jeff gundlach Markets

All This Selloff Was Missing Was A Jeff Gundlach Chat With Scott Wapner. Not Anymore.

"Stick a fork in it."

The market turmoil triggered by the COVID-19 panic has brought us all manner of noteworthy developments and historic milestones.

We’ve seen multiple thousand-point Dow swings, some of the highest VIX prints since the crisis, harrowing equity plunges exacerbated by quants and sub-1% 10-year US yields.

And yet, until Thursday, it just felt like something was missing – even though I couldn’t put my finger on exactly what that something was.

But now I know, because on today’s edition of CNBC’s “Halftime Report”, Jeff Gundlach chatted with Scott Wapner and delivered a series of hyperbolic soundbites, thus cementing this as a “real” (or “true”, as @truthGundlach would invariably prefer) selloff.

“If [unemployment claims] go above their five-year moving average, you’re done”, a sleepy-looking Gundlach told Wapner. “You can almost put a fork in the economy”.

He elaborated: “If this situation with travel and leisure and nonsocial activity continues, you just wonder if you can keep initial claims down near 200,000 per week”.

You’re reminded that during the depths of the December 2018 selloff, Gundlach famously proclaimed that a bear market had arrived. That interview with Wapner arguably caused a grievous swoon in stocks that day and ended up sparking a brief (and hilarious) feud between Jeff and Jim Cramer, who was less than amused with Gundlach’s bombast.

If you’re wondering whether Jeff thinks the Fed’s emergency rate cut this week constituted “panic”, the answer is yes. But, in a testament to how keen Gundlach is not to perpetuate fear in the market, he told Wapner that “When I say panicked, it doesn’t mean it’s not justified. Sometimes panic is justified”.

Thanks, Jeff. Thanks so much for verifying that, to the extent anyone is panicking, that panic is “justified”.

That is the (almost literal) definition of screaming “FIRE!” in a crowded theatre.

For what it’s worth (which is not much, considering you can just check the market pricing) Jeff expects another Fed cut soon. To wit, from the interview:

If we look at history, once the Fed does a panic, inter-meeting rate cut, particularly when it’s 50 basis points … they typically cut pretty quickly again.

I’m in the camp that the Fed is going to cut rates again, perhaps even in two weeks.

Well, “I’m in the camp” that thinks we should keep Jeff off of TV on days when the market is already in free fall unless he can promise not to say anything that might exacerbate the situation.

Amusingly, Gundlach also told Wapner that virus fears are keeping people from visiting him at the office.

“Business activity is likely to contract”, he said. “I received multiple emails today of clients that were planning on visits to DoubleLine saying they’re canceling them”.



5 comments on “All This Selloff Was Missing Was A Jeff Gundlach Chat With Scott Wapner. Not Anymore.

  1. MacroGuy says:

    Heisenberg- for some real entertainment- let’s suggest CNBC put some boxing gloves on Ol Jeff and Jim- maybe the market would pause enough not to selloff some more??

    • I’ll take Jeff over Jim any day when it comes to listening to them. I like to have fun at Jeff’s expense (and I probably have a little too much fun at his expense) but I don’t really have anything against him. He’s just always amused me. Jim Cramer, on the other hand, I actually do not care for. I have some first-hand experience with Jim, and I flat-out don’t like him. Nor do I care for his incessant, childlike social media trolling of the general public.

  2. George says:

    You would be surprised just how quiet some analysts that were real noisy 2 months ago have become… Guess they are not long Gold and short the indexes…Picking a bottom here will be almost as impossible as picking the Top (was ??? ) Again there will be no 48 hour notice to cover short positions…

  3. Ria says:

    This type of market would suggest you throw out your preconceived notions of how markets are supposed to behave. Widen your possible outcomes and keep an open mind. The market is trading on emotion and headlines. If you are an investor and are short your risk budget perhaps you add a little bit of risk to your portfolio. If not, investors are best to stay on the sidelines and let the traders/hedge funds/quants/non carbon life forms run the markets.

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