All Epsilon Theory Content

Everything we have published at Epsilon Theory including our long-form content, a library of hundreds of pieces written by Ben, Rusty and others over the course of the last 5+ years. Plus, short-form pieces for those without the time (or attention span) for classic Epsilon Theory notes.

ET Live! – 4.28.2020

By Rusty Guinn | April 28, 2020 | Comments Off on ET Live! – 4.28.2020

Join us this afternoon for the Pandemic Edition of Epsilon Theory Live! As usual, we start promptly, so if you don’t have video within a short period after 2PM ET, please refresh your browser. We recommend Chrome for the best experience.

That Old Canard

By Rusty Guinn | April 27, 2020 | 7 Comments

We are now in the Flooz.com phase of the “how is COVID-19 going to change the world forever” process. Be careful out there.

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Bear Stearns and the Narratives of Systemic Risk

By Ben Hunt | April 23, 2020 | 15 Comments

The systemic risk question you need to ask yourself today is the same question you needed to ask in 2008.

What is the micro-level truth of the potential real-world shock, and does that micro-level truth threaten the common knowledge surrounding a levered business model and securitized asset class of enormous size?

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Through No Fault of Their Own

By Ben Hunt | April 20, 2020 | 17 Comments

I, for one, am delighted to learn of the “Through No Fault of Their Own” exemption to stock market risk.

One day, and soon, there will be a reckoning. Time to choose a side.

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One for the Road

By Rusty Guinn | April 18, 2020 | 5 Comments

There was no greater sin between 2009 and 2020 than enduring a ‘constant drag on returns’. This is the meme of Yay, Efficiency!, and it permeates every layer of our economy and markets.

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Exigent Circumstances

By Peter Cecchini | April 16, 2020 | 9 Comments

ET contributor Peter Cecchini makes a strong case that the Fed is playing a dangerous game with its constant use of the “exigent circumstances” exception to Section 14 of the Federal Reserve Act.

Does the alphabet soup of new facilities and SPVs established by the Fed in recent weeks amount to an illegal taking of assets? It’s a reasonable question.

Even more reasonable: if not here, where do you draw the line?

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Inception

By Ben Hunt | April 14, 2020 | 14 Comments

We’re going to change the world, you know … you and me.

It won’t happen the way you think, because you think that someone is going to lead you. You think that someone is going to organize you. You think that someone is going to give you a top-down, political Answer in the form of something to march for or somebody to vote for.

Nope. We’re going to create a million points of failure for the system of sociopathic oligarchy. We’re going to create points of failure AT SCALE.

How? With the Narrative Machine.

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First the People

By Rusty Guinn | April 14, 2020 | 46 Comments

This is not a chronicle of errors and mistakes made during COVID-19.

This is the story about the inevitable, simultaneous failure of each of the institutions designed to operate in our interest.

It is the story of how we respond to fragility with resilience.

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Frenemies

By Peter Cecchini | April 7, 2020 | 9 Comments

The oil narrative is not as it seems.

The White House and others assume the Saudis and Russians are at odds. Don’t be so sure. Their interests are aligned around disabling U.S. production. Period.

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Our Finest Hour

By Ben Hunt | April 2, 2020 | 15 Comments

There is no country in the world that mobilizes for war more effectively than the United States. And I know you won’t believe me, but I tell you it is true:

This will be #OurFinestHour.

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Until Further Notice

By Rusty Guinn | March 31, 2020 | 10 Comments

We have been asked to discuss our views about the CARES Act. In order to facilitate future such requests, we have provided what we hope to be a helpful rubric.

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The Miracle Max of MBS

By Rusty Guinn | March 30, 2020 | 7 Comments

Sometimes investors and corporate executives will beg for a miracle to bring mostly dead assets back to life. That’s OK. But we don’t have to give it to them. And we don’t have to treat their requests as news in themselves.

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Once in a Lifetime

By Ben Hunt | March 29, 2020 | 38 Comments

We are led by high-functioning sociopaths, in our politics and our economy, and nowhere is this more apparent than in our war against COVID-19. It’s not a left/right thing. It’s not a Republican/Democrat thing. It’s a power thing.

Enough. It’s time for the Pack to howl.

Empathy + Minimax Regret is the answer. Because 2 + 2 = 4.

Yes, this is a personal note. That’s what this war is for all of us … personal.

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When the Story Bends

By Rusty Guinn | March 24, 2020 | 10 Comments

Saying that “America needs to reopen for business” isn’t the same thing as doing what we need to reopen America for business. Words matter, but actions matter more.

Let’s do the right things. Now.

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Getting PPE to Healthcare Workers and First Responders

By Ben Hunt | March 23, 2020 | 3 Comments

This is our personal effort to help identify *need*, *sources*, and *money* for personal protective equipment distributions to healthcare workers and first responders.

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Do The Right Thing

By Ben Hunt | March 19, 2020 | 28 Comments

I’m angry that I have to write this note about the airline industry and how to structure the bail-out of United, Delta, American and Southwest. But I must, because the raccoons and the high-functioning sociopaths are looking to get their private losses socialized and their private gains locked in.

Bailout the airlines and their rank-and-file employees? You bet.

Bailout the CEOs and Warren Buffett? Not a chance.

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The Non-Linearity of Need, Pt. 2

By Rusty Guinn | March 19, 2020 | 14 Comments

Let’s make this Our Finest Hour. From the bottom up.

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Our Escape Story

By Rusty Guinn | March 18, 2020 | 10 Comments

When people stop asking “How much worse is this going to get” and start asking “How much longer is this going to last”, things really start changing.

But we can change that, too.

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Margin Call

By Rusty Guinn | March 16, 2020 | 7 Comments

Levering up a portfolio based on a model that we know cannot act as a representation of the state of the world is perilous.

Doing the same with a country is far, far worse.

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Lack of Imagination

By Rusty Guinn | March 14, 2020 | 27 Comments

The structurally bullish will warn us against failure of nerve. The traders will warn us against hesitation. The structurally bearish will warn us about being unable to shift into a defensive shape. But what we should be worried about now is a lack of imagination.

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