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.

My Dinner with Neel

By Ben Hunt | August 26, 2019 | 8 Comments

I haven’t been very nice to Neel Kashkari.

But he was nice enough to engage in a twitter exchange with me the other day. Well, sort of.

Here’s a record of that exchange. I’ll leave it to you to decide who’s the prisoner and who’s the guard.

Read more

Nuke ‘Em From Orbit. It’s the Only Way To Be Sure.

By Ben Hunt | August 24, 2019 | 4 Comments

Nuke the site from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.

It’s the best line from a movie full of them.

I couldn’t help but think about nuking inhuman monsters from orbit, when I read the PR releases from Prince Andrew and Les Wexner about their “relationship” with Jeffrey Epstein.

Read more

License to Kill Gophers

By Peter Cecchini | August 22, 2019 | 3 Comments

The desire of central banks to forestall recession at all costs reminds us of the war that groundskeeper Carl Spackler had with the gopher in Caddyshack.

Sure, you can defeat the gopher. But you’ve gotta blow up the golf course with dynamite to do it.

Read more

Food Innovation Meets Financial Innovation

By Rusty Guinn | August 21, 2019 | 5 Comments

Markets are boring. Hey, what if we securitized wokeness?

Read more

The World ‘Twixt Ought To and Is

By Rusty Guinn | August 18, 2019 | 9 Comments

Honest investing means finding a balance between approaches which imply we know everything and those which imply we can’t know anything. It means humility.

We think there are three – and only three – paths to finding this balance. One is the heart of what we are trying to achieve with Epsilon Theory.

Read more

Frauds and Traitors

By Ben Hunt | August 16, 2019 | 2 Comments

Throwing words like “Fraud!” and “Traitor!” around so casually … it doesn’t reveal the true frauds and the true traitors.

It makes it easier for them to hide.

Read more

When Potato Salad Goes Bad

By Ben Hunt | August 15, 2019 | 4 Comments

On Tuesday, the Macy’s narrative was “I think they can make their comps.”

On Wednesday, the Macy’s narrative was “I think they can cover their dividend.”

This is what it means for a narrative to go bad. This is what it means for a story to break.

And when a story breaks, so does the stock. Not just for a little while, but for a loooong time.

Just ask GE.

Read more

Does It Make a Sound?

By Rusty Guinn | August 13, 2019 | 27 Comments

Wherever self-determination and resistance to the encroaching power of the state and oligarchical institutions find expression, there should our full hearts be also.

And our full voices.

Read more

I’m a Superstitious Man

By Ben Hunt | August 13, 2019 | 6 Comments

“I’m a superstitious man, and if some unlucky accident should befall him — if he should get shot in the head by a police officer, or if he should hang himself in his jail cell, or if he’s struck by a bolt of lightning — then I’m going to blame some of the people in this room.” – Vito Corleone

Same.

The Nudging State and the Nudging Oligarchy cannot be defeated on a single point of failure like Jeffrey Epstein’s testimony at trial. Or like the bankruptcy of AIG.

But a million effin’ points of failure? A refusal to vote for ridiculous candidates and buy ridiculous securities? A refusal AT SCALE?

Yeah, that can work.

Read more

The Country HOA and other Control Stories

By Rusty Guinn | August 9, 2019 | 1 Comment

There are some stories that we will want to believe no matter how much contrary evidence we find, and no matter how much we know that the story is bogus. And when these stories convey a sense of control? All bets are off.

Read more

A Cartoon in Three Parts

By Rusty Guinn | August 8, 2019 | 2 Comments

Cartoons are not evil. And yet they are the engine behind the Long Now, and very much at the center of our financial Zeitgeist. What is a clear eyed, full-hearted investor and citizen to do?

Read more

The Last Chance

By Rusty Guinn | August 7, 2019 | 6 Comments

You want scarcity? Access to the upper echelons of high society? Well, say no more. It’s your very last chance to buy this most special, most fantastical, most legendary, most unattainable of whiskies.

Read more

What You Call Love

By Demonetized | August 7, 2019 | 2 Comments

“What you call love was invented by guys like me. To sell Nylons.”

Every missionary has his own version of the Don Draper quote.

Politician: What you call values were invented by guys like me. To win power.

Fancy Asset Manager: What you call ESG was invented by guys like me. To gather assets.

The Sell-Side: What you call a rotation trade was invented by guys like me. To earn commissions.

Read more

Are You Sweet Talking Me?

By Ben Hunt | August 6, 2019 | 4 Comments

It’s my favorite part of any Batman movie … that scene where the henchman pays a visit to the crazed supervillain – the Joker is the gold standard here – and you just know that the meeting is about to go terribly, terribly awry for the thug.

It’s a funny scene in a movie.

It’s a crappy way to run a country.

Read more

The Donkey of Guizhou

By Ben Hunt | August 5, 2019 | 7 Comments

My point in relating the fable of the Donkey of Guizhou is not that I believe China is the tiger and the United States is the donkey in our current trade-war-going-to-currency-war.

My point in relating the fable of the Donkey of Guizhou is not that I believe the current United States president is a braying donkey in his “easy to win” trade-war-going-to-currency-war.

I mean … I do, but that’s not my point.

My point is that Chinese political leadership believes that they are the tiger and the current United States president is a braying donkey.

Read more

Threat Display

By Rusty Guinn | August 2, 2019 | 1 Comment

No matter what kind of game you’re playing, never mistake a threat display for a fundamental transformation or escalation of the game. The China Trade War is STILL a game of chicken.

Read more

The Joy of Fiat News

By Rusty Guinn | August 1, 2019 | 7 Comments

Everybody does Fiat News. But some people get it deep in their soul. A lot of those people work at a particular paper in New York.

Read more

The Long Now, Pt. 1 – Tick-Tock

By Ben Hunt | July 31, 2019 | 7 Comments

The Long Now is everything we pull into the present from our future selves and our children.

The Long Now is the constant stimulus that Management applies to our economy and the constant fear that Management applies to our politics.

We are told that the economic stimulus and the political fear of the Long Now are costless, when in fact they cost us … everything.

There is another way.

Tick-tock.

Read more

ET Live! – 7.30.2019

By Rusty Guinn | July 30, 2019 | Comments Off on ET Live! – 7.30.2019

It’s the July 30th, 2019 ET Live! Today, we’re all MMT’ers, or at least that’s the narrative in political space. But what about markets?

Read more

Children of a Lesser Narrative

By Rusty Guinn | July 29, 2019 | 3 Comments

Perhaps there is an emerging and cohesive narrative around the zombiefication effects of structurally low interest rates. As much as we’d like this to be the case, we think it has yet to really register.

Read more