Well, I apparently don’t optimize the database enough, which sounds naughty (but isn’t) and hence the site issues this morning. Here are my belated morning reads just in time for the afternoon:

• Godfather of Charts Turns Bearish; Targets Dow 12,000 (Moneybeat) see also Why short sellers love China’s tall buildings (MarketWatch)
Bogle: A Legend Still Pines for the Good Fight (Morningstar)
• The Swedish model for economic recovery (Washington Post) see also The Unsaved World (NYT)
• Fraud, failure and bankruptcy pay well for CEOs (MarketWatch)
• Detroit’s Woes Add to Angst Over Municipal Debt (WSJ) see also FINRA tackles private securities as investors seek yield (Reuters)
• Why don’t Americans ride trains? (Economist)
• Mercedes Stop-and-Go Autopilot Heralds Hands-Free Push (Bloomberg) but see Hyundai’s $48,000 Genesis Beats Luxury Car Competitors (Bloomberg)
• The Most Surprising Things About America, According To An Indian International Student (Business Insider)
• 20 Things 20-Year-Olds Don’t Get (Forbes)
• On The Clash’s London Calling: The Sound of Going to Pieces (WSJ)

What are you reading?


Who’s Your Favorite College Football Team?
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.

16 Responses to “10 Friday (Kinda Mid-day) Reads”

  1. Francisco Bandres de Abarca says:

    Many elements of the Swedish model read like signs along the road to intelligent fiscal rehabilitation: reducing public expenditures by twenty percent, cutting public debt in half, cutting marginal tax rates and simplifying the tax code. Very wise. (Confession–I was rather hoping for a different sort of Swedish model when clicking the link. Alas.)

    I think this nation (U.S.A.) would also have benefited greatly had we acted upon the sage advice of Anna Schwartz (e.g., don’t allow the leadership of financial corporations which have proven themselves to be defective to remain in place when the taxpayer bails them out.)

    And about that favorite football map–Purdue didn’t even capture Tippecanoe County? And Cornell, Tompkins County? Hmmm. I’m declaring this map null-and-void.

    Won’t be surprised if the S&P closes down around the 1622 neighborhood today, as not many folk will wish to leave much risk on the table this weekend.

    Y’all have a pleasant holiday out there!

  2. rd says:

    Why don’t americans ride trains?

    Because there aren’t any.

    Once you get out of the coastal high density corridors, train travel becomes nearly impossible. In our upstate NY city, there are only a couple of trains a day in each direction with a pretty limited number of destinations. It is a good way to get to NYC, Boston, and Toronto and that is about it. Chicago is possible but takes longer than driving. Taking the train to Philadelphia or Washington, DC takes about 12 hrs, including connections while it only takes 4-5 hrs by car.

    Far more people travel by bus since the buses radiate out on the interstates and there are far more destinations and transfer points available for buses than planes. In our city, if you are not driving then you would almost always end up in a plane or on a bus.

    The train station has far less parking than the airport and it would take 3 to 4 times as long to get there by bus as by car once you have gotten to the bus stop. The train is a bit cheaper than the plane, but often not that much.

  3. Chief Tomahawk says:

    Well, I have 10 tickets to OSU@NU on Oct. 5, to be nationally broadcast on ABC in primetime. Plan on selling 8 of them off, most likely to Buckeye fans. Hopefully the Wildcats pull the upset!!!

  4. mpetrosian says:

    The title should have been 20 Things That Most People Don’t Get. The kids are just fine. They’re smarter
    than you were at 20 if you’re 35+ and its their turn.

  5. rj chicago says:

    Man o man – looking at the football chart seems the Cornhusker has invaded the tidy ranchland of NE Colorado – Isn’t that the area where there are some 7 or counties wanting to secede from the state? The CU Buffs are in the People’s Republic of Boulder. Coincidence.?

  6. RW says:

    The argument that the rich have earned their wealth (apparently even when they inherit) and therefore deserve it embeds the concomitant logic that the poor have ‘earned’ their poverty and, eo ipso, somehow deserve that; if only they were more competent, tried harder …

    The argument is stupid as well as nauseatingly self-righteous of course but now there is clear evidence it is also fallacious. Nice.

    Poverty strains cognitive abilities, opening door for bad decision-making, new study finds

    NB: This study included experiments with controls making the direction of causality clear.

    • rd says:

      That is why I can comprehend the arguments about cutting taxes on income etc. but I have always felt that the estate tax system is probably not efficient enought at positioning the inheriting generation to have to show skill to be successful. It should be structured to allow family farms and small businesses to get passed down to the next generation who would actually run them but beyond that there shouldn’t be much passed down tax free beyond what would support a fairly comfortable upper middle-class existence.

      The ability to be born wealthy is not a skill. It is not like racehorses that are bred for particular skills – in that case the offspring still need to show their chops at the racetrack to get a chance to produce the next generation. Inherited wealth has too much inertia and can allow those generations to simply coast – it is one of the primary reasons why Britain went into a major downward spiral in the 20th century as much of their best talent was trapped in the lower classes while incompetents were given major roles because of their breeding.

      • RW says:

        Alexis de Tocqueville had what I think is a useful perspective on hereditary wealth, in particular Chapter 18 of Democracy in America viz

        …No great change takes place in human institutions without involving among its causes the law of inheritance. When the law of primogeniture obtained in the South, each family was represented by a wealthy individual, who was neither compelled nor induced to labor; and he was surrounded, as by parasitic plants, by the other members of his family, who were then excluded by law from sharing the common inheritance, and who led the same kind of life as himself. The same thing then occurred in all the families of the South which still happens in the noble families of some countries in Europe: namely, that the younger sons remain in the same state of idleness as their elder brother, without being as rich as he is. This identical result seems to be produced in Europe and in America by wholly analogous causes. In the South of the United States the whole race of whites formed an aristocratic body, headed by a certain number of privileged individuals, whose wealth was permanent and whose leisure was hereditary. These leaders of the American nobility kept alive the traditional prejudices of the white race, in the body of which they were the representatives, and maintained idleness in honor. This aristocracy contained many who were poor, but none who would work; its members preferred want to labor; consequently Negro laborers and slaves met with no competition; and, whatever opinion might be entertained as to the utility of their industry, it was necessary to employ them, since there was no one else to work.

        No sooner was the law of primogeniture abolished than for- tunes began to diminish and all the families of the country were simultaneously reduced to a state in which labor became necessary to existence; several of them have since entirely disappeared, and all of them learned to look forward to the time when it would be necessary for everyone to provide for his own wants. Wealthy individuals are still to be met with, but they no longer constitute a compact and hereditary body, nor have they been able to adopt a line of conduct in which they could persevere and which they could infuse into all ranks of society. …

        NB: I would argue that what has now been “infused into all ranks of society” after decades of plutocratic influence WRT legislation are tax, corporate, estate and trust laws facilitating essentially the same outcome as primogeniture and fee entail did before them.

  7. RW says:

    The Audacity of the Fight for Higher Wages

    Something’s broken here in an economy that serves up low wages to significant numbers of adults whose families depend on their earnings (the typical worker earning between the minimum wage and $10 an hour earns half of his or her family’s income; 88 percent are adults). And something’s broken when the media and economic pundits seem to devote a lot more energy to explaining why companies can’t pay living wages than considering what to do about it.

  8. Robert M says:

    As someone who works w/ many 20 yr olds, they have been trained not to volunteer to do work to advance. Most supervisors don’t have the authority to put 20 yr olds time to good use because the supervisors are waiting for orders creating a negative feedback for both parties. This occurs primarily because most 20 yr olds who are offered what was once considered serious work by a company now do that work for a contractor whom is constantly waiting for orders. Think of all the out sourcing in consumer/customer service, back office functions, et al. It doesn’t matter whether it is medical records, insurance, tech companies or McDonalds, i.e. educational achievement, even necessity of it, doesn’t matter.

    • Anna, who came to us from Sweden, was very different than that. Our interns Jake and Parker, also had a very healthy work ethic and an excellent attitude. Like I said, it varies.

      The reason I posted this link is I thought it was advice I wish someone had given to me a ew decades ago.

      • rd says:

        I passed it on to my kid who is starting the first job out of university on Tuesday. I thought it was generally very good advice delivered succinctly. My guess is that most of the points were just as relevant in 1900 as today.

        I have seen the same variation in young employees. I don’t see that big a differnece from when I was starting out in the early 80s. Even the level of cynicism is similar as when we were coming out of Vietnam, stagflation, and Nixon in 1981 while today they grew up with Iraq and Afghanistan, memos justifying torture, their parents getting laid off and foreclosed, large student loan debt, and the financial crisis.

        I think one big differnece today is that many managers believe that first-time employees should be coming out of school trained to do everything. They don’t believe their job is to help train their workers as they need to get results immediately. Some of the complaints we get about 20 somethings may be more a failure of leadership than anything else.

  9. annbury says:

    the reason no Americans ride trains? try the expense. my wife goes to Washington DC from NYC often to help care for a sick friend. The bolt bus is $20 or $25 each way. The train – filthy, but faster – costs north of $300 for a prime time ticket. In Europe and Asia the trains are fabulous and fabulously expensive.

  10. kaleberg says:

    It should be obvious why Americans don’t ride trains, we don’t subsidize them the way we subsidize automobiles, intercity buses and air travel. Where we actually have a sufficiently concentrated subsidy, for example, the Boston-NY-DC Amtrak lines, plenty of Americans ride trains. The rest of our trains and tracks are antiques.

    The right question would have been “why don’t we subsidize our railroads the way other countries do?”