5 Must-See Cartoons That Sum Up The Current Macro Environment

Below are five cartoons illustrating our latest thinking on current macro developments. 


1. Whatever it takes? The Bank of Japan’s Haruhiko Kuroda pledged (again) to do “whatever it takes” to stem-off pervasive deflation. The QE track record is clear. It hasn't worked and will not work.

5 Must-See Cartoons That Sum Up The Current Macro Environment - Kuroda cartoon 02.18.2015


2. See that 7% selloff in China’s Shanghai Composite yesterday? Contractionary manufacturing data reignited global slowdown fears. Note: Our #GrowthSlowing call is now 18 months old.

5 Must-See Cartoons That Sum Up The Current Macro Environment - china year of the snal


3. Oil is tanking, down almost 2% today. We continue to reiterate our commodities #Deflation call from Q3 2014.

5 Must-See Cartoons That Sum Up The Current Macro Environment - Oil cartoon 11.20.2015


4. Nope. We didn’t like small caps last year. Still don’t. The Russell 2000 plunged -2.3% yesterday. Today’s small gains won't do much for investors long small caps since June. The Russell is down over 14% since then.

5 Must-See Cartoons That Sum Up The Current Macro Environment - russell 2000


5. A new 12-month low for the 10-year/2-year Treasury spread at 119bps. It’s the flattest the curve has been since the last US recession. That's also been good for our Long bond (TLT) call. 

5 Must-See Cartoons That Sum Up The Current Macro Environment - TLT safewaters 10.15.14


We delivered a whole new batch of Q1 2016 Macro Themes during our quarterly themes call hosted by Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough today. To access our macro research or any one of our other verticals please ping

McCullough: San Francisco Fed Head Is Full of Baloney


On CNBC yesterday, San Francisco Fed President John Williams actually said, “The dollar is not a target of FOMC policy.” In this brief, hard-hitting excerpt of The Macro Show, Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough explains why that is just flat-out “ridiculous.”



Subscribe to The Macro Show today for access to this and all other episodes. 


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Today | Q1 2016 Macro Themes Conference Call at 1:00PM ET

We will be hosting our highly-anticipated Quarterly Macro Themes conference call TODAY, January 5th at 1:00PM ET. Led by CEO Keith McCullough, the presentation will detail the THREE MOST IMPORTANT MACRO TRENDS we have identified for the quarter and the associated investment implications.




  • U.S. #Recession?: Industrial activity and corporate profitability are already trending at recessionary levels. Meanwhile, domestic employment, consumption and income growth are all past peak and policy-driven deflationary pressures should persist in perpetuating soft external demand, EM distress, weak import pricing, HY credit risk and further flagging in corporate capex. We’ll contextualize the current macro data and handicap the probability of recession as the late-cycle U.S. economy traverses its steepest GDP base effects of the cycle.
  • #CreditCycle: An extended breakout in corporate credit spreads has preceded recessionary periods in prior cycles, and since we introduced our deflation theme in 2H14, both high yield and investment grade spreads have marched higher off all-time lows in cross-asset volatility and all-time highs in corporate credit outstanding. In effect, we are loudly reiterating our call that the unwind of ZIRP and QE will continue to deflate the easy money credit boom it fabricated in the form of continued recessionary earnings growth as the business cycle gets dangerously long in the tooth.
  • #CurrencyWar: Historically, Fed tightening cycles, #LateCycle slowdowns and #Quad3 outcomes have all been independently been bearish for the USD. As such, our expectation for a continuation of #StrongDollar commodity and asset price deflation appears misguided in the context of our dour fundamental outlook for the U.S. economy. That said, however, currencies cannot be analyzed in isolation and our proprietary analysis of the world’s top-10 economies renders the [dollar-bullish] global monetary policy divergence theme we authored well intact.


CLICK HERE to watch Keith McCullough walk through this presentation live.

Today | Q1 2016 Macro Themes Conference Call at 1:00PM ET - q1 2016 pic




  • Toll Free:
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  • Confirmation Number: 13627300
  • Materials: CLICK HERE


As always, our prepared remarks will be followed by a live, anonymous Q&A session. Please submit your questions to . Also, for those of you who cannot join us live, we will be distributing a replay video of the call shortly after it concludes.


Kind regards,


-The Hedgeye Macro Team

the macro show

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Hosted by Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough at 9:00am ET, this special online broadcast offers smart investors and traders of all stripes the sharpest insights and clearest market analysis available on Wall Street.

Retail Callouts (1/5) | AMZN 3rd Party, NKE Flyknit Patent

Takeaway: 2015 Amazon 3rd Party Seller Wrap Up. NKE - This is B-I-G, new Nike patent changing the manufacturing paradigm for first time in 40 yrs.

AMZN - Amazon 2015 Seller Wrap Up



The interesting angle from our vantage point is the influence the AMZN network has on total e-commerce sales. The $76bn in sales the company reported over the past 12 months =  7.6% of ~1 trillion global online dollars, but when you gross up the Third Party selling fees (estimated 20% take rate) into actual retail sales the total sales at retail = $150bn, or 15% of global e-comm sales. And, consumer acceptance of 3rd party sellers just helps AMZN broaden the reach.


NKE - This Is B-I-G



Make no mistake...this is B-I-G.


A new patent suggests that Nike plans to give users much greater control over the customization of Flyknit sneakers, which is right in line with our contention over the past two years.


The implication here is that it will commercialize the ability for Nike to 'Mass Customize' its high-end product at an above-average margin without taking up price.


In the end, this changes up the shoe manufacturing paradigm for the first time since Phil Knight created a Futures model 40-years ago. And to be clear, no one is remotely close to where Nike is in this regard. They can catch up, but Nike has been allocating capital to this initiative as far back as 2004 (to it's 'Considered' product line). We wish competitors all the best in catching up without outsized capital spend and subsequent lower margins.


Link to full note: CLICK HERE

Retail Callouts (1/5) | AMZN 3rd Party, NKE Flyknit Patent - 1 5 16 chart1


ADS, NKE, VFC - Adidas Most Liked Brand on Instagram


Retail Callouts (1/5) | AMZN 3rd Party, NKE Flyknit Patent - 1 5 16 chart2


WMT - Walmart keeps online payment options open, will accept the MasterPass platform in 2016 for online purchases



RH, ULTA - Gary Friedman, Tory Burch, Ulta’s Mary Dillon Named to NRF’s List of People Shaping Retail



TGT - Target executive Janna Potts becomes chief stores officer, continuing CEO Brian Cornell's makeover at the top



CAB, DKS - Firearm Background Checks Reaches Record in December



INSTANT INSIGHT | Central Planning, China, & the Russell 2000

Yesterday was the first day of trading in 2016. It wasn't pretty. In case you missed it, there was a broad selloff in global equity markets.


INSTANT INSIGHT | Central Planning, China, & the Russell 2000  - China cartoon 01.05.2015


First up on our red data radar screen, China's Shanghai Composite Casino. It dropped as much as 7% on the day. In response, the Communist politburo responded with a full-court press. Here's what Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough had to say about it in a note to subscribers this morning:


"The communists did everything they could to centrally plan China’s markets overnight – stopped the Yuan at 6.516 and the State bought stocks! Lol – that went over as well as it did in AUG didn’t it? #GrowthSlowing and #Deflation remain the gravity point."



Oh, and let's toss in the Russell 2000... 


"Liquidity-traps and US domestics slowing remain great reasons to be out of or underweight small caps – RUT -2.3% yesterday (vs. SPX -1.5%) and is now -14.4% from the all-time #Bubble high we called in July. We're reiterating sell on bounces." 


INSTANT INSIGHT | Central Planning, China, & the Russell 2000  - Russell cartoon 12.02.2014


We'll conclude with a parting thought to Wall Street consensus which was screaming "buy the dip!" yesterday:


"Buying the dip" has only worked in a narrow group of momentum stocks. The rest of the market is crashing. 

Cartoon of the Day: The Scream

Cartoon of the Day: The Scream - Bull SCREAM 01.06.2015


A perfect storm of risks and uncertainties is weighing on global markets.


"Yesterday marked the worst Day 1 for US stocks since… drumroll… the last US #Recession started to get discounted by markets (2008)," Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough wrote in a note to subscribers this morning.


No, we're not bullish.



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