Good Sunday morning. Some reads to round out your long weekend:

• Five Takeaways From the Jobs Report (Real Time Economics)
• For Pension Funds, Higher Fees Don’t Mean Higher Returns, Study Finds (WSJ)
• Japan in a Bind on Planned Tax: Fears Are It Will Hurt Rebound (WSJ) see also Should Japan default? (Noahpinion)
• Jeff Miller takes a broad look at the week ahead and the week that was (Old Prof)
• Gold’s One Certainty: Its Decline Has Been Swift (NYT)
• Demographers Discover The Fundamental Law Governing the Growth of Cities (MIT Technology Review see also How Immigration Reform Would Help the Economy (Economix)
• Austerity Won’t Work if the Roof Is Leaking (NYT)
• The Collapse of Science, Not Housing, Ended the American Dream (HuffPo) see also The Republican War on Data (Fiscal Times)
• Google Ventures Stresses Science of Deal, Not Art of the Deal (NYT)
• America’s love affair with its cars is far from over (CNN/Money)

Whats up for brunch?


How One Month’s Jobless Fare a Month Later
Source: Economix

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 Sunday Reads”

  1. “The 11-member Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, known as the FISA court, was once mostly focused on approving case-by-case wiretapping orders. But since major changes in legislation and greater judicial oversight of intelligence operations were instituted six years ago, it has quietly become almost a parallel Supreme Court, serving as the ultimate arbiter on surveillance issues and delivering opinions . . . The rulings, some nearly 100 pages long, reveal that the court has taken on a much more expansive role by regularly assessing broad constitutional questions and establishing important judicial precedents, with almost no public scrutiny . . .”

    In Secret, Court Vastly Broadens Powers of N.S.A.(NYT)

  2. rd says:

    Re: America’s love affair with cars:

    A train full of petroleum just blew up in a Canadian town. Trains are inefficient, unsafe ways to move the volume of petroleum products that North America uses.

    I personally believe that global warming is occurring and the man’s CO2 and methane emissions play a significant role in it. However, endless bleating about “dirty oil” can only be resolved by using less petroleum products, which means driving a lot less (on the order of 50% reduction or more) as well as using much less coal-power electricity (goodbye to air conditioning for many people). Until Americans and Canadians elect to change their lifestyles to that extent, the strategy of not building new pipelines, which are inherently far more safe than very old pipelines, trains, and trucks will simply result in more train derailments and truck accidents and breaches of 50 year old pipelines that are at the end of their service lives blowing up towns and filling rivers with oil.

    This is just another example of how modern life has completely separated people from where their energy, raw materials, and food comes from. As a result, feel-good “sustainable” marketing is everywhere in policy making and retail. However, the only way to be truly sustainable requires just buying and using much less, not picketing a Keystone XL pipeline after driving a large SUV or pickup to the protest.

  3. Jojo says:

    In this article on Oracle problems, I found the last two paragraph the most interesting

    For years and years, we have been told that going forward, technology will solve all our problems, will bring us new industries and more jobs. Remember all that posturing by politicians and business leaders about the magic of technology “innovation”?

    But it is only relatively recently that the majority are beginning to realize that technology and automation advancement actually tend to destroy more jobs that then create.

    Like the example of cloud computing below, which is reducing the amount of computer hardware purchased, the amount of software purchased/licensed, the number of data centers that are needed and the number of trained technicians needed to staff/maintain the computing guts.

    This is why unemployment is and will remain a structural problem.

    Be careful what you wish for. It might come true….
    What kind of problem does Oracle have exactly?
    June 28, 2013
    Concern that the headwinds hitting Oracle are not cyclical but secular are growing.
    By Kevin Kelleher, contributor

    FORTUNE — What do you do when you are the best company in your industry, but your industry is mired in a slump of mediocre performance?

    That’s the dilemma faced by Oracle (ORCL), the enterprise software giant that has long been the most feared player in the competitive market for business software. Last week, Oracle reported that revenue grew to $37.2 billion in its fiscal year ended May 31, 2013. That was up from $37.1 billion in the previous fiscal year. Oracle is still growing, but just barely.

    Rather, the secular problem facing Oracle is this: Even though it’s doing a good job at transitioning to a new business model, that model is attractive to CIOs primarily because it helps them spend less on software. Oracle may well continue to carve out the biggest slice of the big, meaty revenue pie that is the enterprise-tech market. But that pie is shrinking slowly.

    Well, that’s the thing about software. As it, in the famous phrase by Marc Andreessen, eats the world, it often diminishes the overall revenue that people and companies pay. Newspapers, music labels, and other industries have watched this happen. Now the cloud is doing it to the software industry itself. Oracle is only the latest to see what that’s like.

  4. bear_in_mind says:

    I believe auto sales are increasing in large part due the record-high median age of the fleet. Higher gasoline mileage and lower unemployment are certainly beneficial factors as well.

    However, the U.S. simultaneously continues neglecting its aging infrastructure, including roads, bridges and electric transmission. The irony is that America could be leveraging these different needs and assets toward a common purpose, namely greater energy independence via distributed power generation, storage and concomitant reduction of CO2 emissions.

    The transmission of electricity alone results in approximately seven percent loss, which may not sound like much, but look at the engineering auto makers have put into making their vehicles seven percent more fuel efficient.

    Imagine the gains in efficiency we could garner by distributed solar generation, coupled with more hybrid and fuel cell vehicles. Add gains in battery technology to store electricity more efficiently, and you can see a virtuous cycle of lowered CO2, energy needs and costs.

    And about the highways and by-ways? Well, regardless of whether we’re moving about in autos, buses, trains, or even on bicycles or walking, there’s always going to be a need for paved routes and bridges. We ought to be building for the next 20 to 40 years, just like we did in the 50′s and 60′s, but with the added knowledge we’ve gained in the intervening years.

    Average Age of Automobiles and Trucks in Operation in the United States
    Bureau of Transportation Statistics: Research and Innovative Technology Administration

    A Review of Transmission Losses in Planning Studies
    California Energy Commission

    New all-solid sulfur-based battery outperforms lithium-ion technology
    Oak Ridge National Laboratory

    • overanout says:

      The county of Sonoma, Calif is converting many of its rural roads back to gravel due to cost.

      • Jojo says:

        Lots of new cars and license plates in Silicon Valley.

        But I always wonder how many are leases, which never seem to get broken out when the numbers are reported. But leases are different than sales, because at some point, the manufacturer generally takes the car back, has to recondition it and then resell it.

  5. bear_in_mind says:

    Y’all might enjoy this bit of speculation:

    What Apple’s iWatch could be

  6. S Brennan says:

    This is bull$#!%,

    “endless bleating about “dirty oil” can only be resolved by using less petroleum products, which means driving a lot less (on the order of 50% reduction or more) as well as using much less coal-power electricity (goodbye to air conditioning for many people). Until Americans and Canadians elect to change their lifestyles”

    I don’t think you are an idiot [in fact, I know you are not], but your set of ideas is not only sale-able, it’s demonstrably wrong. I wish austerity nuts and their fellow surrender monkeys would just shut up and stand aside and let science, engineering tackle the energy problem with government funds]. Private enterprise WILL NOT DO THIS FOR YOU. No CEO worth a spit, would invest a companies resources in a technology that is ten years off, a technology that once developed will be copied and never pay it’s investment.

    Thorium, Jimmy Carters only real mistake was turning away from Thorium in favor of breeder reactors. BIG MISTAKE. And don’t tell me it can’t be done…BECAUSE IT ALREADY HAS BEEN. Now I know austerity nuts and their fellow surrender monkeys will start shouting EEK..NUCLEAR…all nuclear is the SAME…DON’T THINK ABOUT IT! DON’T THINK, listen to me shout EEK…NUCLEAR!

    Better than…NUCLEAR…Let’s let solar and wind plants scar the world…and while we are waiting for our pony, industry releases ever more of coals mercury and radioactive debris across the globe. And so it goes. Austerity nuts and their fellow surrender monkeys, are all in to Solar and Wind, because they can’t stand the thought of others enjoying the good life they have.

    If we are ever to clean up our present nuclear mess, end coal use…and in general, save our sorry asses, we need to employ this technology in a an Apollo-like Mission. But for that to happen we would need to have leaders who can do the right thing, when it matters and the ability to shut the cacophony of bought and paid for policies from provincial minded industry groups, auster-ians and other surrender monkeys.

    • rd says:

      I was simply pointing out that people have been focusing on preventing some key pinch points in transmission to attempt to shut down entire sources of petroleum. That is fine as long as they are willing to pay the price of the conserquences of their actions – most people haven’t thought that through and so we are getting spills in rivers and towns getting blown up.

      Nuclear is a potential technology (it has been one of the key energy sources of the future for over 50 years) but requires awholesale policy rethinking from the ground-up. Chernobyl and Fukushima haven not assisted anyone in marketing the concept of increasing nuclear power. Yucca Mountain has been a policy disaster as people have decided to leave nuclear waste scattered around the country instead of storing it in a much safer location (sorry nothing is totally safe, not even just hiding in bed youur entire life). It would be great to get increased funding for basic research on this and other technologies but we are dealing with a Congress these days that is so dysfunctional that bi-partisan lunch orders are subject to cloture votes.

      This is unlikely to change until people see their energy costs sky-rocketing at some point simply because it can’t be brought to market due to political reasons.

  7. Joe Friday says:

    * Andrea Mitchell, Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent for NBC News, on Meet the Press:

    Free and fair elections, as this was deemed by all outside observers including the United States, does not mean democracy. What Mursi was running was not a democratic system. It was majoritarian, it was not inclusive, it was not pluralistic…

    Gee, that’s quite reminiscent of Chimpy Bush.

    Except, of course, that President Mursi was democratically elected in a free and fair election, and Chimpy Bush was illegally installed by the RightWing Gang of Five on the Supreme Court.


    * Jeffery Goldberg, columnist for Bloomberg News, on Meet the Press:

    The Muslim Brotherhood … put a bumpkin in charge, a guy who was in over his head, who while in over his head tried to seize pretty much absolute power…

    Once again, Chimpy Bush.


    All of the excuses being made in a feeble attempt to justify the illegal removal by force of President Mursi, would have justified the removal of Chimpy Bush & Uncle Dick IN SPADES.

  8. bear_in_mind says:

    AT&T is your friend, because only friends would sell other friends’ data to advertisers, right?!

    AT&T Plans on Selling Your Data to Advertisers, Here’s How to Opt-Out

  9. Robert M says:

    Five Takeaways From the Jobs Report (Real Time Economics)
    Can someone explain how most of the jobs are in hospitality, which are part time, yet wages have gone up?

  10. ckg says:

    As a positive note about better ways of doing nuclear power, BR readers might enjoy the TED video
    ( might have been previously linked to by BR & staff? ).
    I enjoyed this one partially because Taylor is a “local” for me, a Reno resident- but mostly because of an inspiring and optimistic presentation.