Good Sunday morning. Some fine reading material to consider of a hot cup of Joe:

• Stupid Things Finance People Say (Motley Fool)
• 5 ways to know you’re in a bubble (MarketWatch) but see also DoubleLine’s Gundlach says U.S. equities ‘only game in town’ (Reuters)
• What Hedge Fund Billionaire Ray Dalio Gets Wrong About Money (Businessweek)
• A wrong-way bet on global oil prices hits some investment firms (WSJ) see also For Oil, Conventional Wisdom No Longer Applies (WSJ)
• Financial Advisers Get Little Respect (Rick Ferri)
• How the NYT neglects business journalism (Felix Salmon) see also The Relationship Between Promotion and Performance (Brian Abelson)
• Why Apple Is Not in the Volume Business (Minyanville)
• GOP Party Crashers (New Yorker) see also Republicans Asserting Reliance on Gold as World Loses Faith (Bloomberg)
• Google Books ruling is a huge victory for online innovation (Washington Post)
• #AskJPM . . . Hilarity Ensues (TBP)

What’s for brunch? (Carbfest! We’re having Bagels!)

Public Cost of Fast-Food’s Low Pay Remains Unclear
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.

14 Responses to “10 Sunday Reads”

  1. rd says:

    Many people still bear the scars of the “assistance” that their “financial advisors” had given them over the past 15 years.

    The typical person doesn’t understand that some of these people owe them a fiduciary duty but most don’t. Until the financial industry sorts that out and simplifies it clearly so the average person can understand, the financial advice industry as a whole will be viewed with the same level of trust as used car salesmen.

    • Its important to distinguish between “Brokers” and “Advisors”

      I began my career on the seel side, working with Brokers (They are called that cause most of them make you broker) then moved to the buy side with advisors.

      ENORMO differences

      • rd says:

        There are enormous differences but the industry needs to make sure people can figure out that there are enormous differences and who is actually on their side.

        An example of how complex it is is the changes to 401k accounts where employers are now generally starting to be held to a fiduciary standard. However, it is often still the financial firms that come in to discuss the 401k details with the employees. That gives them the opportunity to sign up employees for general financial planning advice where the financial firm often does not have a fiduciary standard regarding advice on things outside of the 401k plan.

    • catclub says:

      Consols – neat idea. In a rational DC Obama could announce that they are being considered because of that loophole, and that the debt ceiling is also a stupid idea which should be repealed.

      But DC is not a rational place, and Obama seems to prefer insisting that the Congress use the tools it has and solving the problems that are of its own making. Using consols would simply encourage the crazies to continue to be crazy. So he is unlikely to use them.

    • ilsm says:

      MEFO’s, the German finance tool used to rearm without spending money the WW I allies would see as violating Versailles.

  2. mpetrosian says:

    I’m an advisor to most of my clients, but there are a few old timers in my practice that still want their old broker from Merrill. They want to talk story in my office once a week with a cup of coffee and write covered calls on some of their positions. Those guys are like uncles to me, I’d work with them for free. But my one condition is that they must actively participate in an ever evolving financial plan, and I’m always using our cup of coffee and game of liars poker to nudge them into an allocation that matches that plan. We are always talking corruption and bad players, but what I see more of is absence of process and lack of training in how to go about creating one. Wires today still don’t require a CFP, although its highly incentivized, like they pay for it. Wires require a four year degree but it can be in frisbee throwing. I’d say 90% of advisors in my area have no designation and none of the ones that do have a repeatable process like Wealthcare, plantrak, etc.

  3. Bob is still unemployed   says:

    Staring down another bowl of oatmeal this morning.

    The demo that changed the world (Smithsonian channel on youtube, about 4 minutes) – In 1968 Douglas Englebart shared his grocery list with the public and revolutionized the way we use computers. At the time, computers were used for boring calculations, no one had thought to use them for documents or grocery lists. Near the end of the video, a very early computer mouse is shown.

  4. hue says:

    Truth or Consequences (Texas Monthly) Eight years ago, Dan Rather broadcasted an explosive report of W’s Air National Guard Service, it blew up in his face …

    Can We Correct Our Prejudices? (Pacific Standard)

    Dazed And Confused Was No Wistful Remembrance of High School (A.V. Club) 10 Strange Facts About Penises (Salon)

  5. Jojo says:

    Fascinating article…
    The evolution of beauty
    What makes for a beautiful visage, and why, may have been discovered accidentally on a Russian fur farm
    Nov 16th 2013

    BEAUTY, the saying has it, is only skin deep. Not true. Skin is important (the cosmetics industry proves that). But so is what lies under it. In particular, the shape of people’s faces, determined by their bone structure, contributes enormously to how beautiful they are. And, since the ultimate point of beauty is to signal who is a good prospect as a mate, what makes a face beautiful is not only an aesthetic matter but also a biological one. How those bone structures arise, and how they communicate desirable traits, are big evolutionary questions.

    Until now, experiments to try to determine the biological basis of beauty have been of the please-look-at-these-photographs-and-answer-some-questions variety. Some useful and not necessarily obvious results have emerged, such as that one determinant of beauty is facial symmetry.
    In this section

    But what would really help is a breeding experiment which allowed the shapes of faces to be followed across the generations to see how those shapes relate to variations in things that might be desirable in a mate. These might include fertility, fecundity, social status, present health, and likely resistance to future infection and infestation. Correlations between many of these phenomena and attributes of the body-beautiful have, indeed, been established. But in a pair-forming, highly social species such as Homo sapiens, you also have to live with your co-child-raiser or, at least, collaborate with him or her. So other things may be important in a mate, too, such as an even temper and a friendly outlook.

  6. Jojo says:

    Caught in a Revolving Door of Unemployment
    Gretchen Ertl for The New York Times
    Published: November 16, 2013

    On a cold October morning, just after the federal government shutdown came to an end, Jenner Barrington-Ward headed into court in Boston to declare bankruptcy.

    It took weeks to put the paperwork together, given that her papers and belongings were scattered across the country — there was a broken-down car and boxes of paperwork in Virginia Beach, clothes in Colorado and personal possessions at a friend’s house in Somerville, Mass. She managed to estimate her income — maybe $5,000 last year, but maybe half that this year — from odd jobs. Soon, she would officially have nothing.

    It has been a painful slide. A five-year spell of unemployment has slowly scrubbed away nearly every vestige of Ms. Barrington-Ward’s middle-class life. She is a 53-year-old college graduate who worked steadily for three decades. She is now broke and homeless.

    Ms. Barrington-Ward describes it as “my journey through hell.” She was laid off from an administrative position at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2008; she had earned about $50,000 that year. With the recession spurring employers to dump hundreds of thousands of workers a month and the unemployment rate climbing to the double digits, she found that no matter the number of résumés she sent out — she stopped counting in the thousands — she could not find work.

    “I’ve been turned down from McDonald’s because I was told I was too articulate,” she says. “I got denied a job scrubbing toilets because I didn’t speak Spanish and turned away from a laundromat because I was ‘too pretty.’ I’ve also been told point-blank to my face, ‘We don’t hire the unemployed.’ And the two times I got real interest from a prospective employer, the credit check ended it immediately.”

  7. RW says:

    When the only way to prevent economic collapse is to blow another bubble some rethinking of the ways things are currently done would seem in order. Regardless, this is a bad time for a country to have a dysfunctional or functionally paralyzed political system.

    The implications of secular stagnation

    The first implication, if they are right, is that the problem of under-performance of GDP will last for a very long time, and will not solve itself through flexibility in prices and interest rates …

    A second implication is that the normal route through which monetary policy works, by bringing forward consumption from the future into the present, is unlikely to be successful …

    A third implication is that calls for fiscal action are bound to intensify.

    • catclub says:

      “A third implication is that calls for fiscal action are bound to intensify.”

      I think I watch very carefully and I did notice when Ben Bernanke said to the Senate that he is waiting for the Government to apply some real fiscal action. Nobody else seems to hear it. Nothing happens.
      That intensification is either not happening or happening at a glacial rate.

      People like Paul Krugman continue calling for it, and nothing happens.

      • RW says:

        The status quo has a lot of inertia which, in this case, is probably strongly amplified by the sheer number of elites — plutocrats, politicians, policy wonks, CEO’s, media outlets, etc — who hung their hats and, in many cases, their careers on the austerity story.

        I believe many of them know they were wrong too but can’t find the right way to change the story without having to admit error.

        But they’re running out of time: Events and social opinion are moving ahead of them now.

        That’s what I believe anyway; FWIW