Housel: Why We’re Awful at Assessing Risk (Fool)
• In a tech bubble with a twist, the big danger is bonds (FT)
• The Pros and Cons of Investing in Art (WSJ)
• In-the-know insiders are dumping stocks (MarketWatch) see also New doomsday poll: 99.9% risk of 2014 crash (MarketWatch)
• $500 Million Worth Of Bitcoin Has Been Stolen Since 2010 (Business Insider)
• US AG Eric Holder Still Owes You an Apology (Bloomberg View)
• California just had its warmest winter on record (MoJo)
• Americans Stick With Obamacare as Opposition Burns Bright (Bloomberg)
• Welcome Back Woolly Mammoth? (HuffPo)
• Scientists May Get Best View Yet of a Black Hole in Action (Wired)

What’s for brunch?


Baltic Dry Index May Have Bottomed

Source: Market Realist


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.

10 Responses to “10 Sunday Reads”

  1. RW says:

    On the Wrong Side of Globalization

    Based on the leaks — and the history of arrangements in past trade pacts — it is easy to infer the shape of the whole TPP [Trans-Pacific Partnership], and it doesn’t look good. There is a real risk that it will benefit the wealthiest sliver of the American and global elite at the expense of everyone else. The fact that such a plan is under consideration at all is testament to how deeply inequality reverberates through our economic policies.

    Worse, agreements like the TPP are only one aspect of a larger problem: our gross mismanagement of globalization.

  2. rd says:

    Only $500 million in Bitcoin stolen. Clearly Wall Street hasn’t gotten into Bitcoin in a large way yet.

  3. rd says:

    The ad right below the Housel piece that pronounced trading is really, really bad for you is shown below. Even the really good advice comes with bad counter-advice pushing trading because that is where the profits are for the advertisers.

    “Watch this FREE Video! Why I’m Investing $117,238 in This Stock
    I made a 19.1% profit on this stock in the first 48 hours! And it’s now my single largest portfolio holding. But with its incredible growth prospects, I wouldn’t dream of stopping now… in fact, I plan to more than DOUBLE my investment. And I want you to join me. Find out why it represents the largest single holding in our CEO’s stock portfolio, and why our top investing expert has recommended it threetimes in the past year…
    -Jeremy Phillips, Motley Fool Chief Tech. Officer

  4. Aaron says:

    Great piece by Gretchen Morgenson in the NYT on how the DOJ made pursuing mortgage fraud a (very) low priority when initiating criminal prosecutions.

    A Loan Fraud War That’s Short On Combat


  5. RW says:

    It’s a reflective and reflexive Sunday.

    Were the Victorians cleverer than us? The decline in general intelligence estimated from a meta-analysis of the slowing of simple reaction time

    The Victorian era was marked by an explosion of innovation and genius, per capita rates of which appear to have declined subsequently. The presence of dysgenic fertility for IQ amongst Western nations, starting in the 19th century, suggests that these trends might be related to declining IQ. This is because high-IQ people are more productive and more creative. We tested the hypothesis that the Victorians were cleverer than modern populations, using high-quality instruments, namely measures of simple visual reaction time in a meta-analytic study. …

    Using psychometric meta-analysis we computed the true correlation between simple reaction time and …, yielding a decline of 1.23 IQ points per decade or fourteen IQ points since Victorian times. …

    NB: I wouldn’t be inclined to read too much into studies like this normally but confess I am increasingly persuaded from several lines of evidence including leadership quality, cognitive flexibility, civic responsibility and personal integrity that elites in Western democracies are generally undergoing an intellectual as well as a moral collapse.

    • farmera1 says:

      Well it is rather easy to say it is the leaders fault, or the those people’s fault but me thinks people get the government they deserve in most cases, unless you are invaded by a much bigger neighbor. Other than that an incompetent government reflects an incompetent people. I’ve thought for a while this country is sliding down the slippery slope of ungovernability. NO?

      • RW says:

        farmera1, I think you and I place the emphasis in democratic governance rather differently. From my perspective democracy is primarily about making choices and what I have seen over the past fifty years is a decreasing range of choices to make and less information about what choices there really are. Incompetent citizens there doubtless are but considering the fodder they (and we) are offered perhaps this appearance is understandable.

    • RedShirtGuy says:

      The politicians aren’t any stupider than they have ever been. It is possible though they are having to spend so much time begging and brown-nosing for dollars that their ‘job’ performance is suffering. Consider this TED talk for example,


      Again we ‘moderns’ probably aren’t any stupider than we have ever been. Rather we are constrained by a steady accretion of once well meaning laws until our fear of the consequences of ‘breaking’ those same laws renders us, wisely/prudently I might add, incapable of taking any actions except defensive ones,


      • RW says:

        RedShirtGuy, laws, if they are equitably enforced, can make it easier to function because they constrain adversaries as well as yourself and remove some possible actions from the table almost entirely; e.g., the option a counterparty has to completely ignore the terms of a contract or remove you as a competitor by murdering you.

        Lessig’s analysis seems to largely ignore the social level of complexity and since we humans are a social species this renders his conclusions intrinsically incomplete.

        NB: I wasn’t strongly persuaded by the study’s results for several reasons including the inability of meta-analysis to offer a confidence interval but it also seemed to ignore a very plausible explanation for slower modern reaction time because viz modern cognition is probably more distributed than Victorian because there are more devices involved as co-agents in thinking; e.g., Donald Norman’s Things that make us smart.

        Interesting stuff to think about anyway.