Camp Kotok

Camp Kotok  (“CK”) is an “by invitation” event initially developed and implemented by David R. Kotok and now in conjunction with Cumberland Advisors and the Global Interdependence Center for prominent economists, wealth managers, traders, heads of research, pundits, financial luminaries, and often a few journalists, authors, and individuals associated either directly with Cumberland Advisors or with the financial industry.

Fishing, wine, and conversation are the hallmarks of this annual event held at Leen’s Lodge in Grand Lake Stream, Maine, one of the state’s most remote venues ( In recent years, craft beer has also made a prominent appearance, many brewed locally in Maine further making a positive economic impact on the area's communities.

Here, attendees spend a long August weekend fishing on some of the most pristine lakes in the country; a place to breathe deeply, feel the earth, and replenish the mind with intellectual and stimulating conversation. Vigorous debates are regular and run the gamut from market valuations and the rise of exchange-traded funds to Federal Reserve policy, virtual currencies, and health care. It’s easy to see why some even in the financial press refer to Camp Kotok as the “Shadow Fed.”

Attendees are bound to “Chatham House Rules” (participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed). General thoughts, ideas, forecasts and comments, however, can and are discussed and published outside of CK with implicit permission. Cumberland Advisors has published a series of videos and written interviews with campers desiring to go on the record.

This annual gathering broadened in 2002, after David Kotok invited several other September 11, 2001 “survivors” to spend the weekend reflecting on the one-year anniversary of the attacks. Many of the original Camp Kotok attendees had escaped from the World Trade Center and surrounding buildings, and lost friends on that fateful day. Those who attended that year decided to go back the following year… and so on. 

Now, these weekends in Maine have become a staple for those “in the know” in the financial industry. Please see Sharon Prizant's thoughts on "What is Camp Kotok???" here where she brings her observations through many years of attendance into a thoughtful synopsis:

A glimpse behind the screen door at Camp Kotok

Reviewing Camp Kotok Discussions
 Posted: Tue August 15, 2017

Jeremy Schwartz offers up his views and takeaways from Camp Kotok at this link below. We include this excerpt.

This year, one of the weekend’s events was a panel discussion on monetary policy moderated by Martin Barnes, chief economist at BCA Research. Participants on the panel included two Fed “insiders”—Danielle DiMartino Booth, former advisor to Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher, and Bob Eisenbeis, former research director at the Atlanta Fed—and two Fed observers—Jim Bianco of…

Cumberland CIO David Kotok Says Inflation Tamed ‘for the Time Being’
 Posted: Wed August 9, 2017

David Kotok, Cumberland Advisors chairman and CIO, discusses inflation with Bloomberg's Betty Liu and Kathleen Hays on "Bloomberg Daybreak: Asia." (Source: Bloomberg)

View video here:

Dispatches From Camp Kotok - Barron's take on Camp Kotok
 Posted: Tue August 8, 2017

At Camp Kotok, an annual gathering hosted by David Kotok of Cumberland Advisors, 50 or so economists, wealth managers, traders, heads of research, pundits, and a few journalists flocked to Leen’s Lodge for a long weekend of fishing, shooting, and vigorous debate. Chatham House Rule was in effect, granting attendees anonymity. The talk, however, was free game and it ran the gamut from market valuations and the rise of exchange-traded funds to Federal Reserve policy and health care.


Camp Kotok Asks: Does The Fed Matter?
 Posted: Mon August 7, 2017

If there was a single question that kept coming up, it was whether global asset markets were overvalued. “This bull market is tired,” was a common refrain. The counterarguments were many and vigorous. Barry Ritholtz of Ritholtz Wealth Management was quick to point out that measuring bull markets from the lowest-lows—March 2009—is essentially a mental error—by that measure, the 1980s bull market started in the 1970s.

Instead, measuring from the “higher highs,” the current bull market…

Camp Kotok Thoughts by Michael Drury, Chief Economist for McVean Trading & Investments, LLC
 Posted: Sat August 5, 2017

August 4th, 2017 - The annual gathering of creative thinkers on economics, finance and policy known as Camp Kotok was held over the past five days at Leen’s Lodge in Grand Lake Stream, ME. This event always coincides with the release of the August employment report – and there is often a clustering of attendees ready to comment at the data’s release on Friday morning. This year not so much. The same old, same old expectations and results from previous employment reports has dimmed the usual…

Camp Kotok, Here We Come!
 Posted: Thu August 3, 2017

Tomorrow I head for the backwoods of Maine and Camp Kotok – always one of the high points of my year. Most of my readers know by now that Camp Kotok is the annual fishing trip cum economics gab-fest hosted by David Kotok of Cumberland Advisors. It’s an invitation-only event that has been compared to Jackson Hole and even Davos – except that here you get to catch your own lunch.

David hatched the idea after surviving the attack on the World Trade Center, where he was attending a…

Montana: The Last Best Place by Jill Fornito
 Posted: Wed September 14, 2016

In the lower part of Montana, about 50 miles south of Bozeman and hidden in the hills beyond several miles of unpaved roads, perched upon a hilltop near the Gallatin National Forest, you’ll find Hubbard’s Yellowstone Lodge. An Orvis-endorsed and award-winning fishing lodge in the summer, a hunting lodge in the autumn and for the last week of August, a new venue for Camp Kotok: West.  This western edition of the renowned four-day economic and fishing retreat…
Camp Kotok Interview Series
 Posted: Sat September 19, 2015

Ross Ashcroft speaks to attendees at Camp Kotok in a series of video interviews.

They discuss the origins and purpose of Camp Kotok, the global economy, the Fed and US private debt levels, and much more.

View the playlist here on YouTube:

The “Maine” Event by Jill Fornito
 Posted: Tue August 25, 2015

About two hours north of Bangor, Maine, and 20 miles south of the Canadian boarder is the teeny tiny town of Grand Lake Stream, where every summer, longtime GIC Board Member David Kotok hosts his annual fishing retreat. Affectionately named “Camp Kotok,” this exclusive event brings together a mix of economists, analysts and strategists for four days of recreation in the cellular signal-free setting at Leen’s Lodge. Given that so many of the Camp Kotok attendees have served as GIC speakers,…

John Mousseau on Risk in the Fixed Income Market (Podcast)
 Posted: Fri January 2, 1970

John Mousseau on Risk in the Fixed Income Market (Podcast)

Bloomberg Masters in Business Podcast – April 11, 2020

Bloomberg Opinion columnist Barry Ritholtz speaks with John R. Mousseau, who is president, chief executive officer and director of fixed income at Cumberland Advisors. Mousseau is also co-author of the book “Adventures in Muniland: A Guide to Municipal Bond Investing in the Post-Crisis Era.”

Running time 40:28




Listen via the…


“CNBC and others began calling Camp Kotok the “Shadow Fed” but it is really just a meeting of wickedly smart people focused on economics and markets.”

John Mauldin