Honor Thor’s Day with these reads:

• As Stock Picking Comes Back In, ETF Use Goes Out (MoneyBeat)
• Mall traffic is down (Fidelity) see also Are Malls Over? (New Yorker)
• Buyback Binge Takes a Breather (MoneyBeat)
• Traders Beat Market Indexes Borrowing Tools From Sports (Bloomberg)

continues here

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 Thursday AM Reads”

  1. Bob is still unemployed   says:

    Meet CUPID: The Drone That Will Shoot You With an 80,000 Volt Taser (gizmodo.com)

    “Are drones not scary enough for you yet? How about this? A drone helicopter that spots you and identifies you as an intruder. It tells you to stop and put your hands behind your head. Instead, you keep coming. The drone then shoots you with barbed Taser darts that pump 80,000 volts into you. If you try to get up, it will continue pumping voltage into you until you submit and the authorities arrive. …

    “The drone is already capable of being fully autonomous…”

  2. hue says:

    Matthew Weiner Talks About Mad Men’s Next and Final Season (
    Vulture
    )

    I lost my dad to Fox News: How a generation was captured by thrashing hysteria (
    Salon
    )

    The Imaginary Epidemic of Envy in America (NYMag) Here’s the Horrifying Truth Behind Ezra Klein’s New Plan (NYMag)

  3. rd says:

    The article on expensive infrastructure misses a huge factor.

    In the US, most of the decisions of what to do where and when are largely driven at the local and state level but much of the funding comes from the federal level. Whenever you have money being raised at a separate government level from where the spending decisions are made, you will end up with poor policies as nobody is accountable.

    In NYS, counties are responsible for a fair amount of Medicaid and other similar spending. So local property and sales taxes fund decisions that are made at the state and federal level for what is a federal with state “enhancements”. That then diverts local taxes away from local infrastructure spending so the local communities are now dependent on state and federal funds for local infrastructure improvements. As a result, the decision-making and execution of all of these programs is now fundamentally flawed and none ofthem can be done effectively.

    Canada is probably the country most similar to the United States. However, federal and provincial taxes are about the same there as the province raises much of its own revenue for programs that it wants to fund, unlike in the US where Federal taxes are much higher than state taxes. The Canadian federal government taxes are focused on Canada-wide regulation and programs. Local taxes are focused on local programs. As a result, many things get done more efficiently and cost-effectively because the responsibility for funding and execution are not separated as they are in the US.

    We also see this issue rear its ugly head in natural disasters as local officials make the decisions on where to site housing and commercial developments to maximize local property taxes while expecting that natural disaster costs will be picked up by the state and federal government.

    • willid3 says:

      there is another problem with the US way funding infrastructure. the real problem is there is really political interest in maintenance of it, there is a lot more in creating new infrastructure though. and states (and locals) get a free ride when the FEDS fund their infrastructure. and a lot of Medicaid funding is Federal. wonder if the states actually pass through that to counties? and does the state contribute their part of any state ‘enhancements’? in Texas most of the funding is Federal for Medicaid (what you though the state would put much in with it???? here??/ you must kidding!), and its not run by the counties. but then it used to be the state would fund the farm to market roads too. but last year the state decided that they couldn’t afford it any more, so they were working on turning paved roads in to gravel ones. but some of the counties took over that to keep it from happening. usually the FEDS have ‘rules’ as to what their funding can be used for. not that that will stop the states from misusing it.
      and i suspect that the local decisions regarding housing and other developments hasn’t changed since before the Fed’s started contributing to infrastructure. it was always about who could produce the most money for the politicians. now days it seems that states and locals are a lot more interested in jobs. or at least they claim to be. usually when they say that, its just a misdirection, jobs are a sideline to what ever they are proposing. like that new Tesla battery plant. suppose to create 500,000 batteries using 6500 workers . if you do the math that 76 batteries per worker. really? i suspect a lot of those jobs will only exist while the plant is being constructed. and some will never ever be in that plant

  4. rd says:

    Another way the 0.1% extract money from the 99.9%. Make them pay for your bail-out loans as well as the infrastructure.

    http://www.propublica.org/article/chesapeake-energys-5-billion-shuffle

    I believe the old mantra in Hollywood was to always get a percentage of the gross, not the net as there was never any net no matter how much gross there was. The same appears to be the same for the fracking industry.

    I have been hearing the screams in NYS from people who are upset that Cuomo is taking a while to release the moratorium on fracking. I personally think it has been good policy as he is allowing other states to show the way on how to do it properly from a technical, regulatory, and financial basis. As an engineer, I think fracking can be done properly in a way that benefits most constituencies. As Chesapeake is showing us, just leaving it up to the private sector to figure out the best deal for the rest of us is not the wisest of courses. Without sound regulation and enforcement, they are likely to leave us holding the bag on lots of socialized environmental losses, screwed landowners, and privatized profits in the hands of the drilling companies and their financial partners.

  5. rd says:

    Apparently the FBI ranked mortgage fraud as one of its lowest priorities:

    http://blogs.marketwatch.com/capitolreport/2014/03/13/justice-department-criticized-for-not-living-up-to-hype-on-fighting-mortgage-fraud/

    Thank heavens that mortgage fraud wasn’t of material importance to the economy and the financial system over the past decade.

  6. rd says:

    Some interesting historical anecdots, mainly from Asia, about how climate and historical dynasties are interwoven. The basic message: “Adapt or die” for political, infrastructure, and agricultural systems. Locking in the status quo delays the inevitable and makes it worse.

    http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/03/historical-kings-lessons-climate-change-genghis-khan-putin