Congress bites

Will euro/dollar hit $2?

John Taylor, chief executive officer at overlay manager FX Concepts in New York, sparked a heated discussion with his view that the euro could hit $2 over the next couple of years. But other panelists sharing the stage said the timing over such a move is irrelevant. “We don’t care where it goes,” said Robert Tamiso of investment management firm Tamiso & Co in New York. “It’s how it gets there that matters most.”

For Dirk Morris head of currency and Australasian business at Putnam Investments in Boston, structural problems in Europe are likely to cap any euro rise much further than $1.50.

Good deals on prime brokerage

Prime brokers revealed they charge just enough to cover their processing fees for the service, spelling good news for clients using prime brokerage for FX.

Bank of America, for example, doesn’t charge at all if the client chooses to deal with it via its prime brokerage service. “It’s a processing fee – it just covers our operational costs,” said Tony Dalton at BoA in New York.

In common with its peers, JP Morgan sees the return it gets from its prime brokerage clients in light of the total value the relationship is worth to the bank. “The idea is you grow the relationship,” said Adrienne Touro-Greenberg at JP Morgan in New York.

Retail firm challenges top tier

Mark Galant, chief executive officer of retail trading firm Gain Capital in New Jersey, fired debate about the state of play between the wholesale and retail markets in FX.

Likening the two sectors to the traditional and new “upstart” carriers in the US airline industry, he said that, as in aviation, smaller players are now winning over firms ignored by the top tier in foreign exchange. “Some bank clients are beginning to recognise the strength of non-bank dealers and some are migrating,” he told the assembled delegates.

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