In the past few years, nobody could have predicted that a pandemic would be the catalyst sending shock waves through the entire global economy, plunging us into a bear market in record time. Some voices though have been screaming from the rooftops about the macroeconomic and structural weaknesses that left markets vulnerable to any potential disruption. One of those voices was Steen Jakobsen, CIO of Saxo Bank. In this interview with Roger Hirst, Jakobsen examines the weaknesses of a buyback-driven and debt-ridden market that have been quickly exposed by coronavirus. They also look into the future at how the crisis will affect real assets, the dollar, the banking system, and why, when all is said and done, we could see both inflation and deflation.
Kiril Sokoloff, chairman and founder of 13D Global Strategy and Research, joins Raoul Pal, CEO and co-founder of Real Vision, to discuss the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and its long-term consequences on monetary policy, investing, and geopolitics. Pal and Sokoloff analyze how a protracted quarantine might slow economic activity to such a degree that central banks become more active than they ever have before, either by monetizing debt or by purchasing risk assets outright. The pair also explore how the crisis might affect the 2020 election, the practice of stock buybacks, and specific assets like oil, gold, and the Japanese Yen. Released March 26, 2020.
Coronavirus & Zombie Ideas: How Policymakers Respond to Crisis
Paul Krugman, Nobel laureate, PhD economist, and political commenter, joins Vincent Catalano of Stuyvesant Capital Management to discuss how coronavirus mayhem has plunged financial markets, global economies, and geopolitics into chaos. Through the lens of his new book, “Arguing with Zombies: Economics, Politics, and the Fight for a Better Future,” Krugman argues that in response to coronavirus’ economic impact, the Federal government should give financial aid to state governments, local governments, and even citizens directly. Krugman and Catalano examine the role that fiscal and monetary policy play together, the importance of leadership in crises, and the potential for the enaction of seemingly extreme policy responses to the COVID-19 outbreak. Filmed on March 17, 2020 in New York.
What’s the impact on the ground from coronavirus in Italy right now? Giovanni Pozzi, managing director at a family office in Italy, joins Real Vision’s Raoul Pal to discuss his first-hand experience during the national shutdown in Italy. Pozzi details the effect he’s witnessed on the health system, the economy, and people’s behavior during the ongoing crisis. Pozzi and Pal break down the knock-on effects that coronavirus and the government’s response will have on the economy, fiscal and monetary policy, and financial markets. Filmed on March 13, 2020 via Skype in the Cayman Islands and Italy.
Jim O’Shaughnessy, chairman and co-CIO of O’Shaughnessy Asset Management, joins Real Vision’s Ed Harrison to discuss the proper investing mindset that is a prerequisite for sustained investment success. He proposes that volatile downswings in stocks is precisely why there is such a thing as an “equity risk premium.” O’Shaughnessy argues that investors who “follow the herd” are often destined for mediocre performance and that a more contrarian, counter-cyclical approach will lead to better results. Filmed on February 28, 2020, in New York.
As the coronavirus continues to wreak havoc on the markets – or so it seems – the price-action has been particularly dramatic in the energy sector. The carnage in equities has been on display to anyone paying attention, but today we’re focusing on the more opaque, but much larger, market of fixed income. Dan Zwirn, CEO and CIO of Arena Investors, is a major player in the credit space. Back by popular demand, he returns to discuss the ongoing rout in high-yield energy bonds. Zwirn analyzes the risks and opportunities he sees in leveraged loans, CLOs, private lending, and other assets within the credit universe. He also shares how he generates put optionality to hedge downside risk, while still getting paid. This interview was filmed on March 9, 2020 in New York, during one of the largest selloffs in history. To learn more about Dan Zwirn's thinking on the credit markets, check out his research report here: https://rvtv.io/2IFeX7n
Market Makers & Coronavirus: The Mechanics of a Market Sell-Off
How do sell-offs actually happen? With the S&P 500 selling off hard and fast, Hari Krishnan, fund manager at Doherty Advisors, breaks down the mechanics of market meltdowns. Krishnan explains the role of different institutional players like market-makers and drills down on the individual components that make up market meltdowns. Filmed on March 3, 2020 in New York.
Praying for a Miracle: Coronavirus' Black Swan Risk
Will the coronavirus cause the everything bubble to pop, trigger a global economic depression, and be the impetus for major systemic changes? Raoul Pal of Global Macro Investor argues that the current coronavirus outbreak could be the “biggest economic event of our lifetimes.” He reveals his analysis of the real risks presented by the coronavirus outbreak and the ensuing response for people, markets, and institutions. He compares the COVID-19 outbreak to the Spanish Flu from a century ago – pointing out the important similarities and differences. He connects his doom loop thesis to the Black Swan risk that coronavirus represents to the indexification of markets, the coming retirement crisis, and the everything bubble. Finally, he shares his thoughts on the impact a global event could have on gold and cryptocurrencies and shares his hope for a better future born of the COVID-19 chaos. Filmed on March 4, 2020 in New York.
In the book of Ecclesiastes it says that, “there is nothing new under the sun,” and in economic and financial terms that translates to the adage, “this time is not different.” Dan Oliver, Jr. of Myrmikan Captial LLC joins Real Vision to put the impact of coronavirus into the perspective of supply chain reorganization and the current credit bubble. Oliver outlines the history of how and why credit bubbles form, how the current credit bubble came about, and the mechanisms through which this bubble could pop. Oliver breaks down bubbles from Athens in 594BC to the 2008 financial crisis and what the response from governments has been and might be in the future. Finally, he breaks down his essay called, “Gold Past $10,000,” and provides investors with a roadmap to avoid the worst of the end of this credit cycle if coronavirus triggers a meltdown. Filmed on February 26, 2020 in New York.
Should I be short volatility or long volatility? After last week’s dramatic sell-off the answer might seem obvious, but Matt Rowe of Headwaters Solutions argues the answer is both. Rowe and Headwaters love the long vol trade, but only as an appropriately sized portion of a portfolio that is in general, short vol. He makes the case that most portfolios are indirectly short vol and that there is nothing wrong with that, as short vol is how money is and will continued to be made over time. He also answers the questions of if and how long vol can be added to a standard retail portfolio. Filmed on February 25, 2020 in New York.
Activist Short-Selling: Uncovering Fraud and the Future
Carson Block, CIO of Muddy Waters Capital – an activist short-selling fund, joins Real Vision again to discuss activist short-selling and how he found his way into this niche corner of the financial markets. Block addresses criticisms of short-selling in general, dispels widely held misconceptions about activist shorts, and reveals how he goes about targeting companies to place short bets on. Block shares a few anecdotes from companies he has shorted in the past and reveals his thoughts about what the future of the short-selling industry might be. Block also outlines his thoughts on Tesla, non-GAAP accounting, and why he employs behavioral analysts when executives of companies respond to Muddy Waters' reports. Filmed on February 11, 2020 in New York.
Reversal of Fortune: Inside Pensions and the Erosion of Retirement
How did the promise of a stable pension and a happy retirement, once the pillar of the American dream, become a threat to the solvency of state governments across the U.S.? Over the past decade, the funding-gap for public pensions has exploded to record levels. While blame is often placed on politicians short-changing contributions, hardline union leaders, and a host of other factors, one largely misunderstood and ignored component is the management of the pensions themselves. As many of their assets failed to deliver expected returns, pensions doubled-down on high-risk, high-fee investments, hoping to shore up more money. That shift in investments has eroded transparency, which has made it increasingly difficult to follow the money – not only putting at risk the retirement of millions of Americans, but the funding of state budgets and the health of the entire economy. Filmed in New York, Massachusetts, Arizona, Florida, Rhode Island and and other locations in 2019 and 2020.