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Foreign Exchange

Euromoney Forex Forum: Crisis? What crisis?

While there were a few signs of the impact of the credit crunch – a couple of the normal players were absent and the standard of freebies was marginally lower than 2008 – it was pretty much business as usual at the Euromoney Forex Forum.

The exhibitors told me that there had been a good mix of delegates asking them for information about their offerings and there were some excellent panel discussions.

I’ll leave it to others to say whether or not the one I moderated was any good, but I certainly learnt a few new things. We were there to discuss the changing nature of the market and I somewhat clumsily pointed out the fact that FX undergoes regular evolutions rather than revolutions. If the session had been held with the same participants a decade ago, the only person whose views would have carried any weight would have been UBS’s Ed Pla. Things have changed – largely as a result of the pioneering role UBS itself played in the distribution of FX. Who knows, if we hold the panel again in 2019, it might well be that UBS’s viewpoint is the one we consider the least relevant, but somehow I doubt it. All reports of the bank’s demise so far have proved to be greatly exaggerated and it really would have to press the self-destruct button to create greater challenges that it has had to face through 2008.

The topic of counterparty credit was one of the issues we debated and much to my surprise, 83% of the audience said it was a major concern, seemingly completely destroying my recent argument that it wasn’t.

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