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.

Notes from the Diamond #9: How About Never

By dsalem | February 3, 2020 | 4 Comments

Axioms to live by in baseball and in investing!

1) Outsiders to an organization can never know in real time what goes on inside it.

2) Human labors can never be gauged fully and dispositively in real time.

3) Chains are never stronger than their weakest links.

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The Drum Major Instinct

By Rusty Guinn | January 20, 2020 | 11 Comments

On MLK, Jr. Day, we present an excerpt from a powerful and under-read sermon about status delivered to the Ebenezer Baptist Church.

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That Which We Call a Law School

By Rusty Guinn | January 16, 2020 | 13 Comments

More from the world of universities-as-guilds and the weird war between the merely rich and ultra-rich.

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An Experiment

By Rusty Guinn | January 6, 2020 | 83 Comments

There is a chart I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, and I want to tell you about it. Before I do, I also wanted to show it to you, along with a simple request: Tell me what you think that it is. Put it in the comments if you’re a subscriber. If you’re not, …

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Mailbag: By Our Own Petard

By Rusty Guinn | December 7, 2019 | 2 Comments

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.

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Hyakujos Fox

By Demonetized | December 3, 2019 | 2 Comments

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?


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A Cycle of Addiction

By Peter Cecchini | November 26, 2019 | 4 Comments

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!

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Guest Post – A Conservative’s Take on The Pack

By Ben Hunt | October 23, 2019 | 17 Comments

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.

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The Stereogram

By Rusty Guinn | October 22, 2019 | 9 Comments

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.

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On The Great Jihad And Other Possible Futures

By Demonetized | September 26, 2019 | 9 Comments

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.

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Death in Slow Motion

By Rusty Guinn | September 19, 2019 | 4 Comments

The asset management industry has been dying a slow death for decades, but never seems to, you know, die.


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By Ben Hunt | September 17, 2019 | 4 Comments

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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The Patsy, Revisited

By Rusty Guinn | July 24, 2019 | 10 Comments

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.

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So I got that goin’ for me

By Rusty Guinn | July 23, 2019 | 22 Comments

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.

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The Problem with Brussels Sprouts

By Rusty Guinn | July 17, 2019 | 17 Comments

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?

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Mailbag: A Modern Vocational Curriculum

By Rusty Guinn | July 16, 2019 | 2 Comments

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.

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Every Shot Must Have a Purpose

By Demonetized | July 10, 2019 | 12 Comments

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.

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