My afternoon train reading:

• Save Us, Ben Bernanke, You’re Our Only Hope (The Atlantic)
• The Liberating Embrace Of Uncertainty (NPR) see also Noise and Signal — Nassim Taleb (Farnam Street)
• Austerity has never worked (Guardian)
• Dr. Gloom mellows but Dr. Doom does not (Market Watch)
• ETFs Are Duking It Out Over Fees (WSJ) see also Aim for the Middle (Aleph Blog)
• Saving on a Rainy Day, Borrowing for a Rainy Day (Nep Dge Blog)
• Princeton Commencement Addresses:
…..-Michael Lewis 2012 Baccalaureate Remarks (Princeton)
…..-Steve Carell 2012 Class Day Remarks (Princeton)
• Is Global Financial Reform Possible? (Project Syndicate)
• How to Backtest Your Trading Strategy Correctly (Trading Markets)
• What Cool Things Can I Do with All This Free Cloud Storage Space? (LifeHacker)

What are you reading?


A Smarter Way to Invest Globally?

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.

14 Responses to “10 Tuesday PM Reads”

  1. willid3 says:

    even if we are broke lets keep spending on defense because/.??

    we are broke i tell you!!

    The debate on the debt is an opportunity to send the world a signal that we are going to remain the strongest military force in the world. We’re saying, ‘We’re going to keep it, and we’re going to make it the No. 1 priority of a broke nation.’ ”

    Lindsey Graham

  2. willid3 says:

    saw this comment

    9:04 am EDT

    I’m here in the real world as the CEO of a SW company, so I’ll chime in here. The ONLY thing that gets discussed is revenue when making these decisions. Revenue is down, revenue stays down, decisions get made. The first people to go are the people responsible for revenue if they haven’t been pulling their weight. SW people go when we scale back projects because the revenue was down. Frankly there’s so much institutional knowledge after a while that it doesn’t even make sense to look at who goes by wage. Most of the time we’d go for more lower-wage people and keep the top ones in all honesty. So if you’re a high wage earner and you’re let go, perhaps it’s because you felt entitled and weren’t judged to be producing at a capacity relative to what you’re paid. Period.

    We don’t look at taxes (the Republicans lie about this constantly with the “unsure about taxes so they’re not hiring” meme), we don’t look at wages, we look at REVENUE. In fact the sales people are the first to feel the heat and possibly the ax. Perhaps even the CEO if he’s perceived to be not doing enough or leading in the wrong direction (that’s how I became the CEO in fact).

    So all of this can be summed up in one question/answer: why are people getting laid off and companies are reluctant to hire? REVENUE. Incidentally what Mitt did has no relation to all of this Felix is correct. His job was to turn around/unlock value. That’s a whole different ballgame. He’s a car stripper for parts, if you like that analogy. I’m into designing and building the cars. Very different.

  3. willid3 says:

    export your risk? that way regulators dont see it?

    seems like it always going to the UK? where they dont care?

  4. willid3 says:

    maybe if we mentioned that unemployment is the cause of the deficit (and it certainly is part of it) would there be any action actually address it? other than hand wringing. and a way to pass bills by naming them as job creators, even if they will never do that. and of course then there is the oil pipe line. that never was going to create more than a few jobs, over its entire existence. and it was also supposed to reduce the price of gas. even though that oil was going a port. to be exported of course.

  5. Mike in Nola says:

    Live streaming of the Transit of Venus from various spots.

    As I told the friend who sent me the link, these people sound so nerdy, it makes me look like The Fonz.

  6. Iamthe50percent says:

    I was a software engineer at a software company from 1988-2002. Even though I wasn’t the CEO, I can testify that willid3 has it right in his post above. That’s the way our company worked until there was no revenue at all and it imploded. No one was ever fired for being to expensive or for tax reasons, just for not pulling their weight. No one was ever layed off for being too expensive or for tax reasons, just for not having clients. The difference between being fired and layed off was that if you were fired you never came back, but a lay off meant that you were called back as soon as there was work for you to do, i.e. revenue improved.

  7. “…Now I had something to write about: Salomon Brothers. Wall Street had become so unhinged that it was paying recent Princeton graduates who knew nothing about money small fortunes to pretend to be experts about money. I’d stumbled into my next senior thesis.

    I called up my father. I told him I was going to quit this job that now promised me millions of dollars to write a book for an advance of 40 grand. There was a long pause on the other end of the line. “You might just want to think about that,” he said.


    “Stay at Salomon Brothers 10 years, make your fortune, and then write your books,” he said.

    I didn’t need to think about it. I knew what intellectual passion felt like — because I’d felt it here, at Princeton — and I wanted to feel it again. I was 26 years old. Had I waited until I was 36, I would never have done it. I would have forgotten the feeling…”

    from the Michael Lewis (link above) piece..

    there’s ‘Commentary’ that could be attached, now, but, maybe it’d be Better to, just, wonder..

    though, if you ‘don’t like what You see..’ ..

  8. 873450 says:

    In the brave new world of Citizens United where corporations are people and money = free speech Governor Andrew M. Cuomo wants you to know he is captured and tells you where to send his money.

    Gambling Group Gave $2 Million to a Cuomo Ally
    The contributions went to the Committee to Save New York, a business and labor coalition that raised $17 million and spent nearly $12 million in 2011, much of it on campaign-style television and radio advertisements praising Mr. Cuomo and supporting his proposals to cap property taxes and slash state spending. … Founded by real estate developers and business executives at Mr. Cuomo’s urging shortly after he was elected governor, the committee has rapidly become the biggest spender on lobbying in Albany, providing not only critical backing for Mr. Cuomo but also a counterweight to the labor unions whose money and political muscle have traditionally dominated the Capitol.

    (Note – Kathryn S. Wylde, Pesident & CEO, Partnership for New York City and Deputy Chair of the Board of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, c0-chairs the Committee to Save New York. Ms. Wylde, along with a group of simlar high-level federal government officials, publicly applied intense political pressure on NYS Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman to drop his opposition to a state settlement with TBTF banks over illegal foreclosure practices.
    “It is of concern to the industry that instead of trying to facilitate resolving these issues, you seem to be throwing a wrench into it. Wall Street is our Main Street — love ’em or hate ’em. They are important and we have to make sure we are doing everything we can to support them unless they are doing something indefensible.”)

  9. Singmaster says:

    First, ditto Willid3 and Iamthe50percent. My experience in SW and electronics, the same.

    Reading: The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers: Economic Change and Military Conflict 1500 to 2000.
    by Paul Kennedy.
    A 1987 book, something of a hard slog reading like a textbook, but worthwhile so far.
    Lindsay Graham would do well to read it.

    Basically, the gist I’m getting is: War stimulates technology advances, economic growth and military effectiveness. But over time, there is military overreach, increasingly the military is funded with crushing deficits that eventually weakens the economic base. Kaplooey, the once mighty fall to those with sound economic policies.
    Just getting to the bit about import of geography.
    Plus loads of trivia tidbits: Who knew about Pitt the Younger and his successful implementation of a ‘sinking fund’ in 1786 to reduce the British deficit, a deficit run up in part due to the war with Am revolutionaries. I never even heard of a sinking fund before.

  10. albnyc says:

    The Atlantic is really lost at sea.

  11. algernon says:

    ‘Austerity’ never works? Try the US in 1921. Or Estonia in 2012. Austerity is a fuzzy word, but reducing the burden of govt on society helps. Preventing the govt from distorting prices helps.

  12. Jojo says:

    There’s an old sales adage – “live by the sword, die by the sword’.

    As Willid3 notes, salespeople are often the first to go when revenue is lacking. No matter if the revenue problem was impacted or completely caused by poor/no marketing, poor software products, lagging development times, poor technical support, mis-priced products/services or poor company management, the salesperson will nearly always be the first to get their head cut off.

    Of course, there are bad salespeople and good salespeople. But there are a whole lot of good salespeople who just happened to be in the wrong company at the wrong time selling the wrong product. But tough. As a salesperson, it is ALWAYS YOUR

    I laugh at the ads for salespeople on places like Craigslist looking for “rockstars”, “sales wizards” or “superstars” who are “accountable” for their performance. When I see something like this, I can almost guarantee that the company has problems and has had a lot of sales turnover.

    Sure, everyone wants a wizard to wave a magic wand and make the sales fall from the sky. But what many refuse to accept is that making good & consistent sales requires an awful lot of coordination and cooperation from everyone behind the scenes in the company. With experienced salespeople, the root of sales failure is often not the salesperson.

  13. frodo1314 says:

    Re: “Austerity Never Works”

    So much to respond to in this article I’m not sure where to start.

    First of all, doesn’t there have to be SOME limit to how much and for how long we spend more than we take in? Doesn’t there? Keynsians never seem to want to face that – similar to when the Left is asked “what is a fair tax rate for the “wealthy/rich”? Is it 40%? 50% 60%? etc…. Never get an answer.

    Back to the spending/austerity point though; there has to be a breaking point, no? Has the US been “austere” these past 4 years? I’d say not – and where have we gotten? How long do we continue to build up larger defecits? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

    The next problem with this article is it’s cause and effect assumptions going back to the 19th century and even to the 40′s through the 90′s in Europe. One could argue the entitlement/socialist society of the last 60 years is what has gotten the PIGS into this probelm in the first place. So they were fine for many of the last 6 decades. Does that mean they had sound policy all that time and the austerity being imposed on them now is the problem? Or is it the other way around….

    And as far as going back to the 19th century for comparisons, I can’t even begin to uncover why that is flawed. Is the author really comparing an agricultural based society/economy on today and the last 60 years? Lame.

    I think the author and this article suffers from a lack of a little more sophisticated thinking and analysis, perhaps due to some cognitive bias, as BR so often warns us against.

    Speaking of which – there has to be some sound arguments out there worth considering in favor of austerity, no? Funny, there never seem to be any links to THOSE articles in here. Wonder why…?

    But hey, I guess I’m jsut a right-wing nut…..