This note was originally published at 8am on September 26, 2013 for Hedgeye subscribers.
“Always my soul hungered for less than it had.”
Suffice it to say, this new book I have been reading (Lawrence in Arabia – War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of The Modern Middle East) has provided me both timely and profound context for the times in which we live.
In general, that’s why I read so much history. I believe that leadership starts with having an ability to empathize. If you can’t contextualize where people and/or ideas come from, how can you lead them toward the path you’d like them to take?
And what if the path you thought you should take (like devaluing the purchasing power of your people and establishing a perpetual savings rate of 0%) ends up becoming the wrong path? Only the objective and flexible can change their mind. That’s evolution.
Back to the Global Macro Grind…
October is coming. For the US stock and bond markets, that’s not always a good thing. October 1987 is a date that many of you who lead firms today remember. October of 1907 is a date you’ll only respect and remember if you’ve studied economic history.
“In October of 1907, a panic on Wall Street sparked a nationwide run on banks and nearly halved the value of the New York Stock Exchange in a matter of days. Among the hardest hit by the panic was the heavily leveraged William Henry Yale, whose enormous fortune was virtually wiped out.” (Lawrence in Arabia, pg 25)
It wasn’t just the Yale family that got crushed. Many “who were born to tremendous advantage… lost it all in the blink of an eye” (pg 24), and that crisis gave birth to a whole new set of growth opportunities. With no job in NYC, William Yale’s son went on to work for Standard Oil in the Middle East (his office was a backpack and a tent). He’s was one of the first Americans on the ground.
How many of your sons or daughters are prepared for a life where you lost it all?
The America that their United States had back then didn’t have hand-holding socializers of risk. In 1907, they didn’t have the Federal Reserve either. Many self made men and women in this country were frugal and, as Nasim Taleb would say, anti-fragile.
How about the President of the United States? What did he stand for then versus now? If you had to pick between Theodore Roosevelt and Bush or Obama, who would you have lead your son or daughter into “the struggle” that Teddy called life?
William Henry Yale’s son didn’t whine and beg for an un-elected bureaucrat called Burns or Bernanke to bail him out. He sucked up his father’s mistakes and made his own path.
That didn’t just happen. Despite having all the money in the world, Yale believed (like Teddy did) that a “true man… was a rugged individualist, physically fit as well as intellectually cultured” (pg 25).
How many of your sons or daughters are well-read individualists who are prepared to take on the tyranny of a centrally planned USA? Too much to think about this morning. I know. But, please, don’t let the government’s groupthink stop you or your kids from thinking. We don’t live in the great depression Bernanke fear-mongers about. We might, if we keep trying to ban the economic cycle.
Moving on, after 5 straight down days for US stocks, here are some USA levels to consider:
- US Dollar – US Dollar Index long-term TAIL support = $79.11; intermediate-term TREND resistance = $81.35
- US Bonds – US 10yr Treasury Yield intermediate-term TREND support 2.55%; immediate-term TRADE resistance = 2.76%
- US Equity Volatility (VIX) – 12.95 immediate-term TRADE support; 18.98 intermediate-term TREND resistance
- US Equities (SP500) – 1655 intermediate-term TREND support; 1704 immediate-term TRADE resistance
- US Growth Equities (Nasdaq) – 3702 immediate-term TRADE support; 3789 immediate-term TRADE resistance
And here are some risk management questions to consider:
- Will the supposed leaders of this country allow an un-elected man to keep devaluing America’s Currency?
- Will Ben Bernanke and Janet Yellen be allowed to impose a perpetual depression on American Savers?
- Will @FederalReserve’s latest “communication tool” be to drive uncertainty, locking in a YTD VIX low?
- Will the all-time high for the US stock market (SPX 1725) be another Bernanke Bubble top?
- Will there ever be a bull case America believes in that doesn’t include a #StrongDollar and real growth?
I for one am Hungering For Less government intervention in our currency and bond markets. I’m hungering for a life that doesn’t include having to wake up worrying about what sub-regional-anti-dog-eat-dog-federal-reserve-vice-president says on CNBC next.
I’m hungering for what has always reflected the strength and character of any nation – confidence in both the currency and resolve of its people to be the change born out of crisis.
Our immediate-term Global Macro Risk Ranges are now:
UST 10yr Yield 2.57-2.76%
Best of luck out there today,
Keith R. McCullough
Chief Executive Officer