The Zeitgeist – 4.18.2019

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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.


April 18, 2019 Narrative Map – US Equities

Source: Quid, Epsilon Theory

S&P 500 Faces Headwinds But May Avoid Profit Recession: Oxford Economics [IB Times]

The S&P 500 companies may escape a profit recession in 2019 as the resilience in the U.S. economy, easing trade tensions and an expected weakness in the U.S. dollar improve confidence, Lydia Boussour, senior U.S. economist at Oxford Economics, said.

TFW … a wall of worry is just too much work.


Remembering the start of CNBC, 30 years later [CNBC]

Is CNBC still relevant? Sure is. Let me tell you why: The baby boomers are in terrible shape. I mean financially. The oldest baby boomer is now 73, the youngest is 55. Half are already in retirement. And they need our help and the help of everyone in the financial journalism community.

Bob Pisani remembers!

Everyone writes LOL these days, even when they don’t actually make a sound. Not me. I laughed like a banshee when I read this.

CNBC “helps” the investment behavior of retirees in exactly the same way that Fox and CNN “help” their political behavior.


Coal in AOC’s stocking: GOP lawmaker withdraws invite to visit Kentucky mine [NBC News]

“GOP’s getting scared that up close, their constituents will realize I’m fighting harder for their healthcare than their own Reps,” she goaded them on Twitter.

AOC is the Bo Jackson of modern American politics. More raw ability and talent than any human I’ve ever seen. 2024 will be here before you know it.


These Are the Winners and Losers in the Apple-Qualcomm Settlement [Fortune]

I’m not making this up.


Mick Mulvaney’s Master Class in Destroying a Bureaucracy From Within [NY Times Magazine]

The C.F.P.B. was created to protect Americans from predatory lenders after the financial crisis. President Trump’s new chief of staff took it apart on his way to White House.

Two of my biggest and most successful thematic shorts in my hedge fund days were for-profit schools and pay-day lenders. I did all the work during the Bush years, then put the positions on in the Obama years. Pretty much the only shorts that worked from March 2009 on.

Both of these “industries”, and you can add for-profit prisons to the list, are pure parasites on the public body. Not only are their business models based on intentionally screwing as many poor people as they possibly can, but they exist profitably ONLY because federal laws allow them to exist profitably. When those laws shift (or more typically, the enforcement and interpretation of those laws shift) these companies work (or don’t).

I always tried to keep my personal feelings and emotions out of the investments I made, long and short. But I couldn’t hide my satisfaction from seeing these companies get crushed then, and it bums me the hell out that they are resurgent under the Insane Clown Posse administration.


Stock futures edge higher on robust China data; chipmakers rise [Reuters]

6 months?? I’m already there!

Good thing my office is on the ground floor.


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The Daily Zeitgeist

We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat

By Ben Hunt | July 15, 2019 | 0 Comments

Financialization is not a mean-reverting phenomenon. It’s too good of a gravy train for Wall Street, corporate management and the White House to stop now. So they won’t. Like any self-respecting Great White shark, the Nudging State and the Nudging Oligarchy never stop swimming. They never stop eating.

Want to survive these financialized waters if you’re potential shark food? You’re gonna need a bigger boat.

Read more

When Did You Stop Beating Your Wife?

By Ben Hunt | July 12, 2019 | 1 Comment

“De Blasio’s ‘pay parity’ hypocrisy” is a feature article in today’s NY Post, and a central article in today’s media Zeitgeist.

Dig a little deeper into the “scandal”, and you learn that the “evidence” is complete horseshit.

It’s an article specifically designed to manipulate someone like me … someone who is VERY predisposed to believe the worst about Bill de Blasio because I dislike his politics SO MUCH.

It’s a rage engagement, one of two primary forms of Fiat News used to win the Game of You.

Read more

The Upside Down

By Ben Hunt | July 9, 2019 | 1 Comment

Everything is topsy-turvy in the Upside Down of Stranger Things. That’s the Big Baddie in the picture above, known as the Mind Flayer.

Financial media is a Mind Flayer, too, especially when it comes to coverage of crypto and tech companies.

Read more

Raking it in

By Rusty Guinn | July 8, 2019 | 0 Comments

A few months ago, we noted how important it had become for public figures and corporations to control their own cartoon, lest someone control it for them. Well, now that advice has itself become the narrative. Don’t say you weren’t warned.

Read more

Here We Go Again

By Ben Hunt | July 2, 2019 | 1 Comment

“You just recently hours ago met with the Chinese president, Xi Jinping,” Carlson said. “Are you closer, do you think after that meeting, to a trade deal?”

“I think so,” Trump replied. “We had a very good meeting. He wants to make a deal. I want to make a deal. Very big deal, probably, I guess you’d say the largest deal ever made of any kind, not only trade.”

He just can’t help himself. And neither can we.

Read more

The Solution To The Fintech IPO Shortage

By Rusty Guinn | July 1, 2019 | 0 Comments

There’s a narrative that exists in Fintech that isn’t really present in most other early stage technology businesses. It defines why they’re different, who succeeds and who fails at getting to a liquidity event and a long-term growth trajectory.

Read more

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Christopher Beirn
Member
Christopher Beirn

“AOC is the Bo Jackson of modern American politics. More raw ability and talent than any human I’ve ever seen. 2024 will be here before you know it.”

Word.

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J
Member
J

Check out Michael Lewis’ latest podcast. He discusses Navient in depth. Disgusting, but predictable.

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Jim Fisher
Member
Jim Fisher

“AOC is the Bo Jackson of modern American politics. More raw ability and talent than any human I’ve ever seen. 2024 will be here before you know it.” Please tell me that’s sarcasm?! She’s as smart as a pile of rocks.

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Kevin Remy
Member
Kevin Remy

Unfortunately, being intellectually “smart” isn’t necessarily what’s needed to win elections.

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