Some reads to round out your weekend:

• Five Years after Market Crash, U.S. Economy Seen as ‘No More Secure’  (Pew Research)
• Why Lehman Wasn’t Rescued (Economix) see also In Lehman’s Shadow, Ex-CEO Fuld Carries On, Quietly (WSJ)
• Twitter Is Going Public. Here’s How It Makes Money. (Slate) see also If Google Could Search Twitter, It Would Find Topsy (Bits)
•  Why the Dow — Quirks and All — Is Beating the S&P 500 (Moneybeat)
• Why Benchmarking Your Portfolio Is A Losing Bet (Street Talk Live)
• There is no ’fiscal cliff’ in Japan – a simple AS-AD analysis (Market Monetarist)
• Memories of positive associations get written onto DNA (Ars Technica)
• Uber Alles : the sharing economy (New Yorker)
• Inside The Magical Patch That Gives You A Powerful Anti-Mosquito Force Field (Fast Co)
• Mercedes Radical Design Shift Shaking Off Old-Man Image (Bloomberg) see also New $53,000 Chevy Corvette Stingray Worthy of ’60s Glory (Bloomberg)

What’s for brunch?


The Shiller P/E (CAPE ratio)
Source: MarketWatch

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.

12 Responses to “10 Sunday Reads”

  1. Bob is still unemployed   says:

    I’ll be mulling this article over brunch…

    Verizon’s diabolical plan to turn the Web into pay-per-view (InfoWorld)

    “Think of all the things that tick you off about cable TV. Along with brainless programming and crummy customer service, the very worst aspect of it is forced bundling. You can’t pay just for the couple of dozen channels you actually watch. Instead, you have to pay for a couple of hundred channels, because the good stuff is scattered among a number of overstuffed packages.

    Now, imagine that the Internet worked that way. You’d hate it, of course. But that’s the direction that Verizon, with the support of many wired and wireless carriers, would like to push the Web….”

    • rd says:

      So Verizon wants to go where the electrical utility industry was a decade ago until they changed to the model that Verizon currently has. I pay National Grid for the “pipes” to move my natural gas and electricity to my house and I pay other providers for the actual electricity and natural gas now. It used to all just go through National Grid (its acquired predecessor companies) for decades before that.

      • Brendan says:

        No, it’d be more like National Grid required that you install remotely controlled dimmer switches on all of your lights and valves on your gas appliances and then adjusted them for you – sorry no full light for your bathroom this morning (but the dining room is OK, even though it uses just as much power) and you can’t run your stove on high today (but run the clothes dryer all you want and suck down twice as much gas). That’s fine if it’s done in full transparency (e.g. you intentionally sign up to get an annual rebate for letting them shut off your A/C for a few minutes to prevent brownouts during the hottest hours of the summer), but for them to pick and chose who’s data they’re going to stream is as ridiculous as the power company determining which rooms get lit today regardless of your actual usage and/or need.

        Obviously, it’s not totally apples to apples. Verizon is probably afraid of customer backlash if they start charging per megabyte like you pay for electricity by the kilowatt-hour, so they’re trying a more backhanded approach that most sheep won’t notice even if a few techies are outraged. And they’re outraged for good reason. The providers could just charge people for exceeding a set data limit rather than tell people what sites they can visit, but I’m sure they’ve determined they can make more money by charging content providers too. Being granted monopoly/near-monopoly status should come with some responsibilities, like doing rolling blackouts or brownouts rather than just blacking out the CEO’s ex-wife’s neighborhood all day.

      • Bob is still unemployed   says:

        > The providers could just charge people for exceeding a set data limit rather than tell people what sites they can visit

        Similar to Comcast’s plan to exempt Comcast’s own video on demand service from the Comcast data limit caps, while charging customers who use Netflix and exceed those caps.

        Here’s another article about how the ISPs are putting the screws to their customers, trying to charge twice for the same traffic (charging customers of YouTube and also Youtube for the traffic).

        Why YouTube buffers: The secret deals that make—and break—online video

        “…Why does online video have such problems? People may assume there are perfectly innocent causes related to their computers or to the mysterious workings of the Internet. Often, they’re correct.

        “But cynical types who suspect their Internet Service Providers (ISPs) intentionally degrade streaming video may be right as well. No, your ISP (probably) isn’t sniffing your traffic every time you click a YouTube or Netflix link, ready to throttle your bandwidth. But behind the scenes, in negotiations that almost never become public, the world’s biggest Internet providers and video services argue over how much one network should pay to connect to another. When these negotiations fail, users suffer. In other words, bad video performance is often caused not just by technology problems but also by business decisions made by the companies that control the Internet….”

  2. rd says:

    Regarding benchmarking:

    I regularly benchmark my portfolios in 40aks etc. against the Vanguard Lifestrategy funds. While they have done some tweaking of those portfolios over the years, they represent low-cost real-world indexed portfolios that you can actually buy. Since they come in various equity-bond ratios, you can quickly see how your portfolio matches up with different risk levels across various time-frames.

    Regarding world-wide CAPEs:

    The US has the better economy but Europe may have the better investment opportunity at this time.

  3. rd says:

    Some information on the unique version of iMaps loaded onto iPhones operating inside the Beltway:

  4. rd says:

    A US housing market that did not participate in the boom-bust cycles of the past decade (it is also very affordable for median household incomes):

  5. S Brennan says:

    From Jesse’s Cafe:

    In an ecumenical spirit, I offer up this sermon for a Sunday morn, it is an argument for morality given from an amoral perspective…yep, it’s a Catholic, using the old Jesuit Jiu-jitsu…

    FYI, I like this guy, anti-war for the right reasons, not some hippie dippie dude, he served in Viet Nam, he has the eagle rank and sadly, his son died serving in Iraq. The lecture is serious, but very approachable, runs about 45 minutes before questions…and hey, if you are ever in situation where you get to ask a full bird a question, try to keep it under 3 minutes…sheesh, I thought I was long winded?

  6. Jojo says:

    SEPTEMBER 6, 2013
    White People Love Hiking. Minorities Don’t. Here’s Why.

    White people simply love to spend their free time walking up and down mountains and sleeping in the forest. Search “hiking” in Google Images and see how far you have to scroll to find a nonwhite person. Ditto rock climbing, kayaking, canoeing, and so on. That white people love the outdoors is so widely accepted as fact that it’s become a running joke. The website Stuff White People Like has no less than three entries on the subject: “Making you feel bad about not going outside” (#9), “Outdoor Performance Clothes” (#87), and “Camping” (#128). The latter entry reads, “If you find yourself trapped in the middle of the woods without electricity, running water, or a car you would likely describe that situation as a ‘nightmare’ or ‘a worse case scenario like after plane crash or something.’ White people refer to it as ‘camping.’”

    That quote is almost certainly how most blacks, Latinos, and other minorities view hiking and camping. The Outdoor Industry Association–the top outdoor-recreation lobby in America (and based in Boulder, naturally)–insists that outdoor enthusiasts “are all genders, ages, shapes, sizes, ethnicities and income levels,” but research by their own nonprofit organization, The Outdoor Foundation, shows underwhelming diversity. Its 2013 outdoor participation report notes that last year, 70 percent of participants were white. “As minority groups make up a larger share of the population and are predicted to become the majority by 2040, engaging diverse populations in outdoor recreation has never been more critical,” the report reads. “Unfortunately, minorities still lag behind in outdoor participation.”


  7. Jojo says:

    This Gadget Automatically Tunes Any Guitar In Seconds
    The TronicalTune is your very own pocket roadie

    By Mike Kobrin Posted 08.16.2013

    Throughout their 23-year history, automatic guitar tuners have remained stubbornly complex systems that cost thousands of dollars and require tedious professional installation. Chris Adams, CEO of Tronical in Hamburg, Germany, has figured out a way around these problems. Using an off-the-shelf microprocessor, custom tuning algorithms, and six lightweight motors, Adams developed the first system that musicians can retrofit onto nearly any guitar’s headstock–without any wiring, drilling, or soldering. Once attached, his $299 TronicalTune can make an instrument pitch-perfect in about five seconds.