Ben Melkman

Published on
November 15th, 2019
66 minutes

Ben Melkman

The Jim Grant Series ·
Featuring Ben Melkman

Published on: November 15th, 2019 • Duration: 66 minutes

Light Sky Macro’s founder, CEO, and CIO, Ben Melkman, joins legendary financial journalist Jim Grant to discuss how his macro hedge fund thrives in an industry where many firms are struggling to survive. Melkman reveals several scenarios that he sees as the most important potential paradigm shifts facing global markets today. With a fractured political climate prior to the 2020 presidential election and institutions relying on systematic option writing to enhance yield - especially in volatility markets - Melkman walks through his perspective on the most impactful risks facing investors today. Filmed on November 7, 2019 in New York.



  • RT
    Rex T.
    25 November 2019 @ 01:52
    LOL yet another macro guy trying to play election outcomes...the new definition of insanity. Bottom line... stick your money mindlessly into a (cheap) passive ETF fund which these masters of the universe threat about liquidity transformation. Or, pay a macro fund 2 and 20 to take election option bets with your money. On strategy has historically proven the erode away your capital is punting via options. Nothing against this guy, he may well be very competent in his field. He’s just been dealt a bad hand like the rest. He gets the joke.
    • PC
      Philip C.
      12 January 2020 @ 03:28
      You clearly have no idea who Ben Melkman is...
  • JD
    John D.
    25 December 2019 @ 09:51
  • CB
    Chris B.
    27 November 2019 @ 21:34
    Great interview.......where's Grant?
  • SJ
    Stefan J.
    21 November 2019 @ 11:41
    UWC is the best school in the world :)
    • ET
      Eugenia T.
      22 November 2019 @ 11:53
      it's got lots of problems. it's not easy bringing together so many culturally disparate teenagers and sticking them together in the middle of nowhere. when i was there, there were a couple of attempted suicides a year. Lots of good about UWC, but it's not all rainbows and puppy dogs
  • BY
    Bowie Y.
    22 November 2019 @ 03:21
    Thanks for having jim grant back
  • BJ
    Bob J.
    20 November 2019 @ 06:44
    Absolute top notch interview!
  • MF
    Michael F.
    19 November 2019 @ 23:59
    Great interview - One question/though - re: inflation and QE, couldn't we be looking for it in the wrong place, perhaps the inflation isn't in food or fuel but in equities? So, in essence hasn't QE created lots of inflation in equity prices?
  • SS
    Simeon S.
    19 November 2019 @ 20:43
    Well yes, if paradigms change and you are positioned right, you’ll make money... but so many macro managers have been waiting for it to happen since 2011... closing one after the other.
  • SS
    Shanthi S.
    19 November 2019 @ 05:07
    This is one of the best interviews I’ve ever seen. I could have handled ten hours straight of these two great minds in conversation. Jim is hilarious too!!!
  • AC
    Andrew C.
    18 November 2019 @ 02:31
    I agree with Gordon F. below that inflation is already here. Though I didn’t think Ben said ‘we can’t get inflation’. I wonder how we can get inflation if the ‘authorities’ fudge the inflation calculation. Exclude energy? Exclude food? If the central banks want inflation, why don’t they just make the calculation honestly? Shrinkflation is happening in food; can it happen in other items?
    • EO
      Elena O.
      18 November 2019 @ 05:12
      Shrinkflation definitely happening to food in Singapore for a while now. In fact it's happening to the point where I question eating out now at all!
    • JW
      Jonathan W.
      18 November 2019 @ 18:07
      yeah agreed, from a regular person's perspective inflation is here. Everything is so expensive here in Sydney it's ridiculous.
  • SM
    Stefan M.
    17 November 2019 @ 13:31
    Interesting that Ben is not considering to go long Bitcoin when he shorts USD...he is a Macro guy and even considers to go long why not Bitcoin as well? Only a 1-5% trade with a horizon of 1-2yrs in his Macro Fund cld make a huge difference for his investors.
    • DS
      David S.
      18 November 2019 @ 16:33
      It may have been an oversight. I would have like to hear his answer also - either way. DLS
  • GF
    Gordon F.
    15 November 2019 @ 20:18
    Despite all the rhetoric to the contrary, inflation is already here. Look at medical costs, education costs (and everyone HAS to go to college now, right?) and a lot of other "necessities", and the only way people have managed to maintain their lifestyles is to take on more debt. The inflation figures are distorted by substitution effects, hedonic adjustments, etc., all of which are manipulated to show a lower inflation figure, which then serves to justify the actions of the governments and central banks, but which also serves to hollow out and impoverish the working class, which can include some high-income people, but who have only employment income. Great interview, but I don't buy the "we can't get inflation" propaganda.
    • RS
      Ryan S.
      17 November 2019 @ 01:12
      100% spot on, everyone seems to forget about asset inflation. Fed has just pumped money into the financial sector, causing the rich to get richer and the poor to get poorer. I'm as capitalist as they come, but these endless rounds of QE are just socialist wealth redistribution programs created to benefit the rich at the expense of the poor.
    • NI
      Nate I.
      18 November 2019 @ 03:59
      Definitely. I'm seeing CAGRs over 10% in prices of the basic things that I purchase. The question isn't when will inflation materialize but rather how much longer can the BLS get away with lying about it through all of their statistical machinations.
  • JK
    Jonathan K.
    18 November 2019 @ 01:34
    Excellent, one of the best episodes on RV! Grant is engaging as always, absolutely love his follow up questions. Such a keen mind. First time hearing an interview by Ben M, but most impressed. I appreciate the discussion about 1) the odds of inflation down the road, 2) the shortsightedness of the market in general, and 3) the suppression of implied volatility in the option market due to various funds reaching for yield by selling options and suppressing their pricing. Have these guys back for follow up interviews!!
  • CD
    Cheryl D.
    18 November 2019 @ 00:40
    excellent interview - thank-you!!!!!!
  • DS
    David S.
    17 November 2019 @ 20:15
    The money-centered banks did not guarantee you could exit a trade, it was the US tax payer. DLS
  • PG
    P G.
    17 November 2019 @ 15:11
    When will he be back on real vision TV?
    • M.
      Milton .. | Founder
      17 November 2019 @ 16:15
      This remains to be seen 👍
  • PJ
    Peter J.
    17 November 2019 @ 15:51
    Great interview, one of the best macro perspectives on RVTV,
  • FD
    Franbcois D.
    15 November 2019 @ 22:21
    Love that Jim Grant is back with his interviews. Speaking of which is Grant Williams still doing anything for Real Vision? Did I miss something? I loved his long interviews last year and there were 2 On the road episode a while back.
    • RR
      Raj R.
      16 November 2019 @ 07:26
      Yea why is grant not on anymore?
    • GB
      Georgia B.
      16 November 2019 @ 07:37
      Love Jim Grant, but where is Grant Williams, has he left Real Vision for something else? Is he not on board with the whole new format? He is the most thoughtful of all the interviewers.
    • IO
      Igor O.
      16 November 2019 @ 11:04
      And he is funny. Still miss his podcast.
    • PG
      P G.
      17 November 2019 @ 03:21
      Grant Williams? Anyone has an answer?
    • M.
      Milton .. | Founder
      17 November 2019 @ 07:56
      Grant will be at the Blacklist Summit in London in January.
  • PL
    Phil L.
    16 November 2019 @ 20:54
    Play back at 1.25x speed. You'll thank me ;)
    • PS
      Poyan S.
      17 November 2019 @ 04:14
      its actually hilarious but faster. I wont fall asleep
    • PC
      Peter C.
      17 November 2019 @ 07:18
      Thank you Phil. I even increased it to 1.5x at times. But also stop to take notes, reversed to listen to Ben again on nuggets,...
  • TM
    Thomas M.
    16 November 2019 @ 19:14
    Great Interview. I think retail investors would like to hear about structures the average person could play with his trading ideas in a general sense, not investment advice. Enjoyed Ben's interview and Jim did a nice job. Enjoyable.
  • RM
    Ryan M.
    16 November 2019 @ 17:21
    Awesome interview! Really enjoyed that. Only criticism is that I felt at times Jim kept interrupting Ben from completing his thought process, which was a bit off-putting.
  • DN
    Dave N.
    16 November 2019 @ 16:58
    This was very good. Ben is a very clear thinker and communicator. As he explained, Macro requires identifying the best opportunities, and anticipating the interplay between economics, policy and market responses. There are some outstanding and well articulated nuggets in here.
  • VR
    Vladimir R.
    16 November 2019 @ 10:08
    So inflation next 100%? That’s a bold statement. With those yields and the breakeven and the 5y5y. And with those riots over 3 cent price hikes. Risky risky risky
  • OC
    O C.
    16 November 2019 @ 00:41
    Please caption. Thank you.
  • JH
    John H.
    15 November 2019 @ 23:44
    Melkman interview of couple years ago was one of the best ever on RV. Today's was good too. Thanks for bringing him back, and please have him again! Re his recommendations, I'm also long yen fwd vol but slightly less enthusiastic about adding to it since Warren published her Medicare For All details, which seems to have hit the likelihood she wins the nomination, materially. But we'll see ... after the 2016 surprise, I can't say I have form in predicting US politics!
  • MW
    M W.
    15 November 2019 @ 21:05
    Enjoyed the interview - but initially there was a lot of unnecessary overlap with Ben's last appearance on RV.
  • JE
    James E.
    15 November 2019 @ 20:26
    Stability begets instability. Stable inflation begets instable inflation?
  • JH
    Joel H.
    15 November 2019 @ 20:22
    great interview
  • JE
    J E.
    15 November 2019 @ 17:08
    Awesome, thank you
  • AM
    Alonso M.
    15 November 2019 @ 16:04
    Excellent. I learned and laughed. Lots of great quotes. The brokers will help them. It is a manipulated rate. Inflation is a $2 stock that no one wants to buy. Ben will pay for it. Jim would love me to say gold. Or #2, you say shit...I hope I'm allowed to say that. Well you said gold.
  • RM
    Richard M.
    15 November 2019 @ 15:53
    Man, how I love Jim Grant's interviews - they are the best! (Also Grant's, Kiril's, Mike G., etc, hour long, in depth interviews). So grateful for RV bringing us these fantastic interviews with the most interesting interviewers and guests. Thank you, thank you, thank you! <smile>
  • mc
    marcus c.
    15 November 2019 @ 15:51
    100% worth a watching.
  • wj
    wiktor j.
    15 November 2019 @ 15:39
    I live in EU. I rather have gold silver and dollars as to Euro, swiss francs etc. Agian everything is priced in dollars (not euro). How many dollars go through swift system? How much dollar debt is there outside of US? I believe that he isnt correct. Last crysis everything sold off. Apart from dollars. Perhaps Russia will fair better this time around.
  • IA
    Ibrahim A.
    15 November 2019 @ 12:08
  • HK
    H K.
    15 November 2019 @ 11:06
    As I always say - the best interviews aired on Fridays
  • Nv
    Nick v.
    15 November 2019 @ 10:39
    Fantastic. Huge fan of Jim's long format interview. And Ben is a great interviewee
  • MB
    Markus B.
    15 November 2019 @ 08:58
    So great to have Jim back, terribly missed him, it is like having a long lost friend back at the dinner table