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:

The ‘No Landing’ Narrative

By Ben Hunt | February 8, 2024 | 0 Comments

We’re starting to pick up the “no landing” macro scenario in The Narrative Machine.

It’s All True (Eight Thoughts on Justin Mohn)

By Ben Hunt | February 2, 2024 | 23 Comments

Eight thoughts that I can’t reconcile about about Justin Mohn, the 32-year-old in Levittown, Pennsylvania who murdered his father, cut off his head, and made a YouTube video showing off his trophy and saying he did it because his father, who worked for the US Army Corps of Engineers, was part of the “Biden regime” and was a “traitor to his country”.

It’s All True

By Ben Hunt | February 2, 2024 | 23 Comments

Eight thoughts that I can’t reconcile about about Justin Mohn, the 32-year-old in Levittown, Pennsylvania who murdered his father, cut off his head, and made a YouTube video showing off his trophy and saying he did it because his father, who worked for the US Army Corps of Engineers, was part of the “Biden regime” and was a “traitor to his country”.

Private Credit Working Group Call 01/26/24

By Ben Hunt | January 30, 2024 | 0 Comments

Recording of the private credit working group conference call on Jan 26.

The Intellectual Rot of the Industrially Necessary University

By Ben Hunt | January 23, 2024 | 60 Comments

The intellectual rot of the modern University perverts and diminishes the works of its faculty and administrators, no matter how smart they are, no matter how well-intentioned they are. It is a rot that requires plagiarism and promotes antisemitism.

We require a new Reformation, and here are its theses.

Round Two of the Unmooring Rates Trade

By Ben Hunt | January 18, 2024 | 0 Comments

I think that we’re gearing up for Round Two of the Unmooring Trade.

Non-Linguistic Inflation Framing in the Wall Street Journal

By Ben Hunt | January 11, 2024 | 17 Comments

We do a lot of work here to understand how the media frames issues linguistically, but we haven’t done much to see how that carries over in graphical narrative representations. Would the same patterns we see in the WSJ’s words be represented in the WSJ’s pictures?

Oh yes.

January Professional Monitors

By Ben Hunt | January 9, 2024 | 0 Comments

The language FROM central bankers remains hawkish (“slow down on your projected 2024 rate cut schedule”), but the language TO central bankers is not only decidedly dovish but is starting to veer into “we need a Fed put” territory.

From a Promise to a Threat

By Ben Hunt | January 5, 2024 | 0 Comments

We’ve moved from the promise of cutting rates (mission accomplished on inflation and a soft landing, so now the Fed should cut rates by choice rather than by necessity … well done and take a bow, you geniuses!) to the threat of not cutting rates (if the Fed doesn’t cut rates soon, then it will cause a recession … hurry up and cut, you fools!).

“Yay, College!”

By Ben Hunt | January 4, 2024 | 13 Comments

Every once in a very great while, the direct beneficiaries of a yay-something narrative construction overplay their hand so egregiously, embarrass themselves so publicly, reveal their mediocrity so clearly, that the Common Knowledge propping up the yay-something narrative collapses.

This is the breaking of “Yay, College!”.