The Zeitgeist – 4.24.2019

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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 24, 2019 Narrative Map – US Equities

Source: Quid, Epsilon Theory

Wall Street Analyst Sentiment Stays in a Funk, but Earnings Trends Still Positive in Q1 2019: 361 Capital Wall Street Mood Monitor [Press Release]

“Since September of last year, sell-side research analysts made more negative revisions to earnings estimates than positive ones,” said John Riddle, CFA, chief investment officer for 361 Capital. “While the mood remains gloomy, the good news is that earnings trends, as measured by surprises versus disappointments, were on balance positive.”

Wait … you mean that companies beat their pro forma non-GAAP performance targets? Whaaaaat?


Russell Wilson gifts entire Seahawks offensive line Amazon stock after signing new contract [CBS Sports]

With Amazon being the conglomerate that it is, the gifts have the potential to keep growing. Amazon shares are currently valued at just under $2,000 ($1,926.29) as of Tuesday morning.

Every sports article I’ve read about Russell Wilson’s gift to his O-line (six shares of Amazon stock each) has mentioned that the gift “could get larger over time” as Amazon’s stock continues its inexorable climb higher.

18 months ago this is the coverage that a gift of Bitcoin would have received.

You don’t see this at the bottom.


Stocks are at an all-time high. Here’s what stopped the last 12 bull runs [CNN]

How much longer can the good times roll?

It’s anyone’s guess, but bull markets and economic expansions don’t die of old age. Credit crunches, political uncertainty, wars and rampant speculation have ended previous bull markets.

Bull markets end when easy money stops being so easy. #SavedYouAClick


Twitter is surging and the rally shows no signs of slowing, chart analyst says [CNBC]

This quarter will be the last for which Twitter will report Monthly Active Users (MAUs), the company announced during its last earnings report. As a replacement, Twitter began to report what it calls monetizable daily active users (mDAUs) last quarter, which it said would better reflect its audience. This metric includes “Twitter users who log in and access Twitter on any given day through Twitter.com or our Twitter applications that are able to show ads,” according to the company.

Say what you will about @jack, but he understands the necessary and sufficient condition for being a successful CEO today: create a Wall Street-supported non-GAAP narrative to describe your company’s financial results.

Tired: the MAU narrative.

Wired: the mDAU narrative.


The Biggest Threat to Endowment and Foundation Portfolios [Institutional Investor]

The biggest threat to endowment and foundation investment portfolios is a slowdown in global growth, according to a survey by consulting firm NEPC.

Narrator: this was not the biggest threat.


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The Daily Zeitgeist

I’m Not a Raccoon! I’m the Lone Ranger!

By Ben Hunt | July 22, 2019 | 0 Comments

Price drives the transaction volumes of non-cash-flowing, non-productive things. Not the other way around.

There are prominent people at the intersection of Wall Street and crypto who know this to be true – who know that the “Yay, network effects!” narrative is BS when it comes to Bitcoin – but who promote the narrative anyway.

Why? Because they know that it’s narrative – even false narrative – that DOES drive the price.

Read more

The Only Winning Move

By Rusty Guinn | July 19, 2019 | 6 Comments

It’s privacy and big tech again in today’s Zeitgeist, which is all about mutually assured surveillance. And for Epsilon Theory, it hits home. I think it will hit home for you, too.

Read more

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

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Mark Kahn
Member
Mark Kahn

Nothing shows how much it’s all a game and that everyone is on the same side than that Wall Street plays along with all this non-GAAP narrative nonsense. Everyone just wants a story to sell. It’s obnoxious, but worse, it all feels hollow.

I seem to remember a few high profile people years back – like the model Gisele – publicly stating they would only accept payment in Euros not dollars when the Euro was at about 130 – kind of like taking shares of Amazon today.

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Victor K
Member
Victor K

It was likely just currency diversification. TB was already in USD, and surely Gisele was worried about the real. Don’t the <0.1% all do currency diversification? Why pay both exchange and xfer fees? BTW that's what BTC is all about, n'est ce pas?

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ike
Member
ike

When the Fed started this ZIRP/QE nonsense after the GFC, I told a friend it was both corrupt and corrupting. I’ve seen nothing in the past decade that has changed my mind.

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