My afternoon train reading

• If Capital Grows This Fast, How Come Fortunes Disappear? (Bloomberg)
• Beware Of The Walking Dead In Your Portfolio (Forbes)
• Mortgage lenders ease rules for home buyers in hunt for business (WSJ)
• Average credit card interest up to shocking 21% (NY Post)
• Your Environment Matters If You Want To Make Better Decisions (Farnam Street)
• Will Sales Taxes Doom Amazon? (Bloomberg View)
• We actually get nicer as we get older—and it’s possible to speed change along (WSJ) see also Why do some politicians cross party lines more? They’re nicer (Vox)
• For legal pot sellers, finding a bank is still a pipe dream. (WSJ) see also A Day in the Life of Your Friendly Neighborhood Weed Messenger (Runnin’ Scared)
• How Americans Hate Each Other (Priceonomics)
• Viral ad encourages Danes to have sex on vacation (Daily Dot)

What are you reading?



Mortgage Lenders Ease Rules For Home Buyers in Hunt For Business

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.

11 Responses to “10 Tuesday PM Reads”

  1. Bertha has moved exactly four feet since December 6 of 2013, and is now stuck deep under Seattle until AT LEAST late March 2015 . . . a minimum 16 month delay that is bound to lead to political mudslinging and litigation as costs mount . . .

    BUT, the DOT is not deterred. Their reaffirmed goal: “. . . what we are envisioning is to get this tunnel complete.”

    That’s encouraging . . .

    “Contractors say they’ll lift the 2,000-ton front end of the world’s biggest tunnel-boring machine to the surface for repairs . . . One big challenge will be simply to get Bertha into the open-air repair site, said Dixon. The machine will be driven about 45 feet forward, grinding through some of the concrete pillars. The main bearing is contaminated by grit, and the front end overheated while moving just a few feet in early December and late January.”

    Bertha won’t dig until at least March (Seattle Times)

  2. CharlesJefferson says:

    The paper on Amazon taxes is interesting, but what really surprised me is that some unnamed financial institution allowed the researchers access to checking, saving and credit card transaction data for over 2.8 million households.
    Pay-walled, sorry.

  3. willid3 says:

    tax court didnt limit attorney client privilege any more than it already was.

  4. RW says:

    It is interesting to see how weak the counterarguments to Piketty’s work are, at least thus far. The few that rise above ad hominem or straw man do occasionally raise a question that might be worthy of future research however.

    Gimein’s Bloomberg article offers some rather specious comments suggesting Pikety’s references to classical literature may render some of his argument suspect but later expands on a critique that fortunes and, eo ipso, the fortunate experience a relatively high turnover rate and this somehow weakens Piketty’s case.

    I haven’t read Piketty’s book yet (it’s on order) and it frankly is not clear that Gimein has either but, assuming Piketty’s book doesn’t already address the turnover issue it does seem the question ought to be answerable.

    It is not at all clear that a higher turnover rate among the fortunate, even if true, would weaken Piketty’s case in the slightest since that case primarily rests on the clear historical evidence that wealth does indeed tend to become concentrated in fewer hands particularly over any period where personal wealth grows faster than national wealth and therefore, barring intervention (outside unsustainable very high national growth periods), income inequality normally increases over time. Shorter version: It can’t matter much to the impoverished who controls the wealth if they cannot share in it.

    My own guess though is that great fortunes rarely “disappear” unless a revolution stops their expansion either directly by confiscation or indirectly by changing the rules of the game or both but, as I say, it is a question that could be researched.

    To turn $100 into $110 is work. To turn $100 million into $110 million is inevitable.” –Edgar Bronfman, Sr. (heir to the Seagram’s fortune)

    • RW says:

      Should have realized Krugman would have something to say about the plutocratic turnover argument but didn’t realize he addressed it over two decades ago.

      Inequality 1992

      I happened to notice …some bogus claims that the one percent is an ever-changing group, not a persistent elite, and I thought “Wait — didn’t we deal with that one long ago?” And that brought to mind the piece I wrote for the American Prospect 22 years ago, “The rich, the right, and the facts.”

      NB: Bogus ideas (and plutocrats) really are like cockroaches: you shine a bright light on ‘em and they seem to disappear into the walls but the light inevitably fades (or we stupidly close our eyes) and the vermin return to plague us; such is the human condition.

  5. willid3 says:

    so the government has more oops moments with your data?

    turns out that its because the government tends to be more public about them. while whole industries never admit it. or tell any one about it

  6. howardoark says:

    If a generation is 30 years, at 3% compounded each generation will increase the family fortune by 140%. If you have 3 kids to leave the fortune to, you’re losing 20% per generation.

    A friend of a friend is a financial advisor for a wealthy family in the midwest. He’s been telling them for the past five years that at the rate they’re spending the family fortune, they’ll be broke by 2015. They haven’t changed their spending habits at all.

  7. VennData says:

    Palcohol – powdered alcohol

    Goes great with powdered foods