Ben Hunt

Ben Hunt

Co-Founder and CIO

 @EpsilonTheory

Ben Hunt is the creator of Epsilon Theory and inspiration behind Second Foundation Partners, which he co-founded with Rusty Guinn in June 2018.

Epsilon Theory, Second Foundation’s principal publishing brand, is a newsletter and website that examines markets through the lenses of game theory and history. Over 100,000 professional investors and allocators across 180 countries read Epsilon Theory for its fresh perspective and novel insights into market dynamics. As Chief Investment Officer, Ben bears primary responsibility for determining the Company’s investment views and positioning of model portfolios. He is also the primary author of materials distributed through Epsilon Theory.

Ben taught political science for 10 years: at New York University from 1991 until 1997 and (with tenure) at Southern Methodist University from 1997 until 2000. He also wrote two academic books: Getting to War (Univ. of Michigan Press, 1997) and Policy and Party Competition (Routledge, 1992), which he co-authored with Michael Laver. Ben is the founder of two technology companies and the co-founder of SmartEquip, Inc., a software company for the construction equipment industry that provides intelligent schematics and parts diagrams to facilitate e-commerce in spare parts.

He began his investment career in 2003, first in venture capital and subsequently on two long/short equity hedge funds. He worked at Iridian Asset Management from 2006 until 2011 and TIG Advisors from 2012 until 2013. He joined Rusty at Salient in 2013, where he combined his background as a portfolio manager, risk manager, and entrepreneur with academic experience in game theory and econometrics to work with Salient’s own portfolio managers and its financial advisor clients to improve client outcomes.

Ben is a graduate of Vanderbilt University (1986) and earned his Ph.D. in Government from Harvard University in 1991. He lives in the wilds of Redding, CT on Little River Farm, where he personifies the dilettante farmer that has been a stock comedic character since Cicero's day. Luckily his wife, Jennifer, and four daughters, Harper, Hannah, Haven and Halle, are always there to save the day. Ben's hobbies include comic books, Alabama football, beekeeping, and humoring Rusty in trivia "competitions".

Articles by Ben:

Weimar, War, and the Narrative of Central Bank Omnipotence

By Ben Hunt | June 21, 2022 | 0 Comments

It feels weird to be rooting for a Volcker-esque recession and long bear market as the best potential outcome for where we are today. But there are worse outcomes, like Weimar or war. And it feels like those much worse outcomes are squarely on the path of least political resistance.

Read more

Being Human in a LARPing World

By Ben Hunt | June 8, 2022 | 35 Comments

The cure for the cancer of gun culture and police culture is not to be found in reform laws around guns and police, but in reform ideas around culture, ideas that create a new dimension of American society that rejects LARPing and LARPers alike.

Read more

The Universe is Healing … or Going Nuts, Kinda Hard to Tell

By Ben Hunt | June 6, 2022 | 0 Comments

We have two new narrative signals here in June, both Bullish in direction, which is a welcome change from the largely uniform Bearish signals of April and May.

But both on the surface and beneath the surface, there is an enormous amount of conflict and churn happening in narrative-world. Time to trim the risk sails.

Read more

Seems Like Old Times

By Ben Hunt | May 25, 2022 | 0 Comments

For a solid two years, call it early 2011 through early 2013, comparative euro-area gov’t bond yields was the first chart I’d look at in the morning and the last chart I’d look at in the evening.

Time to start doing that again.

Read more

The MacGuffin, Part 1

By Ben Hunt | May 17, 2022 | 78 Comments

If you don’t see that the crypto “industry” has become just as blindingly corrupt, just as oozingly fatuous, just as profoundly captured by the Nudging Oligarchy as the traditional financial services industry it was supposed to replace … well, you’re just not paying attention.

Read more

But The US Consumer Is Strong! ™

By Ben Hunt | May 10, 2022 | 0 Comments

If there’s one common knowledge narrative that I think can break over the coming months, it’s But The US Consumer Is Strong! ™.

Read more

The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves

By Ben Hunt | May 5, 2022 | 0 Comments

I’d like to tell you that our Narrative Monitors are not as bearish for May as they were for April.

Yep, I’d really like to tell you that.

Read more

We’re Entering a Deleveraging Cycle

By Ben Hunt | April 26, 2022 | 0 Comments

The big global risk today is not that the banks are undercapitalized. No, the big global risk today is that banks are unwilling to provide long-term financing for anything. The big global risk today is that we are only in the early innings of a profound deleveraging cycle.

Read more

NGMI

By Ben Hunt | April 11, 2022 | 128 Comments

The Fed’s rate hikes to curb inflation?

Not gonna make it.

Read more

Aaaaand It’s Gone

By Ben Hunt | April 6, 2022 | 0 Comments

The narrative puts and takes of March (and the resulting market rollercoaster) have coalesced into no puts and all takes. This is about as bearish a set of narrative signals for risk assets as we’ve had in a long time.

Read more