Featured Notes

The Ministry of Rites and the Compassionate Man

By Ben Hunt | March 17, 2019 | 12

“Oh, little Jimmy is going to 20-Years-Ago-This-Was-A-Second-Rate-University? I hear really good things about that school. Congratulations!”

“Thanks! We’re all very pleased. Everyone except my bank account, that is. Hahaha!”

It’s true, everyone is VERY pleased by the current system. Prestige university credentialing is a steam valve … \whispers\ just like elections.

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Birth of a Salesman

By Rusty Guinn | March 11, 2019 | 3

Everything about the Zeitgeist is working to steer promising minds toward cultivating the skills and temperament needed to succeed in a Fiat World. We are creating a generation of missionaries.

Just one small problem: a competitive game among missionaries is a stag hunt. The dominant strategy for each of us individually is bad for us all. So what the hell do we do?

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Fiat World

By Ben Hunt | March 8, 2019 | 13

We are immersed 24/7 in a Fiat World, where we are TOLD that inflation does not exist, where we are TOLD that wealth inequality and meager productivity and negative savings rates just “happen”, where we are TOLD we must vote for ridiculous candidates and buy ridiculous securities and borrow ridiculous sums.

We’re not Flat Earthers. Ha Ha! Those guys are idiots! Can you imagine believing that stuff?

No, we’re not Flat Earthers. We are Fiat Earthers.

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In Praise of Work

By Rusty Guinn | March 1, 2019 | 19

The problem isn’t that we derive too much of our worth and value from work. The problem is that our jobs are becoming increasingly abstracted from work. Friends: Your work is holy.

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Pricing Power (pt. 3) – Government Collaboration

By Ben Hunt | February 24, 2019 | 10

What killing active investment management? It’s not some monster hiding behind the rabbit. No, it IS the little white bunny. It’s the Zeitgeist of capital markets transformed into a political utility, innocuous on the surface … but with killer teeth.

How do you defeat the Zeitgeist? You don’t. The smart move, in fact, is to help the killer rabbit.

But there IS another way.

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You Are Here

By Ben Hunt | January 11, 2019 | 27

The greatest risk to your portfolio is a change in the zeitgeist. A change from deflation to inflation. A change from cooperative international games to competitive games. A change from capital markets to political utilities.

I think it’s all happening.

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Most Recent Notes

The Zeitgeist Weekend Edition – 3.24.2019

By Rusty Guinn | March 24, 2019 | 0 Comments
Posted:

The weekend Zeitgeist, in which the Gray Lady’s news coverage gets even grayer, everybody loves Beto, Rusty discovers a new Hall of Fame about which he has opinions, and abstracted thinking in cheese research.

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Free-Range Kids / Free-Range Capitalism

By Rusty Guinn | March 23, 2019 | 5 Comments
Posted:

Helicopter parenting produces kids whose ability to evaluate and take risks has been crippled. If we’re not careful, helicopter parenting from policy-makers will do the same to us as investors.

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The Zeitgeist – 3.22.2019

By Rusty Guinn | March 22, 2019 | 4 Comments
Posted:

In which we are told that China is not the AI-powered dystopia we we were looking for, we encounter the “seen to” Fiat News tell in the wild, and we take a longer look at something over the better part of…an evening?

All the Fiat News that’s fit to scrutinize.

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The Zeitgeist – 3.21.2019

By Ben Hunt | March 21, 2019 | 0 Comments
Posted:

“It’s a trap!” This and other evergreen memes of Fiat News, yours for the plucking in today’s Zeitgeist.

It’s not impossible for market volatility to spike massively through some deflationary shock to the financial system like a global recession or a China-driven credit crisis or an Italy-driven euro crisis. What’s impossible is TO GET PAID for taking out an insurance policy against volatility spikes from these deflationary shocks.

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Admiring the Problem

By Rusty Guinn | March 20, 2019 | 9 Comments
Posted:

One of the missionary’s most powerful tools is admiring the unsolvable problem – finding new ways of describing what’s wrong without an honest effort to actually fix it.

With apologies, add this to the list of things that you will now see everywhere.

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The Zeitgeist – 3.20.2019

By Ben Hunt | March 20, 2019 | 4 Comments
Posted:

Jay Powell channels Arthur Burns, a Fed model for congressional budget debates, and a smorgasbord of Boeing bagholder quotes. All in a day’s work for the Zeitgeist!

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ET Live! – 3.19.2019

By Rusty Guinn | March 19, 2019 | Comments Off on ET Live! – 3.19.2019
Posted:

In this ET Live!, Ben and Rusty dig into the transition of capital markets into political utilities – this time with a special focus on private markets.

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The Zeitgeist – 3.19.2019

By Rusty Guinn | March 19, 2019 | 6 Comments
Posted:

Today’s Zeitgeist is about tweet nudges, massive law partner payouts, a big reason for massive law partner payouts, your closet, the people who want to sell you…rope, and more.

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Good Luck!

By Rusty Guinn | March 18, 2019 | 4 Comments
Posted:

Ben has already talked about the biggest and most important thing we can do in the face of the admissions bribery scandal.

But many remain convinced that this scandal is an inflection point, a change in the Zeitgeist. It isn’t. But that doesn’t mean we can’t be watching for our opportunity to weaken the influence of the Church of Credential.

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The Zeitgeist – 3.18.2019

By Ben Hunt | March 18, 2019 | 1 Comment
Posted:

The Lyft IPO prospectus is out today, so we’re sure to hear plenty of dueling banjos in financial media over the next few weeks and months. It was a fun vacation for Burt Reynolds and the boys at the start of that movie.

Also, more on ESG and other myths in today’s Zeitgeist.

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The Ministry of Rites and the Compassionate Man

By Ben Hunt | March 17, 2019 | 12 Comments
Posted:

“Oh, little Jimmy is going to 20-Years-Ago-This-Was-A-Second-Rate-University? I hear really good things about that school. Congratulations!”

“Thanks! We’re all very pleased. Everyone except my bank account, that is. Hahaha!”

It’s true, everyone is VERY pleased by the current system. Prestige university credentialing is a steam valve … \whispers\ just like elections.

Read more

The Zeitgeist Weekend Edition – 3.16.2019

By Rusty Guinn | March 16, 2019 | 5 Comments
Posted:

First it’s a healthy reminder of the narrative strength of health care costs. Then it’s a brief education on the narratives of elite universities.

But mostly it’s Fiat News. Lots and lots of Fiat News.

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The Zeitgeist – 3.15.2019

By Ben Hunt | March 15, 2019 | 4 Comments
Posted:

Uncle Wilbur’s MNPI trades on his personal account may get a pass, but that darn census will be the ruin of him.

Also, announcing VaxDirectClub … the safe and cost-effective way to administer your kids’ immunizations from the convenience of your own home!

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The Zeitgeist – 3.14.2019

By Ben Hunt | March 14, 2019 | 15 Comments
Posted:

TFW a Chinese “social video and online dating specialist” called Momo just isn’t momentum-y enough for you, but the raccoon tandem of Fox Business and Motley Fool is there to help you out with “even better buys”.

Plus the Stanford shadow economy for profs, the War against Big Everything, and all the Fiat News that’s fit to read.

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The Zeitgeist – 3.13.2019

By Rusty Guinn | March 13, 2019 | 6 Comments
Posted:

Honestly, you could replace 90% of the daily news with a collection of Mitch Hedberg one-liners.

“People either love me or hate me … or they think I’m okay.”

Our modern addiction? Fiat News.

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In the Trenches: Command and Control

By Peter Cecchini | March 12, 2019 | 11 Comments
Posted: ,

It all started with the Maestro, Alan Greenspan, and his determination to create a Great Moderation. And it was all going so swimmingly, too, until the Great Disaster of 2008.

Now that there’s so little central banks can do, they are dead set on preventing another downturn before it even starts. So how does risk ‘price’ in capital markets when the cost of capital is constantly set too low? It doesn’t.

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The Zeitgeist – 3.12.2019

By Rusty Guinn | March 12, 2019 | 0 Comments
Posted:

Today’s Zeitgeist is about winning when we’re losing, the polarizing power of hyperbole, more on SRI/ESG, a wonderful specimen of the Mad Creditor Letter and a less-wonderful specimen of the Obligatory Press Release.

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Birth of a Salesman

By Rusty Guinn | March 11, 2019 | 3 Comments
Posted:

Everything about the Zeitgeist is working to steer promising minds toward cultivating the skills and temperament needed to succeed in a Fiat World. We are creating a generation of missionaries.

Just one small problem: a competitive game among missionaries is a stag hunt. The dominant strategy for each of us individually is bad for us all. So what the hell do we do?

Read more

The Grand Inquisition

By Demonetized | March 11, 2019 | 7 Comments
Posted:

The Nudging State and Nudging Oligarchy believe they are giving us a gift: Freedom from Choice.

Except that it is neither a gift nor freedom in any sense. Rejecting it isn’t always easy and it isn’t always costless. But it’s the only choice for anyone who would be free.

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The Zeitgeist – 3.11.2019

By Rusty Guinn | March 11, 2019 | 0 Comments
Posted:

Today’s Zeitgeist is about crashes on crashes, Nplpalooza 2019 and hunger-striking ruined property tycoons.

But mostly we celebrate the hedge fund industry’s effort to shake off last year’s challenges. From all of us, thank you for this gift of what we will just assume is uncorrelated alpha.

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