10 Sunday AM Reads

Good Sunday morning. Some reads selected to round out your weekend:

• Facts and fantasies about commodities (Reuters) see also OPEC Tries Stamping Out Frackers (BloombergView)
• Closely Watched Inflation Gauge Falls to Lowest Level in 14 Years (WSJ)
• ECB Weighs Bond Purchases Up to 500 Billion Euros to Juice Economy (Bloomberg) see also What Returns Can Investors Expect in Long-Term Treasuries? (Wealth of Common Sense)
• Windfall for Taxpayers Coming to an End (NYT)
• The shale oil revolution is in danger (Fortune) see also 26 Earthquakes Later, Fracking’s Smoking Gun Is in Texas (Daily Beast)
• The Little-Known Programming Problem Inside Dynamic Scoring (Businessweek)
• Days After Zero Hedge Report Of Its Plunging Ratings, CNBC Stops Using Nielsen (Zero Hedge) see also CNBC to Stop Using Nielsen for Ratings (WSJ)
• Joe Wiesenthal: Boosting Bloomberg’s ‘shares’ (Columbia Journalism Review)
• Amazing fact: Obamacare ‘beyond repair,’ yet brings insurance to millions (LA Times) see also How the GOP could unintentionally drive up Obamacare enrollment (WonkBlog)
• 7 Offensive Images The New York Times Wasn’t Afraid to Publish (Gawker)

What are you reading?


Will the Labor Force See a Resurgence? 

Source: Real Time Economics


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What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. swag commented on Jan 11

    Shocker: people like Elizabeth Warren. Bush & Clinton, not so much.


    A signal of distaste for dynasties bodes ill for Bush, Clinton – Dan Balz
    . . .
    When the name of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) was introduced into the conversation, however, many of those around the table, regardless of party affiliation, responded positively. To this group, who spoke in stark terms throughout the evening about the economic challenges of working Americans, Warren has struck a chord.
    . . .
    Reactions to Bush were viscerally negative. When the participants were asked for short impressions of him, the responses included the following: “Joke.” “No, thank you.” “Clown.” “Don’t need him.” “Greedy.” “Again?” One said, “intriguing” and another said, “interesting.” That’s as close as anyone came to outright enthusiasm for Bush.
    . . .

    Clinton fared slightly better. Instant impressions included the following: “Don’t like.” “Strong.” “Spitfire.” “Untrustworthy.” “More of the same.” “Politician, but gets things done.” The reactions echoed what has been found in polls and in other focus groups, which is that Clinton has stature but remains a polarizing figure.

  2. romerjt commented on Jan 11

    Responses to earthquakes in OK and TX and fracking:
    a. The reports of the quakes are a media exaggeration, there have always been quakes like this.
    b. It’s just a coincidence.
    c. There is no scientific proof that fracking causes quakes.
    d. Concerning the evidence supposedly linking the quakes to fracking, “well, I’m not a scientist”.
    e. Who cares, the money is good.
    f. Holy Shit!

  3. swag commented on Jan 11

    Among the Disrupted – Leon Wieseltier


    “Amid the bacchanal of disruption, let us pause to honor the disrupted. The streets of American cities are haunted by the ghosts of bookstores and record stores, which have been destroyed by the greatest thugs in the history of the culture industry. Writers hover between a decent poverty and an indecent one; they are expected to render the fruits of their labors for little and even for nothing, and all the miracles of electronic dissemination somehow do not suffice for compensation, either of the fiscal or the spiritual kind. Everybody talks frantically about media, a second-order subject if ever there was one, as content disappears into “content.” What does the understanding of media contribute to the understanding of life? Journalistic institutions slowly transform themselves into silent sweatshops in which words cannot wait for thoughts, and first responses are promoted into best responses, and patience is a professional liability. As the frequency of expression grows, the force of expression diminishes: Digital expectations of alacrity and terseness confer the highest prestige upon the twittering cacophony of one-liners and promotional announcements. It was always the case that all things must pass, but this is ridiculous.”

  4. rd commented on Jan 11

    The programming issue for the dynamic scoring is a non-issue.

    The proponents of the dynamic scoring approach have successfully demonstrated over the past decade that their policies of cutting taxes while starting a decade-long war, deregulating the financial sector while the government takes on much of the financial sector risk, and promoting economic growth by cutting infrastructure spending have been effective at stabilizing the US budget and debt.

  5. rd commented on Jan 11

    The 9-5 workday that many salaried workers have includes a half-hour to one-hour lunch break. All the companies have to do is to declare that the lunch break is not part of their work hours and the standard work week for that firm becomes 35 to 37.5 hrs for the same pay. The firm can now drop the Obamacare mandate if it chooses.

  6. rd commented on Jan 11

    The Pew Research Center did an interesting poll looking at the views and likelihood of voting of the US and reported the results based on levels of “financial security”. It was quite enlightening to see the areas where the wealthier had distinctly different views than the poorer and the areas where they were nearly identical.

    My takeways:

    1. It is pretty clear why the GOP -run states are focused on enacting voter ID laws to make voting by poorer people less likely;

    2. The politics of hate are probably going to resonate less and less with the electorate over the next few years;

    3. Many of the wealthier people don’t understand some of the issues causing poverty.


  7. hue commented on Jan 11

    Meet Nate Cohn, NYTimes’ new young gun on data (Crapital NY) new nate spitting image of old nate

    The War Nerd: “Martyrdom” — What’s the Payoff? (pando daily) The War Nerd: How do you deal with wannabe jihadis? An upgrade to business class (pando daily)

    The Biggest Looming Source of Inflation: Non-College Educated Men (Conner Sen) blue me away

  8. Jojo commented on Jan 11

    Which Fortune 100 CEO has the biggest security budget?
    Claire Zillman
    January 7, 2015

    There’s plenty of upside to being a Fortune 100 CEO. But the power also comes with a major downside: it can come with all sorts of threats to personal safety.

    Scenarios that could endanger a CEO range from the macro—a defense company’s manufacturing of drones could make its CEO a target of the Islamic State, says Timothy Horner, head of Kroll’s security risk management practice—to the micro, a “crazy niece or nephew,” Horner says.

    Not only do those threats pose danger to individual executives, but such events could be devastating for a company’s financial health. So it’s no wonder that some of the nation’s most prominent companies pay a pretty penny to ensure their leaders stay out of harm’s way.

    Which company shells out the most?



  9. Jojo commented on Jan 11

    Israel’s Water Ninja
    By Amanda Little | January 08, 2015

    Amir Peleg hunches his broad, 6-foot-3-inch frame into a tunnel leading to one of several reservoirs that supply water to Jerusalem. Condensation collects on the ceiling, inches overhead, like thousands of tiny stalactites. Peleg, an entrepreneur whose self-given job title is “chief plumbing officer,” catches a droplet on his palm. “Literally every drop counts,” he says. “This is the modern-day Gihon.”

    Gihon was the ancient, intermittent spring that made human settlement possible in Jerusalem circa 700 B.C. Today, fresh water sources in Israel and the surrounding region are more precious than they were in the Bronze Age. About 1 million residents continually draw water from this reservoir, which is filled by pipelines snaking from the Sea of Galilee 90 miles north. Located at the edge of Jerusalem, the reservoir is held in a massive underground vault patrolled by armed guards to keep insurgents from poisoning the supply. Thick cement walls surround a floodlit pool of water, ghostly and luminous, 40 feet deep and wider and longer than two football fields.

    Like most of its neighbors, Israel is a desert nation, and during the past seven years it’s struggled through a drought with record-low rainfall. In response, Peleg and others have come up with an array of innovations, from microscopic sewage scrubbers to supersize desalination plants to smart water networks. Israel now has higher agricultural yields than it’s had in nondrought years. It even has a water surplus, a portion of which (about 150 million cubic meters per year) it pumps to Jordan and the Palestinian Authority.

    “I don’t think it’s overkill to say that Israeli entrepreneurs are disrupting and reinventing how the world creates and conserves water,” says Peleg, 48. He’s become one of the leaders of a water-tech movement that began in the 1950s, when Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, implored scientists and engineers to “make the desert bloom.”


  10. rd commented on Jan 11

    I think self-driving cars will be coming in the future for reasons that the journalists never seem to talk about:


    1. The elderly – a self-driving car could extend their independence by years to decades.
    2. The disabled, especially blind people – transportation would be a non-issue providing great independence.
    3. Teen drivers – cut their poor decisions dramatically.

    In all of these, the world would be a safer place for the general population while the individuals get more freedom.

    Personally, I have to drive for several hours periodically to get to job-sites and meetings. Productive time during those drives would be very welcome.

    • cowboyinthejungle commented on Jan 12

      Thanks for that find, rd. I had heard nothing about it…amazing what passes as free press, that this would go more-or-less uncovered.

Read this next.

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