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Tag: China

Season 2, Episode 19: Picking Spots in Volatility, Interest Rate Markets, With Chris Nicholson

Hedge fund portfolio manager Chris Nicholson joins the podcast to discuss his outlook on volatility, interest rates, and other markets.

Forecasting these assets has become increasingly problematic in recent years, but there are a few things Nicholson looks to in an effort to identify opportunities for arbitrage.


  • U.S. equity prices are determined largely by two axes (3:40);
  • Inflation expectations have been, well, inflated. This speaks for the relative value of certain bonds (7:03);
  • What drives inflation anyway? (11:38);
  • Where to look in currencies (19:05);
  • Nicholson’s Number One recommendation for investors: take the cheap borrow. Where to put it is the question (21:40);
  • Sometimes being contrarian is not the smart move. This may be one of those times, at least in FX markets (23:38);
  • China and the yuan versus the Japanese yen (29:24);
  • Equity markets in the U.S. and Japan (33:06);
  • The portfolio manager’s concern about a second wave of COVID (35:40);
  • Other issues that could be catalysts in 2020 (40:39);
  • How to trade these views (46:18);

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Not intended as investment advice

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Season 2, Episode 18: The Methods of a Short Activist Hedge Fund

With Gabriel Grego, Quintessential Capital Management

Gabriel Grego of Quintessential Capital joins the podcast to discuss his short activist strategy.

Grego finds three or four “high conviction” ideas to trade a year. His process is exhaustive but straightforward, though few managers have the stomach to replicate it. The reasons for this are discussed in the second half of the podcast.


  • How it all starts. Finding the right target is crucial. Grego’s focus on “extreme corporate catastrophic situations” (1:39);
  • Some of the typical “red flags” to look for (3:43);
  • Trendy industries are often clusters for fraudulent behavior. COVID-19 is the most recent example (6:01);
  • Narrowing the target list and creating a thesis (10:37);
  • The final step: “boots on the ground” research (16:46);
  • Background on the guest (21:57);
  • Activist shorting is “scary stuff” (25:38);
  • More terrifying than being a paratrooper? (27:29);
  • Background on QCM’s fund and current exposure (30:28);
  • How QCM has dealt with the events of 2020, including a rare (and successful) attempt to time markets in March (34:05);
  • Chinese companies traded in the U.S. look “very very interesting,” though Chinese fraud is “a different beast” (42:14).

More Information on the Guest:

Not intended as investment advice.

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Season 2, Episode 16: Chinese Economic Reforms Are Already a Thing of the Past, With Dexter Roberts

The author of “The Myth of Chinese Capitalism” discusses the ramifications of his thesis

Dexter Roberts joins the podcast to discuss his book “The Myth of Chinese Capitalism.”

In Roberts’ view, economic reforms have already been curtailed under current political leadership. China’s middle class, which has grown almost exponentially in recent decades, remains limited mostly to large coastal cities. The rural countryside, which still represents half the country’s population, remains well below the middle class — and is stuck there, in part due to outdated demographic policies.

The options for Chinese policymakers are limited. They have so far not managed to spread the wealth effects of their “pivot” to a services-based economy, and may have even exacerbated the problem. This all has wide-ranging consequences: for China, for western companies, and for the world.

Content Segments:

  • The first myth: capitalism as short hand for economic reforms (5:39)
  • The second key myth: the middle class will inexorably continue to grow larger (6:35)
  • The global supply-chain diversification, started several years ago and exacerbated by COVID-19, is effectively ending China’s “factory to the world” model (9:21)
  • Authorities’ options are very limited (10:45)
  • Where does this leave Chinese consumers? The days of western companies expanding sales through the growth of China’s middle class are gone (13:10)
  • Background on the gust (20:15)
  • What might the future of China hold? (25:09) The possibility of social unrest (27:14)
  • Brief discussion of Hong Kong: “Don’t think that the protests are over.” (30:22)

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