Lakshman Achuthan, COO and co-founder of ECRI, joins Real Vision managing editor Ed Harrison to share his outlook on economic growth, inflation, and markets. Achuthan charts his way through the next 12 months, pointing out how the bulk of ECRI indicators suggest that reflation is indeed, just as many foresee, here. Achuthan disaggregates "the reflation trade" into the U.S. business cycle upturn, the spike in future inflation gauges, and a pick-up in global industrial growth, predicting that these three forces will for the near-term persist, albeit with the potential for some "storm clouds on the horizon." Harrison asks Achuthan about the dangers and timescales of these storm clouds, and then the two interpret economic data ranging from jobless claims to shipping numbers to industrial production. Lastly, Achuthan shares his view on interest rates and volatility in the equity and credit markets. Key learnings: Reflation is here and will continue. In most of the economic data he tracks, Achuthan sees an expected pick-up in growth and inflation. Nonetheless, looking at longer-leading indicators, there are "storm clouds on the horizon" for these variables.
Iran: Investing in One of the Best-Performing Stock Markets
Real Vision founder and CEO Raoul Pal welcomes back Maciej Wojtal, founder and CIO of Amtelon Capital, an investment fund devoted to Iranian equities, to discuss how he's identified a diversified economy in Iran despite decades of sanctions and geopolitical risks. His interest in Iran was sparked by the nuclear deal brokered by President Obama in 2015 where he found a stock market that had been operating for more than two decades and included nearly 600 companies with $200 million in daily liquidity. His fund gives Western investors access to fast-growing businesses with low valuations in an array of industries—from utilities and automotive to commodities and agriculture. He shares his perspective on managing volatility as well as how the U.S.-Iran relations are expected to change under a new Democratic administration, and he weighs in on trade with neighboring countries in the Middle Eastern region. Filmed on January 12, 2021. Key Learnings: Despite an overall economy that has been rapidly contracting because of U.S. sanctions and weak oil prices, Iran has one of the best-performing stock markets. Iran's stock market is dominated by retail investors with foreign ones making up less than half a percent of the market cap. Wojtal looks for companies that have pure export exposure, and he has been able to find companies with exports in the region that are usually not affected by sanctions.
Sam Burns, chief strategist at Mill Street Research, joins Real Vision managing editor Ed Harrison to discuss debt monetization, bank lending, and the waning influence of monetary stimulus. Burns examines structural problems within U.S. banks such as declining net interest margins and the increase in securities rather than loans on the bank portfolios. He then looks at strenuous efforts by central banks to stimulate growth, lending, and even inflation, and he predicts that these efforts are "pushing on a string" and will have diminishing returns, thereby pushing the onerous of stimulative action onto fiscal authorities. He and Harrison explore issues such as deficit spending, potential tax hikes on high-earners, and how Burns’ macro views impacts his outlook for factors in assets such as growth, value, momentum, beta, size, and quality. Filmed on January 5, 2021. Key learnings: Monetary stimulus by central banks and the Federal Reserve has, to an extent, run its course, and the fate of the economy and markets is now in the hands of fiscal authorities such as the U.S. Congress. Concerns about inflation are overstated, and commercial real estate and utilities remain under risk. Emerging markets have capacities to do well but are highly subject to decision of policymakers.
Lyn Alden of Lyn Alden Investment Strategies shares her 2021 thesis for the U.S. dollar, interest rates, inflation, and growth, providing a strategic update of how her expectations for these key macro variables influence her outlook on assets such as commodities, EM equities, real estate, gold, and bitcoin. Alden evaluates whether her bearish view on the dollar, which has proven enormously successful over the past year, has now become a "crowded trade" that offers less upside than it used to. . With insolvency remaining a serious risk, Alden insists that when searching for individual securities, quality must be sought above all else. Looking beyond 2021, Alden evaluates the possibility of the fall of the dollar not just in value, but as a hegemonic reserve currency, and she weighs various replacements to the Petrodollar system, such as a multipolar currency regime, a digital Bancor system, and the possibility of Bitcoin becoming a reserve asset. Filmed on December 17, 2020. For Alden’s article, "The Fraying of the U.S. Global Reserve System," click here: The Fraying of the US Global Currency Reserve System (lynalden.com) Key learnings: Alden expects the U.S. dollar to continue to weaken against hard assets over the course of 2021, with a 3-6 month period of uncertainty. As nominal yields on the long-end of the U.S. Treasurys curve pick up, Alden continues, risk-assets broadly will perform well with equities and commodities outperforming bonds and value outperforming growth. Alden remains very bullish on Bitcoin.
Darius Dale, managing director of Hedgeye Risk Management, joins Real Vision managing editor Ed Harrison to share his outlook for 2021. Dale provides a strategic update on growth, inflation, the U.S. dollar, and interest rates, describing how his views on these macro variables affect his analysis on bonds, equities, credit, and emerging markets stocks. Filmed on December 18, 2020. Key learnings: For the near-term, bond yields will likely rise as the economy enters a "Quad 2" regime (where growth and inflation are accelerating at the same time), and as such, equities and credit will perform broadly while duration-sensitive equities could "get smoked." However, a slowdown in growth in the third quarter of 2020 could derail a market rally and separate stocks with true and lasting earning potential from those who were merely "riding the down-dollar wave." Looking farther afield, Dale sees sustained risks for the U.S. dollar and accordingly is bullish on emerging markets such as Brazil and India.
The Highest Quality Macro Trades and the Impending End of U.S. Outperformance (RE-RELEASE)
Ben Melkman, CEO and founder of Light Sky Macro, returns to discuss the biggest macro themes and trades on the horizon with Real Vision CEO and co-founder, Raoul Pal. In this wide-ranging discussion, they examine everything from COVID and the effects of its handling by the U.S. and Europe to the probability of fiscal union in Europe as well as the potential outcomes of the U.S. election. Melkman and Pal agree that the combination of unprecedented fiscal and monetary policy has to have unwanted consequences somewhere and that this likely will play out in FX markets. Conversely, Melkman pushes back on Raoul's dollar shortage thesis, arguing that the dollar is in store for a rough 2020 and makes the case for the end of U.S. equity outperformance sooner rather than later. Filmed on Wednesday, July 1, 2020.
Real Vision Managing Editor Ed Harrison talks to Richard Koo, Chief Economist at Nomura Research Institute. Koo is famous for his work on balance sheet recessions, a rare type of recession where drastic liquidity injections fail to increase the money supply because they remain trapped in the financial system, as there's no low demand for loans since companies focus on minimizing debt rather than maximizing profits. He and Harrison discuss this framework in detail, and use it to analyze our current economic crisis the world faces. Koo draws a contrast between the traditional balance sheet recession, where a bursting of a debt-financed bubble causes a collapse in asset prices and an emergence of debt overhang, with what he refers to as a "pandemic recession," where an exogenous collapse of economic activity leads to disappearing income and a tightening of financial conditions. Koo and Harrison also discuss the various toolkits available to central banks and fiscal authorities worldwide, and Koo shares what he thinks what a sound policy response might look like. Filmed on May 7, 2020, over Skype. To view more of Koo's charts, click here: https://rvtv.io/Koo
Roy Niederhoffer, president of R. G. Niederhoffer Capital Management, joins Jason Buck of The Mutiny Fund to share the lessons Niederhoffer learned during his fruitful career as a systematic trader and portfolio manager. Niederhoffer tells Buck about his journey from being a high school entrepreneur to a trader at his brother's firm to then developing his own systematic trading algorithms and ultimately starting his own firm, R. G. Niederhoffer. Using vivid examples from financial crises such as "Black Monday" in 1987, 9/11, and the 2008 Great Financial Crisis, Niederhoffer discusses the advantages of systematic trading as a way to avoid behavioral traps that humans fall into. Niederhoffer provides insights on the nuances of risk parity, particularly the waning correlation between stocks and bonds, before sharing with Buck his views on monetary debasement, inflation, and Bitcoin. Filmed on December 15, 2020. Key Learnings: Negatively correlated assets are crucial to hold as they reduce volatility within a portfolio. Systematic trading (as opposed to discretionary trading) is an effective way to exploit emotional foibles of other market participants and not fall victim to your own. The negative correlations between stocks and bond prices is not an unmoving axiom of financial law, but rather a feature of the last four decades which may no longer be true.
Jay Pelosky, CIO and co-founder of TPW Investment Management, joins Real Vision managing editor Ed Harrison to discuss his macro outlook for 2021. Pelosky shares the areas of opportunity that are on his radar, including high-yield bonds, and equities in Europe and China. Harrison asks Pelosky to update his positive thesis on small-caps equities and emerging market stocks, which have been on a tremendous tear for almost two month. Pelosky explains why despite their frenetic upsurge, he remains bullish on these asset classes as well as other assets that benefit from an increase in growth and inflation. Lastly, Pelosky tells Harrison why the reflation that he expects to see in 2021 will be a drag on sovereign bonds, particularly U.S. Treasurys. Filmed on December 15, 2020. Key learnings: The rotation from growth stocks into value equities is just getting started. Reflation and re-opening will further boost stocks, specifically small-cap and emerging market equities.
Sam Zell is one of the most original and contrarian thinkers in the investment and business world. Sam was the largest buyer of property in the US between 1973 and 1977, the best time to be buying property since the Great Depression. Kiril met Sam in 1986 when he gave him a copy of a short memo he had written called, "Modern Sardine Management." It predicted one of the greatest commercial real-estate busts in history and a great banking crisis. In the early 1990s many of the commercial real-estate developers went bust and a great banking crisis almost took down a number of major US banks and investment banks. Sam was in there buying during that period. One of his favorite mottos is if everyone is going left look right. Sam disagrees with the consensus that working from home is here to stay and that cities are dying. He also thinks the US could lose its reserve currency status—which could be devastating for the American standard of living. Sam tells us how to prepare for such an eventuality. He also tells us about the business and investment principles that have made him such an enormous success in the past 50 years. Sam believes that nothing is more important than a man's honor. His insatiable curiosity and always analyzing what could go wrong have been the cornerstone of his success. Filmed on December 7, 2020.
Tokenization: Democratizing Access to Private Capital Markets
Companies are staying private much longer. The average has increased from four years to nearly eleven years, and that's where the bulk of the growth happens. If you don’t play in those circles, which are generally reserved for high-net worth individuals, hedge funds and VC funds, you don’t have access to the upside. This is where tZERO comes in. CEO Saum Noursalehi joins Real Vision editor/reporter Haley Draznin for a discussion about using blockchain technology—more specifically, tokenization—to democratize access to private capital markets. Filmed December 10, 2020. Key Learnings: Tokenizing private companies' cap tables and listing them on an exchange creates a new form of liquidity and can allow investors to make quicker exits.
Caitlin Long and Dr. Manmohan Singh: The Real Mechanics of Monetary Policy and the Plumbing of the Financial System
If you are one of the few who have studied the mechanics of monetary policy and the plumbing of the financial system, most of what you learned may be out of date—that is, if you haven’t done so in the last five years. In this interview with Caitlin Long, CEO and founder of Avanti Financial Group, Dr. Manmohan Singh of the IMF explains the massive changes that have come about in the past decade and tries to dispel some of the preconceived notions many have about this complex system. In addition to this focus on the true mechanics of the current system, they also discuss the difficulty of trying to make sense of such an opaque and interconnected global system where laws and data reporting are not uniform from country to country. Moreover, Long and Singh zoom in on the tsunami of change that could be brought about by the growth of digital assets both inside and outside of the traditional financial system, and they highlight the intense focus on these developments by the private banking sector and bodies like the IMF. Filmed on December 7, 2020. Viewers can find more of Dr. Singh's work here: https://www.risk.net/collateral-markets-and-financial-plumbing-3rd-edition and https://www.imf.org/en/Publications/Publications-By-Author?author=Manmohan++Singh&name=Manmohan%20%20Singh Key Learnings: The plumbing of the financial system continuously evolves as institutions, regulations, and technology change. Coming from entirely different perspectives, Long and Singh both stress the level of attention digital assets are receiving from the highest levels of global finance and how important they will be to the future development of the financial system.