My morning reads:

Serious Critique: Wall Street’s Legal Magic Ends an American Right (Bloomberg)
• The euro crisis just got a whole lot worse (Telegraph)
Huh?! Yes, you can become a millionaire farmer (Market Watch)
• The Great Fall of China (Businessweek)
• Krugman & Summers: All Signs Point To Lost Decade (The Fiscal Times)
• Placing the American Gas Boom in Perspective (The American) see also Merkel Is Cast as Thatcher’s Austerity Goddess (Bloomberg)
• NY judge gives bond insurers many routes to MBS recovery v. BofA (Reuters)
• Facebook at 99 Times Profit Exceeds 99% of S&P 500 Index (Bloomberg) see also Small Investors May Get to Own a Bit of Facebook (DealBook)
• The Best Science Fiction Ideas in any Non-Fiction Ever: David Graeber’s Debt: The First Five Thousand Years (
• Four pointers from the Abnormal Returns blog (Brighter Life)

What are you reading?

Higher Correlation in Markets Reflects Global Unease; Synchronized Moves Frustrate Stock Pickers

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.

20 Responses to “10 Friday AM Reads”

  1. Moe says:


    Is right. Mr Rodgers should be shilling this out of a covered wagon.

  2. willid3 says:

    have we changed so much from when the US was founded that the founding fathers (who some seem to revere. and they even try to wear clothes like them. but thats all they have in common) wouldn’t recognize the country they founded?

  3. willid3 says:

    is the unemployment rate we use, not really showing what the labor market is doing? has the normal relationship between GDP and employment been broken?

  4. SOP says:

    Safer food and full-time employment ?


    Young Italians Flock to become Shepherds

    Pay is poor and the hours are long, but there is job security, fresh air and as much pecorino cheese as you can eat.

    Coldiretti said the unexpected influx of shepherds under the age of 35 was helping to rejuvenate a sector of Italian agriculture that had become the preserve of older farmers.

    In nearly 80pc of cases, young shepherds had introduced more advanced animal husbandry techniques and improved the quality of the meat, wool and cheese they produce, Coldiretti said in a report.

    Meanwhile, over in the Ag-Industrial Complex….

    Third-deadliest U.S. food outbreak was preventable, experts say

    In the absence of FDA inspectors, food retailers and the industry have created the third-party audit system, in which auditors are hired by farms or facilities to inspect their premises and provide scores…

  5. SOP says:

    Swiss article – google translated

    IMF economists are predicting doubled oil prices
    Published May 4, 2012 – 10:41
    Updated May 4 2012 – 13:49

    We are heading towards a world with twice as high oil prices. The prediction is now coming from economists at the International Monetary Fund.

    Oil prices today, despite a world economy in low gear, parked at historically high levels around $ 100 a barrel – three times as high as during the early 2000′s. There has been an increasing number of researchers and analysts to take the predictions of peak oil – peak oil – seriously.

  6. dead hobo says:

    I’ve been reading various prices and charts. The S&P is pretty sad today. Oil is in a rout. Copper is flat to up. Long term interest rates are down less than you would expect in a stock collapse. Europe is down a lot, as per usual.

    At this moment, subject to revision in an hour or less, or maybe not, it looks like margin calls against oil, real or imagined, are causing the idiot long only derivative oriented speculator to run fast fast fast out of oil. This is leaving a higher proportion of traditional speculators, which is beneficial to all commodity markets. Gold is just falling due to a better understanding of it being a fool’s investment. Stocks that are probably being used as collateral for oil speculators are being sold off to cover losses.

    If markets were in a correlated rout, copper would be down and long term rates would be falling more significantly yesterday and today.

    I suspect they will bounce back nest week, but only laterally. Oil will need to stay below $100 for a couple of months for equities to start climbing again. This might actually happen. Oil idiots only pushed the price of nymex to about $110 in recent weeks. In the past, it wold have probably passed $125. This implies the oil idiots are smarting up and are catching on to the fact that the last idiot in on the long only derivatives oil trade chokes on the big one.

    The employment numbers, while disappointing, indicate expansion. This is a positive. Just not a really big one.

  7. RW says:

    Plutocracy, Paralysis, Perplexity (NYT)
    The fundamental reasons we adopted policies that got us into this financial mess and the fundamental reasons we cannot seem to adopt policies that will get us out spring from the same source.

  8. streeteye says:

    Hugh Hendry’s investor letter – still hates Asia

    But I think Treadway’s point as posted on TBP is important and underappreciated, credit collapse dynamics, loss of confidence, can’t really take hold when the entire legitimate financial system is under the full backing and control of the central government. The shadow banking system is another matter, who knows how big that is.

    How NGDP targeting would work – resets expectations of Fed policy, similar to the way Volcker’s M1 targeting did.

    As endorsed by Plosser -

  9. Mike in Nola says:

    Oxford IT nerds not too happy with Apple’s response to malware outbreak and also it’s support policies.

    If Apple wants to play with the IT bigboys and not remain simply a consumer electronics firm, it needs to put snap on the ball and chain of extended support.

  10. Mike in Nola says:

    @hobo: My hope for a cheap European vacation this fall is that the margin calls in oil cascade like in 2008. I think there’s a pretty sure chance of it dropping to $40 or so at some point when things get worse, the question, as always, being when.

  11. jaymaster says:

    As someone with many friends and family who are farmers, and having considered buying a farm myself, I must say that the Farrell/Market Watch piece is the biggest load of bullshit I’ve read in a long time.

    There’s an 88 acre farm just down the road from me that’s been for sale for 4 -5 years now. I’ve watched its price drop from $1.5 million to $500,000. It’s very productive land, yet it hasn’t been planted in years. It’s basically reverting to forest at this point. I’ve been tempted to buy it. One of my co-workers owns a farm of a similar size, and he tells me I could probably make $30-50k a year from it, farming it myself (not including equipment or land costs). And maybe $15k renting it out to someone else. And that’s only after I would pay to have the land cleared again. The maths don’t work….

    A couple years ago, one of my neighbors left 30 acres of corn to rot in the field because it would’ve cost too much to harvest it. And one of the biggest selling items around here during the “biomass heating” tax breaks was corn burning stoves. Yes, people are burning corn to heat their homes! And all this is 3-4 hour drive from the NYC/DC megopolis corridor, so it’s not like there isn’t a market nearby.

    The only reasons people are starving ares politics, corruption, and war. It’s not a lack of farms.

  12. formerlawyer says:

    @Mike in Nola Says:

    $40.00 oill? I’ll take that bet – virtual beers?

  13. SOP says:

    Formerlawyer – I’ll take Mikes’ side of the bet;)

    But, we should wait for Dan Yergin ‘s price forecast. Then fade it.

    Volatility – full speed ahead.

  14. gman says:

    “A couple years ago, one of my neighbors left 30 acres of corn to rot in the field because it would’ve cost too much to harvest it. ”

    In an era of 6$ corn?

  15. mathman says:

    On that “Euro crisis just got worse” article:

    European shares fall sharply as U.S. outlook worsens
    “European shares fell sharply on Friday after worse-than-expected jobs data from the United States dealt a fresh blow to recovery expectations for the world’s largest economy.”

    And you’re worried about Europe? They’re reacting to US! It’s lookin’ pretty bleak . . .

  16. Jojo says:

    All Things D
    Kara Swisher
    Yahoo’s Response on CEO’s Computer Science ResumeGate: “Inadvertent Error”
    May 3, 2012 at 12:27 pm PT

  17. Jojo says:

    From the “moving the goal posts” file…
    Economix – Explaining the Science of Everyday Life
    May 3, 2012, 4:55 pm
    Inflation and Joblessness: The Tipping Point

    Another day, another clue in the quest to understand why the Fed isn’t trying harder to reduce the rate of unemployment:

    John Williams, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, said Thursday that the nonaccelerating inflation rate of unemployment – the lowest level of joblessness that can be reached without leading to inflation – may have climbed as high as 6.5 percent, compared to 5 percent before the recession.

    First time hearing about the nonaccelerating inflation rate of unemployment, or Nairu? No worries. It’s an important concept, but also pretty obscure. Basically, the idea is that some unemployment is good, or at least unavoidable. People change jobs. Industries disappear and workers need to be retrained. And a pool of unemployed workers limits the competitive pressure to raise wages.

    In technical terms, many economists – including the ones who run the Fed – believe that pushing unemployment below a certain level will cause wages and prices to rise. They call that level the natural rate of unemployment.

  18. jaymaster says:


    I think this was back when corn hit $7 or $8, and then dropped to $3.50 the next year. And to be fair, it was marginal/boggy land that he didn’t usually plant in corn. He knew it wouldn’t do as well there, but for $7 corn, it was worth the gamble.

    And it stayed warm and wet later than usual that year, and he was afraid to try to harvest it with his equipment. He was considering renting a bigger 4WD tractor or paying someone else to harvest it, but I guess the economics of that didn’t make sense. I think he decided to wait for the ground to freeze, and then try to go in and get it. But for some reason, he never did. That might have been the year we had the massive snows, but my memory is a little fuzzy (possibly from drinking too much corn based ethanol product…)

  19. Been Around 1963 says:

    I’m surprised you referenced “Placing the American Gas Boom in Perspective,” which was written by one of those AEI crackpots who says that global warming is a myth.

    The author’s dismissive atitude about the environmental dangers of fracking, based on nothing than his propensity for dissembling, is equally bogus. “if there is any water contamination, it is a problem that has well-known technical solutions,” only in the febrile imagination of the author.