Return to Zimbabwe: the Old Mutual Implied Rate

Let’s hop in the hot tub time machine and head back to the other financial crisis of 2008. While Bear was having two-dollar bills taped to its headquarters, Lehman was turning into Less-Than, and Citibank was living up to its Shi[see me—ed] nickname, Zimbabwe was having its own economic meltdown despite being pretty much cut off from the rest of the world’s economies. Zimbabwe’s problem was hyperinflation—the second-fastest episode of hyperinflation in history, as it turned out.

An Interest Rates Primer for Cryptocurrency Folks

I’ve banged on a little bit on Twitter about how digital asset markets are continually recapitulating discoveries from fiat markets (securitization, credit-default swaps, corporate actions oh wait no disregard that). But aside from an effort by Genesis Trading, there’s been a surprising lack of interest or development in crypto interest rate markets. From what I’ve heard (and @ me if I’m wrong), crypto lending markets are not big. You can borrow bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies for shorting or market-making purposes, but the rates are stiff (8-10% on cash-collateralised loans) and volumes are small.

Adding TLS to your S3 static site with Cloudfront

Step n+1 in the process of moving josh.sg to a static site (steps 0 through n are right here) was to enable TLS encryption. Gone are the days when you had to fork out squillions of dollars for an SSL certificate if you wanted that fancy padlock in the address bar; these days, Amazon Certificate Manager hands them out for free. If you’re not wedded to the AWS ecosystem, the good folks at Let’s Encrypt hand out free certs as well, with their Clarkes-Third-Law-level magic configuration software.

The Old New Thing: Turning josh.sg Static

Fifteen years ago, when I spun up what became josh.sg, Movable Type was the de rigeur blogging platform, the CMS before any of us even really knew what a “CMS” was. It was Perl (with all the quirks that that implies); it was static (PHP-powered dynamic page generation was still TK); but it still meant that any idiot could post content on the web without having to learn to wrangle HTML.

Pounded By The Pound: Sports Direct’s Hedges and the Cable Flash Crash

Introduction Just after midnight London time on October 7th, 2016, GBPUSD (henceforth “cable”, henceforth “betty”1) abruptly plunged from 1.2620 to 1.1841 1.1938 1.1378 1.1500 1.14912 in the space of about three minutes, then just as quickly bounced back to the mid-1.20s. Explanations for the move ranged from “algorithms!” to “fat fingers!” to “stop-losses being executed in the typically thin, illiquid markets that prevail between NY and Tokyo timezones” to “hard Brexit” to, probably, “aliens landing on the grounds of Buckingham Palace!