Some reads for your early Sunday morning:

• MLPs: Boom… or Bust? (Barron’s)
Morgan Housel: 3 Economic Stories That Get Blown Out of Proportion (Motley Fool)
Department of Labor vs SEC Locking Horns Over Retirement Accounts (Moneybeat)
• Guy does to bank what banks usually do to other people (msn) see also $700k windfall: Russian man outwits bank with hand-written credit contract (
• State Tax Cuts: Is Arthur Laffer All Wet? (PBS)
• The Gorilla Lurking Where We Can’t See It (WSJ)
• Amazon’s puzzling new art venture (Reuters)
• Big Tech versus Big Brother (theguardian) see also NSA-DEA police state tango (Salon)
• 10-Year Study Erases VC ‘Smart Money’ Claims (Silicon Valley Watcher)
• Your Flight’s Delayed! Here’s what to do (Slate)

What’s for Brunch ?


Chrome rules the web
Source: Economist

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.

14 Responses to “10 Sunday Reads”

  1. farmera1 says:

    Interesting comments on student loans, part time jobs and pensions.

    3 Economic Stories That Get Blown Out of Proportion

  2. Bob is still unemployed   says:

    The next time I have to make a copy of a page full of numbers, I’ll make sure to double-check that the copier didn’t change any of the numbers for me.

    Xerox scanners/photocopiers randomly alter numbers in scanned documents

    ” In this article I present in which way scanners / copiers of the Xerox WorkCentre Line randomly alter written numbers in pages that are scanned. This is not an OCR problem (as we switched off OCR on purpose), it is a lot worse – patches of the pixel data are randomly replaced in a very subtle and dangerous way: The scanned images look correct at first glance, even though numbers may actually be incorrect. Without a fuss, this may cause scenarios like:

    - Incorrect invoices
    - Construction plans with incorrect numbers (as will be shown later in the article) even though they look right
    - Other incorrect construction plans, for example for bridges (danger of life may be the result!)
    - Incorrect metering of medicine, even worse, I think.

    To make things even more worse: The copiers in question are the common Xerox WorkCentres, and Xerox seemed to be unaware of the issue until we found out about it last Wednesday….”

  3. DeDude says:

    Nice analysis of Laffer and his cherry picking of parameters to support his narrative. It is a no brainer that a state will attract more inhabitants if it has lower taxes (although other factors are even more important to choice of where to live or set up a business). However, if all the people and jobs attracted are low income have you really made things better or worse for those who originally lived there? Do you really want to expand your state with huge numbers of “barely making it” inhabitants? That is why you need to look at GDP per inhabitant not total GDP when you evaluate state growth – but that would support a different narrative than the “cutting-income-taxes-is-good”.

    • DeDude says:

      Forgot to mention Laffer’s own story. He gets to live in a state with high level of service (such as education) at the time he and his family can reap huge benefits from it. He also gets to enjoy tax-deferred (note the word deferred) contributions to retirement funds from that state. However, when time comes to pay for all that stuff rather than just enjoying it – he moves to another state with no income tax (and low service).

      Admitted he is far from the only example of this “get the benefits then flee the bills” approach. Furthermore, the states are somewhat responsible for this themselves, by allowing IRA/401K contributions to be exempt from state taxes rather than giving a refundable tax credit on withdrawal of contributions (that were originally taxed by the state).

  4. While I was aware IE was declining in use, THOSE numbers really surprised me. And one wonders where it will end in view of the consistent trend down.

  5. Alaska says:

    CBC News: “Canadian housing boom in ’9th inning’. Despite strong sales in major centres, building permits down significantly”:

  6. Jojo says:

    Lock Your Doors: As Climate Change Increases, So Does Violence
    August 5, 2013 | 9:30 AM

    From ancient China to today, major changes in the weather mean major changes in how people behave toward each other–for the worse. What does this mean for our future?

    In 2008, researchers at the University of Minnesota discovered something funny about a stalagmite sourced from a cave in northwest China. The nearly five-inch long piece of calcium carbonate contained layers recording thousands of years of the region’s rainfall history–as stalagmites had shown in the past–but these coincided with something else. Where the stalagmite showed intense drought or weak rains, history showed the collapse of the Tang, Yuan, and Ming dynasties. Where it showed steady, strong rain, dynasties grew and consolidated power.

    “The climate acted as the last straw that broke the camel’s back,” paleoclimatologist Hai Chang told Scientific American then.

    The weather recorded in the stalagmite corresponded with changes in the global climate–at the time the Tang Dynasty fell, records show worldwide warming. But the University of Minnesota team hasn’t been the only one to recognize this phenomenon–a group of researchers from Princeton and Berkeley analyzed the similar, longitudinal studies of 190 other researchers and concluded that major climatic changes raise rates of interpersonal and intergroup violence.

  7. Jojo says:

    Fascinating video! Yet another nail in the coffin of human jobs…
    How the Tesla Model S is Made — Behind The Scenes
    Jul 16, 2013

    If founder Elon Musk is right, Tesla Motors just might reinvent the American auto industry–with specialized robots building slick electric cars in a factory straight from the future. That’s where the battery-powered Model S is born.

  8. DeDude says:

    Via Krugman, this is short and funny.

    Apparently Rand Paul did not know Friedman is dead

  9. DeDude says:

    Malpractice awards and costs down drastically in the last decade yet medical cost increased even more drastically

    One of those nobody could have predicted kind of things?

  10. swag says:

    Yes, you have half an hour to kill watching a 1997 family explain the Internet

  11. Frwip says:

    Very happy to see VC’s bad awful no good performances getting some more exposure.

    Yes, there still is way too much money stranded in VC funds and it’s not just bad for the asset class as a whole but also bad for top performers.

    When too much money sloshes about too small a pool, the good startups end up spending a lot of resources and effort fending off the me-toos and cleaning up the mess after the vaporware factories, resources, especially, the non-scalable ones like high quality wetware, that should have been spent on making better products and happier customers along a more “organic” growth path and stronger companies in the end.

    So anything that can shoo away excess money is good news.

  12. James Shannon says:

    “First, as economist Dean Baker shows in this paper, the main cause of underfunded pensions is — surprise — the financial crisis.”
    Anyone who believes this is an utter fool!
    The pension crisis is real and it’s real because ALL pensions are invested in two classic “Ponzi Schemes”! Social security and Wall Street!
    The Government intentionally allowed ALL Pensions to underfund future obligations to the poor so they could make more money and The Government Undertaxes All income for Social Security so the Rich don’t have pay same as the poor – 15.65%!
    When you give a man your money there are always and only two things he can do with it. Give it back or steal it!
    American’s ignorance is giving us the Government the Rich all believe we deserve!
    And in America the Government has allowed stealing by the Rich a National Pastime!