All Epsilon Theory Content

The soul of Epsilon Theory is our long-form content, a library of hundreds of pieces written by Ben, Rusty and others over the course of the last 5+ years. These are the print-and-take-home-for the weekend notes that made Epsilon Theory what it is today.

The Emerging Market Zeitgeist is Broken

By Ben Hunt | September 30, 2019 | 2 Comments

Yes, Deadwood is the greatest HBO series ever. Don’t @ me. I’m not having it. David Milch is MY President.

And while Al Swearengen is the greatest character of that greatest show, the fact is that it’s another character – George Hearst – who drives the narrative arc for the entire series (and movie).

You see, Deadwood is a show about property rights.

So is the Argentina – IMF show.

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The Right Price of Money

By Ben Hunt | September 27, 2019 | 15 Comments

Overnight repo is where the interest rates that central banks SET meet the interest rates that real economic actors USE.

So what happens when the setting of interest rates becomes a disembodied symbol of governmental will rather than a clearing price of money in the real world? This.

It’s a new common knowledge about central banks, and it changes EVERYTHING.

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On The Great Jihad And Other Possible Futures

By Demonetized | September 26, 2019 | 9 Comments

ET contributor Demonetized channels his inner Paul Atreides to look at possible market futures – The Great Jihad, The Great Reset, and The Zombiefication of Everything.

Because at its core, “Dune” is all about narrative.

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Politics Trump Economics Redux

By Rusty Guinn | September 23, 2019 | 4 Comments

It’s the most internally consistent Zeitgeist we have seen in 2019. And it just happens to be consistent with everything we’re reading in political / electoral news.

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As Good Once As It Ever Was

By Rusty Guinn | September 20, 2019 | 2 Comments

What happens when profitless-growth-forever narratives start breaking?

We need a new drug.

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Death in Slow Motion

By Rusty Guinn | September 19, 2019 | 4 Comments

The asset management industry has been dying a slow death for decades, but never seems to, you know, die.

Why?

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Mailbag

By Ben Hunt | September 17, 2019 | 4 Comments

As Bill Simmons used to say, “yep, these are my readers.” He meant it as a joke after a silly email, and that’s how I’ve used it in the past, too. But no silly or funny emails today. Just clear eyes and full hearts. Because … you know … can’t lose.

Yes, these are OUR readers, and this is OUR Pack, and this is OUR platform for thought and action in service to that Pack.

Watch from a distance if you like. But when you’re ready … join us.

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Narrative is not a Disease. Narrative is Us.

By Ben Hunt | September 16, 2019 | 3 Comments

Robert Shiller’s new book, “Narrative Economics”, will be out soon, and the publicity effort is kicking into gear. I am SO HAPPY that the rigorous study of narratives is finally being taken seriously, and grateful to Shiller for making that happen.

I am also SO DEPRESSED about how Shiller’s central metaphor, that narrative = infectious disease, will be used against us. Because the “cure” is the Nudge.

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Sparks, Arcs and Trademarks

By Rusty Guinn | September 13, 2019 | 0 Comments

I’m not sure if electric buses are really a national security risk. Even if they are, I’m not sure characterizing them that way is really an escalation of the trade war into existential rhetoric land.

But it’s worth watching.

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Rust and Blight

By Rusty Guinn | September 11, 2019 | 7 Comments

In an orchard, it isn’t always easy to tell the difference between rust and blight. The same goes for our cultural institutions.

Some should be pruned.

Some should be ripped up root and stem.

It’s not always easy to know which. But if we want our sons and daughters to sit in the shade of our trees, we must learn.

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The Long Now, Pt. 2 – Make, Protect, Teach

By Ben Hunt | September 11, 2019 | 30 Comments

It’s time to start a fire. To burn, yes, but also to illuminate.

My advice? Abandon the political party as your vehicle for political participation.

My alternative? Find your Pack.

My platform? Make – Protect – Teach.

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When Meta-Analysis Goes Meta

By Rusty Guinn | September 9, 2019 | 4 Comments

What does it mean when it becomes common knowledge that other investors are focused on evaluating common knowledge?

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I’ve Got a Secret

By Ben Hunt | September 6, 2019 | 8 Comments

Is there a bubble in passive investing? Honestly, I’m not even sure what that question is asking.

I DO think there’s a bubble in markets today – a behavioral bubble I’ll call ABB.

Always. Be. Buying.

And the Common Knowledge around passive investing is what blows this bubble. That’s MY secret.

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The Industrially Necessary Egg

By Ben Hunt | September 5, 2019 | 1 Comment

In modern farming and in modern investing, we have become prisoners of the monoculture. It’s efficient. It’s necessary for a mass society of ever-increasing Desire.

But here’s the thing …

In the investment monoculture, you’re not the farmer.

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Gell-Mann Gravity

By Rusty Guinn | September 3, 2019 | 0 Comments

It’s the Monday Zeitgeist, including all known lanthanides and actinides.

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Notes from the Diamond #8: Room For Doubt

By David Salem | September 1, 2019 | 4 Comments

In both baseball and in investing, we need an all-purpose test of excellence, not just for identifying MVPs like Mike Trout, but for seeing how all of us mere mortals stack up.

ET contributor David Salem makes the case for an investing corollary to baseball’s Wins Above Replacement (WAR). It’s a defense of value investing, but with a twist.

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LEEROY JENKINS!!!

By Ben Hunt | August 29, 2019 | 18 Comments

There are four non-exclusive Occam’s-razorish explanations for Bill Dudley’s recent article inciting the Fed to get involved in the 2020 election:

A) Bill Dudley is a technocratic fascist.

B) Bill Dudley has lost his mind. In a sad clinical sense.

C) Bill Dudley is a MAGA sleeper agent.

D) Bill Dudley is Leeroy Jenkins.

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When Non-News Becomes Fiat News

By Rusty Guinn | August 28, 2019 | 3 Comments

IT’S A DISASTER. IT’S A CATASTROPHE. IT’S A PERFECT STORM. It’s today’s Zeitgeist.

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ET Live! – 8.27.2019

By Rusty Guinn | August 27, 2019 | Comments Off on ET Live! – 8.27.2019

It’s the August 27th edition of Epsilon Theory Live! In which political, economic and markets nihilism are the order of the day.

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You Can’t Take It Back

By Rusty Guinn | August 26, 2019 | 21 Comments

Every morning, we run the Narrative Machine on the past 24 hours worth of financial media to find the most on-narrative (i.e. interconnected and central) stories in financial media. On the weekend, however, we run the same analysis on…well, everything else. It’s not a list of best articles or articles we think are most interesting …

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