This note was originally published January 22, 2014 at 07:58 in Morning Newsletter
“You have to earn your followers at the outset of your company… and you must value them every day.” -John Hamm
The big picture
So I was tweeting yesterday and one of my followers tweeted that I’d just tweeted my 100,000th tweet. Fully loaded, with using the word tweet 6x in this opening paragraph of today’s rant, that’s a lot of tweeting.
One of the main reasons why I have so many bloody tweets is that I do this thing called The #TweetShow. For those of you who have a day job, you probably don’t have time to watch it – but I’ll fire it up every day that I can at 3PM EST and tweet the US market close. I tweet once every 1-1.5 minutes. *Full Disclosure: Twitter has shut down my account, multiple times, for excessive throttling.
Throttling? Not to be confused with trading, high-frequency-tweeting the close is a new idea. From a positioning perspective, it’s my way of telling you what I think and when during the most important decision making hour of my day. It’s not for everyone (that’s why I do it). And I can’t say why so many people follow it, but I can say thank you to whoever tunes in.
From a financial media perspective, the alternative to listening to some tunes and watching my team and I of 30 analysts grind through tickers is listening to people who have never played the game tell you everything they know about it on TV.
As a disruptor in a profession in dire need of evolution, I definitely come up with my fair share of dumb ideas. But #TweetShow is not one of them. It’s turned into a much better feedback loop than anything I ever had running my hedge fund. You’d be amazed what crowd-sourcing a real-time stream of comments about all your positions does. I value the crowd’s feedback, every day.
Three years ago I called Twitter “The New Tape.” And the point I was trying to make there was that 10-15 years ago (when I was learning this game), I’d watch the tape (tickers, news, bid/ask, etc.) as I was making decisions. Now I watch my custom tweet-stream. From a #behavioral perspective, the contra-indicators (tweeters) I follow are as critical as the news-flow itself.
One of my contra-indicators for the last 3-4 years has been Nouriel Roubini. While I’m sure he is a rock-star and all, I can’t for the life of me understand why he is tweeting me pics of himself with his shirt undone to mid-chest with a bunch of failed economists from #Davos this morning.
I have an academic channel on Twitter (it’s a contra-stream) than includes:
- Nouriel Roubini
- Mohamed El-Erian
- David Blanchflower
… and many more.
But instead of journos drooling over the idea of having them endow us with their non-market-practitioner intellect, let’s just look at these 3 characters for who they have become since the “great depression” freak-out thing, or whatever they are calling it now.
- Roubini just went bullish on growth (after growth shocked he and mostly every economist @Davos to the upside last year)
- El-Erian just left working with Gross (after he got the “new normal” thing of 1-1.5% growth and long bonds forever = #wrong)
- Blanchflower just tweeted something else that I don’t understand
Blanch is a beauty. He fits my contra-stream profile perfectly. He’s the professor of Keynesian economics @Dartmouth who swore (2-3 yrs ago) that austerity (read, fiscal conservatism and a stronger currency) would spell the end of economies and life itself in the UK.
In other news…
- UK unemployment drops to a 4.5 yr low (biggest drop since 1997) of 7.1% versus 7.4% last
- UK Services and Manufacturing PMI readings are tracking at 15-18 year highs
- UK’s currency (British Pound) is up another +0.4% to $1.65 vs USD this morning
Now, maybe our economic model is for dummies, but it’s better than theirs. As a refresher, here’s how our GIP (Growth, Inflation, Policy) model works:
- POLICY: on the margin, fiscal conservatism and less monetary stimuli strengthen a country’s currency
- INFLATION: it’s local (priced in local currency) and it falls when purchasing power (currency) strengthens
- GROWTH: real (inflation adjusted) consumption growth (and confidence) are perpetuated by #StrongCurrency
In other words, instead of an elegant sounding linear academic theory, our process is more like Mucker’s PIG than anything else. We start with POLICY, then move onto making INFLATION and GROWTH calls from there.
The other big thing about respect being earned on Twitter (instead of allocated to guys who made a bear market call we made 6 years ago, and haven’t made the right call since), is that there is an obviousness to consensus.
Last year our call was the #DeflatingTheInflation via #StrongDollar = US #GrowthAccelerating. Now our call is for US #InflationAccelerating and consumption #GrowthSlowing. And I’m smiling because no one on my contra-stream tweeted that yet.
- CASH: 28
- US EQUITIES: 18
- INTL EQUITIES: 20
- COMMODITIES: 8
- FIXED INCOME: 0
- INTL CURRENCIES: 26
Our immediate-term Risk Ranges are now as follows (our top 12 macro ranges are in our Daily Trading Ranges product):
Shanghai Comp 1991-2069
Natural Gas 4.28-4.55
Best of luck out there today,
Keith R. McCullough
Chief Executive Officer