My afternoon train reading:

• Members of Congress trade in companies while making laws that affect those same firms (Washington Post)
• Downsized Wall Street licks its wounds (Market Watch) see also The Battle for the Soul of Occupy Wall Street (Rolling Stone)
• Central bank existential crisis confirmed (FT Alaphaville)
• The Most Amazing Bowling Story Ever (D Magazine)
• S&P’s Methods Under Lens (WSJ)
• CTBUH Names Best Tall Buildings for 2012 (Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat) see also Architects And Engineers Say These Are The Most Amazing Tall Buildings Of The Year (Business Insider)
• With Tablet, Microsoft Takes Aim at Hardware Missteps (NYT)
• What facts about the United States do foreigners not believe until they come to America? (Quora)
• The Tale of Emily White, Scarcity and the Future of Music Products (Music Industry Blog)
Blade Runner: Which predictions have come true? (BBC News)

What are you reading?


Gas, grains and growth

Source: 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 “10 Monday PM Reads”

  1. Jojo says:

    Marion Nestle on The (Big) Business of Food Stamps: “Here’s Where the Profits Come in”
    By Aaron Task | Daily Ticker
    Fri, Jun 15, 2012

    In 2011, a record 46 million people – or 1 in 7 Americans — participated in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), better known as Food Stamps.

    The increased use of Food Stamps is a huge social and political issue for America, and it’s also big business. In 2011, the U.S. government spent $72 billion on Food Stamps.

    Among the beneficiaries, food producers such as Cargill, PepsiCo. (PEP), Coca-Cola (KO) and Kraft (KFT), as well as retailers like Wal-Mart. Of course, Wall Street gets a cut too, led by JPMorgan Chase (JPM), which administers the SNAP benefits in 24 states.

    In the accompanying video, I discuss the (big) business of Food Stamps with Marion Nestle, professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University and author of several books, most recently Why Calories Count.

  2. willid3 says:

    is the money you have ‘invested’ using a broker really safe so that if the broker goes under, you aren’t left with nothing? evidently not. if they ‘invest’ your money over seas.

    and by the way, this is the same way that JPM used deposits in the UK. and lost their bet.
    costing billions. potentially putting FDIC on the hook for paying out to depositors. and in the case of a JPM failure, putting tax payers on the hook too. as thats a $2 trillion dollar bank.

  3. RW says:

    Seeing the WaPo article on congress critters trading in companies while making laws that affect those companies reminded me of this small investor’s tale of woe when some contributors of a powerful congressman were shorting the same stock he was long.

    Nothing legally actionable or demonstrable ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ of course, just a way to illustrate that congress critters do not have to directly invest in anything to profit nor can they be prevented from doing favors for which favors are granted in return.

    Corruption and venality can be complex and quite well masked, particularly in a good old boy network, but like the fictional Godfather a favor granted will eventually be collected, usually with interest.

  4. on CNBC’s “Kudlow Report”, Tyler Mathison let some of the “‘Cats’ out of the Bag”..

    “…At the 3:20 mark of the video, you will hear the question “Do we all work for the Central Bankers?” Don’t be surprised to learn what the answer to that question will be…”

  5. willid3 says:

    is Germany really going to save the Euro? or is is going to just keep pushing till it can;t get any more money from their debtors? and what happens to the large export market when Greece/Italy/Spain leave?

  6. Mike in Nola says:

    Great tongue-in-cheek piece from ZH after the disclosure that Orbitz tries to charge Mac users more.

  7. Mike in Nola says:

    So, is anyone else here getting sitemeter login prompts? Annoying as hell.

    BR, did you recently start using sitemeter? A few years ago, turned out sitemeter was planting tracking cookies to track people across the web..

  8. A says:

    Washington Post article:

    It’s somewhat of an insult to incorporate the words Congress & ethics in the same article.

  9. kaleberg says:

    Has anyone tied Microsoft’s recent Surface announcement to Intel’s earlier Ultrabook program? Intel and Microsoft are reaping what they have sown. They grabbed the bulk of the profits from PC sales, leaving the PC makers with extremely limited design and development funding. Having starved their partners, the two giants are facing a grim future relying on sales of increasingly dated machines with weak industrial design. Intel responded by doing some design work and throwing some promotional cred at its Ultrabook spec in hopes of inspiring its partners, while Microsoft is trying to use its own design resources to cut out its partners entirely.

    The whole experiment with the PC being sourced as software, processor plus commodity parts is showing its weakness, while the profits are going to Apple which is structured like a 1970s company which makes its own software, processors, and a surprising number of parts. In some ways it’s like Boeing’s 787 experiment which assumed that a company’s strengths are just the sum of its parts when, in fact, they are much more than that. Outsourcing might save a few bucks in the short run, but it can cost a lot in the long run.

    What I’m reading – The Inheritance of Rome –

    It’s basically The Road to Serfdom as it covers Europe and the Mediterranean from the 400s to around 1000, and explores how the end of Roman rule slowly, but surely, gave rise to the feudal system in Europe. It’s a big, long book, chock full of details and Pippin son of Blippin son of Olaf who murdered Grolaf, but it is quite gripping and comprehensive. To make a long story short, the road to serfdom was paved by the privatization of government functions, basically the anti-tax movement of its day. It’s a glimpse of the past and a glimpse of the future.

  10. Mike in Nola says:


    The MSFT partner model was hardly an experiment. It dominated personal computing for about 20 years and made not only MSFT, but its partners tens of billions of $. Actually they still do despite all the moaning from the Mac-hypnotized press. The partners also made lots selling accesories, e.g. printers. The problem showing up now is that, like all globalized competition, the margins are razor thin combined with the fact that companies like HP and Dell had made plenty of money turning out cookie cutter computers which was ok for business, but not consumers. Some like Asus and Samsung are turning out attractive machines and doing ok.

    The surface may well have been a kick in the (insert appropriate part of anatomy here) to the boring partners, to show them what could be done and also to warn them what they would be facing from other pc makers (including possibly MSFT) if they didn’t get scrambling.