The neoliberal model of free trade, open borders, and liberalized capital flows is under assault. Traditional economic models with rational agents and efficient markets don’t accord with reality, and people are starting to notice. Even recent advances in behavioral economics have failed to capture this disconnect. Mark Blyth, William R. Rhodes Professor of International Economics at Brown University, and Eric Lonergan, macro hedge fund manager at M&G Investments, explore and seek to resolve these conflicts in their new book, “Angrynomics.” Blyth and Lonergan examine how the outsourcing of economic management to grey-suited bureaucrats is fomenting a populist backlash that is redrawing political battle lines and molding the destiny of different asset classes in ways few fully grasp. They analyze the recent largesse of central banks as a sort of asymmetric put-option which rewards those who hold assets and punishes those who don’t. Blyth and Lonergan also explore potential solutions, which include dual interest rates, citizens’ wealth fund, and - yes - even helicopter money. Filmed on July 8, 2020.
You don’t hear “diversification” and “long volatility” often in the same sentence. Yet, their pairing is exactly what Jason Buck, CIO of Mutiny Fund, advocates as essential for all investors seeking to add long volatility exposure to their portfolios. Alongside Hari Krishnan, fund manager at Doherty Advisors, Buck advocates for an “ensemble” approach to anti-fragility. Buck and Krishnan rigorously examine the benefits of different long vol strategies, such as options, shorting indices, and relative value trades on the VIX. Krishnan explains his quantitative framework for evaluating options, and gives in-depth option trading insights based on their tenor and “moneyness.” Buck and Krishnan discuss how a diversified approach to long volatility can heighten the benefits of long vol exposure, especially during “Minsky Moments” such as coronavirus pandemic markets have been experiencing since earlier this year. Filmed on July 7, 2020.
COVID-19 and Financial Markets in a Post-Stimulus World
Dr. Z. Barton Wang of Barton Research joins Real Vision CEO, Raoul Pal, for a conversation about the lasting impact of COVID-19 on financial markets. Wang breaks down the institutional response from the Treasury Department and the Fed to the pandemic and considers that response's effect on financial markets. He points out several abnormal market drivers in order to explain how markets have behaved over the last few weeks and months. Wang also shares his view on the biggest risks to the market right now, including the roll-off of the CARES act and other stimulus packages, as well as provide his perspective on what could happen in the markets over the next few weeks, months, and years. Filmed on July 1, 2020.
The Highest Quality Macro Trades and the Impending End of U.S. Outperformance
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.
Emerging markets have come back to the forefront of investor outlooks recently as many market participants and commentators argue that years of US outperformance are coming to an end sooner rather than later. Of those arguments, many rely on a handful of macro or valuation factors that lead them to a specific country or sector that is poised to pounce. Tassos Stassopoulos, managing partner and CIO of Trinetra Investment Management, takes a completely different approach and in this interview with Max Wiethe, he argues that the tailwind of emerging market consumer demand growth is strong enough to overpower any macro headwind. Here, Stassopolous lays out his ethnographic research framework where he gets face to face with the EM consumers driving trends. He explains how focusing on those consumers and their cultures over companies and their talking points can help investors identify trends long before other market participants. He also explores a few of the biggest consumer trends and companies he is focused on right now and discusses how COVID-19 is accelerating trends and affecting his ability to do the boots on the ground research that is so critical to his unique process. Filmed on June 25, 2020.
Rethinking Risk Management: Avoid Surprise, Not Risk
With recent market moves like the VIX spiking from 15 to 80 in a matter of weeks or oil futures trading at preposterous negative levels, taking even the most experienced professionals by surprise, many individuals and firms lucky enough to have avoided total collapse are rethinking their approach to risk management. In this interview, risk management consultants Brett Friedman of Winhall Risk Analytics and Michael Miller of Northstar Risk reexamine the recent carnage, with a particular focus on how variance swaps got a handful of sophisticated investors with well-established risk management practices in a world of trouble. Together they discuss why systematic vol selling has become the flavor of the day, debate whether these complex products are suitable for pension funds regardless of their sophistication, and put forward the idea that unbiased post-mortem trade analysis is as important for winning trades as it is for losing ones. Filmed on June 23, 2020.
The Wirecard Debacle: Shades of Enron and WorldCom
Individual market cycles, and particularly their crescendos and finales, have unique characteristics that we use to categorize and differentiate them from other past cycles – the dotcom bubble, the housing crisis, and now, potentially the COVID crisis. One thing that they all have in common, though, is the failure of major companies from either mismanagement or fraud. In this interview, Roddy Boyd of the Foundation for Financial Journalism and Real Vision’s Ed Harrison examine financial impropriety through the lens of Wirecard, the German mobile payments company that has transitioned from a source of German pride to an embarrassment, exposing shoddy work by the lawyers, auditors and regulators tasked with investigating potential frauds and protecting the public. Whether Wirecard is in fact a fraud seems to be clearer with every passing day, but many questions still remain – will the bad actors both inside and outside the company be held accountable, will the company go belly up or be saved by governments increasingly willing to protect companies that are “too big to fail”, and will Wirecard be another shining example of the malfeasance and mismanagement that always seems to be exposed at the end of a market cycle? Filmed on June 24, 2020.
Dan Zwirn, founder and CIO of Arena investors, returns to Real Vision to discuss credit investing in perilous and perplexing markets. He and Real Vision’s managing editor, Ed Harrison, discuss the rise of so-called “cov-lite” loans and the state of collateralized loan obligations (CLOs). Zwirn delves into the details surrounding the deterioration of credit quality across the fixed-income landscape, and he explores the various way shrewd credit investors can protect themselves, such as put-optionality and convertible bond arbitrage. Zwirn and Harrison also comment on the Federal Reserve’s role in propping up credit markets and what opportunities there are in permanently impaired sectors such as retail, airlines, and cruise lines. Filmed on June 18, 2020.
In these unprecedented times of economic stress, the mainstream playbook has been tossed out the window as fiscal and monetary authorities continue to throw everything but the kitchen sink at the problem of synchronized global economic downturn. In this interview with Ed Harrison, heterodox economist Steve Keen argues that, although some of these policies are headed in the right direction, many are completely missing the core issue – ungodly levels of private sector debt. Together, Keen and Harrison discuss common misconceptions about private debt, MMT, and the circumstances where ballooning public debt led to hyperinflation. They also break down Keen's argument that the exogenous nature of the COVID crisis might improve the palatability of a much-needed private debt jubilee. Filmed on June 16, 2020.
What will be the impact of COVID-19 on the way people think about money? Arthur Hayes, CEO and co-founder of BitMEX, joins Real Vision CEO, Raoul Pal, to discuss the future of money and his experience in the crypto space. He talks about building the crypto exchange BitMEX, the potential for increased adoption of digital currencies in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, and his view on Bitcoin's future trajectory. Hayes and Pal break down their macro views on precious metals, currencies, and the new dynamic between China, Singapore, and Hong Kong. They also touch on decentralization, stable coins, and crypto's privacy issues. Filmed on June 4, 2020.
Mark Cuban -- This Feels a Lot Like the Internet Bubble
During the peak of the internet bubble, Mark Cuban famously structured a collar trade to hedge his massive exposure to Yahoo. Although Yahoo ended up blowing through the strike price on his call options, Cuban is more than satisfied with exiting that trade at the price he did while also having protected himself from a market completely disconnected from fundamentals. In this conversation with New York Times best-selling author and The Bear Traps Report founder Larry McDonald, Cuban explores the eerie similarities between that market and today’s. They also discuss the reopening for the NBA and beyond, Cuban's economic outlook amid unprecedented uncertainty, and the current political situation in the U.S. that has many asking, "When will Mark Cuban run for president?" Filmed on June 3, 2020. Find more information about Larry McDonald's work at http://www.thebeartrapsreport.com.
Teddy Vallee, founder and chief investment officer of Pervalle Global, returns to Real Vision to discuss why he believes we are at the precipice of a new dawn for macro investing. He explains the different models he uses to estimate the profound economic deterioration occurring in the U.S., and he explains how this data is shaping his macro outlook. Vallee reveals his long-term view for U.S. equities and explains why he thinks bitcoin is the macro asset class that offers the most opportunity. He also makes the case for gold mining stocks, as well as certain emerging markets equities. Filmed on May 29, 2020.