Featured Notes

Wage Growth, Groucho Marx Edition

By Ben Hunt | May 7, 2019 | 3 Comments

Wage stagnation in 2016 was actually much worse than you were told. Did this make a difference in the Midwestern states that swung the election, in that actual labor conditions were worse than everyone thought they were? I think yes.

Wage growth in 2018 was actually much better than you were told. Did this make a difference in the current Fed/Wall Street/White House narrative that inflation is dead and the easy money punchbowl can be maintained without consequence? I think yes.

For a few days, we’re making this ET Professional note available to everyone to review. We think the ET Pro service is something that every portfolio allocation, wealth management and active investment team can find useful, particularly for risk management.

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Starry Eyes and Starry Skies

By Rusty Guinn | April 29, 2019 | 8

The student loan crisis is a Big Deal. And it is only a part of a Bigger Deal: the Myth of College.

This issue will be front-and-center in the upcoming elections. We will all be handed our very own ‘Yay, College’ signs to raise high. More often than not, we will be asked to raise them in service of market-distorting policies which will make our problems worse.

You don’t hate education, innovation, progress, equality and merit-based reward systems…do you?

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This is Water

By Ben Hunt | April 17, 2019 | 16

Time to add a fourth shift in the Zeitgeist: capitalist productivity, now 200+ years old, is becoming capitalist financialization.

Wall Street gets something to sell, management gets stock-based comp, the Fed gets a (very) grateful Wall Street, and the White House gets re-election.

What do YOU get out of financialization? You get to hold up a card that says “Yay, capitalism!”.

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In the Trenches: Less Is More

By Peter Cecchini | May 2, 2019 | 1

At some point, all Fed Chairs learn that their primary function is just to wave their hands. Jay Powell has learned this sooner than most.

ET contributor Pete Cecchini goes way off the Wall Street reservation with this: the bullish narrative for U.S. equity risk makes sense only if one accepts a narrative that the Fed will proactively move to prevent a U.S. slowdown before it happens.

Don’t believe it.

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Most Recent Notes

Neverland

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

Disney is making a play to return to Neverland, a land where valuations are based on establishing market share and dominance of an emerging industry, where the moment you start worrying about how much money you’re making is the moment the narrative breaks. For students of markets and narratives alike, it will be worth watching.

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The Zeitgeist – 4.15.2019

By Rusty Guinn | April 15, 2019 | 9 Comments
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It’s the Monday Zeitgeist, where we keep the Star Wars image streak alive at 2, celebrate the return of a beloved phrase, laud the arrival of a very dumb phrase, listen to political predictions from economists, and hear a political proposal from a journalist.

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The Zeitgeist Weekend Edition – 4.13.2019

By Rusty Guinn | April 13, 2019 | 1 Comment
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It’s the Weekend Zeitgeist, where we try to forget about markets for a day or two to see what matters in the rest of the world. This week, it’s robots, the 1980s, self-made men, Star Wars (more than an ACTUAL black hole), Moroccan exceptionalism and the Power of Google.

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The Zeitgeist – 4.12.2019

By Ben Hunt | April 12, 2019 | 4 Comments
Posted:

My father owned a red Corvair almost exactly like this one. He loved that car. Almost died in it, too, when he was t-boned at an intersection on his way to work in Bessemer, Alabama. That was in 1966. I was two years old.

The Boeing 737 MAX is our generation’s Chevy Corvair.

Unsafe At Any Speed.

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Strange Bedfellows and Proxy Wars

By Rusty Guinn | April 12, 2019 | 6 Comments
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The arrest of Julian Assange presents one of the most fascinating, explainer-laden, Fiat News-driven narrative maps we have seen. Tread carefully in taking what you read about this one at face value, friends.

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Gravity

By Rusty Guinn | April 11, 2019 | 3 Comments
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The gravity of political polarization is real, and the mass which lies at the base of its well are narratives of existential risk.

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Dick Fuld

The Zeitgeist – 4.11.2019

By Ben Hunt | April 11, 2019 | 0 Comments
Posted:

Today in the Zeitgeist, an HBR article about the “mourning patterns” of Lehman employees. Color me triggered.

If you don’t know what Repo 105 was, you should. If you do know what Repo 105 was, you should find someone who doesn’t and tell them about it.

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Next ET Live! Event – Today @ 2PM ET

By Rusty Guinn | April 11, 2019 | Comments Off on Next ET Live! Event – Today @ 2PM ET
Posted:

We hope you’ll join us HERE for the next edition of Epsilon Theory Live! on Wednesday, April 24th at 2PM ET. Remember that ET Live! is a subscriber-only event, so if you want to participate with this unique interactive feature, please make sure that you’ve subscribed to either our ET Premium or ET Professional service.

The Zeitgeist – 4.10.2019

By Ben Hunt | April 10, 2019 | 4 Comments
Posted:

Wait … an article about Puerto Rico that’s not about tax shelters or bond defaults or crappy local government or Trump idiocy or crypto bros? … an article that’s about entrepreneurship and the sort of small businesses that are the life blood of a vibrant local economy? What the hell, New York Times?

Not to worry, though, there’s plenty of Fiat News and the usual raccoonery here in the rest of the daily Zeitgeist.

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The Zeitgeist – 4.9.2019

By Ben Hunt | April 9, 2019 | 3 Comments
Posted:

What fresh hell is this?

I know it’s originally a Dorothy Parker line, but Scream Queens made it their own. And it’s the only possible response to Forbes Brandvoice, where you, too, can “be an editor for your brand on Forbes.com”.

Just another day of fresh hell in narrative-world, here on the Daily Zeitgeist.

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The Zeitgeist – 4.8.2019

By Rusty Guinn | April 8, 2019 | 7 Comments
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Today’s Monday Zeitgeist is all about book report analyses, central bank common knowledge, a new form of home finance in which you make principal payments over time, multi-level-marketing surprises again, and believability.

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The Love/Hate Cartoon

By Rusty Guinn | April 7, 2019 | 2 Comments
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When it comes to telling us how ‘the smart money’ and ‘the dumb money’ are playing it, there’s always someone who will tell us it’s Duck Season, and someone who will tell us it’s Rabbit Season. The reality is that it’s always Elmer Season. You and me? We’re Elmer in this cartoon.

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The Weekend Zeitgeist (3.31 – 4.6.2019)

By Rusty Guinn | April 6, 2019 | 3 Comments
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It’s the weekend, which means it’s a (mostly) finance-free zone on The Zeitgeist. This week-in-review gives us a glimpse into purchases of fine art, the comedic stylings of David Brooks, the continued relevance of Marvin Gaye, a marketing word salad and a solemn hymn to solemn hymns.

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The Zeitgeist – 4.5.2019

By Ben Hunt | April 5, 2019 | 10 Comments
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March wage growth came in at 3.2% today, which is being described by everyone in financial media as “muted”.

Kinda like the Disney flacks telling us that Blue Will Smith is “fine”. It’s a different genie, but still.

As the immortal line in The Outlaw Josey Wales would have it, “Don’t piss down my back and tell me it’s raining.” Just another day in the Zeitgeist.

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The Zeitgeist – 4.4.2019

By Ben Hunt | April 4, 2019 | 0 Comments
Posted:

Jeff Skilling is back, baby!

And that takes me back 30+ years, when a kid fresh out of college had a ticket to Houston Hobby airport and an offer letter from McKinsey.

Our lives are defined by the roads we avoid as much as by the roads we take. And more often than not, sheer blind luck is responsible for the difference.

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The Zeitgeist – 4.3.2019

By Ben Hunt | April 3, 2019 | 0 Comments
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In which Fiddy does his part to jumpstart the Connecticut economy, Kendall Jenner shows us the way, and Chrissy Teigen shares the stage with … Jay Powell?

It’s all the news that’s fit to nudge, here in the Daily Zeitgeist.

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First World Problems in Fund Management

By Rusty Guinn | April 3, 2019 | 4 Comments
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An interesting question with a straightforward answer. Put simply, if a fund manager tells you they’re selling, ignore the reason they give and replace it with “Big founder wants liquidity.”

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ET Live! – 4.2.2019

By Rusty Guinn | April 2, 2019 | Comments Off on ET Live! – 4.2.2019
Posted:

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The Zeitgeist – 4.2.2019

By Ben Hunt | April 2, 2019 | 1 Comment
Posted:

Maya Angelou not only knew what made the caged bird sing, but also what makes Fiat News tick.

People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them FEEL.

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The Zeitgeist – 4.1.2019

By Rusty Guinn | April 1, 2019 | 3 Comments
Posted:

Today’s Zeitgeist is all about trust in the trustless (ugh), hope springing eternal in Value Added, benchmarking the unbenchmarkable, Fiat News through bad Googling, and why we can’t shake fat fingers.

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