Kick up your feet and enjoy these Sunday reads:

• Why economists should try to measure happiness (The Week)
• Upside: Are Small-Cap Stocks Overpriced? (WSJ) see also March Was Stormy Month for Hedge Funds (WSJ)
• The age of asset management (FT Alphaville)
• Choosing Bonds Over Gold (WSJ)
• It IS about the risk premium! (Humble Student of the Markets) see also How Not to Do It (Above the Market)
• Who’s Inheriting Your 401(k)? (WSJ)
• The Daily Routines of Geniuses (Harvard Business Review)
• The Affordable Care Act’s Remarkable 4 Near-Death Experiences (Johnathon M Ladd) see also Now-Discredited Examples of Obamacare Doomsaying (New Republic)
• Brooklyn’s Hipster Economy Challenges Manhattan Supremacy (Bloomberg)
• On The 20th Anniversary – An Oral History of Netscape’s Founding (Internet History Podcast)

What’s for brunch?


Investors Clamor For Risky Debt Offerings

Source: WSJ


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 Sunday AM Reads”

  1. osheth says:

    I thought this review of Average is Over contained some important lessons and warnings about the future. This explains, why I believe, the middle-class is going away.

  2. RW says:

    Dubya’s Collection of World Leader Portraits Is Finally Here

    The Artist Formerly Known as President, amateur painter, and proprietor of collectible Christmas ornaments George W. Bush unveiled his hotly anticipated collection of portraits of world leaders today.

    “hotly anticipated” is an interesting choice of adjectives.

    I heard a portrait of Osama bin Laden was going to be included but it couldn’t be located. [ba-dum-tshh]

    • jtuck004 says:

      > “I heard a portrait of Osama bin Laden was going to be included but it couldn’t be located. ”

      ’tis okay. Obama found it for him.

  3. rd says:

    Re: How not to do it

    The irony of much of the climate change denial is that the groups in Congress that are so focused on reducing government spending are voting for taxpayers to provide larger subsidies for flood insurance as the solution to the problem:

    The private insurance companies’ attention became very focused on these issues after Hurricane Andrew. They have been increasing premiums and redlining very risky markets (like Florida). However, flood insurance is a purely artificial government subsidized program because private insurers view the risk as too big to provide “affordable” insurance. Now, improved mapping is identifying more areas that are flood prone and statistical evaluations are showing that the probabiltiy of events is higher, so the flood insurance program need more money to fund itself. That either comes from property owners at risk or from the general fund. The small government people are picking the general fund as the source.

    A true Austrian or Chicago small government economics approach would essentially eliminate the govenrment funded flood insurance (potentially leaving it in place for essential industries like fishing and shipping) and let the free market rule. Fat chance of that happening since voters live there.

  4. rekesk says:

    Not sure if your site has featured this video, but its a 30 minute talk from Nick Hanauer on income inequality. Excellent even if it is a bit long.

  5. “A new statistical analysis of Mr. Buffett’s long-term record at Berkshire Hathaway has just been done, and it’s come up with some fascinating insights about his abilities, past and present, and about the chances that the rest of us have for beating the market. Using a series of statistical measures, the study suggests that Mr. Buffett has indeed been blessed with an impressively big dose of alpha over a very long career.”

    The Oracle of Omaha, Lately Looking a Bit Ordinary (NYTimes)

  6. Conan says:

    How The US Population Changed In Just 6 Years

    Big Chinese soy project in Brazil: so far, just an empty field–sector.html

    The Overprotected Kid

    A preoccupation with safety has stripped childhood of independence, risk taking, and discovery—without making it safer. A new kind of playground points to a better solution.

    Kazakhstan’s largest oilfield will be shut down for at least two years

    Company earnings warnings near record levels as Q1 reports loom

    WIRED Space Photo of the Day

  7. farmera1 says:

    Started FLASH BOYS last night and stayed up late reading. JUst a few pages left. Amazing stuff and a must read.

    Also saw earlier this strange happening on CNBC between the main character in the book Brad Katsuyama who founded the IEX and the O’Brian dude from BATS. O’Brian’s head was ready to implode and apparently said some really dumb things that BATS was later forced to retract.

    PS: I wouldn’t buy a pig from O’Brian.

  8. Jojo says:

    Quick Takes | Jobs and Unemployment
    Pre-Recession Private Sector Peak Regained– Don’t Get Excited!
    By Heidi Shierholz | April 4, 2014

    Today’s jobs report showed a modest recovery continuing as we enter the spring, and many, many miles to go before reaching full employment. The labor market added 192,000 jobs in March, bringing the average growth rate of the last three months to 178,000.

    While total employment is still more than 400,000 jobs below where it was when the Great Recession began over six years ago, the private sector passed its pre-recession employment peak in March. But it is important to keep in mind that re-attaining pre-recession employment levels is a pretty meaningless benchmark economically. The potential labor force is growing all the time, so the private sector should have added millions of jobs over the last six-plus years. The overall gap in the labor market, which includes both the private and public sectors, is 7.3 million jobs. At the pace of growth of the last 3 months, it will take more than 5 years to fill that gap.

    The unemployment rate held steady in March, but that masked some good news. The share of the working-age population with a job ticked up by one-tenth of a percent, and the labor force participation rate rose by two-tenths of a percent, which means the number of “missing workers”–workers who have left the labor force due to weak job opportunities–dropped from 5.7 million to 5.3 million. There is a great deal of month-to-month variability in the number of “missing workers,” so we can’t make too much of one’s month’s drop, but this is a step in the right direction.

    Average hourly wages of private sector workers and of production and nonsupervisory both dropped slightly in March, underscoring the tremendous slack that remains in the labor market.

  9. constantnormal says:

    Investing for Retirement: The Defined Contribution Challenge (GMO – registration required)

    … I found this to be a rather lucid and instructive article (although implementing this scheme in any precise manner as an individual is going to be tough) of managing the adjustments in risk as one accumulates a retirement portfolio, and liked the notion of valuation as being a proxy for risk, opposed to the mainstream mantra of a sliding scale that moves steadily from stocks into bonds (which worked great for the past few decades, as rates steadily declined, but will almost certainly not repeat that performance going forward).

    Worth a read, as well as the registration required (should you have not done so).

  10. Giovanni says:

    RE: John Tanny and ‘How Not To Do It’. And we thought Hilsenrath was a mouthpiece

  11. Giovanni says:

    Really? Buffett underperforms in a market that’s up because of a five year Fed fueled liquidity binge and people think he’s lost his alpha? Hahahahahahaha!

  12. rd says:

    Every now and then I take a peek at BlackSwan Land, otherwise known as ZeroHedge. I found this interview with Marc Faber interesting for what it did NOT address in the way of risks:

    He states that Singapore is the safest place to hold gold. Really? Singapore is the site of a great historical Black Swan event where it fell to the Japanese in a week instead of being “impregnable” like the British thought. They didn’t realize that it could be assaulted through the jungle, so had focused its defences on the sea.

    Yes, the US may confiscate gold at some point. However, I think a similar low level of risk is that China may just decide that they really do need to own or at least rent the entire east area, including Singapore. How safe would gold in Singapore be if China decided that it was going to take Malaysia and Singapore? You would have maybe a couple of weeks to get your gold out of there, as well as yourself, in the midst of panicked evacuations.

    • RW says:

      The risk of gold being confiscated from citizens in the United States is probably less than the risk of gold being confiscated in Singapore from non-citizens — which includes US citizens of course — whether China decides to annex the country or not.

      But that kind of logic is probably irrelevant to the heart of the quasi-survivalist, hard-money impulse which, even when it is not manifestly apocalyptic or paranoid, seems to revolve around an absolute certainty their own government is the most suspect institution on the planet and that includes the company in Singapore that will be accepting their gold deposits and, it is to be hoped, actually storing them somewhere safely w/ reasonable carry charges.