Modeling the Next Recession

Published on
February 3rd, 2020
31 minutes

Modeling the Next Recession

The Expert View ·
Featuring Tian Yang

Published on: February 3rd, 2020 • Duration: 31 minutes

When will the next US recession begin — and how might investors foresee its arrival? Tian Yang, Head of Research at Variant Perception, breaks down his model for detecting the signals that a significant decline in economic activity is imminent. Yang explains how his framework differs from traditional, longer-term econometric forecasting models and walks through his process using historical data. Using the data series, Yang unpacks how unrevised leading economic indicators can telegraph regime "jumps" and the role of uncertainty caused by reflexivity or positive feedback loops. Filmed on January 22, 2020 in London. You can find the attached report from Variant Perception here-



  • GL
    G L.
    15 April 2020 @ 10:21
    I don't think this insight was particularly helpful (unfortunate timing re covid aside). I like Variant's quant approach, but this guy has the sniff of someone who started in the market post 2008 crisis and has only ever seen a bull market - i.e. there is not much humility in his tone. Also, economists predict recessions 8 out of 5 times? I think the real stat is closer to NIL.
  • PB
    Paul B.
    3 April 2020 @ 00:16
    Have to look at the negative feedback loop too...I want to see this Guy interviewed again now..
  • PP
    Peter P.
    30 March 2020 @ 00:30
    It’s positively adorable, watching this now.
  • JC
    Jack C.
    21 March 2020 @ 10:20
    The world is a very different place 2 months on, pls have Tian back for an update on his latest thinking
  • HL
    Henrik L.
    29 February 2020 @ 12:15
    Great interview. "Is a 10% drop a buy-the-dip opportunity or time to sell." This is exactly what has happened now with Corona! Please get us a quick update :)
  • BP
    Brian P.
    25 February 2020 @ 05:46
    Chanting "Fa Low Up" "Fa Low Up." Ask Mr Yang the recession watch question right after elections.
  • BT
    Bhupendrasinh T.
    12 February 2020 @ 19:01
    One of the best and thoughtful interview on realvision
    • BP
      Brian P.
      25 February 2020 @ 05:42
      Agreed, it's very thorough and concise.
  • JP
    James P.
    5 February 2020 @ 05:20
    He is quite sanguine about the opportunity to exit in time to avoid getting slaughtered. Curious how he did 2007-2009 time frame. The Powell put will work right up until it doesn’t. He also asserts that bemoaning foolish valuations is basically passé. This also is true right up until it fails. Asset prices are not arbitrary. They will correct. 2008 wasn’t a crisis until the authorities allowed Lehman to fail, right?
    • jS
      john S.
      17 February 2020 @ 02:10
      He was probably in high school
  • EO
    Elena O.
    11 February 2020 @ 16:49
    Great interview and to the point without extra water.... More of handsome Mr Yang 😍😍😍
  • CL
    Charl L.
    7 February 2020 @ 22:35
    Top notch interview. One of the best frameworks in approaching the market.
  • DS
    David S.
    5 February 2020 @ 23:18
    I did not see where exogenous shocks to the market were addressed like Fed reversals or coronavirus. DLS
  • HK
    Himali K.
    5 February 2020 @ 18:21
    Huge fan of Variant Perception and Tien Yang's insights! Thank you.
  • CH
    Craig H.
    5 February 2020 @ 12:51
    very intelligent !
  • SS
    S S.
    3 February 2020 @ 18:50
    Filmed on January 22nd. Before China went to lockdown over the coronavirus which is the Black Swan, significantly low demand from China for Oil, Commodities etc. Recession is coming in the next 3 months. Q1 is going to be a shocker.
    • RM
      Robert M.
      3 February 2020 @ 22:51
      Starting to think this could happen But not sure it lasts 2 quarters to be an official recession. US government deficit spending is allowing the Trump economy to keep up with Obama’s last term and maintain this historic up cycle. So the wildcard is the counter effect of Trump spending and the Fed to offset China.
    • DH
      Daniel H.
      5 February 2020 @ 05:15
      I was very surprised he made no mention of novel coronavirus. Some on twitter are tracking it, but most seem to think it is a non-event because it has not come to the US yet. This is a very mistaken dismissal of the early stages of exponential growth.
  • DS
    David S.
    4 February 2020 @ 03:06
    A recession is important, but not a necessary condition for a future 20% or more market correction. DLS
    • DS
      David S.
      5 February 2020 @ 05:08
      The Christmas Eve selloff of 2018. DLS
  • CB
    Caroline B.
    3 February 2020 @ 18:19
    Top notch interview, great content. But, I can’t see the relationship to 1995-96. The yield curve wasn’t even close to inverting during the mid nineties (not until 98). Although, that’s what makes a market.
    • PN
      PJ N.
      4 February 2020 @ 10:22
      Agree on both points. They also miss the big impact the internet revolution had back then- it allowed US productivity to increase markedly over that period.
  • RA
    Rafael A.
    4 February 2020 @ 00:50
    Likely top 5 videos in RVTV.
  • MF
    Max F.
    3 February 2020 @ 21:43
    I wonder if you'd be able to see his framework in option prices? If you're in a buy the dip scenario, put/call price comparison indicators (like Credit Suisse Fear Barometer) should be relatively low. If you're in a crash scenario, the same indicators should be relatively high. I remember similar indicators were near all time highs in 2018 mini-meltdown; seems like an easy trade if you know the risk is overpriced and you're confident in the framework.
  • JP
    Jonathan P.
    3 February 2020 @ 21:38
    Wait a second... RecessionVision had someone on who's not predicting an imminent recession?! Raoul, we need a new Recession Watch series pronto!
  • EL
    Edgaras L.
    3 February 2020 @ 20:07
    I will have to watch it again with a notepad and a pen. Very straight to the point, very technical, very good Real Vision, great job!
  • WE
    William E.
    3 February 2020 @ 17:37
    Outstanding..... they are consistently one of your best presenters!!! Please bring Julian back for broad RV audience... I get Julian through Macro Insider but at least couple times per year you should bring him to everyone... Best!
  • LJ
    Lucas J.
    3 February 2020 @ 17:11
    Hope real vision adds some more realtime content.
  • PG
    Pavel G.
    3 February 2020 @ 13:36
    Their calls last year have been mediocre. A lot of consensus and little variant perception. Tian is very eloquent though
  • JB
    Jon B.
    3 February 2020 @ 13:05
    Fantastic insight. This helps me rationalise my previous perma-bear outlook into a more sensible, practical focus on the short term, understand the mechanics / drivers and react accordingly. I started my journey with peter schiff from "just wait for the crash to happen therefore get off the train approach" and I'm changing trains in terms of philosophy - acknowledging there is probably a crash at the end but with sufficient diligence you can at least make it to the next station before getting off. .....Or jump out of the window and accept some losses knowing you've got a parachute.
  • SM
    Stephan M.
    3 February 2020 @ 11:34
    The Interview is from 22th of January this Year. I'm wondering why he not mentioned the future impact from the corona virus on earnings and supply chains. It will hit the earnings of 1st and maybe 2nd quarter this year. Not for every company but some influence from problems with supplys may come in to play. Eventually lead to some change in global supply chains which can take more time. It can also trigger an regime shift.
  • BA
    Bruce A.
    3 February 2020 @ 10:37
    One of my takeaways elates to how we get these periods of P/E expansion: 1. When more fixed income is issued than equities, there is a relative scarcity of equities. 2. Equity asset allocation targets may lead investors into the equity market at higher prices. 3. Equity allocation as a % of Total Financial Assets follows/ mirrors CAPE shiller P/E. 4. This is in an environment when Fixed Income yields are very low (low growth implied) enticing borrowers to issue more debt, and companies to conduct share buybacks with cheap debt (instead of investing into low growth environment). I think all of the above assumes willingness of investors to take on risk (supported by Fed dampening volatility). When risk aversion emerges then I suppose this dynamic unwinds: credit spreads widen, debt issuance drops, buybacks stop and balance sheet strength is paramount.
  • CL
    Claudio L.
    3 February 2020 @ 10:04
    I like the bush fires analogy in capping volatility by Central Banks. It will be unpredictable to forecast when that capping is off the hook.
  • DS
    David S.
    3 February 2020 @ 07:55
    Well done. Mr. Yang's shorter-term approach is more realistic. There are just too many variables to predict longer-term markets. This is especially true when it is just index trading without independent stock valuations. DLS