My morning reads:

Morgan Housel: Who Should Try to Beat the Market?  (Motley Fool) see also Get rich quick! Con others on TV! (Marketwatch)
• Banks as Bookies (DealBook)
• QE – Why $85 Billion per Month? Why Not $170 or $42 -1/2 Billion? (Econtraian)
• Fortress to Blackstone Say Now Is Time to Sell (PE investments) on Surge (Bloomberg)
50% increase to clients: BofA to Revamp Merrill Fees (WSJ)
• The Most Efficient Office in the World (Slate)
• GDP Revisions Make Recovery Look Better, Recession Not as Bad (Real Time Economics) see also Musical Chairs in the House Knocks Out Tax Reform (Fiscal Times)
• Crypto experts issue a call to arms to avert the cryptopocalypse (ArsTechnica)
America’s Engineering Hubs: The Cities With The Greatest Capacity For Innovation (Joel Kotkin)
• The New Explosion in Audio Books (WSJ)

What are you reading?


The Pros and Cons of Stock Buybacks
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.

18 Responses to “10 Sunday Reads”

  1. MayorQuimby says:

    QE article…excellent. I believe QE has nothing to do with bond yield suppression. “Growth” for our monetary system essentially means a perpetually expanding money supply backed by economic activity. The economy is no longer perpetually expanding at a comfortably steady rate so the likelihood is for QE to increase or continue imho as the amounts of QE have been nominally just enough to keep growth positive when added to organic credit growth and .gov has been using that QE to spend itself of course.

    I think all of the hawkish talk from the Fed is simply just that – talk – talk designed to walk down markets that have reached the upper stratosphere and to keep any potential bubbles from forming (ie the Fed is on a trigger alert to stop QE so be careful out there and don’t get too crazy!). IF they actually do END QE (not taper) into a flattening credit expansion, markets will sell off imo in a significant and prolonged way. I’m not talking SPX 900 but I’m not talking SPX 1450 either. With labor participation flat and the job market still weak I just don’t see why QE tapering would occur unless Ben needs to take a breather to let Congress do its job (cut some PORK for real, spur growth, address structural issues etc.) for a while. Interesting stuff!

    Well, that’s my hand.

  2. rd says:

    An interesting article on how an Indian cardio surgeon is cutting the costs of heart surgery there. I am sure he would be unable to even get a start on that here with the hoops of the FDA, Medicare etc. to go through. It seems like they don’t have large, entrenched interests there focused on keeping costs high either.

    Re: Banks as bookies
    The reason that Dodd-Frank and similar laws are the size of Encyclopedia Britannica is because nothing can be allowed to be thought through this simply in Washington. Complexity is where the campaign contributions, legal fees, and opportunities for companies to find loopholes come from.

  3. RW says:

    Be careful out there folks [it probably won't save you but it's the thought that counts, eh].


    A little more activity this week than we’ve seen lately, with a heavy concentration of home invasion* shootings (eight), two additional hotel room invasion shootings, eight target shooting accidents (not including a ninth that I saw recounted by an eye witness on a gun owner’s online forum, but not in a news report), three gun-in-the-waistband injuries, two incidents involving cops and/or security guards (including one at the nuclear weapons production facility at Oak Ridge, TN), two people who shot themselves cleaning loaded weapons, and three people who dropped their guns and accidentally shot themselves in so doing. …

    …for those of you who’ve expressed concern about the rate of gun injuries in this country and found yourselves confronted with demands that you be equally concerned about the rate of swimming pool drownings, this week we have the Perfect Storm …From Tekonsha, MI comes the story of a 7-year-old girl facing what surely would have been a drowning in her family’s backyard pool, saved by a quick-thinking (and gun-owning) neighbor, who helpfully shot her in the arm before she could meet that fate. …

    NB: *Home (etc) “invasions” in this series refers to invasions by bullets.

    • Conan says:

      This comment is just too one sided and reoccurring with no other side being presented. So in the spirit of giving more information…..

      How do you explain the year on year decrease of deaths from a peak in 1993 to today:

      I am not a gun zealot, but only one side of facts can’t be heard. Decide for yourself and listen to no one source. This is a complicated issue.

      • Conan says:

        Forgot to add:

        Firearms are last on the list for “unintentional”

        Numbers are impersonal and the loss of any life is important. However this data was presented just to show the other causes and the over all scale. More needs to be done in Health care, physiological assistance, motor vehicle safety for improvement.

      • DeDude says:

        “I am not a gun zealot” – but you play one on blogs??

        Did you read the first sentence in that first link? Ever heard of Australia; one of the few cases of actually disarming the people by changing gun laws.

        The examiner link is the only real “counter” to the “Gun FAIL” link and the only one that someone without an agenda would have provided. Simple comparison of cases where guns did good to those where they did bad. Fair and reasonable – yes there are cases of both. Although that has nothing to do with the real debate. Nobody has suggested that appropriately trained law abiding citizens should not be allowed to own firearms and defend their homes/businesses. The actual gun debate is whether we should ensure that ONLY mentally fit and law abiding citizens have firearm. So I think you are trying to argue what is called a “straw man”.

        Your death peak in 1994 of 70.0% to 66.3% of all weapons related deaths in 2008 is not a particularly large reduction. The total number of murders (regardless of weapons) fell drastically in that same period. However, if you want to find an explanation, an unbiased observer might mention the assualt weapons ban in 1994. Strangely enough the stats end with 2008 although they cite sources as late as 2011.

        Similarly an unbiased observer might note that your link to child mortality not only show guns as last on the list of “unintentional injury”, it also show that guns are responsible for more than half (2869 of 5010) of the homoicide/suicide death of children.

  4. RW says:

    Martin Wolfe reviews Debunking Public vs Private Sector Myths
    [article is free but registration required]

    A much-maligned engine of innovation

    …In this brilliant book, Mariana Mazzucato, a Sussex university professor of economics who specialises in science and technology, argues that …Yes, innovation depends on bold entrepreneurship. But the entity that takes the boldest risks and achieves the biggest breakthroughs is not the private sector; it is the much-maligned state. …

    Why is the state’s role so important? The answer lies in the huge uncertainties, time spans and costs associated with fundamental, science-based innovation. Private companies cannot and will not bear these costs, partly because they cannot be sure to reap the fruits and partly because these fruits lie so far in the future. Indeed, the more competitive and finance-driven the economy, the less the private sector will be willing to bear such risks. …

    This book has a controversial thesis. But it is basically right. The failure to recognise the role of the government in driving innovation may well be the greatest threat to rising prosperity.

  5. mathman says:

    A short lecture by Columbia economist Dr. Jeffrey Sachs:

  6. barbacoa666 says:

    Bacteria as investors, in a world where only the best investors survive. Truly mind-boggling implications:

  7. Jojo says:

    Click the link to see a detailed and interesting info-porn chart
    Does the Templeton Foundation Support Science or Science Fiction?
    Templeton grants fund important research — but they also go to projects on extraterrestrial power, faith healings and the afterlife.

    By Adam Piore|Tuesday, July 16, 2013

    John Templeton, once called “arguably the greatest global stock-picker” of the 20th century, may now best be known for the foundation that bears his name. The Templeton Foundation often funds research into questions that seem a far cry from the grounded, data-driven realms of high finance: immortality, the nature of evil, the power of prayer and the possibility of alien life, to name just a few.

    Templeton, a devout Presbyterian, established the foundation in 1987 to serve as a “philanthropic catalyst for discoveries relating to the Big Questions of human purpose and ultimate reality,” according to its mission statement. Although financing such research may raise scientific eyebrows and hackles, there’s no question that much of Templeton’s money — $71 million in 2011 — has funded legitimate and important science.

    With an endowment of $2.5 billion in 2012, the foundation’s research efforts have expanded in recent years to cast a wide net. In 2012, the Templeton Foundation awarded 178 grants, averaging $970,446 each. Below is our deliberately oversimplified guide to these unusual and myriad efforts.

  8. Jojo says:

    Spy Drone Can See What You are Wearing From 17,500 Feet

  9. RW says:

    Americans fear another financial crisis, are spooked by investing

    According to a new Nationwide Financial survey of potential investors with at least $100,000 in investible assets, 83% fear another financial crisis and 62% are scared of investing in the stock market. That is more than the 58% who fear death and the 57% who fear public speaking. The only common fear that evokes similar distress is skydiving (81%).


    • Iamthe50percent says:

      Lots of us went skydiving (metaphorically) on Wall Street in 2008. Five years isn’t long enough to forget.

  10. sellstop says:

    I’m reading “The Myth of the Rational Market” by Justin Fox. An interesting read about the history of trying to figure out if “the market” can be “beat”.

    People still pontificate over the likelihood of different classes of “investors” being able to “beat the market”.
    A couple of observations.
    If you don’t beat the market nowadays you are just saving. With basically everybody using the financial markets to save for retirement that is all they are good for. Saving. The return will depend on the expansion of the money supply and that is not making wealth. It is only wealth if you are doing better than your neighbor.
    And no one can beat the market. That is not what we should be shooting for. We should be trying to beat ourselves. If you can beat your own poor instincts you will gain wealth in the financial markets.
    I am baffled by those who say they are still afraid of the financial markets because of the big declines in the recent past. What stopped them from getting out and just watching from the sidelines? The answer is Pride. Just the inability to admit they were wrong. Period.
    If you can accept being wrong once, and then being wrong twice, or five or ten times and keep going and learning from your mistakes you will master yourself. And then the markets.

  11. sellstop says:

    It was you that made me buy it Barry. Thanks.

  12. Willy2 says:

    - Chinese imports from the 10 countries exporting the most to China, is down by 4%. What do you mean “growing chinese economy” ?
    - Japanese industrial output down by 3%.