Hugh Hendry and David Einhorn Make the Case for Trend Following Even if Not Their Intent

Hugh Hendry offers:

“I have resigned from the professional undertaking of coin flipping. I am not here to tell you where gold’s going to be. I have no idea. That’s my existentialism. I am a student of uncertainty, I have no idea where the stock market is going to be. So when I am creating trades in my portfolio for my clients, I am agnostic. I just want to enhance the probability that I make money come what may.”

David Einhorn adds:

“We have just spent 15 years learning that a policy of creating asset bubbles is a bad idea, so it is hard to imagine why the Fed wants to create another one. But perhaps the more basic question is: How fruitful is the wealth effect? Is the additional spending that these volatile paper profits are intended to induce overwhelmed by the lost consumption of the many savers who are deprived of steady, recurring interest income? We have asked several well-known economists who publicly support the Fed’s policy and found that they don’t have good answers. If Chairman Bernanke is setting distant and hard-to-achieve benchmarks for when he would reverse course, it is possibly because he understands that it may never come to that. Sooner or later, we will enter another recession. It could come from normal cyclicality, or it could come from an exogenous shock. Either way, when it comes, it is very likely we will enter it prior to the Fed having ‘normalized’ monetary policy, and we’ll have a large fiscal deficit to boot. What tools will the Fed and the Congress have at that point? If the Fed is willing to deploy this new set of desperate measures in these frustrating, but non-desperate times, what will it do then?”

More Einhorn:

“A Jelly Donut is a yummy mid-afternoon energy boost. Two Jelly Donuts are an indulgent breakfast. Three Jelly Donuts may induce a tummy ache. Six Jelly Donuts — that’s an eating disorder. Twelve Jelly Donuts is fraternity pledge hazing. My point is that you can have too much of a good thing and overdoses are destructive. Chairman Bernanke is presently force-feeding us what seems like the 36th Jelly Donut of easy money and wondering why it isn’t giving us energy or making us feel better. Instead of a robust recovery, the economy continues to be sluggish. Last year, when asked why his measures weren’t working, he suggested it was “bad luck.” I don’t think luck has anything to do with it. The blame lies in his misunderstanding of human nature. The textbooks presume that easier money will always result in a stronger economy, but that’s a bad assumption.”

Two smart guys making the case for trend following–even though not their intent.

Note: Hendry has said his hero is Kovner. Kovner was trained by Marcus who was trained by Seykota. Hmmm… the subject no one fesses up to: trend following.

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