Stan Druckenmiller At Sohn “The Endgame” Transcript And Slides H/T @ChesapeakeCap

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Also Stanley Druckenmiller: The Best Currency Is 5,000 Years Old

Stan Druckenmiller presentation titled “The Endgame”

When I started Duquesne in February of 1981, the risk free rate of return, 5 year treasuries, was 15%. Real rates were close to 5%. We were setting up for one of the greatest bull markets in financial history as assets were priced incredibly cheaply to compete with risk free rates and Volcker’s brutal monetary squeeze forced much needed restructuring at the macro and micro level. It is not a coincidence that strange bedfellows Tip O’Neill and Ronald Reagan produced the last major reforms in social security and taxes shortly thereafter. Moreover, the 15% hurdle rate forced corporations to invest their capital wisely and engage in their own structural reform. If this led to one of the greatest investment environments ever, how can the mirror of it, which is where we are today, also be a great investment environment? Not a week goes by without someone extolling the virtues of the equity market because “there is no alternative” with rates at zero. The view has become so widely held it has its own acronym, “TINA”.

{Switch to slide 3} Not only valuations were low back in 1981 but financial leverage was less than half of what it is today. The capacity of credit inspired growth was still ahead of us. The policy response to the global crisis was, and more importantly, remains so forceful that it has prevented any real deleveraging from happening. Leverage has actually increased globally. Ironically from where I stand, that has been the intended goal of most policymakers today.

{Slide 4} Let me focus on two of the main policies that have not only prevented a clean-up of past excesses in developed markets but also led to an explosion in leverage in Emerging markets. The first of these policies has been spearheaded by the Federal Reserve Bank in the US. By most objective measures, we are deep into the longest period ever of excessively easy monetary policies. During the great recession, rates were set at zero and they expanded their balance sheet by $1.4T. More to the point, after the great recession ended, the Fed continued to expand their balance sheet another $2.2T. Today, with unemployment below 5% and inflation close to 2%, the Fed’s radical dovishness continues. If the Fed was using an average of Volcker and Greenspan’s response to data as implied by standard Taylor rules, Fed Funds would be close to 3% today. In other words, and quite ironically, this is the least “data dependent” Fed we have had in history. Simply put, this is the biggest and longest dovish deviation from historical norms I have seen in my career. The Fed has borrowed more from future consumption than ever before. And despite the US global outperformance, we currently have the most negative real rates in the G-7. At the 2005 Ira Sohn Conference, looking at a more muted but similar deviation, I argued that the Greenspan Fed was sowing the seeds of an historical housing bubble fed by reckless sub-prime borrowing that would end very badly. Those

Stan Druckenmiller

Stan Druckenmiller slides here -> The_EndGame

Stan Druckenmiller full transcript here -> The_Endgame_Sohn

Stan Druckenmiller
Stan Druckenmiller