Paul Brodsky: "Only The Court Jester Gets To Speak Truth To Power And Laugh About It"

Tyler Durden's picture

By Paul Brodsky of Macro Allocation Inc.

“A stock is like a living organism. A sparrow, say. And we are able to create an emergent-based abstraction of that sparrow, which closely approximates the sparrow itself, accounting for migration patterns, wind, weather, and other variables. We can create a similar abstraction of a stock combining the information from the specific ETFs, which represent its underlying dependencies. And if we apply this to the stock we can predict its delta, following the path of its extracted self, because nature follows abstraction.”

      - Taylor from Billions

Surely, You Jest

The writers of Showtime’s Billions are nothing if not funny. The gibberish above captures perfectly the philosophical yearning of hedge fund men and women in their tortured quest for higher meaning. (As it turns out, the show does not limit its characters to men and women. Taylor is played by an actor that self-identifies sexually in real life as “non-binary” and in the show demands the pronouns “its” and “their” instead of he, she, his or her.)

To be sure, “its” description of stocks as create-able and manipulate-able abstractions rings true, especially today when factors exogenous to earnings and commercial prospects seem to influence market prices more than rational demand for equities. Don’t tell anyone but market manipulation is legal when parallel abstractions are created and executed by self-serving political and economic policy makers; not so when they are perpetrated by self-serving financiers. We suspect the show’s US Attorney for the Southern District of New York will eventually inform Taylor that hedge funds don’t get to create and manipulate their own abstractions (and if it wants to do so, then it should work at the Fed).

Another fun second-hand account of the markets was on offer this weekend in an established financial column that criticized how “financial philosopher kings” like to opine on “the meaning of life” and “the nature of happiness” instead of…providing graphs! We were to urged to believe, we suppose, that graphs are more scientific and allow anyone to more accurately extrapolate the future from the past.

The column’s current steward (it has been around for decades) then endorsed an analyst who noticed “booming” trends in US interior cities and millennial labor participation (for which he presumably had many graphs). Awkwardly, the analyst concluded there will be only modest moves in stocks and bonds, and so the column successfully expended a thousand words to inform readers that financial markets still exist. Some of those words were ironically spent informing readers that a picture is worth a thousand words, and so it may have been more efficient (and less ironic) to instead paste a pinup of Warren Buffett, the biggest supporter of buy-and-hold-no matter-what investing, on a graph of the S&P 500:

Buffet is still a forward-looking philosopher king but stays mute when valuations are high. We are more drawn when values are high to those like Paul Tudor Jones, who allegedly told a private meeting at Goldman Sachs that the Fed should be terrified to look at a chart, ironically cited often by Warren Buffet, that shows the stock market woefully out of balance with the broader economy.

Graphs themselves are funny things. Trying to gain insight by identifying trends without ratios, which provided context, is like trying to clap with one hand. Booming cities based on health care revenues is a signal to us how tenuous economic growth is, not how strong or sustainable it may be.

Alas, our personal fate is not to have billions, or to play an asexual financial automaton on the show of the same name, or to be a financial philosopher king. We will have to be satisfied with being invited to Court every now and then, even if it is as a jester. Who else can speak truth to power and laugh about it?

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Zarbo's picture

I'm not joking, and don't call me Shirley.

Ms. Erable's picture

Speaking truth to power is a bullshit 60's phrase that annoys me with its complete lack of meaning and relevance. Real power doesn't give a fuck about your "truth", and would sooner see you dead than acquiesce to your petty demands for a slice of the vig.

RMiller's picture

That may be so, but what does that have to do with the comment you replied to?

jeffglobal's picture

Never forget the fool always dies in the last act of every play. Shiela (my aussie Shirley)

myorouter's picture

Buffet is still a forward-looking philosopher king butt

 

Agree

myorouter's picture

Only analysts I know of who prove their calls with time stamped charts.

 

 

https://www.facebook.com/166578775325/photos/pcb.10154415126355326/10154...

 

 

 

https://www.facebook.com/166578775325/photos/pcb.10154415126355326/10154...

 

Even nailed the two gap up opens this week.

SILVERGEDDON's picture

Oh, yay - ex Goldball Sack suckers strike again. 

Shempwave - one of the Four Stooges Of The Apocalypse.  

Timming's picture

Their trades have been dead on.

Don Pancho's picture

Paul Eberhart on non-binary:

"There are infinite numbers between zero and one...

yet in the end, there are only one of two outcomes..."

YMMV

decentralisedscrutinizer's picture

 

Almost all the world’s economic and political problems revolve around the hegemony here in America of the global corporate cartel, which is only headquartered in the US because this is where their military arm resides. The only way to regain our (we People) sovereignty as a republic is to strictly curtail the priveledges of any corporation doing business here. The government must be reconfigured to represent the Middle Class if we are ever to restore sanity, much less prosperity. There will be no peace and prosperity in America until we, the good folk, drain the "swamp" created by the US Constitution. The "swamp" can not be drained at this point because the Constitution  does not contain a “drain plug". This is the kind of "plug" it needs. And it needs to be pulled ASAP:

 

 

 

28th Amendment

 

Corporations are not persons in any sense of the word and shall be granted only those rights and privileges that Congress deems necessary for the well-being of the People. Congress shall provide legislation defining the terms and conditions of corporate charters according to their purpose; which shall include, but are not limited to:

 

1, prohibitions against any corporation;

 

a, owning another corporation,

 

b, becoming economically indispensable or monopolistic, or

 

c, otherwise distorting the general economy;

 

2, prohibitions against any form of interference in the affairs of;

 

a, government,

 

b, education, or

 

c, news media, and

 

3, provisions for;

 

a, the auditing of standardized, current, and transparent account books, and

 

b, the establishment of a state and municipal-owned banking system

 

c, civil and criminal penalties to be suffered by corporate executives for violation of the terms of a corporate charter.

 

 

 

The biggest hurdle to convening an Article 5 convention will be to silence the 24/7 corporate media propaganda machine which will guarantee that a constitutional convention is the sure path to anarchy and chaos. There are so many issues that need addressing that it will be extremely difficult to focus on just one issue: draining the swamp; first and foremost. Just that one thing: get the idea of incorporating business enterprises (or political movements) out of our collective thought process. Incorporation is a subtle, inconspicuous little glitch in our collective philosophical evolution and, as appealing as it is to join groups and let them do your thinking, such groups immediately assume identities of their own and become eternal super-groups with their own agenda and more money than the sum of all members’ combined. Corporations can’t even be controlled by their own executives; they’re “fictitious persons”, legally, morally, and tangibly. Yes, corporations are comprised of good, church-going, honest, people, while the corporations they belong to, work for, administer, or own, go about the planet (and at home) committing genocide. Or worse. You can spend a lifetime fighting legal injustice, global warming, illegal immigration, racial disparity, Democrats, Republicans, Joos, globalization, and bathroom assignments, but nothing is going to change so long as corporate media has your brain in a bottle. If nothing else or until a better organizational plan comes along; try whispering in your neighbor’s ear: “Article 5 Amendment 28. Article 5 Amendment 28. Article 5 Amendment 28” until we all understand what’s necessary and act in unison when opportunity presents….

    

TeethVillage88s's picture

30 September 2014, Final Monthly Treasury Statement, Outlays and Revenues, Table 5.

Total-Federal Government Actual Budget 2014 = $3.5 Trillion (B. Obama)
Total-Federal Government Actual Budget 2012 = $3.54 Trillion (B. Obama)
Total-Federal Government Actual Budget 2010 = $3.45 Trillion (B. Obama)
Total-Federal Government Actual Budget 2008 = $2.98 Trillion (G.W. Bush)
Total-Federal Government Actual Budget 2006 = $2.65 Trillion (G.W. Bush)
Total-Federal Government Actual Budget 2004 = $2.29 Trillion (G.W. Bush)
Total-Federal Government Actual Budget 2002 = $2.01 Trillion (B. Clinton)
Total-Federal Government Actual Budget 2000 = $1.79 Trillion (B. Clinton)
Total-Federal Government Actual Budget 1998 = $1.65 Trillion (B. Clinton)
Total-Federal Government Actual Budget 1997 = $1.6 Trillion (B. Clinton)

$T Debt Added
J. Carter, ,$0.37 T (4 yrs)
R. Reagan, $1.69 T
G. H Bush, $1.4 T (4 yrs)
W. Clinton, $1.627 T
G. W. Bush, $4.357 T
B. Obama, $6.365 T (4 yrs)
B. Obama, $8 T (6 yrs est.)

Here is the Salary Increases for Federal Employees:

Total--OPM Outlays 2014 = $138.63 Billion (What?)
Total--OPM Outlays 2013 = $133.7 Billion
Total--OPM Outlays 2012 = $128.4 Billion
Total--OPM Outlays 2006 = $99.8 Billion
Total--OPM Outlays 2000 = $71.8 Billion
Total--OPM Outlays 1997 = $64 Billion

Total—Department of Health and Human Services Outlays 2016 = $1.208 Trillion
Total—Department of Health and Human Services Outlays 2015 = $1.123 Trillion
Total—Department of Health and Human Services Outlays 2014 = $1.032 Trillion
Total—Department of Health and Human Services Outlays 2013 = $980.9 Billion
Total—Department of Health and Human Services Outlays 2000 = $405.5 Billion
Total—Department of Health and Human Services Outlays 1998 = $372.4 Billion

Total--Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Outlays 2016 = $1.417 Trillion
Total--Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Outlays 2015 = $1.297 Trillion
Total--Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Outlays 2014 = $1.187 Trillion
Total--Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Outlays 2013 = $1.118 Trillion
Total--Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Outlays 2000 = $413.12 Billion
Total--Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Outlays 1998 = $379.95 Billion

Total--Social Security Administration Outlays 2016 = $980 Billion
Total--Social Security Administration Outlays 2015 = $947 Billion
Total--Social Security Administration Outlays 2014 = $908.76 Billion
Total--Social Security Administration Outlays 2013 = $870.3 Billion
Total--Social Security Administration Outlays 2000 = $443.4 Billion
Total--Social Security Administration Outlays 1998 = $409.6 Billion

Total—Department of the Treasury Outlays 2016 = $589 Billion
Total—Department of the Treasury Outlays 2015 = $555 Billion
Total—Department of the Treasury Outlays 2014 = $570.86 Billion
Total—Department of the Treasury Outlays 2013 = $550.1 Billion (IRS Surge in spending)
Total—Department of the Treasury Outlays 2000 = $409 Billion
Total—Department of the Treasury Outlays 1998 = $401.7 Billion

Monthly Treasury Report 30 Sep 2016,

Treasury Dept still paying TARP:
2016 Total Outlays Troubled Asset Relief Program = $5 Billion
2015 Total Outlays Troubled Asset Relief Program = $4.2 Billion

IRS, Payment where earned income credit exceeds liability for tax Outlays 2016 = $60.5 Billion
IRS, Payment Where Child Tax Credit Exceeds Liability for Tax Outlays 2016 = $20 Billion
IRS Refundable Premium Tax Credits and Cost Sharing Reductions Outlays 2016 = $31 Billion
IRS, Payment Where American Opportunity Tax Credit Exceeds Liability for Tax 2016 = $4 Billion
= $115 Billion in US Annual Tax Credits!!!

looking at recovery from the Recession between Individual Tax Revenue & Corporate Tax Revenue. Maybe someone can explain how Individual Taxes took a Dive, then recovered but Corporate Taxes Did not??? (Fiscal Year Data from Monthly Treasury Report)

Corporate Income Taxes Receipts 1998 = $ 188.7 Billion
Corporate Income Taxes Receipts 2002 = $ 148.0 Billion (Recession)
Corporate Income Taxes Receipts 2006 = $ 353.9 Billion
Corporate Income Taxes Receipts 2007 = $ 370.2 Billion
Corporate Income Taxes Receipts 2008 = $ 304.3 Billion
Corporate Income Taxes Receipts 2009 = $ 138.2 Billion (Recession)
Corporate Income Taxes Receipts 2012 = $ 242.3 Billion
Corporate Income Taxes Receipts 2013 = $ 273.5 Billion
Corporate Income Taxes Receipts 2014 = $ 320.7 Billion
Corporate Income Taxes Receipts 2015 = $ 343.5 Billion
Corporate Income Taxes Receipts 2016 = $ 299.6 Billion

Individual Income Taxes Receipts 1998 = $ 828.6 Billion
Individual Income Taxes Receipts 2002 = $ 858.3 Billion (Recession)
Individual Income Taxes Receipts 2006 = $1.044 Trillion
Individual Income Taxes Receipts 2007 = $1.163 Trillion
Individual Income Taxes Receipts 2008 = $1.146 Trillion
Individual Income Taxes Receipts 2009 = $ .915.3 Trillion (Recession)
Individual Income Taxes Receipts 2012 = $1.132 Trillion
Individual Income Taxes Receipts 2013 = $1.316 Trillion
Individual Income Taxes Receipts 2014 = $1.395 Trillion
Individual Income Taxes Receipts 2015 = $1.541 Trillion
Individual Income Taxes Receipts 2016 = $1.546 Trillion (Wow, Individuals are paying all the taxes!)

WillyGroper's picture

is nazipelosi snot slinging drunk?

it's fur the chillllren.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iiCpSR9vRqM

Publicus_Reanimated's picture

 Bugs Bunny as the court jester speaking truth to power (enter at 0:43)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hbKyk8sF_Qs

Nyuk nyuk nyuk nyuk nyuk nyuk nyuk nyuk nyuk nyuk 

sevensixtwo's picture

the king gets to do that too