Searching for a Peak with the Macro Insiders

Published on
11 July, 2018
Macro, US Economy, Monetary policy
35 minutes
Asset class

Searching for a Peak with the Macro Insiders

Featuring Raoul Pal & Julian Brigden

What are macro signals telling investors about the second-longest bull market in US history? In this episode of “The Exchange,” Raoul Pal and Julian Brigden, of Real Vision’s Macro Insiders, discuss interest rates, market volatility, and the business cycle, in an effort to determine if we’ve finally reached an end-of-cycle top. Filmed on July 3, 2018 in Dallas.

Published on
11 July, 2018
Macro, US Economy, Monetary policy
35 minutes
Asset class


  • JD

    Joe D.

    24 7 2018 23:49

    1       0

    Really anecdotal and general overall. They made a lot of references to 1999 or 2008, but didn't present any graphs to illustrate. Why is inflation in Japan going to happen? Some good points, but a lot of general comments they could have illustrated better.

  • DI

    Dabangg I.

    23 7 2018 20:15

    5       2

    The same Raoul has been crying foul for over 2 years. Yes, you will eventually be right, but listening to you would mean missing out on 25% rally (let market correct by 33% and I am still neutral on losses). It was only recently in March, when he talked about GOOG warning bear signs. I hope they acknowledge, retrospect, and do a full show on why they were so wrong, and the implications it has had on our portfolios..

  • RM

    Ryan M.

    22 7 2018 02:35

    1       0

    LOL at the "Madoff moment" comment

  • NF

    Nat F.

    19 7 2018 15:16

    4       0

    I've been a RV subscriber for a long time and I think this discussion was absolutely fantastic and look forward to the forthcoming series. The addition of Roger who is clearly both extremely well informed and passionate about macro was a stroke of genius by the founders. Well done, guys. Spot on.

  • TP

    Tom P.

    18 7 2018 19:50

    1       0

    Terrific content. Thanks

  • MR

    Matt R.

    18 7 2018 17:16

    3       1

    This was a brilliant overview of where we are. These guys do some quality thinking. I am however concerned that Roul living in Grand Cayman has lead to a too relaxed dress style of T shirts and Bracelets for a serious finance Dude !!!!!!

  • MS

    Matt S.

    17 7 2018 10:40

    2       0

    This looked like a great discussion, but due to my having never worked in the industry professionally and not knowing anything about Bonds yields, curves, rates, swaps, treasuries and all the other pillars of Macro, 90% of it just went over my head.

    But it sure sounded cool! I beg... again... please... could you make a series of educational videos that explain all these basic concepts and how they interlace and how they make macro? In a real simple apples and oranges kind of way.

    Would be vert helpful.


  • TS

    Tamara S.

    16 7 2018 22:35

    0       0

    Great job, gents! I saw your recent Macro Insiders video, which covered much of the same ground, but still found this helpful. We subscribe to all your services, and they are paying for themselves.

    We would welcome any tickers that you can offer (e.g., long US $, short euro).

    Thanks, and keep up the good work.

  • NR

    Nuno R.

    16 7 2018 13:38

    0       0

    Brilliant conversation, great video format.

  • JT

    Jan T.

    16 7 2018 09:04

    2       3

    Not sure if I really liked this video. In general the topic of the discussion is good and interesting to hear. However I hear a couple of times Julian saying with we send this to Macro Insiders members and we already warn them about this coming up and that this was going to happen according to our models.. Not sure how much added value those comments are if you arent a member of this service.

    Also I notice whoever doesn't agree with Julian is a "Dude".

    Anyways, looking forward to the next episode. Am sure it will be better!

  • JC

    Justin C.

    15 7 2018 20:20

    0       0

    Brilliant discussion and further clarifies what I have been learning from Macro Insiders. With regards to the structural shortage of dollars, what is to prevent the Fed continuing with their policies yet maintaining stability in the global system by creating swap lines on a massive scale?

  • ML

    M L.

    15 7 2018 17:14

    0       0

    Raoul is excellent as usual. Same for Julian. A truly great duo to help connect the dots.

  • AT

    Atul T.

    14 7 2018 21:37

    1       1

    Great interview. Can I request for 30 minutes or longer conversations could you include a short summary write up as well for key take aways?

  • ii

    ida i.

    14 7 2018 15:02

    0       0

    I love these videos, but I have one question: how can you be bullish inflation if there is a dollar shortage which is deflationary? Mr. Brigden stated : the Fed cannot pull back with his inflation view...

  • HD

    Harrison D.

    14 7 2018 13:12

    0       0

    This was excellent guys, great convo with great insights. Helped provide some perspective and information to us from a younger generation. Keep it up.

  • MT

    Mike T.

    13 7 2018 16:20

    8       0

    Firstly I need to be respectful of three guys that most probably have been more successful in the markets than I ever will be, so on that point kudos to them. That all said I find such conversations of limited value, not due to any lack of respect, but because there is no real insight provided into their daily processes from which they formulate views and conclusions. This is not the forum for masses of words, but there is a very simply way to at least get a handle on the forces at play within Global Macro as follows. For those that have a Bloomberg, it's very easy, but thinking that most do not a low cost alternative is to go to a site such as Pick the country or region of choice and look for YoY rate of change of GDP and secondly YoY rate of change of Inflation. The idea being we're looking to understand is GDP and in turn Inflation accelerating or decelerating on a year over year basis. We can then go a stage further and look for YoY rate of growth in company earnings, identifying which sectors are showing accelerating growth and those that are not. With this insight it's possible to at least start to understand where in the World capital will flow to and in turn know where to invest. The aforementioned are but just three simple examples of process. I would only follow recommendations if the process from which the conclusions were derived is articulated.

    I'm a self-directed investor/trader with no relationships with any company or individuals within the Finance industry i.e. I'm a nobody in the grand scheme of things. I've only ever provided input on trading and investing to immediate family and friends. I don't have a blog and my online presence is almost zero.

  • AR

    Alex R.

    13 7 2018 00:55

    2       1

    Not all buybacks are bad. Like the managements that authorize them: some create value, some destroy value. The amount of misinformation about this topic from supposedly sophisticated professionals is astonishing.

  • AG

    Abhimanyu G.

    13 7 2018 00:53

    1       0

    at this rate, the day when Julian and Raoul throw in the towel we would have seen the peak lol. great exchange guys really enjoyed it, for those who haven't yet, I would strongly recommend checking out macro insiders!

  • AC

    Alessio C.

    12 7 2018 23:26

    2       0

    They thought us in university the economists were of two kinds: Keynesians & Monetarists. The formers leaning on-demand push policies, while the latter leaning on supply-side policies. Non-sense.

    There are only two kinds: macro and micro. Everybody is in the macro camp nowadays. IMO Austrians are the only one in the micro camp - e.g, human action, praxeology etc. They are not popular because they don't give solutions to real problems (Daniel Lacalle, recently said). Maybe they don't have an answer because there is no answer? What is the right "neutral rate"? What is the current "quantity of money"? Where should the dollar go? Who knows...

    What I know is micro. It is human action at its best. That's why I'm in the inflationary camp. Any man in the same chair of Jay Pal will have two options soon. One is a hard one but the other is even harder. Which one will he choose? Stagflation.

    The world is trying to deleverage! It has been trying to deleverage for 20 years now. But no, they won't allow that to happen. Asset bubbles everywhere. Young kids overburden with student loans and jobs that required a Ph.D. but pay less than what their parents used to make as primary teachers or assembly-line workers. They can't buy a house in Flint, forget about Caymans. They live in their parents' basement and save hard for that house deposit. It is all useless as the inflation goes up faster than wages and their saving rate. That's Trump for you. That's populism.

    Central bankers will use the final weapon of mass destruction one day soon and by trying to inflate the next asset bubble with whatever they call it - helicopter money, QE 1000, NIRP etc - they will kill the currency.

    I agree. We are going to read it all in the economic textbooks. All this foolishness.

  • AC

    Alessio C.

    12 7 2018 22:51

    0       0

    I couldn't think other stuff that the Caymans
    Never being there. They must be lovely
    It's a kinda of funny that I'm an Italian who moved to Ireland for work and you're a Brits who moved to the sunshine
    The power of money. It brings the sun

  • JH

    Jesse H.

    12 7 2018 21:39

    0       1

    Excellent conversation and love this new format. But agree with Amit that there were very few, if any, actionable ideas here. But perhaps that wasn’t what you meant to achieve with this.

  • MF

    Michael F.

    12 7 2018 20:48

    0       0

    Great discussion. Thanks!

  • am

    amit m.

    12 7 2018 19:22

    4       6

    No investable or actionable ideas short or long term. I expected this product to look more like hedgeye but disappointed. More like a financial Netflix channel. It’s fine but why not give disclaimer to save time for viewers

  • BM

    Beth M.

    12 7 2018 17:23

    3       2

    Raoul are you married? All my girl friends want to know? Great discussion too!

  • MM

    Mike M.

    12 7 2018 12:57

    6       0

    Very good. Hopefully, before the US becomes Zimbabwe they remove the Plunge Protection Team. Price discovery is dead. We have a generation that has no idea what the cost of money is. Strategy remains being short while hedging long with options only. Micro is the new Macro until whatever is going to happens, happens. We all know when the trap door opens it will not be during the day and the FED will be under their desk.

  • NG

    Nick G.

    12 7 2018 11:01

    5       6

    This is meant in the nicest possible way: you are in danger of becoming the video edition of @zerohedge.
    Are there dangers out there? Yes, of course. Are they worthy of discussion? Most certainly. Are we nearing some macro inflection point? Probably, there is a decent probability of that. Do these points take time to develop? Yes, they do. Should you warn of them? Doubtlessly so. Are the three "Ds" going to be a factor at some stage? Yes. Are they today? Not so much.
    By this I mean that you should trade what is in front of you, not what you think could happen at some point in the future. And you should at least mention it and acknowledge today's reality. By all means, tell us what you think is going to change it and what the trigger points will be. That certainly would be useful.
    At the moment we are still in one of the biggest bull markets in history. Earnings growth is huge. Technology is changing the world faster and faster every day. And the market has already responded. Sector rotation is at an extreme. Look at what XLP has done against XLK just this year. Traditional value stocks are as cheap as chips. This is not the stuff bear markets are made of, because you have already had a bear market in traditional stocks. Look at a chart of XLP. We could be in a churn of sector rotation, we could be readjusting PEs to reflect higher future IRs, we could be doing a lot of things. The S&P 500 overall will only fall into a bear market if a dozen tech stocks give up the ghost and as such the S&P has become irrelevant to serious investors. And whether IRs are at 3 or 4% is unlikely to cause it. We could have witnessed the death of traditional macro, as far as that is concerned. You could be worrying about something that has already died.
    The point about narrow breadth is well taken but when we have the fastest acceleration of technology in the history of mankind, is this particularly odd, or completely logical? I can certainly envisage that one day in the next couple of decades we will have one tech company worth more than the entire US stock market put together, or even more than the entire Rest of the World. If someone masters AI and Robotics, what will that be worth? More than everything on this Earth combined, for sure. Probably 100s of times everything else on Earth. And whether IRs are 3, 4, 5 or 100% will make no difference.
    The real danger here is not being too invested in "stocks" but being invested at all in the wrong sectors and not invested enough in the right sector. As such, traditional macro could well be defunct in spotting what is really going on.

  • RR

    Raj R.

    12 7 2018 06:16

    2       0

    Buy calls? That is exactly what I’m doing. It is a no brained at this point

  • SP

    Scott P.

    12 7 2018 05:30

    2       0

    Can anyone recommend a good macro fund manager available to Australians?

  • DB

    David B.

    12 7 2018 04:47

    1       0

    Guys - a Question: is this trade war about to export deflation to the rest of the world (i.e. ex-US world)?
    Displaced Chinese goods will need to go somewhere, so assume there will be some goods dumped in other markets for a while to clear inventory while production adjusts.

  • LT

    Lucas T.

    12 7 2018 04:23

    1       0

    Hey it is that picture guy from knock on effect.

    Great exchange. I will say that I think this bull market will die hard. It is not going to happen overnight because most of this rally has been buybacks, and the retail guy is having some serious fomo. This could be the peak of the cycle, but as far as being a comfy short, it may take awhile.

  • AE

    Alex E.

    12 7 2018 04:15

    2       0

    The usual fantastic content that RVTV is known for. I was early to bomb-proof my nest egg, but still nibbling here and there. This interview confirms what I've known since 2014. Hope everyone has some dry ammo for what's coming in the next 3 years...

  • MS

    Mark S.

    12 7 2018 04:00

    3       0

    This was an excellent discussion with excellent questions. Addressing at the difference in bond views was appreciated. Good description of macro picture and comparing to 2000, 2008. Would love to hear more about Stock buy backs. This is the first video that I know of where this was mentioned in some detail. More people should know this. Perhaps a complete video on it. Raoul's comment about the yen was great, as it broke through resistance today. It would have been interesting to hear how much farther you think EEM has to go. Great discussion.

  • ml

    michael l.

    12 7 2018 02:48

    2       0

    What a great discussion! Thanks for doing that. Exactly what I love about RVTV. Michael

  • MC

    Michael C.

    12 7 2018 02:04

    0       0

    Does anybody know of any resources to learn about what happened leading to and during the asian financial crisis in 97 (and the order of events)?


  • EF

    Eric F.

    12 7 2018 00:44

    12       0

    Top quality, just don’t understand how anyone could downvote this.

  • RM

    Robert M.

    11 7 2018 23:24

    0       0

    Their strongest view is that DX will rally further as driven by a structural dollar shortage. The only driver of this shortage that was mentioned was lower US trade deficits. But they have been worsening since 2016. So what else is behind this thesis of a structural dollar shortage? Note: the tax cut, higher US relative rates and repatriation effects are not classed by them as being structural.
    Is the other structural driver of dollar shortage the high EM indebtedness which precludes the creation of more USD loans?

  • NC

    Novel C.

    11 7 2018 22:52

    2       0

    Fun and excellent content

  • DY

    Donny Y.

    11 7 2018 22:29

    3       0

    I'm so fascinated by macro. Thank you for this piece. I wish there was more time for a deeper discussion. Great work guys!

  • DK

    David K.

    11 7 2018 20:18

    1       0

    Any bets who this cycle Maddoff is?

  • SH

    Steve H.

    11 7 2018 20:03

    2       0

    Excellent format, excellent content.

  • DS

    David S.

    11 7 2018 19:58

    3       0

    It is in the self-interest of large pension funds to address the problem of executive compensation by stock options. Putting pressure on the boards of directors, especially when corporations borrow to buy stock, is one of the few pressure points. If the problem continues the large shareholders could reduce or eliminate these shares in their portfolio. DLS.

  • JT

    Jimmy T.

    11 7 2018 19:37

    2       0

    Rao is so lean! Whatever you are doing keep it going!

  • SS

    Sam S.

    11 7 2018 19:24

    2       0

    Please stop The Exchange sign sweeping thru the picture. Rest, all great stuff and we have been warned. Love the enthusiasm and confidence. Thank You.

  • BM

    Bryan M.

    11 7 2018 19:03

    2       1

    Great discussion with two of the best.

  • NH

    Neil H.

    11 7 2018 18:22

    0       0

    Thankyou for an updated version of the balance of the year. your content keeps getting better and better. It would be great if you could address Lyle K. question as this has been on my mind as well.

  • rr

    rlw r.

    11 7 2018 18:17

    4       0

    "The Exchange' format is a really great addition to the 'one on one' interviews.
    Value On RV !!

  • TG

    Tony G.

    11 7 2018 17:59

    1       0

    ,,,with USDJPY staging a 3-sigma rally as I watch. #brilliance

  • WG

    Wade G.

    11 7 2018 16:42

    1       0

    Great format, even better content. I really do appreciate listening in on that one.

  • HO

    H2 O.

    11 7 2018 16:17

    30       0

    This is the most helpful content for me. Discount MI a bit and I will buy. Thanks gentlemen.

  • KC

    Kenneth C.

    11 7 2018 16:15

    3       0

    Great talk, going to watch again several times. Start writing that book on the criminality of stock purchases and the borrowing needed to do that. Either of you will be add to "top selling author" to your resumes. Thanks guys

  • LK

    Lyle K.

    11 7 2018 15:05

    1       5

    Love RV but I think you guys are a early... here is a statistic that you probably never heard of, their has not been a negative yr in the S&P in the 3rd yr of a U.S president since 1939 in fact the 3rd yr of a presidency is statically the best yr.

  • MP

    Mark P.

    11 7 2018 14:43

    7       0

    Great discussion and just a teaser of the highest quality content available in Macro Insiders. RV is building a wonderful community. Raoul, how about a RV Conference in Cayman with some talks by someof the regulars and where we can all mingle and meet over drinks afterward? It could take the community to the next level. Just a thought/hope.


  • RM

    Richard M.

    11 7 2018 14:37

    6       0

    Wow, this was FANTASTIC!!! Awesome discussion, it's so great when you actually feel like you are sitting around your own living room and discussing these issues with such knowledgeable people (that's how intimate these filmed segments are - great work, kudos to the directors of the videos). It would be great if all three of these folks could maybe do a regular quarterly segment just like this one (maybe even extend it to one hour as there is just so much to talk about).

    Thanks for this incredible experience, look forward to more (RVTV just keeps getting better, I don't know how you folks keep raising the bar and still clearing it)!

    Yours truly,
    One very happy subscriber! :-)

  • DR

    De R.

    11 7 2018 13:43

    9       0

    If both of them have a video like this daily, I believe Netflix will be overtaken by $RVTV.

  • RK

    Robert K.

    11 7 2018 12:57

    4       0

    Nice one! If you could make these sessions regular that would be amazing.

  • TJ

    Terry J.

    11 7 2018 12:15

    2       0

    A totally absorbing exchange that I could have watched for hours. These are exciting and nervous times in markets and I really appreciate getting as many insights and views as possible to help me formulate my investment strategy. Thanks RVTV for the excellent exchange series.

  • NG

    Nick G.

    11 7 2018 12:10

    1       2

    Excellent discussion, until the "Volatility is cheap, buy some calls" moment at the end. Calls expire and get exercised and then you have a position. And/or you have just paid premium for nothing. But I know what Raoul meant. Unfortunately for most people who own a 70-80% stock allocation in their pension fund, it is much more complicated than that. I am at 92% since the Feb blowout and all I can do is continue to sell calls and hope to time it better later. I am highly doubtful I will be able to but we have very little choice, don't we?
    This is because volatility is NOT cheap. Volatility is actually very expensive if you measure it against the only thing that counts in the real world if you are running a pension portfolio: realised volatility. The spread between realised and implied is near historic highs. Overall very helpful, thank you.

  • Nv

    Nick v.

    11 7 2018 11:46

    0       0

    Its a 13 July event. Your welcome

  • SS

    Steve S.

    11 7 2018 11:29

    4       0

    Absolutely loved this! The best exchange segment yet, with two of my favourites in Raoul and Julian.

    It would be great to have you two back in September/October when you expect the market to turn down sharply, to see where we are.

  • CF

    Cause F.

    11 7 2018 11:03

    2       0

    A question, is there a metric or metrics for tracking financial conditions in the Eurodollar market?