Some quick items:

• Interview/Podcast: Madoff Whistleblower Harry M. Markopolos (King World News)
• Jim Jubak on the No. 1 key to long-term investing: Return on invested capital (MSN)
• How Reagan ruined conservatism (FT)
• The data deluge (The Economist)
• Hotheaded Emanuel may be White House voice of reason (Washington Post)
• Breakthrough in Electron Spin Control Brings Quantum Computers Closer to Reality (National Science Foundation)

Anything worth sharing?

Category: Financial Press

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

43 Responses to “Tuesday Reads”

  1. ewmayer says:

    Re. NSF article:

    “Spin Control – it’s not just for politicians anymore.”

    Reminds me of some bathroom-stall scribblings I saw during my student days in the Randall Physics lab at the U.of Michigan – some clever wit started it with

    “Heisenberg was here?”

    Beneath that, someone added

    “Pauli wasn’t – he was excluded”

  2. Dan Duncan says:

    The FT article on completely misses the point on Sarah Palin.

    Conservatives don’t like Palin because they respect her “ideas” or for her charisma, or for any other reason other than the following:

    Conservatives like Palin for the sole reason that the Left hates her. That’s it and there is no other reason. If the Left stops hyperventilating over Palin, Conservatives would pay her no mind.

    ~~~

    BR: FAIL. That argument is not remotely the reason the Right embraced Palin.

    I’m sticking with the FT…

  3. Stav says:

    Surprised you put the Rahm Emmanuel/WP article on the list. The piece and others like it over the past couple of weeks gives up it’s source–Rahm– pretty quickly. If I were Obama (or any CEO whose underling was doing this) I would fire his ass yesterday. Although I will say, it is fascinating to see the Chief of Staff going out there and saying both “They should pay more attention to me” and the corollary to that statement: “I am very ineffective at my job”

    Oh and i didn’t hear the whole thing, but I walked into the tail end of an interview on NPR’s Morning Edition today and was blown away by the radicalism of someone telling the truth during the two hours of their conventional/establishment wisdom programming. It was Harry Markopolos…gotta download that.

  4. VennData says:

    When discussing the Reagan myth, Gideon Rachman doesn’t even touch upon how Reagan’s cowardly retreat from Lebanon emboldened the Islamic jihad, allowing them to show their recruits that America’s soft.

    So while Rachman discusses our biggest economic problem, the root of our biggest foreign policy problem was also exacerbated by Reagan’s policy mistakes.

    If a Democrat ran tail like that, the GOP media machine would be up in arms. Just another reason why the Reagan myth, is just that, a myth.

  5. torrie-amos says:

    fwiw, i’ve quit reading alot of stuff, most of it is old and unimportant, yet, i do allow one or two

    that rham emanuel one reminds me of corporate america, appearances above results, reason why i left, do the right thing and right things happen, f’ the rest, ie, appearance crap

  6. Winston Munn says:

    When did the Washington Post go to an all-fiction format?

  7. budhak0n says:

    Eh firing Emmanuel would be just about the worst thing you could do.

    Put Emmanuel on top of Timmy at Treasury and let him loose. And then you’ll see something.

    Other than that Rahm’s not going anywhere. Health care is fine so long as they understand that the bill has to not only expand coverage but also create many many jobs.

    There are people with experience willing to work. They just have to have some clue as to what they are doing when they expand coverage and how they are going to service these people.

    Any bill that simply concentrates on who gets paid will simply allow the ingrained interests in the field to continue to rip off everybody that wanders into the office or facility or what have you.

  8. TakBak04 says:

    Why Charles Dickens really Mattered!

    post from “The Economist” that speaks to Senator Kyles description of “How to Treat the Poor!” Kyle harkens back to the 18th Century. And the reaction to the Kyle’s of that time takes us back to why Charles Dickens wrote his great serializations of the Poor in England…that eventually were turned into novels that so many of us have read as part of our American Education.

    ——–

    Mar 02, 2010

    The “Threat of an Arrogant Laboring Class, …a Threat to the Foundation not Merely of Wealth but of Existence Itself” by Mark Thoma

    http://economistsview.typepad.com/economistsview/2010/03/nassau-bunning-kyl-and-the-poor-laws.html

    As you’ve probably heard, even though we are just beginning to see a way out of a deep recession that has long-term unemployment rising to historic levels, Republicans are blocking the extension of unemployment benefits.
    -snip-
    Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona, the Republican whip, argued that unemployment benefits dissuade people from job-hunting “because people are being paid even though they’re not working.” Unemployment insurance “doesn’t create new jobs. In fact, if anything, continuing to pay people unemployment compensation is a disincentive for them to seek new work,”
    -snip-

    This Is Getting Good, by Joe Klein: Jim Bunning is doing all of us a favor. As this comment from the Number 2 Senate Republican, Jon Kyl of Arizona, makes clear, the Republicans are turning toward a form of reactionary radicalism that is well to the right not only of traditional conservatism, but also of post-Victorian concepts of government and–not to put too fine a point on it–of common decency as well:

    Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona, the Republican whip, argued that unemployment benefits dissuade people from job-hunting “because people are being paid even though they’re not working.” Unemployment insurance “doesn’t create new jobs. In fact, if anything, continuing to pay people unemployment compensation is a disincentive for them to seek new work,”

    The idea that those who have lost their jobs in this Wall Street/mortgage-scam recession are simply deadbeats, choosing to stay on unemployment rather than look for work, seems more appropriate to Scrooge’s London than the 21st century. But Kyl has spoken his version of the truth, and we should be grateful for that: this is what the Republican Party is now all about. …

    Let’s call the roll. Let’s see how many allies Jim Bunning and Jon Kyl have. Let’s find out their names and remember them. This is so important that we should stop all other business: Let them filibuster…and spend hours telling us exactly what else they would abolish.

    The quote from Kyl reminds me of a quote from Nassau William Senior (1790-1864). Senior was head of the Poor Law Commission that rewrote the existing laws dictating when relief to the poor would be paid. To give you some idea of what this was all about, note that “Oliver Twist was written in retaliation against the Poor Law.”

  9. tawm says:

    Markopolis feared the SEC would bust and crush him…if he wasn’t rubbed out by Madoff….

  10. “…Ongoing Congressional investigations into the AIG bailout have put the incestuous and murky relationship between the Federal Reserve and Wall Street in the spotlight–and put Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Fed chair Ben Bernanke in the hot seat. Calls for Geithner’s resignation regularly reverberate inside the Capitol, and Bernanke’s recent reappointment was opposed by thirty senators, including Republican John McCain and independent Bernie Sanders. Critics from both sides of the aisle fault Geithner and Bernanke for mismanagement, unnecessary secrecy and undermining Congressional oversight. But neither of them has been the target of questions about gaming the system for personal financial gain.

    Friedmanism at the Fed Corporate Influence in Washington

    How former New York Fed chair Stephen Friedman made a bundle on the AIG bailout.
    Geithner’s AIG Bailout Economic Policy

    Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was summoned to testify before the House yesterday to answer two questions: why did he sign off on AIG paying full value on insurance for bad assets, and what was his role in the decision not to disclose that?
    Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission Turns Up the Heat U.S. Economy
    On the FCIC’s second day of hearings, witnesses examined how Wall Street incentivized and why the Federal Reserve didn’t stop subprime lending.
    That distinction belongs to Stephen Friedman, the former chairman of the board of the New York Federal Reserve Bank and a member of the board of directors of Goldman Sachs. Through those two posts, Friedman may have had access to privileged information about the extent of Goldman’s exposure to AIG and the opportunity to profit from the Fed’s bailout of the beleaguered insurance giant. While he was serving on both boards, Friedman purchased 52,600 shares of Goldman stock, more than doubling the number of shares he owned. These purchases have since risen millions of dollars in value–and raised allegations of insider trading.

    Friedman’s purchases were exposed by the Wall Street Journal in early May 2009, and within days he resigned as chair of the New York Fed. His resignation letter claimed that although he had acted “in compliance with the rules,” the suggestion of impropriety had become a “distraction” from the important work of the Federal Reserve. In a press release, New York Fed executive vice president and general counsel Thomas Baxter also said that Friedman’s acquisition of Goldman shares “did not violate any Federal Reserve statute, rule or policy.”

    “did not violate any Federal Reserve statute, rule or policy.”…
    By Greg Kaufmann
    http://www.thenation.com/doc/20100315/kaufmann/single

  11. “…Everyone who knows anything about volcanoes and earthquakes is aware of the potentially earth destroying capability of the Yellowstone Super Volcano. Yellowstone could do what the Toba Super Volcano did some 70,000 years ago: throw the planet into an ice age that lasted close to 60,000 years and destroy 90-98% of the world’s population. Those are not wild speculations but reality. No one wants to think about it of course; however, Yellowstone may be leaving a calling card for us.

    Over the last few months things have been heating up in our famous National Park and none of it is good.

    Over eight days, more than 1,270 mostly tiny earthquakes have struck between Old Faithful and West Yellowstone. The strongest dozen or so have ranged between magnitudes 3.0 and 3.8. These are beginning to become serious in size, as a growing swarm of course, but the vast majority have been too weak to be felt even nearby…”
    http://www.lewrockwell.com/pr/yellowstone-caldera.html

    –hmm, that’d qualify as a ‘bad day’..

  12. Transor Z says:

    From the United States Bankruptcy Court – District of Massachusetts:

    Emergency Standing Order 10-2, Loan Modification and Forbearance Agreements
    http://www.mab.uscourts.gov/pdfdocuments/so10_02.pdf

  13. DL says:

    “Breakthrough in Electron Spin Control Brings Quantum Computers Closer to Reality”.

    Interesting, I agree. But not a typical subject for a financial website.

  14. TakBak04 says:

    Nice to see the post to read re: • Jim Jubak on the No. 1 key to long-term investing: Return on invested capital (MSN)

    I’m not a trader…so I’ve found Jubak and interesting read throughout the years. He always has a few interesting things for us “small dollar investors.” Like his little snips of info.

    It’s fun.

  15. Winston Munn says:

    Dan Duncan said,
    “Conservatives like Palin for the sole reason that the Left hates her.”

    Actually, Intelligent Design theory proves that people who support Palin are too fucking stupid to exist.

  16. TakBak04 says:

    The data deluge
    Businesses, governments and society are only starting to tap its vast potential

    Feb 25th 2010 | From The Economist print edition

    ———–

    Awhile back there were websites telling us to wrap everything in aluminum foil (tinfoil) so that “they” couldn’t spy on us for the “chips” being embedded with our Credit Cards/Passports/Drivers Licenses.”

    I thought it was all those “woo-woo” folks with tinfoil hats promoting Reynolds.

    I’m not so sure, anymore. Wherever I go I’m asked for my Name/Identity and SS/Drivers License. I realize now that “THEY” already know! Reading that article verifies that.

    Some of us from the “not so older times” really do question and sometimes we feel very overloaded with all of it…. When is TOO MUCH DATA COLLECTION…just TOO MUCH?

    It was an interesting read….but disheartening in some way.

  17. solanic says:

    for that data deluge…

    this is pretty darn interesting from a few months ago if ya missed it:

    ” (gender, ZIP code, birthdate) was unique for about 87% of the U.S. population. If you live in the United States, there’s an 87% chance that you don’t share all three of these attributes with any other U.S. resident.”
    http://solanic.com/wordpress/2009/09/16/an-example-of-how-privacy-laws-have-not-kept-up-with-technology/

  18. TakBak04 says:

    solanic Says:
    March 2nd, 2010 at 9:58 pm

    for that data deluge…

    ———
    I read an article today about how you don’t really need to give your “SS Number” to as many folks as you think. A pass around answering without getting into an argument with the person asking for it…was to “make up a number” (if you think the person asking isn’t legit in needed your “SS Number)…and you make up the number…but replace the “middle two digits with “00″…because (according to article) there are no “00′s” on an “SS#” anywhere on record.

    Maybe we need to start using “workarounds” for those folks we think are trying to access more info from us that we feel isn’t legit for the situation?

    Just passing that along …if carrying the folded tinfoil around gets too burdonsome…:-;

  19. nertopia says:

    Well CDS for states is one thing… But get this headline in the Business Insider…

    “€40 Billion In Hidden Greek Debt Discovered, CDS On Fire”

    http://www.businessinsider.com/40-billion-in-hidden-greek-debt-discovered-cds-spread-spikes-like-crazy-2010-2

    It’s all Greek to me away… Let’s assume the FED will step in to save the states at some point. After all California is like the size of a small country!

  20. TakBak,

    if you think that ‘data deluge’ is something else..

    add this: “..Via: IBM Press Release:

    Research today unveiled a breakthrough method based on a mathematical algorithm that reduces the computational complexity, costs, and energy usage for analyzing the quality of massive amounts of data by two orders of magnitude. This new method will greatly help enterprises extract and use the data more quickly and efficiently to develop more accurate and predictive models.

    In a record-breaking experiment, IBM researchers used the fourth most powerful supercomputer in the world — a Blue Gene/P system at the Forschungszentrum Julich in Germany — to validate nine terabytes of data (nine million million or a number with 12 zeros) in less than 20 minutes, without compromising accuracy. Ordinarily, using the same system, this would take more than a day. Additionally, the process used just one percent of the energy that would typically be required.*

    The breakthrough will be presented today at the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics conference in Seattle.

    “In a world with already one billion transistors per human and growing daily, data is exploding at an unprecedented pace,” said Dr. Alessandro Curioni, manager of the Computational Sciences team at IBM Research – Zurich. “Analyzing these vast volumes of continuously accumulating data is a huge computational challenge in numerous applications of science, engineering and business. This breakthrough greatly extends the ability to analyze the quality of large volumes of data at rapid speeds.”

    One of the most computation-intense, yet critical factors in analytics is the measurement of the quality of the data, which shows how reliable the data is that is being used and also generated by the model. In areas ranging from traffic management, financial management and water management this method could pave the way to create more powerful, complex and accurate models with greater predictability…”
    http://cryptogon.com/?p=14039

    type of computational horsepower to it, and, then, see what you come up with .. !

  21. wunsacon says:

    Dan Duncan, that seems like one amazing bit of revisionist thinking. “FAIL” is right.

  22. wunsacon says:

    MEH, we’re going to have to “cap-and-trade” our way out of that whole supervolcano danger, as is “cap” Old Faithful and “trade” it to China for some iPads. We won’t physically move Yellowstone. But, we can build derivatives on it and ship the paper. Let’s call it “Old Faithful Structured Geothermal”.

    Years from now, maybe someone will point out that only the paper was moved and no risk was actually mitigated, since the volcano will still sit in Yellowstone. But, if the worst happens, we’ll call it a “black swan” event and then hire Cognos to defend our bonuses.

    Viva la squid!

  23. Marcus Aurelius says:

    Dan’s reason is as good as any. Why the F else would anybody pay Palin any attention?

  24. Marcus Aurelius says:

    DD gets a PASS for thinking outside the political box and getting straight to the heart of what motivates people.

    By golly!

    Don’cha’ know?!

  25. solanic says:

    @TakBak04 i like the 00 tip.

    i’ve used for “Can you give me a phone number please” stupid question – response of 757.555.1212.

    substitute your area code obviously.

    HEY – you peeps should be reaching out to your non-econ buddies to join the fcic feeds.

  26. GrafSchweik says:

    Wunsacon
    “MEH, we’re going to have to “cap-and-trade” our way out of that whole supervolcano danger, as is “cap” Old Faithful and “trade” it to China for some iPads. We won’t physically move Yellowstone. But, we can build derivatives on it and ship the paper. Let’s call it “Old Faithful Structured Geothermal”. Years from now, maybe someone will point out that only the paper was moved and no risk was actually mitigated, since the volcano will still sit in Yellowstone. But, if the worst happens, we’ll call it a “black swan” event and then hire Cognos to defend our bonuses.”

    Thanks Wunsacon! I was in dire need of endorphins and you came through big time. Your solution would be a great basis for a video in the style of Monty Python…

    The German have a saying–Humor ist wenn man trotzdem lacht–which roughly translates as ‘Humor is when you laugh despite [whatever the hell it is]‘

    Has a market been established for Sardonic Humor yet? Hope so. I’d like to go long on it”

    Damn Spanish Inquisition–just like cops–when you need ‘em they’re never around…

  27. mathman says:

    How’s that energy problem coming along?:

    http://www.energybulletin.net/51752

  28. wunsa-

    as GrafScweik presents, some things–”we’re going to have to “cap-and-trade” our way out of that whole supervolcano danger, as is “cap” Old Faithful and “trade” it to China for some iPads. We won’t physically move Yellowstone. But, we can build derivatives on it and ship the paper. Let’s call it “Old Faithful Structured Geothermal”.

    Years from now, maybe someone will point out that only the paper was moved and no risk was actually mitigated, since the volcano will still sit in Yellowstone. But, if the worst happens, we’ll call it a “black swan” event and then hire Cognos to defend our bonuses.

    Viva la squid!”

    should, merely, be re-read, to be appreciated..

    there are simple comments, about ‘arriving Post-Paid, Kneepads included..’, to be made, but, really, they don’t improve the original, well-laid, construction that you engineered..

  29. Chz says:

    As a die hard conservative… loved Reagan, a good man with good intentions. I do not believe that Palin has what it takes, just like Obama. They are just different sides of the same empty suit coin. One is the progressive anointed elite, the other, the populist rabble-rouser. IMHO they both spell FAIL.

    Enjoyed the post on Rahm – it may me consider the man in a different light, especially in my “American Thinker” / “American Spectator” / “National Review” / “Newsbusters” echo chamber. Thanks BR.

  30. troubled times says:

    Palin is a prefect example of the foxification of our culture…Its the Rogar Ailes ” invisable hand”

    Hell, even 1/2 of the O.J. Simpson jury will tell you they got it wrong….They act more resonable than the Bush crowd

  31. Lugnut says:

    Winston, your post doesn’t go very far to disprove DD’s assertion ;)

    PS- Obama needs to can Rahm. Full stop.

  32. wunsacon says:

    GrafScweik, MEH, thanks for the feedback! Happy to hear it generated a chuckle.

  33. flipspiceland says:

    The country cannot be governed and it’s getting worse with each election cycle.

    The disUnited States is too diversified, too multi-cultural, and too multi-racial, multi-religious, too spread out, and too complicated.

    It is in this complexity that the Goldman Sucks squids can thrive.

    This kind of chaotic environment is perfect for the rape of the people by plutocrats.

    For the sake of the people the disUnited States needs to split up into at least 12 regions. Make it a baker’s dozen That greatly diminish the powers of the FED, brainless one size fits all detritus the leaks like a baby’s day old diaper from Washington.

    And for that reason, that it would be great for the people, it will never be allowed to happen.

    The plutocracy has exactly what it wants and you can count on only more of it.