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Opinion

FX and emerging markets: Willer’s rules-based trading regime

A new book concludes that the rules for trading EM FX and fixed income have successfully survived Covid.

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Investors and traders of FX and fixed income assets may have entered a harsh new environment, with record-low interest rates in many emerging markets (EMs), the emergence of quantitative easing (QE) policies among some EM central banks and episodically volatile currencies.

Dirk Willer, managing director and global head of EM FX and fixed income strategy at Citi Research, should know. He wrote the book on it.

That book – Trading Fixed Income and FX in Emerging Markets, co-authored with Ram Bala Chandran and Kenneth Lam – came out in September. Some of it was written before Covid, the rest during.

“History rhymes,” says Willer of the decision to commit to writing the practitioners’ guide – a dense but readable mix of theory and strategy.

“We have to write about the same issues all the time over the years and we usually draw the same conclusions, so it seemed like a good investment to put it down once and for all in writing – so we don’t reinvent the world every time something happens.”

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So, what was Willer’s biggest take-away from researching and writing the book?

“The most pleasant surprise for me has been that the rules for trading EM FX and fixed income have survived the Covid test really well,” he says.

“And,


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