Marc Faber And Nassim Taleb On Risk, And The One Asset To Own Whether One Is Bearish Or Bullish


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An eternal optimist, Liu-Yue built two social enterprises to help make the world a better place. Liu-Yue co-founded Oxstones Investment Club a searchable content platform and business tools for knowledge sharing and financial education. also provides investors with direct access to U.S. commercial real estate opportunities and other alternative investments. In addition, Liu-Yue also co-founded Cute Brands a cause-oriented character brand management and brand licensing company that creates social awareness on global issues and societal challenges through character creations. Prior to his entrepreneurial endeavors, Liu-Yue worked as an Executive Associate at M&T Bank in the Structured Real Estate Finance Group where he worked with senior management on multiple bank-wide risk management projects. He also had a dual role as a commercial banker advising UHNWIs and family offices on investments, credit, and banking needs while focused on residential CRE, infrastructure development, and affordable housing projects. Prior to M&T, he held a number of positions in Latin American equities and bonds investment groups at SBC Warburg Dillon Read (Swiss Bank), OFFITBANK (the wealth management division of Wachovia Bank), and in small cap equities at Steinberg Priest Capital Management (family office). Liu-Yue has an MBA specializing in investment management and strategy from Georgetown University and a Bachelor of Science in Finance and Marketing from Stern School of Business at NYU. He also completed graduate studies in international management at the University of Oxford, Trinity College.

by Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge,

Last year’s Russia Forum was one of the must see events of the year, pitting such high powered independent thinkers as Marc Faber, Hugh Hendry, Nassim Taleb in a free for all. While the cliffhanger back then was the suggestion by Hendry that he had recreated the Paulson ABX trade with “1.5% downside and 75% upside” (which has since not been fully revealed aside from some occasional snippets in the periodic letters that it is a synthetic China short trade), the true brilliance was in the debate between the Treasury skeptics and the fan (Hendry). That said, with the entire curve surging wider, we hope Hendry took profits on his short as we are now virtually exactly where we were a year ago. This year’s forum was just as entertaining, and while it didn’t have quite a distinguished audience, it did feature Marc Faber and Nassim Taleb in a discussion of whether Russia is the best or worst BRIC. That said, trust both Faber and Taleb not to stick to the script and go off on wild tangents. Sure enough, the line of the night as usual belonged to Faber: “We have a big debate in the world whether we will have a deflationary collapse or an inflationary boom…usually after a period of very heavy money printing war follows.” That is the philosophical gist of it. As for Faber’s recommendation, it is precisely the asset which has become a short-seller’s nightmare in the current geopolitically fragile environment: oil. “Whether you are very bullish or very bearish you should invest in oil.

Some other key quotes from Faber:

“When it comes to assets there is no asset that is always the best. An asset can be the best at the right price, when the price can be depressed. And the best asset when the price is too high is not a good asset.”

“In a deflationary bust you have a credit collapse so the one thing you don’t want to own are US government bonds, because they won’t be able to pay, and before they can’t pay they would print money like there is no tomorrow so the dollar would continuously depreciate which would obviously be good for assets that you can’t multiply such as commodities and precious metals.”

“I also think it they print money what then usually happens is that standards of living of the middle class and the working class go down, because the cost of living increases faster than wage gains, and so the population becomes very distraught and dissatisfied and eventually the government to stay in power or distract the attention of the people, either goes to war or blames a minority for the mishaps, but usually after a period of very heavy money printing war follows.”

“If I invest today, I am considering the following: it is conceivable that because of ultra expansionary monetary policies in the world, and ultra expansionary fiscal policies in the US in particular, we have a temporary crack up boom. And the demand for oil in the western countries which has been declining since 2008, starts to pick up, and combined the oil demand in the world surprises on the upside, and pushes up oil prices, which would be beneficial for the oil producers, in particular Russia and Kazakhstan. Or you have what I think eventually happens: a complete systemic breakdown. I am the most bearish person long-term. If there is a complete breakdown, as I described with money printing and war, you want to be in commodities, specifically oil, because during war times commodity prices go ballistic. So whether you are very bullish or very bearish you should invest in oil.”

“I think most emerging stock markets will go down for the next 3-6 months.”

As for Taleb, the NYU philosopher once again looks at the world in terms of his favorite risk parameters: fragility vs robustness. Nassim compares the US and Russia on the fragility vs robustness scale. Try to guess which one according to the polymath is the fragile and the robust one.

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