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Eric Peters: “The Only Time I’ve Ever Really Made Money Involed Disagreement With The Market”

Following this morning's "scary movie" anecdote from One River CIO Eric Peters, below we present several vignettes from the weekly thoughts by the hedge fund manager on how to make money when everyone else is losing it... and vice versa, and how the Golden Gate bridge makes all the differnce in a world where everyone else is swimming across the Bay.

Golden Gates

“The only times I’ve ever really made money involved a certain type of disagreement with the market,” said the investor.

 

“A philosophical disagreement,” he continued, reflecting on so many cycles, so many set ups.

 

“I make money when I believe the world works a certain way and the consensus disagrees.” Memories of so many counterintuitive trends, over so many years, raced through my mind. “Because it’s a philosophical disagreement, the investors on the wrong side of the debate don’t concede, despite enduring big losses.”

 

“Most investors on the wrong side of a philosophical debate don’t just need to acknowledge the sustained price moves against them, and the financial losses, they must come to accept a new mental model of how the world works,” continued the investor.

 

“But to accept a new mental model inevitably requires them to give up on a whole lot of related beliefs.” And this prolongs what might otherwise be a quick stop loss.

 

Which drags out the entire process. Because intelligent people do not easily abandon their philosophies, mental models. 

 

“Can’t say I have a disagreement with the market right now,” admitted the investor, unsure how to make real money in today’s market.

 

“All my investments now are based on hopes for prices to return to particular levels that make more sense. But these are not things I have a particular edge in.” He sighed, looking out at Alcatraz, searching.

 

“I’ll never be the fastest runner, or swimmer. In a race across the Bay, I’ll only ever win if everyone else tries to swim and I just kind of look at the Golden Gate, wondering why no one else sees it, and walk across.”

And here is a bonus comment on a market that is just like Forrest Gump in so many different ways...

“Gump! What's your sole purpose in this army?” screamed Drill Sergeant. "To do whatever you tell me, drill sergeant!” shouted Forrest.

 

“Goddamn it Gump! You're a goddamn genius!” declared Drill Sergeant. “When I cut interest rates, print money, and tell you to buy assets, what do you do Gump?” asked Sergeant.

 

“I buy assets!” answered Forrest.

 

“This is the most outstanding answer I have ever heard. You must have a goddamn I.Q. of 160. You are goddamn gifted, Private Gump.” Forrest saluted.

 

And when I hike, shrink my balance sheet…”

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Trump Commits To Using “Nuclear Capabilities” To Defend US Terroritory, Allies

In what we believe is a significant escalation and potentially a hint as to the president's thinking, President Trump said during a phone call with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that the US remains committed to defending its territories and allies using all "diplomatic, conventional and - here's the big one - nuclear - capabilities at our disposal." This is the first time Trump has explicitly referenced possible involvement of nuclear weapons in a US response to its isolated antagonist, and also means that the two world leaders discussed the possibility of a nuclear response.

  • TRUMP REAFFIRMS U.S. COMMITMENT TO DEFEND THE U.S. & ALLIES USING FULL RANGE OF DIPLOMATIC, CONVENTIONAL AND NUCLEAR CAPABILITIES: STATEMENT

The White House released a statement about what the two leaders discussed on the call. It’s available in full below:

JUST IN: White House issues statement on call between President Trump and Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pic.twitter.com/pc7w3v42y4

— NBC News (@NBCNews) September 3, 2017

The call was held to discuss how the two countries should respond to North Korea's sixth nuclear test – and possibly its first successful test of a hydrogen bomb. The test came after multiple provocations from the North over the past week, including two missile tests. Earlier, Defense Secretary James Mattis, using the couched language of international diplomacy, said any threat to the US or its territories would be met with a “massive military response.”

The full White House statement on the 6th North Korean nuclear test, as delivered by Mattis shortly after 3pm ET, is below:

"Any threat to the US or its territories including Guam or our allies will be met with a massive military response, a response both effective and overwhelming. Kim Jong Un should take heed in the United Nations' Security Council's unified voice. All members unanimously agreed on the threat North Korea poses and they remain unanimous in their commitment to the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. We are not looking to the total annihilation of a country, namely North Korea, but as I said we have many options to do so."

China also strongly criticized the nuclear test, slamming Pyongyang for ignoring international condemnation of its atomic weapons program. North Korea "has ignored the international community's widespread opposition, again carrying out a nuclear test. China's government expresses resolute opposition and strong condemnation toward this," the foreign ministry said in a statement on its website.

"We strongly urge the DPRK (North Korea) to face the strong will of denuclearisation from the international community, earnestly abide by the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council, stop taking mistaken actions which worsen the situation and are also not in line with its own interests, and effectively return to the track of solving the problem through dialogue," it added.

Finally, as several sellside desks have commented this afternoon, a sixth nuclear test by North Korea likely represents crossing a “red line” sufficient "to prompt China and Russia to support additional UN sanctions." And while China could impose more restrictions on oil exports to NK as part of future UN sanctions - as a reminder the UNSC is meeting tomorrow at 10am -  it is unclear if this means a complete embargo. It is also unclear whether more of the same, i.e., sanctions would be sufficient to change NK regime behavior. Finally, China will need to consider the risk that punitive sanctions end up destabilizing the NK regime, leading to a flood of refugees and other adverse consequences.

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Palestinian detainee dies from injuries after being shot during arrest

Raed Al-Salhi, 21, a Palestinian detainee in Israeli jail has died as a result of injuries he during his arrest by the occupation forces. The head of the Commission of Palestinian Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs (CDA), Issa Qaraqe, told Anadolu News Agency that Al-Salhi died as a result of his injuries sustained when Israreli occupation forces shot him as he was arrested in the Dheisheh Refugee Camping Bethlehem in August. Al-Salhi had been receiving treatment at Hadassah Ein Kerem Israeli hospital. Read More: Israel shoots elderly Palestinian who ‘looked like’ she wanted to stab soldier Qaraqe said that the CDA is currently taking steps to retrieve Al-Salhi body from hospital and return it to his family. He added: “What happened with […]

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How Welfare States Encourage Bad Economic Thinking

Authored by Jakub Bozydar Wisniewski via The Mises Institute,
The greatest intellectual accomplishment of the laissez-faire liberal theorists was the recognition of the “hard” and “soft” institutions that are crucial prerequisit...

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Gold Pops, Stocks Drop As Futures Open After Korean Chaos

In an echo of last week's move following North Korea's teating of missiles across Japan's territory, futures markets are opening in a decidedly risk-off mannwr following North Korea's "hydrogen bomb" test. Dow Futs down 100 points, Gold jumping and Treasury bonds bid...

 

All major US equity indices are down...

 

Gold is back above $1340...

 

USDJPY broke below 110.00

 

And VIX futures are spiking back into last week's Korea crisis region...

 

Of course, what happens next is anyone's guess as last week saw the BTFDers panic-buy stocks to their best week in 10 months1

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South Korea Holds Ballistic Missile Drill “Targeting North Korea Nuclear Test Site”

As has become custom, shortly after North Korea engages in some provocative activity, in this case its first ever hyrdogen bomb test, South Korea has traditionally responded with its own military drill, and today was no difference, with Yonhap reportin...

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What “Coordinated Recovery”? Global Negative Yielding Debt Hits One Year High Of $7.4 Trillion

Two weeks ago, we were surprised to find that despite the recent "growth promise" of what has been called a coordinated global recovery, the market value of bonds yielding less than 0% had quietly jumped by a quarter in just one month to the highest since October 2016.

Since then, the paradoxical divergence between the reported "strong" state of the "reflating" global economy and the amount of negative yielding debt, has only grown, and as JPM reports as of Friday, Sept. 1, the global market value of government bonds trading with negative yield within the JPM GBI Broad index rose to $7.4 trillion, up 60% from its low of $4.6 trillion at the beginning of the year.

Some more details from JPM:

We calculate the market value by multiplying the dirty price with the amount outstanding for each bond within JPM GBI Broad Index and then convert it to US dollars at today’s exchange rate. The market value of bonds trading with negative yield,including central banks’ purchases, stands at 30% of the total JPM GBI Broad index.

What makes the latest rise in negative yielding debt especially bizarre is that it was mainly driven by Japan, where 10-year government bond yields have fallen significantly over the past month and have turned negative this week for first time since the US presidential election, even as the Bank of Japan has twice in the past month reduced the amount of JGB debt it purchases in the open market in the 5-to-10 year bucket, following on Friday, by a 30BN yen reduction of buying in the 3-to-5 year debt range.

As a result, the total universe of Japanese bonds trading with negative yield within the JPM global government bond index (GBI Broad) now stands at $4.6tr, or 62% of the outstanding amount. The remaining government bonds trading with negative yields worth $2.8 trillion are from Europe, of which more than half are from France and Germany.

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Interior minister: Algeria facing security threats

The Algerian Minister of Interior and Local Government, Noureddine Bedoui, warned that “his country is going through serious period characterised by a range of security risks surrounding the country.” Speeking to Al-Shorouk TV channel, Bedoui called on “all Algerians to be highly vigilant and cautious and to assist the different security services in their mission to maintain Algeria’s security and stability.” He added, “We are currently  surrounded by security risks.” Bedoui stressed that “the state is determined to eliminate the alien and dangerous phenomenon of terrorism” and “to raise civil and political awareness so to ensure both security and stability, as they are prerequisites for development”. On Thursday a terrorist, carrying a firearm and an explosive charge, attacked the entrance of […]

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