Some early Sunday morning reading to start the last day of your weekend:

• Stocks and the D.C. Fear Factor (Barron’s) see also Obama Warns of Prolonged Talks as Republicans Rebuff Plan (Bloomberg)
• How ETFs Will Destroy Wall Street (Motley Fool)
Santoli: Bernanke’s Easy-Money Moves: The Crucial Reality (Yahoo Finance) see also QE through the looking glass (The Economist)
• The Insourcing Boom (The Atlantic)
• The Series A crunch is hitting now. Have we even noticed? (Pandodaily) see also The ABS hangover, Eurosystem-style (FT Alphaville)
• As Companies Seek Tax Deals, Governments Pay High Price (NYT)
• What It Means to Be Rational (The European) see also The Average Investor Is His Own Worst Enemy (Forbes)
Asshat Watch: A classic Friday meltdown from Santelli (FT Alphaville)
• The Incestuous Bleeding of the Republican Party (Red State) see also The Self-Destruction of the 1 Percent (NYT)
• 21 Ways You Should Take Advantage Of Your 20s (Thought Catalog)

Where are you shopping today?


Polar Ice Sheets Melt Faster: Once the WSJ starts talking melting ice caps, you know its game over for the denialists

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.

22 Responses to “10 (or so) Sunday Reads”

  1. V says:

    So why is global mean sea level not accelerating at an increasing rate?


    BR: Why are you assuming there is a 1 to 1 relationship between the rate at which ice caps melt and total sea level changes over time? Do you have any familiarity with coefficient of determination? R2?

  2. • Asshat Watch:

    yon’ Ritholtz, that’s too funny..~

    maybe, if We’re lucky, that, too (like your insight into the NRF’s phony PR spin), will be pilfered by the MSM, and spread more widely..

    also, might make a good “Category”-tag..

    as in.. Category: Financial Press.

  3. Jack Damn says:

    Being Early and Being Wrong

    It is a foolish exercise to make a call based on one figure or chart when there is plenty of other data that contradicts one’s findings. Ultimately, those who fail to listen to the message of the market will find themselves often on the wrong side. Unfortunately, saying you are “early” only goes so far. When surveying the multitude of indicators that are out there (including those I haven’t shown for time’s sake), I would say that the U.S. economy is not in danger of slipping into a recession as of yet and the market is likely to find its footing once more when we remove the fiscal cliff uncertainty.

  4. Jim67545 says:

    Were we able to convert 100% of the oil produced daily to gasoline, it would be around 6 billion gallons a day. We all know the tremendous amount of heat generated by burning a single gallon of gas. Multiply that by 6 billion. Add to that the other sources of energy stored over the millions of years – coal, gas, wood, etc. and imagine how much ancient energy we free into the atmosphere every day. Why would it be hard to comprehend that we are warming the atmosphere, the oceans and the ice sheets?

  5. Old Rob says:

    If humans are the cause of all this warming (since we are the ones burning all this fuel), let’s get rid of those pesky people; let’s start yet another war only massive in scale. Or if there is some moral concern on the part of some people, let’s just eliminate all fossil fuels. Let everyone try to live within the envelope of solar/wind/tidal. Let’s all walk to work.
    The key is identifying the source, whether natural or fossil fuel induced, and changing it. Hell, we just elected a government that can work miracles by fiat. Let’s do it. Stop driving the family car for two weeks. Let’s stop using the trains. Let’s make some real changes on our own rather than showing some meaningless chart. Let’s act locally and spend our days watching a graphical trend.

  6. Bob is still unemployed   says:

    I’m not too creative when it comes to shopping, so newegg and amazon tend to fill my shopping needs.

    However, while I was waiting on the check-out line I did enjoy reading this article on why I want a military smartphone.

    …For example, the military wants soldiers to be able to open a Google Maps mashup that shows the location and movements of their allies’ forces. They want to make this as easy as possible, while at the same time making it difficult for enemy hackers to see the same information — even if they get their hands on one of the devices.

    That’s what we consumers want, too, right? We want to take advantage of powerful location services without putting our privacy at risk.

    The industry, however, wants to convince us that in order to enjoy location services, we’ve got to sacrifice privacy. …

    Some other good points raised in the article….

  7. hue says:

    the witch on the bs report

  8. Jojo says:

    Dollar-Less Iranians Discover Virtual Currency
    November 29, 2012

    Under sanctions imposed by the U.S. and its allies, dollars are hard to come by in Iran. The rial fell from 20,160 against the greenback on the street market in August to 36,500 rials to the dollar in October. It’s settled, for now, around 27,000. The central bank’s fixed official rate is 12,260. Yet there’s one currency in Iran that has kept its value and can be used to purchase goods from abroad: bitcoins, the online-only currency.

  9. Jojo says:

    Robots taking jobs in China also.
    The March of Robots Into Chinese Factories
    November 29, 2012

    Step into the factory of Chinese SUV and truck maker Great Wall Motors, and it’s easy to forget you’re in the world’s most populous country. Swiss-made robots pivot and plunge, stamping metal door frames and soldering them to the skeletal vehicle bodies of a mini-SUV called the Haval M4. The blue-smocked workers in yellow hard hats are few and far between here in Great Wall’s largest factory complex, located in Baoding, some 90 miles southwest of Beijing.

    “With automation, we can reduce our head count and save money,” says Hao Jianjun, Great Wall’s general manager, who has invested $161 million into mechanizing four plants with 1,200 robots. The average price of a factory-floor robot is around $50,000 before installation. “Within three years, this cost will be completely paid for in savings from reduced worker wages,” says Hao. After the robots were added, the number of welders at Great Wall dropped from 1,300 to around 400.

  10. Jojo says:

    From the did not learn their lessons the last time file:
    Home-Equity Lending Is on the Rise Again
    November 29, 2012

    For six years starting in 2006, home-equity lines of credit were in decline. Now the loans, which allowed Americans to use their homes like credit cards as they spent freely on luxury cruises, cars, and television sets, are back. Lending for so-called Helocs will rise 30 percent, to $79.6 billion, in 2012, the highest level since the start of the financial crisis in 2008, according to Moody’s Analytics (MCO), which projects the total will jump an additional 31 percent, to $104 billion, in 2013. “If house prices continue to rise, home-equity lending will keep rising,” says Mustafa Akcay, a Moody’s economist. “Lenders have been worried about the ability of consumers to pay back their loans, and as the economy improves, that concern is easing.”

    Rising house prices mean people have more equity to borrow against. The median U.S. home price probably will rise 8 percent this year, the fastest pace of growth since 2005, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Home equity in the second quarter rose by $406 billion to $7.3 trillion, the highest since 2007. “People will spend more of their equity,” says Chris Christopher, an economist at IHS Global Insight (IHS). “It won’t be as much as they spent when prices were gaining at a rapid pace in 2005 and 2006, but it should have a positive impact on consumer spending.”


  11. Jojo says:

    Is Concierge Medicine the Future of Health Care?
    By Devin Leonard on November 29, 2012

    An anxious woman in her mid-40s showed up last winter at Atlas MD, a family doctor’s office in Wichita. She had lost her job as a restaurant cook, and along with it her health insurance and her home. She needed to see a doctor.

    Atlas MD isn’t a free clinic. It’s a concierge medical practice, which means you can’t get an appointment unless you pay cash. Atlas MD’s two physicians, Josh Umbehr and Doug Nunamaker, don’t accept insurance. Instead, they charge most of their adult patients $50 a month for unlimited visits. They also offer free EKGs and biopsies and cut-rate prices on prescription drugs. Two-thirds of their patients have insurance but feel the fee is well worth it for personalized service, including house calls, the doctor’s cell-phone number, and quick responses to e-mails and Twitter messages. The rest of Umbehr and Nunamaker’s clientele are uninsured. For those patients, Atlas is the only way of seeing a family doctor regularly. Contrary to those who say concierge doctors like themselves are getting rich by focusing on personalized care at a high price, Nunamaker and Umbehr, who are in their early 30s, contend that they can grow their practice by appealing to a broader clientele.

    “I want to be one of the 1 percent,” says Umbehr, who likes to talk business as much as he does medicine; Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged inspired the name of his two-year-old practice. “But the problem with the 1 percent is there’s only 1 percent of them. If you want to build a business model that’s really far-reaching and world-changing, then it’s got to fit everybody.”

  12. Seth says:

    “Once the WSJ starts talking melting ice caps, you know its game over for the denialists.”

    It’s always encouraging when reality intrudes upon the Wall Street Journal’s readership, but that article appears to have been conventional news ‘reporting’. The WSJ has long been a bit bi-modal. It employs a bunch of journalists who more or less understand what reporting is, and do it. Some stuff is off-limits, of course, for those wanting to avoid career-limiting moves. But they’re more or less real journalists.

    And then there’s the editorial page.

    Wake me when the WSJ publishes an editorial acknowledging the reality of anthropogenic climate change. That’s when we’ll start having the political will to save our own necks as a species. Till, then we’re still barreling towards the ‘carbon cliff’.

  13. So we’re supposed to get excited over 1/2 an inch of seal level rise over 20 years. Someone has to get a life! Let’s give this graph some context: sea levels have been rising 3mm/yr over that period. That’s 60mm or 6 cm or just over 2″ cumulative. IOW, only one quarter of the sea level rise over two decades is attributable to melting ice.

    the charts:

  14. parsec says:

    For decades now the WSJ has been the home of crack reporters and a cracked editorial page.

  15. James Cameron says:

    > The Self-Destruction of the 1 Percent

    “IN the early 19th century, the United States was one of the most egalitarian societies on the planet. ‘We have no paupers,’ Thomas Jefferson boasted in an 1814 letter. “The great mass of our population is of laborers; our rich, who can live without labor, either manual or professional, being few, and of moderate wealth. Most of the laboring class possess property, cultivate their own lands, have families, and from the demand for their labor are enabled to exact from the rich and the competent such prices as enable them to be fed abundantly, clothed above mere decency, to labor moderately and raise their families.”

    This is highly debatable . . . there were large swaths of the population which had little or no property of their own, let alone voting rights, including the slaves that made Monticello possible. Clearly, Jefferson is thinking of a “laborer” from his unique early 19th century perspective . . . I’m surprised Freeland relied on this quote.

  16. rd says:

    Re Sea Level Rise – it is important to realize that water expands and contracts with temperature changes. So it is theoretically possible to have additional water mass added into the oceans and have them decline in elevation of the overall ocean gets colder and vice versa. As a result, sea level is likely to vary over time due to the very complex nature of the ocean currents as they move warm water to northern latitudes and cold water back in addition to variations in solar radiation heating and atmospheric temperature.

    Re Self-Destruction of the 1 Percent – Large income and wealth inequalities have historically been a primary cause of major social upheavals including invasions, civil wars, revolutions, and financial crises. The US was largely founded as a nation to eliminate the “divine right of kings” and the inherited landed aristocracy. The leaders of the American Revolution were upper middle class and working upper class people who were largely self-made. In my opinion, the biggest single reason for the estate tax is to prevent the long-term accumulation of extremely wealthy familes based on inherited wealth. It makes sense to permit the transfer of relatively small estates so that small business and family farms can be transferred to help maintain a vibrant middle class and working upper class without excessive wealth concentration. However, future generations should be allowed to opportunity to go back to shirt-sleeves to have to make their own fortunes.

  17. “…the Estate Tax was signed in to law on Sept. 8, 1916, by President Woodrow Wilson…”

    The Estate Tax: A Little History
    The Washington Post
    July 4, 2002


    “…The leaders of the American Revolution were upper middle class and working upper class people who were largely self-made. In my opinion, the biggest single reason for the estate tax is to prevent the long-term accumulation of extremely wealthy familes based on inherited wealth…”

    1916-1776 ~140
    1916-1789 ~127

    or, Woodrow Wilson was a ‘Founding Father’ (??)



    or, maybe, it’s more like..

  18. rd,

    here, is something, ~a little more, ‘on Point’..

    “…The shift from the individual rights of the founders to the community rights of the Progressives was a watershed transition in American thought in the early 1900s. But Roosevelt needed a federal income tax to help him redistribute wealth in the national interest. The title “New Nationalism” reflected his view that he and other leaders could determine the national interest and redistribute wealth and power accordingly.

    Of the income tax Roosevelt said, “The really big fortune, the swollen fortune, by the mere fact of its size, acquires qualities which differentiate it in kind as well as in degree from what is possessed by men of relatively small means, Therefore, I believe in a graduated income tax on big fortunes, and in another tax which is far more easily collected and far more effective—a graduated inheritance tax on big fortunes, properly safeguarded against evasion, and increasing rapidly in amount with the size of the estate.”

    Three years after Roosevelt’s speech, the Sixteenth Amendment, authorizing a federal income tax without regard to source, became law. Roosevelt had his wish—the 1913 tax was progressive: Most people paid no income tax, and the top rate was 7 percent. Roosevelt probably envisioned rates not much higher than that, but once Congress established the principle that some people could be taxed more than others, there was no way to calculate or determine what the national interest was…”

  19. V says:

    Barry, I’m not suggesting a 1:1 relationship.
    However we can clearly see from the two graphs the slope of the mean global sea level has decreased, yet the slope for the melting has increased over the period, which suggest ice-melt will be taking a greater share of the total increase, all other factors remaining the same. However its pretty clear that all other factors aren’t the same, so the question is what other variables are involved and how have they also changed over time.

    Given that ice melt forms water, which tends to fall under gravity or evaporate as vapour then fall as rain/snow, it is a reasonable assumption that over time we will see melt leading to global sea level increase (isn’t this what AGW’s scare the populace with after all?).

    Yes I am aware of CoD and R2 etc, are you aware of the limitations of R2?

  20. V says:


    For the simple reason that energy is radiated to space.
    Been going on for eons. If it didn’t life would not exist on earth. Compare the energy from burning fuels/electricity generation with that which reaches the Earth from the sun every day. ~1kw/m2 under clear conditions (IR,VL,UV).
    Earth is 5.10072 x10^14 m2 in area. (although all those m2 are notebathed in full sunlight 24/7 obviously.)

  21. NoKidding says:

    This denialist will wait 20 years for catastrophic global warming to talk itself out. No need to argue with closed minds, espectially those which get data from infographics.

  22. bart says:

    I don’t care what it is, I categorically deny it…