Your Bonus…And How to Spend it
Posted by Colin Lambert. Last updated: January 12, 2023
In 2023 The Full FX is inviting selected guest writers to contribute their occasional thoughts on just about anything to the newsletter and website, just to change things up a little. To kick the guest columns off, we are proud to introduce our first motoring correspondent, hereafter known as City Rover, who has bravely (or foolishly, your choice) agreed to make a regular contribution. The subject of the first motoring column?
A blowout year for FX.
Muscle memory has had you long dollars and paid rates since 2010, waiting for the big one, and oh boy has it finally paid off handsomely this year – even the junior has been limit long USDJPY. Good thing too, it pretty much saved his seat after that catastrophic effort on the Big Mac challenge back in May.
Sure, the headlines are smalls concerning, bonus pools shrinking at the large US banks, the air has a whiff of RIF, but they’ll have to pay you for performance, right? And we all know that FX is negatively correlated with just about everything else in banking: the world implodes, FX does well. It is why you rebranded yourselves as Macro after all, they need the experience for exactly these markets. Look, even the salespeople have done well this year, they brought in some actual value, so the numbers should be decent.
But what to spend it on? Last year was finishing off the pandemic renovations, dear Lord are you pleased the new kitchen/bathroom/basement/extension is finally finished, how on earth it went that much over budget you will never know. Just a shame you are back in the office so you can’t enjoy it. So this year it has to be a more selfish purchase, so obviously that means some new wheels…
The motors that FX bonuses have been invested in over a career are a handy guide of how many years you have been in the market, and how successful those years might have been.
A series of ‘i’ cars, XR3i/GTi/325i suggests your first big book was Mark/Paris, with Munich’s finest coming when you got hold of Dollar/Mark for the first time.
A series of TVRs suggests a robust appetite for risk, cutting your teeth back when TRY was TRL and the zeros mattered. If you cycled through a Boxster or two in the low vol years of 2011-2013, claiming repeatedly that it was as good as a 911 but ‘better value’ (it wasn’t) you were probably on Cable.
Red Ferraris were for the FX Option traders that were later sold in divorces, the white Lamborghinis for the warriors in EM that redefined boom and bust. And if you put your hard-earned into a Range Rover, well, you were probably in Sales.
But now, as middle age creeps closer, and the computers come over the hill towards you (“Zulus Captain, thousands of them”), it is time for a last blow out. You need something that embodies the stereotype of the loud, brash, trader your friends expect, something a bit edgy and not too mainstream and, yes, something with the all-important whiff of chav that will secure knowing nods when you pull up outside your favourite restaurant.
Go spend your bonus on a Nissan GTR.
Channel your inner Grand Theft Auto and get ready to destroy your mates at Top Trumps in the pub: 562bhp, 0-60 in 2.7 seconds, top speed 196mph. And if that isn’t enough, you can talk knowledgeably about how your tyres are filled with nitrogen at the factory for more consistent pressure.
It is an engineering masterpiece. Like the 911 Turbo it has a twin-clutch transmission and adaptive dampers, but unlike the 911 it also has a smart torque juggling all-wheel drive system that makes the Porsche’s seem old fashioned. With a savage twin-turbocharged 3.8-litre V6 up-front, and 4 proper seats behind, you can take the whole family. Although you will only do that once, for vomit really does stick to Alcantara.
In you get…focus your eyes on the three central toggle switches, just like Maverick does in his F-35 Lightning. Flick them up one by one: adjust the ferocity of the powertrain to turbo maniac, set the stiffness of the suspension to a chiropractor’s dream, adjust the leniency of the stability control to the diameter of your testicles.
And gird your loins. More power than most Porsches, more grip than any Ferrari, more exclusive than a Lamborghini, more acceleration than an F-15, and change from 100 large.
But hurry if you’re in the UK. The sale of this brute there will be stopped at the end of 2022 due to EU/UK drive-by noise regulations. An icon killed by over-regulation and the relentless and unnecessary march of ‘progress’.
And if that isn’t a neat metaphor for our beloved FX market then someone else can write this column next month.