Ask For The Truth

This note was originally published at 8am on January 02, 2014 for Hedgeye subscribers.

“If any man seeks for greatness, let him forget greatness, and ask for the truth – and he will find both.”

-Horace Mann


There’s a blizzard rolling in on the East Coast this morning and they’ll be legally selling pot in Colorado today. Welcome to 2014.


Last year I had a well known pundit tell me I wasn’t being “truthful” about US #GrowthAccelerating. The truth is US growth accelerated from +0.14% in Q412 to +4.12% by Q313. So I thought I’d start with the weather this morning. It’s tougher to obfuscate.


One thought I’ll share with our team in this morning’s New Year’s meeting will be to Breathe and Be Yourself. That’s a subtitle to a solid chapter in Unusually Excellent titled “Being Authentic” where John Hamm reminds us that “authenticity is the first step of leadership… because it is the basis for the kinds of trusting relationships with followers…” (pg 27). Ask yourself for the truth, every day.


Back to the Global Macro Grind


While we may not always be positioned for it, in this game last price is truth. We can argue with it, twist it, call it names – but that won’t change what it is. It’s the score.


Check out some of this morning’s Day 1 of 2014 scores:

  1. Thailand’s stock market -5.2%
  2. South Korea’s stock market -2.2%
  3. India’s stock market -1.3%
  4. Greece’s stock market +2.6%
  5. United Arab Emirates stock market +3.0%

#Fun. We call this a big macro day of #Divergence in Global Equities.


In commodity land, there are some interesting price % moves as well:

  1. Silver +3.2%
  2. Platinum +1.6%
  3. Wheat +0.8%

In other words, 3 of the commodities that experienced the biggest crashes in their 2013 prices are up more than mostly every commodity and stock market in the world today. We call this a nice bounce (to lower-highs).


Then alongside the #PotShops thing in Denver, you have some other social truths to consider in Japan this morning:

  1. Japan’s population growth (lack thereof) showed its largest decline on record in 2013 (-244,000)
  2. Japanese births were -6,000 y/y and deaths were -19,000 y/y in 2013, allegedly (hard for us to get to these #s)

But don’t worry, after opting for the Burning of The People’s Purchasing Power (their hard earned currency was -17% in 2013), the Japanese stock market was +59.3%. So some people crushed it in Japan; some people got crushed.


What do all these truths mean? And are they in fact truths? What if the birth/death calculation in Japan is as suspect as it is here in the US? However suspect the data, our working assumption here @Hedgeye is it’s apples to apples, suspect vs suspect.


Accepting the last market price as truth is a lot easier than taking conflicted and compromised government data at face value. The aforementioned 8 price moves in global equities and commodities, combined with what was already starting to move COUNTER-TREND in December, leads my macro craw to the same potential Global Macro Theme: Inflation Expectations Rising.


Stay tuned for our Q1 2014 Global Macro Themes call in the coming weeks where we’ll try our best to contextualize a developing truth (last price vs. market history) and what it could mean for your asset allocation and positioning.


Our immediate-term Global Macro Risk Ranges are now as follows (bullish or bearish TREND duration in brackets):


UST 10yr yield 2.97-3.07% (bullish)

SPX 1830-1858 (bullish)

Gold 1180-1223 (bearish)


Best of luck out there today,



Keith R. McCullough
Chief Executive Officer


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