Start Sunday right with this delightful assortment of reads:

• The Astonishing, ‘Disappointing’ iPad (Medium)
• The Rich Man’s Bubble is popping and no one gives a f*** (TRB)
• What if retirement advice is completely backwards? (Marketwatch)
• Amazon, in Threat to UPS, Tries Its Own Deliveries (WSJ) see also Who Wins and Who Gets Crushed by an Amazon-Owned Delivery Network  (re/code)
• How to Get Rich Just by Moving (Bloomberg)
• “Independent” Foreclosure Review Error Rate Vastly Higher Than Previously Admitted (Naked Capitalism)
• Economic ‘Uncertainty’ Is Trending Down (FiveThirtyEight) see also Tea Party economics: A long term loser (The Plum Line)
• The Origins of Office Speak (The Atlantic)
• Apple and Nike (stratechery)
Cute attack: 21 Fun Facts About Penguins (Mental Floss)

What’s for brunch?



Japan’s Tepid Victory Over Deflation

Source: Real Time Economics

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.

13 Responses to “10 Sunday Reads”

  1. ch says:

    Josh Brown is wrong that there will be no real world fallout fr a bursting of “the rich man’s bubble.”

    Take a look at the % of federal taxes being paid by the super rich and then compare that to the improvement made cycle-to-date in the federal deficit.

    If the rich man’s bubble bursts, the US deficit will blow out again. Then that will force either more QE or not – that will be a decision to either burst the UST bubble or the USD bubble.

  2. rd says:

    The Origins of Office Speak is a fabulous and essential article.

    Over the years I have found that I can generally predict the success of a corporate initiative or reorganization simply by looking at the office-speak buzzwords used in the announcement. If they are the new, hot terms that can be found in current editions of Forbes etc., then it is generally Management by Fad, and the initiative will vanish in the sands of time by the time the next announcement comes out. If they are terms that rarely show up in the current popular business literature, then it means somebody has at least attempted to do some real research and thought, so the initiative stands a chance of survival.

    Back in the 1990s, I got invited to one meeting that I brought a junior staffer to so they could see what these “strategy” meetings were really like. The people convening the meeting generally couldn’t come up with a strategy to order lunch. After the meeting, he commented to me that it was clear I got bored mid-way through the meeting as I appeared to be speaking gibberish. I said that I had gotten bored and just started seeing how many office-speak buzzwords I could string together in a sentence which was not how I normally spoke. However, both of us agreed that nobody else in the room picked up on this, and in fact were nodding in agreement with my gibberish and taking copious notes. Some of my phrases ended up in the inevitable memo that then went nowhere.

  3. rd says:

    Re: Tea Party Economics

    It will be interesting to see at what point in time the bottom 90% in the Tea Party states figure out that the GOP strategy handbook for those states, called “To Serve Man” is actually a cookbook.

  4. rd says:

    Wade Pfau (Backwards Retirement Advice) has a couple of very interesting recent blog posts on retirement income strategies:

    I think this will be a major growth market for financial planners over the next decade because the Fed and the economy have completely changed the potential for retirement income during the past five years compared to the previous century.

  5. VennData says:

    Tea party PACs reap money for midterms, but spend little on candidates

    “Tea party PACs put little cash into races: As candidates struggle, groups spend lavishly on salaries, fundraising,”

    They raise more money when they scream and shout their nonsense. If they actually win a seat, their dunce candidates just embarrass America.

  6. VennData says:

    In the WaPo piece you get the usual commentors saying how Reagan cut taxes, But he RAISED taxes:

    How many times do people need to be reminded of the facts about Reagan? They Regan Myth is just that. Fantasy.

  7. RW says:

    In the same vein.

    Is the Stock Market Getting Bubbly?

    With a price to earnings ratio that is roughly one-third about the long-term trend, they should expect real returns that are roughly one-third lower than the historic average. This means that instead of expecting real returns on stock of 7.0 percent, they should expect something closer to 5.0 percent. That might still make stocks a good investment, especially in the low interest rate environment we see today, but probably not as good as many people are banking on.

    I’m pretty much MOR at this point too: Markets okay but not great. About the only thing that would change my mind would be a congress that actually attempted to solve problems (rather than creating them) w/ massive increases in federal infrastructure spending following.

    As long as I’m wishing for a pony, tax simplification including loophole closing and fully implemented financial re-regulation (AKA rule of law) would be nice too. Yeah, right.

  8. Jojo says:

    Net Neutrality: A Guide to (and History of) a Contested Idea
    If net neutrality is so important, why is it so controversial? It’s complicated.

    Alexis C. Madrigal and Adrienne LaFrance
    Apr 25 2014

    This week, news broke that the Federal Communications Commission is considering new rules for how the Internet works.

    In short: the FCC would allow network owners (your Verizons, Comcasts, etc.) to create Internet “fast lanes” for companies (Disney, The Atlantic) that pay them more. For Internet activists, this directly violated the principle of net neutrality, which has been a hot-button issue in Silicon Valley for a long time.

    Net neutrality is the idea that any network traffic–movies, web pages, MP3s, pictures–can move from one place (our servers) to any other place (readers’ computers phones) without “discrimination.”

    Legal scholar Tim Wu, who helped define and popularize the term, laid out what could go wrong under such rules. “This is what one might call a net-discrimination rule, and, if enacted, it will profoundly change the Internet as a platform for free speech and small-scale innovation,” Wu wrote.

  9. Jojo says:

    Real Nature…
    Orcas attack gray whales in Monterey Bay (11 pics)
    Posted on Saturday, April 26 at 6:00pm | By Tom Stienstra

    Nature’s truth and tragedy unfolded in a dramatic scene on Monterey Bay last week when a pack of 20 orcas attacked a mother gray whale and its calf.

    The fight lasted more than two hours, witnessed and photographed by field scout Bart Selby, and dozens aboard whale watching boats that cruised at top speeds to the periphery of the scene and cut their engines.

    In the past year, Monterey Bay has become the richest marine region on the Pacific Coast. In the past three weeks, it has reached a new peak with unbelievable hordes of anchovies, along with other baitfish, and with it, the highest numbers of salmon, marine birds, sea lions, gray whales, humpback whales and orcas anywhere.

  10. Jojo says:

    What Does El Niño Mean for Me?
    Predictions for how the weather pattern could affect more than 60 cities, states, regions, and countries.

    By Eric Holthaus
    With apologies to Game of Thrones fans, there’s a new climate menace on the prowl: El Niño is coming.

    New data released late last week added to the mounting evidence.

    By Fall 2014: 75-80% chance we’ll have El Niño. #IRIForecast #ENSO #climate #ElNino #ENSOQandA
    — francesco fiondella (@fiondella) April 17, 2014

    To be declared an official El Niño, surface water temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean must warm by half a degree Celsius averaged over three months and maintain that level for five consecutive three-month periods. That’s an arbitrary definition, sure, but it gives us the ability to crunch the numbers on weather patterns that tend to associate with El Niños on a global scale.

    Statistically, this time of year has the least predictability at any time all year. But peering below the ocean’s surface, water temperatures are already off-the-charts-hot. If that warm water makes it to the surface, the planet could be in line for one of the most intense El Niños ever recorded. That would be enough to shift weather patterns worldwide and make the next couple of years among the hottest we’ve ever known. Earlier this month I wrote that taking into account current forecasts, El Niño could be the biggest global weather story of 2014. The new data shows that forecast is still on track. And that means El Niño could officially begin in a matter of weeks.

  11. Livermore Shimervore says:

    Re the Ipad opinion piece, what the author completely misses is that Apple took way too long to put out the iPad just like they’ve taken too long to put out an option for a larger screen iPhone just like they took too long to put out a mini iPad. Since 2007 the demand for a large iPod a.k.a. iPad, was so incredibly pent up that the velocity of sales was like nothing seen before. It’s like when toilet paper finally aririved to the Soviet Union. Late in coming, fast in selling out. Not only did Apple take too long in perfecting it, the market was begging for an alternative to netbooks and clunky laptops for the ‘low tech’ band of the consumer curve, the very core of iOS buyers (unlike the typical Apple laptop and desktop buyer who creates on those devices rather than consume). And since Google/Android were not yet in the position they are in now (too busy stealing away search from existing search giants), the task of putting out a decent smartphone/tablet fell to Microsoft who botched the oppourtunity, and are still botching it with the Surface.

    It’s a familiar situation observed by the non-fanboy. Apple drags it feet to release a product with obvious as the Sun demand, and once it arrives its sells at a record clip. First we saw it with iPad. Then we saw it with a 4G LTE iPhone (the last premium smartphone to get 4G LTE), then we saw it with the mini iPad and now we’ll be seeing it with the upcoming large screen iPhone.

    But that’s just the side dressing. The real story is that the iPad has indeed peaked and Apple’s going to need to bolster its iPhone 6 line up to make up for that lost sales velocity. Which Apple will have no trouble doing if finally, at long last, obliges senior citizen iPhone users tired of squinting as well as all the working age adult males who are loyal to Apple aching to get their hands on a large screen phone for at least three years now. It’s in the DNA of an adult male to want to play games, watch movies and watch YouTube on a larger device than these puny sized iPhones. It may take some time but Apple will eventually surpass Samsung, HTC, Google in selling a larger than 5″ – 5.5″ phones. Apple has pent up the demand that badly, just like the iPad.