Long Ukraine, Democracy, and the Western Alliance…

“So I should say that civilizations begin with religion and stoicism: they end with skepticism and unbelief, and the undisciplined pursuit of individual pleasure. A civilization is born stoic and dies epicurean.” ~ Will Durant

Good morning!  

This is an extra dirty Dirty Dozen [CHART PACK]  this week as I’m running on wee sleep and didn’t feel like taking the time to sex up the charts. I’ll be back with the regular goods next week. Regardless, here’s some charts and a bit of what I’m looking at…

  1. Here’s the most recently updated list of western sanctions against Russia. It’s a looong list so the below is just a screenshot. You can find the rest here from the FT or here to get around the paywall. 


  1. There’s going to be a wide range of lasting and significant impacts from Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine. Germany making serious moves to build out its energy independence is one of them (list from BBG below, article here). They also floated the idea of doing a 180 on their nuclear policy, which is literal music to my ears. 


  1. For equities it continues to be a tough read. I suggest not being too anchored to any one scenario and instead let the chart develop and tell you where it’s headed. 

We’ve been bearish for the past 2+ months but we now have a pretty significant bear trap reversal below the large neckline. We’ll have to see where things trade at the start of the week. But the market could have bottomed. This is not my base case but it is one I’m actively entertaining.


  1. One reason is that maybe geopol activity gets the Fed to lighten up on the tighten up. Fed Fund pricing has already come down a decent bit over the past two weeks. And the geopol backdrop may give them cover to continue to run easy policy with high inflation. 


  1. Also, the SPX’s price to 50dma spread is at levels that often, though not always, coincide with bottoms. Not to mention, small specs now are crowding bearish, and strong positive seasonality kicks in about another week. 


  1. Short interest in Qs is at 4-year highs as well (chart via @MacroCharts). 


  1. I continue to watch bitcoin closely as it’s been a good lead for risk-on/off.


  1. There’s a number of beaten-down tech names that I like here and SQ is definitely one of them. Chart shows a strong monthly reversal off its lower BB. Brandon wrote this one up for Collective members recently, which peeps can find in the Vault. 


  1. Twitter the perennial loser and red-headed stepchild of the big tech platforms is about to enter greener pastures I think. I’ll be sharing my thoughts on this with the group soon. But we have a technical double bottom on the weekly combined with a massive reality-perception valuation gap. 


  1. In the commodity space, the wheat chart continues to play out nicely. The inverted H&S pattern is complete. We’ll be adding to our long position on pullbacks/consolidations. 


  1. The price to MA gaps show how overextended wheat is in the short-term though, so careful with your entries. 


  1. Donate, pray, write/call your political leaders, etc… Make sure to do your part to support the people of Ukraine and their right to exist as a nation and the freedom to choose their own path. 

Thanks for reading.

Stay frosty and keep your head on a swivel.

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Brandon Beylo

Value Investor

Brandon has been a professional investor focusing on value for over 13 years, spending his time in small to micro-cap companies, spin-offs, SPACs, and deep value liquidation situations. Over time, he’s developed a deeper understanding for what deep-value investing actually means, and refined his philosophy to include any business trading at a wild discount to what he thinks its worth in 3-5 years.

Brandon has a tenacious passion for investing, broad-based learning, and business. He previously worked for several leading investment firms before joining the team at Macro Ops. He lives by the famous Munger mantra of trying to get a little smarter each day.


Investing & Personal Finance

AK is the founder of Macro Ops and the host of Fallible.

He started out in corporate economics for a Fortune 50 company before moving to a long/short equity investment firm.

With Macro Ops focused primarily on institutional clients, AK moved to servicing new investors just starting their journey. He takes the professional research and education produced at Macro Ops and breaks it down for beginners. The goal is to help clients find the best solution for their investing needs through effective education.

Tyler Kling

Volatility & Options Trader

Former trade desk manager at $100+ million family office where he oversaw multiple traders and helped develop cutting edge quantitative strategies in the derivatives market.

He worked as a consultant to the family office’s in-house fund of funds in the areas of portfolio manager evaluation and capital allocation.

Certified in Quantitative Finance from the Fitch Learning Center in London, England where he studied under famous quants such as Paul Wilmott.

Alex Barrow

Macro Trader

Founder and head macro trader at Macro Ops. Alex joined the US Marine Corps on his 18th birthday just one month after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He subsequently spent a decade in the military. Serving in various capacities from scout sniper to interrogator and counterintelligence specialist. Following his military service, he worked as a contract intelligence professional for a number of US agencies (from the DIA to FBI) with a focus on counterintelligence and terrorist financing. He also spent time consulting for a tech company that specialized in building analytic software for finance and intelligence analysis.

After leaving the field of intelligence he went to work at a global macro hedge fund. He’s been professionally involved in markets since 2005, has consulted with a number of the leading names in the hedge fund space, and now manages his own family office while running Macro Ops. He’s published over 300 white papers on complex financial and macroeconomic topics, writes regularly about investment/market trends, and frequently speaks at conferences on trading and investing.

Macro Ops is a market research firm geared toward professional and experienced retail traders and investors. Macro Ops’ research has been featured in Forbes, Marketwatch, Business Insider, and Real Vision as well as a number of other leading publications.

You can find out more about Alex on his LinkedIn account here and also find him on Twitter where he frequently shares his market research.