My Sunday Reads:

• Better Off Than Four Years Ago? — The Lehman Edition (WSJ)
• MERS: State court ruling deals blow to U.S. bank mortgage system (Reuters) see also Argentines Turn Cash Into Condos in Miami (NYT)
• NYSE Data Violations Extend U.S. Exchanges’ Reputation Woes  (Bloomberg)
• Who Wants to Be a Billionaire? (Vanity Fair)
Jim Chanos: From Romney’s dog to Ryan’s run, one thing is clear: this election is bullshit  (The Guardian)
• Do Tax Cuts Lead to Economic Growth? (NYT)
• Kass: What to Do When You’re Wrong  (
• The Lonely Redemption of S. B. Lewis, Eccentric Genius of Arbitrage (NYT)
• Cautious Moves on Foreclosures Haunting Obama (NYTsee also Housing’s Fortune Depends on Apartment Living (WSJ)
• How Michael Jackson Made ‘Bad’  (The Atlantic)

What are you reading?


Gun Sales Hinge on Obama Re-Election

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.

17 Responses to “10 Sunday Reads”

  1. rd says:

    So MERS wants to build the national mortgage database that Federal lawmakers want to establish.

    The recording of deeds and motgages is a county function, not even a state function. It is a local source of revenue to municipalities. I assume that the Feds would now turn this into a federal tax and remove it from the local taxing level. I assume Grover Norquist is on board with this.

  2. george lomost says:

    Obama’s been president for 4 yrs already, why blame increased gun sales on his re-election? What I’m hearing from people who are actually getting big dogs and guns is they’re worried about the explosive increases in thefts, break-ins, home invasions, etc. The meth-heads are mostly white and they’re active in white neighborhoods and the lily-white countryside. What does the WSJ know about what’s going on here in the boonies?


    BR: Gun & ammo sales soared as soon as Obama was elected. “He’s gonna take your guns away” has been an enormously effective marketing strategy.

    Also, I am unaware of an “explosive increases in thefts, break-ins, home invasions” — can you cite some data source for that?

  3. rd says:

    Crime in general has been declining steadily since the early 1970s. The various categories of violent crimes, inclduing robberies, have also been steadily declining. DOJ/FBI stats don’t show any significant change in that trend over the past few years:

  4. DeDude says:

    It is amazing how many people believe in the completely discredited memo that if you cut taxes people will work harder and businesses will invest more. Businesses invest when they have costumers. None of them will waste money on needless expansion just because they have lower taxes, nor will they forgo of an opportunity for expansion because their tax-expense increase. Even if they did so just to spite “gobinment”, the business opportunities would simply be exploited by their competitors (so growth would remain stable). Similarly the idea that people would work less if their income was reduced by higher taxes is completely in contrast to real life experiences. Most people have a certain level of expectations for their spending level and a retirement savings goal (that they think is needed for a “comfortable” retirement). If they lose more income to taxes they will work harder such that they can cover their expenses and stay on target with their retirement savings. The only part of the tax-cut argument that is not in contrast to real life experiences is on the demand side. Less taxes on people will increase their disposable income, and in some circumstances increase spending. However, that type of policy is only working if it is targeted to the consumer class and the economy has begun growing such that people are not scared and hoarding cash. It is much easier and more reliable to push demand from the government side. There you can simply decide to invest $1000 in infrastructure and you know that none of it will be stuffed away in a savings account.

  5. BusSchDean says:

    Here are year-to-year percent changes in crime — which are of course lower.

    Yes, we have seen isolated up ticks but in general the US continues to enjoy some of the lowest crime rates in the past many decades.

    Still, US households continues to spend on personal security at unprecedented rates. Comcast is entering the home security business and “battle for a piece of a more than $8 billion home security industry.” At least one analysis expects sustained growth “According to a new market research report “Home Security Solutions Market – Global Forecast & Analysis (2012 – 2017) By Products, Security System Solutions & Homes”… the home security solutions market, on the whole, is expected to reach $34.46 billion by 2017 at a CAGR of 9.1% from 2012 to 2017.”

    Selling products and services to enhance personal safety have become the modern day Listerine (the Listerine of old, of course). A good friend attributes it to our ability to learn about every crime committed anywhere — the more bizarre, surprising, or disturbing to sooner we learn about it regardless of location.

  6. 8albert8 says:

    Can someone explain to me the connection between Jim Chanos and the piece from the Guardian? From Romney’s dog to Ryan’s run… I think I must be missing something obvious but can’t identify it.

  7. streeteye says:

    Pettis – hard commodity prices set to collapse

    Friedman – the word on the street in Beijing

    Sober Look – Agency MBS spreads collapse following Fed announcement

    The Economist – Investment banking profits shrink as volumes evaporate, capital requirements bite

  8. The Retired CNBC Sucks says:

    The competent TBP commenter with the hard-t0-remember username willid3 posted this interesting link yesterday:

    I don’t know which parts of the concept of “trickle-down economics” Americans did not get. The GOP promised wealth would trickle down and sure enough, it did! I don’t know why anyone would be surprised that wealth would become concentrated when TRICKLE-DOWN economics prevails.

    The only thing that spreads wealth is Adam Smith’s invisible hand of the market coupled with responsible, enlightened regulation. I know Barry preached “situational awareness” when thinking about QE3, but you can add “none of this is going to end well” to the list of things of which to be situationally aware.

  9. Poqit says:

    8albert8 – thinking the same thing! I saw this linked someone else and was confounded then as well. Chanos is not mentioned there.

  10. petessake says:

    RE: crime & George – in the boonies any crime quadruples++ the crime rate. Crime rates in the Bakken “skyrocketed” with the roughnecks’ invasion, yet the actual numbers remain a pittance.

  11. Jojo says:

    Money, money, money, never enough money. Didn’t anyone ever read D. H. Lawrence’s Rocking Horse Winner?
    September 15, 2012
    Don’t Show Me the Money!

    THESPIAN friends perform “The Seagull” in their garden. Only minutes into the first act, a lovely young woman named Masha, sick of hearing the lovesick schoolteacher Medvedenko whine about his penury, blurts out, “All you ever do is talk and talk about money.” That’s when it dawns on me: I’m sick of the subject, too. For the rest of Act I, I find myself ruminating about the glut of financial data that daily clogs the news: Libor and MF Global Holdings; HSBC’s money-laundering of Mexican drug-cartel money; “the London Whale” whose huge trades cost J.P. Morgan Chase billions; leveraged buyouts and mortgage-backed securities and derivatives and stimulus packages, Bain Capital and the tottering euro and the Greek bailout. Saul Bellow referred to this quotidian fretting about world affairs as “crisis chatter.” Today’s crises are all about what is euphemistically called “the financial services industry” — that is to say, they’re all about money.

    Call it Wall Street porn. Not only do we know more than most of us wish to know about how the rich live — we even know, thanks to the deep-digging efforts of the business reporters over at Bloomberg, how much they have. But there is such a thing as knowing too much: Did Larry Ellison buy a Hawaiian island for $600 million? And did that include the hotels? Is George Soros’s net worth $18 billion? $20 billion? (Anyway, why begrudge him? He’s probably given half of it away.) And when we talk about the 99 percent who aren’t rich, shouldn’t that leave just 1 percent who are? Then why are we always hearing about the 0.1 percent and the .01 percent? Valiant fact-checkers are off the hook on this one: my point is that the exact numbers don’t matter.

    We’re all aware of the vast and still growing gap between the very rich and everyone else, we all know the global economy is a mess. But do we have to hear about it every waking minute of every day? We’re in trouble when the earnestly liberal NPR begins its morning broadcast with a program called “Planet Money.”

  12. Marc P says:

    Re: NYSE Data Violations Extend U.S. Exchanges’ Reputation Woes

    “The New York Stock Exchange sent data through two proprietary feeds
    to paying customers before relaying the information to the so-called
    consolidated feed, which sells trade and quote data to the public, the
    Securities and Exchange Commission said in an administrative order
    filed yesterday. ”

    Can someone explain to me why this is not an insider trading violation? The administrative order cited in the article above doesn’t even contain the words insider trading. I’d appreciate any links.

  13. GB says:

    Re: MJ — refreshing bit of context — thanks for that link, BR.

  14. 10x25mm says:

    George Lomost is absolutely right, at least in the most crime-ridden neighborhoods. Government units at all levels have devised a number of measures to mask real levels of criminal activity. Here in my region, the larger police departments have made it increasingly difficult to report crimes by no longer taking reports at the site of the crime, reducing the number of locations where crimes can be reported, and reducing the hours when crimes can be reported. Since there is little chance that criminals will be apprehended, the only reason to report crimes is to collect on insurance and few in crime-ridden areas have any insurance to file claim on. Thus, an ever smaller percentage of crimes are reported. And those which are reported are frequently ‘voided’ by police administrators who use their computer systems to arbitrarily reduce the number of reports under the guise of removing ‘duplicates’ or finding the reports do not meet the ‘standards’ of the police department.

    My business went from experiencing no crimes in 2004 to suffering over 100 burglary and robbery attempts last year. We reported the 27 worst incidents last year and all but 3 were voided, despite providing comprehensive text – on paper – describing each event at the time each report was filed. In my state, the impetus behind the rising crime rate is the early release of prisioners to chaotic cities which offer no employment prospects whatsoever.

    One of my employees was severely beaten last year and, when he filed for his medical expenses from our state’s Crime Victims Compensation Fund, he found the crime report for his beating had been voided by his police department. He refiled the report and it was again voided as a duplicate. Eventually the hospital where he was in intensive care for two weeks filed a claim directly with the CVCF. The only big city crime statistics which have any validity are homicide rates, and that is because those numbers can be cross checked at the coroner’s office.

    Governments have elevated statistics to an almost religious status, but when these numbers reflect poorly on government performance, they are ‘adjusted’. NAR is not unique in their ‘aspirational statistics’.


    BR: He is right, except for facts and data.