My afternoon train reading:

• Putting the 2012 Rally In Perspective (Marketbeat)
• The Importance of Printing Your Own Currency (Economist’s View)
Simon Johnson: Big Banks Have a Big Problem (Economix) Financial groups lobby over ‘too big to fail’ (
• GIs Fighting Nazis Last Time Factory Workers Toiled Longer (Bloomberg)
• The flaw at the heart of Keynesian economics (The Money Illusion) but see Four Big Flaws in Progressive Attacks on Keynesianism (Next New Deal)
Inflated Salaries: Merkel Joins Battle against Executive Pay (Spiegel)
• Steve Jobs Standard Looms Over Samsung’s Shin With Galaxy (Bloomberg) see also Google Android Chief Andy Rubin Steps Aside (WSJ)
• Huge Flight of Rich after French Tax Hikes? Nope. (Economist’s View)
• Why the NRA keeps talking about mental illness, rather than guns (The Economist)
• Hard Math: Adding Up Just How Little We Actually Move (WSJ)

What are you reading?


Britain’s austerity is indefensible


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.

20 Responses to “10 Thursday PM Reads”

  1. VennData says:

    Iraq war costs U.S. more than $2 trillion: study

    A simple $20,000 per worker flat tax would pay this off immediately.

    Gosh those darn Liberal Democrats are wasteful spenders.

  2. mathman says:

    open-tuned percussive acoustic guitar music by Antoine Dufour for the ride home tonight

  3. Joe Friday says:

    Finally got around to watching a Charlie Rose from a week or so ago with Mike Bloomberg and Bill Gates. In the span of about FIVE MINUTES, Bloomberg stated:

    * “Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are SO big they are going to take over the whole budgetMYTH. Social Security isn’t part of the federal budget and has nothing whatsoever to do with federal deficits, and the only problem Medicare & Medicaid have is where they are purchasing their medical care.

    * That we should “Raise the age that [Medicare & Social Security] kick in, because life expectancy has gone up DRAMATICALLY from when the programs were createdNO, it hasn’t. For those reaching 65, it’s barely moved.

    * “When Social Security was started, there were 33 people who worked for every single recipient, today it’s 3 or 2 or something like thatBLAH BLAH BLAH. There will be about 79 dependents (children and retirees) for every 100 workers in 2030, compared to 95 dependents per 100 workers in 1965. ‘Nuff said.

    * “There is no Social Security Trust fundBLINDINGLY RIDICULOUS. It’s right HERE.

    * “Business needs specificity. Of they new what the tax law was gonna be, if they knew what the regulations were gonna be, they would go and create businesses, you would go and buy a new house, he would take a vacation, we all stimulate the economy, and UNCERTAINTY is one of the real problemsGOOD GRIEF. This is NOT how the national economy functions. We are a DEMAND economy. It’s nothing but regurgitated gibberish that has been debunked numerous times.


    Bloomberg strikes me as an intelligent guy, and he doesn’t seem to have some Looney Toons ideological agenda like the RightWingers, so just how does a man of his caliber get to be so dangerously uninformed ?

  4. Angryman1 says:

    Pass the House Democratic budget. Viola, interest rates will rise and the FED can end QE plans, investment will surge.

    Budget hawks will flap their arms at a rising federal deficit(2013-14), yet scratch their head why rising interest rates hasn’t hurt the economy……..why rising interest payments aren’t really rising.

    It is all about nominal vs. real. The more production expands, the real time interest payments on debt declines. Stop looking at the nominal. While higher interest rates would produce higher interest payments, the larger economy produced by the debt means that the interest payments have not really changed in real terms.

    Capitalism is a production/demand based system. If it can’t produce, confidence dies, if demand isn’t there, you don’t have production. Thus confidence dies.

    It was why the US died in 1860 and 1933……..and was reborn……twice.

  5. rd says:

    In 2007, Sam Zell, Steve Schwarzmann etc. selling their firms to the public signalled the top.

    Now Carlyle Group has lowered its minimum to $50k allowing the relatively unwashed masses to participate in their super-excellent private equity deals because they are having problems raising enough money from the people who have absconded with the country’s wealth over the past decade. Is this another sign of a potential top?

    BTW – the fee structure is great. You would now get to pay all of Carlyle’s fees with a brand new 1.8% annual fee to a firm to manage the selection and purchase of the various Carlyle funds that would be bundled for the new investors. I am sure that this new arrangement is going to create great wealth for some people. Carlyle has made it clear that they will nto have contact with these relatively unwashed investors who will instead be pampered by their new fee-takers.

  6. DeDude says:


    That is a very important question. Krugman calls it Zoombie lies and you do have to ask why these myths are so persistent and continue doing their damage even long after they have been debunked to the point where few academics dare to repeat them because that would reveal them to their peers as being morons (or sell-outs).

    One thing is that people like Bloomberg do not have the time to keep up with secondary items that are not directly relevant to his day-to-day activities. Instead he has “trusted expert advisers” who will tell him the “consensus” opinions. The stuff he is blabbelling out is the old consensus opinions. Even if the “experts” that he is relying on were beginning to understand how wrong they were, they are not likely to raise those doubts with Bloomberg. Very few people will go say – hey I was just dead wrong in what I was saying, but trust me now, in this new truth that I have discovered. There is nothing to win and a whole lot to lose for a trusted adviser that changes their basic perception of the world. That is part of why policy (like science) advances one “funeral” at a time. Change get blocked by the stupid egos of stupid people. They are to stupid to get it right the first time and then when finally reality gets so “big” that even they can begin to see it, they are stupid (or selfish) enough to fear changing their mind.

  7. S Brennan says:

    “how does a man of his caliber get to be so dangerously uninformed?”

    The market economy thrives on a certain amount of societal inequality. The chance to earn more money and accumulate more wealth animates people to improve their performance. But there is also an invisible limit, and when it is exceeded, the gap between those at the top and those at the bottom becomes big enough to jeopardize social harmony…Almost one in four workers earn…about €19,000 a year. This is less than 1/700th of what the CEO of VW makes…this development is only becoming more exacerbated.

  8. S Brennan says:

    DeDude, this statement: “policy ([NOT]-like science) advances one “funeral” at a time” is not true.

    Glass- Steagall was repealed after those who were adults during the depression had died-off. The older folks [born before 1914] who KNEW that “unfettered capitalism” always ends in disaster were were pretty much dead when the “gilded age was great” propaganda machine ground into gear ~1970. In 1978 when the triumphal 12 part 1 hour mini series “Freedom to Lose” was broadcast repeatedly for free on government TV there were few to argue about a return to 19th century policies was a mistake. The rest, as they say, is history.

  9. RW says:

    @Joe Friday, agreed, every single one of those points Bloomberg made is wrong. I’ve been trying to figure where that comes from for some time too and think DeDude has part of it but the ‘bigger picture’ seems to be a kind of incestuous amplification: The peers of people like Bloomberg and Gates say the same kinds of things to each other, recommend the same experts, have similar tastes in “reliable sources,” feel threatened by similar contexts or opponents, and so forth so it really is an echo chamber; they are aware of but don’t really hear much from ‘outside’ (as in really listening).

    The same phenomenon helps describe the reinforcement of various political camps I think. Hard for me to understand the kind of blind (and often vehement) adherence to the demonstrably false from otherwise normal people frankly; there truly are zombie ideas that refuse to die no matter how many times they are killed.

  10. bobmitchell says:

    “The flaw at the heart of Keynesian economics”

    Wow. So this is the freshwater ‘response’ to keynesianism? It’s a giant straw man argument based on an ill defined ‘price targeting’ that does exactly what he wants, assuming a “negative multiplier does hinge on Fed incompetence”.

    That is not an argument. It could be fan fiction.

  11. Mike in Nola says:

    It seems that the Job’s fanbois needn’t have worried about the presentation today. I didn’t see it but they are ripping it up pretty badly over at Paul Thurrott’s twitter feed. Not the phone, but the conference. Apparently pretty lame. And this from a guy used to watching Ballmer’s presentations.

  12. Mike in Nola says:

    And it looks like Amazon just put more pressure on Apple’s and everyone elses’ margins by lowering the price of the Kindle Fire HD.

    I haven’t personally used one, but my disabled sister in law has an iPad and a Kindle Fire and watches the Kindle Fire all day.

    Everyone else if probably seriously praying that Amazon doesn’t come out with a phone. It can subsidize them with it’s ecosystem like no one else can.

  13. Mike in Nola says:

    The Verge’s live blog of the Samsung event is here. Start at the bottom. Glad I missed it.

  14. rd says:

    Apparently, Treasury is working hard to make sure that US law enforcement and spy agencies can scour personal financial accounts looking for nefarious deeds like money laundering, fraud etc.:

    If individuals do it, then clearly jail time is warranted. If TBTF banks do it, then it is an ideal infusion of additional liquidity and capital to stabilize the global financial system.

  15. S Brennan says:

    Whoa..Mike..could anything be worse than Ballmer speaking…well…dunno, maybe a nuclear holocaust combined with a comet strike just before the sun supernova’d which would then be partially sucked into a passing black hole forming a gigantic quasar that spewed a death ray of radioactive particles throughout the galaxy…hmmm…perhaps, I exaggerate a little, but I did listen to him give a talk once…it was pretty bad.

    FYI, I just bought a Kindle Fire based on your above tip. The tablet is to be used as a Pandora “juke box” for the sailing clubhouse that treated me like family while I lived in Slidell, working a Shuttle replacement contract that Obama & Co has been trying to kill* since 2009. Thanks for the info.

    *Not dead yet, but Obama can take a bow for putting a lot of good people out of work in the hopes of turning the space program over to Wall Street.

  16. PeterR says:

    As previously suspected, Boeing’s “cure” for fires in the 787 Dreamliner battery system IS a containment system. The head 787 engineer has ” . . . acknowledged that Boeing had not pinned down the exact cause of the overheating . . . ”

    Battery fires will remain a known risk, but they have a plan to deal with the smoke and heat with a new enclosure and venting system.

    To repeat, Boeing is proposing that we send a “Dream” Liner into the sky with a known risk of fire aboard . . .


    Nightmare Liner IMO.

  17. Mike in Nola says:

    S B: It’s interesting that Ballmer is capable of doing so much better but never did until the launch of Windows Phone 8 where he basically did the commercial that was shown a few times on TV. He did it live on stage and it was good

    Hadn’t really paid attention to the space program privatization, but I suppose it’s like everything else: education, prisons, etc. You have to let the rentiers wet their beak.

    BTW, it seems like Slidell has gotten a lot more dangerous than it used to be. I get there once in a while. Is that correct?

  18. Greg0658 says:

    SB – good one LOL “black hole forming a gigantic quasar”

    on the Obama banter killing the “public” space program – humm .. I can’t seem to get this whole “public” / “private” thingee straight .. is “free market capitalism the best path to prosperity” / OR / is there any difference in those two P / P ‘s

    seems the P / P = “whose” “private” books are we dealing with

    now lets talk about wrecking Venus & Mars with our OpSys

  19. S Brennan says:

    Mike, I don’t think so, I love the Gulf coast so Slidell is a slice of heaven to me…but speaking as a yankee, summers are a tad warm.

    Space privatization transfers wealth [intellectual capitol] from public hands to private hands, which is turn sold on the world market to US enemies…not a good thing, there other empires in waiting and world empires don’t change hands without a massive war.