exchange Advisory Service of Chemical Bank, a forerunner of JPMorgan Chase & Co., in 1979, sharing my experience and insights with bank officers and fortune 500 clients. There, I honed forecasting skills and acquired considerable knowledge about the politics, policy conventions, and economic tendencies for a wide range of countries. My exploration has continued over the past twenty years, heading up the international side of a foreign exchange and Treasury market on-line advisory service.

Much has changed since my first stint in the New York Fed’s Foreign Department. U.S. daily currency market turnover then was less than $3 billion, whereas global turnover now exceeds $3 trillion per day. Currency quotes in 1975 would be posted hourly on a blackboard in the N.Y. Fed trading room. Now trades are made, quotes read, and analysis seen instantly with the click of a computer key. I’ve seen the dollar range as high as 3.478 against the D-mark in February 1985 and as low as the euro-translation value of 1.2298 earlier this year. I’ve watched dollar/yen range between 308 and 79.85. In the co-habital evolution of telecommunications and global currency markets, I am ready for the next frontier, which is why I am launching this blog.


Comments are closed.