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But The US Consumer Is Strong! ™

By Ben Hunt | May 10, 2022

If there’s one common knowledge narrative that I think can break over the coming months, it’s But The US Consumer Is Strong! ™.

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The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves

By Ben Hunt | May 5, 2022

I’d like to tell you that our Narrative Monitors are not as bearish for May as they were for April.

Yep, I’d really like to tell you that.

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We’re Entering a Deleveraging Cycle

By Ben Hunt | April 26, 2022

The big global risk today is not that the banks are undercapitalized. No, the big global risk today is that banks are unwilling to provide long-term financing for anything. The big global risk today is that we are only in the early innings of a profound deleveraging cycle.

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Aaaaand It’s Gone

By Ben Hunt | April 6, 2022

The narrative puts and takes of March (and the resulting market rollercoaster) have coalesced into no puts and all takes. This is about as bearish a set of narrative signals for risk assets as we’ve had in a long time.

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The Word of the Day is “Soothing”

By Ben Hunt | March 16, 2022

I personally thought what Powell said in his presser today was market-negative. But who cares what I think! What matters is how market participants are geared to interpret what Powell was saying, and our narrative machine clearly showed they would interpret it positively. No matter what he actually said.

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Trading Sardines

By Ben Hunt | March 10, 2022

In commodity markets, crypto markets, and equity markets … we’re all sardine traders now.

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Weeks Where Decades Happen

By Ben Hunt | February 27, 2022

I don’t think the proposed Russia sanctions are likely to trigger a systemic financial crisis, and I think Putin’s nuclear saber-rattling is posturing for Ukrainian settlement negotiations. I really don’t see the path to a global crisis here. Famous last words, I know …

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The Inflation Narrative’s Third Act

By Ben Hunt | February 8, 2022

The structure of a market narrative isn’t as settled or as constructed as a Hollywood script, but it’s not too far off, either.

We’re in Act Three of the inflation narrative.

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A Shortseller’s Perspective

By Ben Hunt | January 24, 2022

I am a shortseller by nature and (former) profession. Like my favorite comic book character, Karnak the Inhuman, my superpower is to see the flaw in all things, which doesn’t exactly make me much fun at cocktail parties but is a (sometimes) valuable skill for a portfolio manager.

So here’s my perspective on what’s happening … one big place where my spidey-sense is tingling and one big place where it’s not.

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Bye Bye, Punch Bowl

By Ben Hunt | January 5, 2022

You know who understands how inflation absolutely wrecks the popular support of any government? The Fed.

You know who doesn’t get it? You know who doesn’t get it AT ALL? The White House.

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Inflation Is

By Ben Hunt | December 16, 2021

Today Jay Powell had a press conference, where he had a very simple and well-delivered message: Inflation Is.

Does this mean that we’re off to the races with risk assets? No. Not by a long shot. But for one day at least, Jay Powell and the Fed got ahead of the common knowledge game.

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Corporate Margins Are Stronger Than You Think

By Ben Hunt | December 1, 2021

Inflation as common knowledge gives pricing power to consumer-facing companies.

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Industrially Necessary Inflation

By Ben Hunt | November 23, 2021

Is the narrative machine of Wall Street powerful enough to create a perceived reality of “transitory” inflation even if that transitory-ness is always 12 months away from resolving itself? Even if the real-world endures high levels of realized inflation year after year after year?

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Lions and Tigers and Bears … Oh My!

By Ben Hunt | November 4, 2021

If I had to describe our narrative models of market behavior as simply as possible, it would go something like this: markets climb a narrative wall of worry and fall down a narrative slope of hope.

Except for central bank narratives.

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The Robbing Hoods of Robinhood

By Ben Hunt | October 27, 2021

Robinhood has been managed to generate a payday for insiders.

Then again, that’s how our entire world is being managed today. For a payday to insiders.

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The Common Knowledge OF Central Banks

By Ben Hunt | October 20, 2021

This note isn’t about our common knowledge of central banks. It’s about the common knowledge within the crowd of people who are engaged in the profession of central banking. It’s about the common knowledge OF central banks. It’s about the one thing that everyone in central banking knows that everyone in central banking knows: you can’t taper and tighten at the same time.

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Narrative Monitors

Legacy Monitor Archive (Pre-January 2020)