I am off for my vacation — but before I go, here are some articles for your weekend reading pleasure:

• Wall Street steps in when Ivy League fails (Washington Post)
• What’s New? Exuberance for Novelty Has Benefits (NYT)
• Ritholtz Has the Main Theme Right, But Gets a Few Specifics Wrong About MF Global (Jesse’s Café Américain)
• DEAR WALMART, MCDONALD’S, AND STARBUCKS (Business Insider)
• What We Owe to Each Other, Part I (Boston Review), Part II (Boston Review)
• Global Business Elite Go Marxist at Davos! (The Nation)
• Romney & Paul: Amid Rivalry, Friendship Blossoms on the Campaign Trail (NYT)
• Da Vinci’s Ghost: How The Vitruvian Man Came To Be (Brain Pickings)
• Anatomy of an unsafe abortion (Dr. Jen Gunter) see also Imagine if all the money spent fighting about abortion… (Dr. Jen Gunter)
• The IPO of the decade? My valuation of Facebook (Musings on Markets)

What are you reading?
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Quitting while they’re behind: Why hedge funds are throwing in the towel

Source: The Economist

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.

11 Responses to “Weekend Reads”

  1. econimonium says:

    I don’t know why I feel the need to say this every time I read a column like Ezra’s but I’m going to. I’ve been teaching at the college level as adjunct since I was in grad school. That’s 21 years. And no one, I repeat no one should go into college thinking about skills. That’s what trade school is for. I didn’t go into teaching to teach kids how to do a corporate valuation, write a good resume, or be a rock start programmer. I teach what I love to people who simple want to learn, and then figure out how it applies to whatever they choose to do. Read that last sentence again.

    You see, the actual aim of a college education, and when you know you’re successful at whatever you did in college, is the day when you realize that the material from all these stupid disparate classes you were taking, all what you thought of as crap, starts showing up in classes and situations that had nothing to do with what you were taking. Whether its being funny at a party, quoting Shakespeare in a power point, finding yourself using algebra to figure out how much wood to buy for your shelves, or realizing that you’re friend is entering one bad relationship after another and you figure out why, that’s when you know what you were there for.

    And as a person who often interviews people, I don’t really care what your undergrad was in. In fact, in an interview, you can’t really show me “technical skill” at all. What you can show me is adaptability, cross-disciplined thought, problem solving skills, and that you’re an eager learner. You made the cut to the interview because you told me you can commit to something longer than a text message because you did it for 4 years. So if you’re looking for marketable skills, save your money and go to a trade school or community college. It will get you a job. If you’re looking for a career start with the idea that you won’t even get to see me unless you prove you can study crap you don’t like and excel at it because that’s what life is really about. And so, I respectfully chastise Ezra Klein and wish he and others like him would stop this crap and talk about why McDonald’s and Walmart make tons of money for shareholders but don’t share it with the employees that make it happen. That’s the issue here for good paying semi to unskilled labor.

  2. Simply-Put says:

    John Mauldin posted an extraordinary interview by Kate Welling of Dr. Lacy Hunt, the chief economist of Hoisington Investment Management. It is about Irving Fisher who clearly understood where we are now and how to prevent it. I have blogged my beliefs before on Debt /Deflation and disagree on the Feds methods in dealing with it. I would hope that everyone will read it and get an understanding as to what we are going through. It appears to me that it is alwalys the Banks and why the Fed has to protect their illicit children.

    http://www.johnmauldin.com/images/uploads/pdf/mwo021312.pdf

  3. farmera1 says:

    Forget Greece, Traders Are Worried About Something That Could Send Us Back To The Middle Ages

    Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/art-cashin-greece-traders-cds-middle-ages-2012-2#ixzz1mkwAsltp

    Traders are getting nervous about a Greece wreck. Wonder why. Maybe the fact that there are apparently now some $700 trillion in unregulated derivatives (insurance policies) floating around has something to do with it. Insurance policies companies have no way of paying off. All of these derivatives are interlocked and once they start to blow, it will eventually be a chain reaction (pretty much like an atom bomb) that could end in say the Middle Ages. Once these things start to blow who knows (the answer is no one knows) where it would land, the Middle Ages is as good a guess as any. The last time Secretary of Treasurer Paulson tried to buy (with tax payer money of course) some $700 billion worth of these unregulated derivatives , he couldn’t do it because no body knew where they were or who held them. Remember when Buffett bought GenRe, he thought he could make a profit from the derivatives book GenRe held. He ended up taking a huge loss and it took him years to unwind these things. He learned and later named these derivatives weapons of mass financial destruction.

    So here we are again, following Lehman, and GenRe and LTCM, all of which are just small explosions and signs of things to come. It is pretty much like a nuclear weapon sitting there waiting on the right set of circumstances (ie reach critical mass) and the whole thing will blow. Middle Ages anyone.

  4. VennData says:

    GOP voter has become “Pro-choice” freed from rationalism by “Crazservate Marketing”

    The post-Obamacle (socialist, birth-certless, American-apologizer) national GOP Media Machine has passed the tipping point of “successfully” marketing to a plurality of GOP-voter the hodge-podge of situational “logical respsonses” to every Democratic policy initiative with such alacrity that GOP voter can no longer be counted on to support whomever the elites toss at them at election time.

    In other words GOP voter has become pro-choice… as far as picking candidates.

    They say “As goes California, so goes the nation.”

    California, where much of the GOP Media Machine concocts their crazservate marketing pitches (Death Taxes, Prop. 13, Supply-Side-Tax-Cuts-pay-for-Themselves,) has been dominated by Democrats because the GOP could only get do-nothing Arnold Schwarzenegger who lucked out in a loaded-field recall. And like every wingnut the Californian Right Wing ‘primaried’ Bruce Herschensoh-like, they are now doing it at the national level…

    “Ohio Conservatives Find Their Man – Santorum’s Lead in State Polls Energizes Activists; Romney Team Says His Jobs Message Will Prevail”

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204059804577229370251474452.html

    “A Germ of an Idea…”

    “… A tippy-top Republican, unprompted, yesterday sketched the germ of a plan for a new candidate if Rick Santorum upsets Mitt Romney in the Michigan primary on Feb. 28. Our friend brought visual aids: chicken-scratched versions of prosaic documents that are circulating among GOP insiders like nuclear-code sheets: In case of mayhem, break glass! Most reporters still think Romney “will find a way to win Michigan.” Nevertheless, some of the nation’s most powerful Republicans are poring over filing deadlines and pondering worst-case scenarios…”

    http://www.politico.com/

    So how long will the GOP be in the wilderness this time?

  5. Sechel says:

    I think the Aleynikov story is huge. When you consider the speed of which Goldman got the DOJ involved and the ruling that over-turned it, the conclusion is that Goldman received a gov’t favor. It’s also ironic that the DOJ does not prosecute mortgage fraud as rigorously. It used laws meant to prevent espionage and the stealing of U.S. military secrets to protect non-copyrighted open source code intended to make Goldman a few bucks.

    http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2012/02/17/justice-dealt-setback-in-case-against-ex-goldman-programmer/

  6. Jojo says:

    Wow. I was surprised by the stats in this article! This can’t bode well for the future.
    =========
    February 17, 2012
    For Women Under 30, Most Births Occur Outside Marriage

    LORAIN, Ohio — It used to be called illegitimacy. Now it is the new normal. After steadily rising for five decades, the share of children born to unmarried women has crossed a threshold: more than half of births to American women under 30 occur outside marriage.

    Once largely limited to poor women and minorities, motherhood without marriage has settled deeply into middle America. The fastest growth in the last two decades has occurred among white women in their 20s who have some college education but no four-year degree, according to Child Trends, a Washington research group that analyzed government data.

    Among mothers of all ages, a majority — 59 percent in 2009 — are married when they have children. But the surge of births outside marriage among younger women — nearly two-thirds of children in the United States are born to mothers under 30 — is both a symbol of the transforming family and a hint of coming generational change.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/18/us/for-women-under-30-most-births-occur-outside-marriage.html

  7. VennData says:

    Jojo,

    That’s cuz most couples LIVE together nowadays. And don’t necessarily get married

    Santorum says Obama agenda not “based on Bible”

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/18/us-usa-campaign-santorum-idUSTRE81H0M220120218

    Will the rich give their shirts off their backs, Jesus-like? Or is that a different, Bible Rick Santorum’s talking about?

  8. bear_in_mind says:

    Here’s two articles worth consideration:

    1) U.S. Unemployment Increases in Mid-February
    Underemployment also up, to 19.0%
    GALLUP: Economy
    By Dennis Jacobe, Chief Economist
    February 17, 2012
    http://www.gallup.com/poll/152753/Unemployment-Increases-Mid-February.aspx

    2) Banks Can Use HAMP, and Reap HAMP Incentive Payments, in Foreclosure Fraud Settlement
    FDL
    By David Dayen
    February 17, 2012
    http://news.firedoglake.com/2012/02/17/confirmed-banks-can-use-hamp-and-reap-hamp-incentive-payments-in-foreclosure-fraud-settlement/

  9. DeDude says:

    Interesting chart from Krugman showing how government cut backs and austerity correlates with lower GDP growth.

    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/18/austerity-and-growth/

    It is just correlation, and causation cannot be claimed. However, it does leave a lot of explaining to do for those who claim that the way to grow an economy out of a slump is to cut down government spending. You can have correlation without causation but how would you defend that one thing causes another if the data show that the two things have a reverse/negative correlation?

  10. VennData says:

    McCain fears negative tone of GOP race could aid Obama reelection

    “… And why do we have the super-PAC’s? Because of the ignorance and naiveté of the United States Supreme Court…” says McCain.

    http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/211581-mccain-fears-negative-tone-of-gop-race-could-aid-obama-reelection

    Voting has consequences. Those Bible-banging nuts that Bush and his daddy put on the Supreme Court caused the SuperPACs.

    And we’ve got some more of GOP “rocket scientists” in the pipeline for you to evaluate: Santorum… now here’s a fella that’s is trying to weave the GOP Media Machine narrative about Obama’s philosopy (not “theology” as Santorum keeps calling it…)

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/santorum-says-obamas-faith-not-an-issue-but-phony-ideal-promoting-earth-and-abortions/2012/02/19/gIQAU3WfNR_story.html

    Thanks GOP supporters, thanks for the Supreme Court of numskulls. All that talk about “abortion and flag-burning” really gets you “Money is free speech” and “corporations are people.”

    When are you going to look at what really happens when you put the GOPer in a position of power?