Louis-Vincent Gave, CEO and Founding Partner, Gavekal

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In 1999, as a new century was nearly upon us, the Euro was born and the US tech bubble was in full sway, Louis Gave hung a shingle to start an independent research firm with his father, Charles. Twenty years later, Louis remains CEO of Gavekal, a firm that has helped institutional clients distill global market risk throughout different cycles. Our conversation focuses a good deal on China, an economy that Gavekal has carefully studied. Calling China the biggest macro story the world has ever seen, Louis and his team have had a front row seat on the economic transformation in China and the manner in which 400 million citizens have been lifted out of poverty. Through our discussion, we learn more about how China interacts with the global economy and specifically the stabilizing role that the country played during the financial crisis, as well as during the growth recessions of 2012 and 2016. Our conversation also focuses a good deal on inflation. Amidst the well-worn narrative that inflation shortfall is a global issue, Louis has interesting insights on the social tension that is resulting from higher inflation. He points to riots in Hong Kong, Chile and the Green Jacket uprising in France, all linked to inflation. In the US, Louis is skeptical that inflation is as hard to come by as commonly reported, noting that core CPI is essentially at a 10-year high. As fiscal and monetary policy are both working in the same direction around the world, is the price of inflation too low? Louis sees recency bias at work and a failure of market participants to appreciate the regime shift that may be in motion. He views the price of crude as critical to watch insofar as the outlook for inflation is concerned. We finish our discussion with Louis’ views on portfolio construction, citing caution for the long treasuries / long growth stocks allocation that has rewarded investors during the post-crisis period. Please enjoy this episode of the Alpha Exchange, my conversation with Louis Gave.

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