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Let’s hope it’s not another preposterous New Year

After spending much of 2008 in denial, just like a number of global banks, it is time to face reality and slim down operations.

I stood on the scales this week for the first time since the end of 2007. And I’m sure they shouted back at me: “Get off you fat b’staad.” So after spending much of 2008 in denial, just like a number of global banks, it is time to face reality and slim down operations. For me that means laying off the alcohol and cutting back on the calories. As one of my contacts swiftly pointed out when I wished him a Happy New Year, 2008 turned out not a prosperous but a preposterous year. Let’s hope normality returns in 2009, but as the market always says there are only ever two hopes: no hope and Bob Hope.

Few people could disagree that the FX market has fundamentally changed over the past few months. That said, it still looks like a good place to be. Already, there’s been enough volatility in 2009 to whet the appetites of most players, yet liquidity remains shallow and volumes look relatively low. The banks are swift to widen their spreads, which is fully understandable and while the days when anything was given away as a loss leader may not be fully over, the need to preserve balance sheets means that all aspects of the business will come under scrutiny.

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