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The United States of Bed Bath & Beyond

By Ben Hunt | 81 Comments

A grown man made a wager. He lost. He made another wager. He lost again. End of story.
– Tony Soprano

This is the story of weak men and rapacious men.
This is the story of Bed Bath & Beyond.
This is the story of America today.

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Men of God in the City of Man is a nine part series about a narrative virus that infected the charismatic and Pentecostal churches in the United States. It isn't a story about Christian Nationalism. It isn't a story about January 6th. It isn't a story about why people voted for Trump. It is a story about a story. It is a story about the language that created a self-sustaining movement defined by its unwavering belief in a fundamentally corrupt electoral system.

Recent Notes

How To Win At Story: Conan’s Hot Ones Masterclass

By Matt Zeigler

Please, let’s have a laugh at Conan on Hot Ones, but let’s also think this out together:

How do you win at story?

I’ve got 10 rules to try and help. And, using plenty of examples from the show, let’s see if we can’t get just a little bit better at the stories we tell ourselves too.  

The Story that Changes The World

By Tom_Morgan

The ‘monomyth’ or Hero’s Journey isn’t just a script for movies. It’s also the script of our society and our individual lives.

If we let it.

Fidelity Reminds ETF Industry It Doesn’t Have To Care

By Dave Nadig

Free is a good price. It’s how we got Fortnite, and Radio, and a terrible internet. People hate paying for things.

That’s what Fidelity was counting on when they decided to make a stink about 9 ETF issuers not signing their revenue sharing deal.

And they’ll win. They always win.

IT’S. ABOUT. THE. MONEY.

By Ben Hunt

If you were a smart guy like MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor and you thought a stagflationary tsunami of enormous proportion was going to wash over the US economy regardless of who wins in November, what would you be doing right now?

I think you might be doing whatever you can to get liquid in the global reserve currency without spooking the marks.

I Think The Gun Helps

By Rusty Guinn

Our kids are being rewired.

The data implicating the smartphone-based childhood are compelling but not conclusive – and may never be.

So how should governments, communities, schools and families decide what to do?

Bitcoin Endgames & The New Hyper-Agents

By Dave Nadig

If the HODLers are right, they’re also the new Elites.

Not in a “my thumbdrive will make me the Duke of West Hartford in this post-apocalyptic hellscape” sort of way, but in ugly-but-mainstream scenarios with ugly-but-mainstream power/wealth transfers.

And You Wonder Why Bitcoin and Gold are at Record Highs

By Ben Hunt

The Fed’s inflation-fighting credibility is shot and everyone in Washington and on Wall Street is in the bag for nominal growth, ie Number Go Up on EVERYTHING, through the November election.

After that … well, as Louis XV so aptly put it: après moi, le déluge.

Wheeee!

Financial Nihilism

By Travis Kling

The Boomers have all the money. The American Dream of upward mobility is dead for you. That is Financial Nihilism.

So if you’re on the wrong end of this, what do you do about it?

You gamble. You f**king gamble.

The Semantic Universe

By Ben Hunt

Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow

Why We Don’t Trust Each Other Anymore

By Kyla Scanlon

We are saying everything, but also we are saying nothing, just sort of talking at each other about things like “rizz” and “Price-to-Earnings Ratio”. 

How do we fix that?

The End of History and the Triumph of Fiat World

By Ben Hunt

The great danger of generative AI lies in its use by governments and corporations to cement the most anti-human misalignment of all – the misalignment of rulers from the ruled, of the State from the People.

Fannie Mae’s Affordable Housing TM

By Charles Marohn

Last month, Fannie Mae launched a new financial product they call a Social Mortgage Backed Security, designed to “improve access to affordable housing” by lowering credit standards for borrowers. As ET contributor Chuck Marohn points out, this makes home prices in affected areas go up, and doesn’t touch truly cheap housing.

How Does Technology Rewire the Intricate Circuitry of the Teenage Mind?

By Ben Hunt

The central course of our children’s lives is being mind-warped by social media and smartphones, not in some ethereal ghost-in-the-machine sort of way but in an actual neural-wiring sort of way, and this research note by Kiril Sokoloff and the 13D team shows how.

The Washington Pravda and the Wall Street Izvestia

By Ben Hunt

Today both Wall Street and the White House are determined to tell you a story that inflation is over and mission accomplished. Wall Street because they want a cheaper price of money and the White House because they want to win an election.

It’s not a lie, per se, but it’s not a truth, either. It’s all just story, all the way down.

And like all sclerotic institutions, Wall Street and the White House rely on their media organs to tell the story.

Useful Idiots

By Rusty Guinn

Yes, Virginia, western news media are often useful idiots.

But let’s be real: so is Tucker Carlson.

The Bitcoin ETF Tipping Problem

By Dave Nadig

ET contributor Dave Nadig was there at the beginning of ETFs, and he’s forgotten more about their structure and operations than I will ever know.

In this excellent note, Dave digs into the Bitcoin ETF “tipping problem”. It’s a fascinating read on where narrative runs headlong into the real world of market mechanics.

Death and Rebirth: In Precious Metals, Crypto, and the 6th Grade

By Matt Zeigler

“Nice yellow pants, freak.”

Nobody is immune to getting slapped with a label, especially when you’re a new kid in middle school. The trick is not selling out. The trick is owning your identity.

That’s true for Wall Street, too.

It’s All True

By Ben Hunt

Eight thoughts that I can’t reconcile about about Justin Mohn, the 32-year-old in Levittown, Pennsylvania who murdered his father, cut off his head, and made a YouTube video showing off his trophy and saying he did it because his father, who worked for the US Army Corps of Engineers, was part of the “Biden regime” and was a “traitor to his country”.

It’s All True (Eight Thoughts on Justin Mohn)

By Ben Hunt

Eight thoughts that I can’t reconcile about about Justin Mohn, the 32-year-old in Levittown, Pennsylvania who murdered his father, cut off his head, and made a YouTube video showing off his trophy and saying he did it because his father, who worked for the US Army Corps of Engineers, was part of the “Biden regime” and was a “traitor to his country”.

Men of God in the City of Man, Part 9: Pathogenesis

By Rusty Guinn

A single virus can cause disease of the body in several ways at once.

A single narrative can cause disease in society in several ways, too.

This is the story of a new disease from an old acquaintance.