Macro Ops

Volatility Trader Darrin Johnson

An episode of Macro Ops

By Chris
Macro Ops is a collective of amazing humans continually improving in life. From the Global Macro space of financial markets, we reach further than just finance, learning from people in all walks of life in order to bring that mindset, those skills, that thinking into making ourselves better all around.
Cover art photo provided by Tobias van Schneider on Unsplash:
More places to listen
Macro Ops is a collective of amazing humans continually improving in life. From the Global Macro space of financial markets, we reach further than just finance, learning from people in all walks of life in order to bring that mindset, those skills, that thinking into making ourselves better all around.
Cover art photo provided by Tobias van Schneider on Unsplash:

More places to listen

The Market Gaggle Week Ahead Dec 15 2019
The Market Gaggle Week Ahead - this week we talk about the effects of FOMC no cut/hike, Brexit and China and how that effects markets going in to the last big volume week of the year (decade)  Bonds, Currencies, Equities, Commodities triple witching, and the rebalancing of the NASDAQ 100 this week Reach out to Chris @chrisdmacro on Twitter or email
December 15, 2019
Macro Ops - Spinoff Investing with Richard Howe
This is an all-out spin-off podcast. Brandon chats with Richard Howe, founder of Brandon and Richard discuss everything spin-off related. Richard focuses on smaller-cap spin-offs, and goes deep into his research process. The hour-long episode covers current ideas, past ideas, the history behind spin-off investing and what Richard likes going forward. Show-notes: Richard's website: Richard Howe on Twitter: @stockspinoffss (with two 's') Value Hive Newsletter: Books Mentioned: Tim Ferriss' 4-Hour Work Week, Joel Greenblatt's You Can Be A Stock Market Genius
December 13, 2019
Market Gaggle - December FOMC Decision with Alex and Chris
Today we cover the FOMC decision to keep rates unchanged and some effects in emerging markets, currencies and metals   We also cover the upcoming presidential election, briefly   Join our email list at  Follow us on Twitter at: Chris @ChrisDMacro  Alex on Twitter @MacroOps   Like, comment and let us know what you are curious about in the markets
December 11, 2019
Vol Trader Darrin John Talks Edges, Opportunities And The Benefits Of Being An Individual Trader
Our most requested guest is back for yet another deep dive, well to be honest, we nerd out on nuances of trading, strategies, edges and what it takes to be successful as an individual trader.  Reach out to Darrin on Twitter @darjohn25  Find Chris on Twitter @chrisdmacro or
December 10, 2019
Market Gaggle - FOMC Week December Decision
It's FOMC Week and all the follow on interest rate policy decisions around the world.   This week Chris and Alex talk about the S&P500 all time highs and misguided beliefs on bull markets   Copper breaks out of a very tight low vol range as did $GBP  Alex see's low growth for the next 6 months leading to a very bullish environment for equities
December 9, 2019
The Market Gaggle - Global Macro, Value Investing, Quantitate and Systems Trading, Tax Loss Selling, FX
This week in the Market Gaggle, Chris and Brandon cover an interesting chart going back to 1872 on the S&P 500, you can view it here  Chris calls foul on the "longest bull market in history" and talks a bit about sector rotation and hiding volume at triple witching.   Brandon is looking at Madison Square Garden spinoff, Russia's MOEX exchange live on Interactive Brokers LD Micros Micro Cap index and Andrew Walker's blog about the Media space.   Join our email list at Follow us on Twitter at: Chris @ChrisDMacro Alex @MacroOps  Brandon @marketplunger1  
December 9, 2019
Macro Ops Weekly Market Gaggle
This week Chris, Alex and Brandon talk about  Historical Low Volatility in G10 FX and Commodities, Bullish Markets, the Santa Claus Rally and Brandon shares a couple of stocks he's stalking for the end of the year Tax Loss Selling strategy Be sure to join our email list at Alex can be found on Twitter or Brandon can be found on Twitter or Chris can be found on Twitter or
December 3, 2019
Professional Poker Player Turned Trader - Macro Nakamoto
On the show, Brandon talks to Macro Ops Collective Member Macro Nakamoto. Nakamoto is a professional poker player and brings a unique perspective to the world of financial markets. If you like poker, this podcast is for you.  They go into the weeds about risk management, bet sizing, biggest losers and stories of poker psychology.  Throughout the podcast, Nakamoto ties powerful poker concepts to the world of investing and trading.  They also cover diet, exercise, meditation and even hypnotherapy. Check it out! You can reach Brandon via email or on Twitter and Macro Nakamoto on Twitter Be sure to subscribe to our email list at and get access to more content like this
November 25, 2019
Macro Ops Calls For New Bull Market In US Equities
Yesterday Alex and Chris talked a lot about the bull case for equities and today Chris follows up with the technical and catalysts that he's seeing from the systematic and technical side of the market. Macro Ops consensus is bullish for US Equities If you have any thoughts reach out to Chris at ChrisDMacro or email him at
September 19, 2019
Repo Rates, FOMC, Saudi Arabian False Flag and The Upcoming Bull Market with Alex Barrow
Alex Barrow, Co-Founder and Head Macro Strategist at Macro-Ops joins Chris to talk about: A False Flag in Saudi Arabia  The Repo Rates scare FOMC meeting and Chair Powell's press conference The fuel to rocket equity indexes to new all time highs ---------------------------------- Send ALL your questions about Repo Rates and everything macro to @MacroOps on Twitter or email him at You can reach Chris at @chrisdmacro or email him at ---------------------------------- If you aren't already a subscriber, be sure to subscribe to the email list here
September 18, 2019
Mr Bean Returns To Break Down His Approach To Value Investing
Macro Ops newest addition Mr. Bean returns to talk about his approach to value investing and goes against the common wisdom of the Value space.  You can reach him at or @marketplunger1 on Twitter You can reach Chris at or @ChrisDMacro on Twitter
August 27, 2019
Alex Barrow Talks Bonds, Metals, Value, Politics But Definitely Does NOT Talk About Dollar
Chris and Alex make a follow up to their last podcast where they talked about the imminent Macro move that was staring us down back in June and where we go from here As always Alex provides some great insights in to the world of Macro, touches on some Geo Politics and a very interesting take on the automobile sector globally You can reach Alex at MacroOps or And you can reach Chris at ChrisDMacro or If you liked this episode please be sure to subscribe and give us a rating where ever you listen to your Podcasts, we really appreciate your support!
August 21, 2019
Vol Trader Darrin John Returns
This week Chris welcomes back @darjohn25 Darrin Johnson a volatility trader.  This is a very intricate, detailed and thorough discussion about trading for a living by two traders who've been in the trading for a living game for a long time. Real talk about why most traders fail, trying to be like big fund managers and getting caught up focusing on the wrong things.  Darrin has a wonderful perspective on finding edges and trading in markets for the long haul. Hit him up on Twitter @darjohn25 he is happy to work with and "pay it forward" to traders who are having troubles.  Chris can be reached at @chrisdmacro on Twitter and Instagram or email to  We are both happy to chat! Enjoy
July 2, 2019
Iran, Post Fed Announcement And A Victory Lap For Alex
This is a solo episode where Chris runs through the day after the fed announcement and Iran further tensions.
June 20, 2019
Everything Relies On The US Dollar With Alex Barrow
It all depends on the Dollar, bottom line.  Alex Barrow returns to chat about the Global Macro landscape and what he thinks about how markets will be playing out going forward.  We talk about: USD Gold Bonds Emerging Markets Equities Market Regimes and how to trade in bull vs bear markets Disney ROAD Sadly for the bird fans we only talk about birds for a brief minute.  Be sure to sign up for our emails, we provide a boat load of content each week, free that will make you smarter than your smug co-workers and those Twitter folks! While you're there definitely check out Alex's weekly Macro Musings and Monthly Intelligence Reports, perhaps the best in the business.
June 13, 2019
Crypto Meets Global Macro And China
Chris D talks about the most hated (or loved) cryptocurrency space. This is not an episode about HODL’ing, moons and lambos. Rather Chris talks about some of the features and benefits of trading cryptocurrencies. Differences between spot and the Bitcoin CME futures markets and some perspective of commodities, tech stocks and crypt as the new asset class.
May 19, 2019
Volatility Trader Darrin Johnson
Chris chats with fellow trader Darrin Johnson. Darrin is a volatility trader, trading for himself rather than working at a firm. His ideas, approach and techniques to trading are rigorously researched and thought through. He has spent a lot of time getting really good at focusing on what works, eliminating that which doesn't help him.  Darrin does a great job of explaining his approach to volatility and how we all are vol traders, one way or another.  You can find Darrin on Twitter at @darjohn25 As always you can reach me on Twitter @chrisdmacro and on Instagram @chrisdmacro or email me at If you aren't already signed up for our amazing email list, do it, do it now, and allow some amazing macro research and thoughts into your inbox!
May 7, 2019
Weekly Global Macro Chart Review - May 5 2019
This week Chris goes over the major currencies, bonds, indices, commodities, then jumps into the MSCI index of ETF's and finishes with a look at the Crypto Markets.  We are building out the video platform and these reviews will also be available with Chart book's and Videos...soon.  Hit me up with any thoughts on Twitter at @ChrisDMacro Instagram @ChrisDMacro or email me at Don't forget to sign up for our free emails at we provide a ton of free research and make your inbox a happy place!
May 6, 2019
Weekly Macro Chart Analysis
ChrisD does his weekly chart analysis of the Global Macro space. Chris focuses on Currencies, Interest Rates, Equity Indices, Energy, Metals, emerging market currencies under pressure and of course Tesla makes an appearance.  Spoiler, the dollar is in everyone's sights coming into the Fed's announcement this week.  You should be a subscriber to emails, we provide a ton of free analysis and perspectives and have a bunch of new products coming out soon, go sign up! If you have any questions for Chris you can find him on Twitter Instagram or at 
April 29, 2019
The Global Macro Picture Is Ready To Explode, But When? - Euro, Bonds, Metals, Inflation, Inverted Yield Curve, China, $YTRA and Equity Indexes
This episode Chris and Alex Barrow Co Founder and Chief Macro Strategist of, talk about the major moves that are shaping up in the  Global Macro space. Alex has pushed out a number of reports the past few weeks about the topic.  By the way these are all free reports and if you aren't getting them delivered to your inbox you should drop everything you are doing and go to  and sign up for our free email. You will get a boat load of value, and it'll make your inbox happy! In this episode we talk about the Dollar, Bonds, Metals, Inflation, Inverted Yield Curve, China, $YTRA and Equity Indexes.  We also talk about how Alex stacks his fundamental macro views with technical indicators to give him a better timing advantage in markets.  This was a long one, I hope you enjoy it! Links to subjects mentioned in this episode: You might recall the podcast episode I did covering the impending Global Macro moves a few weeks ago, if you haven't yet give it a listen here You can find Alex on Twitter at @MacroOps or via email at As always follow ChrisD on Twitter at @ChrisDMacro or email at 
April 3, 2019
Biren Shah Part 2 - Tesla is out of ammo. Also a bit more about the Eurodollar system and Uranium
This is a follow up episode with Biren Shah @perseidcapital on Twitter and  We go further down the $tslaq bear case and why this quarter is make or break time for Tesla. They've run out of ammo and he feels that unless they have a magic bullet somewhere, this quarter will be what all the Tesla bears have been waiting for, when their day of reckoning happens.  There are two Eurodollar systems, the Futures and the actual Eurodollar banking system. Biren breaks it down a bit further, more simply than the excellent Eurodollar University from Macro Voices podcast with Jeffrey Snider from Alhambra Investments.  And we revisit the Uranium markets.  At Macro-ops we send out a ton of research, for free to our email subscribers. Drop everything right now and go sign up  As always you can find me on Twitter at ChrisDMacro or on Instagram at ChrisDMacro
March 28, 2019
Global Macro and Value Investing Collide, Mr Bean is Macro Ops Newest Addition
Todays we introduce Macro-Ops newest addition, "Mr. Bean".  Mr. Bean is a value investor with over 13 years experience thinking his way through the value landscape.  We get into the Shippers sector, a longer term theme we are following closely here at Macro Ops.  This is our longest episode to day, in addition to his work on value investing we cover lifestyle, health and wellness, longevity and many other topics.  Don't forget to sign up for our emails at we send out a ton of free content and research and make your inbox an enjoyable place again! You can follow more of Mr. Beans thoughts at or As always you can catch me at or or email me
March 25, 2019
Tesla Short Catalysts, Eurodollar Threats Imminent Equity Market Weakness and Uranium with Biren Shah
This week Chris speaks with Biren Shah who runs a family office.  Biren is very bearish on Tesla, but more importantly he breaks down some of the catalysts to the $TESLAQ or the more dramatic rapid move down that is upon us. Biren has written a lot more and provides some amazing research with links down rabbit holes at his blog at Next we cover the Eurodollar market, and what he expects to see as equity markets start to turn over. It could be a lot worse than we thought.  Finally Biren is bullish on Uranium and covers his thoughts on the catalysts forthcoming.  Find Biren at If you don't already subscribe to our email at we provide a ton of free, useful and actionable research. Again it's free and it's amazing! Find me at or https://instagram/com/chrisdmacro 
March 23, 2019
The Beaten Down Shipping Sector And A Tesla Teaser
Alex and Chris talk about the beaten down Shipping Sector. Not our typical 2 plus hour sessions, this time we focus our discussion on a research report Alex released this week about shipbuilders.  Get the full report FOR FREE at and while you are there, sign up for our emails. We send out a ton of free research each week, you should definitely sign up!
March 19, 2019
Brexit, Yellow Jackets, Venezuela and Global Crisis Response with Ben Hockman
 This week Chris speaks with Ben Hockman  Ben is part of an Incident Response team for one of the largest financial institutions in the world. With a heavy focus on Cyber Security, Intelligence, Terrorism and Physical Security, with very operational roles in Latin America, Colombia/Venezuela border, Mexico and currently in Europe on the corporate side.  Additionally Ben is a British Citizen, living in France with his family, he has first hand concerns about the upcoming March 29 BREXIT deadline and what that might mean for him and his family.  We talk about the Yellow Jackets in France, the global rise in Populism and how he see’s the threat to businesses around the world just barely starting to deal with what might come of BREXIT and a reintegration of ISIS soldiers.  We then move to South America, Venezuela and what that looks like, not only in Venezuela but across the Americas. Just how close is a war, how involved are the FARC, ELN (The Colombian Narco-Terrorist Organizations) with Maduro.  This was a wide ranging discussion and for those who don’t get a chance to think about the real threats to business out there, cyber threats, financial threats, and those who have staff around the world, need to have a listen and do some thinking about the effects coming in to a US Pre-Election year, for example.  Ben is a great contact to have, you can reach out to him at  Or on LinkedIn  As always if you have any thoughts for me you can find me at:  Twitter or Instagram Also, be sure to subscribe to the Podcast and if you like what we are doing give us a Review
March 15, 2019
Major Global Macro Moves Happening Right Now
This is a solo cast with me Chris D.  I’m a trader, a quantitative systemic trader, and I look at price action to come up with a repeatable approach to trading the Global Macro space.  Generally speaking the markets don’t line up all together in a way that is easy to identify, but this last week everything lined up into something big.  I take a look at Gold, Bonds, Currencies and a quit shot at Equity Indexes.  Listen in and hit me up with any thoughts or questions you might have at on Twitter on Instagram 
March 3, 2019
Alex, Tyler, Chris and Mr. B talk Macro Intelligence Report, Global Macro, Value, Systems Trading and Vol.
Quick Take away from a monster 3+ hour session, Chris hosts a Macro Ops roundtable with Alex Barrow, Tyler  Kling and Mr. B.  If you want more of this Check out what we are doing at This is a monster podcast, unedited, long form, plug in go deep with us.  We start off right away with Alex talking a little highlight of this month’s Macro Intelligence Report. a monster rally that left everyone in the rearview mirror and now people are starting to FOMO into the market after a nearly 20% rally from the December 26 lows.  We dig into Alex’s thinking at the end of the year of why the equity indexes had bottomed, what sentiment indicators he was looking at to feel confident. Publishing that report on Real Vision when everyone else was bearish was interesting to see the reaction from fellow market participants.  Bottoms, what are some reliable, repeatable bottom finding (not top selling) setups, if nothing else for a tradable bottom.  Cash was the highest returning asset in 2018 Then we get into value investing with Mr. B.  If you think catching the bottom on equity indexes was good at 20% bounces, Mr. B found these needles in a haystack: Garret Motion $GTX and Construction Partners $ROAD they are currently up 60% and 40% respectively.  Difference between retail investors and managers, retail DOES NOT HAVE TO BE STYLISTIC.  Alex calls: -Dollar  -Rising Interest Rate Regime -Equity Volatility -1960’s and 1970’s volatility Venezuela, on the door steps of war? Then we get into politics, but not too political.  Mr B talks about Howard Marks latest note and anti-capitalism. You can find his note here: Alex, a political scientist, goes into some depth on capitalism.  We touch on the craziness of 5:1 leverage to purchase a home…and a flashback to the 1990’s at 16% interest rates for home mortgages.  Risk, Risk, Risk.  Some of the highlights of being a full time trader and traveling, nomadic systems trading.  And here we go, it always comes back to Warren Buffett. Alex turns the tables on Chris and we learn a bit of his time before and during the military and where he got into systems trading. As a Marine he had visited Thailand and Indonesia during their debt crisis, and seeing the effects of Russia defaulting on their currency, Pakistan and India getting nukes, having a front row seat for some of the biggest events in Global Macro in the later 1990’s.  Key requirements of a trading system.  Chris goes on about systems trading, his last 20 years of trading.  And again back to Buffett and Munger.  Humility, realizing that you suck but continuously learning from mistakes. Getting comfortable being uncomfortable, truly analyzing what you are doing wrong and getting better over time.  Constant improvement.  Ice baths, extreme heat, building that mental toughness and resolve. It isn’t the same as a losing streak but getting comfortable with suffering.   Paper trading, backtesting, getting experience but more importantly you get practice taking shots, entering/exiting, practicing the basics over and over obsessively.  It’s no different than what a professional athlete does:
February 28, 2019
Macro Musings - China, EURUSD, Quants, Hardcore History, Breathing
Today's episode is an audio expansion on the weekly Macro Musings email from our free This is a solo episode, with me Chris, expanding a bit about an article from Brian MacKenzie about the importance of nasal breathing.  I talk a bit about China and their ownership of the US Film industry and the lack of any anti-Chinese sentiment in US Films.  Hearing about Ken Griffin, Founder of Citadel Capital, recent $238 million  penthouse purchase in NYC and the book The Quants.  $3 billion dollar inflows into Vanguard Total International Bond ETF is a short bet on USD, one of the most crowded trades currently, not just in Macro but across the board.  Dan Carlin's amazing Hardcore History podcast, Blueprint for Armageddon an epic tale of the Somme in World War I.  My EURUSD trade setup and how I approach Macro Trading as a systematic quant.  And finally an interpretation of a quote from the ever belligerent Charlie Munger Follow me @chrisdmacro on Twitter and Instagram
February 15, 2019
Trading Strategies: Curve Fitting and Over Optimization
Chris and Tyler talk about curve fitting and over optimization of trading strategies.  This episode is a lot shorter than normal, we touch on a single subject vs going deep on the markets. If you like it and want more, let us know what you’d like to hear. Also if you want more of the long form, tell us what YOU want! Chris talks about what he looks for in a strategy to consider: Predictability - the ability to predict a trade is forthcoming, not predicting the results.  Repeatable - does this setup repeat over time. Define-able - can you clearly define the parameters. What does over fitting look like in trading setups?  “I just want to be consistent.”  Seeking high win rate systems lead us down the path of over fitting.  Random walk price data and finding setups that you start believing are edges, but end up being curve fit on random price series.  Testing in-sample and out of sample data (training and test data sets). Train model on in-sample data, then test it on the out of sample data. If it works on both, you have a system that can initially be considered more robust and not curve fit.  Resiliency is more of what we are looking for to get us in the ballpark on a system. It isn’t fragile, it has more potential to last over time.  Oh but what about Black Swans? Position sizing, taking exits, adding to positions, staying out of the market are where the magic happens when you add them to a resilient system. Where as applying these techniques to a fragile system increases the risk.  Spoiler: Robust systems are uncomfortable to sit through. Building a system that fits your temperament is a key to having success trading a robust system. Get comfortable with being wrong. Backtesting systems, getting experience with the system, learning how you respond while trading the system.  Practice the basics of a system over and over. Get the reps in! You can reach Tyler at @tylerhkling on Twitter and You can reach Chris at @chrisdmacro on Twitter and 
February 8, 2019
Macro Ops Monthly Intelligence Report, Dollar, Tesla and Birds with Alex Barrow
Chris sits down and chats with Macro-Ops Co-Founder Alex Barrow. This one goes deep! If you are looking for an abridged version of the Monthly Intelligence Report, this isn’t it. If you want to download Alex’s views on the markets into your brain operating group, this is the episode for you. We spend over two hours talking about: Adam Robinson’s interview on the Knowledge Project Podcast, part 1 and part 2 And go over how he looks at markets. We cover Copper to Gold Ratio and how the Credit market leads equities. Tesla short. Why everyone is bearish the dollar? How do we play that? Gold leading the dollar, Platinum leading gold and what price levels are important there. Global recession outside of the US. Chris’s labored retail store as trading analogy, losses are operating costs. Building better systems, better mental models and stepping away. Alex was a sniper in the United States Marine Corps, and how that transfers over directly to trading. Alex breaks down how he looks to manages his book, risk exposure, mistakes and waiting for the things that are obvious to find high expectancy positions. Waiting for the one to two big macro opportunities per year. Chris goes on, again, about the C-O-N-spiracy brokers have about getting successful people to think trading is easy and they should open accounts only to find the WORST User Interface/User Experience (UI/UX) platforms to trade on. ROAD (Construction Partners) long position on an IPO from 2018. We dig in to some of the excellence in management running this company and the expected price value. US Equity Household allocation is near all time highs. And birds! Alex can be reached at @macroops on Twitter or Chris can be reached at @chrisDmacro on Twitter and Instagram or
January 23, 2019
Volatility, Smart Beta, Ancient Chinese Philosophy and Poker
 Chris chats with Macro-Ops Co-Founder Tyler Kling.  We discuss how Tyler got into the finance world out of school at a family office, then moving on to trading for himself.  Tyler is heavily focused on the Volatility Complex and talks about a call he put out on VXX and VIX near the December low’s in the markets and what that looks like now.  We touch on the indecision currently in the markets and Chris’s short trade setup and contingency plan on the S&P this week.   This week Tyler wrote about a Classical Chinese text from thousands of years ago, the Zhuangzi and how it applies to traders today. Bleak stuff indeed!  Check out the article here: Optionality, finding smart beta with a macro overlay and looking to get paid by the market for that risk. Getting out of the reactive state and making the best decisions when they are the most obvious.  Then finally we get to Poker! You can reach Tyler at @TylerHKling on Twitter or And you can reach Chris at @chrisDMacro on Twitter and Instagram or 
January 20, 2019
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