Meeting of Minds – March 2018

Published on: March 27th, 2018

This month Raoul returns to the bigger-picture shift in global power from an introspective US-led West as China seizes the One Belt One Road initiative. He follows this with an update to his ‘tailwind’ theme of Indian opportunity following a recent business trip to the subcontinent. Julian meanwhile, provides a framework encompassing oil, inflation, USD, yields, and stocks in his piece called Sequencing.

Comments

  • DW
    Daniel W.
    31 March 2018 @ 18:35
    Julien, from your point of view, what will be the best trading opportunities in case of tighter financial conditions? Short EM equities? Short Gold? Long Dollar Index? Others?
    • JB
      Julian B. | Contributor
      2 April 2018 @ 18:20
      Hi Daniel. EEM has a very high correlation to financial conditions and in addition it should respond very poorly once the $ starts its risk off rally. Technically, there's a pretty decent channel if you use the closes coming off the Dec 2016 lows and we are bang on it today.
  • LD
    Lance D.
    27 March 2018 @ 12:53
    O.K This is a nice read and informative thank you for the service guys. Now a question i need answering because i have found trading/investing confusing. I knew it was not going to be a walk in the park by any means i started this journey approximately 6yrs ago and it has been an expensive journey so far. I can see some light at the end of the tunnel. Anyways historically i have followed educators that have basically put out video tutorials on what is called 'top down bottom systematic process' where they provide a whole heap off excel spreadsheets and encourage me to download the data of numerous leading lagging and coincident indicators. however since being a macro insiders member I'm starting to feel that the indicators that i try to keep on top of maybe starting to become more and more useless to get a view on rates currencies commodities etc (but i could be totally wrong) so the question is in the future are the main leading lagging coincident indicators still likely to be used by the professionals to get perspective ? i suppose i am trying to ask what should i be watching as the main drivers of stock market returns? should i assume Indias GDP/stock market going to be more important to global growth in the future say over the european economic sentiment report . I do hope you can make sense of what I'm trying to get across its important to me, i am not sure if I'm paranoid i just get the feeling that all the indicators and data i have been inputting into excel spreadsheets over the years that are designed for me to predict global/regional GDP is all about to flip and swap to something totally different, just as I'm just starting to get to grips with the analysis (which would be just my luck.) Any info would be great i currently try to watch chinese Pmi's USA & europe is this going to change as we move from old world order to a new ? what will be the new drivers that can be used to get a perspective in this ever changing world? Thanks
    • RP
      Raoul P. | Founder
      28 March 2018 @ 12:58
      I think you are really perceptive and asking the right questions but first you need to understand that there is no one magic model and its a whole lot of evidence taken together to make reasonably informed probability judgements. Not mathematically perfect ones, but your own personal working framework. The broader question about are the things we all follow now becoming less relevent is interesting. I still thing the global cycle is the US cycle but China's monetary cycle has huge impacts on the global cycle too. Overtime, the rise of China and India as consumers and exporters will lessen the US influence on the global business cycle. Its hard therefore to filter out signal from noise during that transition, but I would suggest that the larger shift will come after the next recession when the Baby boomers play a lesser role in the investment cycle and consumption cycle, leaving external influence of other countries on the rise as the global balance shifts.
    • JB
      Julian B. | Contributor
      28 March 2018 @ 22:19
      I'd echo Raoul's comments but would add the following. While indicators/data still play an important role in determining market prices. Since the GFC, they have been trumped (no pun intended) by liquidity. So what you need to ask is how changes in the indicators/data influence central banks' behaviour and how that in turn impacts prices. For example, in the old days weak data traditionally would have resulted in weak equities. But since the GFC, weak data = more QE = higher stocks. Hope that helps?
    • LD
      Lance D.
      1 April 2018 @ 15:01
      Thanks guys. I read somewhere that April 3rd there is a new rate 'secured over night funding rate' that is an alternative to Libor benchmark should i be scrapping my libor spreadsheet and track this new SOFR benchmark Instead ? I m actually thinking the best thing to do would be track both equally ? what do yous reckon ? Cheers
  • CO
    Connor O.
    29 March 2018 @ 09:42
    Raoul, would be interested in getting your thoughts on Fairfax India Holdings Corp. as a play on your India Thesis? This is a unique opportunity in that you can co-invest with a successful manager in an investment vehicle focused on India that combines listed stocks and private investments such as 48% interest in Bangalore International Airport.
    • RP
      Raoul P. | Founder
      30 March 2018 @ 13:02
      I dont know enough about it but the little I do know looks very interesting.
  • CH
    Chris H.
    27 March 2018 @ 13:51
    Raoul - how does Saudi fit into this new political order given the proxy wars with Iran? Also, do you have a view on their potential given the positive tailwinds behind the 3Ds - demographics, development and debt. -CH
    • RP
      Raoul P. | Founder
      28 March 2018 @ 12:54
      I am positive on the Saudi economy over time, once they transition further away from oil. The Iran thing is a concern but no side can afford a war with each other so I think of it as essentially neutralised. The issue is more about how John Bolton tries to accentuate the divide between the two for US interests. China and Russia, however, are big supporters of Iran.
  • CS
    C S.
    27 March 2018 @ 23:40
    All is not lost - the West can always 'identify' as Chindia. :D Raoul, just curious, do you hold an physical stock certificates, particularly for your longer (5yr+) stock holdings? (any concerns about broker stability).
    • RP
      Raoul P. | Founder
      28 March 2018 @ 12:52
      Having lived through Man Financial I am always worried about brokers. It is almost impossible to have physical certs these days sadly.

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.