John Burbank – Master Class

Published on
June 16th, 2016
49 minutes

John Burbank – Master Class

Master Class ·
Featuring John Burbank, Mark W. Yusko

Published on: June 16th, 2016 • Duration: 49 minutes

In one of the most highly-requested interviews in Real Vision history, John Burbank, Founder of Passport Capital LLC, joins the hallowed halls of the Master Class series. In this discussion with Mark Yusko of Morgan Creek Capital Management, John deep-dives into his outlook on emerging markets and China, explains how close we came to a liquidity crisis in early 2016, and emphasizes the huge potential of investing in innovation. This discussion with one of the most brilliant minds in the investment industry is one of our best Master Class interviews to date.


  • TO
    Tal O.
    8 May 2019 @ 05:04
    Yusko is no good. Grant should be interviewing people.
  • SL
    Seth L.
    31 August 2017 @ 21:08
    I would have killed to have been one of John's interns! Great head on his shoulders.
  • hr
    horacio r.
    29 August 2017 @ 16:33
    The interviewer ruined it for me.
  • RP
    Robert P.
    16 August 2017 @ 14:38
    Less of blowhard Yusko and more Burbank, please
  • RP
    Raoul P. | Founder
    17 June 2016 @ 17:35
    I think it is worth saying again that The Masterclass series is NOT about trade ideas, it is to understand how great investors think, lessons from their careers, how they manage their businesses, etc. To just care about the trade ideas misses the point of these. There is so much more to learn...
    • js
      j s.
      5 July 2017 @ 17:14
      Yes, agreed — though I think it would be great to give interviewers some basic advice on how to conduct themselves: don't cut people off unless they're actually rambling; ask probing questions; don't make it about yourself (they are surely very clever and fun people and they can have their own day in the Realvision sun another time.)
    • js
      j s.
      5 July 2017 @ 17:41
      There should be an option to delete comments. The interviewer only cut off John a couple of times, and less as the interview went on. He also only talked himself up a couple of times. No big deal. I was biased by the reaction of others and the few examples reinforced that. Sorry to Mark Yusko. (JB should have owned up to the drawdowns and fund closure though. Kinda lame to skip that. It's part of the biz, he got hit, and it doesn't even get mentioned??)
  • CM
    C M.
    12 April 2017 @ 19:27
    Shared this with support the other day, but please add dates to your videos. I have to scan through the comments to the earliest comment to see when the video posted. It helps to put an interviewee's comments in perspective to know when the interview took place.
    • DM
      Derek M.
      12 June 2017 @ 05:18
      You have to click on the down arrrow in the bottom right of the thumbnail box before actually clicking on the video. Will give you description, date, etc.
  • YJ
    Yaokai J.
    10 June 2017 @ 08:56
    OMG he said bitcoin lolz.
  • JH
    Jesse H.
    11 April 2017 @ 15:59
    Good interview, but interviewer could have spent less time voicing his own views and more time eliciting the views of Burbank. Thanks RV team.
  • JS
    Jerry S.
    4 April 2017 @ 15:30
    Great guest. Interviewer seemed to want to be the focus of attention...imho
  • AA
    Antoni A.
    22 October 2016 @ 11:53
    Regarding Gold - his fund's largest position is PUT on GLD (as of end of July 30th) so I think that settles the gold bull/bear question.
  • WK
    William K.
    2 August 2016 @ 01:23
    To understand how great investors think, lessons from their careers, how they manage their businesses, etc. the interviewer needs to ask probing questions and then sit back in silence, allow the interviewee time to reflect and thoughtfully answer. It's about the subscribers, not the interviewer. Please don't have MY back.
  • DJ
    David J.
    6 July 2016 @ 03:30
    Would love to see Tim Rudderow at Mt Lucas interviewed
  • RF
    Raoul F.
    1 July 2016 @ 12:57
    Fantastic as usual. The Wargames reference is so true this year.
  • DR
    Dorothee R.
    30 June 2016 @ 10:33
    @John, why would companies stop buying back their stocks if the S&P falls to 1,600? Aren't their stocks much more attractive at these levels? And why would companies start firing people at that point?
  • CM
    C M.
    30 June 2016 @ 07:48
    I terminated early -- I just became sick of Mark Y. talking about his skiing vacation and what he "tweeted out": RV, please use a different interviewer.
  • M.
    Milton .. | Founder
    27 June 2016 @ 22:24
    True insight!
  • M.
    Milton .. | Founder
    27 June 2016 @ 22:16
    My favorite video so far.
  • M.
    Milton .. | Founder
    27 June 2016 @ 22:02
    So much great stuff here!
  • AE
    Alex E.
    26 June 2016 @ 03:03
    We are good investors, It's the markets being manipulated by the various crash protection teams that are skewing our analysis and outcomes!
  • NN
    Njonjo N.
    23 June 2016 @ 08:41
    The dude doesn't have a clue what he's talking about so he can only make money by fleecing investors with outrageous fees. John Bogle of low-cost Vanguard has an excellent track record so that's the guy to follow. Commodities, commodity countries, commodity companies, and commodity currencies are driven by strong US government spending, and vice versa. QE and rate cuts are austerity (both reduce interest income in the economy) and are therefore dollar bullish while rate hikes and no QE are dollar bearish. Stick to low-cost ETFs though.
  • BE
    Baha E.
    21 June 2016 @ 22:07
    I wish I worked for John Burbank
  • S
    Sigurður .
    20 June 2016 @ 18:30
    "People lack imagination" - was my favourite.....
  • IA
    Ibrahim A.
    20 June 2016 @ 12:29
    I feel Mark Yusko sort of ruined the interview, he kept wanting to add sound bites of his own. The previous interviews with Burbank were much better.
  • MF
    Michael F.
    20 June 2016 @ 03:43
    Yusko thinking very highly of himself is distracting. Having said that Burbank is a genius and his views on liquidity in 2016 were insightful. Keep up the good work Raoul/Grant
  • CH
    Calvin H.
    20 June 2016 @ 02:28
    Great interview. My comments: Was comforting to hear John lament the Fed's intervention and ruin the short party in Feb. Would have liked to hear them discuss the CBs' credibility and competency with respect to a crash. Agree that Mark cut in a bit too much and tried to put words in John's mouth. But he backed off later. Mark - your comment about the fiscal stimulus. John said it is coming and you said ' It's needed' Did I hear you correctly? I hope not.
  • AP
    A P.
    18 June 2016 @ 20:09
    RVTV aka 'Heuristic TV'. Excellent discussion.
  • MC
    Mike C.
    18 June 2016 @ 14:33
    Does anyone know Passport performance record since inception?
  • HL
    Helen L.
    18 June 2016 @ 14:19
    Completely amazing interview!! Great insight into how John thinks about the world and how to build up his team. So much quality content. Also loved how Mark highlighted key insights that were could have otherwise been a throwaway comment from a very humble John.
  • NS
    Noelle S.
    18 June 2016 @ 13:21
    the demographics of the United States is changing so dramatically. The demographics of China is changing on an economic basis so dramatically. It seems to me that this slower growth that's happening and this change in the way liquidity is reacting is somewhat related to that? I wonder if it could be explored in another Master Class session where they change in families number of single people living alone changes in the birth rates etcetera could be described as a Groundswell of change affecting expansions?
  • AA
    Alexander A.
    18 June 2016 @ 10:47
    When is Raoul going to do an interview? Is it a semi-annual rotation between Raoul and Grant?
  • DS
    David S.
    18 June 2016 @ 02:56
    I feel that Grant and Raoul are already running as fast as they can and doing a damn good job! If we want more content, we need different formats and different interviewers. I would like to thank Mark for stepping into the interviewer role so that we were able to hear from John Burbank. I do not want a talking head interviewing who does not have skin in the game. They often know very little, but act like they know more than the person they are interviewing. They can spend five minutes asking a 30 second question just to get face time. Hats of to Mark! I hope to see more of Mark and John on RVTV.
  • TR
    Thomas R.
    18 June 2016 @ 02:07
    Ian J's comment and Raoul's comments below are right on. Specific investment ideas come out of a framework. Take Alejandro Reyes specific investment recommendation on shorting the minors or NUGT in his presentation earlier this week. Without a framework, a time frame, and a context, and given Alejandro’s may not be interviewed next in time to unwind those trades – the recommendation is really useless. Not to pick on Mr Reyes though - other parts of his commentary, such as those regarding velocity of money from a historical perspective, were very useful measured against the framework I have created for myself – which has been heavily influenced by my Real Vision viewing.
  • TS
    Thomas S.
    18 June 2016 @ 01:25
    John's thought process reminds me of how much I do not know. Thanks for the reminder.
  • DU
    Don U.
    18 June 2016 @ 00:53
    Just saying - A John Burbank interview by Grant might be easier on the ears.
  • RA
    Robert A.
    18 June 2016 @ 00:04
    Pushing back on the "no trades" lament a bit; what if you took away John's Lack of Liquidity idea coupled with his slavish constant attention to risk management and THAT thinking allowed you to either avoid a really bad trade or have hedged one in such a way that you didn't blow up your portfolio---would THAT count as "tradeable" idea gleaned from RV?
  • pm
    preston m.
    17 June 2016 @ 22:01
    I don't always agree with Mark, but he's a smart guy and I thought the interview was great.
  • DB
    David B.
    17 June 2016 @ 19:49
    It's wonderful to be able to sit in on such a go anywhere conversation. Getting a glimpse of how successful investors think and process information is awesome. Seeing their genuine desire to unravel the market's mysteries is inspiring. And I am always surprised by the humility of these great investors. Terrific stuff!
  • MF
    Mohammad F.
    17 June 2016 @ 19:01
    Would have preferred if Mark would have let John develop more on key subjects.
  • VP
    Vincent P.
    17 June 2016 @ 19:00
    Fantastic interview!
  • IF
    Ian F.
    17 June 2016 @ 17:36
    JOHN M would prefer to be spoon fed investment ideas so he can rattle it off to his clients. Look these pieces are meant to be timeless, nothing pisses me off more than watching a 2 year old video only to find nothing is applicable anymore (and they are dead wrong, like Alex Gurevich). I don't believe Burbank to be correct in his overall thesis, but by damn it is amazing that he is able to visualize something unobservable such as liquidity in the way he does.
  • jm
    john m.
    17 June 2016 @ 17:01
    Ian J-- what framework did you glean? dollar bear/bull? US equity bear/bull? Commodity bear/bull? Vol bear/bull? I only heard about illiquidity.
  • BB
    Bill B.
    17 June 2016 @ 16:56
    I would like to hear John talk more about innovation.
  • jm
    john m.
    17 June 2016 @ 16:38
    How can you NOT ask the author of this paper his view on gold???
  • IJ
    Ian J.
    17 June 2016 @ 16:37
    Coments re lack specific market calls miss the point. RVT's biggest value add is providing a framework. Understand the framework - agree or disagree - do your own homework and make your own investment decisions.
  • jm
    john m.
    17 June 2016 @ 16:18
    Such a missed opportunity. In my opinion, John is one of the best minds in the market. To spend more than 1/2 the interview discussing non market related topics (e.g. human resources/ hiring/training) was a waste. The only real value was in the last 4 minutes when John was able to talk freely about his views. Please re-interview and ask some specific market related questions!
  • jm
    john m.
    17 June 2016 @ 16:12
    No details!!!! Damn, I was so excited to hear John's thoughts on the market but Mark kept cutting in and he didn't ask any specific questions. For example-Is John still short the market as he was coming into the year? if so, what sectors?; he briefly mentions that gold has gone up lately, but is John long or short here? is he long/short phys/etf/miners?; John also talks about potential for another QE post elections which he mentions would be bearish for dollar, but is John short dollar today and/or long commods today in anticipation of that QE? Any chance we could get Grant to re-interview John?? Grant is so much more thorough and detailed.
  • NR
    Nuno R.
    17 June 2016 @ 15:39
    What happened to the $2 Million hedge fund that John B. joined when he started his investment career ?
  • JS
    Jimmy S.
    17 June 2016 @ 15:14
    I wish there were more direct questions regarding actionable ideas.
  • RP
    Raoul P. | Founder
    17 June 2016 @ 15:10
    Put two very smart people in a room together and eaves drop on the magic happening...
  • EA
    Eldon A.
    17 June 2016 @ 14:52
    Instant classic