Its another glorious day in the NorthEast, as the weather has turned out to be much better than forecast (heh heh). If you live in the part of the world that isn’t 78 and sunny, well, here are my favorite long forms journalism from the week to feed your brain:

• An Open Letter To The Idiot Nation (StoneKettle)
Are we having fun yet? On the banks’ barely believable behaviour (London Review of Books)
• Digital Health Records’ Risks Emerge as Deaths Blamed on Systems (Bloomberg)
• The Rock ’n’ Roll Casualty Who Became a War Hero (NYT)
Gladwell: The Gift of Doubt (New Yorker)
Why you’ll share this story: The new science of memes (Quartz)
• Cynics, Skeptics, Atomists and Relativists (Kenan Malik)
• A Test to Measure How Rational You Really Are (io9)
• The NCAA Has Truly Lost Its Mind (Slate)
• Lockdown: Why Google Killed RSS Reader (Marco)

Whats up for the rest of your weekend?


Heat Rises: Dow, S&P Up 1.5% on the Week
Source: Barron’s

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.

17 Responses to “10 Weekend Reads”

  1. ilsm says:


    The newly minted constitutional right of each state to be “equal” restricts criticizing “logical fallacies”, if “logical fallacies” applied then many red states would not be “equal”.

    Each state, under the Roberts’ court, has the right to be too “small to be a country but too large to be an insane asylum”.

  2. RW says:

    The Fed continues to mangle the communication channel: Not much hope for the unemployed and underemployed when their only policy friend is mumbling and their many policy enemies are shouting faux ‘common sense’ slogans.

    Good Jobs News Is Bad Jobs News—Because the Fed’s Not Communicating Correctly

    Basically the way financial markets have interpreted recent comments from the Federal Reserve is that moderately bad news will signal an extension of QE purchases, thus boosting the economy while moderately good news will signal a tapering of QE, thus restraining the economy. So either way, the economy is locked onto a path of slow grinding recovery.

    What the Federal Reserve needs to do is to communicate that this is not what the dual mandate means. What the dual mandate means is that even if inflation gets higher they’ll give some consideration to avoiding monetary tightening out of concern for job growth.

    NB: Stonekettle’s open letter was so spot on I’m passing it on to a few good old boys I know (not that I expect it to make much difference).

    • DeDude says:

      I am not sure that the Fed didn’t want or even planned for the current chain of events. There are many good reasons to hit the bond bubble with a little fear.

      Agree that Stonekettle’s letter was great. I wish that there was a site with collections of these right wingnut chain mails and similar types of take-downs of each of them. I know you can often find take-downs of individual myths at, but it would be so much faster if you could just copy/paste the full take-down and be done with it in 10 seconds. Come to think of it maybe we can forward them to Barry and then he can post them and ask his readers to “have a go at it” (just an idea).

      • RW says:

        DeDude, they’d have to be better reasons than leaving millions of citizens out of work; if true, don’t imagine there’d be any members of the FOMC who’d care to admit it.

      • DeDude says:

        Your presumption seems to be that those millions would be employed if we leave real interest rates negative, but not if we allow rates on the 10 year to increase (become positive). I doubt that rate increases of less than 100bp (from a negative real interest rate) will make much difference in this economy. The main drivers of not borrowing to consume (or to invest) at this time is not the expense (rate) of the loans. To the extend that we can convince consumers that rates today are at the lowest they will be for a decade that may well stimulate more borrowing than would be killed by the increased cost. The increased interest cost would mostly become increased income to prudent savers, who may be willing to increase their consumption of they are convinced their interest income has been permanently increased. I admit we have no solid numbers for these effects, but I guess we will see 6 months from now whether this bump in rates made much of any difference in GDP or employment trends.

  3. 873450 says:

    Depressing Read

    Michael Hudson: From the Bubble Economy to Debt Deflation and Privatization

    This financial engineering is not your typical bubble … in this new debt-strapped low-interest environment, Hedge funds and buyout funds are doing something that has not been seen in nearly a century: They are buying up property for all cash, starting with the inventory of foreclosed properties that banks are selling off at distress prices … financial elites are demanding privatization sell-offs from debt-strapped governments. Pressure is being brought to bear on Detroit to sell off its most valuable paintings and statues from its art museums. The idea is to sell their artworks for tycoons to buy as trophies, with the money being used to pay bondholders. The same dynamic is occurring in Europe. The European Union and European Central Bank are demanding that Greece sell off its prime tourist land, ports, transport systems and other assets in the public domain – perhaps even the Parthenon. So we are seeing a neo-rentier grab for basic infrastructure as part of the overall asset stripping.

    This is a different kind of inflation than one finds from strictly financial bubbles. It is creating a new neo-feudal rentier class eager to buy roads to turn into toll roads, to buy parking-meter rights (as in Chicago’s notorious deal), to buy prisons, schools and other basic infrastructure. The aim is to build financial charges and tollbooth rents into the prices charged for access to these essential, hitherto public services. Prices are rising not because costs and wages are rising, but because of monopoly rents and other rent-extraction activities.

    This post-bubble environment of debt-strapped austerity is empowering the financial sector to become an oligarchy much like landlords in the 19th century. It is making its gains not by lending money – as the economy is now “loaned up” – but by direct ownership and charging economic rent. So we are in the “economic collapse” stage of the financialized bubble economy. Coping with this legacy and financial power grab will be the great political fight for the remainder of the 21st century.

  4. rd says:

    The 24-hr news cyscle along with social media means that our leaders are expected to be 100% focused on the job 100% of the time (not quite sure if sleep is allowed).

    Exhausted people with no breaks from work frequently make stupid decisions. In this day of modern communications none ofthese people are more than a couple of yards or seconds away from knowing what is going on and how to communicate about it.

  5. osheth says:

    Speaking of reading, I came across this article on How To Read on a site you frequent Barry.

    We all know how to read, right? But this got me thinking a lot about how I can read better. Effectively it is a summary of Mortimer’s Adler’s book on the subject.

  6. Jojo says:

    The IIT Entrance Exam
    Jun 27, 2013

    The admissions test for the Indian Institutes of Technology, known as the Joint Entrance Examination or JEE, may be the most competitive test in the world. In 2012, half a million Indian high school students sat for the JEE. Over six grueling hours of chemistry, physics, and math questions, the students competed for one of ten thousand spots at India’s most prestigious engineering universities.

    When the students finish the exam, it is the end of a two plus year process. Nearly every student has spent four hours a day studying advanced science topics not taught at school, often waking up earlier than four in the morning to attend coaching classes before school starts.

    The prize is a spot at a university that students describe without hyperbole as a “ticket to another life.” The Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) are a system of technical universities in India comparable in prestige and rigor to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology or the California Institute of Technology. Alumni include Sun Microsystems co-founder Vinod Khosla, co-founder of software giant Infosys Narayana Murthy, and former Vodafone CEO Arun Sarin. Popular paths after graduation include pursuing MBAs or graduate degrees at India’s and the West’s best universities or entertaining offers from McKinsey’s and Morgan Stanley’s on-campus recruiters.

    Government subsidies make it possible for any admitted student to attend IIT. The Joint Entrance Exam is also the sole admissions criteria – extracurriculars, personal essays, your family name, and, until recently, even high school grades are all irrelevant. The top scorers receive admission, while the rest do not.

  7. Jojo says:

    April 10, 2013
    The Tyranny of the Taxi Medallions

  8. RW says:

    For those who like ‘structural’ explanations, elite mismanagement and prejudice initiates a feedback loop that becomes reflexively embedded in policy analysis.

    Potential Mistakes

    …right now we have high unemployment combined with more or less stable core inflation. Typical models would interpret this as a sharp rise in the natural rate, from maybe 5.5 to 8 percent. But what it almost surely reflects instead is the stickiness of inflation at low levels; the long-run Phillips curve is not vertical thanks mainly to downward nominal wage rigidity,and that reality is central to what’s happening now.

    I wish that these were narrow technical issues, of no importance for real-world policy. Unfortunately, they’re not. Understating output gaps leads to excessive demands for austerity and excessive complacency at central banks; this perpetuates the depression; and the longer the depression goes on, the more misleading the standard estimates become.

  9. kernelpanic says:

    “The NCAA Has Truly Lost Its Mind”

    The NCAA, coaches and universities are to (college) sports what the banksters, the treasury dept., the SEC, et. al. are to finance. They live in their own world where they rig the rules in their favor for the sole purpose of enriching themselves.

    Also from Slate, stories like this give hope for ‘sport’.

  10. VennData says:

    Hobbyists can now legally take their products outside their homes









  11. VennData says:

    ​”…Who is the guilty one? A young man … who denounces war plans, or the U.S. government which launches bombs and arms the terrorist Syrian opposition against the people and legitimate President Bashar al-Assad?” Maduro asked, to applause and cheers from ranks of military officers at a parade…”​

    You go, guerrilla!​

  12. willid3 says:

    the future is here! temp workers. replace those with them, and save your business. lots of money, and you dont even have to worry about the working conditions, cause you aren’t responsible you dont have to worry if they dont have to worry if they live or die, nor do you have to care about immigration or much of any thing else.

    and you can get away with paying them less than minimum wage, or that they might unionize, or that they need any benefits of any sort. and if they get hurt on the job can fire them. nor do you have to have workers comp,

    the only down side to them of course is they dont buy much of any thing.

  13. willid3 says:

    the Eu isn’t happy with US spy games. might lead to the grounding of flights between to the EU and the US.

    seems that the EU has already authorized that, just up the to EU commission to actually pull the trigger

  14. willid3 says:

    CEO pay? not like how companies pay any one else

    which is why its do so high?