Monday, March 21, 2011

Recap: Sunday $Macro chat on StockTwits

Last night on StockTwits, the Sunday $Macro gang convened for a global macro chat in 140 characters.

I hosted the chat, and with the help of some Sunday macro regulars and some new faces, the discussion was rolling in no time (see screenshot below).

Here's a partial recap of some important themes and debate points from our macro discussion:
  • Early on the discussion centered around Japan and the currency interventions designed by the G7 nations and BOJ to make the Yen cheaper. As I was not following the currencies closely, it was good to have the other stream members fill me in and offer their views on the likely impact of the recent Yen strength on Japan's economy.
  • The Yen discussion carried over into a thread on Japan's rebuilding efforts, and how a "repatriation of assets" held abroad might bring renewed Yen strength. Some debated the effect (if any) Japan's investors would have on global stock and commodity markets.
  • Some debate followed on various beneficiaries in Japan's rebuilding phase. LNG, shippers, copper, and timber were some materials and sectors thought to offer upside in coming weeks and months. Demand for cotton was also discussed briefly on the stream.
  • We discussed the media's coverage of the nuclear crisis in Japan. I highlighted James Altucher's recent post on the subject and asked the stream participants if the threats from this disaster were being over-amplified by the media. Some discussion on risks of nuclear power and plant siting ensued. Some stream members also highlighted the risks to food and the latest movements in grain prices.
  • Our chat was moving along so well that some of the stream participants moved to keep chatting beyond the conventional 1 hour time slot, so we continued the discussion ("$macro overtime") for another 30 minutes. I cannot recall the last time this happened. It was great to see the discussion take off and branch off into many smaller side discussions on a variety of topics, including geopolitical events, war, and energy issues.
Lastly, I'd like to thank all the regular and newer $Macro 140 participants for their insights and questions on the stream. It's been great reviving the spirit of the old Sunday global macro chats (hosted by Gregor Macdonald) with you, and I'd especially like to thank Jim Gobetz for his help in bringing these discussions to life during the past few $Macro 140 sessions.

I'm hearing that StockTwits TV will be producing a new $Macro show with (I believe) Jack Barnes and Robert Sinn. I will be sure to tweet the details of this new program when I have them. See you on the stream!