Commodity prices have been falling around the world, and Paul Tudor Jones II thinks this trend will play out through 2020.
Yesterday, the legendary macro trader was interviewed by another legend, Stanley Druckenmiller, at the Robin Hood Investors Conference.
The conference, which is stacked with hedge fund heavyweights, is off limits to the press. We have a source inside who was kind enough to share his notes from yesterday evening’s panel.
According to our source’s notes, Jones said that we are in the downturn for the current commodities cycle. Having reached the peak of the cycle a few years ago, we’re still heading down to the bottom.
Jones explained that these commodity cycles run in roughly 30-year cycles between peaks. 1999 was a valley and April 2011 was the peak. He said this cycle will play out through the downside through 2020 or so, but it will be net positive for the U.S. economy.
Jones also touched on a number of other macro topics during the discussion.
Jones talked about deleveraging in China and how that will be negative for the financial sector as well as commodities there. He basically said that there’s a credit bubble and the “the piper will be paid and the bubble will burst.”
He said in about 2029 the U.S. will breach Greek debt levels, according to our source.
He also talked about Japan and Japanese Government Bonds, which are up over 30% with extremely low trading volume. He’s wondering when will the yields pop.
Later on in the panel, Jones said that the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan will keep cutting rates. He said the yen needs to depreciate 15% per year to increase inflation 1 to 1.5%.
His trade is get long the dollar versus the yen. According to our source’s the notes, the dollar rally versus other currencies may have run its course.
Yesterday’s panel fell on the anniversary of Black Monday — a market crash event that Jones famously predicted back in 1987 and also netted him millions.
According to our source’s notes, Druckenmiller asked Jones about the similarities between 1987 and what’s going on now. Jones explained that the 1987 crash was derivative inspired. The S&P futures were down 33% before the open on that Monday.
He also said that 1987 is dissimilar to what’s going on now. He said we have a bubble now and he’s not sure whether it’s in the stock market, according to our source’s notes.
As for last week’s market activity, Jones said that on Thursday we saw a five standard deviation (that’s a volatility measure) kind of movement in one day. He said we will see this kind of volatility in the future.
Speaking of the volatility of the last two to three weeks, he said that was due to position clearing and it’s similar October 1998. (Our source pointed out that’s when the Long Term Capital Management event happened. Jones didn’t explicitly say that, though.)