The Lost Art of the Jawbone

14+

To receive a free full-text email of The Zeitgeist whenever we publish to the website, please sign up here. You’ll get two or three of these emails every week, and your email will not be shared with anyone. Ever.


mundanewarrior's Movie Musings: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)

Duke (in his head): If so – well, we’ll just have to cut his head off and bury him somewhere.  Because it goes without saying that we can’t turn him loose. He’d report us at once to some kind of outback Nazi law enforcement agency, and they’ll run us down like dogs.

Duke (out loud): Jesus. Did I say that?

Duke (in his head): Or just think it. Was I talking? Did they hear me?

Gonzo (to the hitchhiker): It’s okay. He’s admiring the shape of your skull.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)

When Ben writes “They’re not even pretending anymore!” it is usually because he is really pissed off about something. I’m not just talking about the vague irritation hiding just below the surface at all times, but the special kind. The kind that you have to earn.

Me? It’s an expression of disappointment. The practiced kind of disappointment that only a father to two young boys can have, because when the four year-old punches the five year-old in the back of the head for saying something mean about mommy, YOU come up with a better answer than “Boys, I’m, uh, really disappointed.”

There is little that is more disappointing than lazy propaganda. It is literally the only thing a politician does that requires cleverness of any kind (okay, maybe fraud and compromise, too), so its devolution into the broadcast of a political functionary’s internal monologue out loud on national television is pretty unfulfilling. Larry Kudlow at least has the excuse of continuing to play the character that he has always played on television.

Still can’t get over this gem from February.


I just want to say, though, as far as the US is concerned, when you look at this, I mean you’ve got a little higher headcount on the infections because of the cruise ship people coming off, we have contained this. I won’t say airtight, but pretty close to airtight. We’ve done a good job in the United States.

Larry Kudlow to CNBC on February 25, 2020

But the Chinese Communist Party? Et tu?

China told citizens to buy stocks, boosting market — ‘We have the Fed…China has its state media’ [CNBC]

A front-page editorial in China Securities Journal said fostering a “healthy bull market” is important given China’s increasingly complicated international relations, intense financial and technological competition, and the challenge of controlling internal financial risks.

Chinese Stocks Surge as Individual Investors Pile Into Market, WSJ

Call me a dreamer. Tell me I’ve just got rose-tinted glasses about the good ol’ days. But I remember when “BUY MOAR STOCKS” would be a message buried in the subterfuge of the carefully orchestrated release of cartoonified macro figures and tangentially related analyses from state banks massaged to carry the trappings of independence. Now we’re just going to say the quiet part out loud? In an editorial? On the front page of the securities journal subsidiary of Xinhua News Agency, the state-run media arm of the CCP? With transparent cannot-miss-if-you-tried references to its implications for the security of the state?

It is almost as if the world’s political leaders are discovering that the usual dosage of common knowledge construction is insufficient to the operation of capital markets as a political utility.

14+

To receive a free full-text email of The Zeitgeist whenever we publish to the website, please sign up here. You'll get two or three of these emails every week, and your email will not be shared with anyone. Ever. It's our effort to spread the word about what we're doing, and allow you to read more Epsilon Theory!

Notify of
4 Comments
oldest
newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Bob
Bob
4 months ago

Great pic of Larry. To turn an old phrase: “The stimulus will continue until Portnoy goes back to DKNG full time” (and we have assessed the impact that legions of fans all rush to the exits at once). The market such as it is really is 5 stawks, maybe 6 and rubble below. Larry really is ageing in dog years as Ben pointed in May 2019…

Mark22
4 months ago

Social media is what changed it, IMO. There’s so much noise and so many people screaming now that nuance doesn’t work – you need to yell the loudest and boldest to get heard.

Cramer figured this out early on. I’m sure many on ET are like me and have simply stopped watching TV for news and commentary because it’s all just loud sloganeering. But clearly it must work as that’s what gets the ratings.

Last edited 4 months ago by Mark22
steven musick
4 months ago

As a card carrying economist (based upon empirical sound raw data) I get real tired of being played from both sides of the political spectrum. I KNOW the rationale for the “playing”, most consumers of media unfortunately can’t separate the narrative from the factual underpinnings of the empirical sound raw date and information. We are going to continue get “played” until the music stops and we find the very fat cats sitting in the last chair having never moved. Without significant action now we should get ready to stand for a long time.

The Daily Zeitgeist

Ten Times Faster Than The Sun’s Beams

By Ben Hunt | November 25, 2020 | 8 Comments

The Wall Street narrative machine is in overdrive to create a “Yay, Value!” rally here at year-end.

Like any effective advertising campaign, it will work. I’m not saying this rally isn’t real.

I’m saying that you should reconsider what “real” means.

Read more

You Can’t Handle The Lie

By Rusty Guinn | November 6, 2020 | 35 Comments

Any news outlet that won’t let you see a lie does not work for you.

Read more

We are all MMTers (Still)

By Rusty Guinn | October 22, 2020 | 10 Comments

Stimulus is dominating market news, and even with an election coming up is playing an outsized role in political news. So what is the current fiscal stimulus really about?

Maybe more importantly, what is it absolutely, definitely NOT about?

Read more

How It Started. How It’s Going.

By Ben Hunt | October 20, 2020 | 10 Comments

Once Daryl Morey’s new idea became the common knowledge of the NBA – once everyone knows that everyone knows that the way to win NBA games is to maximize 3-point shots and lay-ups – then it became a permanent feature of the way professional basketball is played. It became an equilibrium.

It’s exactly the same with politics.

Read more

The Frustrated Money Manager

By Ben Hunt | October 8, 2020 | 12 Comments

The frustrated money manager is almost always a smart, accomplished professional in his own field who believes VERY much in the existence of The Smart Money ™.

The frustrated money manager is almost always a liiiittttle bit on the make.

Like a Vatican cardinal.

Read more

Scapegoating the Zeitgeist

By Ben Hunt | October 2, 2020 | 5 Comments

One day we will recognize the defining Zeitgeist of the post-GFC Obama/Trump years for what it is: an unparalleled transfer of wealth to the managerial class.

This Wall Street Journal article is not an attack on that system. It is a defense. It is telling you that the system is fine … we just need to do something about these bad apple CEOs.

Read more

DISCLOSURES

This commentary is being provided to you as general information only and should not be taken as investment advice. The opinions expressed in these materials represent the personal views of the author(s). It is not investment research or a research recommendation, as it does not constitute substantive research or analysis. Any action that you take as a result of information contained in this document is ultimately your responsibility. Epsilon Theory will not accept liability for any loss or damage, including without limitation to any loss of profit, which may arise directly or indirectly from use of or reliance on such information. Consult your investment advisor before making any investment decisions. It must be noted, that no one can accurately predict the future of the market with certainty or guarantee future investment performance. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results.

Statements in this communication are forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements and other views expressed herein are as of the date of this publication. Actual future results or occurrences may differ significantly from those anticipated in any forward-looking statements, and there is no guarantee that any predictions will come to pass. The views expressed herein are subject to change at any time, due to numerous market and other factors. Epsilon Theory disclaims any obligation to update publicly or revise any forward-looking statements or views expressed herein. This information is neither an offer to sell nor a solicitation of any offer to buy any securities. This commentary has been prepared without regard to the individual financial circumstances and objectives of persons who receive it. Epsilon Theory recommends that investors independently evaluate particular investments and strategies, and encourages investors to seek the advice of a financial advisor. The appropriateness of a particular investment or strategy will depend on an investor’s individual circumstances and objectives.