About Erik Townsend

hedge fund manager Erik Townsend

Erik Townsend is a retired software entrepreneur turned hedge fund manager. Throughout his career, Erik has capitalized on his ability to understand complex systems and anticipate paradigm shifts far in advance of the mainstream. Read More...

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DSC06699 2Erik Townsend and Aaron Chan welcome Jeffrey Snider to MacroVoices. Erik and Jeffrey discuss:

  • Rich equity valuations despite an on-going earnings recession
  • Off-track corporate cash flows and profits as evidence of a weakening economic environment
  • The mainstream misconception and myth that the Fed provides liquidity thereby levitating equity valuations 
  • The chronic and acute dollar shortage as evidenced by the decaying post-2007 global eurodollar system
  • Global central banks resorting to sellng Treasuries as a means to filling dollar funding gaps
  • Milton Friedman's Interest Rate Fallacy and how long-run low interest rates demonstrate tightness of money supply
  • How the tight-dollar environment manifests itself in the increasingly disorderly global repo market
  • The complete disconnect between inferred interest rate bearishness in eurodollar futures and QE as liquidity
  • TED-spread volatility and other wholesale financial measures suggesting central banks might be losing control
  • The Fed's inadequate response to the structural contraction in the global eurodollar system
  • Wholesale eurodollar system not tracking with prior exponential growth and demonstrating permanent monetary disruption
  • How the preponderance of evidence necessitates a systemic reset
  • Why central bankers lack the answers by being married to an incongruent monetary framework
  • The potentially galvanizing catalyst between nations in lieu of a serious crisis

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RealVision TV red 02A conversation on March 21, 2016 between Grant Williams and Paul Brodsky, founder of Macro Allocation Inc. 

 

 

 

 

 

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Paul Brodsky HeadshotErik Townsend and Aaron Chan welcome Paul Brodsky to MacroVoices. Erik and Paul discuss:

  • The necessary global reset due to insurmountable leverage
  • Views and outlook for U.S. Treasuries despite obvious sovereign insolvency
  • Signals for exiting the bond market bubble
  • The opacity of currency and monetary issues in Europe
  • Current monetary policy environment as slow-motion "water torture" for the global economy
  • The false deleveraging narrative when viewed in the light of base money
  • The possibility of central banks printing money to buy gold
  • Thinking behind owning gold bullion relative to gold mining shares
  • Oil's role in U.S. Dollar hegemony and likelihood of change
  • Scenarios including disinflation, followed by hyperinflation

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Charles0002 X3Erik Townsend and Aaron Chan welcome Charles Biderman to MacroVoices. Erik and Charles discuss:

  • Big picture and current market contexts beginning from Post-WW2
  • Dynamics between developed and emerging market currencies
  • Flight capital impact on U.S. markets
  • Predictions for U.S. Treasury yields
  • Possible catalysts to bring-on the endgame and portfolio allocations
  • Backstory related to sub-advisor relationship with and termination from AdvisorShares
  • TrimTabs' proprietary Float Shrink strategy and outperformance

 

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RealVision TV red 01A conversation on April 25, 2016 between Grant Williams and Stephen Diggle, founder of Vulpes Investment Management.

 

 

 

 

 

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David S Rose 2013Erik Townsend and Aaron Chan welcome David S. Rose to MacroVoices. Erik and David discuss:

  • Background and introduction to angel investing and entrepreneurship through his great uncle David Rose
  • What angel investing actually is, how it might fit in a portfolio, and who it is suited for
  • The time-horizon, temperament, and risk-tolerance required for angel investing
  • The appropriate mind-set when approaching angel investing
  • Expected investment returns from angel investing and the role of diversification
  • Why it's “far better to invest in the jockey than on the horse”
  • Balancing and matching between entrepreneurial execution and bright ideas
  • Mechanics and funding sequence of an angel deal
  • Post-investment lifecycle 
  • The importance of networking with veteran angel investors prior to initial investments
  • How the Angel Capital Association vets angel investing groups
  • Learning through reading, finding a mentor, and investing
  • Gust.com angel investing platform, Singularity University and exponential technology

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Eric HunsaderErik Townsend and Aaron Chan welcome Eric Hunsader to MacroVoices. Erik and Eric discuss:

  • Regulation National Market System (NMS), securities information processors (SIPs), high-frequency trading (HFT), and latency arbitrage
  • Eric's incredible story of exposing the NYSE's selling of higher-speed data feeds to high-frequency traders
  • "Quote-stuffing" and how it provides an unfair advantage through compromising quote systems
  • Manual traders "spoofing" as a means of tricking algorithmic systems
  • The fallacy of HFT providing greater liquidity in the market
  • The legal immunity of U.S. exchanges as Self-Regulatory Organizations (SRO)
  • How retail investor orders are executed and taken advantage of by internalizers
  • Micro-timestamp resolution as a means for transparency
  • How IEX prevents latency arbitrage through "speed-bumping" by 1/1000th of a blink of an eye
  • The potential of combining power and integrity in a market devoid of transparency
  • Nanex's differentiated market data offering

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RealVision TV red 01A conversation on May 29, 2016 between Grant Williams and Stephanie Pomboy, founder of MacroMavens.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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richard dicksonErik Townsend and Aaron Chan welcome Richard Dickson to MacroVoices. Erik and Richard discuss:

  • Lowry Research’s approach of looking at markets through buying power and selling pressure
  • The divergence in price action versus buying power and selling pressure indices
  • What the divergence means in terms of market accumulation or distribution
  • Dynamic of foreign capital flight in an environment of zero interest rates
  • Similarity between new market entrants in 1999 and present day
  • The poor balance of supply and demand in the FTSE 100 post-Brexit
  • The increase in the balance of selling in Italian equities, where 65% of stocks are trading on intermediate down-trends
  • Buying power topping and selling pressure accelerating in Italy and Spain prior to Brexit
  • How even a perceived economic stalwart like Germany is susceptible to weakening market conditions
  • Lagging European sectors relative to the rest of the world
  • Chinese, Japanese, Indian, and Australian supply and demand dynamics
  • How much further U.S. indices have to advance before reaching a level that generates profit-taking

 

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E 4552Color 1Erik Townsend and Aaron Chan introduce the Accredited Investor Academy Series, Part I. We’re taking this week off from our regular show format, so instead of a featured interview guest, we’re airing the first of a four-part series about learning to be a sophisticated private investor.

Erik and Aaron discuss:

  • Erik's personal journey from successful software entrepreneur to hedge fund manager
  • What it means to be an accredited investor and the associated challenges that go along with the distinction
  • Private banking and possible red flags
  • Erik's personal experience with private bankers and "exclusive" investment deals
  • The lessons learned from the implosion of this "exclusive" private banking deal that resulted in substantial loss of capital
  • Erik's subsequent reinvention into a professional investor
  • The challenges associated with transfering from software business culture to Wall Street
  • Coming in Part II: The process of re-inventing oneself from Entrepreneur to sophisticated Private Investor
  • Coming in Parts III and IV: Angel investing, Venture Capital, Private Equity LPs, & Hedge Funds

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RealVision TV red 01A conversation on January 26, 2016 between Grant Williams and James Grant, author of Grant's Interest Rate Observer.

 

 

 

 

 

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Grant WilliamsErik Townsend welcomes Grant Williams to MacroVoices. Erik and Grant discuss:

  • Grant’s experience and insights from observing Brexit outside of the UK
  • The next-steps and long-run view for the UK post-Brexit
  • The potential of the EU making an example out of the UK to prevent other countries from leaving
  • The current political void in British politics and who might step-up to fill this void
  • The precarious state of the European banking system
  • Deutsche Bank’s status as “Too Big to Fail”
  • How Brexit will spread political contagion and stoke calls for referenda in other European countries
  • The likelihood of the Fed having to ease with only 25 bps of room
  • What the dollar and gold both moving higher portends for the state of the global economy
  • The non-zero probability of war as a means of resolving unsurmountable debt burdens
  • Possible war scenarios under Trump or Clinton
  • Grant’s wonderfully-done “Crazy” presentation on RVTV

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PROFESSOR STEVE KEEN headshotErik Townsend welcomes Steve Keen to MacroVoices. Erik and Professor Keen discuss:

  • Brexit's economic consequences and possible political spillover into other European countries
  • Ditching the ivory tower in favor of working with entrepreneurs
  • The emergence of alternative currencies backed by labor and assets
  • The possibility of an energy-backed currency
  • The fundamental ingredient of trust in alternative currencies
  • The risk of entrusting private enterprise with money creation
  • Negative interest rates and fractional reserve banking
  • Fading mainstream confidence in neoclassical central bankers
  • Possible catalysts for the next financial crisis

 

 

 

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RealVision TV red 01A conversation on May 23, 2016 between Grant Williams and Simon Mikhailovich, Co-Founder of Toqueville Bullion Reserve.

 

 

 

 

 

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John LlewellynErik Townsend welcomes John Llewellyn to MacroVoices. Erik and John discuss:

  • How the Brexit vote is simply a prelude to a highly uncertain process
  • Polling accuracy and the distinct possibility of Britain exiting the EU
  • The near-term economic impacts of Brexit on the British economy including lower foreign-direct investment and trade re-negotiations
  • The broader global economic impact of a “leave” vote
  • Brexit’s impact on the U.S. Dollar and the possibility of re-igniting a Asian debt crisis
  • Potential monetary policy accommodation from the ECB
  • The implications of Brexit on global oil prices
  • Rise of European populism as a leading indicator of the U.S. political theatre

 

 

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Dr. Ben Hunt

Erik Townsend welcomes Dr. Ben Hunt to MacroVoices. Erik and Dr. Hunt discuss:

  • The U.S. Dollar as a reflection of the strategic interactions between central banks
  • China’s similarities to pre-WW1 Germany as an up-and-coming power
  • Brexit’s potential impact on the global economy
  • “Humpty Dumpty” events for the global economy including China devaluation and Euro-system fracturing
  • Price-signal inversion and market dislocation from fundamentals
  • The Fed’s slow realization of global interdependence
  • Negative interest rate money-market funds in the United States
  • How Swiss safe deposit boxes are at capacity and the war on cash
  • Gold’s role as insurance against central bankers
  • Kyle Bass’ China trade and whether you can trade Japan’s demographics
  • The potential consequences of the U.S. Presidential elections and global trade
  • Dr. Hunt’s background as a hedge fund manager and scholar
  • The inception of his popular Epsilon Theory Blog and applying game-theory to policy-driven markets

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RealVision TV red 01Hugh Hendry is interviewed by Raoul Pal for Real Vision Television on March 11th, 2016

 

 

 

 

 

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Arthur Berman largeErik Townsend welcomes Art Berman to MacroVoices. Erik and Art discuss:

  • Their calls made on Episode 3 of MacroVoices in February
  • Which fundamental factors have changed since then
  • The damage done to the supply of capital available to shale drillers in spite of oil rising to $50
  • Current US production levels and where they may be headed from here
  • Prices moving up in the face of dangerously high inventory levels at Cushing, OK
  • Using Comparitive Inventories to predict price movements
  • The 'funny' accounting practiced by shale drilling companies and many analysts
  • EIA price forecasts and whether or not they are accurate
  • Geopolitically driven supply disruptions and whether or not they will last
  • Middle Eastern oil production increases and alongside a shifting political picture
  • The possibility of a future where the world can't afford petroleum, and much more...

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julian brigden headshotErik Townsend welcomes Julian Brigden to MacroVoices. Erik and Julian discuss:

  • The difference between the DXY and the trade weighted broad Dollar index
  • The effect of emerging market fluctuations on the broad Dollar
  • Dollar pause or Dollar reversal?
  • The return of cyclical inflation in the US
  • Chinese capital outflows and the effect on real estate markets
  • How the Dollar story will affect precious metals
  • Emerging market equites
  • A lack of real cooperation between central banks
  • Global sovereign debt markets and what they are signaling about inflation
  • How a perfect storm of Dollar strength and a return of inflation will take away the central bank "put"
  • ...and bunches upon bunches more...

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RealVision TV red 01A conversation on March 25th, 2016 between Grant Williams and Rick Rule

 

 

 

 

 

 

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J ChristianErik Townsend welcomes Jeffrey Christian to MacroVoices. Erik and Jeffrey discuss:

  • The advantages held by the US over other economies
  • The reasons for the recent USD strength and where it is headed next
  • The market reaction to the most recent round of hawkishness from the Fed
  • The Gold market internals which have supported its price in 2016, and the possibility of a pullback
  • The relevance of the Commitments of Traders report in the Gold market
  • What institutional positioning in precious metals tells us about liquidity flows
  • Platinum, Palladium, their extraction methods and uses, their relationship to each other and other PMs
  • Where we are currently in the broader commodities cycle
  • The problems facing China, Japan, and Europe
  • Economic, social, and political issues in Russia
  • Possibilities for Gold and non-USD currencies playing a bigger role in central bank reserves, and more...

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PROFESSOR STEVE KEEN headshotErik Townsend welcomes Steve Keen to MacroVoices. Erik and Professor Keen discuss:

  • A comparison of the prevailing schools of economic thought
  • The role of credit in the economy
  • The importance of existing inventory when considering supply and demand calculations
  • What's wrong with neoclassical economics and how central bank policy needs to adapt
  • How Professor Keen was able to foresee the 2008 financial crisis
  • The mistake of mainstream economics in ignoring the importance of private sector debt
  • Low credit growth leading to a stangant economy
  • "Zombie Economies" and which countries are most likely to suffer another crisis
  • How to know if you're living in a Zombie Economy
  • The need to reduce private debt, and the ways to incentivize such a reduction
  • Plus Samir Madani joins us to discuss #OOTT and much more

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RealVision TV red 01A conversation on February 19th, 2016 between Raoul Pal and Grant Williams, co-founders of Real Vision Television.

 

 

 

 

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Das headshotErik Townsend welcomes Satyajit Das to MacroVoices. Erik and Das discuss:

  • The US as the cleanest shirt in a very dirty laundry basket of economies, and what it portends for the USD
  • Emerging market debt and how it should be dealt with if interest rates rise
  • The difference between a cuclical downturn and a structural shift, and how policy should respond
  • The problem with "emergency measures" becoming permanent policy
  • A global population obsessed with perpetual incremental improvements to living standards
  • Negative interest rates as a form of taxation
  • Malinvestment in China, and how it exacerbates the global debt problem
  • How China might deal with this round of over-indebtedness, and what's different this time
  • How the global economy will be impacted by a slowdown and shift in focus in China
  • Gold as a currency, as a hedge, and as a "matter of faith"
  • The potential for the entire global economy to "turn Japanese" 

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Duncan headshotErik Townsend welcomes Richard Duncan to MacroVoices. Erik and Richard discuss:

  • The events in world world history which have led to increased government spending and record debt
  • The catalysts that made everything "pop" in 2008
  • How QE works, who benefits from it, and how likely it is to persist
  • The results of having a government directed economic system for over 76 years
  • Unique conditions which allowed extraordinary policy from the Fed, and how the US could capitalize on them
  • The looming threat of war increasing due to a "need" for increased government spending
  • The alternative forms of government spending we could see in lieu of war
  • The possibility, and likely futility of "helicopter money"
  • Why we won't see the end of the USD's role as world reserve currency anytime soon
  • And fistfuls of more good stuff...

 

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RealVision TV red 01Kyle Bass interviews John Burbank on March 6th, 2015

 

 

 

 

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Rick Rule eErik Townsend welcomes Rick Rule to MacroVoices. Erik and Rick discuss:

  • Rick’s general thesis on precious metals and how they differ from other natural resources

  • The relative predictability of commodities due to their cyclicality

  • The spectacular returns available to investors who can be brave when others are fearful

  • The value of contrarian information when markets are out of favor

  • The value of private placement and P.I.P.E. investments

  • Rick’s personal investment strategies at the current time

  • The dangers and importance of identifying conflicts of interest in investing

  • The resources available to investors to help them protect themselves against frauds

  • Erik and Art Berman bring us up to speed on the US crude oil inventory situation, and what fundamental factors may have changed moving the market still higher

  • Art warns that this rally may have been about the market pricing in looming supply risks, and more...

  • Register for free at the top of this page to have Art's powerpoint presentation sent to you by email

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Rickards Ani Standing cropped ColorErik Townsend welcomes Jim Rickards to MacroVoices. Erik and Jim discuss:

  • Gold as a currency, rather than an investment, because "earning yield requires taking risk"

  • The USD rally and the Fed’s influence on its ability to continue

  • The difference between a central bank’s ability to cure inflation, vs. curing deflation

  • The possibilities of confiscation, taxation, and NIRP and their effects on the relative attractiveness of Gold

  • The Fed first tightening into weakness, and now turning more dovish after a market correction in early 2016

  • The reasons why governments can’t tolerate inflation

  • Gold as a potential hedge against deflation, as well as inflation

  • How QE actually functions, and why we’ve seen so little effect on the real economy

  • What the next form of stimulus may look like, and how it may affect the outlook on Gold

  • The necessity for structural solutions, not monetary solutions, to structural problems

  • What an increase in institutional holdings of Gold would mean for price, and plenty more...

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RealVision TV red 01

 

 

 

 

 

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Raoul PalErik Townsend welcomes Raoul Pal to MacroVoices. Erik and Raoul discuss:

  • The US Dollar backstory and how central bank policy divergence got us here
  • US government bonds and the potential for interest rates to move much lower
  • Weak growth in the US and a business cycle that is appearing to roll over
  • The risks of loaning money to insolvent governments in the form of sovereign bonds
  • Changing our operating framework to better understand a changing global macro picture
  • Gold and real estate becoming hedges to the currency risk involved with negative interest rates
  • Gold's ability to rally in the face of potential further Dollar strength
  • The European banking system and "CoCo Bonds"
  • The ban on cash and the real reasons the powers that be are moving in this direction
  • "The Big Uglies" and what could trigger an economic recession
  • Which forms further monetary or fiscal stimulus could take, and more...

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Fleckenstein3Erik Townsend welcomes Bill Fleckenstein to MacroVoices. Erik and Bill discuss:

  • A coming correction in equities - what's different this time?
  • "The fumes of QE" and non-US sources of liquidity
  • The tactics one must necessarily employ to succed in short selling
  • 20 years of failed activist Fed policy
  • A potential bond market revolt and an end to the dollar bull market
  • The real rate of inflation and the irrelevance of the CPI
  • The destruction of the middle class by central bankers and politicians
  • The time to be short vs. the time to be patient
  • Gold, gold miners, and the end of the bear market in precious metals
  • Plus Erik's market recap and his own insights into short selling
  • and plenty more...

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RealVision TV red 01Real Vision interviews Fred Hickey on September 18th, 2015

 

 

 

 

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JSchwager Photo Barcelona FINALErik Townsend welcomes Jack Schwager to MacroVoices. Erik and Jack discuss:

  • The history of the Market Wizards project
  • The importance of finding your "own process" in achieving success in trading
  • Discipline, risk management, organization, perseverance 
  • The range of possible successful approaches an investor or trader can take
  • Early failure not necessarily being predicitive of future success/failure, learning from mistakes
  • Mr. Schwager's own experience interviewing traders who have been widely influenced by his early books
  • The genesis and mission of FundSeeder.com
  • Finding new ways of linking capital with talented traders and changing the business of capital introduction
  • The technologies that could ultimately provide disruptions in the capital allocation space
  • Assisting an amateur trader in making the leap to full-time professional, and more...

 

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2014 02 13 Axel headshotErik Townsend welcomes Axel Merk to MacroVoices. Erik and Axel discuss:

  • The ECB, Fed, and BOJ statements and how policies are shifting
  • The upward trajectory of the Euro following a confusing ECB statement
  • The key differences between central banking in the US, and the Eurozone
  • TLTRO2: "a funding for lending scheme" - how does it work, what does it mean?
  • A potential bottoming in European interest rates
  • Will a Fed rate hike mean a stronger dollar, or have markets already priced this in?
  • The Fed members, structure, focus and process
  • Coming headwinds for asset prices as the Fed unwinds an unprecedented easing cycle
  • The counterproductivity of negative interest rates and extraordinary central bank policy
  • The Dollar rally - how did we get here and is the rally over?
  • Gold and other "safe havens" - where can investors hide in this challenging environment?

 

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RealVision TV red 01Real Vision interviews Albert Edwards on February 27th, 2015

 

 

 

 

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Grant WilliamsErik Townsend welcomes Grant Williams to MacroVoices. Erik and Grant discuss:

  • The likelihood of a US recession
  • The unsustainability of global credit growth
  • The continuing erosion of faith in central bankers
  • The response to negative interest rates in Japan
  • The excesses promised by politicians to citizens of Western Democracies
  • "The Consequences of Economic Peace" 
  • Big Cyles, Kondratieff Waves, The Laws of Nature
  • The similarity between current times and the lead up to WWI
  • Thinking about outcomes we'd rather not and assigning probabilities accordingly
  • The Real Vision TV backstory and their goals in bringing some truth back to financial journalism
  • and more...

Click here for your free trial subscription to Real Vision Television

pdf Click here to download Grant’s “Duck Test” presentation in PDF form (1.26 MB)

Click here for a link to Grant’s video presentation; 'The Consequences of Economic Peace'

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E 4552Color 1Nathan Egger interviews Erik Townsend about trading strategies for the coming bottom in oil prices. Erik and Nathan discuss:

  • A summary of the oil market fundamentals, as Erik sees it
  • Potential counter-arguments to Erik's view
  • How the "smart money" should be playing this coming bottom including; tanker trade, shipping container trade, etc
  • How a commodities trader should be approaching a turn in the oil market including; contract selection, term structure, options
  • Trading a reversal in crude oil from a fixed income manager's perspective - long/short strategies, potential contagions
  • Other potential risks to credit markets
  • An equity manager's view of an upcoming bottom - who will be the winners/losers, ETFs
  • Strategies a retail investor can employ to gain exposure to the coming rebound in oil - contango-related risks to ETFs like USO
  • The need for patience, regardless of which type of investor you may be
  • Listener questions posed either in the forums, or by emailing questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • and plenty more...

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Arthur Berman largeErik Townsend welcomes geologist and energy industry consultant Art Berman to MacroVoices. Erik and Art discuss:

  • The crude oil backstory and the current oversupply
  • The likelihood of a future production cut from OPEC
  • Middle Eastern politics and how they will affect future oil prices
  • EIA/IEA and other government agency statistics - Are they reliable?
  • Oil storage considerations and the importance of Cushing, OK - How close are we to capacity?
  • The Baker Hughes Rig Count - Does it matter?
  • Iran and their ongoing production increases
  • The US shale patch operators and their associated junk bonds - What is the chance of widespread default?
  • Production decline rates for US shale producers
  • Libya’s potential to affect this market - ISIS standing in the way?
  • Identifying a bottom in the oil market and a whole lot more…

pdf Click here for supplementary material from Art Berman (1.64 MB)

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Marc Faber largeErik Townsend welcomes Dr. Marc Faber to MacroVoices. Erik and Marc discuss:

  • The Fed, Treasury, and U.S. Government are one and the same - Neo-Keynesian Interventionists
  • Negative interest rates, and the possibility of seeing them in The U.S.
  • "The War on Cash" and other trends driving insecurity and leading to increased rates of saving
  • "Helicopter Money" and other Fed options for direct stimulus to spenders
  • The political forces driving huge foreign investment in Indochina
  • The contrast between the great Asian success stories, and the failures of other emerging markets
  • India, its potential, particularly for stock pickers, and the problems it faces
  • "China Beach," Vietnamese real estate, and the difficulties of investing in many Asian nations
  • The inevitable deflating of the "Chinese credit bubble"
  • Kyle Bass' outsized bet against the Yuan
  • Precious metals, gold mining stocks, and much, much more

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Jim Rogers largeErik Townsend welcomes legendary investor Jim Rogers as MacroVoices’ first feature interview. Erik and Jim discuss:

  • China both long and short-term
  • Falling currencies around the world
  • The coming market turmoil and its tactical bullish implications for the U.S. dollar, even in the face of longer-term bearish forces that will also affect the dollar
  • U.S. monetary policy and the failure of Quantitative Easing
  • Weakness in the banking sector despite massive injections of liquidity
  • The 35-year bond bull market and its eventual end
  • Current trouble in high-yield credit (junk bonds)
  • Whether the recent breakout in gold prices is sustainable or a parabolic surge that could lead to a blow-off to
  • U.S. debt levels, and their consequences and market implications
  • Implications of the upcoming U.S. Presidential election on markets
  • Sovereign debt crises
  • De-dollarization and much more.

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