The Zeitgeist – 4.2.2019


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.

Veggie Grill Expanding Despite The Scarcity of People Who Are Vegetarians And Vegans [Forbes]

The snippy tone of this interview is exactly as implied by the article title: what kind of an idiot are you to launch a veggie-only casual dining chain when only x% of people are vegetarian?

The answer, of course, is exactly what the co-founder says here. They’re not selling to vegetarians or vegans, they’re selling to people who want to FEEL like vegetarians or vegans.

Love it.

In the immortal words of Maya Angelou … people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

Or in our business, people will never forget what you did for their personal account.

German Factory Slump Leaves Euro Area as Global Economic Laggard [Bloomberg]

And this is why Draghi and the ECB will do MOAR. Gotta get the Euro to USD parity …

We are smack in the middle of the Silver Age of the Central Banker, with Bronze just around the corner.

Larry Kudlow has a point in calling for an immediate Fed rate cut, strategist says [CNBC]

Friends don’t let friends reify the yield curve.

Yeah, it’s a $10 word. It means that the yield curve is not a thing in itself. Seriously, it’s not. Stop treating it like it is. You look like an idiot.

Let’s Not Stress About the Next U.S. Recession [Bloomberg]

It’ll be about this big.

Honest to god, I was sure this was an April Fool’s prank. But no.

Bitcoin Surges as Cryptocurrency Market Suddenly Springs to Life [Bloomberg]

Meanwhile, the idea for his next script slowly forms for Jordan Peele.


The Daily Zeitgeist

We Didn’t Say it WASN’T a Press Release

By Rusty Guinn | June 24, 2019 | 1 Comment

It isn’t just that cannabis always seems to make the top of the Zeitgeist. It’s why – and sometimes the answer is, “Because people are paying for it to be at the top.”

Read more

The ANDs of Asylum

By Rusty Guinn | June 23, 2019 | 0 Comments

In the midst of a complicated issue, an article from a small regional outlet manages to remind us of the power of AND in storytelling and connecting the understanding of those across the widening gyre.

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Zeitgeist Narrative Map – Week of June 16 in Review

By Rusty Guinn | June 22, 2019 | 0 Comments

This is our graph of the narrative structure of the last full week in financial markets news.

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That Time I Bought Blockbuster Debt

By Ben Hunt | June 20, 2019 | 0 Comments

Management is not lying to you. It’s probably a really good turn-around plan. It could probably work out fine … IF they are given enough time. But they won’t be. Particularly when it’s the second turn-around plan.

Secularly declining companies ALWAYS run out of time.

It was one of the most expensive lessons of my investing career. And worth every penny.

Read more

Democracy Dies with Dancing

By Rusty Guinn | June 18, 2019 | 0 Comments

There’s a critical, indispensable feature of a free nation we call a free press. And then there’s the meme of free press!. The latter is a pure narrative construction, and a thing well supplied in the DC market.

Read more

The Not-So-Much War

By Rusty Guinn | June 17, 2019 | 0 Comments

A tug-of-war is only a tug-of-war if both sides, y’know, are capable of pulling on the rope.

Read more

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Mark Kahn
Mark Kahn

As always, good stuff.

Two quick ones – why the heck isn’t the euro already weaker versus the dollar with interest-rate and growth differentials where they already are?

And, two, the only reason I know “reification” is because you used it a long time ago in “Ghost in the Machine” and I looked it up then (hey, I’m a product of a public school education from first grade to college degree). I love its Marxist roots. Despite being an ardent anti-collectivist and believing Marx was very wrong about most things, I acknowledge that he could still make his wrong ideas sound very right and smart – he was a talented writer and polemicist.


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