Using Data to Answer the Recession Question

Published on
July 16th, 2019
44 minutes

Using Data to Answer the Recession Question

The Interview ·
Featuring Lakshman Achuthan and Raoul Pal

Published on: July 16th, 2019 • Duration: 44 minutes

Lakshman Achuthan, co-founder and COO of the Economic Cycle Research Institute, reveals his most potent data on global economic cycles in this interview with Raoul Pal. Achuthan notes that the global economy has been consistently slowing while some indicators are flashing recessionary. Filmed on July 9, 2019 in New York.



  • FG
    Flavio G.
    2 August 2019 @ 22:50
    This is the reason I love RV: From time to time, you get a luxury guest like Lakshman. Well informed, brilliant, fantastic fact presenter, analyzing relevant data, not jumping to conclusions. Almost needless to say is that I profoundly dislike the charlatans with convictions (some also make it to RV).
  • GT
    Guillaume T.
    1 August 2019 @ 21:27
    Great inteview, and such a great series (crypto and recession over a 1,2 week) Thanks. Just as a note. It will be very pleasant to get a list of the charts used in each video. To help, process the data, and build a more personal opinion. Cheers.
  • DS
    Dan S.
    30 July 2019 @ 13:37
    I keep thinking I saw Achuthan on Seinfeld...LOL!
  • VU
    Vikram U.
    29 July 2019 @ 04:11
    Great Interview. Started since 2008 so, still new to the game. Any reading recommendations on Lakshman's work or in Macro Investing in general? I appreciate you!
  • BG
    Ben G.
    28 July 2019 @ 20:06
    Great talk. Why is the rate of change of inflation is trending down (disinflation)? Due to over supply? demand deceleration?
  • SB
    Sean B.
    28 July 2019 @ 19:55
    Great interview. Is there a way to access the ECRI on Bloomberg Professional? I cannot find the index. Thank you, Sean
  • SB
    Stephen B.
    27 July 2019 @ 14:10
    Astonishingly good. RV at its best.
  • FB
    Floyd B.
    23 July 2019 @ 21:53
    Here is the key in my mind,Lakshman ,does NOT try to predict a recession(don't predict the predictors),rather follow the data very closely,determine the weight of the evidence, then make the call. Please get regular updates from him.
  • Sv
    Sid v.
    23 July 2019 @ 00:11
    excellent interview. This is a high value interview. Thank you
  • AH
    Andreas H.
    16 July 2019 @ 18:28
    Sorry, but this discussion is 100% shortermism. The next receccsion will come, sure, but its going to be shallow. What is much more important is the outlook, the next 20 Years look fine in the US I could not care less about the next recession, I will be out of the market if 75 MA of SP500 is broken and (!) 20MA Weekly of Earnings Estimates of the SP200 and get in again until one of the both will be above (75 MA SP500 or 20MA Weekly on the Earnings of SP500). #secularbullmarketUSA 1. Money is save in the US, relative to the rest of the wold best monetary system, Fed = best CB of the world. 2. Tech (IT, Digitalisation of Business Models, Bitotech inc. Pot, Green Energy) Boom just began, Industrialisation Dividend to play out took us + 100 Years, the Tech / Innovation Boom just began 3. US has the best demograhics in the G20 4. Best Business Orientation in the world, the heart of capitalism is in the US! 5. Best VC System in the world 6. Best geo-political positioned, And most important: 20 Year Pesimism High at All-time Highs!!! 100%-130% Long since 2011 (with a short pause in 2015 and 2019 (hedged for 2 Weeks) 25% average Return since 2011. If you want to win in this game think long term 10-20 Years! I would love to see videos on secular trends! Get Buffet on ;-) Regards Andreas
    • so
      steven o.
      16 July 2019 @ 19:53
      You seem to be young and inexperienced....
    • DS
      David S.
      16 July 2019 @ 20:08
      Andrea H. - Good comments and congratulations on your portfolio performance. I am not worried about a normal recession and think it would be good for the economy and my bonds. What I am worried about is a major market meltdown like 2008. I am lucky that no one is interested in my performance verses the market - family office of one. This series will keep me focus on major tail risks that I would not be able to recover from at 73. DLS
    • BM
      Bryan M.
      16 July 2019 @ 20:55 10 years I could be dead and in 20 I know I will be so....getting the next few months or even quarters even half right suits me just fine...
    • AJ
      Andy J.
      16 July 2019 @ 21:01
      One of the best, most detailed, most data-driven economists out there in Lakshman with proprietary data and analytical horsepower says he is comfortable predicting 1-2 quarters. But yet, using data on any free site (MA, EMAs, whatever), you are comfortable forecasting 20y. Your comment gives me a sneaking suspicion that you were not investing in the 2007-2009 window. Remember that with all of the boomtimes, if you were invested in 2000, it took you until ~2013 to get back to FLAT. 13 years. If you're watching this video and coming away with "I'm going to use my MA and I've got it all figured out," you are probably not getting what you should out of Real Vision. Refute your internal bias, it will make you a better investor. If you want to look at one number, take a look at CAPE and what valuations look like historically. Better hope those earnings hold out.
    • MT
      Mike T.
      17 July 2019 @ 12:08
      a few moving averages and you're good to go, that's all you need, brilliant! Are you familiar with the works of Dunning Kruger?
    • dm
      david m.
      17 July 2019 @ 19:54
      Folks like you are a great indicator. Thanks for sharing your insight.
    • WM
      Will M.
      22 July 2019 @ 19:04
      Don't disagree with a few of your points Andreas. Obviously in your mind, the next 10-20 years are not going to see a repeat of 2008 despite all the atrocious financial data out there and the obvious geopolitical threats everywhere. Great returns by the way..... I assume you are of late Get X or v. early millennial age. Would encourage you to read more economic history, including how the Fed Reserve got us into this mess in the first place.
  • pd
    preston d.
    17 July 2019 @ 23:31
    His best work since The Fly.
    • SW
      Scott W.
      18 July 2019 @ 14:16
      Change your investment strategy, change the worrrrld...
    • DK
      D K.
      18 July 2019 @ 19:10
      I’m so glad I’m not the only one!
    • JM
      Jeff M.
      22 July 2019 @ 03:22
  • SS
    Stephen S.
    19 July 2019 @ 15:28
    Great interview all the way around. It is great to have a speaker who does not have a portfolio position to promote. Raoul, you are such a good interviewer. You ask short questions that don't lead the witness, then you keep you silence until the question is answered. If only the folks on CNBC would follow your example.
  • GH
    Gary H.
    16 July 2019 @ 12:01
    How about an ECRI chartbook or whatever they produce as a sample in RV research? Excellent insight. Thanks
    • SS
      Stephen S.
      19 July 2019 @ 15:24
      Gary, that's an excellent suggestion! I hope RV is reading it.
  • JL
    Jinny L.
    16 July 2019 @ 11:50
    is raoul wearing skinny jeans?
    • AJ
      Andy J.
      16 July 2019 @ 17:12
      If you're Raoul Pal and built like Raoul Pal, you aren't going to be wearing baggy-fit Levi's, that's for sure haha
    • RM
      Russell M.
      16 July 2019 @ 19:57
      No need for cargo pants to carry wallet. Make Grant buy lunch. Might still be paying off the last bet?
    • JC
      John C.
      17 July 2019 @ 12:22
      I don't think they were skinny jeans just less casual, more stylish. I liked the light blue jacket...wondering where he got that? :))
    • IZ
      Ileana Z.
      19 July 2019 @ 05:42
      Raul is a stylish hipster!
  • SB
    Stewart B.
    17 July 2019 @ 18:51
    Really appreciate this. Great interview.
  • JC
    John C.
    17 July 2019 @ 11:56
    Wow. Need more Lakshman. Great interview really brought a lot of clarity on certain things for me. This whole 'Recession' series has been very good - keep 'em coming.
  • RI
    R I.
    16 July 2019 @ 12:08
    I don’t care what people say, but LA is smarter than Jeff Goldblum when it comes to economic cycles.
    • GW
      Geoff W.
      17 July 2019 @ 10:08
      :D I was thinking the same thing
  • SS
    Shanthi S.
    17 July 2019 @ 08:21
    So good!!! Thank you both. More Lakshman please!
  • TR
    Thomas R.
    16 July 2019 @ 23:13
    Great interview. I have saved all the Lakshman interviews. What has me fascinated is not whether a recession is around the corner or not, it will happen at some point, and then what will be the policy response to that next recession? In the US we are already at record annual budget deficits, clearly the treasury market can't handle the 10 year over 3.2%, there is a huge challenge as to who would by US treasuries going forward (other than the Fed), and then what if Modern Monetary Theory actually gains traction. I have a 22 year old son. He will clearly not see the 40 years of a bond bull market where US debt has grown from 30% of GDP in 1980 to 110% of GDP and climbing as we sit here today.
  • RM
    Ryan M.
    16 July 2019 @ 22:46
    What are Lakshman's thoughts on how a lot of classic Geoff Moore indicators get revised, which helps fit the data ex post? Our economist who worked in research at FRB always tells me this anytime I mention "leading indicators"
  • BM
    Bryan M.
    16 July 2019 @ 21:03
    What a great topic! Can't wait for the next 9 episodes! And I agree, what a super guest to start it off. Being a data nerd myself I find Lakshman to be an inspiration...
    • BM
      Bryan M.
      16 July 2019 @ 21:04
      Ok,ok...8 episodes.
  • RV
    Rodolphe V. | Contributor
    16 July 2019 @ 11:09
    Class per usual
    • AJ
      Andy J.
      16 July 2019 @ 20:46
      As are you, Teddy V!
  • RR
    Robert R.
    16 July 2019 @ 20:23
    Fascinating! Two seasoned professionals. I've always wanted to work in an environment analyzing macro data to the level of precision like Lakshman. This is probably the closest i'll ever get to witnessing how the data is compiled, analyzed and its significance in predicting meaningful outcomes. Thank you!
  • TJ
    Terry J.
    16 July 2019 @ 11:01
    Brilliant start to your Recession Watch Raoul. I always love listening to Lakshman explain what ECRI's indicators are showing, and there were some excellent insights from your discussion. Sounds like all those who backed up the truck when the 10 year UST hit 3.2% are sitting pretty! Can't wait for your other guests' thoughts during the rest of the recession series.
    • tr
      tom r.
      16 July 2019 @ 18:17
      Great worthwhile interview. I agree that the so called trade wars are fairly irrelevant as we do need a more level playing field and fortunately we have a great president to do just that. I'm just wondering if this guy was named by a witch doctor or something. I'd hate to have to say his name rapidly 3 times. Thx Raoul. Love your socks!
  • JH
    Jesse H.
    16 July 2019 @ 16:41
    Great interview and very informative. Thank you, Lakshman and Raoul!
  • DB
    David B.
    16 July 2019 @ 15:14
    Terrific interview!! I've heard Lakshman on CNBC and Bloomberg, but the line of questioning typically ruins the entire interview. RV's format gives big thinkers like Lakshman time to fully explain the rationale for their views. This was an awesome look behind the curtain at exactly how ECRI uses data to make its economic & inflation calls. Thank you!
  • PG
    Philippe G.
    16 July 2019 @ 14:28
  • SC
    Sam C.
    16 July 2019 @ 13:30
    Super balanced view based on objective data. Enjoyed very much!
  • MG
    Miguel G.
    16 July 2019 @ 12:59
    Love it when Lakshman Achuthan is on real vision. He's simply a slave to the data and when speaking in macro you see how focused he is on the actual data and not the BS cnbc talks about 24/7 such as trade wars. Awesome job would love to see him on here more frequently as he always over delivers in his analysis.
  • JB
    Jack B.
    16 July 2019 @ 11:10
    That was a brilliant interview! Thanks RV