My morning reads:

• Growls Keep Coming From the Bear’s Den (WSJ)
• Dividends Continue to Rise (Crossing Wall Street)
• Raw-Material Bull Market Fading as Supply Expands: Commodities (Bloomberg)
• Why It’s Still Hard to Get a Mortgage (Real Time Economics)
• The April Fool’s economy (Wonkblog) see also Investors Ignore Negativity at Their Peril (WSJ)
• How to Win the Bloodthirsty Battle for Tech Talent (Fast Company)
• Poll Finds Banks Are Too Big, Most Americans Say (Huffington Post)
• The simple, boring reason why disability insurance has exploded (Wonkblog)
• How Memes Are Orchestrated by the Man (Atlantic)
• Green Meteorite May Be from Mercury, a First (Space)

What are you reading?



European industry flocks to U.S. to take advantage of cheaper gas

Source: Washington Post

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.

12 Responses to “10 Tuesday AM Reads”

  1. rd says:

    I am surprised that natural gas prices would have an impact. I thought that tax policies drove all investment and hiring decisions.

    • willid3 says:

      you would think that was it (and this even makes that argument but you would think that piece was really written by the oil industry to shift the blame than to show why its happening. even though they do mention it. with US demand falling, we dont need as much as we used to even, and since oil is a global product, and even gasoline is, the highest bidder gets the product. they are after all in the business of making money. so they have been exporting a lot of refined fuel to the world because there is a demand for it, instead of keeping it locally. and while they could fix the the distribution problem easily enough, they really dont care to. ex that new pipeline from Canada, if it was really to supply the US east coast (or any where in the US) why is it going to Houston, a port city? there are many other refineries closes to Canada, than one on the gulf coast. so the simple answer is they are going to export the refined products (or the oil itself). it was never intended to supply main street with any thing

  2. RW says:

    If born out by further research, this relatively new trend seriously damages the narrative that what a person needs for higher income is more education. Even read in a positive light, a narrative of “if you don’t want to lose even more income than you are now you better up-skill” is not exactly the stuff of which middle-class aspiration and upward mobility is made.

    Is the Demand for Skill Falling? (ht MT

    Many researchers have documented a strong, ongoing increase in the demand for skills in the decades leading up to 2000. In this paper, we document a decline in that demand in the years since 2000, even as the supply of high education workers continues to grow. We go on to show that, in response to this demand reversal, high-skilled workers have moved down the occupational ladder and have begun to perform jobs traditionally performed by lower-skilled workers. This de-skilling process, in turn, results in high-skilled workers pushing low-skilled workers even further down the occupational ladder and, to some degree, out of the labor force all together.

    NB: This could be considered structural in the same way that high corporate profitability during a recession/depression could be considered structural — a feature of the economy that is built in by the rules of the game and, in our case, the advantages granted to capital — but, if so, it damages a key part of the “this is a structural rather than a cyclical recession” narrative because the solution proposed is more education/re-training for workers but the implication of this research is that, at most, more education/re-training for can only delay the fall of some while pushing the rest under.

    I’m all for more education as a general rule but as a specific solution to the problem (if it is a problem) the re-training trope doesn’t make the grade. What we may really need is a different model of capitalism …and fairly soon.

    • willid3 says:

      with the advent of offshoring, I suspect that education isn’t as good a pay back as it once was. and when that was just getting started, every one was pushing retraining as the solution, but retraining in or for what was never in the conversation. little wonder as if you look at many of the jobs that got exported, most were in fields needing education, and most were the ones that those pushing retraining for, making it seem rather foolish to consider doing that. suspect the kids have seen through that charade and want better choices especially if they are going to have such huge student loan debts (thanks to states cutting back on higher education funding). the ROI they see makes that education a non starter for many. we do have another problem though, many don’t see any advantage in education, they even think its evil. or so it seems

  3. Mike in Nola says:

    Looks like the Chinese are censoring our movies, too. I guess we get the censored edition, not that there isn’t the usual MSM self-censorship in action.

    Judging by the previews, I didn’t expect the World War Z movie to be much good anyway. Looks more like the Tom Cruise version of War of the Worlds than anything with a good addition of computer generated zombie hordes, while the books and audiobook were both close to masterpiece quality IMHO. Of course, both opened with the initial outbreak in China. I recommend both of those highly. I read/listened to both before the outbreak of zombiemania and you don’t need to be interested in Zombies to enjoy them, as they really concentrated on the human stories, with plenty of amusing references to world affairs. They were just well done in their own rite.

  4. James Cameron says:

    I post this not because I subscribe to Paul Farrell’s views, which are almost ALWAYS dire, but because there is no shortage of pieces that are either talking up a coming market crash or the demise of the euro zone. I would be interested in knowing where Farrell has had his money the last few years . . . and how well he’s done.

    The only 4 strategies to use in the next crash

  5. mathman says:

    There is a new report out this morning once again reminding us of the greatest disappointment progressives have in the Obama administration: the lack of toughness in regards to Wall Street. The report, issued by the Campaign for a Fair Settlement (full disclosure: this is a coalition I have helped in various ways since their founding), is probably the most harshly critical analysis yet by a coalition aligned with traditional progressive Democratic groups. The report opens with this damning list of hard-to-dispute facts, and then just goes on from there:

    • The Administration has yet to prosecute a single major bank or top level executive for the widespread fraud leading to the system’s collapse.
    • Civil penalties have similarly failed to be imposed on top executives, and fines levied against the banks have been so small as to amount to a minor cost of doing business.
    • Settlements have left the banks themselves in control of providing relief and restitution to homeowners, giving them credit for cleaning up their balance sheets more than preventing foreclosures.
    • Far from showing any signs of having been chastened, the biggest banks are now even bigger, and have successfully slowed down or weakened key elements of the financial reform bills passed in the wake of the collapse.

    And signs even early on in the second Obama administration are not encouraging:

    • With no mention of Wall Street and the banks anywhere in either his second inaugural speech or his 2013 State of the Union address, the President appears to be wishing the crisis behind him more than addressing its still festering wounds.
    • Statements by new appointees like Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew have suggested that they view the “too big to fail” problem as having been largely solved, even as new studies confirm how much the systematically risky banks still benefit from market assumptions that they retain that status.
    • Despite having faced withering rebukes for their handling of key cases and settlements, agencies like the Office of the Comptroller of the currency have reignited that criticism in their attempts to amend the disastrous Independent Foreclosure Review settlement, yet again constructing terms far more favorable to the banks than to homeowners and borrowers.

    The report barely mentions the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the one agency where progressives have generally given the administration better marks, it is mostly dismissive of the good things that passed in Dodd-Frank given how slow regulatory agencies have been in writing rules, and it seems to have little faith in the Residential Mortgage Backed Securities Task Force co-chaired by NY AG Eric Schneiderman- which is notable given that the coalition has historically been relatively close to Schneiderman politically.

    So there are two questions that Obama loyalists might ask about this report. The first is whether all this negativity is truly deserved. The second is, why are Wall Street accountability activists so obsessed with this issue?

    On the first question, I am sad to say the answer is mostly yes. If I had been writing the report, I would have been more positive about the accomplishments of CFPB, would have given the administration more credit on a few things in terms of Dodd-Frank and a few of the appointments they have made, would have pointed out that Republicans are doing everything they can to starve regulatory agencies of resources, and being the loyal Democrat I am, I would have written the report more diplomatically. But when you add up all the results of the Obama administration’s dealings with Wall Street, it is hard to avoid the fact that life hasn’t changed much at all for the big banks, and that they continue to make money hand over fist while the rest of the economy is stuck in the mood. It is hard to think of any one of the report’s bullets listed above that aren’t accurate. Most damning of all are these absolutely true words in the report’s conclusion:

    “The irony in all this is that the areas in which the Obama Administration has been found most wanting by critics for its handling of Wall Street accountability are not the result of intractable differences with a Congress hamstrung in inaction. Instead, they are areas almost wholly under the sole control of the Administration through its executive powers, and carried out largely through cabinet agencies.”

    On the second question, the reason Wall Street activists are so obsessed with the lack of toughness toward Wall Street is that Wall Street is ground zero for the rest of the problems in our economy. These monstrously huge mega-banks completely dominate our economy, siphoning off money that might otherwise go into productive uses in the mainstreet economy so that the big bankers can keep speculating away. And when they screw up in ways that hurt the rest of us, even when they blatantly violate the law, the fact that they are never seriously punished means they have no incentive to stop. Until the Obama administration fixes this problem, the rest of the economy is going to keep suffering, and the risk of future financial meltdowns will keep growing.

  6. willid3 says:

    401ks….not working…and employers might be on the hook for why they dont work?

    but then since its corporate owned, i am sure the courts will over look this. or maybe they wont but. but nothing will come of it

  7. thomas hudson says:

    James Hansen resigning from NASA to take a more activist role in the climate change debate:

  8. nofoulsontheplayground says:

    “The Victory of the Noble Lie” by Gary Leupp / April 1st, 2013

    The article is a bit long, but it provides a good back story of the philosophy behind the neocon message framing leading up to and after the Iraq war. It is a bit partisan, but still floats some new information, like this offer a few months prior to the war:

    The Iraqis, Perle was informed, offered to allow 5000 FBI agents to scour their country, in order to confirm the absence of any WMDs; oil and mining concessions to U.S. firms; “full support for any U.S. plan” for a Middle East peace process; the handing over of al-Qaeda agent Abdul Rahman Yasin (in Iraqi custody since 1994) as a sign of good faith; even UN-sponsored elections within two years.

  9. farmera1 says:

    Wall Street is embracing its dark side.

    As the stock market continues to climb, trading has increasingly migrated from established bourses like the New York Stock Exchange to private platforms, including dark pools, that are largely hidden from public view. The shift is helping big traders hide what they are doing in the markets, and regulators are worried that the development could obscure the true prices of stocks and scare away ordinary investors.