Crypto Regulation


Great summary from the team @visualcapitalist on current and pending Cryptocurrency regulation.

Whether you are an advocate or not it’s pretty clear that most jurisdictions see regulation of the Cryptocurrency space as something pressing and with the EU’s Anti-Money Laundering Directive becoming fast effective in Jan 2020 this is very real for market participants.

Interesting to see how this develops and whether the exchanges start to adopt best practices, provide transparency on pricing and cease to act as principal to transactions. Hard to see how they can address the raft of conflict of issue concerns (and litigation) unless they do.

Brexit: What is Social Listening saying?

It’s been a while since our last Brexit update. Based on our latest network analysis, Boris Johnson and Ursula Von der Leyen have emerged onto the centre stage.

The newly elected members of the European Parliament finally choose Von der Leyen as the successor of Juncker. And Boris Johnson yesterday replacing Theresa May as the new Prime Minister of UK. Although both Johnson and Von der Leyen are still very new to their jobs, they have already managed to shift the social networks among UK and EU politicians significantly.


The upper chart shows the landscape of key politicians in February 2019, while the bottom chart shows the landscape now in July 2019.

The right-hand side of the chart represents the UK (purple and blue) and the left-hand side represents the EU (orange and brown).

On UK (right-hand side), Boris Johnson has moved to the very centre area. We think his willingness to confront EU made him deeply “connected” with the EU side, for both good and bad reasons. Jeremy Corbyn is still quite distant from the centre stage. We are also surprised to see that the “Bremain” supporting MPs have either been side-lined or disappeared from the network, and the market has reflected this observation by pricing in more likelihood of hard Brexit.

On the EU side, Von der Leyen emerged to centre out of nowhere. The highly regarded successor of Draghi, Christine Lagarde, has also emerged into the game but so far only captures very little connections.

We think the transformation of the landscape of Brexit network in such a short period of time is very fascinating, and we will stop here and not rushing to make any interpretation. Let’s see how this network will evolve as we move forward to October and the deadline to leave, deal or not.

Trade Tariff Import Impact

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With the US now enabling tariffs on Chinese imports we thought it would be timely to represent the specific industry sectors and the proposed financial impacts on moving the tariffs from 10% to 25%.
We hope you find this useful, the data is sourced from the U.S. International Trade Commission.
201905115_Graph Image

MMT gaining traction

20190510_MMT Graphic to use

It’s a populist environment these days as politicians race to propose or even roll out ideas that were viewed as controversial or naive in the past. Tariffs are new norms, and anti-immigration policies have become hot topics among people and politicians. The world of finance has also caught on with this populist trend, as increasing numbers of economists, senators, sell-side analysts and even well-known fund managers recently have shared their thoughts on the latest hot topic in finance: Modern Monetary Theory(MMT).

Seismic report:

What social listening saying about Oil

oil graphic

An excellent report from the team at Seismic Investments. This time focusing on Oil and the social listening narrative from unstructured data that is in the news and across social media.

The past couple months have seen Crude oil trade from its high of 85.90 on 3rd October down 29% to a low of 53 on the 27th December then back up 13% to current 61.20 levels. Pricing volatility has returned with a vengeance.

The report aims to provide some incremental context on the pricing movement and a contextual analysis of the key participants and how they correlate to the price activity.

We hope you find this an incremental in the shaping of your perspectives on Oil pricing.

If you want to connect with the team at Seismic please reach out.

Seismic report:

Brexit Confusion?

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With the largest UK parliamentary voting defeat for a standing government in eighty years followed by a vote of confidence in the government that passed in the house of parliament it may be reasonable to say perspectives around Brexit are confused, somewhat contradictory and very challenging.

Is this the train wreck hidden in plain sight or will Theresa May’s efforts to bring cross-party participation into the process fall on deaf ears? Or are we entering a new variant of the Nash Equilibrium as game theory plays out with party politics?

We reached out to the team at Seismic Investment Limited to solicit their input using social listening tools combined with artificial intelligence and graphical clustering models. The results of their research and analysis provide both interesting insights and a perspective on the key players in the process.

If you have questions please reach out and we can connect you to the team at Seismic.

Seismic Post:


Inflation & Unemployment

With the market volatility post the December Federal Reserve Open Market Committee meeting, we wanted to step back and consider the Fed’s mandate and stated objectives. Taking inflation and unemployment in the US, we analysed this monthly from 1929 to current which is the chart below (Unemployment Vertical, Inflation Horizontal).

We then looked at this to ask how well the Federal Reserve (or maybe the economy?) (or maybe what the market permits the Federal Reserve to do?) have achieved this in the past.

The little red circle is the sweet spot that the Federal Reserve is trying to hit. It looks pretty damm lonely to us. We believe to do this is going to require an extraordinary set of communication and messaging, coupled with highly skilled and a very active approach to Quantitative Tightening and Interest Rate hikes. If neither is present, or not in sync then we would expect to see increasing levels of asset class volatility in the coming year.

Interested to hear thoughts and observations, look forward to your input.

inflation & unemployment image