During the week, I save the longer form reads I come across for the weekend, when you have more time to pour yourself a cup of tea, and really give these works some focus.

This week is another strange and interesting set:

• We Aren’t the World: Shaking the foundations of psychology and economics (Pacific Standard)
• When Ian Fleming picked my grandfather to steal Nazi secrets (BBC)
• What Fracking Means for Southeast Asia (The Diplomat)
• The Miner’s Daughter: Australia’s richest—and most controversial—billionaire. (The New Yorker)
• Adult Children Ignoring Confucius Risk Lawsuits in China (Bloomberg)
• How The Glock Became America’s Weapon Of Choice (NPR) see also NRA money helped reshape gun law (The Washington Post)
• How I advise advisors to run an advisory business from my pulpit (RiaBiz)
• The Lock Pickers (Slate)
• A Letter to Paul Wolfowitz (Harper’s) see also How Americans were swindled by the hidden cost of the Iraq war (The Raw Story)
• Who, What, Why: What does a pope do? (BBC)

What’s up for the weekend?


Stagnant Japan Rolls Dice on New Era of Easy Money

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.

15 Responses to “10 Weekend Reads”

  1. ilsm says:

    Andrew Bacevich to Wolfowitz a good read as always.

    But the dominion (forward defense) crowd is is working:


    While Star Wars redirects 14 anti ballistic missiles from defeating to be invented Iranian threats they could not keep from hitting Warsaw, to deploying them in Ca and Ak where they cannot stop imaginary NK missiles.

    Where would Kim be if he did not rail against the US?

    Lots of money to be made from maintaining the overseas dominion.

  2. Orange14 says:

    Well it’s proxy season and the weekend is a good time to have fun reading annual reports and proxy statements. Imagine my surprise when I see that JNJ has renominated that toady Chuck Prince to stand for another term on their Board of Directors. This was a no brainer of a vote (though it was only 400 shares)! JNJ did the right thing in getting rid of Bill Weldon last year after the screw ups, they should have let Mr. Prince sail off into the sunset as well.

  3. Mike in Nola says:

    Scattered thunderstorms on the Gulf Coast.

    Can’t remember which blog I saw this on since I read it on my phone as I was dozing off last night, but someone interestingly pointed out that the institution of capital controls in Cypress is sort of the end of the Euro anyway. One of the major features of the Euro was that currency could flow freely; a Euro in Berlin was worth the same as a Euro in Cypress. If people in Cypress can’t move their money and spend it elsewhere as they certainly would do if the banks reopen without capital controls, then a Cypriot Euro is no longer as valuable as a Berlin Euro

    The full implications remain to be seen, but it shows that a prospective bailout won’t be quite the same papering over that earlier bailouts have been in other countries despite the market rally we will no doubt experience after it is announced and the pigs (the financial, not EU pigs) think they are back in clover.

  4. nofoulsontheplayground says:

    Bloomberg: “What Happened to All the People?”

    The housing surge is driven by institutions.

    The money quote:
    Look at the chart below, which shows new purchase mortgages through the 3rd quarter of 2012, using data from the Mortgage Bankers Association. For that quarter, buyers took out $129 billion in purchase loans. Not only is that much lower than the numbers from the boom, but it’s less the post-crash levels of 2009. You need to go back to the mid-1990s to get back to numbers like those (and they’re not adjusted for inflation).

  5. Theravadin says:

    For those who love a good vitriolic put-down, this one is fun : http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/architecture-in-berlin-an-urban-planning-disaster-a-890025.html . Best catch-phrase: “lego modernism”.

  6. S Brennan says:

    Watched this flick last night, if you can handle subtitles, put it on your playlist. This Norwegian movie rocks…has the darkness [& action] of the original “Girl with the dragon Tattoo”, but love does make a surprise appearance…and makes some poignant observations, before helping to kill off the villain. “Headhunters” Adult theme, available on Netflix.


  7. RW says:

    Rebalancing Global Growth

    This is an older paper (2010) I wasn’t aware of until recently but browsing it while thinking of recent events in Cyprus made me think it possible this period of (relatively) free global capital flows possesses some real bubble characteristics so I decided to read it and some related research on currency movements more carefully. (I notice above that Mike in NoLa may be thinking similarly).

    As far as guns go, David Waldman’s GunFAIL Diary at Daily Kos is worth a browse if only to develop a suitable sense of wonder at the number of ways Americans manage to shoot themselves and each other as well as the shear number of shootings that occur every bloody week; this is the reality, the deeper plot-line undergirding a growing realization that this marvelous country of ours has become ridiculous.

  8. subscriptionblocker says:

    Re: How The Glock Became America’s Weapon Of Choice

    There are many excellent arms manufacturers out there, and US players are among the best. Surprisingly, many of the states blessed with these companies are now casting them out. It’s a bewildering sight to anyone outside the “reason suppression zones” of the Northeast.

    It’s almost as if the positive term “liberal progressive” has been twisted into something unrecognizable. With all ideas of protecting the individual from bullies made now obsolete.

    That’s sad, because many of these determined, outspoken, principled, thoughtful, individuals who routinely “swim against the crowd” would be greatly respected in more knuckledragging parts of this nation. Particularly if they carried, and were fiercely protective of their right of defense.

    Would make them more real. Would be hard to connect them to the fascism many see developing up there. Might even gain them a chance to sway opinions when in “enemy” (sarc) territory.

  9. RW says:

    Meant to add this article (ht BD) to my previous comment WRT global capital flows

    Europe’s Cyprus Blunder and Its Consequences

  10. Jojo says:

    NY Times
    How to Unlock That Stashed Foreign Cash
    Published: March 23, 2013

    HERE’S a novel way to drive up a company’s share price: Pay billions of dollars in additional taxes.

    Deliberately bloating your own tax bill isn’t a common strategy, of course. To the contrary, an army of lawyers, accountants, lobbyists and executives is at work throughout corporate America, finding legal ways to minimize taxes and retain profits. One common approach for multinational corporations is to stash foreign earnings in low-tax countries, keeping the money out of the reach of the Internal Revenue Service.

    But companies like Apple, which hold mountains of cash overseas, have come under a chorus of criticism for not doing something useful with their stranded money.

    Robert A. Olstein, a forensic accountant turned money manager based in Purchase, N.Y., has an elegantly simple solution for Apple, as well as for Cisco Systems and Microsoft, which also keep billions of dollars abroad: he says they should repatriate the wealth — which would require them to pay billions in fresh United States taxes.

    “What’s wrong with paying taxes?” asks Mr. Olstein, whose flagship mutual fund, the Olstein All Cap Value fund, holds shares in all three of these companies. “I pay taxes. These companies should be paying what they owe, too.”


  11. Jojo says:

    BLOGS // Automaton
    Video Friday: Fly-By Grasping, Quadrotors in Africa, and ROS Does Minecraft
    POSTED BY: Evan Ackerman / Fri, March 15, 2013


  12. SecondLook says:

    “What Fracking Means for Southeast Asia (The Diplomat)”

    Typically terrible article written by folk who are clueless about the oil business.

    To keep it short: Fracking isn’t some new innovative technology. It was developed decades ago, but not used that often because it’s very expensive. It was only when oil began to climb up seriously, that the process became financially viable.
    Fracking isn’t ever going to reduce the price of oil. What it does do is temporarily increase domestic production for a few years. So, we import less for a while, which probably is a good thing – but that won’t much affect the local price.

    Second, the article carefully omits talking about Indonesia, the most important country in Southeast Asia. Most likely because it would ruin the story. Indonesia was once a member of OPEC; it joined in 1962 and left in 2009 when it stopped being an oil exporter.
    Indonesia’s oil production peaked, and then began a steady slide until not only there wasn’t any surplus oil to export, the country had to start importing oil to make up for the domestic shortfall.
    Basically, that’s the future of every oil producing country. Which is going to lead to a very dramatic game of musical chairs regarding oil, sooner than most people imagine…

  13. perogy says:

    Thanks for posting the link to “A Letter to Paul Wolfowitz.” What a juicy read from one of the most articulate critics of the Iraq invasion. The folly of the Bush foreign policy was a defining turning point for America’s image in the world and marks the beginning of the end of a nation that peaked during WW II and has been on a steady political and spiritual decline ever since.