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New on ET Pro: the Debt and Credit Monitor

We’re relaunching a Debt and Credit narrative Monitor on ET Pro, as we’ve made some advances in formulating search queries to capture a meaningful signal from all the noise. If you’re involved in FI or credit markets, you’ll want to check this out.

Also, the 2019 Cohesion Crash in macro narratives continues to accelerate, with (I think) important implications for asymmetric trade opportunities.

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The Sillier Season

The heart of narrative-world is quivering without a stable rhythm of beat of any sort. It’s an expansion of the Silly Season I wrote about in November, with zero investable narratives to be found.

Last month I asked a question: At what point, if ever, do political narratives about Inflation and Fiscal Policy become market narratives about Inflation and Fiscal Policy?

I’ve got an answer now, but you’re not going to like it.

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Sneak Preview

A sneak preview of the FT Markets piece to be published later this week, with my original language and the math on Microsoft’s 10-K.

We’re never going to eliminate the agency problem, and the dealer deserves a proper rake. But we better start making this casino fairer to shareholders and less of a wealth transfer engine to the managerial 1%. Or someone is going to burn the casino down.

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Silly Season

There’s something weird happening in narrative-world, and I’ve been trying to figure out what it means since we published our monthly Narrative Monitors update last week (attached to this email). I still can’t figure it out, but instead of continuing to wrestle in silence, I’m going to tell you what I find odd and ask what you think it means … if anything.

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Yeah, It’s Still Water (follow-up)

You know, I was a big fan of stock buybacks back when I was running a fund, and I still think that most of the macro reasons to oppose stock buybacks are silly.

But when I look at it from a micro or individual company perspective, there is no doubt in my mind that stock buybacks have been totally hijacked by corporate management and boards over the past few years to sterilize exercised options and restricted stock units.

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Domino Theory

I’m not THAT into dominoes, but I am into figuring out what’s next for changes in the Fed narrative and how that impacts markets.

More evidence that the Common Knowledge around the Fed has shifted dramatically, and more evidence for where this shows up next in markets …

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Coal Mine, Meet Canary

I think these emergency actions in the repo market – and to be sure, these ARE emergency actions – and now the expansion of the balance sheet to get more cash into the system, are the clearest indications yet that the Fed has lost its fundamental credibility with Mr. Market.


As they say in the twitterverse, let that sink in.

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The Wages of Populism

There are two necessary narratives for EM investing to work:

1) Yay, EM growth!
2) Yay, EM property rights!

Both of these narratives are broken, which means the *business* of EM investing is broken. Heads up: this is not a mean-reverting thing.

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The Old Man and the Sea

The line between the anchor and the boat has been cut. The line between the fisherman and the fish has been cut.

Everyone knows that everyone knows that central bank actions have no connection to real economic outcomes. THIS is the new common knowledge, and I don’t know how or where or when, but I think it changes everything.

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Narrative Monitors

New ET Pro Monitors

Legacy Monitor Archive (Pre-January 2020)