Our Sunday morning reading, surprisingly heavy with WSJ and WaPo columns:

• World’s Most Respected Company: Berkshire Hathaway dethrones 3x winner Apple (Barron’s)
• Ignore the pessimists – central banks are helping (FT.com) see also Fed’s Dudley: Markets Wrong to Think Tighter Policy Coming Soon (WSJ)
• The US State Pension pot is half full: Net liabilities as % of revenues (Economist)
• Gold prices fell 23% in the second quarter, the biggest quarterly decline since the start of modern gold trading in 1974 (WSJbut see Peter Schiff repeats “If you don’t own gold and silver, you really got to buy” (Info Wars)
• U.S. Regulators Strike Agreement on Capital Rule (WSJ)
• Middle-class rage sparks protest movements in Turkey, Brazil, Bulgaria and beyond (Washington Post) see also The Global Middle-Class Revolution (WSJ)
• Our banks are not merely out of control. They’re beyond control (The Guardian)
• Fed Officials Intensify Effort to Curb Surge in Interest Rates (Bloomberg) see also A Stormy Summer Looms for Bonds (WSJ)
• NSA slides explain the PRISM data-collection program (Washington Post)
• Siri’s Creators Demonstrate an Assistant That Takes the Initiative (MIT Technology Review) see also Apple Finds It Difficult to Divorce Samsung (WSJ)

Whats for Brunch today?


Business Feels Pinch of Swift Rate Rise
Source: WSJ

Category: Financial Press

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12 Responses to “10 Sunday Reads”

  1. Willy2 says:

    “Middle-class rage sparks protest movements in Turkey, Brazil, Bulgaria and beyond”

    One (not the only) reason for these protests can be found in the currency exchange rates. See what happened to e.g. the Egyptian pound, the brazilian real, and the turkish lira(??)/turkish pound priced against the USD. Remember, e.g. oil is priced in USD.

    Question: When is the US public/taxpayer going to revolt against taxation (& corruption) ?

    (The US isn’t corrupt by any means, right ???)

  2. Let’s see, as a result of Edward Snowden’s whistleblowing/leak/treason we’ve discovered the NSA and Booz Allen had a significant problem with their systems and processes, that NI chief James Clapper and NSA boss Keith Alexander can lie as well as Roger Clemens, that one of the major contractors responsible for conducting background security checks has been skimping on the, well, checks, and, now, that members of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court are chafing at the suggestion by the NSA Inspector General that they were collaborating with the executive branch based on one of the docs released by Snowden.

    Enough to cause one to wonder who exactly has harmed who . . .

    Secret-court judges upset at portrayal of ‘collaboration’ with government (WAPO)


    Meanwhile, regarding your read above, “NSA slides explain the PRISM data-collection program (Washington Post)”

    I would love to understand how a human being can be 51 percent confident of something versus, say, 34 or 46 percent, but perhaps the algorithm for that will be in a future release.

    “The supervisor must endorse the analyst’s “reasonable belief,” defined as 51 percent confidence, that the specified target is a foreign national who is overseas at the time of collection.”

    It seems to be a requirement that is impossible to quantify and ripe for abuse.

  3. trvl_far says:

    On my Sunday reading list:

    A Test to Measure How Rational You Really Are

    “Standard IQ tests are problematic on many levels — not least, because they do very little to tell us about the quality of our thinking. Looking to overcome this oversight, psychologist Keith Stanovich has started to work on the first-ever Rationality Quotient test. We spoke to him to learn more. ”


  4. RW says:

    A trio from the good Dr. Bernstein reporting on the negative consequences of reactionary (and revanchist) economic policies as well as the intellectual incoherence of those who support them.

    Sequester Watch, #9 (June 17, 2013)

    Our ninth version monitoring the impact of sequestration on both the micro (lots this week on health care and research; also seniors) and the macro (see IMF stuff).

    One other point on this. In discussions of sequestration, I not infrequently run into people who think it’s a one-year thing. If we can just get through 2013, it will all be over. No, it won’t. The sequester is on the books until 2021.

    Sequester Watch, #10 (June 24, 2013)

    Lots more on local Head Start programs this week, but also more defense-related info week, including the impact of sequestration on furloughs, readiness, embassy security, and more.

    Here’s a bit of irony from one of the links below: ‘One of the fears about the federal budget cuts known as the sequester is that they could shrink the economy and trigger large layoffs. At the same time the government is cutting its program that tracks large layoffs—because of the sequester.’

    When the Results Look Weird, Check the Methods…Carefully!

    Some folks have asked me to weigh in on the seemingly implausible findings in this recent paper by Richard Burkhauser. ….

    By finding that between 1989 and 2007, the real incomes of the wealthiest households have fallen—quite sharply by some of their measures—while those of the poorest households have gone up, their results fly in the face of the vast majority of inequality research based on a wide variety of data sources.

    That doesn’t mean they’re wrong, of course, but it does mean you’d want your work to be as solid as possible, methodologically, before concluding that the trajectory of inequality is the opposite of what we thought (‘when you shoot the king, don’t miss’). As I (and other inequality experts) read what they’ve done, they’ve proved not that the trends go the opposite way but that their methods and data are flawed.

  5. RW says:

    Advantage Abe @FTAlphaville

    The first bits of post-Abenomics data are finally trickling in. And so far, it has to be said, it’s looking good for Shinzo Abe.

    But for the rest of the world, possibly not so much.

    NB: The Fed had a chance to balance the impact of Abenomics by appearing equally ‘irresponsible’ and blew it. For the first time in I don’t know how long I am overweight Japan and effectively short its currency.

  6. swag says:

    The kind of customer who makes you say, “F*** it.”


  7. 873450 says:

    No More “fun fun fun now that daddy took the T-Bird away”

    The End of Car Culture

    “recent studies suggest that Americans are buying fewer cars, driving less and getting fewer licenses”

    “As of April 2013, the number of miles driven per person was nearly 9 percent below the peak and equal to where the country was in January 1995″

    “Internet makes telecommuting possible and allows people to feel more connected without driving to meet friends”

    “renewal of center cities has made the suburbs less appealing and has drawn empty nesters back in”

    “rise in cellphones and car-pooling apps has facilitated more flexible commuting arrangements”

    “city, state and federal policies that for more than half a century encouraged suburbanization and car use — from mortgage lending to road building — are gradually being diluted or reversed”

    “There has been a large drop in the percentage of 16- to 39-year-olds getting a license, while older people are likely to retain their licenses as they age”

    “millennials don’t value cars and car ownership, they value technology”

    “From 2007 to 2011, the age group most likely to buy a car shifted from the 35 to 44 group to the 55 to 64 group”

    “At the Mobile World Congress last year in Barcelona, Spain, Bill Ford, executive chairman of the Ford Motor Company, laid out a business plan for a world in which personal vehicle ownership is impractical or undesirable.”

    China: “personal car ownership is growing by more than 10 percent annually”

  8. beaufou says:

    “Here in the richest country on earth, 50 million of us — one in six Americans — go hungry. More than a third of them are children.”


    If I was sitting in an office in Washington, I would be ashamed of myself right now. WTF.

  9. Joe Friday says:

    Peter Schiff repeats ‘If you don’t own gold and silver, you really got to buy’

    But what color is the sky in his world ?

  10. constantnormal says:

    If the NSA really had the kind of controls they allege in the slides presented via WaPo, would Edward Snowden have managed to accumulate multiple notebooks full of secrets?

    Where is the credibility in this story? They cannot have any sort of effective internal controls, else a contractor would not have managed to do what he did. Snowden may be talented, but he is not THAT talented.

    So what are we left to conclude? That the NSA is trying to run a snow job on us?