Saturday , July 24 2021
Home / Tag Archives: ZG Item

Tag Archives: ZG Item

Let Me Make the Songs

Epsilon Theory may have gotten its formal start in 2013, but the soft launch took place in 1991. That’s when my partner Ben finished his doctoral work at <lifts nose slightly> a school up in Cambridge. His work there (and his 1997 book, Getting to War) focused on how news could be used to predict the likelihood of war. It also analyzed how news was used by institutions and individuals to foment an appetite for and belief in the necessity of war, which is related to but not the...

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The Political Autotuning of Inflation

The politicization of inflation into a partisan “There Is No Inflation!” TMnarrative by the nudgers and mandarins on the left is really depressing. The politicization of inflation into a partisan “Biden Inflation!” TM narrative by the clowns and raccoons on the right is really depressing. It’s really depressing because it makes it impossible for me to say anything on inflation without getting lumped into an insane partisan box. It’s an entirely constructed and...

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Non-Verbal Narrative

We make it no secret that our research program here is all about using natural language processing to identify and measure narratives in the world. But is narrative truly only shaped by verbal and written communication? Do missionary statements have to be made with the mouth? Of course not. Here’s narrative missionary Max Scherzer, pitcher for the Washington Nationals, providing an exaggerated form of protest against the revised MLB enforcement policy regarding the use of...

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Headline Risk

The average American news consumer is exposed to far more headline text on news websites, social media apps and content aggregation sites than they are to the prose of the articles themselves. It should be no surprise, then, that more fiat news and missionary behavior exists in headlines than almost anywhere else. It typically gets a pass because, well, the whole job of a headline writer is to summarize what an article is about. But that’s precisely the task that lends itself so...

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“Yay, Stock Buybacks!”

h/t @SouthernValue95 for the brilliant memework! I saw this work of art on Twitter today, referring to Dropbox management using stock buybacks to sterilize their outrageous stock-based comp, and it made my day. The Epsilon Theory notes I wrote about stock buybacks in 2019 are the most controversial thing we have ever published. They generated more anger, more arguments and more cold shoulders from the mainstream finance community than anything else we’ve done. Here’s my...

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“Yay, Environment!”

In Epsilon Theory-speak, we use “Yay, Good-Thing!” as shorthand for a narrative that takes a linguistic construction that we all agree is a Good Thing (something like “capitalism” or “freedom” or “democracy”) and turns it into a behaviorally powerfully argument for something that is decidedly not that Good Thing, but can be painted with other behaviorally powerful words into something that sorta kinda looks like that Good Thing if you squint really hard and you say the behaviorally...

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Fiat News in Action

It wasn’t enough for ProPublica to do actual news reporting by publishing these tax records. The Secret IRS Files: Trove of Never-Before-Seen Records Reveal How the Wealthiest Avoid Income Tax No, they had to tell you how to think about their news reporting. They had to turn news into Fiat News by constructing a metric of “true tax rate” based on unrealized capital gains, because … you know … the actual true tax rate just wasn’t damning enough for ProPublica’s purposes....

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A Disturbance in the Force

Yesterday, one of Softbank’s largest portfolio companies – Katerra – filed for bankruptcy. Katerra was at the heart of the relationship between Softbank and Greensill, and I think it’s the most viable path by which the Greensill fraud and financial crimes can be shown to be Softbank fraud and financial crimes. You can read our full take on Greensill and Softbank here … … but the skinny is this: in 2019, Softbank put ~$3 billion into Greensill, turning it into the Vision...

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Deadly Theatre

The Deadly Theatre of corporate signaling on Pride Month continues to run rampant, with feel-good rebranding pop-ups in all the geographies where this is a marketing advantage … and nothing in geographies where it isn’t. What is Deadly Theatre? It’s a performance that is so deeply abstracted from its source material that it has become painfully, obviously artificial to anyone who is paying attention. And yes, there’s an Epsilon Theory note on that. — Rusty Guinn |...

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Shot … Chaser

P&C insurer Lemonade (LMND) went public last year and now has a $5 billion market cap. They’re not just a sleepy insurance company, of course. No, no … they’re actually a cutting edge AI Company! TM. They’ve deleted the tweet above and issued a classic non-denial denial on their blog: Let’s be clear: AI that uses harmful concepts like phrenology and physiognomy has never, and will never, be used at Lemonade.We have never, and will never, let AI auto-reject claims....

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