Wednesday , July 15 2020
Home / Rusty Guinn (page 4)
Rusty Guinn

Rusty Guinn

Executive Vice President of Asset Management, Salient. Rusty Guinn is the executive vice president of asset management at Salient. He oversees Salient’s retail and institutional asset management business, including investment teams, products, and strategy. Rusty shares his perspective and experience as an investor on the Epsilon Theory website.

Articles by Rusty Guinn

An Advantageous Contagion

14 hours ago

To receive a free full-text email of The Zeitgeist whenever we publish to the website, please sign up here. You’ll get two or three of these emails every week, and your email will not be shared with anyone. Ever.

A few weeks ago, we published a Zeitgeist called Never Forget about the protests and the narratives being promoted about them. It was a little brief that Ben ended with this flourish:

This isn’t a threat to democracy. This IS democracy.Never forget.Never Forget

We got a lot of comments and emails about this one.

Most were supportive. Still, there were enough that fell into two less-than-supportive camps to make us feel they were worthy of mention. The first, if I can paraphrase, wondered why Ben couldn’t see how important it was that so many of the protests

Read More »

July 2020 Epsilon Theory Narrative Monitors

7 days ago

DISCLOSURES

This commentary is being provided to you as general information only and should not be taken as investment advice. The opinions expressed in these materials represent the personal views of the author(s). It is not investment research or a research recommendation, as it does not constitute substantive research or analysis. Any action that you take as a result of information contained in this document is ultimately your responsibility. Epsilon Theory will not accept liability for any loss or damage, including without limitation to any loss of profit, which may arise directly or indirectly from use of or reliance on such information. Consult your investment advisor before making any investment decisions. It must be noted, that no one can accurately predict the future of the

Read More »

Harrumph!

8 days ago

Governor William J. Le Petomane: We’ve got to protect our phony baloney jobs, gentlemen! We must do something about this immediately! Immediately! Immediately! Room Full of Supporters / Cronies: Harrumph! Harrumph! Harrumph!Le Petomane (pointing at one silent crony): I didn’t get a harrumph outta that guy. Hedley Lamarr: Give the governor harrumph!Frightened Crony: Harrumph!Le Petomane: You watch your ass.Blazing Saddles (1974)

Theatre and film make their way into the pages of Epsilon Theory quite a lot.

Some of that is admittedly because Ben just really, really likes The Godfather. Most of it, however, is because the same tools that are designed to steer emotional and intellectual responses in theatre are the tools of narrative. The same memes, the same forms, the same

Read More »

The Lost Art of the Jawbone

8 days ago

To receive a free full-text email of The Zeitgeist whenever we publish to the website, please sign up here. You’ll get two or three of these emails every week, and your email will not be shared with anyone. Ever.

Duke (in his head): If so – well, we’ll just have to cut his head off and bury him somewhere.  Because it goes without saying that we can’t turn him loose. He’d report us at once to some kind of outback Nazi law enforcement agency, and they’ll run us down like dogs.Duke (out loud): Jesus. Did I say that? Duke (in his head): Or just think it. Was I talking? Did they hear me? Gonzo (to the hitchhiker): It’s okay. He’s admiring the shape of your skull. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)

When Ben writes “They’re not even pretending anymore!” it is usually because he is

Read More »

ET Live! – 6.30.2020

15 days ago

0
Welcome to the June 30th edition of Epsilon Theory Live! As usual, we look forward to your pYou have reached the maximum number of free, long-form articles for the month.
Please join here to read the rest of this content.
Paid Members can log in here.

Read More »

What is Permissible

21 days ago

PDF Download (Paid Subscription Required):  What is Permissible

Jamie Dimon and Mt. Kisco Chase branch employees take a knee to protest injustice. (Not pictured: Chase actually doing business in minority communities)Everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial. The Bible, 1 Corinthians 10:23

It happens once every decade or so.

Around then – more often if they are accidentally paying attention – investors get a glimpse into the hellish roundelay that is the charade of corporate governance. This time around maybe it was Hertz or Toys ‘R Us being used as leveraged bets and piggy banks for the purposes of a small minority of short-term flip-oriented investors and captive management. Maybe it was Whiting Petroleum‘s board deciding to throw caution and even the

Read More »

The Lystrosaurus

28 days ago

To receive a free full-text email of The Zeitgeist whenever we publish to the website, please sign up here. You’ll get two or three of these emails every week, and your email will not be shared with anyone. Ever.

An illustration of a particularly dapper-looking Lystrosaurus georgi specimenOne of the foundational ideas of the Zeitgeist is that measuring linguistic similarity is a powerful way to observe what we are being told matters by those who publish most of the words we read in a given day.

It should be intuitive that the source of that similarity is sometimes reducible to topics. If a single event is dominating headlines, then language that describes that event is going to cause measures of similarity to rise. This is useful, but not especially interesting. You don’t need

Read More »

No Accident

June 3, 2020

Source: Christianity Today

Both Ben and I have struggled somewhat with how to write about the murder of George Floyd last week.

The most important reason we haven’t written much should be pretty obvious. In short, there are a lot of voices telling you how they feel about his death and the protests that have followed it. There are plenty trying to tell you how you should think and feel about it, too. In both cases, most of those voices are more worth listening to than those of two middle-aged, upper middle class white guys in Connecticut.

But if you are like either of us, you have probably also noticed something else. As you learned more about George’s death at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer, maybe you felt and thought a lot of different things at once. About the

Read More »

ET Live! – 6.2.2020

June 2, 2020

0
In this ET Live!, Ben and Rusty discuss all things pandemic recovery, markets and the narratYou have reached the maximum number of free, long-form articles for the month.
Please join here to read the rest of this content.
Paid Members can log in here.

Read More »

A New Gilded Age

May 24, 2020

Source: Library of CongressHistory never repeats itself, but the Kaleidoscopic combinations of the pictured present often seem to be constructed out of the broken fragments of antique legends.The Gilded Age: A Tale of To-Day, by Mark Twain (1874)

Winston Churchill has probably since eclipsed him in this regard, but for decades Mark Twain was the person to whom you attributed a quotation if you didn’t know who said it.

That whole bit he did about history rhyming but not repeating? It’s probably apocryphal, too, but at least Twain actually did write the thing that spawned the briefer expression. Strangely, it comes from what is probably his worst book, an attempted collaboration with another author that never really works. Yet even the title of this forgettable novel managed to

Read More »

Hateful Memes and Election Season

May 13, 2020

To receive a free full-text email of The Zeitgeist whenever we publish to the website, please sign up here. You’ll get two or three of these emails every week, and your email will not be shared with anyone. Ever.

As the core COVID-19 narrative shifts from the mixture of human and economic tolls that dominated news over the past few weeks to the coverage of lockdown relaxation across the United States, we are starting to observe other topics and language creeping back into the Zeitgeist for the first time.

Unsurprisingly, most of them have still been tangentially related to the pandemic.

For example, we are observing a lot of shared language in the ether about direct sales and e-commerce (a term I thought had gone out of vogue years ago, to be honest). The framing of these

Read More »

Too Connected to Fail

May 4, 2020

If you owe the bank $100 that’s your problem. If you owe the bank $100 million, that’s the bank’s problem. Attributed to J. Paul Getty in The Five Rules for Successful Stock Investing

I don’t know how much life wisdom it is possible to extract from the life of J. Paul Getty.

On the one hand, Getty became fabulously wealthy by taking actual risk and doing things (like, say, learning Arabic) that no one else was willing to do at the time. On the other hand, he famously bartered for the life of his abducted grandson, seeking to whittle down the ransom demands to an amount that would be fully tax-deductible. Gee thanks, Gramps.

The Ridley Scott film chronicling this affair is a pretty fascinating story in its own right. Filmed and nearly ready for distribution right before

Read More »

ET Live! – 4.28.2020

April 28, 2020

0

Join us this afternoon for the Pandemic Edition of Epsilon Theory Live! As usual, we staYou have reached the maximum number of free, long-form articles for the month.
Please join here to read the rest of this content.
Paid Members can log in here.

Read More »

That Old Canard

April 27, 2020

To receive a free full-text email of The Zeitgeist whenever we publish to the website, please sign up here. You’ll get two or three of these emails every week, and your email will not be shared with anyone. Ever.

If there is one defining feature of high attention narrative structures, it is the crowding out of off-narrative topics and language. Since mid-March, financial media has been all-coronavirus, all-the-time. That is, with the exception of the occasional diversion into the nightmarish adjacent world of oil and gas.

In the last week or so, however, we have observed a surge in “how the world will be different” language across financial media. We have observed that language in pieces nominally about other things, like earnings, guidance or the fortunes of various

Read More »

One for the Road

April 18, 2020

Source: CalPERSLast week, when Ben and I published our assessment and response to the institutional failures revealed by the COVID-19 pandemic, it didn’t take long for some other suggestions to roll in. I have been thinking about one of the first one someone suggested to me ever since.

Bloomberg’s Eric Schatzker covered it first, I think, or at least it was the first article sent to me. Leanna Orr at Institutional Investor published a good follow-up the next day. The issue was this: CalPERS, the largest pension fund in the United States, had a tail risk portfolio that was meant to defend some portion of its massive portfolio against, well, really bad market events. Among other things, no doubt, they had hired two external managers to construct portfolios of instruments that

Read More »

First the People

April 14, 2020

Epsilon Theory PDF Download (paid subscription required): First the People

In all countries, the First World War weakened old orthodoxies and authorities, and, when it was over, neither government nor church nor school nor family had the power to regulate the lives of human beings as it had once done. The Germans, by Gordon A. Craig (1991)

Some of us still recall World War I, which awakened our generation to the fact that history was not a matter of the past, as a thoughtless philosophy of the hundred years’ peace would have us believe. And once started, it did not cease to happen…However, it is not a balance of our experiences, achievements and omissions that stands to question; nor am I scanning the horizon for a mere break. The time has come to take note of a much bigger

Read More »

Pandemic Playbook Notes – 4/7

April 7, 2020

DISCLOSURES

This commentary is being provided to you as general information only and should not be taken as investment advice. The opinions expressed in these materials represent the personal views of the author(s). It is not investment research or a research recommendation, as it does not constitute substantive research or analysis. Any action that you take as a result of information contained in this document is ultimately your responsibility. Epsilon Theory will not accept liability for any loss or damage, including without limitation to any loss of profit, which may arise directly or indirectly from use of or reliance on such information. Consult your investment advisor before making any investment decisions. It must be noted, that no one can accurately predict the future of the

Read More »

Until Further Notice

March 31, 2020

Since last week, we have received a number of requests to amplify our views on certain provisions of the CARES Act. Rather than opine on individual public shareholder bailouts likely to be executed under this act and its likely successor bills in 2020, we determined it would be easier to provide an easy-to-follow decision chart that will tell you in advance what our opinion will be.

Thank you for your understanding.

Read More »

The Miracle Max of MBS

March 30, 2020

To receive a free full-text email of The Zeitgeist whenever we publish to the website, please sign up here. You’ll get two or three of these emails every week, and your email will not be shared with anyone. Ever.

Miracle Max: Don’t rush me, sonny. You rush a miracle man, you get rotten miracles. You got money?Inigo Montoya: Sixty-five.Miracle Max: Sheesh! I never worked for so little. Except once, and that was a very noble cause.Inigo: This is noble sir. His wife is… crippled. The children are on the brink of starvation.Miracle Max: Are you a rotten liar!Inigo: I need him to help avenge my father, murdered these twenty years.Miracle Max: Your first story was better.The Princess Bride (1987)

We have published fewer Zeitgeist notes in the last few weeks. The reason won’t be

Read More »

When the Story Bends

March 24, 2020

DISCLOSURES

This commentary is being provided to you as general information only and should not be taken as investment advice. The opinions expressed in these materials represent the personal views of the author(s). It is not investment research or a research recommendation, as it does not constitute substantive research or analysis. Any action that you take as a result of information contained in this document is ultimately your responsibility. Epsilon Theory will not accept liability for any loss or damage, including without limitation to any loss of profit, which may arise directly or indirectly from use of or reliance on such information. Consult your investment advisor before making any investment decisions. It must be noted, that no one can accurately predict the future of the

Read More »

Pandemic Playbook Notes – 3/23

March 23, 2020

DISCLOSURES

This commentary is being provided to you as general information only and should not be taken as investment advice. The opinions expressed in these materials represent the personal views of the author(s). It is not investment research or a research recommendation, as it does not constitute substantive research or analysis. Any action that you take as a result of information contained in this document is ultimately your responsibility. Epsilon Theory will not accept liability for any loss or damage, including without limitation to any loss of profit, which may arise directly or indirectly from use of or reliance on such information. Consult your investment advisor before making any investment decisions. It must be noted, that no one can accurately predict the future of the

Read More »

The Non-Linearity of Need, Pt. 2

March 19, 2020

Ten days ago we asked the Pack for the organizations they believed would step in the gap for the unique, cascading needs of certain especially vulnerable parts of our community as part of the Covid-19 pandemic and the policy response.

You came through with 13 more great recommendations from around the country – and in the UK. Thank you!

We have another request.

We want to hear stories about how you and people you know are helping. Have you or others been giving? Tell us about it. Are you or someone you know a health care professional on the front lines? Tell us about it. Are you in food service? Working grocery lines, keeping our supply chains going or otherwise keeping all of us warm and fed? Tell us, so that we can tell everyone else and prod them to action. If you’re a

Read More »

Our Escape Story

March 18, 2020

Our work is based on a pretty simple premise: humans have a capacity for telling, listening to and responding to stories.

Sometimes – most of the time – our work criticizes a nudging oligarchy in politics, media and business that weaponizes these stories to influence our behavior in ways that benefit their personal aims. And yes, sometimes we celebrate the way in which story-telling brings us closer together as people.

Today is different. Today, we are asking for a story. Now is the time to tell us the story of how we get out of this.

Now is the time to tell the world our Escape Story.

We have observed in our institutional research that we believe there is now a cohesive narrative about the depth of the recession that Covid-19 and our mitigation response will induce.

Read More »

Pandemic Playbook – 3/17

March 17, 2020

DISCLOSURES

This commentary is being provided to you as general information only and should not be taken as investment advice. The opinions expressed in these materials represent the personal views of the author(s). It is not investment research or a research recommendation, as it does not constitute substantive research or analysis. Any action that you take as a result of information contained in this document is ultimately your responsibility. Epsilon Theory will not accept liability for any loss or damage, including without limitation to any loss of profit, which may arise directly or indirectly from use of or reliance on such information. Consult your investment advisor before making any investment decisions. It must be noted, that no one can accurately predict the future of the

Read More »

Margin Call

March 16, 2020

There are two cartoons which lead both investors and nations to ruin.

The first kind treats a false measure as a true one.

The second kind treats a model of reality as if it were reality.

Both cartoons are perilous in the face of uncertainty. The first, the measurement cartoon, empowers actions based on a false confidence about the current state of a thing. The second, the model cartoon, empowers actions based on a false confidence about the future behavior of a thing.

Yet while both are perilous, their perils are not equal.

When we pretend our measurement cartoons tell us true things to guide our response to uncertain events, unless we are protected by a shield of time, law, arcane GAAP rules or an iron-clad, authoritarian grip on information, truth will

Read More »

Lack of Imagination

March 14, 2020

It has been a long week.

I am hopeful that an optimistic Friday close – or better yet, some time with family and (er, appropriately small) groups of friends – has allowed you to put some of it in perspective.

I suspect that perspective won’t be entirely pleasant. Yes, realizing that those we love are what matter may assuage the anxieties of one of the most volatile weeks in US financial markets history. But it also means that a lot of the real anxiety, frustration and pain is still ahead of us. We are on the front end of whatever Covid-19 curve we end up experiencing. At long last, we are making plans to look more like Singapore and less like Italy, but the speed, competence and consistency with which we execute those plans will determine whether that is, in fact, what

Read More »

First-Level Foolishness

March 12, 2020

PDF Download (paid subscription required): First-Level Foolishness

“I’d like to first repeat what I said last week, and that is that over 90% of the value of a stock is due to its profits more than one year into the future. So as bad as this year can be…we could really have a short quick recession, the long-term value is not significantly impaired…let’s face it, this is mostly going to be a demand-induced slowdown.” Dr. Jeremy Siegel to CNBC (March 2, 2020)

In a severe pandemic, infrastructure can be disrupted at a national level, such as healthcare, transportation, commerce, and utilities. This is due partly to risk mitigation measures but also potentially higher rates of patients on sick leave, employees taking care of children or other family members, or general population

Read More »

ET Live! – 3.10.2020

March 9, 2020

Some browsers require you to refresh the page before the video will start. If you do not see video by 2:01 PM, please refresh the page. Vimeo – our livestream service provider – now requires the creation of a Vimeo login if you wish to participate in the chat during our conversation.
[embedded content]
[embedded content]

Read More »

The Non-Linearity of Need

March 9, 2020

I am writing this at home because I can.

I will guess that many of you are reading it at home because you can, too. The effects of tail events are not perfectly distributed, the burdens not equally shared.

Since some of you are also probably reading this during an NYSE-instituted circuit-breaker timeout, it is entirely reasonable to wonder where we are in the market’s digestion of the coronavirus. What seems clearer is that we are still in the early innings of the disease as a public health and household economic issue. Maybe summer heat or a miraculous change in US policy give us some relief from the more dire potential public health outcomes. Maybe they don’t. Either way, many of the economic outcomes have already been crystallized. Why?

Because among corporate,

Read More »

The Elton/Hootie Line

March 4, 2020

We’re talking about things that are going to change the world and change the way people listen to music and that’s not going to happen with people blogging on the internet…There’s too much technology available. I’m sure, as far as music goes, it would be much more interesting than it is today. Elton John, Interview with The Sun (2007)

The records I used to listen to and still love, you can’t make a record that sounds that way. Brian Wilson, he made all his records with four tracks, but you couldn’t make his records if you had a hundred tracks today. We all like records that are played on record players, but let’s face it, those days are gone. You do the best you can, you fight that technology in all kinds of ways, but I don’t know anybody who’s made a record that sounds decent

Read More »