Video Killed the Radio Star
A packed three days at the Inside ETF Annual Conference provided some food for thought.
Big is Bad was in the zeitgeist… Billionaires (H Shultz), Big Tech, big meals, etc. The Hometown news that Amazon would not move forward with its NYC HQ2 plans seems to cement the thesis and has to send a shudder through techland. Could antitrust be a real threat?
EM captured a lot of attention (I spoke on an EM panel) though tinged with concern over the China trade tiff and the brewing fight over AI. Given the US economy a trade deal is a done deal IMO. News came during the conf that the US would launch its own American AI Initiative; Splinternet anyone?
I spoke of the potential turn to a global easing cycle led by EM Central Banks as China eases & India cuts rates, while Turkey & Brazil are is likely to follow suit. This sets up the Commodity segment, especially metals and mining to augment gold and oil.
DM ex US, aka Europe and Japan, got no play whatsoever. Europe reminds me of the old adage - the news doesn't have to get better, it just has to get less bad. I think we are getting close in terms of European econ data. Japan is a cheap global cycle play with an underlying PE bid.
This in turn suggests the German Bund yielding 10 bps is gonna be one heck of a short as soon as the econ news starts to turn. Bill Gross retiring and blaming the Bund trade for his poor performance reminds one of Julian Robertson of Tiger’s famed walkaway in the final days of the dot com bubble.
The search for yield was a topic across the conf and in the markets as EU periphery debt finds ready buyers, EM debt continues to do well while US HY has been an alchemist's dream - turning what was dross a few months ago to gold today. Remember the BBB threat - not so much.
The pain trade is clearly higher: higher stock prices, higher HY prices, and higher risk asset prices. As the chart shows, cash levels are at highest levels since 2009…. Could buy the dip be coming back?
One thing that is coming back is the old song: Video killed the Radio Star… video was everywhere down in (appropriately named) Hollywood FL; we will have some good clips in the next weeks from our friends at ETF Trends and Asset TV among others…. Something to look forward to!
Enjoy Presidents Day Weekend
Jay & Jamie