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.

Mailbag: Mastering the Art of French Cooking

By Ben Hunt | September 23, 2018 | 0 Comments

In which a fellow Slummerville old-timer writes in with a Savenor’s update: A dream job has been posted, and is now available. But who can afford a dream anymore? Oh, also I got an email from my mom. Hi, mom!

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It's a Floor Wax AND a Dessert Topping

By Ben Hunt | September 22, 2018 | 0 Comments
It's a floor wax AND a dessert topping!

Coinbase – do they run a prop desk or don’t they run a prop desk? My answer: it’s not a prop desk. No, what they are doing is worse and less fair to clients than a prop desk.

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The Curse of Category

By Ben Hunt | September 21, 2018 | 0 Comments
A famous example of a Type 1 error

In investing and in life, we are always quick to judge the book by its cover. We’re quicker to judge a book by who wrote it. We’re quickest to judge a book by what shelf it’s on.

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Mastering the Art of French Cooking

By Ben Hunt | September 19, 2018 | 0 Comments
Julia Child with a knife

In which I discuss that one time I followed Julia Child through a grocery store in the least creepy manner I could manage, and the most delicious white corn I’ve ever enjoyed.

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But Our Interests Are Aligned!

By Ben Hunt | September 18, 2018 | 1 Comment
Professor Harold Hill (Harold Hill!)

The modern use of stock-based compensation is a confidence game, in the true sense of the word, that would be very familiar to the Music Man (but he doesn’t know the territory!).

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You Provide the Pictures and I’ll Provide the War

By Ben Hunt | September 17, 2018 | 0 Comments

Billionaires don’t buy media properties as vanity projects, because they care deeply about them as institutions, or for profit. They buy them because they understand the political and economic power of Fiat News.

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True Freedoms / Hollow Freedoms

By Ben Hunt | September 16, 2018 | 0 Comments
Author of The Rights of Man, Thomas Paine

Our liberty is our birthright, not granted to us by the State or the Oligarchs. It is not theirs to give. It cannot be taken away. But we can give it away. Don’t.

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Lehman and the Meta-Game of Trading

By Ben Hunt | September 15, 2018 | 0 Comments
Lehman Brothers sign being carried to auction.

Everyone has their Lehman war stories. Everyone at least in their 30s, anyway. Here’s one of mine that was particularly formative for Epsilon Theory and our stories about stories.

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Hunt's Law: An Experiment

By Ben Hunt | September 14, 2018 | 0 Comments
Dumpster Fire

Hunt’s Law – fake news drives real news out of circulation – is a perversion of Gresham’s Law about currency that applies everywhere today, even to Hunt. Especially when it comes to social media.

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Hunt's Law

By Ben Hunt | September 13, 2018 | 0 Comments
Queen Elizabeth I

A refresher on the power of abstraction to devalue the real. Gresham’s Law: bad money drives good money out of circulation. Hunt’s Law: fake news drives real news out of circulation.

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Repo 105

By Ben Hunt | September 12, 2018 | 0 Comments
Dick Fuld

Every time Dick Fuld’s publicists succeed in getting a “redemption story” published in the WSJ or NYT, I’m going to write an ET piece about Repo 105. Its consequences for investors haven’t gone away, and neither should we.

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Whitestone Bridge

By Ben Hunt | September 11, 2018 | 0 Comments
Whitestone Bridge under Construction

After 17 years – can it really have been 17 years already? – most everyone in our little industry has their 9/11 story. Here’s mine, along with a way forward.

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Controlling Your Cartoon: Nike and the Art of the Meme

By Ben Hunt | September 10, 2018 | 0 Comments
Colin Kaepernick

The key to political and commercial success in a widening gyre? Controlling your own cartoon. In other words: if you don’t tell your own story, someone else will.

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Mailbag: Mind the Gap!

By Ben Hunt | September 9, 2018 | 0 Comments

How much richer are we than we “should” be in the Great Financial Asset Bubble? Not you, I mean, you’re just as rich as you should be, of course. I mean everyone else.

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19th Century White Papers

By Ben Hunt | September 9, 2018 | 0 Comments

Two short stories from the 19th century that teach us more about investing than any white paper. Although I suppose that isn’t saying much. What I’m saying is they’re good and you should read them. And this.

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They Don’t Think It Be Like It Is, But It Do

By Rusty Guinn | September 7, 2018 | 1 Comment
Oscar Gamble

In baseball and in investing and in life, we often miss the obvious truths that are staring us in the face. Sometimes that delusion is willful and sometimes it is accidental.

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Cartoons Against Humanity

By Ben Hunt | September 6, 2018 | 0 Comments
Bugs Bunny the Barber

Nowhere is the cartoonification of data more obvious than in the construction and publishing of labor reports, and nowhere is it more influential on markets and politics.

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What Is Wrong With You?

By Ben Hunt | September 3, 2018 | 0 Comments
Centripetal? Centrifugal?

So many words and ideas are effectively unusable today, because it’s impossible to use them without triggering readers. It’s a whirlwind brief of centrifugal…I mean, centripetal force.

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We're on Number 9

By Ben Hunt | September 1, 2018 | 0 Comments
Number 9

Friedrich Hayek was a keen observer of the human condition, particular in the era of the Strong Man. He was an even keener observer of the use of Narratives to exploit that human condition.

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Hot Rocks

By Ben Hunt | August 30, 2018 | 0 Comments

A portfolio is, after all, a vessel. It is a container for our financial investments, and what we leave OUT of that container is every bit as important as what we put IN.

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