The Guardian is insane

For 21-year-old Lina Khalid, it’s her grandmother’s dream of visiting Mecca that drives her while trading currency.

“I’m gonna do it. Even if I have days where I’m not going to sleep, I’m gonna do it,” she says. A car for herself, some Air Jordans for her sister and being able to spoil her mum would also be nice, she adds.

The Wolf of Wall Street is what comes to mind for most people when thinking of the world of high-stakes finance, but Khalid, who works as a dental nurse, says she is one of a growing number of young women of colour who have taken up foreign exchange (forex) trading during lockdown, whilst remaining conscious of the risks.

The risks are significant and have led many to advise young people against taking part in currency trading, one of the riskiest form of trading there is. While traders who work in banks work with other people’s money, those who do it at home take a huge gamble with their own – and risk losing their life savings.

Vastly dangerous speculation is fine, even admirable, if it’s being done by young women of colour.

Sigh.

36 thoughts on “The Guardian is insane”

  1. Khalid? “of colour”? Is she from the middle east?

    Would they call an Israeli citizen who is a Mizrahi jew “of colour”? Probably not.

  2. The Guardian is very keen to depict this as investing. Forex trading is just a form of gambling. Normally the Graun takes a dim view of gambling so it is interesting to see the mental contortions they have to go through to make this seem a sensible, even virtuous, activity

  3. “Kia Commodore, the 22-year-old founder of Pennies to Pounds…..People come seeking advice on pensions, mortgages and credit cards.”

    Because a 22 year old with no apparent financial trading is the obvious choice to go to for advice.

    Meanwhile, what of 21-year-old Lina Khalid the hero of the story?

    “…a fraudster on Instagram told her she could easily turn £200 into a huge profit, but disappeared shortly after she had transferred the money.”

    Way to go.

  4. I wonder if the G will report when one of the women goes horribly bankrupt after making a wrong call.

  5. Bloke in China (Germany province)

    At least it’s not possible to rig the currency markets the way the mega hedge funds just did the stock market.

    Oh, wait…

  6. I expect they have pre-written the follow up article for 6 months time –

    “The Guardian has uncovered shocking evidence of how Forex trading platforms (many owned by Tory Party donors) have lured inexperienced young women into high risk financial speculation. Many have lost thousands of pounds and are now having to rely on Universal Credit. Labour MPs are leading calls for a Government compensation scheme for those affected”

  7. Andrew C: “Way to go.”

    *sings* “I might have known, there is always some man, lovely lady, come along and join us…”

    What? It’s Musical Day on Radio Two, you heathens!

  8. So the guardian is applauding this WoC for adopting the most extreme form of capitalism with the narrative that it is empowering an oppressed minority woman?? And she naively sent someone 200 quid on Insta ? The guardian keeps pushing the boundaries of woke idiocy.
    I’ve got some tulip bulbs she might like to buy only 100£ each. Granny ain’t gonna get to Mecca

  9. Bloke in China (Germany province)

    NoelC,

    “racist, sexist patriarchal tory party donors … lured inexperienced young women of colour…”

  10. Ms Khalid knows exactly how to trade the forex markets, and if you sign up now to her exclusive training course (hurry! only 5 seats left!) you can get a £299 discount on the normal £1249 price.

  11. The Guardian is very keen to depict this as investing. Forex trading is just a form of gambling.

    Investing is just a form of gambling. It may be longer term and lower risk but it’s still a bet on a future outcome.
    .

    I wonder if the G will report when one of the women goes horribly bankrupt after making a wrong call.

    The ruthlessness of the white supremacist patriarchy must be exposed.

  12. Nothing new here. People in the City were all bastards except for that Nicola woman, who received rave write-ups. Nothing different, just possessed a vagina.

    WHO does something, not the act itself, is their credo, and as we have seen from examples of black people, women etc who wander off the reservation and are cancelled, all of it is in fact just a proxy for one simple thing: if it advances the Left’s power, it is good.

  13. So Much For Subtlety

    Andrew C January 29, 2021 at 10:53 am – “I have a bridge for sale. And some pyramids”

    In fairness the pyramids really have only had one careful user

  14. Hmm. The activity is neither here nor there, and seemed a half decent i.e. not bullshit article. This thing is going on, it’s high risk, and dental nurses are doing it. They’ve not shown the ladies driving ferraris or anything so it’s not a promotion of the activity. The notable thing about it is they focus on a demographic, which is presumably what the readership, definitely the authorship, care about. All we know is these individuals are doing it, and their artsy friend made a short film about it, and that artsy friends journo friend does the odd piece for the Guardian.

  15. Um.

    Surely currency speculation was first undertaken by the Jews and Italians?

    So isn’t this cultural appropriation? And shouldn’t only Jews and Italians be allowed to be bankers?

  16. I wonder what the imams have to say about financing your granny’s pilgrimage to Mecca from currency speculation

  17. PJF,

    “Investing is just a form of gambling. It may be longer term and lower risk but it’s still a bet on a future outcome.”

    Yes, but at least it’s generally an overall win gamble. There is growth because someone makes a new video game, or a better cancer drug or whatever. Put money in a FTSE tracker and you’ll make money in 10 years. Currency is zero sum, it’s the same as sitting around playing poker with your mates.

    And don’t most people buy Forex to reduce risk? Like you have to pay a supplier in dollars, and you’d rather not get a horrible bill if the dollar shoots up, so get it now.

  18. I didn’t realise bingo had such high stakes these days. Just how much does it now cost to get into Mecca?

  19. Put money in a FTSE tracker and you’ll make money in 10 years.

    “Past performance is no guarantee of future results” is a legally required disclaimer in the US. Not sure about the UK, so maybe tread carefully:
    https://www.ftserussell.com/products/indices/uk-listed-africa

    Currency is zero sum, it’s the same as sitting around playing poker with your mates.

    Not a bad analogy as it’s a combination of random chance, reading people and “extra knowledge”. Some players are consistently good at it (as in they win more times than lose).

    And don’t most people buy Forex to reduce risk?

    Probably true (semantic pendantry aside).

  20. For some, remittances, imports, exports, etc. certainty is valuable. So locking in a forex trade is insurance, not gambling. This implies that there is money to be made on the other side of the trade, if you are nimble, dedicated, hard working and keep your brokerage fees close to zero.
    But to keep the market liquid and keep spreads skinny the casino has to be many times larger than the factory.

  21. umm… 450 quid gets you there and back from London. No doubt the lovingkindness of the RoL makes things over there cheap if you aren’t too fussy..

    At what point do you need to do high-risk speculation to save up that much over a year or so?

  22. @dio/bom4/philip

    Yeah, never really understood the appeal of currency trading as a “home industry”, given the risks involved and that unlike e.g. stock-picking as a hobby, you don’t have a net positive expectation just from par performance (as opposed to stock day-trading, where the fees quickly eat up some or all of the expected returns).

    If you were actually good at it, you’d go and do it professionally, where you get to do so with millions of pounds of other people’s money and your cut on that is going to be hefty. If you are only averagely good and you’ve only got savings of a few thousands pounds to play with then you’re going to make, on average, sod all per hour, and would be better to spend your post-commute evenings doing a bit of bar work or home tutoring or baking-for-sale if you want to make a few pennies. And if you are less than averagely good… You’d be doing yourself a massive financial favour just to spend the evenings zoning out “unproductively” in front of the gogglebox, since at least doing that won’t wipe your savings out.

    The analogy to people gambling as a side-hustle is useful, I think. Unless they’d doing matched betting to profit from special offers, most people are never going to beat the vig. The professional gamblers who can do so consistently have managed to spot inefficiencies in the market, but that’s easier for an unconnected nobody to achieve on a thinly traded sports market than on a globally traded currency market on which billions are traded in unimaginably short time-scales. And even those pro gamblers generally work very, very hard for it, judging from the examples I’ve known anyway.

    On the one hand it’s people’s own money and if they understand the risks then, like gambling, what they do is up to them. On the other hand, it’s pretty clear a lot of people don’t really grasp the financial things, whereas at least the typical punter knows the bookie usually wins. If government had a look at how it is being pitched to these people and how much hot water they’re allowed to get themselves into margin-wise, I don’t think I would complain. Particularly if they clamped down on the blatantly scammy trading “courses” that are advertised ubiquitously online, plus the binary options fraudsters (that somehow still seem to get away with celebrity impersonation and advertising openly on Google and in ads served by respectable media organisations). But I don’t think clearing out all the scams would solve the issue of folk like Ms Khalid getting drawn into deeper waters than she ought to be paddling in.

  23. FX trading, it’s macro isn’t it? It’s not necessarily gambling if it’s based on macroeconomics, views on future interest rates, inflations, parities, debt levels etc. they can be very long term positions, say sell dollar buy swiss and yen and the fx desk could keep rolling those for ages.

  24. Bloke in China (Germany province)

    Jussi, yet the dollars, Swiss francs, and even the Israeli shekels under my floorboards are no use to me, and definitely not as long term positions. They might theoretically be worth a bit more one day, a bit less the next, but so what? It’s convenient to keep them as “landing money” (I live in hope), but there is a cost to doing so.

  25. I have a senior role in managing risk for a financial company with several billion in capital. FX risk scares the bejesus out of me. We have lots of controls on FX risk and have no appetite for it at all even though we buy and hold long dated USD bonds so hedge carefully…..

    The dental assistant just goes in and risks everything. And the Guardian thinks my firm is ripping people off but we should celebrate the lady of colour taking huge risks she can’t afford to take as it is empowering. It won’t end well….

  26. FX trading, of the type that they’re talking here, is random walk stuff. They’re trading in pips (hundredths of a basis point). It is, essentially, unknowable.

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