The Chinese Yuan and a Global Tipping Point

Every market cycle has 1 to 2 macro drivers at the heart of its regime. We call these the fulcrum points. Keep an eye on the fulcrum and you’ll know when a major cyclic turn is underfoot.

The fulcrum point for the current cycle is without a doubt the US dollar (UUP). The dollar is sitting on top of a $9-$11 trillion powder keg of foreign carry trades — essentially short dollar positions. And the torch that’s likely to set off this powder keg of deflation is the Chinese yuan (FXI).

A depreciating yuan equals a stronger dollar. A stronger dollar increases downside pressure on a depreciating yuan. This is called a feedback loop. Once the loop picks up momentum, it will rip until it has completely exhausted itself.

If (when) this loop starts up, the current market cycle will be over. We’ll enter a new bear regime. And if it’s anything like past devaluations, the shift will be painful and dramatic.

With that said, investors should be concerned. The yuan has been on a relentless march lower against the dollar (when yuan falls the USDCNY pair rises). It’s been hitting new six year lows almost daily and showing no sign of abating.


The yuan has fallen even further against other countries, over 30% just this year against currencies it competes with for exports. This is akin to a massive tectonic plate shift under the ocean. At the epicenter, things are hardly noticeable. But under the surface, powerful waves are barreling toward distant shores.

We’re seeing ripples of this move in the dollar now. It’s been strengthening the last two months and looks set to break out of its 18-month trading range.


Capital flows out of China have been picking up steam. Much of it is being disguised under other cross-border flows in an attempt by the Chinese Communist Party to hide the severity of the situation.

Cross Border Flows

It’s no surprise the Chinese “smart money”, the wealthy and politically connected, are transferring their savings out of the country by going on an unprecedented acquisition spree of foreign companies.

Feedback loop gaining momentum. Fulcrum shift in motion. Cycle change coming.

Global Fund Manager Survey

The irony is that a devaluing yuan, once at the front of investors concerns at the beginning of the year, has now faded to little more than an afterthought. But as the saying goes, the big moves happen when nobody is looking.

Good thing we are.



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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.


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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.

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