I came across an interview of an academic expert on China in the NY Times. It follows more or less the same line as my recent comments. It is, however, much more forceful about the idea that Xi called off the punishment of non-Party-member tech entrepreneurs late last year.

MSFT, ASML and TXN all reported overnight (I own both of the first two). MSFT was up by about 4% …until the conference call began, in which the company said in effect that the post-pandemic business slowdown is nowhere near over. The stock is down by 4% in early trading. ASML had a strong quarter and said business will be up by 25% or so this year. Its stock is down slightly. TXN said things are unusually weak. Its stock is down by about 2% as I’m writing this.

I find it hard to find a consistent narrative in all this.

I was flipping through sports show talking about the football playoffs while I was having lunch yesterday. I was struck by how, the moderator aside, the panels were made up almost entirely of highly knowledgeable and articulate former professional players and coaches. At times, the conversation turned to the esoterica of player-by-player analysis of the offensive intention behind the construction of a play and how defenders understood (or not) and reacted to the design.

Then I turned to CNBC, which is chock full of “personalities” who have never had meaningful roles in professional money management of any sort but pretend to have industry expertise. The difference between the two genres is stunning.

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