Good Sunday morning, some reads to round out your weekend:

• No Free Lunch in Dividend Funds (MoneyBeat)
• Wall Street whistleblowers (FT)
• Want to Be A Better Investor? Tune Out the Noise (BlackRock)
• Policy Induced Mediocrity? (Tim Duy’s Fed Watch)
• Why Yahoo Keeps Killing Everything It Buys (Wired)
• Follow up on problems in ‘Capital in the 21st Century’ (Money Supplysee also Stop asking if Piketty was right or wrong; not everyone will ever agree anyway (Quartz)
• Is College Worth It? Clearly, New Data Say (The Upshot)
• Climate Change Meets Kitchen Table as Issue Gets Personal (Bloomberg)
• The Sharing Economy is Great – Don’t Listen to the Naysayers (Ashok Arao) but see The Case Against Sharing (Medium)
• Did Steve Ballmer Overbid for the Clippers? Of Course He Overbid (MoneyBeat)

What’s for brunch?


Tortoise Catching Up to the Hare

Source: Bespoke Investment Group


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.

9 Responses to “10 Sunday Reads”

  1. rd says:

    I think many of these “Is College Worth It?” articles take a very simplistic perspective on it, trying to generalize an overall conclusion to individuals based on a population wide survey with little slicing and dicing of the data accompanies by real analysis.

    1. Historically, people who have gone to college have been in the top tiers in their high schools with above average intellectual and emotional intelligence as well as good work habits. On average, they would likely have out-earned the rest of the population even if everybody stopped after high school. We have to be very careful that we are not running into a logical fallacy similar to the US-wide home price assumptions that led to the financial crisis, name that since the average US-wide home price had never fallen since the Great Depression, that it never would no matter how high they rose. The same may be happening with college and university attendance, that greatly expanding the college student pool will inevitably result in much higher earnings for all of these people. A waitress with an English degree may not make appreciably more than a waitress with a high school diploma.

    2. The population pool going to college now is expanding and more average and below average academically skilled people are attending. The graduation rates of most colleges are not very good, so a number of people are not graduating but still accumulating student loan debt which can be a disastrous combination.

    3. I have noticed that much of the complaining from corporate America has shifted from bemoaning a shortage of STEM university graduates to a shortage of welders, machinists, and truck drivers. I haven’t seen many four-year programs out there to prepare university graduates for those jobs that are often well-paying. Cost-cutting companies are still hoping that some other sucker will pay for those training costs so they can hire fully-trained staff away from them. They crushed the unions (the ones that didn’t commit suicide themselves) which often provided the apprentice programs to get that training.

  2. rd says:

    Interesting article about Trans-Canada Pipeline’s Gulf Coast pipeline welding problems during construction. Welding and it’s construction QA/QC is “old technology” that has been around for decades with many tried-and-true approaches to it. Poor quality of this is just shoddy construction and poor management.

  3. VennData says:

    Ethical Electric’s website:

    I love it when the Koch Brothers market to me, happy to have them wasting their advertising dollars…

    …and political ads on me. Ii sign up for everything they send me I can. Get on lists, send back unopened business reply envelopes, make them waste money every which way I can. “send me MORE email Koch boys!”: I make sure I’m on all the Koch lists and feel the joy of their wasted dollars.

    I got a check for $50 bucks. If you endorse it, they will deduct $25 bucks from your bank account every month. I deposited into an account I was closing. I make money of them. You can too.

    Don’t fight it. Don’t be angry. Get on their lists. Cost them money. Make them believe – like Karl Rove the Obama re-election night – that they have it in the bag with all their followers.

  4. > Want to Be A Better Investor? Tune Out the Noise (BlackRock)

    Isn’t that the truth? Especially during the housing and credit bust, followed by the turmoil in Europe, you might have concluded after reading the endless parade of dire headlines and predictions that you’d be better off jumping out a window . . . now that all seems so long ago, though those who sold at the bottom or never got back in are reminded everyday of the cost of following the chatter.

  5. krice2001 says:

    Barry, you often make the case that “uncertainty” is always present and therefore usually a poor explanation of economic performance under expectations. This from Blackrock uses an index of public and business perceptions of political uncertainty to explain reluctance to spend and invest — “The “Economic Policy Uncertainty Index (EPUI)” constructed by a team of economists from Stanford and the University of Chicago. According to this index, while policy uncertainty fluctuates over time, it has, on average, been much higher over the past five years.” ”

    “Historically, higher levels of uncertainty over policy and the political environment have been associated with lower levels of economic activity. The mechanism via which this occurs seems to be the impact of lower business and consumer confidence on spending and investment.”

  6. RW says:

    Chris Giles response in Money Supply to criticism of his analysis of Piketty’s data in Capital in the 21st Century and Piketty’s rebuttal to that analysis is certainly more judicious and measured in tone than his original FT piece but, like the original, fails to provide evidence sufficient to reject Piketty’s hypothesis; it doesn’t even address all the points in Piketty’s rebuttal to the original FT piece.

    NB: Giles original FT piece not only falsely claimed to refute Piketty’s conclusions but was written in the tone of a “gotcha” as if Piketty’s data errors were somehow on a par with Rogoff and Reinhart’s or even possibly intentional; e.g., What the Financial Times got (very) wrong.

    The Quartz piece on disagreement regarding Piketty’s work is uncharacteristically trivial: Indeed errors happen and longitudinal data can be messy and discontinuous but failing to ask if Piketty is right or wrong means serious questions of methodology regarding longitudinal data series, or even where historical economic research could more productively go from here, become effectively unanswerable. While that state of affairs might serve certain sociopolitical interests it is unlikely to serve either wisdom or public policy well.

    In the interests of disclosure I should add that I think, if anything, Piketty understates the case: Increasing wealth concentration and inequality is a fundamental property of capitalism. What society decides to do about that, if anything, is the real question.

  7. Jojo says:

    Exclusive: Inside the FBI’s Fight Against Chinese Cyber-Espionage
    An American solar panel company wondered why Chinese firms kept undercutting their prices. Then the FBI knocked on their door.

    * MAY 27, 2014
    * Shane.Harris

    SolarWorld was fighting a losing battle. The U.S. subsidiary of the German solar panel manufacturer knew that its Chinese competitors, backed by generous government subsidies, were flooding the American market with steeply discounted solar panels and equipment, making it practically impossible for U.S. firms to compete. What SolarWorld didn’t know, however, was that at the same time it was pleading its case with U.S. trade officials, Chinese military hackers were breaking into the company’s computers and stealing private information that would give Chinese solar firms an even bigger unfair advantage, including the company’s pricing and marketing strategies.

    SolarWorld learned about the hacking not from some sophisticated security software or an outside consultant, but from FBI agents. In early July 2012, they called the company and alerted executives to a “persistent threat, some kind of attack,” said Ben Santarris, SolarWorld’s spokesman, in an interview. Persistent threat is shorthand for hackers who burrow deeply into a computer system to steal information and spy on an organization from within. The FBI didn’t offer any specifics about the nature of the intrusion, Santarris said, but according to a federal indictment made public last week, the bureau determined that SolarWorld had been infiltrated by hackers working for China’s People’s Liberation Army, who were stealing private documents that would be valuable to Chinese state-backed solar companies — the same ones undercutting SolarWorld’s business. Armed with the warning from the feds, SolarWorld tightened up its computer security, and in September 2012, the intrusions appear to have stopped.

  8. Jojo says:

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  9. Jojo says:

    Fact or Fiction?: An Opera Singer’s Piercing Voice Can Shatter Glass
    Can the high C of a trained soprano quiver glass into dissolution?

    Aug 23, 2007
    Aging of Eyes Is Blamed for Range of Health Woes
    Published: February 20, 2012