The Zeitgeist

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Epsilon Theory runs the world's financial news through natural language processing-based cluster analysis to identify the most on-Narrative stories. We scan for those with the most similarity to all other stories as well as those with the most interconnectivity to multiple different key topics.

The Zeitgeist – 5.9.2019

By Ben Hunt | May 9, 2019 | 3 Comments

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.

The Zeitgeist – 5.8.2019

By Rusty Guinn | May 8, 2019 | 2 Comments

It’s the Wednesday Zeitgeist, in which we get the updated odds on the China Trade War, the updated ways to play the odds on the China Trade War, two quasi-sovereign oil & gas operators’ investments in blockchain-as-a-service, financialization again, and a reminder that what is dead may never die.

The Zeitgeist – 5.7.2019

By Ben Hunt | May 7, 2019 | 0 Comments

Ever wonder why you don’t ever get hit with a year-end taxable gain from ETFs like you do with mutual funds? They use a legal (for now) pseudo-wash trade with in-kind redemptions.

Now Vanguard is doing the same thing with their mutual funds. And get this … they’ve filed a patent on this.

So amazing that I’m not even mad.

The Zeitgeist – 5.6.2019

By Ben Hunt | May 6, 2019 | 1 Comment

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.

The Weekend Zeitgeist – 5.4.2019

By Rusty Guinn | May 4, 2019 | 6 Comments

It’s the Weekend Zeitgeist, in which we consider a going-forward rule for infrastructure editorials, a different kind of Valley Girl, an emerging Get Out of Dodge narrative, and SEO as a service.

The Zeitgeist – 5.3.2019

By Rusty Guinn | May 3, 2019 | 0 Comments

It’s the Friday Zeitgeist, in which people who will never buy a company learn how to do it, Powell delivers a belly-rub and takes away a child’s cookie jar simultaneously, Swiss francs climb the Zeitgeist ladder, a local bank makes it up on volume, and we all declare together that an OK faux-hamburger is more than just a faux-hamburger.

The Zeitgeist – 5.2.2019

By Ben Hunt | May 2, 2019 | 0 Comments

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.

The Zeitgeist – 5.1.2019

By Ben Hunt | May 1, 2019 | 1 Comment

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.

The Zeitgeist – 4.30.2019

By Rusty Guinn | April 30, 2019 | 1 Comment

It’s the Tuesday Zeitgeist, in which we explore how you could go with this (or you could go with that), the power of AS, my respect for you, IPOs aplenty and the trade/rotation of choice.

The Zeitgeist – 4.29.2019

By Ben Hunt | April 29, 2019 | 5 Comments

Our lead article today is about Uber (driving-as-a-service) and Amazon (shopping-as-a-service). It’s the triumph of on-demand everything, that makes both production and consumption an experience.

What do you get out experiential consumption and production?

You get to hold up a card that says, “Yay, swineherding!”

The Zeitgeist Weekend Edition – 4.27.2019

By Rusty Guinn | April 27, 2019 | 2 Comments

It’s the Weekend Zeitgeist, which means we leave the world of finance behind us to delve into bipartisan distrust of government, local opinion writers’ opinions on packaging materials, Yoopers, F-35 sales to completely trustworthy foreign partners, Fiat Features and the worst thing I ever saw.

The Zeitgeist – 4.26.2019

By Ben Hunt | April 26, 2019 | 2 Comments

Yeah, we’re at that point in the cycle where you will be told about all the wonderful opportunities provided by levered private REITS. 

For your IRA.

Because of all this craaaazy volatility in the stock market.

That and the President’s Cheif Economic Advisur tells us why “Dow 36,000” is just the tip of the iceberg.

The Zeitgeist – 4.25.2019

By Ben Hunt | April 25, 2019 | 5 Comments

What is the only true superpower? The power to name things.

We name Milken and Boesky as junk-bond kings. We name their actions as a spree. We name their outcomes as devastation. We name their instrument as debt.

Today we name it balance sheet expansion.

Every man a king!

The Zeitgeist – 4.24.2019

By Ben Hunt | April 24, 2019 | 3 Comments

Say what you will about @jack, but he understands the necessary and sufficient condition for being a successful CEO today: create a Wall Street-supported non-GAAP narrative to describe your company’s financial results.

Tired: MAUs
Wired: mDAUs

All this, plus Russell Wilson continues surfing the Zeitgeist like no one else.

The Zeitgeist – 4.23.2019

By Ben Hunt | April 23, 2019 | 3 Comments

China’s Belt and Road Initiative is back, baby! Just needed a little narrative happy face of “respect for global debt goals” and “promotion of green growth”. That plus multi-billion dollar non-recourse loans at 2% for a high-speed rail to nowhere.

Plus more on Walmart robots, ESG, and of course Free College!

Just another day of you can’t make it up, fresh from the ET Zeitgeist.

The Zeitgeist – 4.22.2019

By Rusty Guinn | April 22, 2019 | 2 Comments

The Monday Zeitgeist today is about companies actually being allowed to go bankrupt, the usual DB/CBK chatter, money flow cartoons, great moments in bad metagame, and a decent little personal finance column.

The Zeitgeist Weekend Edition – 4.20.2019

By Rusty Guinn | April 20, 2019 | 0 Comments

This Weekend Edition is a bit of a downer, but the Zeitgeist is what it is. And the non-financial markets Zeitgeist right now? It’s all about poverty, the spirit of poverty and how people transform our concerns about both into political power.

The Zeitgeist – 4.19.2019

By Ben Hunt | April 19, 2019 | 2 Comments

What Herman Cain would bring to the Fed, what Socrates brings to the MMT debate, what Pinterest and Zoom bring to the IPO market, and what work European PMs bring home when the markets are closed.

All in a day’s work for a Good Friday Zeitgeist.

The Zeitgeist – 4.18.2019

By Ben Hunt | April 18, 2019 | 4 Comments

Turns out that we may not be on the precipice of a global recession after all, that AOC may be pretty good at this politics game, and that parasitic companies enjoy Insane Clown Posse more than most. Also, Bob Pisani reveals CNBC’s noble mission.

The Zeitgeist – 4.17.2019

By Rusty Guinn | April 17, 2019 | 1 Comment

It’s the Wednesday Zeitgeist, chock full of belied recessions, a little bit of humility, a little bit of YOLO, an expensive investment sold on yield, a less expensive investment sold on yield, slow maybes and a peek into the Widening Gyre.