Happy Thursday:

• Housel: One-Sentence Financial Rules (Motley Fool)
My 2nd favorite headline today! Right Said Fed. Hey Finance-Land: Janet Yellen Is Not Your Mommy. (Slate)
• The Case Against This Stock Market (Barron’s) see also Are the Markets Heading Back to the 1990s and Hammer Time? (Ciovacco Capital)
• Emerging Markets Are Attractive (Short Side of Long)

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.

36 Responses to “10 Thursday AM Reads”

  1. WickedGreen says:

    BR, you’ll love this if you haven’t already seen it:


    Damm scientists:


    “Frankly, I was shocked that the county permitted any building across from the river,”

    “We need better communication between experts looking at risks like this and the people issuing building permits,”

    Good luck with that! Apparently no amount of pollution / storm damage / public health risk / economic liability will be allowed to get in the way of (alleged) ‘development’ or (supposed) ‘growth’.

    • rd says:

      The US taxation system has a lot to do with the reasons why construction is permitted in hazardous areas.

      Proprty development decisions are largely made at the local level. Municipalities get much of their revenue from property taxes. Undeveloped property is not taxed at anywhere near the rate of developed property. Scenic property with water access is typically viewed as being valuable by buyers and therefore appraisals are higher leading to more property tax revenue. So there is a huge financial incentive for municipalities to develop disaster-prone land if developers will pay for the development and buyers will buy the developed properties.

      Most disaster relief, flood insurance etc. is paid for at the state and federal level out of income taxes. They have very little control over the development zonation policies other than US Army Corps wetland permits etc. There is also a large lobby in Congress from disaster-prone states to not reform disaster programs since that would reduce development in their states and/or cost them state and local money for disaster relief. That is a bi-partisan effort, since many of the most disaster-prone areas are red and purple states. This is government spending that even the Tea Party can often agree to.


      • willid3 says:

        and its not just coastal states that have problems with this, lots of inland states have this problem much more frequently than any of the coastal states do

      • WickedGreen says:

        Yup. So … “money”, right? Money entices muni governments to make terrible planning decisions. Money attracts blind self-interested lobbying. Etc., etc.

        But what if true-to-life accounting revealed that terrible land-use / abysmal planning / natural resource mismanagement in fact has a very high cost?

    • VennData says:

      Money. Not taxes. Money is the root of all mudslides.

      • rd says:


        Money is not the root of all mudslides. Just the human cost that comes out of them.

    • LeftCoastIndependent says:

      Well Wicked Green, you forgot about flood zones, earthquake zones, avalanche zones, tornado zones, tsunami zones, nuclear zones, airport traffic zones, the Ozone, and whatever you do, don’t walk in a pedestrian zone or you might get run over.

      • WickedGreen says:

        Your straw man’s red herring is showing …

        I haven’t forgotten about any of the zones you refer to. I respectfully suggest to you that for all the appropriate zoning that exists out there, it’s likely that even less of the landmass is truly appropriate for most “development” than we would like to think. And it’s a dynamic paradigm: more concrete, more flooding, requiring more works = more concrete …

        (I think) I get your whiff of pseudo-libertarian snark (“airport traffic zones”?). Too much government regulation, blah blah blah. Ok, go ahead and build a house on a barrier island in NJ.

        The planet will zone you instead. Just be a true libertarian and don’t ask us to pay for the rebuild again).

      • rd says:

        This area had large slides in 1949, 1951, and 2006. Those didn’t prevent home construction.


        Housing typically has expected lives of over 50 years, so three events in an area over a 60 year period would indicate a reasonable likelihood of a landslide impacting a given house at some point in its occupied life. It would take a lot of engineering analysis and constantly monitored instrumentation to be able to have a chance at predicting when a landslide could occur at a given location in time to evacuate people before it occurred, so it needs to be treated more like an earthquake risk than a hurricane or river flood risk where there are hours or days of advance notice to allow for evacuations.

        A cubic yard of soil (the volume of a large stuffed chair) weighs as much as an SUV, so a 10-20 foot high wall of mud going through your house is an irresistable force that would crush and suffocate people. It is bizarre that people in those houses were probably more focused on the likelihood of a stock market crash that they could recover from than the almost as high probability that their home and lives would be snuffed out by a wall of soil.

  2. hue says:

    A history of everything, including you (Hannah Hart Beat)

    10 Scientific and Technological Visionaries Who Experimented With Drugs (io9)

    Macinal Revolution: Tyler Cowen Got Pepper Sprayed In Class (Gawker) Data Dump: For Columnist, a Change of Tone (FiveThirtyEight)

  3. rd says:

    Re: Janet Yellen is not your mommy.

    I must be missing something here in my understanding of economics and financial markets. Apparently the Fed is concerned that raising interest rates will cause a bubble whereas ZIRP and QE have not:


    My impression is that the Fed does not fully understand that the Greenspan and Bernanke policies have been much more focused on protecting speculation than driving real, sustainable long-term economic growth. I think the bubbles continue to expand when interest rates are rising because the speculators believe that the Fed will do everything in its power to protect them and the financial sector in general if things go south, even if the consequences are negative for many of the unwashed masses that don’t work as hard as the people on Wall Street.

    It is going to come as a real shock to them if the Coast Guard doesn’t come out to rescue them the next time the tide goes out and they are swimming naked in the riptide.

  4. VennData says:

    Obama seeks papal blessing

    “…President Obama was once the biggest superstar on the international stage. [Today, he's at] the Vatican to benefit from the popularity of his replacement: Pope Francis. The visit is a rare chance for Obama to associate himself with a world leader whose cool factor far outweighs his own…”


    So, telling off the Right Wing makes you popular if you are the Pope, but not the Commander-in-Chief.

  5. willid3 says:

    did you know that back in 1933, that some business leaders supported a coup in the US? and they wanted to implement Nazi Germany policies in the US?


    • rd says:

      Probably one of the reasons that communism became popular at the same time. 25% unemployment does funny things to societies.

  6. swag says:

    Ruth Curry – What Seems To Be the Problem Here?


    “I’ve worked in book publishing for most of my adult life; currently I run an online bookstore called Emily Books1 specializing in the kind of women’s writing that’s typically labeled “difficult.” My business partner is my best friend. Most of my other friends and coworkers are also involved, directly or otherwise, in the writing, publication, and sale of books. When we talk about Amazon an uneasy pall falls over the room, as if we’ve invoked a monstrous, evil entity—Pol Pot or Exxon Mobil or King Joffrey Baratheon, the Ill-Born Usurper of Westeros (lifetime Amazon rank of A Game of Thrones author George R. R. Martin: 14). Amazon’s cutthroat pricing schemes, commanding control of the book marketplace, and experiments with bundling and the publication of original material directly threaten our livelihoods, such as they are.

    If you already think this, there’s not much in The Everything Store, the new business bio on Amazon and its founder, Jeff Bezos, that will surprise or dissuade you. A comprehensive history of Amazon from domain registration to the present, it reports the following: despite extremely selective recruiting standards, working at Amazon sucks; Jeff Bezos is a Horrible Boss; the company’s vision of itself has always been that of a retailer and only more recently a tech company; its association with books is only incidental; and Bezos’s—and by extension Amazon’s—ultimate goal is total market domination in all categories of products around the world.”

    • MikeInSF says:

      Outstanding. No hatchet job on Amazon from an online vendor “specializing in the kind of women’s writing that’s typically labeled ‘difficult’” would be complete without a cheap shot at the “(straight, white) guy” founder.

  7. willid3 says:

    US running short of basic drugs?

    and no its not Obamacare. its that we have just one manufacturer for the drug. and if they have issues with materials or manufacturing problems, we end up not having the drug that is needed

  8. willid3 says:

    many take only economics 101 and think thats all there is to economics?


    sort of like taking biology 101 and be a practicing doctor?
    or take beginning flight training and then be a commercial pilot?

    • thomas hudson says:

      not sure those analogies work, and it depends on what you get in your 101 class – micro or macro. when i took econ, 101 was micro and 102 was macro. i understand that some colleges flip flop that now. my daughter recently had a choice, and i told her that she would probably find macro more interesting, and so far she loves it. she will not be an econ major, but she has political leanings, and i felt that macro would serve her better.

      good article. my go to ‘one book to read on econ’ is often hazlitt’s ‘economics in one lesson’. an oldie but still relevant. as mencken said – ‘he was one of the few economists in history who could really write’.

    • LeftCoastIndependent says:

      Common sense 101 works for me.

  9. VennData says:

    Bills introduced in Congress banning online gaming

    “…The measures are aimed at reversing a 2011 decision by Attorney General Eric Holder that a 1961 law used in recent years to curb Internet gaming only barred sports betting. The bills introduced Wednesday would broaden the prohibition to where it stood before Holder’s ruling.

    “…Three states have legalized online gaming since the Justice Department’s 2011 ruling: Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware. Others have been considering doing so in an effort to find lucrative new sources of revenue.

    “…Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., the chief Senate sponsor, is running for re-election this year and has been seeking to shore up conservative support for the June GOP primary. The House version is sponsored by Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah. Both sponsor’s states have histories of curbing gambling.


    Go GOP. Protect the entrenched interests of Sheldon Adelson. That is WAY more important that funding the IMF while Russia sits on their door.

    You GOP voters are simply grand.

  10. VennData says:

    The NSA’s spying has in fact hurt U.S. cloud providers


    Yeah, the NSA can’t break into a cloud provider in Asia or Europe. ROFL! Oh, and you IT pros re really, really savvy. No one else has anything even close to the NSA capabilities. Hahaha!

    You NSA haters crack me up.

  11. willid3 says:

    why is that if a hospital causes a problem while your in it, that they end up making more money? its like if you repaired cars, and you purposely cause more damage to a car in your care, that you could charge the customer to repair what you broke?


  12. willid3 says:

    when you absolutely need the best home security system?

    wonder if the NRA has heard of this. I am sure they will be in favor of it

  13. RW says:

    Not about investment really but …hell, just listen to the recording.

    How Michael Jackson composed music

    As Jackson couldn’t fluently play any instruments, he would sing and beatbox out how he wanted his songs to sound by himself on tape, layering the vocals, harmonies and rhythm before having instrumentalists come in to complete the songs.

  14. VennData says:

    Microsoft Office for the iPad Is (Finally) Here


    ROFL! So what? Google docs is FREE.

  15. VennData says:

    “Earnings drive the market” LOL


    But Larry Kudlow – remember him? – says earnings are the mother’s milk of stock prices.

    OK, but only in the very long run.

  16. willid3 says:

    income inequality out rage? think it couldnt happen? it almost did once back in the 1930s.