Profits and Position Control: A Week of FX Dealing
This paper examines foreign exchange trading at the dealer level. The dealer we track averages $100,000 in profits per day on volume of $1 billion per day (or one basis point). The half-life of the dealer's position is only ten minutes, providing strong support for inventory models. A methodological innovation allows us to identify his speculative position over time. This speculative position determines the share of profits deriving from speculation versus intermediation: intermediation is much more important.
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