A highlight from Rate Pause
Hello and welcome to Ledgercast. My name is Brian Crossguard here, as always, with one and only Josh Olsowich. Hey Josh. Mr. Brian. How you doing? How are you? I'm good. I'm happy to be with you today. You're already cards pulled up, ready to go. I got my best podcast hoodie on, you know. Only the best Ledgercast family. Getting the hoodie season, depending on what part of the country you're in. For sure. My dear Alabama, I mean, this is the weather that you live here for. Like, most of the year is incredibly humid, but September, October, November, that's when it's the good stuff. Well, people didn't come on this podcast to hear about the weather. They came to hear about head and shoulders. We always start with the weather. I know. It's like a podcast faux pas, but we do it anyway. It's the human experience. There's a head and shoulders on like every market on all timeframes. Like, you can't not see it. ETH, Bitcoin, S &P, Qs, any risk market, we'll put it like that, any risk market looks very, very toppy still to me. What are your thoughts on, you know, as we enter our 37th week as macro LARPing traders? Yeah, well, this continues to tell a story, right? Dollar legitimately been up only on a weekly basis for more than two months. Hold on, hold on. Jeff in the chat said. Jeff, were you listening for your show? We were just discussing the accelerated aging of Ryan in the show. I feel like I feel like the bear market is hitting me in every possible way right now. Sorry, continue. Yeah, I'm I'm going to be very gray and old and wrinkly if I make it through another cycle. Anyway, the Dixie is up. Yield. You know what I realized this week? Back to the Dixie for a sec. I realized that the Euro chart, Euro USD is basically the Bitcoin chart. So if you're rooting for Bitcoin, you're basically rooting for the Euro chart. I don't know how that's going to work out. It's not the team I want to be on right now. No, I agree. I don't know how that's going to work out for us because that Euro chart looks bad, quite awful. Yeah, that's bad. So I keep that in mind generally for people, you know, if you see some good news or positive news in Euro land, which I think is rare these days, it should generally signal wellness for Bitcoin. Yeah. Well, it's mostly that dollar strength. It's just not. Yeah, it's all it's all just the same thing. Right. Yeah, exactly. We titled the show Rate Pause because rate hikes were paused. So this is the first time in quite some time that we've gone into FOMC with no change. The result of that was you start to see the 30 year kind of catching up to the two year because they also said that they are planning on staying high for longer. So we're not going to do the thing where we just immediately start going into cuts. And so, yeah, it may not have the desired effect that people might expect by a rate pause. At this point, holding rates at this level is restrictive eventually, right? It gets more and more restrictive as the lower interest rate that like rolls into this new environment, you know? Right. But I think it's honestly, I agree with the Fed. I think keeping it here and doing a wait and see type attitude makes more sense than keep raising and then panic cutting when the time comes. I think you have a potential to break a little less in this regard. I think they should have paused a while back and should have started way before they did. But nevertheless, the idea of pausing but not committing to a cut, I think is reasonable. Well, the markets didn't get angry at pausing. The markets got angry because they hinted at two more hikes still. So if that actually happens, I don't think it will. Look, I'm a chaos agent. I say go all the way, right? Pedal to the metal, no half measures. If you want to kill the economy, go for it. So yeah, let's do two more. Let's do one in November, one in February, whatever. I don't know. I think the consensus, though, is that markets aren't going to last that long. Markets being the economy, I guess. But the economy just isn't going to last and hold up through that. So unemployment is going to tick up considerably. That's the expectation. You're not going to get your soft landing. And Paul basically said as much that that wasn't his base case during the meeting. So you got to keep that in mind when you're looking at risk markets like crypto and alts especially are just still obliterated and continue to look terrible. Two -year looks like it wants more. The three -month yields look like, all the yields look like they want more. Yeah, they're all acting like it. Especially if you take today out of the picture, which I'm not sure I'm going to read too much into what's happening on a Friday. Well, we had, so yesterday we had a negative 1 .6 % day on S &P. And there were already legacy analysts coming out saying, oh man, Paul's going to have to cut this year. It's been one day. You people are so soft, so pathetic. Pillsbury Doughboy over here asking for cuts after a down day. Give me a break. Just absurd. The chart on the S &P does look like it has room for more downside like that. Oh, for sure. Pretty clean breakdown, but it's not in panic mode. It's in the middle. It's in the chop zone. 4200 makes all the sense in the world based on some basic technical analysis. Look at the 200 -day moving average. All this is just meaner version. You have people panicking that the number is going down instead of up and they're pathetic. I mean, that's legacy for you. Even when you look at non -technical analysis, if we were in price discovery for the stock market right now, it would not make sense. It just does not make sense relative to the economy. But ledger, price is in the forward future. It doesn't look at what's happening now. We're not going to get a recession. We're going to get a huge GDP print, man. Forward future looks like we got another year or two of grinding. Like grinding economically, trying to figure out this balance of wage inflation, commodities inflation, cost of goods. There's a balance that has to exist there. Life is more expensive for people. Their homes are more expensive and their business loans are more expensive. are Their wages up, but they're not caught up to that. And so the economy needs to figure itself out. It needs to find its Zen zone. I agree. That could take time. But that's not the S &P. The S &P is eight companies who have billions of dollars, don't need to borrow, don't need debt at this interest level. But now the problem, I think Apple especially, I don't expect their new phone to sell gangbusters because the economy is... It's one of the easiest things to not upgrade. Right. Well, that as well. But USB -C, right? Welcome to the 21st century, everybody. So I'm expecting those numbers to be soft. The Nvidia story seems to be softening, even though it's hard to really know what's going on there. There's still lots of lots of demand for those checking news. Yeah. But I guess the point is, who cares about the rest of the S &P, the 493, right? It's all about the top seven right now. And if those are weak, which they are, just in the charts, the markets are going to turn lower because you're not getting any help from the other 493. All right. I want some of what Andre is drinking in the chat. I'm just going to plop this onto the show. Here we go, Andre. This is your moment. Fed waits another year to lower rates than the BTC happening. The presidential election and lower interest rates are all going to be happening at the same time as we go into the next bull run. Space exclamation point, which is another way of saying triple exclamation point. Where do you put that space in front? Andre, I'm with you. I hope you're right. I think people believe that if they cut, then that will be bullish, but they won't cut until things look terrible. So if they're cutting, then we have a different problem, right? We have a recession if they're cutting, right? It's over if they're cutting. We just have to dodge a recession. You just have to dodge a recession. Around halving, whatever. And then there's this other school of thought, which is kind of what Andre is hinting at. Maybe the halving doesn't matter. Maybe it's just a coincidence that we've been in these four -year business cycles, and it's just lined up perfectly. I've seen that narrative growing recently, which is surprising to me, but it makes sense. Look, if you look at the data and you just don't pay attention to halving, I agree. But I think the halving brings eyeballs. It brings people understanding the asset a little differently because they're like, oh, wait, what do you mean? The supply is going to be cut in half or whatever, the daily emissions. Anyway. And meanwhile, Bitcoin and ETH both basically at their 200 -week moving average. This was okay. So that's the tweet you have up. This was my engagement bait last night. This is if anybody was paying attention. It's comparing the 200 -week and the 200 -day moving averages on Bitcoin. The last time... They're converging. Yeah. So they're converging. And the last time it looked like this was 2015 for a bull cross. It technically didn't cross bearish in 2015. I just want to highlight, though, Josh. We are both getting rejected by that right now, if you look at this weekly. Yeah, but that's okay. It's September. It's key three. I don't care. But yes. They're just winding around in there. They're meandering. It's not good. Also, one other comment. Yeah. Gotta work on this hashtag. 250k or bust. Gotta work on that. Well, that's the target. We need some ideas. That's the 8000 % target from here is 250k. That's where that came from. Yeah, we gotta do better. 250 by 25 is too much of a mouthful. I feel like the phrase millie needs to be in there. Millie? Quarter millie? Quarter millie. Maybe just full millie. Look, I've been on the record. 250k is the target for the next run. Okay. Even before this tweet, the stars are aligning. Yeah. People are saying what's happened to me. I'm using a different camera. I'm in a different place. And I got a haircut today. And everyone says you look old. I look weird and old. I am old. Here, I was I was puffing you up early. You're telling me I look good. And I was telling you how old I felt. And now the whole chat's like, hey, you look old. You look terrible. I think you look fine. But you know, maybe it's the rates, you know, the rates are just killing everybody. It is the rates. I'm gonna go ahead and go out on a limb and say that I'm affected by that. Sure. So yeah, if we look at if we look at Bitcoin, also, We've also got if you don't like the head and shoulders, at the very least, you have to admit there's some sort of double top there. Yeah, double top, lower, lower low by a smidge. Rejected by the fast and long moving averages potentially. There's a there's reason to be concerned here. If we're above 28, at any point Q4, I think we're good for move higher, which doesn't like logically make sense based on what's going on in the world with rates and everything. So if this then that if we get above 28, we're good. Until then, I expect lower lows, ETH especially. What's going on with ETH, man? You're the ETH fanboy, the ETH cheerleader. What's happening? It's even better than BTC in terms of rejection off the 200. That's clean. It's nice and clean. That's a dump it. Let me translate that for everybody. That means it's even more bearish. I think this tells some of the story like there's not many people in the ecosystem that don't consider pair trades, you know, like opportunity cost or a risk profile of being in one thing versus the other. And a lot of people are dancing on like long tail of altcoins. Like they'll play on those playgrounds. But the people that are in big assets are looking at this where ETH BTC is breaking down further. It looks like it might be escalating. It looks like it might be going from breakdown to a steady progression to the downside. And I don't know, maybe that also looks double toppy to me. Yeah, but maybe another 10 -15 % on ETH is on that relative to BTC and people just don't see the upside as worthwhile. I get it. I understand. I like 05. And if 05 doesn't survive around the ETF stuff, assuming the ETF stuff is going to be bullish, I like 03. I think a 200 week tap at a minimum would make sense. So, you know, you're looking at another 10 % relative in that scenario. And that would probably be a bullish bottom. Bullish, she says. A bullish bottom if it maintains that. I'm sure, I don't know harmonics well enough to just like eyeball it, but I'm sure there's some sort of harmonic. Batwing harmonic, yeah. Yeah, there's something there where you could draw like a crab or something. If this one's a 0 .03, that would be concerning. Well, what's the breakout level of the head and shoulders? Like 0 .035, 0 .036? Yeah, I think that's reasonable. I think that would put ETH people, myself included, just in Jordan tier mode. Look, if ETH doesn't get an ETF and Bitcoin does and it actually sees flows. It could happen. It could happen. That's all I'm saying. That's all I'm saying. Hit your targets, Josh. 0 .053 before 0 .035. That's true. I mean, we need to spot ETF first, which... That's just math, just so you know. And dyslexia. It's just kind of interesting that it has not made a higher high since going proof of stake. Kind of weird, right? The Real Dangles asks, can we do a mini series on learning macro fundamentals? I've only ever looked at crypto, so half of what you guys talk about is foreign to me. No, but there's some people that you can learn from. One of the best, in my opinion, and I was... Jeebus was giving me crap about this, but Ray Dalio is, I think, the greatest macro mind that actually takes their information and then shares it. Big Debt Crises is a book. It's a study of cycles, basically. It's a study of deflationary, inflationary cycles, and they're very good. I would read that. That's a great start. Like, that'll be good. That could teach you more than I ever could. There's many, many other things, in addition to what he talked about, that go into what he talks about. But at the end of the day, it's all about cycles. And that's a terrific book. I would listen to a bunch of podcasts on macro stuff. Blockworks does a billion of them. Yeah, but don't worry. If you listen to those, you'll end up a bear. So you gotta know that going in so that you don't end up a bear. I don't care if you're bullish or bearish, but being able to form your own opinion, that's the end goal. But people that do nothing but talk macro are all bears. They're all dirty bears, Josh. I agree with you. They're doomer macro people. But just knowing the language and knowing what people are looking at definitely helps you understand what the hell is going on. If you listen to them, just know that you need to protect your beautiful, bullish beauty. Don't take their advice, air quotes here. Don't take their advice. Your beautiful, bullish innocence needs to be protected when you listen to the doomer bears. You'll learn all about the SPR and why it's the end of the world. What is it about macro that makes people perma bears? I don't know. I think all this cyclical stuff, the raining down of potential for bad makes you think it's imminent. Yeah, they're very pro -commodity, pro -being anti -market. That's their whole personality and identity. Now I'm thinking of Sven specifically, for those of you who know who that is. But the macro people will be wrong for years and years and years. And then we'll finally get a down move. And they'll be like, yes, I told you so. Now I've lost all my money and the market 10xed at that time. But I told you so. We would get a correction. But I like that about them. The macro people also generally don't like Bitcoin. Some of them do, certainly. But most of them don't. So that tells me we still got time. It's still early. There are very few Lynn Alden's of the world where I simultaneously massively respect their macro analysis. And they don't discount crypto. She does discount everything but Bitcoin. But I'll forgive her for that. Because she's already really good at two things. That most people can't combine their goodness of that. Yeah, she's great. That's another easy listen as far as trying to pick up. She just wrote a book about money, too. I'm sure it's got some good macro stuff in there. There you go. So we'll stop that. Rate's up. Murray, I don't know what we're saying is like Michael Murray. But if he's a doomer bear, then yes. Yeah, this is a doomer bear that he was right at the right time on the right cycle as the media fell in love with such characters. So that carries a lot of weight. Like he can now be wrong for the rest of his life, but he was still right in 2008. But I respect people that have these opinions. I just think it's a lot easier to make money if you're a bull over the long period of time. I agree. Tripsy says he thinks the TA makes a better bear case than macro. I agree. I pay attention to the macro because it's kind of interesting. And having the ability to discuss it is powerful. But if all I do is pay attention to the TA, then I'd be fine. If you see the macro and you make this great bear case and then you see the chart and the chart looks like it wants to explode to the upside, don't make the trade. Not financial advice, but don't sell everything in that scenario. I wouldn't. But if the chart looks like doo -doo and the macro looks like doo -doo, then maybe it's just doo -doo. Well, knowing yields and rates helps you understand the DeFi angle a little bit. Knowing risk premium helps you understand like if I'm not getting paid an insane amount in DeFi right now, it's just not worth participating. You know? Yeah. Assuming a risk -free rate in U .S. government bonds, treasuries, whatever, you're not getting paid that differential in DeFi. Typically, you are seeking yield growth balance, right? There's some combination or you're looking for either or, but there's a balance of yield and growth. If your available yield today is high, so let's say you can earn 5 % in a money market or something like that, then two years ago, you could only earn 1%. Then your need for growth is even higher to make up for your annualized compounding year -on -year returns because when you're seeking growth, you're compounding that growth to make up for the lack of yield. So when the yield is higher, you need even more growth so people get less interested in the growth because the growth needs to be so severe to replace easy yield that's available today. So that's why risk assets that focus on growth look less attractive when yield is high. That's a general concept that can be useful. I always like to think about the extremes. So they used to say, Tina, there is nothing else when you're talking about allocating capital. So if there was no yield before, you get all this crazy VC shit and altcoins and NFTs. Because it's growth at all costs. Because that's it. That's the whole game, right? Now that there's a balance, it'd be much harder to create something like FTX in this environment where you can get a yield, you know? Yeah, there is demand for return on those dollars that's not just growth, that's not just bring it back to me more valuable. Did you hear that NFT story? The NFTs are 95 % worthless thing? Yeah. Yeah, there's some really good replies from NFT people that I thought were worthy. I've retweeted one of them. I don't remember who it was. I think it was the punk person that works, that does the streams all the time. Pink haired punk. You know, most of them always have been worthless is what they mentioned. And I think that they're doing a classic throw the baby out with the bathwater thing. Like the speculation on JPEGs was always going to pop. The underlying technology does have inherent value, it's just who's going to win from that. Like, will all the current market participants, collections, companies, whatever, will they all go away and then somebody will rise from the ashes and win the technology emergence where game the underlying technology can be taken advantage of to create real business value? I think that's what will happen, but which of us will be there to survive it? And then some stuff will get Lindy effects of art, digital art. There was product market fit, there is product market fit for that. But like, you can't just mint 10 ,000 pineapples and expect to make millions of dollars now when there's nothing else. If your denominator is infinity, then yeah, 95 % are useless.