My Sunday Reads:

• If You Only Know 5 Things About Investing, Make It These (Motley Fool)
• No, Bernanke hasn’t thrown grandma under the bus (MarketWatch) see also The Fed as a Fig Leaf (A Dash of Insight)
• CEOs are Terrible at Management, Study Finds (Forbes)
• America’s Broken Bridges (Businessweek) see also We’re Spending Fewer Federal Dollars On Infrastructure Than We Have In 20 Years (National Memo)
• Why only half of Americans gain from the stock market party (Fortune)
• Cash Piles Up as U.S. CEOs Play Safe With Slow-Growth Economy (Bloomberg)
• Apple’s Global Tax Shelter Days May Be Numbered (The Fiscal Times)
• Meet the Man Who Sold a Month-Old App to Dropbox for $100M (Wired) see also Why Waze Is Worth More Than $1 Billion (Atlantic Wire)
• 31 Charts That Will Restore Your Faith In Humanity (Business Insider)
• Star Trek Into Darkness: The Spoiler FAQ (io9)

What is for brunch today ?


Gold U. Takes It on the Chin
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 Sunday Reads”

  1. willid3 says:

    seems like a few decades ago a place far far away, in a place long long ago

    seems like Lucas made a real deal when he made that first picture. and ended up with billions.

  2. [...] Five things you need to know about investing.  (Motley Fool via Big Picture) [...]

  3. ancientone says:

    Rex Nutting is being completely dishonest; of course grandma has been thrown under the bus. His rationale for denying it leads him to talk about middle class families who have little savings, instead of retired people who have large amounts of savings (those people who did the right thing and lived below their means so they would have a better retirement), and live on the interest from them. My 94 year old mother-in-law is furious that her new CDs pay her almost nothing. And the second reason he gives is the return on a thirty year bond; most people can’t afford to buy them. He is not looking at the real world.

  4. ancientone says:

    And she doesn’t have a mortgage or any other debt, so my mother-in-law isn’t helped by low interest rates. She isn’t rich, but before interest rates on CDs went below one percent, she lived off of the interest. Now she is having to draw down her principal to pay her expenses. But then what should we expect from a writer from the Wall Street Journal? “Nothing to see here, folks, move along, move along……”

  5. farmera1 says:

    Labor Force participation. We’re just getting old, that’s all.

    I’m still curious about all of the hispanics that left the US. In our little town about half of some classes in the early grade school have disappeared. Poof. No jobs, Mexico here we come, right back where we started from. Don’t know how the Labor-Force-Participation is calculated, just curious.

  6. scottinnj says:

    Not sure it is a great read but a serious time waster on a cold day like today – Slate has a google map up of “every street, town and place that Bob Dylan has sung about” –

  7. spooz says:

    Not being a true trekkie, I missed the previous Star Trek film and (spoiler alert) had to have the Spock/Vulcan/alternate timeline explained to me. I guess I’m lucky not to feel the need to dig too deeply into the science and was therefore able to really enjoy STID and liked the cast enough that I plan on seeing the first installment of prequel series.
    The Enders Game trailer we viewed was impressive, so I’m looking forward to seeing another sci-fi feature, though its typically not my favorite genre. My companion, a big fan of that series, was a little skeptical that the story might get lost in the visuals but agreed it has promise.

  8. sparta47 says:

    Bernanke has thrown Grandma under the bus.

    Grandma is the saver & is trying to live prudently off of her savings. She is more likely to be liquidating her investments or trying to hold her portfolio steady.

    She does not have the time to ride the roller coaster of higher risk investment. If she ventures into higher risk she is more likely going to use someone who charges her a fee, which lowers returns. Fee generators may have a conflict of interest as higher risk “investments” generally generate higher fees.

    She is not the borrower benefitting from low interest rates.

    • What does the data actually look like in a country of nonsavers?

      That’s Rex’ point — the anecdotes sound sad, but the numbers are very very small.

      • ancientone says:

        Wow. I find it very surprising that the “typical single woman over 65 has $1800 in the bank”. I know a good number of widows over 65 who have much, much, more than that, and it’s all in CDs in local banks getting very little return. What kind of statistical term is “typical”? Average, mean, largest percentage of? Huh?

      • Thank you for that anecdote. Please let us know when you look at the data set for all women over 65.

        Until, this is the sort of silliness that we frown upon around here.


    • pjschgo says:

      Grandma is, in fact, more likely to be selling her investments, which is exactly why interest rates need to stay low! What happens to the price of grandma’s bonds if interest rates rapidly increase? What happens to the prices of grandma’s stocks or gold if we take all that extra money supply out of the economy? If we raise interest rates the value of grandma’s retirement plan plummets, and if she is selling to fund her retirement the she’ll be forced to sell at lower prices.

  9. RW says:


    Extremities in defense of liberty is no vice. Sacrificing themselves in the cause of Freedom this week were four hands, five legs, and one foot.

    Six Patriots flipped the bird to private property rights …and exercised their Second Amendment right to leaden trespass …. Three Freedom Fighters let fly while cleaning loaded weapons. And it was a banner week for those who let their guns slip from their warm, live hands without even realizing it. We saw eight such pillars of the community forget to secure their weapons before heading to the airport (three in Salt Lake City alone). But once again, the news reports we saw were just a fraction of the real activity level, since the TSA found some sixty such secreted weapons inside of the past week.

    Among the standout stories this week were the brand new gun owner who had his first accident (a home invasion shooting*) on the very day he bought his new pistol; the varmint hunter who accidentally shot a 70-year-old woman out enjoying (up to that point) a round of golf, and; a teacher in Wichita, KS who, apparently so excited by the new state law allowing school districts to designate an employee to carry a gun at work, designated his own self without telling anybody …

    The winner of this week’s ‘Respect the Culture’ award goes to the young man in Waterloo, Iowa, who decided to drive home his point about his disapproval of his girlfriend’s short shorts by firing five rounds into the air. ….

    In more somber news, ten kids shot themselves, shot other kids, shot their siblings, or were shot by folks unknown in this week’s report. And in Hempstead, Long Island, the police showed us what can actually happen when you fire away at a gunman holding a hostage …

    * “home invasion” in this series normally refers to bullets shot from elsewhere passing through the walls, floor or roof of someone elses home or business.

  10. Bob is still unemployed   says:

    re: America’s Broken Bridges

    The Republicans in Congress often talk of the burden we are leaving our children and grandchildren because of the national debt.

    They should also be talking about, and taking responsibility for, the crumbling infrastructure that the Republicans’ “just say no” fiscal spending policies are leaving to our children and grandchildren.

    Sorry, I didn’t mean to make a joke. It was foolish of me to expect Members of Congress to take responsibility for the results of the decisions they make and the laws they pass.

    In all seriousness, now with interest rates at very, very low levels, why is not the government issuing bonds to fix our crumbling infrastructure? Are we really willing to burden our children and grandchildren with the much higher future cost of repairing the crumbling infrastructure we are leaving to them?

    Is that the legacy we want to create for ourselves?

  11. hue says:

    Three Reasons Congress is Broken (WaPo) As seen during Dodds Frank: Politics trumps policy, Staffers do most of the work & Issues even the big ones
    are no longer really debated

    That Night In Williamsburg (YouTube)

  12. Jojo says:

    More how automation/technology advancement cuts away at need for human workers. Happening in many areas. Eventually, politicians and business CxO’s are going to notice that there aren’t enough working people left to buy stuff and the economy is falling apart. Human employment is dying the death of a thousand cuts.
    The Chevy Volt: Driving Local Garages Into the Ground
    Anton Wahlman
    05/09/13 – 06:00 AM EDT

    NEW YORK (TheStreet) — For the next 50 years, one business I don’t want to be in is the car service business. Why? Because with the conversion to electric cars, there will be very little to service.

    This is what we call a secular shift, in this case of Olympian proportions. How many hard disk drives do you repair in the iPad and iPhone world? None, of course. They don’t exist.

    Likewise, with electric cars, how often do you need to change oil, change spark plugs, timing belts, various other hoses, crankshafts, transmissions and much more. The answer is never.

    Most people bring their cars into their dealer once every 5,000 or 10,000 miles to spend approximately $200 or sometimes much more to change oil, filters and a lot more. If you have an electric car, you too will bring in your car from time to time, but primarily to do one thing only: rotate the tires, and by the way you can do that yourself.


  13. howardoark says:

    What infrastructure would you like to repair? I’m a registered civil engineer and I don’t see any other than local roads and sewers which aren’t a federal (or state) responsibility. That bridge that collapsed in Washington collapsed because a truck took out a truss element. The bridge that collapsed in Minnesota collapsed because of a design flaw, not a maintenance issue. It’s ASCE, which is a lobbying organization for large engineering consultants, that wants to spend billions on infrastructure (and college professors are against on-line education and teachers want more money spent on schools and cops want more police officers and lawyers are against tort reform).

    • A traffic accident brought down a traffic facility?

      Is that a) Bad design b) A 1955 build that was supposed to be replaced 20 years ago; c) poor maintenance; d) all of the above?

      What a lame, pussy excuse — is it your contention that a truck accident should be able to bring down a bridge? Raise your standards, boy. ANY automotive transportation related facility should ANTICIPATE and be designed to handle auto accidents.

      Seriously, do you people even read your goddamned comments before you hit publish?

      Blaming a truck accident for a bridge collapse is like saying a nuclear accident was caused by a design failure to anticipate the correosive effects of radiation. Its not merely a lame excuse, it not only makes the speaker look foolish, but it makes anyone who hears it dumber.

  14. CSF says:

    News Flash: the majority of Americans are too young to remember the Wrath of Khan, and most others don’t care. Into Darkness is a good summer flick: great entertainment, interesting character development, and solid acting. I liked it, and my kids loved it.

  15. Casual_Observer says:

    Uh, CSF, not that it’s a matter of any importance, but your knowledge of population distribution is, well, non-existent. See Barry’s fourth line of his response to howardoark.

    • CSF says:

      At 36 years old today, the median American was 5 years old when Wrath of Khan was released in 1982.

  16. jlj says:

    CEO is the profession with the most psychopaths.

    But first off, psychopath doesn’t just mean someone who cuts you up with a chainsaw — though the majority of people who do things like that are psychopaths. What’s the definition?

    Psychopathy is a personality disorder that has been variously described as characterized by shallow emotions (in particular reduced fear), stress tolerance, lacking empathy, coldheartedness, lacking guilt, egocentricity, superficial character, manipulativeness, irresponsibility, impulsivity and antisocial behaviors such as parasitic lifestyle and criminality.

  17. brianinla says:

    “ANY automotive transportation related facility should ANTICIPATE and be designed to handle auto accidents.”

    It’s not a simple auto accident. In this case a truck was approved passage by the state when its height was higher than the maximum clearance, thereby hitting a truss. It would be no different than if a bridge was designed for a maximum load and a truck went over it with a larger load and caused a failure.

    * SNIP *

    • In other words, this bridge, built in 1955, is no longer adequate or sufficient to handle modern transportation vehicles. It should be replaced. Sounds like an infrastructure issue to me.

      Thank you for helping me to make my exact point . . .