Meeting of Minds – June 2017

Published on: June 28th, 2017

In this month’s Meeting of Minds, both Raoul and Julian step back from the hurly-burly of short-term market pricing to look at issues that are fundamental to market structure. Both analyses help get to grips with medium- to long-term investment themes.


  • kb
    keith b.
    10 August 2017 @ 21:14
    On page 7 of this document Raoul has a chart that says "US Personal Consumption 10Yo10Y%" does anybody know what that is? i have never heard of it.. Does that mean the percentage increase of something today versus 10 years ago?
  • GM
    Gerald M.
    29 July 2017 @ 18:22
    Raoul, those are very compelling arguments on demographics but no discussion on demographics is complete until the larger cohort of millennials is factored in. I agree that the Boomers are in a very difficult equity position and that a recession will be more painful than anyone expects. However, the growth side of your argument isn't factoring in the rising consumption of the millennials.
    • kb
      keith b.
      10 August 2017 @ 21:08
      was thinking the same thing... in 4 yrs the millennial "bulge" will be hitting 32/33 age range where it appears family formations start. at the same time that is occurring the boomer "bulge" will be hitting 61/62. can the spending wave of the millennials take up the slack for the sunsetting boomers? i have no idea. Nevertheless, seems like there will be a ceiling on inflation, rates and consumption for many years to come.
  • NB
    Neil B.
    30 July 2017 @ 04:06
    RAOUL & JULIAN: Questions below Interesting macro stuff. Thank you. So the big picture US vs. Europe takeaway from these two disparate forces across the ponds is the following? (1) in the US - declining inflation, rising CB balance sheet accommodation, declining rates and higher Govt. Bond prices ... while ... (2) in Europe - rising inflation, declining CB balance sheet accommodation, rising rates and lower Govt. Bond prices? ... and in both cases declining or pressured Equity markets ( dependent on CN intervention )? ... and what of precious metals in all this? Rising USD ( anticipated by RAOUL and some others ) for various reasons pressuring precious metals downward still in all this? BTW, I also had potential millennial "replacement consumption" coming on line as BB's roll off squarley in mind as I read thru the analysis so great follow up comments and questions from those who raised this and I also would love to see further response from RAOUL on that. One thought on a potential explanation perhaps is that unemployment rate among millennials is higher than prior generation or anticipated to be higher due to a host of work force preparedness challenges ( i.e. many college grads finding it more difficult to get hired on, some not fully prepared for the types of jobs in demand ) and high tech driven automation of jobs? But I'm not sure whether there are any hard data on any of this? Thanks
    • NB
      Neil B.
      30 July 2017 @ 04:08
      CORRECTION: In one portion of the above, meant to type CB - "Central Bank " ( rather than CN )
  • SD
    S D.
    29 July 2017 @ 03:08
    Have you considered the likelihood of Yellin & Co switching from QE not to QT but to helicopter money and how effective is that do you think as a method to trigger grassroots inflation via the multiplier effect. Is this idea remotely likely or feasible do you think? It is politically feasible as a very public riposte to complaints that QE is Mandatory Basic Income for the Rich and DC is going to be looking for an escape hatch from the political fallout from all this. Bannon is already advocating higher income tax on high earners. That is just the beginning don't u think?
  • MG
    Miguel G.
    27 July 2017 @ 19:44
    Another point Id like to make when it comes to demographics and pensions and who really owns todays stock market. You stated that retirees have been pushed in to riskier assets to due to chase for yield, which I agree with. The next economic contraction is going to put a real dent in retirement accounts. But what I find very interesting in today's market is that since the Great Recession middle America has continued to shrink and never really recovered from the real estate crash. Therefore their risk to equities is much smaller by percentage than it used to be. The top 25% earners in America today own 84.5% of all financial assets in the United States by household wealth distribution. So in my humble opinion middle America carries very little risk from a percentage stand point than your top 25% of Americans carry. I think we will see a massive wealth redistribution when we enter the next recession as the rich are the ones that not only benefited the most from QE but left the middle class behind. They to shall suffer the worst when the next turn begins!
  • MG
    Miguel G.
    27 July 2017 @ 14:55
    Raoul I really find your argument fascinating but there are a few key data points that I question. I have a chart from hedgeye that does in fact outline demographics falling off a cliff in Europe but in the US those demographic headwinds plateaued in 2Q14. The US from here accelerates in demographics because we have millennials that will pick up the obligations of those baby boomers retiring (35-54 in US accelerates from 2014-2027/2029). As we know that age group is the worlds core end consumption demand demographics. If youd like me to share that chart I can Im just curious as to what chart is more accurate as far as Americas future spending.
    • MG
      Miguel G.
      27 July 2017 @ 15:00
      Another quick note is from my personal research Ive found that millennial have likely surpassed the baby boomers in size.
  • RM
    R M.
    25 July 2017 @ 16:43
    As a retired boomer turned speculator, I agree with the notions on demographics. It is at least possible that since Europe has a better safety net than America, that over a 5 year horizon Europe may not feel as much pain as the US, even if in the near term, a spike in short term rates upsets the apple cart? Would love to hear some longer term views on Europe....
  • RI
    R I.
    14 July 2017 @ 16:47
    The population has grown and the employment/population ratio has fallen from 45.8% in 2007 to 44.6% in 2016. While one might think this is due to more seniors (or more young people), strangely enough the working age/total population ratio has remained constant. Why is that?

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.