GAMES PEOPLE PLAY: FINANCIAL ARENAS © Leo Haviland December 1, 2020

“The Great Game: the Story of Wall Street….An original two-hour documentary event that spans the 200-year history of American capitalism.” NYTimes (over 20 years ago; 5/28/00; p13) regarding a CNBC television program broadcast 5/29/00


Financial marketplace investors, speculators, traders, hedgers, analysts, risk managers, and media have enjoyed, endured, or suffered an adventurous 2020! Substantial ongoing political and other cultural divisions and associated conflicts in the United States and elsewhere intertwined with and often enhanced the marketplace circuses. The coronavirus pandemic and the feverish economic (political) responses to its actual and potential ravages of course magnified agitation within marketplace playgrounds.

What are several key existing marketplace patterns worth watching by marketplace players as 2020’s finish line nears and calendar 2021’s competitions beckon?

First, prices in the S+P 500 and other benchmark US and global stock indices, lower-grade interest rate instruments within corporate fields ( and low-quality foreign dollar-denominated sovereign debt), and commodities “in general” often have risen (or fallen) at roughly the same time. They generally have climbed in significant bull ascents (and fallen in noteworthy bear retreats) “together”. These entangled domains thus have alternatively reflected joyous bullish enthusiasm as “investors” and other traders hunted for adequate return (“yield”), and scary bearish scenes as they scrambled frantically for safety. Whether the existing bull trend for American stocks in general (use the S+P 500 as a benchmark) persists is especially important for these connected landscapes.

Despite strenuous yield repression by the Federal Reserve Board and its central bank teammates, United States Treasury yields, using the UST 10 year note as a signpost, probably have commenced a long run increase. Despite widespread global desires for a sufficiently feeble home currency to promote economic recovery and growth, and the related willingness to engage in competitive depreciation to accomplish this, spring 2020 unveiled the onset of substantial US dollar weakness. Although the US dollar (using the Fed’s “Broad Dollar Index” as the yardstick) already has dived about ten percent from its peak, its long run pattern probably will remain down.

FOLLOW THE LINK BELOW to download this article as a PDF file.
Games People Play- Financial Arenas (12-1-20)