Some longer form writings for your weekend reading pleasure:

• The last days of MF Global (CNN Fortune)
• Michael Geismar’s $710,000 blackjack breakfast (Absolute Return+Alpha)
• End of Unions 2 fer:
…..-Who Killed American Unions? (The Atlantic)
…..-Bartlett: The Decline and Fall of Organized Labor (The Fiscal Times)
• Of Flying Cars and the Declining Rate of Profit (The Baffler)
• SCOTUS: Approval Rating for Justices Slide to Just 44% in New Poll (NYT)
• The Library of Utopia (MIT Technology Review)
• Why Law Firms Are Rigged to Fail (Yahoo Finance)
• Envy, or, The Last Infirmity by Sven Birkerts (LA Review Of Books
• The Perfected Self (The Atlantic)
• The Mayor of All Media (New Yorker)

What are you reading?


Crude Settles Above $84

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.

21 Responses to “Weekend Reads”

  1. machinehead says:

    From the ‘Library of Utopia’ article:

    Beginning in the 1970s, Congress developed a radically different approach [to copyright]. Today, copyright in a work extends 70 years beyond the date of the author’s death. The upshot is that most books or articles written since 1923 remain off limits for unauthorized copying and distribution.

    It’s hard to look at the current situation without concluding that the restrictions have become so broad as to hamper the very creativity they were supposed to encourage. “Innovation is often being restricted today for legal reasons, not technological ones,” says David K. Levine, an economist at Washington University in St. Louis and coauthor of Against Intellectual Monopoly. In many areas, he says, “people aren’t creating new products because they fear a nightmare of copyright litigation.”

    It may take many years of public pressure to get politicians to deliver the necessary remedies.

    Public pressure? Talk about utopian!

    Disney Corp. got copyright protections retroactively extended to protect its royalties from Mickey Mouse, a cartoon character created in the 1920s. Congress obligingly legalized Disney’s vast cultural theft.

    Thanks to corporatist Depublicrat politicians, now we live in a world where all works created during our lifetimes will remain off limits until long after our deaths. This tyrannical cultural lock-up represents a fundamental abuse of human rights, cultural liberty and intellectual freedom. Widespread piracy is the public response.

    Pirate a Disney film today!

  2. willid3 says:

    why the recovery isn’t?

    full post

    8:36 AM CDT
    maybe the failure of all but the auto market was the simple fear factor in the multifamily construction companies, plus the added lack of being bold. i.e. if they don’t build new apartments, their incomes go up based on the rent rates going up based on increased demand. but building new apartments will increases costs short term, and may not increase incomes, and it will be at least a year before it has that impact. if it does it at all. i am thinking that our ‘job creators’ are now so limp since they have been pampered for so long, they they don’t create jobs unless they absolutely have to. also wondering if the JPM debacle wasn’t driven by the fact that business and consumers aren’t clamoring for loans. so they had all this money that was not going to do any thing (unless they bough treasuries.n which wasn’t going to work since what inflation we do have is higher than what they pay). so they exported depositors money hoping to make a profit. only to end taking a huge loss. and considering the big austerity movement in local and state governments, pushed on them by constitutions requiring balanced budgets, and many states set budgets on more than one year, so even if their revenues go up, they are still in cutting mode. plus you have a political movement that is all austerity all the time. even when it hurts.

  3. VennData says:

    Did Republicans deliberately crash the US economy?

    “…Be it ideology or strategem, the GOP has blocked pro-growth policy and backed job-killing austerity – all while blaming Obama…”

  4. VennData says:

    With regard to the Hedge Fund black jack yarn…

    “…At one point a casino pit boss came over, worrying that the players Geismar was backing up weren’t actually betting their own money. The table quickly convinced the man they were, and play resumed. The pit boss conferred with a superior, who O’Leary recalls saying “We’re never going to win our money back, but screw it, let’s let it roll.”

    Not sure about the rest of it, but I call BS on this. “At on point a casino pit boss came over” …uh… when they’re playing that kind of money? They would have someone there.

  5. VennData says:

    Rush Limbaugh says Americans voted for Obama to prove they werent racist

    But they’re ageist for not voting for McCain.. and sexist… (or dumbist) for not supporting Palin?

  6. machinehead,

    speaking of Disney..

    maybe it was pay-back for works like..

    The Income Tax: WWII Disney Propaganda ??

  7. raholco says:

    Judge Richard Posner goes ballistic on Apple vs Google lawsuit, threatens a ‘with prejudice’ dismisal, and heaps scorn on his blog:

    “The institutional structure of the United States is under stress. We might be in dangerous economic straits if the dollar were not the principal international reserve currency and the eurozone in deep fiscal trouble. We have a huge public debt, dangerously neglected infrastructure, a greatly overextended system of criminal punishment, a seeming inability to come to grips with grave environmental problems such as global warming, a very costly but inadequate educational system, unsound immigration policies, an embarrassing obesity epidemic, an excessively costly health care system, a possible rise in structural unemployment, fiscal crises in state and local governments, a screwed-up tax system, a dysfunctional patent system, and growing economic inequality that may soon create serious social tensions. Our capitalist system needs a lot of work to achieve proper capitalist goals.”

  8. Reading and writing about

    Motifs: A Lower Cost, Customizable Alternative to ETFs?

  9. James Cameron says:

    “Democratic leaders blasted Republicans Friday for proposing cuts to regulatory agencies responsible for preventing excessive speculation that led to the 2008 economic crisis.”

    Dems: Cuts to CFTC will hurt oversight

  10. machinehead says:

    @Mark Hoffer — nice find! But even as the 1943 Donald Duck cartoon was urging people to save for their quarterly tax payments, a young Milton Friedman was working in the Treasury, designing ‘emergency’ payroll tax withholding to turn employers into unpaid tax collectors.

  11. theexpertisin says:

    In twist to VennData/Limbaugh/irishcentral, et al.

    In 2008 Republicans voted for Obama to prove they weren’t racist.

    *In 2012 Republicans will vote against Obama to prove they aren’t stupid.

  12. PeterR says:

    Bailout request for Spain’s banks is the tip of a HUGE iceberg? [In Spain, and the rest of Europe, e. g. Greece, Ireland, etc.]

    Options Week!

    Have a good weekend.

  13. PeterR says:

    PS — New Mauldin newsletter re: Greece dysfunctionality:

    You can’t make this stuff up. Apply as many bandaids, and bail as fast, as you can. Then head for the hills IMO.

  14. Jojo says:

    Will Natural Gas Kill The Electric Car?
    Carl Franzen
    June 8, 2012

    A government-funded laboratory that helped pioneer the battery technology behind many electric vehicles, including the Chevy Volt, has recently begun to focus on developing technologies to improve natural gas-powered vehicles, in anticipation of government and industry soon seeking to bring consumer-friendly natural gas cars to market.

    “Our conclusion is that natural gas as a transportation fuel has both adequate abundance and cost advantages that make a strong case to focus interest in the technology as a real game changer in US energy security,” said Mike Duoba, an engineer at the auto research center at Argonne National Laboratory near Chicago, Illinois.

    “In terms of consumer ownership and use costs, the case to make a switch from current fuels to CNG is much more compelling than for other alternative fuels like ethanol and electricity,” he added.

    Already, Duoba and his colleagues at Argonne’s Transportation Technology Research and Development Center have conducted tests for compressed natural-gas powered vehicles, mostly vans, ordered by AT&T for its corporate vehicle fleet, according to news release from the lab published online Wednesday.

  15. Mike in Nola says:

    PeterR: As usual the Euro mess, Spain needs a lot more than it asked for and probably a lot more than is being promised.

    Spain said a week ago it didn’t need a bail out. Then this week it decided it might need a small one.

    CNBC is quoting Reuters reporting that the EU ministers have agreed to lend Spain 100B Euros. ( Anyone know the key combo for the Euro symbol?)

    But, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard cites credible sounding people that the full amount needed is going to be 350 billion or so Euros.

    Thought this chart from David Einhorn published on ZH aptly describes the process:

  16. Mike in H-town,

    see some of..


    ‘Payroll Tax’-Withholding was a Genius Idea.. (think about..~”By how Years did that postpone the advent of a ‘Tax Strike’ ?”, as, but, one facet of things..)

    also, to your point, it is funny that that Item, on Friedman’s CV, is seldom mentioned..

  17. PeterR says:

    As Mike in Nola suggested, the estimates for the Spanish bank bailout may keep going up.

    NYT now reports an EU commitment of 125 billion.

    Tune in a few days from now, and the total will likely go up IMO. Not to mention that there still is a HUGE iceberg submerged out of sight!

    PS check the comments below the NYT article about unemployment rates etc.. Not a pretty picture.

  18. willid3 says:

    the problem with natural gas powered cars (replacing gasoline) is that the energy density is to low. its why it take so many bottles of compressed natural gas to run a car. or a truck. and we have done that for a while now. it just doesn’t work well, not if you were try to generate electricity (ala the Volt) you might have a feasible option. but replacing the gas engine with a natural gas one, has proven in the 10 – 20 years that its been tried to be a failure

  19. Mike in Nola says:

    Mark in Htown:

    How’s this? €350B

    Turns out there is a character map program in Win7 under Accessories/System Tools/
    There are so many symbols that I had to resort to the search function by typing in “euro” which seemed to work.