Tuesday, January 22, 2019

A few observations...

---The docudrama "Brexit" on HBO last night was not exactly stirring television, but it was revealing, saving its best punch for last.  Bypassing the standard political campaign system in the U.K. through data mining and digital/social media, an apolitical low key brilliant eccentric builds a successful nationalistic anti-immigrant campaign, with analysis from Cambridge Analytica and funding from Robert Mercer.  Could one then consider digital advertising and the exact same scenario in the U.S., adding in Steve Bannon with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  Reflecting on this, the odd thing is that Clinton and Trump seemingly had no idea what was going on.  Clinton had no need to continue intense campaigning and Trump thought it was all about him.

---Fund manager Seth Klarman's letter to his investors has received significant attention today.  While he warned of increasing debt levels being built up by corporations and countries as others have, his characterization of the negative impact of growing wealth disparity separates him from other market watchers. He suggests that this situation will become unhealthy for markets and, while not being explicit, he clearly sees Trump as toxic for both global leadership and for the financial markets.

---Why are the Democrats putting Hakeem Jeffries into the spotlight?  He seems to be a somewhat inarticulate congressman with no distinguishing accomplishments.  At least he does not make us watch him go to the dentist, i.e. Beto O'Rourke.  Are the seeds already being sown to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

---The HBO program "True Detective" is now in its third season after a lengthy break from the first two.  Season One was watched with the thought that I obviously should like it, with its star cast and quirky approach.  I tried and did not.  Season Two was unwatchable, obviously just a personal observation.  That Season Three is now being watched is indicative of a need for late night entertainment, and it has my attention.  It's not a pretty story, but the script is incredibly well written.  Whether it eventually all hangs together is yet to be known.


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