Trading in The Sun – my dream that went it’s acronym up

And it seems to me you lived your life

Like a candle in the wind

Never knowing who to cling to

When the rain set in

Elton John – Bernie Taupin 1973

By Richard Matthews 29th April

I wrote last week about being in the right place at the wrong time which probably should translate to right idea wrong time, for those of us in the financial markets, which is way too often the case. I don’t tell jokes well and to be honest I transcribe them in an even worse manner but as I am on holiday, and the joke is related to timing, I will make an exception this once. Here goes. There was many years a young married couple who decided to start breeding chickens in their flat in London. They started with a couple of chickens that laid eggs and the business grew and grew with more chickens laying eggs and they constantly reinvested into the chickens till one day they had could afford to, and indeed needed , to move to a larger property . They scoured the market and found a lovely beach front property with a huge basement where they and their chickens could live and they moved there. The business continued to grow for they were very good chicken farmers and soon the whole basement was full of chickens. Then one night a storm came and the sea crashed onto the beach and surged over the sea wall and flooded their basement and sadly all the chickens died. The moral of the story? They should have bought Ducks.

I moved to Spain in about 1995 and in an attempt to make turn two years garden leave into a Spanish version of the Good Life. I purchased a beautiful Cortijo way out in the country and indeed bought  Chickens along with  Goats , Rabbits even a Pig  at one point along with dozen of Orange trees and Olive trees from which my dream was to produce fantastic Olive Oil . Now this isn’t the VENUE to discuss the fun and adventures I had there, indeed those stories could form a book of their own, but that was the main reason I was in Southern Spain. The whole dream, become a successful farmer, write a book about is and make a TV series. Well it didn’t work and ironically one of my neighbours did write a book, Driving over Lemons, about the area, which drove hundreds of English people to the area and ruined it. So as I always want to go against the crowd I left the small holding in the tender care of a local farmer (big mistake number one) and decided to go to the coast and start a trading arcade for day traders.

By the turn of the century open outcry had all but ceased and trading had become almost exclusively electronic in other words the floor had gone. But traders being traders new communities sprung up where they basically rented space and facilities from businesses and came to a communal office and traded away. I guess the easy way to describe the business was that the facilitator rented a large office, supplied the infrastructure from internet to clearing and then diced it into individual chunks which when added up were greater than the outlay. In other words profitable and indeed it was and is a great business model. I took the idea one step further and opened the first trading arcade in Spain in Puerto Banus, Why not? Trade all day and enjoy the benefits of a great lifestyle what could go wrong with that and on that thought Trading In The Sun was born.

         Trading In The Sun, or TITS as it was known by all and sundry, started in a small office next to a trendy restaurant called Terra Sana in partnership with Jimmy Two-Names and with the support of Sonny Schneider and three of his traders Scotty, Cheesy Collins, a lovely man  with warm dancing eyes set in an inverted  inverted Dairylea Cheese triangle of a face, and Soapy Drew all great fun people. Three of the nicest people you could wish to meet who were joined by others who would visit at Holiday time such as Porky and Max . Fantastic flats were rented in Banus and we got going. Well we almost got going but I had overlooked the vagaries which are Telefonica and despite their promises the speed of the internet never lived up to what was really needed. We tried and tried to get the infrastructure right and a few more traders joined but eventually I gave up the ghost as competition from the tax friendly centre of Gibraltar just down the road was too much.

Some jolly japes were had by all and some great Runyonesque characters appeared such as Jimmy G the wonderful estate agent, Drunken Duncan the IT consultant, Pedro the most English Spaniard who was our landlord and Helen, the somewhat eccentric Scottish accountant. I hope all those reading this that were part of it will agree that we all gave it our best shot but in the end TITS had to go TITS up. Personally I have some regrets especially that I sold the business and the buyer reneged on paying me and still to this day parades around as large as life in a Bentley whilst living in Sotogrande maybe now Simon’s conscience will prick him. You live and learn and as I look back my mind goes back to the joke at the beginning and I realise that I should have bought ducks or in this case chosen Gibraltar over Puerto Banus but it was a great experience.

I am reflecting on this adventure rather than the markets this week as I am back down in the area and decided to have a look at the old shop, now a hairdressers, where TITS started. Sitting next door  in Terra Sana I was feeling sad that a great idea was so close to working but located 40 miles too far East. However, Debbie, my wife pointed out that if we had not tried to have a crack at making it work our son Jeremy would never have made a friendship with a fellow golfer who he met whilst he was working in Spain which will last a lifetime let alone having lived a teenagers dream as JezzaBanus. And the boy with a bald head and three spikes of hair to compliment his personalised graffitied (sic) jeans became the man our daughter married and has three children with. It all goes to show that there are more important things in life than the markets and being on holiday and ignoring them is one of those things.

This column is dedicated to Julie Taylor who worked as a PA for Trading in the Sun and sadly died late last year. She was sadly a candle in the wind.

Posters by Tommy Rockett ..the boy with spikes instead of  hair.

Richard Matthews, who began his career in 1973, is a former trader-broker in the London money, futures and foreign exchange markets. Twitter @dickiematthews5  www.theotherdoor.co

 

 

 

 

From Bettys to Bunds via Leeds

Right Place wrong time

I been in the right place but it must have been the wrong time

I’d have said the right thing but I must have used the wrong line

I’d have took the right road but I must have took a wrong turn

Would’ve made the right move but I made it at the wrong time

Dr John Rabbenack

As the train pulled out of the station sounds like the start to an old blues number but when I add in Harrogate station it becomes clear that this column is not so much about Mississippi Slim but more in keeping with a singer who could be called Dales Danny. I digress. As the train pulled out of Harrogate Station on Friday evening I sat, relaxed and reflected on a good couple of days of business which included seeing old friends and the making of new friends. I checked my ticket on my I-phone and glanced at the first station and with an awful sinking feeling realised that I had got on the wrong train and was heading for Leeds instead of York where my connection to London was to be. I spent the rest of the journey to Leeds trying to work out if I could make Leeds and then head to York and still make the train which I could if I was able to sprint from platform 4 to platform 18 in 2 minutes. My decision was made when dozens of Yorkshire cricket fans, who looked like they had enjoyed their day in the sun as much as I had enjoyed my day working, boarded the train at Headingly and the arrival time was delayed by 5 minutes.

Having left my headphones in the hotel, what a great trip, I had plenty of quiet time to reflect and realised that right place wrong time is so often what happens when you trade or try to reflect on the markets. Without doubt I had made a classic market error in taking the wrong train. Over the years we had countless errors when hand signals were misread or often in my case just wrong. Red Dec would be traded instead of Dec, buy signals instead of sell signals flashed into the pit or 15 misheard as 50. To avoid the worst of these problems various tricks were used such as “that’s 15 half of 30“ and the discipline of saying that you always  “paid for and sold at” taken from “4 for 40 , 50 at 5”. Seems unimportant but if a client said “I buy at” the noise and speed of the market meant you may just hear the word “at” and execute a sell order. It happened on occasions, tapes were listened and arguments made, we would always be really tough on protecting our position. Well tough and commercial… you couldn’t afford to lose too many lines. I should perhaps explain that clients were called lines as they utilised one of our supply of direct phone lines which covered our overseas offices and clients as far afield as Bermuda and Singapore. Dialling a number was too slow. Some mistakes though were looking back just hilarious even if they did cost us six figure amounts and sometimes they settled the discussion over a person’s competence.

Back in 1990 (I am sure I will be corrected on the exact date) I was jointly running Babcock and Brown’s futures business when the powers to be decided to purchase the noble house of Fulton Packshaw who had their own headstrong futures team including some great brokers and some, let’s be honest, journeyman. The day the deal was concluded we sat in the boardroom listening to Colin “two chairs” Taylor telling us how good his team was and that he was going to take over the running of the whole business from us. Now Two Chairs, named thus because of the size of his backside, was a very bright man but even his brain could not foresee what was going to happen next. It was the Tuesday after the takeover and followed bank holiday. To give the full picture I need to add that over the previous weekend the FTSE and Bund pits had swapped position. Unfortunately the trader at Fulton’s forgot this and when he received and order to sell the FTSE, on the close, he ran into what he thought was the correct pit and hit all the bids that were showing and walked out pleased as punch. It was only when the trades were checked that the mistake was realised and as the client had to be filled he was left long FTSE and a short Bunds. Sadly for him the client was right and the FTSE collapsed overnight causing the Bund to rally. An expensive mistake but we it gave us the opportunity we needed to really take control. This we did and at the next board meeting we cemented our control with a comment was along the lines of how can you run a futures business when you don’t even know where the pits are?

Harder to make errors these days but fat fingers happen and trades still get put on back to front and with the market volatility the way it is at present that could be a painful exercise. Bonds in both Europe and the States are knocking at new levels and the key 3% yield is being tested in the 10 year USD Bond sending shivers down the spine of the equity markets. It feels that with nearly full employment and a Trillion dollars set to return home inflationary fears may be well founded and yields will climb at the same time the 2 year against 10 year Bond spread continues to narrow spreading fears of a recession in 2019. With 37% of the S&P 500 set to report next week equities could be fun.

This side of the water King Macron looks increasingly isolated in his wishes for a more federalist Europe with the power of the populist parties increasing and Merkel not appearing to be interested and his reforms will struggle. In the UK it increasingly feels like there are two hopes, no hope and Bob Hope, of resolving the intractable problem of the Irish border. Combined with the pressure being exerted by the House of Lords for the UK to stay in a customs Union with Europe the prospect of a hard Brexit is increasing which, and I may be the only person who thinks this, would be good for sterling.

To corrupt Dr John’s song at Harrogate Station I was in the right place but got on the wrong train. Not for the first time and anyone who knows me well will know that really , and I’m not joking , anything further up The  Old North Road than Whetstone I am jiggered. But did I get home before the cup semi- final? Thanks to an understanding ticket office I managed to get a connection from Leeds and arrived back in London only about 10 minutes later than planned. Next week I am going to Marbella , an area I know well, for a few days break and no doubt whilst I am there I will reflect on my days of living and working there and a another case of right time wrong place.

From Amsterdam to Zagreb I thought I had seen it all, but I was wrong

 

I’ve been everywhere, man

Crossed the deserts bare, man

I’ve breathed the mountain air, man

Travel, I’ve had my share, man

I’ve been everywhere

Johnny Cash

By Richard Matthews April 15th

Business travel, business meetings and business lunches are inextricably linked. Indeed Lunches and suppers form an integral part of the business trip. As the song says “I’ve been everywhere man “ and I have been everywhere on business from Amsterdam to Zagreb (I impressed myself with that fact!) and enjoyed wonderful hospitality and made many great lifelong friends in all the places I have visited. Some trips you look forward to more than others and if I’m honest the choice between visiting Chicago or Bermuda in November was, as they say, a bit of a no brainer. Thankfully I had a client, actually a great friend too in Bermuda, who of course needed regular visits. Bermuda a beautiful place but also the only place I’ve ever been seasick and having been so discovered a passionate dislike of deep sea fishing. One of my erstwhile colleagues there used to insist that I turned my back on him every time I saw him as he claimed he only recognised me by the back of my head as he was so used to seeing it hanging over boat’s railings.

I was reflecting on business trips this week having spent the day in Luxembourg, and as always with business travel, an inordinate amount of time at airports. As I left a rainy London on Tuesday morning I was not expecting to sit in the sun in the charming Place d’Armes in Luxembourg enjoying lunch but we did. As I sat in the airport waiting my flight I reflected back on some of the trips that I had made. To be honest some of the places, Hamburg, for example I am biased against due to the relationships I had there, and Paris. Well Paris a city I love but a city where we had a fractious relationship, whilst at REFCO, with our sister office. Actually fractious doesn’t quite do the relationship justice. Horrendous may be a better word .Never mind though it still memorable for many reasons and in particular for a visit I made as a money broker. Whilst I was a broker at Babcock and Brown Tony Two-Names ( Anthony Llewelyn-Davies) myself and Terry Barnard visited Paris . As we drove in from the airport Terry turned to us and said “Amazing how many branches of Macdonalds there are in the capital of food“. Tony and I looked at each other quizzically and then suddenly Terry exclaimed “ Look there’s another one” We glanced out of the cab window and we spied a large M advertising the Metro.

I have been always enjoyed travelling from a young age when I hitchhiked around Europe and remember my first business trip to Belfast in the 70s where we stayed in the Europa Hotel which at the time was reminiscent of what a hotel in the Lebanon was like on a trip in the 90’s. Great times and memories which include having great fun in Dublin where we went fishing in The Westbury hotel with Papa T. True The Westbury, fantastic hotel that it is , offers many things but not a trout stream . God knows why we thought it might but then we did discover Vodka and Lucozade as a hangover cure. Having been everywhere over the years I thought I had seen everything. Well I was wrong and before this column turns into Trip Advisor there is one more story I wish to relate.

I got a call this week to meet two clients who were visiting London, from Hong Kong, at The Mayfair Hotel. Nothing unusual in that and being around the corner from Langans I was more than happy to pop up and see them on Friday morning. It was only on my way up there that I got a text saying “come to room 335”. Odd I thought but hey, never mind let us see. I went up to the third floor, found the room number and knocked on the door which was quickly opened by…a Nurse. Now to be honest I wasn’t sure whether they had got into a fight the night before and she was caring for them or she was part of the previous night’s entertainment and that they were still partying. Then I walked in to be presented with the two guys on intravenous drips. As I mentioned earlier Vodka and Lucozade was about as adventurous as I ever got when it came to hangover cures but apparently the new idea is to replace the vitamins you’ve lost drinking with a NAD drip. Well they tried to convince me it was the best thing to do and having seen them again on Saturday they did look a thousand times better so it looks like there is something in it.

Certainly Sterling this week looks like it’s been on a vitamin drip and reacting well. Europe’s travails continue with the union standoff in France seemingly slipping over to Germany now where there have also been strikes. The French rail workers and Air Crews are trying to coordinate strikes indeed one of the people I met in Luxembourg had only made the meeting as he had got so fed up with trying to travel by plane or train in France he hired a car. In a throwback to 1968 Students are also striking as they fear that the government will increase University Fees which at present are only €184 per annum at The Sorbonne. Sterling should continue to benefit from these problems including the increase in Right Wing anti Europe populism on the mainland of Europe. As a secondary factor it now appears clear that the UK will benefit from a good trade deal from Europe for no other reason than Europe needs the money that we will be asked to pay for it with. Do not be surprised if Sterling approaches €1.20 in the short term, indeed some chartists, including my muse Sir A, are looking for a substantial move back towards it’s all-time highs in the €1.40s over time.

As with all things in life though be prepared for a shock. With Putin and Trump shaking their fists at each other, like the cartoons of Presidents Chernenko and Reagan did in the video to Two Tribes in an earlier era, there is the potential for a huge error of misjudgement in Syria. Whilst this posturing carries on safe haven currencies should remain attractive and the stock markets vulnerable and maybe in need of more than a NAD drip.

And just in case you thought I was exaggerating….

Richard Matthews, who began his career in 1973, is a former trader-broker in the London money, futures and foreign exchange markets. Twitter @dickiematthews5  www.theotherdoor.co

This column is the opinion of the author.

You gotta serve somebody but what are they like?

 

You may be a business man or some high-degree thief

They may call you doctor or they may call you chief

But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes you are

You’re gonna have to serve somebody

Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord

But you’re gonna have to serve somebody

Bob Dylan – “Gotta serve somebody”

 

Rather how one feels after a four course lunch I fear that I am suffering from too many columns about lunching and dining out. Certainly my body is creaking having entertained a lot last week, even considering I don’t drink and am very careful with what I eat, which is not to say that it wasn’t enjoyable. Both the food and the company were top drawer but this is not a restaurant review column (although that would be fun) but it’s starting to get  like one. Similar to a boxer who has had one too many fights or a luncher who has had one too many drinks it is a subject that is getting a little wobbly on its feet.

However before I totally leave the subject of lunch I wanted to use a story that Spencer Campbell, a man with a memory like an elephant, reminded me of and being lazy I am going to quote his email pretty much verbatim. To set the picture there was an Aussie called Ryan Crowe who had come to London to find fame and fortune, missed both and ended up working in the Options pit for SeaGrayFosh and my birthday twin Jimmy Two-Names ( James Campbell-Gray) – a true legend in his own lunchtime. As Spencer narrates “One afternoon Ryan puts in a request to fly to Copenhagen the next Thursday to meet a client for lunch on the Friday and spend the weekend entertaining him. Upon his return flight he arrived at the UK airport only to be quizzed by the immigration officer on his working visa status! After checking through his bag they asked if they could read his diary, to which he replied “but of course” having nothing to hide! “What does working at the wine bar on Wednesday refer to here?” they asked! “Oh that, I help out a friend on Wednesday night as a favour, I get free drinks and can chat up the chicks” he proclaimed! “I am sorry Sir but that is a violation of your working visa for the UK and you will be deported back to your home country, Australia!” Since it was a Sunday he was unable to reach the firm and was then on an indirect flight to Sydney via Bangkok. After landing in Bangkok he managed to call the office and spoke to Jimmy Two-Names who said “where are you? You missed the open?” “In Bangkok” “Must have been a good weekend then” came the reply, laughter ensued! He explained and they offered to get lawyers on the case for a swift return, he turned down the offer stating he would have returned not long after anyway and went back to Australia for good!”

I had a very pleasant sojourn with an ex-boss of mine last week, Richard Reinert, where we discussed several plans but mostly reflected on some of the characters that we had worked with, or for, which encouraged me to reflect on leaders. As Bob Dylan sings where ever you are in the business cycle whether you are the lowest of the low serving your first boss or a high flying CEO serving shareholders none of us escape. Whatever industry or profession you have chosen you will get caught, even back to your school days, and the nature of your bosses from teacher onwards decides your life and enjoyment of it. Now that I am rapidly approaching my dotage I look back and realise that there are only two types of bosses, well in broking anyway, those that believe that their way or the highway is the route and the caring sharing type who hope to obtain success by employees wanting to please them.

David Buik, who I court favour with a photo of Johnny Haynes, was without doubt the latter and the best boss and mentor that I’ve encountered by a country mile. His embrace of an employee as a person hopefully softened some of my harder edges. It’s interesting to note that Jon Delaney , that I now work with was trained by John Ruskin who I trained and you can see some “ Buikisms” come through- third generation no less. David was and still is a great luncher in an era where lunch occasionally overlapped with corporate entertainment at sporting events, which is again now less common, and here the patronage of the boss would come into play. Indeed David Buik was very understanding (or was it controlled fury) when a dozen of us got out of control at Highbury. It was the launch of the new boxes above the North Bank and Arsenal were trying to sell one to Prebon and had gifted the evening, including unlimited booze to us. David knowing that we had a large Arsenal following in the futures team passed the invite to us. Unfortunately the box was directly above the away fans that had travelled down from Newcastle. I am still embarrassed at our behaviour and will refrain from repeating the car keys story. I say no more than the police were called, I was carpeted and ironically we bought the box. I suspect from guilt but never mind we made full use of it.

 

Bosses ,leaders corporate entertaining and indeed accountants are subjects I will return to but as I’m off to The Emirates with my Grandson shortly I better talk a little of the markets. The most unsurprising headline of the week was “ No government formed in Italy “  this saga will run and run and the longer it runs the more unsettling it will become with the two extremes of the political horseshoe attracting each other . The election in Hungary has seen a resounding victory for the anti-immigration right wing party led by Orban and spells trouble for Brussels .Meanwhile Macron is taking on the Unions starting with SNCF. Les cheminots are fantastically well paid and have jobs for life however if France is to move truly forward how the country reacts to this their Thatcher moment is crucial. Fifty years after the near revolution in France in 1968 it is a different country but the support for the reforms appears to be still split pretty much 50/50. Not only is this crucial for Macron at home but for his ambitions to be seen as the true leader of Europe, now that Merkel’s star is no longer in the ascendency, when the European parliamentary elections take place in May next year.

It would be really pushing it to believe that Trump is a caring boss and what feels like very basic negotiating tactics with China are starting to unsettle the markets. Let me be clear China has abused its power but only as it has been allowed too. By imposing harsher and harsher tariffs on China Trump may be just pushing his luck a little too hard and China will hit back. They are a country not known for backing down. Although the 2/10 US Bond spread steepened a bit last week a full scale trade war would not only seriously hurt stocks but could well push the world into recession. The thought that haunts me most is that some say it was tariffs in the 1930s pushed America into a depression. The stock markets feel very vulnerable and for those that follow the technicals they look very bearish.

As all good bosses and leaders know there is a fine line between encouragement and bullying and it’s a hard line to walk. Few people that I have worked with have achieved this mix and thankfully workplace bullying is now virtually non-existent. What is really sad is that even fewer politicians have been skilled in the fine arts of leadership in the years that I have been in the market. Chancellors of the exchequer have fared even worse but then none have behaved as badly as my old account Mike “Marigolds” Lee did and I will return to him next week. As they say a man deserving of a book to himself.

Four course lunches are bad for the digestion

You were the best in town
Just by chance you crossed the diamond with the pearl
You turned it on the world
That’s when you turned the world around

Becker and Fagen

I wrote last week about the demise of Directors lunches and the general shortening of lunch hours to err, well an hour . An hour at the desk eating a sandwich which really does nothing for your digestion or your client relationships. There are, of course days, when you are too busy to get out and then grabbing a snack makes sense indeed there were days on the floor of liffe when you just didn’t leave your booth. Those days especially in Winter seemed particularly tough when for maybe two or three days at a time you didn’t get to see daylight as you came in when it was dark at 6.30 in the morning , didn’t leave the windowless trading floor all day and went home at 6.00 in the gloom of a London Winter. Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not complaining just observing and there is not one old floor trader worth his salt who wouldn’t happily go back to those days.

The friendships that were born out of the constant socialising that we indulged in have lasted me a life time and as ive said before the major joy of writing these columns are the names that reappear. As if to illustrate this I was contacted by Andrew Linden last week. Now Andrew, Sapper to all and sundry thanks to his links with the HAC, and I haven’t seen each other for over 40 years but somehow he read my column. How did he find it? God knows but Sapper will reveal all in the near future I hope. Sapper, when I last saw him was an aspiring FX broker in, I think, the now long gone Dollar/Peseta market. I drifted off to futures and ended up as I am whilst Sapper now runs “educational” tours of London called www.Lindenlondontours.com.  Perhaps he has contacted me as he wants to expand into a www.lostlondonlunchtours.com ? If that’s the case, Sapper, I’m your man.

In-lunches weren’t the only dangerous venues we encountered back when we were kings of the markets. There were several restaurants, at the risk of being repetitive, that are forever imprinted on my liver. Let alone pubs, but those especially  “The Bermuda Triangle” of The Deacons, The Green Man and The Mithras can wait awhile. Restaurants. Where do I start? From the Grill and Cheese in Throgmorton Street where I first learnt how to entertain from older brokers we progressed to the more lethal venues such as The City Circle where Richard Reynolds tried to control gay Tony and Big Val and the Paris Grill. Oh yes the original Paris Grill where ties were fair game. Seriously, if exception was taken to the tie you were wearing it was unceremoniously cut in half and pinned to the ceiling. I write this with trepidation as one of my colleagues with a good memory has his eye on a particularly nice tie of mine.

In my very early days wine bars were all the rage and Balls Brother’s must have made a fortune in Gutter Lane and Moore house along with the more traditional , now sadly all victims of the redevelopment of the City , bars such as Coates and the most lethal of all Capitaz where only dry biscuits were served as food. Eating dry biscuits of course had the desired effect of encouraging you to consume more and more wine. Of course things went wrong and colleagues got into terrible states and scrapes. Who can forget “Battling” Bill Hempsell constantly returning after lunch to the broker’s  office who had sacked him for directing the traffic in Moorgate ?Wrong offices returned to by great characters, but of all these misdemeanours the one that sticks in my mind was by a broker with the apt nickname of  Pondlife. If you met , you would know why he gloried in the name. Now one afternoon the character in question had way too much to drink in The Green Man and unfortunately had an accident in his trousers. Luckily he had his Trench coat on, which concealed the mess,  and he rushed into Austin Reed in Cheapside where he grabbed a new pair of underpants and trousers , pushed to the front of the queue and paid for them. He then dashed down to Cannon Street and jumped on his train home, retiring to the on-board loo he rapidly stripped off and threw the offending items out of the train window and opened the Austin Reed bag only to find that in his rush he had picked the wrong bag up and inside it was a jumper. It must have been an interesting conversation with Mrs Pondlife when he eventually got home naked as the day he was born under his treasured trench-coat.

The one thing I learnt about lunch was that a four course lunch, unless you count a Trou Normand as a course, was always too much food and would cause indigestion for hours after. Like an overfull luncher the markets are trying to digest some major issues and find that they too are starting to have trouble. At the moment they are presented with the full four courses and not a freshening sorbet in sight. The cash markets are still moving and the OIS spread still seems wide whilst Gold is in backwardation which I am reliably informed , thank you Spencer Campbell , that it is being used as a short term guarantee. Combined with the inference of flight to quality from the OIS spread this is worrying and it is to be hoped that it is just the internal battles at Deutsche which are causing this.

The tech sell off looks set to carry on as investors query the business ethics of the FANGS and there is the Spotify IPO hanging over the market. It’s hard to see how Spotify ever makes a profit but I guess the big guys in the music business need it to counterbalance Apple. Then there is Tesla who I feel will go down in history as the company that changed how we view cars at the same time as never turning a profit as the big auto manufacturers come to play. Sad for Elon Musk that he has expensively proved a business cae for others to follow. All the time the USD 2-10 yield curve flattens and points to a recession in 2019.

Finally, similar to an Eton Mess for dessert, Politics seems as fraught as ever. With much of France on strike , Italy still trying to form a government with two radical parties Germany arresting the Catalan leader and Trumps tweets now being seen as catalysts for market sell offs volatility looks like it’s here to stay for a while. Perhaps it’s time to dust off those old floor trader’s Doc Martins and  start those walking tours of great lunch venues ….but where to start and what to call the tours?

Richard Matthews, who began his career in 1973, is a former trader-broker in the London money, futures and foreign exchange markets. Twitter @dickiematthews5  www.theotherdoor.co

This column is purely the opinion of the author and is not an invitation or recommendation to trade.