Deep Dive – February 2020

Published on: February 28th, 2020

USD strength is a double-edged sword. As the US has become the destination of choice for asset managers, it squeezes those with unfunded USD liabilities. The current set-up is unsustainable. Given how strong USD has been recently, the bull case for the USD needs to be re-examined. Below I do just that and conclude that the bull case remains as strong as ever. Strong that is, until the realisation dawns that the days of a USD based system are numbered. Triffin’s Dilemma is exacerbating the instability of our global financial architecture.

Comments

  • J
    Jim .
    29 February 2020 @ 17:53
    Unable to open on my iPhone. Any suggestions?
    • JV
      Jaco V.
      3 March 2020 @ 01:42
      open on computer. It works. it seems to me that it's an issue with mobile.
  • JK
    James K.
    1 March 2020 @ 18:23
    There is just one point that I am getting stuck on here. At 2mm bpd crude imports at $45 works out to 33B per year flowing out of the US. This is an order of magnitude less than it was at the time of peak oil prices. So, in my mind, a fall in oil prices from here would be rather inconsequential to FX. What am I missing here?
    • BS
      Bevyn S.
      2 March 2020 @ 03:08
      I think his point was that it's an additive factor for USD strength from a reduced flow of dollars out of the US. Probably a small factor though. More of a concern is reduced demand and prices for oil means less income to service USD denominated debt in EM (and thus dollar shortage).
  • MS
    Mark S.
    29 February 2020 @ 16:58
    Hi Raoul, you posted this on Twitter Friday’I dunno, but Im thinking that central bank coordinated cuts might be coming. 1998 was all about that (different circumstances). If it happens, fixed income will sell off sharp, then explode... forewarned is forearmed. Make sure your risk is manageable and you have ammo to add.’ If true wouldn’t this send ZT calls ED calls higher?
    • HM
      Harry M. | Real Vision
      1 March 2020 @ 21:05
      Wasnt much of a sell off in fixed income so far. The market is priced for some kind of aggressive Fed easing. Its how this is followed up, and how much lasting damage Covid19 causes. And it might dampen Bond and rates vol from the levels they have reached. Not so high in the big picture, but if all the rate cuts which are priced happen it will bring us to 68bps in Fed funds. How much action could we expect from that level?
  • AP
    Alfonso P.
    1 March 2020 @ 03:27
    Milton, cannot watch the report
  • dm
    daryl m.
    28 February 2020 @ 18:40
    All other reports had a download button ????
    • IB
      Ivan B.
      1 March 2020 @ 02:48
      Yes, but it works only when I use my browser.
  • BS
    Bevyn S.
    29 February 2020 @ 16:55
    So cogent. Love it. Raoul-at some point, could you discuss your approach to dealing with risk / hedging as you step into this? I believe it will be very tempting to lever up as this starts to play out. How do you hedge for tail risks / volatility for this roller coaster, assuming you're taking on leverage? Do you avoid holding significant leverage in FX over the weekend or other closed periods? What leverage ratio are you comfortable with? I think answering some of these questions will help the MI community significantly. Thanks!
  • JM
    Jennifer M.
    29 February 2020 @ 14:42
    Not able to open either report on my cell
    • CH
      Charlie H.
      29 February 2020 @ 14:44
      Same. Tried both safari and Chrome on iOS to no avail.
  • ml
    mark l.
    29 February 2020 @ 08:30
    Still can’t open properly
  • F
    Floyd .
    29 February 2020 @ 00:09
    While very convincing but I wonder why currently with a failing oil price the dollar is falling.
    • CH
      Charlie H.
      29 February 2020 @ 03:04
      The US has relatively high rates compared to other sovereigns. Now that the market is pricing in 3 cuts by June from the US Fed the dollar has corrected a bit.
  • JQ
    JACK Q.
    29 February 2020 @ 02:07
    An update on curve trade pls =] mega steepening to come? First comes bear steepening next week?
  • MR
    Michel R. | Real Vision
    28 February 2020 @ 20:19
    Hi All, we have identified an issue that is affecting mobile usage and are currently in the process of fixing it. In the meantime, it can be viewed on the desktop.
    • GS
      George S.
      28 February 2020 @ 23:29
      For those that are having issue viewing it, here is a private link only for members - https://drive.google.com/file/d/1furg-3x7zFlOxweUosMJNV45T1_k7cAq/view?usp=sharing We are working on fixing the issue.
  • CS
    Chuck S.
    28 February 2020 @ 20:44
    I can't view it on my desktop which runs on an Ubuntu operating system. It says a special plug-in is required.
  • LH
    Luis H.
    28 February 2020 @ 20:04
    I can’t read or download the report in my iPad. Hope it’s not important, I have no computer until end of the day
  • SH
    Stu H.
    28 February 2020 @ 19:34
    Any update on our ED trades? Now ITM on the Dec 20 90 calls and rapidly closing in on the Dec 21 99.325 and 99.5 calls. Time to trim back or double down?
    • HM
      Harry M. | Real Vision
      28 February 2020 @ 19:36
      Great question. We are about to put out a flash update. But its hard to think this is the level to increase the position. Its moved a long way.
  • CE
    Carol E.
    28 February 2020 @ 17:10
    When I click to read the report, nothing shows up. Not fun.
    • HM
      Harry M. | Real Vision
      28 February 2020 @ 19:35
      Sorry Carol. Working to fix it. Please bear with us.
  • GP
    Geoff P.
    28 February 2020 @ 19:32
    Can we make this full window like before? The small window is just too small. We can download which fixes that, but just my 2c. Thanks
  • JK
    James K.
    28 February 2020 @ 13:35
    Julian, looks like we’re getting stopped out of GDX this AM ...? Time to let it go .. ?
    • JK
      James K.
      28 February 2020 @ 13:36
      Raoul... you still holding GDX ... ? Thx
    • HM
      Harry M. | Real Vision
      28 February 2020 @ 19:17
      Yes. We hit the stop. Get out as per discipline and reappraise. Truth be told, the set up is even more bullish for gold than before in many respects. But there are reports of margins being increased in Gold causing a cascading stop out. Worth noting that margins are likely going up in everything. Volatility is massively higher everywhere.
  • wj
    wiktor j.
    28 February 2020 @ 17:12
    good call Guys last time. I am up 150%. Although S&P short i did a short and a long call to start with as it was going through the roof.
    • HM
      Harry M. | Real Vision
      28 February 2020 @ 19:14
      Thanks Wiktor. Our diagnosis was right on the technicals but several of our expressions of the idea got stopped, APPLE survived and is a long way onside. These things are always tricky to nail - it was a bit of a champagne trade in that respect. But I think still very important to warn clients of the degree of risk and deteriorating technicals in equity markets
  • KA
    Kelly A.
    28 February 2020 @ 19:03
    Hi, I realize you're still figuring out the new format, but I can't see the scroll bar on the side of the "window" of the report. And, the window is only laptop size. I'm seldom actively trading on my laptop. I use desktop w multiple screens, so it's kind of annoying not be be able to get a bigger "window." let me know if there is a simple fix I can make on my desk top. Thanks.
    • HM
      Harry M. | Real Vision
      28 February 2020 @ 19:11
      Hi Kelly, I can see the scroll bar so I guess the way its set up doesnt default to your window size. If you adjust the size of your browser window it might solve the problem. I say might. Let me know if that does not work.
  • CS
    Christian S.
    28 February 2020 @ 18:38
    Can’t open
  • WW
    William W.
    28 February 2020 @ 17:59
    Can’t open report
  • KC
    KEVIN C.
    28 February 2020 @ 17:59
    I am having trouble accessing the pdf.
  • dm
    daryl m.
    28 February 2020 @ 17:53
    How to download this report ???

Mark Yusko

Morgan Creek Capital Management, Co- Founder, CEO, & CIO

Mark Yusko is the Founder, CEO and Chief Investment Officer of Morgan Creek Capital Management. He is also the Managing Partner of Morgan Creek Digital Assets.

Morgan Creek Capital Management was founded in 2004 and currently manages close to $2 billion in discretionary and non-discretionary assets. Prior to founding Morgan Creek, Mr. Yusko was CIO and Founder of UNC Management Company (UNCMC), the Endowment investment office for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Before that, he was Senior Investment Director for the University of Notre Dame Investment Office. Mr. Yusko has been at the forefront of institutional investing throughout his career. An early investor in alternative asset classes at Notre Dame, he brought the Endowment Model of investing to UNC, which contributed to significant performance gains for the Endowment. The Endowment Model is the cornerstone philosophy of Morgan Creek, as is the mandate to Invest in Innovation.

Mr. Yusko is again at the forefront of investing through Morgan Creek Digital Assets, which was formed in 2018. Morgan Creek Digital is an early stage investor in blockchain technology, digital currency and digital assets through the firm’s Venture Capital and Digital Asset Index Fund.

Mr. Yusko received a BA with Honors from the University of Notre Dame and an MBA in Accounting and Finance from the University of Chicago.

Anthony Scaramucci

SkyBridge Capital, Founder & Co-Managing Partner

Prior to founding SkyBridge in 2005, Scaramucci co-founded investment partnership Oscar Capital Management, which was sold to Neuberger Berman, LLC in 2001. Earlier, he was a vice president in Private Wealth Management at Goldman Sachs & Co. In 2016, Scaramucci was ranked #85 in Worth Magazine’sPower 100: The 100 Most Powerful People in Global Finance. In 2011, he received Ernst & Young’s “Entrepreneur of the Year –New York” Award in the Financial Services category. Anthony is amember of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), vice chair of the Kennedy Center Corporate Fund Board, a board member of both The Brain Tumor Foundation and Business Executives for National Security (BENS), and a Trustee of the United States Olympic & Paralympic Foundation. He was a member of the New York City Financial Services Advisory Committee from 2007 to 2012. In November 2016, he was named to President-Elect Trump’s 16-person Presidential Transition Team Executive Committee. In June 2017, he wasnamed the Chief Strategy Officer of the EXIM Bank. He served as the White House Communications Director for a period in July 2017. Scaramucci, a native of Long Island, New York, holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Tufts University and a Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School.

Michael Saylor

MicroStrategy, Co-Founder

Mr. Saylor is a technologist, entrepreneur, business executive, philanthropist, and best-selling author. He currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Office of MicroStrategy, Inc. (MSTR). Since co-founding the company at the age of 24, Mr. Saylor has built MicroStrategy into a global leader in business intelligence, mobile software, and cloud-based services. In 2012, he authored The Mobile Wave: How Mobile Intelligence Will Change Everything, which earned a spot on The New York Times Best Sellers list.

Mr. Saylor attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, receiving an S.B. in Aeronautics and Astronautics and an S.B. in Science, Technology, and Society.

Alex Saunders

Nugget's News, Founder & CEO

Alex Saunders is the founder and CEO of Nugget’s News, a digital media company focused on all things crypto. Alex has been captivated by cryptocurrency since 2012 and in 2017 he began educating globally on the benefits of cryptocurrency and how to safely acquireit. Nugget’s News has been listed as a top-20 podcast by Business Insider, ShapeShift and Lifehacker and has over 120k YouTube subscribers with 9 million total views.Alex is also heavily focused on his cryptocurrency education platform Collective Shift which currently serves over 4,500 members. provides his unique perspectives by utilising his expertise in fundamental analysis, technical analysis and market sentiment. He is working towards his mission of making it easier for everyone to understand the financial world.

James Putra

TradeStation Crypto, Inc., Sr. Director of Product Strategy

James helped launch TradeStation Crypto’s offering which utilizes a true online brokerage model that self-directed investors and traders have come to expect for equities, futures, and foreign currency markets. He is a reputed crypto asset specialist and blockchain thought leader focused on helping people find innovative ways to participate in this space. He is active in the blockchain community with speaking engagements, TV appearances and mentoring. James has over 15 years of experience in the Fintech industry.

Raoul Pal

Real Vision, Co-Founder & CEO

Raoul Pal is the Co-Founder and CEO of Real Vision, the world’s pre-eminent financial media platform, which helps members understand the complex world of finance, business, and the global economy.

Real Vision members also have access to Real Vision Crypto, a cryptocurrency and digital assets video channel watched by over 80,000 people. In addition, Raoul has been publishing Global Macro Investor since January 2005 to provide original, high quality, quantifiable and easily readable research for the global macro investment community hedge funds, family offices, pension funds and sovereign wealth funds. It draws on his considerable 31 years of experience in advising hedge funds and managing a global macro hedge fund. Global Macro Investor has one of the very best, proven track records of any newsletter in the industry, producing extremely positive returns in eight out of the last twelve years.

He retired from managing client money at the age of 36 in 2004 and now lives in the tiny Caribbean island of Little Cayman in the Cayman Islands. Previously he co-managed the GLG Global Macro Fund in London for GLG Partners, one of the largest hedge fund groups in the world. Raoul moved to GLG from Goldman Sachs where he co-managed the hedge fund sales business in Equities and Equity Derivatives in Europe. In this role, Raoul established strong relationships with many of the world’s pre-eminent hedge funds, learning from their styles and experiences.

Other stop-off points on the way were NatWest Markets and HSBC, although he began his career by training traders in technical analysis.

Peter McCormack

What Bitcoin Did, Journalist

Peter McCormack is a full time journalist/podcaster covering topics such as Freedom, Human Rights, Censorship and Bitcoin. Peter created and hosts the What Bitcoin Did Podcast, a twice-weekly Bitcoin podcast where he interviews experts in the world of Bitcoin development, privacy, investment and adoption. Launched in November of 2017, the podcast has grown to over 100 episodes with a guest list that is a testament to the diversity of knowledge and opinions that represent the broader Bitcoin community. Expanding his growing list of human interest recordings, documentaries and films Peter has recently launched the Defiance podcast and DefianceTV.

Caitlin Long

Avanti Financial Group, Founder & CEO

22-year Wall Street veteran who has been active in bitcoin and blockchain since 2012. In 2018-20 she led the charge to make her native state of Wyoming an oasis for blockchain companies in the US, where she helped Wyoming enact 20 blockchain-enabling laws. From 2016-18 she jointly spearheaded a blockchain project for delivering market index data to Vanguard as chairman and president of Symbiont, an enterprise blockchain start-up. Caitlin ran Morgan Stanley’s pension solutions business (2007-2016), heldsenior roles at Credit Suisse (1997-2007) and began her career at Salomon Brothers (1994-1997). She is a graduate of Harvard Law School (JD, 1994), the Kennedy School of Government (MPP, 1994) and the University of Wyoming (BA, 1990).

Hunter Horsley

Bitwise Asset Management, CEO

Hunter Horsley is Chief Executive Officer of Bitwise Asset Management. Prior to Bitwise, he was a product manager at Facebook, working on advertiser products including the multibillion-dollar sponsored content ecosystem and ad breaks in videos. Before Facebook, Horlsey was a product manager at Instagram, responsible for multiple advertising products generating several hundred million dollars of revenue. He is a graduate of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, with a B.S. in economics. Recently, Horsley was named a member of Forbes’ 2019 “30 Under 30” list.

Luke Gromen

Forest For The Trees, Founder & President

Luke Gromen has 25 years of experience in equity research, equity research sales, and as a macro/thematic analyst. He is the founder and president of macro/thematic research firm FFTT, LLC, which he founded in early 2014 to address and leverage the opportunity he saw created by applying what clients and former colleagues consistently described as a “unique ability to connect the dots” during a time when he saw an increasing “silo-ing” of perspectives occurring on Wall Street and in corporate America.

FFTT caters to institutions and sophisticated individuals by aggregating a wide variety of macroeconomic, thematic and sector trends in an unconventional manner to identify investable developing economic bottlenecks for his clients. Prior to founding FFTT, Luke was a founding partner of Cleveland Research Company, where he worked from 2006-14. At CRC, Luke worked in sales and edited CRC’s flagship weekly thematic research summary piece (“Straight from the Source”) for the firm’s clients. Prior to that, Luke was a partner at Midwest Research, where he worked in equity research and sales from 1996-2006. While in sales, Luke was a founding editor of Midwest’s widely-read weekly thematic summary (“Heard in the Midwest”) for the firm’s clients, in which he aggregated and combined proprietary research from Midwest with inputs from other sources.

Luke Gromen holds a BBA in Finance and Accounting from the University of Cincinnati and received his MBA from Case Western Reserve University. He earned the CFA designation in 2003.

Meltem Demirors

CoinShares, Chief Strategy Officer

Meltem Demirors is Chief Strategy Officer of CoinShares, an investment firm that manages billions in assets on behalf of a global investor base, and is a trusted partner to investors and entrepreneurs navigating the digital asset ecosystem. Meltem oversees the firm’s managed strategies group and its New York office and leads corporate development.

Previously, she was part of the founding team of Digital Currency Group. As a veteran investor in the digital currency space, she has invested in over 250 companies in the ecosystem.

Meltem is passionate about education and advocacy, and teaches the Oxford Blockchain Strategy Programme and co-chairs the WEF Cryptocurrency Council.