Some morning reads:

• Today’s WTF headline: Jim Cramer: Economy Set for a Long-Term Bull Run  (CNBC) but see Tax changes loom, it may be time to harvest gains (Market Watch)
• TAG Actually Gives Big Banks the Advantage (American Banker) see also New MBS twist: Sand Canyon sues servicer for releasing loan info (Reuters)
• The Changing Face of Foreclosures (Fed New York)
• Buffett Seizes Lead in Bet on Stocks Beating Hedge Funds (Bloomberg) see also Buffett Rule Tax Bill Would Raise $47 Billion Over 10 Years (Bloomberg)
• Masters of the Universe Start to Challenge Ben Bernanke (Bloomberg)
“Muppet” hunt: Goldman conducts company-wide email review: sources (Reuters) see also Goldman Thinks You Should Buy Stocks Because You Don’t Think You Should Buy Stocks (Dealbreaker)
• $1.5 billion: The cost of cutting London-Tokyo latency by 60ms (Extreme Tech)
• How to Save Cyberspace (The Diplomat)
• Stand Up Comics Are Now Selling Laughs by the Download (NYT)
• Angry Words: Foundation of modern linguistics? (Chronicle)

What are you reading?

Home Builder Stocks at Highest Point in 2 Years After 6-Month Rise

Source: NYT

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.

13 Responses to “10 Thursday AM Reads”

  1. Mike in Nola says:

    I consider ZH something like the National Enquirer of financial blogs, but they do have some interesting insights. As they have been posting for awhile, every week the BLS revises the previous week’s claims number upward by a few thousand.

    I don’t know how many times it has happend in the past year or two, but it seems pretty regular. I have started looking for it and it happened again this week. The number of times there has been an upward revision of the previous week’s number is way too high to be a product of chance. Seems like there is some problem with their model. What else is new?

    ZH pushes a conspiracy theory. I subscribe to Hanlon’s Razor: “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.” These guys are economists, aren’t they?

    Here are some old charts from ZH illustrating the issue:

  2. Wiggs says:

    Student debt to be a major issue in the upcoming years on many fronts…

  3. AHodge says:
    read this if you want to choke on our misdirected financial prosecutions
    this is basically morgan stanley and a broker fighting over who got to keep “illegal” insider trading gains.
    and legal fees on the earlier.
    this is bottom of the food chain insider trading, i wonder if a doctor who knows test results is even or should be illegal. it will benefit the company but is it “inside” these tests are supposed to be independant?
    and taking up huge justice dept financial crimes resources, like they have a lot, so they can crow about a “win”

  4. “…Hanlon’s Razor: “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”…”

    Mike in H-town,

    w/ Hanlon, be circumspect, D. G. Myers (Author of piece, in link, below) may have missed ~one..

    “A Useful List of Useful Idiots”

    though, He does bring to mind..

    which is ‘miles’ away from..

  5. AHodge says:

    from the Donald Marron blog
    The case for corporate tax reform
    a nice list and argument against the indefensible subsidies

    P.S. You might be wondering what tax breaks I would cut in order to lower corporate tax rates. I haven’t had a chance to put together a complete package, but a starting point would be the domestic production credit (a subsidy for manufacturing), many energy subsidies (the ones for fossil fuel don’t make much sense, and I’d rather we use taxes than tax subsidies to encourage greener energy production), and the benefit of debt finance (e.g., by limiting deductibility of interest). Interest deductibility isn’t usually viewed as a tax break, but it leads to perverse effects when combined with favorable depreciation rules. Many propose rolling back those depreciation rules, but given the overall tax preference for debt, it’s worth considering limiting interest deductibility instead.

  6. rd says:

    I think the Trayvon Martin case is going to become very important regarding the “rule of law” and poorly written statutes with unintended consequences, not unlike numerous financial rules.

    From everything I have seen, Florida now has a law where you are permitted to stalk and pursue someone, attempt to grab them, and if they push back, you can then shoot and kill them with impunity because you now feel “threatened”. Apparently, the person being stalked has no rights now except the right to draw their gun faster than the stalker. Apparently, this type of law is now in place in a dozen or more states. Billy the Kid will soon be back.

    I don’t see how civilization can withstand the assault of these types of laws that strike at the fundamental core of decency and personal responsibility. The laws, not unlike the rules being used in the MF Global case, are now being used to protect the predators, not the prey.

  7. rd says:


    I think that college and student debt is undergoing the same realization about assumptions that housing went through from 2006-20010. The past is useful to extrapolate to the future until it is not. When something changes so that its very nature changes, then the assumptions can become invalid.

    College and student debt I think is hitting the same point that the assumption that national house prices never decline hit. Namely, that if you keep sending a higher and higher percentage of the population to college and they have to take on a higher level of debt, then eventually the payoff will probably not be as big as it used to be (same thing as the GDP growth per unit of national debt declining as the debt rises) and the cost-benefit ratio changes significantly.

    I think a lot of boomers bought houses in the past decade or two on the assumption that their kids and grand-kids would be buying them when they want to down-size. Now we are going to discover that they can’t because they are carrying a load of student debt that did not exist for previous generations without the increased earnings to justify it. I suspect that the housing price recovery will be delayed several years because of this. My rule of thumb for the past two decades has been to own a house that is worth 3 to 5 times the annual gross household income for our area so that a high percentage of the population can afford it, so that it can be a reasonably liquid asset by real estate standards. much more than 5 times the median income and your potential buyer pool becomes severely restricted, especially if interest rates rise back to “normal” levels.

  8. thomas hudson says:

    ralph peters is not happy about the afghan war:

    bill maher: tells us all to grow up and stop being so sensitive:

  9. Joe Friday says:


    TODAY: South Korean media reports that the next iPhone will have a bigger 4.6″ display and is scheduled to be launched sometime in the second quarter.


    ONE YEAR AGO: Samsung rolls out the Galaxy S II Android smartphone, utilizing a 4.6″ display.

  10. willid3 says:

    and you thought the game wasn’t rigged????

    just don’t buy any of those derivatives stuff. its the biggest scam that wall street has put on since the MBS one

  11. Jojo says:

    World Water Day 2012

    World Water Day is observed on March 22 every year. The day to recognize the importance of earth’s most precious natural resource was proposed 20 years ago at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development. While we often take water for granted, many cannot. And water plays a role in almost everything we do. We drink it, wash in it, play in it, generate power with it, irrigate crops with it, travel and transport goods on it, fight fires with it, and worship with it. Gathered here are images of water from the last year in all its uses, in scarcity and in abundance. — Lane Turner (48 photos total)

  12. rd says:


    One more thought.

    It is probably not coincidental that student loan started to really take off as house prices fell. There is a strong likelihood that HELOCs were a major college funding mechanism for a few years. When they went away as available cash, somthing had to fill the gap, especially with skyrocketing college costs.

    So, ultimately, the banks will end up writing off a lot of student loan debt taken on by parents as HELOCs.

  13. ancientone says:

    About those bullish “it’s a great time to buy” recommendations—–What’s the return record going forward after a three year run up like we’ve just had? Anybody?