The $17 Trillion Question — Live with Jim Grant

Published on
December 2nd, 2020
63 minutes

A World DeFAANG-ed: High-Beta Bets and Emerging Markets

The $17 Trillion Question — Live with Jim Grant

Live ·
Featuring James Grant

Published on: December 2nd, 2020 • Duration: 63 minutes

It isn't hard to find data indicative of the madness that pervades the current market environment, but to Jim Grant, founder of Grant's Interest Rate Observer, no data point encapsulates this quite as clearly as the staggering $17 trillion of negative-yielding debt outstanding in the world. As an avid historian of interest rates, Grant argues that the only certainty is that this will end and most likely it will end badly. In this interview with Max Wiethe, Grant explores why he is so certain that this monetary experiment will end badly, the unintended negative consequences that can be seen in credit markets as yield starved investors grope for any yield they can find no matter the risk, and the opportunities this presents for investors willing to bet that a guaranteed loss on your investment will eventually fall out of fashion. As well the pair will discuss the implications of Biden's selection of Janet Yellen as his Treasury Secretary and potential for a return to an inflationary environment. For Jim's charts, click here:



  • TP
    Thomas P.
    29 January 2021 @ 17:33
    Likewise, the recurring garbled audio was frustrating - and so increases dependency on the transcript - and there it is evident the transcriber too was flustered by the audio decoding task. For example "Negative nominal interest rates are a contradiction of that, but they are a contraction of the central banks" - confection, not contraction is what he said - the context should make the latter nonsensical anyway you'd think. Another: "central bankers work on a static bottle, an equilibrium model." Wow. Poor transcriber is deeply out of context here. Of course the speaker said "static model", not bottle lol.
  • AS
    Arjan S.
    8 December 2020 @ 23:52
    Great interview as always. Can we do an RV live on ESG index inclusion plays? That seems like the perfect venue to explore those trades.
  • PS
    Patrick S.
    8 December 2020 @ 20:47
    Max, Great job on this interview. I especially enjoyed the response to Jim's comment that you should have been a subscriber to his letter, and you responded that you couldn't afford to be one. It is rare over the years that Jim is without a humorous retort, but in this case your honest response needed none. Your questions were good and probing and I got a lot out of the interview. Thanks to you and Jim. Cheers
  • pg
    paul g.
    8 December 2020 @ 13:47
    Sound quality ruined this one for me. Jim Grant should invest in equipment and RV should not put out this poor quality audio
  • CN
    Christopher N.
    6 December 2020 @ 02:28
    Audio quality of Jim Grant’s comments was awful. I was really looking forward to this episode but I had to quit. I expect more from you guys, particularly when you are interviewing such a big name. You’ve got to get the technicals in the background right for something like this..... for an interview of this importance.
    • NI
      Nate I.
      7 December 2020 @ 05:23
      The audio left a bit to be desired, but I still managed to get through it. In fairness, I think it's on Jim's end because his podcasts often have the same problem. Someone buy that man a good microphone!
  • RC
    Robert C.
    4 December 2020 @ 01:17
    Real Vision needs to buy Jim an "Ash Bennington" microphone. You'll be doing not just Real Vision subscribers a favour, but also those that listen to Jim's weekly podcast a solid also.
    • KP
      Krishna P.
      6 December 2020 @ 20:22
      Cannot agree more. Please do so.
  • JL
    John L.
    6 December 2020 @ 13:40
    Jim is a very eloquent speaker and there is tremendous wisdom buried in his thoughtful words. Younger RV viewers should watch this more than once. As, decades from now, when they've had the opportunity to be wrong as many times as Jim has, hopefully they'll remember this interview and reflect, "Jim, you were so right." "The law of unintended consequences." History doesn't repeat, but it rhymes. What can't last, doesn't. Greatness.
  • AC
    Andrew C.
    6 December 2020 @ 08:00
    Anybody know whether P. Kelton's talk at the Grant Conference is available anywhere? I understand the MMT argument, and that the US cannot default, as they can just print. I concur with S.K. that inflation is a long way off in the US, as salaries are low, productive capacity has much room to grow. The way I see it, commodities rising might bring a spike of inflation like the late 1940s, but as Jeff Synder says, inflation is a monetary thing, and as the EuroDollar is sucking up any "money printing" the FED does, this bubble has years to run .....
  • AC
    Andrew C.
    6 December 2020 @ 07:55
    sitting here after enjoying the video, surprised about the audio comments. Disappointing all the comments are not really about the content. I had absolutely no issues with hearing and understanding Jim. But I have a reasonable set of headphones..... Perhaps the audience should buy a $20 headphones?
  • FB
    Frank B.
    4 December 2020 @ 08:50
    After listening for 3min I went for the transcript.
    • BT
      Boris T.
      5 December 2020 @ 22:09
      Yes, I’m about to do the same thing. Really a shame as I am very interested in watching this, but the audio quality is really spoiling it. Can’t really blame RealVison for this though, and I guess no one dares telling Jim Grant that he should get a new microphone :-)
  • GR
    Grant R.
    5 December 2020 @ 20:17
    Audio downloads are nice, but missing on this?
  • AD
    Alexander D.
    5 December 2020 @ 19:38
    I've always liked Jim Grant's interviews. But I swear his microphone is getting worse. Can we crowdfund him getting a decent one or something?
  • ds
    durgesh s.
    5 December 2020 @ 15:38
    Excellent Jim Grant lives up to his reputation for Knowledge and Courage to voice his views
  • PU
    Peter U.
    5 December 2020 @ 15:00
    Well done Max! Excellent job. One of the best interviews with Jim Grant.
  • SS
    Shanthi S.
    5 December 2020 @ 09:51
    Loved every minute. Thank you both.
  • RC
    Romesh C.
    5 December 2020 @ 04:47
    Sorry the audio was so bad I had no choice but to leave. Raoul likes to say video will eat the world; this audio ate my brain.
  • DT
    Dennie T.
    4 December 2020 @ 17:57
    Jim "bow tie" Grant always spouts nuggets of wisdom. Great interview.
    • LS
      Lemony S.
      5 December 2020 @ 00:49
      The bad part is that the rule about guys who wear bow ties is like 99% ...
  • BP
    Bakulesh P.
    4 December 2020 @ 22:19
    Every time Jim is on RV his audio quality is so poor that it strains to listen and eventually you just give up even if he has wealth of wisdom to share. Sad. Please invest in audio quality.
  • TG
    Thomas G.
    4 December 2020 @ 17:26
    The Audio quality is really bad.
  • MJ
    Marc J.
    4 December 2020 @ 16:57
    Absolutely loved this interview, well done Max!
  • MW
    Max W. | Real Vision
    4 December 2020 @ 16:37
    Two question that I saw that we didn't get to in the interview were what Jim is reading and if he is writing a new book. Jim is currently reading David Simpson, “The Rediscovery of Classical Economics.” He is working on a project involving the lives and times of a pair of English statesmen around the time of the French Revolution.
  • MW
    Max W. | Real Vision
    4 December 2020 @ 14:24
    Sorry about the audio issues folks. I'll be posting a recent edition of Grant's Interest Rate Observer shortly and I can assure you there are no audio issues.
  • JT
    John T.
    3 December 2020 @ 22:43
    At the ~19:20 minute mark, they refer to one person who didn't accept aid. Who was this?
    • MW
      Max W. | Real Vision
      4 December 2020 @ 14:15
      It has been proposed that Dick Fuld's not taking the offer from the government or over negotiating is the reason that Lehman was the only bank that was allowed to fail and that they were used to make an example.
  • RC
    RUBEN C.
    4 December 2020 @ 13:35
    James seems a true scholar with an impeccable English. Unfortunately, the audio was of low quality and his explanations may be a little bit too convoluted. He seems an expert of the intricacies of capitalism but I think he is not ready to see his view of capitalism dissolving, in a similar way an enslaver could had not foreseen a world without slaves. The world is changing my friend and the dragon is getting out of Gringotts so I suggest you to get out of the till.
  • JS
    John S.
    4 December 2020 @ 10:50
    Jim's ESG thesis is solid
  • DS
    David S.
    4 December 2020 @ 04:23
    It might be interesting to look at total bank reserves. With banks legally stealing money from depositors in Cyprus banks, many large funds do not trust leaving money in banks. It might be that increases in the bank reserves is CBs way of papering over the in the mess they made in Cyprus. If I were a big money fund with billions and no good investments to make, I would buy a low interest of negative interest government debt instead of risking being bailed in by a bankrupt bank. DLS
    • DS
      David S.
      4 December 2020 @ 07:20
      Sorry for not editing. DLS
  • SO
    Shads O.
    4 December 2020 @ 05:28
    Poor audio quality
  • MH
    Michael H.
    4 December 2020 @ 03:41
    too painful to listen...
  • PC
    Peter C.
    4 December 2020 @ 03:00
    Please keep producing content with Mr. Grant, both as interviewer and interviewee. Simply outstanding.
  • JP
    Jonathan P.
    4 December 2020 @ 02:39
    Audio quality or not, Jim Grant is a national treasure. I learn something every time I listen to him.
  • NL
    Nikola L.
    4 December 2020 @ 02:24
    arrrghh.. audio. great stuff but dear dear.. Jim can surely afford one half decent microphone.
  • jl
    john l.
    4 December 2020 @ 01:49
    Painful audio.
  • WT
    William T.
    4 December 2020 @ 00:55
    Terrible audio, such a shame. Had to bail.
  • GB
    Grzegorz B.
    4 December 2020 @ 00:46
    Jim's audio is bad.
  • MD
    Matthew D.
    4 December 2020 @ 00:45
    A true gentleman and a scholar. A pleasure to be able to sit and listen to such wisdom.
  • DH
    David H.
    4 December 2020 @ 00:42
    Audio quality made this incredibly difficult to listen to, which was frustrating given that I made it a priority listen. Sounds like it's recorded to the backing of a wobble board. In the end I gave up.
  • KA
    Kevin A.
    4 December 2020 @ 00:13
    Literally, I live in the remote wilderness. The AV on my Zoom conversations is better than Jim's and he is presumably in NYC. I enjoyed the conversation but I would appreciate better AV the next time you speak with him.
  • ND
    Nivtej D.
    3 December 2020 @ 21:59
    Max you asked my question! You the man! The interview was great fun. Jim is super cool. Cheers, and thanks!