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Letter from the Co-CEO, Lynette Lim June 2016

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Letter from the Co-CEO, Lynette Lim June 2016

 

As citizens of Britain decide on June 23rd whether or not Britain should leave or remain in the EU, the currency markets and the VIX index (volatility index) come alive as the consensus on the polls swing towards favoring the BREXIT.  For many traders, news like this is exciting times – it implies large swings in the market, which also means opportunities for large profits (or loss).  At the FCM level, while we welcome the possible volume spikes, volatility and jittery markets mean heightened risks. We ask ourselves questions like what would be the greatest loss of a trade that could happen that would cause a firm to be undercapitalized?  What are the preventative measures that we could take to mitigate these risks?  As one of the proactive measures, we will be following our affiliated company in Singapore, and increasing margin requirements on GBP related products.

 

Sadly, tensions have reached a boiling point over this referendum and a life has been lost. A British Parliament member was gunned down and killed on June 16th after meeting with constituents. And speaking of loss, United States is mourning the loss of 49 people killed and 53 others wounded in the deadliest mass shooting by a single gunman in U.S. history that happened on June 13th.  The assailant, who is an American citizen but born from Iranian parents, swore allegiance to ISIL, and the shooting is also classified as the worst terrorist attack in the US since 9/11. This tragedy incited opportunistic US presidential candidate Donald Trump to reiterate his controversial call for a temporary ban on Muslim migration to the United States.  He said, ”I said this was going to happen…and it is only going to get worse.”

 

While I am pondering over all this and the complexities of each issue, I do notice a common thread that seems to appear in the collective thoughts of the masses, and it goes something like this: “the big bad wolf is out there, and if we get rid of all things foreign, we will be safe.”

 

For the UK, I do not believe that the Brexit will actually happen, but I am still surprised at the significant numbers at the poll that do favor Britain leaving the EU. One of the reasons they cite is that they want better border control than the EU and take matters in their own hands to control migration. And who can forget Trump’s audacious proposal to build a physical border around America to keep the Mexicans out?  If I do meet Trump, I would like to tell him that his idea is not original; China had already built THE Great Wall of China in 206 BC for similar reasons.

 

History repeats itself. There is strikingly a lot of similarity in history of treatment of discrimination at all levels borne out of fear and hysteria.  During The European witch hunt, which killed millions of women, it was observed that they were killed only along the borders. Statistically it is hard to believe that witches only live along the border and not within.

 

It is hard not to feel saddened by this. While we have made leaps and bounds advancement in technology, it feels like the world has gone backwards in our thinking.  Thanks to Google Maps we can know a lot about someone without ever meeting him. We can even see the exact house where they live, and watch YouTube videos of their cat performing tricks in Japan, and yet we are so quick to label them as “evil” when they are not us.

 

I am not at all condoning all of the atrocities that are happening, nor am I choosing to live in a bubble to say that evil does not exist. It does, and we do have rights to take measures to protect ourselves. But then is it right to take revenge on other races and religions? Is the evil that exists only occurring outside and not in our own backyard?

 

While I have not met any American person who believes what Trump says about immigration and evil Muslims as gospel truth, he must still be saying something that resonates with people to make him a candidate. Having lived in Singapore, where Muslims form a fairly large population, they are my friends. (As an aside, I lived with Muslims girls from Malaysia for three years, and my only gripe was that I couldn’t eat pork.) It is naïve and extremely patronizing to say that we are all the same because we are blatantly not.  That would be insulting to our creator and to ourselves, and we are so beautifully created and different. Why don’t we embrace the differences and celebrate our oneness?

 

While all this negative news of ISIS and rampant shootings takes a toll on me, I look at my kids and feel grateful for what I have: an opportunity and a responsibility to teach them and be an example for them of how to live. I may not be able to stop another terrorist from attacking, or a crazy person to shoot a school, but I can teach my kids what it means to live in different cultures, and to see value and good in each culture.  I can teach my kids what it means to give and share, and most of all the qualities--empathy.  I think the world is better when we are different, isn’t it?

 

RISK DISCLAIMER: Trading in futures products entails significant risks of loss which must be understood prior to trading and may not be appropriate for all investors. Past performance of actual trades or strategies cited herein is not necessarily indicative of future performance. The information contained herein is provided to you for information only and believed to be drawn from reliable sources but cannot be guaranteed; Phillip Capital Inc. assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions. The views and opinions expressed in this letter are those of the author and do not reflect the views of Phillip Capital Inc. or its staff.