There's a huge question mark at the moment about whether markets are at some sort of important turning point. For instance, we've seen big amounts of fiscal stimulus in the U.S., sparking concerns that inflation might finally return and overturn a decades-long bull run in bonds. So how can investors protect against that scenario and other major inflection points in markets? On this episode of Odd Lots, we speak to Chris Cole, the founder of Artemis Capital Management. He walks us through his recent research, in which he recreates 100 years of the most popular financial engineering and portfolio structures to identify what works best.
It's a weird moment for the markets. The big stock indices are near all time highs. And yet there have been some high profile meltdowns and blowups. There was the collapse of the vendor financing firm Greensill. And there was the wipeout of the Bill Hwang fortune. Meanwhile, numerous SPACs and other speculative stocks have been getting clobbered. So we talked to short seller John Hempton, the CIO and co-founder of Bronte Capital, for an explanation of what's really going on.
Whenever the government is engaging in fiscal or monetary expansion, people like to invoke the history of Weimar Germany and how soon we might all go around transporting dollars in wheelbarrows. But what really happened with Weimar and how did it come about? On this episode, we speak with Zach Carter, the author of the best-selling book “The Price of Peace: Money, Democracy, and the Life of John Maynard Keynes.” He explains how the story of collapse of the German currency was less about money printing and more about domestic political collapse and the destruction of the country's productive base.
When GameStop shares skyrocketed earlier this year, numerous pundits were quick to ascribe political significance to the whole thing. Was it a rebellion? Was it class warfare in the spirit of Occupy Wall Street? On this episode of Odd Lots, we speak with the Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek, who argues that the episode was significant and radical, but not in the way most people appreciate. We also talked about algorithmic trading, WallStreetBets, the pandemic, and what's next for the future of capitalism.
The U.S. Treasury market is the biggest, most liquid market in the world. Its smooth functioning is also crucial to the economy and the financial system. Yet it keeps experiencing bizarre, seemingly inexplicable bouts of volatility. We saw it in February. We saw it big time last March. And we saw it multiple times in recent years before then. On this episode, we speak with Yesha Yadav, a professor at Vanderbilt Law School, who argues that these episodes can be explained by the inadequate patchwork of regulations governing this market.
In the modern age, we expect to be able to turn on our computers, enter in a ticker, and know the actual price of a financial instrument, such as a stock or a bond. But this is easier said than done, especially with bonds, and especially with bonds that are infrequently traded. Sometimes, in fact, bond pricing is a matter of opinion. At least that's the contention of Maciej Kowara and Eric Jacobson, analysts at Morningstar, who published a report earlier this year titled “Bond Pricing: Agreeing To Disagree.” They explain why there can still be disagreements about what a bond is actually worth from one firm to another.
The crypto market has come a long way in recent years. But it's still far less efficient than your typical established market. To understand more about crypto market structure, we spoke with Sam Bankman-Fried. Sam is a former international ETF trader at the prop shop Jane Street Capital. Now he's building a crypto empire with his hedge fund Alameda Research as well as his own exchange called FTX. He talks us through his path into the industry and how it works more broadly.
1 hr 10 min
The Ever Given has been freed from the Suez Canal. But the whole situation was indicative of a broader issue in global supply chains: increasingly large ships are contributing to logistical bottlenecks. This was true long before the latest issue on the Suez. On the latest episode of Odd Lots, we speak with economist and historian Marc Levinson, the author of the book The Box, to discuss the rise of extremely large ships and the stress they place on ports, canals, and other parts of the global trading infrastructure.
When the GameStop and Robinhood story exploded at the end of January, suddenly everyone took an interest in market structure and things like payment for order flow, as well as the role that high-frequency trading shops play in enabling free retail trading. This, of course, gave rise to lots of conspiracy theories about ways retail traders are taken advantage of. On the new Odd Lots, we speak with Doug Cifu, the CEO of Virtu, which is one of the largest HFT shops in the country, to get his perspective on how this part of the market really works.
1 hr 9 min
What is the connection between the big trend in interest rates over the last several years and the cost of climate change mitigation? This is a question that's been analyzed by Josh Younger, a rates derivative strategist at JPMorgan. On the latest episode of Odd Lots, he discusses his work on interest rates and the cost of fighting climate change. We also discuss the significance of the Fed's SLR decision, and what it means for rates and bank balance sheets.
1 hr 7 min