Daily Archives: August 13, 2012

What Silk Road’s narcotics trading says about the FX market and capital controls

If you haven’t heard of Silk Road, the anonymous eBay-style marketplace that has quickly become a hub for controlled substances, read up on it herehere or here first. Otherwise, Nicholas Christin’s recent working paper, “Traveling the Silk Road: A measurement analysis of a large anonymous online marketplace”, opens no end of questions for just about any discipline under the sun. My concern is more foreign exchange related, so let’s get right to it. The table to the right shows the top 20 best-selling items available. I’m not too surprised that weed is the top seller here, but I am surprised that it doesn’t constitute a greater share of trade. Next up, still bird’s eye view, the top shipping origins and destinations:

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Emerging & Frontier Markets Headlines 2012.08.13

The main elements that support the investment case for Egypt are still compelling — Silk Invest

Qatar pledges $2bn for Egypt’s central bank — Al-Jazeera

Pakistan slashes benchmark interest rate by 1.5% — AFP
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