John Burbank

Passport Global Slammed With Over 60% In Redemptions In Q2

"For the second quarter, the Fund had net outflows of $480 million. Firm-wide, net outflows (not including the Long Short hedge fund strategy liquidation, effective 4/30/2017) totaled approximately $565 million. At quarter-end, net of June 30th redemptions, Fund assets stood at $275 million and Firm assets totaled approximately $900 million."

Why Hedge Funds Have Rarely Been More Bearish: Highlights From The SALT Conference

Following last week's Sohn Conference, where the overarching theme was one of prevailing bearishness topped by Stanley Druckenmiller's near-apocalyptic forecast that only gold will be left standing after all confidence evaporates in the "magic people" known as central bankers,  yesterday some 1,800 hedge fund industry executives gathered in Las Vegas at the SkyBridge Alternatives Conference or SALT, where the prevalent concern about the future of the world continued, driven primarily by worries about China.

Bridgewater's Ray Dalio Speaks Live From The University Of Texas

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.

"Nothing's Safe" Passport's Burbank Warns "The Liquidity Of Everything Is Being Taken Down"

Having warned that "we are on the precipice of a liquidation in emerging markets like the fourth quarter of 1997," Passport Capital's John Burbank sits down with RealVisionTV to discuss why "the Fed would eventually be forced into a fourth round of quantitative easing to shore up the economy." Being among 2015's best performing hedge funds, successfully navigating this turmoiling unwind of the Fed's efforts to "mean-revert" the world's assets back to normal, Burbank concludes, "nothing's safe," no matter what The Fed does, "the liquidity of everything is being taken down."

"Give Everyone A Check For $10 Million, It Will Create Inflation": Albert Edwards First TV Interview In 20 Years

In his first TV interview in 20 years, SocGen's Albert Edwards unleashes his brutal honesty on Raoul Pal in this excellent RealVisionTV discussion. From "what Japan is doing is absolutely off the scale," warnings about money-printing to the awkward reality that "policy makers cannot eliminate the business cycle," warnings instead that "they will make the eventual downturn far worse than it otherwise would be..." Edwards' discussion ranges from the UK and US "choosing lunatic policies" to describing Alan Greenspan as "a prospective economic war criminal," the SocGen strategist concludes, rather ominously, if policy-makers keep handing out free money, it will create massive problems, "there is a trigger point where you can create inflation. I don't know where that is. The central banks don't know where that is."

Passport's John Burbank: "The Next Crisis May Look Like A 1987 Crash"

Asked what could happen during the next crisis, John Burbank's response: "it could fall fast"... "there is the possibility of a 1987 dislocation that does not reflect long-term economic stress but could reflect illiquidity in the market." His conclusion: "When there is a signal to sell, there won't be a lot of buying." That is assuming selling hasn't been made illegal by then or, as the recent bankruptcy of Banco Espirito Santo showed, if and when the time to sell comes, all sellable stocks are suddenly halted indefinitely while a committee of conflicted banks decides behind the scenes that no event of default has actually occurred.

"Markets Not Cheap" & "Not Enough People Paid The Price For 2008" - SALT Day 2 Post Mortem

'Not' as exciting and headline-making as Day 1, as damage control was loud and proud after Tepper's "dangerous markets" call. The number of times we heard "what he meant to say was..." made us laugh but day 2 of the SkyBridge Alternatives Conference (SALT) varied from Leon Cooperman's "S&P to 2000" exuberance to Rubinstein's "markets are not cheap" disappointment and everything in between... with Nassim Taleb's "not enough people paid the price for 2008" conclusion summing it all up nicely.

David Rosenberg's New Normal: "The Economy Does Not Drive The Markets Any More"

Bill Gross may be credited with inventing the term 'the New Normal', although his recommendation to purchase gold above all other asset classes, something which only fringe blogs such as this one have been saying is the best trade (in terms of return, Sharpe Ratio, and the ability to sleep soundly) for the past three and a half years, he is sure to be increasingly ostracized by the establishment, and told to take all his newfangled idioms with him in his exile to less than serious people land. Which takes us to David Rosenberg, who today revisits his own definition of the New Normal. And it, too, is just as applicable as that of the Pimco boss: "The new normal is that the economy doesn't drive markets any more." Short and sweet, although it also is up for debate whether the economy ever drove the markets in the first place. But that would open up a whole new conspiratorial can of worms, and is a discussion best saved for after Ben Bernanke decides to save the "housing market" by buying more hundreds of billions in MBS and lowering mortgage yields further, even though mortgage rates already are at record lows (something that mortgage applications apparently couldn't care less about as we showed last week), while "avoiding" to do everything in his power to boost the S&P, which recently was at 5 year highs, and certainly "avoiding" to listen to Chuck Schumer telling him to do his CTRL+P job, and "get to work" guaranteeing Schumer's donors have another whopper of a bonus season.

Euphoria Shifts From Stocks To Commodities

Silver and Gold remain the major outperformers year-to-date but the rest of commodities - most notably oil is catching up very fast having over taken stocks this week. It appears that the new-found flood of liquidity that we have been so passionately banging the table on for weeks, has found its way into the energy complex as European Sovereigns, European Financials, European Stocks, and US Stocks have all flattened or turned down as Crude and WTI surge. And as a hint to anyone who hasn't jumped on this tidal movement yet, one thing to note is that unlike stocks, commodities always have the risk of marginal or weak hands being shaken out via CME...margin hikes.

"Oil Won't Stop Until The Economy Breaks"

As gold strengthens on the back of the extreme experimentation of the world's (now-sheep-like) central bankers' easing and printing protocols, it does no real harm to the world, but as John Burbank (of Passport Capital) notes, the painful unintended consequence of all this liquidity is energy costs skyrocketing - and it won't stop until the economy breaks. The negative feedback loop, that we pointed to yesterday as potentially the only thing to stall a magnanimously academic response to the insolvency we see around the world (and the need for deleveraging at this end of the debt super-cycle), of oil prices into the real economy will be devastating not just for US but for EM economies, though as the bearded-Burbank reminds us - Saudi benefits greatly (and suggests ways to trade this perspective). Flat consumer incomes while costs are rising is never a good thing and while we make new highs in oil in terms of EURs and GBPs, he warns we may soon in USDs also. Summing up, his perspective is rising tensions in the Middle East combined with central bank liquidity provision are a huge concern: "We're actually quite bearish. The only reason all this liquidity is coming into the market is because things are really bad. It's not because things are good. It's hard to know where things are going to go. The point is, just because they're putting liquidity in the market doesn't mean the economy is improving."

So Much For John Burbank Turning Bearish On Gold

One of the key catalysts that precipitated the perfect storm in precious metals selling last week was the WSJ article that John Burbank, among others, had sold off some or all of his holdings. Today, in a Bloomberg TV interview, Burbank refutes all the skeptics who think the top of gold is here, and makes it clear that while his offloading of the precious metal was merely a temporary trade to lock in profits, the long term fundamentals for gold are as strong as they have every been. So here it is: "The biggest reason to stay in gold is because central banks around the
world can see the writing on the wall long term
, which is that the
dollar will be devalued one way or another and that Congress has no
appetite for hard decisions which would be deflationary in nature, and
therefore, make the dollar higher than gold and not as much of a
necessary holding. You also have the Chinese consumer, who has become a
very large buyer, matching almost the Indian consumer and I think quite
clearly, will exceed the Indian consumer. I think ultimately, physical
gold is the story. It is a scarcity story
. The more the U.S. dithers and
the more the Fed is willing to print money, as opposed to dealing with
inflation properly, the more this trend will happen
. That is the biggest
reason to stay in gold right now. Otherwise, most of the beneficiaries
of quantitative easing will be backing off as most investors get back to
neutral."... "I think that long-term it is clear sovereign yields will be weak and commodities will be strong. It just a question of when we get there and when we price that in." As for risk assets heading toward June 30: "I think risk assets sell off.  I think they sell off now into it and we bottom again in commodities this summer." And there you have it, straight from the horse's mouth, instead of from some FRBNY pre-cleared journalist.

WSJ Reports Soros, Burbank Selling Gold, Silver, While Paulson Sees Gold Hitting $4,000 In Three Years

The rumormill around who is buying and selling precious metals is getting more ridiculous than daily Radioshack LBO speculation. The latest comes from the WSJ which informs that based on "people close to the matter" Soros and Burbank are now dumping their gold and silver: "George Soros's big hedge fund, a firm operated by high-profile investor John Burbank and some other leading firms have been selling gold and silver, according to people close to the matter, after furiously accumulating precious metals for much of the past two years." Greg Zuckerman's conclusion, assuming a multi billion hedge fund will actually let its competitors know what it is doing concurrently as it is doing it, is merited: "Their selling suggested the sharp, nine-month run-up for precious metals could be entering more dangerous territory." Of course, something tells us that just like Goldman, whose prop desk has a nagging tendency to buy as its sellside "analysts" say sell, we would rather hold off until we see respective 13Fs on the matter. In the meantime, we fail to see where over the past week the central (pardon the pun) thesis has changed: namely that central banks will not print more linen/cotton when the time comes. And if the market is indeed starting to price in QEasing's end, then the deflationary scare will certainly see the RUT plunge and undo months of carefully executed (by NYU interns) POMO operations. For a Fed which equates the economy with the RUT, this is simply unacceptable.

Complete Notes From Ira Sohn West Conference

Missed the first Ira Sohn west conference? Here is your chance to catch the complete notes via BTIG's Mike O'Rourke. Presenters included John Burbank of Passport, Barry Rosenstein of Jana, Brian Zied of Bridge Capital, Mitch Julis of Canyon, Jeffrey Ubeen of ValueAct, Robert Rosner of Buena Vista Fund, John Taylor of the John Taylor Rule, Chris Chabris, and Richard Farber of Kayne Anderson. Ideas discussed include the future of the world, Dutch company TNT, Charles River Labs, Sirius XM, Valiant Pharma, Taiwan Semi, the Libor-OIS spread, Natty and Patriot Coal. So for all those who still hold on to the illusion that alpha is possible in this market, read on.