My afternoon train reading:

• The best damned trade, long-short in all of 2013 was long the stock market, short gold. (Forbes)
• Buffett’s favorite market tool is flashing red (MSN)
• Fed Anxiety Rises as QE Increases Risk of Loss With Costs (Bloomberg) but see Lesson: Don’t Fight the Global Fed (Reformed Broker)
• Assets of the Ayatollah (Reuters)
• Greenspan’s dilemma revived (FT Alphaville)
• In Spain, Foreclosed Property Prices Down 70 Percent (World Property Channel) see also New China Cities: Shoddy Homes, Broken Hope (NY Times)
• What I saw at the doomsday prepper convention (Fortune Tech)
• Chris Christie goes small (Washington Post)
• Science and Its Skeptics (New Yorker) see also Is It Too Late to Prepare for Climate Change? (New Yorker)
• The best smartphone apps for making you feel like you’re getting things done (WSJ)

What are you reading?


Worry Over Inequality Occupies Wall St: Gulf Between Haves + Have-Nots May Hurt Economy
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.

12 Responses to “10 Monday PM Reads”

  1. stonedwino says:

    “Worry Over Inequality Occupies Wall St: Gulf Between Haves + Have-Nots May Hurt Economy”
    May?! Hay about it HAS and continues to…

  2. Bob is still unemployed   says:

    Broadway, circa 1903 (shorpy), with more horses than cars in view. Click on the photo to see the high-resolution scan from the 8×10 inch glass negative.

  3. rd says:

    Re: Is it too late to prepare for climate change?

    The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is today. – Chinese proverb

    It is never too late (well, almost never). For example, much of eastern North America was largely deforested in the 1800s. However, natural growth and organized replanting has meant that the forests have rebounded. The main restriction on their further regrowth is subdivisions and the remaining farmland.

    The link below provides fascinating maps of how the world’s vegetation has changed over the past 18,000 years since the last glacial maximum. The vegetation changes coincided with a 400 foot in the average sea level. The implications of that are further complicated by having the northern land masses rebound from being depressed by having a mile or mile of ice squishing them into the earth’s mantle. The primary thing that gets in our way of adapting to climate change is believing that a normal, equilibrium condition even exists – kind of like thinking that the stock market belongs at its median P/E ratio and anything that deviates from that is abnormal.

    It is up to us whether or not we want to position ourselves to be adaptable and resilient or if we are just going to harden our bunkers to hold back the inevitable waves of change.

    • Tim says:

      Wow. Remarkable rd. Thank you.

    • rd says:

      BTW – that was a 400 foot RISE in average sea level over a 10,000 year period – forgot to put the word rise in.

      The sea level changes bandied about as a crisis for the next century are in the “noise” level, not the “signal” level when looked at over a million years. It’s like fretting about 0.2% daily changes in the Dow. But we have built so much infrastructure into that “noise” zone that many of our urban systems are fragile as we observed with Katrina, Fukishima, and Sandy.

      • DeDude says:

        Yes it may be “noise” on a geological scale but for the guy whose house stands in 2 feet of water 20 years from now, it ain’t noise – it’s a catastrophe.

      • Low Budget Dave says:

        The other interesting point is that we still have our foot on the gas, so to speak. We know that increased levels of CO2 in the atmosphere reinforce the warming trend. So if we were in a warming cycle, now we are in a faster one.

        The research into the carbon cycle is still very incomplete, becuase so many hundreds of factors affect the sequestration and release of carbon. But we do know that the last time CO2 levels were over 400ppm, there was no “permanent” ice anywhere on the planet. With no change in direction, we are headed there again. We can adjust to such a planet of course, but it will be expensive.

        The rise in sea level is a slightly different event. When ice suddenly appeared in Antarctica 14 million years ago, the average sea level was rising, not falling. The rise was due to unrelated events, of course, but would have been even higher if it were not for the ice that has covered the south pole (roughly) ever since.

        Many big buildings on the east coast (in Miami, for example) have footings that are only a few feet above sea level. If the ocean rises just five feet (on average), the buildings become unstable, and will have to be reinforced, or replaced. A five-foot rise in sea level would do about a trillion dollars worth of damage, at the minimum.

        So when people say it would cost too much to control CO2 emissions, it seems we have two logical questions: Would it cost more than a trillion dollars? How much more?

        Some places like Harbin, China, have no interest in controlling greenhouse gas. It is absurdly cold all winter long, and they are 480 feet above sea level. So they heat the whole city with coal. (You can see the smog from outer space.)

        The most advanced scrubbers cost about $500 million, so for $1 trillion, you can put super-advanced scrubbers on 2000 power plants. That is only about 5% of all the power plants in the world, but it is about 40% of the dirtiest ones. It isn’t exactly wasted money either. Building and installing all those scrubbers would create jobs, and would clean the air more than most people imagine.

        Or, alternately, we could just wait, and just spend the money on storm clean-up.

  4. wally says:

    “Gulf Between Haves + Have-Nots May Hurt Economy”

    I can’t see that there would be either doubt or controversy about that statement. Our economy is tightly structured around a middle-class consumption model (as are all developed economies) and just like riding a bicycle, you’ve got to keep the wheels spinning or you fall over. That top .01 percent did not get rich by selling to each other. They got it by selling to mass markets; the less money available to the middle class, the fewer sales.

  5. chartist says:

    According to the graph, I’ve managed to claw my way back to the upper 10% in income, woohoo….While others were collecting AR15s, I was collecting college degrees. Thank goodness.

  6. GoBigRed says:

    I’m reading Writing in the Wall: Social Media The FIrst 2000 Years by Tom Standage. Very good.

  7. mpetrosian says:

    Another good read from Josh Brown tonight, but this story is getting a little tired. I remember this one piece of his a few months ago about QE not ending in a way similar to being gangbanged by course soldiers while a sentry guards the door. Point is that these reads are just clever ways of saying the same thing over and over. You’re a smart fellow and saw QE for what it was long before most and took full advantage. Awesome, lets move on. Yeah, you have no idea what’s going to happen, but you’re paid in your day job to take a stab at it. No more victory laps, where’s that puck gonna be?

    • rd says:

      I believe that the Bridgewater folks and others are concerned that QE is providing less and less bang for the buck each go around. 10-yr yields are much closer to where they were before the last (ongoing) round of QE than during the middle of it. Even short-term rates started to move up once people realized how many idiot savants have been elected to congress. What if Bernanke/Yellen QE’s again and nothing happens other than the stock market rising on the news? That would be a game changer.