Your three (or is it four?) day weekend is almost here! Don’t get bored on the beach, some expertly selected reads will keep your mind active while you tan:

• In Pursuit of Past Performance (A Wealth of Common Sense)
• Calling Gordon Gekko: This Is Japan (Bloomberg View)
• Alaska Is a Petrol State, but it doesn’t act like one.(Slate)
• Daniel McFadden: Understanding better how people really make choices (Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings) see also Does It Help to Know History? (The New Yorker)

Continues here



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 Friday AM Reads”

  1. rd says:

    My wife teaches elementary school in an inner city school. She just got the data from the state-testing on her incoming class this year. The tests are scored on a 1-4 scale. 3 & 4 are considered passing scores. Literally two-thirds of the students in her class this year are coming in with a 1 on last spring’s state tests. Almost none have a 3 or 4.

    Broken homes (many kids are being raised by non-parental relatives)
    Criminalization of minor drug offences (many parents are in jail)
    Violence (many kids can play outside at school only because their neighborhoods aren’t safe)
    Lead contamination of their homes and neighborhoods

    These are all documented reasons why the kids in her school are struggling. Please note that race is not a major item on the list. Minorities that are successful can move out to the better school districts now unlike 40-50 years ago. As a result, poverty is the real performance divide. It is unusual for kids in her classroom NOT to be eligible for free breakfast and lunch.

    This is our biggest challenge for the economy over the next 20-30 years. Despite the demagoguery, it is unlikely that teachers alone will solve this mess.

  2. RW says:

    When Do We Start Calling This “The Greater Depression”?

    Cumulative output losses relative to the 1995-2007 trends now stand at 78% of a year’s GDP for the United States, and at 60% of a year’s GDP for the Eurozone. These are extraordinary magnitudes of foregone prosperity–prosperity that we were all confident was in our grasp back in 2007: nobody back in 2007 was forecasting anything like what the decade starting in 2008 will turn out to have been like; nobody back in 2007 was forecasting any extraordinary decline in the rate of growth of potential output that statistical and policymaking agencies are now baking into their estimates. These magnitudes made me conclude at the start of 2011 that “The Great Recession” was no longer adequate: it was time to start calling this episode “The Lesser Depression”.

    Now, however, we face two additional downward shocks to the North Atlantic economy. ….

    NB: The past few decades of wage stagnation led to a macroeconomic environment that was moderately disinflationary on net and investing on that premise proved profitable. Deflation wasn’t a big worry initially but the spread of austerity and balanced-budget fundamentalism has made that worry significantly greater. An environment in which inflation might be too low however rather than ‘officially’ deflationary …well, that just wasn’t part of the picture.

  3. Robert M says:

    Spending was down as an aggregate number. Can Yellen do anything about this?
    BR argues that the FED adapted to the last crisis. Can Yellen do anything about this?

    • willid3 says:

      well wages have been going down for decades, its not a new trend. and nobody really has noticed it until now? not really. some noticed it back in 2005, and before. just nobody seems to care

  4. Jojo says:

    Bloomberg View
    Why Can’t the Pentagon Stop Smoking?
    August 21, 2014

    Even the most oblivious member of Congress knows that smoking is bad for you. As it turns out, it’s even worse for you if you happen to be a soldier. So why would Congress insist that the Pentagon sell cigarettes–at a discount, no less?

    The rationale has long been that members of the military have to smoke because their jobs are so stressful. There’s no denying the stress of military service, or that troops who smoke experience more of it than their comrades who don’t. (That may stem less from their work than from nicotine addiction.)

    Yet soldiers who smoke are not immune to lung cancer and other lethal pulmonary illnesses. Like all smokers, they face an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. In fact, as the current New England Journal of Medicine points out, smoking is especially harmful to soldiers because it lowers their fitness for service: It makes them more susceptible to injury and infection and increases the time it takes for wounds to heal. It also leads them to take more breaks than nonsmoking soldiers take.

    The Pentagon, to its credit, has been trying for decades to restrict smoking. Most recently, U.S. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus said he’s considering banning tobacco sales on Navy ships and Navy and Marine Corps bases. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has asked for a departmentwide review of tobacco policies.

    Sadly, and predictably, political forces are fighting back. {b>In response to the Navy’s possible sales ban, Representative Duncan Hunter, a California Republican, has inserted language in the defense authorization bill that would require military commissaries to keep selling tobacco products. Little wonder the military has a smoking problem. The Department of Defense spends more than $1.6 billion a year on medical care and lost work days due to smoking. The Veterans Administration spends billions more on lung disease.

  5. willid3 says:

    disruptive technologies? or how to have a taxi driver with $100,000 in college debt (for a masters in IT project management).

    so why do we need a taxi driver with a masters degree? and why is this an improvement?