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

• No Exit: One Startup’s Struggle to Survive the Silicon Valley Gold Rush (Wired)
• Hedge Funds and the 40-Year Cycle (Catallactic)
• The Untold Story Of Larry Page’s Incredible Comeback (Business Insider) see also The Truth About Google X: The Secretive Lab’s Closed Doors (FastCo)
• For E.O. Wilson, wonders never cease (Harvard Gazette)
• This Is Why Sleep Is So Important to Athletic Performance (The Atlantic)
• The Invention of the AeroPress (Priceonomics)
• With Farm Robotics, the Cows Decide When It’s Milking Time (NY Times) see also Big food: Michael Pollan thinks Wall Street has way too much influence over what we eat (Vox)
• The Evolutionary Mystery of Left-Handedness and What It Reveals About How the Brain Works (Brain Pickings)
• Climate Catastrophe: A Superstorm for Global Warming Research (Spiegel)
• Building a Bigger Action Hero (Men’s Journal)

What’s for brunch?



The Dow Priced in Gold Remains Well Below Record Highs

Source: Chart of the Day


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.

18 Responses to “10 Weekend Reads”

  1. RW says:

    Taper Tantrum or Tedium

    “How Will the Normalization of U.S. Monetary Policy Affect Latin America and the Caribbean?”

    …in the current exit from quantitative/credit easing, long term US interest rate increases will be more strongly associated with an economic recovery than in the past, and US GDP growth lead to flows to Latin America/Caribbean that will partly offset the outflows. …

    Cannabis, Bill Bennett, and the technique of selective reading

    A friend emails, “Bill Bennett read your book … or, at least, every other page of it.” …

    To an analyst, every course of action* has advantages and disadvantages, which ought to be carefully weighed against the advantages and disadvantages of its alternatives. To a mere advocate, the course of action he prefers has only benefits, while the courses of action he deplores have only costs.

    Since Beach and Bennett chose to base their argument on our book …it’s easy to see their principles of selection in action. …

    NB: Anyone genuinely interested in understanding the policy options and potential pitfalls WRT Marijuana legalization should read Marijuana Legalization: What Everyone Needs to Know by Mark Kleiman, Jonathan Caulkins, Angela Hawken, and Beau Kilmer. All four are analysts rather than advocates but, in the end, each considers a different solution better on balance.

  2. Mike in Nola says:

    So, BR, which handed are you?

  3. Stock Soup says:

    1) I never tire of reminders to eat mostly organic plants. (not sarcasm),

    2) I am always saddened when I am reminded of the catastrophe that is global warming, that it is happening now, that no one cares,

    3) Which brings us to The Knowledge, a book on how to re-build society after global collapse. (sarcasm)

  4. atswimtwobirds says:

    An April Fool’s Day 2010 article on Climategate (where the accused have been subsequently fully vindicated) in the German equivalent of the WSJ. Is this sarcasm or are you just short of reading material?

    • RW says:

      I wondered about that too: The Spiegel article was mostly off base the day it was published and four years have rendered it an utter caricature. Maybe that was BR’s point in posting it; an anniversary of another milestone in shoddy journalism perhaps?

  5. hue says:

    U.S. electricity prices may be going up for good (LATimes) Experts warn of a growing fragility as coal-fired plants are shut down, nuclear power is reduced and consumers switch to renewable energy.

    The Shot Doctor: Behind the scenes in San Antonio, there’s Chip Engelland — the man who has been quietly improving the Spurs’ offense (Grantland)

    Ezra Klein & Jim Bankoff of Vox.com (Charlie Rose) Klein did not get a job at the Santa Cruz paper while in college, so he became a blogger. Had he gotten that job, there likely would not have been a wonkblog or Vox.

  6. hue says:

    U.S. electricity prices may be going up for good (LATimes) Experts warn of a growing fragility as coal-fired plants are shut down, nuclear power is reduced and consumers switch to renewable energy.

    The Shot Doctor: Behind the scenes in San Antonio, there’s Chip Engelland — the man who has been quietly improving the Spurs’ offense (Grantland)

    Ezra Klein & Jim Bankoff of Vox.com (Charlie Rose) Ezra Klein did not get a job at the Santa Cruz paper while in college, so he became a blogger. Had he gotten that job, there likely would not have been a wonkblog or Vox.

  7. VennData says:

    Amazon Slumps as Increased Spending Limits Profit Growth


    Here comes the capex deluge. What does Wall Street do? They sell. LOL. No wonder they are so angry, the stock jockeys consistently do the wrong thing.

    And where are those “patriot” free market libertareans now with the Obama dropping the 173rd Airborne into the Baltics? Where is your support for the troops now you tax cut loving sons of bitches?

    That’s right look at yourself. Pathetic GOP idiots.

  8. MojaveMax says:

    Ummm…that climate article from Spiegel is almost 4 years old.

  9. rd says:

    Related to the “climate Change Catastrophe” is this discussion on the “Scarcity Fallacy”


    I am an ardent ecologist, but I think there is a lot of Ecological Porn, similar to your Recession Porn, where everything is portrayed as disaster unless everybody lives like the Amish. In the end, the earth is a resilient place and people are very adaptive. Most of the tooth gnashing is about things that are politically unreasonable and infeasible. We are much better positioned if we look at solving ecological issues one small problem at a time. For example, the Chesapeake estuary can be saved one suburban lot and farm at a time. It requires education so that people can understand how their small actions can impact the whole, for good or bad. But it is doable over time.

  10. VennData says:


    “The assumption is that the BLM is part of the federal government. But we need to check the facts on that one. The BLM doesn’t work for the government: they work for the United Nations. They might as well be wearing blue helmets. If we find out there’s money being exchanged between Harry Reid and the Chinese government, no one should be surprised.”


    GOP media moguls. You’re tabloidization ala Fox “News”, lies, deceit and ignorance has dug you into quite a hole hasn’t it.

    You will be remembered throughout all time as assholes. Do you kids a favor, let them change their names now and distance themselves from you. Disown them for their own good. Give them and their children a chance at not being laughed at forever.

  11. Jojo says:

    NY Times
    The Most Important Question You Can Ask
    April 25, 2014

    When I heard this week that Michael Phelps was planning to return to competitive swimming, my first reaction was to feel a little sad for him. I honor Mr. Phelps for the discipline, grit and passion he needed to win a record 18 gold medals. But I also sense that he’s going back to swimming because he’s chasing a high that hasn’t held up.

    In the same way, I respect Michael Jordan for all he achieved in basketball. But after reading Wright Thompson’s brilliant article about him in ESPN Magazine, I was struck by the emptiness of his life since he retired as a player 11 years ago.

    We celebrate and envy people’s extraordinary individual accomplishments and successes, but the pleasure they derive from their efforts is often surprisingly fleeting. And there is a reason for that. What generates an enduring experience of meaning and satisfaction in our work is the sense that what we’re doing really matters — that we’re truly adding value in the world.

    Or as Viktor Frankl put it so eloquently: “Don’t aim at success. The more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued, it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than one’s self.”

    For me, the threshold question is this: In the service of what?


  12. Jojo says:

    Fast Company
    Pixel & Dimed
    On (Not) Getting By in the Gig Economy
    March 18, 2014 – A version of this article appeared in the May 2014 issue of Fast Company magazine.

    For one month, I became the “micro-entrepreneur” touted by companies like TaskRabbit, Postmates, and Airbnb. Instead of the labor revolution I had been promised, all I found was hard work, low pay, and a system that puts workers at a disadvantage.
    By Sarah Kessler

    “If I’m willing to pay $100 for someone to bring me a glass of fresh milk from an Omaha dairy cow right now, there might very well be a guy who would be super happy to do that, but he doesn’t know that I’m the crazy guy who is willing to pay $100.” Bo Fishback was on stage at the “Big Omaha” startup conference in 2011, trying to explain how his company Zaarly was designed to make that connection between the person with more money than time and anyone who, finding themselves in the opposite situation, could fulfill his hankering for local farm products. “It creates instantly the ultimate opt-in employment market, where there is no excuse for people who say, ‘I don’t know how to get a job, I don’t know how to get started.’” Fishback wrapped up his presentation with a flourish: A man in a baseball cap arrived, cow in tow, with a tall plastic jug of milk.

    Neither Fishback nor I realized at the time that he was the first person to pitch the vision I would hear many more times over the next three years: The gig economy (a phrase which encompasses both the related collaborative economy and sharing economy) represents a theory of the future of work that’s a viable alternative to laboring for corporate America. Instead of selling your soul to the Man, it goes, you are empowered to work for yourself on a project-by-project basis. One day it might be delivering milk, but the next it’s building Ikea furniture, driving someone to the airport, hosting a stranger from out of town in your spare bedroom, or teaching a class on a topic in which you’re an expert. The best part? The work will come to you, via apps on your smartphone, making the process of finding work as easy as checking your Twitter feed.

    Whatever you do, it will be your choice. Because you are no longer just an employee with set hours and wages working to make someone else rich. In the future, you will be your very own mini-business.


  13. Jojo says:

    Bloomberg Businessweek
    Politics & Policy
    Kansas Tries to Shrink Its Way to Prosperity
    By Peter Coy
    April 17, 2014

    Sam Brownback has been a Tea Partier since before the Tea Party was born. When he became governor of Kansas in 2011, he set about making the state a testing ground for conservative principles, including cutting funding for some public education and the eventual elimination of the state’s income tax. “Our new pro-growth tax policy will be like a shot of adrenaline into the heart of the Kansas economy,” he wrote in a 2012 op-ed. He predicted cutting taxes would “pave the way to the creation of tens of thousands of new jobs, bring tens of thousands of people to Kansas, and help make our state the best place in America to start and grow a small business.”

    The Kansas experiment attracted the attention of both conservatives and liberals around the country, who saw it as an acid test for the Tea Party agenda. Brownback, a former U.S. senator who briefly ran for president in 2007, crept up the long list of dark horse candidates for the 2016 Republican nomination.

    A little more than a year has passed since the first phase of the Brownback tax cuts went into effect on Jan. 1, 2013, so it’s possible to make a preliminary assessment of their effects. The early verdict: not too good. The jury is still out on whether lower taxes will stimulate businesses to expand and hire over the long term. But the immediate effect has been to blow a hole in the state’s finances without noticeable economic growth.


    • willid3 says:

      sounds like the same thing as in Wisconsin. seems the governor when running for office promised 100,000 new jobs. so far he has a lot of ground to make up as he is very far behind. but he does seem to want to move the goal posts, like to his 2nd term, or maybe it will always be the next term.

  14. Jojo says:

    Buried in the “This Is Why Sleep Is So Important to Athletic Performance (The Atlantic)” article was a reference to how inadequate sleep reduces T levels in men in an academic article:

    Effect of 1 Week of Sleep Restriction on Testosterone Levels in Young Healthy Men

    I had never heard of this connection before, despite having accumulated a collection of articles on the importance of sleep and how deprived most of it most of us in the USA are.

    Given that much of business is still run by males, perhaps this is the hook that could lead companies to provide nap rooms and sanction a nap break during the work day? Hmmm…

  15. Robert M says:

    Larry Page is a facist of the first order and needs to be stopped. STOP using
    Google. The implications of the following paragraphs is staggering.

    “The good news for the world is that Page’s goal of developing a pervasively connected AI that understands and provides for our every need is not about taking advantage of us.
    He is, at heart, a passionate utopian — one who believes that technology has overwhelmingly made life better for humans and will only continue to do so.
    Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/larry-page-the-untold-story-2014-4#ixzz30IunwDGR

    Even assuming Page is benevolent what is to stop the next owners from designating the non users the “new Jews” because you are not wired into his world. Technology is only benvolent because you can chose not to use it if you want. Clearly in his world you would not because who could turn down this idea; “So while it may seem random for Google to get into businesses as diverse as cars, thermostats, robotics, and TV production, there is an overriding objective behind it all: Page is envisioning a world where everything we touch is connected with and understood by an artificially intelligent computer that can discern patterns from our activity and learn to anticipate our needs before we even know we have them. Someday, Page has said several times, this AI will be hooked directly to our brains — perhaps through an implant.”
    What are your needs? Is it everything you want? In Page’s world a boy showered w/ gifts at a holiday would not be allowed find them so over whelming that his imagination prefers the box because he consciously determines what he wants.
    Sorry BR, I know that this falls into get your own blog territory but that article is down right scary.

  16. Robert M says:

    Larry Page is a facist. He wants google to run your life.