21 November 2016: Bullshitters

bullshitLast week, Joris Luyendijk spoke at a conference in Amsterdam which focused on the consequences of the continuing low interest rates. Luyendijk is the author of the book Swimming With Sharks, in which he investigates the causes of the 2008 banking crisis. He was asked to reflect on the Brexit, but it was inevitable that he also spoke about the election of Donald Trump as the new US President. In order to understand what happened in both cases, Luyendijk cited Harry Frankfurt’s essay On Bullshit (1986). According to Frankfurt, there are three types of people: those who tell the truth, liars and bullshitters. The latter category has only one goal: strengthen their own position. To reach that goal, all claims and promises are allowed and can be retracted as easily as they were made. A bullshitter only wants to impress his audience and has no interest in the truth at all.
Just like the general public, investors appear to be very much impressed by the Donald. But we can be sure that this BS will not last. As soon as the BS hits the fan…

white-chapel-logo-smallAlthough all major US indices closed slightly lower, losing 0.2% on average, volatility did not rise, last Friday. Options traders are probably still ruminating the surprise outcome of the US Presidential elections. Our XIV ETNs made a modest gain: 0.4%. Return for the year now stands somewhat above 300%, at 303%. Return for the quarter is also solid at almost 32%.
White Chapel is still far away from advising us to switch to volatile securities.

Accumulated capital at close of previous trading day

Return since start

Return this year

Return this quarter

$40,283

+302.83%

+302.83%

+31.5%

Our initial capital was $10,000 at 1 January 2016. Our average Annual Return is 392%.

tim-black-peteYesterday, Tim had a so called Sinterklaas party at his partner’s company. Sinterklaas was the main inspiration for the creation of Santa Claus in the United States. Traditionally, Sinterklaas has not been accompanied by reindeer, but by a white horse and black petes. The last few years, those black petes have come under attack for being a racist depiction of black people. We have seen in the US that someone whose oranje-pietappearance is characterized by an outspoken color can divide a whole county. The same is happening over here: in the Netherlands, black is the new orange. It is difficult to find a solution that can satisfy the conflicting parties. But maybe they should try to make orange the new black…