My longer form, weekend reading:

Chasing Coincidences: Why it’s hard to recognize the statistically unlikely. (nautilus)
• A new approach to deposit insurance (Coppola Comment)
• How to Convince Investors: An essays on fundraising (Paul Graham)
• Goodbye, Miami: S. Florida will soon be under water (Rolling Stone)
• How America’s ‘Culture of Hustling’ Is Dark and Empty (Atlantic)
• Merchants of Meth: How Big Pharma Keeps the Cooks in Business (MoJo)
• The death of theory? (Noahpinion)
• World’s Most Influential Thinkers Revealed (Technology Review) see also Coolhunting for the World’s Thought Leaders (
• The Art of the Phony: Forgery & Modern Art (New York Review of Books)
• How Athletes Get Great (Outside) see also What happens when four guys try to cross the Atlantic…in a rowboat (SportsNet)

Whats up for the weekend?


S&P 500 Back Down to Its 50-DMA
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.

17 Responses to “10 Weekend Reads”

  1. Chief Tomahawk says:

    Re: Crossing the Atlantic in a rowboat w/ 4 people: there’s a race from the west coast of Africa to S. America already with rowboats–though most of the participants are 2-man crews… save for the woman who did it solo because her husband broke down not long after the start. Made for a fascinating hour on PBS.

    BR, there’s an interesting (well, its a dating show) sociological experiment underway on the CW network called “Perfect Score” ( Prior to taping the show, the contestants are tested to determine their compatibility. Their most compatible match, if they can figure it out, is worth $50k. The least compatible match is worth $1 (with everyone else laddered in between in terms of value). Then the show begins. Weeding is then done based upon looks and impressions (and contestants are subjected to some rather embarrassing scenarios along the way). Whoever, of the 2 pickers, matches with the highest dollar amount remaining from their pool, wins that dollar amount (and presumably a date with their ‘match’.) Cognitive biases exposed writ large!

  2. rd says:

    Re: Miami becoming an offshore reef

    Considering that real estate is usually a long-term investment, the term “housing recovery” may be an oxymoron for most locations at elevation 15 or lower.

    BTW – safety from natural disaster is cheap. The safest places in the country also have some of the lowest housing costs. Basically, you want to be in the northern interior of the country if you want to avoid natural disasters. These areas are also likely to see an improvement in their climate with global warming:

  3. RW says:

    Annals of Austerity FAIL, Eurozone Redux

    …usterity is sinking all boats. Greece has passed Spain in unemployment and is producing barely 3/4 what it did in 2008. Ireland’s reduction in unemployment is a mirage based on emigration. The same is true in Latvia and Lithuania …

    Yet the drumbeat for austerity continues. The sequester goes on. And millions suffer needlessly.

  4. rd says:

    An interesting article on the continuing drought in the Colorado River basin:

    It is interesting that much of the article is about the current difficulties of recreational boating in the middle of a desert. At least the WSJ knows what is important in life.

    Also, a interersting article on what appears to be a three-century mega-drought in the eastern Mediterranean that may have wiped out many of the ancient civilizations there. Tree ring studies from the American Southwest have shown that century plus mega-droughts have occurred there over the past couple of millenia and may also have wiped out civilizations there as well as Ice-Age droughts pre-dating peoplein the Americas.

  5. [...] spectacle. A couple of interesting topics, though, via Barry Ritholtz’s The Big Picture  weekend reading list  — one is a subject always interesting, which is people, places and thing placed together as [...]

  6. theexpertisin says:

    So, South Florida is doomed, according to the Rolling Stone .I wonder why coastal real estate is so expensive with this impending catastrophe on the horizon?


    • rd says:

      There are a lot of established interestsfocused on keeping coastal real estate occupied and expensive. Besides, it is a pleasant way to live as long as you don’t have to be there duing a hurricane.

      Its not that much different than understanding how much damage those 1% to 2% annual expenses do to your retirement savings.

      Besides, they will also be able to sell their property for top dollar before the serious trouble shows up. Also, the federal government always shows up to bail everybody out after a disaster.

    • willid3 says:

      its a feature, not a problem. consider some of the most expensive houses in southern California have an extra feature too. the cliffs they are on a collapsing and they have to provide supports to keep the houses from falling down .

  7. GeorgeBurnsWasRight says:

    Regarding people’s ability to estimate probabiliies, is of interest.

    And humans seem to be hard-wired contrary to some of the laws of mathmatecal probablility. Have a group of people flip a coin 5 times and get heads each time and ask them what they think the odds are that the next toss will be tails. The people will divide into two groups. The largest group will be people who are sure that the chance of getting tails is now more than 50-50. The smaller group will understand how randomness works, but will probably admit that their intellect has to override their “gut feeling” that the odds are more than 50-50 now.

    The only advantage we have in investing is that the behavior of humans is not random, so that people will sometimes act according to their misestimation of probability, thus skewing the results.

  8. RW says:

    Warren Buffett, age 44, explains the futility of playing the market (ht AR)

    In 1975, shortly after joining the board of the Washington Post Company, Warren Buffett wrote a letter to the chairman and chief executive, Katherine Graham. He had some advice as to how the company should invest its pension accounts.

    All 19 pages were recently published by Fortune, and are well worth reading. In the brief excerpt below, Buffett, then just 44 years old, makes a succinct case against traditional stock picking and fund management.

  9. sellstop says:

    Regarding Meth and big Pharma:
    My real job is in an ED in S. Oregon. I can’t believe the meth problem has improved. Meth is a scourge and represents a big percentage of the causes for ER visits here in rural southern Oregon.

  10. Jojo says:

    4 research-backed reasons you should be allowed to nap at work
    Show this to your boss

    By Chris Gayomali | July 30, 2013

    Be honest: That burrito you scarfed down for lunch probably wasn’t the best idea in the world. And now, you have what Dave Chappelle warmly calls “the itis.” Your eyes can’t stay open and your productivity is shot, but a warm, cozy nap eludes you.

    It’s not just you, though! Take heart knowing that when it comes to recharging your brain power, science is actually on your side. Here, in no particular order, are four lab-tested reasons you should be allowed to take an afternoon snooze while on the clock:

    1. Naps help you learn new information

  11. Jojo says:

    World’s Roundest Object!
    Published on Mar 25, 2013

    The world’s roundest object helps solve the longest running problem in measurement — how to define the kilogram.

    A kilogram isn’t what it used to be. Literally. The original name for it was the ‘grave’, proposed in 1793 but it fell victim to the French Revolution like its creator, Lavoisier. So begins the tale of the most unusual SI unit. The kilogram is the only base unit with a prefix in its name, and the only one still defined by a physical artifact, the international prototype kilogram or IPK.

    But the problem with this definition has long been apparent. The IPK doesn’t seem to maintain its mass compared to 40 similar cylinders minted at the same time. The goal is therefore to eliminate the kilogram’s dependence on a physical object. Two main approaches are being considered to achieve this end: the Avogadro Project and the Watt Balance.

  12. Robert M says:

    That chart is a weekly w/ a gap. I’d be looking out below.