Good Sunday morning. We have a scorcher of a beautiful day here, and before you head out to the beach, boat or BBQ, here are some things ti feed your brain:

• Have the financial markets been taking too many painkillers? (MarketWatch) see also Price discounts the news (Charts etc.)
• America Is Not Doomed (Daily Beast)
• Fair Play Measured in Slivers of a Second (NYT)
•  What’s the Difference Between Traders and Economists? (TRB) see also Traders versus economists (Economist)
• Delusional Pensions and Delusional Researchers (Institutional Imperative)
• Have the robots come for the middle class? (Washington Post)
• Bankers Are Balking at a Proposed Rule on Capital (NYT)
• The Remarkable Properties of Mythological Social Networks (MIT Technology Review)
• The amazing movie company behind ‘Sharknado’ (Fortune)
• Grilling Over Charcoal Is Objectively, Scientifically Better Than Grilling Over Gas (Wired) But see Grilling Over Gas Is Objectively, Scientifically Better Than Grilling Over Charcoal (Wired)

What’s for brunch ?

 

Tokyo Shares Get a Second Look
Graphic
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.

20 Responses to “10 Sunday Reads”

  1. chartist says:

    Of course America is not doomed. We have so much land to develop implying a sort of a strip mall manifest destiny. We’re not sentimental about buildings like Europe. If we’re willing to tear down our historic baseball parks for ones with more luxury boxes, then nothing is sacred. We have a military, the world’s biggest. If two German kids are spotted with squirt guns, a NATO meeting is convened. And we currently seem to be awash in energy.

    • I’m not sure I agree with any of that . . .

      • chartist says:

        Maybe your view of urban sprawl activity is skewed because you live in a densely populated area, BR. Come out to middle America where the Japanese are building plants. I was in Tupelo MS last week and saw plenty of new retail space between northern Kentucky and MS.

      • I live 45 minutes outside of a major population center. But I travel all over the country on a regular basis — this is about most of the USA, not just my little corner of it

    • chartist says:

      First, Paulsen is a moron who can only win we he has the ability to stack the deck. Second, Buffet buys staid old companies with slow growth. He’ll tell you that the biggest mistake he made was not selling KO back in 1998. By dumping PG and JNJ now, he’s indicating he doesn’t want to make that mistake again. And as far dumping banks, I would to as capital controls may get even more stringent. I can’t infer that America is toast based on the actions in this article.

  2. zell says:

    Pensions & Markets: Short term greed trumps long term need. Will the Fed now feel it has to deliver the returns pensions depend on?

  3. Moss says:

    Newsmax is certainly one of the primary declinist outlets.

  4. PeterR says:

    There is a massive fire in northern Quebec, which has had an interesting secondary effect: disruption to the electrical grid.

    “The fire cut power to Montreal’s subway system and to 10% of the population of Quebec (500,000 customers) on July 4, when smoke from the fire ionized the air by key hydroelectric power lines, causing a cascade failure.”

    See Dr. Jeff Masters’s post on 7/13/13 (02:14 GMT):

    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/show.html

    For brunch? Caprese Salad with fresh warm mozzarella and local basil — yum!

  5. Bob is still unemployed   says:

    I was left scratching my head as I tried to understand this wonderful bit of analysis of corporate-speak, a.k.a., 12 Moments of Nonsense in Microsoft’s Reorganization Memo.

    • RW says:

      I confess I couldn’t stop giggling at Microsoft’s reorg memo and sometimes just laughed outright but did reflect that if behemoths like MS were actually run by folks like Balmer (instead of their mid-level managers) and didn’t possess economic-rent/monopoly protection courtesy of Uncle Sam they’d be a helluva lot smaller w/ a lot fewer folks like Balmer in fairly short order.

  6. efrltd says:

    Regarding the pension fund piece, return assumptions and the common 8% return. Even if an 8% return were averaged, that’s not the same as having 8% year-in, year-out. Two years of 4% in a row, plus a third year at trend, 8%, isn’t 8%, it’s just over 2% annual return. So it’s not just enough to get back to the trend return at some later date. Say you get a 4% return this year, and 12% next. That’s not the 16.6% increase over two years of two back-to-back 8% returns. It’s shy, 16.4%. Not a big difference in the illustration, but string together a series of low years, and you’ll never catch up with a few high years. It’s the tail wagging the dog, but with compound interest, it’s the tail you’re chasing when the dog is running away.

  7. RW says:

    Be interesting to see how far this goes (judging by the lack of SEC and DOJ prosecutions as well as limited progress of reform overall I’m not holding my breath).

    The feds are finally cracking down on ratings agencies. What took so long?

    Last week saw the first hearing in the U.S. government’s court case attempting to hold ratings agencies accountable for their role in the financial crisis. Reforming the ratings agencies has turned out to be a difficult process. One would think that such an obvious institutional failure should prompt quick and definitive reform, not just from the government but also from the private sector. But that hasn’t happened.

  8. Francois says:

    “America is not doomed.”
    Well, as long as they’re willing to endure high levels of non-participation in the work force, a constantly rising inequality, a deepening of absolute poverty, a decline in the life expectancy of women, a two-tiered justice system, a steady erosion of the civil liberties, fiscal injustice, a sequester that is stealthily eroding our scientific basic research infrastructure (hence, future economic growth)…heck! what could possibly go wrong?

    Daniel Gross blind spot is obvious: if a phenomenon isn’t directly measured by the ECONOMIC official statistics, it doesn’t register on his radar screen.

    • Nearlky everything in your list is tracked in official ECONOMIC statistics:

      work force participation rate
      income distribution by quintile
      various measures of poverty,
      males/female life expectancy
      scientific basic research
      infrastructure
      economic growth

      These are less quantitative, but I would guess someone has a measure of them:
      two-tiered justice system, a steady erosion of the civil liberties, fiscal injustice

      I suspect you missed Dan’s point . . .

  9. RW says:

    The last half-century of macroeconomics relevant to fiscal policy is probably best ignored: positive contributions are more than offset by incoherence, errors and venality.

    Policy-Relevant Macro Is All in Samuelson and Solow (1960)

  10. Jojo says:

    Could Artificial Intelligence Create an Unemployment Crisis?
    By Martin Ford
    Communications of the ACM, Vol. 56 No. 7, Pages 37-39
    10.1145/2483852.2483865

    There is an often-told story about the libertarian economist Milton Friedman. While visiting a large-scale public works project in a developing Asian nation, Friedman asked a government official why he did not see much heavy earth-moving equipment in use; instead, there were large numbers of workers with shovels. The official explained that the project was intended as a jobs program. Friedman replied with his famous and caustic question: “So why not give the workers spoons instead of shovels?”

    That story is a pretty good indication of the almost reflexive derision that is likely to arise in response to any serious speculation about the possibility that advancing technology could destroy jobs and cause long-term structural unemployment. Nonetheless, I think there are good reasons to be concerned that advances in artificial intelligence and robotics are rapidly pushing us toward an inflection point where the historical correlation between technological progress and broad-based prosperity is likely to break down–unless our economic system is adapted to the new reality.

    I suspect the impact of accelerating technology on the job market may ultimately represent a dramatic and vastly under-acknowledged challenge for both our economy and society. Many extremely difficult issues would arise, including finding ways for people to occupy their time and remain productive in a world where work was becoming less available and less essential. The biggest immediate challenge, however, would be one of income distribution: how will people without jobs and incomes support themselves, and how will they be able to participate in the market and help drive the broad-based consumer demand that it vital to sustained economic prosperity and innovation?

    Finally, it is worth noting everything I have suggested here might be thought of as the “weak case” for technological disruption of the job market. I have presumed only that narrow, specialized forms of machine intelligence will increasing eliminate more routine jobs. None of these technologies would be generally intelligent or could pass a Turing test. Yet, the more speculative possibility of strong AI cannot be completely discounted. If, someday, machines can match or even exceed the ability of a human being to think and to conceive new ideas–while at the same time enjoying all the advantages of a computer in areas like computational speed and data access–then it becomes somewhat difficult to imagine just what jobs might be left for even the most capable human workers.

    http://cacm.acm.org/magazines/2013/7/165475-could-artificial-intelligence-create-an-unemployment-crisis/fulltext

  11. rd says:

    Re: Traders vs economists

    “In the short run, the market is a voting machine but in the long run, it is a weighing machine.”

    ― Benjamin Graham

    This quote is from the time before “behavioral economics” became the rage.

  12. Mike in Nola says:

    Tweet on Zimmerman verdict:

    Guy Endore-Kaiser (@GuyEndoreKaiser)
    7/14/2013 3:24:16 AM

    Arizona: “At least we’re not Texas.”

    Texas: “At least we’re not Florida.”

    Florida: “You can’t prove we’re Florida.”

  13. Conan says:

    15 Fascinating Facts About The Majority Of Americans

    As divisive as things get these days, it’s easy to lose track of who the average American really is.

    Based on Census data, Pew and Gallup polls and more, we’ve identified some simple facts that are true about the majority of the 311,591,917 Americans.

    Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/facts-about-the-majority-of-americans-2012-3?op=1#ixzz2Z3K1Iwjb