Insider Talks – December 2019

Published on
December 6th, 2019
37 minutes

Insider Talks – December 2019

Featuring Raoul Pal, Julian Brigden

Published on: December 6th, 2019 • Duration: 37 minutes

Raoul and Julian discuss that beneath the surface, there is an undercurrent that differs from what the broad market narrative is. They dive into parallels between the 2001 highs and today’s current setup with regards to various indices and indicators, how underlying dynamics of the economy and international trade may soon force CEOs to cut jobs, and how a steepening yield curve is a potential warning sign of a looming recession. Raoul and Julian advocate that investors should analyze their portfolios heading into year-end and understand their exposure to illiquid funds in order to protect themselves against the potential risk of a liquidity event. Filmed on December 4, 2019.


  • WM
    Will M.
    13 December 2019 @ 16:37
    Apologies, I am pretty much into MM funds, precious metal and cash (literally), but what is a pointer for what funds are illiquid in the next crisis?
    • NI
      Nate I.
      13 December 2019 @ 19:40
      My question also. Even if I'm sitting in gold, how do I sell to another investor if their MM fund is gated?
  • JW
    J W.
    8 December 2019 @ 14:54
    Re equity - there are some sectors that surely remain interesting buys, especially when we have an opportunity to buy dips. I am thinking IoT, 5G, Cloud, AI as well as other selected sectors (healthcare, cannabis ?). It would be interesting to hear your thoughts about where you would look for entries if a ‘buy the dip’ opportunity arises at some point during 2020.
    • JW
      Joel W.
      11 December 2019 @ 01:46
      Dude, my brain can’t take the duplicate name thing. I may have been here first, but I think your comments are generally better than mine so you win. I’m gonna see about changing my screen name.
    • JW
      J W.
      13 December 2019 @ 10:10
      To the other Joel W :-) - great minds think alike...I almost changed it a few days back but got go first, because there is a probability, be it small, that we change it into the same name ! :-)
  • MG
    Miguel G.
    12 December 2019 @ 14:25
    Julian/Raoul if there is a chance that employment paddles higher 1H next year and now that the dot plots are pricing in no rate hikes in 2020 and a rate hike in 2021, isnt it as good of a time as any to put the 2 year bond trade back on?
  • JS
    J S.
    11 December 2019 @ 00:26
    Please any additional thought after reading Zoltan #26? Thank you.
  • PL
    Pete L.
    9 December 2019 @ 22:06
    Gents. As ever great chat. I just thought that I’d throw in a comment/observation on the gating of the M&G Property Fund. A couple of months ago the Public Works Loan Board, who lend money to local authorities here in the U.K., raised their borrowing rate from 1.81% to 2.81% ( 100bps). The PWLB lend cov lite and there are no restrictions on amounts that can be borrowed by local authorities. (What could possibly go wrong!) Now this is important as one of the biggest buyers of commercial property in the U.K. over the last few years have been those local authorities. We’ll ignore the fact for now that local authorities aren’t allowed to invest in commercial property purely to generate return. But that is exactly what they have been doing. They have been exploiting the arbitrage between 1.81% and whatever the yield generated has been. The trade is obviously not nearly as lucrative at a cost of 2.81%. It’s long been suspected that professional property portfolio managers have been offloading ‘marginal’ assets to less qualified buyers. I’m wondering if the game of pass the parcel has now been shut down and the likes of M&G have no one to sell to? In the mid 80s you may recall that loads of local authorities went bust in the U.K. by getting involved in financial markets beyond their skill set (interest rate swaps with Goldman’s Sachs on that occasion if memory serves me right). I wonder if history is about to re-run? And property managers have just lost their ‘buyer of last resort’. Cheers. Pete
  • SS
    Shanthi S.
    9 December 2019 @ 19:51
    Thank you guys. Great chat.
  • JQ
    JACK Q.
    8 December 2019 @ 06:45
    Raoul - when you pull that trigger to add EDs / steepeners ...pls give us the shout here / twitter :)
    • SS
      Shanthi S.
      9 December 2019 @ 19:49
      Here would be great. Easy to miss a tweet.
  • MZ
    Matthew Z.
    9 December 2019 @ 15:25
    FYI at&t has layoffs coming q1. No clue the extent but that’s happening.
  • CE
    Chris E.
    8 December 2019 @ 15:18
    Thanks for this Raoul and Julian, an eagerly awaited discussion in a complicated environment. Picking up on the mention of Oil, this being important as it has been interesting to watch the correlation of price action in oil to risk appetite of late. That in conjunction with OLV revisiting the years lows certainly should be of note. Whether its a liquidity shock or perhaps a more organic decomposition, something in the system is about to start the reversion. Have a great festive season!
  • CS
    Cameron S.
    7 December 2019 @ 17:13
    Raoul - In your "Being Tested" piece and on twitter you have called out December 2021 Eurodollars. But in the portfolio there are ED 2020 positions. Also, if you're looking for this cycle to bottom Sep 2020, wouldn't 2020 EDs make the most sense? Could you just clarify which year is your preferred position? Sorry if this has already been asked. Julian - We were recently stopped out of platinum, but I assume you're still bullish. Is there a point at which you put that trade back on? Hope your ankle heals quickly! I'm in Salt Lake City so I know how frustrating that must be!
    • JW
      J W.
      8 December 2019 @ 14:47
      I second the platinum question (and is PPLT the preferred vehicle?) - at some point these underlying developments will surface and timing an entry or adding to the Bond trade (TLT) , precious metals and ED will become important. I am already in Gold (via miners) but are looking to enter TLT and ED.
  • YO
    Yoshitaka O.
    8 December 2019 @ 04:28
    Wish you a speedy recovery on your ankle injury Julian There was also a major blip down in Silver and we are now dangerously close to our Stop Loss! Eek

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.