MORE OF THE SAME…

Published on: February 18th, 2020

This month Raoul takes a closer look at the coronavirus narratives and how they may affect his positions. He also takes profits in one of his trades which has run far in recent weeks…

Comments

  • JV
    Jaco V.
    29 February 2020 @ 06:02
    oh my goodness the Chinese economic data is horrific
  • BS
    Bevyn S.
    27 February 2020 @ 22:28
    Dollar drops clearly correlated to risk off here... Look at the jumps at US open. Not what I was expecting...!! Thoughts anyone?
    • BS
      Bevyn S.
      27 February 2020 @ 23:19
      Come to think of it, I got burned Nov/Dec 2018 during a similar episode. Should've learned my lesson then. Kinda supports the theory that global savings glut / reach for yield is what is propping the dollar up NOT necessarily dollar shortage from outside external USD denominated debt. Shoulda just bought bonds. Lol!
    • CS
      C S.
      28 February 2020 @ 16:04
      Brett Johnson's impression in his latest interview was that with the expectation of a decline in US interest rates leading to a weakening of the USD was being front run, but unlikley to lead to anything material medium term, though of course who knows for sure.
    • BS
      Bevyn S.
      28 February 2020 @ 17:45
      Right. If you're referencing the interview with Jon Turek, I'm in Jons camp. I think they're both right, really. It seems like there's been a reach for yield into the US with not enough return on investments locally (due to QE driving down yields and reducing bond float, as well as loose fiscal AND monetary policy in US). I immediately went short USD/JPY after posting this last night and it's starting to pay off nicely. I think as long as we're in this risk off episode in the immediate term, it's dollar negative. Whether or not the dollar spikes due to shortages from slowdown in trade, i think is TBD (but likely).
    • BS
      Bevyn S.
      28 February 2020 @ 18:26
      Correction: meant to say loose fiscal and (relatively) tight monetary policy in the US
  • CH
    Corey H.
    28 February 2020 @ 08:35
    I would like to know if Raoul has any comment regarding the ED trades and the impact of "surprise" cuts on the performance of the trade. Eg. if EDZ20 is priced at 3 rates cuts by year end but the Fed does a surprise 50bps cut by Monday followed by more cuts in June how has this scenario historically affected long ED positions?
  • SH
    Stu H.
    28 February 2020 @ 08:14
    Raoul, 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?
  • ED
    Etienne D.
    22 February 2020 @ 14:00
    All the roads lead to a HIGHER dollar and LOWER Us rates. As Asian central banks are cutting rates in a effort to curb the devastating effects of COVID 2019, the USD strength will INEVITABLY import RoW deflation. The Fed will have no choice to CUT rates this year, which will provide relief to risk assets and strengthen even further the USD in a feedback loop. Déjà vu... Now while the market is JUST starting to realize that China’s “closure / embargo” needs to be seriously taken into account, the focus turns indeed to OUTSIDE China : North Korea / Japan / Thailand look extremely vulnerable to supply chain disruptions, not to mention tourism. I fully subscribe to Raoul’s view and hold the same investment themes + large short of the Thai BATH and HK USD as i think the peg is going to BREAK. Happy to discuss !
    • JI
      Janne I.
      22 February 2020 @ 14:33
      Hi Do you believe kyle bass's theory that HSBC is going bust soon and can central banks stop this from escalating to total disaster? Meaning that if one goes all of them will go. I have been thinking that the biggest problem this time around is going to be the hatred towards the system making it super hard to provide the necessary help towards these institutions in case if they need some 2008 type of help. Would love to get some thoughts on these topics. Thank you!
    • CS
      C S.
      22 February 2020 @ 14:40
      How do you trade a peg-break and expect to get paid? Btw, I've just ended a 14 year residency in HK and have been surprised how robust business (street level) remained through the protests into the viral outbreak. A lot of fat in that economy, though I suspect it is about to change. Missing many friends there.
    • ED
      Etienne D.
      22 February 2020 @ 15:29
      @C.S : thanks for your question Let me explain what I meant : the HK Monetary Authorities (HKMA) are untitled to DEFEND the currency inside a VERY TIGHT range vs the USD . A BREAK of the peg would happen if HK falls SHORT of US dollar and under extreme circumstances and becomes UNABLE to buy HKD to support the exchange rate... So basically you just sell the HKD vs USD through an Fx Forward contract / swap. You can opt for the premium to be paid / received in USD or in HKD The trade can also be done through CFDs... Happy to discuss the rationales of the trade. : name of the game is « the IMPOSSIBLE TRINITY »... E de Marsac
    • ED
      Etienne D.
      22 February 2020 @ 15:35
      @Jeanne : indeed, Kyle Bass « investment case » has been spot on but HK issues are even bigger than the collapse of HSBC. Can I come back to you on DM ? Otherwise happy to discuss here KR EdM
    • JI
      Janne I.
      22 February 2020 @ 16:14
      @Etienne D: What do you mean "HK issues are even bigger than the collapse of HSBC"? Just how bad is the situation? Will mainland China be affected somehow?
    • CS
      C S.
      23 February 2020 @ 06:30
      Etienne, Thanks for your reply. Do you think these HK issues, that are bigger than the collapse of HSBC as you describe, are likely to lead to global/systemic effects or will it predominantly be a HK/China +/- Australia/EM issue? Youre above my paygrade with forwards/swaps/CDS's. I've also always been concerned, in extremis, these contracts will not pay out because of potential counter-party risk, force majeure clauses, and the like. Do you have any thoughts on the timing of these stresses becoming manifest? They are overdue.
    • HM
      Harry M. | Real Vision
      24 February 2020 @ 19:13
      Hi Etienne, The breaking of the peg would be a very large loss of face for the Chinese authorities, which itself would seriously damage the Party's prestige. Surely the authorities would prioritize defending the peg, and just allowing the Yuan to depreciate instead? Of course, Yuan deval is gonna have a lot of side effects. But if the pressure was sufficient isn't it the first step before they allow the peg to break?
  • am
    alexander m.
    23 February 2020 @ 03:33
    Hi, are there any idea to capitalise on the very low implied vol in the FX markets?? it seems like a very easy opportunity, am I missing anything here? What sort of calls and pairs would work well in this setup? Thanks
    • CS
      C S.
      23 February 2020 @ 06:29
      Etienne, Thanks for your reply. Do you think these HK issues, that are bigger than the collapse of HSBC as you describe, are likely to lead to global/systemic effects or will it predominantly be a HK/China +/- Australia/EM issue? Youre above my paygrade with forwards/swaps/CDS's. I've also always been concerned, in extremis, these contracts will not pay out because of potential counter-party risk, force majeure clauses, and the like. Do you have any thoughts on the timing of these stresses becoming manifest? They are overdue.
  • JL
    Jack L.
    20 February 2020 @ 18:29
    Raoul's fear thesis on coronavirus is starting to play out. Regardless of the disease's actual lethality or transmissibility (which could indeed be high,) the mass fear reaction is beginning to build its own powerful momentum with cascading knock-on effects. Travel steeply constricted, supply chain disruption is occurring, etc. Perhaps COVID-19 will turn out to be the agent that catalyzes the strangeness of the last ~3 to 4 years of market psychology from by turns grudging, complacent, or madly enthusiastic "buy the dip forever" bubble mentality into "sell the top, get out, run away." The TLT trade looks like it's starting to produce.
    • BS
      Bevyn S.
      20 February 2020 @ 19:19
      And how about the dollar squeeze Raoul and others have been talking about for years now... I've been waiting for this for nearly 3.5 yrs now... Always have to be wary of confirmation bias, but these past few weeks have been very interesting! We'll see if this is the match that lights some form of an EM currency crisis.
  • DD
    Daljit D.
    20 February 2020 @ 08:38
    Thanks for the links Raoul, very helpful!
  • BS
    Bevyn S.
    20 February 2020 @ 02:23
    Been keeping my stop loss pretty tight on EUR/USD but not out yet... Can't help but feel like this is one of those moves that cuts through resistances like butter... Taking profits is always the hardest. Ugh. Thanks for the update Raoul.
  • FO
    Frederic O.
    19 February 2020 @ 10:58
    In FX I’m looking at SEK/JPY, that looks very vulnerable with a support at 10.5 that’s held up until now. It’s just that if we have a major move in the EM market, the Swedish krona isn’t far off of breaking that support. I wouldn’t have spotted this without these brilliant reports. Keep up the good work!
    • HM
      Harry M. | Real Vision
      19 February 2020 @ 14:18
      Thanks Frederic!
    • HM
      Harry M. | Real Vision
      19 February 2020 @ 14:18
      Thanks Frederic!

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.