Wall Street’s ‘Fear Gauge’ Could See More March Madness

Mar 22, 2021

Observations & Insight

The CryptoMarketsWiki Podcast Episode 18: Building a Better Mousetrap (David Olsson, BlockFi)

BlockFi is a New York City-based start-up cryptocurrency financial institution. It offers lots of crypto services to its customers, including lending U.S. dollars against bitcoin and other cryptocurrency as collateral, as well as accepting deposits of cryptocurrencies which pay interest to the depositor.
David Olsson is the Global Head of Distribution at BlockFi. Previously, he worked in the financial markets for two decades, managing teams at companies like Merrill Lynch and Credit Suisse. On this episode of the CryptoMarketsWiki Podcast, Olsson sits down to talk about how BlockFi is striving to become the global crypto bank of the future.

Listen to this podcast »


****SC: FTSE Russell has published its “Equity Drivers Report” for March. Among its observations is that the expected economic boost from the Biden administration’s Covid-19 relief package has resulted not only in upgrades to GDP and earnings-per-share forecasts, but also the bond market’s repricing of inflation risk. That recalibration to a different macro outlook is contributing to market volatility, the report notes.


****JJL: The OCC’s Amy Shelly talked with Bettye Price as part of Women’s History Month in a short YouTube video.

Lead Stories

Wall Street’s ‘Fear Gauge’ Could See More March Madness
Todd Salamone – Schaeffer’s Investment Research
Despite Fed Chairman Jerome Powell receiving accolades for his presser on Wednesday afternoon, by Thursday’s session market participants had changed their minds. In other words, buyers surfaced noticeably on Wednesday afternoon, on the heels of the Fed holding steady on rates, and releasing an updated dot-plot forecast that included a significant upward revision to its 2021 gross domestic product (GDP) forecast. In fact, Powell repeated he expects the Fed to hold interest rates where they are into 2023, even after being asked about the potential inflationary impacts of this expectation.

Hedge Funds Capitulate on Dollar Short Bets as Losses Mount
Ruth Carson and Masaki Kondo – Bloomberg
Hedge funds have capitulated on their short-dollar bets after surging Treasury yields upended a favorite global macro strategy.
Leveraged funds flipped to become net buyers of the world’s reserve currency during the week to March 16 — a tumultuous period that saw Treasury yields breaching key levels on feverish inflation fears. They added bearish bets on the yen and euro, and switched from bullish positions on the New Zealand dollar, data from Commodity Futures Trading Commission show.

Bitcoin could plunge 90% into a ‘winter’ lasting years after another surge, crypto-exchange founder says
Harry Robertson – Markets Insider
The bitcoin price could surge as high as $300,000 in the latest bull-market rally but then plunge 90% into a “winter” lasting years, the founder of the cryptocurrency exchange BTCC said.
Bobby Lee told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” on Monday that 2021 is a bull market for bitcoin, of the sort that comes around every three or four years. Lee, who runs the crypto wallet app Ballet, said 2013 and 2017 were also bull-market years in which the bitcoin price increased by 10 or 20 times.

Are We Witnessing the Start of a New Commodities Supercycle?
CME Group
Commodity super cycles are decade-long periods in which commodities trade above their long-term price trend. Some market analysts are seeing signs that a new super cycle is beginning now, pointing to a weakening dollar and supportive central banks and fiscal stimulus geared towards infrastructure spending as well as renewable energy.

Exchanges and Clearing

TD Ameritrade and Dash Financial Technologies Executives Join OCC Board of Directors
OCC, the world’s largest equity derivatives clearing organization, today announced two new members of its Board of Directors: JJ Kinahan, Chief Market Strategist and Managing Director of Trading and Education at TD Ameritrade, and Peter Maragos, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Dash Financial Technologies.

New opportunities on the Eurex/KRX Link: KOSPI 200 Futures now available for trading
Eurex is the only trading venue that offers international investors access to Korean benchmark derivatives products outside Korean trading hours. The addition of Futures on the Korean benchmark KOSPI 200 index on the Eurex/Korea Exchange (KRX) Link complements existing Eurex KOSPI 200 Options and Mini-KOSPI Futures listed on the link. These will provide market participants operational benefits and, even more importantly, margin efficiencies.


Quantitative Brokers launches algorithms on JPX derivatives exchange; The execution algorithms from Quantitative Brokers launched on the Osaka Exchange are co-located at JPX, for close proximity to the exchange’s matching engines.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
Algorithmic trading specialist Quantitative Brokers has launched its algorithm suite on the derivatives bourse of the Japan Exchange Group (JPX), the Osaka Exchange (OSE). The execution algorithms will be used by buy- and sell-side traders to execute orders equity, fixed income, and commodity futures contracts on the OSE.


Derivatives Forum Frankfurt 2021
A new period is upon us and even though it’s tempting to look back, let’s look forward.
The Derivatives Forum Frankfurt 2021 will be held as virtual edition with thought leadership insights, industry debates, keynote speeches and virtual networking opportunities. The Derivatives Forum is the leading European event focused on trading and clearing for derivatives and securities financing across asset classes. Originally planned as a physical event early March, the Derivatives Forum is set to be on March 23 and 24.


These 3 Crucial Questions Confront Investors
Mohamed A. El-Erian – Bloomberg
Last week’s movement in U.S. financial markets confronts investors with three tricky questions. The answers are far from certain; the implications for positioning investment portfolios, on the other hand, are consequential.

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