My end of week NFP-free reading:

Demographics drives spending: The Baby Boom Bump (NYT)
• The Infrastructure Cliff: Why the U.S. Desperately Needs a $2.5 Trillion Upgrade (The Atlantic) see also Should Plummeting Interest Rates Change Deficit Hawks’ Arguments? (Next New Deal)
• A new take on causality (The Physics of Finance)
• How Have Analysts Performed? (Bespoke) see also The Sandy excuse for poor performance (Sober Look)
• Soaring Rents Drive a Boom in Apartments (NYT)
• How to Fairly Punish Bad Banks (The Motley Fool)
• Jim DeMint and the death of think tanks (Wonkblog) see also The Odd Choice of Jim DeMint at Heritage (Bloomberg)
• Artist captures bizarre images shot by Google’s Street View cameras (NY Daily News)
• The 50 Best Animal Photos Of 2012 (BuzzFeed)
Albert Brooks: “We Will Lose the War to China Because of Twitter” (Vanity Fair)

What are you doing this weekend?

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Benefits Leader Reins In 401(k)s

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.

13 Responses to “10 Friday AM Reads”

  1. joepie2 says:

    http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Articles/2012/12/05/The-Overtaxed-250K-Couple-Were-Not-Rich.aspx#page1
    Overtaxed 20 somethings (Wall Streeters) cite their 40% plus tax rates as limiting financial security.

    http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/the-exchange/3-million-job-openings-tell-us-skills-gap-004026892.html
    Is there a skills gap or do we have a supply and demand issue?

    http://truth-out.org/news/item/13136-bayou-frack-out-the-massive-oil-and-gas-disaster-youve-never-heard-of
    Frack Out. Is this the next logical step in the exploding natural gas fracking operations in the US?

  2. MorticiaA says:

    The BuzzFeed animal pictures are a great Friday morning smile-inducer. The baby sloth photo bomb is priceless.

  3. louiswi says:

    What Jim DeMint is really doing is bringing about the death of the Republican Party. The wing he is creating is really more aptly titled “The American Taliban” and should be referred to as such. Full disclosure, I’m a former Republican.

  4. WallaWalla says:

    Thanks the infrastructure link. I predict that this issue will become a lynchpin to the country’s future success. Sadly, it gets less attention that it deserves, to our own detriment.

    I am a bit surprised the article doesn’t even mention the forthcoming transportation revenue cliff.

    Transportation is primarily funded through the ‘gas tax’ levied at the pump. With cars becoming more efficient and increasing emphasis on alternative transportation, fewer gallons of gasoline will be sold, further hindering our ability to maintain the existing system. Smaller, rural states will bear the brunt of this change because of the lack of flexibility in state funds combined with the high costs of maintaining a large rural road network.Alternative funding mechanisms, i.e. taxes, will almost certainly be required to address the funding gap.

    This is particularly worrying given the current political mindset of “cut, cut, cut” and “death before new taxes.” Tax payers must decide to pay more to uphold the system or downsize the system. Alarmingly few politicians are willing to speak this truth to their electorate.

    It’s basic planning. If we want what we have now (nevermind future expansion), maintenance would be a heck of a lot cheaper than reconstruction. So, next time you hear anybody talk about ‘not having the money,’ or the ‘injustice of forcing our children to pay,’ consider your children not having the roads, bridges, and train networks we take for granted.

  5. VennData says:

    “…Senior White House and Justice Department officials are considering plans for legal action against Colorado and Washington that could undermine voter-approved initiatives to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in those states, according to several people familiar with the deliberations…”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/07/us/marijuana-initiatives-in-2-states-set-federal-officials-scrambling.html

    Let ‘em smoke if they want. Tax it. Regulate it. Make it safe. What is wrong with you people?

  6. Moss says:

    Re: DeMint at Heritage.

    ‘ First voice in the echo chamber’ could not have said it any better.

  7. DSS10 says:

    ““The presumption that we’re going to have a painless solution to this, I think, is fantasy,” Greenspan said”

    Which is correct in that it was his fantasy that got us into this situation…..

    A lot of classic Greenspan double talk too! Here is a choice nugget:

    “strangely enough, and ironically, the spending surge which is creating the problem here is fundamentally both Republicans and Democrats.”

    All is not well in the garden….

    http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-12-06/greenspan-calls-painless-solution-to-u-dot-s-dot-debt-fantasy

  8. rd says:

    The impact of the drought is spreading.

    Barges vs farmers now: http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/apnewsbreak-corps-budging-miss-river-flap-17904334

    This has the potential to redefine the mid-west and lower Mississippi similarly to the impact of the Dust Bowl.

  9. willid3 says:

    the unmentioned part of the Greek crisis
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/06/world/europe/oligarchs-play-a-role-in-greeces-economic-troubles.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&_r=0

    seems that there is a lot of of the economy that is owned by elite families. and they get their pet government to pass laws that allow them to avoid any punishment. even if they embezzle or commit other crimes.

    sound a lot like what is trying to be done to us.
    aka crony capitalism written larger . most of which happened just after 2001.

  10. willid3 says:

    interesting . is the corp actually constrained by the law as they indicate they are ? if so its Congresses problem to resolve. but guess its really mother nature as she isn’t bringing rain. if t gets as bad as it did in the great depression, it will lead to large dust storms. but probably not, I hope we learned a thing or too since then as that was self inflicted based on farming practices

  11. you know, for ‘general knowledge’…

    “…Amid concerns surrounding Americans’ excessive consumption of sodium, meat processors have been busy identifying ingredients that add to the savory profile of center-of-plate proteins without contributing excessive amounts of sodium. This is because sodium chloride has long been the most economical and efficient way to make meat taste meatier.

    Keep in mind that for the most part, raw meat has little flavor. Flavors develop when heat is applied and are species-specific. Flavor also depends on the amount and proportion of various compounds, most notably carbohydrate, fat and protein.

    Savory flavors are often used in meat and meat analogs to enhance flavor intensity, bring back authenticity and add flavor characteristics, all of which are often lost in processing. They can provide meaty flavor to the increasingly popular category of heat-and-eat entrées, where the protein’s inherent flavor may break down during processing and shelf-life. Savory flavors also provide processors with a tool to deliver consistent flavor from batch to batch. In addition, with all types of packaged meat, flavor can vary by animal breed, their feed and even season. Savory flavors ensure reliable flavor regardless of these factors. They can also improve the flavor and quality of lower grades of meat. Further, savory flavors allow for cooking cues such as grilled notes or fried notes to be added to meats that are not going through those cooking processes…”
    http://www.meatpoultry.com/News/News Home/Features/2012/12/Sensationalizing savory.aspx

    “…The Science Behind the Craving
    It is no accident that human beings desire certain foods; they are simply wired that way. Even before birth, flavor preferences are being constructed. As infants, human palates are influenced by sweeter tastes and milder, softer textures. But, eventually, each individual gains the ability to seek out his or her own food and make their own dining choices, based upon what they desire.

    For millennia, humans have desired calorie-dense fat, sugar and salt. Before the arrival of agriculture as a means of sourcing food, humans relied on hunting and gathering techniques to survive, and a high-fat meal was both satisfying to the palate and absolutely essential for survival. Salt prompts a salivation response that stimulates appetite and enhances eating. Sugar induces the expectation of food enjoyment. In fact, sugar-fat emulsions and salt-fat emulsions represent perhaps the strongest food cravings triggered in the brain. Humans have had millions of years to develop these internal mechanisms that respond to the pleasure derived from food.

    Today’s lifestyle has eliminated the hunter-gatherer from the demographic equation, but the hard-wired biological craving for fatty, sugary foods has remained. People instinctively equate these types of foods with appetite satisfaction, and, thus, seek them out. The proliferation of the restaurant and foodservice industry–from packaged snacks to quick-service restaurant formats to grab-and-go options–means that people have the ability to easily consume whatever food item they are currently craving…”
    http://www.preparedfoods.com/articles/article-promoting-craveable-foods-and-beverages-august-2008

    http://cravecattreats.com/
    http://www.cravedessertbar.com/

  12. VennData says:

    “…Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)offered to hold a vote on Obama’s debt-ceiling proposal, assuming an actual floor vote would scare off rank-and-file Democrats from the controversial idea and call the Democrats’ bluff. But Reid simply replied that he’d happily take him up on his offer and hold a vote on the floor this afternoon. McConnell then blocked the vote on his own bill …”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/12/06/today-in-fiscal-cliff-democrats-strengthen-their-hand-on-the-debt-ceiling/

    Whoopsie-daisy. That’s called not knowing what’s going on. Will the esteemed gentlemen from Kentucky get a clue?