Pour yourself a cup of Joe, settle into your favorite chair, and cozy up with my long form weekend reads.

• Capital Man: Thomas Piketty is economics’ biggest sensation. He’s also the field’s fiercest critic (Chronicle of Higher Education)
• The prose of psychoanalysis (TLS)
• Three ways Jeff Bezos keeps improving Amazon’s workforce (Quartz)
• A Silicon Valley Disaster: A 21-Year-Old Stanford Kid Got $30 Million, Then Everything Blew Up (Business Insider)
• Our Nudge in Chief: Cass Sunstein believes laws and public policies should help save us from our irrational impulses (The Atlantic)
• The Truth About Chicago’s Crime Rates (Chicago Magazine) see also Stories Triumph Statistics (Seeking Wisdom)
• The Mental Life of Plants and Worms, Among Others by Oliver Sacks (New York Review of Books)
• Christie’s Mastro Mistake: Report Backfires Politically, Legally (NJ Spotlight) see also Crossing Chris Christie (New Yorker)
• Why do stories exist? Literary scholars look to neuroscience (WSJ)
• Can You Buy A License to Speed? (Priceonomics)

What’s for brunch?


 When Jitters Can Be a Bullish Sign 
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.

10 Responses to “10 Weekend Reads”

  1. RW says:

    By Request: Public and Private Sector Payroll Jobs: Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama

    Senator Paul said last week: “When is the last time in our country we created millions of jobs? It was under Ronald Reagan …”

    That is completely wrong. (I’ve corrected both Republicans and Democrats, but recently it is mostly prominent Republicans that make stuff up!).

    Here is a table for private sector jobs.


    NB: Reagan’s record is about the same as Carter’s but both records are crushed by Clinton’s. All the Bush administrations are worse than everyone else in the last fifty years with Dubya’s record the worst of all by far. Obama’s record is better than any Bush administration, by an overwhelming margin in the case of Dubya, despite being handed the worst economy since the Great Depression just before he took office.

    Calculated Risk also provides a table refuting the myth that public sector jobs normally increase under Democratic or ‘Liberal’ administrations: the data are mixed but Reagan wins the prize for most public sector jobs added and Obama wins the prize for least.

  2. farmera1 says:

    Growing corn in Canada due to warmer weather.

    There are serious efforts supported by large Corporations (Monsanto and DuPont are mentioned in this link) to expand corn growing regions into Canada. Why because they now can, due to longer and warmer growing seasons. Since corn tends to be more profitable than grains which are the traditional Canadian crops, there are obvious economic drivers of this trend. Also specially developed varieties of corn helps make these changes possible.


    Just as an aside, the northern tiers of states (I’m most familiar with this trend in the Dakota’s) in the US are growing ever larger amounts of corn and soy beans, both of which takes longer growing seasons than the traditional grains.

  3. hue says:

    Worse than Wal-Mart: Amazon’s sick brutality and secret history of ruthlessly intimidating workers (Salon) The human cost of everyday low prices and ecommerce convenience. If you are working in a warehouse, what would $2K or $5K, do for you to quit? You probably ended up there because you couldn’t find another job.

    The Vanishing: In ‘Collapse,’ Jared Diamond shows how societies destroy themselves. (The New Yorker)

    The Rules Can Set You Free (Radiolab) I was sick a few days last month and binged on Radiolabs. This is the last one for while. The chess database will blow your mind.

  4. RW says:

    Even the Swedes: There must be some kind of communicable disease endemic to central banks that renders most of its victims unqualified for their declared job, which is presumably and rather minimally pursuing actions that maintain the target(s) their own policy model sets, pursuing policies instead that pretty much do the exact opposite.

    Apparently the disease also causes central bankers to not only reject the advice of their uninfected colleagues but to (ah the irony) quarantine them. One of the quarantined speaks out:

    Deflation in Sweden: Questions and answers

    Sweden has deflation, that is, negative inflation. …

    The deflation has been caused by the Riksbank’s tight monetary policy since the summer of 2010. The majority of the executive board chose in the summer of 2010 to start increasing the policy rate, which was then at 0.25 percent. The policy rate was increased at at steady and fast rate to 2 percent in the summer of 2011.

  5. RW says:

    Not currently in the limelight but, like Piketty, analytically comprehensive, rigorous and careful.

    Has Rising Inequality Reduced Middle-Class Income Growth?

    …an increase of 1 percentage point in the top 1 percent’s share of pre-tax income reduced growth of income for the median household by about USD530. In the most extreme case-the United States-the top 1 percent’s pre-tax share increased by 8 percentage points between 1979 and 2004. According to this estimate, that may have reduced median household income growth by a little more than USD4,000. The actual rise in the United States during those years was USD8,000, so the estimated impact of rising income inequality is not trivial.

  6. Jojo says:

    <b<What Will Happen When the Earth's Magnetic Field Switches or Collapses
    April 17, 2014

    The Earth’s magnetic field protects life on Earth, shielding it from damaging radiation and moderating our climate. So the idea that it could completely flip around, or collapse altogether, should cause us to worry, right? Well, yes and no.

    Magnetosphere Basics

    The result of electrical currents generated deep within the Earth through dynamic action, the magnetosphere is a fluid force that is constantly changing in strength and orientation.

    The Center of the Earth

    The very heart of our planet is a solid inner core of mostly iron that is about the size of the moon. It is so hot (9000°F to 13000°F or about 5000°C to 7200°C) that its temperature equals that of the “surface” of the sun, but it remains solid because of the combined pressure of everything above it being pulled toward it by gravity.


  7. Jojo says:

    Heartbleed Internet Security Flaw Used in Attack
    April 18, 2014, 1:46 pm

    Within 24 hours of the Heartbleed bug’s disclosure last week, an attacker used it to break into a major corporation, security experts said Friday.

    Using Heartbleed, the name for a flaw in security that is used in a wide range of web servers and Internet-connected devices, the attacker was able to break into an employee’s encrypted virtual private network, or so-called VPN, session.

    From there, the hacker or hackers used the Heartbleed bug about 1,000 times until successfully extracting information like passwords to get broader access to the victim’s network, said researchers at Mandiant, a cybersecurity firm.

    The targeted company only noticed the attack in its later stages. When it began analyzing what happened, it realized the Heartbleed bug was used as the entry point, said Christopher Glyer, an investigator at Mandiant.


  8. VennData says:

    Eyewitness testimony no longer a gold standard

    “…The problem is that decades of studies show eyewitness testimony is only right about half the time..”


    So how do they know this?

  9. swag says:

    Record Store Day was a bit frustrating this morning (people camping out for limited edition vinyl, and lines everywhere), but I hit some of Portland’s best shops this afternoon and came away with a pristine reissue of Joy Division’s first e.p.


    and a 12″ single of the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion’s tribute/mashup of the Beastie Boys and Link Wray


    Sad to say, I was unable to find the Harry Dean Stanton 7″ single.


  10. Robert M says:

    Talk about confirmation bias; Duplan …”
    He sells the vision of what every investor wants, which is a 20-year-old, white male, Stanford Computer Science major.”
    I suggest every investor put a brown paper bag w/ eyeholes over the head of the next whiz kid from Stanford who fits the prototype. The darker the better!

    Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/inside-story-of-clinkle-2014-4#ixzz2zZ1Ayayt