Grass Money

This note was originally published at 8am on August 09, 2012 for Hedgeye subscribers.

“But you go through and scare the game and your cattle eat the grass so the buffalo leaves and the Indian starves.”

-Quanah Parker

 

That’s one of the most important quotes from one of the most important leaders of 19th century Western American history. I’d bet that a large percentage of Americans don’t know who the Principle Chief of the Comanches was (or why what he did for the US cattle business between 1870-1884 was so critical).

 

That’s why I read so much history. It helps me contextualize longer-term investing themes within the boundaries of how humans are forced to make short-term decisions. Ultimately, the Comanches traded their long-term liberties for short-term “Grass Money.” If you know anyone begging for bailouts, for the love of the country, please ask them to think about that.

 

As S.C. Gwynne reminds us at the end of Empire of The Summer Moon, the same kind of question should be on your mind this morning about devaluing your hard earned currency for the sake of short-term asset price inflations - “whether or not the Indians should do what everyone else in America did: lease.” (page 297)

 

Back to the Global Macro grind…

 

If Grass Money killed the buffalo, Fiat Fool Money is going to kill whatever is left of your “free” markets. On the heels of China and India reporting another round of #GrowthSlowing data overnight, “futures rally on hopes for Chinese stimulus.”

 

Alrighty then. I guess we’ll suspend economic gravity for another day.

 

Here’s the China data, in context:

  1. Industrial Production growth = +9.2% y/y vs +9.5% in June of last year
  2. Retail Sales growth = +13.1% y/y vs +13.7% in June of last year
  3. Fixed Asset Investment growth = flat y/y at 20.4%

So,

 

A)     On the margin (where risk managing macro matters most) growth continues to slow

B)      These are hardly the “freak-out” recession or stagflation type levels of growth requiring a Geithner-like bailout

C)      Chinese stocks were up a whopping +0.6% on the “news” (still down -12% from where they were in May)

 

In May, not only Chinese growth, but global growth really started to accelerate on the downside. That’s why almost every major stock market in the world stopped going up in March-April. Markets discount future events.

 

But what are they discounting now?

 

A)     The long-term (TAIL) of lower-highs on lower volume (bearish)

B)      The immediate-term (TRADE) short squeeze (bullish)

C)      The ongoing hope that bailouts will earn everyone a year-end bonus sticker

 

Hope, of course, is not a risk management process. Timing matters. If you bought beta (the Russell2000) in March-April, you’ve lost money. If you bought the wrong stocks (MCD, PCLN, CAT, etc.) in March-April, you’ve lost a lot of money.

 

This morning you either buy or sell. And I think that if you buy beta today (SPY or IWM – pick your major US index), come September-October, you’ll lose a lot more money too.

 

Rule #1, don’t lose money.

 

Rule #2, don’t forget Rule #1.

 

Rule #3, don’t smoke Grass Money when central planners are trying to have you forget Rules #1 and #2.

 

My immediate-term support and resistance risk ranges for Gold, Oil (Brent), US Dollar, EUR/USD, Russell2000, and the SP500 are now $1603-1624, $108.03-113.18, $81.72-82.64, $1.22-1.24, 788-803, and 1386-1408, respectively.

 

Bes of luck out there today,

KM

 

Keith R. McCullough
Chief Executive Officer

 

Grass Money - Chart of the Day

 

Grass Money - Virtual Portfolio


Cartoon of the Day: Bulls Leading the People

Investors rejoiced as centrist Emmanuel Macron edged out far-right Marine Le Pen in France's election day voting. European equities were up as much as 4.7% on the news.

read more

McCullough: ‘This Crazy Stat Drives Stock Market Bears Nuts’

If you’re short the stock market today, and your boss asks why is the Nasdaq at an all-time high, here’s the only honest answer: So far, Nasdaq company earnings are up 46% year-over-year.

read more

Who's Right? The Stock Market or the Bond Market?

"As I see it, bonds look like they have further to fall, while stocks look tenuous at these levels," writes Peter Atwater, founder of Financial Insyghts.

read more

Poll of the Day: If You Could Have Lunch with One Fed Chair...

What do you think? Cast your vote. Let us know.

read more

Are Millennials Actually Lazy, Narcissists? An Interview with Neil Howe (Part 2)

An interview with Neil Howe on why Boomers and Xers get it all wrong.

read more

6 Charts: The French Election, Nasdaq All-Time Highs & An Earnings Scorecard

We've been telling investors for some time that global growth is picking up, get long stocks.

read more

Another French Revolution?

"Don't be complacent," writes Hedgeye Managing Director Neil Howe. "Tectonic shifts are underway in France. Is there the prospect of the new Sixth Republic? C'est vraiment possible."

read more

Cartoon of the Day: The Trend is Your Friend

"All of the key trending macro data suggests the U.S. economy is accelerating," Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough says.

read more

A Sneak Peek At Hedgeye's 2017 GDP Estimates

Here's an inside look at our GDP estimates versus Wall Street consensus.

read more

Cartoon of the Day: Green Thumb

So far, 64 of 498 companies in the S&P 500 have reported aggregate sales and earnings growth of 6.1% and 16.8% respectively.

read more

Europe's Battles Against Apple, Google, Innovation & Jobs

"“I am very concerned the E.U. maintains a battle against the American giants while doing everything possible to sustain so-called national champions," writes economist Daniel Lacalle. "Attacking innovation doesn’t create jobs.”

read more

An Open Letter to Pandora Management...

"Please stop leaking information to the press," writes Hedgeye Internet & Media analyst Hesham Shaaban. "You are getting in your own way, and blowing up your shareholders in the process."

read more