Alex Barrow's Blog

Co-Founder, Analyst

Alex Barrow spent over a decade working as a US Marine Scout Sniper and as an Intelligence Professional for the government where he specialized in covering the economic and political spheres of the Asian-Pacific region.

Barrow left the public sector to work as a consultant for a leading silicon valley firm that creates advanced data software for intelligence and finance.

He then went on to pursue his passion for markets, working at a global-macro hedge fund.

Barrow co-founded Macro Ops with two other former hedge fund analysts with the goal of helping friends and family navigate these volatile markets.

Using Gold to See Where the Dollar Will Move Next

By Alex Barrow – I’ve written a lot about how the US dollar is the fulcrum of the global financial system. Commodities are priced in dollars. Global trade is done in dollars. And the majority of international funding is in USD. The dollar is...

A Bullish Big Picture With Growing Near-Term Headwinds

By Alex Barrow – There are some growing signs of weakness in this market. Breadth is slipping, credit doesn’t look too great, there are more new lows versus new highs being made… that kind of stuff. I’m still not getting any major...

The Bitcoin Bubble: A $6,000 Pokémon Card

By Alex Barrow – A single bitcoin today is now worth over $6,000. Those 10,000 bitcoins that amounted to only $25 in 2010 are now worth over $60M. So in hindsight, it was an expensive pizza. Bitcoin has had an annualized...

The Global Macro Renaissance

By Alex Barrow – John Curran was the former head of commodities at Caxton Associates — the hedge fund founded by market wizard Bruce Kovner. He wrote a great article in Barron’s titled The Coming Renaissance of Macro Investing.

Preparing for the Macro Regime Shift to the “Overheat Phase”

By Alex Barrow – The importance of understanding general conditions is why we always start from a top-down perspective. We know the majority of our market returns will be driven by macro factors. And more importantly, we need to be...

Archimedes' Dollar Smile

By Alex Barrow – Archimedes, the Greek tinkerer, knew of the US dollar’s importance to global macro well over 2200 years ago, decades before Fed Chair Yellen was born. A man ahead of his time. If you’re one of the very few...

The Investment Clock

By Alex Barrow – Markets move in cycles of varying types and time scales. Low volatility regimes lead to excessive risk taking and crowded positioning which leads to instability and high volatility regimes and on and on.

Where Oil Prices Are Headed

By Alex Barrow – Oil has been in my “too hard” bucket the last six months. I couldn’t identify any catalyst that could drive it out of its trading range. I mostly expected it to chop around which has turned out to be the case.

Europe's Big Test

A large impetus to the next thrust higher in European equities will be the final round of French elections this Sunday. We’ve covered the rise of populism and how it affects markets for some time now… If Macron should win Sunday...

Hasta La Vista... Traders? (The Future of Artificial Intelligence in the Financial Industry)

One of our favorite movies at Macro Ops is Terminator 2: Judgement Day. The early 90’s classic had Arnold at his best and changed the sci-fi action genre forever. People have always had a particular fear of technology and machines...

Trading a Le Pen Win in the French Elections

Success in the markets requires thinking in possibilities. A great trader understands the permanent information deficit he’s faced with and why it makes market prediction impossible. All he can do is plan for a range of reasonable outcomes...

Populism and Europe’s False Trend

One of my favorite sci-fi series is The Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov. The book was first published in 1951 and is a grand “space opera” that takes place in the distant future. At the heart of the series (and what makes it so interesting) is...

Hawkier Fed, Drowning Oil, and Insiders Jumping Ship

The Fed is going to hike this Wednesday. They’ve made that clear. But why the complete reversal in tone since their last meeting? The answer is obviously because of the Fed’s unspoken third mandate — putting caps on bubbles.

Expected Value (EV) & Bayesian Analysis in Trading

An alternative title for a trader is “professional uncertainty manager.” Trading is a business of possibilities, not certainties. Despite our best efforts to predict financial markets, we’ll inevitably be wrong time and time again. Many of our...

China’s Impossible Trinity

You’re probably familiar with the story of how Soros and Druckenmiller “broke the Bank of England” in 92’. The two bet against the pound believing that it couldn’t maintain its peg to the Deutsche Mark in the European Exchange Rate...

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