Money in Motion

How to Trade the 'Ciff' Impasse


Happy Friday, everyone!

Then again, maybe not.

Congress is heading home without a solution to the 'fiscal cliff' and President Obama has challenged Republicans and Democrats to come up with a compromise in the next ten days.

In the meantime, these pros have ideas for using currencies to trade the impasse.

Rebecca Patterson, chief investment officer at Bessemer Trust, wants to avoid risk. She told CNBC's Melissa Lee that she thinks there could be a 'Plan C' offered up, but "in my mind, for the market, a Plan C is not enough to get us a bullish case for cyclical assets." She points out that a debate over the debt ceiling is looming, and "we're not seeing anything that resembles bipartisanship at this point." Between the and low year-end trading volume, she anticipates considerable choppiness in the coming weeks.

Forecasting Next Week

Kathy Lien, managing director at BK Asset Management, expects the dollar to be well bid because of the uncertainty. She predicts that "we'll still see a little bit of risk aversion and deleveraging toward the end of next week," but she doesn't expect a crash, noting that investors are hopeful that a deal will be reached in Washington.

Andrew Busch, formerly a global currency and public policy strategist at BMO Capital Markets, is taking the other side. He is buying risk-sensitive currencies, which have been falling when negotiations stall, arguing that "you continue to buy risk, I'd say, until you actually get a deal." Once that happens, and risk appetite presumably improves, "I'd like to short risk at that point and turn around and sell it," he says. Busch agrees with Patterson that "you've still got a lot of problems you've got to work through," and argues that prospects for economic growth are less than great.

There you have it - three different approaches. Your move.