My Sunday morning reading:

• How Fast Should You Trade Your 401(k)?  (WSJ)
• On Alternative Investments (Aleph Blog)
• Why Keynes wouldn’t have too rosy a view of our economic future (Wonkblog)
Stiglitz: Why Janet Yellen, Not Larry Summers, Should Lead the Fed (NYT) see also The Deregulators, Smarts and Judgment (Calculated Risk)
• Henry Paulson Defends Fannie Mae Bailout (Real Time Economics)
• Libertarians Are the New Communists (Bloomberg)
• Study proves that politics and math are incompatible (Salon)
• The New Science of Mind (NYT)
In Conversation: Michael Bloomberg (New York Mag)
• Walking shark moves with ping-pong paddle fins (New Scientist)

What are you reading?


Dollar Tumbles as Uncertainty on Fed Rises
Source: WSJ

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.

16 Responses to “10 Sunday Reads”

  1. osheth says:

    This article on finding time to read it beautiful.

    The comments on using the library vs. buying books were particularity insightful:

    When I get into detailed discussions with people on my book buying habits, they often ask why I never use the library. Think of all the money you’d save, they say.

    The truth is I keep most of the books I read and I go back to them. “If you are OK giving the books back after two weeks,” writes Ryan Holiday, “you might want to examine what you are reading.” I take that one step further: If you’re not keeping what you read, you probably want to think about what you’re reading and how.

    While not impossible, it’s harder to have conversations with library books. You can’t pull out a pen and write in the margin. You can’t highlight something. Conversations with books are one of the ways that I learn.

    “The rich invest in time, the poor invest in money.” — Warren Buffett

    If you wanted to look something up again in a library book, you’d have to get in your car and drive back to the library. But how much time have you spent now driving back and forth?

    How do you value your time? We can make more money, we can’t make more time.

  2. DeDude says:

    Interesting curve on the Wonkblog story. Since the crisis we have been 1 trillion per year below potential, so far 5 trillion lost and no indication we will close that gap. That is a lot of money to lose because of stupidity, tribal wars, and gridlock in Washington DC.

  3. judabomber says:


    I see you have a spot in the trailer for the upcoming Jim Bruce documentary, “Money for Nothing.”

  4. rd says:

    The “pinnacle” of libertarianism in the West was the so-called Dark Ages after the fall of the Roman Empire in Europe. At that point, it was every man and woman for themselves. You quickly ended up with small, local fiefdoms where a group of warrriors were able to establish themselves as the local authority. The quality fo the locals life become almost entirely dependent on the weather and benvolence of the guys in charge of the local militia.

    Libertarianism is a great concept in utopian society, but it doesn’t work quite as well when sociopaths and psychopaths with physical warring skills and the ability to organize others like them are present in the system.

    It would also be nice if the people espousing libertarian philosophies are also not evangeleicals of whatever faith that believe that libertarian includes the requirement to have certain beliefs that match those fo the people in charge.

  5. maddog2020 says:

    re: “Libertarians Are the New Communists (Bloomberg)”
    That article reminds me of this (old) episode of Planet Money:

  6. mikeinconyers says:

    Interesting article on Slate – why these are the good old days – for living longer.

    And in Salon, an interesting article after getting past the somewhat inflammatory headline.

  7. Jojo says:

    The Wretched Google Interview Experience
    By Robert Smith, on August 20th, 2013

  8. Jojo says:

    Economic Indicators | Jobs and Unemployment
    The Unemployment Rate Is Less Relevant Than Ever
    By Heidi Shierholz | September 6, 2013

    The jobs report released this morning by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed the labor market gained just 169,000 jobs in August, while downward revisions of 74,000 to earlier months’ data brought the average monthly growth rate of the last three months to just 148,000 jobs. At this rate, it would take until well into 2021 to fill our gap of 8.3 million jobs and return to a healthy labor market.
    Unemployment rate is hugely misleading

    Though the unemployment rate ticked down in August, it declined for all the wrong reasons. The labor force participation rate dropped to its low of the downturn, 63.2 percent. Remember, jobless workers are not counted as being part of the labor force unless they are actively looking for work. According to Congressional Budget Office estimates, if the labor market were healthy, the labor force would number about 159.3 million. But the actual labor force numbers just 155.5 million. That means there are about 3.8 million “missing workers”–jobless people who would be in the labor force if job opportunities were strong. If our 3.8 million “missing workers” were in the labor force looking for work, the unemployment rate would be 9.5 percent instead of 7.3 percent.


  9. carchamp1 says:

    So libertarians are the new communists, eh? I don’t think so. The author of this piece is confusing corporate-socialists with libertarians. If the government were to allow a corporation to pollute the environment and get the public to pay for the mess, that’s corporate welfare. That has nothing to do with libertarianism or free-market economies.

  10. RW says:

    Hope no one has invested in the so-called primitive or ‘paleo’ diet — its a fad, there is no single diet typical of early humanity and we couldn’t duplicate most of them anyway — but this TED talk debunking that fad also noted that the many prehistorical dietary variations, what we know of them at least, do seem to have three things in common: (1) species diversity, typically seasonal, (2) freshness and (3) wholeness wherever feasible; these qualities can be emulated by anyone, particularly if access to locally produced foods is available.

  11. rd says:

    Problems with predicting complex systems:

    It is actually very difficult to make a hurricane which is why they are relatively rare limited to specific locations and times. There are numerous factors that have to line up perfectly to allow one to develop. Global warming can disrupt some of the factors (causing more dry air and dust blowing across the Atlantic from Sahara for example) as well as providing increased fuel, so focusing on a single factor, such as warmer water, will not result in accurate predictions of impacts of global warming.

    I personally believe that anthropogenic influences have contributed significantly to global warming measured over the past century. However, I am much more optimistic that there will be some benefits from it as well as the problems constantly being trumpeted. The negative impacts will be felt most in systems that are sited in locations that would have been questionable in a “normal” climate. Flexibility and adaptability will likely be the hallmark of success over hte next century. Tourism based on boating in a desert or building cities within 10 feet of the ocean surface don’t come to mind as designs likely to be successful in the long-run.

    I put normal in quotes above because much of the climate debate is infested with recency bias. North of the terminal moraines left by the continental glaciers, the average and median climate for the past million years has been Greenland conditions with two miles of ice (a line from NYC across the country through Illinois and Nebraska). The average and median climate south of that terminus line has been arctic and sub-arctic steppes like Siberia and northern Canada until you get to the areas which are currently sub-tropical like Florida and Louisiana.