Yay, its the weekend! Here are the longer form reads I’ve saved up all week:

• Is Life a Ponzi Scheme? (Boston Review)
• The Great Story: In the run-up to the Great Recession, accountability journalism saw the story that access journalism missed (Columbia Journalism Review)
• Thinking Outside the (Big) Box (NY Times)
• Your USB cable, the spy: Inside the NSA’s catalog of surveillance magic (Ars Technica)
• The Agony of Frank Luntz (The Atlantic)
• The uncomfortable truth about Brad Stone’s Amazon book (Fortune)
• The Real Story of Linda Taylor, America’s Original Welfare Queen (Slate)
• How Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg learned to focus on the bottom line (WSJ)
• We need to talk about TED (The Guardian)
• This Is Why Einstein’s Brain Was Better Than Yours (io9)

What’s up for the weekend?


Lessons Learned in 2013 From ETF Fund Flows

Source: Morningstar

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.

9 Responses to “10 Weekend Reads”

  1. romerjt says:

    So Frank Luntz, the guy who turned the “estate tax” into the “death tax” is dismayed that the electorate is do divided. Really? I must have missed something.

  2. RW says:

    Being corrected and laughing at the same time is a good thing [lol]

    The De-Textbook: The Stuff You Didn’t Know About the Stuff You Thought You Knew

    You are an idiot.

    Don’t get defensive! It’s not your fault. For decades your teachers, authority figures and textbooks have been lying to you. You do not have five senses. Your tongue doesn’t have neatly segregated taste-bud zones. You don’t know what the pyramids really looked like. You’re even pooping wrong – Jesus, you’re a wreck!

    But it’s going to be okay. Because we’re here to help. Packed with more sexy facts than the Encyclopedia Pornographica, the Cracked De-Textbook will teach you about the true stars of history, why you picture everything from Velociraptors to Ancient Rome incorrectly, and finally, at long last – how to pop a proper squat. This book was built from the ground up to systematically seek out, dismantle and destroy the many untruths that years of misguided education have left festering inside of you, and leave you a smarter person…whether you like it or not. The De-Textbook is a merciless, brutal learning machine. It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are informed.

  3. hue says:

    How baby boomers screwed their kids — and created millennial impatience (Salon)

    Who Said It: Keynes, Hayek, Nietzsche, or the Pope? (Minyanville)

    Studs Terkel Interviews a Very Young Bob Dylan in 1963 and It’s Incredible (Dangerous Minds)

  4. Toktora says:

    Amazing Slate story about the Welfare Queen, whatever her true name was. It was long and took a while to read, but certainly didn’t disappoint! Nice find and thanks for sharing.

  5. Jojo says:

    Too much cash!
    NY Times
    Banks Say No to Marijuana Money, Legal or Not
    JAN. 11, 2014

    SEATTLE — In his second-floor office above a hair salon in north Seattle, Ryan Kunkel is seated on a couch placing $1,000 bricks of cash — dozens of them — in a rumpled brown paper bag. When he finishes, he stashes the money in the trunk of his BMW and sets off on an adrenalized drive downtown, darting through traffic and nervously checking to see if anyone is following him.

    Despite the air of criminality, there is nothing illicit in what Mr. Kunkel is doing. He co-owns five legal medical marijuana dispensaries, and on this day he is heading to the Washington State Department of Revenue to commit the ultimate in law-abiding acts: paying taxes. After about 25 minutes at the agency, Mr. Kunkel emerges with a receipt for $51,321.

    “Carrying such large amounts of cash is a terrible risk that freaks me out a bit because there is the fear in my mind that the next car pulling up beside me could be the crew that hijacks us,” he said. “So, we have to play this never-ending shell game of different cars, different routes, different dates and different times.”

    Legal marijuana merchants like Mr. Kunkel — mainly medical marijuana dispensaries but also, starting this year, shops that sell recreational marijuana in Colorado and Washington — are grappling with a pressing predicament: Their businesses are conducted almost entirely in cash because it is exceedingly difficult for them to open and maintain bank accounts, and thus accept credit cards.


  6. Jojo says:

    We should get back to 5% unemployment soon if we keep increasing the number of “workers considered not looking work”!
    Economic Indicators | Jobs and Unemployment
    Finding Low Unemployment in All the Wrong Places
    By Heidi Shierholz | January 10, 2014

    The jobs report for December 2013 released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning marks six years since the official start of the Great Recession in December 2007 and four-and-a-half years since its official end in June 2009.

    The unemployment rate dropped from 7.0 percent to 6.7 percent in December, but as has been a constant refrain throughout this recovery, most of the decrease was not for “good” reasons. Rather, it was due to potential workers dropping out of, or never entering, the labor force because job opportunities are weak. The share of the working-age population with a job did not increase in December, and the labor force participation rate dropped back down to its lowest point in more than 35 years. Additionally, the number of “missing workers” increased from 5.6 million to 6.0 million. (Missing workers are jobless workers who are not actively seeking work, but who would be either employed or looking for work if job opportunities were stronger, after accounting for longer-run demographic trends.) If these workers were in the labor force looking for work–and thus counted as unemployed–the unemployment rate would be 10.2 percent instead of 6.7 percent.


  7. rd says:

    CGI Group is shocked, shocked that their contract for developing and operating the ObamaCare website will not be extended for the 18-month option in their contract.


    Apparently they failed to realize that humiliating the President on his landmark, signature legislation is not a good marketing and sales tactic. They also appeared to have failed to realize that a website is not the same as a defence contract (e.g. Joint Strike fighter) where the obvious solution to a failed launch is to design and build twice as many components by opening up twice as many factories in key Armed Services and Appropriations representatives districts.

  8. rd says:

    Unobvious factoid of the month: Vinyl album sales grew in 2013 while digital downloads declined. Luddites, the world over, rejoice.


  9. That Boston Review article was absolutely beautiful. Reading it makes one see what humans can aspire to, such depth of analysis and clarity of exposition. It really was excellent. I’m just grateful for the link and that humans have such abilities.

    On the other end of the spectrum, there are the comments at the bottom of that article. Oh well. There is little choice but to take the bad with the good, it seems.