Good Tuesday morning — Here is what I am skimming on Fhloston Paradise:

Contrarian Corner: Harry Dent’s Big Buy Signal (Above the Market)
• Putting Your 401(k) on Autopilot (WSJ) see also 401k balances rise with record gains on Wall Street (WaPo)
• Why You Are Spending More and Enjoying It Less (WSJ)
• China Overtakes India as Top Gold Consumer (WSJ) see also Hedge Funds Raise Gold Bull Bets as Paulson Holds  (Bloomberg)
• Streetwise Professor: The Rent Seeker, Posing as Visionary (Streetwise Professor)
• Apple passing Microsoft in OS Sales (Ben Evans) see also After 15 months, Windows 8 has sold 100 million fewer copies than Windows 7 did (The Next Web)
• The True Cost of Extreme Weather…Or is it Climate Change? (Daily Beast)
• The Biggest Bullshit Job Titles in Tech (ValleyWag)
• Remakes Keep Flopping, But Here Are 4 Reasons Why Hollywood Still Makes Them (Vulture)
• Why the economy isn’t doomed (Washington Post) see also Crossing Borders and Changing Lives, Lured by Higher State Minimum Wages (NY Times)

What’s up for this holiday shortened week?

 

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 Tuesday Reads”

  1. rd says:

    Re: Cost of Extreme Weather

    We haven’t designed most of our systems for known extreme events that have occurred in the recent past (think Sandy) nor have we designed them for the events that evidence is showing have occurred in the past 2,000 years (e.g. Southwest mega droughts). Similarly, we have numerous areas that are at risk in tsunami events that evidence shows have occurred in the past 1,000 years (think Indonesian and Fukushima tsunamis hitting the Pacific Northwest).

    The Colorado River compact was developed based on the five wettest years in the past century due to the very small data set that they had when the compact was inked. The normal flows are significantly lower than assumed in the compact, so water is theoretically distributed based on flows that don’t exist most of the time. California water distribution appears to have similar issues.

    We are also building levees on lots of river systems that raises the flood stage elevations because floodplains and wetlands are blocked from being used as floodplains and wetlands for flood storage (they have those names for a reason, not because they make good farmland and cities). As a result we get non-record record floods where record flood elevations occur despite not having record flows. If record flows occur, massive areas will be disaster areas.

  2. rd says:

    Re: Rent seeker as visionary

    It was making sense until the last paragraph. Rockefellar and Vanderbilt made fortunes off of massively underpriced federal and state lands and resource rights that were essentially just handed to them as if they were homesteaders. Not that much different from Musk’s subsidies and contracts.

  3. doug says:

    Our end of year PC upgrade was to Win 7. Each PC came with prepaid upgrade to Win 8. I suspect the transactions were counted as Win 8 sales, even though Win 8 is NOT being used.

  4. swag says:

    1% Jokes and Plutocrats in Drag: What I Saw When I Crashed a Wall Street Secret Society

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2014/02/i-crashed-a-wall-street-secret-society.html

  5. RW says:

    Clueless fools on the other side of my trades has doubtless improved my investment returns but clueless fools in control of state and national policy is not a good thing for anyone.

    The Stimulus Success

    It is important for the future to set aside ideology and recognize that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 helped the economy.

    …It is the details that should be debated – understanding what worked and what didn’t work would be useful during the next financial crisis (when the next generation of financial wizards think they’ve discovered how to turn lead into gold) – but overall the program was obviously helpful. Note: One of the reasons I was able to anticipate the bottom of the recession was that I correctly analyzed the impact of the stimulus.

    It is sad today that extremist ideologues are arguing the stimulus failed. This is very dangerous for the future.

  6. rd says:

    Interesting column on how ETF’s encouraging trading appear to be resulting in poorer returns than the less-cost effective open-end mutual funds: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-growing-case-against-etfs-2014-02-18?pagenumber=1

    I own a mix of mutual funds and ETFs, but for me the jury is still out on how much I like ETFs. I think that they can work for sophisticated investors with fairly large dollars to play with. However, the potential for commissions and trading execution problems could make them problematic for unsophisticated small investors. Very low cost, broadly diversified open-end mutual funds like Vanguard offers are probably still the best vehicle for those people. Learning how to place buy and sell orders on ETFs and stocks may not be the healthiest thing for their portfolios.

  7. willid3 says:

    so are rewarding stock holders, not any one else?

    http://pragcap.com/chart-of-the-day-rewarding-us-shareholders

    and just why is the retailers aren’t real big in keeping fraud out of their stores?

    http://money.cnn.com/2014/02/18/technology/security/retail-hack/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

  8. willid3 says:

    number one problem in the US?
    http://www.ibtimes.com/americas-no-1-problem-unemployment-gallup-poll-1556329

    seems so. but our politicians dont seem to notice it much other than to name every bill they create as job creators. even if they have nothing to do with it. which is about 99% of the bills in the house. the senate isnt much better.
    and dont even mention those that actually passed and got signed

  9. Willy2 says:

    - O.M.G. Harry S. Dent’s “Big Buy Signal”. Dent is absolutely right. We have BIG crash up ahead.
    - Steve Keen has a good article on the differences between US & Australian deleveraging.
    http://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2014/02/comparing-us-and-australian-deleveraging/

    Hint: In 2009 & 2010 Australia didn’t deleverage.

  10. willid3 says:

    a revolt against crony capitalism?
    http://www.texasmonthly.com/story/revolt-against-crony-capitalism

    maybe. but not in Texas. or most other states

  11. Willy2 says:

    And what about this: Australia heading for a “budding nightmare in jobs”. Did anyone remember the name “Harry S. Dent” ?

    http://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2014/02/pickering-australian-jobs-in-budding-nightmare/

  12. rd says:

    I am ready to run a couple of billion dollars hedge fund and collect my 2 and 20:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-02-18/hedge-fund-net-inflows-may-triple-this-year-deutsche-bank-says.html

    Going through the “Personal Rate of Return” report for 2013 on my dollar-cost averaged 60/40 quarterly rebalanced 401k plan tells me that I beat the pants off of the hedge funds by several percentage points in 2013 since they only returned an average of 9.3% which apparently made their investors happy. My judicious selection of strategically allocated index, value and bond funds available in my 401k was the key to my success. Luck and overall US stock market rise had nothing to do with it. The market timing of the quarterly re-balancings and bi-weekly payroll contributions was particularly brilliant.

    The value of our ESOP accounts have not been announced yet, but I think the ESOP will do reasonably well last year, so the Private Equity portion of my portfolio should continue to out-perform the hedge funds.