It does not look like the best weather this weekend, so I expect to be around to keep you entertained:

• The Smart Money Is Still Bullish (Barron’s)
• Notes from the PIMCO Investment Summit with Mohamed El-Erian (The Reformed Broker) Is this the dumb money?
• With ‘Abenomics,’ Japan catches a sense of revival (WaPo) see also Japan the Model: We are in economic terms, all Japanese (NYT)
• Gold Traders Most Bullish in a Month After Bernanke (Bloomberg)
• The Rules, Part XXXVIII (The Aleph Blog)
• Why pension funds are eating your 401(k)’s lunch (Reuters)
• Tax Two-fer:
…..-In Tax Overhaul Debate, Large vs. Small Companies (NYT)
…..-The Corrosive Effect of Apple’s Tax Avoidance (NYT)
• Four Reasons Housing Recovery Isn’t Yet Boosting Economy (Real Time Economics)
• Android’s Market Share Is Literally A Joke (Tech.pinions)
Photos: Tornadoes wreak havoc in US (’s Big Picture)

What are you reading?


World Shakes Off Nikkei’s 7.3% Plunge
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.

25 Responses to “10 Friday AM Reads”

  1. James Cameron says:

    Government of the people, by the people, for the people . . .

    “One bill that sailed through the House Financial Services Committee this month — over the objections of the Treasury Department . . . Two crucial paragraphs, prepared by Citigroup in conjunction with other Wall Street banks, were copied nearly word for word. . . . But most of the Democrats on the committee, along with 31 Republicans, came to the industry’s defense, including the seven freshmen Democrats — most of whom have started to receive donations this year from political action committees of Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo and other financial institutions, records show.”

    Banks’ Lobbyists Help in Drafting Financial Bills (NYT Dealbook)

  2. hue says:

    How Safe Is Recreational Marijuana? (Scientific American) let’s have one with a beer

    Paul Tudor Jones: In Macro Trading, Babies Are A ‘Killer’ To A Woman’s Focus (WaPo)

    Skateistan: Why Afghan Kids Are Taught The Art of Skateboarding (BBC) An Epic, Grisly Look at 50 Years of Crime Scenes in Mexico City (Slate) the car surfing photo, why doesn’t the engine flood?

  3. James Cameron says:

    A semi-truck with an oversized load struck – and brought down – a bridge over the Skagit River on Interstate 5 north of Seattle yesterday at 7pm PST. Google maps has already recorded it:

    • A well maintained bridge should be capable of withstanding 10 overloaded semis a day without collapsing. Bridges are designed and built for accidents.

      All you are doing is pointing out what a rusted piece of shit this bridge had become that a car accident brought it down. PATHETIC!

      • James Cameron says:

        What’s being pointed out is Google recorded it on the map already . . . regarding the accident, a semi hauling an oversized load of drilling equipment struck an overhead bridge girder, bringing it down . . . regarding the bridge, it’s one of 300+ bridges in the state classified as fracture-critical:

        “’It doesn’t imply anything bad about the bridge. It just means that if a certain component fails, it can lead to the complete collapse of the bridge,’ said Jugesh Kapur, former head of bridges and structures for the DOT.

      • willid3 says:

        i read that turns out to be a feature of the design of that particular type of bridge

        The bridge was of a “fracture critical” design, as are 18,000 bridges nationwide, meaning it could collapse if even one part failed.

        what seems absurd is that we haven’t replaced these bridges now when the price of doing so is the cheapest it ever will be. but then its not going to look like politicians are doing much if all they do is repair them, or replace them eve.

      • Its clearance was 14.5 feet. The standard height is 16 feet. (Thats a design problem, but its a bridge that should have been replaced decades ago)

        State inspection reports submitted to the Federal Highway Administration were an overall structural condition on the bridge corresponds to a score of 5 on a scale from 0 (worst) to 9 (best). Middling to Mediocre.

        It was built in 1955, and should have been replaced a decade ago

      • James Cameron says:

        > what seems absurd is that we haven’t replaced these bridges now when the price of doing so is the cheapest it ever will be.

        Well, in this state like most states, when big projects and costs and taxes are involved, there’s generally little agreement on the best way forward, especially when budgets are tight and there are many other needs. There is no shortage of discussion on this topic in this state. See this series of articles, for example, and especially the comments:

      • Richard W. Kline says:

        Like everyone else in Western Washington, I’ve driven over that particular bridge multiple times. It always struck me as outmoded and dangerous. It was built for vehicles of appropriate scale to 1955, which made its clearance dangerous for current vehicles, and the lanes were tight also, not what you expect from a modern Interstate. The design would _never_ be permitted today, where single, low overhead girders were structurally critical; not even a suspension truss, and for that matter the spans are short enough a bridge on that sight would be of arched, non-suspension design nowadays (think major freeway overpasses).

        —But Washington State is FAR too cheap to replace any of this crap. There’s plenty of outdated, too tight, minimally safe structures all over the state because half of the Statehouse delegation hates funding, and two-thrids of it hate funding transportation projects of any kind. 70k vehicles a day crossed that bridge, and the I-5 corridor is economically essential to the norwestern sliver of the state. There are other bridges, but all though town centers in no way scaled for that volume of traffic. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fund it,” has been the cry here since, well _1955_. Now, we get an object lesson in why idjits aren’t qualified to vote on long-term planning issues.

  4. S Brennan says:

    Great…another corporate owned trashing of JFK…I get it, JFK was garbage…ignore his contributions.

    As a [self-professed] good American I hate Fascism, [the marriage of corporate interests to government], as much as the next guy, but a kid wandering through pre-war Germany, who was impressed with all the GOVERNMENT SPENDING going on is less of worry to me than Americans who financed the whole Nazi war machine for profit…

    …and for that we would have to trash another Presidential family of the late 20th and early 21st century..and that WOULD rattle the corporate suits, better to trash JFK one more time…this time, with FEELING!

    Oh yeah, let’s not mention that we are [in all likelihood] alive because JFK’s fascination with Nazi Rocketry led to him challenge the Soviets to a Space Race. That Space Race distracted the Soviets from world war, led to the ongoing technological revolution, which provides a significant % of the world’s wealth…oh, did I mention he died with his boots on, unafraid to walk on any portion of US soil? I pity JFK’s detractors, on their hind legs the couldn’t rise to his shoe laces.

  5. eroldictat says:

    @BR – check this out. “Stevie Cohen is the Michael Jordan of hedge fund managers.” Actually, its more fair to say that Stevie Cohen is the Lance Armstrong of hedge fund managers. Its just that somehow it’s become socially acceptable to openly violate fiduciary standards in order to make a buck in this country. Sure, its always been the case that there are crooks out there, but it is truly remarkable that today we revere these people and sneer at the ones who actually try to do the right thing. This is a classic case of why I hate this industry. Love the “work”, hate the people.

  6. Willy2 says:

    “The Smart Money is still bullish” ???

    Perhaps they want to unload their stocks on to the rest of the investment sheeple.

  7. willid3 says:

    hm companies them a lot…but they aren’t really good at management?

    - Directors don’t rate their CEOs highly. Only 41% of directors say their CEO is in the top 20% of their peers and 17% say their CEO is below the 60th percentile.

    - A sizable minority, 10%, say they have never evaluated their CEO.

    - CEOs who are evaluated, agree with the marks they get. “Shareholders have to wonder at the objectivity of the evaluation process,” said Larcker. “It’s hard to believe that boards are pushing CEOs on their evaluations if they pretty much agree with their evaluation.”

    - Many directors forgive CEOs for legal and regulatory violations. This is one of the most striking results of the study. When asked about unexpected litigation against the company, a significant minority of directors, 27%, said that it would have no impact on a CEO’s performance evaluation, while 24% said that regulatory problems would have no impact. Shouldn’t CEOs be held accountable for legal and regulatory lapses? At least directors were unforgiving about ethical violations and a failure to be transparent with the board. A full 100% said their CEOs would get worse performance evaluations in the face of ethical problems.

  8. willid3 says:

    companies adding to their cash hoard?

    seems that as profits has soared, companies just add that to the ‘savings’. they dont try to grow their business in part because of their timidity (that uncertainty scam) and because they have seen their sales fall (which means they can keep what sales they do have without having to add any thing at all).
    now is this not the same economy we have had for over a decade? where companies can only increase profits by cost cutting, as sales fall. wonder how much of that falling is sales is because customers (which are made up of employees for the most part) feel the pinch in their incomes because they dont have any growth at best, or have falling incomes instead.

  9. willid3 says:

    this happens when cities/counties/states/FEDs cut spending as spending ,means fewer emergency services.

    i suppose this makes sense if your a conservative, because it helps the NRA push more guns on people.

  10. neddyj says:

    barry – so the PIMCO well thought out approach with some risk aversion is the dumb money? I suppose you’re right, or at least that’s what’s been right for a while now. How often has it paid to take the riskiest behavior and not ended up burning investors? My hunch is that ‘the hubris of the bulls’ as Alhambra Investment Partners recently wrote about will eventually burn them.

    I thought Tepper’s recent quote about the bears needing a shovel to dig themselves out of their graves was an example of this hubris. Some bulls believe that nothing can possibly go wrong in this rally we’ve been enjoying. And since we haven’t had a true ‘crash’ in more than 25 years – there are some bulls (with shorter term memories than that) who think they’ll have time to hop off the train if it were headed for a cliff…

    • Based on performance, that seems to be the case with PIMCO . . .

      And what is more Hubristic than insisting you are right and the markets are wrong for 145% move upwards?

      • neddyj says:

        that’s true – and PIMCO may pay for their hubris with assets leaving the firm for better performance.

        But what of the bulls’ hubris? The lack of fear on their part is what concerns me at this moment. you could make the argument that there was caution and some fear in the market over the last few years, but I see very little this year. The vix tells me there’s not much put buying and the margin levels are back near record highs…

      • I have seen some chest pounding, and I am never happy with it.

        But CHEESE-N-CRACKERS Can you scream POMO! over and over while sitting in cash for 146% move and then accuse the bulls of hubris?

  11. willid3 says:

    we are always hearing that the Fed’s low interest rate policy is hurting grandma and grandpa. but is it really?

    maybe not. the 99% dont as a rule have a lot of ‘savings’ in financial institutions (banks etc. but then if look back rates, say back to 1990s, doesnt seem like savings rate have really changed much. what has happened is that banks dont run their business like they used too).

    but a lot of folks do have mortgages and other loans. and that seems to more than offset the low interest on savings

  12. nofoulsontheplayground says:

    Greg Robb – Marketwatch – “The Federal Funds Rate Target May Be Sent to the Showers”