My afternoon train reading:

• Who’s the Easiest Person to Fool? (Think Advisor) see also Why Smart People Are Stupid (New Yorker)
• 10 things billionaires won’t tell you (MarketWatch)
• Putting Nasdaq 4,000 in perspective (MarketWatch) but see If It Looks Like a Bubble and Floats Like a Bubble… (NY Times)
• Gold Fix Drawing Scrutiny Amid Knowledge Tied to Eruption (Bloomberg)
• A new wave of U.S. mortgage trouble threatens (Reuters) see also How to save the housing market – save Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (The Guardian)
Tesla Woos Car Guys With Rides to Counter Dealers’ Cash (Bloomberg)
• Twenty tips for interpreting scientific claims (Nature)
• How Snapchat Plans To Make Money (Business Insider)
• Album review: Billie Joe Armstrong, Norah Jones are like brothers (LA Times)
• The best examples of street art in 2012 (48 pictures) (Memolition)

What are you reading?


Stock Seasonality

Source: WSJ

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.

11 Responses to “10 Tuesday PM Reads”

  1. 8albert8 says:

    I got a Page Not Found for “Who’s the Easiest Person to Fool? (Think Advisor)” – could you look into that?

    Have a good Thanksgiving.

  2. willid3 says:

    on a lighter note

    just look at those gifts on the gift guide!! sure to be a crowd pleaser! some where

  3. willid3 says:

    we seem to be really worried about loosing our jobs


    can’t imagine how that helps the economy.

    and these aren’t even well paying jobs

    • Iamthe50percent says:

      Even a bad job pays the rent. People know if they lose their jobs it may be years before they find another. People over 50 know they may never work again.

      If you want consumer confidence to rise, repeal “Right to (not)Work” laws and pass some credible jobs legislation like banning or limiting out-sourcing instead of “trickle down” tax cuts.

  4. Petey Wheatstraw says:

    RE: Insight: A new wave of U.S. mortgage trouble threatens

    I’m reading along, all la-de-freekin’-da, when suddenly, I am confronted with this:

    “At a conference last month in Washington, DC, Amy Crews Cutts, the chief economist at consumer credit agency Equifax . . . ”

    Amy Crews Cutts.

    Now, I’m distracted.

    The name ain’t hyphenated, so maybe ‘Crews’ is a middle name. However, later in the article, she is reffered to as “Crews Cutts.”

    Now, if it is a double last name and the choice has been made not to hyphenate, perhaps the person should have gone with one or the other.

    As I said — this totally distracted me. Had to read the article twice.

    Thanks, Amy Crews Cutts.

    Yours Truly,

    Peter Cornrow Flattop

    As for the article, the HELOC defaults will be a tempest in a teapot. There is no financial downside to anything or anyone important — such as the “people” known as “banks” — that the Fed and Treasury will not sweep under the rug.

  5. RW says:

    GunFAIL XLV: Oops! I shot my gun in WalMart and/or the train station & didn’t even notice!

    Wow. What a week. Lots of states saw their hunting seasons open up, and with it, we count nineteen accidental shootings, plus one additional related accident involving a 14-year-old boy taken hunting for the first time, and who forgot the old one-still-in-the-chamber rule after dropping out his magazine …

    It was also a hot week for cleaning loaded guns (seven) and home invasion shootings (five). Plus another six accidents from people just looking at, playing with, or otherwise “handling” their weapons for no particular reason. Also on the high side: 11 minor victims of GunFAIL, ages 4, 6, 9, 11, 14, 15, 15, 16, 16, 16 and 17.

    Just one each in the categories of people who had their guns go off while out shopping…, one family member mistaken for an intruder …, one person (a cop) shot during training at a gun range… and one botched suicide that accidentally killed someone else …

  6. rd says:

    Re: Getting fooled and being stupid

    As an engineer, we are always trying to figure out how to prevent blunders. The primary tool that I have found to date is to search out lots of failure case histories and understand them in detail. Usually the people who designed and constructed the failures are very bright and educated people who had designed and built many things successfully prior to the failure. However, they either missed some detail or had a previously unknown condition occur that caused the failure. The forensic analysis is very iformative and often uncovers new phenomena that must be incorporated into future thinking.

    The problem with looking at projects that went right is that you have no proof of why they actually worked. In some cases, they may actually have been grossly over-designed and could have been built at signficiantly less cost which is a failure of its own sort.

    So in the end out best engineering is built on the backs of failures. Our worst engineering occurs when people are not willing to do the work to understand the mistakes of the past and simply repeat known failure modes.

  7. Bob is still unemployed   says:

    > Who’s the Easiest Person to Fool?

    A related problem is what Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman calls the “planning fallacy.” It’s a corollary to optimism bias (think Lake Wobegon—where all the children are above average) and self-serving bias (where the good stuff is my doing and the bad stuff is always someone else’s fault). The planning fallacy is our tendency to underestimate the time, costs and risks of future actions and at the same time overestimate the benefits thereof. It’s why we underestimate bad results. It’s why we think it won’t take us as long to accomplish something as it does. It’s why projects tend to cost more than we expect. It’s why the results we achieve aren’t as good as we expect.

    Probably THE MOST succinct commentary upon why projects fail.

    Great article, a must read. imho, of course. thx.

  8. winstongator says:

    Re: Why Smart People Are Stupid

    If you can’t do a simple alegbra word problem: x + ($1+x) = $1.10, you are not smart, but stupid.

    The principle of exponential functions and geometric progressions are also not difficult concepts.

    Lots of people that think they are smart have math skills that, if translated to reading skills would be considered illiterate.

    This probably gets worse with age. ‘Smart’ people study specifically for the SATs and are in school studying a particular way of doing math problems. The longer people are away from numbers, the worse they get. They continue to talk and read, so they maintain those skills, but mathematical skills decay to near zero – I’ll leave determining the time-constant as an exercise for the reader.