My afternoon train reading

• How Companies Learn Your Secrets (NYT Magazine)
• MBIA tells judge of newly uncovered Countrywide fraud database (Reuters)
• When Models Trump Common Sense (Tim Iacono)
• Citigroup Whistle-Blower Says Bank’s ‘Brute Force’ Hid Bad Loans From U.S. (Bloomberg)
• 5 Lessons From the Rise of the BRICs (The Atlantic)
• Is Any CEO Worth $189,000 Per Hour? (Businessweek) see also The Top 1% Must Stop Insisting They’re Not Rich Right This Instant (Gawker)
• Forget Buffett — it’s time for the Dimon Rule (Washington Post)
• The Japanese liquidity trap, revisited (Alphaville)
Venture Capital: The new money men (Crains New York)
• The Delivery Guy Who Saw Jeremy Lin Coming (WSJ) see also Basketball-Crazy China Ponders Meaning of Jeremy Lin’s Race (Bloomberg)

What are you reading?


Why Aren’t Small Business Hiring ?

Source: Gallup

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.

18 Responses to “10 Thursday PM Reads”

  1. Jack Damn says:

    Why Facebook Is Never Safe

    How to use Facebook safely
    Here’s the easy solution: don’t fucking surveil yourself! If you want to stay safe on Facebook, the answer is, you should not use it, and don’t tag people! There are benefits of using it, there are tradeoffs, but in the long run I think it’s going to be pretty bad that you gave a bunch of capitalists all your private information where the US government asserts and has the right to read it without a warrant and with the ability to gag the corporate.

  2. rktbrkr says:

    Awesome, audit announces 84% fraud rate days after a sweetheart deal between the govs and the fraudsters, America been berry berry good to it’s biggest crooks

  3. Kerim says:

    More about HFT

    Nanosecond Trading Could Make Markets Go Haywire
    By Brandon Keim

    The analysis involved five years of stock market trading data gathered between 2006 and 2011 and sorted in fine-grained, millisecond-by-millisecond detail. Below the 950-millisecond level, where computerized trading occurs so quickly that human traders can’t even react, no fewer than 18,520 crashes and spikes occurred. The study’s authors call those events “financial black swans,” though they’re so common that the black swan label probably doesn’t fit anymore.

  4. frodo1314 says:

    BR – I am reading The Quants by Scott Patterson. Have you read it? Do you haev an opinion on it? Thanks.


    BR: Loved it!

    Here’s my conversation with Patterson in 2 parts:

  5. Arequipa01 says:

    Re BRICs:

    Curious: “Batista’s joint venture with Foxconn Technology Group, a maker of metal casings for Apple Inc., will invest $2.5 billion in a plant to make electronic screens in the South American country, he also said today. The billionaire is expanding into new segments after becoming Brazil’s richest person by selling shares in commodities and logistic startups including OGX Petroleo e Gas Participacoes SA (OGXP3), the country’s second-biggest oil company by market value, and MMX Mineracao & Metalicos SA, an iron-ore producer.”

    And for the peanut gallery GAFISA! maybe it’s gonna really go again. Then again what do I know? (as the only person here to have mentioned Ventana Gold when it was trading at ~5.30 -long before it got taken out by lil ole Eike at 14+).

  6. Arequipa01 says:

    I remember when Lula da Silva was the next Joe Stalin, the freakin Cuco! ‘We’re doomed if that pinko takes over!’ Well, funny how things work out…he retired and nary a kulak was killed. Plenty of indios and environmental activists though- still wasn’t enough to get off of Bill O’Reilly’s pinhead list…

    From Atlantic:
    “A strong civil society can come from a number of things: labor unions, public interest groups, political parties, and most importantly the right to elect and unelect leaders. Civil society is very weak in China and Russia, it is large but struggling in India, and it is relatively successful in Brazil. This may help explain why, of the four BRICs, Brazil seems to enjoy the greatest stability. Compared to China’s looming threats from inflation or a transition trap, Russia’s demographic crisis, and India’s rampant corruption, Brazil is downright boring. Its economy is lightly but competently managed, the hyperinflation crisis of the 1980s is behind it, and both the state and market seem to work in some kind of benign concert. The country has the greatest political rights and civil liberties of the four BRICs, according to the latest rankings from Freedom House, and its civil society actively participate in politics (unlike in India, where citizens vote but often have few other outlets, such as unions, for participation). It’s not a cure-all to solve the problems of a developing economy, but a strong and free civil society seems like a good way to at least deter them from getting too bad.”

  7. nofoulsontheplayground says:

    The Future Tense “Stock Market Sentiment – We Can Only Go Higher” (not really)

    Sentiment is at an extreme that has only been reached twice in the past 5-years, once when the Dow hit its high in late 2007 and the other in 2010 at the end of QE2. Both times the markets were drunk on euphoria and both times the markets soon turned downward.

  8. Jojo says:

    Economic Policy Institute
    Misguided CPU Act would cut tech workers’ wages
    By Ross Eisenbrey | February 16, 2012

    Corporate lobbyists have begun an intense campaign on Capitol Hill to cut the earnings of workers who use computers for a living. Sadly, a couple of Democrats who ought to know better have joined this campaign, which is focused on making sure computer systems analysts, computer programmers, software engineers, and other “techies” don’t qualify for overtime pay. Democratic Senators Kay Hagan of North Carolina and Michael Bennet of Colorado have, along with four Republican co-sponsors, introduced the cleverly named CPU (Computer Professionals Update) Act. It is premised on the notion that labor law governing the pay of IT professionals hasn’t kept pace with the changing economy. While labor law regarding IT pay should be updated, it should be updated in a way that increases workers’ pay, instead of cutting it, as would the CPU Act.

  9. tippet523 says:

    I incorporated this year in Illinois with a total of three new employees. We broke away from the old employer. Unemployment insurance was 0.55% but because we are new it is now 4.3%. no big deal but it is another 20,000 on my comp when i have never laid anyone off in any 20 years. Lucky me it stays this way for 3 full years. I understand i should get the lowest rate but if you want new business to hire do you need to charge me the highest?

  10. tippet523 says:

    That was “Shouldn’t Get the lowest rate”

  11. Joe Friday says:


    In a National Journal poll, Americans overwhelmingly do not agree with the RightWing’s contention that ‘entitlement’ or ‘safety-net’ programs are driving our federal deficits & debt. About 70% hold the view that our federal deficits & debt are as a result of the undertaxation of the wealthy and excessive defense spending:

    the survey found Americans unconvinced that safety-net programs represent a major source of the deficit problem. When asked to identify the biggest reason the federal government faces large deficits for the coming years, just 3 percent of those surveyed said it was because of ‘too much government spending on programs for the elderly’; only 14 percent said the principal reason was ‘too much government spending on programs for poor people’. Those explanations were dwarfed by the 24 percent who attributed the deficits primarily to excessive defense spending, and the 46 percent plurality who said their principal cause was that ‘wealthy Americans don’t pay enough in taxes’.


  12. kernelpanic says:

    More protection of the large/monopoly by our clueless, self-serving friends in congress.

    “The House bill would also restrict the FCC from reserving any of what it acquires in the auctions as unlicensed spectrum, which isn’t allocated to specific companies. Entrepreneurs freely working with unlicensed spectrum created all sorts of wireless applications, like garage-door openers, baby monitors, cordless phones and Wi-Fi.”

  13. RW says:

    Oddly enough I’m reading Tim Duy’s original point-by-point rebuttal to Bullard that the Tim Iacono article, “When Models Trump Common Sense,” inexplicably did not link to:

    It’s Worse Than You Think by Tim Duy

    The Duy article that Iacono does link to is mixed in with the rest of the links but is actually the follow-up to Bullard’s partial retraction (via Economist’s View) in response to Duy’s original rebuttal: James Bullard Responds to Tim Duy.

    Again With Potential Output by Tim Duy

    These three posts and Bullard’s original speech comprise the main conversation, all the rest is pretty much color or side-commentary; quite useful, particularly if some of the economic geek-speak is hard to track, but not essential to the argument.

    The Iacono article itself is simply a screed and can safely be skipped. It makes the right point but in the wrong arena since Bullard not only lacks a model he lacks adequate evidence and “common sense” must therefore dictate the exact opposite of Iacono’s putative point: An absence of both mechanism and a dearth of supporting data suggest Bullard is quite possibly wrong and would certainly be wrong to make Fed policy affecting an entire nation on the basis of his argument.

    NB: For those who really want to understand what the Fed is up to, Tim Duy is essential reading.

  14. streeteye says:

    Taxpayers screwed again as settlement gives banks credit for subsidized HAMP mortgage mods

    A Facebook valuation … central tendency around $70b … doesn’t include a Zuck haircut

    Krugman Playboy Interview… and you thought they were irrelevant

    The ultimate Steve Jobs video collection

    Taiwan surgeon drops LASIK over long-term side effects

  15. rktbrkr says:

    CITI screws the gov with bad mortgages…I don’t know if this even rates as news anymore in an industry where fraud (at least large scale fraud) is the norm.