Afternoon train reading:

• Economic Growth Revised Lower for 3rd Quarter (WSJ)
• How Luther went viral (Economist)
• Corzine Another Victim of the Alpha-Male Curse (Bloomberg)
• Cleveland Fed Two-fer:
…..-Urban Growth & Decline: Role of Pop Density at the City Core (Fed Cleveland)
…..-Concentrated Poverty (Fed Cleveland)
• London Brokers Shrink as Debt Crisis Bites (Bloomberg)
• The Return of Lee Munson (TRB) see also 25-Year-Old Broker Lee Munson Is Swaggering Relic of the Boom (Observer)
• Facebook reveals music, film make friendships; books, not so much (Ars Technica)
• The Day I Saw Van Gogh’s Genius in a New Light (Asada’s Memorandum)
• The truth about Microsoft and CES ? (The Verge) see also Mystery: Who killed the Microsoft CES keynote? (Gigaom)
• 106 of the most beloved Street Art Photos – Year 2011 (Street Art Utopia)

What is on your tablet?


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.

24 Responses to “10 Thursday PM Reads”

  1. willid3 says:

    shortage of high quality low risk assets.
    turns out that there isn’t much choice fr these.
    US treasuries are about the only ones in existence

  2. Transor Z says:

    The Van Gogh article is very interesting. Readers should look past the author’s occasionally spotty English to see the amazing theory he presents. The filtered images speak for themselves.

  3. ews says:

    That Lee Munson article is fantastic!

  4. VennData says:

    How DARE this petty sniveler …this car-carrying member of the 99%, this nebbish, this John-Galtless author” of “Another Victim of the Alpha-Male Curse’ author William D. Cohan even QUESTION the motives of these alabaster white pillars of the community …these cantilevered columns of pure America marble… …these turgid logs of bismuth ….these erect impalers of inefficiencies!

    How DARE you.

  5. jaymaster says:

    Speaking of tablets.

    I’m pretty sure this isn’t an issue with most folks in the financial arena……

  6. VennData says:

    … from ’25-Year-Old Broker Lee Munson Is Swaggering Relic of the Boom’

    “…He described “a perfect night” with his broker friends: “You start off at Barmacy to see if there’s any cute dumb college girls there. Then you pick them up, take them to Lakeside, and then you get a chick who’s out of college, who’s a broad now, and if you strike out there, you go all the way to Motor City and get some filthy whore in leather pants, who just like broke up with her boyfriend Biff over at the garage.”

    God rest ye merry gentlemen.

  7. mathman says:

    Really enjoyed the street art pix! Thanks for that. Like watching people who are really good at breakdancing, i just have to look at this stuff. It’s fascinating and beautiful in its way.

    Reminds me, i haven’t listened to Devo in a while . . .

  8. bobmitchell says:

    A 25 year old broker, today, who was around ..”In 2000, he said, he was living the high life.”

    A 14 year old stock broker, he must be good. It does lend credence to getting rid of those pesky child labor laws.

  9. bobmitchell says:

    The story is dated 2001. My mistake.

  10. Jojo says:

    The Van Gogh link was great! Now the question is have collectors worldwide overpaid for VG’s work because we thought the colors were so unusual but worked together so well? [lol]

  11. digistar says:

    Lee Munson, if he is real and is fairly described, is a world class jerk. A Dickensian caliber, screwed up bad guy.

    Does anyone here know people like him?

    Or is this article just a tasteless joke??


    BR: The reporter, George Gurley, had a reputation for getting people to hang themselves. The rumor was he got Munson drunk, and let the 25 year behave like any drunk idiot 25 year old.

    It was career suicide for the kid (note the date: 4/02/01)

  12. digistar says:

    The Van Gogh piece was amazing! Some of my favorite paintings look so much gentler, less strident and – fit into ‘normal’ impressionism.

    Was Van Gogh aware that he saw things differently from ‘normal’ people in such a fundamental way? Imagine how he must have felt when other people reacted to his work in such a baffling way.

  13. Topspin says:

    I’m Calling for a General Financial Market Strike
    Posted by Ann Barnhardt – December 20, AD 2011 9:10 PM MST
    I have received a few emails asking if I was still content with my decision to shut down my brokerage. Not only am I content, but after seeing the news that broke over the weekend, I am of the considered opinion that the entire financial blogging community should formally call for a general financial market strike. And I’m not kidding. A couple of things have happened regarding the MF Global mess that I don’t think got the attention they should have because they broke over the weekend. So let me fill you all in.
    First, all notions of personal property rights were essentially destroyed when the MF Global “trustee” began seizing customers’ gold and silver bullion held in storage if that bullion was purchased through contracts brokered by MF Global. In case you’re not following, let me restate. MF Global customers who traded in precious metals and actually took delivery and OWNED bullion, as in outright, free and clear OWNERSHIP, complete with a warehouse receipt (aka title) with SERIAL NUMBERS designating exactly which physical bars they OWNED, and were PAYING RENT to STORE their own property in a “secure” VAULT, complete with statements indicating that these storage fees were paid in full, are having THEIR PROPERTY THAT THEY OWN AND ARE PAYING RENT TO STORE CONFISCATED by the MF Global trustee in order to feed the gaping maw that is the MF Global “estate”.

    This would be EXACTLY like if you rented a little storage space at one of the thousands of storage facilities that dot this nation, and stored a car there. I used to do exactly this when I had multiple cars. Imagine the owner of the storage facility went bankrupt. Now imagine that a “trustee” SEIZED YOUR CAR, sold it, and used YOUR PROPERTY to feed the storage franchise owner’s BK. Nevermind that you had an explicit RENTAL AGREEMENT and that you had receipts proving that you were paying monthly rent on said storage space, and that you could produce clear title to the car showing that you owned it, and that the VIN numbers matched.

    Do you understand what is happening now? This is outright confiscation of personal property. After having their money stolen out of their accounts and being locked out of their accounts, unable to trade or even liquidate WHILE THE MARKETS CONTINUED TO TRADE, these people are now having their PERSONAL PHYSICAL PROPERTY stolen and redistributed to the MF Global estate, in order to feed Corzine’s gambling debts – MADE ILLEGALLY WITH FUNDS STOLEN OUT OF THE CUSTOMER ACCOUNTS – to repay counterparties with J.P. Morgan at the fore.

    So guess what? This is now establishing the precedent that ANY property held by a third party can be seized and confiscated to feed a bankruptcy of said third party. This includes BANK DEPOSITS. Now, please consider that all of the major banks in the United States are insolvent, and insolvent MULTIPLE TIMES OVER. Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citi, all of them. When these banks collapse – and they WILL collapse – any deposits they are holding WILL BE CONFISCATED and redistributed to their counterparties. Citation URL here at

    Oh, but there’s more.

    Also announced over the weekend was the jaw-dropping, yet illuminating fact that the MF Global bankruptcy was fraudulently, nefariously and illegally drawn up as a Chapter 7 BK for a SECURITIES DEALER and NOT a commodity brokerage as it should have been. Look, MF Global was the second-largest non-bank FCM in the United States next to NewEdge which is the old FIMAT. If MF Global wasn’t an FCM, then there are no FCMs. Of course it was an FCM. It had $7.2 billion in customer seg funds as of August 31, 2011. And yet MF Global was immediately, from the get-go, put into Chapter 7 BK as a SECURITIES FIRM. This is fraud. MF Global’s BK should have OBVIOUSLY been established under Subchapter IV of the Chapter 7 code as a COMMODITY BROKERAGE.

    Why wasn’t this done? Because in a Subchapter IV liquidation of a commodity brokerage firm, guess who is absolutely and unequivocally at the front of the line? You guessed it: the CUSTOMERS. In the Chapter 7 liquidation of a securities firm, guess who goes to the front of the line? Uh-huh. The “creditors”, aka the counterparties on the firm’s proprietary positions. As in . . . J.P. Morgan, et al.

    Now we know why this unprecedented action of raping the customers has happened. It was set up that way. Now are you telling me that NO ONE at the CFTC appreciated the difference between the BK subchapters? Are you honestly telling me that Terry Duffy and NO ONE at the CME understood the difference between a securities firm liquidation and a Subchapter IV commodities firm liquidation and the massive consequences to the customers? Not a single one of them understood this massive difference? Bullshit. Of course they knew. They set it up that way from day one. And they continue to know. And this fricking charade just keeps going and going, and the rape and confiscation of the customers’ property continues apace. The fix was in on the customers and J.P. Morgan was put at the front of the line willfully, intentionally and with extreme malice aforethought by all those parties concerned. Citation Hotlink here:

    Click Here to read the ZeroHedge reportage.

    And this is why I am now formally calling for the financial industry blogging community to officially push for and declare a general market strike. I call for all decent people of good will to withdraw ALL FUNDS from the financial markets and cease to trade in solidarity with the MF Global rape victims until such time as the MF Global BK is properly filed as a Subchapter IV commodity brokerage liquidation and their private property is FULLY RESTORED.

    If this is how they’re going to play, I say let’s shut the whole damn thing down. Let’s show these rat bastards how we do things in the Civilized World. Molon Labe.

  14. mathman says:

    Because so few people have interrupted their little lives to object against any and all abrogations of the social contract, and since “nobody” cares about the fact that our country has gone completely off the rails with the corporate take-over of what was once “our” government, and finally now that the very legal system of the US is a two-tiered, in your face, unspoken set of rules for the haves as opposed to the micromanaging set that determine the everyday lives of the rest of us (and we let that happen too) – it’s come to this: they can get away with anything they want now. As we’ve seen in the past few months, we can’t even exercise our once Constitutional right to protest in the street – to do so gets you pepper-sprayed, clubbed and arrested by the former protectors of society turned purchased corporate mafia cops.
    Enjoy your faux freedom in the prison state of the USA.

  15. Mike in Nola says:

    Re: Van Gogh

    Hard to appreciate if from this end. Guess I must have something similar. My defiency seems to be with certain greens, causing some fights with the wife when I was sent to buy paint. I can only see a very subtle diff between the two versions he presents and that only in a slightly different shade of yellow.

    Anyone have a link to an online color blindness test?

  16. Mike in Nola says:

    Never understood the MSFT/CES connection. With the exception of a few products, MSFT hasn’t really been a consumer electronics company since the Win95/98 time period. It seemed the keynote was more to give partners publicity than for it’s own products. And as MSFT pointed out in its release, the MSFT release schedule does not in any way coincide with CES: OS releases are generally late summer/fall and CES is way too early or way too late to show them off.

  17. MT1 says:

    @BR: Apparently it wasn’t too much of a career suicide, as he’s still in the business and popping up on CNBC.