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My afternoon train reading:

• 57 Wall Street Analysts Cover Apple. Exactly 1 of them says “Sell”. Meet Ed Zabitsky (Bloomberg)
• There has never been a better time to be an individual investor (Abnormal Returns)
• Fed’s Fisher Dismisses QE3 as ‘Wall Street Fantasy’ (WSJ) see also Plosser Says More Easing May Put Fed on ‘Treacherous Path’ (Businessweek)
• Compound interest is great, but there’s a catch (CS Monitor)
• What’s bad for JP Morgan isn’t bad for America (Reuters)
• Euro zone ponders delay of 2nd Greek bailout program (Reuters) see also Drachma’s History Offers Hints About its Future (Bloomberg)
• Faulty reasoning keeps Fannie and Freddie out of foreclosure deal (LA Times)
• The Crackdown: How Bahrain crushed the Arab Spring’s most ill-fated uprising (Washington Monthly)
• Trying to Catch His Breath With a Hole-Ridden Safety Net (Scientific American)
• What Jeremy Lin Teaches Us About Talent (Wired) see also What Linsanity Says About New York (WSJ)

What are you reading?
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Much too much ado about Greece

Source: FT.com

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.

16 Responses to “10 Mid-Week PM Reads”

  1. M says:

    Looks like there’s a glitch on your layout. This on MF G’s “personhood” is amusing:
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2012/02/15/prweb9198584.DTL

  2. Jojo says:

    G.M. Eliminates Pensions for Salaried Workers
    February 15, 2012

    DETROIT — General Motors on Wednesday said its salaried employees would stop accumulating pension benefits later this year as the company tried to narrow a large shortfall in its retirement funds.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/16/business/gm-eliminates-pensions-for-salaried-workers.html

  3. Tamu82 says:

    Check out the Barrons cover page on February 13.

    Dow 15,000!!!

    Sell signal?

  4. theexpertisin says:

    Noam Chomsky’s op ed in the HP.

    For laughs.

  5. Jack Damn says:

    Afternoon reads…

    The ‘Undue Weight’ of Truth on Wikipedia
    http://chronicle.com/article/The-Undue-Weight-of-Truth-on/130704/

    Professor and author of two books on the 1886 Haymarket riot attempts to correct an inaccuracy on the event’s Wikipedia entry; has correction reversed, is called a vandal, is told site is based on what’s popular, not what’s true.

    Warren Buffett is playing Obama, the U.S. Government and you like a fiddle
    http://reason.com/archives/2012/02/09/warren-buffett-baptist-and-bootlegger

  6. machinehead says:

    Abnormal Returns ['never been a better time to be an individual investor'] is quite right. More on two of his points:

    1. Trading costs. Before the Big Bang in 1985, fixed commissions and wide spreads (often multiple eighths) could impose an overhead cost of 2% or more, just to switch your portfolio from (say) industrials to tech stocks, or vice versa. At that ruinous rate, even two or three trades a year would wipe out your entire annual return. Active asset allocation first became feasible within mutual fund families, on an end-of-day basis. Now you can do it in ETFs, with commission and slippage of perhaps 0.1%.

    2. Richer asset class selection. This theme goes even deeper than the article ventures. Two huge innovations have occurred:

    (a) TIPS. (introduced in 1997) For now, the tail end of a 30-year secular bull market is lifting ALL bonds. But when inflationary times return, it will become evident just how different TIPS are than conventional bonds. This is a very big deal.

    (b) Collateralized commodity funds. CCFs serve a similar function as gold, but have two large advantages: (i) they earn T-bill interest on 100% of their assets; (b) by holding a dozen or more different commodity futures, their volatility is damped to half that of gold alone.

    Thanks to these two important new asset classes, accessible via ETFs, individuals now have portfolio choices available to them that were only open to large, sophisticated hedge funds a few years ago. With a suitable allocation algorithm, you can reduce exposure to the ‘psycho girlfriend’ stock market, while earning similar but far stabler returns in alternative asset classes.

  7. James Cameron says:

    “In a significant number of cases — 85 percent — documents recording the transfer of a defaulted property to a new trustee were not filed properly or on time, the report found. And in 45 percent of the foreclosures, properties were sold at auction to entities improperly claiming to be the beneficiary of the deeds of trust. In other words, the report said, “a ‘stranger’ to the deed of trust,” gained ownership of the property; as a result, the sale may be invalid, it said.”

    “The report contradicted the contentions of many banks that foreclosure improprieties did little harm because the borrowers were behind on their mortgages and should have been evicted anyway.”

    California Audit Finds Foreclosure Irregularities

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/16/business/california-audit-finds-broad-irregularities-in-foreclosures.html?hp

  8. Bill in SF says:

    Worth repeating:

    Felix Salmon …

    “So let’s concentrate on making the Volcker Rule as tough as possible, and stop worrying about its effect on Jamie Dimon’s annual bonus.”

  9. yon QOTD..

    “Many folks seem to think that the dollar going down will magically solve our trade deficit. I disagree. We don’t export enough to solve our trade deficit. What we need to do is stop consuming beyond our means and start saving, which is what will be forced upon us eventually.”
    —Bill Fleckenstein

    sometimes, We do ‘forget the Basics’..~

  10. Pantmaker says:

    Trying to Catch His Breath With a Hole-Ridden Safety Net -

    Wow…we gotta do something about that…not sure what…but I say we keep the douche bags and the ass hats out of the decision making process while we figure it. This just isn’t right.

  11. theexpertisin says:

    Regardless of the ease and variety of investment products, this maxim is still in full force:
    A fool and his money are soon parted.

    There is no shortage of fools.

  12. maddog2020 says:

    the Scientific American article about the lack of affordable health insurance is infuriating.

    It also reminds me that what’s missing from the uproar over the Catholic church/contraception/health insurance mandate craziness – why is affordable health insurance (usually) only available through one’s employer? Isn’t it time to end this idiotic, costly, and profoundly unfair system?

  13. franklin411 says:

    Hmm…it seems to me I read something on some blog somewhere about how austerity only makes debt crises worse. hmm…where was that?

    Portugal’s Debt Efforts May Be Warning for Greece
    Unlike Greece, Portugal is a debtor nation that has done everything that the European Union and the International Monetary Fund have asked it to, in exchange for the 78 billion euro (about $103 billion) bailout Lisbon received last May.

    And yet, by the broadest measure of a country’s ability to repay its debts, Portugal is going deeper into the hole.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/15/business/global/portugals-debt-efforts-may-be-a-warning-for-greece.html?_r=1&ref=world

  14. rd says:

    Re: Safety net

    I have family in Canada (evil, communist country with death panels north of the US) and they stare at news coverage of the US health care system with a combination of amazement and bemusement. Their fundamental perspective is that the US health care system is immoral and their second perspective is that Americans are idiots for allowing it to continue. They are continuously baffled when they see American news coverage of the Canadian health care system as inefficient and causing people to die. They assume that there must be another Canada that they are unaware of, since the US coverage of the health care system they have makes no sense to them.

    None of my family even knows anybody who has deliberately gone to the US for health care. In fact, one of their key dreads is that they will become sick or injured while travelling in the US and have to deal with the US health care system. In Canada, people worry about become sick or injured because then they will be sick and injured. However, the financial implications of being sick and injured are relatively small other than lost work time. Canadians rarely go bankrupt due to medical costs, unlike in the US – but you also don’t see many doctors and health administrators on the lists of the country’s wealthiest people.

    The US needs to step back and take a hard look at how we are managing our basic systems (tax, health care, infrastructure, finance, education, military etc.). We are paying taxes, fees, and other costs (such as private health care coverage) at the level of “socialist” countries but without the coverage or outcomes that those countries achieve. Our systems are generally unnecessarily complicated with too many loopholes and crony favoritism built in to make them universally effective and efficient. As a result, we spend too much and receive too little in return.

  15. mathman says:

    rd: great response and i agree with your assessment.

    There are dumbfounding decisions being made (see if you can find the cause(s)) about health”care” – like this in Virginia:

    http://www.dependablerenegade.com/dependable_renegade/2012/02/the-culture-of-life-my-sweet-ass.html

    about the environment, like this:

    http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2012/02/12/422788/the-dirtiest-transportation-bill-ever/

    and i could go on for days regarding the myriad, interrelated and interconnected issues plaguing governments probably everywhere that uses or allows “capitalism” as a base of operations. Sooner or later it all comes down to inhuman bean-counters making unwise, irresponsible, costly, biased and often deadly decisions by “maximizing profit” (or leaning that way – e.g. bailouts).

    Money in politics breeds this shit. Elections won’t be worth spit until they are publicly funded and disallow any private money in the process AT ALL. Right now we have bananamerica and we’ll end up like Zimbabwe if we keep traversing this road to ruin. The Media better relearn freaking JOURNALISM and start reporting the REAL NEWS with FACTS. The sheeple are far too complacent and the government far to “protective” of the status quo. The President grants himself dictatorial powers, fails to prosecute fraud (in fact, goes the same route – and this from a Constitutional SCHOLAR!) and Congress is corrupted by special interest groups, lobbyists and corporate money to do the work it’s assigned for the human population of the country. They all ignore the vow to preserve and defend the Constitution, and we sit around and do nothing about it – so they keep making it worse.

  16. normal1 says:

    Thanks for the Scientific American link. It was definately one of the more rational articles on the subject, although the part about how lack of insurance influenced his behavior (for fear of a large medical bill) did make me cringe. To me, health care should be a national security issue. Viruses don’t recognize borders or whether or not you have health coverage. You can wash your hands all you want, but it won’t guarantee that your neighbor’s kid won’t give you their cold. And, a country weakened by disease is simply more vulnerable to enemies. So, since there’s no way to avoid the consequences of living in a society (sickness, fires,etc.) I’d rather get the best deal I can by paying into a pool with others for healthcare for all. But that’s just me.