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 25, 2019 Narrative Map – US Equities
What ‘Junk’ tells us about America’s tangled relationship with debt [Washington Post]
I recently saw the play “Junk,” a retrospective of the 1980s, when Wall Street junk-bond kings were revered and then reviled.
It was a time when financial wunderkinds figured out how to use massive amounts of debt to go on buying sprees, leaving a path of devastation. Think of a plague of locusts swarming companies while wearing business suits and ties.
What is the only true superpower? The power to name things.
We name Milken and Boesky as junk-bond kings. We name their actions as a spree. We name their outcomes as devastation. We name their instrument as debt.
Today we name it balance sheet expansion.
Everyone talks about how we’ve privatized gains and socialized losses, especially for the Big Banks. And I suppose that’s true.
But even more pernicious is the socialization of debt. We’re all junk-bond kings today.
Every man a king!
The plot of Lysistrata, first staged in Athens in 411 BC, is that the women of Athens and Sparta agree to withhold sex from the men of Athens and Sparta until they stop fighting the interminable Peloponnesian War.
Want to end the interminable US-China trade war? Stop making superhero movies.
I mean, no one has sex these days, so that’s not a credible threat. We’re too busy watching Netflix.
Once US federal legalization happens, Brent Johnson, managing partner of the Hoban Law Group, a full-service firm that specializes in cannabis, said he expects many companies with US operations that touch the plant and are listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange and OTC Markets Group to move to the NYSE, Nasdaq and Toronto Stock Exchanges. Currently, companies that have US operations that touch the plant cannot list on those three exchanges.
Tomorrow’s headlines today – Trump will propose federal cannabis legalization, and his primary argument will be how “unfair” the status quo is for American exchanges.
We write a lot about the dollar and EM on Epsilon Theory Professional. Here’s the money quote from a recent note:
Bottom line: I don’t think that the narrative around central banks is weakening, but I do think it is evolving. I think it is evolving in a way that’s good for some small-e emerging markets and bad for others, but eliminates a coherent, investable narrative around big-E Emerging Markets.
The Daily 202: Trump looks to defuse trade wars as 2020 nears, deploying Pence to Michigan and Mnuchin to China [Washington Post]
The most venal collection of talent that has ever been gathered together at the White House, with the possible exception of when Ulysses Grant dined alone.