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...

Welcome to Macro Voices

NEW: Erik’s Accredited Investor Academy

Boot camp on hedge funds, angel investing, and other alternative investments that are restricted to high net worth accredited individual investors.

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Raoul PalErik Townsend and Aaron Chan welcome Raoul Pal to MacroVoices. Erik and Raoul discuss:

  • Structural issues in LIBOR and Eurodollar markets as bullish for USD
  • Outlook for Treasuries given recent sell-off in bonds
  • Update on Raoul's business cycle framework
  • 100% probability of recession following 2-term U.S. presidencies
  • Recent spat of "Billionbears" coming to the forefront with downside calls
  • Brexit contagion spreading into the rest of Europe
  • Crowded risk-parity trades and reasons behind all-time short-VIX open interest
  • Gold and USD pairs-trade timeline and expectations
  • Monetary policy and the Fed's growing irrelevancy
  • Precarious state of and systemic risk of the European banking sector
  • Potential moonshot in soft commodities due to weather cycles
  • Updates on new Realvision TV products and initiatives

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RealVision TV red 01A conversation on April 4, 2016 between Grant Williams and Michael Schneider, Chief Investment Officer of Brookline Partners.

 

 

 

 

 

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J ChristianErik Townsend and Aaron Chan welcome Jeffrey Christian to MacroVoices. Erik and Jeffrey discuss:

  • U.S. Dollar predictions and the range-bound outlook
  • Brexit contagion and potential impacts on gold and silver
  • Forward near-term guidane for gold and silver prices
  • Outlooks for macroeconomic drivers of precious metals
  • Economic and financial susceptibility given middling global GDP growth
  • Rejecting old mental models with unprecedentedly low real and nominal interest rates 
  • Excess reserve accumulation backfiring against Fed intentions
  • Continued expected disinflationary and deflationary forces until monetary and/or fiscal policy shifts
  • Low probability of a medium-term moonshot in precious metals prices assuming continued disinflation
  • Billionaire investors going public with bearish economic and market calls
  • Degradation of global political cooperation
  • Trump vs. Clinton implications for global markets and precious metals

 

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Arthur Berman largeErik Townsend and Aaron Chan welcome Art Berman to MacroVoices. Erik and Art discuss:

  • Looking beyond absolute inventory numbers and gleaning insights from comparative inventories
  • Recent anomalous comparative builds relative to historic trends
  • Continued time-spread compression reflecting producer hedging or lack of concern for a storage crisis
  • The selective capital raising environment for producers
  • Oil market balance and Saudi Arabia's fundamentally ineffectual 'production freeze'
  • Stabilizing US production and evaporation of upside price catalysts
  • Feedback loop of insanity in inventory builds and production
  • Claims of sub-$40 producers in the Permian basin
  • Concerns over consumption growth not aligning with change in prices
  • Timing for a moonshot in oil prices following a period of supply destruction and investment deficits

 

 

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RealVision TV red 02A conversation on January 5, 2016 between Grant Williams and Willem Middelkoop, founder of the Commodity Discovery Fund and author of the worldwide bestseller The Big Reset.

 

 

 

 

 

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AGS 2009 Hi ResolutionErik Townsend and Aaron Chan welcome Dr. Gary Shilling to MacroVoices. Erik and Gary discuss:

  • The continued perception of the U.S. Dollar as a safe haven currency
  • Why the long-bond trade isn't over and illuminate the forces driving yields lower
  • Reasoning behind going long defensive stocks despite a bearish view on equities
  • Time-horizon for $20 oil
  • The global commodity supply overhang
  • Helicopter money in the form of infrastructure and defense spending
  • The impacts of a Clinton or Trump presidency on markets

 

 

 

 

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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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MACRO VOICES is presented for informational and entertainment purposes only. The information presented in MACRO VOICES should NOT be construed as investment advice. Always consult a licensed investment professional before making important investment decisions. The opinions expressed on MACRO VOICES are those of the participants. MACRO VOICES, its producers, and hosts Erik Townsend and Nathan Egger shall NOT be liable for losses resulting from investment decisions based on information or viewpoints presented on MACRO VOICES.

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