My afternoon train reading:

• U.S. Bank Legal Bills Exceed $100 Billion (Bloomberg)
• The Financial Media is not a toy to be used and discarded (The Reformed Broker)
• Harry Dent and the chamber of poor returns (CBSNews)
• Regulators Back Away From Tougher Mortgage Rules (WSJ)
• No, the Justice Department didn’t cripple Microsoft — the internet took care of that (Gigaom) see also Microsoft: 11 Fix-It Strategies (WSJ)
• Popping the “Bubble” Bubble (Noahpinion)
• Organized Opposition To Larry Summers Forms, Ramping Up For Confirmation Battle (Huff Po)
• Regulatory uncertainty is bunk (Economic Policy Institute) see also Science Journalism and the Art of Expressing Uncertainty (Symposium Magazine)
• Oceans Storing Earth’s Excess Heat in Leaked UN Report (Bloomberg)
• How to read and understand a scientific paper: a guide for non-scientists (Violent Metaphors)

What are you reading?


Home price gains that each city has experienced off of its financial crisis lows
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.

24 Responses to “10 Mid-Week PM Reads”

  1. Bob is still unemployed   says:

    > No, the Justice Department didn’t cripple Microsoft — the internet took care of that

    The comment in the cited article, it was already blindingly obvious that Microsoft had missed the potential of the internet completely. causes me to ponder.

    Did Microsoft miss completely the potential of the Internet? Or was Microsoft (i.e., Mr. Gates) so entwined in his Windows Everywhere, lock ‘em in thinking that he was never able to grasp and exploit the <ramifications of the Internet?

    Mr. Gates wrote about the enabling power of the Internet, but he was never able to come up with a strategy that allowed Microsoft to fit in to that power.

    I think that Mr. Gates realized his utter failure to bring Microsoft forward as a participant in an enabling Internet, and that is why he resigned and left an even worse person at the helm.

    Ever since that combined fiasco, it appears Mr. Gates has been trying to rewrite what history will think of him……..

  2. wally says:

    “U.S. Bank Legal Bills Exceed $100 Billion”

    And guess who is paying for the lawyers on both sides of each argument?

  3. farmera1 says:

    Sheila Bair is becoming my hero. In an article in a September 2 Fortune magazine article she pretty much nails several things, including Bernanke foot dragging to enact new banking regulations. She also mentions that Summers, an unrepentant deregulator, may become the next Fed Chairman. Get ahold of this thing and read it.

    Why is Bernanke’s Fed dragging its feet on bank regulations?

    “Ben Bernanke deserves our thanks for preventing a recurrence of the Great Depression. During the 2008 financial crisis, he understood better than anyone the deadly linkage between a troubled banking sector and a crippling credit contraction. Instead of tightening the money spigot, he opened it wide, avoiding the dark chasm of economic devastation that racked our economy throughout the 1930s.
    Yet Bernanke continues to be the target of public criticism. Many feel that the Fed’s easy-money policies have continued far too long. What should have been a shot of adrenaline has become a long-term narcotic addiction with ill-understood side effects. By punishing savings and encouraging borrowing, the Fed may be setting us up for another financial crisis down the road.”

    But people are also angry because they feel the Fed contributed to the 2008 crisis by inflating the housing bubble with low interest rates while pursuing regulatory policies that made the financial system less stable. Alan Greenspan’s Fed refused to impose mortgage lending standards, allowed banks to take on more leverage, and blocked regulation of derivatives markets. It effectively repealed Glass-Steagall restrictions on banks entering the securities business long before Congress formally repealed the law.
    In that light, thanking the Fed for avoiding another Great Depression is a little like thanking a doctor for successfully removing a malignant tumor after misdiagnosing it and letting it grow for many years.

    …President Obama is currently considering former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, an unrepentant deregulator during the Clinton years, to lead the Fed.”

    Great read.

    • Mike in Nola says:

      Don’t see why Sheila isn’t a candidate. Except that she wasn’t political enough. I don’t know if she has a Ph.D., but having one seems to be a bad thing in that post. We need somebody practical.

  4. scottinnj says:

    “Top 200 Influential Economic Blogs”

    I must say any list that puts Zero Hedge above Mr Ritholtz (or Mr McBride at Calculated Risk, another excellent blog) is questionable.

    • winstongator says:

      There are good influences and bad influences. ZH may not be your idea of the ‘best’ financial blog, but it does have considerable influence.

  5. Slash says:

    So I’m reading today in the WSJ about the financial disclosures of the top 2 Fed chair candidates. Summers’ assets are at least in the $9 million range (I think it’s assets, maybe it’s income). Yellen and her husband (I believe he’s a professor of some kind) are almost church mice by comparison, their assets are something like $1.5 million to $3 million+. But they pull in something like $22k A MONTH in income.

    I don’t know how many of them there could possibly be in America, but how about we put someone in charge of large parts of the economy who knows about economics AND has to live on less than $22,000 a month?

    That’s one thing that’s wrong with the people who run our economy. They make so much more than the vast majority of the country, they can’t even relate to what issues affect most people. They think (or seem to think) we all follow the stock market and care deeply about housing starts. We don’t. We follow our own income (vs. our expenses) and care deeply about what would happen if we were to lose a job or face some sort of godawful crisis (like a cancer diagnosis). Maybe we should make the Fed Chairman live on the median income (I think it’s about $50k a year now) and see how that affects his/her decision making.

  6. trafficengineer says:

    First human brain-to-brain interface

  7. Tim says:

    Great post, farmera1 !

  8. Willy2 says:

    “Harry Dent and the chamber of poor returns”.

    Agree. His predictions were “not too accurate” (tongue in cheek) when it came to timing. He admitted that as well.. And he’s shamelessly plugging his books. But Dent is not a technician or an investment advisor. He bases his economic views on demograpics and those can be predicted years and even decades in advance.
    He recenly admitted that short term predictions are (very) difficult but he focusses on long term demographic trends. That’s his “Forte”.

    • His long term have fared just as poorly.

      Why dont we just say ALL of his predictions have sucked ?

      • Willy2 says:

        Nope. I have learned over the years (before I bought Dent’s latest book) that every person (D. Rosenberg, R. Prechter, G. Shilling, P. Schiff, B. Ritholtz, J. Puplava, J. Mauldin, etc.) has one or more blind spots when it comes to how an economy works. And then it was no surprise that Dent had – at least – one blind spot as well. But Dent does make some very valuable points that I didn’t hear from other people.

        And where those opinions diverge of these people (e.g. deflation vs. inflation) one has to read even more and put one’s braincells to work.

    • winstongator says:

      How do I bring this up to my in-laws that have at least 2 of his books? My worry is that they go all-in on stocks right before things go downhill again.

  9. Willy2 says:

    “Walter Olson: How Frivolous Lawsuits Are Raising the Cost of Living in America”
    “There Are Very Few “Safe Harbors” for Doctors” (to be able to liten to the audio interview one has to sign up for paid subscription or pay $1 for the interview.).

    @Mr. Rithotlz: Still opposing tort reform ?

    • You are aware that this is an insignificant rounding error int he total cost of health care in the US?

      Why do you defend incompetent hospitals and doctors? Are you aware of how corrupt state AMAs are? Do you really think the country is better of when corporations can injure people with impunity? Why do you oppose the constitutional right to seek redress amongst a jury of your peers?

      Here is what you need to experience first hand: A doctor who should not be practicing does grievous harm to a loved one, and you have no redress do to tort reform. I hope you never experience that. If you did your whole world view will change. You do not seem to understand the scumbags who push tort reform, and what it truly is.

      I prefer my constitutional right to seek redress in a court of law.

      • winstongator says:

        Or you have a ‘decent’ doctor take on a procedure they shouldn’t, not take the simple precaution they should and causing a friend incalculable pain. They ultimately recovered, and all my friend wanted was an apology, which he never got. I encouraged him to sue, at least to get that.

        It doesn’t have to be that worst case doctor. There are levels of specialty and procedures that some doctors might be comfortable with, that others might not be. Be warned that doctors will not willingly give up doing your procedure, because they want your business. Is that having your best interest at heart?

      • I dont know why this is so complicated for you to understand. I would never voluntarily give up my right to seek redress in a public court house.

        I wish you would stop defending profiteering health care companies, hospitals and pharmas

      • Willy2 says:

        I DO NOT defend incompetent doctors & hospitals. But this is only ONE part of the healthcare system that needs a MAJOR overhaul. The ENTIRE system is overburdened with (too much) regulation, costs going through the roof, too many vested interests. And laywers sueing everyone from “here till the kingdom comes” is another part of the equation.

        Don’t worry, too many vested interests means that there won’t be any major changes any time soon. I fear that only the next leg of the financial crisis will bring reform, simply because then there’s no money anymore that can be “extracted” from the system (government, patients, doctors, hospitals, etc.).

      • This message has been brought to you by the US Chamber of Commerce and the Corporations of America

      • Willy2 says:

        Did you listen to the interview ? I did, although I didn’t agree with everything.

        No, I am just a simple taxpayer who has been the subject of a frivolous lawsuit.

        It’s precisely this kind sense of entitlement that convinces me more that tort reform is long overdue. Discussion closed.

      • I guess it depends on who fucks you that colors our world.

        I have a much greater fear of corporations run amuck.

  10. petessake says:

    Well written, Mr. Ritholtz.