My morning reading:

• CNBC hits 20-year ratings nadir (New York Post)
• After mega-LBO boom, a massive private equity cleanup (Reuters)
• Sony’s Newest Hit? Find It in Apple and Samsung Phones (Bloomberg)
• Michael Mauboussin, Interview No. 4 (Farnam Street)
• Hank Paulson: Break up Fannie & Freddie but leave the big banks alone (Fortune)
• The Difference Between Risk and Fear (A Dash of Insight)
• Figuring Out What Time Is the Right Time to Start Hiring (NYT) see also Stop Texting: Bosses Say ‘Pick Up the Phone’ (WSJ)
• The Oil Drum, peak oil and why some good blogs don’t last (FT Alphaville)
• Why the Onion is Wrong About CNN and Miley Cyrus (Variety)
• Intelligence on Weapons No ‘Slam Dunk’ (Associated Press)

What are you reading?


Oil (Inflation-Adjusted)
Source: Chart of the Day

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.

27 Responses to “10 Thursday AM Reads”

  1. george lomost says:

    The CNBC ratings crash refers to “viewers aged 25 to 54.” Duh, do they have money to invest?

    That said, I hardly watch it either except for Street Signs and Fast Money, which I find informative – though only on down days.

  2. hue says:

    Mr. Sandman Bring Me a Dream, A Copyrighted Speech Seldom Is Seen (Vice)

    Patient Zero: The Cell That Started a Pandemic (Radiolab)

    A Disturbance in the Government Workforce (Diane Rehm) It would — to get back to full employment at a level we had before the recession — it would take the overnight creation of 10 million jobs. … And at least a quarter of that is due to dramatic shift in policy, at least compared to previous recessions. And in all previous recessions at least since World War II the government has increased employment as a way to kind of buffer the economy through the hard times of the recession. We’re here in kind of uncharted territory. And a consequence of that is we have about two and a half million too few jobs, government jobs, compared to all if we pursued policies so much of those after all the recessions.

  3. farmera1 says:

    I’ve used TOR browser for a while. Slow but from what I’ve read it is the only way to keep the NSA from documenting your browser habits. Not that I have much to hide (lived in same place for 37 years, ex Navy, retired etc, etc). Just don’t like having anyone including companies track me. Big data, being tracked is a part of modern life, but I don’t intent to make it easy.

    About 1 Million People Are Using A Web Browser That Lets You Anonymously Access The Internet After Learning About The NSA’s Snooping

    Would also recommend you look at DUCKDUCKGO search engine. No records kept (according to what I’ve read).

  4. rd says:

    Very cool that The Onion is finally being recognized for publishing the equivalent of Op-Ed pieces on the same tier as the WSJ, NYT, and WaPo. I wonder when it will receive its first Pultizer for news reporting or commentary. I expect that soon Mad Magazine will also soon be recognized in its rightful place as a provider of relevant modern news coverage.

    It is like when I go home and struggle to figure out which is fiction and which is the actual sports reporting as I flip between Caddyshack and ESPN.

    • rd says:

      BTW – have any Wall Street aalysts evaluated the very real possiblity that the advent of smartphones and tablets means that The Onion website may be sucking viewers away from CNBC?

      I think starting a new “OnionTV” channel could be a real competitor for CNBC, FoxBusiness, and FoxNews. It would likely quickly build up a significant degree of influence on intra-day market moves as its fast-breaking news clips provide up-to-date, relevant information to traders.

  5. Moss says:

    Ironic that Paulson would talk about the ‘vested interests’ protecting the GSE’s. I guess he has not been paying attention to the institutionalized criminality in the big banks. We will learn nothing from him nor his books. Hey Hank.. it ain’t just housing!

  6. VennData says:

    Second-Quarter G.D.P. Revised Sharply Higher

    Chicago guys fudging the numbers yet again. When are you ignorant non-great-and-good going to wake up?! The tax hikes MUST have ruined the economy. Don’t you see? These numbers MUST be lies!!!

    — Jack Welch

  7. Bob is still unemployed   says:

    How many Internet-connectable devices does Apple plan to manufacture over the next year or two? How about Google? Or Intel? If a device uses WiFi, then that device needs to have a MAC address (MAC, as in Media Access Control, nothing to do with Apple or McDonalds). Yes, that same MAC address that is used by stores to track you as you shop, or by advertising agencies to track you as you walk around a city and present you with targeted advertising.

    As explained in this blog post, knowing who is requesting MAC addresses from the IEEE, and how many MAC addresses are being requested, can give you an idea of how many network-capable devices a company is planning to manufacture.

  8. krice2001 says:

    Ahhh… Hank Paulson, the smartest guy in the room — ” today, the big banks are better regulated, better capitalized, and have better risk management.” I’m SO relieved to hear that. It’s always a pleasure to read Paulson’s informed opinions…

    • rd says:

      Hank Paulson is ablsolutely correct. Given how the banks were run in 2008, handing them over to a Girl Scout troop to run would have resulted in all three of those criteria being met. “Better” doesn’t mean “good” though.

  9. Chief Tomahawk says:

    With an 85%+ correlation between The Fed’s moves and the stock market, there really isn’t much for CNBC to do these days… Maybe with budget cuts they’ll embrace articles written by computers?

  10. denim says:

    Deja vu.

    Gen Zinni and Adm Crowe are two wise men. Need we a third one?
    Short version: Beware. No military action ever turns out as planned.
    The military, including the CIC, always needs to plan according to the sum total of the perceived enemy’s and allies’ capabilities, not their words or even day to day tactics.

    “Bashar Assad, much like Saddam Hussein, will continue to violate red lines and do unacceptable acts,” Zinni said on “CBS This Morning.” “We’ll find ourselves like we did in the ’90s with Iraq that we will repeatedly conduct these kinds of actions against these kinds of acts and find ourselves in sort of a slow-rolling campaign and unsure where it might lead unless we have a strategy in place to understand how this is going to play. It just can’t be a one-and-done. You can’t assume that there isn’t anything that’s going to provoke another response.”–committed-to-syria-action-will-look-weak-to-assad-if-it-doesnt-act-retired-general-says/

    NYT’s Patrick Tyler, reviewing Bob Woodward’s book on Bush’s gulf war:
    “The most serious reservations expressed in the book [by WaPo's Bob Woodward] about Mr. Bush’s policy were expressed by Adm. William J. Crowe, General Powell’s immediate predecessor. Admiral Crowe expressed many of these reservations in a public hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee in early December.

    In a luncheon meeting with General Powell on Nov. 27, however, Admiral Crowe warned that the Bush Administration was too impatient in its rush toward a military option.”

  11. Giovanni says:

    Asking Variety to chime in on frontpaging entertainment stories on news sites is like asking car salesmen if you need a new model.

  12. VennData says:

    Americans driving less as car culture wanes

    Remember when the stock market was roaring, employment was climbing, corporate profits and GDP were surging and some talking head on Fox and Friends said, “But WAIT!!! driving miles are DOWN!!!” and you sold equities and bought bonds? See that’s not understanding context, not understanding the Big Picture.

    It’s like Microsoft. All these guys say look at their profits! Look at their cash flow! but the stock goes no where because if you understand the macro context, you see that people who know what they are doing are doing EVERYTHING in their power to move to open systems… aka away from Microsoft. (And Apple and Facebook and cable TV if they can.)

    Balmer squeezed the company like a buggymaker in 1908. Microsoft is a purgatory of former technologists battling each other for position to keep their fat salaries for another year.

    • rd says:

      Two of four kids have gotten jobs and moved out. They both live in central areas of big cities with public transit and neither have bought a car or are likely to in the near-future.

  13. 873450 says:

    There goes the neighborhood – Blackrock owns half the foreclosed homes located on your block, renting them out to transients and transforming your community into a horizontal housing project.

    As Renters Move In, Some Homeowners Fret

    “Across the country, a growing number of single-family rentals provide an option for many who lost their homes in the housing crash through foreclosure and for those who cannot obtain a mortgage under today’s tougher credit conditions. But the decline in homeownership is also changing many neighborhoods in profound ways, including reduced home values, lower voter turnout and political influence, less social stability and higher crime.”

    “Used to, we knew our neighbors,” Ms. Holcomb said. Then she gestured toward the few remaining owner-occupied houses nearby. “Except for the two that have been here, I don’t know any of my neighbors.”

  14. willid3 says:

    we mustn’t do any thing to inconvenience the mortgage industry.

    so go back to the way it was when the mortgage business collapsed? and lets be sure to throw in that we must get ‘investors’ (aka suckers) to buy the ‘investments’ they have been running away from for 5 years? LOL. and some how that is supposed to make it so that F&F will shrink? why? do they think ‘investors’ have dementia?

  15. Molesworth says:

    Re CNBC: Once they started pushing their politics, both overtly and covertly through the wording of their questions and asides, they lost.
    Mad Money is a clown show and Kudlow a right wing clown show.

    These Econ articles will make you go nuts Mr Ritholtz. Sorry, I stole a bunch of your material for my comment. Appt of the Fed is nothing I can control but their attitude towards Mr Summers made me angry and I have no time to create my own content. Just wanted to get my point across to soothe my soul, so I used a lot of cut and paste. Sorry. I feel bad about stealing but better about voicing my objection to Mr Summers.
    Oh god, can you imagine the congressional hearings if he is appointed? And what he could do? Help me Obi Wan Kenobe…

  16. carchamp1 says:

    These oil charts curiously miss the deregulation of our commodity markets as the main cause of debilitating high oil prices. Wall Street traders, investment banks, pension funds, hedge funds, etc., you know, the usual suspects, are directly responsible for the dislocation of the oil markets over the last decade. So-called “investor” demand (hoarding) trumps fundamental supply and demand these days. The result is one of the worst global economies in modern times.

    Michael Masters was right back in 2008 when he brought this to the attention of lawmakers and regulators five years ago. Will anything ever be done to stop Wall Street from controlling oil prices? Probably not. Rest assured though that this oil bubble, massive as it is, will pop someday. Financial bubbles always do.

    Oil hoarders are literally pricing oil producers out of current and future markets. This process will take time, but well underway and gaining steam. Oil will ultimately fall to well below $50 ushering in a golden age of economic and employment growth. Looking forward to it.

  17. lrh says:

    Loved “Michael Mauboussin, Interview No. 4.” Books now on my wish list.

    His comments on skill and luck tell me that one must track “bad process / good result” as an indicator of luck. (Good way to become a “skunk at the garden party,” though.)

    Also his note on tracking the quality of his decisions (decision made, expected results, actual results, variance noted) is classic. I’d love to meet someone with enough guts to actually do it.

  18. VennData says:

    I.R.S. to Recognize All Gay Marriages, Regardless of State

    U.S. Says It Won’t Sue to Undo State Marijuana Laws

    We’ve spent millions trying to convince The Base about States Rights! …all down the drain now.

    So while Obama looks presidential during another US slap down of a tin-pot dictator the Boehner-led GOP will be passing yet another debt-ceiling increase. How can the GOP fight the coming Syrian debacle and imminent US collapse when Boehner won’t even call the House back from holiday?!

    Fight the Muslim Brotherhood running the GOP until they take it away from your cold dead hand!

    Only Ted Cruz can save the nation. GOPers swear your allegiance to Texarkanada NOW!

  19. willid3 says:

    and now for some thing entirely different

  20. willid3 says:

    hm. one of those BRIC countries (you know the ones that were supposed to replace the US) seems to be in big trouble

    oddly enough one of the others is too

    • rd says:

      European and American economists have been providing them with lots of advice and expertise.

      • willid3 says:

        probably so. they have done such a good job in the US (or is it on the US) that they think they need to spread the help around?