Some longer reads for your weekend pleasure:

• Jeremy Grantham: Coping With Slow Growth (Barron’s)
• The mathematical equation that caused the banks to crash (Guardian)
• Adventures In Behavioral Neurology – Or – What Neurology Can Tell Us About Human Nature (Edge)
• The end of mutual funds is coming (Fortune)
• Once again, speculators behind sharply rising oil and gasoline prices (McClatchy)
• Payroll tax cut undermines Social Security’s security (LA Times)
• The Caging Of America (New Yorker)
• There is no ethical smartphone (Salon)
• McDonalds vs. Facebook – Toss me a BigMac (Taoistmonk) see also The IPO of the decade? My valuation of Facebook (Musings On Markets)
• My smiley face business card party game (BoingBoing)

What are you reading?

Behind Corn’s Squeeze Play: Farmers

Source: WSJ

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.

15 Responses to “10 Weekend Reads”

  1. Sechel says:

    Wondering if it’s time to sell the drug stocks and how big this problem really is.

    As austerity measures across Europe lead to healthcare spending cuts, hospitals in Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain are delaying paying for drugs by up to three years.

    Swiss pharmaceutical giants Roche and Novartis are examining whether to limit supplies to some of the worst culprits.

  2. Jack Damn says:

    Scotland moves toward vote on independence

    “Scotland’s independence crusade is emerging as the greatest threat to the cohesion of the United Kingdom since Ireland achieved independence — a ­three-decade process that culminated in 1949, when Ireland left the Commonwealth.”

  3. DeDude says:

    Last week someone here at TBP made a link to this this article in a debate.–_and_reality/

    I looked though it and the things it linked too. The article itself is very partisan, but there are some interesting insights when you tune some of that out, and get to the links in it.

    The basic idea is that your view of humans is somewhere on a scale from: Egalitarian (believing that everybody is equal, we are all humans, all the same) to hierarchical (believing that some people are a lot better/smarter/gifted/blessed than others and should therefore be listened to, obeyed or believed). Similarly your view of society can be placed on a scale from: communitarian (believing that solutions to problems and organizing higher human interactions is a group thing) to individualistic (believing that problems and interactions should be solved by individuals; sometimes with a leader “taking charge”).

    The two views are not independent. If you believe in a hierarchy where some individuals are much “better” than others, then it makes sense that those individuals deserve to be given more say and to take charge. If everybody is equal then all should have a say and we should listen to everybody equally.

    A lot of left –right differences can be interpreted in the context of the egalitarian/communal views vs the hierarchical/individualistic view. In the egalitarian world the truth comes from listening to and evaluating the strength of the arguments from all sides. In the hierarchical world the truth comes out of the mouth of the “best” individual (with God as the ultimate “top-of-the-hierarchy” best source of truth). This may explain why leftist intellectual types are having such a hard time with “Kansas”. They are trying to make a great intellectual argument for their case, when the only persuasive thing would be to have the local preacher state that “this is what God want’s”. It may even explain why so many intellectuals are leftists; if truth comes from authority then you wouldn’t engage in trying to find it from studying data.

  4. econimonium says:

    DeDude a wise person once said “to be egalitarian is to demand we all finish the race even. To be democratic is to state only that we all start the race even.” ;) so like in my classes I seek out informed opinion to help in a decision, in the end I make the decision. There’s a difference between that and the “God said so” types, who are more likely to.find totalitarianism acceptable…and religion is, by definition, totalitarian. I think this phenomenon is different and, to be honest, rooted in intellectual capacity. How politically incorrect huh? Because in plain English I.just said these people are not too bright because if they were, they would be more intellectually curious. So, in fact, they need to be led, which is why benevolent dictatorship is the future :)

  5. louiswi says:


    I followed you along right up until “with God the ultimate…source of truth”. How would anyone on this earth legitimately claim to know what God says or wants?

  6. DeDude says:


    That is the classic left/right debate of whether society shall ensure equal opportunities or equal outcomes. The 100% egalitarian view is that it’s the same thing. If we all start up totally equal, then we should also end up totally equal, unless we have been facing unequal opportunities. Whereas I don’t agree with that view, I do see the point that a lot of unequal outcomes does not have to do with “better-outcomes-for-“better”-people”, but rather is the result of unequal opportunities. Like the majority of Americans you are to the right in your views on humans when you say that there are “lesser” (stupid) people who need to be lead by smarter people (like you). What if God was even smarter than you and all the “smart people”, should those “smart” people not equally just shut up and listen to God? But it is not that surprising that you are to the right of “egalitarian” on that scale. Remember that America was basically created by dissatisfied individualists who felt they were being held back by “communitarians” back in the old country. What goes for a moderate leftist in this country (not saying you are one), really is a right-winger.


    Well imagine that things were a lot more complicated than what your intellectual capacity could handle – or had time to handle. How then do you figure out what is correct? You have to choose “credible” sources. Some people have been raised to think that the ultimate source is the bible (and that it states God’s intend). But what if they don’t even have the time/capacity to read and fully understand that bible? The next best thing is to have a reliable person who has read that bible and who can tell them what it says about whatever item they need to figure out. The problem (with Kansas) is that the bible is so big and diverse that you can find justification for or against just about anything in it. So what you end up with is a clergy who is paid by donations from rich people who interpret the bible and tell poor people to vote against their own interest.

  7. sellstop says:

    I read the McClatchy article and posted this comment:
    When most people think of “speculators” they thing of rich traders and hedge funds buying up supplies and sitting on them while the price rises. But supply is not constrained. According to the author supply is not constrained. Well, supply is constrained. It is constrained by the fact that everyone in the supply chain speculates. Does the gas station where you fill up wait until he sells his tanks down to raise the price? No. As soon as he senses that prices are on the rise he raised HIS price? Why? Because he has to pay a higher price for the next truckload that he buys. And is he in a hurry to sell what he already has? No. Why would he be in a hurry to sell it? The price is going UP. So when everyone in the price and supply chain expects the price to rise the pric goes up rapidly.

    And if the price of oil is higher than it should be then demand will fall off. But if the large heinous speculators want to buy it then the big oil suppliers would supply those speculators with all the oil they wanted. Why not? If the oil companies can’t sell the oil to the refiners then they would sell it to the speculators. And what happens then when the speculators have all they need and there is still no actual demand? Then the price collapses. And the speculators sell at a loss. This is why the large speculators are so intent on getting things right. And there are not only speculators that buy UP the price but speculators that short the energy markets and expect to make money when the price goes down. Is anyone out there attacking the oil short specualtors? I think not. For the same reason your Congressman did not complain when speculators were running up the price of housing or running up the price of stocks. When speculators buy they push up the price and when they sell they push down the price. Net result is ZERO.

    There is a reason that speculators THINK the price will go up. That is what needs attention. Not that speculators are speculating!

    And then I see the chart on farmers and corn!!!

  8. VennData says:

    Ghastly Outdated Part

    “…Republicans being against sex is not good,’ the G.O.P. strategist Alex Castellanos told me mournfully. ‘Sex is popular.’ He said his party is ‘coming to grips with a weaker field than we’d all want…”

  9. theexpertisin says:

    Having someone at the pulpit proding us to do the right thing facing a declining congregation vs. Bill Maher-types wiseguying their way through life gaining more traction with the average citizen makes me wonder if we are, indeed, on the downward slope of our exceptional experiment called America.

    Then I hear Lady Gaga and think of musicians like George Gershwin…and I am sure of it.

  10. woodhenge says:

    the blog and twitter handle ‘future ex-banker’ has disappeared after this posting:

  11. cyaker says:

    Barry I know you don’t care for the MMT crowd but it seems that you and Randall Wray have a lot in common.

  12. anyone ever see any of this Show?..”Capital Account” w/ Lauren Lyster

    this one..

    w/ Reggie Middleton..

  13. Vilgrad says:

    As consumers reduce consumption, retailers lose profits and will be forced to close stores. It is likely that at least 150,000 retail stores will need to close in the next five years. Less stores means less rent for mall developers. Less rent means the inability to service their debt as the value of their property declines with the outcome of Ghost Malls haunting your community. Maybe good old American ingenuity will come to the rescue as we convert ghost malls into FEMA prison camps for uncharged Ron Paul supporters, Obamacare death panel implementation centers, TSA groping educational facilities, housing for the millions kicked out of their homes by the Wall Street .01%ers, and bomb shelters for the imminent Iranian invasion.