The Zeitgeist – 3.27.2019

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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.


Treasury Swings Jump Like It’s 2016 [Bloomberg]

So … we write a lot here at Epsilon Theory. Maybe too much for people to keep up. But there are a few notes that are canon, and one of them is Things Fall Apart (part 3) – Markets. Here’s the conclusion from that note:

The transformation of capital markets into a political utility results in a structural dampening of equity volatility, not Treasury volatility. Why? Because the equity market is the political scorecard, not the Treasury market.

Trump said it out loud, because he can’t help himself. But it’s been true for a decade.


Uber Steers $3.1 Billion Careem Deal as Implied Value Gains Ahead of Planned IPO [The Street]

There’s been some debate within the ET commetariat as to how one represents the dueling banjos of Deliverance in text.

Whatever … all I know is that “squeal like a pig” comes in Act III.


Apple unveils streaming service, credit card and more [CBS News]

Everyone is focused on the streaming service and content creation. The real move is into financial services. Amazon won’t be far behind.


Cousins Properties, Tier REIT to Merge in $1.5 Billion Deal [The Street]

My god, this is going to be a record year for investment banking, isn’t it? If you know what I mean. And I think you do.

What? Can’t you believe in a comeback?


Opportunity Zones Hype Overshadows Potential Pitfalls and Risks [NREI]

As Neil Young said, rust never sleeps. Neither do raccoons.


Minimum wage would be $33 today if it grew like Wall Street bonuses have [CBS News]

LOL. Just watch … this will be a 2020 campaign factoid. MMT, here we come!


Executive Order on Coordinating National Resilience to Electromagnetic Pulses [White House]

TFW … you’re thinking about breaking up with Little Rocket Man.


Bed Bath & Beyond explodes by more than 25% after activist investors attack [Business Insider]

As a recovering short seller, I have the same reaction to news like this as I do to video of Lawrence Taylor breaking Joe Theisman’s leg … I just can’t watch. Gotta turn away.

It only takes one experience like this to recognize the Golden Rule of Short Selling: never short a stock with >10% of the float short.


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The Daily Zeitgeist

Nuke ‘Em From Orbit. It’s the Only Way To Be Sure.

By Ben Hunt | August 24, 2019 | 2 Comments

Nuke the site from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.

It’s the best line from a movie full of them.

I couldn’t help but think about nuking inhuman monsters from orbit, when I read the PR releases from Prince Andrew and Les Wexner about their “relationship” with Jeffrey Epstein.

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It makes it easier for them to hide.

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By Ben Hunt | August 6, 2019 | 4 Comments

It’s my favorite part of any Batman movie … that scene where the henchman pays a visit to the crazed supervillain – the Joker is the gold standard here – and you just know that the meeting is about to go terribly, terribly awry for the thug.

It’s a funny scene in a movie.

It’s a crappy way to run a country.

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By Ben Hunt | August 5, 2019 | 7 Comments

My point in relating the fable of the Donkey of Guizhou is not that I believe China is the tiger and the United States is the donkey in our current trade-war-going-to-currency-war.

My point in relating the fable of the Donkey of Guizhou is not that I believe the current United States president is a braying donkey in his “easy to win” trade-war-going-to-currency-war.

I mean … I do, but that’s not my point.

My point is that Chinese political leadership believes that they are the tiger and the current United States president is a braying donkey.

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Threat Display

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No matter what kind of game you’re playing, never mistake a threat display for a fundamental transformation or escalation of the game. The China Trade War is STILL a game of chicken.

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