Shock & Awe: Of Shotguns and Rifles

Published on: March 12th, 2020

We have moved into the phase of policy activism. Unfortunately, even well-considered, rifle-shot, aggressively-timed initiatives are failing to generate the shock & awe their protagonists desire. Stress is only now entering the system as correlations and hedges start to come under pressure.


  • NR
    Nathan R.
    12 March 2020 @ 17:55
    $1.5T kitchen sink and stocks still down 7% as we speak...whoops Doesn’t bode well for fiscal if they felt this was necessary...
    • JK
      James K.
      14 March 2020 @ 14:12
      My understanding is that there were regulatory hurdles that prevented the funds from being accessed that the Fed didn’t even know about. Whoops.
    • HM
      Harry M. | Real Vision
      22 March 2020 @ 01:02
      I believe James K was right, although I can see that they are slowly getting things right. Personally I think they "are gonna need a bigger boat". But some of the problems have been alleviated in markets where the Fed can most easily intervene. At one point 1m Tbill were trading wide of OIS by 20bps. Thats evidence of extreme liquidity stress. That bill OIS spread has moderated now to -10 I think. So, maybe they are starting to get a little traction, in markets were they can help with liquidity. Its gonna be tough for those who rely on banks for funding. I think fiscal would work a lot better although not as direct a solution to financial problems.
  • DH
    Dean H.
    13 March 2020 @ 11:33
    Hi Raoul, I have just signed over to RV pro today, I am wondering how you recommend playing the S&P500 short from today? Idea on a put? I have a Fut Op. in for June at 2300, but i feel i have overcooked it. Cheers, Dean
    • HM
      Harry M. | Real Vision
      22 March 2020 @ 00:57
      Not entirely sure what you mean, but I like owning the downside in the S&P. I very much hope some Deus in Machina type event (Cv19 hates warm weather, or perhaps suburban nature of much of US mitigates problem) but short of that, if the projections are to be believed its hard to see how we wont see a massive credit event. I cant see how securities near the bottom of the capital structure avoid cheapening. Even from here. Even with the Fed doing its best to cushion the blow.
  • JK
    James K.
    14 March 2020 @ 14:08
    What are your thoughts on the Fed trying to hang on to the last quarter point vs just going straight to zero? A lot to balance there. Thanks
    • HM
      Harry M. | Real Vision
      22 March 2020 @ 00:53
      Didnt get to this one in time. Sorry.
  • JK
    James K.
    15 March 2020 @ 06:39
    Any thoughts on buying put options on ED 30 days out to try and catch a blowout of the TED spread?
    • JE
      Jos E.
      15 March 2020 @ 10:27
      Would require banks believing a) other banks are about to go under and B) the Fed will not rescue the bank. Not likely to happen
    • HM
      Harry M. | Real Vision
      17 March 2020 @ 13:33
      Yes. Many thoughts. I agree with Joe E to some degree. Banks will not go under. However it is obvious there are extreme strains in the financial system and some bank balance sheets must be stressed. This conclusion is inevitable if you observe the Fed's actions. So yes, there are reasons to be concerned that unsecured funding costs might blow out. I am attempting to get a HEL myself, simply to add ammo, in case things become very bad and very big opportunities arise. No banks will fail. But it might become quite hard to borrow money.
    • HM
      Harry M. | Real Vision
      22 March 2020 @ 00:52
      The vol isnt cheap but its not a bad idea. The more I read the more concerned I am about a serious divergence between secured and unsecured funding. I might be tempted to buy the put and sell the call, both a little out of the money. A risk reversal. But right now maybe you are right to pay for premium. God knows how I sleep short options,
  • RA
    Renaud A.
    17 March 2020 @ 13:30
    Hello. Awesome content, thanks! I have a very naive question. Why would postponing the olympics trigger a banking crisis in Japan? Could you elaborate a bit on this? Cancelling I get it, but postponing should be bearable, no? Thanks a lot
    • HM
      Harry M. | Real Vision
      22 March 2020 @ 00:49
      Japan has levered itself off the Olympics. There are a bunch of new hotels and renovated hotels. This was to serve as a cashflow kicker to get all these new enterprises off to a good start. If its postponed, a large proportion of the intended international visitors might have to cancel. How many people have that kind of flexibility in their schedule? Japanese domestics viewers are unlikely to fully replace international tourists. Not great to have financed such an expansion in the hospitality trades only to have this happen.
  • TL
    Taylor L.
    17 March 2020 @ 23:42
    Julian: Are you still watching the 5, 20, 50 weekly moving averages on S&P? Looks like the 20 is starting to turn. Great work as always Best, -Taylor
    • HM
      Harry M. | Real Vision
      22 March 2020 @ 00:45
      Yes he has been Taylor, but the speed of the drop is such that the turn is still quite some way away. Momentum indicators will not turn this around quickly
  • am
    alexander m.
    18 March 2020 @ 05:58
    New article on ZeroHedge, claims fed will be accepting equities as Primary Dealer credit facility collateral now, could you please do an update on this development please? seems rules have changed materially
    • HM
      Harry M. | Real Vision
      22 March 2020 @ 00:44
      I think there has been an update Alexander
  • am
    alexander m.
    18 March 2020 @ 05:58
    New article on ZeroHedge, claims fed will be accepting equities as Primary Dealer credit facility collateral now, could you please do an update on this development please? seems rules have changed materially
  • am
    alexander m.
    17 March 2020 @ 04:05
    Raoul and Julian thank you both so much, not just for the winning trades but also for the risk management guidance and framework you 2 have instilled in us which has really helped me keep disciplined and not chase more and more risk/returns through this insane time. I've learnt so much!
  • VA
    Vikram A.
    13 March 2020 @ 03:28
    Thanks for the quick updates in view of the current situation. I have a request. I think it would be helpful if the trades are specified clearly. It would definitely help new members like myself. For eg. HYG was a put trade (expiration ?, strike price ?). Does it make sense for the trade to be entered now. If so, at what price. Similar for the other recommendations. Also, what's the symbol for BKX?
    • JW
      J W.
      14 March 2020 @ 06:40
      Tend to agree with you (even though the HYG option trade was clearly stated, Buy Put, 75 strike, June). Many people have commented before, as have I, that it would be great if the team could set targets or target ranges, so that people who are late to the trade can review whether entry still makes sense. Not sure why RV team does not follow-up on this, it seems pretty logical and I do not think it goes against any conduct guidelines. I mean, if you issue a trade you might as well set a target - or state it's open ended. They do not hesitate to instruct folks to move stops at the other end so not sure why these requests remain unanswered.
    • RP
      Raoul P. | Founder
      14 March 2020 @ 13:56
      I don't use targets or stops so that is why... we all have to manage our own risks. If I close out, you'll see it here.
    • JW
      J W.
      15 March 2020 @ 15:45
      Yes but...(I sound like my wife :-) ...for members who are building their trading experience, I am sure not all of us are experienced traders, I think that targets provide context and perspective. Not looking for a fight with the zen-master, so I'll just leave it here :-)
  • AT
    Andy T.
    12 March 2020 @ 17:29
    Is box a valid symbol?
    • AT
      Andy T.
      12 March 2020 @ 17:30
      Bkx that is
    • KJ
      Kevin J.
      12 March 2020 @ 17:48
      I think the ETF is KBWB
    • JW
      J W.
      14 March 2020 @ 06:42
    • DD
      Donal D.
      15 March 2020 @ 04:38
      I also struggled with BXK but did find that KBE which Julian had a previous stab at shorting was a pretty good proxy in that they both move in the same fashion. May be a bit late to get in now as its already down over 30% in the past few weeks.
  • AS
    Alan S.
    12 March 2020 @ 17:33
    Sorry to seem dense here, but this trade on HYG? As I read what you wrote, you bought HYG at $ 85, it is currently $ 78, but it has been great trade? Did you leave out the line that you shorted HYG at $ 85? What am I misunderstanding here?
    • KJ
      Kevin J.
      12 March 2020 @ 17:48
      They starting buying puts on HYG 2 weeks ago I think. Raoul covered that in a Flash Update.
    • AT
      Alun T.
      12 March 2020 @ 19:23
      Yes, the trade is to short HYG (or JNK). Trouble is you can't borrow these anymore, as they know they are going South. I bought SJB instead. Probably not as good, but still seem to be up reasonably at the moment
  • ag
    anthony g.
    12 March 2020 @ 18:44
    This is good - short, simple, direct and timely. Appreciated.
  • CU
    Can U.
    12 March 2020 @ 18:18
    Dear Both, please stop apologizing for the format and some glitches in delivering what is the most important to us - timely insights into your thinking!!! I think your customers can survive some imperfections in the delivery, it's the content and your views that we value.....
  • SL
    Steven L.
    12 March 2020 @ 17:26
    Won't open in IE, Firefox or Chrome..
  • ke
    karen e.
    12 March 2020 @ 17:17
    Still cant open on computer! Please provide a direct link.
  • JW
    J W.
    12 March 2020 @ 17:14
    Excellent update and thanks again for the 'just in time' delivery.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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CoinShares, Chief Strategy Officer

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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.