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Why channel check firms exist — and how an individual investor can channel check

How the Information You Don’t Have Can Take Your Money

Anyone reading the title must think the writer believes he’s smart money. I confess to having been both, though not simultaneously. My purpose here is to show how dumb money can become smart money, because being at the wrong end of information asymmetry is the very definition of dumb money.

Giulio Andreotti, postwar Italy’s Machiavellian prince of power politics, coined this aphorism: “power exhausts only those who don’t have it.” Similarly, information can exhaust the finances of individual investors because they don’t know about the catalyst that institutional investors may dig up through the channel check research firms they hire to gather data about what’s happening in the company’s business on the ground: supply chain orders, inventory turn rates, etc. When I worked for such research firm and did channel check research for one hedge fund, I learned the benefits and dangers of information nobody had yet. Legally obtained information, since insider trading is a crime. …


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Asymmetry in Minority vs Majority Narratives

Whose Narratives Count?

In the hinge episode five of the Netflix series Dear White People a fight breaks out at a party at elite Ivy-like Winchester College between two black and white student friends — over the power of a word — ni***ah — and who has the right to use it:

“Just don’t say ‘nigga,’” Reggie tells his white friend Addison while they’re dancing to “Trap Niggas.”

“I guess it just kind of felt weird to censor myself,” Addison responds after insisting he’s not racist for repeating the word when it’s in a song.

“It felt kind of weird to hear you say it,” Reggie tries to explain. But soon, things escalate, others get involved, the music stops, and the situation gets tense enough for someone to call campus…


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Seeking Arrangement and tech bro CEO’s fashion metaphor (https://img.scoop.it/DaZm5V6L3u85ITN8TTCmnIXXXL4j3HpexhjNOf_P3YmryPKwJ94QGRtDb3Sbc6KY)

A perfect illustration of the narcissistic sociopathy of wealth that assumes absolutely everything can and should be bought. He ignores a single and fundamental moral symmetry: you get what you give. He wants to get the emotional high from discovering, young, innocent feminine energy that gives life, while giving nothing of himself but money, which he has beyond excess, in return. The Financial Times just published a piece on why billionaires make pathologically litigious neighbors about trivial stuff like trees that block a view and other superficial nonsense. Last September 26 Wired published “Why Rich People Are So Mean”. This guy fits that model to a T. I spent 20 years in the yachting industry dealing with guys like this and got to know the type very, very well. The crews on the yachts and private jets know all too well how these assholes assume that money buys them the inalienable right to be narcissistic, selfish spoiled and infantile. Talk to any yacht captain.


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Capitalist at work (I know, I am one)

The Austrian-British-Jewish social historian E.J. Hobsbawm said it best: “capitalism saws off the tree branch upon which it sits.”

Lector caveat emptor: I’m an angel investor in nine startups — a card-carrying capitalist. Except for a four year stint teaching investments, entrepreneurship and history in several European business schools, for the last 30 years I’ve been self-employed in Italy and then Latvia. I’ve failed at several businesses, but one took 20 years to fail. One insight from this experience: the percentage of any human population with my level of risk tolerance and appetite is tiny. …


Fake History Fuels Bojo’s Blitzed Battle of Britain Brexit

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From Blitz to Brexit, Churchill to BoJo’s Cake Mix: have it and eat it too!

The Common Thread in All Nations’ Mythologized War Stories

Great Britain is the fourth stop on our WWII myth demolition tour, after WWII east vs west, Italy and the Netherlands. A common thread links all the stops on our tour: a narcissistic nationalism that evades uncomfortable, evidence-based truths. These threaten victimology if the nation was defeated and occupied, or an emotionally satisfying glorious victory if it was on the winning side. The latter is the keystone of national ego in WWII’s victors: the UK, the USA and the former USSR. For example, this populist t-shirt version of WWII:


Cure Deadly Management by Man-Children by Hiring Globally

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https://www.forbes.com/sites/avivahwittenbergcox/2020/04/13/what-do-countries-with-the-best-coronavirus-reponses-have-in-common-women-leaders/?sh=7bab5df23dec Femmes is not Fatale, Male is.

A modest proposal for fans of REALLY free markets. As is clear from the images above, COVID19 has exposed the divorce between competent governance and geopolitical power. Germany excepted, the female-led COVID management competents are all geopolitical midgets, while the geopolitical giants — the USA, Brazil, Russia, India — are all led by hydroxi-popping or vaccine research-hacking alpha male narcissists. Testosterone and toxic governance are highly correlated: “A new study published by the World Economic Forum now confirms what many have suspected: “Being female-led has provided countries with an advantage in the current crisis….“Nearest neighbour analysis clearly confirms that when women-led countries are compared to countries similar to them along a range of characteristics, they have performed better, experiencing fewer cases as well as fewer deaths,” the study’s authors declared. “This is true whether we consider the nearest neighbour … or even five neighbours.” …


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Real economics: the JMK aggregate demand graph (https://econlife.com/2017/05/priming-the-pump/)

Debt Zombie Haleynomics: Britain’s Buffett vs the Austrian Austerian


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Charge him to click and he’ll get up to chance the channel (https://www.dreamstime.com/free-results.php?securitycheck=92496f852304754b1dab7cfe2128adbd&firstvalue=couch+potato+tv+remote&lastsearchvalue=&srh_field=couch+potato&searchby=couch+potato&s_free=y&s_cc0=y)

The man in the image is a ubiquitous Anglo-American, Aussie, Kiwi, German, Russian, and with wine, Spanish, French, Italian, Argentine and ______ classic, fighting a losing battle against his own inertia and gravity. Combining TV remotes with a toxic industrial food system makes an obesity epidemic inevitable. Add the collateral damage of healthcare costs the rest of us pay for through taxes and higher health insurance premiums.

Our remote-wielding beer chugger exemplifies the latest in human evolution:


The Common Thread in Nations’ Mythologized War Stories

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Yellow star, “Jew” in Dutch (http://somewereneighbors.ushmm.org/#/exhibitions/workers/un104/description)

The Common Thread in All Nations’ Mythologized War Stories

The Netherlands is the third stop on our WWII mythology tour, after WWII east vs west and Italy. The common thread that links all the stops on our tour: narcissistic nationalism that evades uncomfortable truths that threaten victimology if the nation was defeated and occupied, or an emotionally satisfying glorious victory if it was on the winning side. The latter is the keystone of national ego in the UK, the USA, and the former USSR. Commemorating mythologized glorious victories defines a backward-looking, nostalgist sense of national identity that feeds into contemporary anti-globalization nationalist populism.

Reality denial begins with a mythologized history and has contributed to blitz and Dunkirk-fed Brexit, America First Trumpism, Putin’s revanchist nationalism and the war in eastern Ukraine. Nations, like individual psychotherapy patients, can remain stuck in the Einsteinian definition of insanity — deceiving themselves with the same story over and over again and expecting a better result. Nations, even more than individuals, remain possessed by scripted mythology that prevents looking in the mirror of their defeats shorn of mythologized victimology and their victories without the glorification that feeds populist paranoia and fantasy. Reflective, collective emotional intelligence is not part of the business model of building the scaled-up imaginary communities of unrelated strangers we call nations. The cost? Just ask any German or Japanese in bombed-out Berlin or Tokyo in 1946 whether indulging in ego-feeding stab in the back or Bushido fantasies was worth the price paid. …

About

Lester Golden

From Latvia I write to share learning from life in 6 languages in 5 countries & seeing fascism die in Portugal & Spain in 1974 and 1976.

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