My morning reading:

• Financial Crisis: Lessons of the Rescue, A Drama in Five Acts (WSJ) see also 2008 financial crisis: Could it happen again? (USA Today)
• Secret Swiss Accounts Said No Longer Safe for Tax Dodging (Bloomberg)
• When Half-Right Forecasts are Deadly (The Reformed Broker)
• Crazy Talk: The Death of Buy & Hold (Morningstar)
• Trading Your 401(k) Account: How Bright Can It Be? (Moneybeat)
• Investors Bet On Battered Markets (WSJ)
• Low Interest Rates, Savers, and the Recovery (Noahpinion) see also America’s huge mistake on monetary policy: How negative interest rates could have stopped the Great Recession in its tracks (Quartz)
• Thinking About iPhone Pricing (stratēchery)
• Chinese Zombies Emerging After Years of Solar Subsidies (Bloomberg)
• Why Are You Not Dead Yet? (Slate)

What are you reading?


Public and Private Sector Payroll Jobs: Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama
Source: Calculated Risk

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.

9 Responses to “10 Monday AM Reads”

  1. Bob is still unemployed   says:

    California poised to implement first electronic license plates (ArsTechnica)

    A California company has sponsored a California law (with the explicit apathy of the DMV) to turn California license plates into computer displays.

    “…But the state senate’s five-page analysis (PDF) notes that one San Francisco-based company would stand to gain from this test, particularly if it gets the green light:

    A supporter of this bill is Smart Plate Mobile, a company that holds a patent on a digital electronic license plate, which is essentially a computer screen that can take on the size and appearance of a standard California license plate (i.e., a 12” by 6” white, reflectorized rectangle with blue characters and “California” in red across the top). This product also allows that screen, once a vehicle comes to a stop for four seconds or longer, to display a different image on the plate such as an advertisement. This bill does not authorize the display of anything other than the existing California license plate on a screen, but thus far it appears that Smart Plate is the company most interested in participating in such a pilot project. Smart Plate has offered to make its product available to DMV to test.

    Here in Connecticut, the distracted driving law was recently modified to make it illegal to use a cell phone while one is stopped at a traffic light, yet in California it aparently will be OK to distract drivers with advertisements while they are stuck in traffic with tempers flaring….

    • Bob is still unemployed   says:

      I forgot to mention the tracking database that would be the result of the license plates logging the location of any car in California at any time, with no opt-out mentioned….

  2. VennData says:

    Clashes renewed near Syrian capital over historic Christian town

    Christians Killed while Congressional Right Wingers say “No”

    It’s all about preventing as much as possible form coming from Obama for the GOP. Why? TO allow tax-cuts for the rich types to take control.

    Onward Christian Soldiers. You GOP voters are suckers supreme.

    • ilsm says:


      Oh, the humanity!

      What about a few score cruise missiles supposedly to slap the Assad government’s wrist will stop Islamic fighters (report I saw was they were rebel Sunnis) from targeting Christians, or Kurds or Turkomans?

      What would be needed for the humanity is a permanent presence like the brigade at Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo to protect that minority. Maybe 15 or 20 Bondsteels could do it in Syria.

      Mission creep!

      I am concerned about working poor in the red states who will have limited access to health care as the GOteaparty turns down Medicaid expansion.

  3. Katya G says:

    Long but fascinating read. “Today’s society is a stage for a free market; people are spectators at best, but rather a hindrance to the competition. In theory, democracy does not allow for the triumph of the strong over the weak: such triumph happens in the course of a competition; it is moderated by the rights of other citizens – the strong is dependent on society where he shares the responsibilities of citizenship. But the hybrid of the last decades – “democracy – free market” – cements the victory over the weak as something permanent, creates a caste of “super citizens”, the strongest players, citizens of global market – but not citizens of a particular society.”

  4. HighSeas says:

    Great graph. Is this federal government jobs, or does it also include state and local governments?

  5. rd says:

    I think the economists cited in the discussions on low interest rates, savers etc. need to get out into the real world.

    What does the typical working person know these days?

    1. Their workplace has fewer people in it today that in 2007. They are only seeing replacement hiring for the few people that are retiring. Only a few laid off people were rehired.

    2. Each year since 2007, their annual reviews include being told that things are tight as sales haven’t gone up much so their boss will try to get them a 2% raise but there are no assurances that will happen.

    3. They have been told to do more work than before because of the staffing reductions. No, management doesn’t have a plan on how they can do their work more efficiently, they just have to do it.

    4. If they need additonal equipment or supplies to work more efficiently then the company may have to find somebody who can work more efficiently without those extra costs. Good people “Just Do It.”

    5. Their new CEO came in with much fanfare, including discussions about his $15 million per year pay package. They have gotten a handful of memos about change since then but haven’t seen anything materialzie other than some managers get shuffled around and a couple of branches got closed. They heard that half the functions disappeared and the rest were out-sourced offshore.

    6. Their savings account pays them 0.01% interest but their credit cards charge them 15%.

    7. The tuition for their kid in college is going up 7% a year and financial aid has dried up. They really don’t want their child to be take on $20k/year in debt to get a degree, but what is the choice? Try to get hired at a company like theirs that isn’t hiring?

    8. The neighbor just got laid off and lost their health insurance.

    9. They have been trying to put money away in their 401k, but it hasn’t done well over the last 10 years and they have all of these other bills to pay.

    In this type of environment, why in the world would the average person be thinking that the key to getting their employer to grow and hire would be investing in companies like their employers so that their employers will invest money back into the company to make it grow and by extension then the US economy grow? The average person is getting the opposite message every day at work.

    Companies have been making their earnings through cost-cutting (much of that includes reducing consumers pay and employment) instead of growth. The various levels government (as the graph above shows) have been cutting costs by reducing headcounts and inane policies like sequestration.

    In this environment, it is mind-boggling to me that some economists think the solution is simply more investment in the stock market. We need a complete reset on attitudes in corporate offices, economist think tanks, and government policy makers on how to get the country moving back into a growth mentality. Telling people that they are part of the problem by not investing all of their savings in the stock market is hardly the best first step. They need t o be taught how to do long-term management of their portfolio but it is hardly the solution to the economy.

  6. rd says:

    Interesting article here on the rise of pharmacies providing diagnoses in the US:

    One of my kids spent some time in Kenya. Much of the initial diagnosis was done at pharmacies with the pharmacist providing a prescription if he thought appropriate. You then went to a doctor if that didn’t work. In my kid’s case, the doctor was the one who ended up diagnosing the typhoid fever and then got it treated correctly.

    It appears that the US is looking to head towards an African model of delivering healthcare to a large percentage of the population.