My morning reading:

• Average 401(k) account balances nearly double since crisis (Investment News)
Housel: Investing Like a Psychopath (Fool)
• Godfather of Charts Comfortable Being Bullish, Again (Moneybeat)
• Investors Turn to Catastrophe Bonds to Boost Returns (WSJ)
• Foreclosure Haunts Next Home Purchase: After a real-estate default, it’s de-blame game (WSJ)
• New Nobel economist Robert Shiller on the insanity of markets (PBS)
• Facebook mobile ad profit a staggering 1,790% more on iPhone than Android (Venturebeat) see also Verizon Could Have Sold More iPhones in the Third Quarter  (All Thing D)
• As US Demographics Change, so Does the Menu (Associated Press)
• The Tea Party As A Religion (The Dish) see also GOP blame game: Who lost the government shutdown? (Politico)
• Astronomers discover a massive asteroid that could hit us in 2032 (io9)

What are you reading?


Abe gets ready to start “naming and shaming”
Source: Sober Look

Category: Markets

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.

14 Responses to “10 Friday AM Reads”

  1. ilsm says:

    Tea Party is the center of much but not a clear majority of republican “epistemic closure” (Bruce Bartlett should trademark that phrase). Religion demands faith over truth, but it is supposed to be limited to the spiritual realm, which does not include the economy.

    The Tea Party is not a loser in the latest just postponed hostage crisis.

    It was just a skirmish…………………not even the end of the beginning.

  2. hue says:

    The Bomb Buried In Obamacare Exploded (Forbes)

    Why Oreos Are As Addictive As Cocaine To Your Brain (Forbes)

    31 Days Of Halloween: The Shark Attack No One Was Expecting, Which Inspired Jaws (Atlas Obscura)

  3. NoKidding says:

    “Average 401(k) account balances nearly double since crisis”


    Average 401(k) account balances nearly halved due to crisis?
    Charting S&P 500 index says it’s approximately true.

    Also there is a bias for account size. The average includes a good number of early career investors, for whom 13 years of contributions might double (or more) their balance.

    Ther is an opposite bias if they took total balance by total participants. More new participants over the last 5 years increases the denominator more than the numerator.

    wEven if the calculation used is shown explicitly, the total return for the S&P over 5 and 8 years ould be more meaningful.

  4. rww says:

    Re: 401k’s. They have doubled since “the crisis” (although the increase is only 24% since just before the crisis, including capital appreciation, dividends, and new cash.). But that is the “average.” Subtract out growth in the largest accounts and it wouldn’t be surprising if the “typical” 401k shrank. Like the cheerleading for our new all-time-high net worth, this story overlooks everything happening under the surface.

    Unless these numbers are reported by income or account balance, they say little about most Americans’ financial wellbeing and nothing about who is getting the bulk of the tax advantages.

  5. romerjt says:

    401k doubles (after getting cut in half) by the crisis. A longer view DJIA about 800 (yup 2 zeros) in 1980 rises to 13,000 by 2000 (yup 3 zeros) rises to 15,000 13 yrs later. hummmmm?

  6. willid3 says:

    wondering if the warrantless wiretaps will be tested?

    seems likely that they were always unlikely to get into court. since the warrant can always be challenged, and requests for probably cause, are likely to be unsatisfied. do wonder why the courts didnt disallow them to begin with, since the government wasn’t saying how the information was gathered. which normally is big red flag or at least i would have thought so.
    course i dont know that it matters as much for the NSA spying stuff. since supremes long ago ruled that information help by a 3rd party isn’t protected. not that business ever really wants to change that cause if it was your information, they would have to ask permission to use it. and they certainly dont want that. and its not like they are using the data themselves for their own purposes

  7. spencer says:

    You should read what Floyd Norris says about the 401 study.

  8. RW says:

    Redefining the Next Policy Debate

    …we’re immediately back to the old argument about spending cuts versus revenues, which again doesn’t seem likely to get anywhere. …

    Imagine instead that the politicians turned not to the budget deficit but to the jobs deficit, the infrastructure deficit, to poverty, wage stagnation, immobility and inequality. Along with a budget conference — and don’t get me wrong; I’m glad they’re talking — imagine there was an economic conference to make recommendations on what’s really hurting the country, which I assure you is not our fiscal situation. That’s taking care of itself for the short term, as is always the case after a recession (deficits go up in recessions, for obvious reasons).

    Yes, I know I’m dreaming — the current Congress is incapable of shaping and passing legislation that would address our real economic problems. It also appears to be incapable of dealing with our actual fiscal challenges. …

  9. RW says:

    Any time you hear arguments like “China will sell our bonds if we don’t cut spending” or whatever you immediately know there are only two possibilities: the person making the argument either (a) had their brain eaten by zombies or (b ) is trying to bamboozle you. Best put some distance between yourselves either way.

    Stop Being Wrong About China Buying Our Bonds

    No subject attracts as much wrong commentary from people in positions of authority and influence as China’s purchases of American government debt. …

    That’s a nice quiet way of limiting the extent of Chinese currency appreciation.

    But that’s all it is. It’s not an investment. Since it’s not an investment, it’s not an investment the Chinese can lose faith in. And it’s certainly not a favor to the United States of America. The American government doesn’t need China to provide it with American fiat money—we have plenty of American fiat money. This is Chinese industrial policy and it is conducted for domestic Chinese political reasons and will end some day for domestic Chinese political reasons.

    It doesn’t give China any leverage over the American government, and congress being ridiculous about the debt ceiling shouldn’t have any impact on Chinese thinking about it.

  10. DHM says:

    Charlie Cook’s recent comments about the shutdown (Conservatives, Get a Grip on Reality!) in the National Journal is worth a read and a smile.

  11. Jojo says:

    Yet another nail in the coffin of human employment:
    Sign Waving Mannequin

    Then again, maybe robot workers isn’t such a bad thing when you ponder the intellectual ability of people like those in the video below!
    Mark Dice: Mount Rushmore Torn Down to Pay Off Government Debt
    October 15, 2013

  12. RW says:

    It’s totally off topic and I don’t know how to categorize it either but it is the weekend, I’m moderately lubricated and have stopped alternately writhing and laughing while gaping.

    This goes beyond schtick or kitsch, or blasphemy or, hell, I dunno… God has a mullet? Jeez. Maybe Congressman Yaho could explain it but the commenters do make some reasonable passes at approximation.

    The Most Awkward Jesus Painting I’ve Ever Seen