An especially sharp set of morning reads today:

• Is Gundlach Right, Have Bonds Bottomed? (Mebane Faber)
• Hilsenrath: What Bernanke Means (Real Time Economics)
• In Case You Don’t Appreciate How Fast The ‘Windows Monopoly’ Is Getting Destroyed… (Business Insider)
• Josh’s notes from the Delivering Alpha 2013 conference Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV
• Sell signal from key market indicator (MarketWatch)
• Distinguishing Alpha from Noise (Aleph Blog) see also Why Paulson’s talking (Reuters)
• Judge Doesn’t Believe S&P Claim “No One Believed Our Ratings” (Dealbreaker)
Krugman: Greenspan is an idiot (The Conscience of a Liberal)
• Why anecdotal evidence prevents Farmers from believing in Climate Change (Slate) see also Why We Don’t Believe In Science (The New Yorker)
• Give Me Back My iPhone! (Slate) see also Pushing the Right Buttons (NYT)
• A tumblr dedicated to pointing out how Netflix ruins movies (What Netflix Does)

What are you reading?


US and European Auto Sales are Oceans Apart
Source: Bespoke

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.

19 Responses to “10 Thursday AM Reads”

  1. And how was it, again, that these lawmakers came to learn of this issue?

    It’s disconcerting that the committee that writes the surveillance laws is voicing such deep concerns, whilst lawmakers on the intelligence committees with the exception of a few members have been so supine.

    “During a sometimes contentious hearing of the House Judiciary Committee, Republicans and Democrats told administration officials that they believed the government had exceeded the surveillance authorities granted by Congress, and warned that they were unlikely to be reauthorized in the future.”

    Bipartisan Backlash Grows Against Domestic Surveillance (NYT)

    • willid3 says:

      well considering is was written by those in Congress who seem to revolt against any long bills, I am wondering if the real problem is that they didnt bother to even read what they wrote, or they didnt (and still dont) understand it

  2. Bob is still unemployed   says:

    From the article about Microsoft’s Windows Monopoly: The case was settled, and the company, Microsoft, agreed to play nicer. But it turned out that the world had nothing to worry about….

    I proffer that the weakened Microsoft as a result of those anti-trust agreements (and other aspects of Microsoft’s dominance) allowed competition to grow and eventually topple Microsoft’s dominance.

    It reminds me of the reports after the H1N1 pandemic in 2009 had died down. The internet-megaphone-enabled critics were shouting that the outbreak was not nearly as severe as the medical community had forecast, and that all the preventative measures (e.g., closing schools, wiping down public surfaces with disinfectant) were for naught because the outbreak was not as bad as had been forecast.

    What was missed by those critics was that the preventative measures had prevented a much larger outbreak of the deadly H1N1.

    I think that, by, declaring them unnecessary, the cited BusinessInsider news article does a similar thing with the anti-trust proceedings against Microsoft.

    • S Brennan says:

      I agree for the most part, but it’s good to remember how ethically challenged Bill & Company were…

      Using the WABAC Wiki machine:

      “Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates was called “evasive and nonresponsive” by a source present at a session in which Gates was questioned on his deposition.[4] He argued over the definitions of words such as “compete”, “concerned”, “ask”, and “we”.[5] Businessweek reported that “early rounds of his deposition show him offering obfuscatory answers and saying ‘I don’t recall’ so many times that even the presiding judge had to chuckle. Worse, many of the technology chief’s denials and pleas of ignorance have been directly refuted by prosecutors with snippets of email Gates both sent and received.”[6] Intel Vice-President Steven McGeady, called as a witness, quoted Paul Maritz, a senior Microsoft vice president, as having stated an intention to “extinguish” and “smother” rival Netscape Communications Corporation and to “cut off Netscape’s air supply” by giving away a clone of Netscape’s flagship product for free.[7]

      A number of videotapes were submitted as evidence by Microsoft during the trial, including one that demonstrated that removing Internet Explorer from Microsoft Windows caused slowdowns and malfunctions in Windows. In the videotaped demonstration of what Microsoft vice president James Allchin’s stated to be a seamless segment filmed on one PC, the plaintiff noticed that some icons mysteriously disappear and reappear on the PC’s desktop, suggesting that the effects might have been falsified.[8] Allchin admitted that the blame for the tape problems lay with some of his staff. “They ended up filming it—grabbing the wrong screen shot”, he said of the incident. Later, Allchin re-ran the demonstration and provided a new videotape, but in so doing Microsoft dropped the claim that Windows is slowed down when Internet Explorer is removed. Mark Murray, a Microsoft spokesperson, berated the government attorneys for “nitpicking on issues like video production”.[9] Microsoft submitted a second inaccurate videotape into evidence later the same month as the first. The issue in question was how easy or hard it was for America Online users to download and install Netscape Navigator onto a Windows PC. Microsoft’s videotape showed the process as being quick and easy, resulting in the Netscape icon appearing on the user’s desktop. The government produced its own videotape of the same process, revealing that Microsoft’s videotape had conveniently removed a long and complex part of the procedure and that the Netscape icon was not placed on the desktop, requiring a user to search for it. Brad Chase, a Microsoft vice president, verified the government’s tape and conceded that Microsoft’s own tape was falsified.[10]

      When the judge ordered Microsoft to offer a version of Windows which did not include Internet Explorer, Microsoft responded that the company would offer manufacturers a choice: one version of Windows that was obsolete, or another that did not work properly. The judge asked, “It seemed absolutely clear to you that I entered an order that required that you distribute a product that would not work?”

    • willid3 says:

      not sure that we had nothing to worry about. after all it took how many years from the time of the case to when mr softy wasn’t so big any more? the law suit after was back in the 90s after all. the real problem is that income constrained customers can’t afford the PC (or MAC) any more. hence the big movement to tables and phones.

  3. willid3 says:

    and i am wondering. maybe the regulators should be pulling the license of any ratings agency that puts forward a claim that all of their claims to being objective is just puffery? cause if they aren’t being objective, what the purpose of having them at all?

  4. willid3 says:

    still think that the reason the windows (and by the way the MAC) business is down is actually pretty simple. its the price. with incomes down, and the ability of lower cost options (tables and phones) to do what the majority of consumers (aka customers) need doing (browsing the web, email, FB, etc) there isn’t the need to spend more than about $500 to do that sort of tasks any more. the only difference between mr softy and Apple was that Apple was able to move on to the new business model a lot faster. could that change? sure. will it? who knows? but considering how well incomes have done, the move was inevitable.

    • BottomMiddleClass says:

      You have a good point willid3, but don’t forget the whole “Why Buy a New Computer” Question. In the 90s and early 2000s, buying a new computer with more ram made a noticeable difference in productivity and entertainment. The difference between excel taking 20 seconds to open or 10 seconds is HUGE for an office worker. The difference between a game loading or online video buffering was noticeably improved if you bought a new computer for the house.

      But today buying a new computer won’t let you view netflix any better and the difference between a video card that can calculate shadows from 20 light sources vs. 12 light sources in a video game isn’t really a good reason to spend an extra $500 on a computer.

      It’s the windows XP conundrum, what will a new windows 8 computer do that my XP computer doesn’t already do?

  5. WallaWalla says:

    Give Me Back My Iphone …. because apple is the only manufacturer willing to play hardball with the service carriers by not allowing all that worthless bloatware. Verizon puts apps on their phone that can’t even be hidden or disabled, let alone uninstalled. Enough is enough. Google has the market share to not allow android on any phone that screws with the OS like this.

    Oh yeah, it’s truly remarkable how finely tuned the user experience is on some of these custom ROMs. I’ve used all iOS, verizon android, and various custom roms. The customized ROMs crush everything else out there in ease of use, performance, and customizability. (I was motivated to make the switch due to battery life. My galaxy sIII went from ~15 hours uptime to ~25 hours. It takes about 30 minutes to backup needed data, reinstall the os, and restore the data.

    It really seems like consumers are getting the short end of the stick here; unless they’re willing to put in a little effort.

    • NoKidding says:

      People sometimes ask why microsoft moves around its buttons, folders and menus each edition with seeming frivolity. I believe its to slow the hobby work of people like me (industrial automation engineer) on its way through to the outer world. First thing I do when forced down these new paths is start writing scripts that suppress and undo auto-regenerating unwanted folders, self re-installing toolbars, addon-laden auto updates, and unwanted helpful programs. I started doing this in the mid- 90s when they assaulted me with “Clippy the officve assistant”.

      It’s difficult to share these tools because they change continuously as MS, Adobe, Google and Yahoo activate counter-counter measures. Like WallaWalla says, you have to keep working a little to be free of unwanted convenience. Its like tryng to build HD Thoreau’s cabin in a neighborhood full of Jehovas, Mormons, Girl Scouts, and little league fund raisers. Disquieting desperation.

    • Livermore Shimervore says:

      That article by Farhad i-Manjoo is pure unintentional comedy to me. He’s complaining about the effects of the carriers on Android….Let me put it this way, Android’s freedom on an LTE network has saved me enough money to buy an iphone5 outright sans contract. Unlike the meddling iPhone carriers that restrict data sharing amongst devices, Android allows me to put the kibosh on all that bullshate with a simple app install. I can share my Android’s 20 mbps LTE connection as much as I want for this much: $0. No rooting/jail breaking/unlocking/begging/crying necessary.

  6. VennData says:

    Gov. Perry Signs Sweeping Abortion Restrictions

    ​This will propel him to the White House in 2016!​ ROFL!

    VennData’s theory on the bull market is that the GOP foot-shooting is guaranteeing a long run tilt of power to the middle class building (aka demand side economics) Democrats.

    From Trayvon Martin jurors to Marco Rubio’s immigration implosion to student loan screwing to Sequestor cuts… The GOP is on the wrong side of every issue. you don’t win like that.

    Hey rich guys, you’re taxes are going way up unless you figure out how to reign in the John Birch Society nonsense you’ve been spewing for a generation. I suggest compromising with Obama.

    • Bob is still unemployed   says:

      This rather one-sided opinion piece does have some paragraphs that I found interesting:

      There is a striking correlation between the rise of conservative talk radio and the difficulties of the Republican Party in presidential elections. In an April Reuters essay, “Right Wing Talk Shows Turned White House Blue,” Mark Rozell, the acting dean of the George Mason University School of Public Policy, and John Paul Goldman, a former chairman of Virginia’s Democratic Party, wrote:

      Since Rush Limbaugh’s 1992 bestseller “The Way Things Ought to Be,” his conservative talk show politics have dominated G.O.P. presidential discourse — and the Republicans’ White House fortunes have plummeted. But when the mainstream media reigned supreme, between 1952 and 1988, Republicans won seven out of the 10 presidential elections.

      The authors continue: “The rise of the conservative-dominated media defines the era when the fortunes of G.O.P. presidential hopefuls dropped to the worst levels since the party’s founding in 1856.”

      I am left wondering whether the rise of right-wing talk radio and conservative-dominated media has lead to a wider dissemination of right-wing ideas, and that wider dissemination has lead to Republicans becoming less palatable in national elections. In other words, is the takeaway, “the more we learn about Republican ideas, the less we like Republicans?”

  7. PeterR says:

    Chris Rock — Kids Need Bullying. Great.

    Check out the Lamborghini also!

  8. willid3 says:

    is there we are going?

    with what is currently happening. either we end up in wonder world. or we end up in a new dark age?