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Forex Trading History

In 1967, a Chicago bank refused a college professor by the name of Milton Friedman a loan in pound sterling because he had intended to use the funds to short the British currency. Friedman, he had perceived sterling to be priced too high against the dollar, wanted to sell the currency, then later buy it back to repay the bank after the currency declined, thus pocketing a quick profit. The bank's refusal to grant the loan was due to the Bretton Woods Agreement, established twenty years earlier, which fixed national currencies against the dollar, and set the dollar at a rate of $35 per ounce of gold.

The Bretton Woods Agreement, set up in 1944, aimed at installing international monetary stability by preventing money from fleeing across nations, and restricting speculation in the world currencies Prior to the Agreement, the gold exchange standard--prevailing between 1876 and World War I--dominated the international economic system. Under the gold. exchange, currencies gained a new phase of stability as they were backed by the price of gold. It abolished the age-old practice used by kings and rulers of arbitrarily debasing money and triggering inflation.

But the gold exchange standard didn't lack faults. As an economy strengthened, it would import heavily from abroad until it ran down its gold reserves required to back its money. As a result, money supply would shrink, interest rates rose and economic activity slowed to the extent of recession. Ultimately, prices of goods had hit bottom, appearing attractive to other nations, which would rush into buying sprees that injected the economy with gold until it increased its money supply, and drive down interest rates and recreate wealth into the economy. Such boom-bust patterns prevailed throughout the gold standard until the outbreak of World War I interrupted trade flows and the free movement of gold.

After the Wars, the Bretton Woods Agreement was founded, where participating countries agreed to try and maintain the value of their currency with a narrow margin against the dollar and a corresponding rate of gold as needed. Countries were prohibited from devaluing their currencies to their trade advantage and were only allowed to do so for devaluations of less than 10%. Into the 1950s, the ever-expanding volume of international trade led to massive movements of capital generated by post-war construction. That destabilized foreign exchange rates as set up in Bretton Woods.

The Agreement was finally abandoned in 1971, and the US dollar would no longer be convertible into gold. By 1973, currencies of major industrialized nations became more freely floating, controlled mainly by the forces of supply and demand which acted in the foreign exchange market. Prices were floated daily, with volumes, speed and price volatility all increasing throughout the 1970s, giving rise to new financial instruments, market deregulation and trade liberalization.

In the 1980s, cross-border capital movements accelerated with the advent of computers and technology, extending market continuum through Asian, European and American time zones. Transactions in foreign exchange rocketed from about $70 billion a day in the 1980s, to more than $1.5 trillion a day two decades later.

Free Floating Currencies

In 1971 and 1972 two more attempts at free-floating currency against the U.S. dollar, namely the Smithsonian Agreement and the European Joint Float. The first was just a modification of the Bretton-Woods accord with allowances for greater fluctuation, while the European one aimed to reduce dependence of their currencies on the dollar. After the failure of each of these agreements, nations were allowed to peg their currencies to freely float, and was actually mandated to do so by 1978 by the IMF. The free-floating system managed to hold out for several years, but many denominations had failed against the strong currencies.

The Euromarket

A major catalyst to the acceleration of foreign exchange trading was the rapid development of the euro-dollar market; where US dollars are deposited in banks outside the US. Similarly, Euromarkets are those where assets are deposited outside the currency of origin. The Eurodollar market first came into being in the 1950s when Russia's oil revenue-- all in dollars -- was deposited outside the US in fear of being frozen by US regulators. That gave rise to a vast offshore pool of dollars outside the control of US authorities. The US government imposed laws to restrict dollar lending to foreigners. Euromarkets were particularly attractive because they had far less regulations and offered higher yields. From the late 1980s onwards, US companies began to borrow offshore, finding Euromarkets a beneficial center for holding excess liquidity, providing short-term loans and financing imports and exports.

London was, and remains the principal offshore market. In the 1980s, it became the key center in the Eurodollar market when British banks began lending dollars as an alternative to pounds in order to maintain their leading position in global finance. London's convenient geographical location (operating during Asian and American markets) is also instrumental in preserving its dominance in the Euromarket.

The Birth of Euro

Although Europeans were already very comfortable with the concept of forex trading, much of the rest of the world were still unfamiliar with the territory. The establishment of the European Union in 1992 gave birth to the euro seven years later, in 1999. The euro was the first single-currency used as legal currency for the member states in the European Union. It became the first currency able to rival the historical leaders in the Foreign Exchange market and create the stability that Europe and the forex market had long desired.

 

 

Forex Trading Tips

Tip : Donít set yourself false targets and expectations. Trading is not an EXACT science and if you do you will only become frustrated by your failure to meet them. Take what the market gives and be satisfied. Greed will kill you as a trader, both mentally and monetarily.

 Akmeter EUR

 

 

 

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