The Zeitgeist – 5.15.2019

Preparing today’s Zeitgeist, I couldn’t stop staring at this picture of Larry Kudlow.

There’s a famous body of work on how serving as President ages you in office, and I’ve got some examples of that here in the note.

My strong sense of the Trump White House is that The Donald will look exactly the same when he leaves as when he entered. It’s the people working for him that age in dog years.

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The Zeitgeist – 5.9.2019

Process stories (what’s happening behind the scenes at the campaign / the White House / the locker room / the negotiations) are the original Fiat News. They are designed to make you angry and further the aims of whoever sourced the “news”.

Who benefits from making you angry at China and their “reneging” on a deal that never existed in the first place?

Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia. Or was it Eurasia? I don’t seem to remember so well these days.

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The Zeitgeist – 5.6.2019

If you’re buying or selling the market because the China deal is on or because the China deal is off, you’re no different from everyone who had a ticket at the Derby. Good luck with that.

Also, what do Warren Buffett and Dune’s Leto Atreides have in common? They both get transformed into near-immortal creatures. I suppose a cartoon cut-out is more attractive than a sandworm.

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The Zeitgeist – 5.2.2019

Content placement by asset managers is like the elaborate red pouch of the male frigate bird. It is SO wasteful and extravagant that – in an economically perverse way – it demonstrates your evolutionary fitness. 

Ditto for why the sell-side still cares about II ratings and “who’s the ax?” and all that stuff that hasn’t mattered for 20 years.

It’s plumage.

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The Zeitgeist – 5.1.2019

Berkshire Hathaway’s financing for Occidental is in the Zeitgeist today.

What is shadow banking? THIS.

Not that there’s anything wrong with it. Hey, this is Uncle Warren’s true face, and I’m a fan of authenticity in all its forms and ways. But if you think poorly of a guy like, say, Ken Griffin because you think Citadel was “bailed out by the US taxpayer”, and you don’t think EXACTLY the same about Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway … then you’ve been played.

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