QuickHit: “Perceived Recovery” and the Artificial Market
Political economic consultant Albert Marko joins us for this week’s QuickHit episode where he explained about this “perceived recovery” and how this artificial boost in markets help the economy. He also shares his views on the 2020 US Presidential Election and the chance of Trump winning or losing this year. What will happen if his scenario plays out, particularly to the Dollar, Euro, and others?
Albert Marko advises congressional members and some financial firms on how the machinations of what D.C. does and how money flows from the Fed, Treasury or Congress out to the real world. He is also the co-founder and COO of Favore Media Group.
This QuickHit episode was recorded on August 25, 2020.
Last week’s QuickHit was with independent trading expert Tracy Shuchart on the end of “buy everything” market and the unknowns and apprehensions.
TN: We’ve seen a lot of intervention in markets from the Fed and the Treasury. I’d really love to hear what you’ve seen and what your assessment is of that activity.
AM: First off, we have to understand that politics and economics are tied to the head. You can’t deviate from the two of them. I don’t like when people try to disassociate the two from that. The Fed and the Treasury had to work on financial stability of the markets. That is the ground game right now. The only way to do such a thing would be to congregate all the market makers and select certain equities and pump those equities until the market had a perceived recovery at that point.
TN: So perceived recovery, that’s an interesting, interesting word. When you say market makers or strategists got together and plan this, what concentrations have you seen in markets? Is it possible to focus on a specific number of companies and make sure that the rest of the market moves based on their coattails?
AM: Of course. This is not a new strategy. We’ve done this in 1907, and done this in nineteen eighty seven with Buffett and Goldman and we’re doing it now. It’s just the way it is.
The way the strategy works is you take a couple equities, say a dozen of them, maybe a little bit less. Tesla would be one. Nvidia, Adobe, all of these companies that don’t really have international peers to compare with and valuations that they can pump and the market takes over and comes up with all sorts of fancy ideas of why Tesla is at a $400 billion valuation.
But the fact of the matter is, if you look at the pricing and you look at all the call options that have happened over the last four months, it’s pretty clear that this was completely done artificially.
TN: It seems the US markets lead global equities. Is there some linking of this? And again, are there international coattails that follow on to US equities coattails or is that what you’ve seen in recent months?
AM: That is absolutely correct. There are a couple of markets that would support the US market specifically. That obviously would be the U.K. But the one I like to look at is the Swiss National Bank. They have their minions and their people intertwined within US hedge funds and working with the Fed and the Treasury for years. So if something is going on, they would probably be the next people to hear about it. And you can actually see this by looking at their portfolio buys in Q1 and Q2, as opposed to the 2018. You’ll see that those certain equities like Apple and Tesla had just gotten ridiculous amount of eyes.
TN: How successful is that been? As we look at the depths of the pullback in April? Crude oil was at negative $37 in April and it fell $99 from January through April. WTI did at least, right? Equities obviously had a lot of problems. So from your perspective, how has that been executed? How has it been pulled off? Is it okay? Is it good? Are we seeing, at least in equity markets, are we seeing a “V” and do you think that translates into the real economy whatever that is?
AM: I use the word “perceived recovery” before as this is artificial. It does support the markets. They’ve done exactly what the Fed was mandated for financial stability. Loretta Mester says that quite often in her speeches. In that respect, yes, they absolutely stabilize the market. Now comes the challenge of rotating out into value stocks and the actual financials or retail or something that’ll actually create jobs later on. They’re going to have to do that. But again, this is basically to stabilize not only the markets, but also the political class that’s supporting it.
TN: When you talk about the political class… We’re in the middle of an election cycle. This is my first election to be back in the US since the first Bush election. I was overseas for a long time. So I’m seeing things I haven’t had a front row seat to for a long, long time. How does all the things we’ve been talking about with supporting markets and and really having this kind of quasi recovery, how does that segue into the election? How do you see the election playing out?
AM: The people that are in charge now are appointed by the political class in charge at the moment. So those two are going to protect themselves at all costs. Trump appointing Mnuchin. Mnuchin doing what he has to do for financial stability. Now we’re looking at Trump ”losing in the polls” — highly questionable when you look at the methodology about those polls. Right now, I would have Trump winning — about a 60 percent chance at the moment.
TN: But the president isn’t the only office, right? So do you have an opinion on the Senate and the House as well? Do you think we’re going to see a flip in either of those places?
AM: No, I think the Republicans will actually take back anywhere between eight and 10 seats in the House and they’ll lose possibly two, maybe three seats in the Senate. So they’ll still control the Senate, although that’s when the political calculations come into work where one senator, two senators can block an entire policy of the president. Trump is going to have to do more executive orders going forward, which I personally don’t like, and nobody really should actually advocate for that. But this is the time that we live in.
TN: If your scenario plays out, how does that impact US foreign policy for the next four years? What do you see is the major… I would say trade was a big issue in the first four years of Trump, right? And bringing China to the four was one of the big issues. What would you say would be the big foreign policy issues under a second Trump administration if it comes to pass?
AM: The big one is China. China is quite intelligent. They hire former congressional members to go and talk politics so they understand how it works. They’re going to start hedging their bets. If they see that Trump is possibly going to win, Phase One Agriculture deals will be flying. They’ll make some concessions on intellectual property rights and whatnot. So you’ll see some of that happening from China.
The Europeans are absolutely in denial of what can actually happen if Trump gets elected. The only reason I see the Euro at these levels is because they’re on vacation and the US has just negative news pounding us day in and day out with the Dollar dropping to the low 90s. But I don’t see that sticking around. I think that as soon as Trump gets re-elected, I think the dollar’s back up north of 97.
TN: I think you’re right. I think that’s feasible.
Well, thank you so much for your time. I really appreciate this. Obviously you have a lot going on and you have a lot of information. This is hugely valuable for us. So I’d like to check in maybe before the election, maybe after the election so that we can do an assessment of how would the changes, whether it’s Biden or Trump, how does it impact markets and how does it impact geopolitics? That would be a fascinating discussion. So thanks for your time. Really appreciate it.
AM: Thank you. Thank you, Tony.