Epsilon Theory In Brief
Daily short-form pieces for those without the time (or attention span) for classic Epsilon Theory notes. Look out for regular features like the subscriber mailbag and guest contributions from within the Epsilon Theory network.
We’ve gotten a lot of responses and thoughts on By Our Own Petard, so we thought we would talk about some of them in another Mailbag feature.
ET contributor Demonetized creates his own koan in this very personal note.
Is morality socially constructed through a process where biological systems are socially conditioned to respond in particular ways to particular stimuli, or is morality an innate moral compass manifested in Kantian ethics?
Negative rates create a cycle of addiction to even more negative rates in the future.
Why? Because captive buyers like pension funds require capital appreciation to make up for negative yield, so central banks must guarantee a commitment to still more negative yields.
New from ET contributor Pete Cecchini!
Every now and then we come across an article or blog post that’s directly relevant to what we’re trying to say on Epsilon Theory, but is too big and thoughtful to be carved up for a Mailbag note or Zeitgeist post.
Make / Protect / Teach is a Big Tent.
The NBA, Blizzard and others are in hot water after kowtowing to the Chinese government. America will have forgotten about both within weeks. But the awareness of just how long the CCP’s reach has become? That can’t be unseen.
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.
The asset management industry has been dying a slow death for decades, but never seems to, you know, die.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
We all know we’re supposed to figure out who the patsy at the table is, but somehow everyone we see ends up being a straw man. Maybe fine in normal markets, but in periods of stress? If you don’t know who owns it, you don’t know anything.
Everyone is right about buybacks. They’re good. They’re fine. They’re ethical. Oh, and they’ll be gone, too, if the industry doesn’t realize that it’s playing a metagame and not a parliamentary debate.
Some things are only palatable when they have been transformed into a cartoonish version of themselves. For financial professionals that raises a moral question: how much emphasis on the cartoon of expertise about us is too much?
We get a lot of email and responses, but we REALLY got a lot about our comments on a curriculum that could replace the signaling-minded post-secondary degree industry. We publish them here.
Golf, as the saying goes, is a good walk spoiled. But ET contributor Demonetized finds meaning in golf’s pathology of failure.
Swing mechanics and gimmicky shortcuts? Please. In golf and in investing, you’ve got one simple rule to improve your game.
Commit to the shot.
It’s the Pack Gathering, a small conclave of like-minded people interested in talking ideas and enjoying good, genuine company.
The first event will take place in our headquarters town of Fairfield, Connecticut. New England and Mid-Atlantic, this is your event.
Missionary activity isn’t always intended to mislead. But when it is, it is almost always aided by another sociopathic tendency – the complete unwillingness to admit error. What’s worse – we are practically designed to empower it.
So if you COULD prepare most Americans for their jobs and lives in less than a year, how WOULD you? Well, we took a shot at answering just that, and I’m sure you’ll all agree completely and wholeheartedly with our conclusions.
There’s a point in any human activity – investing, politics, religion, or business – where a thing we do together becomes a thing in-itself. It’s a point that changes our thinking and the moral questions we are forced to answer. Knowing where this point lies is in all our activities is important.