Wednesday, 20 August 2008

An imaginary Russian tale

It feels a bit miserable to write about this, but it was always going to be a winner. In a perverse way, I feel quite smug.

Free financial markets training by Rab:

For a place like Russia, there is no need to hedge corporate bond exposure with its correspondent CDS; it is much cheaper to hedge it using Russian Sov CDS.

I am torn between my fiduciary duty to investors (wait before insulting me: it could be your pension) and personal ethics. Is it morally acceptable to indirectly profit from political risk (war) to directly benefit future pensioners? I somehow think, or want to think, it is, but what do you think? Would you be happy if your pension fund had benefited from the above strategy?

My actions have not been and are of no consequence to events in Georgia but I somehow feel uneasy. Why? Am I just being a pussy with a conscience or I am just trying to justify my own misplaced post-leftie legacy guilt by writing about it...

This communication is not directed at professional investment advisors, retail investors or any other market participants or pesky journalists. It should not be distributed to, or relied on, by private customers or anybody else for that mattter. The information in this article is based on my own understanding of the historical, current and future positions of the markets, and not that of my employer or my colleagues. The views expressed should not be interpreted as recommendations or advice by anybody or as an accepted or rejected house view.
Past performance is not a guide to future performance, but we only brag about it when it is good. The value of investments and the income from them may go down as well as up and is not guaranteed, and if you invest in Russia or any other emerging market you do need to think about hedging your risk in anyway you can because these places are generally a mess.
If you want to take a punt, just buy Euromillions tickets and do not gamble your money in the financial markets thinking that you are going to beat the market consistently over the long term.


ian llorens said...

My 401K is down the drain since January. Clearly my funds did not benefit from the Ossetia situation. My fund manager must have been watching the Olympics.

Rab said...

Iain, if you are interested in a bit of philosophy and financial markets, I recommend Nassim Nicholas Taleb's books, "Fooled by Randomness" and "The Black Swan", in that order.

They are a bit depressing if you work in this industry though. I would not recommend them to anyone under the age of 30 either.

Rab said...

For goodness sake, I swear I will never type Iain again. Sorry Ian, it's just that one of my workmates is Iain, and I always get it wrong with you. Demano perdó.