Epsilon Theory In Full
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.
Aguilar, Chengan and Custovic dig into the concept of “tracking error” and find that current measures do a poor job of handling skewness and kurtosis. They propose a new approach to calculating tracking error – Quantile Tracking Errors (QuTE) – to address this weakness in traditional measures.
2020 has awakened us to the Black Days constructed while we slept.
Now we act, and not just to avoid the worst excesses of the Trumpist clownshow or the Socialist lunacies.
Now we change the entire freakin’ world.
For ourselves, yes. For our children, even more.
The Projection Rackets will say that the solution to two-party dominance and the erosion of political self-determination is, like everything else, is to vote. Express yourself! Don’t you believe in democracy?
They are wrong. We, the people, CAN fix this. And if we want it enough, we will.
The closing of the American mind is evolving into its next stage: the welding shut of the American mind.
What’s the difference between closing and welding shut? A closed door can be opened. A welded shut door cannot. We can’t save the minds already lost. We can only prevent our OWN minds from being welded shut.
And we can. Together.
Some of us are uncomfortable with BITFD, and that’s OK. Small-c conservatives should be uncomfortable. Small-l liberals should be uncomfortable.
They should also get on board.
This is a series about why.
It’s been a full year since I wrote my last Mailbag note, which is kinda pathetic.
Well, better late than never. Reader comments and emails following our publication of Lucifer’s Hammer have been amazing, and it would be a disservice to the Pack if I didn’t collect some of them here. Enjoy!
There’s a comet speeding our way, a comet of endemic urban violence.
And for so many people – especially young men with the voice of Ego now shouting in their heads as the whispers are turned up to 11 by the amps of political party and social media – they think that post-apocalyptic world sounds just dandy.
More than any other company, Facebook is undermining our democracy and our most integral political rights.
More than any other company, Facebook has bought and paid for political cover at the highest levels of American, Indian and European government, political cover that prevents any of the actions we might take as a society to rid ourselves of this cancer.
Facebook delenda est.
Hoffstein, Faber and Braun construct long-only indices that provide exposures to popular U.S. equity factors (value, size, momentum, quality, and low volatility) and vary their rebalance schedules to isolate the effects of “rebalance timing luck.”
Their results suggest substantial problems for analyzing any investment when the strategy, its peer group, or its benchmark is susceptible to performance impacts driven by the choice of rebalance schedule.
I don’t think I have the words to communicate just how screwed up our PPE distribution system is in this country, or what a profound betrayal it is for our government to support this perverse system of personal greed and corporate ambivalence in exchange for campaign soundbites and photo ops.
But I’m gonna try.
We’ve been assaulted by three brutal grifts in just the past week … three smacks from Bobo and his bag of oranges … each deserving of an Epsilon Theory note.
Here’s chapter 1 – the ludicrous crony capitalism of the US government giving Kodak $765 million for “pharmaceutical supply production”.
The war over reopening schools is a proxy war.
The real war is between political parties, but they’ve set up the fight as teachers on one side vs. parents on the other.
This is not our war. This is THEIR war.
How to stop it? We refuse to fight.
I still believe this will be our finest hour.
Not of the America that was. But of the America that can be.
As the creeper that girdles the tree trunk, the law runneth forward and back;
For the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack.
Defund the police? No.
Demilitarize and Deunionize? Yes.
Here’s how we use narrative to start taking back our world from the culture-porn merchants on the left and the right.
Police reform is just the start.
There is an emerging narrative structure that places a lot of demands on us as citizens – and justifiably so.
But the claim that “silence is complicity” becomes something else entirely when we redefine silence as the failure to say exactly what we demand.
The slow wave that has moved America’s largest asset owners from direct positions in American companies to indirect pools of passive ownership has been a good thing for costs and diversification. It has, however, contributed to our present breakdown in corporate governance.
The past revolutions to fix this have failed for predictable reasons. Future revolutions don’t have to.
It is time to take back your ownership.
Our leaders have botched the Covid-19 war, and we are defenseless against a now endemic disease.
15,000 to 20,000 Americans officially sick. 500 to 1,000 Americans officially dead.
The free world does not easily survive a globally endemic Covid-19.
A Gilded Age isn’t an age of prosperity. It is an age of the narrative of prosperity, and narratives of prosperity are always top-down political narratives.
There is but one way to tear down top-down political narratives: action.
A truth that’s told with bad intent
Beats all the lies you can invent.
– William Blake
Our narratives of COVID-19 are all lies.
They are lies of a particular sort, political narratives that have a nugget of truth within them, but are told with bad intent. They are told this way because it works. Because the nugget of truth hides a deeper, unpleasant truth. And a Big Lie.
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?