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Foreign Exchange

FX comment: 2010: The year that was

There’s never a dull moment in FX – directly or indirectly. Perhaps the biggest event of the year was May’s flash crash. The CFTC and SEC joined forces afterwards to see if they could find out why it happened. And in the closing month of the year, we still really don’t know – perhaps it will have to remain one of those puzzles that will never be solved.

July’s Dodd-Frank bill dealt a blow for the FX market – a law that consigns all swap trading (including FX swaps and forwards) to exchanges and SEFs. The banking industry can only hope the Treasury secretary Tim Geithner is swayed by the lobbying and exempts FX by July next year.

This year has also seen a competitive race among platforms for the much-coveted computer desktop space of traders. We even picked up a new acronym along the way, thanks to Caplin Systems in July – UX or user experience, which is apparently more important for a platform than competitive pricing. Who knew?

Morgan Stanley rolled out their impressive looking Matrix multi-asset platform back in February, built using Flex technology over two years with a team from Adobe.

Société Générale launched Alpha in November with an innovative cube design, which impressed even more when we got a Rubiks cube to take home.

Swiss brokers vied for a precious Swiss banking license. Dukascopy won one with the help of a gourmand French actor,while ACM lost out and sold up to Swissquote Bank in October.

But most important for us, Trevor Carr and I have almost completed our first year at the helm of theweeklyFiX after Lee Oliver found himself a better-paid job at Citigroup.

We wish our readers a merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

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