The Cumberland Advisors Week in Review is a recap of news, commentary, and opinion from our team. These are not revised assessments, and circumstances may have changed in the market from the time of original publication. We also include older commentaries that our editors have determined may be of interest to our audience. Your feedback is always welcome.


This week, we talk about:

-Whip in the Market
-Where the NASDAQ & DOW are
-Fixed Income Market
-Value in the Muni Market
-Where did we nibble?
-How about Gold?
-What do we think will happen next week?
-Our opinion on Yield Curve Experts
-Do we trade the economy? No.
-Thursday's put/call ratio
-What we look for to make us move on our Quant Strategy

Matt enjoys your feedback. You can reach him at:
-Link to Matt's Email: [email protected]
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-Link to Matt's LinkedIn:

Watch this week's video below or at this link:

We're fresh back this week from another "Camp Kotok," an annual gathering at Leen’s Lodge in a remote part of Maine. The August event was a 50-person group that encompassed diverse political views, financial and economic specialties, and asset class focused from cannabis to currency trading, real estate to debt of all types, stock markets and ETFs, derivatives and futures, and more. Over $1 trillion in managed assets were represented as we gathered for each informal meal. No lecterns or PowerPoints. The China Panel and the MMT panel were on the record and now public domain; the press and public are free to use the video footage and quote the speakers. Other discussions were conducted under the Chatham House Rule. What follows belong is some of the content and discussions that resulted. More is forthcoming. Enjoy. -David

This 2019 Camp Kotok talk session features panelists Michael Drury (Chief Economist for McVean Trading & Investments, LLC.), Jonathan D. T. Ward (Founder of Atlas Organization), & Leland Miller (CEO China Beige Book), all offering their take on U.S.-China relations. The panel and audience Q&A are guided by moderator, Lisa McIntire Shaw.

Camp Kotok: Wall Street In The Woods by Dave Nadig

An excerpt...

Our Eyes Are Off The Ball
One of my parlor-tricks for large gatherings of smart people is to ask everyone the same question and then contemplate the spread of answers I get.

In the past, I’ve asked dumb things like “best first album” and smart things like “where’s oil going and why?” This year, my question was: "What’s one thing—a risk, a concern, a data point, a situation—that’s really important, that the rest of the econo-finance-sphere isn’t paying attention to?”

The answers here were dizzying. While there were a few somewhat predictable answers like “we’re in a corporate earnings recession and nobody’s talking about it,” there were also some big surprises for me, such as:

  • The entire global maritime fleet has to change fuel types in five months, and it’s going to cost a ton.
  • The New York PMI (producers manufacturing index) is flashing red-lights about the service-based economy.
  • Geopolitics is being swept under the rug, leaving us open to a “hot war” while we focus on all the economic wars.
  • The risk from Chinese corporates like Huawei is enormous.
  • The degradation of the National Weather Service is going to destroy U.S. agriculture.

The list of terrifying one-liners goes on and on.


Camp Kotok MMT panel

Global debt expansion and central bank credibility is a major concern. I refer readers to the MMT panel for a clear, multidimensional discussion of MMT and the Fed’s dilemma: Camp Kotok MMT panel. My personal takeaway is that the Fed needs to step up its game with regard to its communications strategy. Most agreed that putting a name with each dot in the dot plot would be an easy improvement to make. If the Fed had a clear policy statement against negative interest rates, that assurance would help to reduce risk premia. The gathering views negative rates as a spreading financial malignancy. The varied forecasts about proliferating negative rates and their global effects are sobering.  Kotok note: adjusted for most recent inflation reports, the US treasury yield curve is already negative when computing real yields.

Mum’s the word. At least that’s the case here at QI through Sunday. We are traveling to Grand Lake Stream, Maine to attend Camp Kotok, a.k.a. The Shadow Federal Reserve Committee. The beauty of this fishing mecca on the eastern edge of Maine can be captured in one word: pristine. The hatched bald eagles reaching their beaks up to their mothers for that fresh catch of fish. The amber sunsets that demand the silence of those blessed to be in their presence. The tug on the line that stirs the hand-carved canoe on the glassy lake. And the reward of the small mouth bass you reel in, netted with pride by a fourth-generation fishing guide who imparts so much more than guidance through his wisdom and poise.

But there is a whole different sort of peace on offer as we gather at Leen’s Lodge. There is discretion. Camp Kotok is held under Chatham House Rules. As per tradition, “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.” We 50 economists and veterans of the financial markets speak freely knowing we are in a safe place to do so. As such, we feast on each other’s insights and views. It is indeed a rich experience.

We receive the Daily Feather and find it timely and informative. Their website describes it as "a forward-looking snapshot of the most pressing developments on the macroeconomic and investing fronts." Read more or become a subscriber at:

Enjoy this chat between Robert Eisenbeis, Ph. D., chief monetary economist at Cumberland Advisors, & Dave Nadig, managing director of, as they discuss Facebook's Libra and Cryptocurrency while taking a break from fishing at Grand Lake Stream, Maine. This is the first of many upcoming dispatches from Camp Kotok. We're in a remote part of Maine where the weather and internet access both present problems from time to time but the experience, discussions, shared meals, knowledge exchanges, and enduring friendships make it all worthwhile!

What I Learned at Camp Kotok by John Mauldin

An excerpt...

Many participants had read my analysis of the potential for $45 trillion worth of US debt by the end of the 2020s. When I started talking about the potential for $20 trillion of additional quantitative easing, it was clear the question made some uncomfortable.

There was general agreement that neither political party can balance the budget. The latest “deal” between Trump and Congress raised spending $320 billion over the next two years. The previous “sequester” deal that at least tried to limit spending is out the window. With it will go any control on the spending process. Current deficit projections will seem mild compared to what we actually get.

Continue reading at

In this 2019 Camp Kotok talk, Cumberland Advisors CEO John Mousseau & Jim Bianco, president and founder of Bianco Research LLC, discuss the Federal Reserve, Fed Independence Political Influence on the Fed, Negative Interest Rates, and more.


An excerpt from Brent Donnelly...

Last week I attended my sixth “Camp Kotok”near Princeton, Maine. The event is a gathering of economists, asset managers, traders, research heads and journalists that takes place each August deep in the Northeastern US woods, near the Canadian border. In pastyears the conversation and formal debate/ discussion centered around Fed policy, trade wars, the stock market, inflation and other short and medium-term economic factors. This year the conversation was more super macro and focused on three key long-term themes which discuss one by one. The three themes were:

1. A future where global rates remain permanently near zero
2. Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) and US fiscal strategy
3. A fundamental change in the US/China relationship

Read the full piece here:

Are you concerned about the Trade War with China?


Lessons from Thucydides by David R. Kotok

David R. Kotok has written the monograph pamphlet, “Lessons from Thucydides” detailing information asymmetries and their implications for investors and world affairs. The concept of a Thucydides Trap and its rise and avoidability (or lack thereof) is often debated and David makes a case for dealing with them weaving current and historical events into a comprehensive narrative.

This free monograph also has lessons for President Donald Trump’s trade policy. Can the United States avoid a Thucydides Trap with China & Xi Jinping?

Download a copy of this monograph in either PDF (free) or Kindle ($.99) format.

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