The Zeitgeist – 3.20.2019

2+

Every morning, we run the Narrative Machine on the past 24 hours worth of financial media to find the most on-narrative (i.e. interconnected and central) stories in financial media. It’s not a list of best articles or articles we think are most interesting … often far from it.

But for whatever reason these are articles that are representative of some sort of chord that has been struck in Narrative-world.


As Fed Meeting Starts, Investors Appear Confident That Dovishness Will Continue [Forbes]

Jay Powell is our generation’s Arthur Burns.

The only difference is that Nixon did all of his bullying in private, and Burns wouldn’t dream of saying out loud what Powell shouts at every press conference.

They’re not even pretending anymore.


Fight chaos with constrained discretion [Salon]

If only we could make Congress more like the Fed, with a professional mandarin class exercising “constrained discretion”, whatever the hell that means.

Originally posted at the Niskanen Center, which is … disappointing. Classic example of admiring the problem, which is what institutionalized libertarianism has been institutionalized around (and is why I have zero interest in associating with institutionalized libertarianism).


I’m Not Letting Fear Affect My Outlook On Boeing [Seeking Alpha]

So I’m not going to rip this Seeking Alpha guy like I would noted raccoon and Boeing fanboy Kevin O’Leary, who just epitomizes everything that is laughable about financial media today. But I will say this, and hopefully these words wind their way to this guy’s “Dividend Growth Club”:

The absence of short interest in a name you like is NOT a good sign. On the contrary, it is a giant red flag that you have bought into a constructed and highly managed Narrative.


Lyft IPO Oversubscribed Ahead of Listing Next Week [Bloomberg]

Dah-dah-dah-dah-dah-dah-dah-dah-dum … or however you’re supposed to represent the Deliverance dueling banjos in Act I. Squealing like a pig comes in Act II.


TD Ameritrade Increases Commitment and Grows Capabilities for Stock Plan Services Through Its New Relationship with Certent [Press Release]

I’m seeing more and more of these partner relationship stories with back-office service providers like Certent and Carta and the like. Client acquisition costs … the struggle is real.


The Art of the Buzzer Beater: Why March Madness Magic Takes More Than One Shining Moment [SI]

Nah.

The post-hoc rationalization of lottery winners is a staple of sports writing, of course, and SI and ESPN are good places to practice your critical reading skills. And practice you should. Because this sort of inanity is even more prevalent in market writing.


2+

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
Rusty Guinn
1 year ago

It is very clearly nuh-nuh-neer-neer-neer-neer-neer-neer-neeeeeer.

Victor K
1 year ago
Reply to  Rusty Guinn

ti.do.re–ti–do–la–ti–so–laaa

Rusty Guinn
1 year ago
Reply to  Victor K

Wait, is that some harmony, or a different part? I’m humming it and lost you. Isn’t the melody mi-fa-sol-mi-fa-re-mi-do-reeee?

Victor K
1 year ago
Reply to  Rusty Guinn

Not harmony – Transposed a fifth

The Daily Zeitgeist

“Suicide Bomber” vs suicide bomber

By Ben Hunt | December 29, 2020 | 19 Comments

On Christmas Day, Nashville was attacked by a suicide bomber terrorist. But not by a “Suicide Bomber”. Not by a “Terrorist”.

Why not? Because his terrorist goals didn’t fit neatly into a useful political narrative like “Antifa!” or “Proud Boys!”

Here’s what this looks like in the Narrative Machine.

Read more

Russian Nesting Deals

By Rusty Guinn | December 3, 2020 | 4 Comments

Sometimes complicated is complicated because it has to be. But this nesting doll of a SPAC deal with Dyal (Neuberger Berman) IS weird and worthy of more than usual scrutiny, especially if you are an LP in one of these funds.

Read more

Ten Times Faster Than The Sun’s Beams

By Ben Hunt | November 25, 2020 | 10 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

Red Dawn

By Ben Hunt | May 30, 2019 | 1 Comment

How will you know that the US-China trade narrative is shifting towards a protracted game of Chicken?

When the narrative becomes dominated by national security language and clusters.

Rusty and I have been all over this for a year. More to the point, we have been right. If you want to know what’s happening with the Trade & Tariff narrative structure, you should subscribe to ET Professional. This is what we DO.

Read more

Spree

By Ben Hunt | May 28, 2019 | 0 Comments

The word “spree” is so evocative in narrative-world, implying at a minimum some sort of wantonness and excess, some sort of moral bankruptcy.

How threadbare and slow-growing is the financial services world today? It’s a “hiring spree” just to open up a New York office. With 30 people. By 2022.

Read more

Amazon, Facebook and the Modern Trust [the ET Zeitgeist]

By Ben Hunt | May 28, 2019 | 3 Comments

Facebook is a master at implementing price increases under the narrative of “optimization”, as if the company was doing you a favor by raising their ad prices so much. Now Amazon is reading from the same playbook in their advertising business.

Time to break up the trusts. Again.

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.