The Singapore Population Ponzi … Short SGD as funding FX


Singapore has experienced the fastest rate of population growth anywhere in the world over the last 10 years.  However, if you go back in history to examine its rate of population growth and also literature on Total Factor Productivity, you will realise that there have been arguments from early 1990s levelled on the unsustainable and also myopic and unproductive utilisation of pure increase in labour as an input in Singapore to drive economic growth.

Asianmacro as a trader believes in the brevity of my musing & you can click on the above link to read in detail if you are interested in the paper by Prof. Alwyn Young from MIT published in 1992.  From the illustration above, we can see the close correlation between SGD appreciation and stock market (Straits Times Index – FSSTI) with Population growth % yoy.  It makes you wonder with the announced deliberate slowing down of the influx of foreigners by the Singapore government that drove this unprecedented pop in population, what will happen to SGD and FSSTI?

Anyway, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) recently concluded its semi-annual policy meeting in April 2014 without much fanfare .  For the longest time since 2008, SGD has unfailingly appreciated into and after each and every MAS policy meeting as a strong SGD policy (which is also the only policy tool MAS has that it uses) is trumped out time and again.  However, such an antiquated policy is long past its use-by date and it has been a case of weak USD against all major currencies in recent months rather than a strong SGD that resulted in $/SGD at 1.25 today.

Asianmacro will be very keen to established short SGD against GBP, AUD and EUR (*actually Asianmacro already have these positions for awhile and will add to them) on any potential SGD appreciation in May/summer if some mistaken belief by portfolio flows in SGD as a safe haven results in inflows over May/summer driving $/SGD to 1.2350-1.2450 levels.