“Pricking” Potential Bubbles in Stocks and Bonds

Published on
February 23rd, 2021
Duration
90 minutes

Liquidity Cascades: The Culmination of Suppressed Rates, Passive Mandates, & Excessive Risk Taking


“Pricking” Potential Bubbles in Stocks and Bonds

The Interview ·
Featuring John Hussman and Milton Berg

Published on: February 23rd, 2021 • Duration: 90 minutes

Are stocks in a bubble? How about bonds? Perhaps Bitcoin, too? Milton Berg, founder and CIO of Milton Berg Advisory, welcomes John Hussman, president of Hussman Strategic Advisors, for a conversation on these important questions. Hussman uses his custom equity risk-premium model to explain why, over the next twelve years, he expects the S&P 500 to return an average of negative 4%. Hussman compares the current moment to various historical periods where the S&P 500 underperformed Treasurys. Berg contends that peak-to-trough declines in equities will always result in long periods during which equities underperform Treasurys, and he notes that even buying high-quality stocks at peaks will turn a healthy profit if an investor have a sufficiently long time-horizon. Berg expounds on a bevy of highly favorable market technicals that indicate this rally could continue for some time. Filmed on February 19, 2021.

Key learnings:
Hussman argues that the S&P 500 will have a negative return for the next 12 years, whereas Berg maintains that, “bubble” or not, this rally will likely continue, both because the Federal Reserve is not worried about inflation as well several key market technical indicators. Hussman and Berg agree that speculative fervor is very notable in Bitcoin, but note that this does not mean it will go down soon.

Comments

Transcript

  • EH
    Edward H. | Real Vision
    24 February 2021 @ 14:42
    Ed Harrison here. Just a quick comment since I last interviewed Milton Berg on the platform. I have a twitter thread here on my thoughts regarding this interview https://twitter.com/edwardnh/status/1364579789613502469. I won't repeat everything I wrote there. But the most salient point is that the way I remember Berg from August 2020 is that he was in a quandary because his a lot of data was pointing to bullish outcomes when his gut was telling him that that didn't make complete sense. What you saw here was his data being validated in the last six months and him bringing that fact to bear on the conversation. This was a really good - and fundamental - debate on how far policy makers can and will go and what the consequences will be. It reminds me a lot of what Hugh Hendry was asking Richard Werner last year.
    • NL
      Nikola L.
      24 February 2021 @ 22:18
      Ed, I agree but Milton does come across very combative. Especially the first 1/3 of the interview. still listening as I comment.
    • AP
      AJ P.
      1 March 2021 @ 04:49
      Ed, please bring Milton back for a session on his technical indicators update.
    • MP
      Mark P.
      2 March 2021 @ 02:58
      Thanks, Ed, that explains a lot. Overall, I thought this was a great discussion. A lot of great information in a short time. I think they both were up to debate and while it was a bit aggressive by current standards they clearly respected each other. I bet they'd happily go have a discussion over a couple of beverages.
  • JG
    Justin G.
    28 February 2021 @ 02:14
    One caveat to the observation made by Milton when looking at the returns from the peak around the dotcom bubble in 2000 to 2021 is ignoring clients pulling the plug before 2021............................It took over a decade for some of these companies to get back to break-even. In money management there is a high risk that clients wont stick around for that long while you hold onto such stocks sighting a potential long-term recovery........staying in the game to get you to that 2021 point requires some element of market timing and going to cash
  • GG
    George G. | Contributor
    26 February 2021 @ 21:11
    Clearly different approaches to markets and macro frameworks were on display. That said, Hussman was overall cool as a cucumber and able to keep composure better than most would in such an interview, in my opinion. In addition, even if one disagrees in Hussman market calls over time, he has an amazing command to explaining his process and historical valuations. Great video to learn about historical knowledge and gain perspectives on how to stress test your own thought process.
  • JS
    J S.
    26 February 2021 @ 17:46
    Thank you both. RV needs more conversations where interviewer pushes against interviewee views. That's when thoughtful learning occurs.
  • AW
    Andrew W.
    24 February 2021 @ 18:06
    Anyone who tells me that gold has intrinsic value because of industrial use is immediately discredited in my eyes from being able to make a comment about BTC. If you don't understand gold, you have no hope in hell of understanding BTC. It was really disappointing for me to hear that Hussman doesn't know what gold is.
    • MB
      Milton B.
      25 February 2021 @ 15:33
      Andrew, I am always willing to learn. Can you please share your insights on Gold? I understand Gold's intrinsic value based on its uses as jewelry, it's decorative uses, and industrial uses. I do not agree with the argument put forth by "Howard" in "Treasures of the Sierra Madre" (Warner Brothers 1948 starring Humphrey Bogart) " A thousand men, say, go searching for gold. After six months, one of 'em is lucky - one out of the thousand. His find represents not only his own labor but that of nine hundred and ninety-nine others to boot. That's uh, six thousand months or five hundred years scrabbling over mountains, going hungry and thirsty. An ounce of gold, mister, is worth what it is because of the human labor that went into the finding and the getting of it." If that were true then maybe Bitcoin would have value due the enormous electrical resources used in it mining. However even that effort pales in comparison to the effort used to mine gold. However by my lights, Gold has intrinsic value due to a combination of its beauty functionality, scarcity, and resistance to corrosion, electrical conductivity, ductility malleability infrared reflectivity, and thermal conductivity. Gold is used in many electronic products such as computers, high end technical equipment, spacecraft, and satellites. Gold is an essential element in the mining of Bitcoin. It is the intrinsic value of gold that allows it it be used as a store of THAT value. Bitcoin lacking Intrinsic value may prove to be an inadequate store of value over the long term.
    • RM
      Robert M.
      25 February 2021 @ 18:15
      Gold watches go for a lot more $$$ than stainless steel. Haven't seen a bitcoin watch yet to be able to judge.
    • WM
      Will M.
      26 February 2021 @ 15:03
      Superb rebuttal by Milton Berg. There was another definition of gold somewhere on this platform which I mistakenly did not record at the time. However I have come to believe that BTC is a great speculation and may possibly have some store of value over time. Gold is in a league of its own and will probably demonstrate its tremendous ability to discover the truth about paper currency in due course.
  • DJ
    Dan J.
    23 February 2021 @ 18:36
    interviewer an annoying clown.
    • SS
      Shanthi S.
      23 February 2021 @ 22:11
      Far from it.
    • WM
      Will M.
      26 February 2021 @ 14:48
      Dan, simply no need for the derogatory comment. You could just have said he wasn't to your liking and perhaps add a comment why. Almost anyone in the industry knows Milton Berg is not some lightweight.
  • GT
    Gerald T.
    24 February 2021 @ 18:42
    Dr. Hussman stated "I've been beating the S&P 500 for 30 years". His longest running fund is Strategic Growth (HSGFX) showing 0.47% annual from inception on 7/24/2000 to 12/31/2020. What am I missing?
    • JM
      Joeri M.
      24 February 2021 @ 19:54
      His hedging worked very well during the 2000-2003 decline and during the 2008-2009 decline. After that, his hedging only lead to negative returns. The fund has a total return of -30% since inception. Imagine that, a negative return of 30% over a period of 20 years. I'm also wondering if I'm missing something. Dr. Hussman seems very happy with his track record but if you look at his funds, the data shows otherwise. Does anyone have an insight?
    • BC
      Bill C.
      26 February 2021 @ 04:16
      Joeri, Hussman's funds are a mix of investments and hedges. HSGFX has a one star rating but I think largely Morningstar misses what he is doing. I find his funds unique with star ratings misleading as to his approach. The stocks in his funds have outperformed the S&P or other various indexes. I see that gain as largely paying for the various put option strategies he maintains. I am one of those that has in some measure missed out on the 10+ years of market run-up because I have held a fair amount of cash during this period. I've held HSGFX in a way as sort of a cash holding, or a paid for put. HSGFX has been in my portfolio for probably 5 years. And I'm up only about 2% in it. I just let it sit. I am also one that listens to the 'doomsayers.' Having done so and being positioned for the 2000 and 2008 crashes felt good. So, I don't kneejerkedly dismiss them as a joke. HSGFX felt good last March. We all know this market has been rigged for a long time. DiMartino-Booth says it goes back to government intervention in 1987 - when it made precedent with some unique support. Gundlach has noted how various markets have fallen in the last few decades - and have never returned to their highs. Because the market is fake in almost every way - I'll continue to hold the like of the Hussman Fund HSGFX. The commentary on his website is always sobering.
  • JS
    James S.
    26 February 2021 @ 01:20
    The interviewer was rudely hostile and seemed to be there solely to prove Dr Hussman wrong. This was the least professional video I’ve seen on this sight after viewing for 2 years. Your staff should really try to make it right with the guest.
    • BC
      Bill C.
      26 February 2021 @ 02:44
      I see their approaches to speaking as different styles.
  • MM
    Martin M.
    25 February 2021 @ 19:33
    Milton: spx was $24.35 on 1/1/29, $8.69 on 12/31/41, fyi...
    • MB
      Milton B.
      25 February 2021 @ 19:57
      Martin, I was using a total return index not a price index. I was using monthly data from August 1929 to August 1941. Again there has never been a 12 year period of major compounded declines of -4.70% per annum. By the way the difference between -4.7% and -3.54% decline on a compound basis is significant. $1,000,000 compounded at -4.7% over 12 years leaves $561,196. . A decline of -3.54% leaves $648,884.
    • MM
      Martin M.
      25 February 2021 @ 20:28
      Thanks for that Milton... should've thought of that myself... My, the tenacity one would need to live through some of these poor 12-year periods given what goes on along the way. And, of course, when you're talking multiple decades, you're speaking the truth, but, realistically, not helpful, in a real world investing context... I'm still not through the video, btw...
  • MM
    Martin M.
    25 February 2021 @ 20:12
    Man, I'm 2/3rds in and I find Milton really tough to endure... the impractical timelines, cherry picking, oof... It's not agreeing or disagreeing, it's style, lack of interest... I love the devil's advocate approach but this too much... Please get Hussman back with, say, Ed Harrison...
  • VH
    Virgil H.
    24 February 2021 @ 00:21
    Another classic case of two dinosaurs pretending to understand Bitcoin... Intellectually lazy, stuck in the 2012 narrative, who (after a trillion dollar free market valuation) think it’s just a “magic internet money”!
    • RI
      R I.
      24 February 2021 @ 02:52
      Bitcoin solves for this. Few understand this.
    • RM
      Robert M.
      24 February 2021 @ 03:58
      I am still waiting to hear a Bitcoin advocate explain exactly what it is. One is a currency tied to a payment system. Yet no one uses it as a currency, And it is expensive and inefficient to process. And to use it as a currency you pay capital gains taxes. The second is that it is a store of value. But to buy real assets that you need to live on, it always has to be converted back to a currency, which again is taxed. So the only way I see to value bitcoin is based on how much you believe your currency will depreciate over a period of time and your bitcoin will appreciate by that amount. So if bitcoin doubles, then one assumes the US dollar will depreciate by 50%. So it appears to be a store of value today when it is rapidly rising, but in times when it declined 90%, it lacks any function as a store of value. And these rise and falls are based on emotionally driven trades and not on any fundamentals that I have seen someone outline. So feel free to educate me.
    • AW
      Andrew W.
      24 February 2021 @ 18:09
      @Robert it's a call option on SoV in continuous phase transition to SoV. As it makes this transition, it supposedly becomes less speculative and less volatile. The fact that volatility is still relatively high indicates it's nowhere near its final destination, which is either 0 or a market cap probably larger than gold.
    • RM
      Robert M.
      25 February 2021 @ 18:24
      It is a pretty expensive call option at $50,000 for one coin. My guess there are cheaper wages to hedge currency devaluation that using bitcoin as a call option. As far as market cap, have seen data that it is about 5% of gold's market cap.
  • AT
    Alexander T.
    25 February 2021 @ 13:13
    Mr. Berg claimed the following: "So you're saying that stocks will decline roughly 4% per annum over the next 10 years, which has never happened in the history of the US stock market. ... you're not going to see 4% decline or 4% per annum, certainly not from 29 to 41, which is 12 years". According to macrotrends.det (https://www.macrotrends.net/2324/sp-500-historical-chart-data) the S&P500 was at 31.71 in Aug, 1929 and 10.3 in Aug, 1941. This is a 67.5 % decline in 12 years and equivalent to a compound annual growth rate of - 8.95 %.
    • AT
      Alexander T.
      25 February 2021 @ 14:40
      However the dividend yield during that time was quite high (from 1930 to 1941). If you bought on 01-01-1930 and reinvested dividends at year end, your loss from 01-01-1930 to 12-31-1941 was 19.2 % or a compound annual growth rate of - 1.74 %. S&P500 dividend yield total return from 01-01-1930 Dec 31. 1941 8.69 8.11% -19.2% Dec 31. 1940 10.58 6.36% -9.0% Dec 31. 1939 12.49 5.01% 1.0% Dec 31. 1938 13.21 4.02% 1.7% Dec 31. 1937 10.55 7.26% - 21.9% Dec 31. 1936 17.18 4.22% 18.5% Dec 31. 1935 13.43 3.60% -11.1% Dec 31. 1934 9.5 4.86% -39.3% Dec 31. 1933 10.1 4.41% -38.4% Dec 31. 1932 6.89 7.33% -59.8% Dec 31. 1931 8.12 9.72% -55.8% Dec 31. 1930 15.34 6.32% -24.0% Dec 31. 1929 21.45
    • MB
      Milton B.
      25 February 2021 @ 14:59
      Thank you ! I appreciate your delving into the data! Dr. Hussman projects a decline on a total return basis for S&P 500 of -4.7% per annum over 12 years. That truly has never occurred in history. The Macro Trends Data is using price only and does not include dividend data. Using actual total return on a monthly close basis from August 1929 (37.25) to August 1941 (24.17) generates a total loss per annum of -3.54%.Which is way below the -4.7% cited by Dr Hussman. Realize that the 12 year period includes a great depression a second great recession and a 25% 14 day decline as a world war begins in Europe. It can hardly be argued that based on over valuation "alone" stock prices will decline -4.70% per annum on a total return basis for 12 years. Additionally note that the 12 year period from August 1929 to August 1941 begins at a price extreme All time high) and ends at an opposite extreme (-50% in a 4 year bear market) Thank you for your interest! Milton
    • RM
      Robert M.
      25 February 2021 @ 18:13
      Not sure most of us would consider -3.5% per year "way below" a rate of -4.7%. But to John's point, he sees the market going up and down, not a smoothed average of -4.7% per year and there will be opportunities in this volatility.
  • JF
    Jim F.
    25 February 2021 @ 16:10
    Please do more interviews like this. I love seeing the debate between two folks with very different viewpoints. Most engaging video I've seen so far
  • FL
    Fabrizio L.
    25 February 2021 @ 10:46
    I found the argument about "filing an IRS form" for every bitcoin transaction interesting, can some bitcoin expert explain this better: does it mean that if I pay with my tesla in bitcoin i get to pay a capital gains/loss on the $ value of the transaction?
    • RD
      Rick D.
      25 February 2021 @ 15:37
      Not an expert, don't own any, but! Yes, that is correct. Bitcoin is treated as a commodity (though I guess it would be the same in this case of it were treated as an equity). Basically, if you bought a Bitcoin at $1, then bought something for $100 with it (its market value is $100). You wouldn't had a taxable gain of $99. So if you spend it, you have to pay taxes on the gains. (or you can write off the losses, if that is the case). It's less a factor of crypto, and more a function of the price volatility, and uncle Sam always getting their cut of the taxes.
    • RD
      Rick D.
      25 February 2021 @ 15:39
      Although I'd be interested to know of any actual coiners could confirm.
  • NL
    Nikola L.
    24 February 2021 @ 22:06
    So, according to Milton no growth stock is overvalued? I agree with most stuff he says but I can’t agree that most if not all growth stocks are undervalued because in 30, 40 or 700 years they will grow their revenue and justify their current valuations. How can Milton know that, in 2 or 5 years from now, there won’t be a new disruptive tech that can make current mobile phones thing of the past and that tech does not belong to Apple?
    • MB
      Milton B.
      25 February 2021 @ 15:13
      Thank you for your comment. I certainly agree that at a market peak most growth stocks are overvalued and will not exhibit satisfactory returns over the future. The point I was attempting to make was that it is surprising that there are many more than expected perceived overvalued issues that ultimately generate a satisfactory return. Equities are held for the long term by many institutions that will outlive all of us, such as the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences various Pension Funds Endowments etc. They should probably maintain equity exposure at all times regardless of seeming overvaluation. Of course should capitalistic free economies turn socialistic we can no longer use historical market data to project future returns.. Note that Cuba had a viable and active stock market from the 20's to 1959.
  • mk
    munira k.
    25 February 2021 @ 12:14
    Milton has received alot of flak for his robust interview style.. I actually thought he added alot of value by pushing and stress-testing Johns arguments. Its never about who is right cos we can't know today. The important thing is both gentleman gave me concepts to think about. Thanks enjoyed this!
  • RM
    Robert M.
    24 February 2021 @ 03:45
    Disagree with Berg that stocks don't have a maturity date. That date is when they put me six feet under. At my current age, discounting a stock out 40 years is worthless as I will not be around to enjoy the ROI. You can compare stocks and bonds because an investor may match up a bond maturity to their lifespan/retirement needs and will need to do the same with their stock investments. If I go all in today and market does a 2000 - 2015 run again, boomers will need to liquidate equity principal to pay bills. Using GE as an example again, if you bought at peak of $55 in July, 2000, you are looking at a stock price today of $12.59. So most holders will not live long enough to see that principal recovered. Looking at Oracle with the same starting point of 2000, you didn't get whole until 2016. So if you are a retiree, you are selling off that ORCL stock to pay bills since you are not seeing any appreciation. So chances are today, you are not back to 100% recovery in that initial investment due to liquidating stock at lower prices to pay bills. So while bubbles are difficult to time, for retirees, principal protection and the inability to outlive the recovery of equities from a major downturn are critical factors to consider.
    • FL
      Fabrizio L.
      25 February 2021 @ 10:40
      Good points Robert, those arguments of Berg are only sustainable with hindsight: what about all the companies that went bankrupt, (maturity) or the ones that never regained the highs? too easy to pick the winners now! wonder if he owned NVIDIA or some other of the stocks he mentioned in 2000 and sat it out for the last 21 years... Also his comments about Gates or Jobs not selling their stocks in 2000 come on! j
  • mw
    michael w.
    25 February 2021 @ 06:20
    Covid wasn't anyone's "fault", but it was intentionally drummed up to be the crisis the fed desperately needed. Yes, the virus is real, but the crisis got very exaggerated for a reason. The fed needs reasons to use the bazooka. Another one will be needed soon.
  • ND
    Nivtej D.
    25 February 2021 @ 00:45
    How about an RV round table where all the participants come ready to band it out.?? Would be fun and informative
  • RS
    Richard S.
    25 February 2021 @ 00:08
    The more you pay for a security, the lower the return. Hussman Momentum is still strong - fundamental analysis is irrelevant. Milton This time is not difference - there is always a reversion to the mean. Hussman This time is different- the Fed has made it clear that it is going to back stop the markets at all costs. Milton In the end, I think Milton agrees that stocks are over valued. Neither understands Bitcoin. Hussman's Monthly Commentary is excellent and worth reading.
  • CC
    Casey C.
    24 February 2021 @ 18:59
    This sounds like an interrogation or questioning at a congressional testimony. Milton seemed either threatened or very annoyed by John's views. Either way, not good for anyone who invested time in this interview. Very unfortunate as it's a bit of a waste of a very solid resource; John Hussman.
    • JM
      Jennifer M.
      24 February 2021 @ 20:53
      Milton is a very solid resource of equal calibre. I thought this was an excellent debate between two legends!
    • NL
      Nikola L.
      24 February 2021 @ 22:12
      It did feel bit like that but most of Milton’s arguments were solid and were challenging John’s ideas - kind of stress testing. Milton could have taken bit softer angle I guess and still be able to point out his position. One doesn’t have to be combative all the time just because has different view. There are better ways..
  • JG
    Justin G.
    24 February 2021 @ 21:12
    Great Interview..............Milton is a genius..........would love to see more of him on Real Vision. Does anyone know the type of glasses he wears?
  • SK
    Sergejs K.
    24 February 2021 @ 18:59
    The great debate between two professionals, plenty of insights.
  • MA
    Michael A.
    24 February 2021 @ 18:29
    Poor Dr. Hussman. It was more of an interrogation than an interview.
  • AP
    Antonio P.
    24 February 2021 @ 18:29
    the problem here was the interviewer, he wanted to discuss and disagree and not to interview...
  • JL
    James L.
    24 February 2021 @ 18:18
    Great views gentleman! Good discussion and John I have followed you and invested with you in the past. Following your allocations are challenging. Recently you recommended ALL cash, do you still?
  • SR
    Steve R.
    24 February 2021 @ 18:18
    My reaction to the debate seems to be different from other comments. I thought the aggressive debate was awesome and well done.
  • VG
    Viktor G.
    24 February 2021 @ 08:23
    Who is the interviewee and who is the interviewer?
    • BH
      Borre H.
      24 February 2021 @ 18:13
      Who cares, fantastic interview! Thank you both!
  • JG
    Jordan G.
    24 February 2021 @ 18:03
    Great interviewer and interviewee choices. These guys couldn't have a more different philosophy about how to time the market.
  • AM
    Andre M.
    24 February 2021 @ 03:38
    I'll take Dr. Hussman's views (yes, not always 100%) and track record over this guy! Let Dr. Hussman speak! Rude Interviewer. I wish they do just an interview of Dr. Hussman himself.
    • CD
      Colin D.
      24 February 2021 @ 10:57
      Totally agree. Milton Berg does not seem to understand how an interview is supposed to work. Berg’s whole mantra seems to be based around it being different this time. It never is!
    • TM
      The-First-James M.
      24 February 2021 @ 17:26
      Maybe Raoul could interview Mr Hussman next time...?
  • WS
    William S.
    23 February 2021 @ 23:06
    Given the monetary and..fiscal policy ..it seems valuation discussions are superfluous. Still an excellent back and forth...
    • HR
      Humberto R.
      24 February 2021 @ 16:48
      I think your comment just about wraps it up.
  • SM
    Stephen M.
    24 February 2021 @ 15:37
    fantastic - its great to listen to different point of views.
  • GR
    Garey R.
    24 February 2021 @ 15:26
    Openly speaking, not sure I would call this an interview. Perhaps a spirited and rambling debate would have been a better description. Hussman & Berg would have been better suited as two completely separate appearances conducted by an impartial interviewer. Bias creep and positional defense was rife from both which unfortunately diluted content relative to understanding the framework formation of either side.
  • BK
    Bruce K.
    24 February 2021 @ 00:31
    Full disclosure: I am _FAR_ more familiar with John Hussman than Milton Berg. I know the former is brilliant, I'm willing keep an open mind on the latter. Milton Berg is an _AWFUL_ interviewer. His endless interruptions and other unprofessional behavior were unacceptable regardless of the interviewee. Putting it mildly, Milton did not add value to this interview. If there are folks at RV that like Milton, okay, have someone interview him. Using Milton as an interviewer does a disservice to the interviewee, RV members, and Milton himself.
    • DF
      David F.
      24 February 2021 @ 01:20
      agree completely.
    • JB
      James B.
      24 February 2021 @ 12:09
      Yea, didnt enjoy Milton yelling into the camera for an hour but maybe he was having a bad day. On the other hand, John is all class.
    • SR
      Sam R.
      24 February 2021 @ 14:19
      I don't agree. Well, not completely. A lesser interviewee would have struggled under such treatment, but John thrived on it. I've seen him interviewed by others, who are more inclined to agree with him, but this was much better. True, Milton did come across a little rude, but he was well informed and allowed John the opportunity to respond to - and often debunk - many of the views informing the bull case. Yes, John Hussman is clearly brilliant - he seems to have 100 years of market price history in his working memory - but he does have a bitcoin blindspot. I think perhaps he is guilty of dismissing new ideas too summarily. The flip-side being he is able to hold to a long-term much longer than most others would be capable, precisely because of that rigid framework.
  • PS
    Peter S.
    24 February 2021 @ 13:19
    Milton Berg was way too aggresive! You don´t need to agree, but let the guy tell his story, thats why I came here for
  • DO
    DIOGO O.
    24 February 2021 @ 11:33
    What a fight! LOL... Come on guys.... be more calm at the interview... LOL
  • JP
    John P.
    24 February 2021 @ 09:26
    Milton Berg makes some good points about liquidity propping up both bitcoin and stocks. But if we're really at the early stages of Wiemar then you absolutely do not want to own stocks. Infrastructure may to stay ahead, but ultimately it will still be bad for them. Bitcoin, precious metals, and energy are where you want to store wealth.
  • HH
    Han H.
    24 February 2021 @ 08:04
    It's unfortunate both speakers talk about Bitcoin without understanding it. They'd better just stay on whatever they are familiar with.
  • AP
    AJ P.
    24 February 2021 @ 06:07
    I want to see Milton more often on RV. And I would really like his technical indicator session be longer and sole focus of the interview.
  • RM
    Robert M.
    24 February 2021 @ 04:14
    And to add, can still remember the late 1990s bubble and a minority including Hussman saying NASDAQ could drop 85%, I said "no way". Maybe back to 3,000 from 5,000, but never to 1,500. Was wrong on that one. And during that decline, Fed rates dropped from 6% to 1%. So to say the Fed "put" can always save investors is misleading. Didn't save them then and can happen again.
  • JF
    John F.
    24 February 2021 @ 02:49
    Thank you to RV for bringing Hussman on for an interview. I had suggested that RV look into interviewing him a couple of times in the comments over the past year or so and I appreciate that it has come to fruition. Like some other commenters below, I have been reading Hussman's monthly market comment for years now. And I recommend it to any serious investor. I appreciate that Berg was clearly willing to challenge John's ideas in this interview however I do feel that Berg interrupted too often. It also seemed to me that the crux of Berg's argument was "isn't this time different" due to the Federal Reserve? I don't find that convincing, and although I admit that this bull market (bubble) can continue to move up for a while, perhaps years, there will be an eventual reckoning. And to be clear, Berg did seem to admit that we are in a bubble. I agree with Hussman that the overall markets will very likely eventually lose at least 65% from peak to trough once the market psychology actually turns and investors lose confidence in the Federal Reserve's ability to artificially prop up the markets. This time is not different. We have not reached a permanently high plateau. Always have an exit plan because the trap door will open beneath the market's feet eventually.
    • RM
      Robert M.
      24 February 2021 @ 03:22
      Good comments. I watched Berg on one previous video and really enjoyed the interview. Today, the questioning was a little aggressive. Both are smart guys and hearing their differences was useful. But this is not Fox News or CNN, have to let people answer the questions.
  • DJ
    Dan J.
    24 February 2021 @ 01:57
    22 minutes in they show a chart from Hussman that implies he has a durable algorithm to pick market tops since 1998. Yet his funds' returns have had absolutely terrible returns for over 10 years. How can anyone take any of his arguments seriously?
  • LH
    Landon H.
    24 February 2021 @ 01:51
    Berg seemed far more interested in forcefully conveying opinions than allowing the audience to consider the thoughtful give and take of competing ideas and discovering actionable information as is customary on the platform. Did not enjoy this at all.
  • DW
    Derek W.
    24 February 2021 @ 01:33
    Who’s interviewing who? Felt sorry for hunts. Quite a blowhard
  • JP
    John P.
    23 February 2021 @ 17:56
    Summary. Only God knows what will happen in the future.
    • JF
      John F.
      24 February 2021 @ 01:17
      But god isn't real.
  • gj
    gail j.
    24 February 2021 @ 00:26
    Would really have like to have seen Grant Williams interview Hussman. Alas.
    • NC
      N C.
      24 February 2021 @ 00:32
      Grant did just that last April. Since then, nothing has changed in his work except that he has had to change the y-axis. https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9mZWVkLnBvZGJlYW4uY29tL3R0bXlnaC9mZWVkLnhtbA/episode/dHRteWdoLnBvZGJlYW4uY29tLzBiNmIzYmFmLTIyYWYtNTU0YS04MzExLTcxMWFlZDY0MjExMA?sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj_zfyT3ZruAhVqeDABHf1TAbgQkfYCegQIARAG
  • CB
    Clifford B.
    24 February 2021 @ 00:04
    Great interview. Much prefer having opposing views battle it out. That said I need to watch this again and take notes.
  • CK
    Clifton K.
    23 February 2021 @ 06:54
    His stated reason for consistently losing money for a decade is that other market participants are "dumb" is all you need to know about this man.
    • TE
      Tito E.
      23 February 2021 @ 15:12
      There should be a rule that anybody criticising someone elses results should post up their own verified returns for direct comparison.
    • NC
      NATHAN C.
      24 February 2021 @ 00:00
      Which man has consistently lost money? Not Hussman. Berg?
  • SW
    Szymon W.
    23 February 2021 @ 23:56
    I thought that this was an excellent interview, despite the occasional interruptions. The depth of perspectives that both John and Milton brought were outstanding - the charts they each showed exceptional!
  • BS
    Benjamin S.
    23 February 2021 @ 23:51
    Excellent discussion, really enjoyed this one. Thanks for putting it together.
  • DG
    Dmitri G.
    23 February 2021 @ 23:37
    Didn’t like the constant interference by the interviewer.
  • AB
    Anthony B.
    23 February 2021 @ 23:37
    Great back and forth arguments from both John & Milton! They covered a lot of ground and you certainly don't get this kind of valuable analysis on main stream media outlets, I learned a lot and got some great insights.
  • CB
    Chris B.
    23 February 2021 @ 23:14
    Throughly enjoyed the interview. I would quite like to know post interview if either party had their view/ outlook/ thesis amended based on their counterparts argument.
  • WS
    William S.
    23 February 2021 @ 23:05
    slide deck?.
  • RA
    Rafael A.
    23 February 2021 @ 21:37
    Pitty that Milton Berg does not allow John Hussman to elaborate on this thesis, nor responses. if we are to sit through 90 minutes of conversation, a careful explanation of views is what one wants to get. Challenges to that view, are welcome of course but should be equally carefully developed. I am sure both have excellent reasons, but as an interview, a waste of time. And lamentable that RV would lose such a chance with Hussman.
    • MK
      Michael K.
      23 February 2021 @ 22:38
      If you want to know what Hussman has to say in depth, his monthly reports are legendarily in depth (length and specifics). I am very very very grateful for this discussion with to very different greats.
    • IH
      Ian H.
      23 February 2021 @ 22:58
      My sentiment exactly. RV presents divergent opinions and it is hard to find market historians who have studied past bubbles with such depth. We need to pay attention to Dr. Hussman's research. We are in a bubble at the end of a debt supercycle on a global scale.
  • MH
    Marian H.
    23 February 2021 @ 17:21
    This was an excellent discussion. RV needs more debates during which the interviewer actually challenges the interviewee!
    • SS
      Shanthi S.
      23 February 2021 @ 22:12
      Agreed!!! It was great!
  • SS
    Shanthi S.
    23 February 2021 @ 22:10
    That was awesome. Love them both, and loved that they weren't afraid to get into it! More of this please!! Fascinating discussion. More please.
  • BP
    Ben P.
    23 February 2021 @ 22:05
    I'd love to hear more discussion expanding upon Milton's comment about how capital gains taxes impact non-investment transactions in bitcoin and other tokens. Bull or bear, this detail on how the asset is taxed is going to impact how it will be used.
  • ND
    Nivtej D.
    23 February 2021 @ 21:50
    What a fun debate. Milton threw a lot a punches and John countered lol good times!
  • PU
    Peter U.
    23 February 2021 @ 21:12
    The interviewer did not let John express himself.
  • ND
    Nicole D.
    23 February 2021 @ 21:09
    Excellent dialogue and debate between Milton and John, thank you both for your wisdom.
  • HB
    Hugo B.
    23 February 2021 @ 21:07
    So much blabbering and not getting anywhere...
  • TS
    Tod S.
    23 February 2021 @ 21:04
    “If you had held for 25 years...”
  • CJ
    Charles J.
    23 February 2021 @ 20:53
    At the beginning I thought the chemistry between the two would make it a tough listen. As I went along I actually really enjoyed it. They had an Odd Couple thing going. It worked for me and I got a lot out of it.
  • DC
    Daniel C.
    23 February 2021 @ 20:50
    Fantastic debate between two seasoned market pros. Milton Berg abs John Hussman are both extremely smart and reasoned thinkers. The style of the interview is not the usual RV but it’s well worth spending the time to understand each point of view. The key to making money in a market like this is risk management. Think about which view makes more sense and you will see what risk management style suits you
  • JW
    Jake W.
    23 February 2021 @ 19:11
    Virtual Milton may be a better choice as an interviewer than Milton Berg!!
  • LF
    Louise F.
    23 February 2021 @ 06:34
    It is nice to hear from guests with different opinions even if they are not my opinions. I think that is more important than ever right now.
    • AR
      Andrew R.
      23 February 2021 @ 06:43
      Completely agree, I just get disappointed when people say they did the research but clearly haven’t. Not a single new thought about bitcoin that I haven my heard since 2016
    • TP
      Timothy P.
      23 February 2021 @ 18:25
      Hussman repeats the usual tired tropes about Bitcoin "wasted energy", he shows zero understanding about how blockchains are secured and why. He also doesn't understand money flows using BTC in mining, and between the exchanges. He's totally fine with the rapidly devaluating dollar - whats a few Trillions in debt? - but has a problem with a proven digital asset that has scarcity enforced algorithmically. He thinks it isn't "tied to the real economy" even though significant flows have occurred both back and forth due to companies using BTC and using it to invest in other enterprises. Its amusing to see latecomers try to wrap their heads around something that will replace a majority of what they do. Its always rationalizations of why the legacy system will persist. Nice try, gentlemen. We'll be here in another 10+ years, after the USD has long imploded.
    • LS
      Lemony S.
      23 February 2021 @ 19:05
      Timothy, I'm with you, absolutely correct. Cue the Upton Sinclair quote to fit and explain most of what we see in the generational war going on currently (that is denied or not spoken of, for reasons you state).
  • NC
    N C.
    23 February 2021 @ 18:46
    If you haven't listened to John, do not be dissuaded simply because of the thumbs down. His work is over the course of FULL market cycles and not "sexy." Anyone looking to buy the next SPAC doesn't care, but if you manage a pension fund and haven't read his work then why not? Everyone in between should still read his work, at least once. Plus John is truly one to admire with his humanitarian work in autism and recently Covid.
  • JB
    Jeff B.
    23 February 2021 @ 18:19
    Important to remember the lost decades. Great conversation!
  • LB
    Lukas B.
    23 February 2021 @ 18:17
    "Hopefully we both be right."
  • SC
    Shanda C.
    23 February 2021 @ 17:30
    John's monthly market comments on his site are well worth reading. I've learned a ton from him over the years.
  • MO
    Master O.
    23 February 2021 @ 13:34
    I have posted this comment few times and I'm gonna have to do it gain. "Earnings don't move the overall market; it's the Federal Reserve Board... focus on the central banks, and focus on the movement of liquidity... most people in the market are looking for earnings and conventional measures. It's liquidity that moves markets." - Stanley Druckenmiller
  • TT
    Tokyo T.
    23 February 2021 @ 10:44
    Nothing better than a passionate debate. Well done, gentlemen.
  • RS
    Rajwinder S.
    23 February 2021 @ 10:13
    Most who buy near the peak are also out by the time market bottom is reached.
  • BA
    Bruce A.
    23 February 2021 @ 09:46
    In one corner: A market practitioner using dcf valuation + sentiment indicators + historically validated models vs In the other corner: A technician using price action and sentiment/ breadth indicators What a great discussion.
  • HF
    Heather F.
    23 February 2021 @ 09:33
    A rigorous interrogation of the value versus growth perspective for equities in the current economic climate by two very credible minds. Very welcome given we are purportedly navigating a fragile financial system which is, we are told, fully invested in a world with no traditional effective hedge (save cash) where globally fiat has to be devalued to deleverage debt as quickly as possible because productivity refuses to grow quickly enough). It’s a shame financial experts don’t get bitcoin in a world that is being forced to build alternative financial structures using new technology to hedge against the inequalities driven by the existing system. Perhaps they are too insulated. Humans are collaborative problem solvers. Betting against bitcoin would be betting against that assumption. The speed of change will be driven by the success (or not) of MMT and fiscal policy but all this new technology has driven the speed of change to date.
  • SR
    Sam R.
    23 February 2021 @ 09:33
    In essence, passive index-fund-style investing will fail in the long run (John's point) and only an actively monitored portfolio has an option to outperform in the long-term despite significant short- to medium-term drawdowns (Milton's point).
  • SR
    Sam R.
    23 February 2021 @ 09:07
    Terrific discussion. Loved it.

Mark Yusko

Morgan Creek Capital Management, Co- Founder, CEO, & CIO

Mark Yuskois 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 authoredThe Mobile Wave: How Mobile Intelligence Will Change Everything, which earned a spot onThe NewYork TimesBest 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 offeringwhichutilizesa 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 innovativeways 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 channelwatched 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 hebegan his career by training traders in technical analysis.

Peter McCormack

What Bitcoin Did, Journalist

Peter McCormack is a full timejournalist/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 humaninterest recordings, documentaries and films Peter has recently launched theDefiancepodcast andDefianceTV.

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 clientsand 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 whichhe 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. Meltemoversees 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.