To be clear, there is never really a “good” time for a Jeff Gundlach webcast, unless you’re the type of person who enjoys being force-fed yesterday’s news in the form of a lecture.
But if there’s anything Jeff enjoys more than hearing himself talk, it’s forcing you to listen to that same talking. That makes webcasts the perfect medium, because he can hold them whenever he wants, and he knows that because “Gundlach” is a name brand, you’re going to tune in to hear what he has to say.
Of course Jeff never actually says anything new. Rather, he just rehashes what’s been going on lately, and the miracle of Gundlach is that infallibly, financial media outlets will turn quotes from his webcasts into headlines, apparently without realizing that the webcast itself was just a compilation of stories published by those same media outlets.
Isn’t that great? Jeff makes the media believe he came up with stories they wrote and that their ideas actually originated with him. It’s like Inception, only in reverse.
This whole narcissistic charade is amplified by the authority with which Jeff speaks.
Remember, this is a guy who decided his Twitter handle should be @TruthGundlach, an apparent effort to actually make himself synonymous with the “truth” – to make “Gundlach” and “veracity” a kind of equivalence relation.
So, even if you do manage to escape from a Gundlach webcast (or CNBC cameo or Reuters interview) still confident that your ideas and market theories are in fact yours and didn’t somehow originate with Jeff without your having realized it, he makes you believe that your convictions are “true” simply because he regurgitated them.
Do note that this goes beyond traditional confirmation bias. This is another miracle of Gundlach. If you, for instance, think MMT is nonsense, you’d have no trouble finding like-minded economists and pundits with a simple Google search. But when Jeff says, as he did on Tuesday, that MMT is “a crackpot idea”, it’s not just that your conviction in that opinion has increased. Rather, it’s that suddenly, your opinion is no longer an “opinion” at all – it is fact. Why? Well, because Gundlach is “truth”, and therefore “truth” is Gundlach. It says so right there on his Twitter profile (right beside “Bills fan” and “Art fan”).
In case you need to laugh really hard, just listen below as an indignant, incredulous Gundlach tries to explain why MMT is in fact a “crackpot” idea by butchering a riddle about three guys, a hotel room and a scheming bellhop.
Suffice to say Jeff might want to brush up on his delivery when it comes to telling riddles if he hopes to have a second career as a standup comedian once he’s forced to pass the “bond king” crown on to an heir who will hopefully be nothing like Gundlach. Here’s the chart he references in that audio, by the way:
But Jeff didn’t just convene a webcast (called “Highway To Hell”, incidentally) to lambast MMT. No, Jeff wanted to talk about a lot of other things too.
Things like how a chart of central bank balance sheets appears to line up well with a chart of global equities. That’s something nobody has noticed before, but that’s Jeff for you – exposer of hidden “truths”.
And if you’re wondering whether Jeff thinks we’re still in a bear market, the answer is “yes”. Indeed, he thinks we’re bound to take out the December lows sometime in 2019. Specifically, Gundlach said this on Tuesday:
The stock market was and still is in a bear market.
That’s an allusion to his infamous CNBC appearance in December, during which Jeff (with an assist from Scott Wapner) sent the S&P tumbling with a series of needlessly bombastic comments on a random Monday.
Relive Jeff’s “We’re in a bear market” moment
So, again, “the stock market was and still is in a bear market”, according to Gundlach.
The reason that’s hilarious should be immediately obvious.
In reality, the stock market was not and still isn’t in a bear market.
Now, sure, we can all quibble about the usefulness of the inherently arbitrary 20% threshold, but that doesn’t make it any less funny to point out the fact that if we go by the traditional definition of the term “bear market”, Gundlach is saying something that simply isn’t true (the S&P traded 19.8% below the September all-time high late last year).
Or wait – maybe it is “true”. Because if Gundlach is synonymous with “truth”, how can Gundlach lie? He can’t. Which means the S&P, which is now nowhere close to being in a bear market on the traditional definition, actually is in a bear market. Just like it was
n’t in December.
It’s all so complicated! But thankfully, Jeff has cleared up this unambiguous ambiguity.
Other things Jeff “cleared up” and otherwise “confirmed” on Tuesday include i) that if you pull up a line chart of Citi’s economic surprise indexes and you think you see the lines moving lower on the right-hand side of that chart, that’s because those lines are in fact moving lower, ii) that Donald Trump broke his campaign promise of eliminating the national debt, iii) that we’re not in a global recession yet, iv) that wage growth is rising.
What else can you say?
Maybe just that we should all thank our lucky stars that there’s at least one “good, truth-loving soul” left in this cold, dishonest world…