My longer form weekend reading:

• Our favorite charts of 2013 (Quartz)
• The rise of BlackRock (Economist) see also The monolith and the markets (Economist)
• Of markets and mayhem (Fortune)
• The Forgotten Lessons of 2008 (Farnam Street)
• The Nastiest Injury in Sports (Grantland)
• Big Hair on Campus: Did Donald Trump Defraud Thousands of Real-Estate Students? (Vanity Fair)
• The Art of Dying (Lapham’s Quarterly)
• Google Glass: What You’re Not Supposed to Do (Esquire)
• Vineyard owning for beginners (WSJ)
• 2013: The Year in Volcanic Activity (The Atlantic)

Whats up for the weekend?


Pension Funds Make the Most of Stocks Surge

Source: WSJ


Category: Financial Press

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9 Responses to “10 Weekend Reads”

  1. osheth says:

    This Forbes Interview with Shane Parrish is certainly worth reading.


    How can we use these mental models to improve our decision making?

    Parrish: When you come across a difficult decision, you really want to have a double filter that shifts your mind from reactive to rational. The first filter is running through your mental models and determining the factors that govern the situation. If I look at this through the lens of evolution, what do I see? What about supply and demand? What are the incentives?

    The second filter is how you might be fooling yourself. What’s happening subconsciously? Am I only looking at a small subset of data? Am I in love with my solution? Am I biased by authority?

    One of the added benefits of this approach is that when you make a bad decision, and you will, you now have a mental framework where you can account for your mistake in the future. If you failed to consider something you should have, you can easily identify it and account for it. So you’re always getting incrementally better and, over a long life, those increments will make a huge difference.

  2. hue says:

    Trigger Effect (SacTown Mag) The first mass shooting of schoolchildren in American history.

    Lament of the Plutocrats (Politico Mag) Why Wall Street is fed up with the White House—and Republicans too.

    Nirvana’s Tense, Brilliant Unplugged in New York, 20 Years Later (The Atlantic)

  3. rd says:

    The Koch Brothers are finally grasping that there is fraud out there impacting wealthy people that requires immediate attention. Hopefully, Eric Holder will immediately shift resources from the extensive investigations into the financial sector (cough…cough) to address this more critical issue:

  4. Jojo says:

    Fascinating story on the shortage of grave space in many countries.

    With the mass of humanity expanding at ever growing rates, eventually the only viable death solution will be the Soylent Green tanks….
    Six Feet Over: The Future of Skyscraper Cemeteries

    This month in Oslo, an architecture student named Martin McSherry presented a controversial idea to a gathering of cemetery and funeral professionals. The topic? His design for a “vertical cemetery” that could, in theory, solve Norway’s growing graveyard conundrum.

    In McSherry’s vision for Oslo–which he presented at the Oslo Conference for Nordic Cemeteries and Graveyards–the dead would come to rest in a tall, airy skyscraper in the center of the city. It would start out as a simple white framework with an adjoining, permanent crane, which lifts coffins into slots inside the structure. The tower would grow over the years, as this crane would add more and more plots to the network–over time, the building would come to represent the sum of the city’s citizens–a reminder and a memorial at the same time.


  5. Jojo says:

    A very accurate picture of Silicon Valley living.
    Silicon Chasm
    The class divide on America’s cutting edge

    Charlotte Allen
    December 2, 2013, Vol. 19, No. 12

    Atherton, Calif.
    “If you live here, you’ve made it,” David Berkey said to me as I rode shotgun in his car two months ago through the Silicon Valley’s wealth belt. The massive house toward which he was pointing belongs to Sergey Brin, cofounder of Google. With a net worth of $24 billion, Brin is Silicon Valley’s third-richest denizen and the fourteenth-richest man in America, according to Forbes. Berkey was chauffeuring me down Atherton Avenue, a wide, straight, completely tree-lined boulevard nicely bifurcating the city of Atherton (population 7,200), located 29 miles south of San Francisco, boasting no commercial real estate, and with a zip code (94027) that was recently listed by Forbes as America’s most expensive.

    You couldn’t really see Brin’s house from the car, though–just a swatch of rooftop, maybe a chimney–because the point of the trees lining Atherton Avenue and nearly every other street in Atherton is to hide the dwellings behind them. Where the screens of trees happen to thin, property owners have constructed high hedges, high wooden fences, and high brick walls, so that when you look down Atherton Avenue from the Santa Cruz Mountains to the west toward the commuter railroad station to the east, you see only the allée of trees–pine, palms, eucalyptus, sycamore, and juniper–shades of gray-green and brown-green shimmering placidly in the early autumn sun. “This is the Champs-Élysées of Atherton,” Berkey explained. The other thing we didn’t see from Berkey’s car is people, except for the occasional driver on the road.

    Turning corners, we drove past other fancy and half-hidden real estate owned by other Silicon Valley grandees; Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook, and her husband David Goldberg, the CEO of SurveyMonkey, have a 7,200-square-foot house somewhere in the hedge maze. Before there was such a thing as Silicon Valley–that is to say, 40 years ago–Atherton was an affluent bedroom town for white-shoe law-firm partners and Old Economy executives who liked to ride the Southern Pacific Peninsula to their jobs in San Francisco, imitating their East Coast counterparts who rolled on the Hartford-New Haven line from the Southern Connecticut Gold Coast into Manhattan. That was before today’s hiding-the-house custom, and the executives’ front lawns surged out like green carpets to Atherton Avenue and its side streets. Now, Atherton is mostly teardowns and brand new mega-mansions–or at least as mega as their owners can get away with, given Atherton’s highly restrictive zoning laws that mandate enormous lot-to-footprint ratios. To increase their overall square footage, Atherton’s new breed of homeowners typically tunnel out vast underground extra space–wine cellars and home theaters–beneath their dwellings. The dominant style these days is a fanciful mix of Palladian Neoclassic, Loire Valley château, and Mediterranean villa, spreading out manor-house-style to cover as much ground as the zoning laws allow.

  6. RW says:

    If this story doesn’t get buried yesterday, Governor Christie’s ambitions are probably toast (not that this is a major matter since he could only be counted among the relatively less fit in a Republican field of 2016 hopefuls grossly unfit for leadership in a democracy)

    Journalistic query: Who got hurt in Ft. Lee?

    When a politician calls a scandal involving himself “sensationalized,” you know he’s in deep yoghurt. When he says “mistakes were made,” the passive voice is a tell for near-panic. When he starts firing subordinates, that means he knows he’s near the edge of the cliff. And when he says he wants to “turn the page,” it’s a good bet the story is far from over.

    The New York Times story on the Chris Christie/Ft. Lee gridlock story includes all four of those markers of a major affair in the making.