10 Weekend Reads

Good Saturday morn. Pour yourself a cup of strong black coffee, and settle in for a longer form, weekend reads:

• Goldman in Ventureland: The inside story of how—and why—Goldman Sachs became a tech-investing powerhouse (Bloomberg)
• Will Advances in Technology Create a Jobless Future? (MIT Technology Review)
• Emerging markets: Redrawing the world map (FT)
• Inside the sad, expensive failure of Google+ (Mashable)
• How baseball’s tech team built the future of television (The Verge)
• The Friedrich Hayek I knew, and what he got right – and wrong (New Statesman)
• How corn made its way into just about everything we eat (WonkBlog)
• How I Gave Up Alternating Current (Mostly Harmless)
• The True Story of an Ex-Cop’s War on Lie Detectors (Bloomberg)
• Billy Beane on Making Better Decisions and Avoiding Biases (Farnam Street)

Be sure to check out our Masters in Business interview this weekend with author and advisor’s advisor Nick Murray.


Investors Are Buying Long-Term Bonds
2nd thoughts
Source: WSJ



What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. farmera1 commented on Aug 8

    Outside investing in farm land is hot right now according to the WSJ. Not a good sign IMHO. Gotta love the subtitle: TIAA-CREF gets $3 billion for new cropland fund; ‘gold with a coupon’


    “Farmland is attracting growing interest from pension plans, hedge funds and even mom-and-pop investors as they seek to diversify assets and capitalize on an agriculture-industry slump that has pushed down land prices in some regions.”

    • VennData commented on Aug 8

      This has been going on the Midwest for two decades. That Rupert Murdoch finally gets wind of it from his $55M Manhattan Penthouse means nothing.

  2. farmera1 commented on Aug 8

    Superbugs; They’re here.

    In 2013 some 23,000 died from drug resistant bacteria in the US with the numbers increasing rapidly Mis-use of antibiotics in humans, massive misuse in feed animals with some 70% of antibiotics used (poundage) in this country being feed to feed animals to promote growth. General lack of awareness and lack of data are all contributing. There is no systematic gathering of data, since hospitals aren’t required to report deaths and from personal experience hospitals don’t follow good, basic, cheap/free proper procedures. I’m not a microbiologist but I had microbiologists working for me.

    Dangerous bacteria are on track to kill millions
    Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/why-superbugs-are-bad-2015-8#ixzz3iDwdLK1e

  3. VennData commented on Aug 8

    As Fox New’s demographic is slowly released from life support at the elder care facility, they do their angry veiwers a disservice by niggling Donald Trump with process questions from a defenseless little filly Cutie Megan. “You’re mean to girls Donnie!” is not a good question for a guy we may choose to fight ISIS.

    The more you manipulate, the more you lose. That is what Big Cable has done, manipulate the bundle (and FCC Net Rules) to the point where they can’t adapt, only continue to defend their Maginot Line. Big Cable, it’s over.

    • VennData commented on Aug 8

      We are right now benefiting from the careful planning of each of Karl Rove’s and Roger Ailes’ tiny, short term tactical attempt at victory. We don’t need the Daily Show.

      Klown Kar Komedy Live.

  4. mpappa commented on Aug 8

    A lot of incompetent advisors don’t even check the maturity schedule of the funds they sell. It’s common to 40-50% of the funds bond allocation grater than 10 years with only 20% in short term. See it all the time. These yield chasers will be crushed when people redeem shares and rush for the exits. Long term holders will be punished.

  5. VennData commented on Aug 8

    Jeb Bush is a Miscenginator! He’s beholden to everyone who keeps raising prices on you!

  6. VennData commented on Aug 8

    “…None of this means that Clinton’s presidential campaign is over or she is going to jail (of course she’s not)….”


    So if she didn’t break a law, and people who might have done things with their email (kept it private!) then again WHAT IS THIS RIDICULOUSNESS ABOUT?!

    It’s about nothing. This is all the GOP can get and a guy over here from London on a week holiday is suddenly an expert in American law.

  7. RW commented on Aug 8

    The Money Saved by Chris Christie’s Plan to Means Test Social Security

    In case you were wondering whether we can substantially improve the financing of Social Security by means-testing benefits, as Governor Christie advocated in the Republican candidate debate, CEPR has the answer for you. We did a paper

    By our calculations, this …phase out would reduce Social Security payouts by roughly 0.6 percent of payouts, the equivalent of an increase in the payroll tax of around 0.09 percentage point. That’s not zero, but it does not hugely change the finances of the program.

    NB: Once you have accepted the empirically incorrect premise that SS will go “bankrupt” relatively soon and conclude that it is therefore necessary to kill it in order to save it then converting it from an earned entitlement into welfare to make that assassination more appealing has some logic to it. The fact that the math doesn’t add up is really more of a feature than a bug as this is simply a quality it shares with all proposals of its kind (see Ryan Budget for e.g.).

    The larger point being that where your thinking starts strongly influences where it’s going to end up so, if you have any genuine interest in accuracy or verisimilitude, you need to double-check your prior assumptions.

    • ilsm commented on Aug 8


      It is largely Iran versus Sunni, which is Saudis, Dubai, Kuwait, Emirates etc. The riff is old as the squabble over Mahmet’s successor and Dante put Ali and Mahmet in a cell in hell eviscerating eachother each day to awake and do it again the next dawn.

      If Sunni did not have Shi’a they would do Israel, which off the ranch ISIS may do ahead of plan.

      In any event with UN sanctions going away, Iran can look to buy EU stuff and move toward supplying energy to China and involve themselves in the New Silk Road Eurasian land transport networks.

  8. VennData commented on Aug 8

    CNN calls the top on Trump once again.

    As for Erickson, Trump called him a “total loser” who “has a history of supporting establishment losers in failed campaigns so it is an honor to be uninvited from his event.”


    Some non-profit pissant disinvites Trump and you think it means something. ROFL.

    You people in the media have no idea what you have done in league with the GOP Media Machine to create an electorate of seething, hate-fulled white men.

    You treat Trump comments as “bad” but give equal weight to Republican spin over Democratic science-based fact.

  9. machinehead commented on Aug 8

    From Rob Rinehart’s “How I Gave Up AC”:

    “Most power in the US is generated by burning coal, immediately squandering 67% of its energy, then run through a steam turbine, losing another 50%, then sent across transmission lines, losing another 5%, then to charge a DC device like a cell phone another 20% is lost in conversion. This means for 100 watts of coal or oil burned my phone gets a mere 25.”

    If burning coal ‘squanders’ 67% of coal’s energy, then the combustion efficiency is (1 minus 0.67) or 33 percent. Let’s do the math: (0.33 x 0.50 x 0.95 x 0.80) = 12.5 percent, not 25 percent.

    But 12.5% efficiency is ludicrously low. Steam turbines by themselves (as a component) are around 90 percent efficient, while overall power plant efficiency can approach 50 percent with the newest generation of high temperature, high pressure steam turbines. The average power plant is around 33% efficient, limited by the theoretical Carnot efficiency. 100 percent efficiency is thermodynamically impossible without access to a cooling reservoir at absolute zero.

    Think of how much innumeracy costs our economy!

  10. Jojo commented on Aug 8

    In order to make G+ work well, Google needed to convince everyone that all they needed was ONE email account funneling into G+ circles and stuff. But many Google users have multiple accounts under a variety of pseudonym names, which doesn’t work well with G+ and ONE identity!

    Many may recall that Google tried to convince people that they only needed ONE Gmail about by plastering prompts all over GMail to this effect. It obviously didn’t work.

    Many of us have multiple Gmail accounts. One for work stuff, one for job hunting maybe, one or more for personal use, one for a home biz, one for online purchases, etc. One email account doesn’t work for most people in today’s world.

    I refused to be shoehorned into one account and therefore, chose not to register for G+. Which meant that I could not participate in a lot of the Google ecosystem. For instance, I could not rate or post comments about apps on Google Play unless I used a G+ account. So I never posted anything. [shrug].

  11. willid3 commented on Aug 8

    i always thought technology always created jobs, but destroyed more it created, of why would any business invest it it? i recall that when i was going to school and in my first CS class, that one of the impetus for computerization was that to run a major bank, or to have social security as the country grew, that just to run those would take close to a million clerks to do. with computerization, you could do it with a lot less workers. also consider this, back in the 60s, GM had about 300,000 workers, producing about 5 million cars a year. now GM has about 70,000 workers producing closer to 7-8 million cars a year. so when exactly didnt technology reduce the number of workers? and why would business invest it in if it didnt? and i suspect that part pf the reason business hasnt been investing in its business, is because its labor costs are low, and dont seem to have any need to invest because their sales arent growing much at all. usually they are actually shinking

  12. ilsm commented on Aug 8

    USA exceptionalism. Having to ‘splain irony!!

    Trump irony, the Megyn flap overshadows Trump ironic observation on “single payer”.

    Trump said, with a hint of irony which went right over the numb media squads, ‘single payer works but the USA is different’.

    Yes, USA is different. the irony is USA difference is the plundering of US taxpayer funded common goods by the .01% running federal money through the war profiteers and FIRE so they get their skim and add nothing!

    Let’s all talk “blood and Megyn rather than the irony of single payer being vetoed by the exploiting class.

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