Trading Debates: German Elections and EUR

The upcoming general elections in Germany could well be a decisive moment for the future of the European single currency. As the richest nation in the Eurozone, Germany has found itself covering much of the cost of bailing out its more financially insecure partners in the European project, and there are signs that the German public is getting fatigued with this. A change of government would no doubt bring about a change of policy, which could ultimately lead to the break-up of the Eurozone.

Saxo Bank Co-CEO Lars Seier Christensen
Saxo Bank Co-CEO Lars Seier Christensen

This topic is set to be at the top of the agenda at the Saxo Bloomberg #TradingDebates on September 13th, 2013. Speaking at the event will be former President of the Czech Republic Vaclav Klaus; leader of the UK Independence Party Nigel Farage; and co-CEO of Saxo Bank Lars Seier Christensen.

They will be joined by a clutch of expert panelists, including Saxo Bank’s Chief Economist Steen Jakobsen, David Powell from Bloomberg, Saxo Capital Markets’  Nick Beecroft, Commerzbank FX Strategist Peter Kinsella, Valentin Marinov of CitiFX, Geoffrey Yu from UBS, and Roy Sher, founder and CIO of ISAM Fusion Hedge Fund. The panels will be moderated by Bloomberg TV anchor Guy Johnson, and the event will be hosted by Saxo TV’s Owen Thomas.

Vaclav Klaus, former President of the Czech Republic
Vaclav Klaus, former President of the Czech Republic

Panels and Talks

After an opening address from Saxo Bank co-CEO Lars Seier Christensen, the first order of business will be a talk by Vaclav Klaus, former President of the Czech Republic, entitled ‘Europe: The Shattering of Illusions’. In his speech, Klaus will posit the notion that new plans to create a European superstate, with a head of state and army, is the “final phase” of the destruction of democracy. He sees the movement of power away from individual nation-states towards Brussels as “a flight from accountability and responsibility”, and that the current situation is unstable and unsustainable. Klaus is perhaps the only senior European politician in recent years to have been consistently vocal in his opposition to the European project, and wants to see a return to a market economy and more realistic cooperation between European nations.

This will be followed by a panel discussion entitled ‘One Bad Election Away From a Wake-Up Call’, featuring Saxo’s Chief Economist Steen Jakobsen, Bloomberg’s David Powell, Steven Saywell of BNP Paribas, Roy Sher, Founder and CIO of ISAM Fusion Hedge Fund. It will centre around what is described as a ‘piecemeal’ approach to policy in Europe and the economic effects of this, particularly in the Southern European states. The discussion will centre around the following questions:

  • Is Europe about to underperform in all assets?
  • Will the German election be a turning point in the crisis?
  • What kind of changes must politicians make to ensure the survival of the Euro project, if, indeed, it should exist at all?

After a break for lunch, there will be a panel discussion entitled ‘Has Quantitative Easing Become an Embarrassment?’. This will feature Nick Beecroft, Chairman of Saxo Capital Markets, Valentin Marinov, Head of European G10 FX strategy, CitiFX; Geoffrey Yu, Senior FX Strategist, UBS Investment Bank; and Peter Kinsella, FX Strategist, Commerzbank. This will concern the dangers inherent in QE, such as asset bubbles and the mispricing of risk, and how central banks are coming to realise that these risks outweigh the potential benefits of quantitative easing. With both the Fed and the ECB setting out conditions for turning off the QE taps, this marks a shift in the way central banks communicate their intentions to the market, and the public as a whole. The discussion will centre around the following questions:

  • What are the different types of forward guidance central banks can provide?
  • Does better central bank communication always reduce market uncertainty?
  • Are there any major risks involved?

This will be followed by a trading workshop hosted by Rakesh Shah, Managing Director and Head of Trading at Kingly Capital, entitled ‘Managing Risk While Leveraging Opportunity”. In it, he will be presenting a variety of trading strategies based arount the current market conditions.

Nigel Farage, leader of the UK Independence Party
Nigel Farage, leader of the UK Independence Party

The day’s events will finish on a profoundly Eurosceptic note with an address by Nigel Farage, controversial leader of the UK Independence Party. In a speech called ‘Is the UK Better Off Outside the EU’, he discusses the growing momentum behind an ‘in-out’ referendum on Europe, and his reasons for opposing the UK’s continued membership of the EU. In his speech, he will highlight the growing hostility towards the UK among other EU members, and what he sees as the potential benefits of an amicable divorce between the two parties.

The event will take place on September 13th, 2013 at Bloomberg’s European Headquarters, 39-45 Finsbury Square, London EC2A 1PQ. Entry is free, although you have to register online before the event in order to attend. Check-in begins at 10:30am, the opening address will be given at 11am, and the event will draw to a close at 3.30pm. To register for the event, and find out more details, visit the Saxo Markets #TradingDebates page.