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The Lost Art of the Jawbone

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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

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The Lost Art of the Jawbone

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 really pissed off about something. I’m not just talking about the vague irritation hiding just below the surface at all times, but the special kind. The kind that you have to earn.

Me? It’s an expression of disappointment. The practiced kind of disappointment that only a father to two young boys can have, because when the four year-old punches the five year-old in the back of the head for saying something mean about mommy, YOU come up with a better answer than “Boys, I’m, uh, really disappointed.”

There is little that is more disappointing than lazy propaganda. It is literally the only thing a politician does that requires cleverness of any kind (okay, maybe fraud and compromise, too), so its devolution into the broadcast of a political functionary’s internal monologue out loud on national television is pretty unfulfilling. Larry Kudlow at least has the excuse of continuing to play the character that he has always played on television.

Still can’t get over this gem from February.


The Lost Art of the Jawbone

I just want to say, though, as far as the US is concerned, when you look at this, I mean you’ve got a little higher headcount on the infections because of the cruise ship people coming off, we have contained this. I won’t say airtight, but pretty close to airtight. We’ve done a good job in the United States.

Larry Kudlow to CNBC on February 25, 2020

But the Chinese Communist Party? Et tu?

A front-page editorial in China Securities Journal said fostering a “healthy bull market” is important given China’s increasingly complicated international relations, intense financial and technological competition, and the challenge of controlling internal financial risks.

Chinese Stocks Surge as Individual Investors Pile Into Market, WSJ

Call me a dreamer. Tell me I’ve just got rose-tinted glasses about the good ol’ days. But I remember when “BUY MOAR STOCKS” would be a message buried in the subterfuge of the carefully orchestrated release of cartoonified macro figures and tangentially related analyses from state banks massaged to carry the trappings of independence. Now we’re just going to say the quiet part out loud? In an editorial? On the front page of the securities journal subsidiary of Xinhua News Agency, the state-run media arm of the CCP? With transparent cannot-miss-if-you-tried references to its implications for the security of the state?

It is almost as if the world’s political leaders are discovering that the usual dosage of common knowledge construction is insufficient to the operation of capital markets as a political utility.

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.

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