The Epsilon Theory Archive

“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes.” Mark Twain said that, or Abraham Lincoln depending on what corner of the internet you find yourself on any given day. Likewise, there are common themes, topics and subjects that run throughout the Epsilon Theory archive. All of our writing is categorized, tagged and organized to be easily accessible, but beware: your search for truth on one matter may very well lead you down any number of rabbit holes (and we hope that it does).

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The Narrative Machine can help us see the invisible memes that drive our political behaviors. Because you're smart enough to make up your own damn mind. Read more »

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The Icarus Moment

We live in a Cartoon Age, an era not of alienation per Karl Marx, but of alienation per Groucho Marx. What’s the cause, what’s the future, and what do we do about all this? It’s a TL;DR cri de coeur from Epsilon Theory. Read more »

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Good Job!

I don’t need to calculate a Sortino ratio to know if my dogs are doing a Good Job. Same with active investment management. Same with active citizenship. It’s all about embracing Convexity, not as a mathematical cartoon, but as a philosophy. Read more »

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Too Clever By Half

The inevitable result of financial innovation gone awry, which it ALWAYS does, is that it ALWAYS ends up empowering the State. When too clever by half people misplay the meta-game, that’s all the excuse the State needs to come swooping in and crush them, just as they are with Bitcoin today they did with Bear and Lehman in 2008. Read more »

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The Three-Body Problem

What if I told you that the dominant strategies for human investing are, without exception, algorithms and derivatives? I don't mean computer-driven investing, I mean good old-fashioned human investing ... stock-picking and the like. And what if I told you that these algorithms and derivatives might all be broken today? You might want to sit down for this one. Read more »

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Pecking Order

The pecking order is a social system designed to preserve economic inequality: inequality of food for chickens, inequality of wealth for humans. We are trained and told by Team Elite that the pecking order is not a real and brutal thing in the human species, but this is a lie. It is an intentional lie, formed by two powerful Narratives: trickle-down monetary policy and massive student debt financing. Read more »

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Clever Hans

You don’t break a wild horse by crushing its spirit. You nudge it into willingly surrendering its autonomy. Because once you’re trained to welcome the saddle, you’re going to take the bit. We are Clever Hans, dutifully hanging on every word or signal from the Nudging Fed and the Nudging Street as we stomp out our investment behavior. Read more »

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Sheep Logic

We think we are wolves, living by the logic of the pack. In truth we are sheep, living by the logic of the flock. Read more »

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Ben's buried lots of investments. You should, too. Read more »

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The Arborist

Identifying the natural lines of a tree and shaping the tree to follow those lines over time is a lot like shaping a portfolio. Read more »

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