“If you don’t own gold, you know neither history nor economics.” – Ray Dalio, Founder Bridgewater Associates
Individuals are long term investors only as long as the markets are rising.
In the same way that FDR had an existential political interest in generating inflation and preventing volatility in the US labor market, so does the US Executive branch today (regardless of what party holds the office) have an existential political interest in generating inflation and preventing volatility in the US capital markets. Transforming Wall Street into a political utility was an afterthought for FDR; today the relative importance of the labor markets and capital markets have completely switched positions. Today, the quote would be "markets are too important to be left to investors."
- Shares bounce, euro fades after savage ECB reaction (Reuters)
- Trump's Islam comments draw attacks as Republicans discover civility (Reuters)
- Oil Prices Rise on Hopes Glut Will Ease (WSJ)
- IEA Says Oil Price May Have Bottomed as High-Cost Producers Cut (BBG)
- Why Euro-Area Inflation Will Be Low for Years, According to Draghi (BBG)
- Calmer markets, positive data prime Fed to push ahead with rate rises (Reuters)
That the world's largest hedge fund, Ray Dalio's Bridgewater, just announced the appointment of an hardware engineer, even one as enlightened as former NeXT and Apple executive Jon Rubinstein, should tell you all you need to know about what is really going on in the "market."
"I want to just convey to investors, I think in the average investor, most everybody, do not compete against pros like ourselves or other people; do not making tactical asset allocation bets or moving around in the markets, because you will probably lose.... And also I think that gold at 5 percent of your portfolio, 5 percent or 10 percent of your portfolio, under the circumstances, would be also a prudent thing to do."
Moments after speaking with Bloomberg's Michael Schatzker, a speech which generated substantial headlines (and which we will cover shortly), Bridgewater's Ray Dalio took the podium at the University of Texas Board of Directors 20th Anniversary event.
If central bankers think that "helicopter money" might be an option to combat deflationary pressures and sluggish economies, the right time to launch the choppers is before consumers realize they need them. As history shows, after that, it is too late.
"YTD performance of equity long-short Hedge Funds was likely dragged down by their net long equity exposure and heavy exposure to popular growth and momentum stocks. As a result, the HFRXEH index performed in line with passive investors (S&P 500). The momentum selloff in the first week of February negatively impacted equity quants who are on average overweight momentum/low volatility factors"
Not all is beautiful in Ray Dalio's "beautifully deleveraging" world.
While negative interest rates will make cash a bit less attractive (but not much), it won’t drive investors/savers to buy the sort of assets that will finance spending. And while QE will push asset prices somewhat higher, investors/savers will still want to save, lenders will still be cautious lenders, and cautious borrowers will remain cautious, so we will still have “pushing on a string.” As a result, Monetary Policy 3 will have to be directed at spenders more than at investors/savers.
Yesterday was the last day for hedge funds to submit their Q4 13-F filings, and the biggest reactions this morning can be found in the stock of Kinder Morgan which rises 9% pre-mkt after Berkshire reported a new stake. Autodesk also gained 2% post-mkt yday after Lone Pine took a new position. Several funds boosted or reported new stakes in JD.com while Jana Partners reported a new stake in Valeant. Both Icahn and Einhorn trimmed their AAPL holdings.
- European stocks plunge as Lunar New Year offers no cheer (Reuters)
- European Stocks Fall, Credit Weakens as Signs of Distress Abound (BBG)
- Management trouble at world's biggest hedge fund: Bridgewater succession plan in flux as heir Greg Jensen steps back (FT)
- U.S. athletes should consider not attending Olympics if fear Zika - officials (Reuters)
- Geithner Gets JPMorgan Credit Line to Invest With Warburg Pincus (BBG)
- Top Clinton Donor Wants a Law Against $1 Million Gifts Like His (BBG)
“If you run out of chips, you are out of the game.”
... Rothschild’s Penney wrote that the U.S. “is effectively the biggest tax haven in the world.” The U.S., he added in language later excised from his prepared remarks, lacks “the resources to enforce foreign tax laws and has little appetite to do so.”