If anyone thought populism ended with Brexit & Trump, these past few days have been quite the reality check...

There are three forms of political mobilisation which populists have adopted: that of the populist leader, the populist political party, and the populist social movement

Fair to say that's where we are now...

Robinhood decided to limit trading in the recent high-flyers including GameStop, AMC, Blackberry, Nokia and nine others.

They weren't alone, with almost all major retail brokers restricting trading in meme stocks.  

Not only did Robinhood shutter trading in these stocks, they also closed out plenty of customer positions at unfavourable prices due to 'unreasonable risk'...

Robinhood even had to tap into credit lines of 'at least several hundred million dollars'

“In order to protect the firm and protect our customers we had to limit buying in these stocks,” - Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev

But who are 'our customers'?

Is it Citadel or 'the little guys'?

This is the exact question that stoked the anger yesterday.

Twitter lit up with accusations of the system being rigged, and a class action lawsuit has already been filed....  

Amongst all of the chaos and emotion, people seem to forget how trading works.

If no-one wants to take the other side of your trade, there is no market, no trade...

If your trades are causing the broker to take on 'unreasonable risk', then they will either offer a terrible spread or refuse the order.

If a retail broker can't pass the order on there is no trade.

It takes two to tango, and the deep pockets decided not to play anymore.

There was undoubtedly some shady shit going on behind the scenes and Citadel probably played (and profited from) both sides.

This isn't about fairness, it's just how things work.

As George Carlin said.. "it's a big club and you ain't in it"


George captures the current feeling well in that clip...

One to watch today... 👀

Citron Research were one of the early casualties of the Gamestop squeeze - what insights are they about to offer to individual investors?

And just for laughs....

Utrust are making crypto payments easy

Whether you want to receive crypto payments for your business or simply spend crypto on everyday items, Utrust is the solution for you...

The Vaccine Race

Novavax could soon be added to the growing list of effective vaccines after a successful U.K. study found that it was 89% effective in preventing symptomatic Covid-19.

Novavax is backed by $1.6 billion in funding from the U.S. government under a deal for 100 million doses, and the U.K. is set to get 60 million doses.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Twitter that officials there are ready to review the vaccine.

The EU is also close to signing a contract with U.S. company Novavax for up to 200 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, one of the EU officials said, adding that a deal was “imminent”.

A big market theme over the coming months will be the race to herd immunity...  

The EU have made a real pigs ear of their vaccine rollout, while the U.K. is way out in front - will this have an impact on the two currencies?

Is A Currency War On The Cards?

We think it is, and wrote about it back in November last year.

Currency Wars - Central Banks Are Back In The Game
It was an incredible day in the markets yesterday. We saw a large rotation into small caps, and the Russell 2000 went limit up(+7%) before the cash open. Longer dated U.S treasury yields gained, with the U.S. 10Y yielding 0.97% at onepoint. The positive vaccine news really threw everything …

Recent comments on rate cuts to 'counter euro strength' by ECB member Knot bring this sharply back into focus...

Deutsche Bank - “What we are seeing is only the opening gambit of central banks responding to a weaker dollar environment,” said Alan Ruskin, chief international strategist at Deutsche Bank AG, who’s been analyzing markets for more than two decades. While the steps so far are short of en-masse manipulation, “this is something for the market and the incoming Biden administration to watch closely.”

CommerzBank - “The timing of the ECB’s communication campaign suggests that it does not want to slow down the speed of appreciation of the euro, but wants to force certain exchange rate levels,” Commerzbank AG’s head of currency strategy Ulrich Leuchtmann said in a note. “We can only interpret this to mean that the ECB has de facto declared currency war.”

Diginex Enters into Strategic Partnership with GSR Markets

Excellent news for crypto traders!

As part of the strategic partnership, GSR will become a shareholder in Diginex and one of the main liquidity providers for EQUOS, Diginex’s crypto exchange.

Richard Byworth, CEO of Diginex, commented:

“As an exchange that avoids the conflict of interest of making markets against its own participants, the partnership with GSR is key to growing the depth and liquidity in all our trading pairs.
GSR are one of the largest market makers in crypto and crypto derivatives, so longer term the partnership will evolve more broadly into liquidity provision around key offerings like options, structured products and borrowing and lending.
“Since the launch of our BTC Perpetual product, we have seen a meaningful increase in activity on EQUOS, with overall volumes increasing over 2.5 times on an average daily basis, compared to December levels.
We anticipate that with GSR onboard and the additional depth they will bring to our books, we will continue to see volumes increase meaningfully as liquidity and spreads improve.”

Market Snapshots

Month-end flows, the retail squeeze & record trading volumes, all combining to increase volatility and uncertainty.

Risk sentiment took a nosedive again in Asia...

Source: TradingView

And the picture isn't much prettier elsewhere...

Stay safe and have a great weekend!