Sunday, February 20, 2011

Cable and Fiber taken as a short

An interesting tidbit from history. The currency pair Great British Pound / United States Dollar is nicknamed "the Cable".

Way back when, 1855, they tried to lay a cable across the ocean floor from Britain to what was labeled as "British America" and now known as Canada. They tried 5 times, failing in 1857, failing twice in 1858. Anyhow it kind of worked in 1858, until Mr. Whitehouse "overclocked" the cable with too much voltage trying to get faster telegraph operation. He smoked the cable. Hmmmm, some things never change.

Obviously, these were huge financial losses and they didn't try again until 1865. After 14 days at sea, and 1000 miles of cable payed out, somehow the cable snapped, leaving half a million pounds of cable on the bottom of the ocean, the end was lost.

Mr. Field went back to the grindstone, issued a prospectus (think of IPO maybe) and gathered up enough money to try it again in 1866. They did it. This new cable using a flexible design of 7 strands of high quality copper wrapped in a helix form could transmit EIGHT WORDS PER MINUTE! 50 times faster than previous cables.

Keep in mind, there was no radio, it didn't exist. People liked the cable so much they grappled 2.5 miles deep to find the old 1865 cable, after much ado, found it, surfaced it, and connected it to a new cable and completed the connection.

Making 2 Cables across the Atlantic! Funny that the Wikileaks emails were termed "cables" isn't that curious. So besides some important government communication and high price corporate telegraphs, do you know what the cable was used for?? Trading currency, the GBP / USD affectionately known as "The Cable",

The EUR/USD became known as "The Fiber"

I just recently coined the GBP/JPY as "The Satcom".   That pair moves exceptionally fast.

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